trick and treat: zombies

I sure do love zombies (can you tell?). Probably because zombie movies really scare me. I always know a good one when I get that feeling of absolute despair, like how will they ever get out of this?! These are probably my two all-time favorite zombie tales. Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later. I think they were both game changers when it came to zombie lore and horror films in general. 

The treat: zombie cookies!
I was inspired by this pin. Byron helped me decorate and we had a lot of fun. Mostly because as you remove cookie limbs, you get to eat them... like a zombie. Right?!

nails of the week: things that go bump in the night

Halloween is on the way! All the ooky and spooky, bump-in-the-night fun will be here before we know it. I thought these black and red nails were just the right amount of creepy and playful. They would be perfect for a vampire or zombie costume! Or just because! I used Sally Hansen Black Patent and Pure Ice Siren. The dappled effect is from applying the black polish with a make-up sponge to create a reverse french manicure. I'm sure they would be all the rage with the creatures that go bump in the night. 

My cute (okay-- creepy) statues were from the dollar store. They have the best, and cheapest, Halloween decorations!

my daughter dresses better than me: wedding fun

We went to a super cute, fabulously fun wedding over the weekend. Alice was a ball of energy, dancing and running around like crazy. We wore our matching dresses and our red shoes, of course. The dresses are from JCP, both are joe fresh. I purchased mine earlier this year to wear to another wedding and I recently found one in Alice's size (it was 50% off and I had a $10 coupon- so it was free)!!!

My friend, Jamie, did such a great job making all of the table decorations and favors (homemade jam- yum)! The photographer even had a Polaroid camera and gave us some mini pics to take home. 


Congratulations Jamie and Josh! We love you guys and we wish you all the best!


While hanging around the NC State veterinary school we got to know two horses. One was white and one was brown. They ran back and forth in their field, stood proudly on the hill and came right up to us to sniff Alice. Maybe it was her little pink boots they were after. 

go dog go

We had such a good time at the Dog Olympics last weekend. There were more dogs in one place than I have ever seen before. Everyone gathered at the Veterinary school at NC State to watch the dogs compete and show off their talents as well as their cuteness. Alice was in heaven, she squealed DAAWWWG over and over again and even got to pet a few. 

Some dogs were really big and some were super tiny.

Some dogs demonstrated their jobs. Koda even speaks Dutch. 

Some dogs had purple mohawks. 

There were fluffy dogs.

And dogs with wheels.

And even a lazy dog named Wilma. 

We had so much fun watching the dogs do tricks and play with each other. If you ever get a chance to go to such an event, please do. It was such a joy. 

trick and treat: Hostel part I and II

This trick is for you true horror fans. Eli Roth's Hostel part I and II were two movies that I shied away from for a while. I've never been a fan of the torture-type horror movies. I caught part of Hostel part II one night and was hooked. Eli manages to get scares and push boundaries with an intelligence and thoughtfulness that seems lacking in most horror fright-fests of late. Don't get me wrong, these movies are bloodbaths and very dark, but they are also smart and make you think. I prefer part II to part I, but you have to see the first one to get the background of the story. 

The Treat: Žemľovka
The Hostel movies take place in Slovakia, so I found this easy and delicious recipe for a Slovak cake. It is similar to bread pudding, or a french toast bake. The original recipe calls for two sticks of butter, which makes a really rich cake. I tried the recipe again with one stick and the cake was still delicious, just a little lighter. It also works well with pears instead of apples. 

2 cups milk
1 stick butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
apples (or pears)

1.Heat up the milk in a medium saucepan. Add butter and stir it until butter is melted; cool it down to lukewarm.

2.Put the eggs, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon into a separate bowl and beat it (the best is using an electric mixer on medium speed).
3.Mix the two concoctions together.
4.Tear the bread and place it in a lightly greased 9X13 dish.
5.Sprinkle with shredded or sliced apples and pour batter on top of it.
6.Bake it at 350 for approximately 20 minutes (until the cake has a gold-brown top).
7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

my daughter dresses better than me: old favorites

Here we are dressed in a few of my favorites for a relaxed afternoon outing. I wear this shirt all the time. It is from J. Crew but I got it at a consignment store for $12. Teal has been my go to color this year- I just can't get enough. My shoes were a birthday present from my mom and dad. They are so bright and happy. Just like this little bug!

She's such a silly polka-dotted gal. 

mom shorts and baby shoes: Walmart
baby shirt: JCP
baby pants: a gift (similar)
mom shoes: Toms

linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

baba and poppop

My parents, now known as Baba and PopPop, came to visit last week. Alice was her sweet, silly self and made sure to say plenty of thank you's and I love you's. She ate breakfast with PopPop in the mornings and sat with her Baba for a make-up lesson. 

We had such a fun week, laughing and dancing. Thanks for coming, Baba and PopPop. 

what do you do with a paw paw?

This, my friends, is a paw paw. It is a fruit and is, in fact, the largest native fruit to North Carolina. We received bags of these babies from our CSA at Minka farm and I had no idea what to do with them. 

I let them ripen on the counter for a few days then ate one to see what the pure paw paw fruit is like. It has a custard-like flesh with a half melon/half citrus taste. After a bit of research and some examination, I figured the thick texture would be great for baking. 

I pureed my paw paws (about eight total) and strained a little juice to keep on the side. 

Then I made a cake! 

My recipe is adapted from Paula Dean's Hummingbird Cake recipe. 

 Paw Paw Cake
3 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups mashed paw paw
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
4 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2 Grease and flour three round cake pans.
3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until batter is smooth. (easiest cake ever!)
4. Bake for 28 minutes until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
5. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then flip onto rack and let cool completely.

Paw Paw Icing
4 tbsp butter
1 box powdered sugar
2 tbsp paw paw juice
milk for thinning (if needed)

1. Beat butter and sugar, thin with paw paw juice and milk until a proper consistency is reached.
2. Beat some more and refrigerate while the cake cools.

The cake was very moist and sweet with an almost floral flavor. The cinnamon really complemented the paw paw.
Have you ever had a paw paw?

Linking up with Molly for FundayMonday and Jennie for Meal Plan Monday

nails of the week: turquoise

Sparkly and blue, like ocean waters. Is summer really over? Turquoise has been a favorite color of mine this season but I am excited for fall and all the oranges and olives that come with it.  

my daughter dresses better than me: navy and red

Ooh, I love a good pair of red shoes. So does Alice. She calls them shoooooooos

We got all gussied up a few weeks ago to go out for my birthday. Most of what we wore were gifts from my mom. She also understands the importance of red shoes. 

mom dress, baby shoes, shirt, and shorts: JCP (gifts from my mom)
mom necklace: Nordstrom (gift from my sister-in-law)

Linking up with Shanna for Random Wednesday

trick and treat: The Village

Every year Byron and I start our horror movie marathon at the beginning of September. We have a lot of movies to get through. We watch our favorites every year and try a few new ones. Some of the new ones become favorites and every year the list grows. And what goes better with movie watching than a snack. So here is my first trick (the movie) and treat of the season. 

The Village is always the first movie I start with. It's not a horror movie, I know. It's more of a scary movie. The forest and the colors of the film always make me feel like Fall has begun. The trailer really doesn't do the movie any justice. It is very sweet and romantic...with monsters. Those, we will not speak of. 

The treat: sugar cookies
I made leaves with berries of the bad color and yellow bells. Yellow is the color of safety and protection in the film. 

Have you seen The Village? What are your favorite scary movies?

linking up with Molly for FundayMonday

the itsy, bitsy

Spider webs can be beautiful things, until you walk face first into one and have a conniption. 

This little web was strung between two anchor strands of the larger web. Spider Inception, if you will. 

Creepy. Crawly.