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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mums The Word

    I love Fall. There's just something about this season that inspires me to embrace it. I love fall colors, hot fall flavored drinks, pumpkins, football games, bonfires, fall baking, Thanksgiving.... I just really love fall. Maybe it's because I can finally go outside without getting instant sweat crack (TMI, I know) or maybe it's because I want to savor this season as long as possible because we all know that before we're ready Old Man Winter will be freezing our car windows. Old Man Winter can suck it. 
    Thanks to the Fall Bucket List we're not just going to embrace fall but we're going to own this season!! One thing I wanted to do is make our front porch more festive. Besides our usual poorly carved pumpkins we never have anything else outside. Not this year. I found the cutest idea for decorating your porch/yard and guess what else, it's SUPER EASY!! 

    First you're going need your supplies. All you need is a pumpkin, or two, Mum plant(s) (I got three because they were on sale at our grocery store 3 for $12), and a good carving knife. Simple right? 


    Now take your knife and carve around the top. 

Careful, this is about as hard as it gets!
Time for the fun part!! Removing the guts!! 


    Okay, so guts aren't your thing. No worries, have a kid do it, they love that stuff.


Don't get rid of the guts just yet, roasted seeds are so good! 


Aww, prefect! 

Now just take one of the plants (I left mine in the container) and put them into the pumpkin. Ta-Dah!!


How freaking cute is that? And it was super simple. I think the total time, counting all the photo taking was 45 minutes. So roughly 15 minutes a pumpkin. If you really want to jazz them up you could add a pretty fall colored bow but this is Deja, not Martha Stewart so I opted for the bowless look. Not that I had bows to use in the first place but still I think they turned out great!




Another Craft/DIY project that is kid approved!! So go on people, gets your pumpkin on and make fall your bitch! Got an easy fall craft idea you'd like to share?

Yours Truly,
Deja


Fall Cupcake Tasting

    Recently I wanted an excuse to try out different flavored cupcakes. While my family enjoys dessert, it seems like no matter what kind of cake I make it usually ends up sitting around until it turns brick hard. I decided a way to try out a bunch of the fall recipes I've been working on was to have a Fall Cupcake Tasting. And I'm not gonna lie, I kind of hoped that people would try my cupcakes and be so impressed that they just had to order more of whatever flavor they were savoring. But mainly I wanted people to try my new cupcake flavors and give me feedback on what I could do differently. 
    Without going into a long story about how I painstakingly picked out my cupcake flavors(I chose 5 flavors), how I chose the people to attend (I just created an event on my Facebook page), and all work that went into pulling off the event I thought I would just give you the highlights. The Good, Bad, and Ugly.

Let's just get it over with and start with the Bad: 
    Nowadays it seems like someone always has something going on so picking a date can be hard. I thought I picked the prefect date but it was only after I created the event that I found out that it was not only the day of The Color Run in Lawrence but it was also the KU/K-State Football Game. Over half of the people I intended on coming would be at one of these events and ended up missing my own event. 
This was before it started but I was going for pity points

 But that's okay because The Good:

    I ended up having a great turn out of people. I was not only impressed with the amount of people that ended up coming but I was surprised by a few faces that I had no clue were coming. For a girl that always feels like she has no friends, I realized not only do I have friends but they're pretty damn amazing. 

Okay, here goes The Ugly:
    While the cupcake tasting was a success, not even 4 hours prior to the event I was having a less then flattering meltdown, stressing about finishing up all the cupcakes and threatening to call off the whole thing. Once again, super husband came to the rescue and showed up early to help me get the final touches ready. I wish I could say this was a one-time baker freak out but if you ask my husband, I usually freak out at least once while making a cake. This one was just a little more spazztastic then usual.

Now after that I deserve at least another Good:
    The cupcakes, oh my gosh let me tell you, they were SOOOO good. I did a rating scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) and none of them received lower then a 3. In fact my Brown Butter Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting received all 5 ratings!! That recipe is definitely a keeper, go me!! 

Not that you asked but here's another really Good:
    Thanks to my cupcake tasting I am currently booked with cake/cupcake orders for the next two months!!!! Yay!!! Oh, and even after giving away most my extra cupcakes in a drawing, there were just enough left for my bunch to have.... and they didn't even let them get rock hard! 


Foodgasm Time!!



Oh yea!!

Uh-huh

These were the 6 packs I gave away in the drawing!



You like that? You sick puppies!! So what's your favorite fall flavor? You never know, it could inspire my next great cupcake recipe!! 


Yours Truly,
Deja



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Just Painting Some Gourds

    Guess who got her crafty mom on? This girl!! Thanks to this post on crafster.com and my stock pile of halfway dried out paint that I haven't used in months or at least since I made my Picture Frame Jewelry Display I was pretty much ready to do this craft. All I need were some small gourds and what do you know, I just happened to have some in my Fall decorations tub that was in the garage.
   Okay, here's the truth. I bought these gourds last year for this specific craft but for whatever reason I only base painted a couple of the gourds and then gave up. Maybe it was the waiting for things to dry or maybe it was the one year old that never let me do much of anything at that time but sadly those gourds never got painted....... until NOW!
    K3 went to his 1st professional baseball game with his daddy and grandpa. The girls for some reason were being extremely well behaved, maybe because Good Luck Charlie was on but I knew now was the prefect time to get my craft on!




   Following the examples for most of the gourds I painted them to resemble the ones from the website. I added googly eyes because some reason I have a small stock pile of them and everything looks better with googly eyes, right?  I came up with a couple of the characters on my own and I have to say I'm pretty impressed with myself. I mean really how cute are these?


And just because I'm really shocked at how simple and good these turned out, here are some close-up pictures.



   Now if I can do that, I know you can. All it takes is a few simple supplies and place you can set the gourds while they're drying.... preferably one out of reach of little fingers. I wasn't the only person impressed with these gourds. My kids loved them and my husband kept telling me just how great they looked. So either I did an amazing job on this craft or the rest of my crafts resemble pasta glued on to construction paper. Oh and just so you know, my little guy had a great time the game with daddy and grandpa! I can't believe he's old enough to go on Boys Only adventures already!!

   So what is something you're doing to bring a little Halloween spirit to your home this fall?
                                                                       Yours Truly,
                                                                            Deja







Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pity Party for One

   You ever have one of those horrible, rotten, all-around no good days where everything just makes you feel like you're a complete failure and a waste of space? Yeah, I had one of those days the other day. And I'm not proud that I was having myself a good old fashioned pity party but I was. Yes, some of it may have been due to being "that time of the month" but most of it was because for that day, for at least a few hours I was convinced I was an epic failure as a mother, wife, part-time career woman, baker, house cleaner, etc. You name it and I could have told you how I sucked at it. 
    The whole day started with me waking up to a sinus headache. You know those old men that swear they can tell a storm is brewing because they get a creek in their knee? Well for some reason it seems like whenever it's going to rain I get a horrible sinus headache. The kind of headache that's in your eyebrows and behind your right eyeball, or at least it is for me. Well I took some medicine that never works but I still take it hoping that this will be the day it works, and got the girls ready for school. That day the girls were going to be cheering at a pep rally and high school football game with the rest of the Elementary Cheer Clinic so I had to make sure they were dressed according to the theme.This year's theme was Western Wear. The girls received shirts to wear but the rest of the outfit was up to the parents and while they say, "don't worry if you don't have Western outfits, jeans and sneakers are fine." I just knew that my girls were going to be the only ones without cute boots, hats, and big shiny belts. It didn't help that I had just looked at a facebook post from another mother whose girls were dress in, you guessed it, cute cowboy hats, pink belts with big shiny buckles, blue jeans, and matching pink cowgirl boots that looked brand new. Of course. Feeling deflated I sent my girls to school with no hats, no belts, shorts (I didn't even think of jeans for some reason) and one girl in garage sale cowboy boots that I just glued the sole back on and the other girl in brown winter boots (it's the only boots she had). Poor kids. If only they had one of "those" mothers who actually thought about this stuff before the day of. 
    I decided that I was going to go back to bed, lay around and watch Real Housewives of New Jersey reunions. My husband had other plans and as he was leaving for work he said, "Don't forget your mom and grandma are coming over later. You might want to clean this pig sty." And he was right. Our house was a pig sty. Not that it's super clean any other day but looking through the house, there wasn't a single room that didn't have some kind of mess in it. With Nick working a bunch of overtime and having to take K3 to work with me and dealing with all the kids the rest of the day, I kind of had a couple lazy days, okay a lazy week. What a failure, my husband works a couple days extra and I all of the sudden turn into one of those people on Hoarders who doesn't know how to pick up dirty socks or empty toilet paper rolls. My poor husband. 
    Knowing I can't avoid cleaning I start with the bathroom, the smallest room of the house. I don't know about anyone else and maybe this is why I get overwhelmed when my house is dirty but this is how I clean: I take a glass out of the bathroom into the kitchen, while I'm in the kitchen I realize that the trash is full, so I empty the trash and take it outside, while outside I see that one of my kids left their shoes on the porch, I grab the shoes and take them to the playroom, in the playroom I find the living room t.v. remote, I go in the living room, find some dirty socks, and it is only then as I'm walking past the bathroom to take the socks to the dirty laundry that I remember that I'm supposed to be cleaning the bathroom in the first place. So then I'm stressed out because I can't even clean one freaking room and it didn't help that K3, from spending more time then usual with me developed this sudden clinginess that caused him to cry the whole time I attempted to clean because I wasn't paying attention to him. All he wanted was for his mother to love on him, poor baby. 
    Feeling all the weight of the day on me (and some of the residual stress from throughout the week) I did the only thing I could think of to do, I cried. I cried like a little baby. I cried because my daughters looked like orphaned cheerleaders, I cried because my husband has to live in a messy house, I cried because my poor son is neglected, and mainly I cried because poor me, I was a failure. I'm not usually a crier and in fact, I sometimes pick on my husband for crying during sad movies but for whatever reason that day my world sucked, I couldn't do anything right and I was going to cry about it. Not only did I cry about it but every time my husband called me I would make him feel completely horrible for calling. The calls went something like this, "Hey hun just checking in to see how you're doing?" 
My response, "How do you think I'm doing?! I'm a horrible mother, my life sucks and I can't do anything right. Why would you even ask how I'm doing!!" 
Mustering up all the patience in the world, Nick would say in his calmest voice, "okay well I'll call you later to see if things get better. Sorry you're having a bad day, love you." Which I'm sure I responded with a, "screw you" or something equally pleasant. I know I wasn't being nice but he knew I was having a horrible day so why on Earth would he keep calling me. 
    At some point in the day I actually managed to clean the house enough where it looked halfway decent. My mom and grandma came over to go to the pep rally with me. I was still in a pissy mood but I tried to be a little more pleasant then I was with Nick. Besides, feeling sorry for me they both dug through their houses and found two old cowboy hats the girls could use for their cheer performances. Right as we were getting ready to leave the doorbell rings. Not expecting anyone I answer the door and am greeted by a lady holding flowers. They were a bouquet of Spider Mums (my favorite flowers) for me. I opened the card and it read, "Just thinking of you, Love Nicolas" Awwwwww Even though I was a complete bitch, my husband was still sweet enough to send me flowers. And for the second time of the day I cried like a big old baby, only this time they were happy tears. 
    No wonder why he kept calling me, he wanted to see if I got the flowers yet. I immediately called Nick, with my tail between my legs and not only thanked him for the flowers but apologized for being so horrible to him. He told me that he knew I was having a bad day and just wanted me to know that he appreciates all I do for the family. I know, right? How could anyone stay in a pity party after something as sweet as that. I may have felt like a complete failure that day but the one thing I know I did right was marrying that man. I may not always deserve him ( or him deserve me, belive it or not) but I know I am so lucky to be his wife. Getting those flowers made me wake up and see that things are not as bad as I thought. The pity party was over and while I'm sure I'll have one again, possibly even around the same time next month.... at least I know that good, bad, or ugly crying there are people out there that not only love me but love me enough to put up with me when I least deserve it. Anybody else have a pity party recently? 
                                                                     Yours Truly,
                                                                            Deja

Oh and just so you know, not only did my girls end up looking super cute for their cheer clinic but that's one thing we get to check off our Fall Bucket List!! Yay!!  

                                                              

Monday, October 1, 2012

Our Fall Bucket List

    Check it out! This summer we made a summer bucket list and while we only completed 14 out of the 21 things on our list, it was a fun way to keep track of some of the exciting things we did in the summer. And to be honest, a way for me to feel good about myself that at least 14 times this summer I was a fun mom. We probably would have completed at least 4 more things on the list but they included using a tent and even though #4 on our list was to Buy A Tent we never got around to buying one. What can I say, tents are expensive and we don't really camp enough to justify spending $150 on a tarp. Now that same amount of money on a Kuerig coffee maker? Definitely a wise investment. *hint hint* Nicolas. All in all it turned out to be a fairly good summer .Despite the brutal heat.
    Learning from our overly ambitious summer bucket list we decided that this family bucket list would be a little more realistic. To create our bucket list we go around to each person (excluding K3 who isn't old enough to understand the concept yet and just kept repeating "my list.. my list!") and let them pick one thing that they would like to do in the fall until we run out of ideas or more likely until I start to feel overwhelmed and have a slight panic attack. K1, our super caring child thought up sweet family bonding activities like going on a nature walk and picking apples together. K2 apparently thought money was no option and kept on insisting on us going to Disneyland. After a little bit of coaxing, she did end up suggesting going Trick or Treating on Halloween. Works for me! 
   So here it is. Our Fall Family Bucket List and I have to admit I think we'll actually accomplish everything on it this time. Well, maybe. We'll just have to wait and see!!

    Do you have a family fall bucket list? What's one thing you want to do before fall is over? 
                                                                    Yours Truly
                                                                           Deja