Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday Francies: My Favorite Boots

Happy Friday y'all! Hope everyone has had a great week. {AV}'s prompt for this week's Friday Fancies was to create your favorite outfit with BOOTS. I searched for a while with this one, but in all honestly, I just adore the boots I have, so I decided to create my outfit around them. Two years ago, I got these brown boots from Aldo and I literally wear them 5 out of 7 days in the fall/winter. They are so versatile and so practically comfortable (as proved by the fact that 2 seasons later, they are still for sale).  I opted to pair them with some colorful earrings from Francesa's, the Allegheny dress my mom is currently knitting me in a heather blue (check out the progress on her blog!) and my dream item- the gold Michael Kors boyfriend watch. This is my perfect fall outfit.
How about yours? Do you have a favorite boot you wear time and time again? I have four pairs of boots: my Aldo riding boots, my new DV booties, red patent leather Kenneth Cole rain boots (yea, I do...thanks Mom) and a pair of cowboy boots I've had since my 17th birthday (hmm.. thanks again mom). Between these and my rainbows, I would never need another shoe (don't read this husband..need and want are two very different stories).

Thanks {av} for the link up! Have a great weekend my friends!


This week's photography challenge over at A Step in the Journey was to capture something about hands. I was actually a horrible student this week and didn't have a planned post until I remembered a picture I sent to my mom the other day. Poor Baby B is teething and had decided that my hands are the perfect remedy. Look at that determination!
 Hang in there little man!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apple Pumpkin Muffins

Since our little apple picking outing last week, we have been trying to use up the bushel of apples we came home with. We have had apples for snack, made apple pancakes for breakfast and had cinnamon apples as a side dish for dinner.
Peel, Slice and saute apples in butter, cinnamon and sugar. You'll thank me later.
In keeping with desire for fall to be near, C and I decided to make some Apple-pumpkin muffins and adapted this recipe from What you'll need:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped peeled apples
  • STREUSEL (aka the BEST PART)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons cold butter
  • Two grumpy helpers -->

  • 1. Mix together all the dry ingredients in one bowl.
    2. In a separate bowl, blend eggs, veg. oil and pumpkins.
    3. Add dry ingredient mixture to wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
    4. Add apples.
    5. Spoon into muffin pan (and leftovers into a bread pan if you are feeling lazy like I was)
    6. Top with struesel mix, made by combining sugar and flour and cutting butter into mixture until crumbly.
     7. Bake at 350 for 35ish minutes until your house smells like fall.
    We still have apples to spare, so Bennett is now doing his part not to let them go to waste.
    What's your favorite apple recipe?


    This week, I've been thinking about overly-matching accessories:
    Love the pops of magenta on this outfit and am pretty sure I need to go get that nail polish today.

    Gray and emerald is a fantastic combo. I'll definitely take the ring!
     And new crafts to do with and for the boys:
    Tool Bench made from a night stand! Love, love, love.

    How cute is this idea?

    Cullen would get such a kick out of this.
    Cute butterflies for their playroom.
     And of course, some fabulous fall food:
    Pumpkin Doughnuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze.
     What's on your visual mind this week?

    Edited to Add: I just linked to The Vintage Apple's Oh, How Pinteresting Party. Go check it out!

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Apple Picking

    Happy Monday Friends! How was your weekend? We decided to celebrate the official beginning of Fall by going apple picking! We found a great little ranch about 30 minutes away in Watsonville and had a great afternoon.
    The complex was complete with a produce stand, play and picnic area, pumpkin patch, antique store, pie shop and apple and strawberry picking.

    Cullen had a great time picking the apples. We were actually expecting bigger trees, I would say these were more like apple bushes, but it ended up being nice for him since he could reach all the apples himself.

    Right next to the apple orchard were the strawberry fields. We didn't intend on getting any, but when we saw how good they looked, we figured it couldn't hurt!

    And here are come cute pictures of Bennett since he didn't get any love at the orchard :)

    Hope your week is off to a great start!

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Friday Fancies

    This is my first link up to Long Distance Loving's Friday Fancies and before we move on to my first attempt at an outfit, I must first share with you the reason why I am joining.

    1. I'm still trying to be a cool mom. When I was a mom of one, I was definitely able to look cute everyday. Now, (and it makes me cringe as I type this) there are days where I don't really get dressed. However, it is officially fall and I can casually transition my desire for sundresses to a desire to be cozy, cozy, comfy, therefore embracing a hip, stay-at-home-mommy style.

    2. Every blog I have read since I found the Friday Francies link-up, I have enjoyed. So my hope is that there are like-minded ladies that will enjoy my little piece of fashion too.

    3. Making this little outfit on powerpoint just made me feel infinitely cooler because I really didn't know I could it. So, without further ado, here is my cozy fall outfit, perfect for a day at the park or a date night (which is what we SAHM have to prepare for).
    Earrings: Fubish Stuido, Dress: Old Navy, Clutch: Forever 21, Shoes: Bloomingdales (I actually have these and loooooooove them)

    Thanks {av} for letting me link up! Happy Weekend my friends!

    A Mess and Crab Dip (Unrelated)

    For the past few Thursdays, I have jumped on board with LB's photography challenge and I have really been enjoying it because it gives me new purpose with my camera and I have made some great new bloggie friends. This week's challenge was to take a picture of a mess. This should have been a pretty easy task considering at least one section of my house is always a mess. (Do you ever feel that by the time you clean the whole house, where ever you started from is dirty again? If anyone knows how to avoid that, please share!) But after a few days of searching for the perfect mess that would also make a pretty picture, I was coming up short.

    Then, on Monday, as luck would have it, I heard Cullen say from his play room "O no! Gordon, yous a mess!" and I quickly grabbed my camera to see what happened.

    Cullen has an incredible imagination and has the most complex story lines going on in his playroom which he can easily relate back to me. One of my favorite things to do is to listen to him play. For this particular mess, it went a little something like this "Mommy, Dordon was chuggin' on da tracks but falled in da water. Thomas, he'z a bery useful engine and helps hiz friendz. Thomas is a wittle engine, so Spencer had to help too. All the oder engines, they crashed in da water. Da track is broken. Da big, big, big snow storm did it to da track. Awww Man! Dordon is sad." What a beautiful mess.

    Now, onto a recipe, one of my favorites: easy crab dip. Here's what you need:
    1 package of cream cheese, softened
    1 can of crab meat, drained (I used canned, but if I have a few dollar to spare will buy the fresher stuff from the seafood counter)
    2 tablespoons (2-3 big squirts) of mayo
    1 teaspoon (2-3 dashes) of Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    1 cup of mexican cheese blend (I have also used mild cheddar)
    Old Bay to taste

    Mix cream cheese and crab until blended. Add mayo, worcestershire sauce, lemon juice until blended. Then mix in cheese and lots of old bay. Transfer from bowl into baking dish. Top with a little cheese and Old Bay.

    Bake at 350 for 10 minuets until hot and bubbly. Serve with crackers and be prepared for compliments.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Santa Cruzin' and Purple Green Beans

    1. Santa Cruzin'. Since husband had the day off yesterday and we saw that the weather in Santa Cruz was sunny and 77 (I never knew I'd go nuts over 77), we decided to pack up our darlings and drive 30 minutes north to spend the day at the beach. It turned out to be a gorgeous day and it felt o-so-nice to be in the warm, warm sun again.
    Baby B's tent before we got the big tent set up.


    Bennett slept for the majority of the afternoon- I think this would qualify as 'cozy, cozy, cozy, comfy' for sure.

    2. Purple Green Beans. We have been meaning to go to one of the many Farmer's Markets in Monterey since we moved, but I always seem to confuse/forget the dates and times and had yet to been to one. I was determined to make it this week and was so glad that I did! I wish I had taken pictures while we were there because everything was so pretty. It is always depressing to head back to a regular grocery store after seeing the beauty of fresh fruits and veggies, plus Farmer's Market prices are so much cheaper. I picked up corn, broccoli, red potatoes, beans, flowers and fresh kettle korn for $14. My favorite purchase by far was my beans, look how pretty:
    I'm cooking them tonight and I'll let you know what they taste like!

    Hope you are having a great week!

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Go To Bed Ralph!

    It's been a while since we have visited darling Ralph, Cullen's evil twin and I thought there was no time like a Tuesday to bring him back. You see, we are very blessed that our boys are good sleepers and have never had major bedtime or naptime issues (knocking on wood as I type this). Since Cullen was a bitty baby (and now Bennett too), we just put him in his bed, read a book or two, give him his lovies, turn off the light and shut the door. We have no idea how long it takes him to fall asleep because we have never used a monitor and he's never come out of his room until the morning. We just know that he sleeps, and for 12 hours at a time... until now. Ralph has re-entered our lives in the manner of 'how many excuses can I muster in order not to go to bed'?

    Every evening, after we easily put our boys to bed, husband and I sit on the couch, ready to put the day behind us and watch tv, {blog} and unwind. But lately, after ten minutes or so, we will hear a little creak of the door, followed by the pitter-patter of two year old toes to the op of our staircase. And then Ralph will annouce:

    Mommm-AY... I need to get comfy, comfy, comfy cozy. {editor's note: how many levels of comfy can you really have before you are cozy?}

    a few minutes later

    Daddd-AY... I need a sip of wa-ter. {editor's note: he already had some}

    a few minutes later

    Mommm-AY... Broder left his towel in your room. {editor's note: C still confuses 'your' and 'my'}

    a few minutes later

    Daddd-AY...Kevin da Train needs to go downdtairs {editor's note: C is very particular about where his toys belong: crayons and trains down'dairs', cars and animals up'dairs'}

    a few minutes later

    Momm-AY... my teef hurt and I need med-cine. {editor's note: no}

    a few minutes later

    Dadd-AY...I need to go potty. {editor's note: high five Cullen, way to be potty trained}

    35 minutes later

    Me: surely there is nothing else Ralph can come up with right? Right? And seriously, are we never going to learn who Ted is going to marry? Come on season preimer of How I Met Your Mother, you're killin me.

    a few minutes later

    Mommmy-Ay...can I lay in broder's bed?  {editor's note: Most certainly not, Go to bed Ralph}

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Creation Appreciation Sunday

    Yesterday, after determining we couldn't waste anytime inside, the family and I took a little time out for some 'creation appreciation.' We were up early (Cullen and Bennett seem to whisper and plot with each other when they feel like getting up before 7) and were debating which mass to go to when we realized the sun was out and we need to take advantage of it before it headed back into the cloud. So we packed the boys up and headed down to Point Lobos State Reserve to have our spiritual morning and appreciate the world in which we live.
    We are really beginning to enjoy the beauty that Cali has to offer. It almost looks fake doesn't it?

    Baby B and I taking a ride.

    Kev and I reached into the depths of our 5th grade knowledge to be amazed that at how old these cliffs are.
     Just amazing.

    My sweet little family (C was way stressed out about the wind)

    My boys climbing the rocks. Totally safe, I swear.

    This seal was just hanging out on the beach, totally unnerved by the people. Did I wake up Sunday morning thinking I'd get this close to a seal? Creation Appreciation indeed.

    View from the Cyprus Grove, made famous by Ansel Admas

    And for the rest of the day, I had a little Creation Appreciation for the two sweetest little boys on the planet. Look at Baby B's eyes, I mean really.
     This was Cullen 'teachin' broder to play carz'. Have you ever seen such a thing?

    Don't you live just taking a little time out to appreciate the beauty around us? I know it starts my week off right.

    What creations are you appreciating these days?