Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Fun

I wanted to share some of our weekend fun. We are usually so busy, that sometimes we forget to stop and just enjoy life and time with each other.

Both Jackson and Katie had sleepovers on Friday(this is pretty normal at our house). However, we made plans for their friends to get picked up by noon(this is not the norm at our house. which is usually ok, but we had things to do!) We had a quick lunch and then we were out the door.

We took a scenic drive to the mountains, and spent the afternoon walking around the little town at the foot of the mountain. We went into some really cute shops, of course hit the general store, hopped from rock to rock along the creek behind the shops, went gem mining, and stopped for some coffee and hot chocolate. The weather was absolutely perfect, crisp but not too cold.

It was so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life and reconnect as a family. We laughed, walked arm in arm, took pictures, and just enjoyed each other's company!

Prepare yourself from image overload!




















So I can't say that I loved this weekend for the turning the clocks back(I want my extra hour of light in the evenings back). But I can say that I had a wonderful time with my family and so much fun just goofing off and being silly.
What did you do this weekend?

P.S. Isn't the picture of Jack and his daddy, just the sweetest thing? I may have to get that framed!

I love Sundays!

We're enjoying a bit of a lazy late afternoon here at Our Backyard. We had a really nice weekend, enjoying the Fall weather and colors. More about that later.

We've been doing some work on one of our projects(I promise to give some details soon), but now we are just hanging out on the couch watching some football(Go Giants!!).

I did make some pumpkin bread today. It was my first time, and it turned out really well. My kids love my Banana bread, so I was hoping they would enjoy some pumpkin bread too, and they did!

I may or may not have mentioned that I am not a baker, nor a chef, but I do enjoy cooking and I am always up to try a new recipe. Basically if I can make this bread anyone can!

Here is the recipe:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, lightly bean
  • 16 ounces canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 2/3 cup water

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 9 by 5 loaf pans. Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients and water into wet mixture, alternating. Divide batter between two loaf pans. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool.





It turned out nice and moist and it was so good with a bit of butter and hot coffee, especially on this crisp Fall day.

Oh and just in case you were interested in the other things that I find when I download my pictures. Here is an example.


I wasn't aware that this was something that 9 year olds did. I thought this was more along the lines of a toddler that gets a hold of the camera. Apparently this is fun for any age. It was good for a chuckle at least.

I will be posting some of our weekend fun tomorrow, and hopefully details on the project we are working on!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Weekend Planning : How'd I do?

Aahh!!!! I am a so late with this, but I have been so obsessed with my new project, I forgot!!

Friday
Clean the house(bathrooms, kitchen, vacuum, tidy kids rooms, family room, and landing)
Fold and put away 2 loads of laundry
Pick up Katie and her 3 friends from school
Order pizza for dinner
Go to Haunted House(not looking forward to this, I don't like being scared)

Saturday
Probably wake up early because of the four girl sleepover(they stay up late, but are always up early)
Make breakfast(pancakes?) kids decided on cereal
Take a few moments to snuggle on the couch with coffee(remember it's gonna be cold!)
Go to the movies with Tom, Jackson, Katie(and probably at least 1 friend) kids had friends over instead
Wash blankets used at sleepover
Figure out what project I want to work on next. currently working on it!!
Tidied up after the houseful of kids left
Worked on current project(more info soon).

Sunday
Make grocery list
carve pumpkins(they are so pretty already that I don't want to carve them!)
Make Katie's lunch for Monday
Iron Katie's clothes for the week
Watch some football( I'm pretty sure the Giants are on TV)
Worked on current project
Went to a "haunted house" hosted by some friends.Relax!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween


I can't believe Halloween has come and gone! Halloween also happens to be my birthday (boo hoo, another year older), so we try to sneak in a little cake (kind of overkill with all the trick or treating loot) and dinner. Last night was especially crazy because my daughter had basketball tryouts from 3:30 to 5:00.

Tom was a dear and picked Katie up because he wanted to make a quick pit stop at the store (little did I know he was picking up a package of over 50 candles to cover my cake with. He's so sweet). However, there was an accident on the already bogged down, 5:00 traffic filled road to our house.

So my sweet husband pulled up to the house, after an hour in traffic, in a really good mood (note the sarcasm) at 6:30. The kids rushed to scarf down some food and get into their costumes and we hightailed it to get some trick or treating done. So, no birthday dinner, but we had a lot of fun together as the kids went from house to house to house to house (yes this went on for what seemed like forever).

They came back with a big bag of candy each. Yay, super hyper kids for me! After we unwound a little, Tom and his little sidekicks proceeded to light the cake up so much that they couldn't even carry it over to me. In fact, Tom didn't even want to finish singing Happy Birthday because the cake was threatening to go up in flames (along with our kitchen possibly). I was sure to thank them for making me feel old, something every mom wants for her birthday. They were all too happy that they could make my day.

My son did make me a card all on his own. Inside it said :
Dear Mom, I love you so much. You make me and Katie dinner. I hope you have a great day. You make everything in my life better (I got a little teary eyed at that!). Happy Birthday and Halloween. Love, Jack
Such sweetness from my little guy (and it proves that my kids do notice some of the things I do). I am one lucky mom!

Just in case you were wondering what the kids were for Halloween.




Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Planning Blog Hop


I am so happy that it is the weekend! I think I say that every weekend, but it is certainly true again this weekend. We are getting a cold front today so it is going to be a little chillier than usual, but that is just fine with me. We have some fun things planned, so here we go.


Friday
Clean the house(bathrooms, kitchen, vacuum, tidy kids rooms, family room, and landing)
Fold and put away 2 loads of laundry
Pick up Katie and her 3 friends from school
Order pizza for dinner
Go to Haunted House(not looking forward to this, I don't like being scared)

Saturday
Probably wake up early because of the four girl sleepover(they stay up late, but are always up early)
Make breakfast(pancakes?)
Take a few moments to snuggle on the couch with coffee(remember it's gonna be cold!)
Go to the movies with Tom, Jackson, Katie(and probably at least 1 friend)
Wash blankets used at sleepover
Figure out what project I want to work on next

Sunday
Make grocery list
carve pumpkins(they are so pretty already that I don't want to carve them!)
Make Katie's lunch for Monday
Iron Katie's clothes for the week
Watch some football( I'm pretty sure the Giants are on TV)
Relax!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Chocolate and Raspberry Pastries

You'll probably be seeing quite a few cooking/baking posts from me...at least for awhile. Fall has really gotten me in the mood to make yummy things to eat! Today, Jackson was actually hanging around the house instead of out playing with his friends like usual.

So, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out this little pastry I'd had my eye on. It is soooo incredibly easy, perfect to do with little ones. Mine is not so little anymore, but I will take any opportunity to spend some quality moments with him.

This is what you need:
1 pre-made pie crust, jelly/jam, chocolate chips, or any filling of your choice.



That's it!! See? Super simple!
You take the pie crust and cut it like a pizza.



After that you put your filling on each piece. Katie does not like jelly/jam or anything like it, so I made some with Raspberry jelly(which Jackson loves) and some with mini chocolate chips.


Then you simply roll them up like you would a crescent roll.


Bake them at 350 for about 15 minutes. The come out all warm and ready to be eaten. You can eat them right away.


Or you can do like I do, which is give them a few minutes to cool, add a smidge of icing, and take a break with a pastry and a hot cup of coffee.

This is for Tom, I DO NOT drink black coffee. Nope, not me. I have to add sugar and soy milk and get it all creamy. If you wanted to make these prettier, you can cut little slits into the top of each pastry before baking them. Then a bit of the filling will peak out in an oh so cute way. We were making them strictly for eating, so we didn't care too much how pretty they were. They are not almost all gone already...I mean it. I did not sit down and eat 3 at once. Didn't happen.

Making any sweet treats recently? Do tell!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Painted Pumpkins

Have you been seeing the painted pumpkins ALL over blogland? I know that I have been loving all the different things that people have been doing with otherwise plain orange pumpkins. Now I am not known for being super crafty. I don't scrapbook, or knit, or even sew. Gasp! I know, how can I be a mom and not sew?
  1. My husband can hem, sew buttons, and any other basic sewing. 
  2. My daughter took sewing lessons last year and is fairly handy with a sewing machine. 
Hey, I want her to have the option of sewing things if she wants to when she gets older. It is not because I have a pile of sewing projects (curtains, table runners, pillow covers) that I need made. I swear!!

Well even though I am not all that crafty, I decided to try my hand at some painted pumpkins. I thought it would be a fun project to do with the kids too. The ones I chose to do, I thought were cute, and not too advanced for someone like me. I decided to do a white striped pumpkin, a black striped pumpkin, and then two painted pumpkins that the kids would really enjoy.

Here are the supplies needed:
  1. Painters tape
  2. Spray paint in your choice of colors(I chose white and black)
  3. A razorblade or something similar.
  4. Regular paint(kid friendly).
Oh yea, and pumpkins!

For the striped pumpkins, Katie and I used the painters tape to mak sections on two of the
pumpkins to create stripes.

For the painted pumpkins, we used painters tape to tape off a large enough section so that we could make a G(to represent our last name) and a pumpkin face.

I also, taped off the stems because I wanted the natural look there.


Above are the striped pumpkins ready to be spray painted and the painted pumpkins are ready to have the shapes cut into them. That part I let Tom do. I didn't want to risk ending up at the ER needing stitches.

So Katie and I took the striped pumpkins outside and spray painted one entire pumpkin black, and one entire pumpkin white. You spray it right over the tape.

Here is one of the painted pumpkins after the G was cut out, ready for my kids to go crazy!


See how we cut the G shape out of all that painters tape?

Here are the pumpkins after being painted.(Yes those blurs are my son and his friend).


Once the paint dried, we peeled the painters tape off each of the pumpkins and Voila!! Fabulous dahling!






I promise the addition of the painted pumpkins have nothing to do with my one sided competition with my neighbor to have the best porch. Does it make mine soooo much better  bring mine up to par?? Yes, I think so.....but that's not the point. The point was to have fun as a family decorating pumpkins a little differently than the usual. And that was a success! Have you taken on any of the pumpkin trends this year??