Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Halloween Charcuterie Board + a List of Orange and Black Foods

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I’ve had this post in the works for so long, and I wanted to get it up earlier in the month, but we’ve been so busy, I just never had the time to gather supplies, put the board together, and photograph it.  I could have prepared it while the kids were at school one day, but I wanted them to be able to enjoy it, too, since this is their favorite way to eat!  I surprised them with it Sunday evening and it was the perfect light meal after our big lunch, and also the most festive meal to eat just before we carved our pumpkin.  :o)

Charcuterie boards (or cheese boards like this one technically is since it doesn’t contain any meat) are one of my favorite things in the world.  I could eat one every single day as a meal and never get tired of it.  As a matter of fact, when I was teeny tiny, my parents would cut up all kinds of fruit and chunks of cheese and other random things and throw them in these tiny plastic white bowls that we had, and I would eat that for lunch while watching Pinwheel and Today’s Special on Nickelodeon in my Daddy’s studio.  <3 

I was probably three or four years old then and, yes, I have actual memories of it.  I’ve been a big fan of snacky foods for lunch ever since, and now that I’m an adult they’re even better because I can pair them with wine.  ;o)

I chose to go with a black and orange theme for this board since it’s for Halloween and I also threw in a couple of pops of white and also a pop of purple for interest.  Here’s what we included on our board…

Use It

Wood serving board or platter (I have this one and I love it!  The wood is beautiful and the handle is so functional.)

Buy It

Sharp cheddar cheese
Havarti cheese
Keebler Town House Flatbread Crisps Italian Herb Crackers (these are the best!)
Ritz crackers
Mandarin oranges
Red grapes
Black olives (they pair so well with the Havarti cheese and Italian Herb Crackers!)
Candy Corn
Spider web
Plastic spiders

Make It

1.      Arrange all items on a serving board or platter.
2.      Decorate with spider webs and plastic spiders.
3.      Watch your kiddos’ eyes light up when they see their spooky Halloween dinner!

This would be great for Halloween parties and it is seriously the most fun dinner or snack for your little ones for Halloween!  You can easily customize it to your preferences, too, and there are many other things you could add to it to keep with the black and orange Halloween theme.  Here are some lists of foods by color...


Orange cheeses
Mandarin oranges
Candy corn
Candy corn pumpkins
Halloween M&Ms

Black/Dark Brown:

Black olives
Dark chocolate squares
Dark chocolate peanut butter cups
Dark chocolate chips
Dark chocolate covered pretzels


White cheeses
Light colored crackers
White Cheddar Cheez-Its
Crunchy breadsticks
Sliced bananas
Apple slices, peeled
Nilla Wafers
Vanilla Sugar Wafers
Animal Crackers
White chocolate
White M&Ms
White chocolate covered pretzels
Vanilla Greek yogurt for spreading/dipping
Pirates Booty
Edible eyes

Are there any foods that I'm forgetting that I need to include?  Let me know so I can add them to my list!

Happy Halloween Eve, y’all!!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What’s Up Wednesday - October 2019

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October has been our busiest month yet, but also one of my favorites of the whole year so far.  It really just doesn’t get any better than October, November, and December.  I wish every month could be as cozy and festive and fun as these!  Here’s how we spent our month…

What We’re Eating This Week

Mon – Chick-Fil-A in the car on the way to Jacob’s championship game
Tue – Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, broccoli
Wed – Eggs, grits, bacon, toast
Thu – Orange & Black Halloween dinner! (Mummy Dogs, Blackberry & Cheese Skewers, Mandarin Oranges, Candy Corn Popcorn mix from Trader Joe’s)
Fri – Out
Sat – Takeout during the Georgia game… we won’t be leaving the house!
Sun – Sunday dinner at Momma and Daddy’s as long as Momma cooks!

What I’m Reminiscing About

Being as how it’s Halloween week, all of my memories from Halloweens past have been popping up in my Timehop these past few days.  B and I have had kiddos to dress up for eight years now, but even before that, he and I would go all out for Halloween when it was just the two of us.  My favorite costume of all-time was most definitely when we went as Mrs. Clause and one of Santa’s elves.  Christmas is my favorite time of year, so to incorporate it with Halloween was pretty much the best thing ever.  Not to mention I got to wear red lipstick… I love any excuse to wear red lipstick.  ;o)  If you’d like to see some of our other crazy costumes, I did a blog post all about them a few years ago.  You can see it here.

What I’m Loving

Olivia is a reading and writing machine these days, and her new thing is writing notes on post-its and leaving them all over the house for us to find.  I walked into my bathroom this past weekend to see these two notes:

And then I walked into my office one day to find this one:

Well, this past weekend, B said that he found a whole trail of them where Olivia was telling random items that she loved them, and this is what they said:

LOLOLOLOL.  I literally laughed out loud at the last one and immediately demanded that B send the pictures to me so I could put them on the blog.  This is something I’ll want to remember and be able to show her one day when she’s older.  Our girl is hilarious, y’all.

What We’ve Been Up To

Gosh, this time of year just flies by way too fast.  I hate that it’s so darn short.  We’ve been doing aaaallll the fall things this month and it’s been a blast – lots of fall baseball, attending our school’s big rivalry game, playing in the leaves, going to the mountains and apple-picking, visiting a lovely winery, making s’mores over the fire pit, gem grubbing, touring around Helen, touring around Blueridge, dressing up for homecoming week at school, attending our school’s alumni social and homecoming game, celebrating my niece’s first birthday, taking a day trip to Atlanta to load up on all of the fall goodness at Trader Joe’s, seeing Ray LaMontagne in concert, going to the pumpkin patch, eating lots of fun Halloween meals, and carving our pumpkin.  Recaps are below!

What I’m Dreading

B is leaving town for a few days in November for a work trip.  Sigh.  I always dread when he’s away because I don’t sleep as well when he’s gone.  Fortunately it’s only for three nights, so it’ll be short.  And it’s times like these that make me even more grateful that I no longer have a full-time corporate job.  Juggling all of the kids’ stuff plus a full-time job outside the home with no husband to help was always really hard. 

What I’m Working On

This month has been so busy, I feel like I’ve pretty much just been living day-to-day with not as much time spent planning ahead.  That said, I have taken some time to start planning for Christmas, but I’ve definitely neglected my October Goals list other than the fun family stuff.  Here are a few things that I’ve been working on this month, and I’ll get into more detail in Friday’s November Goals post.

  1. I finally finished uploading all of the kids’ old clothes to Poshmark and I’ve sold quite a few pieces now.  Next up, posting my old maternity clothes!  You can follow along here if you’d like.
  2. I finished gathering all of the donations for our school’s fall carnival.  The carnival was supposed to have been last week, but we postponed it due to the weather. 
  3. I’ve been working on planning the Halloween party for Jacob’s class.  We’re going to have some snacks and I’m also going to help them do a craft, so it should be a fun day tomorrow!
  4. I went through all of the Christmas gifts that I’ve purchased so far, organized them, and made sure they are all accounted for on my Christmas gift spreadsheet.  Staying organized is key so we don’t overspend or duplicate anything.
  5. I’ve been working on a few different posts for December so I can try to get as ahead as possible.  I want to be able to be as present and available for fun stuff as possible in December, so I’m trying to knock out as many blog posts as I can before then.  So far I have a big one (our yearly recap) three quarters done, I’ve completed one post, and I have a couple of other posts in the works.  Woo hoo!  I’m also, of course, blogging day-to-day and here are some highlights from this past month…

What I’m Excited About

There’s so much to be excited about right now as it’s my favorite time of the year!  Immediately on the horizon is, of course, Halloween, and I’m looking forward to a day and night of fun – Halloween parties at the kids’ school, a fun Halloween dinner at home, trick-or-treating (praying the weather cooperates!), and our Halloween tradition of watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown afterward.  We always let the kids stay up late to watch it after we trick-or-treat, and it makes for the best evening with my favorite people!

What I’m Watching/Reading

Watching – College football, Gossip Girl, Friends (while I work), and B and I recently finished Chernobyl.  I honestly didn’t think it was that great, although, I do know that’s an unpopular opinion.  We’ve also just started watching Living With Yourself, a Netflix original show with Paul Rudd.  So far I like it a lot.  It’s definitely an interesting concept, and I also just really love Paul Rudd.  We’re also watching This is Us, A Million Little Things, Modern Family, and Shark Tank now that they’re all new again.

Reading – I picked up One in a Million again (finally) to try and get it completed before I have to return it to the library, but I’m still having trouble getting into it.  I don’t know if I’m just not in the mood to read or if the book really is just that slow?  I may end up having to send this one back before I finish it.

What I’m Listening To

The Lumineers released a new album earlier this month so I’ve been listening to that a lot, and also, give me all the old standards and jazz this time of year!!  Cozy weather season has finally reached Georgia so I’ve had Steve Tyrell, Rod Stewart’s songbooks, Michael Buble, Miles Davis, and my favorite Cocktail Jazz albums by Beegie Adair on repeat.  I also love the Jazz for Studying station on Pandora.  I listen to that a lot while the kids are doing homework and I’m cooking.  I tell ya, there is just nothing that makes me happier than the old standards music and jazz… well except for maybe Christmas music!  This Friday, it will be on!

What I’m Wearing

Praise the Lord, the fall weather finally reached us here in Georgia earlier this month!!!!  The month started out excruciating (in the hundreds), but the cool weather has finally come sweeping through and I’m here for it!!  Yes, we’ve still had a few days near 80 recently, but goodness gracious I’ll take that over 101 any ol’ day.

Since the weather has finally changed, I’ve been incorporating some of my fall and winter clothes – lots of cardigans and layers and closed-toe shoes.  It hasn’t been cold enough here yet for thick or heavy sweaters, but we have had a couple of days where I was able to wear my boots.  :o)

What I’m Doing This Weekend

The Georgia vs. Florida game is on Saturday at 3:30 so we’ll probably have a day where we never leave the house on Saturday.  We tend to have days like that a lot during football season, but I’m not sure that we’ve had that opportunity this year yet because we’ve been so darn busy… I can’t remember!  So anyway, we’ll be having all the downtime Saturday and probably drinking all the beers to calm our nerves during the game.  Haha.  This game is going to be a true test for our Dawgs as we’ve been struggling as of late.  I’m most definitely terrified, but after our loss to South Carolina I’ve pretty much made my peace with the fact that this year probably won’t be our year to bring home a Natty.

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

Every single last bit of it – football games in Athens, another concert in Atlanta with my favorite, fall carnival at the kids’ school, a play in Atlanta, decorating for Christmas, Winterfest at our local university, seeing Frozen 2 (EEK!), celebrating Thanksgiving, and kicking off the Christmas season with my favorites!  It is truly the most wonderful, amazing, fantastic, happy time of year!

What Else Is New

A couple of things, actually… on a sad note, my parents had to say goodbye to their dog, Lily, a couple of weeks ago.  She was a rescue pup, so they didn’t know exactly how old she was, but the vet estimated her age when they first got her, and we think she was somewhere in her mid-teens when they had to let her go earlier this month.  She’d had several strokes and was completely blind, and she was at the point where she wasn’t functioning very well, so my parents made the decision with their vet to put her down.  It’s been really hard on my family, especially my Momma, so please keep them in your prayers as they heal.  Lily had a good, long life, and I know she’s probably happier in heaven with our old dog, Bill, now instead of suffering here on earth.    

On a much lighter note, B and I celebrated our ten year anniversary in our current home earlier this month.  I cannot believe we have lived here in this house for ten whole years.  I honestly don’t feel like I’m even old enough to buy my own house, let alone have owned one for ten years.  Most of the time I still forget that I’m an adult.  And a lot of days it’s still weird to me that B and I have kids.  Haha.  #ForeverYoung

Our lot before they started building

Me standing it what eventually became our front sitting room

Framing and insulation

Brian standing in what eventually became our master bedroom

Brian standing outside of what eventually became Olivia's bedroom

Looking downstairs from the second floor

View from our now living room and Brian is standing in what is now our dining room

I wrote this on the wood over our fireplace where the mantle is now

Siding in and brick going in

Drywall is in on the main floor - looking into our now living room

My girlfriends stopped by to see the progress one evening after margarita night!

Siding is painted, brick is in, and shutters were added

Kitchen cabinets going in

Banisters and stairs going in

Tile work in our master bathroom

All done!  This was just days before we closed and moved in!

Happy Wednesday, y’all.  <3

*Linking up with Mix and Match Mama for What's Up Wednesday, Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday and Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up.