About Us

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The purpose of our blog is to share our journey through life with family and friends while we leave our mark on this world. Our 20's have been very kind to us and as we enter the 30's we are hoping to continue to enjoy our time in this thing we call life. I should have called this blog "Traveling through Life".

Saturday, December 10, 2011

29 and Holding!

Ok people this is as far as the B-days go for me. For some reason I am dreading going into the next decade of my life and this birthday makes me realize it is creeping up. I did so much in my 20's and I don't want them to end. I hope to live this last year to the fullest and hopefully there is a lot planned for me.
This week was really a great week of B-day celebrations though. I got a free lunch 4 days out of 5. Plus breakfast for 2 days. Not too shabby.

We finally joined modern technology and I bought this laptop as a B-day gift. It's been 10 years since I've bought a pc and I have been using old goods since. This one is fantastic and hopefully it lasts for a long time.

I have the most loving husband who aims to please his wife on her birthday. I didn't just get one homeade cake for my birthday.....I got 3! There were three because he likes to experiment. I was pretty specific on my dessert request this year asking for whipped topping and caramel filling. Turns out homemade whipped topping is pretty challenging so the store bought stuff won.

Here's to living every day like it's your last..................(of your 20's)!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Globe Trotter

Yes I have that itch and to give myself a temporary "fix" instead of booking a European Vacation through Globus because they have an amazing offer that expires in 6 days......................................
I will write about it!
It's one of those times when you try to put something far out of your mind and reminders pop up everywhere! Literally I had an Outlook reminder scheduled for this Globus deal. I know I have issues.

I heard this wonderful quote on Amazing Race Sunday night.

"To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote: To travel is to live."

-Hans Christian Anderson

Found some other quotes that I just love. They make me feel at peace.

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” –Lawrence Block

“Traveling is like flirting with life. It’s like saying, ‘I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station” –Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” –Susan Sontag

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Monday, October 17, 2011


Fall=perfect hiking weather for the Sondgeroths.

I love everything about hiking in the fall. The sound of the leaves crunching under your feet, the smell of the changing leaves in the air and the cool temperature makes for perfect conditions. Also the thought of dying poison ivy makes for a happy and worry free husband!

I LOVE going to Brown County every year just to be there. However it is very crowded so we have found that we enjoy the State Forests much more. This year we went to the Morgan-Monroe State Forest, a new one for us. This place was beautiful.....once we found it! We did a moderate 3 mile hike. There was a great breeze in the air that helped keep us cool and made the trees rain leaves.

After hiking we did drive through Brown County and Nashville just to get it out of my system but seeing the crowds made for an easy decision to keep driving.

I would like to get in another Fall hike this year but it sounds like the weather is going to turn cold quickly as it always does. Fall doesn't last long enough for me which is why I have such a hard time accepting that it is here. I need to live somewhere that is 70-75 degrees year round!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cam @ the Zoo

This past weekend was suppose to be our annual campout but none of the other wives could make it so I stayed home too and let it be a guys weekend. So what's a girl to do with a free weekend on her hands.....act like a kid of course. Luckily it worked out that my mom was free this weekend and we were able to take Cameron to the Indy Zoo. It was perfect weather and we had a blast. An almost 3 year old has a ton of energy! Afterwards they came to my house and spent the night. Let's just say round two of him sleeping over at my house went perfectly because he had is Grandmama with him this time.

Yep I spoiled him like Aunt's do. Ice cream twice at the zoo and pizza for dinner. Even a choo choo ride. Pretty sure I am his favorite aunt now.

Waiting to buy his Spongebob Ice Cream

This topped the cake for him. I hope he remembers the trip to the zoo over the Spongebob Ice Cream!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Italy Highlights

Our trip to Italy was wonderful and our first time traveling to Europe was very smooth. As always I come back from vacation feeling that our pictures do not do justice for what we actually experienced. As we drove through this small country the scenery would change within the hour.

There are so many beautiful and different things to talk about but I will try to sum it up.

The first stop was Rome where we visited the Vatican and Colosseum. There are no words to describe how beautiful Vatican City was and we were just in awe as we walked around. The highlight for me in Rome was probably the Colosseum because I cannot wrap my head around how this was built in 80 A.D.

(The Colosseum)

We then drove North into Tuscany to visit our first little Italian village called Orvieto. Part of my desire to visit Italy was to experience the very old towns with small streets and the countryside and Orvieto delivered. It is atop a mountain and we had to ride a funicular to get up there.

We had a quick side trip to Pisa and saw the leaning tower, which is the only thing to do in Pisa. We then spent a full day in Florence and went to the Art Museum to see the original statue of David. Florence is beautiful but there really wasn't much to do but walk around and see the sights. We spent the night in a beautiful, quite little town called Montecatini. I loved just walking around this place.

(Leaning Tower of Pisa)

Then we drove to the city I was most excited to visit, Venice! Venice was just as expected. A magical little place that you are suppose to get lost in. It is amazing that they built this city on water.

(Arriving in Venice)

(Beautiful Venice)

The we started to drive to Southern Italy and stopped in Assisi. I know I've said this about every place but this town was beautiful and very picturesque.

(Countryside of Assisi)


We finally made it to Southern Italy to the Naples and Sorrento region. We visited Pompeii which was destroyed in 79 AD by the volcano Vesuvius. It was amazing to see how so much is still preserved from that town.
(Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius luring over)

Then we hopped on a jetfoil boat and rode to the Island of Capri. This place actually made me feel like we had left Italy and were at a very nice resort. The water was blue and all the buildings were white. We are torn between Venice and Capri being our favorite city.
(Boat Ride to Island of Capri)



On our journey back to Rome our whole group chose to add an excursion to drive the Amalfi coast which is an experience in itself. It is beautiful but the roads and very small and winding so it was more fun to watch your driver then to look at the view.

(Amalfi Coast)

(Amalfi Coast)

I knew I would come back loving Italy but I didn't realize I would have the desire to now see more of Europe. I fell in love with how everything is older and different over there. I feel another trip in my future, besides that's where it all started right...before Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue.

(If anyone wants to see all of my photos leave me a comment and I will e-mail you the album)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Arrivederci America!

So did I forget to mention that we will be leaving for this wonderful place tomorrow?!? (photo credit:http://venicedailyphoto.blogspot.com/)

This trip really snuck up on us. 8 months ago I booked my dream vacation to Italia and then time started creeping by. We tried not to think about it for a while so time would go faster and than "wham" here it is!

Are we ready?
Mentally and emotionally, yes!
Physically, no!
We have a ton to do tonight and tomorrow but luckily our flight will depart late tomorrow.

We are both so ready for a vacation. Although we will be on the move a lot to see most of Italy in 12 days we are really going to try to act like Italians and not Americans. Slowing down and enjoying life, enjoying food, and enjoying vino.

Cheers to a beautiful country and a memorable vacation!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sold on Soap Nuts

I have been reading about these little laundry nuts for a while on different blogs. As I have gradually been trying to reduce some of the chemicals in our household these little guys seemed like an easy transition. I really couldn't find any bad reviews on them. You just add 4-6 of the nuts in the little provided laundry pouch and toss it in the laundry. That's it!

When I first added them to the washer I was skeptical and was pretty sure I would have to re-wash my clothes. Soap nuts do not provide all the suds and foam that you are use to. The chemicals in commerical detergents are providing the foam but that's really not what cleans your clothes. I kept checking the laundry during the wash cycle and it was working. Eventhough the water did not look like I was use to, my clothes were getting clean. After running the cycle through the dryer with no bounce sheets my clothes came out clean and soft. They smelled clean but they didn't smell fragrant b/c that is also another added chemical to traditional laundry detergent. They did suggest that if you like to have fragant clothes that you could add some essential oils to the water.

These can also be used to make your own dish soap, wash your car, soap for washing pets and several other things. We will be adding them to our compost pile when they are "all suds out".

The instructions said that you can reuse the soap nuts on multiple loads. I did the test they recommended by putting the nuts in a jar of water and shaking it. If you see suds than it is still working and you can use them again. I used 5 soap nuts on 3 loads of laundry and tested them in between and they were still providing suds.

I had to order mine online but some Whole Foods Stores carry them. I called the Indy store and they said they stopped carrying them because of low sales. I can see how people are hesitant to use these when you don't visually see the washer producing the suds and foam you are use to but they worked for me!

I went to Green Virgin Products to buy mine and used the Promo Code 10off for 10% off. They arrived 2 days later just in time for laundry day.

Here is the breakdown on the cost per load:

Tide: 120 loads powder for $20.47.........17 cents a load

Soap Nuts: 330 loads for $24 + $8(shipping) = $32..........9.5 cents per load

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Successful Foodie Week

We try a lot of new recipes for dinner and most of them don't pass our "we have to make this again list" but this past week every single one that we tried was awesome. They were very tasty and vegetarian. Some were healthy and some were not due to a lot of cheese. I realized we had a very cheesy week so this next week I will try to be cheese free.......a very tough thing for me.

If you are looking for new dinner ideas these are perfect and yummy.

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms
3 ounces softened cream cheese (fat free)
1/4 cup mayo
1 jar (6.5oz) marinated artichoke hearts, finely chopped(save the marinade in the jar)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
several small portabella mushroom caps or 2-4 large portabella caps
1/4 cup bread crumbs

In a bowl beat cream cheese and mayo until smooth. Stir in artichokes and cheese. Spoon mixture into mushrooms caps. Combine bread crumbs and 2 teaspoons of marinade from artichoke jar; sprinkle over mushrooms. Bake for 10-15 minutes until mushrooms are tender. You can also grill these.

Stuffed Zucchini with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
(thanks to Pam Peercy for this recipe)
2 medium zucchini, cut length wise and scrape out seeds
2 plum tomatoes, diced small
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 tespoon white wine vinegar
5 oz mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Brush a shallow baking dish with olive oil. Place zucchini, cut side up, in dish. Season with salt and pepper. In small bowl combine 2 diced tomatoes, oregano and white wine vinegar. Stir and season with salt and pepper. Place mixture on top of zucchini. Bake about 20 minutes until zucchini is tender. Remove from oven and turn oven to Broil. Place mozzarella cheese on top of zucchini and broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is browned.

Eggplant Parmigiana
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices lengthwise
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup flour ina small bowl
2 tblsp cooking oil
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Combine egg and 1 tblsp water. Dip eggplant slices into egg mixture and then into flour, coating both sides. In a skillet heat cooking oil and cook eggplant on both sides until golden. Drain on paper towels. Place eggplant in a 2 qt square baking dish. Sprinkle with parmesan and top with spaghetti sauce and mozzarella. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes.

Squash, Pear, and Onion au Gratin
1 medium size butternut squash, cut in half, discard seeds and then cut into 1/2 slices lengthwise
1 large onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 tblsp butter
1 medium pear, thinly sliced
3 tblsp bread crumbs
2 tblsp chopped walnuts
1 tblsp parmesan cheese
1 tblsp melted butter

Cook onion rings in a skillet in the 1 tblsp butter until tender. Arrange half the squash slices in a rectangular baking dish. Top with half the pear slices. Repeat layers. Cover with cooked onions. Bake covered with foil at 350 for 45 minutes until tender.
In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, walnuts, cheese and melted butter. Sprinkle over vegetables. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.

Ok now that I just planned your meals for the week I need to go find new ones for us!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

He's a Warrior

Matt participated in his first ever race this weekend called the Warrior Dash. It is 3.01 miles of running and completing challenging obstacles like climbing walls, walking planks and spiderwebs, fire jumping, and crawling through mud pits. For a first time warrior he did great finishing at 32 mins and 50 secs. He finished 558th out of 6,746 participants and 125th for his age group. Me and my mom had a great time watching all these crazy people participate. We were really excited at the beginning and talking about trying it next year....and then we saw the people at the finish line and weren't so interested anymore. There was a variety of participants there wearing costumes or crazy body paint. Some groups were even in full business suits. Matt said it was a tough course but he had a blast.

Waiting to start with his group.

Ready, set, go!

After he started we walked around and checked out some of the obstacles. We were not able to see all of the race but this mudd pit was the finish line.

Fire jumping!

Here he comes approaching the finish line. At this point he said he was ready to be done and maybe the mudd would be refreshing but it was one of the tougher obstacles. The mudd was really thick and tough to swim through.

My mudd man. Yep he chose to go under and live up the full experience of swimming through mudd. It was on his teeth, in his ears, and lots of other places.

This is where they all went to get cleaned off.

My warrior.

Today I am nursing his battle wound. Wouldn't be a true warrior without it. One of the courses was a blackened out cave like thing they had to crawl through. His knee met up with a tree stump and took a nice chunk out of it. It's deep enough to constitute stitches but we will see.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hawaiian Luau

My Aunt Memare and Uncle Jeff have been to Hawaii several times and they wanted to share some of it with us. My grandmother hosted the Luau party at her house this weekend. It was good food and good times with family.

Here are some pre-party pics.

Mom and all her kids.

Mom and her two kids.

Me and my bro.

Little miss Carmen Marie and Papa.

Did I mention we have the best dog ever.....he is so tolerant of the things I do to him.

And it's always a blast playing with Cameron!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Veggie Burger- Accomplished!

I have tried several veggie burger recipes over the past year and I finally found one we both love. I was trying to copy one that we had at a restaurant so I threw some things together and it worked on the first try! Since this one is so dense it is pretty comparable to a real hamburger with hardly any fat since I didn't need to add eggs. Served up on these pretzel buns from the Zionsville Farmer's Market this was the best one yet.

I will try to share the recipe although I didn't keep track of my measurements but you can just have fun with it.

1 cup of cooked wild rice

~ 1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed

shredded carrot

shredded kale

1/2 tespoon chia seeds (optional)

bread crumbs

choice of seasonings for flavor

Roughly mash up beans in bowl. Add rice, carrot, kale or any other veggies you choose. Mix well. Add enough bread crumbs so the mixture stays together to form patties. I fried mine in a skillet because I think that helped them stay together better but you can also try baking/ broiling them. Cook with any option until slightly crispy on both sides.

So some of my favorite weeks are when we get to spend quality time with our little kiddos and it's even better when we get to see more than one of them in the same week.

Last Sunday we spent the day in TH and had such a great time with Cameron playing outside and in his pool. It's the best feeling when they are old enough to run up to you when you arrive yelling Uncle Matt, Aunt Manda.

Friday night we got to babysit Gracie. She kept us on our toes showing off how well she can crawl now and she loved playing in the grass with Uncle Matt.