Palm Tree Hair

Sparky finally has enough hair for a ponytail. Okay, so it’s really not long enough, yet, but I’m so tired of people thinking she’s a boy – even when she’s wearing pink. So since there’s enough hair there to pull up into an elastic, she will have palm tree hair every time she goes out in public.

I’m hoping that if I start doing her hair this early, she might keep letting me do her hair – unlike The Princess who refuses to let me get within 10 feet of her if I’m holding a brush or comb.

Here are a couple quick snapshots from today. I prefer the expression in the second image (and the fact that you can’t see the hand that’s restraining the little busybody), but I cropped the ponytail out of the frame in camera which was slightly less effective.

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Super Belated Halloween Pictures

Just sharing a few snapshots from our ward trunk-or-treat (Sarah did an awesome job planning and decorating the whole thing) and trick-or-treating on Halloween night.

I’m still getting accustomed to the not-so-cold-weather on Halloween. The night of the trunk-or-treat wasn’t bad, but Halloween night was humid and HOT! It definitely didn’t feel like autumn, which was kind of disappointing.

Sparky spent most of the night of the trunk-or-treat exerting her independence, and refused to look at the camera like usual. She had lots of fun begging cookies and brownies off her unsuspecting victims – just look at those big blue eyes!

We didn’t have time to decorate our trunk – I was asked to set up my studio equipment in the gym, and spent the “trunk decorating” time snapping pictures of cute kids (and parents) in their costumes. Some people went ALL OUT decorating their trunks.

One family dressed up as bakers, and their adorable little girl (same age as Sparky) was dressed up as a cupcake. It was so cute it was ridiculous! They decorated their car like a French bakery and won the costume contest AND the trunk decorating contest. Another couple dressed up like clowns and set up a cotton candy machine – pretty cool! And another couple dressed up like the old couple from the movie "Up" complete with tons and tons of helium balloons which they handed out to all the kiddos at the end of the night. It was adorable! Of course I didn’t get to take pictures of any of it because I was too busy chasing a barefoot toddler around the parking lot.

You can see our sad little undecorated trunk below. The Princess wasn’t too happy that night. It was a school night, and she was pretty tired. She was also mad at me for asking her to behave. I’m such a mean mom.

Halloween night. The girls and I went trick-or-treating with some friends while Sasquatch stayed home sick. We learned our lesson last year and decided to avoid trick-or-treating in our neighborhood (the houses are too far apart, and most people aren’t home on Halloween). We drove to a nearby neighborhood that actually had sidewalks (I’m still getting used to the fact that most subdivisions here don’t believe in sidewalks – not sure why).

Sparky totally didn’t get the concept of knocking on people’s doors and asking for candy. And since she refuses to hold anyone’s hand, she spent the night in the stroller. I think she enjoyed it, though. And I’m very much enjoying eating her candy. My waistline isn’t very appreciative.

I had to take a snapshot of my girls with their trick-or-treating buddies. Aren’t they adorable?

Anyway, it was a fun Halloween. I was grateful for friends since Sasquatch couldn’t go trick-or-treating with us. Halloween is right about the time I REALLY start missing family for the Holidays – makes me want to be with my dad singing “Happy Birthday.”


Really Cool Holiday Contest

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?

  • My kids and husband to have a happy Christmas
  • A second car (I can dream, right?)
  • Le Creuset Dutch Oven
  • A fully functioning computer (I've had my computer almost as long as we've been married)
  • A trip to Utah/Colorado to see my family and friends
2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
  • I swore I'd never like them (I used to think they were tacky), but I LOVE the photo ornaments that The Princess has given to me.
3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
  • I'd love to learn how to knit to make super cute chunky baby hats and blankets.
4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
  • My hamster - until I killed it by starving it to death (long story, but it wasn't intentional starvation, I promise!!).
5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
  • Art Supplies
  • Camera
  • Every random item that she sees on tv or in the store
  • The new Tinkerbell movie
  • Sparky is really too young to care about Christmas - she'll be happy playing with wrapping paper and empty boxes
  • They both need new jammies but I doubt that's on either of their wish lists :)
6. What is your favorite holiday food?
  • Sandwiches made from leftover turkey and cranberry sauce. Or maybe caramel apple cider or salted caramel hot chocolate. Or stuffed mushrooms! Who am I kidding? I love all of it! Oh, and homemade English Toffee!! (As long as it's nice and crunchy).
7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
  • I'm trying to get up the gumption to bake gifts for friends and neighbors this year. Not sure how many people will even be in town if I bother, though so it's still up for debate.
8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
  • The Holiday
9. Favorite holiday song?
  • I have way too many favorites to list. Anything by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (especially live!!). I don't know what my favorite traditional carol is, though, because I love them all - I miss choir solely for the Christmas music!
10. Favorite holiday pastime?
  • I used to love going to Temple Square and going out for hot chocolate afterward. We're still working on creating new traditions as a smaller family - suggestions are welcome! As of right now, we enjoy decorating the tree together.


More from the Pumpkin Patch

Here are some more images from our trip to the pumpkin patch.

Due to the not-so-child-friendly nature of our yard (not enough grass and WAY too many pine needles), Sparky doesn't get to spend much time outside. Which means she goes a bit crazy when she experiences the great outdoors for any period of time (ie: refuses to hold hands, screams like a banshee when you try to pick her up, and generally exerts her independence in any way possible). Which means she's not willing to stand still or look at the camera long enough for a decent portrait these days. I thought these were some pretty cute snapshots, though.


Fun Contest

My friend Brae is an amazing writer, and she has a great blog that you should check out sometime. She also makes beautiful Faerie wings which she sells on Etsy. She's having her first giveaway right now - the winner will receive a pair of custom-made faerie wings. Check out the contest here.


Chicken Nuggets & Apricot Sauce

Blogging another recipe so I can find it when I want to make it again. The intent was to make enough for dinner AND to freeze the leftovers for lunches, but they were so popular that very few actually made it to the freezer.

Chicken Nuggets

* 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 teaspoons garlic powder
* 2 teaspoons onion powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

2TBS olive oil and 2TBS EVOO for frying (you could probably bake them if you want to be healthy).

Cut chicken into 1 inch strips, or"fingers" about 3 inches in length.

Mix together remaining ingredients, (except breadcrumbs and 3 tbsp. margarine), in a bowl and add chicken and mix well, insuring that chicken is coated on all sides.

Allow chicken to marinate in this for at least 20 minutes.

Coat chicken in breadcrumbs, shaking off excess, and place chicken fingers on plate.

Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium heat; add chicken fingers, and cook until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes per side.

Drain fingers on paper toweling.

Apricot Dipping Sauce

* 2⁄3 cup apricot preserves
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 2 teaspoons ketchup
* 6 slices unpeeled fresh ginger
* 1/2 a lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

Stir the preserves, soy sauce, ketchup, and ginger in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HIGH until the preserves melt, about 30 seconds. Stir in lemon juice and cool before serving.


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