Easy Fall Recipe- Zuppa Tuscana Soup

Taste of Italy

Bring a little taste of Italy to your home this Fall!

Fall recipes are a big hit right now in our home and I am excited to start cooking them.

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stupidphotoa

 

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Taste Testers

The littles enjoyed spending time in the kitchen snacking while I chopped.

 

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian Mild sausage or Hillshire Smoked Saugage Link shopped
  • 1 large diced yellow onion
  • 1/3 lb. pancetta or bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream (optional)
  • 3 medium russet potatoes sliced in half, and then in 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 cups kale, chopped or spinache
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; remove sausage from casings and sauté until it’s nice and brown; use wooden spoon to break up into small chunks. Drain (excess fat) and set aside. In the same skillet, sauté pancetta, onions and garlic over medium high heat for approximately 8-9 minutes, or until the onions are soft; drain and set aside.
  2. Place water and chicken broth in a large pot; bring it to a boil. Add potatoes, sausage and bacon pancetta to pot; simmer for 25-30 minutes. (you can cook less, I like my potatoes slightly overcooked, kind of creamy). Add cream into a pot and bring it a boil; season with salt and pepper; add kale and turn off the heat.
  3. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

 

Happy Fall Y’all

Enjoy!

 

Princess Aprons {Handmade Gifts}

princess apron header

I saw a picture of very cute Princess aprons when I was on Pinterest (of course) and I thought dress up aprons was a fabulous idea. They would be able to be worn by kids of all ages and would be so much more sturdy than flimsy costumes.  I just couldn’t bring myself to buy them they were sooooo expensive.  I decided I would try and figure out how to make them.

I was successful and now I will pass it on to all of you!!

I Am Sharing The Pattern With You!

They turned out to be very inexpensive and easy to make. The first one took me about an hour because I was playing around with the pattern and the rest only about 20 minutes.

You can really make as many different kinds as your imagination allows. I am making a Cinderella, Snow White, Merida, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Little Mermaid.

aprons

 

What You Need:

Here is the basic pattern for you to sew your very own. I am definitely not a professional sewer or pattern maker so bare with me. I made these for my 4 and 6 year old but my models were my 8 and 10 year old so as you can see they fit a variety of sizes!

princess apron9

 

Directions:

Step 1: I am going to talk you through the basic apron of Snow White. I will add the extra pattern pieces for other pieces later. First thing you need to do is cut your fabric. The top piece is blue and will need to be a 9 X 9 inch square (Piece A). The bottom piece of fabric is a 22 X 22 inch square (Piece B). I accidentally cut my fabric the wrong size and that is why mine has a ruffle on the bottom, oops it happens when you have kids climbing on your sewing table;)

Step 2: Next iron the edges in on three sides of the cut squares. Piece A and B

Step 3: Then sew each of the sides that are ironed with a 1/4 in seam allowance. Piece A ad B.

princess apron1

 

Step 4: Now you get to use my Fabulous Time Saving Ruffle Tutorial video to gather the top edge of the bottom of the skirt on Piece B.

princess apron2

 

Step 5: Use pins and pin together the bottom of Piece A and the gathered top of B. I like to sew it twice to make it more sturdy.

princess apron4

 

Step 6: Next cut your ribbon to make Piece C and D. The waist ribbon is 48 inches (Piece C) and the strap for the apron is 22 inches (Piece D – cut 2).

Step 7: Pin Piece C across the middle where the two fabrics meet and sew along both edge.

princess apron7

 

Step 8: To attach Piece D to the top, fold over the ribbon to help with fraying before sewing it and add a pin to each corner (see pic below).

princess apron5

 

Step 9: Sew a square, to secure the folded ribbon (from Step 8),  so that it is extra sturdy.

princess apron6

 

Step 10: That is just about it for a basic apron! I use this fabulous Fray Block to keep my ribbon from fraying. You add it to any ribbon edge you have cut. I usually add this on at the very end, but you can do it any time.

princess apron8

There you go!

Embellishments and Tips

Any embellishments that you want to add can be added and they can be made out of any color. The possibilities are endless with these things.

As you can see I made some with scalloped tops and added little aprons to others. I just traced a large can I had in my sewing room for these things, but the basic size for the fabric stays the same.

apron

I would love to see what you come up with. PLEASE SHARE!!!

 

 

 

Foam Faced Pumpkins – Alternative to Pumpkin Carving and Knife Free

 

Pumpkin decorating

We learned our first year back in Arizona that we can not carve our pumpkins as early as we could in Utah or they get incredibly gross! We haven’t even had much luck when we paint them a few weeks early. Carving pumpkins is also my husband’s tradition with the kiddos and with his work schedule last year, we simply did not have time for him to sit with the kids to carve. So, I came up with this alternative to pumpkin carving that still let the kiddos get creative and the they ended up really liking it!

What You Need:

  • Sheets of foam in multiple colors
  • Push Pins – any type work great, but the large colored end ones, where easiest to use because they did not go through the foam as easy
  • Scissors
  • Markers for tracing/sketching
  • Any extra supplies desired to decorate like cardboard, tulle, paper, etc.

 

Directions:

Step 1: Layout desired supplies and explain to the kiddos they can create any face they want. It took my kiddos a few minutes to figure out what/how we were going to do this, but once they understood they got pretty creative.

Unique pumpkin decorating

 

Step 2: Sketch and cut desired look. We staretd with the face and then they moved to hats and hair. Doing a face alone is just fine, but I bet your kiddo will also want to start filling all empty spaces!

Pumpkin decorating ideas

 

Step 3: Use pins to apply the foam face parts. We found it easiest when they left a small gap when applying them (don’t push the pin ALL the way to the pumpkin. The gap keeps the foam from slipping past the pin…see the left pin on the left?)

Pumpkin faces

 

Step 4: Show off and enjoy!

My daughter’s Pumpkin Princess

Alterntative to Pumpkin Carving

 

My son’s Soldier Pumpkin with a laser sword (the curls are the laser)

Pumpkin carving alternatives

 

I traded off knives for scissors and foam and I think they turned out pretty cute!

 

 

ENJOY!!!!

The Love Dare Challenge {Day 17}

Have you ever seen a movie or read a book that just sticks with you? A few years ago, my sister-in-law kept telling me about this movie that I needed to watch. The movie was called (affiliate link) Fireproof based off the book, or more like based around the book, (affiliate link) The Love Dare. Finally while in town and at her house, I had the chance to watch and it and WOW! If you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, you can currently watch it via Netflix or I saw it on amazon for $5 for purchase and less for renting, too. It’s definitely worth the watch! It’s one of those movies that may be slightly uncomfortable to watch at first because it points out feelings you may be having about your own marriage or relationship, but by the end of the movie, you will feel awesome or a strong desire to be more awesome!

Fun Fact: Kirk Cameron is one of the main actors and I love his moral integrity when it comes to acting and life in general.  He is one actor that holds to his standards and makes his acting work with them instead of tossing them aside for the gig.  According to IMDB, Kirk “received no financial compensation whatsoever for acting in Fireproof (2008), and does not accept any royalties from the film.” As you can tell, I’m super impressed with him!

Love Dare - Day 17 - FunOnaDime.netTravel Games

 

Day 17 – Challenge

I joined in on a The Love Dare Challenge (see details below) and picked the lucky Day 17 because that is the day my hubby and I got married. After 10 years of marriage, I can admit that we always have room for improvement. Always! This particular challenge I found a little difficult for me to put into words. A few thoughts and questions that came to my head as I was reading this chapter…Do you feel emotionally safe sharing whatever with your spouse? Do you talk when your spouse gets home at the end of the day?

Being emotionally vulnerable (i.e. sharing dreams, thoughts, not feeling like you have to walk on eggshells, not ashamed, etc) can be really hard to achieve. In my case, I love to talk, but I’ll keep that kind of stuff to myself for the most part. My husband, on the other hand, has a job where he talks and listens to others all day. By the time he gets home his brain is t.i.r.e.d. and is in no mood to talk much, so I decided  for a long time not to burden him with a lot of “my thoughts.” I thought I was for the best, but in our case I feel like it was holding us back too. The author points out that “regardless of your situation, love can help you discover intimacy with your spouse.” Our Heavenly Father loves us warts and all and we should strive to achieve that sort of relationship with our spouse and of course, you always have to start with you. Show patience, show love, show acceptance. Remembering that this is a 1 day challenge and after a lot of thinking, I decided to throw all caution to the wind and give a few things a try…

  • I decided to have no expectations on how our conversations or on how anything else should go when my hubby gets home from work and be available to listen and not judge.
  • My goal is to just let him be him, ask him for help if I need it (and not assume he sees chaos and will jump in! lol) and to love him.

The results…I did not really expect to see anything that particular night (because I didn’t have any expectations, right?!?) and maybe it was because I had been thinking about it for a few days and/or trying a few of the other previous days challenges. But what happened, we had an excellent night and have been having pretty good nights since. He usually comes home exhausted and that night he came home and actually started a conversation. I was pleasantly surprised and have no regrets!

This has been getting kind of fun and encourage anyone and everyone to give these daily challenges a look and a try no matter what state your marriage is in (excellent or in need of a jolt!). You won’t regret it either!

 

Take The Love Dare

If you want to follow along and take The Love Dare for yourself, you can find the previous weeks below. I have also created a Love Dare Pinterest board that you can follow along as well for future weeks.

Week 1 can be found HERE. Week 2 HERE.

The Love Dare ChallengeWelcome to Week 3 of the Blogger Love Dare! I’m so thankful that you are here & I really hope you are finding new blogs & inspirational ladies to follow, but also – that you are staying up on each of the daily dares & seeing an improvement in yourself & in your marriage (troubled or not).

We’ve got a great line up of ladies & dares this week. Be sure to check all of their blogs daily for insight, inspiration and another perspective on relationships and marriage. Follow us on Instagram (#bloggerlovedare) to find out which blog to read each day!

 

Day 15: Love is Honorable
shambrayBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST
LD15

 

Day 16: Love intercedes
tammiBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST
LD16

 

Day 17: Love promotes Intimacy
MichelleBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST
LD17

Day 18: Love seeks to Understand
LDANNEBLOG // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST
LD18

 

Day 19: Love is Impossible

raewynBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST
LD19

Day 20: Love is Jesus Christ
AshleyBLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST
LD20

Day 21: Love is satisfied in God
megan1BLOG // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // INSTAGRAM // PINTEREST
LD21

 

And there ya have it. 7 more AMAZING ladies; all here to share a fresh perspective and their journey through marriage. I hope you have found someone who caught your eye, who shares a similar story & ultimately someone you can reach out too. We are all here for you. Keep it up & BOOYAH for Week 3. See you on instagram #bloggerlovedare

 

Pumpkin Faced Pancakes

 

Regardless what time of year it is, my kiddos like pancakes and they like them even better with a face! Being Halloween season, I think it is a perfect time for Pumpkin Faced Pancakes. They are super easy to make and the smiles you get in return are totally worth it!

P1120650Pumpkin Pancakes

 

What You Need:

  • Bowl
  • Measuring cup/spoons
  • Wire whisk
  • Squeeze bottle – you can find them in the cake decorating section and in the silverware area/tupperware area at the store or at the dollar store (2 for $1!). An old ketchup bottle works great too!
  • Funnel – very helpful when adding batter to squeeze bottle, but not necessary
  • Favorite pancake batter
  • Pan
  • Spatula
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

photo 3-001Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Directions:

Step 1: Prepare your favorite pancake batter and fill a squeeze bottle with the batter. If you are using a thick batter, thin it out with some milk (before adding it to the bottle) so that it can squeeze out of the bottle easier. When it comes to pancakes, we have many helpers in the kitchen!

photo 2-001Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Step 2: Preheat the pan to a medium. After it was warm, we found it best to keep it on a medium low (a 2 on my stovetop) so we had time to make the entire pumpkin face before it burned.

 

Step 3: Design your pumpkin face, let it sit for a minute and then ad 1/3 cup pancake mix over it. I used the circle in the center of the pan to keep my faces a reasonable size.

2014-10-20Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Step 4: Flip and bake as normal.

photo 5Pumpkin Pancakes

 

Step 5: Serve, eat and enjoy!P1120661Pumpkin Pancakes

 

What is your favorite Pancake recipe?

 

 

Creative Halloween Craft with Glow Sticks

Glow Stick Craft

Recently the kids have wanted to do crafts outside since the weather has been cooling off, so we took some glow sticks and turned them into spiders for Halloween.

 

 

 

What you need

  • Glow Sticks you can get 100+ glow sticks HERE
  • Styrofoam Balls
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Google Eyes
  • Glue
  • Some cute kids to make the fun craft

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Tips

  • Spray paint and allow time for the balls to dry 100% (otherwise you will end up with black finger prints)
  • Set your supplies up in small containers to organzine the sizes, colors and shapes of all items
  • Do this in the evening as the sun is going down so the kids can play with them at night in the yard
  • You can poke the glow stick through the entire ball or half way

Have fun!

Happy Halloween!

 

 

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