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.

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)

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

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)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chocolate and Raspberry Pastries

You'll probably be seeing quite a few cooking/baking posts from 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?? 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemade Pizza

On the weekend we like to try to make a yummy, casual meal that's still homemade. One of our favorite's is Tom's Pizza. He will make each of us our own personal pizza. The kids especially like to have their own pizza. Usually the kids have pepperoni and Tom and I will load ours up with toppings like green peppers, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and black olives.

Today we just used what we had on hand which was a pepperoni stick left over from pepperoni, cheese, and crackers. Tom ground it up instead of slicing, and it was delish! Here is the recipe:

Pizza dough (we make our own, but you can buy pre-made at the grocery store)
2 cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 .25 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes
2. In a large bowl(we like to use our stand mixer) combine the rest of the ingredients and and add the yeast mixture. Stir well to combine. Then beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat oven to 450 degrees.
3. Once dough has risen rip off appropriate size(this usually makes 2 good size pizzas, or 4 individual ones. and roll out to pizza crust shape.
4. Cover with your favorite toppings.
5. Bake in oven (preferably on a pizza stone) until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

This is what it should look like.

Can you say DELICIOUS?!? Because it is! It is quite nice to sit down to a hot, homemade, pizza and watch some football.

Did you make anything homemade this weekend?

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Since the weather has been so dreamy, we decided to take a little time to organize our attic. The attic and our garage seem to be the two places in our home that are always needing reorganizing. The garage has a lot to do with our children's toys, bikes, skateboards etc always being moved around.

The attic on the other hand is pretty much the fault of the adults in the house....namely me. Whenever anything gets reorganized or redecorated, or set aside for any reason, it gets put in the hallway to go in the attic. Whenever either of us get the chance, Tom or I will quickly place whatever has been waiting in the hall into the attic. 

I am especially bad about it because I can't stand to have things sitting in the hallway. So I will go up to the attic and cram whatever it is that needs to go up there, wherever I can. It can be teetering on top of a leaning tower of boxes. As long as I can't see it in my hallway anymore, I am happy. 

Unfortunately it makes for quite a messy attic. After awhile, I can't cram things into the attic any longer so some tidying is in order. Here is the before of our attic.

I know, I's embarrassing. I am really going out on a limb showing this to you. Especially this early on. I am a complete bit of a neat freak, so showing this to anyone is a little out of my comfort zone. But if I can tackle this and end up with something organized, anything is possible!

It was not an easy job at the start. As you can see, it was quite messy and crowded. There was barely room for one of us to stand, let alone two. Over the months, we had many, many boxes that ended up combination boxes. What I mean by that is that they may have contained some home decor stuff, some kitchen stuff, and some toys. Or some other combination of things that had no reason to be boxed up together. 

We had to go through pretty much every box and put like things together. We found lots of stuff that we were finally willing to let go of and could donate. Lots of garbage too. We even found some beautiful glasses that we forgot that we had. I was so excited to wash them and get them in our cabinets. All in all, it was worth the hard work, and know I can actually find things when I am looking for them. Here is the attic after.

Ahhh, feels so much better! It's a great feeling when you've known for awhile that something needs to be taken care of, and then you finally do it.

                                    Has the cooler allowed you to tackle a project?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Porch : Fall Edition

I decided to decorate my porch for Fall a little early this year. So I got out some decorations and got my porch all "Fall Looking". I guess I am the only one that thought this way though....I digress, we will come back to that in a bit. First let me show you my "Pre Fall Porch"

Kind of boring, I know. I am not the best at being friends with plants....ok, that is an understatement. My home is where plants come to.....die. I have managed to keep the succulents alive because my sweet husband brought them home one day when I was sick. Cue the "awws". What would it say to him if I allowed them to die?  The other plant, um pansy's?? I told you plants come here to die, and now you expect me to know what kind they are??? Ahem, sorry about that. Well the pansy's were brand new, so they hadn't had the chance to bite the bullet yet. Here is was my Fall Porch.

I know, I even put adorable little mice on my pumpkin. What I won't do to make my children happy. Can you see the halo?? Moving along....I was perfectly happy with my porch(or hadn't had time to do anything more). Until earlier this week. My dearest husband came home from talking with our neighbors that live two doors down. Apparantly my porch is vanilla ice cream and Heather's is Decadent Chocolate Truffles. Ok, he didn't exactly say that, but that's what I heard. I think he said something more along the lines of  " Heather was decorating her porch while I was over there talking to them, it looks nice". So then I said, " Does it look nicer than mine"? Do you know what he did?? He looked at my porch and he chuckled. HE CHUCKLED!!  How dare he? As you can imagine I badgered  asked him politely to tell me what was so great about Heather's porch. Then, I did what any normal, well adjusted person would do. I redid my porch. Here is what it looks like now.


What?? There is nothing wrong with a little healthy competition with your neighbors....even if they have no idea that one is going. In any case, I am happier with my porch. More importantly, my sweet husband won't chuckle at it anymore.

What does your Fall Porch look like?

P.S. Do not ask about my door knob. It will give my hubby a reason to chuckle some more.


Well, I have obsessed thought about writing a blog for awhile now. I have recently become a blog junkie an avid blog reader and have really enjoyed the insight into decorating, parenting and sometimes just getting a good old laugh that blogs offer. My life is by no means thrilling, unless you find folding laundry and cleaning toilets on the top of your bucket list. But it's my life and I love it and each and every one  of the boring, chaotic, happy, silly, frustrated moments!! (Sure I say that now, wait until tomorrow when I'm screaming  telling my daughter that we are going to be late for school.....again). I guess I just thought why not share my days with other moms, of kids close in age to my own, or those with younger kids(get an idea of what you're in for), or older kids(I'd love to get some comments assuring me that the pre-teen/teen years won't last forever). I can already see the comradery of moms all over coming together to laugh, cry, and sometimes, just be glad they're not me(it's ok, I do that too).
So grab a glass of lemonade(Mike's is ok too) and head to the backyard with me.