2018 resolutions

As I think about my resolutions or goals for this year, the usuals come to mind: exercise more, eat healthier, sleep more.  Then I  popped over to Pinterest and searched “2018 resolutions.” Lots of content and this one really struck me:

2018 resolutions

Here are my thoughts. Once I publish this post, they will become commitments to myself for 2018. 

Sleep more. I definitely want to adjust my bedtime from 11/11:30 p.m. down, closer to 10/10:30 p.m. Do I really need to be awake that extra hour? The Daily Show is already being recorded. I don’t need to watch it live.

Self care. My friend Anna posted about self care on her FB recently. Physically I’m big on pedicures, but I usually scrimp on lotions, potions, and other tools to keep me looking and feeling my best. I finally found a stylist in Buffalo, so my hair is looking good again. I will continue to drink lots of water, and I hope to incorporate more activity (exercise, movement in general) in my everyday life in 2018. I also hope to read more. I just finished Origin by Dan Brown and highly recommend it. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in basically three days of travel. What books should I pick up next?

Explore more. My new job gives me the opportunity to meet lots of new people in our new city, and find all sorts of cool shops and neighborhoods. I hope to continue this local exploration, but also explore up and down the east coast this year. Toronto and Montreal are also on our list. With the sub-freezing temps and constant snow flurries, we’ve been hibernating and need to get our list ready for the spring and beyond.

I think that’s it for me. No wacky food resolutions. No crazy crafts. Just me focusing on me. What do you have planned for 2018?

 

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Merry Christmas! {2017}

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

 

We stayed in Buffalo this Christmas and were able to experience the white Christmas we were hoping for! It’s been a weekend full of movies, presents, and great eats. Recipes and photos to come! Enjoy the time with your family and friends today and everyday!

My favorite outtakes from our Christmas photo shoot:

Mini Mr. Claus

“Ho, ho, ho” or “Ha, ha, ha”?

Holiday jazz hands!

Our photographer. He loves being behind the camera now!

Halloween recap {2017}

While I’m very behind in posting about our adventures in Buffalo, I did want to share this year’s Halloween recap with you. Only a month late. Oy.

Michael loves the zoo these days so he celebrated Halloween as Zookeeper Michael! He dressed in his safari khakis complete with a hat, vest, and animal cookies for his friends at school.

Michael’s Halloween costume

Zookeeper Michael

One of Michael’s (and our) friends came over and we trick-or-treated around our neighborhood and met some of our new neighbors, which was nice. It only took us 45 minutes to visit 10 homes. Michael brought his zoo along with him. This was the perfect costume for the chilly Halloween night in Buffalo: Michael stayed warm!

“Trick or treat!”

I did a quick Halloween craft too. It was a Pinterest find and very easy and inexpensive. There are an obscene number of dollar stores here, which I’m getting more accustomed to frequenting for party needs. For this project you need only a couple of supplies: vase (I chose three in varying sizes), googly eyes, a roll of gauze, super glue, and a flameless votive.

Ghost votives!

How do you make these spooky ghosts? 

  1. Clean glass in lower quadrant and eye area with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Glue on eyes.
  3. Place glue in area you’ve just cleaned.
  4. Place gauze on top of glue (don’t glue your finger!)
  5. Wrap gauze around the vase, avoiding the googly eyes.
  6. As you’re reaching the end of your vase or gauze, place a dab of glue.

It’s not a holiday without some candy eyes. I colored my favorite browned butter Rice Krispies treats, added some green candy melts to the stem, and made these magical pumpkins:

Rice Krispies pumpkins!

Finally, what do you think of my cheese plate?! I love it. I also love our new local grocery store Wegman’s– and their orange cheese! It’s kid and adult friendly and was delicious!

Halloween cheese tray

Finally, Brandon and I ditched Michael to attend an adults-only Halloween party! We had a blast as Homer and Marge Simpson.

The Simpsons: Brandon and Megan

I hope you had a wonderful Halloween! I’m already thinking about family costume ideas for next year, so please share your ideas if you have any!!

Still thinking about Halloween? Check out my recaps: 2013 | 2014 | 2015.

(I didn’t do a Halloween recap for 2016!? I’ll get right on it! It was too cute not to share!)

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

 

{Christmas craft} Reindeer food

Over the weekend I cleaned out the abyss that is my sprinkle/frosting/everything cabinet and found a bag of Christmas sprinkles from a cookie decorating party in 2008. (EIGHT YEARS AGO!) Thankfully, I knew how old they were since I dated the bag. Nice work, self.

Anyway, I had been perusing Pinterest and came across a “recipe” for reindeer food.

Reindeer food

Reindeer food is completely inedible for humans but will be quite a delight for the birds! Err, I mean, Santa’s reindeer.

The recipe is simple: whatever you want (that birds enjoy).

I went with ~ 1/2 cup of oats (buy them in bulk!), 1/4 cup of bird seed, and some of all the sprinkles I had in my everything cabinet.

Reindeer food

It’s really easy to make, and if nothing else, do it to make room for a new set of holiday sprinkles!

I had fun and I know Michael’s daycare friends will love their packages of reindeer food tomorrow!

Trinity Tree Farm

A couple of weekends ago, Brandon, Michael and I hopped into the car and drove 20 or so minutes east to Trinity Tree Farms, in search of the perfect Christmas tree.

Trinity Tree Farm

Brandon has been trying for a few years now to get me to skip our annual trip to Lowe’s or Home Depot in favor of a U-cut tree lot.

(In my defense, I thought he wanted to drive into the forest and actually cut down a tree from nature– too many Christmas movies, or something, I guess…)

I subscribe to Red Tricycle and they sent out a great compilation of U-cut lots in the greater Seattle area. So, we did our researched and ended up at Trinity.

Due to Michael’s afternoon nap, we got a later start, which wasn’t ideal with Christmas tree shopping. But it wasn’t raining and we did catch some daylight.

Trinity Tree Fram 1

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Trinity Tree Farm was lovely.  It’s a bit out of the way and the signage to get there was very clear and there was ample parking. They offer complimentary hot chocolate and other snacks are available for purchase. My favorite part was the roaring campfire. Michael and I sat around it with several other families. We toured the available trees to cut, but didn’t find the perfect one and ended up buying a pre-cut tree.

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We were hoping to catch Santa, but we he left hours earlier, so Michael sat on Brandon’s lap instead!

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Michael is turning into such a little boy!

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I hope you are having a wonderful pre-holiday and I look forward to hearing where you like to get your Christmas trees in the comments below!