You know, our family is very strong on tradition, especially when it comes to food! Even if we go out for a family birthday, I always have a family birthday meal at home as well! Everyone has a favorite they like me to make; For my husband, BLT's and Corn on the Cob, for the oldest it's Hamburger Steaks with Mushroom Gravy, for 2nd oldest, it's Chipped Beef on Toast and for the youngest, it's this delicious Ham and Potato Chowder. We've been having the soup for years and it seems to get better each time I make it! 

The family scarfed it down last Sunday for the birthday dinner   It's easy soup full flavor but I'm sure your family will love as much as ours does. For some reason the best crackers to serve with this soup are the buttery Townhouse originals.

4 cups diced potatoes
4 cups water
1 cup diced/cubed ham (can add more if you love ham)
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced celery
2-3 Tablespoons dry chicken base
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 stick butter
8 Tablespoons flour
3 cups skim milk
Shredded cheese, bacon and/or green onions for garnish.

Dice celery, onion and potatoes, add to large stock pot and add the water. Boil for about 20 minutes on med-high heat until tender. Add the chicken base, salt and pepper. In the meantime, make your rue by melting the butter in a medium saucepan and slowly adding the flour, whisking until like a paste, slowly add the milk, whisking over medium heat continuously until thickened. Pour into soup mixture, stir well, cook for an addition 10 minutes over med-low heat and serve with colby-jack shredded cheese and bacon crumbled on top.

What the Rue looks like before adding the milk

Mmm, Mmm Good!!

Linking up with Tasty Tuesday // Recipe Swap // Tuesday Talk // Creative Muster // Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop // Wow Us Wednesdays
// The Wednesday Showcase // Party In Your PJ's // Your Whims Wednesday // Worthwhile Wednesdays  // Treasure Hunt Thursday // Wake Up Wednesday
Weekend Potluck //  Meal Plan Monday #120
 "Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world."
~Susan Lieberman 


Happy Monday! I'm feeling Crafty!! Back when the kids were little, I was always one of the room moms! It was such fun and the kids always look forward to what we put together for their parties! Fall was always such a fun time at school. I miss those days sometimes, but the creativity never ends in my mind.
This was one of my favorites I thought up; simple to make  personalized candy filled "Boo Bags", Yep, I put names on all 32 of them!
32 bags only cost 30 cents each!!

These can be made for anybody and are sooo Easy!! I still make these sometimes for Family and Friends, like these I whipped up on Saturday. While I prefer to decorate in Harvest Theme, I do like to get into the Halloween spirit with goodies like these. You can add other sayings besides names or leave blank. I fill them with candy, cookies, snacks or other tiny treasures like pumpkin scented votive candles. I found the glue and Bat stickers in the Dollar din at Target on Friday.
Everything else is from Michael's or Hobby Lobby.


What you need:
Small White paper bags (3.5" x 2")
Googly eyes
Thin Black Assorted Ribbon 3/8"
Black alphabet stickers
Bat or some form of Halloween/Fall Stickers
Paper hole puncher
Black Tissue Paper
Pinking Shears

How to make:
Place two hole punches at the top of the bag, front face only, about a 1/2 inch down and an inch apart. While Bag is still flat, glue on the eyes about an inch down from the ribbon holes. Then, adhere a sticker in the bottom corner or anywhere you choose. Place a name, BOO! or saying with stickers in the middle. Open bag and thread ribbon, tying a bow in front. Fill with items. Cuts some squares (about 4' x 4") of black tissue paper with pinking shears and stick two squares in top of each bag. WooHoo, cute little "Boo" Treat Bags!!!

Here are some other things I made for the class/Fall parties over the years!! 

Giant Jack O' Lantern (with cupcakes)
This was a huge hit!!

Been making these forever!!
Use Kleenex, or my fave, plain white cotton fabric you can get cheap by the yard. Cut into squares with pinking shears. Cover Tootsie Blow Pops (forget those lil got tinier over the years Dum Dum suckers), You want a plump little ghosts. lol). Tie with thin colored ribbon and draw the eyes with a sharpie, you can draw a big oval scary mouth too. To display and transport, push them down in a block of Styrofoam.

Something other than candy!!
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Take a can of Pillsbury crescent dough sheets and cut into 10 stripes. Wrap 10 hot dogs in the dough leaving a little opening for the face. Place them on an ungreased large cookie sheet and lightly spray the mummy dogs with cooking spray. Bake for 13-17 minutes until golden brown and use mustard to put dots for eyes on your mummies.

I hope you go make Monday Marvelous!!
"It's no use....I'm just a scary ol' ghost!"
~Casper The Friendly Ghost


We officially ushered in Fall this week and with it came the crisp morning air and the cravings for all things Apple, Pumpkin, and Football! I finally feel like I can wear my riding boots with confidence and decorate the porch with mums, scarecrows and pumpkins. A few hints of orange-ish hues are in the trees and when a leaf crunches beneath my feet, I smile! I hope your weekend is filled with lots of smiles!!!

 Apples in all there glory to make this:

  • 1 apple, chopped or sliced
  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 2 cups pear nectar
  • 24 ounces ginger ale
  • Apple pie vodka (optional) and One brand is Pearl. 
  • *If you can't find Apple Pie Vodka, Caramel Vodka is also delicious in this drink!

  • Combine apple cider, pear nectar, and ginger ale. Stir well. Place apple slices inside pitcher.
  • Pour over ice and serve! If you're wanting to serve it warm, heat all of the liquid ingredients in a pot over a stove on low heat. Simmer for a few minutes until warm, place apple slices in the pot, and serve in mugs.
  • *If you're craving an alcoholic drink, add one shot (1.5 ounces) apple pie vodka to each individual drink, or 1 - 1½ cup to entire pitcher
 Recipe HERE

The work attire gets boring so this week I added my game day outfit for the Notre Dame Game. They won and better win again tomorrow, Go Irish!!
Notre Dame garb from the ND Bookstore/Jeans are Treasure and Bond Boyfriend from Nordstrom

Cardi and Scarf are Old Navy, tank is Target and Pants from Maurice's

Entire outfit from The Loft

Ushering in Fall with a feeling I need a Faux Fur Vest. Love these and tell me if you've found a good one and where!!

Our youngest and precious boy turned 15 and the requested dinner out was Sushi at Woochi!
Of course, no Birthday would be complete without the REESE PEANUT BUTTER CAKE!! Recipe HERE
 We Love YOU!!
Beautiful Sushi and YUMMO!!!!!

Beautiful Pamela over at A Little Glitter
had the wonderful idea to do a Give Away for the First day of Fall. 
This giveaway ended 9-30 at 6am
But check out these pretty ladies and their fantastic Blogs!!

Hosted by: The Sequin Notebook, Jessi's Design, Twin Living Blog, A Little Glitter, Living On Cloud Nine, By Kari Parker, Pink and Fabulous, Lisa Loves John, Green Fashionista and Meet @ the Barre

  Linking up with Amanda //  Friday Favorites // Oh Hey, Friday  //  High Five for Friday // Friday Fashions // Fashion Friday..Jo-Lynne Shane // Favorite Fashion Friday // The SITS Girls // Trend Spin





Fashion Taboo boo-hoo Hoo! Of course you CAN wear white after Labor Day! The way I see it as long as you're not trying to make it look all SUMMERY, there are so many ways to wear white and look fresh and chic for Fall!!
Linking up with Ageless Style

The crazy thing about these high waist-ed white skinnies I got last year at Target is that I never wore them! For some reason I kept putting them on and they didn't quite look right, until this year when I rolled the bottoms up, wore a cute little T-shirt to a football game and thought how comfy and cute they were! I decided to add my LUSH tunic from Nordstrom's, my new cognac I.N.C. Boots from Macy's HERE and this adorable military vest I got last year from a boutique. 

 Necklace is from the Loft

Wear white year round friends because I know with all of your good tastes, you'll wear it so well!!!

Love this and will feature more Faux fur vests later this week

Check out how to wear white on Pinterest and you'll find all kinds of wonderful inspiration.
"White is as easy as black, now that people are wearing it year-round."
~Reed  Karkoff


I know, we are in pumpkin overdrive! There are pumpkin recipes everywhere! When I check my Pinterest feed, every other pin is Pumpkin something. AND I LOVE IT!!! I adore everything pumpkin, except, believe it or not, pumpkin pie! Never been a fan. Yum  

Linking up with The Weekend Potluck

My husband and I were recently at a Large Farmers market where they have lots of unique goodies. I was overjoyed to find the Pumpkin Spice Pizzelles (Italian Waffle Cookies). These things are amazing and only 23 calories each.

After asking hubs, "can we get them?", I was quickly inspired to make a healthy version of pumpkin mousse to top them with and of course add a little cool whip and candied pecans on top!! The result, yummy and light, just the right amount of sweetness and crunch pumpkin goodness!!! So EASY too!! Enjoy pumpkin time friends and fans!!!

8 Pizzelle Cookies
4 containers of Greek Pumpkin Yogurt (this Oikos Pumpkin Pie is the BEST I've had)
1 package Cheesecake pudding Mix (I used sugar free)
1 8 oz tub cool whip
1 teasppon vanilla
Pumpkin Pie spice
Honey Roasted Pecan Pieces (I make homemade candied pecans at the Holidays and will share that recipe later on) 

In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, vanilla and cheesecake pudding mix. Fold in cool whip. Place a large spoonful on each pizzelle, then put a dollop of cool whip on top and if desired, sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice and pecans. Note, make sure to assemble these Right before serving as the pizzelle with get soft. Enjoy!! These are super yummy!!

 Mmmm, another Tasty Tuesday!!
 If you are not a pumpkin fan, I bet this would work great with other Greek yogurt flavors as well!!



 Oh what to wear, what to wear? Umm, the menu? More importantly the guests!! Have you ever pondered what famous people you would invite to a dinner party. Well, lay out your most beautiful table-scape and I'll tell ya what famous 5 ladies and 5 guys I would have over for dinner at the Nine house.

Why I chose these awesome peeps was based on many different reasons and I opted to do all living people as well, because you never know, 
it COULD happen!! Jimmy Fallon could be ringing my doorbell!!

However, if I did have to choose a man and woman who have passed to have over for dinner, hands down: Ronald Reagan and Princess Diana 

Oh the Menu, you ask?

Baked Brie
Prosciutto Wrapped Figs
A Flowing Champagne Fountain

Standing Rib Roast
String Beans with Almonds and Bacon
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Apples
Asiago Focaccia Bread

Pumpkin Banana Mousse Tart 
Sweet Riesling, Assorted Teas and Coffee
  Now that you're hungry, like me, here is the guest list:

I had a tougher time picking he ladies. While I do admire several, here are my 5 five gal pals

1. Kathie Lee Gifford

Don't get me wrong, I love Kelly Ripa but LIVE was best when it was Regis and Kathie Lee. She is such a woman of grace. She speaks her mind but does so with dignity and the help she gives to others is uplifting. I adore her with Hoda in the morning and the recent strength and devotion she just showed in the weeks after her husband's death is inspiring. She was the first woman I ever saw on TV to talk about parenting like it really is, good times and bad, and Funny! She's a friend you'd be honored to have.

2. Christie Brinkley 
To me she has always been one of the most beautiful women on the planet! She absolutely never ages. Can you believe she 61 years old? Although she has never been lucky in love, and she admits that, she has a certain grace about her that is truly admirable. The main thing I would ask her at our dinner, is what in the world are your beauty secrets?

3. Sarah Palin
 Loved her from day one! I love that she made mistakes like the rest of us, I love that she told it just like it was, I love that she's a gun toting Alaskan. She bleeds American, she's not slick, she's REAL.
Trump/Palin 2016, why the heck not!!

4. Julie Andrews
The Sound Of Music has always been my favorite movie musical! I am not one to watch movies over and over however for me The Sound Of Music never gets old! I have traveled to Austria and while most of the film was filmed in the United States, there are some location spots in Austria where it was filmed and I got to actually stand in the gazebo from the scene I am 16 going on 17. I think Julie Andrews is magnificent, and I would love to ask her all about her time filming the von Trapp family classic 

5. Jennifer Lopez
J-Lo, Jenny from the Block, Ben's ex. Doesn't matter, she is da bomb!! Old school Brooklyn Latino who is
a mega talent and beauty. Movies, dancing, singing, Idol judging; just love her. Yeah she may be a
cougar, but she doesn't flaunt it. She ROCKS it!!

This was fairly easy and I could literally have had a couple dozens studs sitting around my dinner table but since it only seats 8, I'll stick with five. Now friends, this is not based on the male "hotness" factor, It is based on people I admire. You'll note however, #5, HOTNESS all the way!!

1. Jimmy Fallon
You see, Jimmy Fallon’s greatest strength is that he’s suuuuper nice. And I think this world could use a couple more of those. You can tell his niceness is legitimate because everyone, and I mean everyone, plays along with his silliness. He got Morgan Freeman to suck helium and speak in a ridiculous voice.
He even got the First Lady, Michelle Obama, to be on the hilarious skit, “Ew”. The Bro-Magic/Bro-Mance he shares with Justin Timberlake is pure gold! His musical talents and impressions are beyond compare. I think Johnny Carson would be proud. I have told my husband many times, 
"He's a genius!"

2. Donald Trump
 Heck, I could be having dinner with the next POTUS. Here is why I find him interesting. The press has become ridiculous so the fact that they are eating this Donald run up is hilarious. The guy may not have all the facts, but he truly cares about this country and speaks what we and all the other politicians are too scared to say. And if he should say something that makes me mad, I'll say "Donald, You're Fired!"

3. Dana Carvey
 "Party on", "Isn't that special", "We want to pump you up"!! Those famous Dana Carvey character expressions are not the only reason I love him. His spot on George W. Bush impression is my all time favorite of impressions. However, when I feel even more in love with him was when he was a guest host with Kelly Ripa vying for the open co-host position that Regis vacated. I have never laughed so hard during those shows as when Dana was on there. I waged a major network campaign for him to be the new co-host. Michael Strahan won and he is good but on my bucket list is to see Dana do his stand up routine someday.

4.Mark Cuban
 The billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner said "I have absolutely no problem paying more taxes. None." He simply "gets it"! He's a family man with two very distinctive personalities: an ambitious self-made business tycoon who loves to have fun, sort of like a hipper version of Bill Gates. The fact that he stated his computer consulting firm without ever taking a computer class is Awesome.
 And well, the fact that he is an IU grad makes me happy.

5. Luke Bryan 
 There doesn't have to be any dinner convo. I will simply sip wine and this good ole' country boy can say whatever he wants!! I will videotape this dinner and "Play it again, Play it Again, Play it Again!"

Who would your ultimate favorite dinner guests be??