Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half

The girls and I recently spent the day downtown Chicago. During a walk through Millennium Park, I looked up and knew that this was my response to this week’s challenge. There are many areas in Chicago where you can get this sort of view: half city, half nature.

Buildings and gardens: both reaching toward the sky

Buildings and gardens: both reaching toward the sky

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Half and Half.”

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Blueberries, blueberries, and more blueberries!

I love summer. I love summer temperatures. I love summer vacation. I love summer food. Sometimes, however, in my joyful summer food purchasing, we end up with way (!!!!!!!!) too much of something. Right now, that something is blueberries. We have so many blueberries! So tonight, I made cobbler.

I did a quick search for a cobbler that 1) looked easy and 2) did not need any ingredients that differed from what we already had. This one came up at the time of my search and I decided to give it a try.

It came together really easily and quickly. There’s hardly any mixing involved!

Blueberries!!!!

Blueberries!!!!

It’s a good thing that there is a new container of ice cream that’s just waiting to sit on some cobbler……

Summer To Do List – 2015 – UPDATED

So, summer is coming to a close. Back-to-school commercials have started already. *sigh* About a month ago, I posted my summer to-do list for this year. You can read the original here.

The list at this point:

  • Work on the front yard.   IN PROGRESS. My in-laws came down and helped and my parents came up and helped some more. Those bushes that I’ve hated since we moved in? They’re gone!!!!!!
  • Get back on track with my running/jogging/……walking.  IN PROGRESS. I’ve been better about sticking to the plan. And, I have registered to do a 10K. Crazy, right? Yea. Definitely crazy. I’m raising money for Special Olympics, too. So, I’m doing something good for me (running, getting in shape) and for others. You can help me reach my goal here. Any amount helps. 🙂
  • Read. Read. Read. IN PROGRESS. It feels good to just read for fun again. It’s been so long since I’ve been able to do that.
  • Work related: Pick a play for the Junior High spring production. IN PROGRESS. I’ve read two out of the five that I’m debating doing. The second one that I read is definitely a possibility.
  • Paint! We have a small stool in the bathroom that currently is the stopping point for magazines and catalogs and such. However, it needs to be painted as it still matches the bedroom furniture that we painted years ago. NOT STARTED. Um. Gotta get going on that one.
  • Do at least one non-scheduled fun thing every week. IN PROGRESS. The girls and I have been making up for lost time this summer. We’ve been super busy and have done tons of super fun things. I think, though, that we might need to “schedule” a do-nothing day, too.
  • Bake. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a lot of baking. IN PROGRESS. I’ve been trying to bake something each week. Last night I made banana bread and baby girl loved it!
  • Work ahead (as much as I can) on grad school projects. Thankfully, I only have one class this summer but I do want to get as much done ahead of the due date(s) as I can. IN PROGRESS. This class is actually moving pretty quickly. I only have a couple more weeks and then I’m done (at least until the fall semester starts up again).

Puppy Chow + Butterscotch = Yummy

So, after making that initial batch of puppy chow, and seeing how much fun big girl had with it, I decided that we would make another batch fairly quickly. Plus, puppy chow is yummy. A quick search on Pinterest brings up tons of different puppy chow recipes. I thought that this one sounded good.

I love all things butterscotch so I thought for sure that this one was going to be delicious.

I made a quick change to the recipe because I only had one cup of butterscotch chips.  I added in 1/2 cup of semi sweet chips instead. Note to self: buy more butterscotch chips. Another note to self: after you buy more butterscotch chips, do not eat them!

The recipe turned out really nicely. I like the addition of peanuts for a little different in texture.

Yum

Yum

A classic snack: puppy chow!

When faced with an abundance of Chex cereal, my mind turns to snacks that we can make with Chex. And one of my faves is puppy chow. This is the first time that big girl and I made puppy chow together. First, I had to explain that it wasn’t for puppies. Seriously, why is it called puppy chow? I’ve seen recipes on Pinterest that call this snack muddy buddies. Honestly, that name makes even less sense to me.

Anyways. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try. I did the melting and mixing. Big girl was in charge of shaking/rolling the bag to coat the powdered sugar. She was so excited to be my “helper big girl.”

At first, I was a bit concerned because there were some small lumps in the chocolate/peanut butter mixture. I used natural peanut butter. Maybe that’s why? Maybe if I had used non-natural peanut butter it would’ve been smoother? But, after the mixture had had enough time to rest and cool down, it did taste pretty good. Although it is not as sweet as the puppy chow that I remember from my childhood. I’m fairly certain that that is because I used the natural peanut butter which tends to be less sweet.

I think that my favorite part of this recipe was how excited big girl was to help and just how easy it was for her to help in a pretty big way.

Mmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmm