• Family

    Thankful for Friends

    When we moved back to the U.S. this summer to a place we’d never lived before, I anticipated Thanksgiving would be a quiet affair with just our family of four. We’ve had several of those quiet Thanksgiving dinners. I don’t really mind them. The hardest part is to keep the twinge of missing out at bay. Those type of feelings defeat the entire purpose of being thankful. Then, much to my delight, friends from Georgia said they wanted to spend the holiday with us. So let me get this right… These folks want to travel on the busiest week of the year to eat turkey with us? Uh, HECK YEAH!!!…

  • Family

    Mom? Do Bad Things Happen to Everyone?

    97.8% of being a parent is answering an endless stream of questions. Most of them come in the form of… “Can I have…?” Or “Why?” Or my favorite, “Why not?” Sometimes there’s just a long “mom” or “dad” with a question mark at the end repeated over and over in increasing volume. Mom? Mooom? Mooooommmm??? When kids discover their voice they sometimes forget they have two legs and can get up to come find you. Then there are the weird questions. Case in point, I was recently asked, “Mom, how does a person become a god?” Uh… That’s what I get for letting my kid read a book at the…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #95

    Oh my goodness, we are less than one week from Thanksgiving! Who is ready? Not me. Not by a long shot. This week I shared a delicious treat you could make for the holidays – Sweet Potato Cranberry Doughnuts. They feed a crowd! I also shared one last autumn idea – painted acorn tic tac toe. If you set this out during the holidays, I guarantee someone will play! Here’s the Happy List! FAVORITE HOUSE If I had to pick a favorite house right this second, I would pick The Lilypad Cottage in Michigan. I love Kelly’s┬ásimple Christmas decor and the blue colors are right up my alley. Go check…

  • Food

    Would I Make It Again: Sweet Potato Cranberry Doughnuts

    I’d like to say this recipe had me at ‘doughnuts.’ Then this could be the shortest post ever! Hahahahaha. Actually, this recipe had me at ‘sweet potato cranberry.’ That’s an epic Thanksgiving flavor mashup, isn’t it? I thought so. The doughnut part was just an added perk. Doughnuts are always an added perk. In a series of Internet search twists and turns, I landed on a recipe I didn’t know I needed for Sweet Potato Cranberry Doughnuts from Taste of Home. The recipe concept┬ámade me go hmmm. And mmmm. And, yes, I said that all out loud. I know you talk to your screen too. Right now you’re probably saying,…

  • Crafts

    Painted Acorn Tic Tac Toe

    Acorns seem like the bridesmaid of autumn. They always play second fiddle to pumpkins, don’t you think? Well, not anymore! Let’s give acorns their moment, shall we? Besides, I’ve already written about pumpkins a million times. My son and I painted a tic tac toe board when he was 5 years old and in kindergarten. He’s in 3rd grade now and learning multiplication and I’m in denial. The original tic tac toe game pieces were also made by my son…out of perler beads. I have ranted waxed poetically in the past about my feelings on perler beads here and here. You should really read those tales. My melodrama was solidly…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #94

    Hello! I’m smack in the middle of a 4-day weekend of sorts! The kids are off of school for a teacher conference. This week my son’s elementary school celebrated Veteran’s Day early. They gathered information (name, rank, branch) about the veterans in each student’s life. So, for instance, my son has 3 grandparents that served in the military and he was able to honor them with a paper cut-out posted inside the school. They held an assembly on Wednesday and invited local veterans to come to school for the event. I don’t know how many came to the actual assembly, but I do know that 35 veterans agreed to come…

  • cleaning

    Why Didn’t I Do This Earlier? Reusing Silica Gel Packets

    We recently bought a mattress in a box from Amazon, but before I tell you THAT story, I have to tell you THIS story. This story is about the other thing that was in the box besides a squished up mattress. Giant silica gel packets. I’m not kidding you. These things were as big as my palm. And for the first time in my life, I thought, “Hey, Smarty Pants! Maybe you should reuse those silica gel packets.” The lightbulb burns bright around here every once in awhile. Do you reuse silica gel packets? If so, why didn’t you tell me? I thought we were friends! Friends tell friends smart…

  • holidays

    New Way to Trick or Treat – Dock or Treating

    I know it is November and we’ve moved on to other holidays, but I have to tell you about the neatest Halloween experience. We were introduced to a new way to trick or treat this year – dock or treating! I’m still giddy about it. We are fortunate to be spending time living in a lake community. These type of neighborhoods are fairly common where we live in the Northeast. Our neighbors organized a trick or treat event called ‘Dock or Treat.’ Homeowners living directly on the lake volunteered to be available to hand out candy from their docks. Some of them got really into it and even decorated their…

  • happy list

    Happy List: #93

    Hello! How was your week? How was Halloween? Our Halloween, if you follow me on Instagram, had a fun event and I’ll tell you about it next week. However, let’s focus on the now. Can you believe it is NOVEMBER!?! Yes, I know I say that every time we start a new month, but I am in no way prepared for the holiday hub-bub. This week was ALL about Halloween on the blog. I shared the pictures Handy Husband took of our mantel. Then I shared some pictures of Halloween and fall in rural New Jersey. On Instagram this week I shared some pretty great Halloween photos and on Facebook…

  • holidays

    Halloween in a Small Rural Area

    Happy Halloween! Ready for all those trick-or-treaters? Did you eat your stash of Halloween candy and have to run buy more? Twice. No? Yeah…that didn’t happen to me either. How would you like me to treat you to some pictures of autumn and Halloween in a small, rural area to get you in the mood for tonight’s festivities? “YES!” Oh good. There really was only one correct answer. I’m glad you said that! These are some pictures I took about ten days ago in a small town called Hope, New Jersey. Before you mention it, let me tell you it was still QUITE green then. We had a seemingly endless…