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October 2012
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December 2012

Almost Turkey Time!

Last week I was asked to be the Laurel Advisor at church - which means that 3 Sundays a month, I'll teach the 16-18 year old girls during our 3rd hour meetings. Today was my first week actually teaching - I'd never met any of them and was a little nervous, but I thought since it was Thanksgiving this week I'd do a fun little treat (bribery nearly always works to get you in!) I looked through stuff I have pinned on my Autumn / Thanksgiving board and found this fun oreo and candy turkey. Unfortunately, the click-thru link is blocked as spam. So I kind of made it up as I went.

When I was little, my mom used to make these super cute candy turkeys out of malted milk balls and those old star-kiss chocololate things. We used to glue everything together with frosting, so I just took that idea and used it with the stuff to make these things. Since there were no directions with the pin, I thought I'd whip some up (they're super fun to make - would be great with kids - Eraleigh would love these!)

Oreo-Candy Turkeys Step-by-Step
1. You need: mini Reeces peanut butter cups, Whoppers, candy corn, Oreos (double stuff works best... I learned the hard way), chocolate, yellow, and red frosting with decorator tips.

2-3. If you don't get Double Stuff Oreos, you'll need to open them up and add some frosting - they need to have a wide enough opening between the cookies to insert the candy corn for the feathers.

4. Put one Oreo flat and lay down some chocolate frosting to hold the back cookie and the peanut butter cup - stick the cookie down first.

5. Add a little frosting to the back of the PB cup and stick it in place where the Oreos are joined.

6. Put some frosting on a Whopper and put it on top for the head.

7. Stick 5 candy corn in between the cookies of the upright Oreo as the feathers.

8. On another candy corn, cut off the tip.

9. Using yellow frosting with a writing tip, put some frosting on the candy corn piece and stick it to the Whopper as the beak.

10. Still with the yellow / writing tip, draw the turkey legs onto the flat Oreo from the PB cup out. I didn't do a great job getting the feet on there, but it's good enough for me!

11. Switch to red frosting with a writing tip to add the wattle (the red hanging thing).

12. The sample had eyes, but it looked bad when I did it, so I wiped them off the ones I tried and just left them all plain - it's pretty obvious what they are without them.

The girls LOVED them! They were all pulling out their phones to take pictures.

So there you go... just a fun little holiday project. Enjoy!

Three Months

Three months ago today, I moved into my little house here in Connecticut. It's kind of crazy to me that it's only been three months... it seems like so much longer to me! I think it's because I felt so settled here so quickly... normally I wouldn't be this comfortable in such a short period of time. I feel like it's all just confirmation that I made the right choice to come here. Don't get me wrong... it hasn't all been sunshine and roses. I've had some ups and downs, especially over the last few weeks as I went through a few growing pains. As comfortable and fun as it's been overall, there has still been a bit of an adjustment. But on the whole, it's been awesome.

Since I moved here, I haven't spent a whole lot of time in my craft room. But I really wanted to try and get my inspiraton and motivation back and start working on projects again. I've done a few things here and there, but nothing consistent. In an attempt to get myself going, I uploaded a ton of photos to Persnickety Prints and had them printed and shipped to me several weeks ago. I decided I wanted to switch from digital Project Life and go to something that's more *me.* I've realized that the mini album format appeals to me the most, but after I got the prints, I just started to feel totally overwhelmed and I kept stalling each time I tried to pull it out. Then I remembered that a few months ago I'd signed up for the Divide and Conquer class at 2 Peas - a class on making mini albums with divided page protectors. Since that's the main format I wanted to use, I pulled the out the class handouts and started going through them. It broke everything down for me in a way that helped me stop being so overwhelmed, and I'm excited to be making progress!

Mini PL Album Progress
I've been working on and off this week... so far I've gotten all of the photos organized and placed in the album roughly where I want them (more than 3 months worth!), put in all the memorabilia I've collected, and now I'm going back through and adding the journaling. Next I'll add in patterned paper and then go through again and embellish. I'm having fun again! I'm also really looking forward to the finished product. But I think the best part of the project has been going back through the photos starting with my interviews in July and realizing how blessed I've been and recognizing how much awesome stuff has happened in such a short time. It's been super cathartic.

Anyway. I'll post the album after I finish it.

In the meantime... having a bit more fun this week. It's actually been pretty jam-packed as everyone here is getting ready for the holidays. We've had a few celebrations at work - a surprise baby shower for one of the girls I work with and also a birthday party for Craig. His birthday isn't until after Thanksgiving, but he's going to be out of town so we wanted to make sure we celebrated before he left. We had a department party at work - bacon themed, of course, and ordered Chinese food (delicious!). Then last night Cassi, Steve, Ryan and I took him to dinner at a fabulous Italian place here in town.

Birthday Dinner at Pasta Cosi
I splurged on steak with gorgonzola sauce and truffled potatoes. Soooo good. This place is definitely going on our repeat list!

It was also fun this last week to reconnect with my friend Angela (we were good friends in Virginia but haven't seen each other for years!) - I didn't know I knew anyone close by, but she's down in New York... we're already making plans to meet up in the next few weeks to have a play day. I can't wait! And I'm also finally starting to meet people at church, and I'm looking forward to broadening my circle here.

Anyway. That's the update :) Here's to an awesome three months, and many more great ones to come!

Super Sweet Halloween Treat!

I know Halloween was last week, but I'm still in major catch-up mode! I'm honestly not sure if I'm going to pick up Project Life again this year... I have another project in mind to take care of the last few months, and I might just do a December Daily. Or not. I refuse to commit. But! I did do a layout last weekend... just getting to posting the pictures today.

Adorable-Niece-Aubrey was a candy corn for Halloween this year... pretty cute! And when I saw the facial expression in this picture, I knew it needed to be a layout.

Super Sweet Halloween Treat
I managed to get a picture in natural light, but it still looks a bit fuzzy to me :-P

Super Sweet Halloween Treat 2
I tried to do some cutesy stuff with candy corn embellishments, but it all looked lame. So instead, I dug into my long-unused stash of flowers to find something to work. I kind of like it!

Super Sweet Halloween Treat 3
A mix of stuff I pulled from my stash - some Studio Calico canvas stars that I sprayed with a few mists... a really old Heidi Grace journaling sticker... Prima canvas alphabet stickers, and some paper and ribbon from the stash.

Super Sweet Halloween Treat 4
So at this rate, I might do like 12 layouts for the entire year! lol.

And also from this week, the first winter storm. I took this after I got home from work on Wednesday:

It was a pretty slippery drive home from work, and it kept snowing well into the night... Thursday morning I was up at 6:30 shoveling and there were a good 5-6" on the porch and steps. I knew it would probably melt during the day, but I needed to get to my car for work! Fortunately the roads were good when I left and it's all mostly gone now. If I could put in my request now to severely limit the number of these storms this winter, I would really appreciate it!

And we're back!

So Hurricane Sandy wasn't fun, but I fared pretty well... it wasn't nearly as bad as it was predicted for us - at least in my town. The wind was pretty fierce and I was worried at times, but I survived with no damage, thank goodness! I was one of the lucky ones.

Since I knew there was about a 99% chance I'd be without power for my birthday, I decided to make myself a cake before I lost power. I had the stuff on hand to try out a recipe I'd found on Pinterest - it was a vanilla bean butterscotch bundt cake with a caramel sauce. I used my small pan and halved the recipe since I didn't want a lot of cake on hand.

Birthday - Cake
Since I made a smaller cake, I was kind of winging it on the cooking time. I probably should have taken it out 2 minutes earlier, but it was still pretty delicious! I was really glad I had it the next day.

My birthday itself was pretty quiet... no power, the office was on generators and we decided not to go in, so I stuck around home trying to keep myself entertained. I got to talk to all of my family at some point, and opened the present from my mom that she'd brought to New York (I didn't even peek!) So that was fun. And the storm was pretty much blown out in our area, but this was the view in the backyard:

Birthday - Downed tree from hurricaneOne of the trees out back split, fell, and crashed a few feet behind my car. That was the only casualty, and you can see my next door neighbor came out and was super helpful - he brought his chain saw and cut himself some fire wood! So by the end of the day, it was clear and we had no trouble getting out the driveway.

Wednesday we were all back at work - there was still no power when I left the house, so I was happy to get a chance to charge my phone! And since my birthday had been kind of washed out, my boss had a lunch for our whole team at the office which was super nice. There was a place in town that was opened and delivered, so we had sandwiches and just sat around chatting.

That afternoon, I had another lovely surprise when I got a call from the front desk to go pick up a delivery. Look how gorgeous:

Birthday - Flowers from Steph
(Thanks again Steph! I love them!!!)

Then after work, the guys took me out for dinner. I had no idea where we were going, but Craig drove us into New Haven and they surprised me by taking me to The Istanbul Cafe for Turkish food. Yay! None of them had ever tried it, but they knew I loved it and wanted to try this place so they made sure it was open and tried to get ready for whatever was coming. lol. We had red lentil soup that was just like we were in Turkey, zucchini fritters and sigara borek to share, and they were delicious. Then we ordered a few different entrees to share.

Birthday - Turkish foodAll three of them are now converts. The kebab and chicken with okra were delicious, but the real winner was the peclican moussaka (sp?) which was eggplant in a tomato meat sauce, baked in a casserole with cheese. Amazing. Everything we had was wonderful. And because they had it on the menu and I wanted them to try it, we ordered kunefe for dessert and shared it.

Birthday - Kunefe
A cup of hot apple tea to finish it off... just perfect.

On the way out, we decided to stop at the Mochi place on the way back to the car. I'd never had it, so it was their turn to have me try something new for the first time. I tried mint chocolate chip and pistachio - so delicious! I'll definitely be doing that again. The whole night was tons of fun... they were determined to make up for my actual birthday getting wiped out by the hurricane (which was super thoughtful of them) and they definitely did - it was a fabulous night to follow a pretty great day. It didn't feel like Halloween at all, but it was a celebration for sure! (Especially when I got home that night to find I had electricity and nothing in the fridge was spoiled. Yay for happy endings!)