Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Nails

I love a reason for fun nails.  These spider webs are super easy and oh so cute on your tips!


I used Essie Licorice to paint 2 coats.

Then I used this nifty nail art pen from Sally Hansen.
I just made a web design on each nail using this awesome and easy nail pen.
Easy Peasy!

Here are some other fun nail ideas for Halloween.....


Marine from Marine Loves Polish has these really fun skeleton nails.


I must love the stripes.  The Model Stage has these cute skeleton inspired nails.


Love these cute candy corn tips from The Polish Aholic.



So many fun ways to dress up your claws for Halloween!!!
Have Fun!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can't Get Enough

As you might guess you can't get enough Halloween around here.  Costumes, candy, pumpkins oh my!  How about a treat that is festive but also good for you!  Come on, what could that possibly be???
BooBerry Smoothies of course!!!  


BooBerry Smoothie

1 container vanilla yogurt-I use Chobani Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup milk-I've also used Vanilla Almond milk and it tastes fab

Combine all ingredients and pulse in blender.
Enjoy!

Monday, October 28, 2013

More pumpkin

We spent a busy weekend watching....
movies
soccer
football and cheerleading
hockey 
We did have time to eat though, and one of our favorites this time of year-Pumpkin Pancakes for  breakfast.  Yum!




   Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.
Melt butter in seperate bowl and add milk, eggs and pumpkin.  Combine with dry ingredients stir until well combined.  Pour batter onto hot griddle.




Enjoy!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mom's Night

I love an excuse to have a party and last night it was Mom's Night! Getting a group of moms from the hood together for a few drinks is so fun but so are the preparations.
 Ran out to the grocery in the morning and picked up a pumpkin, some fall squash and a bunch of sunflowers.  I hollowed out the pumpkin and used it as a beer cooler for my favorite low calorie brew.  The woman at the checkout asked, "Oh so are you going to put that nice pumpkin out on your front steps?"  Uh...no I'm going to hollow it out and put ice cold beers in there!  Tee Hee
 Mom's night is easy to throw together because everyone brings something.  Bottle of wine, appetizer, dessert. I spend time cleaning and making the house look pretty and the ladies take care of the rest.  


I do like to have a drink to prepare for those who aren't into the bottles of light beer and wine so I came up with a seasonal apple cider martini.

Apple Cider Martini
1 Shot Cinnamon Clove Infused Vodka
Apple Cider
Ice
Splash of Apple Brandy
Garnish with apple slice, cinnamon stick or festive spider

Chill martini glass. Rinse martini glass with apple brandy and dump it out. Combine vodka, apple cider and ice in a martini shaker. Strain liquid mixture into a martini glass. Garnish. 


Such a fun night!!! 
This morning's evidence of a great night with fabulous friends!
Happy Friday!!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Clean and Simple

Well I can't say that I love it.  I have to be in the right mood but when I am our place sparkles!!

 Checklist 

Create a list of everything that you need to get done and check things off as you go. Copy-Craft has     an excellent check-off printable list.  

Make sure you have your supplies at the ready   
Gather all of your supplies together so you don't get started and find that you are out of toilet bowl cleaner!
One room at a time
Simplify and don't overwhelm yourself trying to clean all the rooms at once.
Have the kids help you
If you feel like you can’t do it all, put your kids to work. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed. It is very easy to have your 5 year old wipe the widows and your 7year old dust all wooden surfaces.  Teach them early and you will have helpers for years to come.
Reward yourself
Go get yourself a little something!  You worked hard!!!!  Enjoy the sparkle cause you know it won't last long!  :)
Resting the bears after working hard


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

BOO-licious Pumpkin Dip


I love me some pumpkin dip!!! I have been making this recipe each fall since my girlfriend Maggie made this for my baby shower 11 years ago!!!  It's such a fun treat.  It can be served at an autumn cocktail party, on Thanksgiving Day, or as the kids love-any day as an after school snack.  Finn couldn't wait to help me make some and eat some.  YUM!





Pumpkin Dip
1 tub of Cool Whip
1/2 can pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves

Stir all of the ingredients together and serve with your favorite ginger snap cookies.
So easy and so yummy!!
Enjoy!!





Monday, October 21, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Time to Blast the Halloween Candy Belly

If you're anything like me you've already opened a bag of Halloween candy!  I've had some m&m's and mmm... once I open the bag it's so hard to put it away!  It just makes my trips to the gym all the more necessary.  Here's a great ab workout that really targets the core muscles and blasts that belly!


Halloween CandBelly Blaster 

10 Plank Up Downs-Push up position, drop down to elbows one at a time than push back up to starting position one arm at a time.
Plank Hold 30 Seconds-Push up position with rear end in line with shoulders
Superman 30 Seconds- Face down on stomach, arms and legs stretched out. Raise arms and legs off the ground reaching in opposite directions

20 Crossover Mountain Climbers- Push up position bring knee to opposite shoulder and back
Plank hold 30 Seconds- Push up position with rear end in line with shoulders
Superman 30 Seconds-Face down on stomach, arms and legs stretched out. Raise arms and legs off the ground reaching in opposite directions

15 Reverse Crunches-Lie on back with feet in the air and knees bent at 90*, drop heels to the ground and return to starting position
10 Side Plank Up/Downs-In side plank position slowly raise and lower hips
Superman 30 seconds-Face down on stomach, arms and legs stretched out. Raise arms and legs off the ground reaching in opposite directions

15 Crunches-Standard crunch with hands behind neck for support
10 Side Plank Up/Downs-In side plank position slowly raise and lower hips
Superman 30 Seconds-Face down on stomach, arms and legs stretched out. Raise arms and legs off the ground reaching in opposite directions

 Do each group of three exercises back to back. Repeat each group 2 times resting 25 seconds in between. Rest 1 minute and repeat with the next group of exercises. Make sure to engage your core.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Know More Cupcakes

I'm not a huge baker.  The main reason being that I have an uncontrollable sweet tooth and if there are yummies around then I will inevitably eat them.  Although, the kids love to help out in the kitchen so occasionally I will resist the great temptation and bake.  This time it was cupcakes.  I found these adorable cupcake wrappers at Home Goods and couldn't pass them by.  Simply Baked makes these festive wrappers and they also offer so many other cute items for beautiful entertaining. Love them! So here we go-Halloween cupcakes yum!


• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 egg whites from large eggs
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup 2% milk
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, shortening, milk and vanilla  in a large mixing bowl.  Mix at low speed for 2 minutes.  Scrape bowl.  Add egg whites and mix at high speed until fluffy and smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter.  Do not overfill.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes in pans then remove from pan, and place on wire racks to cool completely.
Frost and decorate your vanilla cupcakes as desired.

Recipe from CupcakeRecipes.com

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin Glam

My kids use the phrase, "easy peasy, lemon squeezy." That sums up this project in four words.  This makes Halloween decorating oh so glam!  Choose your favorite metallic finish spray paint and get to work on your pumpkins from the patch.  This quickie DIY takes just minutes to do and minutes to dry and voila-super fancy pumpkins!




 






 
For some other great ideas for painted pumpkins go to Honey We're Home.  Wonderful and creative ideas to avoid carving with the kiddos.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

Our annual trip to the pumpkin patch is a day that I look forward to the minute autumn hits.  Bright mums, colorful gourds, pumpkins, straw bales and yummy apple cider donuts.  I love the hayride out to the patch where the kids go hunting through the field to find their perfect pun kin.  Our youngest calls them pun kins.  It was a beautiful afternoon and the kids loved every minute.  Take a peek......








These are the moments that we will all remember.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fresh Basil and Sausage Stuffed Shells


I am so happy when I have a meal all planned out.  I feel organized which I love and everyone in the house is cheerful when they know what's for dinner. I have all the ingredients on hand and a recipe waiting to be tackled.  No flying by the seat and throwing something together in a 6pm panic. My goal this year is to have more dinners scheduled for nights during the week when everyone is home and we can all enjoy them.  My shells recipe is a modified lasagne and the fam gobbles them up. Oh by the way, this is a great recipe to double and throw in the freezer for a ready made meal a fews weeks from now.

Shells Stuffed with Ricotta, Sausage and Basil
makes 5-6 servings


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 box (~6 oz) jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ pound Italian sausage or ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 (16 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup parmesan, grated
  • 6-8 leaves fresh basil
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced or shredded fresh mozzarella
Heat oven to 350º. Cook pasta shells aldente so that they are still firm to the touch when straining. Drain, separate, and let cool. Add sausage to a large skillet and cook until brown over medium heat.   Remove sausage to a plate with a paper towel liner so that the grease will absorb into the towel.
Add a tablespoon olive oil to same empty skillet. Add onion and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add wine and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.  Next, add tomatoes, sauce and spices, including salt and pepper.  Let this simmer and reduce for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While tomato sauce is cooking, add ricotta, parmesan, egg, lemon, a little salt and pepper, and basil together into mixing bowl with sausage.  Stuff the shells about ¾ full.
When tomato sauce is reduced down, spread a thin layer over the bottom of a 9X12 casserole dish . Arrange shells face up and then top with remaining tomato sauce. Top with fresh (or shredded) mozzarella.
Bake at 350º for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve hot and garnish with more basil.

Yummy!  Hope you enjoy your family dinner!


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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Gallery Wall

I am always trying to keep our house tidy even if it isn't clean.  Don't ask me why-it's just this thing about me.  I don't like a lot of clutter but a wall gallery allows for a collection of wonderful family photographs to be displayed in an organized, tidy fashion.  I like all types of gallery walls.  I like them neat and symetrical as well as eclectic and haphazard.  We have several small spaces where I have used small, simple versions of the gallery to add interest in the space.  Recently in our master bedroom I started a gallery on a larger wall.  This space is perfect for a collage of meaningful family pics.  I used all frames but I also like the look of objects, initials and mirrors mixed into the gallery.  I think I'm going to add some things for greater visual interest.  What do you think?
The master bedroom gallery wall.  I think I want to add a small round mirror and an inital to break up the space and add interest and texture.



Small arrangement at the base of the staircase.
Hallway gallery

Some of my favorite galleries that I have come across:




Pottery barn has a ton of ideas on its website.  Great gallery inspiration!  A wonderful way to display our family memories in our home.


Tips for gallery walls:
1. Display a collection of photos or a mix of illustrations and paintings.
2. Choose frames of different shapes and sizes.
3. Stagger displayed items for visual interest.
4. Add small objects such as mirrors, initals for added detail.
5. Remember that there is no right way to create a gallery!
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