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Showing posts from November, 2017

I Miss Books

One of the first things on my list to do after we move is get a library card and I am so excited!  I didn't set one up for our temporary housing because I didn't even think I'd have enough evidence to prove I was living there.  It was temporary.

When I was in Chicago a couple weeks ago, I picked up a few books with my still valid library card and it was wonderful!  So wonderful!  (My sister is graciously returning them for me.)

Both books I selected were quick reads and they were so good.  The one that is really sticking with me is The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  I cannot stop thinking about it.  It's historical fiction based on what French women did during WWII.  It's incredibly inspiring and incredibly sad.  I did a lot of crying during the book.  I guess I'm a pretty crier because Mike came downstairs, said hello, had a small conversation.  Then he touched my face and asked, "Why is your face wet?"  "Because I'm crying."

I highly rec…

Shop Small

With Thanksgiving next week and the ensuing holiday shopping that comes with the holiday.  Maybe you've already started?  I want to take a second and remind you to shop small.  Our small businesses are more in jeopardy than ever.  It's a result of several things: our current administration, growing online companies which I won't name but personally try to avoid buying from.

If you skipped that paragraph: shop small!  It's where the creative gifts are anyway.

Are you confused on where to start?  Below are a few of my favorites in Chicago since I'm still discovering new favorites in St. Louis.

A great place to start is one of the many holiday bazaars around Chicago: Renegade (be prepared for crowds), Show of Hands was already last weekend!

Books: Unabridged (Lakeview), City Lit (Logan Square)
Children's Toys: Play (Logan Square)
Posters, Ornaments, Lotion, Fun Stuff: Inkling (Lakeview), FourSided (Lakeview), Shop 1021 (Logan Square)
Coffee: Coffee & Tea Exchange (La…

Using Pumpkins After Halloween

We carved our pumpkins, Halloween came and went.  Then it's time to cook the pumpkin!  Pumpkins are food after all.  They're a squash.

I should note before this year I haven't had outdoor space so I only cooked tiny pumpkins, usually for pumpkin bread or something.
This year though, we had two big pumpkins!  And I had no idea how much pumpkin you get from one.  I was planning to use both for a pumpkin mac and cheese.  After one the crockpot was overflowing...
I might use the other for a pumpkin soup or something.
I cut off the carved part and threw that away, cleaned out the inside and worked on cutting off the skin, just like any squash.  Be careful when you do this, I slice my thumb a bit, which was unfortunate.
For pumpkin #1 I ended up combining these recipes a bit: Crockpot Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese Recipe and Creamy Crock Pot Butternut Mac & Cheese.  Essentially I wanted to use spices that make sense with pumpkin, but I liked some of the other ingredients with the b…