Thursday, October 28, 2010

Disney Delights

We spent last week in Disney World with Auntie Lisa and Uncle Chuck and Nonna and Nonno.
We got to trick or treat at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and get a quick visit with the Child family who were also on vacation down there too! A side trip to Universal Studios was even squeezed in so that we could check out the new Harry Potter attraction. We did a lot of stuff and even though the kids aren't big into rides we managed to get them on some. Soarin' and Toy Story Mania were two favorites that we did twice.
There was a tremendous amount of walking and waiting and late nights but the kids were real troopers and handled most of it well. There were a few grumbles now and then but no major meltdowns. Considering how far out of their element they were with the crowds, noise and constantly being on the go I am proud at how well they did.
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in a room with a view of all kinds of animals. Here is a picture of the girls looking at a roan antelope from our balcony.

Here is the lobby of the hotel. I never took a picture of our room but it was a pretty basic hotel room with an african theme. I also didn't get a picture of the pool, but it was nice and we spent most afternoons in it for a couple of hours before dinner. Despite all the wonders of the parks the hotel pool was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Five on Friday

Today I am grateful for:

1. The miners in Chile who were all safely rescued.
2. Good friends who will take care of our pets while we are in Disney.
3. Cool, brisk fall air.
4. Living in New England so I can enjoy the fall colors in my own backyard.
5. The fall rain after such a dry summer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Puppy Power

My brother and sister-in-law recently became the proud parents of this adorable chocolate lab.
Her name is Birdie. How adorable is she taking a nap on Kenzie's lap? She was so exhausted she was snoring!

Here she is before she fell asleep. This picture was taken with my ipod touch so please forgive the quality. I try really hard not to judge cell-phone pictures and go with the importance of capturing the moment but truth be known I am a photo snob and they really bug me. I had hoped by playing around with my ipod touch camera it would change my hasn't yet. But it is convenient because it fits right in my pocket so I will continue to work on my issues.
Now there have been discussions in our house for over a year about getting a new dog after Copper passed away. I have the been the holdout because I know the bulk of the care will be mine. I had agreed to get another puppy, in the spring when it would be warmer to housebreak.
And after all our travel plans were done.
Everyone agreed....until several weeks ago when my family ganged up on me. They started surfing the internet, looking at breeders, and showing me pictures of adorable puppy cuteness.
My husband was the ring leader because he thinks I'm a sucker for animals.
Which I am. But it is unfair to use against me.
The next thing I knew we came across a listing from the same breeder that we got Boomer from and she happened to have a recent litter. And the litter had some tri-color springers.
And well the rest is history. Last weekend we drove up and picked out a puppy.
Here he is in all his fluffy, puppy cuteness:
His name is Tuukka. He is named after one of the Boston Bruins Goaltenders. Plus the name is fun to say. For any of you non-hockey fans it is pronounced Too-ka.
And here he is with his brother and sisters. He's the one on top! He is only four weeks old and will be coming home with us mid-November.

I have recently heard from Dom's sister that they too are planning on getting a new dog soon,so there must be something in the air in this family!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tomato Cage Ghost

I wouldn't let Halloween go by without a craft or two. This idea came from Family Fun magazine one of my favorite sources for kid friendly ideas. This a super easy and super quick to make.
All you need is a tomato cage, (I am sure my dad will be so proud to see that I turned the tomato cages he let me borrow into ghosts.) You 'll also need some white christmas lights- a strand of 50 is good, a white twin sheet, some twist ties and some felt or a black marker.

First you turn the tomato cage upside down. Next curve in the prongs and use the duct tape to hold them together. Once that is done, take the lights and drape them around the tomato cage.

You can use twist ties (I actually used pipe cleaners) to keep the lights in place. Now take the sheet and drape it over the frame and use the felt to cut out a face and glue it in place or you could just draw a face on with marker.
Now you will notice that my ghost has an arm. I just used a cardboard tube from wrapping paper and duct taped a ball of newspaper on the end. Then I duct taped it at an angle to the tomato cage..

And if you're really lucky you'll have a spider decide he likes to hang out on ghost for added spookiness!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pumpkin Chip Muffins

Here's a nice pumpkin recipe I found for the fall. I don't usually play around with recipes but this is one I'd like to experiment with the next time as it has a lot of eggs and a lot of sugar. I did cut the sugar in half and add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon. I also substituted the eggs for egg beaters. They came out pretty good. My family ate them with no complaints, even my super pickey eater so that is a good sign. But I think I will tweak the recipe a little more the next time I make it. Any suggestions are welcome!

Here is the original recipe:

4 eggs

2 cups of sugar

1 15oz. can of pumpkin

1-1/2 cups canola oil

3 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pupkin and oil until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes for until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Five on Friday

I have posted before about how I like to make lists of things that I am grateful for and that I often find it a helpful way to lift my spirits. With that said I am going to try making it a weekly thing on Friday's to list five things that I am grateful for.

1. I am grateful to have such a wonderful husband, who supports and indulges my photography
2. I am grateful to have two smart, healthy, happy, and incredible cute daughters.
3. I am grateful to my family for helping out with all our outdoor projects this summer.
4. I am grateful to my in-laws for a greatly anticipated trip to Disney.
5. I am grateful to have two awesome sisters-in-law. One who planned and took care of the
details of the Disney trip and the other who recently invited me out on a fun night in Boston to
see Wicked.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Enormous Apples

We took the kids apple picking and found that they had some enormous apples growing on some of the trees. I assume they are some kind of hybrid, I think they are called AC Macs??
Anyway, one single apple could easily make a pie, or feed a small family. Just check one out compared to a normal macintosh apple.

Enourmous, right??

And look at this one. It's as big as Kenzie's head! Okay, not really but it's still pretty big compared to her little hands.

We picked pumpkins too. Kenzie's got her pumpkin and is telling me to hurry up and take picture 'cause it's heavy!

Becca looks around to find the perfect pumpkin.

Kenzie isn't pretending to be a small child so she can fit in the wagon she is trying to keep the bags of apples from falling over!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Okay so this won't be a completely wordless post because I want to explain that I have seen several blogs that do a wordless Wednesday and I liked the idea so I am going to borrow it.

Wordless Wednesday will just be a picture, no words, no explanations (other than this one!)
I am attempting to do more blogging and the idea of having some theme days was inspiring. And I really like themes. Recipes and crafts are some other themes I am toying with so stick around to see what I come up with!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Cute Fall Cupcakes

While browsing through all the cute, crafty projects on the One Pretty Thing website, I saw these really cute cupcakes I had to try. Actually, after making a cake for my uncle's 75th birthday party Kenzie really wanted to make cupcakes. This was good because I had quite a bit of buttercream frosting leftover. I love the candy corn look of the frosting. Kenzie wanted to make chocolate cupcakes of course. It think these would look super cute by coloring and layering the cake batter in yellow, orange and white. I might try a batch and send them to work with Dom.

As you can see we made regular size cupcakes and mini cupcakes and had lots of fun decorating them for fall.