About Me

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I’m a book-reading, craft-making newlywed living outside Chicago. I love my husband, cooking dinner and especially eating desserts! We love to ride bikes all over town and read books at coffee shops. I also enjoy shopping at JoAnns, drinking wine on the patio and playing with my bunny rabbit Penelope. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Please leave a comment- they really make my day! :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coffee Shop Halloween

Happy Halloween!  

The coffee shop customers were greeted with some coffee-themed decorations this week.  My coffee bag ghosts that hung up on the trees outside the shop surprising well, considering I just used a coffee bag, some tissue paper, string and staples!

We decorated some coffeebags for inside the shop.

Pirate Coffee- "aaarrrg you serious?!  This coffee is the best!"

Bumble Bee Coffee- "The buzz is true- this coffee rocks!"

Ballerina Princess Cofffee- "This coffee is tutu delicious!"

Devil Coffee- "It will be a cold day before I drink another brand of coffee."
 We also teamed up with the candy store, The Sweet Shop, across the street and offered free candy to the train commuters and a coupon.  ThatGuy is always doing creative marketing to cross-promote local businesses! 

Overall, our customers had a very caffeinated and sweet Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Books 2012

Today was a fun day in the library- we received 34 pumpkin submissions this year!  You may remember last year I started a pumpkin decorating contest.  Students (and their families) could decorate a pumpkin to look like a book or character from a book. 

There were only  a couple of rules:
1. Pumpkin must resemble a book or book character
2. No carving the pumpkin
3. One entry per student

Yes, clearly there was a lot of help from moms and dads, but I sent this home as a fun family project that would also promote literacy (one of my favorite things to do!).

Here are some of my favorites: 
Heathcliff by George Gately- with a dad's original copy!

Elf on the Shelf

If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff

Dumy La Rue by Betsy Lewin


Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin

The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll

Pippi Longstocking

Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey

Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schultz

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio

Geronimo Stilton

Elephant (of Elephant and Piggie) by Mo Willems

It was really fun to see the reactions of the students when they came into the library.  They were so excited to see the pumpkins and it definitely encouraged some books to be checked out- which always makes this librarian happy!  All of the students voted for their favorites and the winner received gift cards to a local independent bookstore in town.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Last week was time for my annual pumpkin dinner with my college friends.  ThatGuy got into the spirit and decorated our front step:

For the lack of a better name, this is called Dinner in a Pumpkin!

As you can see, its dinner in a cooked pumpkin!  I grew up eating this recipe and used it to impress my ThatGuy during our dating years.  

First of all you will need a medium-sized pie or sugar pumpkin.  You want to use this variety because the flesh is thicker and sweeter than a carving pumpkin. 

In a large bowl add 1 1/2 cup corn and 1 1/2 cup beans.  Frozen or canned is fine.  You can also use whatever kind of beans you like.  My mom uses lima beans to make my dad happy.  ThatGuy likes peas, so I used peas.  (last year when I did this post for Gingersnaps Crafts I used green beans).

Cut up one medium onion and saute in olive oil.  Then add 1 pound of Italian seasoned ground sausage.  If you just have plain ground sausage you can add 1-2 Tbs. ground Italian seasoning. 

Drain and add cooked sausage and onion mixture to the veggies. 

Meanwhile, cook 1 cup rice in 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock.   Add to bowl and mix together.

 Add 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper to the mixture.

Cut the top off of your pumpkin and scrap out the inside.  Coat the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

This space-ship looking thing is the pumpkin in the oven! The pumpkin needs to steam while it cooks so place it on a cookie sheet over a pan of shallow water. Wrap it completely with foil and bake 2 hours (or more!) in a 350 oven.  I use a toothpick in the pumpkin to see if it's done- the toothpick should slides in easily after it pierces the pumpkin skin. 

This fall feast is festive and delicious!  Enjoy!

We certainly enjoyed ours! :)