Halloween was a bust here. I think I mentioned in my post last week that terrible weather was predicted. Bingo. It was gorgeous Friday and then today. It was as if Saturday was somehow sandwiched in to be rainy and cold. I can't help but wonder why this affects me so much, after all my kids are grown up and are busy handing out the treats instead of begging for them. I do have memories of these not so fun days when the bad weather made it a terrible time for them, specifically one Halloween. I let Emily and Abby walk to the corner to trick or treat without me (they were about 7 and 4 but I trusted our neighbors). They came back drenched and cold and crying and spent the rest of the afternoon miserably picking through the meager amount of candy they collected in their plastic pumpkins. Sniff. I hate rainy Halloweens!
So when you aren't hearing the knocks on the door and the 110 bags of treats you've made up have dwindled down to 102, what can you do? Make cupcakes! White cake and whipped cream frosting tinted very subtly with orange (for autumn but not garishly pumpkin-like). Then edible crystal sprinkles for bling. I know it may sound weird but I've lost my taste/urge/compulsion for sugary sweets. I like an oatmeal cookie or a simple muffin. The Husband gets these outstanding almond 'horns' at a nearby bakery and they are so addicting. Could this change be the end of menopause (no pun intended)?
I actually jumped on the wagon early and packed up everything Halloween related today. It didn't take long because I prefer to decorate for fall and do most of the spooky fun stuff on the porch for the kiddies to appreciate (see my last post). But it felt good to eliminate half of the stuff I had everywhere as I've been wanting to minimize my clutter, don't we all? My kids and The Husband are brutally honest and I can't help but smell the coffee after years and years of them telling me I simply have way too much everywhere. I've always made excuses, that this is their opinion and this is my house. But I look at my rooms sometimes and I know, as much as I love and want to be surrounded by the books, candlesticks, mercury glass and baskets...well, it's just waaaaay too much for my tiny little home. I definitely didn't wipe out everything today. My other dilemma is my storage space (Emily's old room). It's totally haphazardly filled up with stuff sorted into Christmas, Easter, summer, fall and miscellaneous. I need to purge, organize and box. Ugh. I'm ashamed, and to be honest, I haven't been to Homegoods and the like in months. I have run out of space and really have come to dislike this side of myself. :( Big revelations here.
I stocked up on more ingredient for granola (see my last post, I'm so sorry, I'm still trying to learn my way around this Mac and haven't figured out the highlight/link thing). I really learned a lot from my first batch and if you Pinned the recipe you may want to take note. I felt it wasn't as 'sticky' or holding together as it should. It needs some clumping so I added a bit more maple syrup and honey. I used dried blueberries and apricots instead of dried cherries but the apricots didn't meet the approval of the family. You can't blow that off---to have someone not want to eat this mix at all because of a one ingredient, that's so understandable to me. No more apricots. But I added coconut and that was a hit. I picked up some glass jars at Michael's along with some black and white gingham ribbon and stamped hearts to make them pretty. Emily brought a few jars to work, The Husband will as well, and Abby and her roomies like it, too. Fans! Love it! The pretty little packaging is not necessary but I love detail and unlike making cookies or treats for the family, this is going out to people I know and don't know and is making me so happy.
I said earlier in this post that I've avoided Homegoods but I didn't mention Target. :) I actually went because i was admiring my sister in law's outdoor lights this summer and she texted me that they were 50% off this week. Score! $7.99 a box. I'm all set for next summer. I wish I could have bought a few boxes for the lakehouse but I'll just have to be patient for them to go on sale next fall.
I saw this blanket on clearance on one of those end caps. I nearly passed out. I was just looking at it last month and really loving the plaid, the generous size and that plush backing. I wasn't loving the price and to be honest, I have throws on almost every sofa and chair in the house. As I've admitted, I don't need anything else to add to this house. But the price, oh gosh. I'm glad I nabbed it. Milo is glad, too. And it adds a subtle bit of color to my den. Plaid is big, well, as Emily pointed out, it has been for a few years along with gingham and buffalo check. I try to keep things fresh and avoid trends because I'm the girl who never wanted to be spotted in the same bikini on the beach as someone else. Then again, you can't let that stop you if you really like it. Enough said.
I'm not playing show and tell nor promoting Target (wouldn't it be great if they were compensating me?), but I found this pillow cover. Yes, you heard me, pillow cover. Am I wrong in saying this is a first at Target? I think pillow covers are the best thing since sliced bread. Since I can't sew I've always bought, well, whole pillows. And wow, they take up a lot of room when you want to store them away. So pillow covers are the way to go for the lesser expense and that you can wash them, fold them and tuck them away in your linen closet. While Pottery Barn and the like are selling covers at $40+, this was a mere $8.99. And I have tons of pillows that can and did fit right inside. Let's see more of this, please.
Abby was home again this weekend. Although I cook pretty much every night, I try to make something a bit special when she's home. Tonight I made a recipe called Chicken Chorizo Casserole that Emily gave me, source unknown. I will never be recognized as a food blog, not that I want to but I think it will all come down to the fact that my food always looks miserably ugly (or maybe it's my photography). I actually thought of editing this pic to black and white. Still, what casserole really looks good? And truth be told, most of the pretty photos you see of food in glossy magazines are taken before it's cooked. The color is vibrant and beautiful and so carefully arranged. Sorry, this is the real deal. The flavor makes up for it in this dish. Feel free to Pin.
Chicken Chorizo Casserole
1 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs, trimmed (abut ten pieces)
2 lbs. Chorizo sausage, in 1 inch pieces
6 medium sized yellow potatoes cut in 1/4 inch slices
1 large red onion sliced into 1/4 inch rings
1 T oregano
1 t salt
Zest of one large orange
Arrange chicken pieces in an oiled/sprayed 9 X 13 baking dish. Layer the sausage over, then the potatoes and onion. Sprinkle the oregano and salt over the layers and grate the orange zest over last. Bake covered with foil at 450 degrees for 1 hour. Ta Da! Done. And so delicious!! But disgusting looking.
The backyard is not looking so inviting with all of my fun and decorative pieces stored away. Today I was going to enlist The Husband's help in putting away the patio table and chairs. Then the temps hit 65 and I thought, let's give it awhile longer so I can have a place to sit and relax. Knowing my luck it will snow this week.
Hard to tell but I tried to get a close up of the Morning Glory seed pods. I have so many this year. I mentioned awhile back that I'd be happy to send off an envelope of seeds to anyone that wanted them. I always find the seeds of an established plant to be better than something you can purchase. Anyway, I wrote something to the effect of "...for the price of a postage stamp". I meant, my cost! I got emails from some of you ladies asking for my address so they could send the pennies for the postage! Oh, how sweet all of you are. I am happy to send these seeds out to you, just email me with your address and off they will go. At least when they are a bit more dried out.
I'm not seeing too many giveaways these days as opposed to the days when I first started blogging, at least those that are not sponsored by merchandisers. But...I recently ordered this book on Amazon and somehow received two for the price of one. I hope Amazon is not reading this and planning to add the charge to my account. It's a great book written by a popular blogger. I hadn't visited her blog until I saw her on Instagram recently and really fell in love with her posts, her sense of humor and style. I was curious and the book doesn't disappoint. I'm loving that bloggers are having books published. It's a fresh and real look at lives of the not so rich and famous. And we need to support each other My feelings on the subject at least. So...I have this extra book and I'll send if off to anyone that 1) leaves a comment, and...2) follows this blog. No big hoops to jump. For those who like to read my blog, you can follow by clicking on that cute icon on my sidebar with all the pretty faces, or you can type your email address in another space to "Follow By Email". I want to thank all of my new friends and readers and want you to know how you can easily get my posts. Good luck!
Isn't this great, free seeds and a book? I'm feeling super good! :)
Off I go. Have a great week and let me know if your Halloween was as miserable as mine. ;-)