Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Halloween at the House of Spooks!

Thank you, Yo Gabba Gabba for turning my brain into nothing but your songs. You and the Fresh Beat Band have ruined me. :)

Today is Halloween and while we celebrated last weekend with the kids since this past weekend was spent with their mom, we haven't totally blown by unnoticed. First, I made D's costume from this pattern, and I think he looks FANTASTIC! I can't help but grin every time I see him with the hood up.
Then, after making spicy psghetti (thanks, E!) for dinner, I followed up with the carrot cake cupcakes my dad bought. It was awesome. Last week we discovered that B had been hiding his veggies in his room (so THAT'S what that smell was!), and so I've had to be a little more creative. Carrot cake cupcakes to the rescue! My dad also brought home some cake decorations that included a graveyard wrapper and zombie parts on toothpicks to stick in. Have I mentioned yet how much I ADORE zombies? Remind me someday to show you the stuffed zombies T bought me while in labor with D and then after his 1st bday.

As soon as T finds my camera cord from where he cleaned the room, I'll post pics of the cupcake I decorated with all the zombie bits.
Aaaaaaand, next I'll showcase my talented sister's cake business. You've gotten a sneak with her quickie cake for E's birthday, but I'll demand she give me access to some of her remarkable cakes, from wedding cakes to Elvis silhouette cakes to..well, nearly anything you can imagine. So...stay tuned!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

No Relation Pie

Last week was so warm, it felt more like late September than almost November. Which has made cooking pretty difficult because my internal calendar tells me I should be preparing warm and hearty (or heARRRRGHty, as T puts it) meals that fill you up and make you feel all snuggly inside. And then this weekend was blissfully cold. So the days were still warm enough for a light hoodie or a long sleeved tee, but sundown meant quickly dropping temperatures and a desire for comfort.

Today was the first day I've felt decent enough to cook, and un-busy enough to make it something homemade and not from a box or the freezer. I decided on Shepherd's Pie. You may have noticed that the title to this post says "No Relation Pie." Well, like Jenna in Waitress, I too like creative names for my food. Since I have family with the surname Shepherd, I decided to rename the one dish meal "No Relation Pie."

No Relation Pie
1 lb. ground beef (could be made with ground turkey or pork)
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can sliced mushrooms (completely optional, but utterly delicious)
1 can corn, peas, and/or carrots (tonight was all three!)
Instant mashed taters (we love them, so I use a lot, but you need enough to cover the top of the dish)
Shredded cheese

Brown the ground meat with at least salt and pepper (I also add garlic and onion, sometimes seasoned salt, liquid smoke and worcestershire sauce). Once nearly browned, stir in golden mushroom soup and mushrooms; warm through. Pour into the bottom of a large casserole dish, smoothing out. Pour on cans of veggies, trying to get an even-ish coating (I quartered the carrots before handling over the dish, just since some get kind of big). Top with enough taters to cover the veggies and meat (or more if you're like me!). Finally, cover with as much or as little shredded cheese as your heart desires. Now, you could be done here, could pop it into a 350* oven until your cheese starts to brown a little.

Let the dish rest for a few minutes before digging in. Otherwise, the meat and veggies will just ooze out and some servings will be nothing but taters (not that I'm seeing a problem there!).

Serve with some crusty bread and butter and ENJOY!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


This year we had a couple of big birthdays. First was Miss E, turning the BIG 5! She was so excited, as were we. Not just because it was a milestone, but also because she got to start Kindergarten this year. We took the kids to Extreme Play, kind of like Monkey Joe's, but about $.50 cheaper per kid, and followed up with dinner at CiCi's Pizza. What more could you ask for as a kid?
 Check out the birthday shirt and crown...I LOVE those square quilting quarter packs!

Cake courtesy of my sister, Kyrie. I'll post more about her cakes later.

Then in September, we had Mr. D turning a whole year old. My baby! I'm still coming to grips with it. Things got a little lot crazy around then with everyone moving around and doing their thing with the start of school and trying to find new jobs. So we just did a quick little thing at the local park so the big kids could play and have a good time. Unfortunately, D decided to delay his nap until the time of the party, so we had to wait for him to wake a little. Which meant he needed his best friend (bottle) first, and even then he was pretty cranky. And he is actually a clean kid with food and doesn't smear no really good cake smear pics. Oh, and mommy forgot her camera :( Oh well. Aunt Kyrie again provided his smash cake and cupcakes for everyone else.
 And finally, 2 weeks after that, was B's 7th birthday. He's lucky - he gets to celebrate his birthday in school with his friends. The closest I ever got to that was senior year of high school when they started school 5 days after my birthday. Oh well...I'll spoil him and live vicariously :) We did the same for his birthday as E's, but this time we just let them go. But first, since his actual birthday was on a Friday, I made cupcakes for his class. I desperately wanted to use gummi savers and tropical Twizzlers to make the emblems for the various Green Lantern Corps rings, but they were arguing with me. I'll leave the fancy schmancy cakes to my sister and she'll leave the sewing and crafting to me :)
A decent alternative to the Green Lantern Corps colors, no?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween Fundraising

Tonight we took the kids to the local car dealer/city for a Halloween fundraising "carnival." I use the term "carnival" lightly. The flyer sent home from the school promoting this shindig boasted of two haunted houses and 3D mini golf (though my thoughts on this are that if you're the one playing it in person, isn't it guaranteed to be 3D by default?), games, food, prizes, and the whole 9 yards.

So we get there and park at the back of the back lot, get the kids' costumes arranged again, and then head to the see a couple of food tents set up, a DJ playing standard fare and a whole lot of nothing else. Oh well, we wandered around a bit and let the bigs play with the radio station's Wii dancing game before figuring out how to buy tickets and grabbed food. We ran into B's teacher and she felt the same about the event as we did, but support the school we must.

While T and I ate (the kids, of course, eat like prisoners and were done in record time), we watched the kids play with the bubbles and smoke coming from the DJ booth, and then enjoyed them running around chasing each other and their friends. All in all we had a pretty good time, despite the false advertising and the drastic temperature drop after sundown.

Aaaaaaaand, I got to showoff the costume work I did for E. B was a ninja, and she wanted to be both a ninja and a princess. So I obliged by buying a costume for each and then using her original costume as the template for her princess-y materials. Baby D just wore his glow in the dark, mostly because I didn't have the time this week to do his Max costume (don't worry, it'll be done this week in time for Trunk or Treating), but he was still adorable. And so excited that he caught the attention of the local (ok, she part of a syndicated team) morning radio host, Sheri Lynch. Woohoo!

 My little baby skeleton...he glows in the dark!

My baby lives dangerously, and picks his teeth with an athame.

My ninja prince and princess, with Daddy doing his ninja outfit adjustments

This was 3D golf?

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm an AUNTIE!!!

My best friend welcomed her son, Sam, this morning at 2:22 am. She sent me a picture an hour and a half later and I saw it after taking my kidlets to school. I. Am. Smitten. I love him already, and I won't get to hold him until her next visit, whenever that may be. But YAY! We both felt like she was pregnant for. ever. (say that like the kid from The Sandlot) much so that I texted her every day for the past week asking if he was here (like "Red Rover, Red Rover, sent Sammy right over...and out").

I'm waiting to speak to her before I post the picture she sent, but as soon as I get the ok, you get to meet Mr. Samuel, too!

So last post I said I should talk about more crafty things...What's more crafty than making a baby? ;)

EDIT: I talked to mommy and she said I could post a picture or two of little Sam, so...Sam, the world. World, Sam.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pattern Testing

Remember how I said I adore the Running with Scissors blog (like you was, oh...just one post before this?)? Well, I checked in today and saw a new post about followers that were lucky enough to test the Woodland Animals pattern. I was JEALOUS! But then further down in the post I saw mention of possible testers being used for the Adult Hipster Hoodie. Woohoo! So I shot Jess a quick email to throw my name in the hat as a tester, and...

She replied! I feel so silly being so excited that she replied, and she was super nice about my restrained fawning (ok, so my youngest waking from his nap was what forced my restraint with just a quick email). 

And now I'm in the running to test her pattern, and I'm even more excited because I am a HUGE fan of hoodies. And so is Travis...and the kids. So this will be so awesome to try out. I guess it's a good thing Trav's work schedule is changing so I have more hands to catch the soon to be walking/running little man!

PS...I hope that this isn't coming off too stalkerish, now that there are TWO posts mentioning Running With Scissors. Guess next post should be something more crafty!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My name is Megan! Howdy howdy howdy!

I've finally done it. I've loved reading craft blogs for many moons now, and always wanted to start my own. But then I sit and think that I I'll never think of anything creative to, well, create, much less write.

Lately, I've been completely obsessed by two blogs recently discovered. The first is Jessica's blog, Running With Scissors. She's got such adorable kids, and a great eye for style. I'm going to use her pattern for Max from Where the Wild Things Are for my youngest son's second Halloween. Color me excited!

The second blog I adore is No Big Dill. Katy is...awe inspiring? Amazing? Awesomesauce? Five girls and a brand new baby boy (congrats!) and she still manages to keep her blog rolling. And her designs? Yes, please!

These two ladies have inspired me to open my eyes a little wider and take a closer look at the clothes my family put into the Goodwill pile, just to see what else can come of these items. Guess what? I found a bunch of stuff from my mom that I can use for my step-daughter. In fact, this past weekend while she and her brother were at their mom's, I "shrank" one of my mom's shirts down and added pockets so it fits Em perfectly. She loved it so much that after she tried it on, she asked if she could wear it to bed. And then about an hour later, asked if she could wear it to school. Of course!

Hopefully in the next few days I'll get some pictures and posts up about my projects, and some more about yours truly. Bear with me...I have a clingy one year old and no clue what I'm doing with a blog!

See you soon!