This year and well, every year, really, we have so much to be thankful for! I don't know why I never thought to do this, but this year. I erased everything off my kitchen chalkboard and each night at dinner we have been writing down things we are thankful for...
Somethings that made list are silly and trivial, some tell a story and some are big, but I hope that my kiddos see how great they have it!
It's just plain cold 'round here, so it's been a sweaters and scarves kind of week.
I finished MY scarf!! It looks a hot mess laid out but when it's on and all twisty, it looks acceptable.
Tee: I totally stole this from my husband's drawer
Jeans: Old Navy
Necklace: I made it!
I love this thick comfy sweater and Mister Kellen just had to cheese it up for my picture!
Sweater: Old navy
A little Friday Casual action!
Vest: Old Navy
Plaid tunic: Old Navy
Date night for Brien's birthday. I loved this dress! I don't know why, but long sleeve dresses are so hard to find. This one popped up on Old Navy and I had it in my cart for like 2 weeks, I decided to just give it a try and it is so cute! It was a little hard to capture in a picture and the color in real life is more of a soft pink, but I love it! I wish I would have got the other colors as well.
Dress: Old Navy
Necklace: I made it!
Saturday running errands and birthday party-ing it up!
This last week has been sort of a hot mess. On Tuesday we had a snow day, such a gift and so desperately needed! I think snow days as a grown up lady teacher are more of a treat than they are for our students. Let's be real, I am missing work, they are missing learning, I win.
We wasted spent a whole day, laying in bed, playing in the snow, and making treats. It was glorious!
Kellen was interested in strictly eating the snow and being carried around to different locations in the yard.
I finally finished Callie's scarf, now I have to make her leg warmers, so. many. projects.
Later on in the week, it was Brien's birthday. We had a great night out, while grandma Denise watched the kiddos. Getting to date night was quite a fiasco. I had to pick up both kids and drop them off across town, in rush hour traffic, in a blizzard. 2 hours later, We were on our way!
Brien and I had talked about going to the Buckhorn Exchange for ever ago, so I surprised him and made reservations. It is such an interesting place to dine. For starters, it's a wild game restaurant. They have weird things like rattle snake, rocky mountain oysters (which I refused to try) and alligator. It's the oldest restaurant in Denver. It's also the first restaurant to have a liquor license. You really are paying for the atmosphere, but the food was pretty yummy.
I was feeling a little judged, by our dinner audience...
They have a super cool loung-y area upstairs.
Brien ordered buffalo prime rib and I had elk! It was quite tasty!
The rest of the weekend was kind of a whirlwind with our nephew Christian's birthday. He is just 2 months younger than Kellen and those two are so cute together. We had so much fun hanging with the family and watching the kiddos play. I am so thankful that they get to grow up together!
Sunday we spent most of the morning/early afternoon watching the Broncos finally win a game at Rock Bottom Brewery with Brien's family. So not much relaxing this weekend, but lots of fun family time!
Now we are officially on Thanksgiving break and it hasn't really hit me, that on Thursday we will be feasting and finally decorating/getting ready for Christmas. Well, I am off to bake some delicious pumpkin pies! Recipe here, Bring it on Holidays!
I just recently discovered how to use Instagram. I don't really post much, but I LOVE seeing what other people wear and trying to recreate it. How did I never think to do this?? All you do is search #whatiwore and BAM you have a plethora of ideas that requires very little work on your part! Brilliant! I seriously just use "What I wore Wednesday" as a way of going back and seeing what I wore last year that I would wear again this year, anyway. So silly I know, but I have this crazy OCD thing about wearing the same things over and over. I might just start posting in IG just to have good record keeping.
We have an abundance of ammunition at my home. We like firearms around here. With all the extra stuff, I thought A LONG time ago, we should make something with this!
Alas my brilliant sister in law decided to make some necklace, and I totally copied her. She has amazing ideas, what can I say?
I am serious when I say we could market these Jenn! Etsy is calling our names!
I accidentally erased the picture that had the materials I used, in a desperate attempt to clear out my photos on my phone so I could take pictures at Callie's birthday party. So you need...
1. Bullet shells
2. Chain to make the necklace--
I accidentally bought necklaces instead of chains, so I just removed the clasps and strung them together to make sure they were long enough
3. Some kind of Crystal--
I found these at Michael's for like $6, but mine were clear, not amber.
First, unstring the beads and find one that will fit in the bullet shell.
Next, I had my dear husband drill holes big enough for the chain to fit through.
Glue the crystal in place in the shell.
String the chain through.
Done, now you have pretty jewelry!
We had to think through some logistics, but this was super easy and under $10. I searched up "bullet shell necklaces" on Etsy and there were some super pretty and elaborate designs, but overall even the most basic ones cost a fortune.
This post has been a long time coming! It probably would have been far more timely if I had done this in October, but it's still fall round here and I am standing firm for Thanksgiving and all things fall.
The day after Halloween my sister in law and I partook (is that even a word??) in fall-ish festivities!
We roasted pumpkin seeds, make pumpkin puree and quenched our thirst with delicious apple cider sangria. It was SO much fun!
Jenn introduced me to the wonderful and very challenging world of making your own pumpkin puree! It was real serious, y'all! We used all of the parts of the pumpkin. I felt like a real pioneer!
First the seeds. So the night after we carved pumpkin, I save all the gooey goodness in a bowl. Later that evening after trick or treating shenanigans, I googled to discover the long, but totally worth it process, of cleaning the seeds. After much trial and error I think I found the best way.
So, you pour all of the seeds and stringy pumpkin goo into a huge bowl of cold water, then the seeds rise up to the top. Skim off the seeds and put them in a separate clean bowl. Then dump the good that's left over in the other bowl and repeat the process until all the pumpkin goo is gone. Then I laid the seeds out to dry over night. I laid them out on news paper and when I ran out of that, paper towel. Which in retrospect was probably not the smartest option, as the next morning when I went to check on them they were all stuck and I spent far longer than I had anticipated peeling paper off the dried seeds.
Once the seeds are dried, they can be stored in a air tight container until you are ready to roast them. This way they don't mold. I was pretty proud of myself by now!
Such a stupid idea, what was I thinking?
So next it was time to roast these bad boys! One batch I made salty and one batch I made savory. For the salty batch, I tossed the seeds with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, laid out on a baking sheet and seasoned them with Red Robin seasoned salt. I am sure any kind of seasoned salt would have done, but Jenn is kind of partial.
Next you pop the pan in a about 275 degree oven and check them after 20 minutes. I had read some bad reviews of seeds on the internets the night before and they really emphasized not burning them. This batch came out perfect after about 25 minutes! They were delightful!
The next batch was called "drunk pumpkin seeds". My sister in law made these last year and hers came out far better than mine, but they were still pretty tasty. For this one, you boil the seeds on medium with a cup of whiskey and about a 1/4 cup of brown sugar. My husband was not thrilled with me wasting good drinks, but they came out pretty well, so I would venture to say it was worth it!
After the alcohol burns off, throw the seeds on a greased pan and sprinkle with a little more brown sugar. These seeds took a little bit longer to cook, I'd day 30 minutes, same temp 250-275.
These also came out super yummy! It is a lot of work, but totally worth it, I am so glad we did this!
So while we roasted and massacred pumpkins we enjoyed some Apple cider sangria-- Also delish!
The hardest part of this work was cutting up the pumpkins. I have shared time and time again, my fear and unreliability with sharp things, so this was just asking for trouble! Apparently you have get the all the skin off. This is no easy task. It was really hard and super messy, but no one lost a finger (and by no one, I mean me!) and now I have tons of pumpkin puree for later!
After you peel the pumpkins, you cube them up and boil them down in a huge pot of water...
Its kind of like boiling potatoes! Once they get bright orange, and fall off a fork you drain them and let them sit for a while to let the moisture rise to the top. Then you mash it up! First we tried the electric mixed but that was SO messy. So we opted for using a potato masher and that was actually easier.
Next you let the puree sit awhile longer and then skim off any excess water before freezing!
After everything was cooled and skimmed, I measure it by cups into zip lock bags and now I have 15 cups of pumpkin goo any time I need!!
Thank you for help, my sweet sister in law, I had a blast spending Fall Fest with you!
This weekend my precious girl turned nine, NINE!! She's totally okay with it, I on the other hand, am not. I don't know why, but this year it just doesn't seem quite possible that I have kept a human child alive for nine years.
This year however, I have stood strong, I have only peeked at her baby pictures and cried a little. I just can't believe what an amazing kiddo God has blessed me with. And to think, that I wanted a boy and was wondering what on earth I would do with a little girl!! That is clearly why God is upstairs running this show!
Callie, I hope one day that you will look back and maybe read this, if they even have the internets in 10 years, and smile. It is such a treat to be your mom and I love you SO very much.
The chaos of nine began the night before your birthday, where we had a marathon baking session after Kellen went to sleep. We made cupcakes for your friends and fruity pebble rice crispy treats.
Then parting festivities began after a ridiculously crazy Friday at school! I raced home, as Callie's dad was in town and we had to get everything ready for the party! Callie's besties came over around 5 and we headed out to the party place of choice, Dave and Busters. Apparently Chuck E. Cheese is just not cool enough these days, so we had to go to grown up Chuck E. Cheese.
You really haven't lived unless you have taken 5 screaming nine year old to a giant arcade and pumped them full of sugar...
There was much dancing, wandering around and gaming going on! After, we headed back to our house for presents, cupcake decorating and manicures. Again, you have not lived until one of your daughters nine year old friends paints your nails better than the ladies at the nail shop. There were lots of firsts this night y'all! These girls were just precious and they know Callie so well. I was seriously impressed with their behavior and their super thoughtful gifts!
Saturday the fun continued! We were having a low-ish key, just family party. It was SO much better than trying to entertain children and spend time with my family and have an immaculately clean and well decorated party ready house. I didn't even clean that morning. But we take a WHOLE family trip to the store to get snacks and after, that was interesting...
After Kellen went down for a nap later that afternoon, Callie and I had a just mom and Callie shopping spree at target. She had pretty much free reign of the store and she chose the strangest things. We walked outta there with chapstick, nail polish, 2 new dresses, a movie and this fort construction kit.
Once we were back home we started making some snack-y treats and getting things ready for the party. It was really so much fun and so low maintenance!!
We played and opened presents and ate until we couldn't any more!
That moment when you try to open something with a knife and your husband AND brother have to intervene before some one is injured
Callie's uncle Buck refinished a .22 for her with pink stain. It was SO cute and she keeps asking when she can go try it out!
My sweet girl's cake was even low key--Cookie cake this year! Yay!
The whole family celebrating this sweet girl!
My dear Callie I hope that nine is such a wonderful year for you
This week has definitely needed some favorite things to help me get by!! Since school is crazy, home has been such a refuge! I have seriously been sitting in school and thinking, "just 37 minutes and I can go home and be with my people."
Every night after dinner we have been having this "healthy" dessert. The store has had THE most delicious honey crisp apples! yumm-o, plus the dip is "fat free" so that technically makes it healthy right??
Scandal. This is arguably the best show I have ever watched. I can't stop. I am almost caught up on all the seasons and I am a little sad. I started watching this with Brien and it was too slow for him. But I decided, "let's keep this going", and I am BEYOND glad I did. If this show is any indication of what really happens in politics, I have zero faith in any of our nation's leaders. Everything is so scandalous, the show's title says it ALL!
Harry Potter! I read this whole series as it was coming out in college and after college and now Callie and I are reading it together and it is so great! I think she is a little young for anything past book 3. I texted this picture to my best friend the other day because her favorite thing to say is, "Oh magical me." When I texted her, she said she still says this phrase at least 4 times a day, just for good measure... I love it!
A day off with my girl. We were able to go ice skating last week and it was a blast, but I totally forgot my camera. She has now decided that she wants ice skates for Christmas, I wonder if Santa Claus will bring them for her??
Day light savings=horrible, this facebook post=funny! I don't know why I laughed so hard. I love puns!
Guess what my next crafty pallet project will be?? I love this sign so much and I NEED one for my kitchen. This has been my mantra this week. I don't know what I would do with out you, coffee??
This has been a busy week already! I am having mixed feelings about the weather turning soon. I am just not quite ready to be cold yet! Add to that, this daylight savings nightmare! I feel like I am putting my students on the bus and BAM five minutes later is is night time. Over it, already! I am however thankful for bright sunny mornings, so see I am trying to find the good in the whole "winter" business!
I wore this last week and one of my kids asked me if, I had a make over this weekend. I didn't question him any further. I just took it as a compliment!
Vest: Old Navy
Tights: Very Jane
I love how this outfit came together. This dress was from a lady that mom works with that is moving to Antartica (random sidebar) but she had ordered a bunch of beautiful dresses from Kohls and they didn't fit her, so she just gave them to me, tags and everything! I'll take it!
So much going on here...
Okay this dress, I have had forever. I have never actually worn it as a dress because it's super short and I would judge me, if I saw me out in public with this short, short dress. So I ordered a slip extender. Life changer here!! It is just a slip that has like 3 inches of lace at the bottom. I probably could have made one, but I have given up on my career as a seamstress for now. I found this one on Eleventh Avenue and I am obsessed with it! I should have ordered one in every color!
Slip extender: Eleventh Ave.
Cardigan: Target (and if you look super closely you can see the tissues I had to carry around with me all day still in the pocket, because my nose has been gushing blood everyday, cause Colorado has ZERO moisture!)
Necklace: I made it! (more about that later, I promise!)
I wore this little number last week to go ice skating with Callie. I am not sure how I feel about this scarf. I love how it looks, but when I wear it I feel like I am suffocating or just look ridiculous. I can't even see my feet when I wear this scarf. I need help!
Tunic: Very Jane
Black jeans: Target
That's all for this week. It's supposed to get chilly later on this week, so maybe, just maybe, I bust out some actual sweaters!!
Hi y'all! I am the wife of the best man I know and the mom of two amazingly gorgeous children. Here's a little bit of everything... adventures, crafts, recipes, fashion and our crazy,wonderful, blessed life together.