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Weekend Edition: Family Time

Well this was just such a fun weekend!  Even if I could get a redo I don’t think I would change a thing.

Amy was home already when I got home from work on Friday.  We made dinner and then just hung out for the evening.  Scout was all about the hugs.

Gary and I took Scout for a walk Saturday morning and then putzed around the house until Amy got up.  Then she and I ran some errands which included getting her a new phone.

She found a new work space in the kitchen.

It got cloudy and rainy in the afternoon so Gary and I (and Scout) napped while Amy worked out.  Glad someone is using that new fitness room!

Then Megan called and we FaceTime’d.  It’s not the best quality, or the best picture of Gary and Amy (they are clearly more interested in what Megan is saying than I am) but I was clearly enjoying myself.

Then we all got dressed and went downtown for dinner and to watch the Wild home opener at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub.

Gary and I had our new favorite beverages – Maker’s and Ginger Ale.

Amy had a “salad” and Gary and I split a burger, so we all agreed we could split a dessert.  Beaver Tails.  Oh My Word.

We left after the second period and watched the third at home.  It was such a fun night!

And then on Sunday, Amanda came over to spend the day with us.  She brought her new baby carrier and we made her try it out (and I had to get a picture!).  Thank’s for being a good sport, Amanda.

She, Amy and I spent some quality time at Tires Plus and Whole Foods, then picked up Sharel’s for lunch.  We visited and worked on our jigsaw puzzle, and then I tried out a new recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.  Here the veggies are ready to roast in the oven.

Aaaaand, I forgot to take a picture of the finished soup.  And, it’s all gone.  We ate some for dinner, Amanda took some home with her, and the rest went to Kathy and her mom.  It was yummy, but Amanda and I agreed it would be even better with crispy bacon and candied walnuts.

Both girls left around 5:00 and Gary and I spent the rest of the evening getting ready for the week ahead.  For some reason, I had migraines Thursday night, Friday night, and Saturday night, so I was really happy it didn’t come back again on Sunday.  But even that didn’t take away any of the joy I felt spending time with Gary and the girls.

It’s going to be a short but busy week for me.  Amanda and I are heading down to Iowa on Friday for Family Weekend, so I’m looking forward to another weekend full of girl time!



Friday Favorites: Loving the colors!

Happy, happy Friday!  I can’t complain about the week at all, but Friday is always welcome.  I’m linking up with Andrea for some favorites.

Waking up to frost on Tuesday wasn’t a favorite, but I enjoy watching the frost on the window melt as the car heats up.  Does anyone else do that?  It’s almost a challenge – to watch the melting spread and wait just long enough so that when you turn on the wipers it clears the windows and they don’t re-freeze.  One of my many quirks!

On Tuesday night I met my friend Vicki for Women in the Woods with Wine.  How fun is that?  It was held at Dodge Nature Center and brought back so many memories of the time I spent there when I was in Junior High.  It’s such a beautiful property, right in the middle of Mendota Heights.  A naturalist presented a short program and then we took a hike in the dark.  With wine.  It was such a fun time.  With wine.  And I tried my first Thai food too!  I live a sheltered life.

I have adopted a teacher at the local elementary school.  There’s much more to that story, but for now, I am working on my first project for her.  They are learning the alphabet and will be making a book out of these pages.  I am sorting them by student and gluing down any loose pieces.  They are just adorable!  There is a huge range of ability in this group, and it’s clear which students went to preschool and which did not.  It will be fun to see how they grow and develop throughout the year!

I mentioned in a previous post that I am really enjoying my drive into work with the leaves changing.  I was going to leave it at that, but couldn’t resist taking some pictures this week. Still a favorite!

I guess that’s it for this week.  Amy is coming home for the weekend so we are really looking forward to spending time with her.  The weather doesn’t look great, so I may be able to get more work done in the basement (yep, still working on that), and Gary may get the upstairs bathroom painted.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Workin’ It Wednesday: A Cozy Home

I’m linking up with Shay this month to share how I try to make my home cozy.  And considering we had frost Monday night, the timing is perfect!

The biggest, most noticeable change I make is to put flannel sheets on the beds.  It makes such a huge difference to crawl into a bed with cozy, warm sheets.  I like the 5 oz flannel from The Company Store.  They stay soft and don’t pill.  I’m slowly switching all of our beds to these sheets.

I also tend to burn candles more in the fall and winter.  The soft glow and seasonal scents are so calming.  I don’t like a strong scent, just a hint.  I especially like to burn them in the kitchen and bathroom, where I turn the lights off in the evening so you see a warm glow.  I also feel safer burning candles where there is little activity and a lot of heat resistant surface.

I trade out the light weight summer throws for down, fleece, and fur throws.  I got this fur throw from Target for the living room,

and this down throw from Eddie Bauer for the addition.  Scout chewed holes in the old ones.

I bought this fleece blanket at JCPenney last year for the family room.

One more thing I have started doing is using table lamps instead of the overhead lights.  I have always had table and floor lamps in the living room, family room, and bedroom, but we rarely had them on.  I really like how they add a warm glow, like the candles.  This one is on almost every night now.

And nothing says cozy like a fire, but the truth is, we don’t have them very often because we have a wood burning fireplace and it takes a commitment.  Gary has put a large pile of wood in the garage to dry out because he is determined to have more fires this year.  This always happens when I suggest we install a gas insert.  We’ll see how it goes.

So nothing groundbreaking here, but it’s definitely a different vibe from our warm weather home.  What are your special touches for cozy-ing up your home?


Weekend Edition: A puzzle-ing weekend

Happy Monday!  I’m so looking forward to my drive into work this week with the leaves reaching their peak.  I have been taking the backroads since school started because the freeway is pretty much a parking lot, and the trees are just gorgeous.  I drive through really old neighborhoods where the trees arch over the road.  Some sections are gold and others are fiery orange and red.  So pretty.

I was expecting to get home on Friday and have to paint the bathroom, but fortunately, Gary was as tired as I was so we decided to just sit and relax.  Except it was barely 60 degrees in the house and the heat wouldn’t come on.  We quickly figured out it was the furnace filter, so we ran to Menards to buy a few for the season and also came home with a jigsaw puzzle.  So this became our Friday night.

Saturday was our neighborhood buckthorn clean up day.  Gary decided to go hunting, so I joined the crew myself.  I ended up working with the ladies and we had a really fun time.  Even though we were pulling buckthorn.  In the rain.  And mud.  I helped for about two hours and then went home to dry off and get some of my own chores done.

Gary had a very successful hunting trip and shot his first two birds of the season.  Scout was a champ; he flushed them both (plus another one that got away) and retrieved them.  They were both very excited when they got home!

Later in the afternoon we ran to Cabella’s to get a gun cleaning kit, and discovered this popular brand…

Who knew?

We heated up some leftovers for dinner and then watched the Wild game.  Scout tried to keep watch over our activities, but was tuckered out.

Sunday started with laundry and grocery shopping, and then moved to yardwork.  I updated my lanterns on the front porch…

… and started cutting back the circle garden.

There is still a LOT of work to do, so I’m hoping the weather holds up next weekend because it’s getting too dark outside after work.

I have a fun event coming up on Tuesday, and then Amy is coming home next weekend for Gary’s birthday.  I’m continuing to sort and organize the downstairs bedroom and Gary plans to paint the upstairs bathroom.  Baby steps!

Have a great week!


Friday Favorites: That time I was allergic to my lotion

Happy, happy Friday!  This was kind of a messed up week for me, so I’m glad the weekend is here.  I was struck with a terrible sinus “thing” on Wednesday.  I started sneezing at about 6:30 a.m. and got worse and worse throughout the day.  It was so strange – sneezing, watery eyes, sniffles – but no other cold symptoms.  I just so happened to use two new face lotions that morning, and I’m suspicious that I had an allergic reaction to one or both of them.  Especially since I woke up Thursday morning feeling just fine.  I’m going to try them again on Saturday to see what happens.  But in the meantime, I’m linking up with Andrea to share a few favorites from the week.

I love having fresh flowers in my house, and this week I found these at Whole Foods.

I got the mini pumpkins there too for my front porch.  The gladiolas were only $2.00!

Gary and I have had quite the sweet tooth this week.  We even drove to Portillos for cake and a shake at 8:00 Wednesday night.  Even though I felt like death.  So we tried a little homemade desert on Thursday, using my favorite phyllo cups, vanilla pudding, a cherry (from a can of cherry pie filling), and a dollop of Cool Whip.

They were very tasty and just enough.  Too bad my pictures don’t make them look more appetizing.  There is definitely a trick to food photography.

My wine fairy dropped off three bottles of wine this week.  And all three are new to me so I’m going to enjoy tasting them all.  I have started with a red made from certified organic grapes.

I’m not a huge fan of red wine, but I like this one.  Everyone needs a wine fairy!

And let’s talk about this sweet little thing.

When we were cleaning out the storage closet in the basement, I found her in a box of my collectables.  She is made of pewter and she’s holding a bouquet of flowers in one hand and a tiny bluebird on the other.  I feel like I remember picking her out, but I don’t remember where, and I think either my mom or Aunt Cile bought her for me.  But finding her brought back a flood of feelings so I have her right by my kitchen sink where I see her every day.  I just wish I could piece together the memories.

Tonight we are watching our favorite hockey team in their season opener.  It’s even better cuddled up with this guy.

So that’s about it for this week.  We have our neighborhood cleanup on Saturday, and then yard work if it’s dry or painting the upstairs bathroom if it rains.  Tons o’ fun!

Have a great weekend!