Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tasty Fall Recipes

Over the past few weeks, I've been bookmarking several yummy looking fall recipes that I can't wait to try!

One of my favorite food blogs, The Ungourmet, had the following 3 recipes on her blog...

Apple Pecan Skillet Cake

Pumpkin & Maple Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Over at Me & My Pink Mixer, there is a recipe for thisPumpkin Spice Granola

Whipperdish created these yummy looking Pumpkin Cakelettes

Wingledings shares a healthier muffin recipe with these Starbucks inspired Pumpkin Muffins

The Idea Room shares this recipe for Cinnamon Swirl Cakes

And I saved the best for last, because these these look heavenly! Inside BruCrew Life shares this recipe for Mini Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes


Monday, October 25, 2010

Autumn Fun!

I love this time of year. It's my favorite season. I love the changing leaves, the thunder and lightning storms, using our wood stove and being all nice and toasty, apple cider, pumpkins, just all brings so much great fun for my family! Today, I just wanted to share some photos of what we have been up to these past two weeks...

We recently went up to Winston, Oregon and stayed with a friend for a couple of days. There is a Wildlife Safari that you can drive through and literally have
zoo animals at your car window. My kids loved it!

This giraffe was just standing in the road staring at us, and so when we drove around it, we were eye level with its chest. It was pretty incredible, especially since we were a few inches from it driving past it.

I had to take a picture of this little guy, because what the heck is it? I thought it had a really cute face!

They also had train rides that took us around the zoo to see even more animals. My friend Amy is the one sitting next to Sawyer!

Of course we had to buy stuff at the gift shop!

We also recently enjoyed taking the kids to the local pumpkin patch to pick out a family pumpkin and for a hay ride.

We also got a new puppy...see her poking her face out of my daughter's purse?

I've also been canning fruits and veggies like crazy. We went to a U-Pick farm and stocked up on tomatoes, green beans, butternut squash, jalapenos, bell peppers, and pears. I love being able to feed my family produce that was locally grown. Right now, my husband Danny is hunting for Elk in Wyoming, so I'm excited that we are getting all stocked up with organic meats and produce for the winter!

Friday, October 15, 2010


We have this bookshelf made now, but we still can't seem to keep the books on it! Within the past few months, I decided I was so tired of constantly cleaning my kids' rooms, and I realized that I desperately needed to simplify their rooms. They were always messy because they had so much stuff in, dress up clothes, more toys, coloring books, Barbies, and more toys! I couldn't keep up. Once a week, I would have to go in and spend the morning putting their room back together again. I grew sooooooo tired of having to do that! Since I've simplified their rooms, I have noticed a HUGE difference. They are able to keep their own rooms more clean because it is more manageable for them now.

This is my little man's room. I have cut back on the amount of toys that were in there so that they don't become scattered all over the place. Because it is more simple and less cluttery, it stays more clean. This room has really evolved. At first, it was the twins' nursery with the crib. I tease that the wall color reminds me of McDonald's...I never intended for it to be that bright, but it actually works together with the rest of the IKEA stuff that is (and used to be) in there.

The principle of simplifying can be applied to any room of the house, not just children's rooms. When there is too much clutter all around, there is nothing that they eye can focus on and it is not visually appealing. So, I encourage you to look around and find areas of your house that have too much going on, and simplify them!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Design Solution: Bookshelf!

Over the past 6 days, I've had FOUR different families come to town for a visit! I don't know about you guys, but whenever I have people come over, especially for the first time, my house has to look perfect. Everything must be in its proper place! I feel the pressure, because after all, I do have a degree in Interior Design! It gave me some motivation last weekend to get some good, deep cleaning in!

As for this picture I'm about to show you...I'm embarrassed...and I can't even believe I am posting it here! My little two year old twins love to get into their book collection, but don't love to put them back (we're working on it!). In the corner of my little guys' room, there was this horrible pile of books. We've accumulated so many since my first daughter was born, and I needed a bookshelf made.

Here is the horrendous pile before:

As always, my husband came to my rescue and built me a bookshelf using the scrap wood that we had out in our garage (because we're frugal like that!). I painted it dark brown because it shows less smudge marks, which seem to be everywhere around here from all those little busy hands!

And here it is, which now sits in the girls' room:

It's simple, holds all of our children's books, looks more organized, and didn't cost us anything!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Make your own Dry Erase Board

I had a load to take to the thrift store...and amongst the stuff was this heinous looking dry erase board that my sister left, so my mom gave it to us to get rid of. Well, my lil' Payton started having fun drawing pictures on it, and so I told her I would make her a cuter dry erase board, as I snuck it out to the car to take away. Somehow it ended up back in my house, and we have both the one I made, as well as the ugly one. Maybe someday soon I can get rid of it without her caring!

Old one:

All you really need to make your own dry erase board is a picture frame in whatever size you desire, scrapbook paper (cut to size for frame), and some dry erase markers. You could go way fancier than I did and add embelishments to the frame and attach the marker somehow. I just kept this one super simple. The glass from the picture frame acts like a dry erase's easy to wipe off marker.

Here is Payton with it! She still likes the older one because it is bigger!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tutorial: Halloween Crow Wreath

Since I have a stash of wreath forms that I scored for free from someone's garage sale, I've had a Halloween wreath in mind to make...with black feathers and a crow! I bought the feather boa off ebay for $3, and the crow came from the Dollar Tree, but everything else were things I had on hand. So, the total for this project for me was $4!

Here are some of the materials you will need:

A wreath form (Dollar Tree sells them in a 2-pack if you need to pick some up!)

Scissors, Glue Gun, and Fabric Circles cut to 3 different sizes (small, medium, and large)

A Crow (Dollar Tree)

Long strips of Black fabric, about 3" wide, 2 Black Feather Boas - I would have prefered using two black feather boas, but since I only had one, I opted to use a fuzzy black scarf that someone recently passed on to us.

Start by wrapping the black fabric strips around the wreath form to cover it up. Use the glue gun and glue every so often as you go.

See how mine was just a smidge short? I didn't really care because I knew it would be covered up by the boa and scarf.

Then I wrapped the scarf and boa around it, but I didn't like the way it looked, so I had to start over and re-make it! It would have worked if my feather boa was longer, or if I had more of them so there weren't any gaps! It is one way to do it (and probably a little easier), but I just didn't have the resources.

I decided it would look better this way...Lay your wreath on the table, and wrap your first boa (or in my case, fuzzy scarf) around the edges of it, gluing is down with the hot glue gun as you go.

Then take your other feather boa and start wrapping it around the top of the wreath, gluing it down as you go.

This is what mine looked like when I was done.

Then I started taking the fabric circles and started gluing them down on top of eachother to give a flower-like effect...

I really like the way it turned out!

I glued the crow's feet to the wreath, and adjusted him to look just right!

It covers up my monogrammed window, but that's ok! I think it looks cool on my door!

Now go sweep up all your stray feathers!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Printable

I love this print! No only is it perfectly festive right now, but it matches the orange in my family room, so I am definitely printing out myself one of these! It is a free printable that Craftily Ever After put out. You can find the link to it here. This is why I want to teach myself I can create cool things like this!