Happy Halloween

Last night I went over to Katie's to make caramel apples and chocolate pretzels. I lived up to my blog name by burning my caramel (ruining it) and accidentally pouring the hot chocolate bark into a glass full of ice water, also ruining it!!! Don't even ask about the ice water!!! Katie's batch thankfully turned out and we were able to make about 27 apples. The highlight of the night was seeing little Jack! I hadn't see him in weeks! He helped me stir. I'll just place the blame on him and say I burned my caramel because I was preoccupied with cuter and more important things!!


Read the recipe ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!

I almost started on my doughnuts when I realized that the dough had to be refrigerated for 4 hours before frying! That means I would be frying doughnuts at 11 p.m. wayyyy past my bedtime. So instead I made these Iced Pumpkin Cookies. They are ridiculously good. I will have ALOT left over. That means some of you lucky friends and family of mine will get a little surprise tomorrow!

Need a little extra courage...and calories...

I'm thinking about making these tonight, Homemade Pumpkin Doughnuts from Epicurious.com . Charlie Brown is on ABC this evening which causes me to want to bake! I'm nervous because I have never deep fried anything. In fact my brother just had a kitchen remodel, thanks to my parents, due to a frying catastrophe this week. Should I chance it? Why can't I just stick with boxed cake mix???


Basement Find!!

My grandparent's recently cleaned out their basement. I saw this picture and asked for it. Now, I don't love the print, sorry grandma, I wanted it for the huge frame! After a can of spray paint and some chalkboard paint I had an awesome chalkboard to hang!

Before: 70's Frame

Now: Stylish Chalkboard


Let us be ever mindful........

Do you want to be humbled? Watch the trailer for this new movie "Precious", which is coming out November 6th. It was a big winner this year at the Sundance Film Festival. It's based on the book "Push" and has some major names including Mariah Carey cast in the film. This movie is a painful reminder of what everyday life is like for some and forces us to step outside of our cookie cutter lives for 2 1/2 hours......... Watching this made me hurt.


Isn't this onsie just a hoot??

I just finished this little onsie. I didn't have any baby hangers so I hung it up with a skirt hanger. That is why the arms look a little wompy. I wish I could wear it to work tomorrow to show it off. Since it might be a tad small, I guess I will ship it off!!


Chicken Pot Pie....My diet's arch enemy..........

It's officially Fall. I know this because I dug out this dangerous recipe. I even cut out a maple leaf in the middle instead of making knife slits all over it! I can't even describe to you how good this dish is. It is probably my most favorite recipe I have in my folder! Hope your dinner was fantastic as well!!

Girls...Check your closets!

I just saw a news piece reminding us that this winter will be rough for many of our neighbors. Local Ministerial Alliances already have wait lists for coats. Please, please, please, don't let your coats gather dust this winter. Please check to see if your children have outgrown theirs or dust off that "one" coat you haven't worn in a couple of years. DONATE!!! If you don't have a Ministerial Alliance in your area, donate them to a school or church!


Congratulations to the Ridgeways!!

This weekend was my dear friend Shelly's wedding. I have attached several photos from her beautiful day. I was so honored to be asked to be apart of it. It was beautiful ceremony and a fun filled reception!! My feet are still throbbing from all the dancing!! It was a great weekend to celebrate this wonderful couple! Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs!!

Kim and I arrived early at the bride's home with muffins and mimosas!!

I made blueberry and cinnamon roll muffins. Both were fantastic!

The bride looking at her hair for the first time

Myself, Shelly, and Kim 10 minutes before the ceremony started

Ryan and I after the ceremony

Another shot, after Shelly had become a Mrs.!

Bustling her train

Dancing with her new stepdaughter to "Girls just want to have fun".

The cutting of the cake

The last shot of the evening! Becky, Me, Shelly & Kim


It's Finally Here!!!!!!!!!!

Ryan and I have been waiting months for this to come out!!! I can't wait to see it!



How could you not love walking into your workplace and seeing this?? I love my job!


The Candy Thermometer and I

Tonight I took a stab at making Caramel Apples. Not the Kraft kind, the REAL homemade from scratch kind. The kind with a CANDY THERMOMETER!!!! I have always been deathly afraid of using one because I know making candy is a tricky feat. But I have to say that these turned out perfectly! These are just a trial run for a boat load of them that we will make for Halloween. I used the small apples just to save money for the trial. Large apples can add up fast! I'm pretty proud of myself. I can't wait to do the "real" ones in a week!

The caramel at 235 degrees. This is the point where you take it off to cool.
The mess I had made! The apples waiting patiently.

The apples had to "set" for an hour in the fridge.
Reecee Pieces, pretzels, candy corn and walnuts! They look a little pitiful because I didn't take the time to decorate them nicely. I just wanted to see if the toppings would stick.

The Sights of Carmi Illinois

Today while driving to Carmi for work, I drove past these fields that were FULL of pumpkins. I just had to pull over and snap a picture. While in an office I asked about them and was told they are for Libbys Pumpkin filling. How fun!


SIU, Blue Sky, El Jalisco, & Chocolate Martinis

On Saturday Heather, Dax, Ryan, and I spent the day together. We tailgated at the SIU game, went to Blue Sky, and finished the night off with Chocolate Martinis. It was a beautiful day, we had a blast!!

It takes 5 takes to get a picture with Ryan

This gentleman was at the tailgate. We all really don't know what his motive was. He entertained us by doing the splits every so often.

Heather and I

Sheer Happiness...

Just had to post a picture of Little Kitty and I this morning. So HAPPY he is home!!!!! I hope that everyone had a fantastic weekend!


Wedding Bells Are Ringing...............

Tonight is the long awaited wedding of Jim and Pam on The Office. Ryan and I along with several of our friends are huge fans of this show!! Tonight we are going over to our friends house to watch it. I am bringing this "wedding cake" for dessert! Had to blog this for my Office fans!!!

Notice my Dunder Mifflin shirt?? A wonderful gift from Katie last birthday!


A weary traveler..................

This evening I was sitting at my kitchen bar searching the internet when I heard a slam on our cage on the front porch. Lately we have caught every single cat in the neighborhood in the damn thing. Every morning I go out and check it hoping to see our little gray furbaby sitting in it. Anyways, back to the story! So I go out to check it and there he was........My little gray furbaby. He is about 10 lbs lighter but lovey as ever. He went right to Ryan and started his little purring motor. He is worn out. He has ate like crazy and has drank a lot of water. We have him quarantined on our sun porch until the vet can check him out. Right now he is sleeping on a warm towel and a t-shirt of Ry's. I can't believe that after a month and a week he decided to show back up. I guess his backpacking tour of Southern Illinois has come to an end. Thank you for all of your emails and words of encouragement while he was away. It's amazing how much space these little animals take up in your heart.


Spooktacular View...........

I was standing at my kitchen sink this evening washing a pot and I noticed the view. I thought it was a perfect fall moonscape. Hope you all had a wonderful relaxing weekend.

Caramel Bars

I know this is a crap photo, but let me tell you about these caramel bars! If I don't get rid of these today, they will be going down the disposal because I can't afford the calories! These little devils are ridiculous. Oats, butter, brown sugar, caramel, and chocolate chips are basically all that is in these. They were super easy to make and believe me, they won't last long! Why do I do this to myself. Why can't my joy in life be steaming vegetables vs. baking?

This is how windy it is in So. IL

This is where my outdoor dinning table "used to be".
I came home to find this! The umbrella lifted up the table in a big gust and moved it!

No chips or cracks out of the glass! Crazy!!!!!!

Going to to chapel.........In 2 weeks!

Last night we went to a bonfire get together to celebrate the upcoming wedding (2 weeks) of Shelly and Brandon. Shelly, is my dear friend that I threw the fall bridal shower for. While posting these photos , I have realized that I didn't post any pictures of her at the shower!!! So I have included some of my favorites! Shelly and Brandon are planning a beautiful fall wedding and I'm so honored to be apart of it! Can't wait to post those pictures! Here are some of the shower and of last night!

Group Shot
The bride in her veil sock-hat and fancy bridal sash

Shelly and I