Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween: Mummy Meatloaf, Monster Mash (Potatoes) and Dracula's Dentures

Happy Halloween! Today we had dinner with my sister's family and I whipped up a frightful meal to celebrate the holiday. Ready to see this?

Monster Mash (Potatoes)
Just regular mashed potatoes, with olives for eyes.

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Mummy Meatloaf
This one is gluten free, and the recipe is from here. I had not made it before, but it was GOOD. It struck me that I could shape thee meatloaf like an Egyptian Mummy. It's kind of horrifying how this started:

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Here it is cooking in the oven:

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And here it is cooked, and then covered in cooked (gluten free) lasagna noodles. I cut off the rippled edges of the noodles, which let me make noodle strips of various widths:

mummy meatloaf

I cooked it one more time to warm it up, which caused the noodles to shrivel, revealing some of the crispy mummy below, how ghoulish!!

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And for dessert? Dracula's dentures! Simply put, these are gluten free chocolate chip cookies, red vanilla frosting, mini marshmallows, and almond slivers. The recipe was inspired by this one from Nestle.

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Bwahahaha! What are you doing for Halloween?

Shared on Homemaker on a Dime Hop, Just a Girl Blog, Creations by Kara.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zoom Friday: Dreaming of a Play Fort

Now that baby Zoom is a year old, I find myself dreaming of making a fort. The kind of place you can put 1 million pillows, an army of stuffed animal friends, where books and magic wands and secret things can hide. The kind of little corner where a baby snuggles up for a cat nap, and where we'd play and play and always save the day.

Here are a gorgeous, billowy ideas for Zoom's play fort.

This one is my favorite idea. I have left over fabric that matches his room that would be AWESOME:

Super cute ideas to transform a dining or coffee table:

Under a dining room table:

This one uses blinds!

Did you ever build a fort as a kiddo?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blessings by Laura Story and "God's Love"

Our next retreat is this Saturday and our focus is "God's Love: Learning to See with New Eyes." The idea came to me when I saw how Zoom reacted to my Mom giving him an old toy that I had played with as a child. He lit up. The toy was new, beautiful, full of promise, of play, of life to him. His love made this old toy come alive again.

I realize that loving something gives it that kind of new life. God loves us that way, beyond our own understanding or belief, without reason or exception. And if we just let ourselves feel that love, we are new, too. We are refreshed and loved and all shiny.

It struck me as I was listening to Laura Story's song "Blessings" that she's talking about a similar thing. We can't always understand what God's intent for us is, and sometimes the things that seem the hardest for us have our best intentions in His mind. If we're so stuck in our own world, so determined to see things our way, we'd never understand this. It's only when we choose to see things with new eyes, with God's eyes, that we can start to see the blessings all around us.

If you haven't heard the song, here it is.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Fun Links: Jewelry, Sweet Nursery, Chickens, a Desk and Zoom

I've found a few gorgeous things and new-to-me blogs around the internet in the last week. I figured it would be fun to share them with you all.

Mimi & Lu: Gorgeous jewlery for a good cause. Jewlery maker Michelle Watson named her company using a mashup of her name, her husband's name, and their dog's name (Lucca). Lucca has been diagnosed with cancer, and Michelle has a flashsale going on this weekend to raise money. Her stuff is super cute :) and so is great dane Lucca!

One Claire Day is an adorable blog by Claire, out of North Queensland, Australia. The nursery she created for her daughter, Eulalie is breath takingly cute. I'm in love with the chandelier she chose!

The Bloggess posted a recent story about why you should choose your battles. I can't really do any sort of justice as to how freaking hilarious this post is, so you really have to read it. She does drop the F-bomb, so consider yourself forewarned; the story itself is laugh out loud funny though :)

At home, we've gathered the materials to make a desk a la the ones found at Young House Love and Aubrey + Lindsay's Little House blog. We currently have the base we want to use (an old desk and a garage sale book case), and we've purchased the boards we are going to use. Now I'm dreaming of some cute arm chairs for us. The desk will seat two, so both our computers have a home and Sean and I can well, game (World of Warcraft FTW) together.

Peek a boo!

The Zoom update - the little Mr has hit the year mark! and I'm planning a recap of the party, which was an elephant theme. He's taken a first step (but just one, which I am fine with), and he has transitioned to a new room at day care.

Have you found any great items around the web? Or want me to consider your blog or site for a future Friday? Leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you :)

*no form of payment was received for my posting links today; these are all just places and things I found and loved and wanted to share!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Feast of Saint Francis

This last weekend we headed out of town to Guerneville, California which is up on the Russian River. The cottage we stayed at had a peaceful garden, along with a statue of Saint Francis, surrounded by little animals. I thought it was so appropriate, and uncanny, that we were visiting on the traditional "blessing of the animals" day (usually done in the first weekend of October). And, near the feast day for Saint Francis. It was nice to have him there, watching over us.

In fine Franciscan tradition, we ate, we laughed, we enjoyed Brother Redwood and Sister River. The mighty ocean met us with open arms. We greeted birds and squirrels. Zoom crawled around in the majesty of creation. We had a wonderful time.

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - Saint Francis

Today I made this image from a photo of that statue, along with a quote from Saint Francis. I love the "baby step" approach; that some days we just have to do what we can, but with perseverance, with dedication, and likely with a little faith that we will succeed, we move on to be doing what we'd only dreamed about. I love that he's given voice to the idea that you have to start DOING before you can BE the person you want to be. But it just takes a step towards the goal, and then you are on your way.

You can download it at Flickr if you want :)