Halloween Recap.

So far today, I’ve eaten 2 “fun size” milky ways and a Halloween cupcake. #winning. I see why they call them fun size– you can shove the whole thing in your mouth in one shot, and continue to do so every time you pass the bowl. My kids got so much candy, it’s crazy. I wanted to re-cap Halloween for everyone, because we had a blast. It was Ollie’s first attempt at trick-or-treating and he learned the words “tan-choo” {thank you} just in time to receive free candy…and act grateful of course! 

We dressed the little goon up as a celtics player {although he’s wearing Rondo’s jersey, he’s more of a Larry Bird} because he’s obsessed with basketballs. “Backetbaw” as he says. We figured it’d be a perfect costume for the sports fan–and WARM for his little bod. He loved strolling around the neighborhood in the wagon, with his POP!

You can just hear the ‘jingle’ with this one coming at ya! After talking her out of being the JOKER for Halloween, she chose the WWOW. Wicked Witch of the West. Next best thing, I’m guessing?! Nothing “princess” for this peach. She actually saw a 50-something year old guy dressed as the joker while trick-or-treating and went right up to him, saying “did you know DAT I was GUNNA be duh JOKA raw Halloween n’ my mom said no!” {we were shocked that she, A. Wasn’t afraid of this man, and B. Still not over the fact that we didn’t want her being a serial killer for Halloween.  She stayed in character all night as the witch though, with her tricycle–and evil brows of course, and she really enjoyed herself. The legs got tired after pedaling to 4 houses so she ditched the wheels for daddy’s hand about 20 minutes into trick or treating, and returned the tricycle to the truck. My sister/brother in law have the best trick-or-treat neighborhood for the little ones, and decorated their house and yard for all of the trick-or-treaters they’d be getting.  Lights, creepy sounds, a video projector showing ghosts dancing, skeletons, and fog–totally into it–and festive. 

I was asked to bring my guacamole to my sister in laws for our trick or treat night, so OF COURSE I had to give it a face. My aunt taught me a little trick about adding some crumbled feta into my guacamole and I must confess, I do it every time now! Yum. It’s the perfect amount of that salty goodness to the dip. 

Want to make it? Simple and DELISH!  2 large ripe Florida avocados chopped into small squares {they’re about double the size of hass avocados and are also a little cheaper these days}, one small red onion chopped small, about ten-fifteen cherry tomatoes –chopped, 3/4 cup or so of crumbled feta, juice of one lime, salt/pepper/garlic powder/parsley to taste. I save the pit to stick in the center of my dip to keep the guac green.  Mix it all up and use multigrain scoops to “dunk”. YUM. 

I asked Penelope what she thought I was being for halloween with my face paint on– and she said “a cow and a bee togetha ” so there ya have it. MOOOO-BZZZZ
happy witch, happy life.
queen Bee is sad.

The Sunday before Halloween we went to the walk-about in Bristol where the kids trick or treated at all the local shops! Couldn’t make it to Bristol and not stop into Auntie Andi’s salon, where Penel ‘took one for the team’ and helped pass the candy out! 
Auntie Andi was in full spirit with her “teddy bear” gear and Ashley was a lion! very cute. Penelope was the hired help, clearly!
It was a huge hit and there were TONS of kids. A lot of parents dressed up too. I’m thinking it’ll be a tradition for us! We also did the East Greenwich costume parade and all of their Halloween festivities Saturday. Penelope was the wicked witch, Ollie was Cookie Monster, and I was hungry and thirsty, per usual. 
thanks for the shoes, Dorothy!
green face FOREVERRRRR.
this was their get-up for the East Greenwich downtown trick-or-treat event!
Even though it was a crazy busy weekend, we really enjoyed it! Saturday-East Greenwich Halloween day, Sunday–Bristol walkabout and Monday–HALLOWEEN night! Lots of fun for the kiddies and great time spent with friends and cousins! Penelope really enjoyed Halloween this year, and Ollie got shoved in a wagon with a tootsie pop to keep him still. HA! Fun times. Just realized I recapped that BACKWARDS for you. Figure that one out! See ya soon🎃


Just a bee staring across the water. Loved this shot. Couldn’t resist it, although a little nervous with her laying so close to the edge–the sunset, combined with her position of the legs, was perfect. Bristol Bay. So pretty! 

make stew, not war. 

The mornings are chilly and the nights are getting cold, this means several things. ONE, the toilet seat is freezing when you wake up to pee, TWO–I’m STILL not switching to hot coffee, and THREE, It’s SOOOO annoying to change a poop diaper on a kid dressed in multiple layers. HA! OKAY, four. It’s time for “fall” food! For football Sunday, we decided to make a ground turkey vegetable stew. By “we” I mean ME. My hubby had the idea. As long as I played my part, as the ‘complaining chef’. Long story short, It was delish and could’ve fed an army! Want to know how I made it? GOOD! Here ya go. 

fall flowers, fall soup …almost fall on the floor when you burn your entire mouth trying to be the first one to TRY it.

Go to the store and buy alllllll of this…

2 white or yellow onions, LOAD of garlic, portobello mushrooms, 2 small zucchini, bag of large carrots, 2 cartons of chicken/vegetable stock (whichever), bag of kale (use as much or as little as you’d like), 6-8 green onions, 5-7 celery stalks, 3 large cans of petite diced tomatoes, 1 small can of tomatoe paste, 3lbs of ground turkey, salt, pepper, fresh parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil. a spoon. A bowl. Yes. Buy all of that. Brown rice or quinoa too, if you want that for a little carb in your soup! {we did!} 

IT’S EASY, guys– just takes lots of chopping. {before you start cooking your meat, chop EVERYTHING up so you can just DUMP it into the pot as you go}…I didn’t do that, which was annoying–so you should!  Just “guess-stimate” amounts of veggies. Or if it’s easier, use entire bags of what you bought! 

you make me emotional, but i still love you.

We used a Dutch oven for the stew, then switched to a HUGE sauce pan since we overloaded the Dutch oven. Start with olive oil in your pan (if I had to measure–which I never, ever do–unless baking…I would say 4 teaspoons of olive oil.) and get it hot, your burner should be low-low medium and toss in the finely sliced or chopped garlic and 1 diced white onion.  {you’re doing this so you can flavor and cook your ground turkey first} Save the other onion to add into the pot with the rest of the veggies. give those onions and garlic a few minutes and then PLOP in all 3 lbs of ground turkey. From the second you drop the meat into the pan, DO.NOT.STOP.CHOPPING/BREAKING UP.THE.MEAT. There’s really nothing more lovely than seeing those little “wormy” meat strings in the soup. Nope, nada, negative. Yuck. I used a metal spatula and just chopped away and kept that meat moving until just about fully done. (meat goes from a pink color to a gray and firms up) You’ll have crumbles, not blobs. PLEASE. I then seasoned the meat with sea salt, cracked black pepper, and a few dashes of worcestshire …like 4 or 5. 

must keep chopping, must keep chopping, chopping chopping. gobble.

Looks pretty right? YOURS BETTER BE! 😜 NEXT: Take the entire can of tomatoe paste and incorporate {oooh fancy!} it into the meat and garlic/onion mixture. Add those three large cans of petite diced tomatoes, juice and all, and stir. Next take every single veggie you have so beautifully chopped beforehand–and add them all in!  Lastly, add two cartons of whichever broth you chose and give it a good stir. Cover that baby and LET IT GO. Set your burner to low. You want a “SIMMA”. We let ours simmer happily for 3 hours and ate it after the game. If you’re a smart cook, you’ll have it perfectly timed for half-time. I’m not a smart cook. 

ready! {this is a picture of the leftovers as you can see we ate about 2.5 inches of it} 😜

Since your meat is basically cooked when you add in those veggies, the stew will be ready to eat once all of your veggies are cooked, too. Season with more salt and pepper as you go!  once everything was in the pot, I added onion powder, garlic powder, fresh parsley (15 leaves-ish?!) you don’t have to use fresh if you don’t want to!  I made a super quick bag of Trader Joe’s organic instant brown rice for those of us who wanted to add some to the bowls! 
we totally made mozzarella/provolone grilled cheese sandwiches in the cast iron, today–and used them as DUNKAROOS!
You can feed ATLEAST 10 friends on a Sunday with this. Or a Wednesday. Even a Tuesday–your friends will WANT to eat at your house. 6 of us ate it twice each and there’s still more left. You could totally freeze this too, in a freezer bag and thaw that sucker out for a few weeks down the road from now!  It’s so friggan good the next day with a cast iron grilled cheese to dunk in it! Mmmmmhmmmm. We went there. BUT– it’s equally as yummy with or without the rice, too! 

kids love these things. SO do Moms. I ate atleast 8. OINK.
my $3 lipstick matches my $3 trader joes flowers. HOW APPROPRIATE.

red, white & rude

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American horror story: Toddlers

We are FOURTH OF JULY ready! How about you?  We’re making cucumber/vidalia/beet salad and a patriotic sangria to share this year, as we’ll be attending the ANNUAL Bristol 4th of July festivities with our red, white, and BOOZE in tow.  Please excuse my two year old daughter, as she does not know flag etiquette.  If you count dragging the mini flags across the cement and whacking flowers with them as “what to do”–then we’re golden, otherwise–she’s the least “american girl” that I know. Also, she prefers to sing “happy birthday” while waiving them, instead of “america the beautiful”…ya follow me?–she doesn’t get it!  photo-34

*Stars n’ Stripes Sangria*
1 jug of Carlo Rossi Rhine (white)
1 bottle of welch’s white grape juice
1/2 (the pint bottle) of peach schnapps
1 bottle of polar strawberry/watermelon seltzer for fizz (use any flavor you like!)
1 cup of lime juice (fresh squeezed or bottle)
Lots of fruit! I picked red apples, blueberries and strawberries because HELLO– they’re red, white and blue! Duh. 
Throw some limes in too, for color. If you cut the apples laying horizontal, you get a really cool star shape where the seeds were (instead of slicing from stem to end– slice across instead!)  Put your sangria in a Ball brand mason jar–filled with ice (and some of that sinfully soaked fruit), and you have adorable arm candy for the holiday!

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fryin’ up some tasty flowers with my american chopsticks
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Auntie Addie got her nails did by MOI as payment for watching my kiddies! Am I a cheap-o? Nahhhh…Auntie loves the torture!

Fireworks tonight and the parade tomorrow…how much better can ya get?…well…there’s always that beach chair…alone…on an island somewhere…anywho–we have gone to the Bristol Fourth of July parade every year since I can remember! It is definitely much more fun being a kid at a parade, but if mama can put sangria in her sippy cup–everyone’s happy. Also feed me snacks, I like snacks with my drinks. 

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she sat for 10 minutes straight with this sucker in front of her!
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special treat at the Bristol 4th of July Concert series!

I’m bustin’ out the radio flyer wagon this year to haul the kiddies around. Well really, Ollie will be in the baby bjorn attached to me like velcro–per usual, and Penel will be strapped into the wagon with all our cooler/diaper bag swag, until some very daring individual decides to unleash her amongst the tens of thousand parade-goers. We should probably avoid the red, white and blue with her–and stick to neon green…you know.. like the asphalt workers wear so they don’t lose each other on the job.

photo 1-42photo 3-33photo 2-46

happy baby. gangster baby. happy-gangster baby.

My aunt lives right on the parade route which makes pee/poop runs a breeze–especially when your toddler enjoys pooping in her pull-ups these days. YESSSS, I knowwww…we totally went backwards with the potty skills. DON’T JUDGE ME– I was very pregnant and very lazy. I’ll be nursing in private, too… versus out on the sidewalk with the saxophones of the 78th high school band passing by. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good band–but they don’t need any distractions (my chest) while trying to remember the tune to “your a grand ole flag”. For crying out loud, they’re already trying to walk, play the darn instrument, AND catch water from the squirty bottle being shot into their mouth by the “water person” who’s NOT in head-to-toe polyester. Phew. Poor things… all…that…fabric… thank goodness for them, it looks like we are getting 70-ish weather. I’m sure those outfits smell lovely from sweat by the end of the conga line– so 70-ish sounds hot enough.

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These beautiful bottom feeding aphrodesiacs came from The Boathouse in Tiverton, RI. They were literally caught right there in front of the restaurant. Everyone should eat there at least once this summer. I always get the scallops. LOCAL–and delish!
It’s all fun and games until you’re caught trying to consume a t-shirt at Target.

…stay tuned for my next post ALL ABOUT APPAREL!