Ok, I am a huge nerd and every year I can't help but bust out singing "Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree" everytime we are out hunting for that perfect tree. I think picking out the tree is one of my favorite traditions of the season. This year the weather on the day we went was gorgeous! Sunny (a bit cold, but that is what the hot cocoa is for!) and blue skies. Cody, Kora and I met up with my parents, my sister and her roomates, Cody's sister's family and his parents. We all caravaned out to a new tree farm that my brother recommended. The selling point for this farm is the fact that they SHAKE THE TREE! So COOL! Less needles on my floor and fewer spiders left on the tree once it enters my home, love love love it. Anyway, once we got to the farm we all went our seperate ways and each found our trees. This farm had an amazing amount of beautiful trees....I am one of those people who can't just cut down the first 'good' tree I see....I need to walk around and be sure that it really is the best one on the farm :) We found a great one we both agreed on and Cody went to town cutting it down. Four hours later it was up and sparkling in our house! (Pictures of the finished product to come..)
Kora and her mittens
Getting ready to cut the tree down
Kora's first experience with a candycane - she loved it!
My cousin Rachel's baby girl is turning one in a few weeks. I made these shoes to match her birthday outfit. Didn't they turn out so cute? I love the grey and pink color combo...I almost like it more than my beloved brown and pink combo! These will be available soon in my Etsy shop.
Growing up I remember my Mom making the most amazing caramel corn. A while back I go that recipe from her and I just can't seem to make it through the Halloween/Fall time without itching to make it. We were headed over to my brother's house to watch the Oregon Ducks play USC a few weeks ago (they won by the way, and are ranked number one!) and so I made up the caramel corn to take over to share with everyone. This recipe just instantly takes me back to my childhood, I love it.
3 poppers of popcorn
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
5 tbsp. butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
Combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and corn syrup into sauce pan.
Melt and bring to a boil for one minute. Then remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.
Prepare popcorn (place in large bowls to make it easier to stir in the caramel).
Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir it all together till the popcorn is well coated. Let cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy!! And enjoy you will!
So this past Saturday I found myself with a little free time. Cody was busy tiling the back splash in our kitchen (yay!! - I'm sure I will get pics up when it is more presentable) and Kora was ACTUALLY playing by herself in her playroom (this does not happen often so I had to take advantage!). I had bought the supplies to make a coffee filter wreath so I went for it!
12 inch wreath (bought mine at the Dollar Tree, love that place!)
Brown Coffee Filters - pack of 200 for $2.49
Hot Glue Gun
Black ribbon (I used some ribbon I had at the house)
Total cost - $3.49 (awesome right?!?!)
Ok, here is the confession though, I meant to take pictures as I went along so I could post a tutorial but I got so excited about working on it that I was practically done before I thought of it. Sorry! While it was a bit time consuming it was really easy to do.
I scored big time when I met Cody....not only is he an amazing loving husband and father, contractor (who seriously can do just about anything around the house), but he is an awesome chef! He went to culinary school and worked in the restraunt industry prior to meeting me. So yes, I am extremely lucky to have a good cook in the house. He cooks fancy and I cook more homestyle, so we get lots of variety! :) For his birthday this year what he wanted was to cook a meal for other people. And not just any meal, a 7 course meal!! So we invited a few friends over and the ten of us enjoyed a 3 hour meal together. It was awesome.
Here is the menu for the evening:
Crab salad with Grapefruit
Seared Scallop Ceviche
Apple granita & Apple Chips
Halibut topped with Lemon Foam & Tomato Salad
Chicken with Risotto Cake & Peach Gastrique Sauce
Pan Roasted Filet, Roasted Mushrooms & Grilled Asparagus
Chocolate Cake & Hazelnut Gelato
We were really full by the end of the night.........
One of the courses - Crab salad with grapefruit. SO good!
'Chips and Salsa' is what this is called.
Seared scallop ceviche. And on our china we got for our wedding that we finally are using!
The chef preparing the dessert - Chocolate cake and Hazelnut gelato. YUM!
I love everything about fall...pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking, cozy blankets, candles, crunchy leaves, cool but sunny days, rainy weather combined with a good movie or book....everything! I love the way fall makes me feel thankful and excited. It brings in the holiday season just perfectly. This past weekend Cody, Kora and I headed over to the Oregon Heritage Farms. Our plan was to buy apples but they were a bit more expensive than I wanted so I hope to make an apple picking trip soon. But we did enjoy looking at pumpkins and walking around in the beautiful sunny Fall weather.
Kora thought every pumpkin was a perfect seat for her....
Kora found a pumpkin that was just her size....too bad it wasn't for sale! She was a good sport about putting it back though.
So I decided to jump on the homemade laundry soap bandwagon. I had been wanting to try it for a while but was a bit nervous that it wouldn't clean clothes good enough. But I did some research and read reviews and people were very happy with it and said it cleaned just as good if not better than store bought detergents....and they were right! I have been using it for over a month now and I am really love it, plus it is a great way to save money! Another bonus is that it was actually been better for our washing machine. We have a front load washer and the liquid detergent that we had used would build up inside and cause an odor over time. With the homemade detergent that is not the case.
Here is the recipe I used:
1 cup Borax ($3.99)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda ($2.99)
1 Bar Ivory Soap (Pack of 10 bars for $2.99)
For each average size load of wash I use 1 1/2 tbsp and for larger loads I use 2 tbsp. of the soap. The ingredients I purchased should give me about 10 batches of the reciped listed above and that should average about 175 loads of laundry. This equals to about $.17 per load, not bad! Plus, it only takes about 5 minutes to make up this recipe.
**UPDATE** We have been using this recipe for over 6 months and I have only used half of the products I orignially purchased. I am pretty positive that we are averaging better than $.17 per load.
First, grate the bar of soap. I purchased a cheese grater from the Dollar Tree so that I can use it specifically for soap.
Once the soap is grated you can add 1/2 cup of the Borax and the Washing Soda. Mix it all together and you are done! So easy!
Then find a cute container to put it in (that is a must!) :)