Five on Friday!

20131025-194607.jpgHappy Friday! I’m linking up again with Darci and friends for 5 on Friday!  So glad it’s the weekend:)  Here’s what’s been happening lately…

{1} My parents visited briefly last weekend on their way back home from Pennsylvania, where they had been for the past few days visiting relatives.  Here’s my mom looking at a photo album with Will and Harper.  They love spending time with their grandparents:)  I’m looking forward to the holidays and spending lots more time with family!

visiting with grammy

{2} Once again on a pumpkin kick, I made some pumpkin cream cheese bars from the blog, The Girl Who Ate Everything.  It only took her ten minutes to whip up this recipe.  Me, on the other hand…it only took me 20 minutes. Not too bad, considering it was a pumpkin bread/muffin base from scratch and a separate cream cheese topping from scratch.  They turned out super yummy!  It’s kind of like a pumpkin roll, except much easier!

pumpkin cheesecake bars

{3} Will and Harper helped me carve a pumpkin last weekend.  Well, Will kind of supervised and Harper colored her mini pumpkin while I carved the pumpkin.  Will enjoyed scooping out the seeds and pumpkin goop.  Here are the kiddos playing with the jack o’lantern.  pumpkin carving

{4} I love the Young House Love blog!  It’s one of my favorite home blogs.  If you’ve never checked out their blog, you must!  Anyway, the other day on Facebook they posted info about sending them pics of design dilemmas.  So, I immediately jumped on this and emailed them.  We have a very open floor plan in our living room.  In the original house plans, there was a wall separating the more formal, front living room and the family room (where our tv is).  However, we wanted to have a more open space and opted not to include the wall.  We love the openness but I’m not pleased with the division between the two rooms.  I emailed them this pic (and several others) with the hopes that they will give me some advice (I even pointed out that I have a copy of their book on my bookshelf in the pic!).  I’m not getting my hopes up, though (they have so many people who email them for tips), so anyone else have advice?  I would love to have this as one big open space rather than two separate areas.  We never use the more formal part (at the front of the house, where the fireplace is), so I feel that it’s just wasted space.  living room-yhl

{5} I absolutely love this recipe for a super easy chicken parmesan bake.  Instead of breading and frying the chicken (I hate dealing with raw chicken, so this is an easy way to cook chicken without the mess), you put the chicken in a casserole dish with chopped garlic and olive oil.  Cover the chicken with spaghetti sauce and top with croutons (we love the Trader Joe’s croutons) and cheese.  Bake and voila, you have an easy chicken parmesan.  It makes great leftovers and freezes well, too. chicken parm

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

Midweek Randoms!

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Happy Wednesday! I’m linking up again with Megan from In This Wonderful LIfe for Midweek Randoms!

~I love how you can do small, inexpensive touches in your home.  I recently bought a new rug for our back door at a great price from Kohls.  It looks so, so much better than the old, faded rug we had!

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~Last night, we went to our community’s National Night Out.  Will had lots of fun looking at the fire trucks, police cars, and medical helicopter.  He was able to get several of the vehicles, which he thought was pretty cool!  Miss H. just walked around held daddy’s hand.  She was most interested in the cats and dogs that were up for adoption.

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~Will’s photo book arrived! It turned out very well! I can’t wait to share it with his grandparents:)  My goal this fall/winter is to put together a family photo yearbook from 2004-2010 (when we got married up to the birth of our son).  Then I will be all caught up with photo books until March when Miss H. will turn two (oh my!!).

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~We are spending our last few days of summer going to the park, getting haircuts, and playing outside!  This summer went by WAY TOO fast! It just seemed like it was the end of the school year:(  I finished my last work day on Monday, so I’m going to enjoy the last few days before school starts on the 12th.

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~We had the best time last weekend with my family!  My brother and his family flew in from Colorado to visit, so we headed home to my parents to see everyone.  Harper and Will played nonstop with their cousins, who are five and two and a half.  Our time was spent playing outside, catching fireflies, swimming, playing in the sandbox, riding a train, eating yummy food outdoors, picking vegetables in the garden and just hanging out and visiting.  I plan to post about our trip at a later point.

5 on Friday!

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Happy Friday! I’m linking up again with Darci for Five on Friday. I’m so glad it’s Friday, and especially today since my husband is off! Yippee!

(1) Will is hooked on oatmeal for breakfast, which is great! This morning, he helped me make it. He likes to add a spoonful of vanilla yogurt and raisins to his oatmeal. I’m going to make some baked oatmeal or oatmeal breakfast bars for Will to eat at the babysitter’s once school starts. Miss H. hates the texture of oatmeal-she gags and spits it out.

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(2) Will’s backpack from LLBean came the other day. He’s becoming such a big boy! It is a definite sign that summer is winding down and school is about to start:( I am looking forward to fall, though. It’s probably my favorite season (that and spring).

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(3) Dots-this game is so addictive! I found about it from someone else’s blog (can’t remember now) but it’s lots of fun! I haven’t gotten into the Candy Crush game but love this one. I got my husband and a friend hooked on it, too; we text each other our high scores. So far, I’m losing:(

20130801-103123.jpg(4) I think my child is the only one who does not sit and listen to the stories at storytime, ha! Miss H. is typically the only one up and moving all around the room. She and her brother are known as the “dynamic duo” at storytime, uh oh! The other week, she actually sat down on another mother’s lap and spent a few minutes there. We didn’t know this mother and in fact, it was the first time we had seen her at storytime. Miss H. is certainly not shy! This is a pic of her playing (for about ten seconds) with a puzzle at the library. But I love it!

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(5) I love Pinterest (as you all know, since I mention it about, oh, every post!) but at times it can seem like there are so many projects and neat things to do that I don’t know where to start. One way I’ve found to manage my pins on Pinterest is to create a “completed pin” board. Each time I complete a craft or new recipe, I repin it to my completed pins board. It is a great way for me to keep track of new recipes that we liked. With that being said, I haven’t been doing a good job at repinning my completed pins. As you can see from my board, most of what I’ve tried have been recipes. I’m not very crafty but would like to be:)

That’s all until next week! Have a wonderful weekend!