Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pieces of Fall.

Hi Friends!  Look it's me.. blogging on more of a schedule again!  It's amazing what a person can accomplish when they are not spending their day stamping yard after yard of garland fabric. (grin)

I'm pretty sure I'm going to drive my sis in law's and mom in law crazy between now and Thanksgiving.  We're hosting Adrain's side of the family this year and I'm doing my best to blow up their Facebook messaging with my excitement, as we all choose who is bringing pumpkin pies and green bean casseroles.  I just realized that my last message was signed "Giddy!!"  It's nice that they love me anyway.  I've got all my Christmas shop items done for the most part, so I can just focus once again on the next thing at hand. Er, the holiday coming up that I like better than Halloween. Ha!

Halloween... yeah, I'm not crazy about it.  I look at it as an awesome opportunity to shine our light into a dark world seeking some kind of light out there. 

This year we get to participate in something cool that our church is helping us with.  We are hosting a neighborhood glow station right in my front yard!  We'll be gathering several friends and then setting up a little canopy to shelter us from the rain that they say is moving in tomorrow, and we'll be passing out a ton of candy, cocoa and glow bracelets.  I can't think of a better way to not only love on my neighbors, but also help make it safe on a night when mayhem can get out of hand.  I'll try and snatch a few pictures to share with you and if you're local, come on by!
That rain I briefly mentioned?  Yeah it's a-comin!  We can't escape it very long, living in the Pacific NW.  I'm bracing myself for the gray but I'm in a much better place this winter so I'm praying that it's not as hard on me.  Last year was a tough one for most people that live here.  The rain and gray was kind of relentless.  The sun is brightly shining this afternoon so I took the opportunity to photograph a few things I had going on.  I wanted to make my kids some yummy dipped apples as an after school surprise (since they will probably not get enough sugar this week. Ha!).  I have never made caramel apples before but they were super easy.  I just followed the instructions on the package of caramels.  I also added a Sasha twist by double dipping them into melted white chocolate and then sprinkling them with pumpkin pie spice.   

Um. yeah.  I am going for that Mother of the Year award.  I admit it.

 I let the apples sit for just a few minutes and then followed the microwave melting instructions for the white chocolate.  I dipped the apples and sprinkled them with pumpkin pie spice while they were still glossy. 

 Seriously do it.  You'll come back and thank me.  You're welcome.
They are sitting on the counter waiting for those big smiles I'm sure to get when the hoodlums walk in the door.  I love that part of the day.
I also planted my first batch of paper whites this afternoon.  (Also something I've never done but they say it's super easy.  I'll say that after they have grown.)  (grin) I'm planning to plant a few more batches every couple of weeks through November so that I have blooms all during the month of December.

One of my sweet bloggy friends suggested that I follow the advice here, and use a few drops of alcohol to stunt their growth and keep them from getting too leggy.  (I'm doing it!  I hope I don't kill them.)
You just need some pebbles, water, a container, and bulbs.

I like things that are that simple. 

I had these white pebbles in my garage so that's what I used but I think they should maybe be smaller?  I don't know really, I'm just going with what I've got. 
 You will want to fill up your container about half way and settle the bulbs into the pebbles with the roots facing down and the tiny green tips up. 

Then you water up to the base of the bulbs.  (Apparently they will rot if you immerse them so don't do that!) I'll keep ya posted on if they grow for me.  Fingers crossed!

So that's me today... basking in the sun for the moment and checking FUN things off my list now that Christmas garlands are done!  What are you up to today?







Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fallish

'Tis the season.  The season when my camera starts going everywhere with me again, that is.  (My man took this photo when we were out walking this weekend and I stole it from his instagram feed.)

As we close out the weekend, I'm reflecting on all the sweetness we were blessed to pack into it.  Some weekends are like that.  The kiddos don't fight as much, things get done, memories get made and life feels pretty amazing.  This was a rare weekend like that.

We enjoyed cool fall weather and went for a family walk in the crunchy leaves and fog, and headed to the pumpkin patch with my brother and his little family. (Oh how I love my nieces.  I've got three of them and each one is pure sweetness.  Love spending time with all of them and all of their parents too!  I especially love that my hoodlums are the "big kids" and love playing with the littles and getting fun squeals out of them.  Lots of laughter there.)

We came home with pumpkins to carve and the kiddos are working on that as I type this right now.  Do y'all ever read through the parable of the pumpkin when you carve them?  It's amazing.  We do it each year, and it's such a great way to share a deeper meaning to something like scooping the yuck out of a pumpkin.

Adrain and I got ALL of the Names of God Christmas garlands finished this afternoon.  (Can you say JOY?  What a blessing that big job has been!)  The last stamp was placed and the last invoice has been sent.  (I'm just waiting on payments to ship them out, but I am still taking wait list names in case of cancellations.)

It's been a gooooood weekend, and here it is, in photos, so come along and bask in the memories with me.






This leaf was suspended, mid-air, by a spider's thread of silken web. 
My babies. One of who is standing on tippy toe to be closer to my height. 
Maple leaves bigger than your face. 



This one and the kitties.  Oh how she wants one!


Purple berries.  I photographed it just because they were something I'd never seen.
Little miss got a hair cut this weekend.  This bob makes her look a bit more grown up.  (I don't like it.  ha!)
Little bundle of precious-ness, right here.  I want to say that I remember those days... but you know, I really don't.  They are kind of a blur.  One diaper after another, mashing food, wiping noses, running to the grocery store and planning life around nap time schedules.  It's very intense, meaningful work... but I just can't remember much about that time period.  I think it was the lack of sleep.  (grin)


Love these smiles. Cousins are so special. 





And that was my weekend dear friends.   

How was yours? 



Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin scones. The End.

Sunshine is streaming through my windows as I write this post, and I'm amazed at how quickly my family can begin to fill our thankful chalkboard.  Some things on that list are downright hysterical.  And some things are spelled so funny and cute I can't stand it.  (Ava is thankful for quier.  "Choir" was what she meant.  I won't let her change it now.  I need to preserve the memory!)

I wanted to let you know that I've restocked my antique ball jar flour sack dishtowels once again.  They are going fast so if you are starting to think about gift ideas or hostess ideas for holiday meals and such... you can grab one here. 

And now... pumpkin scones, perfect for this season...
There is a small boy living in this house that will eat anything if it contains pumpkin.  He loves it.  The other day I decided to try my hand at a gluten free tweak to an existing scone recipe I had, and it turned out pretty well so I wanted to share it with you here.

Scones are kind of a fun thing to bake.  They aren't nearly as complicated as they seem. (Does baking in general seem complicated to anyone else? Or does this speak volumes for the state of my life at present. I think the answer is yes.  I can't wait for November.)

The key is to use cold butter, straight from the fridge, don't over handle the mix and douse the entire thing with plenty of powdered sugar icing glaze once cool.  *Disclaimer I wasn't paying attention and used two extra tbsp of butter for this batch AND I forgot the baking powder.  Good grief.  I don't ever make mistakes like that.. but you know what?  They still came out fine.  The bottoms were a bit browner than they are supposed to be but I slathered them in spiced glaze and all's well that ends  well.  (Note to self, next time pay attention to this recipe and don't gab on the phone while you're mixing ingredients.)
 
Pumpkin scones (gluten free) 
(makes about ten small scones)

*Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment.

*Mix the following in a large bowl;
1 1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c tapioca flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 TBSP powdered milk
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 TBSP sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice


*With a pastry cutter or fork, cut in 6 TBSP cold butter until mixture is crumbly.  Set aside.

*In small bowl, whisk the following together;
6 TBSP half and half (or whole milk)
1 lg egg
1/2 canned pumpkin
 
*Add wet mixture to dry and don't worry if mixture is really crumbly and dry at first.  Gently keep folding the mixture up from the bottom and into itself, and it will eventually (mostly) come together. (There may still be a lot of crumbles at the bottom but the next step will help that.)
*Pat dough onto a piece of parchment that you have sprinkled a bit of rice flour onto.  You can use your hands to mix in the bits of dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl.)  If you make the rectangle of dough long and narrow it will make for nicely sized scones.  (I could have made them even smaller but then my son would have eaten even more because small items seem to disappear faster.  What's that all about?)
 *Cut on the diagonal and lay gently onto your baking sheet. 
*Bake at 425 for about 12-14 minutes until light golden brown.  Remove to a cooling rack. Then glaze these babies with spiced glaze.
Spiced Glaze: 
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TBSP whole milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice

* Whisk all ingredients together and drizzle over top of cooled scones.  (I like to let that set a bit and then drizzle a second layer over them.  

Happy weekend... and Enjoy!