Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Party!

Yesterday we (Daddy) carved our pumpkin. I decided to pick the seeds out of the slimy pumpkin guts and cook them.

*half an hour later and yucky, irritated hands*

I rinsed the seeds thoroughly. I lost more than a few to the floor, counter, sink...they just kept getting away from me.

Next I was supposed to towel dry the seeds. Seems simple enough. But the darn things stuck to the paper towel. I guess I should have used an actual towel. Hmph.

Into the skillet they went and I was giddy to watch the seeds jump around the pan as the remaining moisture evaporated. Dance, little seeds! Dance!

After they began to brown, the brown sugar goes in. And here is where I did an oopsie. The recipe calls for 2-3 tbls but for some reason I thought it called for 3/4 CUP of brown sugar. We'll check this off for my blonde moment of the day.

A bit of olive oil goes in, which I assume is to help keep them from sticking together. I need not bother though, because with my mis-measure those babies are stuck!

When everything was all melty, I poured it all out onto foil. I tried my best to spread it out.

Despite my oops, they are pretty yummy. So woohoo for that!

Daddy did a great job on our pumpkin. Sadly, though, it didn't last the night. Raccoons destroyed it while we slept. So it looks like there will be another round of pumpkin madness so that we may avenge our fallen bumby.

As I've said before, sorry the pics aren't all in order.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Living Room Putt Putt Golf

Daven is pretty obsessed with golf right now. He wants to go outside every day with daddy to "hit ball high". He also insists on having his clubs inside at all times. And he's getting a bit too good at hitting the ball.

This morning I attempted to give him an activity where he could use his golf clubs but without getting TOO wild.

I used toys and recycled things to make the holes for him to aim for. Then he could stand in the middle of the room and hit it in whichever direction he wanted.

As you can tell from the pictures, Daven got even more creative by using a big Lego piece as a tee. I would never have thought of that myself!

One of the best things about this activity was that we had to clear the floor beforehand. Having the motivation of playing golf inside, Daven was much more willing to put away his toys. He also insisted that HE vacuumed the floor, which is pretty stinking adorable!

I've seen online where a mom used green towels as the pathway. I know we have one green towel, but no telling where it might be! I'm hoping to come up with a few more ways to make this better and keep it interesting for Bub. Ideas are welcome!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Apple Muffins

I went in search of a muffin recipe using apples because Daven doesn't like the packaged slices that come in Happy Meals and we had collected a few packages of them. I searched Pinterest this morning and just picked one. I needed to get it in the oven before baby Lainey was dropped off.

Here's where the recipe is:

I didn't have any nutmeg, so I used cinnamon instead. And I mixed the apples in cinnamon and sugar and let that soak in while I was prepping the rest of the batter. Other than that, I followed the recipe.

The verdict? DELICIOUS! They remind me a bit of an apple fritter in muffin form. They are super filling as well. I put two on my plate and couldn't finish them both.

My drink of choice for this, as well as the writer of the blog I found the recipe from, is coffee. Hot tea would be nice as well. Or milk. Bub is having a sippie of soy milk with his.

Daven is currently licking the cinnamon sugar off the top of his muffin. And he has no idea that those apples he doesn't like are inside! I would definitely make these again :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Wreath

A blank wreath and some ribbon is all you need to make this project. This is a small wreath I picked up at the Dollar Tree.

All you have to do is wrap the ribbon around the wreath. That's it. You could glue it down if you'd like, but I didn't bother with that. I tucked the ribbon under a branch to start and left some hanging out to tie the bow with.

I had gotten this ribbon at Old Time Pottery a few years ago for $1. So this wreath costs a total of $2!

If you wanted a smoother look you would want to use a styrofoam wreath instead of the branches. And you could use any size! Just keep in mind the bigger and/or thicker the wreath, the more ribbon you will need to wrap around.

So what do you think? Do you have any ideas for your own wreath? Older kiddos could even do this all on their own :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cheap Thrills

More toddler painting! We found this kit at the Dollar Tree. If you didn't already know I have a strange love for hippos. In the future, it's completely possible that my family and friends will stage an intervention because my house is overflowing with hippo things.

Bub was excited to paint his hippo and I loved watching him paint. The hippo came with paints and a brush. It took me a good 5 minutes to open all of the colors though. I thought for a moment that they were glued shut!

I think Daven did a pretty good job. (Full disclosure - I'm biased) It's now sitting right next to his hippo bank on our hutch.

Does he have hippo stuffed animals? Bath toys? Yes he does. And no, we don't have a problem!

Book Review: Four of a Kind

I downloaded this ebook because I liked the picture on the front cover. I guess you could say that it was a reversal of the old saying; I decided to give it a read because of the way it looked.

As soon as I opened up the file I almost sent it back. Why? It was 827 pages long. That's a big commitment for a book that I knew nothing about. But for whatever reason I decided to give it a go anyhow.

4 moms become friends through a school committee - one that results in poker games instead of fundraising.

Carla - a religious conservative pediatric doctor with 2 sheltered boys.

Bess - a peppy, wealthy housewife with 4 kids.

Allicia - unhappily married and has a son with emotional issues.

Robin - a single mother who kept the secret of her daughter from the one-night-stand father.

This book spans a year's time and each chapter switches first person narrative. The ladies transition from feeling forced to meet and share to each pining for their bimonthly poker nights.

Each mom has obstacles to overcome and their friendships are all put to the test. As you can imagine, a lot happens over 800 pages. But rest assured that there is a happy ending.

I don't know that I've ever played poker, nor do I have any desire to learn. That left me with a bit of a disconnect with the book. There was so much poker terminology that a glossary at the end.

The thing that kept me reading, however was the idea of adult female friends. It seems so hard to make and maintain a strong, personal connection with someone new. These characters gave me hope that new, meaningful friends are yet to be made.

Book Review: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future...

I found this little book on the display of new releases at the library. I say little because its right at 100 pages, which is significantly shorter than most of my reads.

While I haven't read his other two books, this is Michael J. Fox's third publication. I wasn't really sure what to expect. The cover claims that within it this book held, "twists and turns and lessons learned".

The book is broken down into four brief sections. The first discusses how Fox was a high school drop out, moved away from home to pursue acting, and though he had financial hardships, he managed to survive.

The next "part" is broken down into different school subjects and his take on each. I pretty much spaced out during this section. Although there was a funny bit in the Physics chapter where Fox assures everyone that he does NOT have a hover board. (Damn)

Part III discusses mentor-ship and goes into some details of his acting career. The final section visits his father's passing, his journey with Parkinson's and overcoming life's obstacles.

While I've read the whole struggling actor story before, it was refreshing to hear some of the details Fox discloses. For instance, when first diagnosed he coped with alcohol. We all love a happy ending, but its nice to hear more than the dripping optimistic bs that is often hard to believe. Yes, he learned a better way to live, but not before falling on his tush.

I did find it a bit deceiving that while the title and cover reference the Back to the Future trilogy, hardly anything from those cult hits is detailed.

There were some quotable lines but since this is a library copy and you can't (shouldn't) mark them, I lost the passages I enjoyed most.

If you should get your hands on this book, please let me know what YOU think. There's not much of a time commitment to it. I found it interesting, but at the same time I'm not exactly itching to read his other books immediately.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Book Review: Trick or Treat

It's another Clubhouse book! I bought it last year around this time at Sams Club. It was packed away in the Halloween box that I brought up from the basement yesterday.

Mickey Mouse takes Hewie, Dewey and Louie trick or treating. Along the way they solve problems using pieces of their costumes. Clarabell hasn't painted her pumpkin yet - i hope they can help! The book uses pictures to prompt the use of the sound buttons on the side.

This book will give Daven practice following along with text. The sound buttons keeps him involved in the story the whole time.

I promise the next book won't be Mickey!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Adam's 10 Year High School Reunion

This weekend was a busy one. It's been the big ten years since Adam graduated from Jeff High and the class of '02 got together to celebrate.

The festivities started Friday evening at 4th St. There was a meet & greet at PBR, and we got in free thanks to a fellow classmate being a manager.

This bar is VERY country and not some place we would ever think about going. But it turned out to be a lot of fun. Adam's parents kept Daven and we were out way past my bedtime!

Saturday was the actual reunion at the Elks Club in Jeff. The food was really good! Everyone at our table was easy-going and friendly, which was a relief. I was thankful that I knew a handful of people going into the night.

I was bad about not taking any pictures, so the only ones I have were taken from other Facebook pages.

I think Adam was glad that we went, and he got to talk quite a while with his friend Ryan who he speaks about frequently but never gets to see.

I am still trying to recover from being on the go this weekend but it was a good time. I hope that my reunion next year will be as nice. Well done, class of '02!