Five on Friday!



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.!

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.  It’s going to be a very sad day when she outgrows them.



Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 7-Easy Banana Bread

Hello! I’m back with another installment of my Weekly Pinterest Project!  This week, I decided to make some easy banana bread with some super ripe bananas that we didn’t end up eating.  Miss H. loves bananas and will eat them for every meal if we let her! Anyway, I thought I would try some banana bread. I LOVE banana bread but my husband doesn’t, so I’m glad that my kiddos like it:)  I especially liked this recipe from Thrifty Decor Chic.  I made it in one bowl, which made clean up really easy! I decreased the amount of sugar and added one teaspoon of cinnamon.  The best banana bread is made with super ripe (overripe) bananas. Yum!! Delicious! Harper and Will each had a piece after lunch, hot out of the oven! Wouldn’t it be yummy to spread some Nutella on it?

Maybe next week I will actually create one of the tons of fall crafts I’ve pinned on Pinterest.  We’ll see, though…it’s just so much easier to cook or bake something! Ha!





Five on Friday!


Hello, Friday:) I’m linking up once again with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday, one of my fave link-ups!


Pumpkin spice latte has been all the rage lately. I love pumpkin but I’m not a huge coffee fan, so I decided to try a new chocolate chai latte at Starbucks. It sounded quite interesting, and it was. It was like drinking spicy hot chocolate…interesting tasting, but I don’t think I will be getting it again. I’ll stick with my regular chai tea latte with a shot of vanilla. Speaking of chai tea, some of the best is from Trader Joe’s. Last year, I found salted carmael (one of my favorite flavor combos) chai tea at Trader Joe’s! Yum-o! I need to see if they have it this fall:)


Here’s one of my completed free books from Shutterfly! There have been several free photo book coupons recently (just pay shipping) and I’ve made a few books so far. This one documents our fun summer. I also made one from Instagram pictures from our spring and summer, as well as a a fall 2012 book. I’m still working on a Christmas 2012 book as well as one documenting Miss H’s first year.


Miss H. and Will are both in Musikgarten class. We started Musikgarten back in the spring for five weeks with Will, and he enjoyed it! I signed him up for a 12 week Cycles of Seasons class this fall. I decided to sign up Miss H. for a ten week music class as well, and she had a blast at the first class. She’s the youngest in her group of 18 month to three year olds, but loves to dance and play with the instruments. It’s going to be a busy fall-Will has class each Monday and Harper has class on Tuesdays. It’s lots of running around for mommy (the class is in a local town about 20 minutes away) driving from work to the babysitter, and back into town, but they have so much fun!


I love seeing how Will creates forts and plays independently! This was a recent creation that he made while I was cooking dinner the other evening. He took his toys and put them in the hallway, creating a blockade against his sister with some stools. Too cute!


Pumpkin dessert success! These pumpkin chocolate chip bars from Two Peas and Their Pod turned out yummy! Thank goodness! I was disappointed after my chocolate pumpkin brownie disaster and wanted to find a delicious pumpkin dessert. I still want to try some new pumpkin dessert recipes this fall, but this was a start.

Happy Friday!

Weekly Pinterest Project: Week 6-Garlic Bread

The other evening I didn’t really feel like cooking, so I just made spaghetti and lima beans. To jazz up this plain meal, I decided to look for a garlic bread using biscuits (something easy!). I came across this recipe for an easy garlic parmesan pull apart bread. It was super easy-just chop up a bunch of garlic, melt some butter, mix in some parmesan cheese, and cut up the biscuits into pieces. I dipped the biscuits into the butter mixture and baked in a bundt pan. Super easy and yummy! I couldn’t bring myself to use an entire stick of butter, though…I cut that amount in half. It still turned out delicious! Will helped me make the bread (you can see his toys in the background on the counter). He loves helping me cook and bake, and I love having a little helper:)





Weekly Pinterest Project-Week 5: Two ingredient chocolate croissants

Yum…chocolate crossiants! My friend mentioned the other week that she had made chocolate croissants, so I decided to search Pinterest for a recipe. Actually, these are so easy that no recipe is really required. Just two ingredients-crescent rolls and chocolate chips (notice the HUGE bag of chocolate chips-a Costco deal!). I found a recipe from Boxwood Clippings for this yummy treat and made them for breakfast along with scrambled eggs. Healthy, I know! All you do is sprinkle chocolate chips on the crescent rolls and bake as directed on the can. Easy, peasy! I saw a recipe that called for Nutella instead of chocolate chips, which sounds so delicious! Hmm…I wonder how it would taste with cookie butter?! While these were simple and tasted good, nothing compares to the pain au chocolate my college friends and I picked up daily on our way to class when we studied abroad in Strasbourg, France. Oh, the memories!



Weekly Pinterest Project-Week 2: Freezing Zucchini

Note-I thought this post had been published last Monday…oops! i set it up to automatically post but not sure what happens. I’m still learning about this whole blogging/posting thing and have been switching back and forth between my iPhone and laptop to write posts, which has been confusing. Anyway, here was last week’s project. Check back tomorrow for this week’s post. Thanks!

Here goes round two of my weekly Pinterest project. Not too bad, but again, we will see how this goes as I get even busier with school and life this fall. Anyway, for this week’s project, I decided to freeze some zucchini from our garden. We have a little garden out back with some tomato, pepper, squash, and zucchini plants, along with some basil and mint. The garden isn’t looking too great this year, but it has been producing LOTS of zucchini. This summer, I have made roasted zucchini, zucchini brownies, and chocolate zucchini bread on numerous occasions, but I’m kind of burnt out on zucchini now. However, I didn’t want all of our zucchini to go to waste. Plus, we have some huge baseball bat sized zucchini that are not good to eat as a side dish, so they have to be shredded and added to muffins or bread. So I went in search of how to freeze zucchini. It was VERY EASY! All you do is shred the zucchini and put it in ziplock bags. I measured out two cups per bag and labeled them with the amount and date. This fall and winter, I’ll be able to pull out a bag of frozen zucchini and make zucchini bread. YUM! Click here for the blog where I found the idea.



One recipe I would like to try is this lemon poppy seed zucchini bread. Oh my, I love lemon poppy seed bread but never would have thought to combine it with zucchini. It sounds delicious! This chocolate chip zucchini banana bread also looks tasty. Check back later this year to see what I decide to make!

Weekly Pinterest Project-Week 1: Individual Baked Oatmeal and Energy Balls

Since I’m kinda obsessed with Pinterest (ha!), I thought I’d start a weekly post where I document a new recipe, tip, craft, etc from Pinterest. We will see how this once a week thing goes once school starts and our lives get really hectic (with work, preschool, music classes twice a week-one night for Will, another night for Harper, and possible swim lessons, among other activities-whew!) but I think it will help me try out some of the zillion pins I have on my boards! I will try to post each Monday or Tuesday morning (that way, I will have the weekend to write up the post). I’m hoping this will get me to try more crafty projects…I tend to pin lots of recipes since that’s more in my comfort zone. I’m too much of a perfectionist with crafting for it to work out well for me. I’m working on this, but it’s hard.

For my first project, I tried out two new recipes (go figure!). I have been in search of healthy breakfast options for the kids (and me) and wanted to try out a few before school started. First up, I made some personal sized baked oatmeal. I have always wanted to make a baked oatmeal, but it just makes so much! This is the perfect way to make baked oatmeal since you can freeze it! It made about 24 muffins and I stuck half in the freezer. I put raisins on some of the oatmeal and left some plain. You could add other toppings such as nuts or other dried fruit. I might try some other toppings next time; raisins were all I had in the pantry. I only made one change to the recipe-instead of using flaxseed meal (I didn’t have any), I substituted wheat germ. This substitution turned out fine. Oh, I also used honey instead of stevia. After they came out of the oven, WIll was begging for one as a snack. He loved it, and so did Miss H. I’m glad she liked it since she gags when eating regular oatmeal. The baked oatmeal is more like eating a muffin. I plan on taking these to the sitter this week for my kids’ breakfast.


I’m not big into oatmeal (though the baked oatmeal wasn’t bad), so I searched for some breakfast bites/bars for me. I came across these yummy no bake energy bites. Yum-o! I made them with crunchy peanut butter and wheat germ. Next time, I might try using almond or sunflower butter. They were delicious, though, and taste like dessert! I’m going to take these this week to school for breakfast/snack. Mine ended up a little crumbly, so I’m going to up the amount of peanut butter next time. Gimme Some Oven, the blog where I found the recipe, also had pumpkin no bake energy bites and cranberry pistachio energy bites. Later this fall, I may have to try the pumpkin kind!

Now off to see what next week’s project will be!!