Monday, November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving Sweets

Every year I volunteer to bring the sweets to Thanksgiving. I prefer to bake and since we travel, baked good travel better than appetizers and sides. I usually make pumpkin pie, but I also have some other favorites I thought I would share if you need some ideas.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie
This pie is always a crowd favorite. It's really simple to make too! I can't wait to have this again on Thursday!

 
Pumpkin Cream Cheese bread - excellent recipe. I just made 2 loaves yesterday for Dan and I to take to work. I make this every year multiple times during the fall season.
 
 
 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles - these are the softest cookies! Go ahead and double the batch. They are that good!
 
 
 Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake - This takes a bit of work, but definitely worth it. These are old Iphone photos, but believe me, it'd delicious!


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Life Lately

Happy Friday! I thought I'd do an update on what we've been up to this fall. It's not as easy to post on the blog as it once was, but believe it or not I've been blogging for 8 years! I love the change of the season saying goodbye to the heat and mosquitos. Fall is extra special in our neighborhood as it's lined with huge colorful trees. I posted about our Halloween festival and it truly is just the most amazing month where we live! I've enjoyed the weather, comfort foods, and fall trends. Here's some of what we have been up to:

Cooking: My style of cooking changes with the season. In the summer we grill out a lot and eat fresh salads and veggies. In the fall and winter we eat soups, casseroles and crockpot meals. One of my favorite fall foods is butternut squash. This recipe for butternut squash lasagna is amazing! The combined sweet and spicy flavors are amazing! The lasagna is a little bit of work, but totally worth it! I also really like just combining spicy sausage, spinach and butternut squash for another low carb meal idea. The recipe here.




Air Frying: I have been interested in an air fryer for some time, but worried that it would be like my Instant Pot and I would never use it or it would be too intimidating.  When I visited my brother, I saw that he had one and I asked if he used it. He said no and told me to take it home with me. I took it home and have used it non-stop. I absolutely LOVE IT! I've made chicken, pork chops, bacon, salmon, and so much more. Everything takes about 10-15 minutes. It's so easy! I would highly recommend it. This would make a great Christmas gift! I have this one. It's on sale at Walmart for $39.



Running: I've always enjoyed cooler weather running. I run all year round, but love fall the best. This year in October I decided I wanted to run our neighborhood Halloween race which is 5 miles. I was only running around 2-3 miles a couple times as week. So I started adding mileage to work my way up. I ran the race and was happy with my time. Roman assumed that I won and I didn't correct him. :) I'm planning to do another race on Thanksgiving. I run about 3 times a week and I'm still doing the Beachbody Liift program. I still love that program because it's only 4 times a week and about 35 minutes of lifting and HIIT.



Shopping: When am I not shopping? Fall and holiday shopping are my favorite. The influx of fashion bloggers and Instagram influencers has not be good for my wallet. But my closet is full and here are some of the items I've added this fall.

I bought these Forever 21 overalls on a whim and they are awesome! They look exactly like Madewell but were a fraction of the price!

I've been stalking this vest all season. It has been sold out, but finally my size came back and currently J.Crew has a Friends and Family sale, plus cardholders get an extra 15% off. I'm thrilled with this purchase. It's coming in the mail today!

I bought this J. Crew sweater early on in the season and I do love it, but the fit is small. Also, now Target has an almost exact version of it.
 
I've been a real fan of Ebay and Poshmark lately. Anytime there's something I want, I always look to see if I can find it at a better price. I knew I wanted this leather Madewell bag, so I started looking on Ebay and Poshmark. I ended up buying it used on Ebay. I love it so much! The leather is really nice!
 
 
Sewing: I haven't made anything for a really long time, but I did sew Roman's blue ninja Halloween costume. He insisted on helping me by sitting on my lap and pulling the pins out which made it a bit difficult, but still a fun activity!

 
Reading: I read this entire book in 6 hours while flying for work. At first I thought it might be cheesy generic advice, but I ended up loving the advice coupled with her life stories. After I read it, I went back and highlighted the areas I loved and then bought another copy for my sister. I highly recommend you read it!
 
 
 
Watching: To honest, I've been mostly sleeping. But Dan has been watching Making a Murderer  2 and the Bodyguard. I lost interest in MaM because I didn't see the first season, but the Bodyguard on Netflix is pretty good!
 
Planning: A lot of planning goes into the holidays but one of my favorite things to plan is our annual holiday party and Roman's birthday party. I'm already in planning mode for both. I love to plan the theme, d├ęcor and food for any get together. It's always a bit stressful along with gift buying and multiple family events, but I'm really looking forward to the craziness and fun!
Table setting from last year.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Halloween

Halloween is a special time for us every year. Our neighborhood celebrates like no other! We have a huge festival and a month long of activities. The entire neighborhood really gets into the season decorating more than most do for Christmas.

This year, Roman entered the window painting contest, we went to the "Slightly Haunted Puppet Show", I ran the 5 mile Vampire run and we all attended the festival and parade.

Leonardo


Window painting masterpiece


 One of my favorite decorated homes in the neighborhood.
 



We had some friends over for chili and a bonfire after the festival.



Awesome costume in the parade!


Roman's school parade

Blue ninja costume.




Roman had a blast trick or treating. He's a champ at running from house to house. We came home after his bucket got too heavy and passed out over 800 pieces of candy! Another great year for Halloween in Irvington.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Uncle JT's Farm

A couple weekends ago I took Roman to my brother JT's house in western Kentucky. My brother lives on some land and has a farm as well. His home is a child's playground. He has gymnastics equipment plus a climbing wall in his barn. He has chickens, rabbits, dogs and a horse as well.  The entire weekend was a blast.
 
 


Roman's favorite area is my niece's loft in her room. It's a pretty fun little area for kids to play!
 
 
 

On Friday, JT had a Halloween party with some friends at his barn. I made several treats, including Nutterbutter ghost cookies and chewy M&M bars. The kids gathered eggs from the chickens, painted pumpkins, and went on a hay ride.



One of the chicken's pecked Roman on the finger, so that was the end of his time in the chicken coop.



 
On Saturday, we drove to JT's farm.



 

Roman and Rye had a blast playing in the river and mud.