Thursday, November 20, 2014

Salted Caramel Dump Cake

How about a recipe?

Since Thanksgiving is next week and all! Yes, NEXT week folks!

Day to day life has been busy and nothing Earth shattering has been going on so I don't have much to update about.

So to fill the blogging void, here's a new recipe I tried out about a month ago. I think I saw this going around on Facebook-although not 100% sure. Anyways, it caught my eye somewhere, I jotted it down and decided to try it.

Delish. (and easy too!)

Salted Caramel Dump Cake
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1/2 cup milk
1 box Devil's food cake mix
1 1/2 cup chopped caramels
1 cup chocolate chips
sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13" pan.
2. Whisk pudding and milk for 1 minute.
3. Stir in cake mix-it will be thick!
4. Spread into pan
5. Sprinkle with caramels and sea salt (a little goes a long way)
6. Bake for 30-40min
7. Melt chocolate chips and drizzle on top

Ready to bake!

Ready to be eaten!
(Notes:  This came out really good. The only problem?  Once it cools, the caramels get pretty hard. So this is best served warm. Once I realized they hardened, I microwaved a slice for a few seconds and that also did the trick. Maybe next time I would try a caramel sauce/topping in place of the candies?  I also could have used more sea salt as I really couldn't taste mine. I was afraid of using too much and I don't think it was enough.)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday Leigha!

The day after Halloween we went to Buffalo for the day. We were due for a visit and had a birthday party for Leigha to attend.

We went to my Mom's and hung out for a bit-had lunch, played, etc.  Cassie took a nap and then we headed to my friend Megan's house for Leigha's 3rd birthday party!

We got there and the kids did some games and we had some food. Then it was gift time!

After gifts was another game:

Cassie
And then time for cake! 
Yes it was as good as it looks!
Cassie checking out the cake!
Singing Happy Birthday:
And a swipe of frosting for fun!
After cake, we hung out a bit longer and visited while the kids played. Then we headed home!!

Happy 3rd Birthday Leigha! We had so much fun at your party!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Trick-or-Treat

We had a really great Halloween.

The girls are at such great ages-each year they get more excited and more into the holidays. It's just awesome.

Avery had school on Halloween and got to take her costume to school with her. They did a school wide parade and then a classroom party. I didn't get to make it to the parade because it was right in the middle of Cassie's nap time.  But I heard it was a lot of fun!

Once she got home, we waited for Gabe to get home. Then we had some dinner and got them all geared up for trick-or-treating!  Of course around here, Halloween has to have the crappiest weather possible. Earlier in the week it was in the mid 70s!  Halloween was in the 40s with rain. Crappy.  So as usual, the girls wore multiple layers under their costumes. They even stopped back home for gloves!
 
Elsa and Anna

My little Anna
Gabe and his Mom took the girls out for a bit. They went to see a house in our area that really goes crazy with the decorations and they hit some houses along the way. They stopped home and Avery decided she was done! Cassie pitched a fit because she wanted to keep going! So Gabe took Cassie out for more and Avery and I stayed with Gabe's Mom and handed out some candy.  After about 20min or so, the crowds died down and then Avery decided she did want to go out some more. So I took her out around our house for a bit. Then we all met back home and called it a night. They had so much fun!

And our pumpkins this year?! They rocked. My husband has some carving skills y'all!
Anna

Elsa

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Fun!

We've had some busy and fun filled days here gearing up for Halloween!

We went to our local rec center for their Halloween family night. We've been there the past 2 years and it's always a good time!  We started our night in the arts and crafts room....


Cute sister pose!
Then we went trick-or-treating!

We played some games in the big gym then headed out for a hayride!
They also had a fire truck there that the girls got to climb in!
This past weekend we were quite busy! Saturday morning we were up and out early to get our pumpkins!  We go to a local farm every year to do all of the fun things there!
Avery and Cassandra
Cassie was having a ball climbing on the pumpkins and trying to maneuver around them! It was pretty funny to watch her!
We went in the huge tee-pees they have set up and then went on another hayride!
Gabe and I
Of course we couldn't leave without doughnuts and other goodies!

Once we got home, we got ready for our neighborhood Halloween party! Gabe made up our fun dish to pass:
They brought in a fire truck for the kids to check out and lead us in the parade:

Then it was back to a neighbor's house for lots of goodies!  After Cassie's nap, we went to a friend's house for dinner and lots of playing!  It's been a busy few weekends here gearing up for the start of the holidays!! Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween tomorrow!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Farm Trip!

Columbus Day weekend was an extra long one around here for most kids....a lot of districts had off both Friday and Monday (including ours).

My niece and nephew had Friday off as well so my Sister-in-Law and I decided to get the kids together for something "fall-ish" to do!  We ended up at the farm that's about a 2 minute drive from my house. We go there a few times a year, but don't always do all of the activities they have there. But on this day, we bought the "do it all" package and went all out!  We spent a good 3 hours there I think and the kids had a blast!

We started off with the corn maze....
Cassandra

Avery

All of the kids trying to find the way out!
At one point, there was a large bridge to go up on...the view was really pretty:

The maze only took us about 20 minutes or so-we didn't get too lost at all which is amazing since we basically let the kids figure out where we were going! They must have a good sense of direction!

After the maze, we went for a hayride!
Avery, Bianca, Cassandra, Owen

Cassie

Love this pic!
Of course we had to stop by and see how tall they all are this year!
We also played some miniature golf! It was Cassie's first time-she loved it!

And you can't go there without a train ride either! 
We also saw the goats and chickens and of course had some lunch and treats!  They have a huge jumping pillow as well but my kids are not fans of it. We did play on the playground quite a bit before leaving as well. It was a funfilled day for sure!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Apples!

Last weekend we went for our annual trip to pick some apples. The farm we typically go to had on their website that pickings were slim due to a high volume of people (it was in the 70s and sunny for quite a few days). So we looked into some other options and tried out a new place this year.

I have a feeling we'll be headed back there again!

The girls were ready to pick some apples, although not totally dressed for the weather (we always screw that up somehow!).
We took a hayride/tractor ride out to the orchards and were given the rundown-what apples were where, what veggies to pick, etc.

Then we got started:


We ended up with a huge bag of apples!  They also had raspberries to pick so we I did that as well. The girls were more into the stuff to play with so I did the berry picking while Gabe took them to the "fun stuff".  Then we hit up the store there which has TONS of cool stuff (those farm stores always do, don't they?!)-spices, mixes, pasta, snacks, baked goods. Yeah, we bought a lot of yummy stuff from there!  The girls had some ice cream and doughnuts for a snack and we headed home to make a batch of applesauce! YUM!
Not happy for some reason-doughnut face!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Girls Weekend!

Last weekend we had a very nice girls only getaway!

After some thinking, we went to Niagara-on-the-Lake. It originally started with us going to Camp Gorham again, but a lot of people who initially showed interest backed out when we needed to mail in our money/forms. Gabe suggested maybe we try somewhere else-NOTL or Toronto. So I brought it up to the crew and we finally settled on NOTL! 

I did tons of searching and somehow we fell upon a bed and breakfast that was completely empty for the weekend! There was 5 of us going up Friday night and 7 of us on Saturday night so we really needed 3 bedrooms. I found out that the B&B was booked but all of the rooms happened to cancel on the day I did my searching! So I held all of the rooms for us and within a few days, booked it! It worked out really nice too!

So Friday late afternoon, 5 of us (Molly, my Mother-in-Law, cousin, Aunt and I) drove up to NOTL and checked in to the B&B. This was my bedroom:
with attached bath:
It was around 6:30 when we got there so we found a place for dinner then came back and just hung out and went to bed. 

Saturday we were up and had a wonderful breakfast-fruit salad with yogurt and granola, homemade croissants, mini omelettes, potatoes, and bacon! We were stuffed! We walked the neighborhood for a short time while we waited for our other 2 guests (Megan and Renee) to arrive. Once they got there, we had a super busy day!!

First, we hit the main drag and did some shopping:
which included ice cream....
Megan, Renee, and I
We met up around 2pm and headed to a winery for a wine tour. The place was HUGE!
Chateau des Charmes

vineyards

grapes!
After the wine tour (and tasting!), we went to a huge peanut shop in NOTL and stocked up on snacks to bring home. Then we went to the new outlet mall there which was pretty nice!! It was so nice to go shopping with my friends-we were laughing saying "when was the last time we shopped together?" because truly it's been so long. And we had no kids to distract or lug around. It was pretty nice and brought back some fun memories for us. We shopped there for about 2 hours then headed back to the house. We found another restaurant nearby that we walked to for a pretty late dinner.
Aunt Elaine, Molly, Gabrielle

Me, Megan, Renee

The crew (minus my Mother-in-Law)
Once we got home, we just hung out and chatted for awhile before getting to bed. This was a cute little sign they had at the entrance to the B&B:
Sunday morning we were up for another super yummy breakfast-fruit with granola and yogurt, homemade scones, blueberry french toast, sausage. Delish!

Megan and Renee hit the road after breakfast and the rest of us went into town for a little more browsing.  We hit the road close to 2pm. Unfortunately we hit some bad traffic at the border and we sat in line for about an hour and 15min. So our trip home was quite lengthly.  But, we had a really great time and I think it was a nice break for all of us to get away from our kids for a few days!
Hopefully we can figure out something like this again for next year!