celebrating halloween.

my brother-in-law works with this guy, dave, who's family carves approximately sixty pumpkins every year for halloween. that's right, six-oh. so, for fhe, we decided to go for a little drive and check it out. i was impressed, but i'm sticking with my three.

these guys loved running around in the yard more than seeing the pumkins, so it took a moment to get them to pose for the picture.

and of course, don't forget lillie-girl, celebrating her first halloween.

and then we were done and jesse decided he was going to start the car for us. don't worry, he didn't start it, but i'm sure it's just a matter of time.



the challenge: do you celebrate halloween? do you go all out with costumes or do you prefer to lay low with the porch light turned off? did you enjoy halloween as a child? what was your favorite costume? will you dress up this year or leave it for the little ones?

so the story goes like this...i don't really have fantastic memories of halloween growing up. i know we dressed up and we went trick-or-treating. but i don't remember any of my costumes. i don't remember any of my siblings costumes. it just wasn't that big of a holiday for our family.

in my adulthood, i have celebrated it a little more. i still don't go all out on costumes. i'm just not a big costume fan. well, i take that back...i'm not a big halloween costume fan. (i'll dress up for a costume party--just not a halloween costume party.)

i love seeing costumes and seeing how creative people are, but i am not creative, so i don't even try.

but i am going to try harder every year to celebrate. and the pumpkins were a good start for me.

happy halloween!


we are the champions...of the world.

congrats to my red sox. world series champions. i love it.

only in boston would they have a "rolling rally" on duck boats.

and don't forget the dropkick murphys joining in the celebration.
they sing the red sox's anthem.

and then there is papelbon. definitely one of the many, many reasons to be a red sox fan.

specifically because he can do quite a jig.

congrats again, red sox...let's do it next year, too.


blessing and blessed day.

pretty little lillie on her big day.lillie was blessed on sunday. they had the blessing at their church and we had a little bite to eat afterward. it was very fun to get together and see everyone and share in the spirit of the day. little lillie is such a blessing and miracle and i'm glad we all got to celebrate her together.

grandpa and lillie.lillie is the second of only three granddaughters. grandpa sure likes his granddaughters. i'm guessing more than he likes his daughters. just kidding, but not really.

grandma and grandma jane.or mom and mom. or mom and jane. or anita and jane. whatever you call them, they are both pretty fantastic people. we are lucky to call them ours.

great-grandma and jesse.jesse loves his great-grandma because she has a killer basement, perfect for the kiddies to play in. he is always wanting to go to her house (like he did this day) and she is always willing to have him.

jake and julie.i could eat jake alive. he is the dangest cutest kid (as are all my nieces and nephews). but the thing is, he is as mischievous as he is cute. julie is one patient parent, that is for sure.

malcolm.he needed his nap and it really didn't matter where it happened, as long as it happened. once i got him to sleep, i went and put him in an empty room. a little while later someone found him and seriously thought he was dead. then he woke up and freaked out.

sweet lillie and kris.kris is sweet, too, but this was lillie's day.

derek.he has a hard time being serious in pictures.

matt and gail.matt is jane's oldest and gail is his wife, obviously. they are polar opposites, so they are pretty fun to hang out with. actually, they are way fun to hang out with.

shaylee.she wouldn't let me take a picture of her, like a normal teenage girl, but finally i got one. and it was a good one, to boot. shaylee is matt and gail's daughter. technically, she is matt's step-daughter, but she has been a part of the family longer than she hasn't, so i say technicality-shmechticality.

blake.he is jane's middle child. and he kind of acts like it, too. and he can't be serious in pictures either.

grandma jane and jesse.i love that even though we aren't blood related to jane and her family, they are still very much a part of our family. she truly is my other mother and i love that the kids call her "grandma jane."

lillie is done.it's been a long day and she is over it.

i love family gatherings and i love celebrating the fact that we are all in this together. family, gotta love it.


carvin' up pumpkins.

a couple of years ago, a friend of mine and his girlfriend bought a pumpkin carving kit and carved the raddest (yes, i just used the word raddest) pumpkins and i have wanted to do the same since. last year i didn't get a chance to really celebrate halloween to its fullest, so i made an effort this year. i wanted to go to tai pan trading to get some seasonal decorations and such, but i never made it. so, when i went to michael's a couple of weeks ago and saw the pumpkin carving kit and i had to have it. jack-o-lanterns are definitely "seasonal decorations."

well, once i got the kit home, i picked out a couple of the patterns that i wanted to carve (there were four in all) and i copied them (because maybe i will want to use them again). then i went on a pumpkin hunt. i asked around and was informed that there was a little place out in nibley where i could get pumpkins for cheap. good enough for me.

one day after work, i headed out to nibley. i really had no idea where this place was, but i was told there was a sign on the road so i wouldn't miss it. sure enough, there was a sign, but i missed it. i saw it a little too late, in my rear-view. i flipped around and headed back.

i couldn't believe how many pumpkins there were and that they were only $1.00. (wal-mart was selling them for $3.98. what a rip-off!) now, granted, most of them weren't the best looking pumpkins, but with a little digging, i found three "okay" pumpkins. and i put my money in the little box beneath the sign. it was a high tech operation, obviously.

when i got my pumpkins home, i rinsed them off. they were a bit dirty after sitting in the field for awhile. then i determined which pattern would look best on which pumpkin. and then i started carving.

it is a fun little operation. the fancy little tools make it feel like you are making real art or something. back in the day, my dad used to get out the jig-saw. we would get to draw how we wanted it to be cut out and then my dad would carve it for us. it was somewhat of a production, but fun all the same.

i first carved the window scene with the cat, pumpkin and spider. it was the most difficult pattern that i chose, but it wasn't that hard. at one point, i thought i was going to lose the spider, but i pulled it out.

i chose the surprised face because it was the most like a traditional jack-o-lantern without being a traditional jack-o-lantern. i guess i like to be different.

by the time i got to the bat, i was a little bit over it. maybe next year i won't try to do all of them at the same time.

and this is what they looked like on my front porch. granted, this isn't the best picture, but you get the idea. i can't wait to do it all again next year. it's definitly a new little tradition for myself.

and of course, i made the most delicious roasted pumpkin seeds in the world, which is half the reason to carve pumpkins anyway, right? right. if you want the recipe, let me know. they seriously are delish.


one year.


i love the sound of: my roommate playing the piano. i know, cheesy. he is a really good pianist and it reminds me of when i was in high school, listening to my sister practice the piano. (now, she is one amazing pianist.) plus, i love the fact that a boy can play the piano like that.

i love the sight of: piles of fallen leaves in the yard.

i love the taste of: pumpkin seeds. i made them myself. of course, i got the recipe from my mom. they are delicious and definitely take me back to "the day."

i love the smell of: the freshly cleaned (and by cleaned, i mean scrubbed) kitchen. the smell makes me feel accomplished.

i love the feel of: knowing that you did the right thing and that you can survive and that it was all meant to be exactly the way it is.



the challenge: an easy one this week - is it really easier to see your "true colors" when the photo is black & white? what do you see?

i'm not sure what it is about black and white pictures, but i tend to enjoy them more. i think that it might be the ability to see the subject matter of the picture much better when color doesn't play a role.

but, i don't think that black and white pictures show your "true colors" in any way, shape or form. black and white pictures are more of an "outline" of who you are, and the color is what makes you you.

what i see is me, but the color is who i am. hopefully that makes sense? hopefully.

happy day.


i heart the red sox.

remember how i once lived in the magical city of boston? yeah, well i did. i moved to boston in the fall of 1999 and i wasn't a baseball fan really at all before i moved there. but soon after i got there, i fell in love with baseball and more specifically, the red sox. i arrived in boston at the height of playoffs and the energy was contagious and i definitely fell victim to the playoff energy. and i have been a baseball fan ever since.

tonight at work, i was discussing my love of the red sox with a co-worker and he told me that "that bandwagon was full a long time ago." i explained to him that i didn't "jump on the bandwagon." i was an actual boston resident long before they won the world series. he said that it was okay that i am a red sox fan then. (he, of course, is a yankees fan and i expressed to him that people who grew up in utah can't legitimately be yankees fans unless they have ties to new york--got ya covered, ade)...cause that bandwagon was full way before the red sox bandwagon. he kindly disagreed and then we started watching football. (it was determined that we weren't going to agree on anything when it came to baseball, so we moved on.)

anyway, so that being said, i am so very, very glad that my red sox were able to pull it out and win the alcs.

the challenge now is the world series, and as it turns out, it is going to be quite an interesting challenge. let's just hope that they can keep their heads above water. you can bet your shoes that i will be watching.

oh, how i heart the red sox.



i love the sound of: new and amazing music finds via myspace...yes, i said myspace.

i love the sight of: my redsox pulling it out in game 5, thank goodness.

i love the taste of: delicious chicken, especially when you aren't real sure how it is going to turn out.

i love the smell of: my mom's old closet. it still smells just like her.

i love the feel of: fresh, clean sheets.



the challenge: what do you crave when it's cooler? what is your comfort food? what does it do for you? will you share the recipe (or at least, the name of the place where you get it?)

where to begin...there are many things about fall that i love and food is definitely on the list. i love when fall rolls around because it is finally cool enough that you feel like actually cooking something in the kitchen because it won't get too hot. when i think about fall food, squash baked in the oven and soups come to mind first. but what i crave more than anything right now is pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

i fell in love with this bread about a year ago and the other day i had to have some. and it was as good as i remember it being last year.

it's definitely a seasonal treat and perfect for the crispness of fall.


snippet of an overheard conversation.

i was doing dishes in my kitchen and i randomly overheard one of my roommates say to another roommate:

"it's so weird to have hair on my face."

huh!?!! seriously? i had to hold my breath to keep from laughing. now mind you, i do have boy roommates, so facial hair is totally acceptable. but i'm pretty sure he has gone through puberty, so i'm still confused. but i'm not going to ask for clarification. i'm going to just think that because he is so young (19) he is just now "growing-up."

ah. my life. what do you do?


delicious dinner.

tonight i made a really delicious meal and i thought i would share. i love to cook and i love to try new recipes, so i never really know how dinner is going to turn out. i love when i surprise myself and it ends up being this good. enjoy.

honey-mustard chicken with roasted asparagus
serves 4

2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt-free lemon and herb seasoning (i was unable to find salt free seasoning, so i just omitted the regular salt.)
4 four-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
4 tablespoons sliced almonds
cooking spray
salt and ground black pepper
1 bunch asparagus (about ¾ pound), course end snapped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup whole-wheat couscous

directions: preheat oven to 400° f. in a large, shallow baking dish, whisk together honey, dijon mustard and lemon and herb seasoning. add chicken to dish and spoon sauce over top, until entire surface of chicken is covered. top each breast half with about one tablespoon sliced almonds. lightly spray the surface of each piece of chicken with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper (this is where i omitted the salt).

arrange asparagus alongside chicken and drizzle olive oil over asparagus, then season with salt and pepper.

bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and almonds are golden brown.

cook couscous according to package directions. serve chicken with asparagus and couscous on the side.

and, of course, don't forget dessert.

raspberry s’mores
serves 4

8 graham crackers
32 large marshmallows, cut in half
2 1.5-ounce chocolate bars (such as hershey’s)
1 cup fresh raspberries

adjust rack to middle position and heat broiler or toaster oven. break the crackers in half to form squares and place on a baking sheet. arrange 4 marshmallow halves on top of each square. broil for 30 to 60 seconds or until the marshmallows are golden brown. break each chocolate bar into 12 pieces. arrange 3 pieces of the chocolate and several raspberries on the top of half of the crackers. invert the remaining marshmallow-topped crackers onto the raspberry-and-chocolate-topped crackers, pressing gently to make sandwiches. stack them, if desired (although, i don’t recommend this because they were already very gooey to handle…double stacked would have been a wreck).

i hope you enjoy. let me know if you try either of these recipes. and seriously, trust me, they are delicious.

too funny not to share.

so, here it is--1:30 am--and i am doing my usual middle-of-the-night blog stalking (not cause i don't want to sleep...i work graveyard shifts two nights a week). i am thoroughly entertained by other people and i am insatiably curious about other people and their lives, as well. perhaps this is why i like blog stalking. people want me to read about their lives (at least i hope they do, otherwise they should stop posting about themselves on the internet), so i suppose that stalking isn't the proper term for what i do.

any-who...while i was "touring the blog-o-sphere," i happened upon this hilarious post and i couldn't pass up not sharing it with everyone who reads my blog. so, go here and read. and then laugh and laugh, because you know you have that same random can of something in your pantry. in fact, i even have my very own can of baby corn. i do remember buying it, though. but i can't remember what i thought i was going to make with it. maybe i will find something to make with the baby corn and then i'll let you know how it goes.

uh...yeah...so, that's all.


my newest "celebrity" crush.

thanks to a co-worker, i have a new "celebrity" crush. and just like my last celebrity crush, i don't even know the actor's name. i only have a crush on his character in the new show, pushing daisies.

(see, isn't he adorable. ned is his name...well, his character's name.)

(but, now, see how he isn't so adorable in real life. don't get me wrong...i find him attractive, just not adorable.)

anyway, yeah...new celebrity crush. and seriously, you should watch this show. it is funny. and fun. and cute. and interesting. oh, just watch it. then you will know what i mean.



i stole this idea from a fellow blogger. it is a way for me to think about all the positive things in my life and around me. so, enjoy my weekly insight.

i love the sound of: my new niece crying almost every time i call my sister.

i love the sight of: the leaves on the trees changing from green to beautiful yellows, oranges and reds.

i love the taste of: scotcheroos (just ask and i will share the recipe). so simple, yet very delicious.

i love the smell of: my new seasonal candle...sweet cinnamon pumpkin.

i love the feel of: the crisp fall air.

october treats.

about a year ago, i was in the hospital and while i was there, my cute friends, natalie and lindsey, came to visit me and they brought me special treats from my former place of employment...mooch's 66.

this is natalie.

and this is lindsey.

one of the treats was this special "seasonal" mix of jelly beans, candy corns, boston baked beans and a plethora of other candy treats. while i was in the hospital, i almost ate that entire bag of candy.

i hadn't thought about that candy until tonight, when i went to get a beverage at the local mooch's 66 and saw the "seasonal" mix of candy bagged up, just sitting on the counter, begging to be purchased. i had to have it for sentimental reasons. and when i got it home, it was just as good as it was at 2:30 in the morning during my stay in the hospital.

so, here is to "october treats," great friends and mooch's 66.



the challenge: how do you feel about the color orange as a fashion statement? as a color in your home? are you picky about the hue? do you own a halloween shirt that says "boo" spelled out with rhinestones? are you passionate about the "pumpkin color"?

well, since i don't own any clothing, accessories or jewelry that is orange, i would have to say that i am not passionate about "pumpkin orange."

but...about two years ago, i started getting pedicures on a regular basis and since my nail technician's favorite holiday is halloween, she is passionate about "halloween toes." and i'm not gonna lie, i am now a little passionate about them, too. the year before last i had frankenstein toes and last year i had pumpkin toes. so for this year's halloween toes my only stipulation was orange polish (because i loved the orange polish i had last year so much).

and i have to admit, ashley out did herself with this polish job. i am in love with my spider web and baby spider. and even though i am not a huge fan of halloween, i am a huge fan of halloween toes.

and that is the only orange i "own."


weekend with derek.

my friend derek came to visit and while he was in town, i made him drive me up the canyon to take pictures of the gorgeous trees. and so, i just thought i would share a few.