rainy day

One of my favorite blogs {Color Me Katie} had a fantastic rainy day idea... a fun, little quiz.

The first thing to make you smile today:

The giggles and smiles of my two-year-old friends. It's so adorable and contagious.

Your favorite thing to do:

Sit at a coffee shop with friends and talk for hours where conversation never breaks and caffeine is devoured by the mug-full.

Favorite Memory:

Watching Jeopardy with my Grandpa and counting correct answers on my fingers. He was always counting on his toes before I made it to my second hand, but it was still fun. I loved hanging out with my Grandpa.

Where you want to be right now:

In Boston. I thought it was beautiful when I went there in the summer but I bet it is ten times as beautiful in the fall. I would love to sit on a blanket in Boston Public Gardens, sip a latte and read for hours.

This was fun for a rainy day, but I hope tomorrow is nicer outside.

{image via flickr}


pumpkin treats

I love everything about pumpkins: the bright color, the way they smell, the slimy feel when you scoop out seeds, the way seeing one can cheer me up immediately, but I especially love the way they taste.

This weekend I decided to make a few of my favorite pumpkin treats.

Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • 2 Tb canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 shots brewed espresso (i always lean toward more)
Combine the pumpkin, vanilla, sugar, pie spice and milk in a small saucepan.
Warm over medium heat, stirring constantly until frothy. Do not boil.
Pour the espresso into a mug and add the pumpkin spiced milk over it.
Add nutmeg and cinnamon to taste.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:

Large pumpkin
Butter (or non-stick spray)
Salt (or other seasonings)

Clean seeds out of pumpkin, wash thoroughly. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Soak seeds in melted butter or thoroughly grease pan. Spread seeds out in a single layer.
Sprinkle seeds with salt or other seasoning. (i sometimes use seasoned salt or onion salt. sometimes even cinnamon.)
Bake for about 25 minutes or until toasted. Check and stir often.

Pumpkin Pecan Bread:
{Probably my favorite bread EVER}

3 1/2 cups flour
3 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup pecans (i usually add more pecan or almonds and walnuts)

Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl. Combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs and water. Stir mixture into the dry ingredients. Add nuts.
Spoon into two greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for ten minutes before removing from pans.
(TIP: lay pans on their sides to easily remove loaves.)

{image via}


fall obsessions

It's fall, which means a whole new set of personal obsessions.

I honestly think they change with the seasons {this probably has a lot to do with many sports seasons following the tilt of the axis also}. What are my greatest fall loves/obsessions?

Pumpkin spice lattes, apple cider, candy corn, football {college and pro}, hockey, red, yellow and orange, fleece coats, slippers, Oktoberfest beer... and anything and everything involving Christmas {yes, I realize it is still early}.

At least I have many things to keep me occupied on these chilly nights.

{image via Flickr}


why i love fall...

I had a family picnic this weekend. It was a little chilly but beautiful.


happy weekend

Happy Weekend!

For some reason, this week seemed to go by much slower than usual. I'm not sure why-- it must be that I am so excited for the weekend.

This weekend I am driving to Madison, Wis. with friends to watch my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin Badgers, play University of Iowa in the Homecoming game. I'm really excited to "go undergrad" with my friends {many of whom are flying in from across the country}. This may be the last time that all of us can get together for a football game for a while {one of my best friends leaves for Peace Corps for two years this winter}. This is also probably the last time we'll still blend in in the student section. {We're getting old. I'm sad.}

I also have a family reunion and tickets to see Dane Cook in Milwaukee on Sunday.

Sometime this weekend I even hope to find a few minutes to sip a pumpkin spice latte and finish my book. Maybe even sleep a little.

{image via weheartit}



My latest guilty pleasure, besides pumpkin spice lattes: Glee.

At first, I thought the show would be too immature and fluffy- it is targeted at a much younger audience- but it is pretty entertaining and can even bet witty at times.

Plus, that quarterback-- what a cutie.


friendship terminations

I was dismissed as a friend the other day because I had not seen the movie Bullitt. While I don't believe we actually terminated our friendship at that moment, I understand loving something so much that you don't understand how others could not.

Therefore, I decided that I should watch Steve McQueen's action flick. After all, if this guy, "Crazy Tom," can dismiss friends on the basis of movie taste, the least I can do is watch Bullitt.

The movies I think qualify for "friendship termination": Casablanca, The Godfather, The Philadelphia Story, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof {Paul Newman version}, Life as a House and Band of Brothers {I know it's a series}... to name a few...


a few things that made my weekend

... spending Saturday afternoon in Chicago with friends
laying in bed with apple cider and a book {Say You're One of Them-- great, but sad, read}
sipping mochas and chatting with the girls
making new friends
watching movies {My Life in Ruins-- not as good as it looks}
watching lots of football
grocery shopping
...and waking up on Sunday morning to coffee and this...

Hope you all had a great weekend!


halloween is aproaching

But I'm still not sure if I'm going to dress up for it. I used to love the holiday but now it's just somewhat stressful to think of a clever costume idea and produce a great outfit.

But maybe if I have a great idea...

{photo via tumblr}


a few lovely photos...

... to get you through hump day.

{photos via 1. tumblr 2. flickr 3. flickr}


Movie Reviews: Thumbs Up and Down

State of Play: Thumbs WAY up
Great movie. As a journalism major, it makes me question Cal's ethics in pursuing the story and his compromising position,

It was entertaining but that's all. Definitely not a good storyline, but I had pretty high expectations because I love Jennifer Garner.

I thought it would be more of a comedy than it was but I enjoyed the touching moments. They definitely fit in the story, which was good. And I love Emily Blunt.

Away We Go: Thumbs down
Maybe if I finished the movie I would have liked it more. I couldn't make myself finish it though. It moved way too slow and I didn't find it funny at all, which is too bad because I love John Krasinski.


Packers vs. Brett Favre

I love the Packers. With that said, I also still love Brett Favre. This doesn't mean that I don't like and trust Aaron Rodgers or that I'm not upset with Brett for the emotional roller coaster he caused during his "decision-making" period. It means that I can't remember a time in Green Bay without him, that I loved watching him play with childlike excitement and I still respect him as a
player. I hope he plays well as long as he stays unretired.

However, tonight is different. Tonight, he plays {as a Viking} against my beloved Packers.

Tonight, Brett Favre, I hope you choke. I hope you throw many of those interceptions that helped make you famous.

{image via sportsfanlive}

Is It December Yet?

Confession: It's early October and I'm already excited for Christmas.

I watched Miracle on 34th Street the other night, uploaded Christmas songs to my iPod {what wasn't there already :)} and started buying Christmas presents.

I'm so ready the holidays. Now I have to wait three months. Let the countdown begin.


Book Traveler

I can't afford to travel across the world and no one has built a machine to travel back in time yet. And so I read. I especially like books that tell of different cultures and times.

My aunt and I were just talking about our favorites (she likes the same types of books) and these are a few that we agreed are amazing reads:

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Bookseller of Kabul

I think I'm going to hide from the chilly weather in a coffee shop and re-read a couple of these soon.

{photo via weheartit}


Happy Weekend

What are you up to this weekend? I'm working at my friend's stand at the farmer's market, grabbing brunch with my parents, catching up on some reading at my favorite coffee shop, trying out a few new fall recipes, attempting to capture fall's beauty with my fancy camera and trying to come up with a Halloween costume idea.

Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!
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