Trick or Treat — Working our Way Down the Fall Craft Bucket List!!

Fall Craft Bucket Above – Remember our Fall Bucket List!!

Below – Here are the Items we Actually Ended up Making — Of Course, Fall Is Not Over Yet!!

image_1 (3)

The Spider Web Plate was very easy.  I found these festive colored ceramic plates at Publix.  We Used White Painters® Paint Markers to recreate the Spider Web on the Plate, and waited for it to dry then added 3D Spiders to complete the look.

I like most folks this year, got caught up in the Fun-Kin Hype, and bought a Fun-Kin Carvable Pumpkin (top right of the above picture).  It seemed like it would be so much easier to carve than a real pumpkin.  But, I wasn’t impressed.  I did notice that they have Fun-Kin Knives and maybe it would have been easier, if I had used one of those.  But, I didn’t buy one.  So instead, we used a Regular Carving Knife.  I intended to use it as a candy or candle holder.  But, didn’t love either look, so I decided to just use it as part of our Decorations.

Last, but not least, was our Halloween Welcome Chalkboard.  I truly had fun creating this, even if I am no Picasso.  I think it is the perfect finishing touch to our Fall/Halloween Decor.

image (1)


image (2)

Happy Halloween from your Stage Presents Family!!

Fresh Herbs and Tomatoes…

Every Spring, I have these grand ideas about all the great things I will plant and harvest.  But, it seems like each year, I grow less and less.  This year, I grew tomatoes and Basil and unfortunately, that was it.


But, as it starts to get cooler outside, I have been thinking about what I can do to preserve my basil.  I have gotten spoiled and there is just nothing like having fresh basil in your meals, even if I am the only one who really appreciates it.

Here are some different methods to preserve your herbs:

How to Dry and Store Herbs

9 Ways to Dry Herbs

And, if you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with.  Consider making your own Tomato Sauce or Canning?

How to Make Your Own Tomato Sauce?

How to Can Tomatoes

Happy Harvesting!!



Fall Into Comfort Food — All Over the Web…

It’s getting chilly out there!!  Here are some great recipes I found all over the web!!


I have tried the Breakfast Casserole, as well as the Oven Fried Chicken.  Both yummy!!


Crockpot Breakfast Casserole


Oven Fried Chicken

Eggplant Parmesan

Finger Food:

Parmesan Spinach Bites


Easy Apple Crisp

Pumpkin Cheesecake in a Gingersnap Crust – ** I plan to try my hand at this tomorrow.

Road “Tripping” with Kids

Recently my family of four packed into our SUV for a 7 hour trip to Orlando. I have had several people ask me how I did it.  I’m not always sure how to answer that question. Since (a) They are too young to stay home alone (b) Gas vs. (4) Plane Tickets is not really a comparison (c) We do what we have to do.  That being said, if the destination is not somewhere I really really want to go (as was the case this trip), I would most likely opt to stay home.


All that aside,  just like everything else I have a process.

1.  Plan Plan Plan – which for me translates to list list list.  Which brings me back to Springpad (A SP Fave App).  I have a running list of what each member of the family needs for trips, this way I don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel.  I pull up that list.  Add or Delete depending on the length of the trip, conditions, etc.  Then print each list and use it to pack and prepare.


2. Matter – Things that Matter – when traveling with little ones you need stuff.  Toys, Books, Crayons, Markers, DVD’s, Pillows Blankets, Tablets, iPads, Mobile Hot Spots, etc etc.   Even if you pack what you think is an arsenal, at some point be aware that the novelty of all these items new or old will wear off.  And, if you have children like mine you will have to deal with some bickering, whining and maybe even some tears.  Disclaimer: My little ones are 8 and 3.

3.  Bathroom Prep – I so love this subject, NOT!!  Let’s face it Public Bathrooms generally SUCK. Hubby and I have talked about creating an App just for this very reason.  But, since I have yet to find it, if its a route you have traveled before make note of the cleaner more pleasant bathroom stops.  And, then BE PREPARED.   I always travel with Lysol, Wet Wipes, Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Garbage Bags.  I wanna add gloves but, I don’t want you all to think I am OCD!!  Even if I am, a little.

4.  Snacks and Drinks – Last. but not least, because this is the most important part, sometimes the only way to get some silence is to put food in their mouths.  Think ahead, try to get the snacks that will create the least amount of mayhem and mess.  Use your own discretion,  I go for Individually packaged snacks, snacks lower in sugar, drinks lower in sugar, and smaller fluid oz, so as to avoid several bathroom stops.

It is by no means, the Road Trips of yesteryear with your girlfriends.  But, even through the tears, you are making memories just the same.

Special Deliveries!!


There are some things in life you will never understand until you experience it.

This is how I felt about the birth of my nieces.  I spent the whole nine months with every part of my body crossed, praying that my sister would have a good pregnancy without any complications.  Then when we were told the babies would be a little early, I prayed for a safe and successful delivery.

But being miles away and having to wait for news was pure torture.  For several reasons, 1. A C- Section is Major Surgery.  There is always an element of fear involved when anyone you love goes under the knife.  2. because I fell in love with her daughters with every story she told during her pregnancy about flipping, back pains etc etc.   So, I literally sat in my Family Room afraid to move until I got word.  Thank God, my Mom was waiting too otherwise I think I would have gone “nutso”, without someone to commiserate with.

We grew up with an Aunt who was like a mom to us.  So we had an amazing example of what that relationship should be.  Fast Forward some years down the line, my sister has always been someone I could share all my fears and hopes and dreams for my kids.  When they get sick or something’s wrong sometimes she cries more than me.

But nothing could prepare me for the strong emotional ties I would have to these little girls born some 500 miles away from me.  I don’t think I’ve cried soo much for joy, or for fear since my own children entered this world.

I couldn’t be more excited to be an Auntie!!  And, I am so looking forward to the memories that we all will make together over the years!!

It’s that time again…

The end of the year always brings out the “Susie Homemaker” in me.  With the crisp weather, out comes the Fall Wreaths, Cinnamon Brooms, and Pumpkins, and this year the owls. It’s as if the change in the temperature deepens my desire to make my house warm and inviting for my family.

I am always looking for new seasonal craft projects to do with the kids, and to do alone(even though my hubby swears that all my alone projects, somehow include him). And, as my own special requirement, I am always try to look for things that I don’t see everyone else doing.

So here’s my bucket list, over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing the final results.  I should warn you that I almost always put my own spin on the original ideas.

Fall Craft Bucket

Craft ideas found here and here.

Do you have any special projects that you are working feel free to link to your blog in the comments section below?  Anything that you would like to see us try?

Fall Into Comfort Food – Corn Chowder

A s the weather gets cooler, I know sometimes I get a craving for some Chowder.  I find that even people who hate Chowder, seem to love this one.
So heres a great recipe for Nicole’s Corn Chowder!!  Found Here
Cook Time7-8 hours

Kick-start your day with this fun and filling corn chowder. Such an easy recipe for a great lunch!


  • 6-8 potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 Can cream corn
  • 1 Can whole kernel corn
  • 2 Cups chicken broth
  • 8 Ounces diced ham
  • 1 Cups diced onions
  • 1/4 Cups butter
  • 2 Cups half and half


  1. Step One

    Place potatoes, both cans of corn, chicken broth, ham, and onions into the slow cooker.

  2. Step Two

    Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

  3. Step Three

    Mash the mixture to your desired consistency and then add the butter and half and half.

  4. Step Four

    Cook for an additional 30 minutes on high, and you are set!

** On a personal note – I took out the  ham, because I don’t eat pork and doubled the corn for a heartier meal.  Yummy!!