Jun 282016
 

How to Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket via J5MM.com // #GoRVing

A basket full of goodies from the local market is a wonderful thing I tell you.   Now tote that basket along on your next outdoor adventure and enjoy the deliciousness while taking in the great outdoors.  Lunchtime has never been better.

If you’d like to see how I packed up our basket, please travel with me to GoRVing’s blog, here.

As always, thank you for being here (and there) ♥

xo Monica

RV Picnic Basket via J5MM.com // #GoRVing

Jun 192016
 

Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (1 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (3 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (4 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (7 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (5 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (6 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (8 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (14 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (10 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (12 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (13 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (11 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (15 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (16 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (17 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (19 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (18 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (20 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (22 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (21 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (23 of 25)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 B (1 of 1)Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (24 of 25)

Road Trip Along Idaho's Hwy 12 (25 of 25)

Just a little bit about Idaho’s Hwy 12 between Syringa and Lolo Pass:

River front camping for DAYS.  “Keep your eyes peeled for those dirt road pull off’s, you’ll find yourself some real nice spots,” a fellow told me at the gas station when I was inquiring about places to camp.  I will put my hand over my heart and swear to you, this is beautiful country and one of the most pristine places we have ever camped.  I still shake my head in disbelief that a place like this exists.

Catch and release fishing to your hearts content in the rivers and nearby lakes and 99.9% of the time, you have the place to yourself.  At least this was our experience, last summer in August.

Exploring the Selway River Road took us deep into the backcountry where we fished, hiked and swam in the refreshing cool river.  Nearby forest fires created a rather smoky atmosphere, but that was to be expected in mid August I was told (we learned a lot about forest fires during this trip of ours — wait till you see my pictures I took when we visited Glacier National Park).  Also, if you enjoy mushroom hunting, put this place on your radar — the ranger told us you can find ginormous mushrooms from morels to oysters and many other varieties depending on the time of year of course.

Hot springs in their natural state – no man made formations here.  It was glorious alternating soaks between the hot therapeutic waters and the cool icy river.

In a nutshell, our trip was nothing short of glorious, how could it not have been?  Campsite after campsite, one after another, all river front, all private and all breathtaking.  I miss my morning cups of coffee strolling the rivers edge and watching hubby fish.

I also made a successful breakfast pizza on that trip.  Successful for me in a big way because the crust was grain and gluten free and hubby and B didn’t even notice!  All I heard was, “Wow, this is really good!”  I’ve been following a ketogenic (keto for short) way of eating now for a while and I have been slowly trying to convert the boys without their knowledge.  It’s kind of working. So with the success of this pizza, well, it made my day.

For the pizza crust I used Julian’s Bakery Paleo Pizza Crust Mix.  I pressed the crust into my cast iron skillet and par baked it at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes.  I then added the toppings, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, cooked and crumbled bacon with four cracked eggs on top.  A sprinkle of salt and a good turn of pepper and into the oven at 425 degrees it went for about 15 minutes.  If you like your eggs on the runny side — I would start watching the pizza around minute 10.

Thank you for being here and more importantly:  HAPPY FATHERS DAY XOXO

Warmly,
Monica

PS:   here is a handy brochure explaining all there is to do along this beautiful stretch of road.  We are convinced that planning road trips along scenic byways are some of the best road trips to be had.

Jun 132016
 

Fabulous Finds For Your RV via J5MM.com // Monica Bennett #GoRVing

 

  1. I adore this American flag tote.  I can see it full of goodies from the market or even as a picnic basket too, plus it’s so cute and just in time for the 4th of July.
  2. I’m so tempted to buy this bed for Oliver, it would look so cute on board the Airstream especially with him on it :)
  3. Check out these two folding red director chairs, and at a great price too!  They also come in a blue stripe version.
  4. Get your outdoor summer game fun on with this adorable ring toss set.  Who wants to play?
  5. This would make a beautiful gift for the Dominoes enthusiast – made of wood and so very attractive.
  6. If you follow me along here on J5MM you know my obsession with trays and how convenient they are to have while RVing, but look at this one I found, I think I may have to add it to my collection — would even be cute hung up as a wall decoration.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this latest installment of Fab Finds Tuesday — Here’s to a fun summer ahead :)

Monica XO

May 282016
 

Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (1 of 14)Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (2 of 14)Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (3 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (4 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (5 of 14)Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (6 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (7 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (8 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (9 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (10 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (11 of 14) Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (12 of 14)
Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (13 of 14)

Last August we took a splendid road trip that lead us through Washington, Idaho and finally Montana.  Towing the Airstream through the contrasting landscapes was like a massive lesson in geology.  Hwy 12 is just one of many of Idaho’s “Scenic Byways,” and I here to tell you first and foremost that this particular stretch of highway took my breath away.  I highly encourage you to come and visit and if you follow my future posts covering this trip of ours, you will see why.

We began the first leg of our trip in Syringa, Idaho which is home to the River Dance Lodge, owned by ROW Adventures.  ROW invited us to come out and experience some outdoor adventures the Lodge offers up such as fly fishing, white water rafting, guided hikes and more.  We had plans to camp on-site as they have two dry camping spots, but since the outdoor temperature was a ridiculous 107 degrees, we opted to camp down the road at the River Junction RV Park that offered up full hookups and with full hookups, we would have A/C (our generator can’t handle running the A/C sadly).

Plans with ROW were a day of guided fly fishing and another day of white water rafting, neither of which did pan out because the rivers were too low for either adventure.  But we did experience a fun tubing and float trip.  It was my first time ever tubing down a cool rushing river and I can tell you, it was the bee’s knees especially considering how scorching hot it was outside.  It was also B’s first time commandeering his very own kayak and the boy had a ridiculously fun time.  So all’s well that ends well.  Thank you ROW Adventures for inviting us out :)

Since it was SO. HOT. I did not cook, at all.  We literally survived on cherries that we picked up from a fellow selling them roadside and goodness, they were the sweetest cherries we’ve ever had.  We also enjoyed tartines, which is just a fancy way of saying, “open faced sandwiches,” :)  Super easy way to eat when you absolutely can not bear to even think about turning on the stove — I still can’t get over how hot it was that summer!  I also realized last summer why the new Airstreams now come with two A/C units.  It took FOREVER to cool down our Airstream in that heat and even then, when it was 107 degrees outside, we could only get down to around 80 degrees inside.

I also feel terrible that it has taken me so long to finally begin writing about this trip!  So much has been happening in our lives.  Hubby has had two operations on his hip this past year.  You see, I have never mentioned this before, at least I don’t think . . . but he suffers from Parkinson’s Disease and because of his disease, he is prone to falling and when you have a hip replacement, the first thing the doctor tells you is, DO NOT FALL WHATEVER YOU DO.  It does not matter how careful a person is — if they are prone to falling, they WILL fall, eventually.  And he did.  And it was the scariest day of my life because I was upstairs and he was downstairs and I heard him fall and I heard him cry out and I tried to run to him so fast, but I couldn’t (B was at his baseball game, thankfully!).  I felt like I was wearing a pair of cement galoshes — I absolutely could not move quick enough to get to him.  When I finally did get to him, he was on the floor in his office, writhing in pain and I was standing over him DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL 911?! — he thought for a moment (and I knew he was thinking about the health insurance’s required co-pay of $500 for ambulance/ER services, because he likes to pinch his pennies) and finally he said YES.  and then I couldn’t remember how to dial 911!  Imagine, I just sat there starring at my phone in shock.  But I eventually did remember and the ambulance did come, and another ambulance came and even a fire truck!  But here we are NOW 12 months later and he is healed up, thank goodness.  In other news, he had an appointment with a neurosurgeon to see if he would be an ideal candidate for deep brain stimulation surgery and he IS.  He absolutely IS!  I was under the impression this surgery only treats people who have uncontrollable shaking (which he does not) but that is just not the case.  It also helps eliminate other symptoms of PD.  In hubby’s case, the man is just SLOW AS MOLASSES.  Forgive me if that sounds a little harsh, but it’s true.  That is his only symptom.  He is slow and gets “stuck.”  Turns out, this surgery will be 100% effective in treating him.  So we are incredibly happy!  B told me the other day, “Mommy, I can’t imagine how daddy is going to be.” (because B was only three years old when hubby was diagnosed, he is now 12), I told him, “Honey, he will be the same daddy, only speedier.” :)

Speaking of B, the boy has straight A’s in school and we are so proud of him.  I still can’t believe that sixth grade will be over for him.  It seems the older I get, the faster time goes.  It’s a little scary!

Oh and at home we are finally finished with the upstairs flooring project.  We went from 16 year old carpet to hickory hardwood floors and I am very pleased with the outcome.  We had to haul 16 years worth of “stuff” from the upstairs to the downstairs and believe me when I tell you, that was quite the job!  I thought twice about hauling all that stuff back upstairs so we ended up giving most of it away to our local Buy Nothing Project.  Have you heard of that?  It’s a generous online community where members get together on Facebook and “gift” items they no longer need!  I learned about this after bumping into my neighbor while we were both walking our pooches and she enlightened me.  I could hardly wait to get home and sign up.

For example, do you see my grand baby’s new red “rock and sleep” in my office below?  I was gifted that from a sweet mom in my neighborhood who no longer needed it!  I literally picked it up this morning.

Now the only thing missing in this picture is a baby!  Lucky me — I am going to see her and my daughter tomorrow.

Can’t wait!

~ Monica XO

Idaho Highway 12 Road Trip via J5MM.com (14 of 14)

One of my favorite pics of hubby (and Oliver) ❤

my sweet hubby

May 262016
 

Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com

Savory . . . velvety . . . rich . . . are just some of the words that come to mind when describing this simple seafood paella recipe I made for Go RVing.   If you’d like the recipe please visit Go RVing’s recipe blog here.

Oh and some exciting news — Go RVing is compiling their favorite RV Summer recipes in one (free) cookbook, and they need your help! Share a few of your favorites using the hashtag ‪#‎RVCookbook‬ on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to be featured!

Bon Appetit!

~ Monica XO

Airstream Kitchen - Easy Skillet Paella for GoRVing via J5MM.com

May 032016
 

Fabulous Finds for your RV via J5MM.com

I recently met via Facebook talented Etsy Artist Heather Lawrence and I immediately fell in love with her goods!  Check out her cute  Girl Camping Tote Bag as well as other goodies in her shop.  Really cute stuff!

Collapsible Drink Dispenser — perfect for entertaining and it’s collapsible :)

American Flag Wool Throw – All American and oh so lovely.  Would make a cute picnic blanket no question.

Rechargeable Lantern – it’s red and charming and best of all, rechargeable.  Comes in a darling wooden box too.

Camping Playing Cards – camping themed cards, just love them.  Would make a great gift for the soon to be RVer, or maybe just for you :)

Hope you enjoyed this latest Fab Finds post!

Warmly,
Monica xo

Apr 262016
 

Monica Bennett Orcas Island - travel (1 of 3)Monica Bennett Orcas Island - travel (3 of 3)

A short while ago when visiting the San Juan Islands of Washington State, we had the pleasure to dine at the Bay Cafe on Lopez Island.  It was here, where I had one of the best salads of all time called the Lopez Arugula Salad.  Owners, Tim and Kristin Shea shared their very simple recipe with me, so that I could pass it along to you ♥  Now bear with me, this salad recipe could very well be a fabulous find, and it is — but wait until you see what I have prepared it in :)

The Bay Cafe Lopez Island

Is this serving bowl set from “Camp Casual”, not the most perfect serving bowl set for your RV kitchen?  Just look at how simply lovely it is!  Thank you Rachel for sending it to me!  This serving bowl set will live happily in my Airstream kitchen from now on, no question :)

Camp Casual Serving Bowl Set via J5MM.com

I knew straight away, the Lopez Arugula Salad would be the first salad to fill this marvelous bowl.  I honestly, truly, hopefully hope you will make this because quite frankly, it’s such a fresh and zippy salad that is quite delicious!  Here is the recipe:

The Bay Cafe
Lopez Arugula Salad
serves 8

  • 1 pound arugula
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup blanched Marcona almonds
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Toast the almonds on a baking sheet until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Allow to cool and then roughly chop.

Toss the arugula in your salad bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and half of the Parmesan cheese.  Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese and chopped almonds.  Serve immediately.

Arugula Salad (2 of 4) Arugula Salad 1 (1 of 1) Arugula Salad (4 of 4)

Some other goods on my Fabulous Finds radar are:

Fabulous finds for your RV via J5MM.com

This “take it anywhere,” red table.  It’s very stylish and seems to be quite practical as well.

This “travel pouch,” would be quite handy for those trips to the RV park shower to keep all your beauty essentials in one place.

Oh and last but not least, you can now buy this charming Airstream shaped cutting board here.

Airstream Cutting Board (1 of 1)

Hope you enjoyed this installment of Fabulous Finds Tuesday :)

xx Monica

Monica Bennett Orcas Island - day one (1 of 8)

Apr 242016
 

Monica Bennett Forest Photography (3 of 5)Monica Bennett Forest Photography (1 of 5)Monica Bennett Forest Photography (2 of 5)Monica Bennett Forest Photography (5 of 5)

I took a stroll through the forest this morning.  It’s one of my most enjoyed morning rituals — becoming enveloped in the peace and quiet found here.  I feel truly blessed to have the riches of the forest so close to home.

I was inspired from my morning walk to finish up these beautiful silver earrings.  They are the first in my series, “Riches of the Forest.” They’ve been sitting on my bench now for a while and I am beyond delighted that they are finally ready, for you.  In my shop now:  Just5MoreMinutes.etsy.com

I do hope you can swing by!

Riches of Forest Earrings Riches of the Forest earrings via J5MM.comMonica Bennett Forest Photography (4 of 5)