Tonight I believe in manifestations.  Tonight I should be sleeping like the pugster beside me, but I’m still awake.

STUFFED after a dinner I helped cook in a kitchen big enough to fix things in (ahem unlike that one I have).  Marinated turkey, baked macaroni & cheese, corn souffle and potatoes (someone was craving carbs it seemed).  Followed by pumpkin ice cream and later chocolate & health toffee croissants I rolled while drinking a glass of Cupcake’s Red Velvet wine.  Seemed one of those nights that inspires memories.

I had no idea how memorable it was about to be.

Getting ready for bed (well..couch) & my sister came into the room followed by our parents.  Wanted me to make sure that I didn’t let her forget the tickets to the Panthers game tomorrow.  We got a few nosebleed seats cheap.  Might be top row of the stadium in section 525, but it was a live game & tailgating!

I grabbed the papers & stuck them with the bag I was moving my epi-pen & klonapin into to take to the game (they go everywhere with this girl! I am prepared even if I’m no girl scout.)  She just look at me.

Finally she asked if I even looked at the seats… well no.

When I did I thought I must be reading it wrong.  It took her pointing out that YES those were our tickets not joke ones…. FIFTH ROW SECTION 125!

EH WHAT?!? The Great Pumpkin came early with a surprise treat & of course they couldn’t pass up the chance for a lil Halloween trick.

On Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises from his pumpkin patch and flies through the air with his bag of toys to all the children.

Thank you Great Pumpkin.

It might be one of the coldest days to be there, but we are going to be there up close & personal.  Seeing each play  – well those on our end of the field anyway! 🙂  I can not wait!

Now what to wear & do I now take the good camera?

Ok I promise not to be one of those over think it chicks.  Stick with the plan, travel light & wear layers, but not so many I can’t get out of them to pee in a porta-potty tailgating if I need to!

Halloween… you are by far my favorite holiday in the year.

May be the first year I don’t have a costume all planned out, but I have plans and seems joyful surprises area all around me.  Grateful for Barris joining the flock, time with my family and now the Panthers game.

Oh & there is still time to carve the pumpkins.  Memories in the making to treasure forever.

Now I could kick myself for not bringing my blue hair dye or that glittery hat from new years in the Panthers’ colors.

Still going to be a GREAT Sunday!



Another “holiday” come & gone.  Sometimes I think I get grumpy about some holidays because they seem to put a spotlight on things I would rather not think about.

Things like this may have been the last one with a relative (which I didn’t even see yesterday) & that some of us don’t observe the holiday.   Just because everyone else is jumping from a bridge doesn’t mean I should.  I’m not into the easter thing, so it seemed a bit wrong to pretend to be in the spirit of community.  Sure I could play along, but doesn’t that in some way insult the whole meaning of the day?  Not to be offensive, but I’m not going to celebrate an idea I don’t find some truth that speaks to me in order to get free candy.  I believe that its better to respect the sanctity of it for those who do celebrate the real believe inspiring the celebration.

Or who knows… maybe I’m just grumpy about how easy things seem to be for some yet feel the challenge in reaching my own goals since they don’t seem to be the same as others.  Also a bit angry listening to the upteenth reminder of someone dying & coming back, when I know those I miss will never return the way I want them to & knowing that sooner than I want, more will be joining them on the other side.

Peep-lic transportation

Ok so I did enjoy some cadbury eggs during the weeks leading up to the day, but still I wasn’t faking the funk yesterday.  I let those that found meaning in the day have their day.

I listened to the “HOPPY EASTER” greetings & sadly viewed too many Happy KEASTER photos send to my phone, no need for everyone to forgo the fun.  Just wasn’t as great for me.  (& FRANKLY I DO NOT NEED TO SEE ANYMORE FAMILY TUSH!)

But part of me does feel days like this point out just how many others around me are so different from me.

Crayon Tips

But then again no one wants to color with a box of crayons all the same color.  Its the diversity that makes life so inspiring.  Some days you just end up being the crayon that gets left in the box unused.  I know growing up, my orange never got much attention til it was time to draw pumpkins…. then look out!  I could go through a few as the orange became the star of the page.

Dylan's Pumpkin (Drawing)

Samhain Sweets!

or Happy Halloween if you prefer…

either way TRICK OR TREAT!!!

Made some delish pumpkin chocolate cupcakes (Pack of Devil’s Food cake mix, can of pumpkin puree  &  1 cup water)

Use fun Halloween cupcake wrappers for kicks!

Then topped with vanilla icing & sprinkles as desired.

Don’t forget to leave one out for any ancestors who may come by to visit tonight.



Baxter was the white rabbit to my Ali in Wonderland.

Serenity Sunday

Exhausted.  Overwhelmed & already missing my family & the fun times we have had this past weekend.


It Taste Like Fall Around Here

Fall mornings should be special! My favorite way to begin the day is with a nice pumpkin spice latte, but some mornings it just isn’t an option.  Which is probably good for my wallet.

Still today was exciting since last night I picked up a jar of pumpkin butter!

Perfect way to jazz up the plan old piece of toast.

Delightful blend of pumpkin & spices from Oregon Growers & Shippers.  Can you tell I am a big fan of pumpkin? Also for anyone that has given up on gluten, pumpkin butter (at least this one & most I have seen) are gluten free!

Dinner however was incredible.

Basically I got lazy & decided to stay home tonight.  The goal was make something out of whatever I already had.

I ended up picking up some harvest pasta when I got the pumpkin butter so that was fresh on my mind.  Also had a sweet potato that was calling my name.

add some frozen spinach souffle, tuna & the thai peanut sauce from earlier in the week… & ta- dah – dinner!

Started by slicing the sweet potato into thin discs, spraying them with a splash of cooking oil then dusting them with some pumpkin pie spice.

Popped them in the oven & started on the pasta.

Once the water for the pasta was going, I got a chance to prep the tuna.  Lightly drizzled oil on the tuna with a sprinkle of garlic salt & freshly ground mixed peppercorns.  Then I topped it with the thai peanut sauce.

Had to wait for the sweet potatoes to finish before switching the oven to broil for the tuna.  While the pasta cooked & the potatoes finished I broke out an old favorite standby – spinach souffle.  Even as a kid it has been a favorite.  Seemed perfect to accompany the rest of the meal which needed a bit of green to go along with all the orange carbs.

All in all I loved dinner – even if it wasn’t anything planned out specially in advance.  Even if I did end up over broiling the tuna or as my mother would say, I actually cooked it.  I think wars have been waged over the proper doneness of tuna in my house – I’m a pink on the inside girl but this still tasted delicious with the thai sauce adding an extra note of flavor.

Now I’m stuffed.

The windows are open & letting in the slight breeze with the calm chill that tends to nip now & then this time of year.  Getting ready to relax with a glass of red wine, a snuggly pug & a good scary movie via Netflix. 🙂

Yup, its a pretty perfect ending to the day.


Pumpkin Devil’s Food Delight

(originally posted October 13, 2010)

So today for lunch I took the easy way out – the dreaded frozen box.
Wait before you click away, I did end up going a healthier route than mac & cheese or some breaded “chicken” & sides in institutionalized compartments.
I turned to Kashi.
Specifically I turned to PLANTAINS! A favorite of mine for sure.
Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake!
Plantains, black beans, sweet potato & kale – OH MY!

Might be in a box, but the spice is right on this one.
Doesn’t feel like I am short changing myself at all. The polenta & grains were a great touch! This vegan dish is full of flavor & fiber! 8 grams to be exact. Still I don’t feel bloated or like I ate a fiber bar. Just pleasantly full. Certainly don’t have the run down yuck feeling that some frozen “entrees” give. I feel like I had a real meal. Plus I never would have thought of adding the kale to the mix but it is great. Just barely there – not bitter like kale can be sometimes.
Also I am spending my lunch dreaming of two things….
One being the family vacation to Disney next week!

& the other is chocolate cake that is waiting at home for me!

Everyone dreams of chocolate cake now & then right?

This one at least is packed with a veggie boost added in there. One of my favorite parts of fall is pumpkins & I will try anything almost if you tell me it has pumpkin in it. When a friend mentioned that she tried a great recipe for cake that used pumpkin, I had to give it a shot. I am so glad I did. Now I feel a little less guilty having a slice knowing that I am getting something nutritious as well in each bite. Plus it adds a richness that hides the simplicity of the recipe.

Start with a standard box of devil’s food cake mix.

Add in one can of pumpkin (the small can of pumpkin, not the big can of pumpkin pie stuff!) and one cup of water. Mix away & toss into a prepared pan or cupcake pans.

Use the box directions to determine the heat of the oven & how long you should leave it in, but be careful. The pumpkin will add some time. Use a toothpick to determine if it is ready or not. The toothpick shouldn’t come out with a smear of wet batter on it when inserted in the middle. The texture of this cake is more fudgy than typical but you want fudge not soup.

Allow it to cool & then dive in!

I opted for just the cake itself, but I’m sure a good dusting of powdered sugar or icing layer would be splendid as well. Still I wasn’t going to add on calories I didn’t need. When something is good, it doesn’t need extra to make it work. Then again sometimes by adding a dash of pizazz you can make a star go from shine to sparkle!