Occasionally I feel the need to bake for the festive season. Not for any one person in particular, but it’s fun to bring treats to various gatherings. Continue reading Christmas Cookies
For anyone who has been reading the last few posts here on The Mellow Beat, you may have noticed that I’ve been hinting at some new and exciting changes. For one thing, we are tackling our unfinished basement this winter season. Nothing too extreme there as we aren’t planning on installing flooring or a ceiling for a while. Just the walls and some built-in bookcases/mantel for a future wall mounted fireplace. We are also moving our office furniture into the basement once it is ready to go.
The reason for the sudden desire to relocate our office and finish up the basement (minus the need for plugs and a place to edit photos), is that we are converting our current office into room…
A nursery room…
For our future little mister or miss!!
That’s right friends, the Bagels are multiplying!
Our little bundle of awesome is due in the spring and as such we have the winter months available to complete any renovations and convert the office. I’m planning on an enchanted forest themed nursery room – obviously I originally planned on a Harry Potter inspired room, but thought it could too easily get over cluttered and busy. This way I still get a hint of magic, but a more clean and simple overall feel.
I’m slowly researching a few baby related things:
- The feasibility of cloth diapering (even half the time)
- What items are must haves
- What items we really dont need
- Signing up for prenatal classes
On top of all of that I have to travel quite a distance for all of my pregnancy appointments because of the ol ticker. I will be taken care of a high risk special pregnancies program – so far they’ve been amazing! A lot of my appointments have been scheduled for the same day even though I’m in three places/ hospitals. We only have to drive up for that one day to take care of 3 different appointments and see 2 doctors. Fantastic. And so far, from how I feel, the ol ticker is doing well!
I think we plan on making one big purchase each month until the little nugget arrives (crib, glider, etc). I did find a great deal on the stroller/car seat combo we liked and purchased that earlier this week. So that’s one big thing down! I don’t think we will purchase a change table, but we will be refinishing a dresser and building a base for it to bring it up to change table height. This way we save a good chunk of change and I can just pick up a change table top (the foam thing) and a few covers to stick on the top of the dresser. Perfect!
Not that I’m expecting comments or anything, but if you have kiddos what are some of the items you couldn’t imagine living without? Items you thought you needed, but turns out you didn’t really use them much? And if you cloth diaper, what is your favourite kind? (I’m looking into hybrid fitteds).
On that super fun note, stick around for fun house reno and baby updates!
Otherwise known as my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE time of the year! Though, if we’re being honest, I love pretty much every holiday
(i’m aware Hallowe’en isn’t technically a holiday… but it should be!).
& Black Cats are seen, the moon laughs & whispers “‘Tis near Hallowe’en.”
I just love that quote!
With Hallowe’en Monday fast approaching, the hubby and I are semi-frantically trying to finish up any & all spooky prep for the big day. We are having some friends over this coming Saturday for a mini costume party. The hubby is planning on setting up a photo booth area complete with festive props & im currently focused on finishing up the final details for my costume. I am anticipating a low keep soirée on Saturday with a handful of friends, their kiddo(s) & a selection of dastardly desserts & eerie entrées. Luckily everyone is pretty on point with the potluck style event, so only a few of the main items will be made by yours truly.
I’m really going to try to make time for “witches fingers.” We made these yummy cookies when I was a kiddo & they were a lot of fun. Pretty simple too – a little slivered almond to create a “fingernail” & a dab of red icing gel to stick said almond in place. Tadah, you’ve got yourself a disgusting looking (but oh so tasty) treat!
Other yummy items – a macaroni cheese baked casserole with BLACK NOODLES!!! can you tell I’m pumped about this? I figure with the orange-y cheese & the black shell noodles combined is gonna look quite halloweenie 🙂
Dessert will include a fruit tray & some candies. I’m planning on making graveyard puddings (chocolate pudding + chocolate crumbs on top + a mini tombstone) in these fun martini glasses we have. And probably something else dessert like.
The main course items will include a soup made by my neighbour, Swedish style meatballs from our friend Kendra, & a zombie face meatloaf a la moi (thank you pinterest for the idea – check our my spooky stuff board by following the link on the left!).
Our front yard is beginning to look very frightening. We are so very lucky to have the greatest neighbours who are jusy as pumped about seasonal decor as we are. Last year they built a “toe pincer coffin” complete with flickering lights around it & this year Paul built the facade of a mausoleum! Is going between our front porches abs will have a grim reaper motion activated prop hanging in the middle. Throw in a creepy green light, some thunder noises, & a strobe light & we’re talking frightening!
The hubby and I have expanded our cemetery fencing (being painted as I type this), two skeleton figures: a 5 ft posable skeleton & a sound/motion activated wolf skeleton that howls at the moon. It was my big treat this year. We are improving our fog machine chiller this year too in the hopes the the fog lays lower to the ground for a more mysterious effect.
I’m going to include a few photos here of the set up by day. Not all of the props are out because we will only have them out in Monday night (we don’t want anyone to snatch them).
We will probably take more photos on Halloween night when it’s all up & running. I’m hoping we get a lot of trick-or-treaters this year!
Ill try to update more frequently – I really have no excuse ♡
Ps – aiming to have a post about the costume party, life updates, & maybe I’ll finally get around to posting some photos from my sister’s wedding!
As per my last update (at thanksgiving), I mentioned making split pea and ham soup from my leftover ham bone. My mum often makes this soup after we’ve had a big ham dinner, and I have to say it’s one of the best cold weather soups out there.
On Sunday early afternoon, we brought back a borrowed table to Kendra’s house and chatted a while. On our way home we picked up supplies for soup making:
Disregard the black pasta at the back… That’s for spooky Halloween party nonsense. Anyways, we’ve got 2 bags of split peas (yellow and green, I used about half of each) + onion, chicken brother, and celery. I also grabbed some nubbly looking carrots from the garden.
First things first, you’ve gotta simmer your ham bone: Just throw that sucker in a big stock pot with the broth and enough water to cover it. I let it simmer away for a few hours with the lid on so that the water wouldn’t evaporate. While that’s bubbling away, soak your split peas in some water to help get some of the startchiness outta the way. And then chop up the veggies (I did 4 celery stalks and almost the whole onion).
After the ham is done simmering turn the heat to low and pull out the bone. Once cooled you want to pull off as much of the meat as you can. I decided that I wanted a bit more, so I chopped up some of the leftover ham from dinner and added that into the pot along with the veggies and the split peas (drained and rinsed).
Give it a good stir once the veggies are all dumped in.ni added some salt and pepper, but completely forgot to add a bay leaf or two. Oh well, let it simmer and soon…
Hope you enjoy!
I have officially finished editing all of my photos from my sisters wedding! I will be uploading some here soon with a little blurb about how the whole day went.
As of right now, I’ve not been feeling as swell as I’d like – lots of digestion issues. So to help myself feel better, the hubby and I went on an hour long walk at the local conservation area yesterday.
On our way back home, we stopped at the recycling to pick up some firewood and another stop at the grocery store for dinner things. I nabbed some bran, pumpkin purée, and whole wheat flour for baking too. Unfortunately the rest of my day wasn’t to be used for anything but lazing on the couch being in stupid amounts of pain. Luckily this morning I was feeling a touch better and managed to eat breakfast and a snack. I finished editing all of the photos during breakfast and uploaded the video files to begin to edit those too.
Noon rolled around and our neighbour needed to borrow our immersion blender for his butternut squash soup. This prompted the hubby and I to head to the kitchen and tidy up a bit before I could start my baking adventure. I found this awesome recipe on Pinterest for Pumpkin Spice Bran Muffins (I’ll link below!) and immediately got to work doubling the batch. I used brown sugar instead of regular granulated sugar (just because I didn’t have white sugar) and
gasp! Olive oil instead of canola because I didn’t want to melt down coconut oil and have it go all chunky when it hit the cold eggs. Worked out well enough and now I’m the happy owner of 24 20 P-S Bran Muffins. Our neighbour brought back the blender and a mug of fresh soup so we handed over 4 fresh from the oven muffins for him and his family.
Keep checking back for photos and video from my sister’s amazing wedding. And hopefully some more baking/ cooking adventures.
Awesome Pumpkin Spice Bran Muffins <– find the recipe here !
This last week has been quite the adventure – very busy, but with all great lovely things. I was eager to begin the work week to really get the ball rolling because I had my first week-day off since coming back from ‘modified duty’ post surgery. Needless to say (but i’m obviously saying it anyways) I was PUMPED for my day off.
…but I had to get there first…