Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween! What's For Dinner Wednesday - Pumpkin Turkey Chili

I hope you are having a happy Halloween. We have had quite a hectic one here. Today was our walk through for our house. We had to go find all the construction damage, etc. We were there for 2.5 hours and I think we were fairly thorough. Most of the issues are minimal paint touch ups, etc. I am so excited to move into the house -- it is almost ready for us. We get the keys on the 7th after another quickie walk through.

When we got home, we all relaxed for a bit and then I began to prepare dinner while M dressed the kids for Halloween. I made a pumpkin chili recipe that I found on all recipes (I have included the changes/fast fixes I used). It turned out YUMMY!

Pumpkin Turkey Chili


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion (used precut ones frozen - included peppers in the bag)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced (used a tsp garlic powder with parsley)
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups pumpkin puree (used 1 15 oz. can of puree)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder (used a package of chili seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 dash salt


1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion, green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and garlic until tender. Stir in the turkey, and cook until evenly brown. Drain, and mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, pepper, and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Serve with french bread or crackers.

I did not really have time to eat chili before trick or treating began because the kids were really excited and eager to get going. I left it on a simmer and it was perfect when we got back.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pumpkin Carving / Cinnasweet Pumpkin Seeds

Today we decided it would be okay to carve our pumpkins and keep them in the fridge overnight and throughout the day on Halloween. Ah the joys of living in sunny and (still) HOT Arizona. Anyway . . . J had never done pumpkin carving with us, so it was cool. He has issues in regards to his hands being messy, so it was icky to him when he reached in the pumpkin. My cute little clean freak son.

E had done it before but still enjoyed it quite a lot. Usually I just carve the pumpkins during the day on Halloween, so this year M was excited to participate and carve a pumpkin.

The children chose Mumble from Happy Feet and Lightning McQueen from Disney Cars. I think they turned out great this year! We had a lot of fun and McQueen was surprisingly hard. I *may* have used a few straight pins here and there to fix it up . . .

Here is the recipe I plan to use for the pumpkin seeds we saved:

Cinnasweet Pumpkin Seeds (From


4 cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup margarine, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar, divided


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Combine the pumpkin seeds, margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl; stir to coat the seeds. Spread the seeds in a single layer in a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; stir and return to oven for 15 minutes more; remove from oven and sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over the seeds; stir to coat. Return to oven and bake another 15 minutes before removing again to sprinkle with remaining sugar and stirring. Bake another 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. Store leftover seeds in an airtight container.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Party - Capitol Ward 2007

I am so tired. I am hardly awake as I type this but I wanted to post the pictures of my kids in their costumes. They wanted to dress up as Woody and Jessie from Toy Story 2 -- but since that movie is a few years old, I decided I would make the costumes -- I thought it would be easier for me. It turns out it was a lot of work because I packed my sewing machine thinking I would not need it and then I did, but rather than try to dig it out, I just hand sewed the things I needed to sew. I think they turned out looking pretty good!

We had a great time at the party. They had lots of fun games, basketball, ring toss, jello eating contest, cake walk, fishing, throwing ping pong balls into a pail in a pool of water. It was great! They also had chili and treats to eat.

(and yes, that is Dobby by the van dressed as a ladybug. E picked that costume out for him)

Pumpkin Patch

Instead of packing, I played the whole day with my family today. We slept in, then ate some breakfast and watched cartoons, then we got dressed and went out to lunch at Olive Garden. After that we went to the pumpkin patch and farm to play.

The kids had a lot of fun with the activities the farm had to play with -- they had a hay bale maze which the kids did over and over . . . .

and they had a "corn box" which was like a big sandbox filled with dry corn. The kids were so hard to get out of the corn box. They loved it!

They also had a slide, a petting zoo area with goats and some baby black pigs, and a little train.

They also had a couple of corn mazes. One was made just for kids and we went in it. It was fun! E posed like this for the picture all by herself . . . I thought it was just too funny!

And last but not least, we played a little bit in the pumpkin patch. J's last experience with pumpkins he was about 4 months old (well, the last time we were at a pumpkin patch that is) so it was really fun to see him with all the pumpkins. E was totally cute too! I captured this great photo of M in the pumpkins and it makes me smile!

(I think J was a little tired by the time we got to pictures with mom)

All in all we had a wonderful day at the farm. I am glad we went. I was a little more expensive than I would have liked and we probably would not go back to this particular farm again because of it, but it was a fun time. The day did not end after this though. We went home, got the kids dressed in costumes and went to our church Halloween party and trunk or treat.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What's For Dinner Wednesday - Cranberry Crumb Pie / Private Practice

Okay, reality is that tonight we will probably eat spaghetti (something fast and easy since I am mid halloween costumes and packing to move into the new house) but I did make this gorgeous (and extremely calorie laden) dessert the other day and it was so good. I thought I would share it with you because 1) Thanksgiving is coming soon and it is festive and a change from regular old pie and 2) it could double as a meal based on its calories. LMBO!

Cranberry Crumb Pie by Eagle Brand

A cream cheese filling is topped with a cranberry sauce layer, and finished with a crunchy nut topping.

Yields: 8 servings

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND(R) Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/4 cup lemon juice from concentrate
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (16 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup cold butter or margarine
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake pie shell 8 minutes; remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
2. In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese on low until fluffy. Gradually beat in EAGLE BRAND(R) until smooth. Stir in lemon juice. Pour into prepared pastry shell.
3. In small bowl, combine 1-tablespoon sugar and cornstarch; mix well. Stir in cranberry sauce. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
4. In medium mixing bowl, cut butter into flour and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until crumbly. Stir in nuts. Sprinkle evenly over cranberry mixture. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Cool. Serve at room temperature or chill thoroughly. Store leftovers covered in refrigerate.


Okay, those of you who are long time blog readers know how much I love Greys Anatomy. So, I thought I would tell you all my feelings on the first few episodes of that, as well as share some of my thoughts on Addison's new show Private Practice.

Greys -- First, the music has been totally awesome as usual! I love all the songs on the episodes of Greys. One of my favorite things on Friday morning is to go to my Itunes and download some of the songs from the previous night.

I really like how each of the episodes has been on a topic this season (Change, Truth, Forgiveness, Addiction) -- I really love that format! I love how they progress the story line along it. It totally works and is great! I even like Lexie. Yep, there I said it! I really enjoy her character. OMGosh and is it SO wrong that I really want Callie to just go away so that George and Izzie can be together. That is a tad messed up, but I really do like them together. But then there is Alex. He really cares for Izzie a lot. Sometimes I think that George should get a clue and go back with his wife who is so good to him (even forgives his cheating on her without question) and Izzie should move on with Alex (who clearly needs some love since he did not get enough in his childhood). Okay, and the last thing I want to say is -- How McDreamy can McDreamy be? He is just too freaking amazing and makes me drool like every episode!

Private Practice -- I was a little skeptical that this show could work! I love Shonda and her writing team, but at the same time, Addison was not that well liked on Greys. She was the evil ex wife keeping Mer and Der apart. But M has a wee little crush on Addison so we had to watch . . . well, surprise, I actually like the show. I like how real the characters on it seem. I really like that Shonda often has flawed characters. Violet, the girl still obsessed with a past lover (how many are there out there that are like this), Pete, the guy who is still getting over a wife he never really loved properly, Cooper, the guy who just never quite matured and has feelings for a coworker that he just can't express. And my personal fave character on the show - Dell, the desk guy. He cracks me up! So far the story lines have been interesting, but the one thing that I have been annoyed with is the fact that it seems like each episode is wrapped up by the end and there is nothing that pulls me to watch the next episode . . . M agrees with me on this one. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So Close to being DONE!

The house is almost done. As I promised, here are pictures. We move in, in three weeks and our walk through is on Halloween . . . so close!

The kids enjoying the new brick path around our grass in front

M and the kids by our new tree in the front yard

So, do you want to see inside? Want to see my kitchen? How about my bathrooom? My front hall? Okay, I will show you . . . but you have to wait till I move in to see my stamp room . . .


Eventually (like in the next year or so) we plan to rip out the linoleum and put in floating wood floors so right now it is pretty but not as pretty as it will be! We also plan to replace the counter tops with granite, but they are a little further down the list of things to do . . . I am so excited for all the cupboard and pantry space! It will be awesome!!! ALSO, I love my island! It is fun shaped. In the third picture you can see where my staircase is located in relation to the kitchen/family room (tv room).


In this picture you can see the front entry! I love that this house has a front hall. I love that I will have a front hall closet to put shoes and coats in (on the right) and guess what is through the double doors (that you can't see) on the left? Yep, my stamp room . . .

I *may* be in love with my banisters. I was so excited to see these in real life because in the model they only had them going up the stairs and not all the way across. They just had a wall. I really wanted them all the way and they happened to offer that option. I love it. The sales guy at our house has showed them off to people buying the same model because they look pretty!!!

Here is a quick glimpse of the livingroom/dining room are from the top of the stairs in the corner. I just love the windows that line the top of this vaulted room -- so pretty!

Okay, here is a final quick view -- this is my master bath with jetted tub and then the clear shower stall. I don't know if you can see the diagonal tile on the floor, but we had it done that way specifically in this room and it looks really pretty! I will show you more views of this room and others when I get them all decorated. Hope you enjoyed this quick tour of my house. Only three weeks until it is really mine!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007


So I finally got my camera back after leaving in the restaurant in Utah. My cute friend Robyn sent goodies with it, so that was fun. However, upon attempting to upload the pictures on it to my computer, I discovered that the USB cord is missing. M and I went on a frantic search for like 2 hours yesterday and we still have not recovered it. I guess I am most frustrated because I hate losing my memory and there are two cords out there somewhere in my house missing. *annoyed* Anyway, M said he would go and get me a new one today at lunch and that all would be well when he came home. He is such a keeper. SO, that is part of the main reason I am slacking. I find it so hard to just write and not photo-document everything. Pictures are worth a thousand words you know . . .

Anyway, since I wont get the cord till tonight, I thought I would answer some of my blog emails in this post to "catch up"

Lynda (Aug 15th)
Amanda: Love your Magnolia card. I have been trying to access the website for Magnolia. I can bring up the catalog but I cannot move the text to the right or left to view the full image of the stamp or place an order. Did you have a problem with this or is it a setting on my computer? If it is, do you have any idea how to correct it? I do not have any trouble viewing any other blogs.
Thanks for your time

I have not noticed this problem with my computer. What browser are you using? I use Mozilla Firefox (a free download) and I love it -- maybe try downloading that??? I am seriously computer inept, wish I could help more.

Phebe (Aug 16th)
I have been trying for months to get their product to sell I am not getting anywhere and the site keeps freezing.

Can you tell me how you got magnolia’s stamps and is there a phone number on your invoice from them and 1 more question what is the difference between unmount,ezmount and mounted.I sell the mounted mostly however I am not sure of the other two and which one is best and most convenient for my customers to have.

Sorry a lot of questions but hopefully I can finally get some answers about some amazing stamps!!!!!!!!

I had a hard time when I ordered because I could not read Swedish, so I found an email address on the site and wrote an email in English to them telling them the numbers of the stamps I wanted to order and they replied and sent me a paypal invoice for the items, and I paid it and they sent it. Unmounted are just the rubber, EZ Mount is rubber with foam and mounted is rubber and foam on a wood block.

I bought just the rubber. I use a product called Tack 'N Peel (Tsukineko) which allows me to mount the rubber to an acrylic block temporarily and then remove it and reuse the block. I really like acrylic stamps lately and this is a great way to incorporate some of the rubber stamps you love with the acrylic supplies.

Kathi (Aug 19th)
I've just recently discovered the Magnolia stamps too....just don't have any. I just love what she looks like..she is so adorable!!!!
I've been to their website but haven't been brave enough to order.
What size are most of the images? The ones where the little girl is usually standing? Didn't see anywhere on website size of stamp. Also are you buying them mounted or unmounted?? I've only used wood mounted stamps so don't know what to do with the unmounted exactly although I see they are cheaper.
Thanks of for anything you can tell me about these cuties or anything that would make ordering easier.

See above post. The images I have are all about 3.5 to 4 inches high I would say. I am guessing though and my guesses seem to be inaccurate often because I am Canadian and am not used to inches and feet. They have pages and pages of catalogs on their site -- also, they have an English site now which should make it easier to order . . .

(Right under the VISA/Mastercard sign, there is a little drop down menu that changes the ordering cart to English) HTH!

Anita (Aug 24)

My question is where did you find the Magnolia stamps? I have seen them for sale in Sweden (on-line, of course) but can't seem to find an outlet for them here in the states.

See above post but also, I bought them from the site in Sweden and have not found an outlet for them here yet, but I bet people are working on it cause they are DARN cute!!!

Rochelle (Oct 6th)
I've never considered myself computer challanged but I'm really stuck with this blog stuff.
How did you get started?
Who created your banner?
Do you have any suggestions to make the creation of my blog easier?
I own a rubber stamp shop in OHIO and thought this would be a great way to communicate with my customers. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I started my blog because I wanted a place to showcase my work and to write about it and to just be goofy and have fun! My blog is totally just for me most of all. I love reviewing where I have been and what I have done. I started my blog when blogger was old school and then converted it over. I had some basic HTML knowledge from a class in college, but most of the info I needed I googled for. I would just ask for HTML code for ___________ and often it would come up with multiple sites that had the info I needed. I created my own banner using Adobe Photoshop. Using a service like blogger really does help layout the blog simply. I agree, it is a great way to communicate with customers. One thing that might help you is using source codes. You can left click on almost any webpage and "View Source" which shows you the HTML code for that page. Often I would find a feature on a page or blog I liked and then view the code and copy pieces of it until it worked. Also, it helps to have a test blog to try out all the new stuff on before you do it for real on your good blog page. Hope this helps!

Kelli (Oct 15th)
I was linked to your blog by a gal at Creating Keepsakes message boards, who found your link at Rocky Mountain hobbies website, and I just have to say, what an awesome tutorial. I haven't made one yet, but I plan to! (Coincidentally, the new Oriental Trading Scrapbooking catalogue is selling an ugly kit for these this anyway, thank you for posting this tutorial!
I love seeing the tutorials for interesting paper crafts, I'm browsing your blog now, but I'll ask anyway, do you have any other awesome tutorials posted or have friends who have some posted?? I'd love to see what people are making these days!

WOW! I am impressed at how far my blog has stretched. That is one of the only tutorials on my blog besides the one that I did for a star book. A great resource for different tutorials is Splitcoaststampers. It is totally my favorite stamping site out there! LINK HERE to their technique and other tutorials:

Another cool place to look for tutorials are on any of the blogs featured in my sidebars. They often have tutorials and cool ideas! I *heart* my friends!

Dale (Oct 17th)
I "love" your pinecone ornaments. They are awesome. I was reading the comments and Sarebear, Amiee, and Vickie said they had made some also. Can you please give me a link to see their ornaments? Or any other ones that you could share with me. I would so appreciate it. Thank you.

Um, I am not sure exactly where you would see all of their ornaments . . . but since the tutorial was from last year, if they posted them on their blogs it would be about a year ago. I know Debbie Olsen did some on her blog about a year ago (link is in my sidebar)

Cheryl (Oct 20th)
Hi Amanda ! I've never commented on your blog but I've really been missing you . I hope all is well . If you've got a new blog somewhere could you please send me the feed to it . If not get back at it girl ... we miss you !

Nope, I have not moved, just been slacking because of the impending real life move (and trying to pack with two little ones under foot -- only three weeks till we move) and then also not having my camera . . . but thanks for this message, it made me feel loved and special and I promise I will be back in business before thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What's For Dinner Wednesday - Bacon Quiche Tarts

I had a total craving for quiche and these sounded yum! My kids liked them although my picky eater did not prefer the onion in them. We served them with a side of salad and it was great!

5 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (or cheese of your choice)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 (10 ounce) can refrigerated flaky biscuit dough

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups.
2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until crisp and evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
3. Place the cream cheese, milk, and eggs in a medium bowl, and beat until smooth with an electric mixer set on Low. Stir in Swiss cheese and green onion, and set aside.
4. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press into the bottom and sides of each muffin cup, forming 1/4 inch rims. Sprinkle half of the bacon into the bottoms of the dough-lined muffin cups. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into each cup.
5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until filling is set and rims of the tarts are golden brown. Sprinkle with the remaining bacon, and lightly press into the filling. Remove from pan, and serve warm.

Monday, October 01, 2007

I'm back . . .

I had the bestest girl weekend in SLC this past weekend. I seriously love my stampin' friends! They are so talented and their swaps were awesome! I promise to post some pictures when I can but tragically I left my camera at the restaurant in Park City and it is supposed to be sent to me so right now I can't take pictures.

I also got some cool ideas from the stores we went to. I am really excited to try them out and show them to you! Off to stamp! Happy Monday!