Pretty up your iPhone

There are times where I absolutely must recognize that my inner teenage girl self just needs to come out and shine. I stumbled across a really cute app a few days ago and now my phone looks like this:

IMG_3571

I used a free app called CocoPPa and followed this tutorial. The only drawback is that you can’t change the “native” app icons—those apps that come on the phone originally like Phone, Clock, Settings, and Camera.

After you’ve checked out the tutorial, you’ll see there’s a little work around that is explained in the tutorial. I also discovered that if you use

photos-redirect://

as a URL, you’re able to change the photo icon.

Fried Green Tomatoes

This weekend, we went to the Georgia Outdoors Show (the Turkeyrama) in Perry. Of course, Wyatt and Justin had a blast checking out all of the hunting stuff. I think Wyatt’s favorite part was getting to meet the tortoises up close.

IMG_3175 IMG_3177 

When we finished up we headed north to Macon to Bass Pro. We were starving and I remembered that Juliette isn’t very far from there. Juliette is home to the Whistle Stop Café, made popular by the movie Fried Green Tomatoes in 1991. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café is one of my all time favorite movies and books. I was so excited to eat there for the first time. Justin was shocked that I had never had fried green tomatoes even though I’ve lived in Georgia for 20 years. They were absolute perfection and I’m afraid the bar has been set incredibly high.

IMG_3179 IMG_3180

IMG_3247 

We actually did end up at Bass Pro. Wyatt was so excited to get a new camp chair.

IMG_3200 IMG_3208

Wyatt and I headed out to my parents’ house on Sunday and he got to pet the new puppy. She was born to my parents’ “yard dog” (one that just came up and they feed) but she’s still pretty skittish.

 IMG_3224 IMG_3238 

And finally, yesterday on my way home Justin called and said Wyatt wanted cupcakes (which I’m sure meant Justin, too!) so I made some butter recipe cupcakes with sprinkles. I love those two and I don’t do fun stuff like that nearly enough!

IMG_3243

Early February

Wyatt got a taste of cotton candy at Golden Corral last weekend. Thank goodness he liked the strawberries even more.

IMG_3060 IMG_3062

I always love pictures like this. My dad and Wyatt walking hand in hand.

 IMG_3065

My sister Suzi got a new house and we visited. Her soon-to-be stepson Liam and my soon-to-be brother-in-law David aren’t moving in until the wedding in July, so Liam’s room is a really cool play room right now.

IMG_3070 IMG_3071

We made a last minute run to Wally World for a few things, but Wyatt enjoyed sitting on the “old man bench” with his Pop a lot better.

 IMG_3074 IMG_3076

Justin brought home this play kitchen from his parents’ house too. Wyatt is a nut with this. He’s always mixing up some imaginary dish while we’re cooking at night.

 IMG_3090 

Hey! I got a new washer and Wyatt got a play house. This is what I came home to the other day.IMG_3173

AGL Session 2

AGL Session 2 kicked off with a non-traditional river boat tour from Bull River Cruises. We learned about the various factors that affect river health and those that make their living on the water. We were able to see shrimping boats as well as some prominent yacht clubs and repair stations.

 IMG_2761 IMG_2806

We toured the Georgia Ports Authority and learned about the importance of Georgia’s ports in Savannah and Brunswick to agriculture in Georgia. The deepening of the port in Savannah is expected to greatly increase exports, which is a great competitive advantage for the State.

IMG_2801 IMG_2807 

We also visited the First African Baptist Church in Savannah. It is the first African American Baptist Church in North America and it was founded by slaves. We learned a great deal of history. It was even a stop on the Underground Railroad.

IMG_2808 IMG_2810 

We visited East Coast Terminal, which is an independent shipper of primarily wood chips and wood pellets. Turkey is their main receiver of these Georgia Goods.

IMG_2816 IMG_2817

I am reminded all the time that growth begins where our comfort zone ends. I tried my very first oyster at Bernie’s on River Street. It wasn’t offensive, probably because it was drenched in horseradish and cocktail sauce, but I probably won’t be ordering any more. Check one item off my bucket list that I didn’t even know existed!

IMG_2823 IMG_2824

Meanwhile, back at home Wyatt was having a blast with Justin. He stayed at his Grandma and Pa’s house and got to play in the sink for bath time.

IMG_2827 IMG_2828

We visited the Vidalia Onion Museum where classmate Kevin Cronic tried out the kids’ onion sorter simulator.

IMG_2858 

We visited several onion packing houses and learned about cooling, packing, and warehousing onions before final shipment. Because it is not Vidalia onion season, most packing houses import Peruvian sweet onions—never labeled as Vidalias, of course—to create a steady supply of sweet onions for grocers and food processors. These are at Herndon Farms.

IMG_2878 IMG_2880

There are a lot of gaps here, mostly because I didn’t take as many pictures and I usually do. We learned about Ogeechee River Keepers, the Herty Advanced Materials Development Center, coastal fisheries from Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division, coastal hazards preparation from Tybee Island local officials, challenges facing the Georgia wild shrimping industry at Lazaretta Packing, visited Briggs and Stratton in Statesboro and met with development authority officials, visited local schools to learn about educational challenges, visited Safe Haven—a domestic violence shelter, and several other Vidalia onion operations including Stanley Farms (including a wonderful dinner and fellowship at the Stanley family lodge), Vidalia Valley, and Bland Farms.

It was truly a great information-packed week. I can’t wait for Session 3 in the Macon/Atlanta areas!

January Fun

IMG_2355

Starting off the new year right! I made Justin a tool roll for his wrenches. It has a camouflage exterior.

 IMG_2433  IMG_2448

We have the best little park about a block from our house. Wyatt has a girlfriend—she wouldn’t stop kissing him and he HATED it! We also got to catch up with some friends from school who were home for the holidays. They live up near Atlanta so it’s difficult to catch up sometimes. It’s all about quality, not quantity!

 IMG_2475

Mama and Daddy brought home some caramel Puff Corn from family in North Carolina. I quickly made a double batch. This stuff is dangerous! It is VERY addicting!

Caramel Puff Corn
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time:  45 minutes
Chill Time:  30 minutes
Yield:  5 quarts

  • 1 bag (8 to 9 ounces) puff corn (also known as hulless popcorn)
  • 1 cup butter (no substitutes)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (I used about 4!)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  1. Spray glass baking dish with cooking spray. Pour puff corn in.
  2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and corn syrup and mix well. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for additional 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract; the mixture will foam and expand. Carefully pour syrup over puff corn and toss to mix.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Pour onto waxed paper or foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let Caramel Puff Corn cool at least 30 minutes. Break into bite size pieces and store in closed container.
  5. Note: Puff corn is found in the snack/chip aisle of the grocery store.

 IMG_2483.JPG (2) IMG_2491 IMG_2493.JPG (2) IMG_2447IMG_2509.JPG (2)  IMG_2521

We have a lefty on our hands!

 IMG_2529 IMG_2541 IMG_2519.JPG (2)IMG_2586 IMG_2563.JPG (2) 

I went to the Southeast Fruit and Vegetable Growers Annual Conference in Savannah this past weekend for work. Justin and Wyatt came along with me. Justin is SUPERdad—he found a children’s train museum that Wyatt loved: http://railga.com/oddend/roundhouse.html

IMG_2558 IMG_2560  IMG_2580 

He loved riding the river ferry and looking at all of the big boats from our room. Mama and Sami kept Wyatt Friday night for Justin and I to have a date night. We had a blast eating on River Street and taking a horse-drawn carriage ghost tour.

IMG_2590.JPG (2) IMG_2599.JPG (2)  IMG_2610 

After the conference on Saturday, we went to Forsyth park. It was 75 degrees and kids were playing in the fountains, people were laying out in the sun, and it was fabulous!

 IMG_2627 IMG_2605.JPG (2)

IMG_2652 IMG_2655

Barn wood

IMG_2139

I might have mentioned this piece of string art my SIL Amanda made me for Christmas 100 times or so but it’s pretty fabulous. She made it on a piece of wood we got from an old barn house that was falling in. Right after Christmas, I casually mentioned to Justin’s dad Sheldon that we’d love for him to make Wyatt a toy box for his birthday. Three days later this is what we had: 74556_10200147809048662_1353149537_n 184426_10200147810728704_1392547490_n 294085_10200147813328769_1683240397_n 

He planed down, sanded, stained, and sealed the old barn wood to make a covered wagon toy box that blew any expectations we had out of the water. It can actually be used as a wagon too—the wheels and steering pull actually are functional, although I doubt it will ever be outside for any reason. He even carved his name, “Pa,” and 2012 onto the inside.This is truly an heirloom piece that will remain in our family for generations. Justin talked to his grandpa Theron and found out that his great-grandfather Dud helped cut the wood to build that barn house over 100 years ago. That makes this so much more special.

After seeing the potential, we immediately went back to salvage any remaining usable wood for future projects.

IMG_2334 IMG_2335

Justin and his daddy worked long and hard to get this big fat beam. It will be our mantle over our fireplace if we ever get a new house one day.

 IMG_2341 IMG_2342   IMG_2345 IMG_2346 IMG_2347  IMG_2349 

We got the wagon into the house and loaded up with toys. Wyatt can’t stay out of it very long. He loves it!

  IMG_2361 IMG_2366

Presents!

IMG_2098 IMG_2108 IMG_2119 IMG_2120 IMG_2129 IMG_2132 

Christmas at Grandma and Pa’s came a few days early to eliminate some of the confusion of running around to so many houses. Wyatt got a big wheel tricycle.

IMG_2140

My amazing SIL Amanda made this string art Georgia sign for me on old barn wood.

 IMG_2156

Lasagna assembly line at my parents’ house on Christmas Eve.

 IMG_2172 IMG_2187 IMG_2188 

Christmas Eve parties are a family tradition at the Mastrario house. We always love to have a house full of company.

IMG_2192 IMG_2196 IMG_2198 IMG_2203 IMG_2205

Wyatt got his very own recliner for Christmas. We tried to scale back and only buy a few gifts for him. We don’t have much room and he is already spoiled rotten so we only bought him four or five other gifts. By the time he got to the third one, he wanted to stop opening presents and start playing with them. We didn’t feel so bad that we didn’t go all out then.

 IMG_2212 IMG_2213 IMG_2215 IMG_2217  IMG_2226

We had Christmas lunch at Papa Theron and Granny Whilden’s house with a lot of the Cook family.

 IMG_2245 IMG_2249

Wyatt got a pedal fire truck from Mimi and Pop.

 IMG_2268 IMG_2269 IMG_2273 IMG_2279

David got his big welcome into the family. A few months back he heckled me about the tapestry cat vest I had in elementary school so I got him one of his very own. He was a good sport and wore it while opening the rest of his presents. It is trial by fire to get into this family!

 IMG_2281

Justin found a 1963 Polaroid Land Camera for Sami at an estate sale that we thought would be perfect for her. We even bought film for it but we couldn’t get it to work. Justin said he’d work on it to figure it out.

 IMG_2285

Wyatt and Liam got to spend the rest of the afternoon playing with their new toys.

 IMG_2287 IMG_2288 

IMG_2298

While it isn’t high fashion decorating, I love our new gifts up on our mantle. The sign is from Amanda and the photo is one Sami took of us and had framed for us for Christmas. I think it’s just fabulous!

December Miscellaneous Part 2

IMG_1882 IMG_1883 

We got a strange package delivered to our house from the North Pole with our very own Elf on a Shelf. We didn’t name him this year but we can’t wait to see what kind of fun he gets into next year and we can only wonder what Wyatt will name him.

IMG_1901

We discovered that Wyatt really really really doesn’t like Santa despite bribes of suckers.

 IMG_2008 IMG_2010

Silly string fights in Mimi and Pop’s front yard.

 IMG_2017

We met a real live Grinch.

 IMG_2049 IMG_2060 IMG_2066

Wrapping presents was lots of fun.

 IMG_2085

Cooking flips with Grandma.

 IMG_2148

Wearing our “ears” everywhere—including the Piggly Wiggly.

 IMG_2296

Getting our annual Christmas ornament.

 IMG_2297

Having lots of toasty warm fires.

 IMG_2307

And hanging out with Pop while we finished up shopping.

Bells will be ringing…

That’s one of my favorite Christmas songs, but this time it means a whole different kind of bell: WEDDING BELLS!

 Capture

1

My sister Suzi is engaged to the sweetest guy. I’ll be glad to add not only a brother to the family, but a nephew as well. Liam and Wyatt are good friends now and I’m glad for Wy to have another cousin. The big day is July 13, 2013. I’m gonna be one happy Matron of Honor too!

61402_10151276048454043_1634199543_n 71673_10151315507414043_64830745_n 563855_10151302028289043_235229438_n

We went dress shopping right away and Suzi found the greatest dress. It was the first one she tried on. I can’t show it off yet, but here is a sneak peek from dress shopping. The one on the far right didn’t make the cut but I thought it was adorable like all the rest!

IMG_1905 IMG_1973 IMG_1977