Thursday, August 28, 2014

Friday favorites: Fall edition!

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither    

Goldenrod path
I've been waiting all summer to do a Fall Friday favorites post and I just can't wait any longer!  I love love love fall!  I love the weather, the clothes, the leaves, the pumpkins, the apples, the holidays!  I love decorating for fall.  I love it all! 

1.  Fall decorating

I love decorating the house for fall.  I do both the inside and outside.  The outside usually consists of sort of mixture of wreaths, pumpkins, and mums.  I've been known to throw a hay bale and cornstalk in there too!  This year I am looking forward to receiving this new fall wreath I ordered from Plow and Hearth.

Fall Feathers Wreath, 22

Last year's d├ęcor

2.  Apple picking
This has become our little family tradition since Nick was born.  We have quite a few apple orchards around us, but we have a special one we keep going back to.   It's not too big, not too small, and has good quality apples.  They also have some farm animals for the kids to feed, and a little hay bale maze.  Oh, and apple cider donuts too.  YUUMMM.  I probably have about 1000 apple picking pictures, but I will only force you to look at a few.  :)

3. Halloween
I have always loved Halloween.  Trick or treating, costumes, Halloween parties, and of course CANDY (and maybe just a couple tricks)!  I also love to watch "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown."  I was so disappointed when Nick had no interest in watching it last year.  Well, maybe this year!!

Nick's 1st Halloween.  My cute panda!

This was my favorite costume yet!  I was a yellow crayon, but I'm not showing pictures of that :)

4.  The changing colors of the trees
Fall is such a beautiful season here in the northeast.  It is absolutely breathtaking when the leaves change colors.  Oranges, reds, yellows...they are all beautiful.  We love to take a drive through the Adirondack mountains or out to Vermont when the leaves are at their peak.  You know, "leaf peeping" (BTW, I always thought that was such a silly expression!).  Nature's beauty can be astounding!

Covered bridge in these!

5.  Pumpkin craving and all things pumpkin
Pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cheesecake.  YES to all of it!  Although I don't really crave pumpkin any other time of the year, I can't get enough of it once fall hits!  And what is more fun than carving pumpkins??  OK, scooping out the guts is kind of gross, but I love the finished product!

So there you have it friends!  Some of my favorite things about fall. What are some of your favorites?  Do you have any special plans for the fall season?  Any fun family traditions?  I'd love to hear all about it!

Linking up with:
That Friday Blog Hop
Friday Favorites with Diary of a Real Housewife
Andrea, Erika and Narci for Friday Favorites
Friday Flash Blog
Oh Hey Friday


Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer weekending

It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend!  I got to do some things that have been on my list since June!  Good thing considering this is the last "official" week of summer.  How did that happen?  All my Southern Facebook friends are posting 1st day of school pictures today.  Next week school will start for all of us in the Northeast.  Crazy!

Saturday started out with soccer practice (cancelled from Thursday due to rain).  After some grocery shopping and cleaning and organizing at home, we headed out to go berry picking (1 of the things on my summer to-do list).  We headed to Bowman Orchards for pick your own blueberries and raspberries.  The kids had a blast running through the rows of blueberry and raspberry bushes, and eating just as many as they picked!  Hubs and I were literally dripping with sweat.  I think it must have been one of the most humid days of the year.  While we were there, we also picked up some cider donuts.  Sooo good!  I had all sorts of plans for our fruit (smoothies, muffins) however the boys have devoured over half of our haul already so I don't think that will happening.  We'll be heading back in a few weeks when apple picking season is in full swing (and the humidity is gone).  We have gone apple picking every year since Nickolas was born.  It's our fall family tradition!  I can't wait to make some apple pie, apple crisp, and apple muffins!

Saturday night was capped off with some delicious take out pizza from one of our favorite spots.  We were going to start watching "Orange is the new black" on Netflix, but we are lame old people now and were too tired!  LOL  Is anyone watching this show?  What do you think?  Hubs and I were huge fans of Dexter and Breaking Bad and we need a new series to watch now that they are both over.

Sunday morning the boys were up at 7am (as usual) so I sat on the couch watching cartoons, drinking coffee and catching up on some of my favorite blogs (and refereeing a 1 and 4 year old fighting over toys).  Once hubs got up, we got dressed and ready and hit the Farmers Market (the other thing on my summer to do list).  I have been wanting to go to our town's Farmers Market for oh, like 5 years!  Why haven't I gone?  I don't know because it's literally 5 minutes from the house!

The Farmers Market is right on the "waterfront."  We walked around a bit and watched a boat make it's way through the locks (the Erie Canal).  It's pretty cool if you've never seen it.  Then we checked out the vendors.  It's not a huge Farmers Market, but it has the usual....all sorts of fresh veggies and fruit, plants, cut flowers, homemade desserts, homemade soaps and candles, crafts, etc.  There was even a vendor with a bunch of gluten free desserts.  The flourless chocolate cake looked really good.  Almost bought it but didn't.  Maybe next time.  They usually have a local musician playing and a small kid's area set up too. 

After buying some fresh veggies and making our way to the car, I was excited to see they were offering kayak rentals.  There were probably 15 people out kayaking on the river.  Hubs and I said we should definitely do that soon, then remembered how we capsized our canoe at Blue Mountain Lake. Soo... maybe not.

Hubs spent the afternoon working outside and I stayed inside with the kids.  We set up this cute little tent on our deck and the boys loved climbing in and out of it and hiding in it!  Nick wanted to sleep in it last night, but I told him we needed an air mattress first.  The deck is hard!!

It was definitely a lovely weekend.  I am so happy I checked 2 things off my summer to do list!  How was your weekend?  What did you do?  Any plans for the last weekend of summer?

Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop
Meandering Mondays
Monday morning gossip
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Little Friday link up

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Faves: Things that brighten my day

TGIF!!!  For real.  It's been a tough week and I am soo glad it's over!
After yesterday's depressing post, I feel it is my duty to share with you the top 5 things that cheer me up, brighten my day, and get me laughing!

1. A good comedy, like Step Brothers!

This movie cracks me up!   I've watched it more times than I can count but it still makes me laugh out loud!

2.  Barry Manilow.
Yes.  It's true.  I love Barry.  His songs just make me happy.  Don't judge me.  And if you try and tell me you don't like a little Copacabana, I'm not buying it!

3. Ice cream
Well of course!  It's a no-brainer.   Give me a bowl of mint chip or chocolate and my spirits are instantly lifted!

4. Shopping!
Yes, a little retail therapy will always lift my spirits.  Maybe a new purse? Love me some Dooney & Bourke!

5. These crazies!  There's nothing in the world that can put a smile on my face like these two!

Happy weekend everyone!!

Linking up with the following lovely ladies!
Andrea at Momfessionals
Megan at All the Joys
Jennie at The Diary of a Real Housewife
Karli at September Farm
Five Friday Favorites
You signed up for what


Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's been a tough week

Can I tell you something friends?  This week was tough.  I mean really tough.  Not life or death tough, but TOUGH.  Between daycare issues (Nick), head injuries (Alec- he’s fine, but seeing your baby covered in blood is a bit disconcerting to say the least) and work stress, I am emotionally exhausted. 

To put it simply and without revealing all the details, our daycare situation was no longer working for us. This is a place that my children have gone to (for the most part) 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, since they were 12 weeks old.  This is a place where I felt 100% comfortable leaving my babies.  Do you know how important that is to a working mom?  It is ESSENTIAL.    This is a place where many of the teachers and staff feel like family.  This is a place where people (some) truly love my children.

However, this is also a place that has gone through numerous changes this past year.  Changes that might have been right for some, but not for our son.  Changes that no longer made us feel 100% comfortable leaving our children there.  Changes that angered us and concerned us.  And changes in our son because of all this that no longer made this place the right fit for him.

The past few weeks we have been struggling with what to do.   Struggling with what is right for our son and our family.   And this week, events forced us to make an immediate decision.  And that decision was that I walked into daycare this morning and told them today would be our children’s last day there. 

In many ways, this was a relief.  A decision had been made and the stressors that had been plaguing us at this daycare would be no more.  But this was also a very sad day.  I am saying goodbye to good people that have loved and cared for my children.  My son is saying goodbye to his teachers and his friends, some of which he has been with from the beginning.   When I told Nick’s teacher this morning that this would be his last day, she had tears in her eyes and said she was so sad.  Even as I write this, my eyes are welling up with tears thinking about it.  She has been so amazing with Nick.  She has been his biggest supporter and cheerleader, even when Nick was not at his best.  I feel sad and I feel guilty for taking him away from his friends and away from people who care so much for him.

But... we truly think this is the absolute best move for our family.  We think this is the absolute best move for Nick.  Logistically, geographically, rationally, and financially this is absolutely the best move.  But still, it is hard not to question the decision and worry whether or not it truly was the right one.

I have been trying to remind myself today that many of those friends that Nick has been with for so long will be going off to Kindergarten in another week.  So really, this goodbye was inevitable.  I am reminding myself that last night when I asked my son if he was going to miss his friends he said, “Yes, but I’ll probably make new friends.”  Such a smart boy.  I have been telling myself that we will stay in touch with the important people, and if they are meant to remain our lives, they will.  But this doesn’t make the fact that Monday morning I will be dropping my children off someplace new with people they don’t really know, one single bit easier. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


I love all the "Currently" posts I've been reading so I thought I would do one of my own.

Thinking:  About gender reveal parties.  When did these things become popular and why am I just now finding out about them?  They seem like so much fun.  I wish I had one!

Reading:  Nothing much right now other than blogs and recipes.  Need to find a new book to lose myself in.  Any suggestions?

Watching: Lego Star Wars- the Yoda Chronicles.  I could probably cite this episode word for word.  We watch it at least 5 times a week.  Truthfully though, I don't mind. Nick loves it and it really is quite funny!

Listening to:  See above.  Also Nick's commentary on the show..."Do you like Darth Vader, mom? Isn't R2D2 cool?  Do you think he's cooler than Darth Vader? Ewww R2D2 ate a tissue!  Do you like Han Solo?"

Thankful for:  This time, this MOMENT with my son, snuggled up together on the couch in our PJs.  How my heart bursts with love for these boys!

Linking up with:
Pig and Dac
Wake up Wednesday
Hump day happenings

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekending and a recipe

It's Sunday night, and I'm wishing the weekend could last a little longer.  I'm not quite ready for the stress of the week yet.  Dinner is done, dishes are done, baths are done.  Backpacks and snacks are packed for tomorrow.  The nightly bedtime routine will soon be upon us.  But for right now, Nick and I sit together watching "Up" and I am enjoying this quiet time with my 4 year old boy. 

Here's a little recap of our weekend...

Soccer started!!

Nick had his first practice and it brought back so many happy soccer memories for me!  I hope Nick grows to love soccer as much as I did!

Saturday we went out for a late breakfast at our favorite diner, then went for a long drive.  We ended up a beautiful state park that is right next to an apple orchard.  Our plan was to get some delicious cider donuts for the ride home.  But when I got to the counter, the girl told me they ran out!  How do you run out when you bake them on site?  Oh well.

Sunday was a lazy day.  We watched movies and played inside in the morning, then headed out to the school playground for the afternoon.

I also spent some time on Pinterest and found some fun fall kids crafts and some new recipes to try.

This was Sunday dinner (before being cooked in the oven).
I was looking for a somewhat healthy stuffed pepper recipe that didn't include rice.  I came across this recipe for Mexican style stuffed peppers. I browned up a pound of ground turkey with a finely chopped jalepeno pepper, then threw in some taco seasoning (I used hot).  Next I threw in a large handful of baby spinach and a jar of Rotel diced tomatoes (the original recipe calls for salsa).  The original recipe calls for beans too, but since I HATE beans, I left them out.  :)   You're also supposed to put cheese on top of the peppers but I left it off as hubs wasn't eating cheese today (I did put some parm cheese on top of mine which actually tasted quite good). 
Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes and viola!  A healthy and delicious dinner!  You can also dab some sour cream and chopped cilantro on top before serving.  Honestly, it's already flavorful enough that you don't need it.   

Well friends, that was our weekend.  Nothing too exciting but still thoroughly enjoyable!  I still haven't made it to the Sunday Farmers Market OR berry picking, but I'm really hoping to get those 2 things in before the end of summer!!  I also really want to make fireweed jelly!!  To all my Alaska readers- any tips???  I guess the first step is making sure the plant I think is fireweed is REALLY fireweed!!  It probably would also be a good idea to TRY some fireweed jelly before I embark on making a batch.  But where the heck do you get fireweed jelly in NY????  I can't find it anywhere!!

So everyone, how was your weekend???

Linking up with:
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