Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012

Wishing you a SWEET Halloween night.
Love, The Republicans
Pip the Cupcake, Mr. R. the Twinkie, and Hilary the Hostess cupcake

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Neighborhood Halloween

Mr. R. and I are blessed to live in a safe neighborhood surrounded by pretty awesome neighbors. Our neighbors brought food when Pip was born. They watch our house when we are gone for the day. They have walked the pups in a pinch. And most importantly they made us feel welcome from the moment we moved in. When we take Pip trick-or-treating on Wednesday we wanted to do something for our neighbors too. Just a little thank you from us to let them know they are awesome and how much we appreciate them. We also have two new families that moved onto our block so this will be a great way to say hello.
I found the idea for this Monster Mix on pinterest. You could basically make it out of anything, but I followed the creator's suggestions.
  • 1/2 box Cocoa Cereal
  • 1 box cheese crackers
  • 2 boxes caramel corn
  • 1 bag candy corn
  • 1 bag Reese's pieces
  • 1 bag square pretzels
  • 1/2 box honey nut cheerios
  • 1 can peanuts
We bought our plastic containers from the dollar store ( 4 for $1) and I printed the stickers via our home computer.  This batch easily made 16 small containers with a bit leftover for Mr. R. to enjoy. He may have to fight Pip for it though, she is a cheese cracker and cheerio fiend. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Corn Maze 2012

Saturday Awesomeness with my favorite little family. The best part? The corn maze has two parts you are supposed to enter part one and exit part one. And then if you dare, you try part two. Somehow we ended up entering part one of the maze and exiting via part two. We are choosing to believe that our sense of direction is so awesome that we were able to complete both phases at once. 
Pip LOVED the farm animals and the corn pit. We will totally be back next year. Yay for new traditions, good friends, finally some fall weather down here in FL!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pip's First Trip to IKEA

I was off on Friday and Mr. R. and I took that opportunity to head to our favorite yellow and blue store, IKEA. Our mission was to purchase Pip's Christmas present (without her knowing) and to find a set on non-breakable ornaments for our Christmas tree. Someone in this house is really into touching, rearranging, and dropping things. And needless to say our regular ornaments are too precious to be lost to toddler hands. 
We spent about two hours introducing Pip to IKEA's furniture wonderland. She loved the kids section and she picked out her toddler bed. This girl loved the bunk bed fort and reading nook! We also snagged her Christmas gift for 20% off! Yay for coupons, saved receipts and good timing!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Frankenstein Friday

Did you know today is Frankenstein Friday? Today is Frankenstein Friday! Celebrated each year on the last Friday of October, Frankenstein Friday pays homage to one of the greatest gothic stories of all time. In 1818, Mary Shelley wrote a novel about a young scientist named Victor Frankenstein who discovers how to give life to inanimate bodies. He creates a monster that pursues him to the ends of the earth and eventually destroys everything he holds dear. People often mistakenly use the name “Frankenstein” to refer to the hideous monster (famously played by Boris Karloff in the 1931 film), but Victor Frankenstein never gives his creation a name.Thanks to punchbowl. com for the information and a reason to celebrate tonight. 

It's been a while since I planned a surprise date night for Mr. R. and since he loves the Mel Brook's movie Young Frankenstein, I thought this little date would be perfect.
Vampire Bite Cocktails: Pomegranate Sangria
Spooky Sushi: grocery store sushi
Monster Mash popcorn: popcorn plus a few stolen pieces from our Halloween candy stash.
A perfect stay home date for a rainy Friday night.

Halloween Costume Prep

This morning I sat at our dining room table with a cup of coffee, white fabric paint, and two paint brushes in hand. This Saturday morning is all about Halloween costume prep.

My dad was the art teacher for my town's elementary and middle school. Growing up I have memories of him sitting at our kitchen table with a cup of coffee and paintbrush, sculpting tools, pastels, or chalk in hand. He was always working on a new project idea for his students. Incorporating new techniques and new styles of art. It was never an unusual sight to see him with bottles of Elmer's glue, a bag from a local art store, a black canvas waiting for inspiration, and my dad lost in thought trying to take the idea from his head and transport it to the page.
Today I imagined him sitting with me at my table. Discussing how to take the idea in my head and make it a reality on fabric. I am sure he would have loved to help chalk outline my paint stencil, he would have had great ideas on how to accentuate the curly cues on my costume, and we would have laughed as Pip paraded through the dining room in random parts of our costumes mixed in with elements from her dress up box.
I am grateful I had 18 years with my dad. I am thankful that his artistic qualities rubbed off on me. And I cherish all those mornings and Sunday afternoons spent at our table painting, crafting, talking, and laughing. I would give anything for him to meet Pip. For him to see her dressed in her Halloween costume this year. But at the same time I am okay that he is gone. I know his memory lives on. Every time I pick up a paint brush, every time I buy a new box of crayons, every time we do chalk art on our wall... my dad is still with me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Littlest Witch

 When witches go riding and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers 'tis near Halloween.
We made a trip to the Halloween Store last night in search of a cupcake headband. We left headband-less, but Pip founds her new favorite accessory. She wore it in the store, in the car home, while eating dinner, during bedtime stories, and then again this morning. Witch hats are the new black. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

We got a package!

Mr. R.'s parents surprised us with a little taste of Jersey. As a girl raised on the boardwalk of Ocean City, I was ecstatic to see a box labeled Mallon's Bakery on my doorstep. Just the sight had me dreaming of salty air, carnival music, the ferris wheel, and caramel popcorn.

Mr. R. has declared he is eating a cinnamon roll for dinner and Pip has claimed every cinnamon covered raisin she can find. Thanks Mom and Dad Republican! We love you!

Embrace the Camera

I had one of those mornings this morning. If you are a female reader I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. This morning my favorite "I feel skinny" jeans were dirty, the shirt I had picked out was a bit too tight, and when I looked in the mirror all I could see were dark circles. My hair was all wrong, my shoes didn't provide the pop of color I was hoping for, and I turned away from the glass in disgust.

And then I looked down and there was Pip.  She watches me wash my face, put on make-up, pick out clothes, get dressed... She is my shadow throughout my whole morning routine. She is watching how I act, how I speak, and soon my thoughts on beauty, attractivness, and how I treat my body will influence her own.

With that scary thought on my mind I decided to straighten up, put on a new shirt, and fake a postive attitude about my body. Fake it until you make it right? I am not going to have a daughter with body images that she inherited from me. I am not going to pass on my insecurities to her.
So today I am embracing the camera with Pip. And even though in this picture I see things I don't like I am going to smile and I am going to keep taking pictures. And I will raise a girl who is confident in her own skin.
She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mini Me

Last night Pip and I played house before her bath time. I watched her prepare dinner in her little house, "wash" dishes, take care of her baby doll Amelia, and drive her car. And as I was watching her I realized she is emulating me. She prepared dinner while talking on her play cellphone. She held the phone in the crook of her neck while she stirred the spoon in her pot. When she "washed" dishes she she babbled to the dogs and moved the pots and utensils into her cabinet, just like I do.  She rocked her baby and read her a story, just like I do with Pip before bed. And lastly before driving off in her car she grabbed her purse, her cellphone, and her sunglasses. She then got in the car with all three and put the sunglasses on her face before she waved goodbye. 
I had no idea her little eyes were watching me so much. She mimics my hand motions, my mannerisms, and now she repeats my words! This girl keeps me on my toes. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Piper's Pumpkin Patch

 Pip got a package in the mail from my Mom last week. Mimi made her a felt pumpkin patch complete with mix and match jack-o-lantern pieces.
We pinned it to the chalkboard wall and she has been playing with it non-stop since Friday. 

Thanks Mom! Best surprise package ever!

Bathtime Hide and Seek

Tonight I am on my own with this little lady. Her new favorite game is shower curtain hide and seek.
She cacoons herself in our shower curtain (while laughing hysterically) and then opens the shower curtain and says "ME!". She did this for twenty minutes tonight. And trust me its hilarious and adorable all at the same time. Pip = awesome. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Paleo-tober 2012

Last October Mr. R. and I went Paleo for two weeks. We had both stalled out on healthy eating the month before and we needed a nutritional clean eating jump start. On the recommendation of my friend Sharon we gave Paleo a try and we REALLY liked it. The meals are do-able, it's crockpot friendly, and I gain SO MUCH energy when I am eating well. I know October is on the way out, but there is no time like the present for a diet over haul. And who knows we might even ride the Paleo train right into November.

So what does Paleo mean exactly?
Paleo is a simple dietary lifestyle that is based on foods being either in or out. In are the Paleolithic Era foods that we ate prior to agriculture and animal husbandry (meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruit, berries, mushrooms, etc.). Out are Neolithic Era foods that result from agriculture or animal husbandry (grains, dairy, beans/legumes, potatoes, sugar and fake foods). Source:

What does Paleo mean for Mr. R. and me?

We will be eating meat (anything that flies, swims, runs, or walks), most of the meat will be lean, grass fed, and organic. We will be eating vegetables TONS of vegetables. We will be eating fruit, right now our daily fruit intake consists of bananas, apples, grapes, pumpkin, and dates. We will be eating nuts (pecans and walnuts) and almonds in the form of almond milk and almond flour. We will also be eating beans and some cheese/milk/and Greek Yogurt. I know this is a paleo no-no, but we are easing into Paleo and I am not sure I could do this without my yogurt, beans and cheese.

Why in the world would I choose this way of eating?
I have been having stomach issues for about three months. I had these same stomach issues last fall and earlier this spring. I had been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in the past, but I am a carb girl and I just decided to "deal with it". After not feeling well for almost a month I went back to the doctor and all the tests point to gluten intolerant. And my options are #1: Keep ignoring the facts and my symptoms and feel terrible OR #2: Try a gluten free lifestyle and see how I feel.

How long do I think I will last?
I know I should be saying "a lifetime", but really I have no idea. I need to give myself at least a month off gluten. This will give my body a chance to get rid of what has been in my system and give me a chance to see what being gluten free really feels like. Hopefully I will feel SO GOOD/AMAZING that I will keep it up. 

Weekend Rundown:
Friday breakfast was my last non Paleo meal and so far I feel fine. No crazy carb cravings. Friday night I made roasted butternut squash (with walnuts and goat cheese) and roasted brussels sprouts with bacon for dinner. We all enjoyed this, even Pip. 
Saturday: Breakfast:  I mixed 4 eggs with the leftover squash for a breakfast frittata
Lunch: Sweet potato, apple, and chicken sausage hash (image source)
Dinner: 7 layer Mediterranean dip and buffalo chicken dip with carrots, celery, and peppers for dipping. ***We had people over and these dishes were more low-carb than Paleo.

Sausage gravy over a sweet potato (Mr. R. had biscuits with his gravy)
BBQ chicken salad (with black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes, and lettuce) from the Cheesecake Factory (as much as the onion rings beckoned I abstained)
Leftover Buffalo chicken dip and Mediterranean dip.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ever microwaved soap?

There is a pin on pinterest that says ivory soap can grow from a teeny tiny bar soap to a soap mountain in under 90 seconds. I was skeptical, but I also thought it would make the coolest science lab ever if it worked. 
Luckily, my students were learning about the Attitudes of a Scientist. We spent the first 45 minutes of class defining and describing what it means to be Creative, Open-minded, Aware of Bias, Curious, Honest, Ethical, and Skeptical. Then we broke out the microwave and waited rather impatiently as the timer counted down to zero. 
90 seconds later we had our very own soap mountain! 
The soap isn't wet or slimy either. It feels like clay and is moldable. 
Th best part? It is still soap. You can wash your hands with it. This discovery provided the opportunity to talk about physical and chemical changes. 
 This lesson is going down in my teaching hall of fame. My students are still talking about it, they totally bought into the lesson and could give me examples from the lab for each attitude of science, and if we are getting braggy, the quiz grades for this set of standards were awesome! 

Where's Pip?

We have been keeping her stuffed animals in our old laundry basket. Today she took it upon herself to dive into the basket and hide among her stuffies. She could not stop laughing as Mr. R.'s parents pretended to try to find her. 
The bottom pictures were taken during her first laundry basket flight. This girl loves to swing. She loves to swing high and belly laughs the faster you go.
 I think we are raising a dare devil. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Life Lately (in bullet form)

 Pip's new thing is to read aloud to us. We have no idea what she is saying, but we love her enthusiasm and hand/arm movements. She clearly picked up my tendency to talk with my hands. 
 There is a story behind this picture. Mr. R. had just made a block tower with Pip. He let her place the final piece and then she toppled it like Godzilla with both arms flailing. 
 I am still running. The mileage has been short and sweet this week. But as Nike says, I am still lapping everyone on the couch.
 Awesomesauce hair. 80s dance party bath time is still alive and kicking and now Pip sings along. Her new fave is Phil Collins' Invisible TOuch.
 I read Clifford the Red Dog Goes on Vacation a zillion times last week. 
 Sock Monkey Pip.
She likes the costume best without the hat.
 Mr. R.'s parents are in town. Pip is soaking up the love and being spoiled like crazy. 
It also should be noted that she picked out the tie-dye shirt and rainbow leggings herself. She has great taste right?
 The chalkboard wall got a makeover. 
 The owl lamp I had been stalking at Target finally went on clearance! As soon as I saw the red clearance sticker he was in my cart. 
 Practicing letters with Pop-pop. So far she can recognize and say "A,B,C,E,O,P,X,Y and Z".
And finally, the Clifford book makes and appearance again. If only you knew how much she loves this book and how many times we are forced to read it. I am starting to dislike Emily Elizabeth and her big red dog very much.
Best lunch/dinner/snack ever.
Strawberry Greek yogurt + 1Tbs. peanutbutter + 1 Tbs. chopped peanuts.
Just like a PB and J sandwich, but no carbohydrate guilt.