Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Five, this week on Instagram

1. Saturday. Spent the day with a good church friend, who taught me to make eggs benny!
2. Monday. The fruits of our labor, ready to be apple-sauced for the inlaws!

Monday, September 22, 2014

2nd Annual Apple-Picking Weekend

This weekend we packed up the whole family and made our way to Fishkill Farms, in search of all things autumn. Objectives: drink hot cider, obtain warm apple donuts, purchase decorative gourds, and find the perfect apple.
Secondary objectives: quality time with the family, reenact Bible scenes such as Adam and Eve, find leafy moose antlers and make goofy faces to get that one good candid shot.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Tom and the NYC Century Bike Tour

Tom and biking. He has loved biking since he started around 10 years ago, and when we met years ago he was actively doing things like biking to classes, participating in bike tours and even attempting (but that's another story) to bike to NYC from his university upstate. Then he met me in 2009, got distracted by life, and semi-retired his bike.

With an increasing waistline in early 2014, we both decided to try and slim down. I do not exercise, so I ate healthier. But Tom really went crazy for his bike and since February has been commuting to work 20 miles a day on his bike. Every day, as long as it wasn't storming or too cold (in my opinion, it was too cold to do anything outside until it hit 40 degrees) and he has been a biking fool ever since. We ended up slimming down, but the biggest benefit to this is that he has rekindled his love for biking.

Almost two weeks ago I was able to see Tom off for the NYC Century Bike Tour, and had some major moments of pride. As you could tell, if you follow me on Instagram.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 Ways to Get Your Autumn Gourd On

I have grand plans for gourds this season. Pumpkins, butternut squash, hubbard squash, even those little decorative ones. Farmers markets in NYC are still bursting with produce, but with having such ambitious goals, I should make a list, so nothing falls through the cracks. Am I Right? Yes. I'm right.
Butternut Squash Soup

Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash { Vegan, Vegetarian}

Hubbard Squash Smoothie (Also, how to fully bake a squash)

Skinny Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Roasted Butternut Squash with Green Apples and Candied Walnuts

Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkin Dip

Pumpkin Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Pumpkin-Pecan Bread

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip Recipe

I do love tiny gourds. Especially when paired with candles and a bible study.

So tell me....
What do you plan to do with all the gourds?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where Were You?

Where were you? Chances are that you know the song by Alan Jackson, which poses the question "Where were you when the world stopped turning"? I was only 15, and had no understanding of what had happened. But even in rural PA, I remember returning home from school and staring at the news all night and the days that followed.
No one explained it, but you somehow just knew that something momentous had happened. It didn't fully make sense for me until years later, when it just clicked. The loss that America felt, and the tangible fear of the unknown that the world felt.

Today I am sick home from work. I haven't spent an entire day watching the news since the towers fell in 2001, and so as I watch the Today Show and the family members dropping carnations into the pools at the plaza, it doesn't feel real.

This might be hard to watch, but I wanted to see it. This is when the news broke.
September 11 2001 As It Happened - CNN Live 8.40am - 10.11am
The raw news feels real. I can feel the late 90s/early 2000s in the commercials in the beginning. And I can see the irony that the New York stock exchange report has just ended, detailing Nokia's sinking stocks. And the faces of the the newscasters, trying to calm hysteric New Yorkers calling in, giving details of what they're seeing from delis and other office buildings in Manhattan.

I hear what Tom's mother saw, as she was shopping in Brooklyn. Cars everywhere, traffic backed up. Smoke made its way into the borough, and burning money fell from the sky. For the days that followed, she taped off the windows to prevent ash from seeping into the house. It's a horrible story to hear, but it's not exceptional. It was life on that day for those living here.

I was 15 years old, in biology class, in a small class of 12 in rural Pennsylvania. I had no clue. 

So tell me...
Where were you? 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Easy $12 Fall Wreath

Today, I thought I'd showcase my recent project- but it's almost laughable to call it that. I made a cheap festive wreath from stuff picked up from Walmart. Projects are supposed to be hard, expensive, and planned well in advance right?

Wreaths can be expensive, starting from $25 for a premade one, and quickly becoming much more expensive if you're looking for a 'natural' wreath you might get from a florist. I love decorating for the season, but I was not into paying for something that I can't personalize. I wanted to have a wreath that I built, and also that could be changed for every season and stored easily.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

28 (is the new 29)

Today I turned 28, and I initially felt underwhelmed. I remember back to when I had a countdown to my birthday. "September 4, 1996-- Happy Birthday to Me! 10 Years!" was  written on top of my elementary math notes, next to the date. Getting older was something to celebrate.

And it is. I thank God for the ability to live another year, to spend time writing this blog post, and to eat cake later. There's bread in the oven, news on the television and my Facebook is blowing up with birthday greetings from loved ones. Google even told me to have a Happy Birthday. 
 My in-laws do this pseudo-surprise party for every birthday where they pretend there isn't a cake, and lure you into the other room while they light the candles. It's cute, and I know that many don't have this luxury.
But yesterday I got thinking about how I was supposed to have a baby by now. And while I might get pregnant right away when we start trying in November, it would have to be a third "one-shot wonder" kind of pregnancy for me to have a baby by this time next year. What if it takes a while, or have trouble maintaining more pregnancies? Being 28 is one thing, but having our first baby at 29? 30? 31? That seems so far away. My parents had me when they were 32, and while it was selfish, I always wondered what it would be like to have a younger mom and dad. 

Eh, enough of all that. I'm going to enjoy some fresh out-of-the-oven cinnamon raisin bread.

So tell me...
Anyone else feel down on their birthday?
Do you have to be 29 before you stop counting your birthdays? 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer is so last season

Let's talk about the end of summer. Don't be coy, I know you want to.

Because as of August 26th, I've been taunted by the photos online of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks, seen the cheapo version at Dunkin Donuts, and noticed the boots/scarves/warmer clothes (that are for the first time in months, not transparent) filling the shelves at stores.
And, after a spending the unofficial end of summer with my family in Pennsylvania, we even made a stop at Walmart where I bought some leaves, cattails and general autumnal decor. It's about that time folks. Time to pursue something that we know is coming, but isn't yet in sight.

It's time to start planning for the holidays, starting with apple picking, pumpkin picking, and welcoming the cooling temperatures to stick around for a while. Even though it's 80 degrees at 6am, and the clerk who gave me my coffee had a smirk when I wanted a hot pumpkin-flavored drink. Maybe doing all these things, despite the summer heat, offers a kind of placebo that will get us through the remaining sweltering days. So, in the upcoming days I'll hopefully assembling a wreath for our door, rotating our summer clothes to the bins for storage, and searching for recipes that will justify the insane amount of apples, pumpkins and butternut squash I plan on acquiring this month.

So tell me...
Have you started to decorate for fall?
And is there such a thing as picking 'too many apples'.... I don't think so.

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