Escape to St. Augustine

The Fetch Ranch has been a whirlwind of activity.  It feels so cliche to say, “We’ve been so busy!”–I mean, really, who isn’t?  My amazing husband whisked me away on a recent weekend to escape the busy-ness, and we headed over to St. Augustine!  We enjoyed our peace and quiet together wandering the adorable town.  The weather was gorgeous…we couldn’t have picked a better weekend to go.
out to dinner
pumpkin patch 2
beach
beach 2We did a little shopping and Glenn had his feet scanned for a pair of tennis shoes!  So cool!!  They checked where he had the most pressure and noted that he had high arches.  Then they matched the scan with the inserts in the shoes.  How fun!
foot scan
ball and chain
We had such a nice time and decided it has been way too long since we’ve had a little excursion.  We vowed to plan more of these weekend getaways into our schedule!  I wonder where we’ll go next?!

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Holiday Hot Chocolate

With the holidays quickly approaching, I guess now is as good a time as any to share an easy holiday gift idea.

Last Christmas, we decided to whip up a batch of our favorite hot chocolate and included it in a sweet package with a warm throw for our far-away-family members who face far chillier winters than we do!
hot choc with throwHere’s a look at the note we included with the package:
hot chocolate noteWe recycled some coffee jars and painted the lids red.  And the labels were easy enough to create.  We just printed them on sticker paper and affixed them to the jars.  We finished them off with some cute ribbon.
hot chocolateEveryone seemed to enjoy their little packages.  In plenty of time for holiday gift giving, here’s the recipe we use.  Let us know if you decide to try it.

Fetch Ranch Hot Chocolate

1 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa (choose Dutch or Valrhona cocoa – World Market sometimes has good choices)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 cups powdered sugar
a large pinch cayenne pepper
2 1/2 cups Nido powdered milk (we have found this at our local grocery store but Wal-mart may carry it, or a Latin market)
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients well.  We usually add a little more cayenne since we like it to have a little bit of a kick.  I wouldn’t skip it…add a little and see how you like it!  Fill a mug 1/2 full with the cocoa mix.  It will seem like a lot but it’s a perfect amount for rich, creamy, hot cocoa.  Add hot water to fill mug.  Top with some marshmallows or whipped cream.  Enjoy!

Here’s a look at another sweet Christmas treat idea from last year. 

What’s All the Buzz About?

If you walk out into our front yard, you can hear a gentle hum.  It’s not threatening or ominous but quite melodious and calming.  It’s the sound of several thousand bees buzzing around our yard busy doing their thing so we can enjoy properly pollinated plants, fruits, and veggies as well as some honey!

You might remember that back in May, Mr F and I attended a bee keeping class.   We learned quite a bit including that it would be best to wait until September to start a hive of our own.  We finally picked them up about 2 weeks ago and they’ve been happily getting adjusted ever since.  We checked on them a few days ago and they seem to be thriving in their new area.
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(The queen bee is the one with the red dot in the photo above.)
We’ve been really fascinated by the nature of how they operate–each bee has its own tasks and responsibilities and together they all make up a highly functional little factory.  And look, they’re already making honey (the sealed pale yellow hexagons are honey)!  They’ll eat that through the cooler months and then we’ll add a top layer to collect some for ourselves.
IMG_3739We certainly have a lot to learn but they are pretty self-sufficient and don’t require too much attention.  Unlike this friendly young lady who thinks she’s a puppy and is constantly trying to jump in our laps!
IMG_0759Well, that’s the latest addition to the Fetch Ranch.  We’ve got a couple of other things in the works so check back soon.