Archive for October, 2014

Pumpkin Patches, Costumes and Fall Granola

Friday, October 31st, 2014

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Our visit to Elliot Farms in Macon, GA was dreamy this year. The weather was perfect, sunny with a gentle fall wind. Rows and rows of fresh Zinnias lined the pumpkin patch. I brought an armful of colorful flowers home. This year was unique at the farm, there were so many HUGE 100 lb.+  pumpkins in the field. Jude had to work hard to climb to the top of these giants. They were big and beautiful, so many shades of orange and green. The reason I love Elliot Farms pumpkins is because of their Cinderella Pumpkins. These magical pumpkins look like they jumped straight off the pages of a fairy tale. Cinderella pumpkins are not great for carving but make perfect decorations and are great for cooking. Our home feels like fall now!
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Our second pumpkin patch adventure was with Jude’s school and his sweet little classmates. We traveled to Alabama to visit Jack-O-Lantern Farms. This trip was a great opportunity for me to connect with many of the parents of Jude’s friends. We shared stories of our silly littles, had picnic lunches and even got to hold baby bunnies at the petting zoo. I love seeing Jude interact with his friends. He is has such a soft heart, one that wants to hold hands with the littlest kids to guide them towards the fun, a heart that offers to share his water bottle (despite my concerns), a little heart that always holds the door open for his mommy. I see how God is shaping him in a special way. Jude picked out our perfectly round, perfectly orange pumpkin head… he had to have just the right one and was so very proud to show his dad.
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Our church Fall Festival was so much fun this year! Complete with bouncy houses for the kids, funnel cakes and a petting zoo. Jude and my little brothers had a blast. My silly little Jude debated his Halloween costume for weeks, such important decisions for a 4 year old. He had two ideas in mind; one was this very ambiguous super villain named “Eagle Claw” (dun, dun, dun) from the show Aquabats or “Jack Frost” from the movie Rise of the Guardians. I’ll admit I was a bit concerned that my son was interested in becoming a villain. However, Jude informed me, “villains are good too mom.” In the end he chose the side of good… and so Jack he was.
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With all this pumpkin picking I was inspired to once again come up with a recipe starring PUMPKINS. I just can’t get enough of this crunchy pumpkin granola. Once prepared I had fun adding different mix-ins; white & dark chocolate chips, pecans, dried cranberries and dried apples. This granola was perfect with yogurt, though I ate most of it as a sweet, crunchy evening snack.
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Pumpkin Patch Granola
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbs. Pumpkin pie spice (you can find my recipe here)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
A pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients ensuring the oats are completely coated. Spread the oat mixture in a single layer onto a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, turning the oats about half way through. The granola should be dry and crunchy.

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Enjoy!

Game Day Wings

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

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Sports aren’t really my thing? Though, when the Denver Broncos play my little family never misses a game. Growing up in Colorado, our blue and orange Bucking Broncos have been part of our family bond, in our blood. Game day snacks litter the coffee table, our eyes fixed on the television screen awaiting VICTORY. Game day snacks are so much fun and trust me… any excuse I have to make these wings I take it!

Though these wings are my favorite game day treat, they are just sophisticated enough to share on any girl’s night!

Salty and sticky sweet, this wing sauce is purely addictive.

Game Day Wings

3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey or brown sugar
1 tsp. fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight.

Heat vegetable oil to about 350 degrees. Add chicken to hot oil in small batches. Fry chicken wings until cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 8 minutes per batch. While chicken is still piping hot, dip the cooked wings in the Singapore sauce until evenly coated. That’s it… just dig in.

Tip: you can store wing sauce in the refrigerator for up to one month. It is great to have on hand for a easy weeknight meal.

Enjoy!

A special thanks to my Great Aunt Dorthy who has helped to make my game day contribution the star of any party! This recipe was passed down to her during her adventures around the world as a military wife.

Apple Love Notes

Monday, October 13th, 2014

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Jude: “Mom, I have a riddle. What looks like a house but when you cut it in half it has a star on the inside?”

Honestly I had no idea of the possible answer to Jude’s little riddle. Well… I usually don’t have answers to his silly  jokes and riddles.

Jude: “An apple. Did you know there are stars inside of apples?”

With the piles of apples we picked from the apple orchard, I decided I would put Jude’s little riddle to practice. Did you ever make apple stamps as a kid?

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We cut apples in half both vertically and horizontally.

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We choose to dip our apples in red, yellow and green paint, Jude informed me these were the appropriate colors for apples. I found this fun wood grained card stock, which I cut to postcard size 5×7 and we began stamping.

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I used a round stamp to mark the spot for postage and used a ruler to draw a line down the middle of our postcards.

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Jude decided he would send an apple love note to my Grandpa… their really long arms ended in holding hands!

I wonder what else we can stamp?

Enjoy

Top 10 fun things to do with your little ones this weekend

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

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If you are looking for something fun to do this weekend, here is a list of our favorite weekend activities.

My top 10 are great for kids as well as those who are kids at heart!

1. Slumber Party: Just about every weekend Jude asks, “Mom, can we have a party?” So we drag our mattress out into the living room and pick out a movie together. We have a family picnic dinner on the floor, often we order pizza or Chinese food. We like to see who can jump on the bed the highest or has the best flips off the couch. Michael loves making slo-mo movies of our ninja moves. Slumber party nights are my favorite. Make the night complete with indoor or outdoor smores.

2. Outdoor Nature Scavenger Hunt: before heading out for your hunt take a white paper and draw pictures of all the things you want to collect on your hunt; biggest rock, smallest leaf, a walking sticks, acorns, a squirrel… and so on. Grab a bottle of water and head out for a long walk, collecting and celebrating the discoveries of your little ones. Check out our Adventure Hunt (here).

3. Cook a meal together: wake up and make pancakes with funny faces or make your own pizzas for movie night. Have you tried our Goldfish Pie recipe?

4. Family Dance Party: crank up the music and boogie on down. pull out your pots, pans, and wooden spoons. Think outside the box… What can make music? Freeze dance is Jude’s favorite!

5. Get Dirty: we have had so much fun planting and caring for our family garden. A full vegetable garden or a small herb garden, your kiddos will love getting their hands in the dirt. If you don’t have a garden find a U-pick farm near you. We went apples picking in September and will be picking out our fall pumpkins this month!

6. Water Wars: Grab a few water guns and balloons from the dollar store and get wet. What can hold water? Buckets, pans, cups, turn on the sprinkler, anything… just get wet.

7. Movie Feature Night: pick a movie and build your activities and meal around it. We will be having a Lego themed movie night this month complete with a TACO TUESDAY themed dinner! I have so much fun find old classics from my childhood to introduce to Jude. He enjoys watching me make a fool of myself as I act out every scene and sing every line from Mary Poppins.

8. Ding Dong Ditch: as kids my friends and I would love the thrill of ding dong ditching our neighbors. With Jude, I like to get a little surprise ready to leave on the doorsteps of those we trick. Who can be mad at a little package of fresh made cookies, a basket of apples or flowers left on their doorstep? So much fun, like this day our Earth Day surprises!

9. Saturday morning farmers market: here in downtown Columbus, Georgia we have such a great farmer’s market. We like looking at all the dogs out for walks with their masters (big and small), try new foods and bring home fresh produce. Jude loves picking up fresh baked croissants which are bigger than his head! Fresh air and we meet plenty of our friends along the way.

10. Make Paper Airplanes!

Enjoy your weekend!!!

What fun things are you doing to make memories with your family & friends?

German Castles

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

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This month we are learning all about GERMANY!

Today Jude and I are exploring German castles. Oh, to pack a bag and fly him across the ocean. I could only imagine the adventures he would dream up of knights and princess, fighting battles with beautiful swords. I found the neatest  coloring sheets online (here) featuring the beautiful German Alps and ancient castles which seem as if taken straight from the pages of fairy tales.

Germany has much more to offer than Lederhosen, sausages of all kinds, shnitzel, frosty steins… oh and Gummy Bears. We will be celebrating German festivals and holidays in our home, listening to a little Polka and of course eating LOTS of German food.
Our Germany celebrations began with a trip to the small Alpine town of Helen, Georgia to celebrate Oktoberfest. It was just a quick trip on the road back from apple picking but we did get to eat a giant German pretzel with spicy grainy mustard!

Jude got a Tyrolean or Alpine hat as a souvenir. Such a sweet, adventurous kid!

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We also learned about…

Tag der Deutschen Einheit

(The Day of German Unity)

October 3 is a national holiday for Germany, Germany Unity Day. Though the Berlin wall was actually dismantled on November 9, 1990, this is the date the reunification was pacified.  November 9 served as an inappropriate day to celebrate this joyous reunification, as the day is reserved to honor those who suffered and lost their lives on Kristallnacht or Night of Broken Glass.

Come along and enjoy Germany with us.

Sunday Soup: Garbage Soup

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

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The smell of my grandparents home is one I will never forget. Grandma’s floral perfume (usually Elizabeth Arden, Red Door), Grandpa’s hugs smelled of Brut and the aroma of a pot of bubbling Soup or chili filled the air.

There was always a pot of something warm to fill our bellies, comfort food at its finest. My favorite soup was and still is garbage soup. I would always giggle when I asked my grandma to make my favorite meal. There was never a recipe just whatever was in her refrigerator. Gram would take all the soggy, limp vegetables and make the most tasty pot of soup… truly something out of nothing.

It was never the same but it always started with the “trinity;” onion, celery and carrots browned in butter.

Gram would first use all those ,close to their end, vegetables to make a super flavorful vegetable or chicken stock. Next, she would add any and every ingredient that she could dream to turn a simple broth into a hearty soup. Perfect for a chilly fall evening.

Garbage ideas: mushrooms, leftover baked potatoes, pasta, bell peppers, parsnips, green beans, peas, corn… The possibilities are endless.

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Garbage Soup

1/2 onion
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. dried italian spice mixture
1 lb. bone in chicken for homemade stock or chicken broth
28 oz. can (or) 2 fresh diced tomatoes
2 tbs. salt
2 tsp. pepper

Chicken or Vegetable broth: cut onion, carrots and celery into large chunks. In a large soup pot, add vegetables, 2 qt. of water and bone in chicken and bring to a boil. Season broth with 1 tbs. salt, 1 tsp. pepper and add bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer chicken, 1-1 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked through and easily separates from the bone. Strain broth, discarding soft vegetables and reserve chicken broth to use as the base/broth for your soup. Remove chicken from the bone to add back into soup.Your home should smell fantastic now!

Garbage Soup: heat butter and olive oil until bubbling. Add 1 diced onion, 1 diced carrots, 1 diced stalk of celery, garlic and all your “garbage soup” add ins to butter, saute until vegetables are softened and fragrant. Next, season vegetables with salt, pepper and Italian spices mixture. Pour in canned tomatoes with all their juice. Last, add homemade or store bought stock, shredded chicken and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Laddle out a big bowl and serve with a warm sandwich or chunk of crusty bread.

Enjoy!

Flying Paper Airplanes Logo

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Meet my friend Mathew Young.
We share a love for seeing beauty in the world around us and even more, a love of great coffee. Mathew has been know to loose himself in espresso in our home.

Were there are good friends, there will be espresso.

Mathew is an incredible artist. With pen and ink, he captures a spirit of adventure, wonder and the outdoors which draws me to his work:

” I have drawn off and on since I was a little kid. The art I am most intrigued by is simple pen and ink. It’s amazing how the dynamics of shadowing and texture are simply done with different strokes because you dont’ have the luxury of using lighter ink, like you do with sketching pencils or digital work. You can also work in and insane amount of detail. One of my biggest inspirations right now is an artist by the name of Jared Muralt. He works a breathtaking amount of detail, depth and life into simple pen and ink.”

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Sometimes he adds color.
His outdoor series is so full of adventure. Well, it’s just my favorite of his work, the mountains drawing me back to my Colorado roots.
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 “I create for me and it’s just an extra measure of joy if someone wants to share what I’ve done.”

And I do, I find joy in his work. So I asked matthew to create for me a special logo for Flying Paper Airplanes and I couldn’t love it more!
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Find more of Mathew’s beautiful artwork on his new Etsy site, YoungerCards.
Also, follow him on his brand new blog Diaper-Dad.com  and on Instagram: @mathewyoung_me

Sticker Giveaway:

I had the opportunity to turn Mathew’s lovely work into stickers. What do you think?
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This giveaway is simple… really you are guaranteed to win! Just click to the right, to subscribe to FlyingPaperAirplanes.net
Email your mailing address to candice@flyingpaperairplanes.net and the sticker is yours.
You can also find me on IG and twitter: @candicemcgarvey

Flying Paper Airplanes