Balloon Fun

Being sick on Halloween is no fun, so I've resorted to planning a spectacular costume for next year. I stumbled upon these balloon costumes - pretty impressive! Check out these clever balloon costumes, but be careful not to pop!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween weekend my dears!
Hope your evenings are full of spooktacular trick-or-treats!

Under the Weather

Bleh...I hate being sick. I've spent the last two days sipping honey-lemon tea and slurping soup...In the midst of parent-teacher conferences, I seem to have lost my voice. If you find it for me, please return ASAP!

Just Say Boo

Growing up my mom always did holiday-themed dinners. Thought this "BOO" pasta was hilarious. Arrange your noodles in cursive and bake until crisp, add atop a plate of spaghetti and scare the tomato out of your little one (or your hubby)...


A Bicycle Built for 3

A few families at my school bike to school on family tandem bikes and I just LOVE that. This European tradition of biking in lieu of car transport is one that seriously needs to be revived in America.

When I have kids, I'd love to be one of those moms that bikes their kids to school. I know this may sound ridiculous in Seattle - especially as a teacher, combining the rain, busy schedules, backpacks, etc...but I do believe it is possible. I'm loving these tandems by Dutch Bike Co. Seattle who imports their styles from Europe. One day I'll pick up one for myself, just you wait and see!


To Denmark with Love

I was very intrigued by a post on one of my fave go-to blogs a few days ago ago life in Denmark. You Are My Fave gave the inside scoop about why the Danes are so fantastic! I mean, doesn't this place sound lovely?...biking is the main mode of transportation, women get 6 months+ maternity leave, fresh market produce daily, and free university (among other reasons)...even Oprah agrees.

I've always been interested in learning about other cultures and places, how they live their day to day life, the ins, outs, secrets, and in-betweens... But now I think I have a real, legitimate reason to visit Denmark!


Fancy a Dance?

Aren't these adorable?!? When I was little, I loved standing on my Dad's feet as he walked around the house. Now you can do the dance-walk in style!image/handmadecharlotte
via designmom

Pumpkin Yum

These were so good, I forgot to blog! My mom made these amazing pumpkin muffins with crumble topping for me last week. She made me an entire Tupperware to "share" with my boyfriend and co-workers...truth be told, I hoarded the container and ate most myself. They were that good! All you pumpkin lovers like myself should whip up a batch and indulge!


Fabulous Fall

Another fantastic fall weekend come and gone. Our drive to Leavenworth was gorgeous, the amber, scarlet, and gold leaves were eye candy paralleling the road the entire drive. We did a little wine tasting (bought some blackberry wine - soo good), dined on German cuisine (schnitzel, brats with apple cider kraut, and pretzels), and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the town.

This week I'll be knee deep in parent-teacher conferences, hoping to enjoy a little down time in the evenings. Hoping to try out this tantalizing recipe this week. Happy Monday!

Weekend Getaway

Cheers it's Friday yet again! On Saturday my boyfriend and I are headed to Leavenworth - Washington's own little slice of Bavaria. This picturesque town German inspired town is a 2-hour drive from Seattle, and set amidst some of Washington's finest foliage. I can't wait to see all the colorful leaves, drink some German beer, enjoy horseback riding and hiking, and spend some quality time with my boy. Have a fantastic weekend!

Book Review

As an elementary school teacher, finding quality children's books is my passion, and when I find a great one - I want to share it! I recently discovered The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown. Modeled after the recent restoration of New York City's Highline Park, this lovely story is about a boy who finds an abandoned railroad and decides to plant seeds to make his neighborhood more beautiful. His efforts - though small, are noticed, and slowly the garden takes a pay it forward type effect, as his once dirty city slowly becomes more green and full of life. My students really enjoyed this story, the illustrations, and seemed inspired by it's message how even one kid can truly make a difference. Check it out!images/barnesandnoble

Creepy Jello

Love the idea of adding spook to the party favorite - jello shots. Thanks to Sarah's Fab Day for passing along the clever idea. Add eye ball, brain, or creepy gummy candies to your fave jello flavor and voila! - the greatest Halloween party beverage ever!

Recipe below via Hostess with the Mostess

Creepy Jello Shots

1.5 cups boiling water
1 cups vodka
2 (8-oz) pkg. JELL-O Gelatin, any flavor

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 min. until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool for a 3-5 minutes, then add vodka. Pour into 13×9-inch pan. Let mixture cool to room temperature, then add gummy candies. (Use a spoon to help guide gummies into the spot you want them, if desired.) Pour into 13×9-inch pan.

REFRIGERATE at least 3 hours or until firm.

DIP bottom of pan in warm water 15 sec. Cut jigglers into squares, making sure to cut all the way through gelatin to bottom of pan. Lift JIGGLERS® from pan. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.


House Plant

Aren't these cute? I've never had much of a green thumb, but I think I could handle a small pin-cushion plant in my windowsill. They really do look like pin cushions, don't they?images/cupandtable

Say Cheese

I've never had the privilege of hosting a housewarming party to date. Now that I have a home I need to "warm," I'm exploring some different ideas of how to celebrate with my closest friends.

While reading Real Simple yesterday, I came across an easy but delicious choice - A Cheese Party. While I like to think of myself as an amateur cheese connoisseur, I appreciate the direction RS gives the hopeful party planner. Shopping lists, ideal cheese and food pairings, what to sip - they've covered it all. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out!



If you haven't been able to tell already - I love all things pumpkin. And since the flavor disappears as quickly as it materializes, I usually try and enjoy all the pumpkin-y things before they retire with the change of season.

This includes:
1. pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks
2. pumpkin bagels + pumpkin cream cheese from Noah's Bagels
2. pumpkin cupcakes w/cream cheese frosting a la Real Simple
4. pumpkin pancake & waffle mix from Trader Joes
5. curried pumpkin soup from Whole Foods

Now - here's where you come in. What pumpkin things am I missing or have I not yet discovered? Please enlighten me because pumpkin season runs out!


Quote of the Day

A quote for life, but also a quote for all teachers.etsy/cindymindypindy
via a little sussy

I Heart Fall

via jordanferney

Dinner Last Night: Roasted Butternut Squash with Caramelized Onions, Gorgonzola, and Crispy Fried Sage

After rain-drenched Friday and Saturday, the Sunday sun was a welcome surprise. With all the leaves turning from orange to red, it felt like an especially fall day, meriting an especially fall meal. I turned to my fave cooking blog - Closet Cooking, and made Roasted Butternut Squash with Carmelized Onions, Gorgonzola, and Crispy Fried Sage.

It was wonderful! I'm not sure I crispified the sage correctly, but the flavors did come together nicely and the savory gorgonzola was perfect paired with the sweet butternut squash. It was so memorable - think I might have to make this dish for my Friends Thanksgiving party coming up next month!



I'm seriously loving these French themed cards by Darling Clementine. Just enough to make me want to start a savings stash for a rendezvous back to Paris...images/greetq
via ohappyday

Happy Weekend

Happy Friday. Kind of excited about about a weekend with limited plans, I've been exhausted lately, and I'm looking forward to laying low and catching up on my sleep. Wishing you a relaxing weekend.


Piano Stairs

Need some inspiration to take the stairs? Check out this clever installation in Stockholm, Sweden. A subway staircase was cleverly turned into working piano keys! Such a creative idea, this would definitely inspire me to take the stairs versus the escalator!

Burger Anyone?

Spotted...these hunger inspiring hamburger pillows over at Slices of Beauty. What kid would not go crazy for these? Build your own burger while you relax or watch TV, ingenious! What will they think of next? images/freshome
via slices of beauty

Brothers and Sisters

We live in such an internet savvy culture, I often forget what it's like to go without. While I've been waiting for Comcast to set up my internet and cable, I've resorted to checking my email via blackberry and watching DVD's on my computer in the evenings.

My most recent rental is the TV series - Brothers and Sisters. Recommended to me by a friend, I must admit I am seriously hooked! I'm about halfway through the first season and can't get enough - plenty of funny and poingnant moments, humor, and of course family drama.
Ever seen it?


Cupcake Ready

I've been very into cupcakes lately, could you tell? Maybe it's because I just acquired a new cupcake pan from the Seattle kitchen store Sur La Table. Hoping to try these lemon meringue cupcakes in the near future.


Dance Off!

It's been wedding season 'round here. The past few weekends have been filled with wedding festivities, lots of bouquet catching, drinking, and of course...dancing. My friend Erin (the bride) and her brother did the dance Monica and Ross did on the TV show "Friends" at a New Years Eve competition. It was so hilarious, especially knowing what a die-hard Friends fan Erin is.

They also started a walk-off line inspired by the movie "Hitch." Everyone joined in, it was so much fun! It was a fantastic time.

Dinner Last Night: Pear-Gorgonzola Pizza

I made pear-gorgonzola pizza last night, and not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but it was utterly delicious, and unbelievably simple. I used this recipe and Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough. I highly recommend you try it.


Quintessential Fall

My boyfriend and I spent the beautiful Seattle Sunday doing all things fall. First, we went to an apple cider mill, sampled the Gala and Honeycrisp Apple cider, and purchased some and cider and apple butter.

Next, we headed to a local pumpkin patch. I guess it was a popular day to hit the pumpkin patch, because it was packed! Every family there had children under the age of 5. All trying desperately to capture their child actually looking at the camera, or at least at a pumpkin. We opted for the unusual pumpkins as opposed to tradition, picking up a warty pumpkin for my classroom and a Cinderella pumpkin for my porch.

After that, we walked ar0und the farm, the cornfields, and then ended our afternoon with cones of delicious pumpkin ice cream. What a perfect day!

Happy Friday

Happy Friday! I'm off to another wedding, moving the rest of my furniture into my new house, and hoping to catch some zzzz's somewhere in between. Have a lovely weekend!

Pumpkin is Everywhere!

With no school today, yesterday was my Friday. My Friday tradition or "treat" to myself is I get to buy a latte + treat, as opposed to making coffee and breakfast at home. I stopped on into Top Pot Doughnuts, a popular Seattle area doughnut chain and low and behold - they had pumpkin doughnuts! Intrigued but unsure of a pumpkin doughnut would taste I took a risk was AMAZING! Defintiely want to go back for another. What will they think of next??



Now that I'm responsible for tending to my new houses's window boxes, I have a renewed interest in plants and flowers. One plant I've been recently digging is succulents - the leafy cactus look-alike plants known for their superb water retention. I think these would be a perfect addition to my window boxes, seeing as they're fairly low maintence.

I was recently introduced to this unusual but sensible plant by a former colleague who used them as the "flowers" both in her bouquet and in her bridal party's updos at her wedding.
While it's not your traditional wedding flower, I thought the choice was extremely unique, and perfect for a summer wedding that took place in a forest clearing in rural Washington.


Barrel O'Wine

This is the coolest invention! A barrel o'wine...literally. If you happen to be bringing several bottles of wine to a party - save yourself the clinking and rattling and invest in the Red Truck wine barrel. This handy dandy little barrel holds the contents of 4 wine bottles and is much easier to transport. Ingenious!

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad! Here is a pic of my dad sporting his goofy Italian tourist hat he picked up at a souvenir kiosk right outside the Coliseum on our family vacation to Italy this summer. He is never afraid to take a fashion risk! Love you and hope you have a fabulous day!

Autumn Drink

In the spirit of recognizing the upcoming untimely end of Gourmet magazine, I took a cruise around their website and stumbled upon an article detailing popular 1990's cocktails. I passed by the martinis, gimlets, and pink champagne and landed on a drink that sounded quite perfect for autumn - mulled cider with calvados. Initially I thought, that sounds good...but what is calvados?

One google search later and I've discovered that calvados is a French form of cider distilled from speciality selected apples - sounds delicious huh? I just might have to track me down some calvados and try this one at home on a cold fall night.


Fried Chicken: A Migratory Bird?

There's just something about fried chicken. We know it's bad for us, yet we just can't resist the tempation to eat it. If you're echoing my thoughts, you're not alone. The New York Times just featured an article exploring the migration trends of fried chicken. Apparently this traditionally Southern dish is migrating North fast and furious, already flooding the trendy neighborhoods of New York City with it's tasty goodness.

While some claim this Southern favorite has no flavor once fried, critics warn there's more to fried chicken than crust. Ethnic cuisines are embracing this tasty entree, adding their own spices and flavors to make it their own, for example the spicy dark meat fryers in Korean-influenced glaze at NYC's Momofuku.

In Seattle, I'm a fan of the fried chicken at Kingfish Cafe, a Southern haunt in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. I'm a little afraid to try a fryer solo, but I'm up to a challenge. Anyone have a fried chicken recipe worth a share?


Burst of Sun

I suspect the blog gods heard my complaining, because this weekend was a beautiful day in Seattle. The air was crisp and the skies were cloudless and sprinkled with yellow, orange, and red leaves.

I think a favor was called in for my Erin's wedding which was Saturday evening - and outdoors, no less! My dear friends Erin and Josh got married at this beautiful, contemporary Seattle area winery, and the fall backdrop was simply lovely. They took a gamble having an outdoor ceremony in October in Seattle, but it certainly paid off and it was an amazing good time.


Butter Me Up

While cruising the aisles of Trader Joes yesterday I spotted this - pumpkin butter. While I've heard of almond butter, apple butter, I'd never heard of pumpkin butter. While I was tempted to try it out, I held off to wait and see if it's worth the purchase. Anyone ever tried this before?


Farewell Indian Summer

Happy Friday. It is feeling like fall here in Seattle...actually a little more like winter. Gone are our Indian summer days and returned are the sad gray clouds and pitter-pat of raindrops. I'm excited to bring out my sweaters and scarves but a little wistful at our Indian Summer's rapid exit. Anyone feeling the same way in their neck of the woods?

Whatever your weather, have a cozy fall weekend!


British Mail

Britain’s Royal Mail has issued a set of ten stamps celebrating 20th-century British design classics. I love the clean, simple, prim-and-proper design of these stamps - quintessential England. Now the question is, when can I go back and visit?