Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the night before halloween.....

I absolutely love the smell of fresh pumpkin. 
Right when the top is cut off and you get the first whiff.....mmm....
And then scraping and pulling the gushy guts out barehanded. 
Slippery seed sorting.
Drawing faces.....which one should we choose?
I feel seven years old again.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
rinse pumpkin seeds to remove all the "guts"
toss in olive oil and spread on to pans
sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
coarse salt and cracked pepper. 

bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes until crispy (shaking the pan a few times while baking)
happy halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

little things lately

a late breakfast today
baked eggs
I just can't believe all the craziness on the East Coast right guys stay safe! 
So scary.
We spent the day in the yard. Bikes and skateboards. We had open windows. 
I wore sandals. A skirt. 
The weather was perfect.....I'm so sad about all the rain and wind and flooding over there. 
It has really made me extra happy for all my simple little things in my life today.

Little Things
-a warm cozy house. blankets, heat, soft beds. 
-Littles squealing out in the sunshine today. bike jump built. hours of fun until the sun goes down.
-clean sheets
-second grade jokes.....why are they so funny to me? 
Q: What is a cat's favorite color?
A: Purrrrrrrrrple
-sneaking a quick run in when I didn't think I had time
-the smell of cinnamon
-the four of us piling in a bed and reading bedtime stories (complete with voices and accents)
-our garden is lonnnnng gone and so ugly and dead, but I love that we still have tomatoes ripening in the basement for the next little while. so tasty.
 -So happy to have new friends to play with. Friends that are not 
only a good time, but send you home with fresh eggs for you to enjoy.....yum.baked eggs

Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Parmesan, and Fresh Herbs
thanks ashley for the inspiration!

-preheat oven to 400°
-add 1-2 TBS half and half or cream to a well buttered ramekin 
-crack two eggs into ramekin
-top with a few slices of tomato
-sprinkle with coarse salt, cracked pepper, fresh grated parm and your choice of fresh chopped herbs 
(I used thyme and oregano)
-cook for 15 minutes for yolks that are a little bit runny, add a few more minutes for more firm yolks



I've had a few people ask if I'll be doing my "Thankful November" posts.....yes! So excited! Please join me for the month. 
I'll also be doing a new hashtag project on instagram. #novemberthanks. watch for it

Sunday, October 28, 2012

weekend senses

And just like that, our weekend is gone. But we filled it with as many wonderful things as we could.....

Halloweening: Friday was the kids' Halloween party at school (WHY was it on Friday, and not Halloween? I have no idea) When your second grader asks if YOU are going to dress up when you come in to help at the party, you'd better find something awesome to dress up like. Princess Leia took about 5 minutes. It's just a giant piece of fleece with a slit cut in the middle for my giant buns to fit through, and tied with a rope. Huge hit with all the kiddos, and the warmest coziest thing you will ever wear. I might have to sneak it into my everyday wardrobe.
leia in the school bathroom....
Seeing: The biggest brightest fullest moon. Blinding us through closed eyes at night.
My little werewolf is pretty excited.
Drinking: Hot chocolate with cinnamon, out of a reindeer mug of course.
Listening: counting down the days (until November 1) so I can turn on the Christmas music.
Running: In two different seasons. Saturday's run was amazing--I was giddy as I drove to the trail early that morning. It was chilly, was COLD. 38°! I used to hate running in the cold and would go weeks....months(!) without running. And then I learned how to dress right and running in cold temps feels great. I ran through fall, and then winter, and then fall again.....and then slipped and slid my way down through more winter. I loved it. The smell of the dead leaves in the frozen air was my favorite.
Yoga-ing: I am loving anything twisty lately. I think twisting is my favorite. Rotated Triagle. Yes please.
Anticipating: I'm heading to San Diego soon to meet my sissies-in-law for a little girls trip. What should we do? Where should we eat? Teach me San Diego friends.
Watching: Nightmare Before Christmas with the Littles. Edward Scissorhands when they go to bed.
Eating: Creamy Veggie Lasagna
Creamy Veggie Lasagna 
inspired by THIS recipe from Midwest Living. I added more veggies and fresh herbs.

12 lasagna noodles* (I use whole wheat no-cook noodles. If you use the kind of noodles you need to pre-cook, cook them and then follow the rest of these instructions:)

1-15 ounce carton ricotta cheese 
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS chopped fresh thyme
2 TBS chopped fresh oregano
3 TBS chopped fresh basil
1 15oz can of artichoke hearts
2 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach
1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (4 oz.) 
1 egg
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz.)
large handful of sundried tomatoes (learn how to make your own HERE)
large handful pine nuts 

Preheat oven according to instructions on lasagna noodle package (375° for me)

In large bowl, stir in ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, 2 garlic cloves, basil, chopped spinach, artichoke hearts, the egg, and salt and pepper to taste. 

For sauce, in a small bowl combine broth and flour. In the large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes; cook and stir until garlic is tender but not brown. Stir in flour mixture and half-and-half. Cook and stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Add salt to taste. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining parmesan cheese and oregano and thyme. 

To assemble, spread a small amount of sauce over the bottom of an ungreased 3-quart shallow baking dish. Layer four of the noodles in the dish. Spread with more sauce, half of the ricotta mixture. Top with four more noodles, more sauce, and then the remainder of the ricotta mixture. Top with four more noodles, remaining sauce and top with mozzarella, tomatoes, and pine nuts.  
Bake, covered for 35 to 40 minutes, and then uncovered for 10 minutes until lasagna is bubbling and edges are brown. (*check the kind of no-cook noodles you are using, cooking time may be a bit different)


How was your weekend? 
Feel free to play along with "senses" in the comments

ps. stay SAFE east coast friends!!! so scary......I feel almost guilty that it's 70° here. ...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

things that go bump in the night.....

a little back story: 
our family loves to visit the Salt Lake that weird? We end up there a few times a year and just like to wander--we even like to take out of town guests to visit. It is filled with so much important history-- like pioneers that crossed the the plains to settle here in the valley. Birth dates back to the 1700s! If you are a little bit of a history nerd, I highly recommend it. 

I finished the kids' costumes today, and as soon as they were home from school they were anxious to try them on. And then we figured....since they had them on.....let's do a test run on the makeup too. And then I joked that we should take their pictures in the cemetery.....
.....totally joking.....
....and then they said....
But I was kidding. 
But then I decided.....why not?
And we had the BEST time. 
They were so......IN to it. 
It was a little bit creepy. 
So I decided that THIS was how kids were meant to be photographed--wearing what they want, acting exactly how they want to act. 
Cemetery optional.....because that's a little weird. 
Little Werewolf
basically all you need for this is some fur fabric, fake teeth, and face paint. 
I made the fastest skirt ever with some sale fabric and made it tattered at the bottom. 
Hot glued some fur on to some old leggings with holes in the knees. 
Took the sleeves off an old tiny jacket. 
Glued some fur on to her gloves. 
Made a fur tail, stuffed it with batting and sewed it to her shirt. 
Made some furry little ears and glued them to a headband. 
The rest is just personality....and she's got it.
black pants (we already had them)
white shirt (one of his church shirts)
black vest and necklace that I've worn for a pirate before
a small piece of red faux satin for a fancy scarf
black faux satin for a cape. 
for the collar I cut out a "collar shape" from some card stock, and then glued it between two pieces of black felt so it was stiff and able to stand up. I then sewed it to the top of the cape.
Add face paint, some black hair spray, fake teeth, and a creepy little gaze. 

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

a fall house

apple chips 
A fall house sleeps with a window cracked to better hear the rain.
Drip drip dropping all through the night, greeting sleepy eyes in the morning.
Trying to turn to snow.....but not quite yet.
A fall house hears a whistling kettle. All day long.
For teas with peppermint and honey to soothe little sore throats.
A fall house is covered, in fabric and fur and needles and thread.
Scraps of this and that, glossy fabric, felt, and vampire teeth.
End to end, floor to ceiling. Halloweeny Things. Everywhere.
A fall house gets leaves tracked inside. Crunch, crunch. Crunch.
Mostly yellow. Or gold. Some brown.
A fall house has little hands busy at work, scattering spiders and webs and pumpkins throughout.
A fall house is warm from the oven.
It smells of apples and cinnamon.
I love my fall house.

I returned from the farmer's market last night with a whole load of pretty red apples. 
I was home most of the day today, so I decided to make a few batches of apples chips in between finishing up the kids costumes (which is sometimes really hilarious seeing as though I am most definitely NOT a seamstress)

These were so simple and amazingly delicious. We are going through them so quickly. 
must. make. more. 
apple chipsapple chipsapple chipsapple chipsapple chipsapple chipsapple chips
Homemade Apple Chips
-Wash apples.
-Core apples. Maybe you have a fancy coring machine? Is that a thing? I just cut the core out with a knife. Then Jen told me she leaves the core in tact, which I am most definitely doing next time to save on a bit of time (and reduce the risk of slicing my finger off)
-Thinly slice apples. Try to get them about the same thickness so they will dry evenly. The first batch I sliced about 1/4" thick, and the next batch I sliced even thinner. 
-Spread out on parchment lined baking sheet. 
-Sprinkle with cinnamon (optional. I did some with, some without.)
-Bake 225°, flipping over once. You can experiment a bit with time and thickness. The first batch (sliced thicker at 1/4", I baked for two hours and they were still a bit chewy. We still gobbled them right up. The second, thinner batch I baked for the same two hours, but they turned out more crisp--like actual chips. So it's up do you and how you want them. 
note: the chips crisp up even more after you take them out of the oven and put them on a cooling rack. 
Store in an air tight container. 

apple chips
These are such a tasty snack, and I can't wait to make more. 
I think they will also make a great addition to our oatmeal, granola, and the plain apples will go great tossed into a salad. 


What's happening in your fall house?

Monday, October 22, 2012

all dressed up

When I was little, our Halloween costumes were always handmade--my favorites were the time I was a tiger, and the time I was Jem. We have continued the tradition of homemade costumes around here--and luckily my kids haven't requested anything too crazy yet. It's fun to do, much cheaper to make your own, and it's pretty much guaranteed that your kids won't show up to the party in the same costume as someone else.  If you and your kiddos are still looking for THE perfect costume for Halloween (how did it sneak up on us so fast?), here are some of ours from the past couple of years, with basic instructions (very basic--I am no seamstress--believe me) and some links to instructions. 
It's pretty fun what you can do with a little hot glue and felt. 

2009. Black Widow and Police Man. 
Black Widow: 
-black onesie (super cheap at walmart)
-black tights (already owned)
-black shoes (already owned)
-black fabric for legs
-red felt
-batting to stuff legs

hot glue a red hourglass shape onto the onesie. 
sew four long black tubes and stuff with batting. sew onto onesie. (you could also use black stuffed pantyhose for this. 
I made a very basic tulle skirt by cutting long strips of tulle and tying them onto the elastic 

Police Man:
blue pants and shirt (both thrifted)
felt for a "tie" and police badge and stripes (hot glued on)
I found the police hat online for a couple dollars (sorry but I cannot make hats), and a little police kit with walkie talkie, whistle, and cuffs for super cheap. Easiest costume ever.
2010. Frankenstein and Skunk 
easy how to on this post HERE
2011 Luke Skywakler 
5 minute robe tutorial on this post HERE
jedijonah1 copy
2011 Piggy
How to on this post HERE
piggy copy

Some of you know that for Robby's family reunion each year we all dress up for our theme night. 
Here are my two favorite years

2008 Pirates. 
Pirate costumes are so easy to throw together. Robby and I literally got our stuff the day OF the party at the thrift store. Cut off some old pants, add ruffly shirts, vests, belts, jewels, add a bandanna, an eye patch, and maybe a few whiskers with eyeliner. done.

pirates copy

2010 Cavemen. 
Animal print fabric sewn in a tube with some arm holes cut out.....that's basically all you need. A wig unless you already have caveman hair (uh, I do).
Check out THIS POST for how to make clubs and bones and the kids costumes. 
cavemen copy

I'm currently working on a little boy vampire costume and a little girl werewolf costume.....I'll post those sometime soon. 
What are you dressing up as this year? 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

have you been to the desert

Have you been to the desert?
Have you stood on top of a mound of rock and let the sunshine warm you through? 
Have you watched the bluest sky grow dark in just minutes, and open up on top of you? 
You quickly gather your Littles and run squealing for cover.
Have you been hailed on....not once, not twice, but three times in one day? 
Have you been in the desert after a storm? Watched the rivers begin to flow out of nowhere, the mud shifting and sliding, water rushing down the hills.
And then in minutes, the water is gone. The thirsty earth has stolen every drop. 
Have you ever had a rainbow's end land right on your very own tent?
Have you watched the sun melting from the sky, spreading reds and golds and pinks across the rocks and sand below?
Have you looked up at the stars at night, and seen a million more than you've ever seen before?
Have you snuggled in a tent and listened to the thunder rolling rolling rolling all the way across the sky? 
Have you seen lightening so bright that it hurt your eyes with them shut?

Have you visited the desert with a problem, a worry, a trouble on your mind? 
And left them all there, rolling out with the thunder. 
Coming home with a happy heart and red stained feet.
I have.

a few iphone shots.....we were playing so much I rarely had my big camera.

a few more. bless you iphone.

a few real ones
the end.

Have you been to the desert?

happy weekend!