MADE-AT-HOME CARAMEL APPLES

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We made caramel apples last year and they were disastrous.  But I'm really glad I didn't remember that until after we made these! I didn't follow a recipe instead I used this post for ideas and semi-followed the directions on the bag of caramels.

A few things:
Cold apples probably would work best but we skipped that step.
I added a splash of milk to the caramels while they were melting.
I always use vanilla almond bark in place of white chocolate.
Roll your apples in your bigger toppings first.
I didn't have any pop sticks on hand so I cut some kabob skewers in half. The apples were a little heavy for the skewers, but they did the job.
And use parchment paper to avoid the caramel sticking to the plate.

I washed the apples and dried them off with a clean dish towel then I laid out a large plate (lined with parchment paper) and got the rest of the ingredients ready. We put the toppings in small bowls so we could easily roll them apples in them. Melt your caramels (or make a homemade version!) and dip your apples (don't forget your skewers or sticks) in the pot. Put the apples on the plate and stick in the fridge while you melt your chocolate. I melted the chocolate in a medium-sized microwave safe bowl and once ready, I dipped the apples straight in that bowl and then rolled them in whatever toppings we preferred! Once all of the apples are dipped and topped, stick them back in the fridge for a hour (or a few) to harden up.

We used mini chocolate chips, crushed pretzels and chocolate sprinkles for toppings. But I think pistachios would be amazing! Also: chopped peanuts, crushed oreos, festive sprinkles or mini marshmallows for a rocky road twist would be fun too. If you're up to it, you could try a chocolate drizzle as well.

Things got pretty messy but seeing L's face covered in chocolate and pretzels entertained us enough to not mind the clean-up!

THE WEEKLY

Monday, October 28, 2013

 photo IMG_0194edit_zps0cda6281.jpg
 photo IMG_0204edit_zpse2b90ecf.jpg
 photo IMG_0235edit_zpsb41d5b7a.jpg
 photo IMG_0247edit_zpsfd398eb8.jpg
 photo IMG_0265edit_zps32a768ff.jpg
 photo IMG_0301edit_zps67d9f2eb.jpg
 photo IMG_0309edit_zps922a6423.jpg

There was one terrible tantrum on Monday that left me calling my mom for help and a grocery trip gone wrong, but other than that, this past week had a pretty good flow.

L had a dental check-up. Her teeth kill me. It seems that no matter how much brushing and flossing we do or how much we're skipping juice and extra sugars and almost never having sweets and junky snacks around the house - our girl is at a high risk for cavities. It sucks. And it's no fair to her. But the good news is that she didn't have any cavities this round!

That said, the house is actually full of candy and sweets this week. I may have gone a little crazy with the Halloween thing. We've got apple pie, caramel apples, candy bark, creepy bones, chocolate covered pretzels and of course, Halloween candy. (!!)

I finished up both of L's costume and the details will be on the blog in the next day or two. Her princess costume was pretty dreamy while we went trick-or-treating at a local event this weekend.

A lady dropped a jar of pasta sauce next to me and L, it shattered and splashed all over us. Thankfully we didn't get hurt but I can't say the same about our clothes.

The weather finally cooled down here. It's the kind of weather where we can wear sweaters and keep the windows open all day and since it only stay like this for a few months, we're soaking it up.

And, I'm missing New York already. Our trip was just what we needed. But I am loving the little reminders and pieces of New York we have around the house.

A few things around the web...

If you're in New York, you should go here!

Wanting this print for L's room.

Driverless taxis?

Fall in New York...She describes it perfectly.

These would would be fun party treat!

Delia Ephron.

Are you an introvert? A few things on the list are so me!

This surprised me. In such a good way though.

I'm working on my patience with L this week. Prepping for halloween! And, trying to decide what school pictures we should order. I kind of fell in love with all of them.

Here's to a good, spooky week! xo


SaveSave

FORTY-TWO, FORTY-THREE | FIFTY-TWO

Sunday, October 27, 2013

  photo IMG_9794edit_zps87510ef3.jpg
  photo IMG_0279edit_zps00113668.jpg

42/52 -  Apple heaven. We made it to our favorite orchard while in New York and L was pretty much amazed the whole time.

43/52 - We did some early Trick-or-Treating at a local event. She was really shy but I think she was ended up happy!

I'm doing this series - a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013. Link up & find more from this project here.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Friday, October 25, 2013

  photo IMG_0240edit_zpsc6f8a270.jpg
This is usually when I'd post something new for the weekly series. But, this Friday night got a little bit crazy.  So instead, I'm going with this. And hopefully I'll get the regular weekly post up on Monday.

- Why are groceries so expensive?
- And it's really no fun when someone drops a glass sauce jar next to you in the store, it shatters and you get splattered all over with the red mess.
- L had a denist appointment this week. She's a high risk for cavities, no matter how much brushing and flossing we do. But, no cavities this time!
- Preschool photo proofs are ready and they are perfect. Just perfect!
- It looks like the cooler weather followed us back from New York and it makes my heart happy to wake up every morning to open windows.
- L stumped me this week when she asked "why do we have tongues in our mouth?". They "whys" are never ending lately.

We've got bath time, a load of laundry and some late night crown-making for a trick-or-treating event tomorrow on our list of things to do tonight. L is going as a princess and Pippi Longstocking this year. I'll put the details up on the blog next week. 

Happy Weekending!

PS. Feeling thankful for applesauce cups tonight as that's what entertained L long enough for me to post this. M is at work tonight so it's just me and my girl. Solo parenting gets interesting sometimes!


PICTURE DAY

Thursday, October 24, 2013

 photo photo84_zpsd1e27a60.jpg

Today was picture day at L's preschool! I had my head wrapped around too many things and that left me figuring out what she was going to wear around eight last night, right before bedtime. We settled on this fun, party dress. She felt fancy and I thought the neutral colors would work with anything.

While I was standing in her closet, in her very messy bedroom, trying to find something for her to wear, it hit me. It was a quintessential mom moment. With my disheveled hair, always being tired and my signature large purse to tote around ALL THE THINGS, it's pretty given that I'm a mom. But sometimes, I'll find myself in the middle of that perfect mom moment and it hits me that I'm a mom. Ballet recitals, picture day, loosing her first tooth and first days of school - they are rites of passage, those quintessential moments. I'm pretty lucky to have these moments.

Also, I hope her smile was slightly less awkward in the school pictures!

PS. When did your kiddo officially drop naptime? We're still going pretty strong here, at least on normal routine days. But the past few days, she voices loudly that she doesn't want a nap - especially after preschool pickup. Part of me wants to let her make the decision when she's ready and part of me never wants naptime to end.

AROUND HERE

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

 photo vscocam_1382553923283184IMG_7573_zps83002c1d.jpg
 photo vscocam_1382553818042195IMG_7591_zpsfd55ff78.jpg
 photo vscocam_1382553729889842IMG_7617_zps67452645.jpg
 photo vscocam_1382554036345044IMG_7572_zps13906c1d.jpg  photo photo83_zpsa845948e.jpg  photo vscocam_1382554117080825IMG_7575_zps1d0d18e3.jpg 

We've been home for a few days, just doing the settling in dance. I've been shuttling my girl to playdates and school, running errands and catching up with friends. And doing the usual shopping/laundry/cleaning/cooking thing.

New York was amazing. I left an even bigger piece of my heart there this time. I'm counting down the months until our next trek up there! The stars aligned and gave us the most perfect weather while we were there. We seemed to have brought down some cooler weather with us so we're enjoying sleeping with the windows open and letting a cool breeze in during the day.

We ventured out on Sunday for barbeque and art at a local festival. We finally made it to story time. In our pajamas! And I got brave enough to document my new very short 'do. I'm actually looking forward to cleaning the rest of the house this week and we've got a weekend full of fun ahead of us.

I'll be back with some pictures from New York soon! Happy Wednesday, xo.

PS. Did anyone catch last night's PLL and Ravenswood? I can't stop watching no matter how much it creeps me out!

FORTY-ONE | FIFTY-TWO

Sunday, October 13, 2013

   photo IMG_9576edit_zpsf1e32df7.jpg

41/52 - She's a fan of sitting in the front seat while we wait for preschool to open.
I'm doing this series - a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013. Link up & find more from this project here.
 

NEW YORK OR BUST

Friday, October 11, 2013

 photo tumblr_mu78lf3myE1r47t5co1_1280_zps29b6cf6c.jpg
  photo tumblr_mmiij9VXoo1r47t5co1_1280_zps3e326a5a.jpg
1 // 2

We're hitting the road today for the streets of New York. It was an idea we tossed around and then decided on last minute. Pushing back our trip has made it even sweeter though and we're all pretty excited around here. I can't wait to see the leaves turn colors, spend a day at our favorite apple orchard, relax with family, and walk the streets of our favorite city.

It'll be quiet around here for a bit, but you can keep up with us on Instagram.

Have a happy week!


THE WEEKLY

 photo IMG_9549edit_zps6e6b5016.jpg
 photo IMG_9507edit_zpsc6f39950.jpg
 photo IMG_9538edit_zps96286b14.jpg
 photo IMG_9567edit_zpsb19d9b6f.jpg
 photo IMG_9586edit_zps89f639cc.jpg
 photo IMG_9594edit_zps6ffd0cb8.jpg
 photo IMG_9596edit_zps5221686d.jpg
 photo IMG_9598edit_zps387f45d0.jpg

teddy bear toast // feet at Oktoberfest // a mini artist that is obsessed with letters and her name // sass // it's princesses for days around here // last bits of summer // preschool crafting // favorite pillow, favorite view

This week was one part breezy and one part OHMYGOD. I have to pat myself on the back for keeping the piles of laundry and dishes at bay. But I failed at parenting. My kid is pretty sure of how she wants things to go down and she's pretty relentless. Which means that I'm losing patience and I'm fresh out of clever ways to get her to do what I say. It's a rough cycle around here.

I'm loving the Fall TV shows. We're TV junkies around here. Since M works so hard with his jobs and classes, hanging out on the sofa & catching up some our shows is really the only thing we have time for/care to do. And since I'm with L all day, evenings have a routine of being slow and quiet and shift a bit towards adult time. As much as you can have quiet, awesome adult time with three year old running around.

Also! Preschool has earned their pay. Last night, out of the blue, L recited the pledge of allegiance. I mean, the whole thing. In kid language, of course, but still legit. And then, I pretty much turned into that mom and recorded it and social media-ed it and insisted we call grandma right that second to show off. She's just a genius, no big deal.

In other L news, she's obsessed with her girl friends this week and asks every day if she can have a sleepover for her birthday. She's also decided she doesn't like boys anymore. Bullet dodged?

I got my Glee-k on this week catching up on the last two seasons. What would we do without Hulu and Amazon?

I tracked down most of the Wizard of Oz toys from McDonalds. I'm not usually one for plastic toys cluttering our space but when I was small my mom used to track down the McD's Barbie toys for me and they were my favorite things. So I tracked them down and surprised L with them. She only likes the Good Witch. Surprise?

A few things around the web...
One pretty cool guy.

Odd effects of the government shutdown.

A very cute (and easy!) DIY crown. Am thinking I need to make one for L!

Would love to add these to our Halloween book collection // 1 and 2.

Dying over the oxford trend. I love these and those

Our favorite apple orchard in New York.

Have a happy weekend!


LOCAL LOVE

Thursday, October 10, 2013

 photo IMG_9516edit_zps1a72ade2.jpg
 photo IMG_9518edit_zps328c5fb7.jpg
 photo IMG_9520edit_zps3d5f6cd3.jpg
 photo IMG_9522edit_zps857da338.jpg

Something I do love about where we live is that we're just a short car ride away from Savannah, Georgia. I grew up visiting the charming downtown area and I've always had a love affair with River Street. And it's pretty awesome to pass on my childhood love for this candy store to L.

After a quick stop at Oktoberfest last weekend, we popped into this bakery. I read this blog post a few months ago and ever since, I've felt the need to go. The place drips with charm and kindness. And honestly, I love when I can discover that the actual owner of the shop is in. She looked to be having a chat with friends or a casual business meeting, but you can tell she loves this place she's created.

I pretty much died over the mason jars, cake stands and recipe cards she sells. But, that day was about the cakes. L's "newborn" cupcake was heavenly. The perfect size for her little hands and it tasted amazing. M and I shared the milk chocolate cupcake and it was spot-on.

I think we'll be back soon!

LOOKING FORWARD TO | OCTOBER

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

 photo IMG_9540edit_zps0a235816.jpg
 
October is a favorite around here. For me, at least. I'm not sure that my little family attaches as much nostalgia to the season as I do. But Fall is my favorite. It's my jam. Maybe it's the school supplies or the Halloween decorations or the idea of getting to indulge in turkey again, it just feels like everything starts new again this season.

And this year, I've taken a slow and quiet approach to the season. Classic blacks and whites with a punch of orange. A lit candle. Black witch hats hanging from the porch and an old witches' broom below. Usually I go pretty Fall-crazy on Sept 1st but this year I found myself holding back. I call New York home even though I was only there for 3 years. We started our family there, found some of the best friends and it was a place we loved. It's hard to say the same about where we are now - especially since the outdoors aren't screaming Fall. So since it's our first Fall in the new house, I started small and intentional. I'll find my nostalgia here.

Am looking forward to...

Picking pumpkins.
Baking an apple pie.
Making cider donuts.
A pile of big, crunchy leaves.
L's halloween party at preschool.
Another possible trip to New York.
Cooler weather.
Windows open and candles lit.
Making L's Halloween costume.
Trick or Treating.
A Meg Ryan marathon.
Drinking hot chocolate with extra marshamallows.
A trip to our local farm/pumpkin patch.

FORTY | FIFTY-TWO

Sunday, October 6, 2013

 photo IMG_9498_zpsf72c25f4.jpg

40/52 - We spent the afternoon at Ocktoberfest on a bright, too warm Fall day.

I'm doing this series - a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013. Link up & find more from this project here.

THE WEEKLY

Friday, October 4, 2013

 photo IMG_9479edit_zpsf8b1f146.jpg
 photo IMG_9483edit_zps6a3da75b.jpg
 photo IMG_9485edit_zpsa977fe8e.jpg
 photo IMG_9486edit_zpse70d1881.jpg
 photo IMG_9490edit_zpsa43b2ff5.jpg

It's been a slow, resettling week. Unpacking suitcases. Clearing out surfaces covered in messes. Loading the dishwasher, unloading the dishwasher. Preschool runs. Ballet class. Many trips to Target.

Slowly, and most randomly, L will tell me about her days at school. Sometimes I feel too distracted by things going on, I wonder if that's why she doesn't open up as much. I beat myself up for not always being "available". This really got me thinking about that. This morning, L started telling me that one girl in her class took her toys because she "needed" them but L thought she needed them too. When I asked her if she told her teacher, she says she was calling her but her teacher didn't hear her. L is soft spoken, shy and part introvert. It's hard being a parent - I can't be there for her while she's at school. I have to let her go and flourish. She has to find her way. But it breaks my heart knowing that she may struggle with voicing herself in outside situations. Just let me kid have the pony, ya know.

But that was our week. The mornings feel like Fall, the afternoons do not. The house is half cleaned and the floors are dirty.Toby is taunted every day by our resident squirrels. I'm trying to find an explanation of why we didn't go to New York City because all my girl talks about is New York City. Pumpkins and mums are making me happy. Also, it's Friday.

A few things...
This video makes me laugh out loud. And bust out hashtags at inappropriate times.

A parenting gem.

I'm still feeding my black and white obsession. Target for the win!

My sweet friend blogged these brownie and ice cream pops. Fall may be on it's way, but I think the 80 degree weather permits me to make these!

Did anyone watch the season opener of Saturday Night Live? There's so many new cast members that it almost feels like the awkward beginning to a new school year. I'm not losing hope yet though.

DIY potato stamp. Makes me want to craft up a few dish towels this weekend.

The good news.

Need some halloween costume inspiration? L is insisting on being a princess and I want to whip her up a Pippi Longstocking costume. I think we'll meet in the middle - princess for Halloween at preschool and Pippi that night!

And, I'm convinced I need to own a donut pan.

Happy Weekend!

THIRTY-NINE | FIFTY-TWO

Thursday, October 3, 2013

 photo IMG_9406edit_zps074c9403.jpg

39/52 - We took a road trip to North Carolina and the car ride was less than stellar. In true form, I hear she gets it from me, L isn't a big fan of long car rides. We keep the car stocked with snacks, movies, her leap pad (loaded with new shows and games) and we give her iPhone privileges. That all lasts about 10 minutes before things turn sour. But, she's pretty cute so things always turn out okay.

I'm doing this series - a portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2013. Link up & find more from this project here.

AROUND HERE

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

We're back around here! We should have been hitting the pavement in New York this week, enjoying the Fall weather and our family but with the government shutdown, M had to return to work. That said, I am incredibly grateful that he is considered essential personnel so whenever we do get paid, it will be for his normal amount of hours. It's a big relief for us, but I'm so heartbroken for all the people affected that weren't as lucky as us in this situation.

We put our New York trip on a temporary hold. Fingers crossed that our government can fix this mess that they've left us in because we're hoping to re-plan the trip in a few weeks! For now, we're settling back into routines and schedules and planning what to do this Fall. It's weird adjusting back to everyday life when you expect to be on vacation. Unpacking things you never even used isn't so much fun. But, we're doing it. The whole thing makes me realize how grateful I am for what we have. You never really know when your world can be flipped around. It's humbling, to say the least.

As soon as we walked in the door on Monday night after our six hour drive, I opened the windows, lit the candles and dove into some pizza. We just wanted to soak up home, you know? Fresh air can make a world of difference. And now we've got mini pumpkins on the mantle, the perfect littlest white pumpkin hanging out on the dining table and a mum on the front porch. The crock-pot has been my lifesaver this week, the suitcases are unpacked and the lull of the washing machine has been comforting. Life is good, even amongst the mess outside of life in the gray house.

Our weekend trip was great, if you're wondering. L is in heaven when she's around our families. The spoiled toddler sort of heaven. My brother's wedding was fun. We got to watch a scene from Sleepy Hollow film and see them turn my sleepy hometown into another place. You guys, the show is awesome. But, it scares the mess out of me. And, I only took a few photos this weekend - we were either on the go or being incredibly lazy. That's what vacation is really about, right?

 photo IMG_9414edit_zps7d6b3bdd.jpg
 photo IMG_9416edit_zpsa26bdccb.jpg
 photo IMG_9417edit_zpsb149c665.jpg
 photo IMG_9425edit_zpseced173b.jpg
 photo IMG_9442edit_zpsf364ee96.jpg
 photo IMG_9461edit_zps2253703a.jpg

I've got big plans to do some laundry and catch up on some TV shows tonight. Happy Wednesday!

PS. I am finally feeling normal again. Other than catching a cold/sinus thing that hit me this weekend, I am breathing much better with some inhalers. I still have a few moments where I don't feel at 100%, but overall it's so much better. I have a follow-up in a few weeks with the pulmonologist, but it looks like it was an allergen of some kind and nothing more serious. Here's hoping it all gets better from here!