Tag Archives: fall

Pumpkin Spice And Everything Nice

The official start of Fall is just a couple days away. Yay!

I’ve had this pumpkin pie smoothie pinned for about a year now and look forward to blending one up tomorrow morning…

1/2 banana (peeled, frozen, diced)

1/3 cup pumpkin puree (Libby’s)

1/3 cup FF plain Greek yogurt

1/2-3/4 cup vanilla almond milk

few shakes of pumpkin spice (Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice)

 pinch of cloves

1tsp vanilla

2 cups crushed ice



Have you had your first Pumpkin Spice Latte yet?

I made this PSL knock-off and it’s obviously not the same as the one at the place with the big green circle, but it wasn’t bad. I used coconut almond milk and some brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit. I must admit, a whipped cream cloud and some festive fall sprinkles would take it up a notch, but it was fun to try and a good way to use up your pumpkin puree if you have any leftover from another recipe.



I love to spruce up our mantel with the seasons and Fall makes it easy to bring nature inside as decor.

I found a branch with weird pods/seeds of some sort on a hike last week and stuck it in with some manzanita branches that I already had on-hand for some height above our fireplace…

Pinecones in a simple glass vase would make a nice focal point, as well.

Grab several autumn hued paint chips from your local home improvement store, a leaf stencil and some twine to create a garland/bunting ~ use a hole punch and put two holes in each leaf to hang.


I love candles year round, but there’s something about a candle flickering on a cool, dark-by-5 o’clock early fall evening.

Check out these super cheap, super fragrant candles from Wal-mart ~ the Vanilla Cream, Cinnamon Roll and Apple Spice are perfect for harvest season.

{1-wick candle, under 2 bucks & 3-wick candle, only 5 bucks}


That’s just the tip of the iceberg as to what I have planned for my most favorite season…come back for the next few months for more recipes and sweet treat ideas.

Enjoy the rest of your week!


Happy Souls & Itchy Toes

We try to make a trip to Yosemite once a year. My uncle lives in the park so we have a good excuse.

This summer was busy with summer camps and our trip to the Carolinas so we pushed our Yosemite trip back to Fall Break which was perfect since the weather was cooler and I {think} there was a little lower mosquito population.

We always stop off at Sonic in Bako on the way up…

Typically all meals are eaten out on the deck at Camp Duke…

{I almost stole this piece of oilcloth}

{sneaking on the computer!}

{in the neighbor’s hammock}

{a pre-birthday celebration}

{pancakes on the deck}


{under the swinging bridge}

{here come my uncle and jill}

{these two four-legged family members caused a ruckus…they sniffed out a cheesecake on a dresser in one of the bedrooms and ATE THE WHOLE THING. I’m certain that the long one with the short legs instigated the whole thing. Afterall, his name is Rascal. Again, so sorry Jill ;-( }

{we thought the water was going to be too cold so we didn’t wear our bathing suits}

{heading back over the bridge and through the woods}

{another hearty breakfast of steel cut oats, yogurt and fresh fruit}

{mariposa grove and the giant sequoias}

{a quick dip in the pool at the wawona hotel}

{playing with his new choo choo}

{woodsy creation}

{makin’ s’mores}

{full moon}


We love our trips up the 5 to the 99 to the 41 into beautiful Yosemite. Gathering groceries at Raley’s in the little town of Oakhurst to contribute to scrumptious camp feasts. My uncle is a seasoned grill master and Jill has a handle on all the wonderful side dishes. Sipping wine out on the deck never gets old. Kicking up dust out on trails to swinging bridges and GIANT trees. Watching the kids frolic in the creek brings back childhood memories.

The children are gathering beautiful mountain memories and filing them away only to be added to next year…and the year after…God willing.

We’re so grateful for these trips north to one of nature’s most scenic destinations.

THANK YOU Unc and Jill for first-class service every time.

We always come home with happy, nourished souls and this time itchy toes.

That’s what you get when you wear {flip flops} in the mountains.

Darn ‘squitoes.

Totally worth it, though!

Countdown To Fall

7 days ’til the fabulosity that is FALL!

Counting down with some autumnal goodness….

{pumpkin spice latte martini}

{candy corn bark}

{lots and lots of football ~ chargers, aztecs & bruins espesh! [image via]}

{a gorgeous fall mantel like this}

{this on our front door}

{taking our little goblins trick-or-treating ~ tj maxx hooked me up with the [cutest] mummy costume for holden}

{dipping apple slices, graham crackers and ginger snaps in this pumpkin pie dip}


Today I saw one brown leaf dancing it’s way to the ground in the breeze and my heart did a cartwheel.

CANNOT wait to bust out the Uggs and scarves for our morning walks to school.

Getting ready to gather pine cones and acorns on my Tuesday/Thursday morning hikes for our mantel display.

Making a permanent spot for the Crock Pot on the kitchen counter for slow cooked comfort meals.

Reserving my first pumpkin spice latte for a morning that actually calls for it ~ there’s got to be that nip in the air.

Did I mention that I LOVE me some Fall?


Happy Friday!

Fall’s {Almost} In The Bag

Pumpkin Spice lattes are available at Starbucks.

Football has started.

We’re getting closer and closer to my favorite season…17 more days to be exact.

I whipped up a little {fall} handbag for myself using a super duper clearance Target tote and a few rolled rosettes…

I just happened to have some leftover fabric that coordinated with the mustard colored bag and, again, used this tutorial for the rosettes.

I then played around with them until I found an arrangement that I liked before hot gluing them on.


For the amount of time it took me to put this together, I was so pleased with how it turned out.

I think some little make-up bags would be darling, as well.

This would be a sweet little semi-handmade gift for the holidays ~ perfect for teachers and all the ladies on your list.

I’m on the hunt for some more inexpensive totes & cosmetic bags and fun fabric for my holiday workshop!

Happy Tuesday…have a great {short} week!


Linking up to {What I Whipped Up Wednesday} over at Sugar and Dots and Sweet Saturday over at Gingerbread.


Slowly but surely I’m getting the Halloween/Fall cheer spread around the house.

Even trying to keep it simple, it’s still a challenge to get it up!

I DESPISE those spider webs, but think they add so much to the haunted house feel that I put a few up anyway.

{doormat from kohl’s for super cheap}

{little wrought iron stand at the front door…the owl is something that i remember from when i was a young girl. it was always out in our yard and last time we were in san diego, it flew into our car to come and live with us! my mom said she’s had it since before i was born ~ i love, love, love it!}

{cozy couch…this couch was my grandmother’s cousin’s…she is now 101 years old and has passed it along to us. again, i love it. she couldn’t remember when or where she got it, but i know it’s quite old. i adore the shape and the rolled arms}

{this little secretary was a surprise gift from my dad to my mom. he told her that some “wood” was going to be delivered for a project…then this came to the door! again, this piece has been in the family since before i came along. when my mom downsized 10 years ago, i jumped at the chance to adopt it}

{spider webs on the mantel along with sweet birthday wishes from friends & family}

{i won this cute little pumpkin jar at my friend angie’s baby shower like 15 years ago ~ her son is now in high school and a big football star! oh man i feel old…every year i put goodies in it, but am trying to refrain this year. we’ve already gone through a bag of candy corn}

{buffet table runner from target for super cheap after halloween a couple years ago. the little candle lampshade thingy is from bath and body works a million years ago.}

{this fun little cabinet is also from cousin dorothy. i keep all our “fancy” stemware and barware in it}

{these little sconces were from a friend for my birthday like 10 years ago…from costco. i LOVE them! i fill them with different things throughout the year. for elliott’s birthday one year i just filled them with giant colored gumballs and it added some pizzazz to her party. the possibilities are endless with these things and i can’t imagine my walls without them}

{seriously, these are the energizer bunnies of flora! they have been going strong for over a week now. not a brown petal to be found yet. i love the sunflower & coffee bean combo}

{home fragrance burner from the body shop…today i am burning “sweet maple”. i love it, but it makes me want to devour a plate of pancakes}

{busted! as i write this post, a little rascal jumped on the couch where he’s not supposed to be}


That’s about all I’m going to put up this year.

I may or may not have seen a few cobwebs while decorating, but I think if there is ANY month you can get away with them, it’s certainly October, right?!?

Hope you’ve been having fun haunting out your house! The kids love to see what all the neighbors have done as we walk to and from school each day.

I just wish the weather was a little more Fallish!

Have a {wicked} Wednesday!

{It is Wednesday, right?}


The Memo

Hmmm, apparently Summer didn’t receive the memo that we’ve moved into Fall.

It was over 100* here again today and it’s not supposed to cool down anytime soon as far as the little weather widget on our computer is concerned.

I was SO ready for Fall.

Earlier this week I was inspired to make a chicken pot pie. Couldn’t stop thinking about it…I’ve never made one so I was excited to give it a shot.

I wanted to use fresh veggies and the tail end of a bag of peas at the bottom of my freezer. I just sauteed some sliced baby carrots, diced onion, halved haricot verts {thin green beans}, and some fresh thyme in a little butter, salt and pepper for about 10 minutes. I then added a little chicken stock and cooked that off for another couple minutes and added the frozen peas at the last minute to help them keep their bright green color. I then cheated and used a can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup and added that to the veggies.

In the meantime, I baked off some chicken tenderloins that I had defrosted and drizzled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. {350 for about 3o minutes}. Chopped them up and added them to the veggie mixture.

For the crust, I purchased 2 pre-made frozen pie crusts from Trader Joe’s and defrosted them at room temperature for about an hour. I used my old trusty dusty 9X9 Corningware and put one crust down on the bottom and fit it to the corners of the dish. I then dumped all the chicken/veggie mixture on top of that and then laid the other crust on top and tried to crimp the edges as pretty as possible {it looked a little more rustic than I wanted it to}. I cut a few slits in the top to let out the steam.

Bake at 425* for about 35 minutes until crust is golden brown and inside is bubbling.

I must say I was a little nervous about how this was going to turn out. But let me just say that it was D-E-L-I-S-H. The crust was super flaky and done to perfection. I cannot wait to make it again. Next time I think I’ll add some fresh mushrooms, use cream of potato soup and a little white wine instead of the chicken stock. Yum!

So, take that Summer.

We’re going to enjoy some comfort food despite your lingering temperatures.

I HIGHLY suggest whipping one of these up. You could certainly use a rotisserie chicken and some frozen veggies to speed up the prep time and enjoy it quicker. Would also be great with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving!

So glad to have a new favorite to add to our Fall menu favorites.


Here’s to a comfy, cozy weekend no matter what type of weather you’re experiencing!

Flip Flop’s Fall Faves

Happy September 1st!

FALL is my most favorite {I know “most favorite” is redundant, but that’s how much I LOVE it!} season.

Hands down.

I made sure our wedding was in October.

It just had to be.

Maybe it’s because it leads to my most fave holiday time, Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Maybe it’s because I celebrate an autumn birthday.

Maybe it’s the comfort food.

Maybe it’s the beginning of days of “bundling up”.

Flannel pajamas. Cozy coats.

Not sure exactly WHY I fall for Fall, but I do.

And here are just some of the reasons why…

{Celebrating another year of marriage}

{Candles for when it starts getting dark before 5pm!}

{Rosy lips glistening with berry goodness}

{Spicy morning treat laced with caffeine}

{Hearty soups, stews & one pot meals}


{Annual trip to the pun’kin patch}

{Comfy, cozy Uggs ~ I’m getting a REAL pair this year!}

{Seeing the red, orange & yellow leaves covering the trees and watching them float down in the Fall breeze}

{Trick or Treat!}

…and then there is always this:

{Meeting a new teacher and new friends. Wearing new school clothes. A new pair of shoes. New backpack and lunch box. School supplies.}

Already trying to enjoy a bit the season that is upon us.

Officially 22 more {long} days, though!

58 Days

…until Fall.

I’m not counting down or anything.

Yesterday morning as we were leaving Yosemite through the little town of Oakhurst, we ran into Starbucks for a coffee to sip on the drive home and a pumpkin scone to share.


It felt like Autumn.

I was in love.

I sipped my caramel macchiato, nibbled on the scone, looked out at the landscape and envisioned the trees out in their Fall colors.

I am SO ready.

Maybe it’s because I know that the first day of school is just 17 days away.

It feels like my favorite season is closer than it really is.

Until then, I will enjoy the rest of the summer with my little ones because 58 days will go by in a flash.


Flip Flop Fitness Update ~ 7.26.10

2 cups coffee with 4 tbsp. creamer: 4 points

3 egg whites on a sandwich thin: 2 points

Turkey on sandwich thin: 4 points

Lean Cuisine Sesame Chicken: 7 points

Total points: 17


Walked to clubhouse and back: 2 miles

60 minutes on elliptical: 5.5+ miles, 650 calories