Pumpkin Spice Mix

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Mix

We ran out of Pumpkin Spice Mix a little while ago. I’m actually surprised that little container lasted so long since I have developed a habit of putting into a lot of things – usually if it’s “fall-ish”and calls for cinnamon and/or another spice in this mix I just use pumpkin spice instead. I like it better.

We have started washing out and saving spice containers because we have been starting to make our own mixes as we run out when we can. Often, we have all the ingredients individually already so why buy another container to take up space. Plus, sometimes we modify it to our taste. I was happy to come across this recipe  by MyBakingAddiction.com and finally mixd it up tonight. Smells good!

Side note: I LOVE Post-Its Labels. I use for a lot of things, they stick great and come off when you need it to and they are quick and easy to use around the house.

Planning on trying my hand at making pumpkin puree from the pumpkins we picked up for Halloween so I might just have to try to make Pumpkin Pie!


Fall Fabric Wreath

Fall Fabric Wreath

Fall has come (in waves) to Tampa, Fl. I’m blogging while enjoying my homemade pumpkin spice iced coffee and with the windows open. Kelsey is playing with her fall-themed sensory box and books on the floor. We finally picked up some pumpkins and went to a pumpkin festival this weekend and plan to make some jack-o-lanterns later this week.

I little while ago, I picked up some fabric with coupons and found a large piece of cardboard that I could cut in to. I decided I would try my hand at a wreath for the front door – thank you Pintrest for giving me way too many ideas. I just wanted to keep mine simple and easy.

To start, I cut out a circle shape from the piece of cardboard. Then, I cut the brown fabric into 1/8 of a yard strips. I folded the sides in so the edges of the fabric would be covered and wrapped it around the circle, it took two strips to cover it, hot glueing down the ends as needed.

Next, I made the rosettes. I used one 1/4 of a yard strip and two 1/8 of a yard strips. There are tons of tutorials online to make them if you are looking for more instruction. Basically, I folded over the edges and ironed them down then twisted and wrapped like making a bun, hot glueing occasionally to keep it all together. Then, I glued it to a piece of felt and trimmed the felt so it wouldn’t show.

I then glued the rosettes to the fabric covered circle. I also glued some extra felt to the back to give it just a little more support. Finally, I cut one more 1 inch strip of fabric and attached it to the wreath with a larks head knot and made a bow for it to hang from.

Pretty simple, but it’s light weight – I hate things banging around when the door opens and closes. Since I think it went pretty well, I may try to get a little fancier and make a holiday one.

Bonus project: Fabric Flower Hair Clip

Before I cut down and made the rosettes, I cut out some circles for a fabric flower hair clip. Here’s my favorite one, but I made this one with just one layer and a gem.

Nine Months Old

October 14, 2011


It’s hard to believe that it has already been nine months and at the same time it’s like you’ve always been here. You have finally been with us as long as it took you to get here.

The 38 weeks I was pregnant with you were the happiest, scariest, and most filled with hope and dreams months of my life. I was
thrilled to find out I was having you and when the day finally came to go to the hospital to have you I was ready to meet you.

When you were born I was just staring at you from the bed as the nurses cleaned and examined you. I think those few minutes have been the scariest in my life so far – was everything alright with you? when would I get to hold you? did I deserve you? It was so surreal, you were actually here and you were mine.

You slept a lot but those few days I would keep you in the bed with me or in my arms and just look at you. I wanted to study your face every second I could. I wanted to touch your little fingers and, even though I wanted to keep them warm, I loved touching your little feet when they would escape from the blanket.

About 1 day old

We had a rough patch as reality set in and your father and I were new parents trying to figure out how to help you and care for you the best we could. As sleep deprived as those earlier months were, I still found myself awake thinking about you and hoping I was doing the best for you. Thankfully, we get to join the ranks of people that made it through.

You nine months now and, though you are still a baby, I can see toddlerhood coming up fast. You’ve been holding your head up to look at people since you were a few days old, sitting up since about three months, and crawling since about 6 months. You pull up on anything that isn’t flat on the ground, cruise on anything you can get your hands on, and have already taken a few steps by yourself here and there. You climbed up the levels at the playground the other day all by yourself. I have to stop myself from looking too far into the future to your steps across a stage somewhere getting your diploma and just enjoy this time now.

I’ve been taking you to a nearby splash park over the summer months and it’s been interesting to watch you get more inquisitive each time we go. Each time you are stronger and get more eager to explore the water. You like to put your hand out to feel the water land on your hand. You try to catch it leaves floating by – by the way you also seem to enjoy putting leaves in your mouth because if there are any nearby they will find their way there. You like smacking your hand or rubbing your toys on the ground and watching the water that splashes back up.

You are babbling a whole slew off sounds now. I’m sure it won’t be too long before you are saying Mama, Dada and probably doggie or kitty since you light up and get excited anytime when off them is nearby or walks in the room. Now, if we could just get you to pet them gently instead of pulling their fur out and trying to grab their whiskers.

One day you are going to be a beautiful young lady with the world at your feet, but for now you want me to hold you and be near. You like to smile at me and I love smiling back at that two tooth grin (you have your lower left and upper right front teeth starting to come in, my little Jackie lantern). You laugh so easily. You are observant around other people and tend to just
watch and figure things out – ask me about WeePlay sometime. I get comments all the time about what a good baby you are, how quiet you are, how well-behaved you are, etc when we are out and about.

5 months oldI enjoy that we are starting to be able to have meals together as a family. Right now you are still on fruit and vegetable purees but
you are starting to learn how to use those front teeth on big chunks of food like watermelon. You like having something in each hand and still eat with both hands. You are a Cheerios junkie and love them at all times of the day, diving into them as soon as I have put them down for you and leaving a trail of them wherever we go. (By the way, your Aunt Erin says it is perfectly fine to continue to do that into adulthood.) You also like to try to eat spaghetti noodles and green beans but actually succeed at eating peas, actually you end up putting a bunch in your mouth at the same time – some actually get swallowed, some hang around
in your cheeks for a while. I’m hoping you’ll figure out that you don’t need to put ten of something in your mouth at the same time some time soon.

I still like to look at your face when you are sleeping in my arms – your long eyelashes and pouty lips and cute little nose. I love
feeling your little hands on my arm or chest when you gently scratch me while you nurse. I still stop and wonder what color your hair and eyes and going to look like finally and who you will end up looking most like. (Your eyes started off blue but gradually turned a greenish-brown so far. Your hair is a light brown – light in the sun but dark when wet. You started off looking a lot like
me but have gradually started looking more like your father.)

You have slowly become a little person, not just an eating and sleeping machine. You are clapping your hands and shaking your

8 months old

toys. You look to play with books and starting to get the hang of turning pages, even if I’m not done reading what is on the page. You like to close things – lids, books, etc. You like playing with your reflection in the mirror. You do the cutest little poses playing with a hula hoop. You definitely know what a camera is and stop whatever you are doing when it comes out. You also love to try to
get the remotes (we’ve given you one to a tv that is not plugged in so you won’t come after ours), our cell phones (you’ve made a few calls), the laptop (I bought you a laptop toy that you’ll play with for a little when I’m on mine), and the cameras.

There are so many things I want for you and hope to give you a life filled with happiness. For now, however, I just really hope to enjoy each day with you and watch you grow and develop before my eyes.

I love you so much, Kelsey girl.

Love always,


Apple Crisp and the First Cold Front

As soon as September rolled around, my taste buds told me it was time for Fall treats even if it was still 90-something degrees outside.

I somehow convinced my husband to make a homemade pumpkin spice syrup recipe I found online. It’s not horrible, but not worth the time and mess it made. I have, however, been putting it into lattes and even just regular coffee and plan to use it here and there until it’s done. I think my husband is probably going to come with a bottle from Starbucks at some point. I guess I’ll stick to this Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe for the time being (I thought it needed more sugar but I have a sweet tooth). Hoping to have some pumpkin pancakes sometime soon.

After a bit of a hiatus from baking, I started back in this week just as the first cold front of the season came through. I attended a surprise birthday and house warming party for a friend and in addition to picking up kitchen items for her, guests were asked to include a recipe or two. One of the items I picked up was an apple corer so I had apple on the brain. Enter the apple crisp! After coming up with this variation based on a few I found online, I had to test it!

I think it came out pretty good. It has plenty of crumble on top (my favorite part) and the apples were nice and mushy (either use less water or cook a little less if you don’t like it too mushy). I used 2 Gala apples and 1 Granny Smith and actually left the peel on.

We’ve been munching on it here and there the past day or two. Add a little ice cream and caramel sauce on top and you can’t go wrong!

Apple Crisp

  • 5 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced

    Apple Crisp

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Place the sliced apples in 9 x 13 pan. Mix the white sugar, ½ tablespoon flour and
    spices together, sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
  3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, walnuts and
    melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes.

I’m looking forward to many more fall recipes and more fronts come through – thank you Pintrest for a place to put them all! We’ve been able to open the windows up here and there this week and enjoy bike rides around the park. We’ve also started our container herb garden up again. I even put a long sleeve onesie on Kelsey when we went to the park the other day.

Welcome Fall!!

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