Five on Friday: Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 31, 2014

For the last couple of years, Stephen and I have carved a pumpkin together. This year we got lazy with it and decided not to carve one. After we got a small pumpkin for the pumpkin dip I made this weekend, we kind of wanted to carve it. Turns out this pumpkin was fresh and very hard to carve so we kind of shaved a face into the pumpkin (if you can call it that).

2012 Pumpkin - struggle city

We went to a "real" pumpkin patch in 2013

2013 Pumpkin - Nothing easier than a "H"

2014 Pumpkin - back to the struggle city Publix pumpkin 

Now that you've seen the pumpkins we've made in the past, here are some pretty pumpkins that I'd like to make with fake pumpkins once we have a house and can store them.

I LOVE this little pumpkin! Perfect for a Thanksgiving table setting via

Apparently we're supposed to get some real fall weather this weekend and I couldn't be more excited! I'm so ready to break out my jeans, long sleeves and dare I say it? Jackets! Random - I know I kind of keep talking about vests but here I go again... I've been wanting to get this vest (trying to hold out for Black Friday) and it dawned on me to get it monogrammed! I figured it's a cheaper vest, not a big deal if it gets messed up, monogrammed vests are super adorbs so why not?!

I recently got a Bloglovin' account and I feel like I've been missing out on a huge portion of the blog world! I haven't used it much regarding reading posts and whatnot so we'll see how it goes. I am happy that there's an app for my phone and tablet so I don't have to go through Blogger to get to my blog list. (If you want) follow me on Bloglovin' by clicking here to stay up to date on all my posts! Stephen's going to make me an icon this weekend like my instagram/facebook/pinterest ones - thank you hubby!

I don't know who else loves the Duggars but I love their show, 19 Kids and Counting. I used to watch it a lot a few years ago, then kind of fizzled out of watching it, then got back into it when the girls got older and started dating. This week Jill's wedding aired and of course, I watched the whole thing and loved it! It was such a precious wedding and it brought me back to my own wedding - except ours wasn't on tv and we had 130 guests, not 1,000+ guests but whatever. Jill looked so beautiful and they looked so happy.

Even though Jessa and Ben are getting married tomorrow, I'm excited to see Jessa's engagement next Tuesday. Please tell me I'm not the only one who's hooked on the show.

Creamy Crock Pot Tomato, Basil, Parmesan Soup

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I have never made a pureed soup before and oh boy, my first one did not disappoint! I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been wanting to try it for a few weeks. It turned out so well and made a HUGE batch so we will be freezing the excess for future dinners.

Combined ingredients in crock pot

Roux mixture (for reference - I hadn't seen one before)

Roux mixture combined with crock pot soup

- 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or tbsp fresh oregano)
- 1 tbsp dry basil (or 1/4 cup fresh basil)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper

1. Add the diced tomatoes, carrots, onions, celery, tomato paste, chicken broth, oregano and basil to the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.

2. Prepare a roux about 30 minutes before the soup (crock pot) is ready. Melt butter over medium low heat in a skillet and add the flour. Whisk together constantly for about 10 minutes or until the roux is a nice golden brown color. (Note: we accidentally ran out of butter so we used about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil as a butter substitute and it worked just as well)

3. Slowly add 1 cup of the soup (from the crock pot) to the roux. This will start to form a thick paste. Slowly add another 3 cups of soup to the roux. Whisk together until smooth. Add the roux mixture back into the crock pot.

4. Stir the Parmesan cheese, half and half, and salt and pepper. Stir well, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

5. Try to let the soup cool a little before adding to the blender. Once semi-cooled, pour the soup into the blender (we had to do this twice because of the blender size).

6. Puree until smooth.

We paired this soup with French Onion Paninis and it was delish!

Weekend Rambles: Football & Pumpkins

Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm going to go ahead and confess that this post was intended to review some of the things Stephen and I did over the weekend but quickly turned into a hodgepodge of random things/recipes.

Saturday Stephen and I went back to our Alma Mater and the place we met to watch our UCF Knights kick butt. We had a lot of fun wandering around the campus, tailgating with friends and cheering on our Knights!

Had to get some pictures in front of the Reflection Pond

Freshman year I lived in the building to the right - such a fun location

Waiting for the game to start

Sunday, I decided to make some of Christina's delicious pumpkin dip. I've seen a few posts from her about the dip and everyone keeps raving about it so I had to give it a shot! Stephen and I loved it and I think I'm going to bring it to a cookout we're attending next weekend. We halved her recipe and it still made a lot so if you want to full recipe, click here or double mine.

Four things to note: 1. Christina called for some pumpkin pie spice but I couldn't find any at Publix. 2. We decided to put some saran wrap inside the pumpkin before adding the dip so the clean up would be easier. 3. We tried to be festive with the "carving" - the pumpkin was very fresh and was extremely difficult to carve (note the crack from my cut at the eye lol) 4. This was not all of the dip that was made - there was easily double left in the fridge.

- 1/2 of the 15 oz can of pumpkin
- 2.5ish oz of instant vanilla pudding (don't make the pudding)
- 8 oz cool whip (we used low fat)
- 1/4 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (we didn't have any)
- 1/4 tbsp cinnamon

1. Mix  all ingredients (pumpkin, pudding powder, cool whip, pumpkin pie spice & cinnamon) together in a large bowl

2. Chill several hours before serving. Carve your pumpkin while waiting.

3. Optional: Line the pumpkin with saran wrap for easier clean up

4. Fill the pumpkin with the dip and serve with whatever items you like! We used graham crackers and vanilla wafers.

I wanted to make sure that during the fall season, I had the opportunity to make pumpkin seeds. Making the adorable pumpkin dip bowl created the perfect opportunity to get some seeds! This was probably the best batch of roasted seeds I've ever made and I wanted to share the quick and easy steps I followed. I used these instructions but did some modifications. 

Before roasting the seeds (sorry it's a little blurry)

After roasting the seeds (this one's blurry too! Sorry)

- Pumpkin Seeds
- Olive Oil
- Salt/seasoning of choice (we used garlic salt)

I'm not going to give exact measurements for this since it will vary for everyone. Just use common sense and your judgement for how much of each ingredient to use.

1. Gut your pumpkin and wash pumpkin seeds, removing any remaining pumpkin guts.

2. Dry the pumpkin seeds to the best of your ability. I wasn't able to get mine too dry so don't worry too much about it.

3. Coat your seeds in a little bit of olive oil. The oil will go a long way - don't douse them in olive oil.

4. Add whatever salt or seasoning you want and mix making sure all the seeds are coated. 

5. Place on a baking sheet (I did another quick coating of garlic salt once on the baking sheet) and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

6. Remove from oven and stir the seeds and bake for another 8-10 min. Enjoy!!

Five on Friday

Friday, October 24, 2014

This weekend is the first weekend Stephen and I are able to actually go to a UCF game (or at least tailgate). We've been out of town every weekend so I'm so glad to be going back to my Alma Mater to cheer on the Knights! This is also where Stephen and I met - in front of the UCF gym.

The other night I met up with some friends to catch up at a local restaurant/bar. I finally found a delicious mocktail - Blueberry Mint Lemonade. Thankfully it didn't have alcohol because I drank it rather quickly - it was yummy!

I have to say - my sister is pretty cool (she's cool all the time and way cooler than me). This past week she was in LA and got tickets to see a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel Show! I can't believe how close she got to him! She said during a break, he chatted with her and her friends and even did the Seminole (FSU) chop! I'm so happy she's getting to experience this!

Lady Antebellum also performed for the show - free concert!

Earlier this week I participated in a Holiday link up for Halloween. I decided to showcase some of my favorite dog Halloween costumes - even though Stephen and I don't have a dog. I can't pass up the opportunity to look at hysterical dog costumes. You can see my post here.

Stephen and I really like to get Publix frozen yogurt (their ice cream is amazing but  we're I'm trying to be healthier). This week we decided to try something new and got Coconut Road. I didn't think I'd like it very much but it's actually pretty good! It's basically a Samoa Girl Scout cookie in ice cream form.

Halloween Holiday Link Up

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I recently stumbled upon Lisa's blog Lisa Loves John and saw she's hosting a holiday link up for the months of October (Halloween), November (Thanksgiving) & December (Christmas) - so naturally, I had to join in on the fun.

I have to admit, I had some trouble thinking of something fun to blog about for Halloween because Stephen and I don't really do much for or celebrate the holiday. However, one thing I can't wait to do for Halloween in the future is dress up our dog and kids in the cutest/funniest costumes! Everyone loves a great dog costume so I'm showing off some of my favorite dog costumes for the Halloween post.

This Yoda is to die for!

Haha Indiana Jones Dog

This is a classic!!

I died when I saw this one. I mean come on, a pug, it's tongue is sticking out and Gone with the Wind? A total win in my book!

I'm not sure if everyone remembers Antoine Dodson but that was pretty much the best YouTube video in high school. I died when I saw this dog costume - so great! 

You can't go wrong with this hysterical T-Rex costume

Or this shark outfit. Such a riot!

I also found the best website that has 34 dogs who hate Halloween. This is literally the best list ever and I would fill this whole post with those pictures if I could. I.can't.even.

I hope these dogs and their costumes brightened your Tuesday! Can't wait to get a dog and find the best Halloween costume!