Sunday, October 21, 2012

Spotlight Sunday ~ October 21, 2012

This week's Spotlight Sunday is all about ... pumpkin!  But, it's not the pumpkin post you might expect.  We've all seen pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin pasta, pumpkin pies, carved pumpkins, painted pumpkins, candy pumpkins ... so on and so forth.  We've seen it all.  Here are three recipes that you may not have seen quite as often.  Enjoy!

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes by How Sweet Eats
Yes, please!

Homemade Pumpkin Butter by Oh She Glows
I want this for my bagels in the morning!

Pumpkin Pie Puppy Chow by Peanut Butter Fingers
Here first sentence in the post says it all.  If you've had puppy chow, you've already started drooling.

What are some of your favorite pumpkin recipes?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What We Read Wednesday ~ October 17, 2012

This week has gotten away from me.  But ... it's been a great reading week!  I'm still trying to decide if the increase in reading time and lack of order in my home are related.  Imagine that ...

Here's a brief rundown of the Halloween picture books we've been reading.

And here is the series I've been reading.

I'm tearing through this series super fast!  They are fun, quick reads.  I read the first one forever ago.  I've been putting off reading the rest of them, and now I have no idea why.  I knew I was waiting for *any* October, since they're great for Halloween.  However, I seemed to let at least three Octobers go by before finally deciding to tackle them all.  If you like a good cozy mystery with a slightly paranormal element, then this might be a great series for you!

Coming soon ...

Happy reading!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 15, 2012

So ... this week my son will be with his dad a lot and The Boyfriend is going on a camping trip.  I'll be all by my lonesome self several nights.  :(  Because of that, I'm not planning on cooking anything too elaborate.  The few nights that Little Man and The Boyfriend will be here, I'll be cooking.  The other nights, I'll be eating leftovers and trying to catch up on reading and some Pinterest stalking!

I'm planning on cooking three meals ... one favorite, one in progress, and one new.

The "Favorite"
Fennel-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with White Wine Mushrooms, Green Beans and Cheddar Biscuits

The "In Progress"
Tuna Noodle Casserole and House Salad

The "New"
Spinach Gnocchi and Alfredo with Breadsticks and House Salad

This week, I'm also planning on updating the pages on this blog to include a recipe list.  Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures of the pork tenderloin and I can include it!

Have a fantastic week!

I'm linking up at ...

Spotlight Sunday ~ October 14, 2012

This week's Spotlight Sunday is all about ... Candy Corn!  

Here's how this works.  I looked at my pinterest boards and found three pins all about candy corn.  These pins WILL be completed by me sometime this season.  They are so super cute!  I'm also going to add a linky party.  If you have something candy corn related, that would be fantastic.  Otherwise, anything you've blogged about recently that you love will work!  Make sure you link back to this page on your post so we can get lost in enjoy all the wonderful posts out there in blogland!

Candy Corn Pretzels from Baked Perfection

Candy Corn Cupcakes from The Curvy Carrot

Candy Corn Love from Thrifty Decor Chick
(I'm also really thinking about making those super cute yarn candy corn cones!)

Aren't those some cute ideas?  Now it's time to share yours!  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Family Friday ~ Fall Bucket List

If you're on Pinterest, I know you've seen that adorable fall bucket list.  

I know ... stinkin' adorable, right?  

I, unfortunately, am not that creative.  I did, however, try to start a bucket list of sorts in Excel.  Fall means different things to different families.  As many of us live on a fixed income, we can't always do *everything* we want.  So, how do you make sure your families experience the most of each season?  

I'm really enjoying the idea of seasonal bucket lists.  Over the years, I hope to find certain traditions that are our own... certain things that just "make" a season.  Whether it be certain foods, certain activities, certain decorations ... whatever it is.  

Here is our bucket list.  It's not as cute.  It's not set up on a display table.  But it's ours.  Next year, I hope to personalize it even more.  Stay tuned ...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Cozy Recipe ~ Buffalo Chicken Dip

Last weekend, The Boyfriend had a birthday.  He's an old man now.  :)  I made a few things to serve at his party.  I made a simple Chex mix (with all Chex, yum).  I would have done well to just stick with that.  But no ... I decided to make these.

Can we say dangerous?  Delicious?  Should never be consumed by me again ... I think I must have forgotten that they included alcohol.  Everyone joins in the kitchen and starts talking, right?  You stand there and munch on whatever is in front of you.  Vodka gummy bears are NOT munchy food.  At all.  

Now this, on the other hand, is the perfect munchy food.  It's got a little kick.  It pairs perfectly with a birthday beer.  There was absolutely none of this left to eat the next day.  None.  

I've seen this recipe in a number of places.  I used a modified version from Gooseberry Patch.  I put together all of the ingredients.  The Boyfriend was going to put it in the oven while I finished getting ready.  He left off the shredded cheese.  As it turns out, that worked better for us.  

Buffalo Chicken Dip
3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
15oz. bottle Blue Cheese dressing
12oz. bottle hot pepper sauce
8oz. brick cream cheese, softened
tortilla chips
celery sticks

I boiled and shredded the chicken the night before.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Combine the chicken, dressing, hot pepper sauce, and cream cheese.  Mix well.  Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips and celery sticks.

Eat this.  Not the gummy bears.  Your head will thank you in the morning.  

I'm linking up at ...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What We Read Wednesday ~ October 10, 2012

Where's My Mummy ~ Carolyn Crimi

This is one of Little Man's favorite books.  It doesn't matter what time of year it is.  I was switching out some of my classroom books and brought this home one day.  We read it before bed and he loved it!  He asked for it every single night for the longest time.  I also had the audio version.  We listened to it in the car many, many times.  It really is a cute story.

Little Baby Mummy wants to play a game of Hide and Go Shriek before bed.  Unfortunately, he gets a little lost and can't find Big Mama Mummy.  Instead he finds some ... interesting ... characters.  Will he ever find Big Mama Mummy?

Our book rating:  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  5 smiles!

Lethal ~ Sandra Brown

I am a huge Sandra Brown fan.  Ever since I read Chill Factor, I've been hooked.  I can't say that this one is a favorite, but it was a good one.  Honor Gillette's daughter, Emily, finds a sick man in their front yard.  She finds out that it's mass-murderer, Lee Coburn.  While being held hostage, she uncovers some dark secrets about her town.  

My book rating:  * * * *  4 out of 5 stars

My review:  I thought the characters were likable, but somewhat frustrating.  I've never really understood the "just kill everyone who ever had contact with anyone ever" idea.   There were a few times in this book that I felt like it was slightly unnecessary.  I liked Honor enough.  I liked Emily, but I had a difficult time believing her behavior.  I also have a three-year-old.  He never would have sat still and behaved as perfectly as Emily.  Coburn would have lost his patience much sooner with us!  

I never guessed the ending.  I actually thought the Bookkeeper was someone else entirely.  I didn't see it coming.  The ending was also frustrating.  I don't want to give it away.  I don't see too many people loving it though.  

Coming Soon ...


Can you tell we're loving some Halloween stories right now?

A question for you...
What Halloween books do you love?

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Halloween Yarn Wreath

Forgive me.  I am not a photographer.  I am also not very crafty.  My mom and my sister ... incredible.  Me ... I got skipped.  However, I can copy Pinterest crafts.  Recently, I've started to love the look of yarn wreaths.  This was my first attempt at a complete wreath.  I did start one several months ago, but then I ended up tossing it and using the wreath form to make a diaper wreath for a baby shower.  

My inspiration comes from a pin of this wreath.  Overall, I'm pleased with the way it turned out.  I am a huge fan of plum.  The Boyfriend refuses to let me "plum up" our entire future house.  I'll settle for a wreath or an accent here or there.  And plum is a good fall color, right?  

Here's what I used... 
one wreath form (I wished I would have used round instead of square)
one sheet of yellow felt
one sheet of black felt
one ream of plum yarn (Is ream the right word?)

Thoughts for next time ...
I tried to make the yarn wrap too "perfectly" around the wreath form.  Next time, I won't worry so much about it.  I ended up having more trouble with it than it was worth.  In the end, I liked the more casual look.  I would also use a thicker, better-quality felt.  Those little sheets are fun, but not for this.  They are too flimsy and slightly see-through.  Last, I forgot to add the eyes on the bat.  It's not crucial, but it's something I realized a little too late.

A question for you...
Do you have any fun ideas for a Thanksgiving wreath?

I'm linking up at ... 

Menu Plan Monday ~ October 8, 2012

This is my first Menu Plan Monday post!  I'm super excited!  Here's the deal.  Little Man and I just moved into this apartment.  We signed a pretty short lease (8 months).  Some big life changes are coming soon!  :)  My pantry space (actually my kitchen space as a whole) is really limited.  I'm trying to use up the ingredients that I brought with me so I can start over with better ingredients!  Therefore, my menu plans are not going to be very exciting.  However, I do have a plan for each week to make my menus somewhat creative...

Here's my recipe system.  I have a recipe box that includes recipes I've tried several times and I know we love as a family.  These are usually recipes that have been modified, tested, tasted, and approved.  Then, I have a notebook.  Whenever I try a recipe, I almost always start by following the recipe exactly.  Then I'll switch it up as needed.  If I like the overall idea of the recipe, it goes in the notebook.  Each time I cook it, I'll write the changes I made until the recipe is perfect.  This can take awhile.  It happens. Last, I obviously try new recipes that I just can't stand.  I'm sure we've all experienced this.  

Each week, I try to include at least one or two favorites from the recipe box, one recipe that's "in progress" and one new recipe.  With our schedule, we also have our fair share of dinners on-the-go.  With my son's schedule with his dad, we also have some date nights scheduled in the week.  I generally include a "Whatever Wednesday" in my menu plan to allow us to include a dinner out or a collection of leftovers.  Also, I almost never make the meals in the same order that I plan them.  I just want to make sure I have the ingredients for certain meals.  Then I'll cook whatever sounds good that night!  :)

Here's the plan for this week...

Taquito Casserole (in progress recipe)
Sweet Corn

Chicken Nuggets
Mashed Potatoes
Green Beans
(I'm trying to use up some of the frozen foods I stocked up on during the weeks before we moved)

Whatever Wednesday

Red Beans and Rice

Linguine with Creamy Mushroom Wine Sauce
Green Salad

Saturday & Sunday
We'll be traveling this weekend, so dinner will be with some other couples on the road.

I'm linking up at Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Hi!  Welcome to my suburban cozy home!  I'm mommy to Little Man and we're building a life in suburban Texas.  Join me as we share stories about food, books, activities, decor, and life!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...