Monday, October 31, 2011

Just When You Thought You Had Seen All of our Halloween Pictures...

A few more from the big day:

I have never been so happy to see November 1st!

You Know It's Halloween...

when you are pulling through McD's for a huge Diet Coke before 8:00 in the morning.

Here's to all the moms putting on cheesy costumes and heading to school today to help with parties. We are good people.

*this morning when I told Ryan he couldn't have candy for breakfast, he told me to "keep an open mind." What the?

Happy Halloween Friends!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

High Maintenance Halloween

I condensed Halloween this year all into one action-packed high-maintenance week. Here is what we did:

I took my kids to our ward Trunk or Treat: It was obscenely cold. I don't do cold. That is why I gave up skiing. We lasted thirty minutes and I called it quits.

It pains me to not have them coordinate in any way. Luckily, tomorrow I am helping at Sammie's Halloween party in a matching poodle girl outfit.

We made Halloween cut-out cookies:

I wore this get up to help at Ryan's Halloween party:

I know this is a recycled picture but trust me, I looked exactly the same this year. Ryan wanted to be a pirate for his preschool party (I forgot his sash):

I made freezer jam. This has nothing to do with Halloween but I have to brag about it. Forget the fact that it is easier than a batch of cookies. I feel so domestic making jam! I'm a homemaker for crying out loud!

I took my kids to our gym's Spooktacular. It was awesome. This year was a Harry Potter theme which thrilled Luke. Here he is with some dude dressed as Hagrid:

My gym doesn't do anything half-way. Here is part of the buffet table:

And live owl. I just loooove owls:

Luke and Sammie loved doing the climbing wall in costume:

Saturday afternoon, I took a much needed break and saw Footloose with Mandee.

I loved the original so I was surprised at how much I loved the new one as well. They do a good job of updating the original and yet keeping some of the things that made the original so good. And the new kid that plays Ren McCormick reminds me of Kevin Bacon. I may or may not have an inappropriate crush on him. Yes, I know I should be crushing on Dennis Quaid who plays Ariel's father. He is much closer to my same age. Bygones.

Back to Halloween.

Saturday evening, I hauled Luke's rotting pumpking back to the pumpkin patch and traded it for a new one. Then we carved pumpkins and by we, I mean Sam. Sam donned his orange shirt (way to be festive!) I sat in a big chair and looked at my ipad and yelled words of encouragement.

Check back for photos of Buster in his costume. On Saturday, I also found the world's best leggings...miracle magic pants I tell you. I will reveal them next week.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Halloween Week!

Buster's face kind of describes my feelings about Halloween this year. In the past, I have hit Halloween hard. We started early and did pumpkin patches, barnyard boos, and every Halloween party on the planet. Not this year. I am taking it easy. We only have one week until Halloween and we are going to do a few things but it is certainly a departure from years past. See here and here and here.

I did get my kids in their Halloween shirts and took them to our local pumpkin patch (which is just a guy's house with a million pumpkins and they're cheap!) to take the obligatory photos. My kids understand that they don't lay a finger on a wagon or a pumpkin until they have posed for the photos:

Stay tuned for the trunk or treat, school Halloween parties, my gym's Harry Potter Spootacular and Halloween night. I'm glad we are condensing it this year and gettin 'er done!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dear Carson Kressley,

Thank you for being the best star ever on Dancing with the Stars. You had a better attitude than 95% of the stars that go on that show. You were truly hilarious.

The American public are idiots for not voting for you. The show is dead to me now that it is left with the likes of David Arquette, Nancy Grace and Chaz freakin Bono.

And it is all the more unfair that you were sent packing right before Broadway week.

Your friend,


Monday, October 17, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

I am linking up today to my sister Ashley's porch display Spooktacular Specktacular. I decided to join at the last minute but that didn't stop me from pulling out the big guns.

Sam was totally cool with me painting the front door orange for the month:

I never forget the steps:

I went KA-RAZY with the pumpkins this year:

I loooove owls:

And here is what I put together for the yard at night:

If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Favorites

You wouldn't know it by the way I dress but I am a shopper. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt. I love to know what is out there. Here are my favorite things that I have picked up recently:

Caldrea Counter Top Cleaner Spray: This one is from Target..usually on an end cap in the cleaning section. I am a sucker for anything with orange scent..I find it invigorating. This stuff is a steal for around $5.99.

Black pencil skirt: While you are at Target (pronounced "Tar-jay") swing over to the jr's section and grab yourself a black Mossimo pencil skirt for $19.99. Honestly, best purchase I have made in a long time. My fashionista friend Nicole told us about them at GDN last year and we all ran to get them. When she speaks, we listen. They have them again this year. Trust me. Put it on and everyone will think you lost 10 pounds. And while you are at it, grab a Merona cardi. They are my favs. I promise the skirt is better in real life:

Sammie's new bow holder. This is supposed to be a pinboard from Pottery Barn Kids. I was looking for something like this forever to put all of her bows on and actually display (not something for the back of her door.) I was planning to make one and then had a "come to Jesus" with myself and knew I would never get around to it. Of course, I paid good money for this and then found it the next week at Down East. Bygones.

Spray Bottles instead of water guns. Hello. My friend Linde clued me into this a few weeks ago. Where has this been all my life. When Ryan has a friend over, I send them outside with a spray bottle and let them go to town spraying the swing set, bugs and each other. So much easier for little hands to use than big ole' water guns.

Snicker's Peanut Butter treats: My new addiction. Think of a Snickers mating with a Butterfinger. They make delicious babies.

Save Ferris Shirt: You all know my love of Mr. Ferris Bueller. I actually think Sam looks like him. Ashley sent this shirt for Buster and it makes me extremely happy. I believe she picked it up at Target as well.

Jamba Juice Strawberry Nirvana Smoothie: I hate to drink my calories but I make exceptions for this smoothie. This one is low cal and I have them add protein powder and immunity boost. My friend Greg drinks one when he feels like he is getting sick. I am a hypochondriac and always feel like I am getting sick. I am going to drink these babies all winter.

Mustard Yellow Sweater: I wear this thing like a uni. Everyone asks me where I got it. I actually picked up mine at Nordstrom. I throw it on over tees or anything really. I feel like it elevates my outfit. Now I am in the market for a mustard colored handbag. Let me know if someone sees a cute one.

Sammie's entire fall wardrobe: I love the changing of the seasons just so I can bust out the new duds. I spend more money on Sammie than the rest of us combined. It is an illness..but doesn't she look cute? I hope Sam is nodding. Outfit from Gymboree. I am obsessed with Janie and Jack's Bonjour black and white line. Love love love.

And for anyone with a girl...go to Costco and get their pettiskirts..this one has sparkles in it and is so cute for Halloween: it's your turn..what is your fall favorite item?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Halloween Dinner Night

I hosted Gourmet Dinner Night at my house last night. As you know, when it is at my house, it is simply called "dinner night." I can't guarantee gourmet but I can guarantee a dinner of some sort. I have darling friends...see photo above. Lisa wasn't there yet and Liz couldn't come but there are nine of us in the group.

Since it is October, I decided to do soup, salad and bread sticks, since that seems like Halloween food to me. I have to admit, I am not wild about this soup and that should have been my first red flag in making it. But I pressed on. The soup was not good. It was Pasta Fagioli's from Olive Garden and it just did not turn out right. This always seems to happen to me on at least one item...unfortunately for my guests, last night it was the main course...

At least the table looked cute. I borrowed the candelabra from my mom (who has the world's cutest decorations and tableware.)

I put out the bubbly cauldron which is just a mist maker put into water that you can actually buy at Harmon's. It is one of the best Halloween purchases I have ever made.

We started with a Halloween punch (that I pulled from a Country Living magazine at Harmon's the night before). It kind of tasted like a apple cider with a kick. I liked it but it was nothing to write home about. I threw some plastic spiders in for good measure.

When I got home from Harmon's (our local grocery store) with the ingredients, I pulled out the Martinelli's and they had put it in its own brown I had just been to the liquor store and was going to be swigging it from the bottle in a park next to my shopping cart full of everything I own.

We had bruschetta from Harmon's (I love that place!)

and apples and caramel dip to start:

Then had a knock-off of the house salad at Smokey Mountain Pizza. My family loves this salad and we always eat it with pizza and Italian food.

I also served garlic Parmesan bread twists that I got from the cookbook "When Life Gives you Friends" that Ashley recently gave away on her blog. The bread twists were yummy and I will make those again. Here they are pre-cooked and before they had risen:

My piece de resistance was a made from scratch peach pie with ice cream...I got the pie crust recipe from my sis-in-law Sarah. She got it from a Lion House cookbook. I love that you can mix it in a Kitchen Aid Mixer. Most pie crusts require a pie cutter and they take forever but not this one.

I am totally relieved that it is over. I love this group of friends so much and love doing this every month because it forces us to get together but just don't love when it is my turn to host. Cooking stresses me out. With this group, the conversation is always a bit racy and I laugh really hard. We have been through a lot and I am so glad these girls are in my life.


I am sparing you from the soup.

Parmesan Garlic Bread Twists:

2 loaves frozen bread dough, thawed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 t. garlic salt
Parmesan cheese

Thaw bread dough in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from frige 2 hours before you want to serve hot. Roll each loaf into 12x20" rectangle. Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl and add garlic salt. Cut dough into 1 inch strips (the short way). Dip each breadstick in buter and lay on large cookie sheet. Take two strips and twist together. Arrange on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. Let rise for one hour. Backe at 400 degrees 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Smoky Mountain Salad

lettuce (any kind will do)
mushrooms (sliced)
olives (sliced)
tomatoes (diced)
feta cheese

Buy dressing at Smokey Mountain Pizza and Pasta--the one in SLC is on 9400 South and Highland Dr.

Pie Crust (makes two crusts)

1/4 c butter
1/4 c margarine
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup lard (I don't go anywhere near lard...I just do 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortning)
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp nonfat dried milk (I never have this and it's fine)
3 cups flour
1/2 cup cold water

In mixer cream together fats and sugar, baking powder, salt and dried milk. Add half of flour and mix well. Add water and remaining flour. Mix. Roll thin. Put bottom crust in plate. Put peach filling in and put top crust on. Back at 400 for 30 minutes. Cover in foil after about 15 minutes.

Peach Pie filling

3/4 to 1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
dash salt
about 7 ripe peaches

Apple Cider punch

1 gallon apple cider
1/2 gallon white grape fruit juioe chilled
1 bottle sparkling apple cider chilled
8 oz orange juice
apple slices to float
sonic ice