What I'm loving right now...

First of all, thanks for all of the encouraging comments to my last post. We are going to look at a house tonight but it still feels like a long journey ahead.
So there are many thing I am loving nowadays (weather being one of them), but here are some of my favorites:

Brownie Bites

Um, ok....this is just amazing. I have had one of those mini muffin pans for ages and rarely use it. I bought it for tassies but just don't make tassies too often. The other night Canaan wanted brownies and we decided to do them in the mini pan. As I began dividing up the batter, I realized how easy it would be to fill them and top them with different things. (I am sure someone out there has done this on food network or something, but it was a total ah-ha moment for me!). So I went to work filling some with peanut butter -YUM! topping some with fresh strawberry slices adding nuts to others and leaving some plain.
Holy cow, friends. These are rockin'. I like to keep my brownies slightly undercooked ~ which can make it a bit trickier to get out of the pan. So I popped the entire pan in the freezer for about a half hour and voila! ~ they came right out. I am open to new and interesting brownie bite toppings ~ have any?

Otto and his fall clothes

The weather has finally cooled enough to pull out the fall clothes. And sweet, chunky Otto is just too much in all of those adorable plaids, flannels, and little mini Uggs. Of course he is much too busy rolling around and trying to crawl to get his photograph taken. Hence, every photo nowadays is of his blurry baby goodness.

Homemade bacon

Yes, we have officially begun curing our own bacon. After reading a big ol charcuterie book and doing some research online, it happened...and its amazing.


We're considering selling our house. There I said it. We've been thinking about it for months now but its so hard to actually vocalize. Oh how we love this bungalow of ours. Its our first home! After 12 years of renting, and 3 years of house hunting, we found this little gem and have loved every minute and every corner.
But it feels time to move on. To move onto slightly larger digs. I truly feel like I have maximized the space to its fullest. I have de-cluttered and re-arranged as much as I can and we are finally realizing that there just isn't enough room.
If we were a typical family that spent most of the day away from home, it would work. But we essentially run 4 companies inside these 4 walls. Mike office is from home, Itty Smitty happens here, The Marshmallows Company resides here as well, and all the freelance writing work that has been coming my way takes place at the Smith Homestead.
We've been saying for months now "if we only had one more room in the house". We just need that extra room. We considered building on ~ but in the end it is easier (and cheaper) to find a larger space.
We hope to stay in the same neighborhood (we love it here) but we are going to miss this place so much. I feel like our thumbprint is on every inch of this space. We've knocked out walls, de-constructed, re-constructed, designed, and planned almost the entire house. Its been so much work and so much fun.
We are finishing up a second bathroom remodel this weekend and at some point in the next couple of months will list our house. Unless we luck out in finding buyers before that point...hint, hint ;)
And at the end of the day ~ if we never get an offer on this home and have to stay put, I am ok with that too. Because if I haven't mentioned already ~ I love this home.

The weekend was a flurry of activity. Nan Nan came to visit, there were family birthdays to celebrate, Ezra's first soccer game (and first goal!), a quick trip to Cincinnati and little periods of rest and relaxation between.
Nan and her husband Roscoe brought a big box of green beans for us which the boys spent hours breaking and stringing with them. The beans are now tucked away in the freezer for the year to come.

Here is the final installment of 50 Life Lessons~
I hope you have been as challenged by them as I have.

41~ Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of now.
42~ Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
43~ All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44~ Envy is a waste of time. You already have everything you truly need.
45~ The best is yet to come.
46~ No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up for life.
47~ Breathe. It calms the mind
48~ If you don't ask, you don't get.
49~ Yield.
50~ Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Its the simple things...

~Like finding a Frank Sinatra CD at the thrift store for $.99 to listen to during last nights dinner (and watching Canaan dance to it as he loaded the dishwasher).

~Beginning the fall decorations around the house.

~Watching my sweet 4 year old learn to read.

~Discovering Jeff Bjork Radio on Pandora.

~Sinking into the couch nearly every evening with a small glass of wine and my best friend (who happens to be my husband) to talk about the day.

I am crazy blessed in this life.

Day 4 ~ 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours

31~ No matter how good or how bad a situation is, it will change.
32~ Your job won't take care of you when you are sick, but your friends will. Stay in touch with them.
33~ Believe in miracles.
34~ God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35~ Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
36~ Growing old beats the alternative. Dying young looks good only in movies.
37~ Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38~ Read the Psalms. No matter what your faith, they cover every human emotion.
39~ Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting for you to discover.
40~ If we all threw our problems in a pile and got a look at everyone else's, we'd fight to get back our own.

Making an apple pie after school ~ while snacking on popcorn, of course. We absolutely love our life here at the Smith Homestead.

Even when the sour cream and apple butter fall out of dad and son's hands at the same time.

50 Life Lessons ~ Day 3

21~ Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save anything for a special occasion. Today is special enough.
22~ Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23~ Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24~ Start saving 10 percent for retirement as soon as you get your first paycheck.
25~ No one else in in charge of your happiness. You are the CEO of your joy.
26~Frame every so-called disaster with these words: "In five years, will this matter?"
27 ~ Always choose life.
28~ Forgive everyone everything.
29~ What other people think of you is none of your business.
30~ The passage of time heals almost everything. Give time time.

My Dream Fridge

I found this great blog recently while doing some research on the art of charcuterie.
I am so inspired by the picture. Homebrewed beer intermingled with homemade sausage curing in the back and I think the blogger mentions some cheese curing in the drawers of the fridge too (if not, my fridge will have cheese curing in the drawers...)
Mike already has the homebrew fridge in the garage so I just need to get on the charcuterie stuff ~ which will be happening in coming weeks. I called the butcher yesterday to find out about getting pork belly to make homemade bacon and I've been on the hunt for a meat grinder and sausage stuffer to make homemade sausages.

Here are the next 10 Lessons for Lifes Little Detours I've been reading through

Lesson 11~ Make peace with your past so it doesn't screw up your future.
Lesson 12~ Its ok to let your children see you cry.
Lesson 13~ Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
Lesson 14~ If a relationship has to be kept secret, you shouldn't be in it.
Lesson 15~ Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
Lesson 16~ Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
Lesson 17~ You can get through anything life hands you if you stay put in the day you are in and don't jump ahead.
Lesson 18~ A writer is someone who writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
Lesson 19~ Its never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
Lesson 20~ When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

God Never Blinks ~ Day 1

A photo from our trip to the orchard.

I picked up a book at the library this weekend that I just can't put down. I love words of wisdom ~ Proverbs is one of my favorite books in the Bible ~ and this book, written by a columnist from Cleveland, is just right up my alley.
God Never Blinks ~ 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours ~ is just that...50 amazing nuggets that we all should know and keep close to our hearts.
This week I'll share 10 of them a day. I highly suggest you pick up a copy to read. The author has taken a chapter to delve deeper into each lesson. She writes with such wit, humor, sensitivity and honesty.

Lesson 1 ~ Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
Lesson 2 ~ When in doubt, just take the next right step.
Lesson 3 ~ Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Lesson 4 ~ Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Lesson 5 ~ Pay off your credit cards every month.
Lesson 6 ~ You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Lesson 7 ~ Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
Lesson 8 ~ It's ok to get angry with God. He can take it.
Lesson 9 ~ The most important sex organ is the brain.
Lesson 10~ God never gives us more than we were designed to carry.

The Orchard

We spent our first cool, crisp autumn day of 2010 at the apple orchard with some dear friends. Acres and acres of fruit and just the sound of the the wind blowing through the rows of trees as the kids laughed and played for hours.
It was one of those days that I wish I could have just frozen in time and savored forever.