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.

…and i quote…

WARNING: These are word-for-word conversations with my two year old.

photo 5-25
hey guysh…have you sheen my shnorkel?

(Penelope –looking out the window at daddy on the tractor.)
“Daddy? …dad?? BRIAN MORSE…Get out of the street, the cars are comin!”
Mommy does a double take … wait… Did she just call her father by his first AND last name?! YUP. She totally did. In between halfway peeing my pants and dying laughing, I reminded her that she calls him “Daddy” and his friends call him Brian.
She then reminded me that they also call him “Bri” and that mommy calls him “Bri” too… I caaannnn’t. I mean, really…I just can’t with this broad. 

photo 1-44
shortly after playing in the fish tank, she decided to become one.

The very SECOND I forget to latch the bathroom door in an attempt to keep her out of there, she sneaks in and takes the glade candle off the back of the toilet and asks to blow it out. I tell her to “make a wish” and she blows it out…with more spit than air. She looks at me with her pointer finger in the air and says “jusss one more time mommy–n’ thass it!” so, I re-light it and she blows it out again…
I ask her what she wished for and she looks up at me with a big smile and says “MORE CANDLES…HOORAY!” And commences the ‘happy birthday’ song. It’s ALWAYS daddy’s birthday. God forbid Mommy get some cake/and/or recognition of any kind around here. Also child–when you wish for things…how about a maid? How about a trip for mommy to go to Hawaii…alone..!? How about a trip for mommy to go ANYWHERE alone?!  Never mind Dollar Tree birthday candles …just some ideas for next time.

photo 2-48
duck face…nailed it.


photo 4-30
cheapest bib ever… $1 bandana!

Mommy: Hey penel…Want to go to the new library soon ?
Penelope: Nope I’m good… I don’t!
Mommy: k…cool…

Mommy: We’re going to eat some kale and corn with your chicken nuggets for lunch today, k?
Penelope:  oh OK so popcorn and mushrooms?
Mommy: yup-exactly.

Mommy: (yawn)
Penelope: We go get cawfee mommy?

“Tickle tickle yittle oyyeeeee” as she’s squeezing the very life out of his foot (pinky toe is purple at this point)

photo 3-36
with toes like these, I’ll be climbin’ trees in no time.

While laying together in her bed for bedtime…“Mommy..ah you a monster?”
No penel… (even though I turn monster-ish when her nap is skipped–as does she)
“Oh…yeah… Just mommy right?!”

“Penelope–did you have fun at the party yesterday?”
“What did you do at the party?”
“I hit kids mommy. It’s fun”
“Yes– you did hit kids, and that was very naughty.  Hands are not for hitting.
“Oh…ya… It’s ok though, mommy…I be nice”

She’s over biting, which is great because mommy, daddy, and Ollie are no longer chew toys.  HOWEVER, she’s moved on to pinching, scratching, hitting, and SQUEEZING. One step forward and 35 back right?? I fully blame my husband for letting her have bites of his whey protein bars and for allowing her to watch UFC. She’s becoming the hulk.

Her hugs are never soft, her squeezes are like a boa constrictor. …It’s really not okay, though–my kids a girl bully (we joke) and was beating boys (and girls) up in the bouncy house at the birthday party we had last weekend. As if I can run in and pull her out while she’s triangle choking her friend in the middle of the inflatable “octagon” … My child was actually pinning boys twice her age to the point of tears, then she would get up and walk away while shrugging her shoulders saying “he cryin’ mommy”.

photo 2-50
this face almost always follows a naughty act.

Well gee, …I can’t imagine why he’s crying– (even though he was literally 4 years old and twice her size, I wanted to crawl in a hole as every parent is probably wondering what the frig goes on at Penelope’s house to make her wrestle like this) … The worst part is, she finds NOTHING WRONG with her actions, and makes a face like what’s his/her problem while she’s “submitting” them to the ground. As I’m yelling “LET GO OF HIM/HER” or “GET OFF OF HIM/HER” she’s looking around as if I don’t exist and laying horizontal over whatever victim struggles underneath her. She honestly thinks its funny to hug someone until they fall down to the ground and she lands on top of them.  I joke now, and “it will pass” they say when I ask my mom/aunts for advice on controlling her rough-neck behavior. Well ladies, (and gentlemen) if it doesn’t “pass” …she’ll be in juvi and we can all go visit her there during the designated hours for doing so! Her random ROUGHNESS and sudden urges to squeeze or attack are much like a shark or venomous snake. Freakin’ great, I just compared my two year old daughter to not one—but TWO deadly animals, humans everywhere would be afraid to encounter. Here’s the thing…If she gets a reaction from a kid (whining, screaming) she treats it like a game where she antagonizes to keep on getting a good scream from the other kiddo…you remember from school…cause and effect! –Honest to God, though–she has a complete smile on her face the whole time she’s doing it.  It could be an evil smile (most likely is) because she knows she’s being too rough–but it’s a smile!  This usually goes on for a few rounds until, of course, she’s distracted by a jelly bean.

photo 1-46
…after mauling several 2-4 year olds in the bouncy house, she found peace and tranquility in the arms of Elmo. 

I swear it depends on the kids she’s with…funny story–we just had a play date today with  3 other 2 year old toddlers and not ONCE did I have to talk to her about hitting. She played great the entire time! …I don’t get the mind of a toddler. Do you?
As her parents, we are proud of her for the GOOD she does do (on occasion). She’s so smart in so many ways, she was chit chatting in full sentences before she turned two, uses manners, remembers what you tell her, learns to do things on the first or second time they’re done, loves to be outside, sing songs, help cook, etc. It’s just that she hugs SO HARD that she brings you to the ground. Literally. It never seems to be out of anger. It’s like playful squeeeeeezing–but in your FACE… And really hard. Hey she’s 2…she’ll learn… “They say”…

photo 3-37
Ronda Rousey Jr. over here. Joking… She doesn’t actually watch UFC. Only commercials, if anything!…However, I AM still wondering how she gets such good form with that triangle choke she was performing in the bouncy house.  Who knows… I keep telling her to squeeze her stuffed animals and pillows if she needs to squeeze something. I keep telling her that humans don’t seem to like her squeezing habits. We will see how long it takes for this phase to end…