well, I love a rainy night

::Maya Angelou::

Exactly, right?  
This quote is poignant to me.  You can shine during life's moments of frustration or you can let it get the best of you [and bring out the worst].  I think what it really comes down to is how do you deal with events out of your control.  Big or small, these are the moments that test us.  

We are facing a very soggy Halloween Night.  With any luck it will let up and the kids can have a dry night of fun.  But most likely it will be pouring.  My boys are ecstatic about the day.  I have no control over the weather.  So, I will pull on my Hunter boots, zip up my North Face shell, grab the lantern and brave the night with them.  

You can tell a lot about a person by the way she handles a rainy day. 

hApPy hAllOwEEn


[true blood] mini pumpkins

How about something little to get you in the mood for Halloween night?  I don't really like carving pumpkins, but these little cuties only took about 15 minutes.  15 minutes for all three!
I found the inspiration on Pinterest, which led me to Martha Stewart.  

You will need mini pumpkins, plastic vampire teeth and a red Sharpie marker.  Simply cut out a rectangle-roughly the width of the vampire teeth- scoop out the seeds and pulp, and shave down the sides so that the teeth will slide all the way in.  Draw two red eyes and you are done!  [Martha used map tacks for the eyes and provided a template for the mouth....but I went rogue.]

happy haunting.


lunchbox love

Who wouldn't want a little love their lunchbox?
 It is easy [takes less than 30 seconds] and the little dose of love goes a long way!

My oldest taped his favorites into the back of his homework journal last year.  [Talk about making my heart melt.]

Here are a few resources so you can find [and give] lunchbox love too:
1.  Tiny Prints.  Personal lunch box notes for your little monsters.
2.  Say Please.  Positive notes and fun trivia.  Space on back to write your own message too!
3.  Good Stuff Products.  Mommy's Messages.  You can choose from tongue twisters, jokes, and love notes.  My kids love the jokes!


pass it along

Ever have a cluster of days that make you feel not so great about yourself?  Something crawls into your head and you just can't shake it.  You might find yourself spending extra minutes in front of the mirror examining all of your imperfections and beating yourself about this or that.  Work harder, drink more water, wear moisturizer, find a better shampoo, get a haircut.

My mantra today, this week, this month.  You are beautiful, pass it along.

[Be gentle with your spirit and give yourself a break.  Remind someone else of her beauty.  She may have forgotten.]


pumpkin cake cookies

I am always on the look out for quick and simple desserts.  Recipes that are semi-homemade, like these pumpkin cake cookies, are my absolute favorite.   I have linked the recipe, but you don't really need it.  It is 3 simple ingredients.  Dump, mix, and bake! 

1 box yellow cake mix
12 oz  Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin [ a little less than one can]
1 Tbs. of All spice or Pumpkin Pie spice

Dump cake mix into bowl, mix in pumpkin and spice, drop spoonfuls of mixture onto baking sheet and bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes [or until toothpick comes out clean]. 

PS.  When I made these, I doubted the recipe and thought I must be missing a step or key ingredient.  Trust the simplicity.  That is what makes it perfect. 


mom's night(s) out

For the first time since June 2004, I had the house to myself all weekend.  No kids, no husband, just me.   I had 48 hours with absolutely no responsibilities [other than being a responsible adult].  The quiet was deafening at times, but my iTunes library helped with that.  How did I fill my time? Let me tell you- it wasn't difficult.  I filled it with all the things I once took for granted.  Reconnecting with a dear friend, sleeping in, watching movies past midnight, window shopping, afternoon talk shows, long conversations over delicious meals.  Funny how a little space allows you to linger in things that once were, but reveals to you how much you love what is.  

[rainy night out in the city I love.]


chicken-chipotle nachos

Nachos could be the best food on earth.  Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but these chicken-chipotle nachos are really that good!

Make the chicken-chipotle mixture, using a deli rotisserie chicken, before hand and then quickly assemble.   The chicken mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead.

Spoon chicken on to each individual chip and top with cheese. This is what makes these nachos over the top!  Each chip is individually loaded.  

Pop out of the oven and top with cilantro avocado crema, it helps cut the heat from the chilies.  Heaven on a chip!


if the slipper fits

Cold floors in the morning and chilly afternoons call for slippers!  I have owned 3 pairs of exact same slipper.   The Minnetonka Cally Slipper is suede and pile lined.  And let me tell you-they are so, so cozy.  They come in 5 colors and are priced under $40.  I chose grey this time!

[via Minnetonka]

It isn't unreasonable to have two pairs of slippers when you live in the Northwest.  Right?
These MUK LUKS appear to be the perfect blend of warmth and ski lodge chic.  Kinda love.  Might need.


{it's the little things}

 bountiful harvest

 freshly made cinnamon-sugar mini doughnuts

a quest for the perfect pumpkin


sparkle mini pumpkins

[pinned it]
[bought it]
a small pumkin, epsom salt, and spray adhesive

[made it]

The original pin called for craft glue, but I figured spray adhesive would be easier if it worked.  The final product looks a bit different than the image I pinned, but still fun and festive.  It took less than 5 minutes to make a sparkle mini pumpkin.


a little bit of kid joy.

With September over, most kids [and moms] have settled into the school routine.  Ask my oldest how school is going and his response would be great.  Not so much with my little man.   Each morning he asks, "Is today a school day?"  I grimace these days when I have to answer yes. His one liners about kindergarten are hilarious.

"Did you know it is 6 hours long?"
"I had to do not 20 or 30, but 40 papers."
"Choice time is the only part I like."

My former mommy-self would not have been calm about this.  I would have worried and fretted and worried some more.  This time around it is different.  [Don't get me wrong.  I want my youngest to thrive, love school, and to go with the flow a bit more.]  I have learned that I have no control over how my kids feel, so I just have to honor it.  My 5 year old works hard all day long on reading, writing, sharing, math, listening, sitting......  So I have been trying to fill his afternoon with a little bit of "kid" joy!  I shoot hoops with him after school.  We made play dough together on the stove and I watched him play with it for hours.  We put up Halloween decorations.   I gave him an awesome storage container specially made for his LEGO mini-figures. And lots and lots of hugs.

....but the best, according to little man, comes on Fridays.  A bowl of ice cream with multiple toppings.  As many as he would like.
here's hoping that all it takes is a few more bowls. 


peanut butter-chocolate acorns

falling into fall with some easy, yet incredibly cute, treats.

While pinning away on Pinterest, I came across these acorn cookies.

3 ingredients.  
[mini nutter butter cookies, hershey kisses, and semi sweet chocolate chips]

Round 1. Warm a plate in the microwave.  Place and melt hershey kiss bottoms on warm plate.  Place on cookies.  Let rest.

Round 2. Warm plate again.  Melt chocolate chips and place on opposite side. Let rest.
[be careful. the plate was a little too warm for the chocolate chips. I had to take another swipe at round 2.  let the plate cool a bit before placing the smaller chocolate pieces.]

peanut butter-chocolate acorns

PS. totally kid approved.  my boys devoured them!


{the little things}

sometimes it is the little things....

{vintage goodness}

{reusable plastic cup from strbx for $1}
top rack dishwasher safe-30 uses


scaredy squirrel

Can't help but share my adoration for a children's picture book series with all of you.  I will admit, I have fallen in love with Scaredy Squirrel.

Who could resist that face?

My youngest son is equally crazy for Scaredy.  We read his books over and over.   Scaredy is always scared of something.
And he always has a plan, but it always falls apart.  I appreciate Melanie Watt's sense of humor and her creative illustrations.  She uses captions on many pages that add to the fun. The kids recognize the silliness, which provides plenty of giggles at bedtime.  Scaredy Squirrel has six books and all of them are outstanding.  [The books are aimed for children 4 and up, but the humor entertains children of all ages.]

Find Scaredy at amazon or your local independent book store.  [or the library!]

Scaredy will also have his very own website soon. http://scaredysquirrel.com/
[We are pretty excited about it at our house.]


in my ear[buds]

Mumford and Sons performed this new song on Saturday Night Live and I couldn't get it out of my head.  So happy to able to download it!  "I Will Wait" on the new album Babel.


love that app

My phone is my point and shoot camera-which is great because it is always with me.  To make the photos more interesting, I often use Instagram [which I am slightly obsessed with].  Now, I have something new to play with!

[phonto for iPhone or android ]
Phonto.  A simple app that lets you add text to your photos.  200 fonts.  Change color, size, move it around, tilt it.  You can share by email, facebook, twitter, open in Instagram, or save right to your photo roll.  Super easy and FREE! [the iPhone app has more fonts and capabilities than the android app.]

Same photo I used in my post last Thursday, this time with text!
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