Five on Friday – I’m Back Edition!

My favorite posts to read all week long are weekly “favorite” posts.  Having been MIA for a little bit, I have a backlog of some favorites to share with you all!  This week, I’ll share a little bit of everything.  Let’s get this party started!


PodcastHappierLogoWhen I drove to Tennessee in August, I knew I couldn’t make the solo trip depending on my short playlist of favorite singles.  I downloaded Serial and fell in love with podcasts.  Since then, I’ve added some other favorites including: Spawned, Note to Self, RadioLab, and HappierHappier and Spawned are my favorite to listen to during my commute to and from work and they’re the perfect length.

amazon music
Amazon Music!  This is new to me and it’s amazing.  We purchased Amazon Prime a couple of months ago and I had no idea that I could create playlists and listen to their entire library of music!!  Gone are my days of buying songs on iTunes.  Greatest thing ever.

door county
Fall weather.  Oh em gee.  It’s my favorite time of year.  September stayed SO hot in Wisconsin (uppers 80’s and 90!).  This week we hit a MAJOR cool down and temps are where they should be in the upper 50’s and 60’s.  It’s a dream.  Colors are just starting to change, the sun has been shining, and the temperature has been perfect!  Side note: While that isn’t my photo, Craig and I drove that road last week in Door County on our anniversary getaway.  So pretty.

Instagram/Etsy shopping – I follow so many adorable shops on Instagram.  Part of the reason that I took my October challenge is because of all the wonderful things I keep finding (and buying).  Some of my most recent purchases include the adorable green Sophie hoodie from Evy’s Tree.  Pricey, yes – but I buy them on sale.  AND they wear and wash great and can be dressed up or dressed down.  One of my favorite bloggers, Bonnie, recently opened up a shop called Hey June.  I purchased a sapphire necklace to commemorate my wedding month.  And finally, I recently bought Eddie a pair of those buffalo plaid jeans from Dudley Denim.  I missed out twice before finally snagging a pair before sellout last weekend.  He will be such a little stud wearing those this fall.  Instagram: My new favorite way to shop.

These pipSquigz are amazing.  Small enough to tuck into any bag and entertaining enough to keep our 10 month old happy for an extended period of time.  They easily suction to high chairs and tables and Eddie loves to pull them off because of the noise they make (“pop”).  They rattle, too.  And he loves to suck on them and throw them on the ground (and promptly begin sucking on them again when I hand it back – gross).  These were on a wishlist for Eddie way back when, and GiGi delivered.  We love ’em.

Linking up with April and Christina!


A (fall) Bucket List

Running a bit behind today – I feel asleep at 8 last night and woke up at 7 this morning with my alarm.  With just a single trip to the bathroom.  That’s how tired I’ve been!  I’ve spent the last week feeling more worn out than I ever did in my first trimester.  What the heck!?  Anyway, onto today’s regularly scheduled programming…

I have two free Saturdays between now and Mini M’s due date.  TWO.  Between working and baby classes – this mama will be busy, busy, busy.  I have plenty of Sundays to soak in the time left with my family of four, but I know it’s going to fly by.

Fall is my favorite time of year.  The weather is perfect.  It’s beautiful.  And pumpkin.  Yes, pumpkin.  Enough said.  Who remembers my Trader Joe’s haul last year?  I’ve already enjoyed pumpkin waffles and pumpkin macaroons from TJ’s this year. Yum!

In addition to buying all the pumpkin things, here are some things I want to do in the next 10-ish weeks:

Apple Orchard/Pumpkin Patch
Craig and I actually found a bomb pumpkin patch while living in Tennessee, called Grandaddy’s Farm.  We went in 2011 and 2012 and it was a fun, easy way to spend an afternoon.  Last year, I found a Groupon to check out a Wisconsin corn maze – whichhh was pretty lame.  On the way home, though, we swung by the Elegant Farmer, because we were in the area.  The Elegant Farmer is famous for their Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag.  We were nearby, Craig had never had one of their pies, so I suggested we stop by.  Little did I know they have an epic fall setup.  The orchard, pumpkin patch, cider donuts, and home-baked goods.  Swoon.  I was so upset that I hadn’t thought to check them out first.  So, this year – Elegant Farmer it is!

Watch lots of football
Wait, what?  Who am I?  Truth is, I don’t care to sit for extended periods of time watching any sort of television.  BUT.  Craig loves (loves) football, especially the Packers.  It’s his quiet time.  I don’t like to just sit.  However, I’m going to take the time to just sit and be with him – because our days as two are numbered.  Pretty soon we will be overtired, begging for a few hours to just sit.

Make homemade applesauce
I’ve found some awesome recipes to try out in the crock pot.  The plan is to stock up at the Elegant Farmer apple orchard and make some epic applesauce to enjoy!

Carve pumpkins
Craig doesn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I do, but he humors me.  We never got around to it last year and I felt a little sad about it.

Take short hikes
There are some nice local trails that are quite easy to walk.  I want to get out and enjoy the cool weather and colors!  The pups really enjoy getting out into some different scenery, too!

Have family pictures taken
Sunday, we are meeting up with Craig’s cousin who has a photography business.  She ‘s doing our “maternity” photos.  As excited as I am for the little guy, I don’t want the bump to be the main focus.  Instead, I want them to be “family” photos of me and Craig.  We had photos taken in December 2012 and they’re some of my favorite.  See that photo on the right?  That’s one of ’em.  I definitely want to document my pregnancy, but also want to celebrate the little family we’ve established so far.

Find a farmer’s market
We stumbled upon one last year, but I haven’t been to one since.  Madison is widely known for theirs, but with only 2 free Saturdays, I don’t foresee myself spending one of them willingly walking into an extremely crowded capital square to enjoy farmer’s market.  I’ll opt for a smaller, local market.

What are some of the items on your fall bucket list?

Pumpkin Spice Trifle

A couple weeks ago, Craig and I headed to a friend’s house for dinner.  We hadn’t seen one of the couples in at least 7 months, so it was long over due.

As I’ve said before, if I’m asked to bring a dish to pass, it’s almost always dessert.  I’m better at baking than cooking and I don’t just have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth.

I love making trifles.  They’re so easy – and they’re always so delicious!  Over the holidays, I finally broke down a bought a legit trifle dish.  You can see the Red Velvet Trifle I made here.  Perfect for Christmas, right!?  Well, since it was early September, I knew I couldn’t spring Christmas on people, yet.  People hate holiday creep, remember?  So, I went on the hunt for a fall trifle recipe.

I found this one on Pinterest and while it looked delicious, I was afraid of flavor overload.  Between the gingerbread, the pumpkin, and the butterscotch…I got scared.  So, I switched it up just a teeny-tiny bit and came up with this yummy trifle to share with my friends!

Pumpkin Spice Trifle - mwn

Pumpkin Spice Trifle
2 packages spice cake mix
5.1 oz instant vanilla pudding mix

30 oz canned pumpkin pie filling
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
12 oz cool whip
gingersnap cookies

Prepare spice cake as directed on boxes.  Cool completely.  In comments I’ve read that it’s best to make the cake the day ahead of time, crumble it up, and let it sit over night.  It will dry out a bit, but that’s perfect for trifle-making!

Prepare pudding as directed on box.  Stir in pumpkin pie filling, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Now it’s time to layer!  Place pieces of one cake on bottom of trifle dish.  Pour half of the pudding mixture over cake.  Spread a layer of cool whip over pudding.  Repeat each layer once.

Top with gingersnap cookies or crumbs.


It was a huge hit with my friends – and no one got pissy about the pumpkin. #winning

You always take a chance pulling out the pumpkin card before October, don’t ya?

Pumpkin Spice Trifle - mwn2