Monday, October 22, 2012

Benefit Auction

I know it's been far too long since I've updated. I have a bunch of photos waiting to be posted and a draft for those GF chocolate cheesecakes that I promised and hope to post tomorrow.

Right now, on my facebook page, I'm having a benefit auction for my grandpa. He recently had surgery and is receiving no income. There are 9 items up right now that are available to bid on and I will be adding more over the next four weeks. There's also the option of putting in an order for a custom item and having part of your purchase go toward the auction proceeds. Make sure to continue checking it out. All the items are in the Benefit Auction Cycle 1 album.

Here's some of what's included:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I Love Fall...

Okay...I lied. I'm a day behind on posting. But that's because I had SO MANY pictures from this weekend that I spent all day going through them and editing...and then my maid of honor came over to look at wedding magazines with me for like three hours after that. :D

Anyway...I was super bummed on Sunday. It was rainy and overcast all day long, I didn't get very good pictures because there was hardly any natural lighting, and it was only like 50 degrees. EW. Cold and rainy is not the reason why I love fall. 

I love fall because of...
color, pumpkins, carving pumpkins, apple cider, donuts (which I can't have), the smell in the air, Halloween, football games, baking, Thanksgiving, scarves, family get togethers, corn mazes, haunted houses and hayrides, and I'm sure many more that I can't think of right now.

I love the beginning of every season. When it's fresh and new. There are new smells. Everyone thinks I'm crazy when I say, "It smells like Fall". But it's hard not to notice the change in the air. Crisper air. And with all the new smells come the memories. Playing football with the family when we went to Arkansas for Thanksgiving about ten years ago. Carving pumpkins and having cider with James last year after looking at our first apartment. Going on the haunted hayride with friends my freshman year of high school. Homecoming at Olivet College. Hearing Aiden's heart beat for the very first time. I love the changing of seasons. 

Okay...I'll start with my photos of the day.

October 5, 2012
The homecoming game at Maple Valley.

October 6, 2012
My favorite shot of my gluten free chocolate cheesecakes. Right before I put them in the oven. And they are delicious! :)

October 7, 2012
This was at the Country Mill in Charlotte/Potterville. Aiden had lost his shoe, and I thought this was a pretty cute picture. For anyone who doesn't know, this is James.

 I spent like two hours the night before making this hat for our trip to the cider mill. He had pulled too hard on the vine and completely ripped out all the stitches before we left. :/

I took some pictures of him in the hat before we left just in case I didn't get any good ones while we were gone. If you're wondering why the face in the first picture, he was trying to sit up. He does crunches all day long.

He wanted some of my apple cider slushy. He actually stuck his fingers in it at one point while I was holding him. :)

I absolutely love this picture. It looks like a computer background or something. This was the only picture I got that had the fall color that I wanted.

They had these face-in-hole cutouts on the playground.

Aiden got a little pumpkin of his own and got to "carve" it.

Mommy really carved it for him, but he sure enjoyed rubbing his gums on the cold pumpkin pieces. :)

Even though it was nasty the whole time we were at the cider mill, we got home just in time. About a half an hour later, it starting sleeting/hailing.

I think we may make another trip on a weekend where it's not cold and wet. And where I can get some better pictures. We need to get a new pumpkin for James anyway. He got frustrated while carving his face on his because it was breaking into pieces, and threw it halfway out into the yard...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Guess What?

I now have blogger on my phone! :) I will most likely not be writing out a big post for today, but tomorrow I'll post about the cider mill, and Tuesday, I'll post about my GF chocolate cheesecakes. :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gluten (And Dairy!) Free Peanut Butter Cookies!

Soooo....I won't have a photo of the day for today until we go to the homecoming parade and football game tonight. BUT I'm making gluten free peanut butter cookies and thought I would share with all of you (the recipe, not the actual cookies...sorry). :)

The recipe is from this book. There are a few others that I'm going to try soon too, like chocolate cheesecake. I chose this recipe today because I already had everything it needed, and they're things that you *should* already have in your pantry/fridge and it doesn't use very much of each ingredient either.

These four ingredients are seriously all you need. 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (it says to use dairy free for the dairy free recipe, but do chocolate chips even have dairy in them to begin with? I don't know about that one...), and 1 egg lightly beaten.

Beat peanut butter, brown sugar, and egg until smooth. This was as good as mine got and it started to clump together to the point where it was actually pulling itself off from the sides of the bowl. (P.S. I used a KitchenAid mixer, not that wooden spoon)

Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls. My first attempt at this, I used a muffin tin instead of a cookie sheet (you are better off using the cookie sheet). I got the idea after I read Amanda's post (Kevin and Amanda), where they baked cookies using a muffin TOP pan. It didn't work as well for me as it did for them.

You're supposed to bake them for 10 to 12 minutes, until they SET. Guess what...they don't set until they cool. So after 10 minutes, they are cooked completely even though they are still the same consistency as the dough. The brown sugar in the dough hardens once they start to cool. So don't let the recipe fool you like it did me. That's how I burned the first batch. By the way...they don't even flatten themselves out as they bake, so if you don't smush them down, they will end up coming out like the picture above.

Second batch, I used a regular cookie sheet and cooked only for time instructed. These were much better. The cookies from the first batch still tasted good, they were just a little burned on the bottom.

Then, I put the chocolate chips in the microwave and hit the wrong number. I went downstairs to check on Aiden, and when I came back up,  the whole kitchen was smoking. My chocolate chips caught on fire.

I'd say we need to try this recipe again on another day. Or you can just try it for me. Just please don't burn your house down. Anyway...I'd like to know how this turns out for YOU if you try it. :)

I got the nutritional information from Calorie Count Recipe Analysis. All you have to do is type the ingredients and the serving size into the required areas, and it will come up with an approximate nutrition panel for each serving (it will vary a little since the website uses average calories for each generic item, not the actual calories in specific brands). These you will only be able to enjoy one or two at a time, as they have a lot of calories and sugar for just one cookie. But if they turn out, they're WORTH it.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup dairy free semisweet chocolate chips, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat brown sugar, peanut butter, and egg in medium bowl with electric mixer until blended and smooth.
2. Shape dough into roughly 24 1-1/2 inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten dough slightly with fork (I would flatten them until they're as thin as you want your cookies to be). Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set (you really should just bake them for 12 minutes, not question the consistency, and then reevaluate after they've cooled). Remove to wire racks (I would let the cookies cool a little bit first, otherwise they'll break into pieces as you're trying to move them); cool completely. Drizzle with chocolate. 


I also started testing this super cute Santa Pixie hat for Tanya from Hodgepodge Crochet. The pattern is not released yet as it's still in the testing phase, but I will try to remember to post a link for it when it's published and for sale. I have to finish the brim tomorrow after I get some fun fur yarn, but I should post another picture of it after I'm done.

UPDATE!: Since I'm finally posting this at 11 pm (almost 12 hours since I started writing it this morning!) I just thought I should let you know that I haven't had ANYTHING with gluten in it in over 48 hours! Not even the one noodle that made it on my plate Wednesday night when my parents made Chicken Parmesan, and even though I was SO tempted tonight when James got a hot pretzel at the football game. I even got some extra exercise at the game by carrying Aiden in a front carrier instead of pushing him in the stroller. I'm so proud of myself! And I already told James that he has to massage the knot out of my shoulder before I go to bed tonight because it HURTS!

Now....GET SOME SLEEP! Because I'm going to. My bed is calling my name............


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bread...We Need To Break Up.

Bread, bread, bread, bread, bread. Oh, how I love you. But it's over. I'm's me, not you....

I've been debating going gluten-free for a long time. Gluten is all around not so good for you, and especially not so good for me (if you want to know why, email me at And finally, after spending the last two nights with terrible stomach pains (especially after last nights Pizza Hut), it's about time. I don't feel good when I eat all.

However, my first line is a lie. I don't REALLY have to give up bread. Just bread with gluten in it. Actually, I also LOVE spelt bread (which technically does have gluten in it but because it's made with spelt instead of wheat, it doesn't cause the same reaction as white or wheat bread).

My mom has a Gluten Free recipe book with some really YUMMY looking food in it, so Saturday I'm going to try to replicate one of them and if it turns out okay, I just might post the recipe. :)

October 4, 2012
I was mad that Aiden woke us up three times last night, and then I ended up waking up like two hours later than I planned. But when we came upstairs, the whole sky was orange, and I HAD to get a picture of it. 

I think I could like this whole taking pictures of everything thing. I bought this $900 camera (Nikon D5000DX) after my graduation, used it the summer after that, and now I don't really take it anywhere. I never really learned how to use it properly, so I got frustrated, and ended up not using it at all. I think it's going to be my best friend from now on. :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Project 365: Day 2

As you can see, I'm running on Blogger now instead of Wordpress and working on moving all of my posts over. Don't even get me started on how frustrating WP was for me. :/

So, I had said before that I wanted to do Project 365 (I can't find the link right now. I will try to remember to come back and link later). I started yesterday...

October 2, 2012
Aiden was laying on my lap watching TV. This is from my phone and originally taken with Instagram.

October 3, 2012
The trees in the woods across the street from my parents house are changing.

Here's an extra one:

This is what I stepped on while walking out to take my photo of the day today. It looked like it had had a heart attack because it was frozen in this position, with it's tail hovering about an inch above the ground. was already dead before I stepped on it at least. 

I'm kind of excited for the pictures I can take the rest of this week. My high school is having their homecoming this Friday (so I have parade and game photo ops), I'm hoping to convince James to take me bowling on Saturday since my brother is going with some friends instead of going to the dance, and on Sunday, we're taking Aiden to the cider mill. I can't WAIT for all the color! :)

Also....I need to buy a new memory card this weekend. Mine has had a crack in it since before Aiden was born (like March-ish) and as of today, is almost broken down the middle. I don't even know how it has lasted THIS long.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Just Throwing This Out There...

One of my fellow bloggers and crochet-ers, Jessica from A New Adventure Blog, did something that I never would have thought of myself. She offered  a free product (like a hat) to any interested bloggers in exchange for being featured in a review in one of their postings. What a GREAT idea, right? (Like I said, I never would have thought of it myself).
If you're curious, here is an example of one of her reviews on the My Mills Baby blog.
If anyone is interested in doing an exchange with me like this (you must have a blog), send me an email at, (I REALLY need to make an email address only devoted to my business) and we can work something out. :)
Tomorrow, I'm starting a photo a day long as I remember. I normally take pictures on my phone everyday whether I get out my SLR camera anyway so...hopefully it won't be too difficult. :/
Also, some things I'm really excited about today...
Inspired Crochet Digital Magazine  comes out today and I am impatiently waiting for it to be sent to my inbox! Can't wait to see all the awesome Halloween/Fall patterns!
I finally made up and froze Aiden some pureed bananas and sweet potatoes, so he gets to eat something other than oatmeal today! I can't wait to give it to him and see what he thinks!
Make the rest of today great! :)


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