Monday, October 31, 2011


In honor of Halloween, here is a recipe for you. "Ghoul-ash" if you will.

I tried this last night because it sounded fun, and we had all the ingredients on hand. It was delish, and will be showing up in regular rotation for din-din.

I did make a few minor adjustments, and I only made half the recipe in case we didn't care for it.

I added a yellow pepper to it instead of stewed tomatoes.We don't care for tomatoes, and we had the pepper on hand. If I would have had a green pepper, I would have used that. I did use a half can of seasoned tomato sauce instead of the stewed tomatoes.

I cooked the onion and garlic in with the beef. I also used Lawry's as the seasoned salt.

I switched out the soy sauce for worchester sauce, as I prefer that taste for a dish like this.

{all recipes website}


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni


  1. In a large Dutch oven, cook and stir the ground beef over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown, about 10 minutes. Skim off excess fat, and stir in the onions and garlic. Cook and stir the meat mixture until the onions are translucent, about 10 more minutes.
  2. Stir in water, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, and seasoned salt, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the macaroni, cover, and simmer over low heat until the pasta is tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves, and serve.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween fun at work

Look who stopped in to see me at work. Avery's daycare did a mini-tour of parent workplaces to do some pre-beggar's night trick or treating. 

 Avery and Charlie are BFF. 

Until there is candy involved. Luckily for Charlie, Avery can't eat that yet. 

Happy Friday!

What a difference a year makes...

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Little Big Girl

I can't really call her our baby anymore, look how big she is!

I guess I still have 3 weeks until she is officially a toddler. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Avery, what are you doing?

Avery playing peek-a-boo with me from around the door. 

ignore my obnoxious voice.  {am I the only one who feels they sound nothing like themselves on film? isn't it weird?}

Thursday, October 20, 2011


This post is brought to you by PINTEREST, where I find all my funnies. {funny's : funny-ness?, not sure on  the correct usage here} It best explains my absence on the blog.

We have been busy at Casa Bower.

Tony and I have been working more hours. Tony especially.

We have been getting ready for Avery's upcoming trip to MN to see her Grandma, Papa, and cousins. By ready, I mean that I have a mental list of stuff to pack for her.

Installing a new car seat for our little girl who is no longer a baby, so she needs a bigger car seat {sniffle}. PSA: Target is having a baby sale right now, we got this seat on majah sale. If you have a baby, or are going to have a baby, go check it out. 

Moving on: We had to go to Plan B for her little Halloween costume. She didn't fit into Plan A. Her costume now includes a Booty Bag. Yes, I just typed that.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Smarter than a 5th grader

Avery has been getting into things lately. She is very fast crawling, and can "cruise" when she walks around things to hold onto.  We pushed the ottoman {her toy chest} in between the chair and couch, and she could go from Tony in the chair, to me in the couch in no time.

Here she is getting into the basket on the steps. She likes to play with this.

Cleaning the floors for momma, but this isn't child labor right? Right?

Mom, really, you best be paying me for this gig!

She is also really into opening drawers. We are going to have to child proof these better. She likes to open the tool drawer and grab the hammer and nails. This is where I am constantly telling her "Avery, No No!"

We are also going to have to re-figure how we keep the doors closed, as she has managed to remove the lock and get into the cabinets.

yep, I see you kiddo.

She is also 11 months old today. The past year has gone by so fast, but it's also hard to remember what life was like before Avery. I took a few extra minutes this morning and put her hair up in pigtails and got a few pictures. 

She is quick, and hard to photograph, but you should be able to get the gist. 

Avery and I also saw something a little special last week on our way to daycare. As I was leaving our 'hood, I had to stop on the road to let a few deer cross the street from the field into an empty lot across from our house. 

The deer went across the empty lot to the cul-de-sac and in between our house and the neighbors. 

The one below is blurry, but you can see the deer right by our driveway. 

I showed Tony the pictures that night at dinner, and he mentioned that it probably wasn't the first time this happened. He had seen evidence of some other kind of animal dropping when doing yard work. 

I am not sure what happened to the deer after they left our yard. I saw them go into the backyard neighbors behind us. There is a park, pond, and creek that is past that, but also a school. The traffic was heavy that morning with kids on buses and parents dropping off in the area. Hopefully they got away safe. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

If I had a million dollars...I'd be rich!

I heard this song recently, and it got me dreaming.

So I thought I would list out some things I would do with a million dollars. 

{Disclaimer: this is a list of fun stuff. Not so much a realistic, responsible list of things like retirement, investments, or trust/college funds}
  • Become a stay at home mom

  • Buy a gnome, and {g}name him Gnorman.
  • Travel to London

  • Buy myself a new car, the Ford Edge

  • Finish the basement, add on a sunroom {where our deck currently is}, fence in our yard, and landscape.


  • Travel to NYC several times a year. 

  • Take Tony to Vegas VIP style

As you can see, I like to travel. There is loads more that one could, and should, do with a million dollars. This is just a daydream. 

What would you do with a million dollars? Travel? Buy a new or vacation home? Go on a shopping spree? 

Do tell...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Goals for Fall

I figure if I put this out there, I might actually do these: 

  • do the projects I already have stuff for, and that will not cost any money {Tony is fist-pumping to this news!}

  • get some cute pictures of Avery with pumpkins
  • Go to the Apple Orchard  {see THIS post}

  • Cheer on the Brewers! Hopefully all the way to the World Series {fingers crossed}
  • Finish Avery's Halloween costume {stay tuned, we found it in CT on our summer vacation.}
  • Plan Avery's first birthday party....

  • Get the home office more organized and finished. 
  • Make "Apple Pie" and bake an actual Apple Pie
  • Get our closet organized and clean
  • Host a Scentsy party with my sis-in-law, Bre. {her site: }
  • Get Avery's 1 year pictures taken. We were very happy with her 6 month ones, but want to switch it up a bit, {and try to save some cash}. Anyone have some great suggestions?
Does anyone else have fall goals? 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A visit to the Apple Orchard

On Monday, Avery's daycare went to the Center Grove Apple Orchard in Cambridge. {Go HERE for more info.} Since I had the day off, Avery and I met her friends over there for some fall fun. 

We are in the Corn Pool. It was a large "pool" filled with corn kernels. Avery was a little unsure of it at first, but she quickly got used to it. I on the other hand was pulling corn kernels out of my clothing and nether regions for the remainder of the day.

Avery and her friend Charlie. 

To the left....

To the right...

She was starting to get more used to the corn pool at this point. It was so fun to watch her study the other kids, and start to play. 

She did try to eat the corn, so I had to be quick about it. 

Next, we checked out some of the other activities such as the milking cow, the rope 'em steers, and the feeding zoo. Also: Billy Goat Haven. 

Avery was having a great time. 

uh, hello? did you see how much fun I was having!?

One happy momma and daughta!