1
Bofinkles and Me Are In Love… Looking for your Pet Partner?
2
Christmas Dreaming with a Modern Kitchen and Decorations
3
How to Make a Whale Tissue Box
4
How to Throw a Inside Out Party!
5
Garden Update: What’s Growing in November?
6
We Adopted Our Brother Bear, It’s Time For You To Get a Best Friend Too!
7
Ricotta and Tomato Tea Sandwiches
8
15 Minute Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese
9
How to Turn Tomatoes Red
10
P.F. Chang’s General Chang’s Chicken
11
Making of new Brooklyn Farm Girl Banner – lots of cats!
12
Apple Spice Crumble Bars
13
What I LOVE: Fragrant Jewels Candles
14
Apple Picking + GIVEAWAY for a $120 JORD Watch for YOU!
15
OREO Cookie Pudding Cups On The Go
16
Garden Update: What’s Growing in October?
17
DIY Black Cat Halloween Decoration
18
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes
19
Must Have Halloween Decorations
20
Viva® Vantage® Blog Party in NYC!

Bofinkles and Me Are In Love… Looking for your Pet Partner?

Did you read my post last week about Brother Bear? I hope so. I’m back with another adoption post… this one to get you to PetSmart for National Adoption Weekend.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that me and my FiFi Bofinkles have a special relationship, some even say romantic because we kiss so much. Yeah, we really love each other.  

Bofinkles is my babydoll and this month she will officially be with us for 6 years.  We adopted Bofinkles when she was already a senior cat at 9 years. Now she’ll be turning 15, some might call that a old lady, but Bofinkles would swat you if she ever heard you say that.  Bofinkles story is interesting. She was born in South Carolina, so she’s a Southern Belle with drama.  Ask Matthew, he can’t touch her without her biting me. But me? Oh no, I can do anything to her and she will drool happily.  We’re BFFs.

My baby Bofinkles. #iminlove

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Christmas Dreaming with a Modern Kitchen and Decorations

I know it’s only the second week of November, but Christmas is in the air.  I went into a store yesterday and they had a life size Santa Claus dancing to a beat.  Ok first of all, I have no idea how tall Santa would be to be life size but I would imagine he’s “average”.  Also the dancing Santa was a bit creepy, especially because his eyes followed you.  But that’s besides the point.  I’m really excited for the holidays and I can’t wait to start decorating, so enter the planning phase.

I’ve given you peeks into our home here and here.  We live in a loft with 12 foot ceilings and a wide open living area.  When it’s Christmas we get a giant tree (that always is a adventure getting it out of here) and decorate our hearts out.  We love color, we love kitsch but we also love modern  lines.   That’s why when it comes to decorating I like to do a mixture to bring the worlds of smiling snowmen and sleek trees and lighting together. 

Here’s our home sweet home.

 I love our home, but my dream list is a bath tub (I know – 10 years without one!) and a updated kitchen.  Have you seen GE Café™ Series?  Gosh, I want all of their appliances!  Looking at them just makes me cry with jealousy and happiness.  Maybe Santa will read this and know I’ve been a very good girl for Christmas.  Can we take a minute and marvel at how great these would look in our place? Imagine the sweet smell of cookies and savory casseroles that I could make with these. 

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How to Make a Whale Tissue Box

This weekend was a chilly one.  Last week I was saying how confusing the weather was and this stayed true.  Over the weekend I was in Upstate NY where the temperature was in the 40’s and I was spending much of my time outside.  With a Ninja style face scarf on, double pants and a pocket full of Kleenex Facial Tissues, I was ready to brace the cold.

I’ve been lucky the last few years without getting sick in the Winter.  Last year Matthew didn’t get his flu shot and long and behold, he got hit with the flu mid Season.  The things I can never control in Winter though is a runny nose and dry skin.  When I think back to being a kid my Mom would have tissues stocked and ready to go everywhere, how did she always have one within grabbing distance?  As a I grow up I’ve turned into that… anyone need a tissue? I got your back.

What else do I love with my tissues?  Like everything else in our home, I need a cute tissue holder.    So let me introduce you to Mr. Whale.
How to Make a Kleenex Whale Tissue Box_8

Matthew and I teamed up on a weekend project a few weeks ago to make him.  Not to brag, but I got myself a handy man.  I told him I wanted a tissue box and it was cut and put together in about 2 hours.  So by “teaming up” with him I mean telling him I want a whale box and picking out the color.  Any ideas for complicated projects I can give him next to test him?  

How to Make a Kleenex Whale Tissue Box_4

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How to Throw a Inside Out Party!

Directions on how to throw a Inside Out Party on a budget!   This provides tableware, menu, games and more!  

Guys, have you seen Inside Out? Isn’t it AMAZING? Kids love it but adults really love it. When I first saw it I think there was more adults smiling in the crowd than kids.  I was one of them.

Well now it’s time to bring the fun into your home as Inside Out just came out on DVD last week!  Who’s ready for a party?
How to Throw a Inside Out Party_9

If you haven’t seen Inside Out, it’s a 3D animated film made by the always amazing Pixar.  The film is set in the mind of a young girl, Riley.  Throughout her life there are 5 emotions that try to help her out in life problems, especially when moving to a new city.  The emotions are Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust.  I’m not going to tell you more because you have to watch it. 

How to Throw a Inside Out Party!

Because I was excited for the film to come out and I had many friends (and Matthew!) who haven’t seen it I decided to throw a rainbow filled party to celebrate the release and get everyone to think about their feelings. No, don’t worry, we’re not getting psychological deep here where we’re going to sit around and talk about our darkest hours, but instead it’s a time to celebrate joy but also totally be ok with sadness and fear too.  

Supplies for a Inside Out Party

Throwing a Inside Out party is pretty easy because it’s all about color. For not much money you can have a entire party zone set up.  You want to keep in the colors of Yellow, Blue, Red, Green and Purple.  

Things you’ll need:
Inside Out  DVD (to have a viewing party or to play throughout the entire party)
Inside Out Toys
Crafts section – colorful markers and paper
Streamers
Balloons
Tablecloths – to be used on tables and walls
Napkins, Plates, Cups
Food!  Have a good selection of vegetables, hand food, sweets (cake, muffins, cupcakes, popcorn balls (see below)), and then something easy like pizza or sandwiches.

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Garden Update: What’s Growing in November?

Remember when I said a few weeks ago it was going to frost shortly? Well it didn’t.  I’m kicking myself for picking all those green tomatoes but it’s better safe than to be sorry. After all, they are turning red in their shoe boxes beautifully.   So with yesterday almost reaching 80 degrees and the previous weekend requiring a Winter hat, it’s a little confusing.   I assume this is how the garden feels too, confused. Should I grow? Should I not grow?  Should I call for Mom to harvest me? Should I keep Mom away from us because she keeps doing weird dance moves?  

With a basket in hand I made it to the garden this week to pick some final vegetables of the season. The plants are winding down and I really believe this is it (minus the kale).  I picked a nice selection of green beans, peppers (bells and jalapenos), soybeans that I’ll be picking out their pods forever (anyone want to help?), tomatillos and the final red tomatoes.

This weekend we’ll start working on a new garden project that’s exciting but you’ll have to wait to hear more about it this month.  I can’t wait to get to work on it so I can share it with you!

For now though… let’s look at what I picked!

A nice selection of veggies..
End of Season Harvest

Green beans for days.  I’ve been freezing them so it looks like we have alot of green bean soup ahead of us for the Winter.
End of Season Harvest_1

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We Adopted Our Brother Bear, It’s Time For You To Get a Best Friend Too!

We adopted Brother Bear, our beautiful Maine Coon boy! Watch as he transforms from a angry ringworm kitty to a majestic lap cat!

Can I tell you guys about our loving boy, Brother Bear?  He’s the best.

Almost 6 years ago to the day Matthew rode the subway to the last step in the Bronx.   It’s a long ride there, but there was a treasure there waiting to be brought home.  We were about to adopt Brother and give him a forever home.    We first saw Brother online on a adoption site and fell in love with him.  It didn’t take much persuading to quickly make this a 3 cat home  (at that time it was only Essy and Xanadu).  With vet papers in hand, pink carrier in the other (sorry Brother!), Matthew took the subway back home to Brooklyn where I was waiting for him at the door like the super excited cat lady you all would imagine.  

Happy I'm home from work! #brother #mainecoon #blackcat #love #catlady

First funny story, the Vet papers called him MIKE.  Seriously, a cat named Mike.  That’s hilarious and horrifying at the same time.  Everytime I look at his papers I laugh.  Mike! Unbelievable.  Thankfully Brother agreed that his name was horrible so he happily approved of Brother (or Brother Bear for his Mom and Dad to call him).  

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Ricotta and Tomato Tea Sandwiches

EASY Ricotta and Tomato Tea Sandwiches that you can make ahead! This easy recipe makes a ricotta garlic mixture to spread on the bread! Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes in the bread – perfect for a afternoon tea party or baby shower!

There’s something about a afternoon get together with mini sandwiches that makes me happy.  Can you imagine a brunch with friends and there’s heart shaped delicious sandwiches waiting for you on the table?  Doesn’t that scream love and yum at the same time?  In this super easy to put together recipe we’re going to make Ricotta and Tomato Tea Sandwiches that you can whip up in just a few minutes.

Ricotta and Tomato Tea Sandwich Ingredients

You only need a few ingredients for this recipe: bread, ricotta/garlic/basil mixture, diced tomatoes, and more basil.   You’ll also need some adorable cookie cutters where you can be creative.  I used hearts here because I love you guys, but stars and festive shapes like pumpkins for Thanksgiving would be super cute too.  Also, cat cookie cutters are always a good idea.  Anything cat is always a good idea.  Trust me.
cookie cutter shapes with bread

Perfect for Afternoon Tea Parties!

You can use any type of bread, I used whole wheat because that’s always something I have in my refrigerator.  Grab a bunch of pieces of bread and start cutting your shapes out.
Ricotta,-Tomato-and-Basil-Tea-Sandwiches_Combo1

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15 Minute Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese

This Stovetop 15 Minute Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese is made with 1 pot and 3 ingredients Grab your pasta, Velveeta cheese and broccoli and make this easy creamy homemade mac and cheese recipe for dinner soon!  Kids will love how delicious it is! Adults will love how simple it is to make!

You guys, you’re going to love this Broccoli Macaroni and Cheese.  It’s a real 1 pot, 3 ingredient, 15 minute meal and it’s one of my favorite cheesy pasta dishes.

1 pot – seriously.  
3 ingredients – Noodles, cheese and broccoli.  Boom, easy.
15 minutes – A real 15 minute meal. Not 15 minutes plus prep time.  You might even finish in 13 minutes!

With recent chilly nights where I wrap a blanket around me, I crave comfort food. I want it hot.  I want it cheesy.  But I also want some vegetables because a garden girl always want some freshness.  Plus I like to think that when you add vegetables to recipes it makes them healthy.  Like Glazed Carrot Donuts,  Red Bean Brownies, Sinful Chocolate Black Bean Brownies or Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese.  See, all healthy recipes. You agree, right?  Ok, great.

So Broccoli and Macaroni and Cheese was the only way to go.  But with comfort food, I want it quick.  That way I don’t have to get out of my warm blanket for more time.  I could wear my pink house robe while cooking to stay warm, but trust me, noone wants to see that.
15 Minute Macaroni and Cheese_7

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How to Turn Tomatoes Red

Simple step by step instructions on how to How to Turn Tomatoes Red! All you need is a box!

It’s a few days from November but I’m still enjoying fresh tomatoes. No, I’m not picking them from the garden, that ship has sailed.  The nights became too cold a few weeks ago and the garden was pretty much put to sleep, minus a few hearty greens.  To grab some fresh tomatoes I’m now picking them from a shoebox.  To be exact, 4 big shoeboxes full of tomatoes.  

Don’t you hate when it’s the end of the season and you have hundreds of green tomatoes staring at you?  The sadness.. The tears.  The longing to want to save all those baby green tomatoes so they can turn into big red adults one day. 

Tomatoes have been spotted.

We had so many green roma and cherry tomatoes left we couldn’t let them go bad.  Never leave a tomato behind.  We aren’t big fried green tomato fans, so it was back to the basics, time to box up those tomatoes and let them turn red naturally. 

The way to do is really simple.  Are you ready?

How to Turn Tomatoes Red

Put your tomatoes in a shoe box (or any type of cardboard box), close it. Put shoe box in cool place.  Check on them twice a week. Watch them turn red over time. Pick the red tomatoes out and enjoy! 

Now wasn’t that easy? 

Here’s another tip,  if you want to turn them red more quickly then add a banana into each box. Just make sure you keep a eye on the banana so it doesn’t turn into mush and make a mess.

With a bunch of green tomatoes left, we stuck them in their boxes about 10 days ago and I just checked them today to find a whole bunch of red beauties looking at me!
How to Make Tomatoes Turn Red

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P.F. Chang’s General Chang’s Chicken

 

I love Chinese food.  I mean can you tell by my recipe category here?  For the past few weeks I was craving Chinese food so we finally stopped by one of my favorite restaurants and ordered the usual.  It was delicious, I was satisfied, but who wants to leave home when it’s cold out and who wants to pay $22 for take out?  Not me.

Matthew’s favorite Chinese item on the menu is always General’s Chicken.  Actually it’s what he ordered this weekend.  We have a couple busy weeks ahead of us with work that we’ll be staying at the studio until the later hours of the night so I need to come up some simple recipe solutions that will have us fed within 15 minutes of getting home (after we feed the cats of course, they always eat first, spoiled critters).

Let me introduce you to your new favorite weeknight dinner to save you the hassle of cooking from scratch, P.F. Chang’s Home Menu.  Their meal options include bold exciting flavors with quality cuts of beef, white meat chicken breast or succulent shrimp paired with crisp colorful vegetables, tender noodles, etc along with their  signature sauce.  Matthew’s able to get his chicken in while I can enjoy my vegetable mini egg rolls. It’s a win win situation!  Why don’t you shake things up a bit for Wok Wednesday?
PF Changs Chicken and Broccoli_3

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Making of new Brooklyn Farm Girl Banner – lots of cats!

Have you guys seen my new banner yet?  If not, take a look up top on the main page! If you’re not seeing the new one, make sure to refresh.

I shared my banner a few days ago on Facebook and your comments were so nice I thought I’d make a post about the banner and the process of  how you get a custom made banner for your blog.  

I love supporting the Etsy community and I’ve had success there with a bunch of custom work so I relied on it on finding someone who could make me a banner in a fun style.  I came across LaurynGreen‘s shop and fell in love.  She had the exact aesthetic that I wanted.  I wrote to her immediately asking her to do a custom job and she said yes.  Just a quick side note if you’re looking to get a custom banner done, Laura is awesome, creative, talented and very patient with every change I wanted.  She never discouraged me from wanting something changed and was timely in sending me the assets.  I’m already thinking of contacting her again for a holiday project!

Now banner making time…!
(PS, you can click the images to enlarge if you want to see the changes bigger)

My blog is called Brooklyn Farm Girl so the banner was pretty easy on the content.  I wanted rooftop gardening in the city with me and the cats.  That’s pretty much one half of my life.  Besides that I wanted something colorful, customized and fun.  After I told Laura a little bit about my blog and what I wanted to see on the banner, then I sent her some reference photos. She asked about the color palette and I wanted something more on the pastel side that popped at readers.  I sent one photo of me and about a million photos of my cats.  The silly part is that I was more concerned about the cats looking perfect than me.

Here’s my cat photos with short descriptions.

 

A few days later she sent me this sketch.   Besides some image changes I needed Brooklyn spelled right (lol), I wanted tomatoes instead of a pineapple on Goblin’s head, we were missing a cat and I needed water towers on the roofs in Brooklyn.  Also I wanted long sleeves because my arms kinda looked chubby. :D)

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Apple Spice Crumble Bars

EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they’re the best apple recipe! 

I love Fall! I love everything about it.
I love cozy sweaters, coats, boots, the crisp wind on my cheeks in the morning and especially the food.  Wrap me up in a blanket at night during dinner over a warm bowl of soup and I’m the happiest the girl in the world.  October is the time for my 2 favorite holidays, Halloween and my birthday. :D).   Halloween is the best time of the year with pumpkin picking, ghosts covering front lawns (or what New Yorkers consider lawns), spooky spiderwebs over doors and little kids trick or treating up their street of brownstones.  I wish our apartment building had trick or treaters!

EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they're the best apple recipe!

Why else is Fall the best?  Apple picking!  We usually rent a car and head to Hurd’s Family Farm in New York during this time of the year. There we pick bags of apple, dance down the orchard and then celebrate afterwards with their delicious apple cider donuts and apple cider.  Yeah, there’s alot of apple love happening here!

With a bunch of apples, you can make so many goodies.  One of my favorite is homemade cinnamon sugar apple sauce, it’s the perfect snack at night, especially warmed up!  Did I mention sea salt apple chips too? I can’t get enough of them!  But for this apple recipe I wanted something sweet, something I can sink my teeth into with a nice cup of tea – that’s how Apple Spice Crumble Bars came to be!

Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

These bars are delicious, they will quickly become a family and friend favorite.  Take them to a party and they will be gone within minutes.  The applesauce makes the bars moist without the oil.  The recipe uses a entire cup of applesauce making your kitchen smell like a apple wonderland.

I hope you enjoy these bars, it’s one of my favorite apple recipes!
First you need some quality apple sauce.  This is some that is made at a local farm.   Or you can make your own.
EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they're the best apple recipe!

In a bowl mix butter, sugar, egg and flours.
EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they're the best apple recipe!

Then add your delicious applesauce and stir.
Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

By this time you’ll be smelling Fall in the air!
Next grab your pumpkin pie spice along with baking soda and salt and stir until smooth.  I always make a little jar of pumpkin pie spice to last me all Fall.  It’s easy to make, I bet you have all the ingredients in your pantry.
Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

Once everything is mixed then put in your sprayed 8×8 pan.
Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

Now get your crumble on. This is my favorite part because it’s delicious!
Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

Add it on top of your mix and into the oven it goes for 35-40 minutes.
Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

And when it comes out of the oven golly molly it’s Apple Spice Crumble Bars time.  You want to make sure the bars sit for about 10 minutes so it has time to settle.  We want to be able to run a knife down the sides easily to pull it away from the pan.
EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they're the best apple recipe!

*Dances*  Now it’s time to dive in!
EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they're the best apple recipe!

Enjoy your Apple Spice Crumble Bars! Good luck not eating them all. :D)

Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

Apple Spice Crumble Bars is the perfect Fall recipe that uses leftover apple sauce. You will love the crumble on top!

 

Apple Spice Crumble Bars

EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they're the best apple recipe! 

Ingredients

For the bars

  • 1/4 cup butter - softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the crumble

  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar

Instructions

For the bars

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray nonstick spray to 8x8 pan.
  2. In a bowl mix butter, sugar, egg and flours.
  3. Add in applesauce and continue stirring.
  4. Add pumpkine pie spice, baking soda and salt and stir until smooth.
  5. Spread mixture into your sprayed pan.
  6. After crumble is made, sprkinkle on top and bake 25-30 mnutes.
  7. Let cool for 10 minutes and then cut up into sized bars desired.

For the crumble

  1. Combine flour, cinnamon and brown sugar.
  2. Cut in your butter until it's crumbly.
  3. Add to the top of your pan of bars evenly.

EASY APPLE Spice Crumble Bars that uses 1 cup of apple sauce! These dessert bars are perfect for Fall time, with a delicious cinnamon sugar crumble on top! I love how simple they are to make and my family thinks they're the best apple recipe!

 

What I LOVE: Fragrant Jewels Candles

In the What I LOVE series, I’m sharing current things that I love.  Maybe it’s cats, maybe it’s a new restaurant, maybe it’s a new cookie, maybe it’s… anything!

There’s just something about chilly weather that makes me love candles. Maybe it’s the comforting smells of pumpkin, cookies and trees, or maybe it’s the natural warmth I feel from the flickering flame, either way, I’m into candles right now.    Because we’re all thinking about the holidays (it’s almost 2 months away!) I wanted to show you a new candle that I found that not only am I loving but I’m also buying for all my candle loving ladies in my family. Why? Because they’re a unique candle… they offer a prize! 

But first, let me show you the candles I’m loving right now.   Just a side note, how awesome is it they come wrapped so nicely in the mail?  I don’t live near family so this is a bonus as I can get it shipped directly to them without me having to pay postage twice. 

Right now Pumpkin Patch is burning on my table, but I love the smoky woods smell of Campfire too.   I’m not a big flower fragrance person so I love a company like Fragrant Jewels that have more variety.    I also love Freshly Baked scent because I like to pretend I’m baking donuts all the time, without eating the thousands of calories that would cause me.

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Apple Picking + GIVEAWAY for a $120 JORD Watch for YOU!

I’m going to take you on a apple picking adventure and give away a beautiful $120 JORD watch so you know when it’s apple time in this post!  Make sure to read the entire post on how to win the watch!

 

It’s Fall so that means it’s time to go on our annual trip to the apple farm.  There we pick bushels of apples, eat way too many Fuji apples going down the rows and rows of beautiful trees, and picking up a few pumpkins in the nearby patch. I think we have a hundred apples which we’ve been nibbling away a few at a day.  Oh and there’s the delicious apple cider donuts that we ate within a day and apple cider that I’m about to break into. Right now would be the time where I text you emojis of apples and hearts in eyes.  

We always head to Hurd’s Family farm that’s about 90 minutes away from NYC.  It’s a big apple and Christmas tree farm that has a bunch of activities for the kids, but also so many rows of apple trees you’ll get a workout. Most people only stay up front in the orchard but the real treasures are the trees in the back which are just covered with hundreds of apples. 

 

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OREO Cookie Pudding Cups On The Go

OREO Cookies, Chocolate Pudding,  Reddi-Wip and Sprinkles? Come on, who doesn’t want that? Make these easy pudding cups that your kids are going to LOVE! 

In this quick and on the go recipe,  I’m going to show you how to make a delicious treat in less than a minute that will satisfy your sweet tooth and make you everyone’s favorite person.
OREO Cookies, Chocolate Pudding,  Reddi-Wip and Sprinkles? Come on, who doesn't want that? Make these easy pudding cups that your kids are going to LOVE! 

The ingredients are easy and will have you whispering “yum”.  
You’ll need:
Go-Paks! – These are a favorite for road trips and to keep at work.  For this recipe I’d recommend something sweet like Golden OREOs, Chocolate OREOs, Nutter Butter Bites, Chips Ahoy! or Teddy Grahams. I love their Ritz bits but I’d save those for snacking.
Snack Pack® Pudding Cups –  For this recipe I used chocolate or vanilla.
Reddi Wip
Sprinkles
Oreo-Cookie-Pudding-Cups-On-The-Go_C1

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Garden Update: What’s Growing in October?

The last few weeks have been confusing for the garden. It started with a windy October throwing tomatoes off their plants and all over the roof, while almost knocking down our pea fence (thankfully it’s secured in about 6 spots).  With the wind came the 40 something degree nights. Then suddenly it had 80 degree days.  Then it was down to 50.  Then it was 75.  And today again, it’s back to wearing a coat.  With the ups and downs the garden doesn’t know whether to stop growing or keep producing. This weekend we’re going to remove the rest of the tomatoes from the plants, even if they’re green. In the next week we’re getting close to freezing at night (it’s already at freezing just 3 hours north of us) so it’s better to be safe than sorry.   The soy bean, peas and beans were already removed last weekend with a nice harvest coming from them.  Next up is the tomatoes and peppers and that pretty much wraps up this seasons garden.  The kale which was planted in early Spring is still kicking it in it’s full glory so we’re going to let that keep growing throughout the Winter and see how it does.  Kale is a pretty hearty plant so maybe it’ll keep growing and I can push aside some snow to pick kale.  

Now the garden in pictures…. the ending of the season!

This is the garden on a very very windy day that rained hours before.  Since the fences were really blowing in the wind to scary levels we had to take them down.  Imagine taking down 12 foot tall wire fences in the super wind. Yeah it’s quite a experience. And yes, you and your loved one will get in many arguments.  Also ignore the slight mess, I had a few baskets and bowls there ready to collect our harvest.
Garden October 3 2015

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DIY Black Cat Halloween Decoration

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween decoration.  Super easy craft to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Cats and candy, who doesn’t love in that combo?  I’m going to show you how to make Halloween Black Cat Garland, perfect for decorating this holiday while I eat a bunch of candy.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Nibble Nibble.
Reese’s Pieces, yum.
Twizzlers, yum.
Jolly Rancher lollipop, yum.
Kit Kats, Peanut Butter Cups, yum.
Please help. 
It’s Halloween time and I can’t stop nibbling on candy.

 This Halloween I wanted to have fun making some new decorations that fit my cat love, so I decided to make some black cat garland.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

At our studio we’re lucky enough to have access to a laser cutter.  If you aren’t familiar with laser cutters it uses a laser to cut out materials, very quickly and very precise.  It can cut through practically everything from acrylic, cardboard, rubber, nylon, paper, aluminum, mdf and more.  Think of the possibilities!  I made 40 cutouts of cats within minutes that have very intricate details.  If I was hand cutting this would have took me forever and never would have looked as good.  I do love using die cut craft machines as well but for this cat garland I wanted a specific customized design that I couldn’t already find a die for.

First you’ll need to find a design you like or custom create it as a vector file in Adobe Illustrator. There you’ll define the lines on the design on what gets cut out and what doesn’t.    Once it’s set up, you’ll send it to the laser cut, put your material in and watch the magic.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

The laser cutter is a serious machine that has to be watched.  It’s very powerful so everyone at the studio needs to be trained on how to use it.  If you look closely here you’ll see the laser is cutting out the design very quickly. At this time I was a little worried that the whiskers would get cut off as they were very thin.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

But when the laser cutter finished I saw the whiskers worked out!  This cat was cut out in seconds, I can’t imagine how long that hair on it’s back would have took me to cut out by hand.  After this I keep putting paper in the laser cutter and letting do it’s job until I have the amount of cats I need (I never can have enough cats).
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Once I got home I turned it into garland with some black and white twine I found in the dollar Halloween aisle. 
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Along with some mason jars I filled with lights and candy I quickly had a fun decorated area.  I’ve been putting this garland all over from the windows to the doorway to walls to around Matthew’s bike.  He doesn’t appreciate that, I have no idea why.
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Hope you guys liked this quick tutorial and I hope you’re getting excited for Halloween!
DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

DIY on how to make black cat Halloween garland. Super easy to make with a die cut machine or laser cutter. All you need is paper and string!

Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes

Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They’re perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

This recipe brings together 2 of my favorite things: Halloween and pancakes!

Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast meals on the weekend.  On the week I usually grab a protein bar and I’m out of the house but on the weekend it’s time for a slower pace.  This is one of my favorite pancake recipes because they come out extra fluffy and moist.  The mix is easy to make and you’ll have it on your pan ready to make pancakes in just a few minutes!
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

But we aren’t just making any pancakes, we’re making them specifically for Halloween, so let’s cause a fright! First up, grab your black (or orange) icing.  Put a few drops on the pancake and spread around.
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

Now grab your spooky cereal. If you’ve never experienced Count Chocula, Boo Berry or Franken Berry please rush to the store immediately.   The cereal pieces are ghosts you guys! Ghosts! 
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

Now grab some cereal pieces (and marshmallows) and make your pancakes festive.  This would be a fun treat for kids as they can decorate however they want.
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

Isn’t this such a fun breakfast idea for Halloween? It does fall on a Saturday this year so it’s the perfect time to make some pancakes!
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

Hope you enjoyed my Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes.  Happy Halloween!
Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

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Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes

Spooky Halloween Frosted Pancakes with Count Chocula, Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereal on top. They're perfect for a fun holiday breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter melted
  • Black or Orange Icing
  • Count Chocula Boo Berry and Franken Berry Cereals

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
  2. Add milk, vanilla, eggs and butter and continue to stir.
  3. Heat a nonstick sprayed frying pan over medium high heat. Once heated scoop 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto the center of your pan. Brown on both sides.
  4. Let pancakes cool for 1 minute and then ice the top of the pancake with your Halloween colored icing and cereal pieces.
  5. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Servings: 4-6

 

 

Must Have Halloween Decorations

Halloween is near! Are you excited? I am! Yup, it’s time to dress in all black with your Halloween socks and bags! Its always Halloween in my heart! #halloween

Right now we’re in the process of getting all the Halloween decorations out of storage and start to put them up around the house.  Right now I have a great spooky face on our front door, ghost lights hung by the window (that Goblin wants to knock down so bad), Caution! tape up on the walls and a spooky ghost that sits on the floor (that Goblin wants to knock down so bad). Don’t you love these giant googly eyes I found? IMG_20151008_115447 Read More

Viva® Vantage® Blog Party in NYC!

Last week I had a fun time hanging out with other NYC bloggers at the Viva® Vantage® party.  There was plenty of great food, wine glasses filled at 10AM, decorating stations to paint your own glass and lots of helpful hints on what you can use Viva® Towels for besides just wiping my sloppy mouth with (hey, it happens). 

Here’s a quick video I made at the party!

I’ve been a Viva®  fan for years, honestly it’s the only paper towel I use, and I am totally not lying.   It feels like a cloth and it’s super durable without having to use a few sheets, so I was excited to try the new Viva® Towels.  We’ve become such fanatic Viva®  fans that if I have to buy a different brand because they’re out Matthew is always like “Oh man, you didn’t get Viva® !”.  Everyone notices in the house.

 

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