Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, Friends!

We have definitely packed in the Halloween fun this week!  I hope you've enjoyed all of your favorite traditions with your favorite people.  We have a busy day of fun things with our friends today.

We went to our 3rd annual Fall Party at the country club.  It feels so good to be establishing these fun traditions year after year with our kids.  We went with some friends, enjoyed some festive food, voted on a pumpkin decorating contest, roasted marshmallows and capped the night off with a hayride.  It was our first COLD night in the 30s so we all had to bundle up.

Punk Rocker Pumpkin & Bunny Ballerina showed up for the party :)

She thinks these vampire teeth are HILARIOUS.  She keeps surprising me with them.

The leaves are just getting prettier and prettier in Indiana.

Olive has never wanted to get her face painted before so I was surprised that she definitely wanted to do it this year.  She said down and said I want a bat!  Then she wore the bat on her cheek for a couple of days.

We went on a sunset hayride around the golf course with friends.  Fletcher wasn't so sure about it, but Kevin was able to convince him that it was a lot of fun.  He ended up yelling MOON anytime he saw the moon and the kids thought it was funny that you could see our breath since it was so cold out.

The kids went to a fun Halloween party at our local Bricks 4 Kidz Duplo event.  Olive was happy to build and Fletcher was happy to destroy per usual.

We've been eating festive food.  Fun lunches for the kids and cute waffles for breakfast.

I remembered last minute that I never bought or made any Halloween cards.  So I commissioned Olive (paid with Halloween candy) to paint me some pumpkin cards.  They turned out so cute!

We spent a fun afternoon at the children's museum. The kids loved all of the Halloween inflatables.

My boys looking so cute in their Fall layers.  Poor Fletcher still hates shoes hence the pained look on his face.

We hadn't carved pumpkins in YEARS so we made a point to do it this year.  We had a great time.  Olive gave directions and was grossed out by the guts.  Fletcher loved watching and the adults decided pumpkin carving was harder than we remembered.  My hands were sore the next day!

This cute Ballerina Bunny headed off to a fun day at school.  She had a parade, class party and came home with an Oreo mustache.  PreK is so much fun!

I was extra thankful for a sweet friend who texted me a couple of pictures of Olive during the party!

It's time to link up with my favorite Tuesday Talk ladies!
Be sure to join us with a current post and look for some new bloggy friends.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Fall Favorite Recipes

I have lots of yummy recipes to share with you today.  I cooked a lot this month which always makes for a delicious round up the last week of the month.  We ate game day food, comfort foods, pumpkin treats and salads.  Basically, there is something for everyone in this post.

Enjoy!!  I hope you find a new recipe or two to try at your house.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Bundt Cakes -
recipe here - could easily be made into loaves, mini muffins, muffins or bundt cakes!
These were a little lighter and fluffier than pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Layered Nachos -
I gave the Pioneer Woman's Layered Chicken Nachos a try this month and they were so good.  Perfect for game day or a fun dinner at home.  We baked them and then added all of our favorite toppings.

Spaghetti & Meatballs-
This is one of my favorite meals and my husband doesn't love it.  He'll eat it occasionally, but I always plan to make it when I know he isn't going to be home for dinner.  Recipe here

Pumpkin Coffee Cake - this was so easy with a boxed yellow cake mix
recipe here

Salads packed with veggies!  I made sure to buy a buy container of mixed greens or baby spinach every week to ensure we ate lots of salads.  We tried a yummy Cranberry Gourmet Dressing from Aldi and then ate our usual favorite Ken's Honey Mustard.

Italian Nachos-
A copycat recipe from Old Chicago that's so good.  They've basically got all of your favorite pizza toppings on nacho chips dipped in marinara.  How could you go wrong??  Recipe here

Baking and Roasting-
We did lots of baked chicken and roasted veggies month.  I marinated the chicken in Zesty Lime Vinagrette and Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Baked the chicken for about 45 minutes and it was so good!  We'd have it for dinner and then I'd make chicken & veggie bowls for lunch.

We roasted green beans, broccoli and diced sweet potatoes.  Wash everything well.  Cut them up into bite sized pieces.  Drizzle olive oil and sea salt.  Roast at 400 for 20-30 minutes until they're browned enough for you.  So good and really great reheated.

Caramel Apple Crisp -
My recipe calls for light caramel and uses a couple different kinds of apples.
It was so good! recipe here

Have you tried any new recipes lately??
Now I'm starving!!  Which recipes are you anxious to try???
I'm linking up with my favorite cooking lady today
and we're all sharing our best recipes from the month.

Linking up with Southern Plate

Whitney @ Come Home for Comfort
Head over to their blogs to see what delicious meals they are sharing this month!
 We've also started a Pinterest Board called
New Recipes We've Tried and Loved!
Be sure to check it out and get some great ideas for meals at your house.

Friday, October 27, 2017

JOYS of the Week

Happy Friday!  Hope you've had a great week. 

I'm excited to share the joy filled moments of our week with you today.

We've loved gardening and working on our landscaping this year.  It's nice to be pulling weeds and taking care of our plants without sweating.  Our cone flowers are having one last hurrah and our yard is covered in these beautiful red leaves.

I picked up these plaid pumpkins at Target this week.  I didn't think I needed any new pumpkins this year, but I couldn't resist these plaid beauties.  I love picking up unique home decor that catches my eye.  A few new items every year add up to a really great collection over time.

Have you tried this S'more cereal yet??  It's amazing.  Go buy a big box this weekend.  My kids and I can't stop eating it.

I finished reading Be The Gift by Ann Voskamp and loved it.  The pages are filled with thought provoking messages to inspire you to do things to bless others.  It's motivating, inspirational and compelling.  I loved the message, the beautiful photography throughout and the list of acts of kindness in the back of the book are perfect.  There are so many simple ways to show others you care.  Voskamp does a great job of inspiring you to use your time, talents and passions to serve God.  She talks about giving the gift of presence and gives tons of real life examples for how you can be there for others.  I loved her outlook and think this book would be great as a daily devotional or a book to read in just a few sittings.  There are so many elements that would be fun to discuss with a Bible Study or a book club.  I read this book on my own, but found myself wanting to talk about it with others.  I'm going to leave it out on my coffee table as a reminder of the message of blessing others.  I'd highly recommend this book.
*I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

We did family pictures with my side of the family.  9 kids + 8 adults and we had a mostly great time.  The men grumbled a bit and the kids played in between poses.  I think it was our best family pictures yet.  I'm hoping we got a great picture of my little family for our Christmas cards.

We got to celebrate my mom's birthday together and it was a delicious time.

 My in laws hosted a fun Fall bonfire.  I loved helping decorate and the kids loved all the pumpkins.

 My sister had us over to play and cookie taste test.  I'm happy to do that anytime :)  The kids did a quick costume try on session to show off their costumes since we won't be together on Halloween.

We've been on the hunt for great nightgowns and Kohls came through for us.  They had these DARLING sets - one for her and one for her bunny.  She also got some new slippers. They had tons of cute character pjs right now.

Grocery shopping with this guy makes me smile... unless he's tossing my food out of the cart like a wild man.  

I first mentioned Grilling Cheese a couple of weeks ago with my Hello Fresh review.  I had some amazing grilled cheese tacos and I finally found the Grilling Cheese in stores!  It was at Meijer in the fancy cheese section for under $5!!  I can't wait to make some tacos with this.

 Our Children's Museum has science class twice a month.  The pumpkin volcano was a huge hit!

I asked Fletcher to bring me a few books to read before bed.  He picked out his top 15 or so :)

This week on Polka-Dotty Place:

Monday: Aldi Haul & Favorites
Tuesday: Caramel Apple Crisp
Wednesday: 6 Must Dos When Traveling with Kids

I'm linking up with my friend Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls today along with my usuals