halloween giveaway

Okay, this actually has nothing to do with Halloween.
But there is a giveaway.

I have weird skin that randomly breaks out when I use facial products.  Upon looking into the ingredients I still haven't been able to pinpoint the culprit.
So I use the very scientific approach of randomly trying products and giving a yay or a nay.
Burt's Bees hasn't let me down yet.
Between the fantastic lip balm that everyone's been carrying since 7th grade and the beyond stellar face lotion, I'm sold.  Seriously, their daily moisturizing cream.  Get it.  Moisturizes all day without causing breakouts or making you feel greasy.

And to add to it, I've recently fallen in love with their Sensitive Facial Cleanser.  Not that I think my face is sensitive.  It more so randomly revolts.  But not against this soap-free cleanser.  99% natural ingredients, hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free and a whiz at removing make-up.
My face doesn't hate it.

I'm sure yours won't either.
And since I like to share my favorite things with my favorite people, I'm giving away a FULL-SIZED tube of the cleanser.
To you.

MANDATORY ENTRY (leave a comment):

Follow Busy Girl via GFC and tell me what your go-to facial product currently is.

Other ways to ENTER (leave a comment for each):

Tweet/Facebook/Blog about this giveaway (2 entries)

Open to US/Canada/Europe
Winner will be selected THIS Friday, Nov 4th by random.org

disclosure: i was provided with product from burt's bees.  i was not compensated financially.  as always, all opinions are my own.

the great pumpkin

Pretty big weekend at our house.

Now he's scary, cute and yummy.
A real triple threat.

Okay, so he's not really scary.  It was our first time pumpkin carving without parental supervision.  We struggled a little.

I forgot how gross pumpkin guts are.  Oscar even had a boogie made of one that was sneaking out the front.

So I helped him out.

:: stay tuned, giveaway coming up later today! ::


burlap sack

I'll be honest.  I wasn't planning on taking photos of myself (hence the day-old hair and lack of makeup).  But I stumbled upon these wood pallets in our backyard (husband, did you put them there?) and thought they'd be a great background for some photos of Ricki.
Ricki had other ideas.
Such as peeing on the pallets instead of modeling for the camera.
So I gave up, let him explore and gathered proof that my poncho might be the most comfortable thing I own.  It's like wearing pajamas.  In public.

I can throw it on over a crappy tee-shirt and no one is wiser.

Contrary to this photo, I do not have a tail.
There's actually a belt attached.  But I kind of feel like Robin Hood when I tie it.  So I leave it loosely knotted in the back.
So it looks like I have a tail.
And I look like a burlap sack.
But a comfortable burlap sack.



The dog fell off the bed last night and I didn't really know what to do.  Obviously I asked him if he was okay and he gave me this look like 'I just fell off the bed, what do you think?!'  So he just sat there staring at me and I sat there staring at him just waiting for a response.  My 2am mind apparently is convinced that animals can indeed speak English, as long as it's not daylight.  Finally he gave me this look like 'creep, help me back up on the bed'.  And I obliged.  But only after squeezing him tighter than normal to make sure he was still all in one piece.

Not like he'd lose a limb or something.  He fell two feet.  But it never hurts to check.

I think he's alright, it just scared him a bit.  One minute he's chasing squirrels in his dreams and the next minute he's sprawled out on the pile of laundry that I keep forgetting to put away.  At least it was a soft landing.  See, laziness in housework does pay off.

 [old photo.  still my favorite.  so i repost from time to time.  mainly because i haven't been keeping up on transferring photos to my computer like a good blogger should.  new ones coming soon.]

So speaking of embarrassing moments, like falling off the bed, I had a few for the books this past week that might make you think I have an an arachnophobic complex, in which case you would be right.

Our cafeteria decided in the spirit of Halloween to put fake eight-legged creatures all over the place. Unbeknownst to me. And while getting water the other morning I spotted one out of the corner of my eye prompting me to convulse involuntarily while dropping my water all over the floor.  Cue about thirty people staring at me in disbelief.

Then the next day, coaching myself  the whole way on the fact that these were in fact, fake, eight-legged creatures, I braved the cafeteria.  Walked in with determination.  I was not going to get weak in the knees at the sight of these plastic, black creatures.  So proud of myself.  Until a hand reached out at me from under the water dispenser.  I jumped back, assumed my ninja stance and realized it was a fake hand.

Oh Halloween, you got me good.

Can we go back to this just being a candy-eating holiday?  All these decorations are no good.



My husband turns 27 today.
Gosh we're getting old.

Thanks for always making me giggle,
for creating adventures,
for being an amazing chef,
for being a great puppy dad,
and for pretty much being the best friend ever.

I love you almost as much as pizza.


It didn't rain.

Of course that didn't really make a difference.  We still managed to be utterly lazy other than enjoying a dinner party with friends.

Steak sandwiches and brussel sprouts with walnuts and cranberries.

And oh my goodness, these might be the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

And as for Ricki?
Well, you know what he did all weekend.



It's raining.  Again.

I swear we are three days away from having to build an ark. 
Which wouldn't be a bad thing.  Kind of like a free cruise with fifty of your favorite animals.
I know there's more than twenty-five species.  But if I'm going through the trouble of building the ark, I've earned the right to be choosy.

Snakes need not apply.  You didn't make the list.



Public Service Announcement: if you came in contact with me last week and caught my cold, I'm sorry.
But on the bright side, it only lasts like 7.5 days.  Get comfortable.  You'll be on that couch for a while.

Luckily it poured this whole weekend.  So it's not like I could actually go anywhere.
Like the pumpkin patch.  I really wanted a pumpkin.
But I married the sweetest guy who picked one up from the grocery store so I could have my great pumpkin.

This is 'Ocsar'.  He will eventually be turned into roasted pumpkin seeds and some type of scary face.  It's his destiny and he's pretty excited about it.

Other than my great pumpkin gift, we didn't do much.  I photographed a wedding Saturday and Sunday we made a 16 quart pot of soup.
There's only 6 quarts left today.
No joke.

I made some banana bread.  Cause I'm that person that buys bananas and forgets they're in the fridge until three weeks later.

And Ricki watched for squirrels.  As usual.

And loved on  my pumpkin.

He might be the cutest dog ever.  Then again, I'm biased.



They're in the air.
Fall is finally showing its face.  The leaves are changing and the temperature is somewhat cooperating.  As in sometimes it dips below 70 degrees for a few hours.
No rush Cleveland, we'll get there.

Ricki is thrilled though.
Fall brings out the squirrels.  Scurrying around frantically to prepare for the inevitable winter that will strike any day now.  That's how weather works here.  Sunny one day, blizzarding the next.
But instead of dreading the coming winter, I'm savoring this small glimpse of fall we've been given.
And spending time cuddling the pup, watching the squirrels from the window.

His second favorite thing to do after chasing them
Still hasn't figured out that he can't climb trees and they can.

Silly puppy.

I'll sit here with you all you want.


housewarming party

It came.  It went.  It was spectacular.
We really do have the greatest friends and family.  You might think yours is the best, but you'd be wrong.

Just kidding.
I'm sure they're awesome too.

I actually ::shock:: did not take any photos at our party.  I had photographed a wedding the night before so I'm claiming that my shutter release finger was on the injured reserve list.

But I do have pictures of food - cause I'm a good blogger like that.
And I like to share what I eat.
And how to make it, since I'm always changing the original recipes.

Drool with me now.

french pot roast (slow cooker)

 balsamic green beans and mushrooms


paints and colds.

Does anyone else accidentally click on 'new blog' instead of 'new post' when they go to the blogger dashboard?
Just me?  Thought so.

Must be all that cold medicine I've been downing the past two days.
The best thing about marriage is that your husband has to share his dessert with you.
The worst thing is that he also shares his colds.

So total in lieu of a foggy, random post, you can find me over at Living Savvy.  Talking about my newest addiction: spray paint.  Not in the no-wonder-you-have-to-be-18-to-buy-it sense, but more in the trash-to-treasure type deal.

And in case you're wondering, yes.  I do get carded when I buy spray paint.
Every. Single. Time.



gallery wall

We're lucky enough to live in a split level house that has an actual landing at the top of the stairs.  Not just a straight hallway.  And believe me, as soon as we moved in I knew exactly what was going there.  A gallery wall FILLED with frames that would enviably have dusted way too often, but that I would love enough to warrant the extra house work.

So we went to work.  Or I did for this part.  After spending hours reading other blogs doing some research about other's trials and errors I formulated a plan for our wall and went to work.  One Saturday morning and three episodes of The Rachel Zoe Project later, I had traced around each frame for the wall and cut out an exact-sized template.  

Using scotch tape (or you could use painters if you're concerned about paint peeling off), I taped up all the templates and then proceeded to move them around about 3,659 times.  Little tweaks here and there until finally I realized the problem was that I needed three more frames in order to make this giant game of Tetris work.

But instead of running to Target to pick up three more, I went through our donate pile and found some white and silver frames that were just the right size to include in our gallery.  Got to love being able to use what you already have!  So Adam and I took them outside for some TLC, since the rest of the frames were already a glossy black.  I removed the glass and lightly sanded the outside of the frames to remove any dirt and paint since these frames were a few years old.

Three thin coats of Krylon Black Gloss spray paint and a few hours of drying time and they were ready to be included in the wall.

I tweaked the paper ONE last time, slept on it and then let Adam get to work for the heavy lifting.  Ya know, cause some of those frames weighed a hefty 5 lbs.  He measured how far down from the edge the hook or wire was on the back of the frame and marked an 'x' on the paper were the OOK picture hanger should be nailed.  Then he just hammered directly on the 'x' and then carefully removed the paper to reveal a picture hanger ready for use!
A lot of patience and 38 frames later, we had our gallery wall!  Well, mostly.  We're still working on filling the frames, deciding what artwork and photos to put up and if we like having mats in each picture frame or just in some.

So as with all our projects, it's still a work in progress.  But I love having a wall full of things we love: photographs, little notes, postcards from friends, amusing artwork.  Most of what's in there will likely be changed out sooner or later, but that's the best part of it.

And I absolutely love it.



Where did it even go?  Is it seriously Monday or  is the universe playing a trick on me?

I like that it's October though.  Although it'd be much more pleasant if the five day monsoon we've had would call it quits.  It's hard to enjoy the brisk weather when you're bundled up in Hunters carrying one of those over-sized golf umbrellas.
Just sayin' Ohio, a clear day would be nice.

Especially since I'd like to go to the apple farm this week.  And fulfill my dream of making apple cobbler, apple pie and apple dumplings all in one day.  I dream big.  With apples.
We have a farm close by, but we can't actually pick the apples from the trees ourselves.  Someone as clumsy as me probably got hit in the head with an apple at some point.  So instead we get to pick them out of barrels.  I'm alright with that - I'll take locally grown apples any way I can get them.
Especially if they come in the form of pie.  With a side of coffee and vanilla ice cream.

I think fall is the most delicious season.

Enlighten me, would you pick apple pie, apple cobbler or apple dumplings if you only had one choice?  Cause let's be realistic, the idea of me being productive enough to make all three is just an illusion.

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