Sunday, October 30, 2011

on some thoughts...

I've hardly been very talkative lately. I feel like not much has been said. There's really no reason for it either. Sometimes I just get tucked up in my own head and lack the motivation to write. It's actually quite strange because I feel like in my head I am constantly writing. I'm always in there reciting things as they form inside my brain but then the whole process of me typing all of it down just fails. So here is my attempt to regurgitate all of my thoughts in no particular order.

In any case, life has been good. Well, sort of. I seriously don't understand why in the hell we got snow yesterday. Yes, you heard me right SNOW! And it's not even NOVEMBER yet?? Are you flipping kidding me people? All jokes aside, this is the last straw. Philadelphia is evil. Sorry everyone that I know and love here. But snow in October is absurd. Don't ruin my lovely Fall experience and bring snow along. No way.

I've been kept busy with working more hours this week than usual, a little boy who has been very chipper of late (not to mention he woke up at 6:40am yesterday wanting to play the new Batman game I bought his father), lots of laundry that has yet to be folded, and a do-to list a mile high. Long list short I've been busy. It might not sound busy to you but for this girl it is!

Speaking of work, Holidays are just around the corner and along with the Holiday cheer my anxiety starts to kick in. We've already received the Holiday hours, since we're in the mall they fluctuate a lot. And from now on until after New Years that little sheet with those hours will be my bible. I live it and breath it. From now on I'll be hiring and making up mock schedules and going bananas. But in the end after all the craziness I really enjoy the Holidays in the mall. Everyone is so happy :) Not to mention the tips are great. And yes, I am grinning ear to ear by the thought.

I'm finally at the half way mark in The Stand. Should I be embarrassed that it's taking me so long? I do know that I haven't been able to dedicate too much of my time to this book but seriously it starting to feel like I will never finish it. It's an amazing book though and I'm constantly reminded of how incredible Stephen King is, I mean, how in the heck can you come up with all of this stuff! It amazes me beyond belief. I will finish it...eventually.

I'm sure you all knowing Breaking Dawn will be here in no more than twenty days. Hurrah! In utter happiness of this event I am holding a Twilight Slumber Party at my house the weekend before the release. There will be popcorn, drinks, food, and vampire boys who sparkle I mean we'll be watching all of the Twilight Saga. Not to forget my Twilight trivia games :) I've been scheming this for a while now and even though just a few of my girls are coming over I am freakishly excited about. I'll even go to the lengths of kicking my boys out of the house. Mean Mommy. Don't worry they won't be kicked out onto the curb, they have a nice warm home to go to. As much as I would love to see Breaking Dawn at the midnight showing in reality I'm getting a bit old for it. Don't laugh. Being a mother and having to wake up in the wee hours of the morning just isn't as easy anymore. And the youngsters I find just end up pissing me off with their obnoxious giggling. So alas I will be going the week after were I'll be the only one in the world who hasn't seen the greatest movie ever made. I'm made my peace with it.

Yet again it's also time for my Holiday blues. I miss my family & friends from back home much more this time of year than ever. It can get hard some days. Lately I've been missing my little sister who by the way isn't so little anymore. I'm very proud of her for doing great in the hairdressing academy she is attending. She is excelling with such speed and is already coloring clients hair!! Plus I am totally jealous of her funky fun hair :)

Well, it's Sunday and Sebastian wouldn't have this zombie feeling mother to sleep in much today so I best be off and start on my chores of the day. Since the snow is still on the ground we won't be going much anywhere until the sun melts it all. Tomorrows Halloween and there's lots of fun to be had. Rest up everyone!!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

on some link love...

This adorable hat. On my list of things to buy off this whimsical etsy shop.

My new fun food blog that gives me lots of inspiration in my kitchen. I urge you to check it out!

Another etsy gem. This ring.

I want long hair just so I can do this to it! Seriously isn't it the cutest thing ever?!

Swooning over this camera bag. Camera bags have become my new obsession.

Loving Shelfari. Such a great way to organize and keep track of all books you intend to read or have read already! 

Is is wrong that I'm starting to create a liking to cowboy boots? I blame my son. I want these even if they are ridiculously priced and I would never buy them. 1. 2. & 3

This book that I bought for having some fun with Sebastian on these fall & winter months ahead.

Love our new favorite--Piatto Grille. Best calamari and wild mushroom pizza we've ever had! And seriously their mushroom ravioli's are to die for! Both Bobby and I think this restaurant has made our top 5. Mouth is watering, great. 

I heart how fabulous facebook can be for networking! If you are looking for a seasonal job I'm hiring over at my Saxbys shop. Email me!  

I am so going to make this DIY Triangle Bunting Necklace that Kaylah over at Dainty Squid has up on her darling blog. So cute!

These spooky Halloween adult beverages are crazy wicked. My favorite gals did a good job and I'm not going to lie that I'm surprised that they were still standing afterwards :) Love you girls!!

I've never made caramel apples before. After seeing these on the Pioneer Women I think it's about time!! Yumm-o!


on Kamptoberfest 2011...

We had a nice time getting together with the crew. Here are some of my favorite pictures, since I did end up taking like 200 photos of Kamptoberfest 2011. Hurrah!
The weekend was full of sitting around the campfire, drinking lots of hot tea, painting & carving pumpkins, taking a beautiful canoe ride, lovely fall colors & hidden mushrooms, Woody the cowboy & his friends trick or treating, a pumpkin puking out it's guts (my favorite pumpkin I've ever did see!), a cowboy with some pretty hip moves, a sneaky boy getting caught eating candy in bed, and the grand finale-- pumpkin pinata smashing! It was cold and Saturday morning I was with out coffee for a short while, and we know that is noooo good! But all in all fun time and great memories made :) 
Oh by the way, fun fact for you, this was Aunt Cheryl and her gang's 15th year of Kamptoberfest! Unbelievable huh? I think stuff like that is so cool. All those memories and fun times to cherish over the years and revisit again each year :) 


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

on pumpkin pull-apart bread...

Tuesdays are by far one of my favorite days! Mainly because it's a day off for me and I mean a real day off! Sebastian goes to preschool for a few hours and I get some time to get things done. No interruptions. No being side tracked. Just me and my list of to do's. Face to face. And ready to party. We all know pumpkin baking was on that very list :) So today I will start out with sharing a recipe that I've been very excited about and a wee bit nervous too. But alas, it turned out sinful! Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread. Ok, time to go put your comfy pants. go. now. 

Oh boy. This sticky & sweet pumpkin bread is simply seductive. Fluffy layered pumpkin dough stuffed with cinnamon, sugar & perfect for a crispy autumn day :) This recipe does require a dough hook on a kitchen aid mixer but I'm sure you can also knead the dough by hand if you don't have one! 

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread Ingredients: 
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree 
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 envelope)
2 1/2 cup flour

Filling Ingredients: 
1 cup white sugar 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

First off go ahead and grease your loaf pan and set aside for later. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauce pan. Let it bubble and brown evenly & set aside. Then do the same to milk. I just used the same sauce pan, why dirty others! Let milk heat up and boil & then pour into the same bowl the butter is in. Mix them together. Stir in 1/4 cup white sugar and the 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast into the bowl with butter & milk. Mix and let it sit for a few minutes to settle & cool. Stir in the pumpkin, salt & one cup of flour. At this point put on your dough hook and dump all this in the mixing bowl if it's not already in. I originally just mixed everything in the kitchen aid mixing bowl. Easy peasy. On the lowest setting mix the dough and slowly start adding the rest of the flour--1 1/2 cups. Keep at the lowest speed for about four minutes or until the dough is smooth and bouncy. 
Once done transfer dough into a greased bowl. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit in a warm area for about one hour. At this time the dough needs to rise double it's size.

While the dough was rising I quickly put together the filling for the pull-apart bread. All you have to do is whisk cinnamon, sugar & nutmeg together in a dish. Take another 2 tablespoons of butter and heat on stove, same way as before. Brown and then set aside for when we brush dough with butter. 

After about an hour and the dough as risen to about twice it's size take it out and place it on a surface that has already been sprinkled down with flour. Knead about 1 tablespoons of flour into the dough to get rid of the stickiness.
Now time to use your rolling pin. The goal is to roll it out to be a 20 inch long and 12 inch wide rectangle. Make sure you are constantly pulling up on the sides to make sure that it isn't sticking to the surface. I had to sprinkle down flour multiply times! I was nervous about this step but it was fairly easy for me. However if you feel like the dough keeps snapping back at you and isn't staying stretched out just place a damp towel over the dough for a few minutes. This will help the process. 
Once you have your rectangle spread the filling on top of the dough. Use all of the cinnamon sugar mixture. I know it seems like a lot but trust me, the more the merrier :) Plus a lot of it falls off... 
Ok, this was my favorite part! Time to cut the dough up. Just use a pizza cutter. Simple. With the long side facing you (like the photo above) cut down the middle making one cut. Then cut two more strips on each side so in the end you have six strips. I was confused when I read the directions for this part so I took photos to make it easier since I wish I had them (and since I'm the best and you love me)! 
 Then stack 'em right on top of each other! This was a bit tough to do. The filling on top tended to just fall off but most of it stayed on and then I just sprinkled the rest right on top. 
Cute zix even pieces once again. Always start down the middle it helps with making each piece equal. 
Next take the bunches of dough and set them in your loaf pan side by side pressing them together so they all fit. 
Damp towel on the loaf pan one last time for another 30-40 minutes in a warm place to let the dough rise again. This time the pieces should rise up the loaf pan a little more. After all you do this set pan in the middle of the oven that has been heated to 350 degrees and bake bread for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. The final product is like so...
 Gooey goodness. Sweet & sticky. Pumpkin & cinnamon. The. Best. Ever. Pull-Apart and have cup of tea while sitting next to the autumn breeze :) Do you love me or do you love me? I wish I can have you all over to pull-apart this gem. But for now you can just gawk at my photos ;)  


Monday, October 17, 2011

on some pumpkin picking...

Sunday we took a drive to our favorite farm in Plumsteadville-- Hellrick Farms. Since Sebastian was born it has kind of become one of our little family traditions to go pick pumpkins & some fun. They set up the whole farm with tons of family activities from hayrides, corn mazes, potato sling-shots & rubber duck races. I was able to snap some really great photos and couldn't wait to share with with everyone :) 

 It warms my heart just looking at these pictures ♥ I love this time of year. Big thanks to my papa in law & madre in law for having Sebastian over and loving him beyond belief so my fellow and I could take a little breather. It was a busy yet fantastic weekend. And to think we have another one ahead of us. Count down to Kamptoberfest begins! Hurrah. 
Here is something cute to end your night with...I melt!
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