Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Costume Party!

Sister has passed down her Halloween costumes to Bitty Baby for the past two holidays, so it was fun to pull out old pictures and see how much our girls have grown!

In our family, all of the grandchildren have worn the same Halloween costume for their first trick-or-treat - a pea in a pod. 

Here's Bitty Baby last year at only 5 months old ... I don't think she was too sure about Halloween :)

Last year, Sister was a butterfly


Sweet sisters ... you can definitely tell their personalities from this picture ... one's a ham, one's shy :)

This year, Bitty Baby is going to be a bee.  Sister wore this costume, too, when she was about the same age.

Here's Bitty Baby last week at our church Fall Fest

With Daddy

And, here's a flash back ... Sister wearing the same costume at Fall Fest, too ... 3 years ago!

And Sister with me on Halloween 2006

This year, Sister's going to be a flower and she is so excited.  She "test ran" her costume at church last weekend and she's all ready for Trick-or-Treat!

We're crossing our fingers for good weather Saturday!  I'm really getting excited and am looking forward to seeing all of the kids in their costumes.  It will be great, too, to see what everyone else has posted ... so fun! 

Happy Halloween!

The Great Pumpkin Patch

Today,  Sister's preschool class went to a pumpkin patch at a local church.  What a cute field trip! 

During the trip, I kept thinking how blessed I am to have such a sweet girl and to be able to share this special time with her.

This is such a fun time of year and Sister is at such a precious age. 

Seeing Fall and the holidays through her eyes is priceless!

Every good and perfect gift is from above
James 1:17

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

The other night, Big Daddy had a work party and we needed to take a dessert. I thought I would have time to drop by the store, but as the world turns with little peeps, I didn't make it.

So, I started flipping through some cookbooks to see what I could make with ingredients I already had on hand.   And, I found Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook. Holy cow these are so good!

First, let me introduce you to one of my kitchen heroes - Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa

I have most of her cookbooks and everything I've made from her has been awesome ... Okay, this next part might sound weird and nerdy - so forgive me. Her oven is in sync with mine, so I never have to tweak the recipes. Everything comes out perfectly!

These PB & J bars were quick and easy and really rich. (Thanks to the two sticks of butter and two cups of peanut butter ... yummy!) I wasn't sure how people would like them, but they were a big hit at the party. (BTW, I used grape jelly because it's what I had on hand and it worked well.  Also, I didn't line the pan with parchment paper and these baked just fine.)

Here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, plus more for greasing the pan

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups creamy peanut butter, such as Skippy (18 ounces)

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan

1 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 cups raspberry jam or other jam (18 ounces)

2/3 cups salted peanuts


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch cake pan. Line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light yellow, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix until all ingredients are combined.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Here's the link to the recipe for more info!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Weekend Update - The "Bossin'" Chair and Fall Fest

First, can I just say I had a bout of temporary insanity this evening? I thought earlier tonight during a little kitchen cleaning slump, "Ooohh, coffee sounds good." I am crazy ... I made coffee and drank two cups! And, so I'm blogging at 11:00 at night. I have a feeling this post is going to get a little punchy. Ha!

This really was a good weekend. We had some beautiful Fall weather ... yay! Saturday we pretty much ran errands and then watched the LSU Tigers play Auburn. It was a great game and LSU pulled out another win. Geaux Tigers! We're deep into the SEC schedule now, so the competition is gettin' good!

Sunday, we went to church and Sister sang in the choir for the very first time in Big Church. They sang "He's Got The Whole World" and all of those sweet, shining preschool faces were like little angels. And, yes, I teared up like a proud Mama. So sweet!

We had some landscaping done last week and Big Daddy spent Sunday afternoon installing a new sprinkler system. He can do just about any project around the house!

Sister loves to be Daddy's helper! This time around, she set up a "Bossin' Chair." My grandmother used to have a chair in her backyard where she would sit and give orders out to anyone helping her with yardwork. She called it her "Bossin' Chair" and so we're carrying on the tradition!

Of course, Sister had to boss in style in her new sassy shoes from Target! We're in trouble because this girl loves clothes and accessories!

Sunday night, we had our Fall Festival at church and we wanted to snap a quick pic of our peeps in their costumes before we left. (Have you tried to take a picture of a 4 year old and a 17 month old lately? Yes, let the snickering begin :) ).

I was determined to get this pic ... you can see just how successful I was ... Ha! (BTW, Big Daddy is just off camera in all of these pics ... no worries!)

Bitty Baby trying to vacate the premises

Outta my way, Sister!

Sister says, "Well, if she's not going to be in the picture, then why waste a good spotlight?"

I'm ready for my closeup! (At this point, Big Daddy is carrying one mad little bee and loading her up in the car :) )

As always, the Fall Fest was a big hit ... Sister had her face painted ...

Bitty Baby loved watching the "big" kids trick or treat on the playground ...

And, then, one of the "sweetest" things happened ... Sister taught Bitty Baby about one of the most important things in life ... (at least in a kid's mind) ... CANDY!

I looked over and saw this ...

And, this ...

Sister loves skittles ... she is really showing true sister love by sharing these with Bitty Baby!

One of the biggest hits of the night was the GIANT cannon that shot confetti all over the gym ... the kids loved it!

It must have shot confetti for 10 minutes ... it seemed like a long time, but maybe that was just because I was on the clean up committee :) . It was worth all of the mess because you should have seen the look on Sister's face ... she was amazed ... so cute!

Before we left, we had supper ...

And, Bitty Baby ate her hot dog like a big girl!

We all had such a great time ... the girls were worn out and asleep before their heads hit the pillow.

I just love this time of year!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fall Decorations - Boo Y'all

I'm really excited about this week's Kelly's Korner blog hop for Fall Decorations.  I've gotten so many great ideas from other blogs, so this is going to be fun!

Here are some Fall decorations that we have at our house this year.  We have some Trick or Treat decor going on, but it's definitely in the style of Casper the Ghost - nothing too scary :)

This is our front door wreath. I saw one like it at a florist shop for $60 and thought ... I think I can do that! I think I made this for about $1. I repurposed a grapevine wreath, picked up some post-season Fall stems from Wal-Mart for 15 cents each, then cut the leaves off and tucked them into the wreath.

Here are a few pics of our inside decorations. The pics are just okay ... it was really dark and dreary today in the Land of Little Mama :)

I bought this crow at our Dollar Tree and it took me a couple of days to find a home for him. But, here he sits on top of our fruit bowl. I put oranges in the bowl for Fall color.

Isn't he fun? Both Big Daddy and Sister did a double take when they first saw him. He's the hit of breakfast time, too, for Bitty Baby!

I saw the next ideas on a couple of blogs. I loved the banners people were doing, so I thought I would try it out. Here's an "Eek" banner I made for my great-grandmother's halltree.

I just threaded the letters with twine and made little twine tassels for each end.

This Chinese lantern jack-o-latern is really fun. He also came from Dollar Tree and he lights up, too!

This is the window over my kitchen sink.  I made this Boo sign with a Dollar Tree frame and printed letters off of our computer. 

This summer we hit Old Time Pottery in Gulf Shores during our beach vacation.  That place is huge and full of great bargains! 

We picked up a few Fall things to put outside ...

Here's our back door

 This little guy glows in the dark!

This Old Time Pottery "glittery" Trick or Treat sign hangs on our back door - Oh, how Sister and I love glitter!

This sign made Big Daddy and I crack up.  We put it right in the front yard :)

Ready for candy!

Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to see the other decorations and get more ideas!  Happy Fall and of course ...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Frugalista Finds - Classic Children's Clothes

I love classic children's clothes, but the frugalista in me doesn't love the price!

When Sister was born, I thought I didn't have a choice and paid way more than I should have for some of her smocked dresses.  Can I just tell you that I practically covered her in visqueen everytime she wore one of these.  Ha!

Over the past few years, I've been buying kids' clothes (especially church clothes) off season and snagged some great bargains.  Now, I'm at least one season ahead, which is great!

These dresses I ordered from the Orient Expressed clearance last year

One of my favorite clearance sites is Remember Nguyen.   I've seen their clothes in boutiques around town, but I've ordered from their clearance website for the past few years.

Their clothes are precious, a great bargain and hold up, too!  Here are some of my favorite deals that I've picked up ...

I ordered this for Sister last summer ... (it's only $13.95 now, but they have limited sizes)

The rest of these are around $20. 

I love the vintage print on this one ...

Pink and green seersucker!

So cute with a monogram

 They have supercute boy clearance items, too.

How cute is this little brown john john?

I don't get too many things monogrammed because I have an ultimate plan to consign some of the girls' clothes.  Now that Bitty Baby has outgrown a few things, it's time for me to clean out her closet and try that new frontier.  :)