Update 2: Fall {2012} To-Do List Complete-Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

I’m happy to say I completed all nine items on my Fall {2012} Do-List! (See the full list here and my first update here.) The last thing to check off my list was taking Lauren to her first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and I’m so glad we did!

We headed into the city on Wednesday morning so we could enjoy some pre-parade fun.  After checking into our hote, we had lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Carmine’s.  Then walked down Broadway to see the parade balloons being inflated.  The Wednesday before the parade the balloons are inflated on the blocks on either side of the American Museum of Natural History (77th & 81st).  It is crowded, but it’s really fun to walk around and see.  This is a true New York activity and a favorite for our family.  When Andy and I lived in the city we’d go after work each year (even years that we didn’t go to the parade).  (Sorry,  I don’t have any Lauren-free pictures to share.) If you’re ever in the city for the parade this is a MUST DO.

After checking out the balloons we headed across the park to the East side for a little shopping.  Of course, we had to take Lauren to FAO Swartz.  It wasn’t her first visit, but she still had a wonderful time picking out Christmas gifts for her cousins, and herself.  After that, we headed to my all-time favorite store, Bloomingdales.  We ate some Forty Carrots frozen yogurt (another NYC MUST) and shopped until Lauren dropped, or rather had a mega-meltdown in the cashmere salon.

Then it was back to the hotel to (try and) rest up for the big day ahead.  Here are just a few of the (hundreds of) pictures we took…

We left our hotel between 6:00 and 6:30 AM.  Our goal was 6:30, and if you know me, you know I’m ALWAYS late, so this was HUGE for me! To be honest I was so excited and nervous about getting a viewing spot I could barely sleep the night before! Read more [+]

Thanksgiving 2012

It’s a big week for us! Yesterday and today Lauren and I have been busy with friends, activities (gymnastic, library and crafts), and errands. Tomorrow we head into the city with Andy.  I’m looking forward to visiting Bloomingdales and a few other favorite stores before we head to the upper west side to the Natural History Museum to see the parade balloons be inflated.  Lauren LOVES balloons (I think all two-year-old do) and I cannot wait for her to see the huge character ones in the parade.  Then we’ll spend the night in the city and wake up bright and early to see the parade in person! I’m just as excited to see in as I was the first time Andy and I went a few years ago.  I think I’m actually more excited this time because I can’t wait to see  Lauren experience the excitement of it all.  I haven’t been a mother long, but I know those moments when you get to see your child delight in the wonder of something are some of the most amazing parenting moments of all.  I just can’t wait! Read more [+]

Student of Martha: October 2012-Caramel Corn

I haven’t been diligent in my studies lately, but for the first time in a while, I tried a recipe from Living.  As soon as the October issue arrived in my mailbox I knew I had to try making homemade caramel corn.

Who could resist that beautiful picture? It just seems like the perfect fall treat!

I know I’ve probably eaten caramel corn before, but I’ve never made it.  Something about using hot oil and popping my own corn really scared me, not to mention the hot boiling sugar.

Well, I faced my fears, with Andy help at the stove and I’m so glad I did.  This recipe is absolutely delicious and it’s very fun and easy to make.  We made a first batch just before Halloween and then we ended up making a second batch to enjoy.  Yum!

The ingredients are super simple. I love the POP KIT I found at Target-premeasured kernels and oil!

Read more [+]

Thirty Days of Gratitude

Originally posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012

I think of myself as a pretty grateful person.  I try not to take anything, big or small, for granted.  I do try to tell the people in my life thank you and share my true feelings, but I can always do more, do better.  For the past few years, lot of friends have used them month of November to openly and consciously share what they are thankful for.  One thing for each of the thirty days of the month. I admire that, and this year I’m going to join them.

November 1st: I am so thankful that our little family made it through Hurricane Sandy safely and together. We were able to prepare ahead of time and had no damage to our home, such a blessing. We’re still praying for those who were not so fortunate.
Read more [+]

Thanksgiving Treats

Gobble, gobble! I love baking and crafting, so I always swoon over any edible, crafty treat!  With Turkey Day just around the corner, I’m thankful that there are so many cute choices to celebrate with.

Here’s my round-up of the best Thanksgiving themed treats the web has to offer. (If you’d like detailed instructions for making any treat just click the picture.)

Rice Krispie Treat & Candy Corn Turkeys

Oreo & Reese’s Turkeys

Turkey Sugar Cookies

Oreo & Pretzel Stick Turkeys

Vanilla Oreo Turkeys

Turkey & Reese’s Rice Krispie Pops

And what would Thanksgiving be without the Pilgrims and Indians?  We can’t forget about them…

Pilgrim Hats

(Scroll all the way down on the link to see these.)

Indian {Caramel} Corncob

Here are a couple more ideas I have that I just haven’t gotten around to making…

-The colors of Reese’s Pieces (yellow, orange, and brown) are just perfect for fall.  Why not make you favorite chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie recipe and add Reeces Pieces?

-Or how about a Thanksgiving Snack Mix? I’m thinking some combination of the following indredients: (choose your favorites) caramel corn or kettle corn, Crasins, mini pretzels, Cheese-Its, your favorite nut(s), and either candy corn or M&Ms. (And yes, I would pick out the blues and greens to make it fall colors.)

Even if you don’t have kids, I think these treats are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.  They would make great neighbor gifts or would be fun to take into the office. And if you’re looking for some cute (and free) Thanksgiving printables to embellish your treats with check out these from blog Maddycakes Muse.

Autumn To-Do List

Happy First Day of Fall!

As I’ve mentioned before, autumn is probably my favorite season.  In fact, when Andy and I first found out we were moving from Texas to New York one of the things I was most excited about was finally being able to experience a “real fall” with cool weather and changing leaves.  (Wearing shorts in 85 degree weather on Thanksgiving is depressing.) No matter where I live, autumn brings so many wonderful things to look forward to each year.  Of course, I love back-to-school, and being from Texas football was always a huge part of fall for me.  Now, I want to share all these fantastic experiences with Lauren so I’m making an “Autumn To-Do List.” (My inspiration came from Paige over at Paiges of Styles and her “Christmas Bucket List” from last year.)

Autumn To-Do List

1. Pick Apples-one of my favorite days of the year

2. Make some new fall wreaths and flower arrangements

3. Pick Pumpkins

4. Buy fresh, local mums, Indian corn, gourds, a bail of hay, and a giant pumpkin to decorate the house with.

5. Go to a corn maze!

6. Carve a Pumpkin

7. Dress Lauren up for Halloween (At this point the plan is for me to make her costume(s).  Wish me luck.)

8. Host a fun Halloween Party for friends

9. Sit on the deck, drink hot apple cider, and enjoy the view of fall foliage right in my own backyard (I’m so grateful!)

10. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Lauren’s not ready to go in person yet, but next year…)

11. Make a Thanksgiving Feast with Andy.  Enjoy all the deliciousness as a family, and take time to be thankful for all we have.

I can’t wait to do it all! I hope I remembered to write everything down.  I may have to come back and add more.  I’ll try to check back in and post pictures as I cross things off.  Leave me a comment about what’s on your fall to-do list, and so come back soon!