Sunday, October 30, 2016

No Sew Spooky Ghost Costume

This year my little man came up with the least original Halloween costume of all times... A ghost.
His older wiser sister decided she wanted to be Hermione from Harry Potter and she wanted Kellen to be Dobby or Hedwig, how cute would that have been?? Elf or an owl, but he was not having either of those.

I was picturing some awful costume involving a sheet with the eyes cut out, but after some scouring pinterest, I found some inspiration!

After standing in line at the fabric store for almost 2 hours, I left with 2 yards of soft white fleece and 2 sheets of black adhesive felt.

The only other supplies I needed was sharp scissors and fabric glue.

First I laid out the fleece flat on the floor...
Then I had Kellen lay down in the middle of it, I made a slit on the top fold for him to stick his head through after I measured his neck.

Next I laid it flat again and had him lay down to measure length and width and marked it with a sharpie.

Then I cut out the access fleece in kind of an oval shape so it would not drag the ground!
The next step is what takes forever! It's just like making a tie blanket, make slits every 1 1/2 inches apart. I made my slits about 5 inches up. I didn't actually measure it, I just kind of eye balled it and there are some major boo-boos, but once everything is all tied up, you really can't even tell!

After all of the slits are cut on the raw edges, tie the individual slits into a knot, not together...
Like SO... 
He was really excited!
Now it's face making time! Kellen wanted a spooky mouth and funny eyes. Yeah, kid I don't even know what that means. After scouring the internet with the search "ghost faces", I almost gave up! But then I had brilliant idea, I searched printable pumpkin cut outs instead until he found a suitable mouth and set of eyes and we printed out both patterns.

Next, cut out the printed mouth and eyes and trace them onto the back of the felt and cut out. Even though the felt was already sticky I went with some fabric glue for additional adhesive! This was my VERY first attempt a home made Halloween costume and I was not going to mess it up!

No too bad for my first home made job! Kellen is super excited and I think it came out pretty cute, for such a boring idea! He is just going to wear some black pants and a white tee under and My grandma, bless her, found a white knit hat for him to wear with it!

We are already for trick or treating! Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What I Wore Wednesday

This week has been weird, weird, weird. Kellen was sick with a tummy bug, Brien was gone hunting, everything that has to with plumbing was malfunctioning. Over it.

But dressing more fall-y has been a bit of a bright spot. Even when things are hectic and crazy, I still look forward to getting up and getting dressed each day. It's the little victories, really!

Can you tell it was fall break?! 
Top: TJ Maxx
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: Payless

Mad about plaid!
Top: Old Navy Jeans: Target
Flip flops: Target

An outfit for a much needed night out with my girl friend from church. What started out as a quick get dinner ended up being a 3 hour catch up fest over tacos and margaritas, it was glorious!
Tee: Target
Sweater: Old Navy
Jeans: Target
Boots: Target

Can you tell I am back to school??
Dress: Target
Cardigan: Target
Flats: Target
Belt: Off another dress

Dress: Kohl's
Vest: Target
Camo flats: Target
Until next week...Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Crockpot Apple Butter

Last week on glorious fall break, I decided to try something fun and fall-ish! I have always wanted to try my hand at canning and or making jelly/jam, but I am not so patient or good with these kinds of things!

I found this recipe last week on Pinterest that didn't involve anything like blanching or pectin and I decided to give it a go! Apple butter here we come!

It was SO easy and the crock pot does all of the hard work for you!

You need:
3-5 lbs of apples, peeled, cored and sliced--We had a bunch of galas from the kids lunches last week, so we used those, I am sure any apple will work!
3/4 cup of brown sugar
 1 Tbsp of cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp of cloves
1/2 Tbsp nutmeg

My trusty tools got the job done quick!

First peel, slice and core the apples. Then rinse them and dump them in the crock pot.

Next mix together the sugar and spices, that's all the ingredients you need!

Toss the mixture right over the apples in the crock pot... 

Let the apples cook on high for 3-5 hours, stirring every hour, each hour the apples get a little bit softer and smaller in size.

Once they are soft enough to mash up turn off the crock pot. 

Give the apples a final stir to coat in the spice/sugar juice in the bottom and they they are ready puree!                                      
I did mine in the good old blender in a few batches. I blended them on the highest setting until it was thick and smooth  or until you get the texture you like.

You could add some of the remaining liquid from the crock pot if the mixture was not smooth enough to your liking.

After the apples are blended, pour them into jars or containers and allow them to cool.
Then pop them in refrigerator to store!
So far we had apple butter on pancakes, toast and right out of the jar. It's not quite like butter or quite like jelly, kind of like really smooth silky apple sauce! 

It's not exactly what I was expecting, but it was easy, made my house smell amazing and it's pretty tasty too!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fall Break Mission Two: Devil's Head

Last week, on glorious fall break, Callie's special mission was the Devils's Head Tower in southern Colorado to go for a hike.
I had been there in high school with our church youth group and I remember it being a fun and easy hike, but then again I was 16 and did not have a nine year old with me!

We had plan to go there a few years ago, but due to the weather we chickened out and went somewhere else, but this year we were feeling brave and up for a challenge.

Devil's head is an old look out tower on a top of a mountain that is used for spotting wild fires in the mountains. The look out tower is only accessible by a 3 mile hike and then a climb up some super spooky stairs ( I did not remember them being this high or scary back in 2000!

So after looking at some pictures and scouting the reviews and directions we had our day all mapped out!

If you plan to take this trip, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT  take road 507, unless of course you are a fan of being terrified by 80 degree inclines in which you are looking at the hood of your car, while driving 7 miles an hour on a one lane dirt road with sheer cliff sides on one side and jutted, rocky mountains on the other and what felt like hundreds of switchbacks and ruts ,while your poor car is doing everything in its power to not go sliding backwards, for 30 minutes. (THIS IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION, I am being 100% serious)

There were points where I was sure that we were going to die, but what choice did we have?? It's not like we could have turned around!

When we finally arrived in the sandy parking lot, I wanted to kiss the level, solid ground, after I stopped shaking, but I did not, we had a hike to make!

It was almost worth the perilous journey up the mountain once we got to hiking...

It was just as beautiful as I remember and it was another perfecto fall day... The trees, the colors the fresh air! It is such a blessing to live in such an amazingly, beautiful place!!

The hike starts with a pretty spooky path into the mountains where a tornado last year took out most of the trees on the mountain side. It was a little eerie to see huge pine and aspen tree totally uprooted! Glad we weren't there that day!

After you get past the initial devastation, it is a a beautiful walk through the aspens!

She was in awe!
After a hike  rock climb through the aspens, this is the view...

Holy Rocky Mountains, batman!

A nice family snapped this pic for us! Thankfully all of the people we met on the trail were super nice and friendly, no creepy murderers today!

Aaaannnddd, we made it!!

After some contemplating of the steep climb up, and some educational reading, we braved the stairway to heaven, to the lookout tower!
The tower!

The Rocky Mountain side

Eastern Colorado side!
You can see over a 100 mile radius on both sides of the tower, it was just so beautiful!
We spent about an hour in the tower, reading all of the articles and looking at all of the pictures people have posted there and chatting with the family that lives there in the summer and marveling at the beauty that God created!
PS, you better believe that once we were at the top of that look out tower and I had cell service, I map quested a different route home, far, far away from the ridiculousness that is road 507!

It was such a wonderful adventure to share with Callie and I am so glad that were brave enough to make it up the road and up those ladders! Mission #Two was successful!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fall Break Mission One: Zoo

Last week was a jam packed week of adventures on fall break and we had so much fun! Getting back in the swing of school and work has been hard! 

I let the kiddos choose a special thing that they wanted to do, Kellen's day was, you guessed it, the zoo! 

That kid has been talking about the zoo, since our visit last month. Maybe it has something to do with his obsession with the the show the Lion Guard??? He is always running around the house pretending that he is saving animals and protecting them from the hyenas in the pride lands. The other day he destroyed the couch to make his den in pride rock. You can't make this stuff up people!

On Monday it was a glorious day, super warm, we didn't even keep our jackets on for most of the morning! All of the creatures were out and I think we caught almost every show that there was to see! Yay!

We got to feed the giraffes!

Kellen loved the alligator, this was the only picture that he would actually smile for! Do you see the creepy gator lurking in the water??

Waiting for the elephant show! He was SO excited about this one!

Still waiting, that smile is fading a little...

and finally... the show! Yay! The only disappointment was that Groucho would not be tricked into swimming that morning, but it was a good show nonetheless!

He was very serious about driving the pretend car too. He said, "I can't take a picture now, mom, I am trying to drive this thing!"

Taking zoo pictures with kids is always a little tricky, they will not be distracted by your constant need to document them, while there are cool animals to look at!
Fall break mission one was a success. We ended up spending 6 hours, 6 long hours at the zoo! But we saw it all let me tell you, with no where to be and no one rushing us or being cranky, the zoo was quite the amazing trip and I left with 2 very happy and very tired little nuggets!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Brien's Green Chile

I promised this recipe last year and lost the recipe my darling husband had written down, but I was going through my cook books this week and lookie what I found!!!
We stocked up on green chilies at the pumpkin patch, I am talkin' a bushel, like 10 lbs of green chilies taking up my fridge. When we got home my mister immediately set to work making some green chile and it was so good! 

He refused to take pictures as he goes, like I do (I get made fun of relentlessly for stopping while I am cooking to snap pictures) but the finished product was just beautiful, the smell was literally mouth watering and I actually just ended up eating it with a spoon in a bowl, like soup!

You need to above ingredients. In case you can't read it...
You need:
4 cups of water
6 tsps of chicken bullion
1 7oz can of diced tomatoes, we use mild rotel
1/2 of a white onion chopped
1 lb of diced pork
4 large green chilies, chopped
1 tsp of minced garlic
2 Tbsp of flour

This year we doubled all of the ingredients and it was gone in 3 days flat. So the moral of the story is, make a big batch.

First bring the water and bullion to a boil in a large stock pot. Once it is rolling add in the tomatoes, onions, green chiles and garlic.

In a 12 inch pan, saute the diced pork until cooked through and then add in the flour to make a roux. 
Then add that into the broth and veggies. This year we also added some fresh diced jalapenos (totally optional) to have some extra heat.

Next let it simmer on low and let all those yummy flavors mix together. I think Brien simmered it for about an hour and then we couldn't stand it any longer and had to eat some! It was a little soupy last year so Brien added in a cornstarch/water mixture to thicken it up a titch. Just mix 2 Tbsp of cornstarch and a splash of water. Add it in until you have the desired texture! Be careful a little goes a long way!

It thickened up perfectly and ta-da!

I had never been introduced to the wonderful world of green chile before I met Brien and now it has become a fall staple! We had no idea what we were doing the first time we made it, so give it try, you will NOT be disappointed!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Adventures at the Patch

Last weekend, in the name of traditions, had to visit our favorite pumpkin patch! We went early to avoid the crowds and it was the PER-fecto, most beautiful, fall day! I heart the pumpkin patch!

This little gem showed up in my facebook feed this morning from 4 years ago... Those sweet little squishy cheeks, oh my precious girl!

This year there were 2 sweet squishy faces and they had so much fun!
The kids had a blast exploring and playing and Brien and I get to sit back and let them! 
Oy, the colors! What is not to love?

They have some sweet new cut outs this year. Kellen thought this was super fun because he is going to be a ghost this year for Halloween!

Our favorite old games!

Awesome things to climb on and get filthy!

The good old train..

I love that they have a place to wash up your pumpkin, and the kids always have fun splashing, 'cause let's be real, these pumpkins were not even that dirty!

Not much taller this year, but still my sweet little pumpkin!
We better believe we left that place with a boat load of pumpkins and  roasted green chiles and precious memories with our loves!