Treats and tricks.

These are invitations to Ada's halloween party. Pretty snazzy.

I used the tops of the invitations as a stencil and I made treat bags full of sugary goodness and spooky plastic goods.

What do you do with a million clothespins when you don't hang dry your clothes and you only bought them just to use one pin? Why, you make treat back clips. Right? I think you do.

Keep an eye out, I'll be posting pictures of Ada's costume, The Best Fiona (from Shrek) Costume EVER and the rest of our costumes will be there too. I finished them last night.


Le Patio.

This is my total breath of fresh air. 
I added pea gravel to fill in the cracks between the stone and added mulch around the trees and shrubs.

I planted mums, there were pretty. My dogs thought they were pretty too, pretty tasty :(

 This is the other side of our patio. Bricks are still free, all 325 of them. Do you want them?

 This is Belle. Belle is our new baby mini pin. She is the total opposite of Mickey. She doesn't seem to have a hyperactive bone in her body. I'm pretty sure she thinks she is a cat.

My geranium was full and beautiful (as you can see above). It only took a few days for the pups to eat it and then Belle found a new creative use for the pot.


Chicken Taco Soup

Chicken Taco Soup
serves 6 to 8

Add drained kidney beans, drained black beans, and undrained canned corn to a pot.

Add chicken stock.

Add salsa.

Cook and shred chicken breast meat, add to the pot.

Add taco seasoning.

Bring all ingredients to a boil then let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve over tortilla chips with sour cream.

2 cans kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, undrained

1 pound bone and skin-less chicken breast, cooked and shredded.

2 cups salsa
4 cups (26 oz) chicken stock
1 envelope taco seasoning

Tortilla chips
Sour cream

Add beans and corn to a pot.

Cook and shred chicken then add to the pot.

Add salsa, chicken stock and taco seasoning, bring the pot to a boil.

Turn down heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve over tortilla chips and with sour cream.


Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup
serves 6 to 8

Chop onions and shred carrots.

Mince garlic and slice mushrooms.

Add to pan of browned italian sausage cook for three minutes.

Add chicken stock and italian diced tomatoes to the pan.

Bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Add bowtie pasta and let boil for 10 minutes.

Chop spinach.

Add the spinach to the pan and cook for 1 minute.

Add mozzarella cheese to your bowl.

Pour the contents of the pan over cheese.

1 lb. italian sausage (turkey sausage or other alternatives will work)
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced

4 cups (26 oz) chicken stock
1 can (14 oz) italian diced tomatoes

1 cup bowtie pasta noodles

2 cups spinach, chopped

Brown sausage in a saucepan, add vegitables and saute for 3 minutes.

Add chicken stock and diced tomatoes, bring to a boil.

Add bowtie pasta and boil for 10 minutes.

Add spinach and cook for 1 more minute.

Place mozzarella cheese in the bottom of a bowl and pour soup over the cheese.


p.s. more soups to try this autumn: Cheesy Potato Soup with Broccoli and Market Street Clam Chowder


Dont worry.

I have a few posts up my sleeve right now. I've been on my toes, very busy lately.
Mark changed shifts at work so I'm pulling the get up in the morning, stay up until two routine and it's official, I love it. I get to run my errands, take my time, not have to have the clean house and hot dinner on the table at 5 and we all love seeing Mark in the morning when we are in good moods. Im SO tired though.
I've also become highly addicted to kickboxing class. It is taking a huge toll on my physical energy but is giving me some very positive mental energy, so that's a trade I'm willing to make.

So. How are you?

Here's what will be coming soon:

Recipe: Lasagna Soup <----- the best recipe I've tried all year. Really. Delicious.
Pictures: Our patio is now all finished before Autumn really sets in. I love it. I'm proud.
How-to: The Best Fiona (from Shrek) Costume EVER and it's homemade + is super easy. Even if you are sewing illiterate.

Why am I not posting these wonderful things now, you ask?
Because I'm a clean freak. I am on a mission to rid our place of our weekly dust coating, fingerprints I've missed along the way, crayon murals on the walls, and lost crumbs. Oh and Hannah is fast asleep for a nap, so now is the easiest way to actually only clean things ONCE ;) I'm spending this time filling by filling my belly with coffee and making this quick blog update.

Happy day!

Enjoy some EYE CANDY from Ohhappyday.com



it started out small...

I wouldn't say it got out of hand. It did become a much larger project as time carried on.

This is day one. I planted some flowers. Some of which did not do so well on their first summer at the new house...

My wonderful husband, in response to my constant "lets re-do the patio" talk, pulled up part of the horrible brick area that was left by the previous owners. Hated the brick. It's not a secret any longer, HATED THEM. Ew. 

As you can see, the garden slowly began to grow. This tomato plant went on to be a record size monster of tomato plants. It ate some small animals, a few children and produced about three hundred ketchup tasting tomatoes. All true.
The strawberry plant you see there produced a few handfuls of strawberries. The dogs enjoyed them much to my dismay.

Back to the bricks... See? My wonder-husband planted lawn. He is so sweet.

See this sprout? Isn't it tiny and cute? I had given up on the squash seeds I thought didn't make it.

See the squash plant outside? It lived. It grew. It overpowered everything. It flowered, it produced tiny squash, they started to grow. I got annoyed with my out of control garden.
I tried to trim it back.
I was pulling out the tomato plant, I'd had enough tomatoes for a lifetime.
I tipped over the squash plant.
The squash plant snapped. 
I threw it away. I'll devise a better plan for doing one next year. Oh well.
Not a one squash was to be had.

Oh wait, where is the lawn?
The dogs loved the lawn. They loved to dig holes in the lawn, right on through to China. 
Yes they did.
So, the lawn is gone. Honestly, I only trimmed it one time. I just didn't like the way it was turning out. 
I still didn't like the brick that was left. Hated those red bricks.

In comes Mark to save the day. He worked three 68 hour weeks in a row and on his first day off what did he do?

Any guesses? 
He helped me do a patio overhaul.

Because he is perfect. 

Over the next couple of days I looked like this.
I looked pretty [tired].
I worked my butt off laying the stones and happily, I finished before the autumn rain started.

And this is where we are now.
love it.
Now what?
*I plan to plant moss <----still have to do a little garden research to figure out exactly what kind of moss/plant is great for what I want. 
*I plan to plant a little garden right in that area you see below the hanging planter. Maybe a rose bush. Maybe mums. I still don't know. A vine that will climb up a trellis?
*I need to get rid of the bricks. Do you want about 400 bricks? Do you know someone who does? I don't.