Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, First Burr Halloween

I love starting new traditions and keeping up with old ones my family and I have. 
Old tradition: This Halloween, Mike and I carved our first pumpkin together.
New tradition: With the leftover seeds and pumpkin, bake some fun stuff: roasted pumpkin seeds and TBD pumpkin baked stuff.

Check out the resemblance to my wonderful husband (I included my silliness too). hehe. We noticed it after we were done:

annnnnd our pumpkin:

I saved all of the seeds and decided to experiment! We tried three slightly different styles...

(If you want to try all three like we did, just use 2 T melted butter and then 1/3 - 1 tsp of each flavor)
INGREDIENTS: Fresh pumpkin seeds, dried
Flavor options:
2 T melted butter
pinch salt
2 T melted butter
2-3 tsp cinnamon sugar
2 T melted butter
1-2 tsp garlic salt (to taste)

STEP 1: Separate seeds from gooey pumpkin insides. Let dry for 24 hours.

STEP 2: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Hand-toss seeds in a bowl with melted butter and flavoring (salt, garlic salt, or cinnamon sugar... all 3 at once might not be so awesome.) Spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Adjust seeds as needed to avoid over-baking.

Before roasting

STEP 3: Let cool 3-4 minutes and enjoy! They turned out pretty good.

and Mike's co-workers liked the pumpkin muffins I made from a Krusteaz mix:

We didn't get too many trick-or-treaters this year at our first place :\ Maybe 11 kids total. LOTS of candy leftover to bring to work! We still enjoyed the holiday together, though we're turning in early. Mike didn't get much sleep and worked late, and I woke up super early to sub in Corona Del Mar. Harbor View Elementary is a great school; admins back up their teachers and all have the same expectations. The kids know what to expect. Plus, we had a Halloween costume parade and the moms made crafts for the last hour of the day. Talk about involved! It was a great but tiring day.


Weekend Adventure: A New Favorite Eatery

Mike and I were really excited to sleep in Saturday. I slept in til 10, he got up at 9! Who's the lazy one now!

He saw something really yummy on FB from a friend so we went to downtown Orange to check it out. Glassell Avenue, the main drag, reminds me of Santa Barbara's State Street but in a different way. Small houses are used as cafes and small business offices, pretty neat. Our destination was a restaurant called Bruxie, a newer place known for waffle sandwiches --

The line never got shorter.

Waffle sandwiches?! Sounds amazing. IT IS. They just celebrated their 1-year birthday on 10/26 and are going strong. Mike ordered the Irish nachos - waffle fries with bacon, cheese, sour cream, and fried chicken (not greasy).


and the Purple Haze - tastes like carbonated grape soda with some frozen custard in it. T'was ok.

I had the Green Eggs and Ham and was surprised how good it was. The pesto sauce made it REALLY good.

the "after" picture.

We shared a yummy pumpkin shake (my fall addiction).

We had ordered their Nutella and Bananas and immediately took it to go since we were so stuffed. It was a great treat for later.

Needless to say its given me new ideas for cooking at home. Yum! Definitely doing this.

After an afternoon nap at home, we went to the 5 PM temple session in Newport. It was great going there, especially together. Now that we both have our own set of temple clothes (Newport doesn't rent), we're going once a month. The first room you sit in is beautiful, with such realistic landscapes on the walls. I steamed  my white dress and Mike's slacks with the steamer I got from the wedding. It works so well, I got super excited and felt like a good housewife. It's more fun than ironing.

In the evening, we chaperoned the multi-stake youth Halloween dance. It. was. packed. Our ward was assigned to the refreshments table, which we didn't have a problem with since we skipped dinner, still stuffed from brunch at Bruxie's. Afterward we went home and slept well. So well that I got up at 10:30 and Mike got up at 11. The week really took out our energy.


Easy Banana Pancakes

  • I've been getting more creative with my baking and cooking lately and thought I'd share one of my favorite concoctions, easy to make!

  • Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups all-purpose biscuit baking mix (I use Bisquick or Krusteaz)
  • 3 bananas, mashed

  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the baking mix until moistened, then add the bananas, and stir to moisten (don't over-stir, this will stiffen and dry the texture).
  2. Heat a lightly oiled/buttered griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Flip over once bubbles appear on the top. Cook until browned on the other side. YUM!


Deal of the Week - CVS

This one you can do multiple times if you have multiple CVS cards* (which are free - see note at end of the post):

CoverGirl Blushes, $4.99
(Buy two, get $3 Extra Care Bucks to use on next purchase)
Use $8 off 2 CoverGirl face products from PG 10/2 (expires 10/31)
Pay $1.98, receive $3 ECB
Final Price: -$1.02 when you buy 2 MONEYMAKER

For me, they were on sale for $5.29 instead of $4.99. I bought a bronzer blush and a rose blush and used the same $8 off 2 coupon. But I also had $1 ECB so I paid $1.58 plus tax, then received the $3 ECB. Overall, coupons saved me $9 and I walked out of the store with $1.42 earned :)

* From my step-sis-in-law: Just a quick note: you aren't supposed to have multiple CVS cards....that is why all the stores are putting caps on items, because ladies come in with multiple cards and say they are their mom's, sister's etc. I've spoken with managers at CVS and you aren't supposed to have more than one. If you ask other couponers they consider that a form of coupon fraud. Just FYI


East Coast Explorations - Part 2

(For a view of more fall color-themed photos, I posted them all here!)

After our Boston adventures, we drove out to Ogunquit, Maine (pronounced how it's spelled, seriously!). This was my first view of the Atlantic. So amazing!

The next morning after an early breakfast, we hiked along the coastline to Perkins Cove and took a fantastic boat ride to the Hubble Lighthouse.

Then we all had a delicious fresh fish n' chips lunch overlooking the harbor.

Here's a look at some local scenery and shopping on Shore Drive in Perkins Cove and Ogunquit!

These beautiful mums were everywhere! LOVE.
I'll do this someday.
Great pumpkin idea!
Our resort's front display. Best idea ever!

On our last day :sniff sniff: we headed north to Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, Maine, where we drove by Walkers Point (the Bush summer home) and did some shopping before heading back south. My Dad says this is a good Republican photo :)

We stopped by North Yard Cemetery in Massachusetts where I was told by my Dad's cousin that we had family buried there. However we were disappointed to find that it was the wrong one and the correct one is in Methuen. Hopefully on my next trip I'll be able to find it and take photos of the site to share as a part of my family history.

Afterward, Dad drove us to the Airport Diner in Manchester and we shared a yummy lunch before our flights home (grilled cheese with tomato: such a good idea). Dad flew home later after a few days of business meetings.

(A snippet about my family history!)

My Dad was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, so quite a few of my ancestors live/lived and died there. After years of struggling with cold weather and polio (constantly falling and breaking fingers and toes), my grandpa "Papa" found a job working for Howard Hughes in California and moved his wife and 8 children west. When the job fell through because they thought Papa incapable due to his polio, he was able to find more work and make ends meet.

My aunts and uncles on my Dad's side grew up in Chatsworth, California where my Uncle Greg still resides. I love learning where my family came from!

East Coast Explorations! - Part 1

(Get ready... lots of pictures!)
About a month ago, my sister expressed interest in going to the east coast when my Dad was taking a business trip. Long story short, all 4 of our family members were boarding a plane early Saturday morning - my sis from Sacramento, my parents and I from Los Angeles. We met up in Chicago and flew together to Manchester, New Hampshire. Needless to say I think I fell in love. With the cities of course! I'm happily married :)

On day 1 of our adventures, we went to Lexington Green in Massachusetts, where the Battle of Lexington was fought. My Dad is a big US history buff, so I know he really enjoyed every moment, and I was grateful to check out some awesome history.

My sis and I
The Munroe house where witnesses to the battle lived

I realized that there was a temple in Massachusetts, looked it up, and sure enough, it was literally 5 miles away! I was so excited. We were on our way to Boston and it was fight next to the freeway. So beautiful!

Boston, MA Temple
Boston, MA Temple
Boston, MA Temple

Once arrived in Boston, we parked underground the Boston Common park and walked to the visitor's center. We took a tour via The Freedom Trail tours and it was fantastic. (Buy tickets through them because the funds actually go toward restoring and maintaining the sites)

John Hancock burial site, and our tour guide
Puritan headstone
Paul Revere burial site

Samuel Adams burial site
Downtown Boston