Fall has arrived!

We welcomed fall, complete with the first snow on the tops of the mountains. It’s raining and cold today, but sun will return next week, bringing with it hope for our own pumpkins to grow bigger. Don’t you love the white pumpkins? They were all but gone at the store when I went back to pick one up for our porch.

Orange and white pumpkins

Is it fall where you live? What are your favorite ways to celebrate the change in season?

Grown Up pasta and cheese in the Instant Pot

I have been exploring different things to cook in our Instant Pot, some with more success than others. This “grown up” pasta and cheese was a success!

  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 2/3 cup diced onion
  • 3 cups mini penne pasta
  • 3 1/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 4 ounces (half a package) of cream cheese

Directions:

Use the “saute” button and when the cooker is hot, add the bacon (lid stays off). Cook the bacon until it’s kind of crispy. Remove to a plate, crumble and set aside. Add the onion to the bacon grease and cook until it’s just starting to get translucent.

Add the chicken broth, pasta, garlic powder, and chopped pepper to the cooker. Lock the lid and set the cooker for Manual, high pressure, for 6 minutes. When the cooker beeps, do a quick release.

Open the lid, add bacon, and cheeses. Stir until everything is melted and creamy. Serve, adding salt and pepper to taste (honestly it didn’t seem to need much of either, so if you are low sodium skip the salt).

*I apologize for the lack of photos, but we were too busy enjoying the pasta to think of photographing it! :)

Halloween fairy garden

Fairy gardens are some of my favorite things to create, so of course I knew I had to make one just for Halloween! Yes, I know, it’s still September, but sometimes Halloween just has to come a little early! Luckily I already had some really cute Halloween fairy garden goodies from Hallmark (bought them about 2 years ago, I’m not sure if they still carry it). The lights, pumpkin, and ghost dog house came from Micheal’s craft. The faux succulent I had on hand (can’t remember where I got it), and the moss came from Sun River Gardens.

The first thing I did was put a piece of foam in the bottom so I could easily stick the fence, sign, succulent, and witch legs into it. Even though the foam was white, I knew it wouldn’t show so I didn’t bother to do anything with it.

pumpkinfairygardenstart

After everything was in (except for the lights), the moss and some river rocks get placed in to cover all the foam and to build up behind the fence.

pumpkinfairygardenmiddle

The pumpkin LED lights were on a thin wire. I placed the battery pack behind the ghost dog, which is nice because you don’t really notice it being there. The lights were then shoved in pretty randomly. Seriously, there was not anything special, they just kind of were shoved in there, and then a few were moved around a bit. I think it turned out pretty fun!

pumpkin fairy garden

I also love that the little lights run on a timer. I’m kind of sad that I have to put it all away until October.

Soot sprite slippers (we love Totoro)!

Soot Sprite Slippers

If you know me in real life, then you already know I love My Neighbor Totoro, and Spirited Away. Other than the crazy Cat Bus, one of my favorite side characters were the soot sprites. How cute are these adorable Soot Sprite slippers? It makes me look forward to cooler weather so I can wear them. :)

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