Friday, September 28, 2012

The Tulsa State Fair is upon us!

(Can we just take a moment to discuss why it's called a "state" fair? 
Tulsa is not a state.
It's not the only fair ever in the state.
Places all over do this so it's not just us.

Ok, now that that's out of my system, let's get to the good stuff.

My first Tulsa Fair experience was with my cousin, Ashley, two years ago. 
This year, Ashley and I are going to take Sis and her family for their first Tulsa Fair experience and I'm giddy as a little school girl.

There is no better person to go to the fair with than Ashley.
Her excitement level is absolutely contagious.
This skinny gal makes a list of all the foods she wants to try and goes several times to make sure she checks them all off the list.
No joke.

Here are some of our pictures of our food tour when we went in 2010.
We LOVE food on a stick.
It helps if said item is fried.

When Ash first asked if I'd had cheese on a stick I was imagining a mozzarella cheese stick on a stick. Boy was I wrong.  It's with american cheese and is like a grilled cheese on a stick.
That there is a gift from tiny baby Jesus.

This year, cheese on a stick and corn on the cob are a must.
The corn is especially required because it's one of my nephew, Grant's, favorite foods.  He could eat his weight in corn on the cob.
If you haven't seen a 1 year old eat corn on the cob, it's amusing.

The local paper published a list of some new items being featured this year.

Here are some I'm intrigued to try:
Beer-battered bacon (bacon anything is a must)
Deep-fried Nutter Butters (love me some peanut butter)
Carrot cake funnel cake (if this thing has cream cheese involved I'm there!)
Cheese jalapeno tater munchers (mmm!)
Pumpkin spice balls on a stick (I'm intrigued)

Here are some things I have no desire on God's green earth to try EVER:
Chocolate-covered corndogs
Armadillo eggs: chocolate dipped and stuffed fried jalapenos
Fried watermelon
Fried bubble gum

The other fun aspect of the Tulsa Fair is the people watching.  
It's like the "People of Walmart" converging on a fair.  

Everyone has been instructed to have their camera phones at the ready to capture both the food and the people watching.

Next week, expect a full recap of the feast and festivities.
Great food.
Great family.
Great fun.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I write this post with no shame!
A little shame.
Just a little bit.

These are TV shows I've teared up (or cried) while watching recently:

Cheer on CMT
 I teared up when they finally hit their routine in the big competition.
No lie.

Top Chef Masters
(The episode where culinary students helped the master chefs.)
 I got teary, on the verge of a cry, while listening to the parents of the culinary students talk about how proud they are of their kids.

Dina's Party on HGTV
 I teared up while listening to the home owner talk about how special her relationship with her sisters is to her.
Yep, I'm a total sissy.

The Voice
 Watching Alexix Marceaux's videos of the hurricane Katrina footage and hearing her experience brought me to tear. 
For reals.

This whole breast cancer storyline with Christina has made me cry like a little girl.  I was especially moved when Christina was looking in the mirror and it sinks in she's got breast cancer.  Oh. The tears. So many.

The Today Show
Image: Mei Xiang in 2009
If you watched the coverage of the panda cub that died and didn't cry then you have no soul.  The images of the mama panda bear crying out when she realized her cub had died.  So very heartbreaking.  But is that enough? No. They talk about how the mama panda is still cradling a toy. I may or may not have a tear in my eye just writing about it again.

So, do you see what I did there?  I put my ridiculous cries at the top and then whittled away at the ridiculousness with two really sad ones hoping you'd forget about my happy tears for New Jersey cheerleaders.  

What we've learned here is that 1) I watch too much TV and 2) it doesn't matter if it's reality, the news or fictional tv...I am a great big cry baby.

Now, your call...sissy or compassionate? 
Really it's day 3 for me because I skipped yesterday, but shhhh, don't tell.
Today's prompt is to share your favorite fall craft or autumn recipe.
This one is right up my alley.  
Crafts? Yes, please!
But here's my dilemma...just one?

Eh, I'm not one for rules so I'm going to highlight the four Halloween crafts I've done so far this year. (You can click on the title to get more info on each one.)

For this novice sewer, these were a breeze to make.

#2) My nephew's Bacon & Eggs Costume
I can NOT wait for Halloween to take Grant trick-or-treating with his Bacon & Eggs costume and his trick-or-treat bag. So cute!

I adore my Halloween wreath!

This is the first year I've done a Halloween tree.
I LOVE it!

I have one more idea up my sleeves to try this weekend.
I can't wait to share its success (and hopefully not failure).

So, it's clear what one of my favorite parts of fall is.

What's your favorite recipe or craft to tackle when the leaves start falling?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Did I scare you?
Ok, I'll try again later.

Happy Wednesday, folks.
It's time for some more of my favorite Halloween pins.
You're welcome.

How adorable is this little number?
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Remember the lamp from A Christmas Story?
PS: Doesn't she look like Tamara from RHofOC?
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Now this is a creative costume!
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If you're in the market for a pretty witch's hat?
Check out the super easy tutorial.
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A Mausoleum is a great addition to your garage door
to creep things up for Halloween.
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Or how about some broom parking at your front door?
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Check out this super easy way to jazz up
some solo cups for a Halloween party.
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Speaking of googly eyes, aren't these shoes fun?
Just glue googly eyes to a pair of thrift store heels.
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Marshmallow pops are delicious and these look just plain fun.
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Super cute Halloween cookies!
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And I wish I had the dexterity to do this to my nails.
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You can see the rest of my pins and follow me on Pinterest here.
Now, hop on over to visit Michelle, at The Vintage Apple, and see what everyone else has been pinning.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Today's prompt...what does fall look like to you in pictures?
Yes, you can thank the SITS Girls for blessing you folks with two posts a day this week. It's a gift, really.

I'm loving their fall theme because fall is hands down my all time favorite season of all time.  

Things I love about fall...

The first thing that comes to mind is the leaves.
I loved the leaves falling and changing until I had to start raking them in my yard. Now I have a different view on them. It's a love hate relationship.

Next on the list is FOOTBALL!!
Funny Sports Ecard: All spring and summer she was a graceful, classy lady...then football season started.
It's true, I am.
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Especially these guys...
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3rd on the list is back to school supplies...

I get giddy looking thru the aisles of stores at all the school supplies each fall.  The smell of freshly sharpened pencils makes me think of fall.

4th up is rain.
This Seattle native loves her some rain. 
Whenever it rains, I get the urge to curl up on the couch with some soup and listen to the rain hit the tin awnings.  

You can find the recipe for this yummy soup here.
I'm not normally a soup kinda gal...until fall.
I especially love me some tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich for dipping.

And finally....HALLOWEEN!!
OMG, hands down my all time favorite holiday of all time.
Don't believe me?
It's September and I've already put up a Halloween Tree!
More about that on today's other post here.
I could go on and on and on and on, but I'll stop here.
What's your favorite holiday?

Stop on over and check out some other 
We all know Halloween holds a special place in my heart.
LOVE the holiday.
Most years, I wait until October 1st before I do any decorating,
but this year I've been itching to decorate early.

Have you seen a Halloween Tree before? 
If not, swing by my place and you'll see a lovely one.
Sis and Chris picked me up this orange pre-lit tree as a thank you for watching Grant on Thursday nights. 
I get time with my nephew AND a Halloween Tree? 
Talk about a lucky girl.

I've had the tree for a few weeks, but had resisted putting it up so early...until this weekend.  Because, let's face it, putting up the first of the Halloween decorations is MUCH more fun than studying for a Macroeconomics exam. (I know I'll regret that choice later this week as the exam looms closer, but until then, I'm so glad I put up the tree!)

I started out by wrapping some orange ribbon and black tulle around the tree for garland.  I also used strips of some green scrap fabric to tie to the ends of some of the branches to give it a little more dimension and color.  I also wrapped some scrap black fabric around the base for a tree skirt.
Every year my Auntie P, my mom's sister, sends me some sort of witch in honor of my mom since her birthday was Halloween.  I decided the witch's hat would be a perfect topper combined with a "Boo to you" sign I'd gotten at Hobby Lobby for $2.00.
When my sweet friend, April, got wind of my plans for a Halloween Tree, she brought me these three adorable Halloween ornaments.  That baby girl is just so darn thoughtful.
Isn't she the sweetest?

Did you notice the ghost cupcake at the bottom of the last picture?
Mom and I used to collect Christopher Radko Halloween and Christmas ornaments together. That was one of them.  Here are two more.
I love blown glass ornaments almost as much as I love Halloween.
True story.

Included in the tree is also one of my favorite bats Mom and I had gotten at a craft fair.
You can see in the top left corner of this picture that I used some solid black ornaments from Garden Ridge for filler ornaments. I used black pipe cleaners to attach them to the tree.

Here's another witch Auntie P has sent to me.
She's just too darn thoughtful too. 
I love each and every one of the witches she's sent me.
I also love her.
She's one amazing auntie.
I can't wait for her visit in 15 days.
Not that I'm counting or anything. 

So, I guess you could say I especially love this tree because it not only reminds me of my mom, but it has so many memories and reminders of wonderful people in my life.
Yep, I'm one lucky gal.

Didn't the tree turn out great?

I also can't wait to put out some of my other decorations.
This was the front of my house last year.
You can see some of last year's Halloween here and here.

Have you ever put up a tree for a holiday other than Christmas before?
If so, what holiday and how did you decorate the tree?

PS: Thank you to all of you gals who helped me
reach the 100 GFC follower mark!!
You gals are the very, very best!

This post is being shared on the following blogs:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Two posts in one day?
You're welcome.

I'm participating in SITS Girls' Fall Back Into Blogging this week.
This means you all get a little something extra.
You're so lucky.
Today's writing prompt was to share some sort of school story.
Be it you, your kids, anything.

When I think about school stories I immediately think about grade school for some reason.  Maybe I blocked all the other years out?  Probably.

The first memory that came to mind for me was moving to Seattle when I was 6, about to turn 7.  We had lived in South Carolina for over 3 years.  Now, count back from 6 and you'll see I learned to talk while living deep in the south.  Yes, this means I spoke with the slowest, thickest southern drawl you can ever imagine.

Now, imagine taking this little girl...
Yes, that's me in the pink shirt with the high water
 pants, socks, sandals and thick thick bangs.
...who came home from day care one day saying,
"Mahmmmah, mahmmmma, 
I got miyyy owwn cuuuuuubbyyyy."

I'm talking thick accent.

Then transplant her to the Pacific North West where people speak normally.  All the kids in my 1st grade class AND my teachers used to ask me where I was from just so they could hear me say, "Chaarrrlestoooonn, Souuuttthhhh Caaaarrrrooooollliiiinnnnaah."

It was horrible!
But kinda funny now that I look back on it.

So, needless to say, since living in Oklahoma, 
I've DREADED picking up any kind of accent.  
This story is why.

Thanks, South Carolina and your slow southern dialect, 
 but this girl refuses to fall victim twice.

I like to think it went away quickly. 
At least by 2nd grade.
Speaking of 2nd grade, here's my class picture. 
(I'm in the front, 4th from the left in the white skirt, purple top and my bangs parted down the middle. I can always tell when Papa was home for picture days because our bangs are clipped back. He HATED hair in our face.)

I swear Washington is a happy place. 
I have no idea why only about 3 of us were smiling.

What did kids make fun of you for?
There are so many shepherd's pie recipes that it's hard to call one original.
I'm sure there are 100's of recipes just like it out there.
But this one really was me winging it in the kitchen with what I had.  
No Pinterest.  
No recipe searches.  
Just me.

And I must say, these ended up being my most delicious cup recipe yet!

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 small onion, diced
1 jar beef gravy
Mashed potato pouch
1 box w/ 2 pie crusts
Frozen peas/carrots
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Prepare the mashed potatoes according to the pouch instructions.  
(I use the simple kind that just required adding 2 cups boiling water.)

Brown hamburger meat with diced onion and whatever seasonings you prefer.
(I always add black pepper and some Paula Deen's House Seasoning.)
 Stir in the gravy and heat until bubbly.
 Remove from heat and let cool a bit while you prepare the muffin tins.

Cut circles of dough a little bigger than the size of the cup.
(I used a tumbler and it worked well.)
 Press the circles into the bottom of cup.
Fill each cup with a scoop of beef mixture, frozen veggies, some cheese and a spoon full of mashed potatoes.
There wasn't enough dough to cut another 12 circles, so I used a smaller glass to cut 12 small circles.  I cut several slits in each piece of dough.  The allows venting, but it also allows the dough to stretch and cover the cups.
 Brush the top of each cup with an egg wash.
(I also added a bit of fresh ground pepper to the tops.)
 Bake at 350* for about 45 minutes or until 
the crust is crispy and golden brown.

Now, it always helps if you have a sweet tabby cat supervising to make sure you did everything correctly.
Luna is so silly.  She knows the cart at the end of the counter is as far as she's allowed to go so she sits there and watches every move I make, never once leaving her spot.

Now, go out and give these a try. 
They are delicious!!
Let's face it, the best part of any pie is the crust,
and this has plenty of crust. 

Click on the tag "Cup Creations" at the top 
of this post to find some of my other cup recipes.