Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween ~ 2012

While most people on the East Coast were preparing for Hurricane Sandy, we took a little break to allow Grace (whom I affectionately call a hurricane at times) to burn some energy!  We also wanted to make sure to fit in one more day of Halloween fun in case trick or treating was cancelled due to the storm.

After running a couple quick errands in the morning, we took a ride over to a local farm and pumpkin patch.

Since we already took a trip to another pumpkin patch with family earlier in the month, we didn't plan on taking a hay ride out to the patch.

Our plan was to simply walk through the corn maze and let Grace ride the pony before grabbing a snack and coming home to get ready for the storm ahead.

But as soon as we got there, Grace recognized the tractors pulling the hay wagons and very excitedly pulled us both in that direction.

Once we were dropped at the patch, Grace just ran and ran from one pumpkin to the next, burning off lots and lots of energy!  We weren't able to get too many photos while we were there, since she was WAY ahead of us most of the time we were there!

Hey, everyone!  In case you haven't heard, come back this Sunday when I host my very first linky party!

Bring your favorite soup recipe and link it up to my Soup's On! Sunday linky party!  (Soup, stew and chili recipes are welcome!)

I've linked this post to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Keeping the Victims of Hurricane Sandy in Our Prayers

I was up for most of the night last night watching the news and checking facebook for Hurricane Sandy updates and then again for 3 hours when Grace woke in the wee hours of the morning.

With so many downed trees, power outages and damage to homes, we were really lucky.  Words cannot explain how thankful I am for that.

We do have family that have had extensive damage to their home and many of our family and friends are without power today.  Please keep them, along with so many others along the East Coast in your prayers.

Here's a photo that Joe just sent me from his cell phone while he's on his way to check on our nephews.  My anxiety level won't drop until he's home.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2012 ~ Week of October 29th

Even though there's a hurricane heading our way, I'm planning this week's menu plan as if it were any other week.  I'll just cross my fingers and hope we won't lose power!  Although, it sounds like we may be without power for weeks if it does go out.   I'm sure there's a lot of finger crossing on the East Coast about now.

I skipped menu planning last week due to a couple of different factors.  One being that we didn't get to many of the meals from the week before, so the plan would have been almost a duplicate post.  The second factor was that I was just plain exhausted.  After many nights of getting just a few hours of sleep and lugging and packing and unpacking boxes for our yard sale, I was just couldn't function enough to put together a menu plan.  I really spent a lot of time resting up as much as I could.  I even slept for 13 hours one night!

Although, I spent most of the week relaxing, I did manage to make 2 pots of soup toward the end of the week.  They were delicious, but as usual, I made too much.  I'll figure in the leftovers for a night or two this week and freeze the rest.


Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Rosemary Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, steamed vegetables


Toasted English Muffins


Salad topped with Aurora Salad Fixin's


I usually only create a menu plan for dinners, but after finding a lot of wasted food when cleaning out the fridge this week, I figured I'd see if planning all of our meals will help us finish up what needs to get used.  Of course, if the hurricane hits as hard as they are predicting, there might be a lot more wasted food by the time it's over.

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Soup's On! Sunday ~ Bacon, Bean & Butternut Squash Soup

I love soup!  I love how easy it can be to prepare a big pot of soup from scratch and enjoy for several nights!  Or how it can be frozen for meals later in the season!  I love how soup can also be used to turn leftovers into an entirely different meal, often stretching those leftovers into another night or two!  Something that comes in handy during this bad economy!  Or how warm and satisfying a bowl of hot soup can be after being out on a cold day!

All of the reasons listed above is why I am always on the search for new soup recipes and why I invite you to join me each Sunday (starting next week) and link up your favorite soup recipes!  It can a new favorite or an older post of one of your best tried and true soup recipes!

The first Soup's On! Sunday blog carnival will be posted on Sunday, November 4th!  So, mark your calendars and tell your friends!  Be sure to come back and share links to your best soup recipes for us all to try and enjoy during the cold winter we'll be heading into soon!  Hopefully, by then, I'll figure out how to set up a linky party and also come up with a cool logo for the party!

Even though the party doesn't start until next weekend, I still wanted to share a soup recipe that we enjoyed this past week!

I always thought of myself as someone that loved vegetables.  In my teens, I've been known to fill my plate with just veggies and not even miss the meat portion of the meal, especially if we were having a meat dish that I wasn't particularly fond of back then.

As much as I loved vegetables, I never strayed very far from the basics:  mashed potatoes, peas, corn, carrots, green beans.  I hated broccoli and cauliflower and usually picked the peppers and onions out of anything my mom prepared.  (Sorry, mom!)  As I grew older, my tastes have sure changed.  I now love all of those veggies I tried to avoid all those years.

Still, there are so many different veggies I haven't tried yet!

On the first day of autumn, my friend Diahanna and I took our girls to the local dairy farm for ice cream.  While we were there, the girls posed for pictures, picked out pumpkins and of course, ate some delicious ice cream!

Feeling festive, I grabbed a spaghetti squash and an butternut squash when I paid for Grace's pumpkins.  I already knew what I wanted to make with the spaghetti squash.  I had no plans at all for the butternut squash.  I had never cooked with nor have I eaten butternut squash before, but I've seen it mentioned so many times in recipes on blogs and all over Pinterest.

Since I love soup, it only made sense for me to look for a soup recipe to test out the new-to-me squash!

I posted a list of soups that I want to try this season and one of the soups mentioned was this Bacon Butternut Squash Soup.  I knew I wanted to make a few changes to accommodate our tastes as well as use items mostly found in our pantry.

The result was a wonderfully flavorful soup that I enjoyed very much!

Bacon, Bean & Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 whole butternut squash
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. pancake syrup
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. butter
  • salt, to taste
  • 6 slices turkey bacon
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 15 oz. chicken broth, canned or homemade
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 - 15 oz. cans Cannellini beans, rinsed/drained
  • 1/4 c. cream
  • salt & pepper, to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut butternut squash in half. Scrape with a spoon to remove seeds.
  3. Place squash halves flesh side down in a baking dish.
  4. Add about a cup of water to the baking dish.
  5. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until squash skin is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  7. Slice butter and place into a large bowl.
  8. When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh from the shell into the bowl with the butter.
  9. Add syrup and salt and mash with a potato masher.
  10. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree squash mixture and set aside.
  11. In a soup pot or dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain if necessary.
  12. Add onion, cook for another minute or two.
  13. Slowly stir in chicken broth, scraping the sides of the pot to remove browned bits.
  14. Bring to a boil.
  15. Cover and reduce heat. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  16. Stir in the butternut squash puree and the cannellini beans. Simmer uncovered for another 5 minutes.
  17. Add the cream and salt and pepper, stirring to combine.
  18. Simmer until heated through.

It seems like a lot of steps for a simple soup, but that's because I included the Butternut Squash Puree recipe  as well.  The original recipe called for frozen puree from the grocery store, but since I had a fresh squash here that needed to be used, I didn't see the sense in purchasing a bag of frozen puree.

Instead, I prepared a  homemade puree using the Pioneer Woman's Butternut Squash Puree recipe as a guideline.  I reduced the amount of syrup and butter in the recipe.  Honestly, the squash has such a lovely flavor that the I'll probably just omit the butter completely next time.

I left out the greens that were included in the original soup recipe as well and added an additional can of beans for a heartier soup.  I really wasn't sure of how I was going to like the bean and squash combo, but in the end, I really liked the way the soup turned out.

The final change in this recipe was the turkey bacon.  The original recipe called for regular bacon.  I didn't have any int he freezer and really didn't want to add it to the shopping list since it wasn't on sale this week.  To me, turkey bacon tastes more like ham than bacon.  But that's okay because ham, Canadian bacon or even some smoked kielbasa would be tasty alternatives to the real bacon in this delicious soup!

I've linked this recipe to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:

Friday, October 26, 2012

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies

Did you know that today is National Pumpkin Day?  I didn't either until a couple of minutes ago!
Good thing I had this post in my drafts waiting for the perfect opportunity to share with y'all!

On a recent trip to Walmart, Grace added a jar of Halloween sprinkles to our shopping cart.  I love when Grace "shops" when we're at the store.  It's interesting to see what she thinks we should be purchasing!  Like   a couple of weeks ago when she added a huge tub of chocolate chip cookies to our cart.  Joe put them back because Grace doesn't eat chocolate chip cookies!  She probably figured mommy needed a chocolate fix!

Anyway, back to the sprinkles.  I'm not sure why I didn't put those sprinkles back on the shelf, since I really don't bake.  I always have good intentions wanting to make cookies or cupcakes for Grace, but I never seem to get around to it.  I don't enjoy baking very much.  I can't decide if it's due to laziness (all that measuring) or if it's because of my ancient oven that makes everything look over-done.  That doesn't even take into consideration the fact that my daughter only likes cupcakes from the super-market bakery.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake recipe that's right up my alley!  So simple and no measuring!  It at least solves the laziness part of my excuse for not baking!

Soon after, I saw that Shelly from Cookie & Cups posted an easy 2-ingredient brownie recipe!  I LOVE brownies!  After reading her post, I was extremely interested!  Especially when I saw that one of the ingredients was a can of pumpkin!

Now, I've tried a couple of different cake mix varieties mixed with canned pumpkin, but never even thought of trying to use brownie mix combined with the pumpkin!  What a great idea!!!  I couldn't wait to try it!

Shelly's recipe calls for the family size box of brownie mix.  The box that you prepare in a 13x9 pan.  I didn't have that, so I used 2 pouches of the regular sized mix.  The size that would bake in an 8x8 pan.

Of course, I had to add a third ingredient to the brownies!  Chocolate chips!  Usually, I add ingredients to recipes because I just can't leave well enough alone!  This time, it was more out of necessity.  You see, I only had a handful of chocolate morsels left in the bag and if I didn't add them to the brownies, I'd have eaten them all myself.  Right out of the bag!  So, to save myself, I distributed them evenly throughout the tray of brownies that I ate almost all by myself anyway!  Oh well!  I tried!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies

  • 2 boxes Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix
  • 15 oz canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Hershey's Chocolate Morsels
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the brownie mix and canned pumpkin with an electric mixer until well combined.
  4. Add in chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.
  5. Spread mixture into greased baking dish and bake in oven for 30-40 minutes. Brownies are done when toothpick is inserted in center and comes out clean.

As you can see, I decided to top my brownie with some cool whip and sprinkles for a festive look, but believe me, these brownies are perfect all on their own!  While not exactly the texture of a true brownie, this recipe turns out perfectly moist and fudgy!

I've linked this recipe post to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pasta and Bean Soup with Sausage

I love Pinterest.  It's one of my favorite ways to spend time when I should be doing other things.  You know, things like cleaning the bathroom or doing the laundry!  It's a place where I go to day dream about how I'd decorate my house if only it were bigger.  Where I get craft ideas for when I have unlimited time and money on my hands.  But it's also a great resource for new recipes.  While I may not have the money for all the great home remodeling ideas and craft ideas I see on Pinterest, I certainly can afford to try a few new recipes here and there.  I mean, we have to eat, right?  

Sometime last year, (according to Pinterest, it was 40 weeks ago) I pinned this recipe for a very yummy looking soup.  At the time, I had some sausage in the fridge that needed to be cooked.  So, like most recipes I try, I ended up changing things around a bit.  We were so pleased with the results, that I didn't take the time to take a picture of the soup.  Which is why I didn't post the recipe until now, 40 weeks later.  

While the original recipe is much easier to make, I like the addition of the sausage and vegetables.  I prepped the veggies earlier in the week, so it was really easy when it came time to throwing the soup together.  

This delicious soup recipe yields 6 hearty portions.  

Pasta and Bean Soup with Sausage

  • 1/2 lb. Bob Evan's Zesty Sausage
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 2 cans kidney beans (15 oz. each), rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup small dried pasta, uncooked
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, cook sausage until no longer pink,over medium heat. Breaking down with spatula as it cooks.
  2. Add in vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, broth and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Stir in beans and pasta. Continue to simmer until pasta is done.
  6. Discard bay leaves and serve.

We enjoyed this soup with a nice crusty loaf of Italian Bread.  Joe topped his with some shredded cheese.

This soup is so tasty and filling and very easy to make.  I can assure you I won't be waiting another 40 weeks to serve this again!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bisquick Barbecue Chicken Bake

Grace and I were sick most of last week and each night that the dinner hour rolled around, all I really wanted to do was call for pizza delivery.  While most of the meals on my menu plan for last week were on the easy side, they just didn't seem simple enough while not feeling well!

I saw this recipe and boy did it sound delicious, but I didn't want to have to cut up and saute raw chicken.  Not that cutting up raw chicken is difficult or anything, I just didn't feel like doing it!  I knew I had a container of Zesty Crock Pot BBQ Chicken in the freezer and by using that, I could make this an even quicker, throw-together meal!

We had some leftover corn in the fridge, too, so I decided to toss a little on top of the dish to use it up before it became a science project in the back of the refrigerator.  Joe wasn't as fond of it with the corn and I was, while I thought the meal reminded me of biscuits, barbecue chicken and corn on the cob, Joe just thought he'd enjoy it more without the corn.

Now, this isn't the most photogenic meal, but it worked in a pinch!  I had all the ingredients on hand and clean up was super-easy since it's a one pan meal!

Bisquick Barbecue Chicken Bake

  • 2/3 cup Bisquick
  • 1 jumbo egg
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1/2 tsp. Lawry's Season Salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, Mexican blend
  • 2 cups shredded barbecue chicken, heated (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup corn
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the Bisquick, egg, water and seasoned salt.
  4. Spread dough mixture in bottom of greased baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of cheese.
  6. Top the cheese with the barbecue chicken.
  7. Add the corn on top of the chicken.
  8. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over top and bake for another 3 minutes until cheese is melted.

This recipe is a keeper!  I think my favorite part of this meal is that it gives me another use for Zesty Crock Pot BBQ Chicken!  When I make a crock pot full of this delicious barbecue chicken, we usually have enough for sandwiches for 2 nights, a batch of enchiladas, and enough to add to the freezer for another night or two of sandwiches.  I love having another option for the leftovers!

I've linked this recipe to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2012 ~ Week of October 15th

Grace and I are finally both feeling better after being sick for nearly two weeks!  Now, we're just tired from a busy weekend!

I have a hectic week ahead of me as I'll be getting ready for a yard sale this weekend (weather permitting).  While I love the yard sale groups I've joined on facebook, a real live yard sale just clears out the clutter a lot quicker!  I'm determined to get our basement cleared so we can start turning it into a playroom for Grace.

In anticipation of the week ahead, I began prepping some of the vegetables for the meals we'll be eating all week.  That should help save me some time getting dinner to the table, at least for a few nights.


I almost made this last week in place of the Chicken A LA King that was planned, but when I looked in the pantry for the ingredients needed, I was all out of Cream of Mushroom Soup.  I know! I know!  I probably could have whipped some up myself using one of the many recipes found all over Pinterest, but I wasn't feeling it at the moment.  So, this will be dinner for tonight!


Mmm!  Looking forward to this hearty stew of cabbage and beans!  I have some ground sausage in the fridge that needs to get used, so I'll use that in place of the ground beef in the original recipe.


This stir fry is a great way to use up the rest of that cabbage in the veggie bin!  Delicious and healthy, this is one of my favorite meat-free meals!


I've made this soup before but never got around to posting it.  I found an unfinished post in my drafts, so it should be easy to get it posted once I take a photo of the finished meal!  That is, if I can manage keep myself from devouring the bowl of soup long enough to snap a picture!


Leftover buffet. 
I'm sure we'll have a fridge full of leftovers to choose from.  Since we'll be busy getting ready for the weekend yard sale, it's going to be a fend for yourself sort of night as far as dinner goes!


I'll let this cook overnight in the crock pot so we can eat this throughout the day of the yard sale.  This soup along with hot chocolate will help in keeping us warm while we're sitting outside for most of the day!  This will act as dinner, too.  Because I know there is no way I'll want to cook when we're finished packing everything away that doesn't sell.

I'm not sure what our plans are for Sunday so I haven't yet planned our dinner for that night yet.

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

Soup's On!

It's the end of a beautiful fall weekend here.  A bit windy and chilly, but that's what I love about the fall!  The cool, crisp weather has me thinking about soup and all of the new recipes I want to try now that soup season is here!

Over then next few months, I'll be incorporating the following recipes into our weekly menu plans!  It's going to be difficult to decide which one to try first!

  • Italian Cupboard Soup.  I've never made a soup using pork before.  To be honest, aside from bacon and ham, I don't prepare pork very often.  After reading the recipe for this 30 minute soup with only 6 ingredients, I'll be adding pork chops to my shopping list (when they go on sale).  

  • Bacon Butternut Squash Soup.  I'm probably the only person on the planet that hasn't cooked with butternut squash.  In fact, I don't remember ever eating it before.  That's going to change!  Soon!  I'm sure we're going to love this soup....there's bacon in the recipe!  I'll probably skip the greens and replace the frozen puree with Pioneer Woman's Butternut Squash Puree.  

  • Buffalo Chicken Chili.  Buffalo Wings and Chili.  Two of my favorite game-time eats!  I'm anxious to try this recipe and see how how they are together in the same bowl!  

  • Chicken and Bean Stew.  I don't know too many people that claim to like lima beans.  I love 'em!  While they're good on their own with just a bit of salt, I do prefer them when they added with other foods.  I think this stew will be a wonderful alternative to the more traditional stews I normally serve.  

  • Chicken Corn Chili.  This recipe is right up my alley!  I love corn, love chili and love chicken!  I don't think I can go wrong with this one!  

What's your favorite part of fall?  What recipes are you looking forward to trying this season?  

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Getting ready for Halloween

Grace is really getting into the whole Halloween thing this year.  I'm not so sure she understands that it's an actual day for dressing up and trick or treating, but she's really enjoying the pumpkins and decorations.  She was so excited when I brought down the decorations from the attic!

We decorated the front of the house first, then added a few decorations around the house.  Joe picked up some orange and purple Halloween lights on clearance last year, so we draped them across the shelf in the kitchen and some across the tops of the windows in the living room.  Grace loves them so much, she makes us sit in the dark so she can enjoy the lights at night!

I set the DVR to record a couple of the Halloween episodes of her favorite shows and while we were sick over the weekend, we watched them over and over (and over) again.  All while she was wearing a very large witch's hat while we snuggled on the couch!

After watching her Elmo Says Boo! DVD for the past couple of weeks, Grace told her first joke!  One she heard Elmo tell Count von Count several times!
What did the ghost feed the monkey? 

She cracks me up!

We ran a quick errand to Walmart on Sunday.  While we were there, I wanted to check out the Halloween aisle to try to get an idea of what she wants to be for Halloween.  She just kept saying "I don't know".  So, like I said, I'm not sure if she understands the concept or if she is just feeling overwhelmed.

While I was checking out the clearance shelves next to the Halloween section, Grace was giggling.  When I turned to see what she was laughing at, she pointed to the creepiest clown mask telling me it was a joke!  Maybe she saw it's menacing grin as a fun, happy smile?  All I saw was creepy!

I have a feeling she's going to be one of those kids that likes horror movies and haunted houses!  If so, she'll be spending a lot of time hanging out with her daddy, since I don't do scary!  At all!

Even though I'm horrified at the idea of Christmas decorations being on display at stores already and the fact that I saw a Christmas commercial on TV the other night, I'm really looking forward to decorating for Christmas this year!  If Grace is enjoying the three strands of lights we put up for Halloween, she is going to LOVE the Christmas lights this year!


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2012 ~ Week of October 8th

Grace and I are still sick.  Did I mention we were sick last week?  I can't remember.

Anyway, we spent the second half of last week feeling icky.  On Sunday, Grace seemed better.  I was still feeling tired, but since Grace was feeling better, we ran a few errands on Sunday afternoon.  That probably wasn't the best idea since it was cold and damp.  Sure enough, Grace woke up all stuffy and runny again.  Me?  I'm still feeling tired and sluggish.  It's only been a few cold, gray days and already I'm feeling the winter blues starting.

Since I'm already late for Menu Plan Monday, I'm just going to quickly list what we'll be eating this week along with photos and links.

Meatloaf, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes,
steamed vegetables 

Breakfast for Dinner. 

I'll probably throw together a quick chicken noodle soup to help chase the germs away!  I usually start feeling better as soon as it starts to simmer on the stove!  

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Alison's Keurig Vue House Party ~ Part 2

Earlier this week, I shared photos leading up to our Keurig Vue House Party.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to host this party!  Not only did this party give me an excuse to invite family and friends over for a visit, but I was also able to tell them about the House Party program and about the Keurig Vue brewer.

After the invitations went out, I received emails from some of our guests asking what would be available to purchase at the party, do I get credit for purchases, etc.  That is what I love the most about House Party.  I get to tell my party guests about new products without them feeling pressured to buy.  There's no demonstrator, no catalogs to flip through, no feeling pressured to offer to host your own party in order for the hostess to get extra credit or be paid in "free" product.

Our party was delayed due to the fact that many of our guests were out of town on the official Keurig Vue House Party date.  This gave me a little extra time to plan my menu and get the house ready for the party.

I started by getting the Halloween decorations down from the attic!  I was so excited to get the house decorated for Halloween!  Grace was, too!  We don't have a lot of decorations, but it was enough to make the place feel a bit festive!

Then Joe and I turned our dry sink into a coffee station.  I told Joe my idea and he made a couple adjustments and now it's the perfect spot to keep our new Keurig Vue!  Once the new top was in place, I set it up the coffee station for the party!

At first, I thought of just using the dry sink for the party, but since then realized that this is the best spot in the kitchen for the brewer since we are severely lacking in counter space in our oddly shaped kitchen.  So this will be it's home for a while.

I filled the drawers with the assortment of Vue cups that were sent to me from House Party!  Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of that, but here's a photo of the flavors that were sent with the second installment of the House Party kit.  

Once guests started arriving, I showed them how to brew their drink selections.

Most of the food was prepared the night before the party.  For lunch, I served Chicken Rice Soup, Balsamic Chicken over pasta, and chicken nuggets for the kids.  Dessert was cookies provided by House Party, Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake, and Brownies (thanks, Diahanna)!

House Party provided some cookies for dessert!  We also had Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake and Brownies (thanks, Diahanna)!

The party was a huge success, I'm so happy that so many of our family and friends were able to fit us into their busy schedules.  We had a few people show up later in the day and didn't make it for the group photo...but that's okay, I don't think we could have fit anyone else on our sofa!

Many thanks to Keurig, House Party and all of our friends for a wonderful day!

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