pumpkin carving & other weekend highlights

Hello and happy Monday, everyone! My day started off in a very special way… I stopped by Target to pick up the Deluxe version of my girl’s new CD!!

t swift 1989 cd

I have been a fan of T.Swift since her country music “Tim McGraw” days. She was one of the {many} things Holly and I bonded over in college šŸ™‚ Longtime blog readers might remember when we went to her concert in Nashville last year as the final stop on her RED tour! It was a blast.

red tour bus

I listened to the first six songs driving home from Target, and now I’m taking a little break before listening to the rest… I’m trying to savor it. Nothing like listening to new music from one of your favorite artists for the first time!

Look what else I found at Target: my favorite English muffins! These babies are seasonal, so I need to enjoy them while I can!

pumpkin spice english muffins

Pumpkin in the autumn is a total weakness of mine. I may have also been swayed to purchase some Tazo pumpkin chai tea and a box of pumpkin spice oatmeal. Is anyone else pumpkin-obsessed like I am?

Speaking of pumpkins… yesterday I went to Clancy’s Pumpkin Patch in San Francisco with Allyn and our friends Justin and Fawn. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and everyone in the city seemed in a great mood after the Giants’ win on Saturday night! {And they won again last night, too! Only one game away from clinching the World Series title!} We had a fun time wandering around the pumpkin patch, inspecting pumpkins and admiringĀ the adorable, creative costumes worn by numerous little kids running around with their parents. We saw lots of Ninja Turtles, Elsas {from Frozen}, and Power Rangers — which made me happy, as I was a huuuuuge Power Rangers fan back in the day! Yellow Ranger all the way.

I did not take pictures of any of the little kids, as I did not want to be a creepazoid, but here are some photos I snapped of the patch!

pumpkin patch

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After the patch, we stopped by a picnic that one of Justin’s former coworkers was hosting in Alamo Park, right across from the famous Painted Ladies — the houses featured in the opening credits of Full House. I completely forgot to take pictures because I was too busy enjoying the conversation and noshing on a chocolate pastry that Allyn & I got at a farmer’s market on the way there.

But I did take lots of pictures of our pumpkin-carving once we made it back to Justin’s apartment! We did it old-school with knives and our imaginations. In the previous few years I’ve carved with a template, so this was a new adventure! Instead of a traditional Jack-o-Lantern or Halloween design, I decided to carve a cheerful sunflower. {I’m sure you are not surprised!}

sunflower pumpkin

Allyn made a googly-eyed face with a snazzy, slightly off-kilterĀ mustache! Haha, the off-center mustache was driving Justin crazy, but I think it adds to the pumpkin’s charm!

allyn pumpkin

We had a LOT of pumpkin guts when we were done!

pumpkin guts

It was Fawn’s first time ever carving a pumpkin, and she did an amazing job! Her design was so intricate — all those little teeth! — but she carved it flawlessly. No toothpicks were needed in the creation of this Jack-O-Lantern!

Fawn's pumpkin

And here are Allyn & my pumpkins, all lit up:

lit up pumpkins

It was such a fun day!

The rest of the evening was spent doing work {schoolwork for Allyn, getting-caught-up-on-emails-etc for me} and chatting with Allyn’s roommates while making veggie & black bean tacos for dinner. All in all, a truly wonderful weekend!

Before I head out, I want to wish a heartfeltĀ congratulations to our family friends Peter & Brooke, who got married yesterday! The wedding was down in L.A. and since I had to work on Saturday, I was unable to attend, but the rest of my family went and had an amazing time. I love this picture of them from the reception. So much love and joy for you both, Brooke & Peter!

peter and brooke wedding

Questions of the evening:

  • What was a highlight of your weekend?
  • Did you carve pumpkins this year?
  • Who are your favorite music artists?

goals for the week of 10/13

I can’t believe it’s Monday! Where did the weekend go?? It’s been gorgeous weather here and on Saturday we had a picnic lunch and went for a nice long walk around a beautiful park and lake. We saw the most adorable families of geese!

geese park

lake

Nothing beats a sunny weekend outdoors, especially in the autumn with all the leaves changing colors. What were you up to this weekend?

weekly goals

Here’s how I did on my goals from last week:
write 20 pages of new material
–Ā submit to two literary journals
– submit two fellowship applications {almost there but not quite!}
sign up for the GRE exam
phone dates with three friends
exercise at least three times

Here areĀ my goals for the week of 10/13:
– write 20 pages of new material
– submit two fellowship applications
– submit Ph.D. application
– exercise at least three times

As far as menu planning goes, my lovely friend Erica is in town visiting, so I’m not planning to be cooking too much this week … we will be off exploring new fun restaurants! But who am I kidding, we will probably make something for dessert, like these pb cup brownies

Have a wonderful week, friends!

rice krispies treats with m&ms

Last weekend I went to a welcome-back potluck for my Master’s program and I volunteered to bring dessert. {I always volunteer to bring dessert — any excuse to bake!} I racked my brain for something to make. Cookies? Cupcakes? Lemon bars? But with a busy weekend to-do list of errands and course planning, I was a little pressed for time. I thought back to picnics and potlucks of my childhood, when my mom would often bring Rice Krispies treats — they used to be one of my favorite desserts. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a Rice Krispies treat. A craving hit and it was immediately decided: I would try my hand at making some for the potluck!

Lucky for me, this recipe could not be simpler. It’s the perfect, inexpensive crowd-pleaser for any gathering — especially in the summer, when you don’t want to heat up your kitchen by turning on the oven. This would also be a fun recipe to make with kitchen-helper kiddos!

Looking for a dessert to bring to a Labor Day picnic? Try whipping up some of these!

rice krispies treats with m&ms

-1 package mini-marshmallows
-1/3 cup butter
-1 large bag mini m&ms
-6 cups rice krispies

1. Grease a 9 x 13 pan with butter and set aside. Melt the rest of the butter in a big pot on the stove. When butter is halfway melted, add the marshmallows.

2. Stir until the marshmallow is completely melted and smooth.

3. Turn off the burner. Add the rice krispies two cups at a time, stirring thoroughly until the mixture is combined.

4. Add a heaping cupful of the mini m&ms. {Feel free to use whatever kind of m&ms you want; I like the minis because they are so dang cute!}

5. Press the rice krispies mixture into the greased 9×13 pan. Pour the remainder of the m&m bag onto the top of the rice krispies and press down with a spatula.

6. Let cool for 15-20 minutes {or as long as you can stand it} before slicing into squares and serving.

Have a delightful weekend, everyone! I’ll be soaking up these last rays of summer before autumn sweeps in …

xoxo,
Dallas

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Time spent: 15 mins
Cost: $6.00 {with about half a box of rice krispies left over for breakfast this week!}