Monday, October 20, 2008

30 Second Cards

30 seconds is all it took me to make each of these cards. And they didn't cost much to make either. The butterfly stickers are Miss Elizabeth's from the dollar store, the white cardstock is Stampin' Up! and the pink is Chatterbox cardstock. The rub ons are from a big pack of greetings from Making Memories. They go on like buttah. ;)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pumpkin Carving Party

On Wednesday, we had an impromptu pumpkin carving party with our neighbors the Smiths. They got off the bus and Natty asked if she could have a playdate with Caroline and Dylan asked if he could have a play date with Colin. I reminded them that they were going to carve their pumpkins today and they asked if they could help. I said if they want to why not? So, after all their respective homweork was done, they came over and we had a little carving party. Such FUN!

Let the designing, gutting and carving begin. :)

Colin and Dylan with their jack o' lantern.

Kelsey with her kitty kat jack o' lantern. Cute!

Natty and Caroline and their finished pumpkin...

Week in the Life

For my week in the life project, I decided to tackle it by dedicating the particular day of the week to what each is all about. I think it is the easiest and most fun way for me to get this done.

I had such a blast taking the photos of the ordinary. However, my kiddos were tired of the camera by Friday. LOL!!!

Someone suggested doing this project for the same week every year and see how it changes. I hope I can remember to do that because I really think that would be kinda neat to look back on.

Ok. So here goes, My week was from Sunday, October 5th to Saturday the 11th.

Sundays are all about family time and getting ready for the week. This particular Sunday we went to Barton orchards and picked our pumpkins along with a few more apples. I spend a lot of time on Sundays ironing and meal planning so that my week goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some apple picking shots from Sunday the 4th.

And the shot of my trusty Rowenta iron and Niagra starch. I could not live without either of them. LOL!

Mondays are all about getting back into the routine. I get up before everyone else and read the paper and drink my first cup of coffee while enjoying the peace and quiet of the house. I get lunches and snacks and all that ready.

Starbucks coffee brewed at home in my cornflower Longaberger mug and the New York Times.

Backpacks by the door and ready to go...

From Mon thru Thursday I have to drive Natalie and Dylan to school because I need to get to work by 9 and the buses come too late for me to do that.

After work, I run my usual errands, the bank, the post office, the grocery store and on this Monday I also went to R&D music store in Carmel to pick up Natty's violin. :)

Our Mondays are also about Girl Scouts. Natty's troop meets after school on most Mondays. She is in Troop 1453 and her leader is our neighbor Miss Robin. There are 8 girls in the troop this year.

Tuesdays are all about the regular routine. Teaching the little ones at preschool for me. Staying after for bookclub. The kiddos have regular days on Tuesdays. No after school activities. Dylan has been playing football at recess with his friends a lot lately and on this particular Tuesday he came off the bus and immediately grabbed the football to have a catch with his sister. The weather has been amazing. Mid 70's and sunny. :)

Wednesdays are all about the horses in this house. Natty takes horseback riding lessons at Zephyr Farms every Wednesday with Sunshine. She is in a group with another girl named Emma. :) We usually feed the horses after her lesson but this day we also fed them before. She even groomed and tacked her own horse today. Dylan is overcoming his fear of horses. He will feed them but he must wear gloves. He hates the slobber. It is so funny to see him with black knit gloves on feeding the horses. LOL!!!

Natty also takes violin lessons on Wednesdays with the orchestra teacher Mrs. Fischetti. I also do parent pick up on Wednesdays because we need to get Natty changed and ready for her lessons by 4 pm. Dylan takes trumpet lessons with the band teacher Mr. Reynolds but they are on letter B and D days so they fall on different days each week.

Thursdays are all about the end of my work week. Yay! I look forward to 12:00 and to coming home and just vegging on the couch. I get the mail, eat lunch and watch Y&R and B&B and wait for the kiddos to get off the bus. :)

Fridays are all about my day off and catching up on things around the house. The kiddos take the bus on Friday Mornings. I try and hit the gym at a respectable hour. I run whatever errands I didn't get to during the week. On this particular Friday I hit all the craft stores in my area looking for a particular swirl punch. I came up empty in my search. :( Fridays also mean recycling so I put out all the cans and bottles and wrap up any cardboard and newspapers I have accumulated during the week.

Waiting for the bus...

Our Saturdays are all about soccer. Dylan plays on the 5th/6th grade boys AYSO team every Saturday morning from 10:30 until 12:15. His team is the Revolution and they are pretty good. Dylan usually plays defense or midi. The whole family sits on the sidelines cheering him on. This particular Saturday, we had a guest cheerleader in my niece Nicole. :)

What we do after soccer is usally a toss up. We come home to get Dylan showered and changed. This Saturday, we waited for my sister and brother-in-law to pick up my niece and then we headed to the Stormville Flea Market. We ate lunch and walked around. Stew got a record, Natty got a Barbe doll and Dylan got two video games.

Then we hit Borders to pick up Giada's new cookbook at 50% off. :)

We usually order in Chinese on Saturday nights as it is my night off from cooking. We ate a late lunch at the flea market and no one was particularly hungry so I made eggplant parmesan and pasta.

Color of the Week - Purple

In Butterfly World they have a section of tropical plants and flowers. The first time we visited, this section wasn't built. So, we were really excited to get to see something new.

I took a picture of the flower descriptions so I wouldn't forget the names of all the different flowers. Aren't I clever. ;)

Here's the purple flower. Pretty! :)

A red one....

And a yellow one...

Maybe one day I will have my very own tropical flower garden to tend. :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Color of the Week - Orange

This year our annual pumpkin picking trip took us to Barton Orchards up in Pauquag. It's a bit of a drive but they make picking an event. Hayrides, corn maze, petting zoo, farmer's market and even apples...tons of apples. We picked a couple of pumkins and a bag of apples. It was a gorgeous day. But I think the best part for the kiddos was this slide they built into a mountain. It was underground and pretty long. I was able to get some cool shots of them coming out of it. Neat, huh?

A sea of pumpkins. How's that for an orange photo?

Dylan and his pick. :)

Natty and her pick. :)

Baking for the Veterans

Every year the girl scouts donate cookies to the Veterans in our community. They are not picky and chocolate chip will do. That's good news for me since that is about the only cookie I have perfected. I signed up to bake 1 dozen but they were short volunteers and asked me to bake 4 dozen instead. :O

So, here is my first batch right before it went into the oven. As you can see, they are on my trusty silpat mat. My cookies never stick and never burn. If you don't own a silpat mat but love to bake cookies then you need to get one. They are sooooooo worth the money.

4 dozen yummy chocolate chip cookies all packaged up and ready to be delivered to the vets. I made extra for us. :) I hope they like them. :)

Currently Knitting....

this gorgeous brown alpaca broken rib scarf for my sister for her birthday. It's easy peasy. It uses size 10 needles. Cast on 25 stitches. Knit 2, purl 2, knit 1 until it measures the desired length.

CT Crop

On Saturday, October 4th several SJ ladies and I converged on a lovely scrapbook store in CT to meet and oh boy am I glad I wasn't too sick to go. It's been too long since I met with these fabulous girlies. I vow never to wait a whole nother year to get together with them again. We laughed so hard I thought I was going to cough up a lung. I even scrapped 3 layouts and a mini book. That hasn't happened in months. See what a few hours with some friends can do for a girl!?

A photo of the whole crew....

And here I am modeling my camera strap. I wasn't even drinking. LOL!!! Patti's friend makes these beautiful fabric camera straps and all of us bought one. This one had my name all over it. It reminds me of Miami and the beach with the pretty colors and patterns. Nancy was taking pictures of all the straps but mine wasn't yet on my camera so I improvised. hehehe. ;)

I cannot wait til we meet again. February girls??????

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sloppy Cubanos

Sloppy Cubanos


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/4 to 1/3 pound chorizo, casing removed, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 pound ground pork
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 teaspoons paprika (about 2/3 palmful)
2 teaspoons ground coriander (about 2/3 palmful)
1 teaspoon allspice (about 1/3 palmful)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
Grated peel and juice of 1 lime
1 cup chicken broth
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
4 Portuguese rolls or submarine rolls, split
4 deli slices Swiss cheese
3 to 4 large dill or half-sour pickles, chopped
1 bag plantain or other chips

1. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 minutes. Add the pork and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the onion, garlic, paprika, coriander and allspice; season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lime peel and lime juice and mix well; stir in the chicken broth and tomato sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes.
2. Lightly toast the rolls under the broiler. Pile the meat mixture onto the roll bottoms. Cover with the Swiss cheese and broil until melted, about 30 seconds. Scatter the pickles on the sammies, cover with the roll tops and serve with the plantain chips alongside.

I'm in Heaven

Cookbook Heaven that is. See, I have this love affair with cookbooks. I read them like novels and cherish them forever. If I ever redo my kitchen, I will need to create a space that holds all my prized cookbooks. Right now they are devouring my baker's rack.

So, when I opened up the NYT yesterday morning and saw a full page ad for a new Giada cookbook, I almost screamed. Well, I would have but this darn sore throat and cough prevented me from doing so.

It came out yesterday!!!!! I am so excited!!! :D

Then while browsing I found out that on October 28th, this baby comes out. EEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

My family will thank me for sure. :)

Oatmeal -Apple Scones

Oatmeal-Apple Scones

Prep Time: 30 min
Bake Time: 20 min

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon half-and-half
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 apple, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

1. Preheat the oven to 450°. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup half-and-half and the egg.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the oats and apple and toss. Stir in the liquid mixture until the dough just forms a ball.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Pat into a 7-inch round; cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to a parchment-paperlined baking sheet and brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon half-and-half. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.