Sunday, October 24, 2010

Calling a DQ Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Lovers

One of my favorite fall sites is the poster outside the local Dairy Queen proclaiming that the pumpkin pie Blizzard has arrived. Last night, I decided to make pumpkin shakes to enjoy while we carved pumpkins, and if you love pumpkin pie Blizzards, you will love these!

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Pumpkin Pie Shake 
(Makes appx. 3 servings)
5 oz. canned pumpkin (about 1/3 of can)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/3 cup milk
1/4 gallon ice cream
8 vanilla wafers crushed

Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin and milk and then add sugar mixture. Pour the pumpkin mixture into blender and add ice cream. Blend until combined. Add vanilla wafers and blend until combined. Pour into glasses, top with vanilla wafer chunks and whipped topping if you wish and enjoy.

Pumpkins and Power Tools

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Last night Blake and I carved pumpkins. Blake did all of the hard work. He not only grew the pumpkins in his garden this summer, but he scoped out the insides, my least favorite part.

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After carving my first pumpkin the old fashioned way, I was feeling lazy, so I decided to try using my cordless drill to write Happy Halloween. It was exactly what I hoped - easy. And as a bonus, it turned out!

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Managing My Make-Up

A few weeks ago, my Mary Kay consultant Alice sent out an e-mail about an upcoming sale. I have had the same basic "look" for about five years and thought it was time to update. My loot arrived in the mail today.

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Usually, I only order one or two things at a time, so I was a little overwhelmed trying to figure out how to store all of these little gems. Later in the day, I came across an old computer disk container and an idea clicked:

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The metal casing containing most make-up sticks nicely to magnets. I placed the magnet inside an old computer disk container for a slim compact that easily fits in my make-up bag. It is also nice because unlike most compacts, it will still work when the size or shape of the containers changes. This is all you need to make a make-up case:

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  1. Container for a 3.5" floppy disk that is no doubt still lurking in your office. You could really use any container that your make-up fits in.
  2. Magnet
  3. Double stick tape
Trim the magnet to fit inside the disk container and attach it to the bottom of your container with double stick tape. Arrange your make-up on the magnet. Make-up that comes in plastic containers can usually be pried out of the container pretty easily, exposing the metal casing.

This post has appeared here:
I'm an Organizing Junkie

Thursday, October 14, 2010

9 Things That Have Kept Me From Posting

Life has been busy. Good, fun busy, but busy. So, if I haven't returned your phone call or replied to your e-mail, here are my excuses.

1. First, I got together with my former co-worker Linda for dinner last week. We could routinely fill hours each week talking, so imagine how much we had to say after a month.

2. Last Friday, Blake decided to have a camp fire with his classmates, and we didn't get to bed until 3 a.m.! Actually, I'm kind of impressed considering we're almost 30.

3. Then, I did engagement pictures for Jared and Christie on Saturday. I squirm with delight when people ask me to do their photos. I spent Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night color correcting, which was a good excuse to do something I enjoy. Below are some images.

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4. Ben and Peggy were in town last weekend. So after photos, my brothers and I all gathered along with our significant others for dinner.

5. By Tuesday night, I felt like I was neglecting Blake, so I made him pumpkin whoopie pies with maple frosting. I didn't get a picture, but if you like pumpkin, I strongly suggest heading over to the Brown Eyed Baker for the recipe. Here's a picture of Blake's cat getting into the Halloween spirit while I was dropping off the cookies:

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6. After I delivered Blake his whoopie pies on Wednesday, I went to a class about saints, which was actually really interesting. For example, I learned that the expression, "devil's advocate" comes from the saint evaluation process.

7. Tonight Megan invited me to stop by for dinner, and I'm not about to turn down tacos.

8. I'm starting to get back to my groove in terms of work. It feels great but it also means that work is creeping into my free time as I edit things during my bus ride or brainstorm while I'm supposed to be doing something else. Speaking of work, here's the basked I put together for the United Way silent auction. Great thing about a new job is that you can use all of the silent auction ideas you got from your old job! I reused the apple basket: apples from the orchard, apple wine, apple butter, caramels, caramel dip and apple pancake mix.

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9. I've also been getting ready for a trip to Washington D.C. with my mom. So far, all I've done is made sure that we are cleared for security for our White House tour. Hopefully tomorrow night I'm in the mood for laundry and packing because we fly out Saturday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Trash to Treasure: Lounge Pants

I'm pretty basic when it comes to sleepwear - t-shirts and pajama pants. I also feel very ungrateful if I don't use a gift. So, I was in a bind a couple of years ago when I received a nightgown for Christmas. The material is extremely soft and I thought I'd wear it when I first opened it. But, after sitting unused for two years, I finally moved it to the Goodwill pile this summer. Then a couple of weeks ago, I logged into Facebook to find a Tip Junkie tutorial on making yoga pants from t-shirts.

I rescued the night gown from the Goodwill pile, and in the time it took me to catch up on the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, I took the night gown from this:

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To this:

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween Celebrating Begins

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and although October has just started, I'm already into the Halloween spirit thanks to my Halloween decorations, which are courtesy of the spiders living outside my front door and Blake's garden.

To help spread the spirit, I decided to send Ben his second care package and while I was at it, made some extras to share with Blake and the rest of my family. Each package included:

Sugar cookies
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Bone-shaped pretzels 
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1 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 cups flour (reserve 1/2 cup for kneading)
1 egg scrambled
Salt

Mix together salt, sugar and flour. Dissolve yeast in water and combine with flour mixture. Knead in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Shape, brush top with egg and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 425 degrees until golden brown.


Popcorn balls
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12 cups air popped popcorn
15 large marshmallows
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar or 1 small pkg. jello (flavor of your choice)

Combine marshmallows, butter and brown sugar or jello in a small sauce pan. Put on medium heat and stir until melted. Pour over popcorn, mix until coated and shape into balls.

Oreo truffles
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1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 pack Oreos
Vanilla or chocolate candy coating (my initial intention was to add orange food coloring to vanilla candy coating so they would look like pumpkins. For reference, food coloring makes the candy coating clumpy)

Crush Oreos and combine with softened cream cheese using a mixer. Shape into balls and freeze for 30 minutes. Melt candy coating and dip the balls in the coating. Place on wax paper until the coating hardens.

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