Friday Faves: Duck & Goose written and illustrated by Tad Hills

Duck & Goose

Hi everyone and happy Sunday to you all! I’m sorry this post is late. We celebrated my daughter’s birthday and had family in town this weekend, so needless to say, I was just a tad bit busy. But I am so thrilled to share my pick for this week! Duck & Goose is an adorably sweet and funny book by Tad Hills. It’s about two friends that find a very special egg. They can’t decide what to do with it, but one thing they do agree upon is that they each want it for themselves. Through some funny disagreements and illustrations, the two decide to take care of the egg and raise the hatchling together when it enters the world. That is, until a cute little blue bird informs them that their “egg” is actually a ball! Duck and Goose both agree it was a rather peculiar egg, and decide to play of game of ball instead.

It’s a cute tale between two very adorable characters. The great thing is that if you like this book, which I’d be surprised if you didn’t, there are other adventures that these two go on together. I hope you have a wonderful start to your week, and as always, happy reading!

Chocolate pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips…..a BOOtastic treat for your picky eater

My 4 yr old after eating, “I LOVE IT!”

Hi everyone! I’m pretty excited about this recipe b/c for one, it’s quick and easy. Two, it’s DELICOUS! And three, there’s pumpkin hidden in it, and you can’t tell! YES, I KNOW! I found this recipe on and adapted it just a pinch.

Preheat oven: 325 degrees Cook time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 Box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 Can pure pumpkin (15 ounces)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips and extra for on top

Pour cake mix into bowl. Add pumpkin a little at a time, mix til well blended. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and mix. Place mixture into muffin pan lined with cute liners about 3/4 full. Add a few chips on top – 5 is a good number. Then bake for 15 minutes. Once out, test with toothpick and cool. Voila!

Meatless Monday: Fall Harvest Couscous

Flavorful way to eat your veggies

I am always pleasantly surprised when an idea comes to fruition. My husband had asked if we could have a dish with couscous and I jumped at the opportunity. After looking around at recipes, I found one that used chickpeas, cranberries and squash. Per usual, I did not have the necessary ingredients! Of course….so I do what I always do….wing it. I prefer my dishes to have some wiggle room. So once again, I bring you a dish that you can seriously tailor to your preference.

Preheat oven: 400 degrees Cook time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (makes 2, double for more)
Place below ingredients on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
Add small amount of extra virgin olive oil to each item on pan, coat with hands.
1. Half stalk Asparagus – snap of bottoms
2. One pepper – diced
3. 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds. Watch these bc they can burn (may need to be taken out early)
4. 2 roma tomatoes – diced
5. 1/2 cup canned chickpeas -wash and remove thin shell on each – time consuming but worth it b/c it cooks to a nice crunch
***Sprinkley 1tsp garlic salt and 1 tsp onion powder over veggies – pepper, tomatoes, chickpeas
***Sprinkle a couple shakes salt over almonds
(save 1/2 cup of craisins to add to dish AFTER out of the oven. Don’t cook the craisins.)

While veggies are in the oven, boil 1 and 3/4 cup water and 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil in saucepan. Follow directions on box of Near East Pearled Couscous Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil. This stuff is magic in a box! So good!
When the veggies come out, use scissors to cut your asparagus into small pieces. Put everything into the pot and stir. I chose to add craisins to mine to have a sweet contrast to the garlic. You could also use yellow raisins, regular raisins or even dates. (I have no advice on how to use dates, but I saw it suggested somewhere and wanted to pass it along. I prefer craisins and yellow raisins myself.)

And that’s it! Let me know what you think!

This is the couscous I use

Friday Faves: If Kids Ruled the World by Linda Bailey Illustrated by David Huyck

Such a fun, cute read that gets to the heart of kid’s imagination

Good morning everyone and happy Friday! I have a wonderful book to share with you today. If Kids Ruled the World is a delightful story that reminds us what the world would look like through the eyes of a child. The pages are filled with colorful illustrations of kids going on adventures both extraordinary (like sailing on pirates ships or blasting to the moon) and everyday adventures made special through the imagination of children (like a sidewalks made from trampolines or pets of any kind!) It reminds us how precious and special childhood is, and to remember the small things that matter, like using our imagination to have wholesome fun. I LOVED this book. My kids enjoyed the beautiful illustrations and all of the inventive things that the kids came up with throughout the book. It’s definitely worth the read! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Patch Magic

Today my son and I went with his school on a field trip to the pumpkin patch. The day was beautiful! The sun shone through sparse clouds, leaves rustled under our feet, and the air was filled with giggles and laughter of children. The kids fed a few farm animals and we headed out on a hayride. I’m amazed at how I forget how great it is just to be surrounded by nature. The morning was a tough one to say the least. Being outside, in the crisp fall air, seemed to be just the cure I needed.

After the hayride, everyone picked a pumpkin and two gourds. I gotta say, my son picked out some pretty awesome gourds! Out of all the ones there, he managed to find the only swan gourd….way to go bud.

On days where things seem less than sunny in your world, try stepping outside for a minute and take in a little nature. It definitely worked for me today. Well that, and a fun trip to a pumpkin patch as seen through the eyes of a child.

Friday Faves: Just Right for Two by Travey Corderoy & Rosalind Beardshaw

Hi everyone! I have a WONDERFUL book to share with you today. I absolutely love this book! It’s a story about Dog who feels he has everything he needs in his blue suitcase. One morning, he wakes up to find Mouse sleeping next to him on his suitcase. Dog says this won’t do, and Mouse promises to leave after he sees what’s in Dog’s suitcase; this leads to sharing, and then a fun game. After Mouse is gone, Dog feels like something is missing in his life and sets off to find what it could be. He bumps into Mouse who helps him discover that he was missing his friend all along. It’s just so adorable! It’s a gentle tale of friendship with beautiful illustrations that will delight both young and old. I hope you find time to enjoy this book, happy reading!

Lyrics of love for my kids compliments of Jason Mraz ♥️

“Have It All” by Jason Mraz

May you have auspiciousness and causes of success
May you have the confidence to aslways do your best
May you take no effort in being generous
Sharing what you can, nothing more nothing less
May you know the meaning of the word happiness
May you always lead from the beating in your hcest
May you be treated like an esteemed guest
May you get to rest, may you catch your breath

And may the best of your todays be the worst of your tomorrows
And may the road less paved be the road that you follow

Well here's to the hearts that you're gonna break
Here's to the lives that you're gonna change
Here's to the infinite possible ways to love
I want you to have it
Here's to the good times we're gonna have
You don't need money, you got a free pass
Here's to the fact that I'll be sad without you
I want you to have it all

Feel Love

Today I dropped my son off for afternoon school, then went to swing by my daughter’s school to see how she was feeling. She’s on an antibiotic for an ear infection, and the nurse said I could bring in Motrin for her if she needed it. I got there right at lunch and went over to my daughter. She knocked me over with how surprised, happy, delighted, ELATED she was to see me! There was so much LOVE coming from her! Hugs and cuddling close to me while she ate….it was so nice!

Our world has been stuck in a rut of not listening, bad behavior and time outs that it was so nice to feel love. To GIVE love and have that great feeling of being a parent. It’s not always like that is it? But when it is, GRAB onto it, cherish it, and be in the moment as much as possible. Your kids do love you! We can just get caught in the cycle of being a disciplinarian that we forget that these little people are our loves.

If you’re feeling stuck, try shaking up your routine. Maybe take a spontaneous adventure, a walk in the park, a night car ride with glow sticks (my kids favorite), movie night with popcorn or anything you can think of that will bring back some plain love and fun into your family. Days can get hard, but we ALL need to feel love.

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Peppers

So good!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Today I’m sharing my version of vegetarian stuffed peppers. Heat oven to 350 degrees, cook time 30 minutes.

Fill large sauce pan/pot with water. Heat to boil. In this you will place: 4-5 large peppers (I’ve used red or green. Cut off top and clean out) These will need to simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes or until soft.

Ingredients for sauce pan:  10 minute cook time
1. 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
2. 1 can of diced tomatoes (oregeno, basil, garlic)
3. 1 bag of cooked rice (I use Kroger instant brown rice - microwave 90 seconds)
4. Meatless option: 10 oz. bag of Morning star grillers crumbles OR chorizo crumbles depending on how hot you like it. (Grillers will be more like ground meat with less spice)
5. 1 tsp onion poweder
6. 2 tsp garlic salt
7. 1/2 tsp ground red pepper (optional for extra heat)
8. Add red sauce: I use a tomato basil mix any kind, I'm not too picky. You will need about 1-1.5 cups. This varies depending on how big your peppers are. I don't like the mixture to be to drenched in sauce, just enough to keep it from drying out.
Get a glass baking dish and add sauce from jar to dish, line bottom.
1. Remove peppers from pot. and empty water. Add extra virgin olive oil to outsides of peppers. Then add just a little salt to each outside. (This softens and adds flavor, but can be skipped)
2. Scoop out mixture from skillet and add to each pepper. Fill to top. There may be extra mixture, just place in dish around peppers.
3. Cook in oven 350 for 15 minutes.
4. Take out and add mozzarella cheese to the top of each pepper. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes

That’s it, enjoy

Friday Faves:. The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers

I feel like I stumbled on a secret treasure with this book! The Night Gardener is the debut novel from Eric and Terry Fan, real life brothers. This story takes place in a dull world on Grimloch Lane that gets transformed by a magic gardener who works at night. Over the course of a few days, trees are turned into works of art, and the community begins to change for the better. No one has ever seen the night gardener, except for a boy named William, who has a chance meeting with the night gardener. The two work together and the boy’s life is never the same. I really encourage you to read this book. The illustrations are wonderfully detailed, and brings the lovely story to life. I highly recommend The Night Gardener! Happy reading!