Thursday, September 20, 2018

Our Fall Bucket List

Linking Up With the ladies over at Girl Chat today and we're sharing our fall bucket lists.

I have made a fall bucket list the last few years (2016 here, 2017 here) but it's only just this past summer that I've decided to start making smaller bucket lists and actually trying to hold myself somewhat accountable to them.

I did really well with our summer bucket list completing 18 out of the 20 things on our list!  (You can read all about it here)

With that in mind, I wanted to make our list fairly small and keep it attainable this year.

1.  Make pumpkin or apple cider donuts using our new donut pans.  I'm dying to try this recipe!

Easiest Ever Homemade Pumpkin Spice Donuts |

2.  Go apple picking! (an annual tradition!)

3. Make our apple pies and a couple other apple recipes.

4.  Tour the cider mill in Mystic

5.  Go hiking a few times to notice all the changing fall colors and try out a few new hiking trails.

6.  Get that bike rack mounted on the car and try out a few bike trails.

7.  Decorate the house for fall.

Last year's fall mantle.. this year I'd like to add more orange and burgandy

8.  Take the boys annual photos.

9.  Visit Pumpkintown

10.  Make Twix Cheesecake cupcakes

Creamy cheesecakes swirled with caramel and bite size Twix Bars. These Mini Twix Caramel Cheesecakes are easy and can be ready for a party in just 15 minutes!

11.  Try out at least two new fall art projects like leaf print painting.

12.  Make either this harvest caramel corn recipe or a fall Chex mix blend.

Harvest Caramel Corn - a fun Fall treat. Sweet and salty popcorn covered in delicious caramel - so delicious and so easy to make.  It would be a great Thanksgiving Party Food or a Fall movie night dessert!  Follow us for more fun Thanksgiving and Fall Food ideas.

13.  Go to Mystic Village.

14.  Make a fall wreath.

15.  Go letter boxing.

16.  Check out an old cemetery and try to make a few rubbings of old gravestones.

17. Make yarn pumpkins using balloons.

18.  Bring watercolors outside and paint the fall foliage we see.

19.  Make some homemade pretzels.

20.  Make an exploding pumpkin with baking soda and vinegar and paint.

Linking Up With:

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Encouraging Hearts & Home blog hop every Thursday at

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Virtual Refrigerator-- Fired Alcohol Art

Thanks for stopping by and joining us again this week as we host another virtual refrigerator arts and crafts link up.

Oh boy did we ever have fun with this art project.  My boys heard the word "fire" and they just could not wait to dive into this new project I found on Pinterest for us to try! Fired alcohol ink art looked so intriguing and I just knew I would not have to cajole anyone into trying it out.

To do this project you will need: 

alcohol inks
cotton balls or a way to sprinkle the alcohol
glass (we used glass from dollar store frames)
a lighter
a flame resistant surface

We put some tin foil down to protect our tile table from the inks; not sure if they'd stain or not.  Then we set our piece of glass in the middle and dripped some of our alcohol inks over the surface.  W

We had two different brands of alcohol ink and as you can see one squirted out much faster than the other.

Then we wet some cotton balls with alcohol and squeezed them over our project spreading the alcohol over all the inks.

We set fire to the alcohol by holding a lighter near it and it quickly set fire to the whole project.  Once the alcohol is burned off the fire dies out naturally and the glass cools quite quickly.

We decided to try again now that we knew what to expect.  Evan wanted a turn and he choose to use just three colors; green, yellow, and teal.

Then Alec went and  he experimented with HOW he added the inks; some dots, some swirls, some outright drawings.

Then he used a lot of ink to coat the entire glass.

For our fourth and final attempt we worked cooperatively to make one last picture.

We found that not all of the inks felt dry after firing so we set them in the sun to dry.

After they were mostly dry I sprayed them all with an acrylic spray paint sealer and put them back into their original frames with some white paper behind them.

The bright white paper shows off the designs nicely.

Now without further ado I invite you to grab a "magnet" and link up your arts and crafts posts below and visit some other bloggers to see what they shared on their refrigerators.

Your art project doesn't need to be a stand alone post, nor does it need to be a tutorial.  We love day in the life posts or homeschooling wrap- ups that show art work too! 

So what do you have to share with us?

grab button for Homeschool Coffee Break
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Linking Up With:
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Encouraging Hearts & Home blog hop every Thursday at

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September Pinterest Challenge-- Mocha Zucchini Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips

Welcome to the September Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop, hosted by My Pinterventures. The purpose of this Pinterest Challenge is to motivate all the participants of this hop (and you too) to not just pin, but to make it happen!

I really wanted to try this Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread by Delightful E Made but found that I only had 1/4 cup of cocoa powder on hand.  Not to be deterred, I decided to substitute the other half of the cocoa powder with 1/4 cup of decaf instant coffee making Mocha Zucchini Bread.

Looking for a delicious way to enjoy all that fresh summer zucchini? This Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is the perfect sweet, quick bread recipe that's packed with fresh zucchini and loaded with chocolate chips!

I knew I loved the taste of chocolate and zucchini together from when I once made a chocolate zucchini cake but I really wasn't sure of the addition of coffee... It ended up being quite tasty!  

To make the bread I used:

1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup decaf instant coffee granules
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups shredded Zucchini
1 cup dark chocolate chips

In the stand mixer I combined the brown sugar, cocoa powder, and coffee grains together first making sure I could smell both chocolate and coffee.  

I then mixed in all the vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla.  In a small bowl I combined the flour, baking soda and salt and added it to my stand mixer.  Once everything was mixed I added in my shredded zucchini and gave it a few final stirs. 

I mixed in the cup of chocolate chips and poured it all into a greased loaf pan.  I baked my bread in a preheated 350 degree oven for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean or with dry crumbs attached. 

Once my bread had cooled I turned it onto a plate, sliced a piece off and enjoyed a very late lunch. 

While I did really enjoy this bread it wasn't my favorite.  

I think I used just a bit too much coffee.  I am not a coffee drinker and this did have a pretty strong coffee flavor.  I think I would have liked this better if I had only used 1/8 cup of coffee instead of the full 1/4 cup.  

But that said we did end up eating the whole loaf and I actually preferred it cold out of the fridge with the crunch of the chocolate chips.  

In January my boys and I made nail polish marbled mugs.
In February we tried out a new recipe for turkey & cornbread pot pie.
In March my boys worked on making a salt dough map.
In April my boys made some glittery mason jar luminaries. 
In May my oldest on and husband made a hand forged key holder
In June I made zucchini crust pizza for myself.
In July we made Cheesy Ranch Chex Mix
In August we made blueberry yogurt Popsicles 

 To join next month's #pinterestchallenge, click here to sign-up ⇒ October Pinterest Challenge.

Now let's see what other things Pinterest inspired! Head over and visit the other hosts to see what they crafted, cooked, built, or tried!

Pinterest Challenge Blog Hop
Erlene - My Pinterventures • Alexandra - Eye Love Knots Joanne - Our Unschooling Journey • Laurie - My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies Jenny - Cookies Coffee and Crafts • Kristie - Teadoodles Cherryl - Farm Girl Reformed • Beverly - Across the Boulevard Debra - Shoppe No. 5 • Gail - Purple Hues and Me Emily - Domestic Deadline • Lynne - My Family Thyme Chelsea - Making Manzanita • Maureen - Red Cottage Chronicles Julie - Sum of their Stories • T'onna - Sew Crafty Crochet Michelle - Our Crafty Mom • Lisa - Blogghetti Marie - The Inspiration Vault • Kelley - Simply Inspired Meals Debbee - Debbee's Buzz • Habiba - Craftify My Love • Marci - Stone Cottage Adventures Kenyatta - My Design Rules • Kelli - The Olympic Nest   Katrin - Kreativ K Roseann - This Autoimmune Life • Terri - Our Good Life Leslie - Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After Lydia - Lydia's Flexitarian KitchenMarie Claire - Undemisieclederecettes
Shirley - Intelligent Domestications • April • Stampin Fool

Linking Up With:

Oh My Heartsie Girls WW 650 x 635

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Monday, September 17, 2018

Hello Fall; A Linky Party for All Things Fall

  Welcome Fall! I'm celebrating cooler weather and the change of seasons with a group of our blogging friends. 

You're invited to share your fall themed posts with us from September 17th to October 18th.  Any and all fall posts are welcomed: crafts, DIY projects, recipes, activities, etc. 

Be sure to come back on October 22nd and check out the features! 


Is anyone else ready for fall?  I sure am!  I do love summer and all the fun it brings but there is nothing quite like fall in New England.  I love the cool crisp mornings, all the beautiful colors that the leaves are turning, and the tastes of apple, cinnamon, pumpkin and cranberries!  

I jumped at the chance to help co-host this wonderful spring linky along with: 

This Autoimmune Life | My Pinterventures

I made this brand new fabulous fall wreath for our front door and included a little tutorial on how I make wreaths in general.  There is nothing quite like a new wreath to ring in a new season and welcome friends and family to our home.

Each co-host is sharing a fall post to get the party started. You’ll find their links in the Link Up below. You're sure to find lots of inspiration! Please visit their links and check out their posts. We would all appreciate your support of the party by pinning our projects. 

The party is for all things fall! Share your crafts, home decor ideas, diy projects, recipes, and activities. By adding your link you give the co-hosts permission to use one photo with a link to your post on social media or in round up posts. 

Each co-host will share a features post of their favorites from the party on October 22.

Linking Up With:

Oh My Heartsie Girls WW 650 x 635

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This Is How We Roll Thursday Party