Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 12-Halloween Treats!

I can’t believe this is my twelfth week doing a Pinterest project! The time really flies by:)  This week’s post is all about Halloween treats.  Will has a costume party at preschool this week and has to take twelve treats for the boys and girls in his class.  I saw this fun treat on one of my favorite blogs, The Good Life Blog, and decided to try it.  I found some cute treat cups in the dollar aisle at Target (love that section! So many fun things!) and thought they would be great to use for the monster mix (even though after I purchased them, I realized they were Thanksgiving cups, not Halloween, but they still work!).

monster mix

For the monster mix, you combine a jar of Target monster trail mix, some roasted almonds, and candy corn.  I decided to fill up small snack bags and put them inside the treat cups.  The Good Life Blog includes cute printables, but my printer is out of ink:(  So, we will just have to make do with the pretty designs on the cups!  The mix made a TON! I was able to fill up twelve treat cups  and had enough left over to make snack bags for Will and Harper’s Nana, Pops, Uncle Bryan, Aunt Kathy, and Maw (all of the people who help watch my kiddos, plus their son, Bryan).  So fun and so easy!  It tastes yummy, too!  I’m not a huge fan of candy corn (it’s too sweet for me), but it looks pretty and the almonds and peanuts in the mix help give it a salty taste.

halloween treat

I blogged about the candy corn fruit on a Five on Friday post but thought I’d share again.  It’s a cute, festive way to present fruit to kiddos!

candy corn fruit

I also saw some cute Halloween clementines on Pinterest and wanted to make some for Will. You just take a marker and draw a jack o’lantern face on a clementine or orange.  I prefer the clementines since they are miniature!  Enjoy!

oranges

Five on Friday!

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Hello! Happy Friday!  I’m so glad I only have to work a half-day today:)  Last night, we had to work late for parent/teacher conferences, and we have parent/teacher conferences this morning.  I’m going to spend the afternoon at home with my kiddos:)  I’m linking up again with Darci and friends for my favorite link-up!

{1} It’s getting cold and finally seems more like fall here in Virginia!  I bought these hats for Miss Harper on Etsy from KT and the Squid.  I love all the different color combos you can use to create these hats!  Just for fun, here’s a comparison of Harper last fall and this fall.  How much she has grown!  She’s no longer my baby:(

Oct collage

{2} I realized that I didn’t have many fall themed books, so I visited our local toy store, Pufferbellies, the other day and picked up two fun fall books!  I’m enjoying reading these books to Harper and Will.  Pretty soon, we will be reading Christmas books! Oh, my, the time flies by!

fall books

{3}  Will and I went to a friend’s house last Saturday for a fall harvest party.  Here’s a pic of us at the party. Ignore the fact that Will isn’t wearing any shoes-he had been jumping in the bouncy house. My friend has her own inflatable bounce house-how cool is that?! We had a great time doing cute pumpkin themed crafts and eating yummy fall desserts inspired by Pinterest. We came home with a bag of goodies, including pumpkin pie play-dough.  It smelled so yummy and was fun to play with!  My friend shared this website full of play-dough recipes.  I’m thinking about trying the gingerbread play-dough with Will closer to Christmas!

fall harvest party

{4} I have seen this quotation from Anne of Green Gables recently and just love it!  I.Love.October!  It’s one of my favorite months! So many fun activities to do in the fall!  It’s a great time to create new traditions with your family.  Here’s Miss H. enjoying fall at my parents.  Anne of Green Gables quote

{5} Last Saturday, I went to a baby shower for (one of) my babysitter’s daughter, Susan.  Here is a little background of our wonderful babysitting arrangement.  Anyway, my friend hosted the most adorable woodland themed baby shower for Susan, who is expecting her first child (a boy) in December.  I had passed on to Susan several big baby items that Harper and Will no longer used, so she told me the only gift she wanted from me at her shower was a batch of these brown butter snickerdoodle cookies.  I first made these last year for our annual cookie day at Nana’s (our other babysitter), and Susan and the rest of the cookie day crew gave the snickerdoodles the 2012 cookie of the year award!  Sidenote: the pressure is now on to find a new cookie that wins the award this year…any recommendations?  Last Friday evening, I made the batter and baked them Saturday before the shower.  They were still warm when I arrived at the shower!  How fitting is it that she’s due around cookie day this year!  I also bought her two of our favorite board books, Gossie and The Going to Bed Book.  baby shower

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 11-Scarf Organization

Wow-two weeks in a row of not making a new recipe for my Pinterest project!  I’m on an organization kick around here lately, so I decided to tackle organizing my scarves.  On my Pinterest organization board, I pinned several ways to organize scarves.  I was specifically looking for a no-cost way to display my scarves and saw how you could tie your scarves and hang them on the wall.  I adapted this by hanging them on an empty hanging rod in our closet.  Not only does it nicely display my scarves but it also hides a hideous small shoe rack full of shoes we don’t wear very often (I should go through these and donate some).  I thought I had a ton of scarves until I organized them…maybe it’s time to buy some more?!  Anyway, I need to do more organizing in our master bedroom closet, but this is a start!

scarf organization 1

Oh, I just received a cashmere scarf from Afghanistan!  My husband’s co-worker picked up the blue/purple patterned scarf to the far right (you can see it best on the picture below) at a local bazaar while she was on rotation in Afghanistan.  It’s so beautiful!

scarf 2

Five on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up again with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday!  It’s been a long week and I’m so glad Friday is here:)  Here’s what’s new with us recently.

{1} Last weekend, we went home to visit my parents.  While we were home, we made sure to jump and play in a big pile of leaves!  It’s one of the activities listed on our fall fun list!  It was so much fun playing in the leaves, though they were wet.  We ended up being so dirty after playing in the leaves that we changed clothes before heading back to our house.  Lots.of.fun!

playing in leaves

{2} Growing up, my family and I made apple cider at a neighbor’s house.  We would pick apples in their orchard, wash them, and send them through the apple cider chopper/press to make delicious cider.  It took all day, but we would end up with gallons of yummy juice that we could drink all winter (we froze most of it).  It’s been several years since I’ve made apple cider, but last weekend when we were home visiting my parents, we were invited to another neighbor’s home to pick apples and make cider.  Although I use the word, “neighbor,” they live about thirty minutes from us (not that far in terms of miles but it takes a while back the narrow gravel roads).  Where I grew up, we were out in the middle of nowhere!  So sometimes your neighbors were more than several minutes away from your home, ha!  Anyway, my mom and I decided to take Will and Harper to pick apples and make cider, at least as much as we could do with two young kiddos!  My husband and dad were on a biking trip that afternoon, so it was just my mom, the kiddos, and me.  Will and Harper loved collecting apples from the orchard in their own little buckets!  In fact, little Miss H. was so insistent on picking her own apples that she threw a tantrum when we tried to help her.  Below is a pic of my mom and Will watching the apples turn into cider.  We got to drink the end result fresh off of the press, ha! It was very yummy!

apple cider

{3} Will loves to help me in the kitchen!  He helped me make a yummy pumpkin bread recipe, which contains vanilla pudding.  The flavor combos in this recipe are delish!  I was tempted to try this recipe for pumpkin French toast, which uses pieces of pumpkin bread instead of regular bread, but the bread is almost gone!  How yummy would that be?!  Pumpkin bread French toast!!  I had a wonderful banana bread French toast at a restaurant once and have always wanted to make a similar dish using pumpkin bread.

pumpkin bread mommy

{4} I saw this neat way to organize fruit into a candy corn shape on the blog, Little Baby Garvin.  Will and Harper both loved it!  Such a fun way to present food to kiddos!  I love that blog, too!  She has lots of neat ideas.  I need to try these fruit and donut skewers sometime!

candy corn fruit

{5}  Miss H. cracks me up!  She is so particular about wearing shoes (and socks-she hates having anything on her feet!).  On this particular day, she had a huge fit because she didn’t want to wear her shoes outside.  I had bought her this pair of red boots at a consignment sale but had forgotten about them.  She decided she wanted to wear the boots, so we went outside to play.  The boots are almost as big as she is, ha!  The only other pair of shoes she will wear is a pair of pink crocs.  Every.single.day.  It’s going to be a very sad day when she outgrows them.

boots

Favorite Board Books

I love that Will and Harper enjoy being read to:). It’s so much fun when they hop in your lap with a favorite  (falling apart, taped together!) book to read…so precious! It melts my heart when I see my husband reading to them:). Here are some of our current favorite board books (this list changes on a daily basis, ha!).

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1. Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. My mom picked out this book for Will last year and we love it! Cute pics and a great message! There’s another “Little Blue Truck” book but I haven’t read it…wonder if it’s as good.

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2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Such a classic! I think every kiddo should have this book!! Will adored this book so much when he was younger that we bought him a small stuffed “Pam-Pam” (his word for caterpillar when he was a baby) that he played with frequently.  You can see how worn out this book is! It has huge creases on the cover!

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3. Gossie and all of the books in that series by Olivier Dunrea!  We love the cute, silly stories about Gossie and her friends.

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4. Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?, a Dr. Seuss Book.  Oh, the wonderful sounds Mr. Brown can do! He can moo like a cow, moo moo…  I love this rhyming sing-songy book!  It’s one of the many books I have memorized and can read in my sleep!

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5. Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton.  She’s a fabulous author of toddler books!  Miss H. absolutely loves this book and goes around the house saying, “Moo, baa, la la la!”

When my son turned one, my sister-in-law got Will several board books from Amazon.  She included a note with each book explaining why they chose the books for Will.  Each one was very popular with my nephew and she wanted to share with us.  Such a fun idea!  And the books she chose are some of our favorites as well!

We also love the classic Goodnight Moon and many others.  This was just a quick recap of today’s faves!  What are your favorite board books?

Chili Crock Pot Recipe

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Hello!  I’m linking up with Mel from The Larson Lingo for her third annual crock pot link-up!  I bought a crock pot a few years ago, but it’s only been more recently that I’ve actually used it.  I’ve always been hesitant to use the crock pot and made a dish a while back that turned out awful.  It was overcooked and didn’t taste good AT ALL.  My biggest hesitation is that the dishes seem to get overcooked and mushy.  Plus, I’m gone more than 9 hours a day and that’s just too long (in my opinion) for something to be cooking.  Yes, I’m weird like that!

Anyway, now that I have two young kiddos and work full time, it’s very difficult to cook long, complicated meals.  So, I turned to Pinterest and blogs to find good crockpot recipes.  Yesterday, I made a healthy quinoa chili from Six Sisters Stuff.  It turned out quite yummy and tasted even better with avocado and some shredded cheese on top.

My routine lately is to make two dinners on Sunday (one that we will eat that evening and another one I can heat up on Mondays since my son has music class and we don’t get home until after 5:30).  This way, I’m home when I make my crock pot meals and don’t have to worry about super mushy, burnt food in my crock pot!

quinoa chili 1

One of our favorite crock pot meals is a taco chicken bowl.  So, so easy and delicious!  The chicken curry on Mel’s blog looks delicious, so that might be on the list for next week. My plan is to make a different crock pot recipe every week or every other week, at least through this fall and winter.   Now off to find some new crock pot recipes!

Weekly Pinterest Project-Week 10: Organizing the Hallway Closet

For my next project, I decided to do a little organizing instead of cooking or baking! I love all things organizing and have pinned lots of pics of nicely organized rooms and closets. One of the tips I came across was to fold sheet sets and store them inside one of the pillowcases. That way, you wouldn’t have random sheets floating around and not matching up. Genius! Why didn’t I think of that before?

Anyway, I thought I’d give that a try. We store most of our sheets in a trunk in our master bedroom. Our upstairs hallway has a closet, which is full of extra pillows, bedding, a paper shredder (random, I know), beach towels, blankets, and a few other items. I keep Will’s sheets in his closet (just more convenient) and Harper’s crib sheets in her closet. All of our bath towels are in the bathroom closet.

Here’s what it looked like before I rearranged and organized.  Blankets were shoved onto the shelves and it just looked messy.  I also thought I could utilize the space better and add more linens to the closet.

hall closet before

To start, I pulled everything into the hallway and determined what needed to be donated to Goodwill and what I  needed to keep.  I ended up only donating an old, old sheet set to Goodwill; everything else was neatly folded and rearranged.

hall org in progress

Here’s what it looks like now, after sorting and organizing the quilts on one shelf (BTW, those quilts were made by my husband’s grandmother and are very special to us, though some of the color choices are interesting!), towels on another, and pillows on the top.  I added a few baskets (several are on the bottom and you can’t see in this pic) to help with storage.  Overall, this was a $0 cost organization project-I found the baskets in another closet and used them.  Now we will see how long it will look this neat, ha!

after-hall closet

Since my original intention was to organize our sheets, I pulled everything out of the trunk in our master bedroom and organized the sheets inside the pillowcases.  Such a neat trick!  I also took the sheets out of the hall linen closet and consolidated them in the trunk.  I plan on doing several more Pinterest organization projects in the future!

linen organization