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I have had kind of a, let’s just call it a standstill, with the blog.  I was so anxious in the beginning to share everything I had stocked up that I kind of posted it all a bit to quick. Then I started working more and going out of town, loosing a bit of focus and trying to conjure up some inspiration.   And now I want a fancy camera to compete with all those other blogs out there. Sigh.

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I have never really been one for dressing up on halloween, but that does not mean I don’t appreciate the holiday itself or the fun things about it.  I would just rather be the judge not the one “competing”…if you know what I mean.  My sisters have always been super party planners.  See, my mom taught me to shop and decorate while my sisters taught me to bake, craft, and party plan.  I think of them as the Martha Stewart mom I had growing up(not the crazy mean kind).  My mom never baked much but brownies, my sisters always did that stuff and I looked up to them immensely ( as well as my bro, but he will get his own post one day). I was so impressed with all the work my sister,Julie, put into this family halloween party.  It made my heart tickle to the point I teared up. I loved having the whole family together being silly and eating sugar (what we do best).  My dad even made his own costume and put on his own makeup. I put on a  witch costume to join the fun…they got me out of my snotty box I suppose and to lighten up a bit!  Jules worked so hard decorating her house and making lots of yummy goodies!!!

Everywhere you looked her house was filled with decorations! I was loving that she took it to a different level and it wasn’t just about the plastic decorations from Target.  

Baked potato soup with black cat toasts!

My sister-in-law,Addie, is also super creative and crafty! My brother went as Elmer Fudd, Addie as Bugs Bunny, Ryland as Road Runner, and baby Violet as Wile E. Coyote (below). I loved their costumes!

My Aunt Patrice (aka. Urzie) went as a tea partier! Amazing! Urz is also super crafty!

The front yard was all done up as well. These pictures don’t even include half of what Julie did.  Just the highlights.  David, her husband, cut the witch and tombstones out of wood.  Jules even made a little advent like calendar for the countdown to Halloween.

Lately, when I visit with the family I come back to LA a bit more sentimental for the small moments in life.  Family has always been so important to me, but it becomes more and more as I get older. I live far away from all of them and I wish I was closer.  I often ask what is the point of being that far away? I haven’t quite figured out a good reason.

I have a thing for maps. I always have. I like to read them, I like to use them, I like to draw them,  I just like them.

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All maps found on etsy to support etsy and its sellers.

I have made homemade chicken stock twice now! And it is just so much better and so easy if you have the time to watch some water boil. Next time you make a roast chicken or even roast chicken breasts on the bone take the carcus leftover and throw it in a pot of water adding carrots, celery, onion. I also added fresh thyme, rosemary, sage and salt and pepper. The last batch I made I boiled for about 2 hours on low-medium.  Take a little taste to determine if it is rich enough for you!

After this baby cooks and is eaten…drop the carcus in water with all the good stuff.

 This last batch I did not use carrots as I did not have any, it still turned out great!

Store your brought in a airtight container and keep in freezer. I just pulled one out the other day and made a mexican chicken stew!

Yum!

In most of the country, summer has come to an end which means most people have probably abandoned their gardens for the winter. Here, in LA she keeps on singing…and we get 90 degree days in October.  The tomato plants didn’t do so hot this year in my backyard. Luckily, the guy at the nursery explained that it was a bad year for tomatoes as we just didn’t have a hot enough summer (maybe a hot enough october?). Phew, I don’t feel so bad now.  I decided to try some new veggies for the fall to see what happens. I planted arrugula, red lettuce, broccoli, string beans, green onion, garlic, shallot, rhubarb, purple carrots, and a mystery plant that I am not sure what it is! The sun really has changed in the backyard and it is only getting a few hours a day. So, far so good, but we shall see!

I did a little DIY and made these signs to display what the plant is and what kind of sunlight and water the plant needs.  Now, the garden looks like grandma’s garden!

I also bought this compost tea at the Sunset Nursery.  I was super excited to feed all my plants with it!

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