Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Pumpkins!

Happy Halloween!

My friends and I carved pumpkins the other night, the first time I have done something more than your standard jack-o-lantern.  What do you guys think?  The first one is mine, Nanc' did Hello Kitty and Krystn did the last one.  Tonight I will be passing out candy which I'm actually kind of excited for.  This is my first time living in a neighborhood where I finally get to see all the trick-or-treaters.  Can't wait to see all the costumes!  Hope you all have a great Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Corn and Cheese Chowder

Corn and Cheese Chowder

4 tablespoons stick butter
1 whole onion, choped
6 slices bacon, chopped
3 whole bell peppers, diced (one red, one yellow and one orange)
3 cups frozen corn
1/4 cup flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 heaping cup monterey jack
1 heaping cup pepper jack

Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Cook onions for a few minutes.  Add bacon and cook for another minute or so, then add peppers and cook five minutes.  Add corn and cook another minute.

Sprinkle flour evenly over top and mix to combine.  Pour in broth and stir well.  Allow to thicken 3-4 minutes then reduce heat to low.  Stir in half-and-half, then cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in cheeses.  When cheese is melt and soup is hot check seasoning and salt and pepper as needed.

Mike and I made this soup the other day and let me tell you, it was amazing!  The corn made it a little sweet and the bacon added the perfect salty touch.  The red, orange and yellow peppers made it so pretty as well.  I will definitely be making it again -- and soon.

Last night Mike, Nanc' and her sister and I carved pumpkins which I haven't done in years.  It was so much fun -- and we did some awesome designs.  I've only ever carved your typical Jack-o-lantern so it was really cool to be able to try something a little more intricate.  I promise there will be pictures tomorrow!

What are your plans for Halloween? 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Favorites #12

These magnetic spice jars from cookoutsidethebox would make the perfect Christmas gift.

Isn't this retro recipe box from jinxxy amazing?

I love the old feel of this precious little box from Mmim.

This print from TheWallaroo has great colors and simplicity.

This mug from theSquarePeg is a little dark and quirky.

I love the quiet, serene feeling I get from this mushroom print from machelspencePHOTO.

I completely forgot today was Friday!  I know yesterday I told you I would have a recipe but it'll have to wait until tomorrow, I was too excited to share these favorites with you.  What do you think of them?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Holding on to Autumn

Today is a beautiful day but the cold is starting to creep in.  Tomorrow evening it is going to drop down to 35F.  I know I live in Wisconsin but I'm not ready!  I'm enjoying fall too much.  Also!  I can't believe Monday is Halloween.  This month has flown by, the holidays are getting so close.  I'm thinking about doing an updated Thanksgiving this year, finding innovative recipes on the classics.  Ever tried something like that? We shall see, I'm also a little afraid of screwing it all up.  Heh....

Tomorrow I have a new recipe to share with you!  I made a cheesy corn chowder for supper tonight and man... it was amazing, especially with a nice chunk of French bread.  Watch out tomorrow for all the details!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Magic Among the Concrete

While walking through downtown Milwaukee I noticed these flowers, growing up through sandy dirt, dead leaves and cigarette butts.  Immediately I stopped and dug out my camera.  There was something so hopeful and beautiful about them.  Life being able to come up through the cracks.

It's such a gloomy day today.  It's rainy and overcast and has felt like twilight since I woke.  I know it's fall and though this is my favorite season I'm not used to this yet.  I sure hope it clears up soon!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nails - Mermaid's Tears

O.P.I. -- Mermaid's Tears

I am pretty much obsessed with his polish from the Pirate's of the Caribbean collection.  It's such a nice dusty seafoam.  I almost put a silver shatter over top but I couldn't bring myself to take away from the simplicity of the color.  What do you think?

On another note... I've missed my blog a lot lately.  Or maybe I've missed my inspiration.  Vacation put me in to a bit of a funk and I'm having a hard time finding motivation.  I'm not sure if it's a lack of creativity or drive or what... but it needs to come back ASAP.  Bloggers -- what do you do when something like this happens?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pictures from the Milwaukee Zoo

Ahhh.... I think I'm finally getting back in to my normal groove.  Today is Mike's last day of leave and he's back to work tomorrow.  It's been super nice having him home but I've got to admit... he's a huge distraction!  I just got around to editing photos from our Milwaukee trip this morning. I know, such a slacker!  These are some of my favorite shots from the zoo.  The bears and cats are obviously some of my favorite animals.  Look at those lion cubs!  They were so precious.  They were wild and energetic and so playful, I probably watched them for close to fifteen minutes before Mike finally dragged me off to something else.  Also, the tiger and jaguar were across the room in their own enclosures (obviously) but they could see the cubs.  They wanted to EAT them!  It was awesome watching them as well, their eyes glued to the little ones, catching their every move.  Super exciting.  The zoo trip was definitely my favorite part of the vacation.  There were hardly any people there, it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.  I can't wait to go back.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Back from Vacation!

Milwaukee was awesome!  We had a great time eating awesome food and visiting the zoo.  Just being in a big city again was so refreshing.  Unfortunately, I got sick on day three and we decided to come home early.  Gotta love the flu!  Really though, it's been nice having Mike home from work and we've still got another two days.  I just wanted to check in and make a quick post.  I'm looking forward to getting back in the blogging grove tomorrow.  Unplugging was kind of nice though.  :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cat Lady - Number 4!

Last day of vacation!  Today Mike and I are heading home from Milwaukee -- can't wait to show you all of my pictures!  Hope you all have a wonderful week. xoxo

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cat Lady -- You know this is you!

Today is the big day!  Mike and I are heading to Milwaukee for the next few days.  I will be home late Thursday evening.  I really considered blogging while I am away but I think I will enjoy myself a lot more if I remain "unplugged".  So!  Until I get back... enjoy some hilarious cat comics I found over at Cat vs Human.

See you guys Friday!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Second Smoothie Ever

I mentioned the other day I was starting a smoothie.... thing.  I'm not a super insecure person, but I'm not super secure either.  I have days I love my body, most days.  But sometimes I just feel bleeegggghhh.  I'm not the healthiest but I like to try sometimes.  I love meat and potatoes and spinach.  But I also know I would like to feel better, less aches and less processed crap in my life.  So... smoothies!  I'm swapping a meal a day for one and am enjoying it so far!

Cas's First Second Ever Fruit Smoothie

2 cortland apples
1 banana
10 grapes
1 c. spinach
1 c. ice
1 c. soy milk

BLEND! Drink. Enjoy.  And don't ask what happened to my first smoothie.  It was a disaster.

I'm sure it could have been a lot better but... for what it was it was pretty delicious.  I'm going to have a vegetable one for lunch.

Tomorrow Mike and I leave for Milwaukee.  I'm not sure if I'm going to blog while I'm gone or just write up a few posts and schedule them.  We shall see!  Regardless, I can't wait to go!  Super excited.  :) :)

Have a great Sunday!  Plans?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Windy Saturday

It is so windy today!  Near 30 mph gusts -- madness!  It was even worse last night.  While lying in bed reading I was pretty sure the tree outside was going to snap in half and crush my house.  Kind of freaky.  It was actually pretty nerve-wracking.

I touched up my teal!  You can see it all over my neck and nails and a bunch of other places not shown.  It seems a lot darker than the first time and I am loving it!  I wanted it bright and fresh for my trip next week.  Yep!  Mike and I have finally been able to work out some dates.  We will be going to Milwaukee the 17th through the 20th.  I'm most excited to go to the zoo!  I promise to get lots of pictures.

Hope you all have a great Saturday!  What are you plans?
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