November Fan-Dom

Here are some of the things I loved, discovered, or remembered that I loved in November!

My Keurig

Have I mentioned that I have a Keurig?  I can’t believe I haven’t!!  We bought it as our “Yay Tax Return!” present back in March, and I’ve loved it ever since.  I’ve got to say that if you’re a “drink two entire pots of coffee every day” person, this machine is not for you.  But, if you only drink one or two cups a day, it’s perfect!  Since it makes single cup servings, you never waste any coffee-and it takes about 3 minutes to make a fresh cup!

Plus, it makes not only coffee but teas, cocoa, cappuccino, mocha, hot apple cider and more.  You can even brew over ice and make cold beverages…yummies!  There are hundreds of varieties, although I am currently addicted to Pumpkin Spice coffee and Kahlua coffee.

As an ultra-secret hint, this machines “large cup” setting boils the perfect amount of water to instantly make Ramen Noodles-one of Corinne’s current favorites.

Break Off Cookies

Dear Cookie Gods, please forgive me for being the world’s laziest cook sometimes, but I need me some fresh cookies without the muss, fuss and mess that comes with making my own, ya know?

Honestly…nothing beats these cookies for taste and convenience, although I won’t be using them much in December once my family does their huge cookie bake-off!

Great Clips

I love Great Clips because they fixed my daughter’s hair after she CHOPPED IT OFF.  Yes, that’s right.  She was reenacting the final scene from Tangled and cut her hair off to see if it would turn brown like Rapunzel’s.  Although she then pointed out that her hair was actually “Already kinda brown.”

It's business in the front and a party in the...no, no, we couldn't even get away with that.

Good Lord.  It could have been SO much worse though…she didn’t cut it too awfully short, she didn’t cut her sister’s hair, and there are no bald spots.  Plus, she managed to come up smelling like roses because her new haircut is just freakin’ adorable on her.

Ranalian Chicken (Ranch+Italian=Ranalian)

1 pack of dry chicken gravy
1 pack of dry ranch dressing
1 pack of dry italian dressing
1 cup water
boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Throw it all in the crock pot, set it on low, and enjoy.  I guarantee you will not be sorry.  If you want to use beef or pork, just switch to the appropriate gravy.  Mmmmmm…nomnomnom.  And virtually no work involved.  My kind of dinner.

Layaway

Seriously, layaway saved our Christmas this year.  We managed to buy gifts for everyone without having to charge one.single.thing to a credit card.  AND we even got the shopping for Corinne’s birthday in February done. (It’s a notorious money crunch just due to timing.)  Thank you retailers for realizing that not everyone wants to open a new charge account! 

Now if I could figure out how to stop buying my children more stuff.  At this point, they are going to have to start in the hall and open their way into the living room over the course of several hours.

Once Upon A Time

This show is AWESOMENESS.  I am an enormous sci-fi and fantasy fan, and this show gets it right.  I’m seriously in love (which, I am sorry, means they’ll probably cancel it really soon…they usually do that when I like a show. CAMELOT…coughcough)  Set in dual worlds, one storyline tells of a town in our time locked under a curse where no one knows who they really are.  The other story tells of a world from the past full of fairy tale characters on the brink of being sent to a place void of happiness…our world.  The plot is excellent and well-paced and the costumes, acting, and special effects are all extremely well done.  There’ve only been about 5 episodes, so check it out this Sunday night!!

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September Fan-dom

What I adored in September:

1. My Nook Simple Touch Reader

I sound like a total hypocrite when I say that I’m really sad Borders went out of business…but I love my Nook.  Guess I’m a hypocrite.  It’s true that I love the smell of books, adore libraries, and get a little high from cracking open a new (or much-loved) book.  But I also love the ease and convenience of being able to download an 800 page book in 20 seconds and then throw it into my purse and have it only weigh an extra 10 ounces. 

When my old friend the Sony eReader Touch went to the big electronic depot in the sky, I was lost.  Nook?  Sony?  Kindle?  Ipad?  Technology flummoxes me.  I wanted something that could download library books and use all the books I’d bought for my previous ereader.  Nook was the answer!!  I LOVE this thing and would recommend it to anyone!  Here’s my justification for my choice:

Sony Ereaders: are being phased out and got rid of their touch edition. (boo)

Kindle: Could not handle EPUB editions at the time I was buying, so I would have missed out on library books (this problem has since been fixed)

Ipad: Tempting.  But expensive.  And if I have an Ipad full of games in front of me, the odds of reading a book get significantly lower.  Plus my kids would take it.  And I have an Iphone.  Which is just an Ipad Mini.

Nook Color: Books are black and white.  Children’s books are in color.  And my Nook is MOMMY’S Nook.  So I skipped the color and the extra price tag.

2. Ramseyer Farms

I’ve been to multiple pumpkin patches in Northeast Ohio, and after going to Ramseyer 3 years ago, I’ll never go to any other.  This place is amazing!!  There are so many crazy fun things to do for kids AND adults, and their pick-your-own pumpkins are only 25 cents a pound!

Corn slide! Woohoo!

Now, given we went on a rainy, chilly day because my hubby had specially requested the day off and the weather gods were angry, we still had a fantastic time!  More so because there was hardly anyone else there, so we had free reign of the place with no waiting!

Rainy, cold duck races are SO much better than warm, sunny ones. Mostly because there aren't rude big kids shoving my kids out of the way!

 That’s how you know a place is awesome-it’s cold and rainy and you STILL love it!

Ashlynn, the pumpkin princess and Daddy the coachman

3. Karin Slaughter

If that’s not the world’s silliest pseudonym, I don’t know what is.  But I also don’t care, because this woman writes some awesome crime/thriller fiction.  Her characters are really believable and the plots are full of constant action so you never get bored.  The best part is she wrote two separate series and then a third series that combines the two.  And I love a good crossover!!

If you’re interested in her books, the first one you want to start with is “Blindsighted.”  Highly recommend!

4. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

nom nom nom

I make these every fall and my hubby adores them.  The smell of pumpkin and chocolate chips in our kitchen means that fall, trick or treat, and Halloween decorations are definitely here!

5. My Friend Kristin

She’s been through some tough times lately, but she’s still an awesome person and I wanted to let her know we’re behind her 100%!  Love ya, woman! 🙂

6. Students and Family

Because we are revamping our intervention system in my school district, I just got to actually start working with kiddos this past Monday.  Love it!  I know that bureaucracy and paperwork have their place, but I’m in this job to work with students!  So happy that’s finally started happening, and now I know this school year will fly by in an absolute blur 🙂

And, as for every month, my kids and family.  My husband is amazing at keeping this family trucking along any way he can, and my kids are simultaneously crazy/hilarious/enervating/annoying/silly/surprising all the time, at one time!  Wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world…

Picture courtesy of Corinne. Because my four-year-old is an awesome photographer, that's why!