Full Swing Fall

Who Doesn’t LOVE fall?!

Ok so I have new images coming for you…but first I wanted to throw a little “me” check in here:) For me, October is the beginning of Fall Festivities/Comfort Food/Craftiness/Familiness/Snow Prep/A Million Wonderful Things!

Fall Festivities:

I usually go to a haunted house in October, but this fall has been all about thriftiness and saving mulah – so I bailed on that one this year.
Instead – I headed to the Renaissance Festival near Charlotte, NC with my wonderful Adam, my little brother who lives in Brevard, and my parents who live in Fort Mill! It was SUCH a fun family trip and we even managed to be money smart there!  Instead of indulging in all of the over-priced fair food, we got one treat (sugared almonds cuz who can say no) and ate lunchables in the car! Yeah you heard me…the classic/old school/best school lunch ever/ pepperoni pizza lunchables! I’ll be honest it was one of the best parts of the day 😉
King and Queen of the Festival!Talk about Hats

Comfort Food mmmmmmm

As many of you know – I LOVE to cook.  I have this fantasy of being a photographer/teacher/AND casserole restaurant owner.  Simply because everybody loves delicious filling casseroles.  So far I’ve tried several new things in October.  I discovered that I’ve been making hummus wrong for years! Seriously? I love hummus and I was missing ONE step that made it insanely better.  I found a recipe for baked falafel balls – um my life is forever changed.  I made a cauliflower alfredo sauce (I swear its delicious) ANDDDD to top it all off – I made from scratch flour tortillas!  I don’t have pictures of all of these creations (mainly because I devoured them before thinking about documenting) but I do have recipes and the photos from their original websites, as well as some personal feedback for you! Next time I make them I’ll be sure to slow my mouth down and grab my iphone ;).

Classic Hummus

This Recipe is SO GOOD
A Really Good Hummus Recipe
So the picture pretty much says it all….this is seriously delicious.  I’ll go ahead and tell you – I had NO IDEA chick peas had skins.  Yeah laugh laugh laugh but I’ve never seen a recipe that pointed this out! I was astounded and let me tell you…the little bit of extra work is SO worth it.  Getting rid of those pesky little skins makes for the smoothest, creamiest hummus ever!  Click the link for the full recipe and your relationship with hummus will be forever changed:) As far as my personal feedback? I will say I added about a tablespoon of olive oil to the hummus itself instead of just on top, I added more garlic just because I love it, and I threw a dash of cayenne pepper in there because I put it in everything.  Next time I think I’m going to blend up some jalapeños with it and see what happens!!! Let me know what you guys think 😉 And a big thank you to Natalie Ward at Cook Eat Live Vegetarian for this eye opening recipe!

Oven Fried Falafel Balls

Anita at Hungry Couple – This is a new part of my weekly cooking!  These things are delicious on everything!
I didn’t change a think on these babies….I followed the recipe…baked them up…and ate all of them in two days haha.  The second batch I was able to restrain myself a little, but I’ve been dipping them in my new hummus, putting them in wraps, crumbling them over tacos, the list goes on.  You HAVE to give these a shot!

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce
Ok…Lindsay at Pinch of Yum isnt kidding when she brags on this being insanely delicious.
I’ll be honest – when I was reading I was skeptical.  How could big raw not-so-yummy cauliflower EVER turn into something creamy and delicious to rival alfredo sauce? Not to mention – Adam refuses to eat anything “weird” that I cook so I have to trick him into trying new things and I couldn’t imagine being able to trick him on this one.  I was SOOOOO wrong!  The low calorie count drew me in…and as I was making this – the smells just kept getting better and better.  Just like Lindsay, I ended up spoon feeding myself this sauce straight out of the blender and making a list of things I could put it in!  The smell alone convinced Adam to try it and he HATES cauliflower! Needless to say, I have a big batch of this in my kitchen right now and the recipe is printed and filed in my favorite things binder.  The only changes I made to this recipe were:  I added parmesan cheese, a little olive oil, some basil, and I used Rice Milk instead of regular.  This is one of those things you can play with until you get a seasoning combo that is perfect for you!

Soft Flour Tortillas

I have always bought my tortillas for burritos and tacos, which we have weekly in this house.  They were always good, but NOTHING in comparison to the flour tortillas you get at a restaurant.  When I saw this recipe, I figured…maybe I’ll give this a shot to see if it saves a little money on the grocery bill and tastes any good.  I will NEVER buy tortillas at the store again!  These are so fluffy, so soft, and so hearty that I am officially spoiled.  Plus, this recipe is super easy to follow! I’m always nervous about doughs and things because they tend to be tricky and easy to mess up – but this was SO easy and fast!  It made the perfect number of tortillas for us to eat tacos and wraps all week!
Next week: Stay tuned for my new experiments…I’ll be making a mashed potato crusted chicken pot pie, and green chili mac and cheese!

Craftiness

I love making my own decorations.  That art student in me jumps to life when I see something beautiful that I think I can do myself!  My first fall decorations this year were simple.  I just wanted a table arrangement that would scream falling leaves and feel warm and happy!  I save tons of glass bottles for these projects, so I grabbed three old wine bottles and painted the insides some beautiful fall colors, bought a delicious smelling fall candle, and grabbed some cute baby pumpkins at Publix!
Fall Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My more complicated project came in next.  I decided that wreaths are ridiculously expensive, and I didn’t want to wait for fall clearance prices to get one.  SOOOOO I dove into making one of my own.  Along with a few bumps in the road – here it is!

 

I started with needing a wreath form.  I thought about this one for a while because I figured if I was going the DIY route…I was gonna do it all the way.  I decided that two wire hangers I had in my closet would work just as well as going to Michaels and buying a wreath form:

Fall Crafts
 First, I stretched out the hangers with pliers.  Wrapped the tops together at the hook, and made one into a big circle, and one into a little circle.  Wrapped the two other ends together to hold them in place, and tied some heavy string around different sections to hold the two circles an even distance apart.  It may look messy…but it was free and it totally worked!
Step 2 – I needed pinecones! Luckily I had a ton of these outside my apartment, so me and my pug Walter collected them every time we went walking.  When I finally had enough, I washed them out and let them dry in my dish drainer for a day.
Fall Crafts
Now…I had read something about baking your pinecones to make sure the bugs are dead and the water is all dried out…but I was FAR to excited about my craftiness to be that patient.  So I leapt ahead and started hot-gluing! It was like putting together a crazy puzzle and I ended up with this beauty:
Fall Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was SO thrilled with what it looked like so far! At this point, I was heading to Fort Mill for a family visit, so I set my creation aside to dry totally and headed out for a fun weekend of pumpkin carving (more on that later).  When I came back…I understood why following instructions is important.  Where my wreath once laid…was this:

Fall Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I didn’t bake my pinecones, they were apparently still harboring lots of water. As they sat in my sunroom, they dried.  As they dried, they expanded.  They also proceeded to explode – rocket style – off of my wreath form and out of their hot glue bonds.  The picture only shows you a fraction of the pinecones! They were everywhere! If you try this wreath making method….please bake your pinecones.  It will make the process much easier :).

I decided to forge through this large setback, and started re-gluing now huge pinecones! I also picked up some clearance berries and ribbon at michaels to add to my creation.  After hot-gluing the pinecones on, I cut up the berry sprigs and placed them throughout the pinecones to even out the shape and add some fun color.  I glued them on, let them dry, and then wrapped the whole thing in gold ribbon!  I only glued down the ends of the ribbon so that I could adjust it if I wanted to after I got it hung up.

Fall Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Crafts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TA DA! DIY Super Inexpensive Fall/Winter Wreath! I’m so happy with this one!

 

Family Fun

 

Pug Time!

Walter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam and Walter Carving Pumpkins!

Halloween 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls carving pumpkins while the boys watch football!

Halloween 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me – Adam – My little brother Sam on our family pumpkin carving trip

Family

Roses for our 1 year anniversary!

1 Year Anniversary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricky and Lucy for Halloween!

Halloween 2013Halloween 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clean Kitty Bath Time!

Samson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this little slice of October Life!  I’ll be back to share some newborn images from a recent session soon! Don’t forget to check back in for those new recipes I’m trying out next week 😉

 

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