Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Baby is One!

That's right, today... Halloween... is Graham's first birthday!  Wow, this is unbelievable to me.  I felt like time went fast before I had him; now, it goes by at light-speed. 

Because Halloween fell mid-week this year, we decided to celebrate his birthday this past Saturday.  It was a small party with just family in attendance, but it was certainly a memorable, fun experience.  I'll devote a blog post to the party soon, but for this one I just wanted to write about my baby.

What a crazy thing it is to think about that at 3:18PM today, it will be 1 year since Graham made his grand entrance into this world, screaming bloody murder.  The most beautiful sound I've ever heard in my life.  

He's grown and changed a lot and I've learned a lot about his personality this year.  He is very opinionated and will certainly voice his opinion.  He is quite vocal; he babbles nonstop and truly sounds like he's speaking in his own little language many times.  He's very curious ... he loves to get into anything and everything!  His favorite thing to do is take things out of containers and put them back in... over and over... and over again.  He has a laid back and very sweet personality; he gives kisses and snuggles freely.  I cannot wait to see how his precious personality grows and changes over time.  

For fun, I wanted to put a newborn picture of Graham above a recent one.  And boy, what a difference a year makes!  He almost looks like a different baby to me.     


Until next time, 


Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

We finally made it to a pumpkin patch this past weekend.  We asked for recommendations and got many, but decided to go to Dickey Farms in Springdale this year.  We may try a new one every year and see which is our favorite!  But we really enjoyed our time at Dickey Farms.  It was free admission, which was nice, and the people who worked there were very friendly. 

We found two nice pumpkins, a big one and a small, Graham-sized one.  We got to take Graham in a wagon to find the pumpkins and he LOVES wagon rides, so this was perfect fun for him.

We saw lots of animals, including chickens, roosters, and a dog.  Graham loved watching the birds.

 Graham also got to sit on the tractor and pretend to drive it.  He thought that was interesting.

My mom, also known as Grandma Page, got to come with us, which was so fun!

A few other pictures from our fun time at the pumpkin patch:

We all had fun out on the farm.  I definitely think this would be a nice fall family tradition! 

Until next time,


Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Little Boy Blue!

Today was Mother Goose Day at Kids Day Out!  It was the first dress up day Graham has had in child care so I was very excited.  Luckily, Grandma Calufetti helped out with his costume.  She got the cutest part, ... the overalls!  I LOVE them!  I know he'll wear them a bunch, not just for costume times.  

As the name of the day suggests, we were supposed to dress our kids up in a costume of a Mother Goose character and bring the rhyme that goes with their character.  Graham was Little Boy Blue.  Here's a picture of Little Boy Blue I found on the internet to go off of and then a picture of Graham's outfit.  Not shabby, huh? 

As you can see, I even made him a little horn out of a toilet paper roll, construction paper and a permanent marker.  It's not the best trumpet ever, but it worked just fine for these purposes.  Here are a few more pictures: 

The rhyme that goes with his costume. 

A close up of my masterpiece.  As you can tell, I'm very crafty. ; ) 

Graham "playing" (a.k.a. chewing on) his horn. 

Maybe it's because we were inside, but he sure didn't want to keep the hat on.  

All in all, I think it was a successful day.  They had a fall party today and we brought the apple juice.  He made a special friend, another little boy who looks like him (skinny and bald).  They apparently would take turns talking and listening to each other, as if they were really have a conversation of their own.  Oh, I wish I could have seen that cuteness!  All the kids' and teachers' outfits were super cute and it was fun to be a part of it!  I look forward to all future fun events I can help Graham out with!    

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Savory and the Sweet - Favorite Fall Recipes

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I love food!  I love fall time because of the awesome drinks and foods that have become fall traditions in my family.  I've never done a recipe post before, though I don't know why because I love to cook and try out new recipes.  I should probably start doing recipe posts more often.  If I do recipe posts in the future, I think I would try to include pictures of the steps in the meal-making process, but since this is part of a blogging challenge, I didn't have time to buy and make the recipes I'm going to talk about below so I don't have those pictures.  I will, however, post pictures from elsewhere on the web to give you an idea of what the finished dishes look like.

The first two dishes I'll discuss are pretty common dishes and they are ones my family has at almost every family holiday meal.  The first holiday staple is... drum roll please... green bean casserole, of course!  There's just something about the mixture of green beans, the creamy soup mixture and the crunchy onions on top that makes it so scrumptious.  Not to mention it has to be one of the easiest dishes to make!  You have to be talented to mess it up... and I am just so talented!  One time, many many years ago, I caught a green bean casserole on fire, because it was too close to the top oven coils.  It came out with flames which I promptly blew out.  You know how some people like their marshmallows blackened when making s'mores... or like their hot dogs burnt?  These people might have also enjoyed my green bean casserole that day.  Enough talk.  Down to the nitty gritty.  I use the French's recipe for green bean casserole and here it is (with a couple of small notes from me):

Green Bean Casserole


1.   1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
2.   3/4 cup milk
3.   1/8 teaspoon pepper
4.   2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans french-style green beans or 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained (I use the Del Monte cut green beans but it's all a matter of preference)
5.   1 (2 7/8 ounce) can French-fried onions


1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2.   Combine soup, milk, and pepper in a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish; mix well.
3.   Stir in beans and 2/3 cup of French fried onions.
4.   Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot.
5.   Stir.
6.   Sprinkle with remaining 2/3 cup of onions (or more if your stomach so moves you).
7.   Bake 5 minutes or until onions are golden.  Serves 6.  


Who wouldn't like to see this on their Thanksgiving table next month?!

Another recipe I love is hash brown potato casserole.  Just like the green bean casserole, there are many variations to this recipe, but I love and use the one straight out of my grandma's family cookbook (I'm not sure where she got it so I'm not sure who to attribute it to).  Here it is (again with a few of my own comments thrown in):

Hash Brown Potato Casserole 


1.   1 32-ounce package shredded frozen potatoes, thawed
2.   1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
3.   1 can cream of chicken soup, undiluted
4.   12-ounce grated American cheese (or cheddar)
5.   1 8-ounce carton sour cream (you could use light sour cream, but who are we kidding?  This is not a diet dish)
6.   1 tsp. salt
7.   1/4 tsp. pepper (if desired)
8.   1/2 small onion, chopped
9.   2 cups crushed Corn Flakes (don't forget to crush them!  I've made this mistake before... wow, I sound like a horrible cook) 
10. 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine 


1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.   Placed thawed potatoes in 9x13 baking dish. 
3.   Mix together ingredients 2-8 and pour over potatoes.
4.   Top with crushed Corn Flakes and drizzle melted butter over all.
5.   Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Serves 12. 


When I look at a picture of this dish, a low Barry White-type voice comes in my head saying, "Ooooh yeahhh." That's how good this dish is!  

Last but not least, dessert!  I have yet to make a pumpkin dish on my own, but after all the pumpkin-y dishes I've been pinning on Pinterest, I plan to do it this year sometime, either when it's my turn to bring snack for bible study night or at Thanksgiving.  So.... I'm hard-pressed to give what I would consider a fall dessert recipe.  However, I made caramel apple cheesecake bars not too long ago and maybe they could be considered fall-like?  Either way, I decided I'd share this recipe with you all too [I got it from The Girl Who Ate Everything's blog]: 

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars 

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/2 cup caramel topping

1.   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.   In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan lined with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
3.   In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
4.   In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
5.   For the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Using your hands can make it easier to thoroughly mix the ingredients. 
6.   Sprinkle Streusel topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy! Make 16 servings.

My BIGGEST tip for making this dish: Make it the day before and refrigerate so it's nice and cold.  I made the mistake of not letting it cool long enough and, though it was still very tasty, it was 100 times better the next day after it had been chilled. 

Get ready to drool, folks.


Well, that's all for my fall recipes post.  I hope you all enjoyed it and that you have a fall full of tasty creations.  Happy cooking!

Until next time,


Thursday, October 18, 2012


Today's blogging challenge is not too challenging at all.  I am just supposed to promote a post from the past.  My blog isn't too old so I wasn't sure what to promote, but I decided to promote a couple of posts with the most page views and/or comments.  Those are kind of random.   The one with the most page views by far is this post about a couple of my favorite foods.   

An old post with a lot of page views and comments (at least a lot of comments for my blog) is one of my favorite blog posts of all: this one.  It's the blog post where I announced my pregnancy with baby Graham, including sonogram pictures and all. : ) Very happy times!  

Sorry for the short but sweet post... just wait, though! Tomorrow's post will be about one of my favorite topics: food!  More specifically, favorite fall recipes.  

Until then, 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall: Golden Leaves to the Golden Boot

When I think of fall, the traditions that stick out the most to me are those surrounding Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I discussed some of my favorite Halloween memories in my last past, so on to Thanksgiving!

I know many people don't like being with a lot of family for an extended period of time during holidays.  Like most people, my family has our share of dysfunction, but it is so rare for us to all get together, so I truly enjoy and cherish every time we get to.  For that reason, and the food of course, I love Thanksgiving!

I love eating too much, helping my mom in the kitchen, and watching the Arkansas vs. LSU game (otherwise known as the Battle for the Golden Boot) every year.  [Pictured above is what the golden boot looks like in the proper hands]  This year, we even get to go to that game; I am so excited!  If you don't know me, one thing you must know is that I am a huge Arkansas Razorbacks fan!  

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention shopping.  Some years, I'm up to hitting the Black Friday sales; other years, I'm not. All in all, I love the fall traditions my family has created so far, but now that I have a child of my own, I look forward to creating new traditions.  I've seen many ideas on Pinterest, a website I love, such as putting what you're thankful for on a slip of paper and baking it into a roll or cookie so you can go around the table and read them out loud; going to a pumpkin patch and taking cute fall pictures; and more.  What creative or unique traditions does your family have in the fall?  What traditions do you think are cool and want to try?   

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From Pretty Princess to ...Street Walker?

Day 2 of the Arkansas Women Bloggers Challenge!  Topic: Halloween Memories

I have many fun Halloween Memories from childhood and on.   I wish I had more pictures to share, but that would require a lot of time looking for old photos and scanning ... and I just didn't have the time! 

Growing up, we would go to the mall some years when they would have events there.  More often, we used to go to Boo at the Zoo in Little Rock most years and I always looked forward to that.  I loved the zoo growing up and getting candy and seeing all the other kids on costumes were just bonuses to a great event!

Some years, we had church events too.  I remember one year in particular I won Prettiest Costume award.  I was dressed as a princess in a beautiful pink gown.  I felt like a princess too!

My friend, Jessica, and I dressed up as rock stars in college, complete with crazy wigs, spiky necklaces, and microphones.  We went to a Halloween party but we felt the night wasn't complete without trick-or-treating.  We went to a couple houses and at one of the houses, an older lady asked if we were "street walkers."  If you know me, you know that (once I found out what that meant) I was horrified.  Honestly, our outfits were not bad at all!  This may fall under most embarrassing Halloween memory, but it is a funny story to tell now.

In law school, I don't think I had a costume that year, but I was recruited to be a justice on the Supreme Court.   Some people were very serious justices, but I was a happy justice.  I'm on the bottom row, second from the right side. 

Those Halloween memories were so much fun, but the best Halloween memories of all happened a lot more recently... last year, in fact!  That is the memory of my son, Graham, being born... of becoming a mother.  Wow, what a great year it's been!  I am amazed at how much my life has changed... how much my responsibilities and priorities have changed.  Motherhood really does that.  I'll do another post about Graham closer to his birthday so I'll cut this one short.

Needless to say, while Halloween has been a fun day in the past... a time to wear costumes and eat candy, I now know that it will be a very special day to me for the rest of my life!  

What are some of your favorite Halloween memories or traditions? 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Fashion and Decorating

Heads up, these next several days I am doing a blogging challenge for Arkansas Women Bloggers.  Hence the picture above. 

Today's topic: Fall fashion and decorating. 

I love the fall.  From the pumpkin spice lattes to the salted caramel mochas... okay, admittedly the fancy coffee drinks are a large part of my love for fall.  But there is so much more to love about fall!  The cooler temperatures, the fall decorations, and the wonderful fall clothing!  This post will be about those last two.

First of all, fall decorations are great, because they are so easy!  Pumpkins, wreaths with orange leaves, orange flowers... love it all!  What I am doing this year: a lovely fall wreath with various colored leaves and small pumpkins on it; and possibly some different size pumpkins for my porch.  I think the painted pumpkins (like the chevron ones) are super cute, but due to my lack of craftiness, don't think I could pull that off.  I will have a few different decorations close to Halloween time, but I will save that for another blog post. ; )  What fall decorations are you going to have this year?  Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for particular decorations or where to find cute fall decor?

Now on to fall clothing... We are planning to get Graham's 1-year pictures taken soon.  I hope to take a few with Dustin and me too that we could use for Christmas pictures.  I have no idea what to wear or what to get Dustin/Graham to wear.  I want to wear something comfortable yet flattering and want all of the colors of our clothing to complement each other.  I'm trying to figure out my outfit first and then figure out Graham's and Dustin's outfits later.  For me, I was thinking skinny jeans and layers.  Either flats or brown boots.  I posted a couple of pictures below as examples of what I was thinking.  No matter what I wear, I'm going to have to go shopping soon... my closet is really pathetic.  I haven't been shopping in ages and really need to update my wardrobe.  Any suggestions on clothing and/or colors that are "in" this year.... and good places to find these things?  I really want some brown boots ... where's a good place to get these at a reasonable price?  I have limited time, people!  

'Til next time, folks!