Friday, October 24, 2014

Photo Friday!

Fun with their awesome package from Aunt Bear and Uncle Robert :)
Packages in the mail are definitely the best!  Thanks for thinking of the kids, Care!  They loved their package!  Hope you've had a good week!  Honestly, I'm glad this one's about over.  Thanks for reading this week, and have a great weekend!
-chelsey


We are at the beach! After a 2.1 day work week (that felt like 17) we drove down to NC for a little R&R. We've been having fun eating seafood, checking out the dunes, doing a little outlet shopping and playing cards at night. If only times like these could last forever.;) 
Have a wonderful weekend! xoCarrie

We have so much halloween fun going on this week!  We went to the parade last night and had so much fun!  Tomorrow we are heading to a fall festival, trunk or treating and a halloween bash at the Y!  Can't wait to share our little Elsa's costume with you next week.  Have a great weekend!
xoDana

Thursday, October 23, 2014

did you know?

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + candy eyeballs + Betty Crocker Cake Icing =

Mummy Cookies?!

Okay, honestly -- who am I kidding? These are all over the internet. But I love Halloween and I love chocolate chip cookies and I love adding features to inanimate things. So I made these on Sunday night when I should have been watching Homeland and then promptly tried to ignore the fact that my apartment was filled with delicious sweets. The only problem was that these cookies really stared at me until I ate them.


I think it's safe to say these mummies won't be coming back from the dead. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

the perks of being an aunt

When we were in Maine back at the beginning of August, there was an afternoon when my nephew Tommy really wanted a chocolate chip cookie. And given that it was getting close to dinnertime, my responsible, older sister did the right thing by telling him that he could have a couple of slices of fruit instead. I am not often one to go against the grain, but at that moment I happened to have a couple of cookies in my hand, and Tommy was staring at them longingly. And so I quietly showed him one, set it on the table behind me and walked away. When I turned back he was taking a bite and giving me the biggest, most adorable smile ever. Sorry Chels!! But it was worth it. :)

It is situations like these that make me love being an aunt. And it was the look on Tommy's face that I had in my mind when I wandered through the aisles of Target to put together some fun Halloween care packages for my nieces and nephews.

[cute cards]

[gummy monsters]

[spooky stickers]

[peanut butter pumpkins & bright bracelets]

[fanged mustaches]

[spider rings & candies]

[put it all together]

Happy Halloween littles!! Look for a package coming your way!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

a little bit of the weekend

This weekend was so great.  I love weekends and I especially love fall weekends.  Here's a bit of what we did...
 
 We traveled to the Lehigh Valley on Friday evening and after getting there and having a bite to eat, Matt and I ran out for a bit.  We drove out to the Daisy Bar, a cute 50's or 60's style restaurant and got these yummy sundaes.  

 Saturday morning we headed to this park in College Hill in Easton to run around a bit.  I love, love, love this place and this amazing view makes it even better.  There is the cutest little cottage for sale right to the left of this picture and I may have tried to convince Matt that we need to buy it. ;o)

On Saturday afternoon, we went to our little cousin, Chloe's soccer game!  She did great and her team won!  Then, we went on a hayride with the family and picked out pumpkins at this local farm.  Perfect way to spend a fall afternoon.
trying to get a good family picture.
 windblown on the hayride.
I love these two cuties.

Saturday night we celebrated Chloe's 7th birthday!  We had so much fun!  Matt's cousin Cheryl is the best and always has glow sticks on hand for parties!  Therefore, the following ensued...
video
 I think my girl has some pretty sweet dance moves!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Butternut Squash-Apple Coffee Cake

You guys, I did something the other day that I almost never do...

I baked a cake.  

Really.  

I'm definitely not a baker. The forgiving nature of cooking - where I can follow a recipe but not actually measure anything, instead throwing in approximate amounts and tasting along the way - has always kept me far away from being a baking enthusiast. When you bake, everything has to be precise, measured out exactly, or you'll end up with a hard brick instead of a fluffy cake. I'm not so good with precise. But every once in awhile, usually for birthdays, I give it a try. In this case, I had signed up to bring a dessert to our new small group that we joined through the church we've been attending. And having just found this recipe in "Prevention Magazine" of all places, I thought I'd give a try.  I'm glad I made the effort.  One of the girls in our group declared it, "Fall in your mouth." I'd say that's a pretty good description.

As I was chopping up the squash I thought to myself, "What was I thinking! I don't bake! I better run out and get some back-up cookies after this thing comes out of the oven!"




This is the part - right here - where I started being glad that I decided to make this cake.  The smell of the batter is amazing. I knew at this point that there was no way the cake could be bad...unless I managed to botch the measuring of course...which was entirely possible.  

Success!

How did I get that dark gray background for this photo, you ask?  Well.  I took the photo on my dark gray couch just before I ate that delicious cake while watching the Virginia Tech/Pitt game on Thursday night after small group. It's too bad the game didn't even come close to being as good as the cake.  


Butternut Squash-Apple Coffee Cake
From Prevention Magazine

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Peel, seed, and dice 1 butternut squash (2lb) and place in an even layer on a greased baking sheet. Roast until soft, 20-25 minutes. Reserve 1 cup. Place remaining squash in food processor and puree until smooth. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. Coat 9x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Sift 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2tsp cinnamon, 1tsp baking soda, 1tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Beat 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temp) in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt, 2 large eggs, and pureed squash until smooth. Stir in dry ingredients until combined. Fold in 1 cup peeled and diced Granny Smith apple and reserved diced squash. Pour into pan. Stir together 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, 1/3 cup dark brown sugar, 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (room temp), and 1/2 tsp cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool and dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Notes:  I know that seems like a long ingredient list, but I found that with the exception of the squash and the confectioners sugar, I had the rest of the ingredients already in my refrigerator and pantry. You probably do, too.  (And if your name happens to be Carrie Krohn, or if you have a fierce love of the butternut squash like aforementioned sister, you probably only have to buy the confectioners sugar.) I roasted the squash on an oiled piece of parchment paper for easy clean up. Don't forget to reserve 1 cup of squash to stir in later...I almost forgot that part. I ended up having to bake the cake for about 10 extra minutes for it to be completely done in the middle. My bad...I forgot the confectioners sugar when I sent the cake off to small group. 

Yes, you read that last sentence right. I didn't even try this thing before I sent Will off to our group with it. Annabel was sick (I wiped everything down, washed my hands a million times before and during baking and made it during her nap so she wasn't around - I was sanitary) so I had to stay home.  Which means I broke my number one rule of cooking which automatically extends to baking:  never serve to guests that which you have never tried yourself (aka - don't make a completely new-to-you recipe for guests). But it had to be good! It just HAD to be! And it was. Whew!  Also, it's great with coffee for a quick fall breakfast. 

Wishing you a lovely start to your week!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Photo Friday!

The last few days have been rainy, dreary and exceptionally warm.  We broke free from the house today and found the tiny and beautiful leaves that have already fallen.  Autumn perfection.
Hope you enjoy this weekend!
xo Dana

 Annabel's been so sick since Monday and still isn't back to her normal self. Hoping to take it easy and rest up this weekend after a loooong sleepless week. I just love this photo of Tommy reading to his sick little sister one day after school. Thanks for reading this week!  Have a good one.
-chelsey

Last weekend Robert and I went to OktoberFest and he impressed everyone (and I mean everyone) by throwing baseballs to break three beer bottles and winning the grand prize of his choice! It was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to another fun weekend with my guy.
Have a great weekend everyone! xoCarrie

Thursday, October 16, 2014

One of my favorites

A few reasons why I love October...

Lots of yummy pumpkin eats...
 I hit up Trader Joe's this week because they have a large selection of delicious specialty pumpkin stuff.

The beautiful fall leaves.  I feel so lucky to live in a place where we get to experience the seasons.
 There is definitely beauty to be found in each season but it is so apparent in autumn.

Pumpkins, leaf piles, amazing skies, and mums.  It's just all so lovely. 
 "The heavens declare the glory of God; The skies proclaim the work of his hands."
Psalm 19:1