fabric shopping!

Recently I got a sewing machine as a late birthday present from my dad.  I’ve slowly been figuring out what to make first but Brett and I have been so busy getting ourselves moved back in and settled that I hadn’t made time for fabric shopping ’til now!  🙂  After I figured out what to make first (more on this soon…Eeep!  Teasers!), Brett and I headed to the fabric store.  What an overwhelming experience!  I had a list of what I needed and in what amounts.  Brett and I must have circled that store more than 3 times trying to find everything haha!  I ended up buying most of the fabric I needed online…Champaign might be a wonderful place to live but we don’t always have the biggest stores with the biggest selection 😉  It has been quite a learning experience already though.  Who knew there were so many different types of fabric?!  🙂  I am so excited about my first project!  Stay tuned!

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Jones-McDonald Chicago weekend

Brett’s sister, Kristin, and her fiance were recently back in Chicago for a weekend visit.  The 5 of us had a great time relaxing around Brett’s childhood home and running around downtown Chicago 🙂

We started out Friday evening with a wonderful Raclette dinner.  A raclette consists of a french cheese, raclette, and a special cooking device of the same name.  Slices of the cheese are placed on small paddles which are inserted into the cooking device.  The cheese melts and bubbles and is then scraped off onto your plate, often on top of cooked or raw veggies, meats, bread, etc.  I used to eat this meal with friends while in France and a dear friend of mine bought Brett and I one of the raclette devices for our wedding 🙂

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The next day we relaxed around the house and then headed into the city.  We hopped on a trolley and headed to Navy Pier where there is currently a Stained Glass Museum being exhibited.

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Once at the pier we also were able to see the Chicago skyline…even given some chilly and cloudy weather 🙂

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A little before dinner we headed to The Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building.  We waited in a bit of a line to take the elevator to the top but the view was worth it 🙂

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Once back on the ground we walked to dinner at Tavernita.  They specialize in small plates and we were not disappointed by anything.  Each dish was tastier than the last 🙂

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On Sunday we ate breakfast together, went for a nice morning walk, and all went our separate ways.  Such a lovely weekend 🙂

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There aren’t any pictures of Dan and me in these images (well I guess there is one of me in there?) but I promise….we were there too 🙂

homemade pumpkin bread

We decided to join the pumpkin revolution in our house!  🙂  Better late than never right?!  While grocery shopping, I found this recipe…and decided to go for it 🙂

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I followed the directions pretty closely except for the elusive, pumpkin pie spice ingredient.  We may have a lot of spices in the Casperson-Jones kitchen but that is not one of them.  I ended up combining about a tsp of nutmeg and cinnamon but it didn’t give quite the same kick as pumpkin pie spice has.  Once I finally googled what pumpkin pie spice was comprised of, I realized that I was missing ginger and allspice.  Drat!  🙂  Still, the pumpkin bread didn’t last long in the house so it must have tasted pretty good anyway hehe!

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I really want to cook something with a pumpkin from scratch eventually…I kept talking about it this fall and still haven’t done so yet.  One Day!  And don’t worry…I’ll let you all know when we try!

What are your favorite fall treats?  Do they involve pumpkins??  🙂

Girly Wednesday ~ xxx ~ girly reality television

Girly reality television…you all know what I mean right?  It’s the Say Yes to the Dress shows and the Sister Wives of the reality television world.  There are about 4 different variations of Say Yes to the Dress alone!  I’ve been slowly making my way through the Bridesmaids edition of the series….I joke with a friend of mine getting married next fall that I’m doing research for her 🙂  I admit to fully enjoying shows like this as background noise while I’m cleaning the kitchen or chugging through some research for school.  I really like the baking shows too.  Are those girly?  🙂  Anyone else have some favorites out there?  🙂

blog_SayYestotheDressimage via Wikipedia

a morning trip to Curtis Orchards and Pumpkin Patch

Just a few days before Halloween, Brett and I took a morning trip to the Curtis Orchard & Pumpkin Patch.  It was damp and cloudy that day so we didn’t have to the share the place with anyone!  🙂

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We enjoyed walking through the kiddie area…fully equipped with an awesome petting zoo.

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After talking a bit with the animals, we headed out into the orchard and pumpkin patch.

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While walking to the pumpkin patch we spied this lone pumpkin in the middle of the lane.  We decided we would grab him on the way back if no one had claimed him yet 🙂

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It didn’t take long for us to find a great pumpkin!  Given how late into the season we were, I was surprised by how many pumpkins were still left!

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Since no one else was around we also took the opportunity to take one of our famous ‘how many times can you be in the picture‘ panoramas that we debuted here

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We also had fun finding some really crazy looking pumpkins.  Some of them had had enough time in the damp field to start rotting morphing.  🙂  I guess that is what you see when you wait until a few days before Halloween to go to the pumpkin patch!

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One of the morphed pumpkins looked a whole lot like a pac man…and almost ate Brett’s head.  🙂

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I bet we would have found a lot of morphed apples too given the fact that most of them were now on the ground instead of in the trees 🙂

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Happy Fall!  Do you have any fun, fall traditions?  This pumpkin patch is a whole lot of fun and the little store attached to it has some great jams, apple doughnuts, apple cider, and other fun goodies!  🙂  I’m sure we will keep this on our list of fun, fall things to do while we are living in Chambana!