wordless wendesday {amazing view}

All photo credit for these AMAZING pictures goes out to my friend Cassie.
She took these on a hike the other day and I was too amazed not to share.


the calm before the storm

October is more then half over already. I'm not ready for winter, but its impending arrival is looming ever closer. How do these months seem to go faster and faster each one? I entered the 3rd trimester this weekend, and I know that slide speeds up quickly towards the end (its already gone so fast!).

Today, and the rest of the week, it is cooled off a lot. Highs in the upper 50s/low 60s, but this weekend we had some upper 60s to enjoy. There was a church fair going on nearby, and while they didn't have a lot going on, they did have a horse to ride, which Gwen LOVED.

She looked so big sitting up there!

They also had pumpkins, so my girl was pretty much the happiest.

The rest of the weekend was low-key. Grocery shopping, laundry, and a visit from a girlfriend who picked up some baby stuff we were giving her. I finally switched out the carseat in my car, which Gwen had outgrown, for a bigger 5-point booster. The cupholders make her happy.  :-)

I know I just said it above, but I'm going to say it again... I can't believe I'm already in the 3rd trimester! This pregnancy is going so quickly!

I swear January will be here before I know it, and it will be time to birth a baby!  ::gulp::

Honestly, its feeling a bit like the calm before the storm around here with the weather turning colder, and between my entering the final trimester, plus our biggest event of the year and all the holidays that quickly follow looming ever closer.

It was a beautiful weekend, and honestly, its been a beautiful October already. There have been frustrations (work, house hunting, etc.), but there have been so many lovely, relaxed days this month, I'm just going to suck them all up while they last.

How is your October shaping up?


tasty on tuesday {pumpkin, pear, fennel soup; roasted potatoes and fennel}

Two fall favorites of ours to share today. The first is Pumpkin, Pear, and Fennel soup:

With a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Pumpkin, Pear, Fennel Soup

Adapted from the now disappeared No Takeout

1. Trim the root ends and most of the greens from 2 leeks. Cut them lengthwise, rinse well under cold water and slice thinly. Put them in a colander and rinse again. Drain thoroughly.
2. Peel a winter squash (I use butternut, but acorn works too... just way harder to peel!). Cut in half, scrape out the seeds and cut into 1-inch chunks. You should have about 4 cups of squash.
3. Peel, core and chop 2 pears.
4. Peel and dice 1" ginger (or cheat and use a big ole scoop of the minced stuff from the jar!).
5. Coarsely chop 2 tsp fennel seed.
6. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt 2 Tablespoons butter, then add the leeks and saute until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
7. Add the squash, pears, fennel seed, 3/4 tsp salt and 4 cups chicken stock (or veggie, if you want it to remain vegetarian) to the stockpot.
8. Increase the heat to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are soft and crush easily against the side of the pot, about 25 minutes.
9. Puree the soup until it is smooth. If it is too thick, thin it with some apple cider (I normally do this no matter what, and cook a little longer to thicken it up if needed).
10. Taste and season with salt and pepper, more ginger or fennel if needed.

To serve, fill a bowl with soup and garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche or plain yogurt and a sprinkling of cinnamon, if desired.

And on the side roasted potatoes, fennel, onion, garlic, and sage. Veggies are never going to be my favorite, but this I would fight people for:

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Tweaked slightly from Food Magazine

1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
2. Toss 1 pound halved mini red potatoes with 1 sliced fennel bulb, 1 sliced white onion, 10 sage leaves, and enough olive oil to coat well.
3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Pop into oven.
4. Slice 8-10 garlic cloves, drizzle with a little olive oil, and add to mixture after about 10 minutes.
5. Roast until golden and crisp, 35 to 40 minutes total, tossing halfway through.



day off for a long weekend

I'm sneaking this in after Gwen is in bed. None of us have the day off tomorrow, so its time to get back to the grind. The weeks have been so long around here lately. Repeat the broken record of work craziness, house hunting blahs, and all the other normal business. But lets look at some of the nice stuff from this past week.

Gwen got some new clothes from her Nana.

The only dress in the bunch, she liked the soft arms.
Nana did a good job of picking out some boy's shirts which Gwen LOVED. We convinced her the one dress was just a really long shirt and she went with it.

Meanwhile the Autumn weather is well and truly here to stay. We took out the A/Cs, and I got to wear boots and sweaters, which made me happy indeed.

25.5 weeks
I had Friday off. I took it off ages ago for something which didn't pan out, but decided to keep it. I'm so glad I did. AM yoga, lunch with Trav (an early anniversary meal), and some relaxing was just what the doctor ordered. I also spent a few hours in the kitchen which always makes me happy. Friday night it was loaded baked potato soup, and roasted cauliflower on the side. Saturday it was our favorite Pumpkin, Pear, and Fennel soup:

With a sprinkle of cinnamon.
And on the side roasted potatoes, fennel, onion, garlic, and sage. Veggies are never going to be my favorite, but this I would fight people for:

Those two nights of cooking produced veggies for the week for us, plus soup for the nights they were made, one other dinner's worth of each, and another night of each which I froze for later.

Another favorite part... with cooler weather comes much more snuggling from Miss Daisy:

Such a love bug.

Overall, a great weekend, and a good recharge for the sure to be long week ahead.