Wednesday, 30 October 2013

'Twas the Night Before Halloween

We didn't make it to the pumpkin patch this year.  Too many schedules to juggle... our calendar seems to be relentless right now.  Instead, this momma whipped out the camera at the grocery store pumpkin display. How embarrassing.

The weather forecast is for a rainy night of trick or treating.  I'm thinking we bought too much candy.

Some of you may remember last year's Halloween confession.  I did it again.  Those boxes were open within half an hour of being brought home.  Clearly I can't be trusted around chocolate.

Happy day before Halloween :)

Halloween Link Up

Monday, 28 October 2013

Photo a Day Monday, Branches Bared

Mama Papparazzi is back.  My camera issues have been resolved, and just in time to catch some newly bare trees.  All those gloriously coloured leaves are now littering the ground and the landscape is suddenly bleak.  

And some dog love.  His favourite spot, at the window, keeping an eye on the neighbourhood.

And some weekend breakfast.  Overnight oven-baked French toast.  I may just have to share this incredibly easy recipe with you.

And because I spend so much time at the rink, hockey shots.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Monday Ramblings, and Turkey Soup

It's Monday. It's cold and it's raining. I spent most of the weekend fighting a cold and the last place I wanted to be today was at work.

The colourful leaves that have buoyed my spirits these past few weeks are falling off the trees, and there are flurries in the forecast.  Thankfully, I spotted Pumpkin Spice Tea on the menu at Tim Horton's this weekend.  That stuff makes everything better.

Of course, being sick meant that comfort food was needed.  So last weekend's turkey stock became this weekend's turkey soup.  It was awesome.  I need to cook another turkey so I can make this soup again.  Maybe we'll have a turkey for Halloween.

I'm finding my happy wherever I can.  Like the beautiful collection of pumpkin recipes I've collected on Pinterest.  I'll be diving into my canned pumpkin stash when I get home, and baking my way to my autumn happy place.  Click the image to check them out for yourself.  You're welcome :)

The Great Pumpkin Pinterest Board
Links to the pictured recipes:

And as I searched for more happy and pretty, I was reminded why I love Tumblr.  There is some beautiful photography out there and this is where I like to keep a little part of it all for myself.  No words, just pictures.
Jenn's Random Scraps on Tumblr

Want to make your own Turkey Soup?  Do this.

Make stock by simmering your leftover turkey carcass, along with a chopped onion, some minced garlic cloves, and a few chopped celery ribs, in enough water to cover by a couple inches.  Let it simmer slowly for a couple of hours, then cool it enough that you can pour it through a mesh strainer without burning yourself. Salvage any meat from the carcass to use in your soup. If you wish to remove excess fat from the stock, chill in the fridge until the fat solidifies on the surface.

Return your turkey stock to your stove-top and bring to a boil.  Add whatever veggies you like to see in your soup.  I used chopped onion, celery and carrot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I also added a few shakes of Montreal Chicken Spice and a dash of Bovril Chicken Bouillon.  Simmer gently until the veggies are cooked and tender.  Add your leftover turkey meat and whatever noodles you prefer.  I used extra broad egg noodles.  When the noodles are cooked, your soup is ready!

Creative K Kids

Thank you for featuring me!

  Oh My Heartsie Girl

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Autumn Love and a Thanksgiving Menu

First of all, some fall tree shots.  Because there can never be enough pictures of leaves parading their best colours.

Maybe I'm starting to like autumn.  Just a little.

The plan was to share with you, in pictures, some of the amazing food we devoured on Thanksgiving.  Instead I'm left photo-less due to a broken camera.  I picked it up to find the shutter release button missing. Completely gone.  I have no idea how it happened, and my other camera has been out of commission as the battery pack will no longer hold a charge.  Now to decide whether to repair the missing button or buy a new battery pack.  Ugh.  

Instead I'll share links to the recipes that inspired the last two items on the list, newcomers to our Thanksgiving table.

Orange Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pecans

Sweet Potato Skins
Another fall leaf shot, just because.

And I'll recycle an older fall photo that I love.  We're going to try to get the whole crew to the pumpkin patch this weekend.  Hopefully I'll have my camera issues sorted out by then.

Thank you for featuring me!

God’s Growing Garden  

Friday, 11 October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Canada

We're celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend, and I have a busy few days ahead of me.  We'll be hosting the turkey sit-down at our house, making a couple of trips to the rink, and hopefully enjoying some beautiful fall weather.  A to-do list is running circles around my head and I don't have it in me to write anything inspirational today, so I'm recycling last years Thanksgiving post.  This weekend is all about family, gratitude, and turkey.
The long Thanksgiving weekend is here!  As excited as I am about enjoying three days off with my family and sitting down to an all-the-trimmings turkey dinner, I'm also reflecting on the many things we have to be thankful for.  Traditionally, Thanksgiving celebrated the harvest and all the blessings of the past year.  It was a holiday created to express gratitude.  I've been thinking about gratitude a lot lately.  I've watched people I love and care about struggle with various crisis in their lives and I am reminded again and again of all that we have to be thankful for.  

Gratitude is about taking notice of what's around you and being aware of all the good things in your life.  Often we are so busy thinking about the future, or dwelling on the past, that we don't see the present and all the things we should be grateful for on a daily basis.  Sometimes we get caught up in comparing our lives to the lives of others and wishing for better or more.  Gratitude is the act of looking to our own lives - the roads that we've travelled, the experiences we've been through, the gifts that we've been given - and appreciating all that this life is teaching us.  Life may not be perfect and our paths may need adjusting, but gratitude requires that we look to the good in our lives and be thankful for it.  Often the very things we take for granted are the things that some people only wish for.  Despite hardships and challenges, when you stop and really take a look around you, life is pretty good.

So this Thanksgiving weekend I am thankful for my family, healthy kids, our imperfect home, the turkey that's in the oven, and the beautiful autumn weather.  I'm also grateful for teachers that do great crafts in their classrooms.  A Thanksgiving table setting can be a beautiful thing, but it's decorations like this that make them great:

Easy, peasy... a potato, some toothpicks and construction paper 'feathers', and a turkey face from a colouring page... love it!

Thank you for the feature!


Monday, 7 October 2013

Photo A Day - Or Not

I'm so glad that I never committed to any Photo A Day challenges.  Life is busy, and sometimes I'm just a photo-every-other-day kinda girl.  

I've managed to capture some roadside fall shots with my mobile.

Caught some early morning criss-crossing contrails as the sun was coming up.


Hermit crabs, with painted shells.  Saw these at a mall... is this a thing?

I'm in love with this pretty pasta, and the Pink Himalayan Salt I just picked up from Costco.

One crazy set of ears.

And a rack of khakis.  Never assume what colour to bring home when shopping for a teenager who complains that he has no clothes, then refuses to leave the house to shop for some.  Better to snap photos and text until the salespeople are convinced that you're casing the joint for the next great denim heist.

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