Today marks 3 weeks until my favorite holiday of the year!! I can't believe Thanksgiving in so close!! I love the holiday and the family time that we get. I really think it's important to give thanks for the blessings we have and remember our loved ones at this time of year. I can't wait to celebrate with our families and eat lots of yummy food!
Tuesday was date night for the bestie and me. For some reason, Salice and I always seem to have dinner dates on Tuesday so I guess that makes it our official date night. This is a good thing because Tuesday is probably my least favorite day of the week (unless it's Fat Tuesday but that's because I love food haha). On the Tuesdays that I have a girly date to look forward to, I feel much more appreciative of the day and it's a little easier to make it through. It was great to catch up with Salice and enjoy yummy steak and wine!
I'm thankful for all of the absolutely adorable kiddos in their costumes yesterday. It's great to see kids totally get into the holiday and see what they come up with when it comes to costumes. My sister Cate made the costumes for her family this year - how cute are they?!?! Ellie is Goldilocks and Mom, Dad, and Baby Claire are the 3 bears. I don't think it could be any cuter!! Wish I could have been there to see it in person!
Gingerbread lattes are back!! I always get so anxious for this time of year because it means the return of the seasonal red cup at Starbucks as well as my favorite latte flavor. I started out my morning with one and I'm hoping that will set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Basically, I feel like the Starbucks gingerbread latte means the beginning of the holidays (so I'm actually not judged for walking around with that holiday spirit high that I get this time of year :) )
I have had some computer problems this week and I finally have it up and working again. Sorry I've been unable to blog the last couple days, but I thought I'd make up for missing yesterday's Thankful Thursday post by writing a Thankful Friday post. Most of all, I'm thankful that it IS Friday. I'm definitely ready for the weekend! Enjoy and have a great weekend!
I took this pic at the Houston Dynamo game on Saturday night. Husband and I got tickets from our friend Blake after Blake's wife had twin baby girls on Friday. Originally it was supposed to be Blake and Husband at the game but Blake was a little busy... haha. I was thankful to be at the game but I am also thankful for Husband in general this week. More thankful than I am for going to the game with him, I appreciate the little things he does. For example, the other night, I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and listening to music when he got home from work. Before saying anything, he walked up to me and grabbed me and started slow-dancing. I love when he is sweet and shows me how much he appreciates me. Lucky me :)
So I got some new specs this week. Here's a pic of them. It has been a couple years since I got new glasses and I was ready for a change. I wear them most of the time I work so I get a lot of use out of them. I'm glad I have good insurance that allows me to pick out something practical and stylish. And, I'm glad I got a new prescription so my eyes can get a bit of a rest! Whatd'ya think??
I am so thankful for breakfast for dinner. Last night, I just did not feel like cooking dinner so instead, I made pancakes! These are pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes (my favorite as you know already) with added vanilla protein powder to bulk them up a bit. They were super filling and delicious. We topped them with French vanilla whipped cream and it felt like we were having dessert. Husband really appreciated the change as well :) Plus, we had a cold front come through last night and I figured what better way to welcome the fall weather than with fall flavors??
And, finally, I am so excited about our oranges! We have a mandarin orange tree (and a grapefruit tree and a lemon tree) in our back yard and I always get so anxious when the fall rolls around because I know our oranges will be ripe soon. Yesterday was the first day I could go out and pick some off the tree. Most aren't ready yet but I did get a handful of fragrant, sweet deliciousness! These oranges will make an entire room smell like Christmas when you peel them. I think that's part of the experience I love so much!
This weekend, I ran the Run10Feed10 Austin 10K with my sister Cate. I spent the weekend with her and her beautiful family in Austin and it was so wonderful to see them! On Saturday morning, we got up early to run our 10K and then went over to one of her favorite Mexican restaurants for a post-race brunch. My friend Ama met us there and it was great to see her, too! (Re: pics, Cate and I forgot to take pics at the actual race so here are our beautiful post-run faces, and Ama and I did take a pic, but because I'm a good friend, I'm going to keep that one under wraps because she was exhausted from attending ACL (Austin City Limits) and I don't know if she wants me to share the pic or not!).
Anyway, after the race and brunch, we went back to Cate's house and spent the rest of the afternoon napping, playing with her gorgeous baby girl Claire, and catching up. Later, her oldest, Ellie, joined us and I read her a bedtime story (and she corrected me every time I missed a word.. haha. She's sooo smart!) Oh, I forgot to mention the amazing dinner that Cate's hubby Eric made us! DELISH. I think I'll head out there more often just so he can cook for me ;)
After we got the kiddos to bed, Eric talked Cate and me into doing the P90X stretching video with him. Supposedly Cate got some pretty classic pics of Eric and me stretching but I have yet to see those ;)
Sunday morning, Ellie woke me up with a book in hand and climbed into bed with me so I could read to her. It was so sweet and a great way to wake up! I was sad to head home yesterday because it was really a perfect weekend! I'm already looking forward to going back for another visit!!
To top off the weekend, when I got home, I had received my new scarves that my friend Gretchen made me (now I need cold weather so I can wear them!!). When I opened my letter from her, I found a present. Gretchen sent me fall from NY!! Since we don't really get fall down here, I have really been bummed that this year is so beautiful in the Northeast. Since she didn't want me to feel left out, she sent me a little so I didn't miss it! How sweet is she??
I'm so thankful that my family was able to come down for my mom's birthday this past weekend. I love seeing them and seldom get the chance to spend time with them because we live so far away. My cousin Heather and I have always been extremely close and I cherish the time we spend together (even when she has taken Benadryl and looks like a goober (see picture!). It was great to see her and have her stay with us. And, I really appreciated that Husband got to know her a little better. I was also so happy that Caitlin (my sort-of sister) came down and we could spend some quality time together! I think it was really good for us to have that experience together!
I'm grateful for the cold front that came through Sunday night and allowed me to wear my new scarf that I got last weekend! It's the one on the left (from Urban Outfitters) and it's so cute!! I looove scarf season and it's teetering on that time of year! This weekend, there is going to be a low of 48 where I'll be and I can't wait to pull out a different scarf to sport over the weekend!
I get to go to the farmer's market after work today and I'm pumped! It has been a while since I've had the opportunity to make it to the Thursday market and I always feel like fresh produce can turn my week around. I'm glad I get to go and see what they have in season right now! Next week, our meals will be full of colorful goodies!
So it sounds totally cheesy but I'm thankful that I got some great blog shout-outs by one of my new favorite authors, her musician hubby, and her publisher! It's exciting to know that my blog is read and appreciated by others whose work I appreciate! I'm glad I can help spread the work about writers/artists that I enjoy because I know how much it means when others enjoy my own work! Thanks for the shoutouts, Shelle and Lee! Hope it gets you some good publicity ;)
October is pumpkin carving season and we all know that means a ton of goopy pumpkin seeds that we have to dig out of the center before we carve it. I, personally, love good old fashioned, slightly salted pumpkin seeds, but every once in a while, it's nice to try something a little different! These look amazing and I can't wait to give them a try!
Salty Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
3 1/2 cups raw fresh pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
Place the seeds in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the salt and add hot water to cover. Let sit for 4 hours (or overnight), until the seeds are puffy. Scoop the seeds off the top of the water, avoiding any leftover pumpkin bits, and transfer them to a large tea towel. Use another towel to pat them mostly dry – they’ll still be a bit slimy, but do what you can.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees; line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Transfer the seeds to a large mixing bowl, and stir in the olive oil and maple syrup. Blend the remaining ingredients, plus the remaining teaspoon salt, in a small bowl, and sprinkle the mixture over the seeds as you stir them. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then spread the seeds on the baking sheets in a thin layer.
Bake for about 25 minutes, rotating sheets and stirring seeds once or twice, or until browned and crisp. Remove seeds from the oven, sprinkle immediately with additional salt, and let cool on baking sheets. Break seeds apart and enjoy, alone or on salads. Store cooled seeds in an airtight container.
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes' sake, if the were all,
Whose elaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the all.
by Robert Frost
"How innocent were these Trees, that in
Mist-green May, blown by a prospering breeze,
Stood garlanded and gay;
Who now in sundown glow
Of serious color clad confront me with their show
As though resigned and sad,
Trees, who unwhispering stand umber, bronze, gold;
Pavilioning the land for one grown tired and old;
Elm, chestnut, aspen and pine, I am merged in you,
Who tell once more in tones of time,
Your foliaged farewell."
This weekend, I was really craving pumpkin pancakes so before church on Sunday morning, I got up early and made some delicious pumpkin pancakes and added some chocolate chips to make them that much tastier! Then, instead of syrup, Husband and I covered them with whipped cream! Since we had a cool front come through that day, it was the perfect introduction to fall! And, the pancakes were so good that we ate them with every meal!!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes
1 cup Bisquick
2 tablespoons of canola oil
1/2 cup milk (or a little more if you want to make the pancakes a little thinner)
1/2 can of pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin spice
Chocolate chips - as many as you like!
Mix the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Then cook like regular pancakes (on a skillet or griddle until cooked through) and top with whipped cream or maple syrup. Or you can eat them plain!!
This week I am so thankful for my little brother. We celebrated his 22nd birthday on Tuesday night and I think he really enjoyed himself. In honor of him officially being old (hahahaha), I thought I'd pull out an old picture of us from about 17 years ago. Doesn't he look ADORABLE??? What a little blondie!! I'm thankful to have such a wonderful, loving brother and to have such a good relationship with him.
Last night, I stayed up wayyyyy too late talking to Caitlin but it was totally worth it! I'm thankful that I get to talk to her so regularly and that I may actually get to see her next month!!! (If you're reading this, Caitlin, you should probably look at your schedule now and make sure you can come!). It's so amazing that we have gotten a chance to really build our relationship and become close! :)
Sooo on a totally superficial level, I'm so pumped that it's finally turning into boot season! I can't wait to pull out the boots (and eventually the scarves/hats/other fun fall accessories) and enjoy fall! I've been looking all over for some fun fall boots. How cute are these??? Not sure what I'd wear with them but they are adorable! And I love the grey!
Although the game tonight was postponed, and we won't be starting the season for another week, I'm still thankful that Aggie football is starting up! I love the college football season and it's going to be an exciting journey as we start up in our new conference! I really hope that this move is good for us and I'm proud to cheer on my Aggies!!
I made this delicious pumpkin pie granola over the weekend it hit the spot juuust right. Not too sweet (but you can make yours sweeter if you'd like) and just the right amount of spices. This time of year, I itch for fall-inspired treats and this is a great way to start your morning!
Pumpkin Pie Granola
4 cups Old fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup Baking stevia OR 1 cup sweetener of choice that measures like sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking powder
3/4 cups Pumpkin
1/2 cup Applesauce (unsweetened)
3 tbs Sugar free maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
Optional Add-ins: 1/2 cup white chocolate chips, 1 cup honey teddy grahams lightly crushed
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry using a spatula, (or your hands), until everything is well combined and oats are coated with wet ingredients.
Place granola on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then stir granola around. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the granola is golden brown and is crisp. Take the granola out of the oven, and let it cool completely on the baking sheet. Stir in additional white chocolate chips or teddy grahams at this point if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Bath and Body Works has their fall line ready for purchase!! That means fall is just around the corner and I'm soooo excited! It's my favorite time of year for so many reasons and I get giddy when I start seeing autumn-themed items hit the shelves! I'm thankful for cozy smells and beautiful colors that will start filling up houses and stores soon!
This morning I was sooo thankful for convenient healthcare! If you have a RediClinic in your area, you should really take advantage of it. It's so easy to just pop in (no appointment needed!) and only pay your regular co-pay instead of a large minor emergency fee! This place is great and when I woke up coughing up my left lung, I knew I needed to go in. I was in an out in 30 minutes with 4 prescriptions in hand! Thank goodness we have a system that allows for easy medical care!
I'm so thankful I got to see my friend Maria this weekend! Ever since she got married and moved away, I've had major withdrawls :( She was in town for her great-grandma's 98th (you read that right 100-2!) birthday party and she was able to set aside a couple hours for us to get pedicures! Even though 2 hours is not NEARLY enough time with her, we made the most of it and got to act like we were back in high school :) Thanks for making time for me, girl!! Miss you like crazy!!
This past weekend, Husband took me on a date and I'm so thankful that we still have semi-regular dates even when life gets a little tough! We went to see The Dark Knight Rises and it was really good! Hubs has a thing for Anne Hathaway so he was very pleased with the movie, haha! Although, Christian Bale isn't too bad, either so I guess it was a win-win! Have you seen it yet? What do you think???
Loving and learning a little more each day.