Hello, Buffalo!

After traveling more than 3,300 miles through 14 states in 11 days, we arrived in Buffalo, NY a week ago Thursday! We finally have internet and once we get a bit settled in, I plan on sharing our epic road trip here.

Until then, I have lots of questions for the Buffalonians and Western New York aficionados:

What is recommendation for best…

  • Fancy dinner out?
  • Take out?
  • Delivery?
  • Deli?
  • Pizzeria: for dining in? for delivery?
  • Park/playground (for a 2 year old)?
  • Favorite tourist trap
  • Gym/fitness studio? Do you have a barre studio here?
  • Summer activity/festival?
  • Fall activity/festival?
  • Winter activity/festival?
  • Spring activity/festival?
  • Winery to taste at?
  • Wine seller? (Why can’t you just buy wine at the grocery store?! WHY!?)
  • Salon? Hair? Nail?
  • Dentist? Pediatric dentist?
  • Doctor? Pediatrician?

We’re living in Amherst, near the Millard Fillmore Suburban, so extra points for answers around where we live!

Thank you in advance!

 

 

 

 

 

ONE happy camper!

Our little man turned one in September and we celebrated in style: a rustic, outdoorsy, glamping style. Here are all of the details of our big party.

ONE happy camper!

We rented a picnic shelter space on Megan’s Island, in between two large fields and adjacent to a play structure. It was a pretty sweet spot. The only thing that would make it better would have been an infant swing, Michael’s favorite thing to do at the park.

The birthday boy

We opted for the Sunday before Michael’s birthday, which also ended up being the Seahawks home opener. We managed to squeeze the party in between Michael’s morning nap and 1 p.m. kickoff.

Food. We kept the food simple with 12 feet (FEET!) of Subway sandwiches, personal bags of chips, Aunt Nancy’s quinoa salad, and goldfish cracker packets and applesauce pouches for the little ones.

12 feet of sandwiches

Drinks. Since it was at a park, and 11 a.m., we decided to make Michael’s party nonalcoholic. We had a delicious hot cocoa bar and juice boxes for the kids. We offered toasted marshmallow syrup, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips to customize their ideal cocoa.

Drink station: hot cocoa bar!

Dessert. I made these s’more cookie bars but the real star of the show was the Costco cake. Thankfully Costco makes a cake that was perfect for our party. We got the “over the hill” design minus the over the hill language.

Cake!

We had such a wonderful time celebrating our little guy, ONE happy camper!

ONE happy camper!

A couple of other favorite photos from Michael’s big party:

Cake table & Michael’s weekly photos

52 weekly photos of Michael with the same bear in the same chair

Warming himself by the fire

Snuggles!

More snuggles! Also: the pants that inspired the party!

Post cake chocolate coma

The Handmade Project

Umm… did you know that my wildest dreams might actually come true?! It’s a long shot, but when Brandon forwarded me the application for The Handmade Project, a reality television show about crafting (!!!!), I knew that I had to apply.

It took three weeks for me to perfect my responses to the dozens of questions they asked, find my craft projects and photos, and to film just the right 3 minute video. The stars aligned last week and I submitted my application!

You have to apply to be chosen! Fingers crossed!!

I’ve never applied to a reality TV show before, but I’m guessing it’s a little bit of a popularity contest, so I’d really appreciate it if you could please watch, comment, and like my application video on YouTube, this blog post, and on my social channels. (Links in the top right!)

Who knows… you might be seeing me on the big screen in August!

Here are some highlights of my application, so you can know what you’re supporting:

My PR/introductory blurb:

During the day, Megan Szerwo is a real-life Leslie Knope, making her living working on behalf of the people of the City of Seattle. After hours though, Megan grabs a glass of her favorite red and she gets down to business on her real passion: crafting. A jack of all trades, Megan focuses her attention on party and holiday decor, gifts for new parents, and any and every craft possible with her endless supply of corks. Megan’s three passions in life are easily described: cats, crafts, and carafes! Megan lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband, son, and two cats.

And some of the projects that I highlight:

My Q13 debut!

My small business: Little Britches Bakery

Our homemade wood-fired oven in the backyard

My party pinatas

My mad party-throwing skills

Cork art!

And a couple of projects that are new to you as a blog reader:

Michael’s ONE HAPPY CAMPER first birthday party! I promise you’ll see it soon!

Muzzle Guzzler glassware: coming soon!

Fourth of July onesies! (Post coming only a year late, but in time for 7/4/17!)

Since it’s likely that this show would just perfectly foul up our Buffalo moving plans, it’s almost guaranteed to happen!

Don’t forget to watch my application video, tell all your friends to watch it, and like/comment on this post!

Thank you for reading and your unending support of my creative endeavors!

Megan’s Island: shuffling off to Buffalo, NY!

Buffalo, NY!

It’s official! We’re trading in the grey drizzle of the Seattle area for upstate New York!

Brandon signed the official paperwork this week and come next fall, he’ll be teaching accounting, Michael will be making new friends at a new daycare, and I’ll be spending a lot more time here, on this blog. And on my small business. And working on my real estate license. And, finally, working on even more ideas I have up my sleeve! You’ll just have to keep tuning in to find out!

Since I’ve never left the Seattle-area for more than a couple of weeks at a time, I need your help.

Tell me everything you know about the Buffalo area: favorite restaurants, favorite wineries, favorite spot to see the fall colors, favorite great lake, favorite parks and snow boots, you get my drift. Snow drift. Get it? (For those not in the know, it averages 94″ of snow each year there. That’s nearly EIGHT FEET of snow.)

Tell me all of your tips for moving to a new town. Should I find my new favorite stores and make friends there? Same story but at my new favorite restaurant, wine bar or winery? Should I volunteer?

I’m sad to be leaving my friends and family in Seattle, but nervous and excited about this new adventure. I’m definitely looking forward to spending a lot more time here, with you.

Now, we’re off to shuffle off to Buffalo!

Valentine, you’re out of this world! {2017}

I had the pleasure of turning my Pinterest board into reality last week to make Michael’s preschool valentines. I know I’m biased, but I’m pretty impressed with the final product. (I really liked last year’s valentines too!)

You're out of this world, Valentine!

You’re out of this world, Valentine!

Space ducks: unite!

Space ducks: unite!

These valentines are super easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and don’t include sugar, so they’re good for kids of all ages:

  1. Buy these astronaut and space alien rubber ducks from Amazon
  2. Print out this sheet of valentines on cardstock.
  3. Add your name on the bottom and cut them out.
  4. Poke a hole.
  5. Attach the tag to the duck.
  6. Tie a bow, trim the edges. Voila!

Here is Micheal working on his valentine “mailbox” at school. He’s a crafter in the making! (And, yes, they call him “Big Mike”!)

Michael working on his valentine mailbox

Michael working on his valentine mailbox

Super Bowl eats {2017}

SuperBowl LI ~ 2017

SuperBowl LI ~ 2017

We didn’t go all out for this year’s Super Bowl, like we have in the past (2016, 2014), but we tried out some new recipes and rekindled some old favorites!

We’ll start with dessert.

Cocoa Krispies Football Treats

Cocoa Krispies Football Treats

I used my very favorite rice krispie treat recipe and swapped normal Rice Krispies for Cocoa Krispies. These take less than 5 minutes to make and they’re delicious!

Cocoa Krispie football treats

Make a batch of the rice krispie per the instructions and spread them out on a jellyroll pan instead of a 9″ x 9″ pan, making them thinner than a normal batch (about 1″ tall).

Once cooled, use your football cookie cutter to cut out your treats.

Use icing (I used store-bought icing from my pantry, but you could easily make your own) to draw on your laces.

And… Enjoy!

Cocoa Krispies football treats

Cocoa Krispies football treats

We also enjoyed a large plate of shredded pork nachos, topped with my infamous black bean and corn salsa (recipe below!), which I can’t believe I haven’t shared here yet.

We went basic (but SO delicious): shredded pork nachos

We went basic (but SO delicious): shredded pork nachos

Our delicious SuperBowl nacho plate

Our delicious SuperBowl nacho plateWe also made pretzels from scratch!

First-time, homemade pretzel bites

First-time, homemade pretzel bites

I hope you had a great Super Bowl 51. I’d love to hear about any favorite recipes from your game day celebrations!

Megan's famous black bean and corn salsa

Megan’s famous black bean and corn salsa

Megan’s Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I’ve committed this recipe to memory and trigger that memory by going through the colors of the rainbow: red (tomato), orange (and orange), yellow (corn), green (cilantro, lime juice), blue (no ingredient, but a stickler for Roy G Biv), and purple (shallots).

Combine the following in a bowl:

  • 1 can corn, rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped (or a handful of grape tomatoes, whatever you have on hand!)
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • The juice of one orange
  • ~2 T lime juice
  • ~2 T White balsamic vinegar (I haven’t tried the normal balsamic vinegar because this one is too good! Buy it. It’s worth it.)
  • A liberal drizzle of honey (maybe 1 T?)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The nachos were a hit, especially with Michael!

Nacho lover: Michael

Nacho lover: Michael

 

Hello, 2017!

Wait, what?! I’m pretty sure 2016 was the fastest year yet. I’m sure returning to work after maternity leave and trying to balance life as a more-than-full-time working mom, actually seeing my kid, and pumping three times a day played a large role. But still, it went too fast.

On the left: 2016 Michael. On the right: 2017 Michael. Same day, different year and such a big little boy!

On the left: 2016 Michael. On the right: 2017 Michael. Same day, different year and such a big little boy!

2017 will be a big year for us. It’s very likely that we’ll be packing up our lives on the Island and relocating across the country for Brandon’s job. Megan’s Island may soon be Megan’s Bayou or Megan’s Desert. (Don’t worry, while I may not be blogging from the Island in the future, I’ll still be there in spirit!)

Because of the big changes afoot, I have one New Year’s resolution this year: Be present.

If last year was any indication, the next six to nine months will be here and gone before we know it. And, since I have to wrap up my 30+ years in this fine city, I’ve got my work cut out for me!

I’ve started a Seattle bucket list and I’ll be trying to make the most of our time here while also saying good bye (just for now, not forever!). The bucket list will be another post, but I’d love to hear your ideas. Until then, I’ve got a kid to play with and a greenbelt to explore.

Cheers to 2017!

My 2017 resolution: Be present.

My 2017 resolution: Be present.