My son recently enjoyed his first candy corn. It's one of those Halloween treats that I personally can't eat more than a few before the sugar high explodes and I feel like my teeth are rotting, it is so sweet! I love how they look, though, and they remind me of my childhood. My grandmother used to give us candy corn and pumpkin creme candy. I discovered on Ravelry that there are hundreds of candy corn knitting and crochet patterns. I decided to try out my crochet skills and see if I could manage to make a few of these little candy corns, pattern from Lion Brand Yarn Company. I am not great at crocheting, yet, but I've now made five little candy corns. The first one is the larger one in the photo. It's bigger because what I thought was a single crochet stitch was actually not! Once I figured out the sc stitch, the candy corns shrunk to their original 3 inch size!
My son wants me to sew faces on the candy corns. Some he wants to have one eye, others get two eyes. At first he requested that I make him five. Today that total went up to 22 and then 100. I think I may stick to the five!
Seriously, it snowed this past weekend! Way too early. We have lots of damaged trees, but thankfully no structural damage. A tree limb got stuck in the power lines in front of our house and burned for about 10 hours. The fire company said they couldn't do anything about it. Around 4am Sunday morning the power company's tree crew showed up and took it and another offending limb down. Such excitement. On top of that both myself and my husband are sharing a cold. Not fun! I'm trying to plan easy meals for this week, in case this cold lingers.
Halloween! I so wanted to plan a fun meal to make at home, but the timing isn't going to work out. Also, big problem with my oven, which won't ignite. So, until I figure out what is going on with that there won't be any baking or roasting going on here. Thankful for the crockpot this week!
Monday: Halloween pizza take out! For convenience sake!
I've been a big fan of Shutterfly for their quality of service and products. Every year I create a photo book for the monkey boy to commemorate another year of life and fun. Instead of feeling guilty about the box of photos and empty albums in the house, I use my digital images and create beautiful photo books that are bound and complete with my son's story. I've even created some for gifts too. I've also used Shutterfly for Christmas and Holiday cards and found the quality just as great as their books.
While planning my next photo book, since the kiddo just turned four, I clicked over onto the Christmas cards section of Shutterfly. There are so many great card themes this year, once again I had a hard time picking just one design. Something that I noticed that Shutterfly is offering this year are story cards complete with top ten lists of the year for the family. What a clever idea! I think this would be a fun card to receive! It's an alternative to those long newsletters some people send, but conveys the essential information. I think this type of card is perfect for sending to those family and friends that want to keep up to date with your family.
I'm often stuck for gift ideas for certain relatives (ahem, parents/inlaws,) and have created photo calendars to use as gifts. I'm thinking that might be a great option for my mother in law this year, as her birthday is on Thanksgiving and I know she'd love to get a calendar filled with photos of her grandkids. I have also created photo magnets in the past that make great photo gifts. Last year I made one for my son with our photo from when we "met" Thomas the tank engine. He loves that magnet. I also made ornaments for the tree. I have a photo ornament from evey Christmas of my son. Someday, when he leaves me (sniff) I'll cover my tree with his face. (Won't he just love that! HA!) I've given them as grandparent gifts as well.
I'm always amazed at all of the products that can be customized with a photo. Creating keepsakes is easy and fun. I can cross off some gifts now from my list for this year!
Disclosure: I am and have been a happy Shutterfly customer. The views here are honest and based on my experience with the company. I did receive a code for 25 cards in exchange for sharing my experience. No monetary compensation was received.
A while ago I was asked to answer the following question for the BlogHer campaign Life Well Lived Looking Your Best:
Q: Makeup is a form of art. What do you think is the hardest makeup trick to master?
Here was my answer:
I had a hard time finding a good foundation base that looked natural, was easy to apply, and lasted through most of the day. Once I switched to mineral powder foundation, applied with different brushes, I was hooked. Using different types and sizes of brushes really is the trick for getting good coverage and I find the finished look to be natural looking and feel good on my skin. Bonus: no chin/jaw line of makeup! The mineral powder really works great for me! (I use bare escentuals and love it!)
What would your answer be? Share your thoughts on the Life Well Lived blog post. Be sure to check out the sweepstakes they are featuring right now where you can share your Life Well Lived moment for the chance to win $250!
Lucky for us we chose last weekend to visit Dutch Wonderland for their Halloween festivities. The weather was ok, overcast, but not wet. This weekend is a different story with SNOW anticipated! Blech.
We had visited Dutch Wonderland last fall for Halloween and had a great time. This time we met up with the monkey boy's best buddy and his parents to have fun. It was great having a friend for the kids so they could go on rides together. The boys had a blast! The park does a really nice job decorating for the holiday with lots of lights and not too scary decorations. We made sure to ride the train that circles the park both during the daytime and after it got dark. What a difference!
The kiddo and dad had fun riding the rides that make me queasy, so they did the Moaning Mansion and the Sky ride alone. I went on the giant slide and the carousel with the kid, both which were fun!
It was a fun afternoon and a great way to get into the Halloween Spirit!
My latest attempt to make eating interesting for Mr. Picky. I saw something similar on Pinterest and decided to give this a shot making it Halloween themed. I cut an uncooked hot dog (we like the nitrate-free, all beef ones that Trader Joe's sells) and stuck some uncooked spaghetti (used a quinoa blend one to add some nutrients) into the sides like a spider. I briefly hesitated when I realized that spiders may have eight, not six legs, but it's dinner, not a science presentation. Only six legs fit the hot dogs! Mr. Picky likes hot dogs, but apparently not noodles, at least not that night. I boiled the spider dogs until the noodles were cooked. I thought they looked sort of creepy and good. He disagreed. I filled in the plate with steamed broccoli trees and sliced apples. Guess what he ate?
He picked out all the noodles, ate a few bites of the hot dogs. Then he devoured the broccoli and apples, only after I threatened to not allow dessert if he didn't eat anything healthy first. (He had pre-selected a piece of candy for dessert from when we went trick or treating at Dutch Wonderland the weekend before.)
At least he likes fruit and veggies! How do you get your picky eater to be interested in dinner?
I take a lot of photos, especially of my son. Not only do I photograph him in order to preserve memories, blog and create albums, but I spend the second half of each year trying to capture the perfect Christmas card photo. Since he was born, I've been sending out Christmas photo cards to family and friends. I like creating them and seeing how much he grows from year to year. I also love receiving photo cards at the holidays, since I don't always get to see how big my cousin's kids have become or an old friend's family has changed. My sister always has great success with card photos, which isn't an easy feat with four kids.
This year I've been snapping pictures like crazy, mostly because my tempermental four year old has caught on to me and now refuses to pose for photos anymore. So, that means no professional photos this year for us! Last year I took a great photo of him in a pumpkin patch that became our card. This summer, while on vacation at the beach, I managed to get one half decent shot of him. I must have taken close to 50 photos to get one full head shot with half smile. He's such a bugger! I found that if I just keep taking candids, and talk to him without letting him know I'm snapping photos, I can get some decent shots. I've already starting checking out holiday card patterns at Tiny Prints to figure out what I'll use. I've found so many cute styles this year that it is hard narrowing it down to one. (I may end up using two differnt ones!) Here are a couple of styles I am considering so far:
I like this ornament style one. It has a classic look and the photo I'm planning to use would look nice on it. I also like the black & white photo look. Tiny Prints gives the option of using a photo in color, sepia or B&W, and I've been able to view how each color option changes the look of the overall card.
A completely different look would be this blue peppermint streamers flat card. I think the light blue background would also look great with the beach photo of the monkey boy. I also like the color combination of light blue and red.
I also found some fun address labels and self inking return address stamps on the Tiny Prints site. I am planning to order one of the self-inking stamps, as it is so easy to use year round, not just at the holidays. We have two last names in our house, which are not hyphenated, so creating a stamp for our return address using our last names can be tricky, since we can't use a single initial monogram. I found a style at Tiny Prints that will allow me to have both of our last names on the label stamp and still look elegant.
Tiny Prints has a blogger program that allows bloggers to share their holiday card tips and ideas in exchange for 50 holiday cards. If you are a blogger and would like to sign up, check out this Tiny Prints link for more information! That's what I did!
A couple of weekends ago we went apple picking and brought home a half peck (I think) of fresh apples. We've been snacking on them and I made a batch of applesauce too. Making applesauce is so ridiculously easy, I can't believe I don't make it more often. I really love using the apples we picked too. There are many recipes online, and I've tried a few, but the one I really like is from Simply Recipes. It is easy to vary the amount of sugar used, or even eliminate it if your apples are sweet enough. I used apples that were mostly tart, so I did add sugar to the recipe. I also added cinnamon, because it makes the house smell so great!
Making homemade applesauce also gives you the advantage to decide how chunky or smooth to make it. The batch I made was moderately chunky. I used a potato masher to break up the apples a bit. For smoother applesauce, an emersion blender would work great!
I did not can the applesauce I made this year, but it would be easy enough to do with this recipe. Even the kiddo approved of the applesauce! (Which means it must be good!)