Thursday, October 31, 2013

Countdown to Halloween - 31 Days of Fall Fun Recap #5

Happy Halloween, guys! Today is the last Countdown to Halloween recap. So, this is the last Thursday to link up anything festive and fun you've done over the entire course of October. The link up will be open 3 days so feel free to add your link up whenever works best. Check out this post for more details, and be sure to look back at link ups #1, #2, #3, and #4. Grab a button, link up below, and have fun!
Sweet Turtle Soup
Day 24: The day our cool front hit!
We woke up to a nice chill in the air, so Aria and I enjoyed the fall weather with the dogs on the back porch.
I was inspired by the cooler temperature to make homemade cinnamon rolls (this recipe). They were scrumptious, but I prefer this recipe. I wanted to try the 1 hour recipe because I thought it would be easier to do while entertaining a baby, but it turned out to be more difficult. Instead of spreading out the dough making, the kneading, the rising, etc it was a solid hour+ of work. So, I was running around trying to both keep Aria alive and bake.
Aria helped me make up trick or treat bags. Mostly she tried to feed snickers bars to Baxter though. But, occasionally she would hand me a piece of candy so I could fill up the bags.
For dinner I made chicken and dumplings that weren't even worth a picture. It was more like onion and chicken broth soup with some dumplings. I prefer chicken and dumplings to be thick and creamy with lots of dumplings. So, I'm still on the hunt for a good recipe. If anybody has one send it my way!

Day 25:
I watched all the Christmas things on QVC and ran around shouting 2 months until Christmas all morning. I even got Aria to squeal with me, while chowing down on cinnamon rolls.

That evening Chris and I had a Star Wars themed costume Birthday party to attend for Aria's godfather, Kiel. I'd already decided on my slacker cat costume for Halloween so that was as good as it got for me. Chris, however, rush ordered an x-wing fighter pilot costume, turned a bottle of Jack into Yoda, and made homemade lightsabers. Somebody was overly ambitious I guess.
Day 26:
Another glorious morning on the back porch. Aria stopped to smell the lone leaf that wafted down.
After naptime we went trick or treating in our downtown area with Silvana, Randy, and Rory (who outgrew her costume already), and Kiel. As soon as I got Aria in her dragon costume I died from cuteness overload. I thought she might make a fuss, but she took it all in stride. And, then of course I realized she couldn't wear it in the car...genius. Too bad that cool front didn't have any more oomph to it, it was pretty toasty walking around.
After a loop through downtown we hit up our favourite Irish pub for a late lunch. What did Obi Wan say to Luke when he tried to eat bantha pie with a spoon? "Use the fork, Luke" snicker*
Day 27:
My grandma's birthday is on the 29th, but since Chris has Sundays off we celebrated early. We went out to Mimi's for breakfast. I got the pumpkin pancakes, which were yumm-o especially with the apples on top.
Then we hit up a book store, and while grandma picked out a birthday book, Aria found a piece of gum on the floor (lovely) and picked out a new board book. This one is A Pumpkin Prayer by Amy Parker, which doesn't quite flow with a Florida fall but I love it anyway.
Aria gave great-grandma her present, a photo book full of pictures of just the two of them, which grandma adored.
And, then we went trunk or treating at my mom's church, which ended up being the biggest thing ever with a shit ton of people. Aria dressed up as a dragon again, but got a little overheated and fussy towards the end so we called it a day. We went home, cooled off, and downed a bunch of water before bed.
Day 28:
We actually had more planned for grandma's birthday Sunday, but we ended up running out of time. So, we pushed fondue off until Monday. Aria's first fondue - not a home run, but not a disaster either. It is a slow meal, so she got impatient. That mother of her's probably should have made a separate dinner for her, or fondue-ed her up some grub before getting her to the table.
After Aria was rice free and tucked in her crib we had our chocolate dessert fondue with bananas, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and angel food cake. And, I am rocking my orange scarf from Ashley.
Day 29:
I finally got around to getting some decorations up on the outside of the house. I dragged the pack and play out and plopped Aria in it with some entertainment, and hooked up a dog to the post so I could weave a spider web. I saw the idea somewhere and I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I love it. You can see it really well with the house lit from the inside at night - way better than the spider fluff you get in a bag that I suck at getting to look right. Aria let me work for about 45 minutes, which was awesome but I didn't quite finish so during her nap I finished things up. Of course, I completely forgot to get a picture so I will add those later.
Day 30:
I saw that Little Baby Garvin had biscuits and grave-y for breakfast, and I could not resist. For one, I love biscuits and gravy. For two, it was just a cute idea. I used this recipe for the biscuits and the gravy I just do by look. Oh, I also cut the biscuits with my pumpkin cookie cuter, but you could barely tell - it just had a little nub at the top. I knew though, and that made it all the more festive in my book.
We took a trip out to dunkin donuts for Halloween donuts. I got Boston Scream and Vanilla Cream, it might have been scream as well but I couldn't read the label from where I was standing (also I am blind - not literally, I just need glasses). Chris said I should have gotten one of each of the Halloween decorated donuts, but seeing as I am the only one in the house that will eat a donut I didn't think it was a good idea.
We were going to carve our pumpkin before dinner, but all of the carving kit designs were terrible. Complete crap. They were boring, ugly, or stupid - stomps foot. So, I spent probably an hour online trying to find something suitable before stumbling across the Cheshire Cat and falling in love. Needless to say after finding a design we didn't have time to actually carve it out, and we wanted to have Aria around. It did get gutted though. Aria was very unsure of the goop inside, she touched it once and decided that was all she cared for. I'll add in a picture after we carve it up today. I hope it turns out like I hope! The Cheshire Cat is my favourite.
Chris and I finished up decorating the front porch after Aria went down for the night, but it was too dark for pictures. So along with a carved pumpkin I will take some daylight front porch pictures to add in later in the day!

Hm, now that I think about it, I'll just post day 31 all on its own tomorrow. Yup, I will.

Day 31:
Coming soon!

I want to thank everybody that linked up with me this month. My first link up, it was kind of scary, but I am glad I decided to go for it. I've gotten a lot of great ideas for next October - hopefully I will remember them a year from now. I feel like Aria and I squeezed every ounce of fun out of October, and I am now ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Bring on the Macy's Parade, Christmas cookies, and shopping!

Now, it is your turn to link up your Countdown to Halloween fun! I'd love to know your plans for Halloween, and let me know if you enjoyed this link up as much as I have. Happy Halloween everybody. It's just a bunch of hocus pocus!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spread a Little Love

Erica at The Baby Diaries nominated me for a Liebster Award - thank you, certainly made my day. So, I thought I would answer her questions, pass the award along, and ask some of my own questions.

The rules:
1. Thank the blogger that nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions given by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 5-11 bloggers with fewer than 200 followers and give them questions to answer.

How did you get into blogging?
I stumbled upon the blogging world a couple years ago and was hooked. I've had a couple different blogs that were more personal blogging than blogger blogging - subtle difference. But, after I had Aria I wanted to make a blog to document all the baby things, as well as trying my hand at an actual blog. You know, one you hope other people will read. And, I ended up loving it. I love having my own little piece of the blogging community, even a tiny one, and discovering all sorts of fabulous blogs in the process.

How many lip glosses do you own?
Haha. Um, I'm a chap stick girl. I can't go anywhere without my chap stick. I have 4 in use at the moment - one by my bed, one in the living room, one in my purse, and one by my nursing chair.

Where is your dream vacation spot?
I'd define vacation as a relaxing get-away. With that in mind, I would love to take a vacation to a log cabin somewhere with gorgeous scenary complete with hot tub, a big fire place, all the books I can read, and hot cocoa. Oh and snow, and nothing to do except hang out with my little family.

What is a typical day like for you?
Get up at 8, nurse, feed pets, crawl around on the floor with Aria, make breakfast, more crawling around on the floor, nap time where mommy makes dad lunch and does some housekeeping and hopefully some butt-sitting, Aria wakes up and we have lunch, floor crawling until dad comes home from work, a little dad time until he goes to sleep before his second job, dinner prep and entertaining of the baby, dinner around 6, bath, jammies, nurse, bedtime, and then mommy personal time before sleep. Rinse and repeat. Hopefully a little more fun will be had when Chris isn't working two full time jobs.

Where is your favourite place to shop?
Target for all the things. Clothes, baby, shampoo, decorations, etc.

What is your favourite movie?
I love movies, it would be hard to pick just one. I love chick flicks - You've Got Mail, When Harry Met Sally, etc. But, a few other favourites are Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Star Trek. Basically I am a nerd.

What blog do you read most often?
I follow so many, but I always try to make sure I am current on Little Baby Garvin. I think her blog may be my most favourite, but I love quite a few.

What book are you reading right now?
I wish I was reading a book right now. I'm in the middle of a couple different series. James Rollins' Sigma Force series, Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series, Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices series and The Mortal Instruments series. Oh and Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy, which I am impatiently waiting for the third to be published in the summer of 2014. I love reading, but I've had my hands full with Countdown to Halloween. I have plans on getting my read on in November though; I have 12 books left to hit my goal of 50 this year.

What is your holy-grail beauty product?
Um, I don't really think I have one. But, I love Maybelline's color tattoo eye shadow cream line. Most of the time I've got nothing but moisturizer and chap stick on. It is a good day when I remember to brush my hair.

What is your go-to meal to make your family?
Spaghetti and meatballs if I have the time, or chicken quesadillas in a pinch.

What is the best job you've worked at?
That would definitely be motherhood. It is the best kind of work.

And, now for the nominations:
Ali @ Ali Damron
Lindsay @ Baby Mama Drama
Stephanie @ Wife Mommy Me
The questions:
1. What is a baby name that was at the top of your list, but your husband just hated?
2. What is your favourite pizza topping?
3. Do you vacation to relax or to adventure? And, where would you go?
4. Do you holiday shop ahead of time or last minute?
5. If you could try any career in the world for a month which would you choose and why?
6. Do you prefer to shop online or in person?
7. What is the most surprising thing about motherhood?
8. If you could live anywhere where would you?
9. Complete this sentence: "Never have I ever..."
10. Take the Jung Typology test. Do you think the results fit you?
11. What are you most looking forward to before we ring in 2014?
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sweet Sunday

October 20th - 26th

We always save expired bread or end pieces that nobody wants to eat for duck feeding. But, we have been so busy lately with fun October things and Chris working two jobs that we had half of a shelf in the refrigerator piled with bread bags before we found time to hit up the duck pond. I thought we would be there for-ev-er, but our bag of bread was empty much sooner than expected. There were many hungry mouths to feed. The squirrels were particularly brave and came up about 3 inches from my shoes.

We worked up an appetite feeding the various members of the wild kingdom. So, we went out for brunch. I thought we might have to squeeze in with the church brunch bunch, but we practically had the place to ourselves. We scored a huge booth and Aria had a blast crawling between myself and Chris. And, she figured out how to use a straw shortly followed by the discovery that she could blow and make fun noises. We had a wet table and a completely entertained baby. Plus, the food hit the spot. Top notch morning!

You don't see Loki around these parts often. He avoids Aria like the plague, but he happened to creep out from his perch on the windowsill when I had my camera handy.

I had to order some things from Amazon, so I randomly decided to add on a stacking toy. I got the Green Toys My First Stacker. Aria just loves to knock it over and spread the pieces all over the living room while chewing on the top part. She gets frustrated if I stack it up after she knocks it down too - it is cute, she starts to fling the bits further away.

Loving her new Halloween outfit from Target!

I mentioned a craft we worked on in my last Countdown to Halloween recap, but didn't show what it was so that it would be a surprise when we gave it to Kiel, Aria's godfather, for his birthday! Card stock, painters tape, an exacto, and paint make a pretty cute art piece to frame along with a favourite picture.

The finger painting went even better than last time. There was only an almost taste, but I think she remembered it was awful right before getting it in her mouth and stopped. Thankfully. No tears this time! Also, don't go overboard with the colour additions because we ended up with a purpley brown poo pile. I had to dollop a few colours on top and let her play with them for 2 seconds so we had some variety.

We went trick or treating in our historic downtown area yesterday with the gang (Silvana, Randy, Rory, and Kiel). I'm saving Aria's costume reveal for my Countdown to Halloween recap 5 this Thursday, but here is a little teaser picture until then! Anybody care to guess?
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Friday, October 25, 2013

Five on Friday

Linking up with the good life blog, Carolina Charm, A. Liz Adventures, and Hello! Happiness today to bring you the top 5 candies that I want in my Halloween treat bucket!
Halloween is just 6 days away now, and I have been most disciplined thus far in the candy department. But, now that Halloween is just around the corner I've got a major sweet tooth craving going on. It just isn't Halloween without Baby Ruth minis in my opinion, and the little Hershey's Cookies and Creme bars are my favourite any time of the year. Plus, who doesn't have a love/hate relationship with candy corn. And, top it off with anything else that contains caramel and I am good to go.

What about you, what candy can't you pass up come Halloween?
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Countdown to Halloween - 31 Days of Fall Fun Recap #4

Hi there and welcome to today's Countdown to Halloween link up! Every Thursday in October you can link up here and share all the fall fun you've been up to. The link ups will be open 3 days so feel free to add your recap whenever works best. Check out this post for more details or check out link up #1, #2, and #3 here. Grab a button, add your post below, and have fun!
Sweet Turtle Soup

Day 17 & 18:
I took these two days off from fun. We did no fun things - nada, zip, zilch. Aria and I did all the lazy things, and ate all the many leftovers. I did manage to take a picture of the tomato basil parmesan slow cooker soup that I forgot about last recap, which was even tastier the second day by the way.
Day 19:
Getting back on track for all sorts of fall fun, I made creamy butternut squash pasta. It was decently good (although made a ton of dirty dishes) and Aria had a blast throwing it on the floor and attempting to slurp it up.
We also went to Boo at the Zoo with Aria's best bud, Rory, and her parents. It was fun, but definitely something that would have been more enjoyable if Aria was older. It was still nice to have a little outing with friends, and Aria practiced her candy grabbing skills. She grabbed three in one fistful, but dropped two on the way to the bag - excellent start, we just need to work on the follow through.
Day 20:
We had a wedding to attend in the afternoon. I can't resist a good photo opportunity, even when Aria isn't wearing pants.
But, we slotted in some hang out time with Aria's godfather afterwards. We brought over Aria's little pool float and she couldn't have loved it any more. She kicked her little heart out and motored all over the pool. That is the kind of fun you have in a Florida Fall. Although, we have a cool front hitting today. So, I have my fingers crossed for some more actual Fall fun activities.
Day 21:
Something I wanted to do with Aria as part of our Countdown to Halloween was donate candy to Operation Shoebox so they can send it to troops overseas. I also asked Aria's godmother, Silvana, if she wanted to pitch in and donate in Rory's name - and of course she did! We gathered up a whole bunch of heat resistant candy and a slew of things off of their care package items list. And, this is the box we put together. I meant to get on this two weeks ago, but it was just one of those things that took longer to organize than I thought.
If you are interested in making a donation to Operation Shoebox click on any of the links in this blurb for more information. You can donate money, candy, toiletries, coffee, etc. Or, you can 'adopt' a troop and send a care package directly to him or her, but keep in mind they ask it to be a commitment of monthly packages and weekly correspondence.
We also went to the library to return our last pile of Halloween and fall themed children's books and to pick up a new one. The last time I went in with a list, but this time I randomly picked up anything that looked suitable. So, hopefully my random choices turn out to be good ones.  So far I've only read 'Yes We Can' by Sam McBratney, which is awesome by the way. Cute story, not too repetitive, and sweet illustrations.
Day 22:
We had a little Halloween pajama photo shoot, so that we could link up with the good life blog yesterday for a pajama party!
While we were running errands over the weekend, we saw another cute 'my first Halloween' outfit that couldn't be resisted. I also spotted the board book Five Little Pumpkins, and since it is on everybody's favourite list I snatched it up. Seriously, it is so cute. I've read this thing so many times to Aria over the past 3 days that I have it memorized now, which helps when she grabs it from me while I am trying to read it to her.
For dinner I made chicken taco chili in the slow cooker (this recipe, but don't drain the diced tomatoes and I add a couple tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning too). Technically my goal is to make a new soup on Tuesdays, but this one I was craving. It is so good with cheese and sour cream. Mm mm - highly recommend.
And, to festive up Aria's evening bath I let her play with glow sticks that I picked up from the dollar section in Target. I thought I would have to keep telling her to stop chewing on them, but she actually preferred to shake them and stare at them. And, then after she was done playing (about 4 minutes of entertainment) I plopped them in my milk jug-o-lanterns on the front porch (pictures next recap). I'll have to pick up some more to light them up on Halloween too.
Day 23:
I made pumpkin spice pancakes for breakfast. Aria literally inhaled half of hers in 2 seconds. I'm glad I finally got around to trying them. They have been on my to try list for at least 3 Octobers. I guess having a kid was all the motivation I needed! The house smelled ah-mazing.
And, we got in a craft too. I'm going to leave it at that for now so I don't ruin the surprise because it is a present craft we worked on! We are very sneaky around here.

There is just one week left until Halloween, and one last link up this month. Time flies.

Now, it is your turn to link up your Countdown to Halloween fun. I've gotten great ideas not only for this year but for years to come - keep the inspiration coming!
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