Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pumpkin Piking & Apple Eating

I know we still have two weeks until Halloween but with our busy schedule I'm very proud of ourselves for already making it out for some pumpkins.  Noah was pretty excited to go pick them out, that is until we got them and wanted nothing to do with them.  I had to bribe him with promises of chocolate chips to get any pictures.  He was pretty content though picking out apples and sitting in the cart so Jeff and I picked out the pumpkins and he hung out eating. Typical.

Next on our list; pumpkin carving.  
Who wants to take bets on how long I'll keep finding pumpkin seeds around the house. Christmas?

Friday, October 16, 2015

Friday Favorites

I've been searching for a while now for some casual tennis shoes to wear to work.  I don't need to dress up and I like to be as comfortable as possible but I also like to look presentable in my loose "uniform".  I'm not a huge fan of the traditional Toms, I never got into them and thought they were kind of weird. Somehow though I ended up on their website and noticed they had some really cool shoes that were not the traditional Toms.  I eventually decided to get these and they are so perfect and comfortable. Some other favorites were these Nepal Boots , these cute booties (who knew they had heels!), and these simple flats that come in so many colors.   They look really good quality and I've already added some on my Christmas list.

Jasmine, from Organic Skin Media contacted me to try some new products from their Lady Soma collections and I went with a couple of different products, but the one that I loved the most was the 'Restore & Condition' set.  Last time I went to my hair dresser she used a clarifying shampoo by Pureology that I loved.  It left my hair feeling so clean and I've been looking for something similar since then.  I've been using Pantene for years now and as much as I love it, it just doesn't do what a clarifying shampoo would.  This Lady Soma shampoo left my hair just as clean as the way more expensive Pureology.  I would definitely recommend.

Last weekend Noah and I made some home made pasta for dinner.  Home made is so different from the stuff you buy at the store and I can only imagine how much better for you.  It's just flour and eggs so it can't be that bad for you, right?  This pasta tastes amazing and although it kind of takes some effort to make, the end result is all that matters.  We used a basic pasta recipe but I later found this sun-dried tomato recipe and this prosciutto lemon pasta that will be next on our to-cook list.

As much as I love fall weather, I don't really decorate the house much for the season but I'm super excited to get the house decorated for Christmas this year.   We plan on having a real tree and maybe even more than one so I have lots of thinking to do about what I want to do.  I love the idea of having the tree in a basket and the more pictures I see the more I love it.  This one is so perfect for our house; slightly white washed. It also doesn't hurt there's a little piggy under the tree.  For my next diy project though I'm looking at this simple wreath that would look so good in the kitchen.

Finally, one quick video to end your week.  I cried like a little baby.  

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes

One of our projects this weekend was making some festive mini cheesecakes.  This recipe is the easiest thing ever and perfect for little hands to help.  They can basically do it by themselves with just a little supervision.  It's a variation on my regular Mini Cheesecakes but much more fun for Halloween. 

5 chocolate graham crackers
3tbl brown sugar
3.5 tbl butter, melted
small pinch of salt
8-oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 (heaping) cup sugar
1 large egg
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
chocolate chips
Festive Sprinkles

1. Pre-heat your over to 350 degrees. Crush the graham crackers to a powder.  I use a meat mallet but I gave Noah a sturdy plastic cup with a flat base and that worked just as good. 

2. Melt the butter and add to the crushed graham crackers.  Add brown sugar and salt. Mix well with a fork.  This step is perfect for little hands.  Make sure the bowl is big enough so they don't spill out the sides.  Once it's all mixed, evenly spread the crust onto the bottom of a muffin pan filled with liners.  With a small spoon press the mixture in the bottom.

3. In a separate bowl add softened cream cheese and the rest of the cheesecake ingredients, less the chocolate chips.  Mix well with a hand mixer until there are no lumps left.

4. Now we're ready to assemble the cheesecakes.  Add a couple of chocolate chips to the top of the crust.  Evenly spread the cheesecake mixture in all twelve muffin tins.  Top with some festive sprinkles.

5. Bake 23-25 minutes and be patient like Noah was. =) You'll know it's done when you can stick a knife in the middle and it comes out clean. (unless you hit the chocolate chips.... then you'll probably get that)  Let cool and eat them all because they will be that amazing.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Toddler Activity - Painting a Wooden Bird House

Another weekend success with Noah and I.  Jeff was working all weekend and we saw him a little in the morning after he woke up but mostly it was just Noah and I.  I find now that I'm a mom I have major problems just sitting around on the couch when Noah's around.  I feel like I have to be doing something at all times.  That's probably why my house is always clean.  Noah walks around the house and helps me sweep and mop and dust, put away the dishes and vacuum.  It's a great way for us to get things done around the house and pass by the long days. 

Of course, there is only so much cleaning one can do, so this weekend we we're a little more creative with our activities.  First on our list was a painting project which Noah was so excited to do.  This wasted at least an hour and we had endless conversations about the colors he was using.  I also heard a lot of, "Mama, Wow!"  as the colors mixed together to form other colors.  When we were done I explained to Noah that we had to wait until it was dry but then we could go put it outside so the birds had a home and I think he really understood that.

We spent the rest of the weekend making food, baking and cuddling on the couch reading books. Noah even let me lay my head on his lap at one point.  I said, "you have to be gentle and nice to mama" as I took his hand and showed it how to nicely rub my cheek.  Then he follows it up with "...I love you mama".  And it's just one of those moments when your child first says I love you without asking that really melts your heart.