Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Recipe Roud-Up : Pumpkin

Ready for some more fall recipes? We already checked out some squash recipes, so it's time for my personal favorite- Pumpkin!

 Gnocchi are soft dumplings most commonly made from potatoes (I always think of them as baby mashed potato balls). Here's a how-to using only four ingredients, plus a pinch of nutmeg.

Skinny Taste
The first thing I go for when the weather gets cool. This recipe uses fat free milk and spices, making it only 115 calories instead of the 380 calorie Starbucks version.  

Oh She Glows

How To Roast Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin carving isn't complete if you don't save and toast the seeds. For this recipe, she boils them in saltwater before roasting. They're so much fun to make because you can use any spices that you have in your cabinets. My two favorites mixes are cajun and cayenne pepper or butter and brown sugar.

Confessions of a Chocoholic
Smoked Gouda and Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
This lady is a self proclaimed Choco-holic. Well, I'm a Mac-oholic. I included a recipe for Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese in this post, so it's only fair that we give a shout out to some Pumpkin too. Plus, it has smokey gouda cheese. Yum, Yum, Yum. 

Sugar Mama Cooks
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Stuffed Muffins
Spice cake mix + canned pumpkin = muffins. Cream cheese + sugar + vanilla = filling.  

What are you favorite Pumpkin recipes?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Corn Bags

Remember this post? Honey made a corn bag set to go along with the giant Jenga. Our plan was to paint it coral to go along with our wedding color, but we couldn't seem to find the right color and he ended up painting them white. Since I thought they'd be white, I ordered green and yellow corn bags for my Mr. John Deere Green. Then he came home one night and surprised me with the perfect paint color!

I love them. Except, how bad are these going to clash?


I bought them from this shop on Etsy - I thought about ordering a couple sets that would match better, maybe dark and light grey, but at the end of the day, who's going to lose sleep over it? Most certainly not I. Plus, it's like a little piece of me and a little piece of him. How corn-y is that? :)

I'd like to know what you call this game. Him and his friends call it plain old 'Bags', I say 'Bean Bags'. 

When I hear it referred to it as 'Cornhole' it makes me cringe. Every. Single. Time. 

Maybe because all I can think of is Beavis and Butthead...


Then I am left repeating things like 'Cornolio' and 'Bungholio' over and over in my head in a ridiculous voice. Oh Beavis.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Bye Bye Birdie

And by Birdie, I mean pretty green paint. There was a sneak peek here, but we finally got the pole barn finished! We can no longer direct our lost friends by explaining 'the house with the ugly green pole barn'.

I think this lovely, mint-ish green was a popular color in the seventies and that roof was getting to be a fungus, yellow color. Plus, three out of the four sky lights were leaking every time the rain came in. So this spring when our local hardware had a paint sale - buy one gallon get one free, we decided that, even though we weren't quite ready to paint, we couldn't pass up two free gallons.

After a few months of the paint just sitting in the pole barn, we finally had a free weekend where the weather cooperated so we got to work.

We slapped a fresh coat of paint on everything. Front, sides, doors AND roof. A little boring, but we are much happier with it.


How about that roof now? The giant water hole isn't usually there, we've had an excessive amount of rain lately. Kelly jokes that we should just turn it into a duck pond.


And here are the bright new, crack-free skylights. Yay to no more setting buckets out when it rains!

I'm not sorry to say that we won't miss the old eye-sore.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Vintage Ads

While perusing the internet today, I happened upon a site with 35 Extremely Sexist Ads. It got me searching the internet for vintage ads and I was laughing out loud at how ridiculous most of them are. These ones made me chuckle the most.

Poor ladies can't find a husband because they don't propery wash the 'perspiration odor' from their undergarments.  
This one was quite disturbing to me because I didn't recieve a meat thermometer at my bridal shower... How ever will I keep my man happy?!


I wonder I'll get this piece of advice in our guest book?

The single reason that I will pound, stick under hot water, thump with a spoon, and twist a top until I have blisters. And if he ends up opening it? Obviously I loosened it for him.

Also, 26 Shockingly Offensive Ads and 23 Vintage Ads that would be banned today.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Game Time

Hello my sweet chinchillas. Can you guess what this is? If you guessed an old horse feed sack, you would be partially correct! Guess what's inside? A giant Jenga set!

Our wedding venue has a gorgeous outdoor area, so we thought we'd have a few games that would be fun for both the kids and adults during cocktail hour. Since Kelly is the ever-so-talented power tool operator, he made this set of Jenga blocks. We're going to leave them unstained and our plan is to have a stash of markers so that people leave us something witty and inspiring or, in the kids's case, maybe draw us a picture or two. After the wedding, we'll cross our fingers and try the linseed oil that didn't work in this post to finish and protect the blocks.

Just to give you an idea of the size, I had my big boy sit next to the game once it was set up (don't mind the white paint on his ear, he got into one of our other projects). Then we had to have a practice trial.


Apparently this is the winning postition, because a few moves after this I tumbled them. Oops.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gallery Walls

When I was a child, my bedroom walls were plastered with pages that I had ripped from magazines. Mostly this one and this one. When I entered high school (where they had the lovely, sugar-filled vending machines) I drank Mello Yello like it was going out of style for the sole purpose of ripping off the labels and sticking them on my ceiling. My decorating style was definitely....eclectic.

As a first time homeowner, I didn't put one single thing on my walls but a mirror and a TV. After two years of blank walls, I got brave and hung a couple things in the bathroom with the commitment-free command hooks. I was glad of it when I moved out because there were only two holes to patch, but since we plan on staying in our current house for quite some time I'd really like a little decor on the walls.

I've compiled (and I mean piled) a group of photos, art, shelves, a skull mount and other things that I'd like to get up on our dining room wall.  Problem is, every time I lay everything out I get extremely nervous about putting it in the right place and it just goes back in a pile. Then I think, okay Allison, when did you get to be so ridiculous. If we don't like it, we can change it.

Here's some of the inspiration I've been checking out...

Finding Home

A nice mixture of art, photos and objects.
Love Grows Wild
Crushing on that big wooden arrow, along with the chalkboard sign, maps, housekeys and photos.

Lookie What I Did
An old clock, a concrete mirror, greenery, vintage keys and chalkboard signs hung on wooden knobs. Loving it.


Thoughts From Alice
Just because I have a penchant for anything that might resemble Alice in Wonderland.  
One of these days, I'm really going to do it. Really. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


My last horse show of the season was this past weekend at the Ingham County Fairgrounds. This was such a nostalgic place for me because it's where the below photos were taken over thirteen years ago.

We'd stay in our horse tailer for the weekend, which was pretty much a vacation in heaven for me. See the picture on the left? We would hop that fence to go play in the park next to the fairgrounds. Every morning, we'd wake up, take our dollars that we'd bummed off of our parents and run over to the main arena to buy a donut.

Patches was the sweetest horse on earth, I could ride her around the fairgrounds bareback with just her halter and lead rope. The picture on the right is before one of our early morning showmanship classes. I'm bummed that I didn't think to take a photo of Myystr and I in the same place with the same pose.

The show this time was complete opposite of last time. Our warm up this time was horrible, to the point of me almost wanting to scratch. In the above photo my trainer, Chris, is trying to calm me down. Once we got in the ring? He was a perfect angel.


It felt good to be back.

Below is a sneak peek of the pole barn project we've got going on. More on that soon:)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Recipe Round-Up - Squash

Since it's about that time, here are some squash recipes from around the web that I'd love to try. Kelly won't be thrilled- he doesn't like the name 'squash', nor does he like the texture. Those two reasons are pretty much a dead giveaway that when he responds with 'Oh, this is pretty good', he's lying.

Iowa Eats Girl

I tried this recipe last fall and can't wait to make it again. I love macaroni and cheese in any way, shape or form and this is one of the more unique recipes. The sweet squash mixed with the salty bacon and smokey, cheesy noodles. Say hello to heaven.

The Kitchn
While I love the tried-and-true butter and brown sugar baked acorn squash, I'm willing to venture out of the box for this version using sausage, onion and mushrooms. It might be a good way to re-use your leftover veggies and meat when you combine them with a box of stuffing from the pantry.

A Sweet Pea Chef

Yes, this one does somewhat resemble baby food, but after looking at all of the ingredients I would have to give this one a go. Squash, onions, carrots and vegetable stock with pepper, nutmeg and heavy cream.  Maybe add a few toasted pumpkin seeds on top? Yummy.
Here's an interesting one. Apparently 'Forbidden Rice' is an actual type of rice. This recipe combines the rice with roasted acorn squash, pecans, diced shallots and savory fall seasonings.
Have you tried any of these recipes? What are you favorite ways to eat squash? 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Am I allowed to say it?

It's fall!

Boom. There. I said it.

There's one thing that really marks the start of the fall season, and that's the county fair. It's been one of my favorite places ever since I can remember.

When I was a little girl, our family lived in a small neighborhood close to the back entrance of the fairgrounds. When the fair wasn't in town, my girlfriends and I would occasionally crawl through the dirt under the gates and explore the empty fairgrounds. We'd dance on stage pretending we were Britney Spears, pet the velvet noses of the racehorses in the barn, and sometimes have to make a run for it if we saw any adults.

Since my mom sponsored the baby animal barn during the week of the fair, she was given free entry tickets for the week. There was a little trail across the street from our house that cut through the woods and we'd end up at the back entrance to the fairgrounds. Every night, our parents would take us for fries, a corn dog or some other fair delicacy. Some days, my best friend's dad would take us down to get us ride tickets then let us lose. We always knew we would find him back at one of the two quarter games with an ice cream cone in one hand and prizes in the other. 

We'd walk past Bozo the clown in his dunk tank who was always yelling something vulgar, forcing our chivalrous dads, uncles or brothers to whip a baseball at the bulls-eye. Or walking out of the cattle barn past the creepy little monky on a leash who would take your coins and scamper away. How about paying $1.00 to see the largest alligator on earth? We never knew if he was real or fake, I don't think any of us ever saw him move. Seeing my first crush, Billy Ray Cyrus, in concert. Then when I got a little older, seeing the Backstreet Boys where I am most certain that Brian Littrell was crooning solely to me.   

After my grandfather passed away in 2001, I remember hearing the sweetest story about how my grandparents met. He worked for the carnival and operated the ferris wheel, one of the old-time ferris wheels that sat two people and your feet kind of hung off. My grandma's shoe fell off and my grandpa stopped the ferris wheel to retrieve it for her. The next year, she went back to that ferris wheel and he was still working there. He asked her on a date and it must have went well because on their second date, he asked her to marry him. They started their life together in this little town and, year after year, they drove their motorhome down and camped for the week at the county fair where they fell in love.

This place is full of so many great memories (and food!). What are some of your favorites?

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