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What to Take on a Day Hike

Day hike in the outdoors can be a fun and relaxing activity for your family or friends. But the simple idea of a day hike can actually catch many people off guard if something happens. Don’t get stuck unprepared.

What to take on a day hike, Hiking tips. Summer activies with the family #Hike, #hiking

Going on a hike can be a fun and relaxing time for families and friends. There is nothing quite like heading to the trail and breathing in that fresh air. You should come prepared, though, in order to make sure you have a good of a time as you can! Just because it is just for the day or even an hour or two, many issues can come up causing a kink in the plans.  Here are some tips for taking what you need on a hike.

What to Take on a Hike


Plenty of water for everyone. This may mean that everyone needs to carry their own, but it is vitally important that you stay hydrated when outdoors in the heat doing any exercise. Depending on how far or how long you intend to go, one bottle of water may not be enough. Pack accordingly. Even these little water filter straws can be a life saver in an emergency.

First Aid

A mini-first aid kit. You never know what will happen when you are outdoors. You don’t need to pack a bunch of things in your mini first aid kit, but be sure to pack some tweezers (for splinters), bandages in a couple different sizes, anti-bacterial ointment, an ace bandage, an instant ice pack, bug spray and bug bite treatment.


Sunscreen. This is especially important if you intend to be out for a while or your hike is long. You may sweat and although many sunscreens are now waterproof, you will still need to apply more as the day goes on just to be sure you are well covered. Even in the cooler fall and winter months you can get a sunburn.


High protein and high carb snacks. Things like cliff bars, shelf stable meat, jerky, cheese and crackers and granola bars are great for hikes. They are portable, don’t take up much room and give your body what it needs to keep going.


A map of the area you are hiking. Even if you are very familiar with the trail, it is always a good idea to bring a map. You never know what can happen, so be prepared. And let someone know who isn’t going with you where you will be going, exactly. That way if you or someone you are with gets hurt and a search and rescue team has to come get you, they won’t be spending all of their time searching.


Extra socks for everyone. The weather is an unpredictable force to be reckoned with and especially at higher elevations; a nice sunny day can suddenly become a rainy or even snowy one. Making sure you have dry socks to wear will be important not only for comfort but for safety and will keep the chance of blisters down to a minimum. Even though you are planning a day hike, bring something in case the the weather turns and it gets cold. Stay warm is a key factor to making it a great hike.


Sunglasses and lip balm. Just as important as taking care of your skin in the sun is taking care of your eyes and lips. It will be easier for you to see without glares and it will protect your eyes from harmful UVB rays. Also, it is easy to get dry lips when at higher elevations due to decreased hydration and wind.


A flashlight or headlamp. While you may intend on going out just for the day and heading back before it gets dark, it is easy to get lost in time when hiking as you will probably be having a lot of fun. Take headlamps or flashlights for everyone in your party so getting back at dusk is much easier.


Cold weather clothing options. Even if it is warm now, it could turn cooler as you head higher up and as the day gets later. And if something wee to happen forcing you to be there into the night, warm clothing will be a must. Make sure to bring a jacket, hat and gloves so everyone stays warm and comfortable. Most important, have fun and enjoy making memories.

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How to make Freezer Corn – Sweet Corn Recipe

How to make freezer corn, Easy Sweet corn recipe for begingers so easy anyone can make it, garden cooking made easy, A Thrifty Mom.com How to make Freezer Corn – Sweet Corn Recipe

I had a friend ask me how to make Freezer Corn so I thought I would share this post again. As you can tell by the photos this post was written and first published several years back.  Look how cute and little my kids are 🙂 But I did update it with some better images of the finished product, feel free to pin them!


Growing up in large family, my Mom made sure we knew how to take our produce and can or freeze it.  So I learned how to make freezer corn at a young age.  In doing this we were able to save hundreds of dollars a year.  My Dad is a farmer, he normally grows  corn that is called field corn, which grows VERY tall.  It is grown to chop up, stalks and all to feed to our dairy cows.  But my Dad also grows a few large rows of sweet corn, which my whole family looks forward to every year.  If you have ever had fresh tender sweet corn picked right from the field, it is so yummy.  Nothing like what you buy from the store.


This year my Dad picked me a large sack of corn.  It is now time for me to teach my little ones how to make freezer corn, just as my parents taught me.  So we shucked the corn out on the lawn, to keep the mess outside.  My kids were such good little helpers!  They got the giggles every time one of the ears of corn had lots of corn silk, they would say ” yuck I got a hairy one”


After about 30 mins we were able to bring the cleaned corn back into the house to get it ready to cook.


In a large pot bring you water up to a boil, then add in your corn.  In my pot I was able to do about 10 at a time.  The corn is cold so it will take a minutes for the water to start to boil again, after it comes back to a boil cook it for 3-5 minutes.


After 3-5 mins, take out of the pot and  put in a sink full of ice water.  This will cool the corn down and let you handle it better.


After a few minutes in the ice water, take out and put on a towel to drain the water off.


Take your knife and run it down the corn cob and cut all the corn off.


I then take about 2 1/2 cups of corn, and put it into a quart sized freezer bag.  Try to get out as much of the air as you can, then seal it closed.  They will need to lay flat till they are cooled to room temp. At this point you just need to write the date on it and stack it in your freezer.  I was able to get 21 bags of corn.  This is one of my families favorites, and we look forward to eating it over the next year!

When you get ready to cook it, take it out of the freezer. You can thaw it in the refrigerator the day before, but I do not normally think ahead like that. So I cook it a glass container with a lid on high for 5-7 minutes.  I season it with butter, salt and pepper and sometimes a little bbq sauce.

Update* Now that my family has grown, I put 4 cups into a gallon freezer bag.  This is enough for a side for a larger family.

022It did take some work, but it was FREE and well worth the time. Hope you take the time to try this out, not that you know how to make freezer corn.

Watch our recorded Live Facebook video on How to Make Freezer Corn

How to make freezer corn, Easy Sweet corn recipe for begingers so easy anyone can make it, garden cooking made easy, A Thrifty Mom.com

Also make sure you check out our Sweet Corn Cheesy Potato Chowder Recipe – So easy to make, from start to eating in less then 20 mins!


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Lucky Charms translation to toddlers, funny, real life, my kids only eat the marshmallows grr

Remember when you were a kid and you would say, “Some day when I am older.”  That sentence could have ended with, stay up all night, eat candy for dinner, drive a sports car, lay on the beach all day…. or maybe it ended with, buy Lucky Charms for breakfast and eat them every day for the rest of my life.  As a five year old child, I ended that sentence with, eating Lucky Charms every day.

Let me give you a little bit of history, I am one of 6 kids. We lived on a farm and worked hard together, daily chores were just part of life.  My Mom cooked all our meals, mostly from scratch.  Boxed cereal, bags of chips or things from a carton were not part of our menu.  This was long before organic or gluten free was a trend, instead it was just learning to live off the farm and what it provided.

That being said, once a year at Christmas time each child would get their own box of cereal.  Yes in today’s world kids are asking Santa for the latest Xbox, cell phone or iPad.  I was writing Santa and asking him for a dolly and my very own box of Lucky Charms.  I can tell you as Christmas morning came, I was just as excited about my box of cereal as I was about my toy.  I would get a sharpie marker and write my name on the top of that box, and proudly claim it as my own.

Fast forward a few years… well maybe more than a few, maybe more like 30 years.  I am now an adult, a wife, and a mother.   The question is, have I been true to my 5 year old self… do I happily dance down the stairs each morning, tie on my apron and pour my 5 beautiful children a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast?  Not a huge surprise, the answer is NO. Sure they get them every now and then, but only as a treat.

I have FAILED that 5 year old child inside myself…. why you ask. Because every stinking time I buy a box, these little humans that live in my house only eat the marshmallows.  I tell ya if there is a marshmallow inside that box they are going to find it, with lightning speed.  Often to get to those marshmallows they just dump the whole box of cereal out on the floor, or the couch or outside. Don’t get me wrong, we  eat our meals in the kitchen like civilized people… but a box of Lucky Charms turns my kids to heathens that break all the rules.   So as I sit here and eat my bowl of Lucky Charms, that is no longer LUCKY because all the charms are gone, thanks to my children. I tell myself, I can no longer buy Lucky Charms (unless I hide them from my children, and only eat it late at night, in an over sized bowl, with ice cold milk, in front of the TV…. because after all I am an adult now and I can do what I want, sometimes.) Please tell me I am not the only one?

just marshmallows

Pretty sure if my kids send Santa a letter they will be asking for a bag like this, JUST MARSHMALLOWS!  Oh how time changes every thing, lol.

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James Hoyt Baseball, sure did make this cute lil special needs baseball player smile

If you don’t know who James Hoyt is, then you should…. but don’t feel too bad, because I didn’t know who he was either.  Let me tell you a fun little story of how James Hoyt in his first game as a MLB pitcher for the Astros, totally made my son smile!

A few weeks ago I was on an early morning flight to New York City (with a layover in Phoenix).  The night before we had just gotten home from a 2 week road trip with our kids, so I was running on only 4 hours of sleep and I was exhausted.   I had planned to try and sleep most of the plane ride.  My husband had the window, I always get the awkward middle seat.  That is when Marcia sat down next to me in the isle seat. I had never met her before, but after a little bit of “small talk” while others were loading. I could tell that she was just a bubbly, adorable woman. My plans to sleep were put aside and I found myself talking for almost 3 hours to Marcia.

Marcia told me all about her family, her dog, making her own almond milk, growing up in the big city then moving to the west and traveling with her kids.  But when she asked me questions about myself… I could tell she was not asking simply  to just fill our time while stuck on a plane. Instead she was asking about  my family because she was just a “good soul” and kind hearted.

Matthew baseball

She happened to be on that flight to Phoenix to watch her son James Hoyt play his first MLB baseball game.  He grew up here in Boise, and over the years has played for an independent league in Texas and even pitched in Mexico for some time. But he also cleaned boats to earn money… yes he was the guy you would hire to scrape the barnacles off your boat.  Time, and hard work paid off and at age 29 he finally got drafted ( I think that is what it is called, lol) by the Astros and now is a MLB pitcher.  She was so excited to go support her son, and cheer him on.

I then told her about my oldest son Matthew.  Matthew is 14 and has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  Long story short he was born missing half his heart and after 14 surgeries he is well enough to be a “normal boy”.  He still only has half a heart, but it is now routed in a way that allows him to stay alive.  Matthew also has seizures and significant learning delays.  He is 14, but is the size and tends to act more like a 6 year old.

Matthew has played special needs baseball the last two years. It is the highlight of his year and he just loves every minute of it.  When you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he will tell you, a baseball player.  I told Marcia that Matthew and I will have to look for James, and Matthew would love to watch him pitch.

A few days after I got back from my New York City trip, I get an email from Marcia;

Hi Sarah,

I hope you and your husband had a great time in NYC:-)  Houston was such a fun time!!!  Jimmy gave me a strike ball for Mathew that he pitched during his first outing with the Astros.  Maybe when Jimmy comes home for a visit maybe they can meet each other!!
Have a terrific day and let me know the best way I can get this ball to you all.  I am always running circles around town and could meet you anywhere.

Happy Wednesday!!


She went out of her way to bring my son,  my lil Matthew a ball back from a MLB game.  It was signed by James and even had dirt from the game on it.  From his first strike out in the Major League. Who does that…. who goes out of their way for a total stranger just to make a little boy smile? Marcia does, see I told you she was a good soul.  I was so touched by her generosity.   Matthew has the ball in a plastic bag on his dresser, and wants to get a special case so he can display it.  It was one of the first things he wanted to tell his classmates at school about, as he went back to school. He sure felt special that he has his very own ball from a MLB game.

So…. Mr. James Hoyt, I have never met you, I didn’t know your name till about 3 weeks ago, but it will now be a name I will never forget. THANK YOU for making my son smile,  thank you  for making him feel special!  And by the way, you have a pretty amazing Momma, but I am pretty sure you already know that!

Matthew baseball

Matthew at his special needs baseball game.

James Hoyt 

pic from MiLB.com


Pictures from his first game on Aug 3, 2016 in the 7th inning and the same day he gave us this ball from this game.

Aug 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher James Hoyt (51) pitches during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher James Hoyt (51) pitches during the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Here it comes—-

james hoyt signed baseball houston astros

James Hoyt 7th inning Houston Astros

Pretty sure he’s telling the catcher that he needs that ball back to give to Matthew.

James Hoyt signed ball Houston Astros

Above three pictures credit from the Houston Chron

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