Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


Halloween is finally here and as you can tell, we're pretty excited about it. I hope you have a fun and safe time trick-or-treating tonight. And be sure to remember your Halloween Mom Bag!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Easy Southern Baked Beans



Baked beans are great for summer cookouts but fall is when I like to make them. What makes this recipe so great is the syrup, which is also where I found the original recipe. I've tweaked it over the years but I still won't use anything but Golden Eagle Syrup in these beans. It's so rich and has a little bit of everything in it including molasses and honey. I love this stuff.


Ingredients

2 cans pork and beans
1/2 c. Golden Eagle Syrup or maple syrup
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 med. onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 Tbsp ketchup (optional)





Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish.








Bake covered at 325 degrees for 40 minutes.







Allow beans to cool for a few minutes before serving.





That's it! Wasn't that easy?


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pumpkin Bread






This recipe comes from my amazing grandma and is one of my all time favorites to make. I love how my house smells when the pumpkin bread is baking. But what really makes this recipe special is that grandma gave it to me about 6 years ago, right after I had moved out West. I wasn't going to be home for Christmas that year and even though I didn't tell her, she knew I was homesick. So she sent me a care package and in it was her pumpkin bread recipe.

Aren't grandmas the best?

Just a couple of notes about this recipe: the original says to bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. When I did that, my bread was a little tough. I recommend baking it at 350 for 45-50 minutes. I also substituted dried cranberries for the raisins and nuts.

With that, here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 c. canned pumpkin
6 eggs, slightly beaten
4 c. sugar
1 c. water
1/2 c. melted shortening or vegetable oil

5 1/4 c. self-rising flour
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. raisins, nuts or dried cranberries


Directions

Combine pumpkin, eggs, sugar, water and shortening in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.






In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cranberries (or raisins and nuts).






Add the dry mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.






Pour into greased loaf pans, filling just over half full.  (Makes 3-4 of the 2 lb loaves or 8 of the 1 lb loaves).






Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. It is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.






Remove from pans and let bread cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve with butter or store in a bread bag. This pumpkin bread also freezes well!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Halloween Mom Bag


Ever had one of those years where you're 20 minutes away from home and suddenly a Tinkerbell wing falls off? Or a kid trips on someone's  front steps and candy goes flying? Or how about when a sugar rush propels your child 5 houses ahead of the group and it takes an hour to find them? We all know there's no way to anticipate every scenario, but  it does help to have a few essentials, just in case.

I made a Halloween Mom Bag a couple of years ago and let me tell you, it has been a lifesaver more than once. Most of the supplies you probably have at home, the rest you can find at any superstore. Here's what I use:

Halloween Mom Bag Supplies

Hand Warmers--It gets chilly after the sun goes down

Shout Wipes--Candy stain treater

Anti-bacterial Wet Wipes--Sticky hands are dirt magnets

Kleenex--Green 11s  (took you a sec, didn't it?)

Safety pins--Wardrobe malfunctions

Band-Aids--Boo boos and owies

Plastic grocery bag--For candy wrappers or in case a trick-or-treat bag or bucket breaks

Bottle of water--Kids get thirsty! Too much and it will be time for a potty break before you get to the 3rd house. I stick with the small ones.

Glow in the dark bracelets--Makes it easier to find your child and for your child to find you. I usually pick blue, pink or orange; they're less common than green.






Here's to a fun and safe Halloween!



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Monday, October 22, 2012

15 {Unique} Pumpkin Ideas

If you can't already tell, I'm a fan of pumpkins!  And just when I think I've seen them all, someone comes up with something even more fabulous.

Here are the two that I created this year and both of them are SUPER easy. The Reverse Stencil Pumpkin was made using spray paint and scrapbooking stickers and the Canning Lid Pumpkin was made with...well...canning lids.








But enough about that. I can't wait for you to see all of these great pumpkin projects. I just know you're going to love them. I've included the links to each of these pumpkins so be sure to stop by and comment on their amazing work! Enjoy:)





White Painted Pumpkins by The Creek Line House







Painted Pumpkin Trio by Posh Ideas







Fabric Pumpkins by Sarah Dawn Designs







Fantasy Jack-O-Lantern by A Cozy Place Called Home







Mercury Glass Pumpkin by An Oregon Cottage






Mod Podged Lace Pumpkin by The Grant Life






Sew Fun Pumpkins by Organized Clutter Queen







Easy Patterened Paper Pumpkins by It's Always Autumn






Photo Frame Pumpkin by Once Upon A Canvas







Polka Dot Pumpkin Vase by Bliss Bloom Blog






Monogram Pumpkin by One Artsy Mama







Polka Dot and Rhinestone Pumpkin by Cupcakes and Crinoline







Pumpkin Man by Our Perfekt Life







Pumpkin Mask Pumpkins by Jacolyn Murphy







Jack-O-Plantern by Garden Therapy


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Traditions--The Pumpkin Patch



Two years ago, my brothers and I started the tradition of going to Joe Huber's Family Farm in October to pick out pumpkins. We grew up in Louisville, KY so going to Huber's was something we did as kids for field trips and we always loved it.


My hilarious brothers Jacob and Joe
We started this because the holidays are so nuts that we never get to spend any real time with each other. We were close growing up and like most siblings, jobs, distance and schedules made hanging out on a regular basis nearly impossible.

We also started this because it was just me and Sophie at the time and I wanted to create new traditions for our little family of two. Traditions are usually the first to go when you become a single parent, and not intentionally.  It's just that you barely have enough time to get the day to day stuff done let alone plan anything special. But this was important to me and I'm so grateful that my brothers were more than happy to make it happen.




Sophie was only 2 when we started. And looking at the pictures, it's amazing to see how much she's grown. Our whole group has grown in fact. My sister-in-law Sarah comes with us and this year was the first year that my husband Ryan got to join in!
  

Sophie with Aunt Sarah
Every trip is unique and special in its own way. The first year, Sophie gave every pumpkin she found a hug and picked the one that she said "snuggled" the best.

Last year, my dad's company was having their annual party there so we ran into people that we hadn't seen in years.

This year was more reflective. This year, it really dawned on me that we had created something cool...that this was going to be something Sophie would look forward to every year.

It also dawned on me that for as easy as it was to establish this tradition, it would have been just as easy not to. Lord knows I had a million other things on my plate that were more urgent at the time. We all did. We all still do. Ryan and I live in Western KY now, so we have to make a 3 1/2 hour drive to make this happen. It's inconvenient and a pain to execute but we did it and we'll keep doing it.

This year really showed me how committed all of us are to preserving our little sibling tradition and just makes me that much more excited about the years to come. What will Sophie look like next year? What will our group look like? What kind of shenanigans will my brothers get into? I'm looking forward to posting the answers to all of those questions this time next year!















Friday, October 19, 2012

Halloween {Boo} 3D Wall Art





I was getting really tired of the blank wall between my kitchen and dining room. With Halloween right around the corner, I thought now would be a good time to get crafty and make some cute wall art to go there.  So I pulled out a few materials, started playing, and came up with this 3D Boo sign. It's amazing what you can do with a couple of frames and some wooden letters, isn't it?


Supplies

8x10 frame
5x7 or 4x6 frame
burlap (scrapbooking sheet)
wooden letters
Mod Podge (any finish)
glue gun

For frames and letters:
Valspar La Fonda Orange satin spray paint
Valspar Antiquing Glaze in Asphaltum (I used this on the orange frame. To find out how to antique a frame, click here).
Rustoleum Black satin spray paint









Directions

Spray paint frames and letters and let dry.









Coat the backing of the 8x10 frame with Mod Podge and attach burlap.  








Trim edges of burlap to fit and put back in the 8x10 frame.









Apply hot glue to the back of the small frame.








Attach to the burlap, pressing firmly.









Attach letters using hot glue gun. 









Let the letters dry for a few minutes and it's ready to hang.








I love how it looks with my Happy Halloween picture!







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