Fall Fever

September 28, 2009

Front Porch Sept09

We had a little something running through the house this past week that left me down for the count. A pounding headache, fever, and nausea......not fun. What was the old saying..."an apple a day keeps the doctor away" I am not buying that one......cause you know we had our fill of apples around here:)

Since I was feeling a little under the weather, We pretty much cleared the calendar this weekend and stayed put. Nick was at his Dad's which worked out well for him....he was able to avoid the germs. I didn't want to miss his soccer game though, so I did go to the game to catch him in action. They had a tough game....they were down so many kids due to illness, that they all had to play the entire game with no breaks. They were short one player, so the other team agreed to take a player off the field to make things fair. Wouldn't you know it.....Nick's team won the game. It is the first win they have had all year....last spring included. I was so glad that I didn't miss it.....the boys were really excited! Of course, I left the camera at home.....that is rarity.

Since I was already up and out and feeling a little better, I was getting the itch to do a little fall decorating.....yeah, this is the other fever I was talking about:) I stopped by the local greenhouse to buy a couple of things for the front porch. We will go to the pumpkin patch in the next week or two so the kids can pick out pumpkins to carve, but I always go to this particular greenhouse to buy their "Cotton Candy{white}Pumpkins"....they are my absolute FAVORITE....and if you don't get them early, you are usually out of luck. As you can see in the picture, I added a little black and white polkadot grosgrain ribbon to pretty up the pumpkins and my urns{There is an identical urn on the other side of the porch}.

All smiles wm
Someone had her own ideas for the "baby pumpkins"....that is what she calls them.

Feet wm
She snatched the little pumpkins and gourds and ran out back on the deck to play with them......she lined them up over and over again. Something she does with everything...remeber THIS POST.

Rolling wm
Soon she discoverd the "baby pumpkins" made good balls.....they rolled easily:)

Give it back wm
"Roll it back to me Mommy"

Picture Perfect WM
Needless to say....these "baby pumpkins" never made it to the front porch. She carried them around with her all weekend. Saturday night she wanted to take them to bed with her. We made a deal and she agreed to leave them on her nightstand........but when she woke up Sunday morning, I found her sitting in bed holding them. She is so excited for Halloween......I can only imagine Christmas this year!!

Putting A Dent In The Apples

September 22, 2009

Apple Bundt Cakewm
When I said that we were going to put our box of apples to good use, I wasn't kidding.

Yesterday I worked in Philadelphia and got back right around dinner time. As soon as I walked through the door, the big box of apples was staring at me and calling my name.

A normal person would settle for a plain apple cut up and maybe add some peanut butter, but hey, I never said that I was normal:) Why settle for a plain apple, when you could have something warm and comforting!!

As I fed everyone dinner, I quickly put together this Apple Bundt Cake.....really, it was not hard at all. It is the one that my Mom always made....I am not sure where the recipe originated, but I do remember that everyone who tried it, LOVED IT!!

Here is what you will need:

1 cup of Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cups of Granulated Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tsp of Vanilla
1 tsp of Cinnamon
1/4 tsp of Ground Nutmeg
2 Cups of Diced Apples
1 Cup of Chopped Walnuts(optional)if you omit the nuts, add a little extra apple
2 Cups of Flour
1 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Baking Soda

Mix together the Oil, Sugar, Eggs, Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeng, and Vanilla. Then mix in the apples.

In a separate bowl sift the Flour, Salt, and Baking Soda. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until blended.

Pour into a Greased and Floured Bundt Pan and Bake at 350 Degrees for 40-45 minutes.

A piece of cake wm
I thought that you might want a closer look:)

Every bite was filled with little diced apples and it was so moist, it just melted in your mouth. Not only did it taste great, but it made the house smell wonderful too!!

Now it is time for a true confession....
I couldn't stop at one cake!! This cake tasted so good, that I made a second one early this morning. We are getting some company later this week and I thought it would be perfect to serve with coffee for breakfast.

I have to run.....last night the apples were calling my name, tonight the treadmill is beckoning....actually, it is more like screaming at me:)

Apple Orchards and Pony Rides

September 21, 2009

Apple wm
Today we were going to go see "Cl@udy with a ch@nce of Me@tballs", but when we woke up and saw how beautiful it was outside, we decided a change of plans was in order. We went to our favorite apple orchard for some apple picking and pony rides!

Going in for the pickwm
Nick going in for his first pick. He thinks he can hide from the camera if he is wearing his shades!

First Bitewm
Sarah thought each apple needed to be taste tested:)

Waiting for the buswm
In a matter of minutes we had an entire box of Cortland Apples hand picked and ready to take home.

Funny Apples
While we were waiting for the bus to come pick us up and take us back to the farm stand, Nick pointed out these funny looking apples. Umm....I bet you can't guess what he thought they looked like:)

Happy As Can Be wm
From the minute we pulled up to the farm, Sarah could barely wait to ride a pony. She ended up riding the sweetest little guy.....his name was "Fat Jack". She was in heaven the minute she sat in the saddle....just look at the expression on her face.

Pony Ridewm
"Hey Mom, Can I Have A Pony For My Birthday"

One handed wm
By the last lap around the ring, Sarah was getting a little brave and had to show me she could let go with one hand:)

Under the Sun WM
I promised myself(and Nick)that today, I was going to let the kids be kids and get some "real life" photos, but I couldn't resist this close up shot of Sarah right after she mounted the pony. I loved her sweet expression and the way the sun was shining down on her hair!!

We had a really FUN day.....and we can't wait to go back in a couple weeks when they have a different variety of apples, also by then they will have pumpkins and a corn maze. In the meantime, we will be busy using up all those apples. I plan to make applesauce, apple pie, and maybe even apple bread.....YUMMY!!

Hope you all have a great week:)

.....and I Wonder Why My Jeans Are Tight?

September 16, 2009

Cin-ful Peach Cobbler1wm

Seriously, I need to stop watching the food network!

Everything that looks so good, is so NOT GOOD FOR ME!! Why can't I print out recipes that are low in fat, filled with fresh veggies, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates. Cause that would be BORING.....right?

This delectable dessert truly lived up to it's name..... Cin-ful Peach Cobbler and trust me, it did not take long for us to work our way through the entire tray.

Since we are getting into apple picking season, I thought this might be a fun one to share. You could easily substitute apples for the peaches and turn it into a Cin-ful Apple Cobbler!

The best part of this dish is the crumble that gets sprinkled on the top before it goes into the oven. A combination of White and Brown Sugar, Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Oatmeal, Almonds, Dried Cranberries, and {CRINGE} a WHOLE STICK OF BUTTER....YEAH, that is the part of the recipe that makes it near impossible to get the jeans up and over the hips the week after consumption:(

So, if a little butter {okay, A LOT of butter} doesn't scare you away, Click HERE for the recipe, compliments of one of my favorite food network stars!

Don't say I didn't warn you......

Fall Fashion Favorites

September 14, 2009

Over the shoulderwm

Looking backwm

As much as I complain about saying goodbye to summer, I always get so excited when the weather starts to change and I can pull out the fall wardrobe!!

Out of all the seasons, fall is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE time of year. We are fortunate to live in an area where we get to see the real beauty of this season.

As I drove up the turnpike the other day, I noticed a slight change in the leaves and by the end of this week, we had dipping temps.....so much so that I got to pull out the jeans and my beloved brown BOOTS:) The jeans were a little more snug than I remember.....but hey, what can I say....I guess I enjoyed a little too much this summer:) I will get back on track.....I always do...well, eventually I do!

Fall is definitely on it's way, and it made me realize that I need to get on the ball, because Sarah has really grown this last year and nothing in her closet fits her besides her summer clothes.

We were invited to a Matilda Jane party on Saturday to view the new line.....Gypsy Blue!! The timing was perfect.......and although there is no way I can afford to buy her all MJ clothes, I do love to buy a couple must have pieces each season.

Prior to attending the show, I went online to look at the clothes so I could get an idea of what I might want to order for Sarah. To be completely honest, I was not thrilled at first sight and was actually a little disappointed, but I have to say, that my mind was changed as soon as I walked through Ivy's door and saw the rack of beautiful clothes hanging in her living room. The online catalog/pictures didn't do these beauties any justice.

I was blown away.....and not only by the children's line, but by the new line of ladies clothes. I don't know for sure, but based on what I saw Saturday afternoon, there were more adult pieces being sold than children's pieces!! The clothes were so flattering on many different body types. It was so much fun, we had a little fashion show and helped each other decide which pieces looked best:)

I had a very difficult time making up my mind and of course I still have a wish list of items I would like for Sarah.......and yeah.....a couple for me too:)

Okay, so now that you listened to me babble about fall and MJ clothes.....what is your fall must have, staple item? or what is your favorite fall find so far this year....a pair of shoes, a coat....What is that item that must be in your(or your child's)closet this season? and where did you find it?

all about the poutwm
And BTW, little Miss Sassy Pants was not quite as happy as her Mommy was to be sportin her jeans.....can you tell?

{FYI}I know a lot of you ladies have your own mj trunk keepers, but for those of you that don't, I am having my first ever home show on November 1st. That is the day they are releasing the new holiday line. If you would like to place an order or attend my home show, just let me know via email or comment.

I also wanted to thank everyone who took the time to leave such wonderful and thought provoking comments on my last post. With all that is going on right now, I can say with almost 100% certainty that we will not take the kids. I have heard some pretty scary stories about families being separated because of the swine flu. I can't even begin to imagine what I would do if my kids were separated from us.

Any Thoughts?

September 10, 2009

Deep In Thought WM
A week or two ago, I mentioned that we are finally starting to think about the changes ahead for this family. We have started talking here and there with Sarah about having a new sister, but at the same time, we are trying to be careful not to talk about it too frequently, just talk about it casually so she is not in shock when this all goes down.

Our initial conversation with her seemed to go pretty well and now when you ask or say anything about a sister, Sarah will reply, "My sister is at China". I think it is the cutest thing, she does not say "in" she says "at". She has also turned her sister into somewhat of an imaginary friend. The other night she was jumping rope...actually she was swinging one end of the rope and gave me the other. I said who is going to do the jumping? Without hesitation, she replied, "My sister......she is a really good jumper, you should see her go"

Over the past few weeks, we have had many conversations like this and it always brings a smile to our faces. She seems to have embraced the idea, and anytime she sees or hears anything related to China, she starts talking about her sister. Thanks to Kai Lan and a few books that we read to her, she is asking about mooncakes, lanterns, and ladybugs and says that we need to have all of these things for her new sister:)

Looking forward, there are two big things that we are trying to decide and I would like to open this up for discussion and get some feed back from those of you who have been this path before.

The first is the trip to China. In the beginning, we felt that when we get our referral and we get on that plane to meet our child for the very first time, it should just be the two of us. In my mind, I felt that we might need that time to bond with the baby and not have to worry about Nick and Sarah. Now, I am not so sure. I am wondering if the kids{especially Sarah}were there with us to experience it all and be part of the process, it might help with the transition. I know there are pros and cons to bringing the kids or leaving them here, but I would like to hear from those who have been there, done that.

Here is the other item up for debate at the moment. Put the girls in one room or two? Right now my kids each have their own rooms and we still have a spare bedroom. My initial thought was to redo the guest bedroom to make it a nursery for the new baby. Then Pat said, what if we keep the girls together in Sarah's room and leave things the way they are now. I am not so sure, I am on board with that, but again, there are probably pros and cons to both scenarios.

I appreciate any feedback and advice that you can provide based on your experiences:)

Ready for School {3 Word Sunday}

September 6, 2009

Ready For School
Well, tomorrow is our last offical day of summer! Nick has his first day of school on Tuesday, and he seems a little excited. I know the excitement will not last, but at this point, I think he is bored and ready to get back into a routine and see all of his friends everyday:)

I am a total procrastinator with back to school each year, so as expected, I have spent the last week running around like a crazy person buying all the necessary items.

My gosh, I forgot how much they need before the school starts.....a gazillion supplies that were on the 6th grade list, uniforms to be purchased from the one and only uniform company/store in our area. We also needed to buy new shoes and sneakers......Nick's feet are growing like weeds. He is now officially wearing a mans size shoe....that just blows me away!! Also had to get the old hair cut and then run through the grocery store to pick out some things so we can pack lunches this week.

Nick- Face Shot WM
It has been a wonderful summer, but it is time to say farewell. Sleeping late and living the carefree life, is gone come Tuesday. We will have after school activities, meetings, dinners on the run, and {GASP}.....the dreaded HOMEWORK!!

on the grate wm
As of 5pm tonight, we are officially ready for the first day!!
Wish Nick luck, as he is about to become a SIXTH GRADER!!

Happy Labor Day Everyone:)

To participate in 3 Word Sunday, click HERE

Almost 3......GOING ON 13

September 2, 2009

Walking Material Girlwm
Sunday was one of those lazy days around our house. You know the ones where you look at the clock and it is lunchtime and you are all still wandering around in your pj's. I live for those days, but we only get them once in a while.

Around 2pm, Pat went outside to do some yardwork. It was gorgeous...sunny with a cool breeze. It almost felt like fall. Sarah and I ventured up to her room and she said she wanted to get dressed, so I started for her closet and she said, "No Mommy, let me pick" I was in no mood to fight, so I said fine.....we are not going anywhere so pick what you want.

Doesn't she go in and pull out this black, kind of fancy, skirt. Everytime I look at it, I think of Madonna in the early days!! This skirt has been in her closet for almost a year.....Pat's Mom volunteers at a thrift store and got it thinking Sarah might be able to wear it around the holidays, but it didn't fit and it has been hanging there ever since.

As soon as she slipped it on, I could envision the rest of the outfit......so I grabbed her two shirts to create the layered look and asked her if she wanted to go into my closet to accessorize!!! She was all over that and made a mad dash for my room where we found the hat and the necklace!! Having a little girl to play dress up with is so much fun.....sometimes I wonder who likes it more....her or me:)

Look At Me WM
Almost forgot the most important accessory....she brought along an old cell phone that no longer works. We just bought Nick his first REAL cell phone, so Sarah wanted one too........this fake one is as close as she is going to get for a LONG TIME!!!

Texting WM
I caught her in this position looking down at the phone and when I asked her what she was doing, she said......."I am textin' Daddy"

Are we in trouble or what??

I guess there is no need for me to worry about how she will handle no longer being the baby of this family. It looks as though she would prefer to skip her 3rd Birthday and go straight to her 13th!!