Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pieces...

I always think I should do this.  And then I never do.  So this weekend, I set out to gather pieces of the weekend captured in tiny moment snapshots by phone and camera. I'm so glad I did. 
We kicked Friday night off by taking in some high school football.  My man played on this team back in the day and a bunch of his former team mates are now coaches.  It was soooo cute watching him. 
My side of extended family plans a once a year get together for a group family photo for my Mama's wall.    We decided to hit a local apple/pumpkin farm.  It wasn't the same as the last time I'd gone when we'd been allowed to tour the orchard and such.  Dangit.  Sometimes you have to change plans and be flexible I guess. 
Inside the building, I formed a little love affair over this light.  Oh. Be. Still. My. Heart. 
 And yes.  We match.  I am that girl. Can't help it... don't really want to either. (grin) We ran into Ava's precious teacher from last year and SHE TOOK THIS PHOTO of us for me!! 

Thanks Mrs. P!  You just ROCK sister! 
This is my little cutie pie niece Berkeley that I did NOT get enough photos of!!  She wuvs her Auntie Sasha so much.  Please just know that. 
My sweet baby brother, Jake. (Officer McJakey.)  Sadly, our party was cut short so he could go on a S.W.A.T. call and catch some bad guys, hence the lacking number of photographs of my baby niece!  
Cousins. 
  Favorite family photo to date. Even if I am kinda squinting.  I was hitting the button and then jumping over pumpkins and RUNNING to land on the side of that wagon before the shutter clicked.  Self timers and I go way back.  Don't you just love all the jeans and flannel? 


Because we were at an apple farm and all.. we did bring home some of the best cider you can imagine.  Mmm. There was also apple pies in jars topped with my mama's homemade cinnamon ice cream.  I was enjoying it way to much to stop a snap a photo.  We will eat that stuff in heaven, I'm quite sure.
And before Officer McJakey had to leave we sat around the table chatting about life and catching up a little bit.


Little game of checkers between JJ and Grandpa...
Homemade Italian herb tomato soup with fresh thyme from my garden.  Yum.  (I'll share the recipe later... though I'm pretty sure I've shared it in the long ago past.  It's the BEST.  And it contains cream.  Oh yes, it does. This was my cheat day. Life is too short not to have a cheat day every so often.)
My favorite little fans.  I ran my first 5K... after a year of back junk that kept me from standing up straight on some days... days where I certainly couldn't have even walked a 5K, I feel blessed like crazy to have been able to run this whole thing!  And I must say that when my running buddy couldn't make it at the last minute, I felt sick to my stomach with unexpected jitters.  I told Adrain that it was like knowing ONE kid at a new high school and then realizing they weren't going to be there and you were going to be all ALONE.  I know that's stupid... but I seriously considered not doing it.  Adrain was like, "Woman... who are you doing this for?  Get yourself out there and rock that run!"  And so I did.  I met both my personal goals too- one by a surprising amount of time too! Let me just also say... there is nothing like hearing "Mom, I am SO proud of you!" from your hoodlums. Nothing. 
 My camera and I are BFF again after this one.  This is my other niece, Maddy.  She turned three so we helped celebrate her.

 Could I just make a living photographing three year old birthday parties?  I mean seriously.. you forget how adorable they are as they open gifts.
 
 
 
 Alas.  I will never get a big slice of fluffy white birthday cake at a party ever again.  (Thank you gluten intolerance.  You stink. Boo!)

I did however bring some fantastic GF cupcakes for the hoodlums.  This shot cracked me up because Ava was kind of gnawing on it after licking all the icing off.  Kids.  They just come for the icing. 
I went home and consoled myself about no birthday cake with some delicious sweet potato/cauliflower/bacon/coconut milk soup.  It was spectacular and I will be sharing this recipe as well.  I wrote it down as I went this time so I wouldn't forget what I was doing.  Ha!

How was your weekend dear friends? 



Thursday, September 27, 2012

Garlands and pumpkins, and doctors.

Hey sweet things!  Just popping in here before the weekend hits to give a few quick updates.  (And share some cute harvesty photos with ya!)

First... to the dozens of you that missed out on the Names of God Christmas tree garlands.. YES I will be making another big batch.  I didn't realize how quickly 20 would go.  Sorry about that.  Should have doubled it I guess.  I am hoping to get them done and listed by mid October and I'll post it here as soon as I hit "list" in my shop.  I know a lot of you want me to take a list... but to be honest I just can't do that right now.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed in a few other areas of my life, so I'm just going to have to keep it first come, first serve. I know you guys understand. 
  Secondly, and yes this is totally frivolous.  I love planning an un-fussy table decoration that can last until well into November.  I had three blue mason jars all summer and just changed out what was in them from time to time.  I knew I wanted three white or gray pumpkins on plates.  Simple and sweet. I scored these at Trader Joes and love them.  Plus, I was very careful with my grocery shopping so that I could bring home a batch of pumpkins and I'm pretty sure Dave Ramsey would be proud of my careful efforts!! 
 Alright moving to the front porch.  Since my dang dog has been dragging corn stalks all over the backyard (it looks atrocious out there right now) I had my strapping little JJ take an axe and cut them all down so I could decorate with them.  I had never done that before... but always wanted to.  I'm not 100% sold on having them on both sides of the door but my man will let me know what he thinks tonight and if he thinks it's a little "much" I'll rip 'em down.  (They're kinda squished in that corner... you know?  But also still cute.  So I don't know.)
 I dragged things out for at least half an hour trying to get it just right.  I stacked these pumpkins (gourds?) also from Trader Joes and now I'm done with pumpkins until Halloween.  (First pump!) I'm hoping not to kill those mums.  I'm awfully good at killing live plant-type things. 




 I would also love to point out the upper right corner where my man wrote "My Beautiful Bride."  (Keeper, yes?)  I wrote "pie and thai food take out."  I believe that tells you everything you need to know about me.  And I'm not sure that's entirely a good thing. I also wrote, "When daddy comes home!!"  I think you all know just what kind of day prompted those words.  (grin.)
 For those of you that keep up with my Instagrams, I just wanted to thank you so much for your sweet words and prayers... I was watching TV the other night and my heart started racing like crazy. I couldn't breathe and it felt like it was going to pound right out of my chest.  I'd also been feeling really, really tired the past days before (which is very unusual for me- ordinarily I could power a small town with my energy level).  I just hadn't been feeling right... like something I had swallowed just hadn't gone all the way down and I've had no appetite for days.  Just kind of "full" in my upper chest so of course I began freaking out that I was experiencing some heart attack symptoms.  Adrain made me call the doctor and after answering all their questions, they got me in for an EKG.  (Which was mostly fine since it wasn't happening at that moment.) They are however, going to hook me up to a 30 day monitor if it happens again.  Oh goody!  They also tested my blood levels and some other things, and I'm super low on iron and vitamin B again.  I swear.  Is this what happens when you get old?  Sheesh!
 Also.  This made me laugh so hard.  I had to share it on IG because well... that's what we do and we're very funny sometimes.  And when I say very... I mean very!

Just so you know.
In closing... I had to share this photo.  It's where I run.  I love this part of the trail.  It makes me think deep thoughts about life.

Such as... I can't always see what's around the next bend in life... and I often lose hope while I'm waiting to find out.  We can't always know what's going to happen next with our health... our finances... our relationships, or our living situations.  And it causes worry.  Anxiety.  Fear.  The encouragement that pops in to my heart at that exact moment is this; Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."

Don't you just want to absorb that truth?  Faith.  Gotta have faith when you can't see what's next.  

Much love to you all this weekend friends, 





Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh you know... stuff. And yum.

 The nip in the air... can you feel it in your neck of the woods yet?  This is the time of year I come alive.  Because I wilt in the heat.  I'm a delicate flower.  Bwahahaha.  (But really I am.  I need 50spf sunscreen so I  don't boil alive and die.)
 I love feeding people too.  You tend to feed a lot more people this time of year for some reason.  Hence the 5K that I'm running this weekend.  It's sort of a preemptive strike against pie.
 A bunch of you wanted the details.  It was so easy I promise.  Just like I did in this post, I used a box mix (Gluten free pantry) for my crust but you could use any pie crust for this.  Whip up the pie filling just like you would for a double crust pie recipe, fill little mason jars nearly to the top, use a biscuit cutter for your crust and make sure to cut out a tiny air hole in the center. (I used a little star shape)  Then lay the crust on the filling, brush with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  (I brush with milk for berry pies... I like both ways so do whatever floats your boat.) Bake in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes until your house smells good and the crust is golden.

I used little gingham oilcloth rounds to decorate the tops, some bakers twine and those obnoxious little wood spoons in ice cream cups from the grocery store.  (For some reason, I had several still in their wrappers.  Fortuitous.)
 And now... Since I hit ya with pie... I've named this Becky Salad.  Because I made this for Becky and she told me that it was so good I should tell you guys that she had to stop herself from licking the bowl.  Do you see why I love to feed people? 
 Here's the break down:  And nothing has to be exact.  I'm a tosser.  Not a measure-er.  You can't go wrong.
Salad: Fill a bowl with spinach and drizzle it with Trader Joes' Balsamic glaze.  Set aside.
Shrimp: Toss 2 TBSP lime juice, 2 TBSP minced garlic, salt, pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/8 cup chopped cilantro, and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes.  Toss shrimp to coat and then grill.
Topping: 1/2 cup papaya mango salsa from Trader Joes, handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, 1 avocado chopped, and 1/4 red onion finely chopped.  



 Toss it all into a bowl and enjoy.  It's heavenly.
 Ava made a bird feeder this weekend.  She used a pine cone that was bigger than my head. 
 I think it's scaring the birds. 
 Also... I am finally done making my Names of God Christmas tree garlands. 
 I forgot how much work they were. 
 I also forgot how cute they were.  FYI I used two garlands on my tree.  My tree was huge though.  My man likes to bring home the Griswold family tree each year.  Little full.  Lotta sap.
 I *think* I will be making another batch in mid to late October... but I make no promises.  The skin on my fingers feels like it's rubbed off with all that hand stamping!  You can get yours in my shop.
 I have them in cute and festive Christmas packaging.  Tell me you don't love polka dots. I know so many of you have been waiting... (ahem) stalking my store for them.  LOL Gosh I love you guys.  Just saying.(UPDATE**I made twenty of these and they all sold the day listed... so I'm so sorry if you were one of the sweeties that missed them.  I will definitely try for another batch in October!)
 And lastly for my final random.  This puppy.  Excuse me. This monster.  She discovered the last remnants of my garden and now nothing is safe.  Apparently she enjoys herself a little ear of corn in the afternoons.  You know.. kind of an after school snack.  Oh she's such a stinker.  And she peed on my rug again last night!  I mean she has her own jar of treats, a bell, and a huge yard full of corn.  You think she'd be happy enough not to pee on my striped Ikea rug.  Wouldn't you?
My garden will never be the same.  

I guess I'm going to go decorate my front porch with corn stalks now.  Yippee.  (Thanks for the nudge Daisy.  You stinker pup, you!)