Sunday, October 31, 2010

Scenes from Halloween Weekend!

We had another lovely October weekend and a fun-filled Halloween!  It was our first year to trick-or-treat; even though Mr. Man did not wear a costume, he still enjoyed collecting candy from all our neighbors!  Luckily, they graciously obliged our 2-year-old.  

My wonderful friend, pictured above with a Humpty Dumpty belly, hosted her 3rd Annual Halloween Playdate for our friends and their kiddos.  The group has grown considerably in three years and just keeps getting more fun!  The coo-coo clock by far won as best costume!  My kiddo, the free spirit, is the one costume-less running around in the background.  What a stinker!

Friday, October 29, 2010

gray and aubergine

sweater: thrifted blouse: banana republic
belt: thrifted pants: jcrew
shoes: target

I wore this outfit for my Great Day St. Louis segment yesterday.  I love the "ankle length toothpick corduroys" from J.Crew and I particularly love this aubergine color.  I think it pairs nice with gray, but lately, I've been liking everything with gray.  However, I honestly don't think it is the most flattering has such a draw for me.

If you too are liking gray and aubergine this season, here are my picks from Lands Ends' Canvas line.

 1. Slim Leg Cords, $44.50
Cute fit, great color.
2. Hooded Blazer, $130.00
I really want this. Reminds me of what I wore for my senior pictures, only cuter.
Very flattering. 
Nice, rich color.
5. Motocross Jacket, $34.99
Like the neck detail.
With goldenrod tights.
7. Capelet, $49.50 
I want to crochet a capelet in this color.
Oh, soft and warm.

Me, you and a log cabin.
10. Suede Heels, $89.50
Grey suede and wood, perfect.
11. Ragtop Washed Canvas Tote, $12.99
This color is only $12.99.
12. Plaid Wool Skirt, $49.50
Um, I actually wore the complete plaid ensemble for my senior pictures.
But, how cute would this skirt be with an edgy bomber jacket, boots and nice thick tights? Winter, here I come.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Boo" Bark

I'm a fan of bark. It's a simple and quick treat to whip up, looks cute, and can include whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Pretzels, sure. Oreo's, why not.  Graham Crackers, definitely.  The world is your oyster when it comes to candy bark.  I made this batch of "Boo" Bark for the lovely ladies at my son's pre-preschool.  I had a few pieces and I can say that I could have eaten the whole batch.  There's something about this sweet and salty combination.  

 If you've never made bark before, here's the breakdown for this version. 

First, I covered a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray.  
Then, I sprinkled it with layer of broken pretzels and graham crackers.(Small-medium pieces, about 1.5-2 cups or so)
Meanwhile, I melted 1 12oz bag of 60% cacao chocolate chips in a double boiler.  

Next, I poured the melted chocolate over the pretzels and graham crackers. Using a small batter spatula, I spread the chocolate to incorporate all the little pieces and I put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate was hardened.
Meanwhile, I melted a 12oz bag of white chocolate chips in a double boiler.  

Then, I poured the melted white chocolate over the hardened dark chocolate.  Using a small batter spatula, I spread the white chocolate smoothly over the entire chocolate surface area, sprinkled it with "Boo" sprinkles and candy corn, and placed the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  

Finally, I broke the bark into pieces by hand, ate half, and gifted the rest!

Sharing with...
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge
Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Crafting a Healthy Lunch" on Great Day St. Louis

Tomorrow morning I will be back on Great Day St. Louis (and if you are visiting from Great Day, "Welcome!") to share ideas for "Crafting a Healthy Lunch" using items including cookie cutters, sandwich cutters, veggie slicers, food markers, as well as two "bento" lunch boxes from and Laptop Lunches.  

You may ask...what is bento?  The definition from (an excellent bento resource!):
"A bento lunch is a compact, balanced, visually appealing meal packed in a box. Historically, it’s a Japanese box lunch, similar in concept to the Indian tiffin, the Korean dosirak, or the Filipino baon lunch. In Japanese, “bento” or “obento” refers to the packed meal, and “bento-bako” refers to the bento box itself."
 For more bento info, click here

For me, the concept of bento is a starting place when thinking about making lunches for my son when he goes to preschool and for my family when we need a packed meal.  Visually appealing food is clearly more appetizing and that idea goes a long way with children who may or may not be picky (my son is the picky type).  Putting just a little more time into lunch can make a big difference in terms of taste, health, and appeal.  

Compartmentalized lunch boxes like and Laptop Lunches reduce waste, keep food fresh and together, and inspire diverse meals.  
Here are a few lunches that I have packed for my 2-year-old son this school year using the Laptop Lunches System.  I've been really pleased with this product; I purchased it looking for a complete lunch box for my son to take to preschool.  The containers wash well in the dishwasher, the insulated carrying bag keeps the lunch cool and fresh, and the cute "alien" design has kept my toddler happy and excited about his lunch box. 

Also, I'm looking forward to trying out the system as well and you can too because they are giving a way a set of 4 containers and a cooler bag right here at the30girl. Click here for more information and to enter! 

Waste-Free Lunch Box Giveaway from!

Hello loyal readers and KMOV Channel 4 Great Day St. Louis viewers; I'm excited to announce that is giving away a set of 4 containers and one insulated lunch bag here on the30girl! 

I'm thrilled about this giveaway because I really am passionate about creating waste-free, healthy, and appealing lunches!  I received my EasyLunchboxes last week and I can definitely say that they are EASY to use and their ease of use has inspired me to pack lunches for my husband, which I NEVER DO.  The fact that these are two pieces--the container and the lid--makes clean up quick, storage easy, and packing lunch a cinch!  I'm looking forward to packing our dinner in these for our trip this week to Boo at the Zoo!

Here is are some key points from Kelly Lester, the owner, creater and mom behind!  
Born out of my response to unhealthy school lunch programs, started from the desire to send my 3 kids to school with a nutritious meal, using little to no wasteful packaging. But the EasyLunchbox System is not just for kids. Adult size meals fit perfectly too.

The EasyLunchbox System 's design, functionality, and low price has quickly made it a top choice among green lunch box solutions since it came on the market in December, 2009. Named a 'top 5 Eco-Friendly Mommy Must Have" by Parents Ask, the EasyLunchbox System has been rated TOP CHOICE by many independent reviewers.

Supporting the waste-free lunch movement, offers a reusable, superior solution at a much lower price than other companies. 
Great for large families and those on a limited budget. 
FDA approved. No BPA, phthalates, lead, vinyl, or PVC. Safe for dishwasher, freezer, and microwave.
The simple chic design and bright colors of our Cooler Bags can even be customized! 
We have included a sturdy grommet in the carrying handle so you can easily attach a pretty key ring, dietary restrictions warning tag, or your choice of any type of handcrafted or store bought “flair.” Examples HERE  
Our Cooler Bags are made of the highest quality 300D Polyester for premium durability and toughness. 
Vinyl free (PVC free) & lead free, with an FDA compliant PEVA lining.
The Giveaway
1 set of 4 lunch containers 
1 cooler bag (in the color of the winner's choice)

To Win

1. Comment on this post with your favorite Neat Idea from
2. For one extra entry, become a follower of the30girl. 
3. For one extra entry, become a fan of EasyLunchBoxes on facebook
This giveaway is open until Wednesday, November 3th at 11:59pm CST.  The winner will be selected using and I will announce her/him on the30girl on Thursday, November 4th.  I will contact the winner via email.  Thanks for entering a giveaway on the30girl! Good luck and have fun! 
Also, this giveaway is offered to US and Canadian residents only.  Please do not enter if you have won or received free product from EasyLunchboxes within the past 3 months.

turquoise tights and corduroy

jacket: ann taylor LOFT(very old) sweater: unknown (from a clothing swap party) 
skirt: j.crew (also old) tights: merona collection from target
shoes: steve madden

Hello! My lovely and newly married coworker took these pictures of me last week; I really wanted to share these tights and me in glasses.  As much as I hate leaving the family when I have to travel, I do love the opportunity to shop my closet, wear heels, and look a bit more pulled together. We took these at the end of the day; so, the little makeup I had actually applied had long since disappeared. 

I rarely have the opportunity to wear tights anymore, since it would seem a bit strange to get that dressed up to go to the park and/or grocery store.  But, when I do, believe me I take advantage of the opportunity.  I love how a pair of tights can turn a drab outfit into something fun and quirky.  

So, are you a tights person?  If so, what are your favorite brands, styles, etc?  I think Kate Spade makes wonderful tights.  I also like Hue, Merona from Target, and Hansel from Basel.  

Here are a few I would definitely wear...

hansel from basel (these are so cool.)

hansel from basel (only $10 right now)

hansel from basel (also only $10 right now)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Bars

How can you ever tire of pumpkin?

This recipe is a combination of a "cookie bar" crust and pumpkin pie filling.  The crunchy, oat-y, sweetish crust combined with the spicy pumpkin and creamy Cool Whip creates an excellent combination and twist on the traditional.  These look yummy, but taste yummier.   

1.5 c all-purpose flour
 1 c old-fashioned oats
3/4 c confectioner's sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cool
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda

Combine first three ingredients, mix in butter, cinnamon and baking soda.  Combine until mix forms coarse crumbs.  You can use a mixer, food processor, or a whisk, which is what I used.  Set aside 3/4 c of crumbs.  Press the rest of the crumbs into the bottom of an 8 inch brownie pan. 

Pumpkin Pie Filling (from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)
*There are many, many recipes out there for pumpkin pie filling.  This one is not my favorite, but worked for the ingredients I had on hand.  I prefer recipes that use cream, rather than evaporated milk.  It gives a richer, creamier flavor and texture. 

1 16 oz can pumpkin
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 slightly beaten eggs
2/3 c evaporated milk
1/2 c milk

Mix all ingredients until well-combined.  Pour filling over pressed crust.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 50 minutes or until filling is set.  Once filling is mostly set, sprinkle remaining crust crumbs over the top.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  After cooling, place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Cut into bars and serve with a dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip. 

P.S. Check out these yummy goodies at the following lovely blogs participating in Pretty Mommy's Fall Roaming Recipe Exchange.
Abby at 5th Joy made Hearty Chicken and Cabbage Minestrone, it'll warm your heart.
Stephanie at Scrumptious made this marvelous looking Sweet Pecan Camembert and Crock Pot Chicken Spezzatino, you can't go wrong with cheese and the crock pot.
Jennifer at Whisk It Good made Moroccan Butternut Squash Stew, which looks like a wonderfully spiced dish to expand my repertoire of recipes.
Lastly, stop by Kate at Everything But the Squeal and see what she's cooking up today!

Sharing with...
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge
Friday Link Party at Simply Designing

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Madewell Sale Picks

Do you like Madewell (J.Crew's sister company)? I'm a fan. See #8, I want to look that effortlessly "parisian-cool" all-of-the-time.  Here are a few of my sale picks, if I were picking. 

2. Lace Panel Tee, $29.99
4. Bensimon Vintage Lace Up Sneakers, $29.99 *I love these shoes.
7. Denim Leggings, $39.50
On I side note, I'm leaving today for my monthly trip to the Windy City for work.  I'm excited for a lot of "adult time", listening to NPR in the car, the view as I drive down Lakeshore, and, hopefully, the chance to pick up a few items from Ikea for my closet-turned-craft room.  

But, I'm super sad to leave my kiddo.  His vocabulary and sentence structure is really expanding and I love his new "catch phrases".  "I'll be light back, mommy!" and "Oh my, that's amazing!" Everything sounds cute in the voice of a two-year-old, right?

P.S. I'll also miss Mr. B. too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a guest post!

Find me today at 733, I'm guest posting for Kim's weekly "Friendly Tuesday" series.  You will discover my quick and easy tutorial for making a "Pouf" headband.

If your new here, WELCOME, BIENVENIDO, and BIENVENUE! Stay a while and, hopefully, be inspired to make a budget-friendly project, try a new tasty recipe, or see how goofy I look on TV.  Thanks so much for visiting!

Monday, October 18, 2010

having fun with friends.

Hello friends! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and is having the same wonderful weather we are having here in mid-west! I had a lovely weekend filled with fun, friends and family! 

 Oh, how I love fall. Pumpkin patching is by far one of my most favorite activities.  I love the smell of apple cider and funnel cakes.  I love how the orange pumpkins brings out the orange in my kiddo's hair.  I especially love how he says "punkin" and "oh my, that's stary!"

If you haven't gotten enough fall and halloween fun, here are a few of my favorites.

Kids Crafts

Yummy Things



Have fun browsing!

P.S. Visit Catherine at Rikshaw Design to see what she's cooking up today for fall!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Burgeoning Business or Spare Time Hobby?

This is a sample of some of the jewelry I make with t-shirt yarn and fabric.  If you interested, you can also see some of my other creations if you watch this segment from Great Day St. Louis.  What do you think?  Is this a burgeoning business or a spare time hobby?  
If you go with the former, what do you think is an appropriate pricing structure for such wares? 

Also, what venue would you use to sell them? Etsy? Big Cartel? 

I truly would appreciate any input either positive or negative.  I love making these and, honestly, I like to wear them too.  I'm just not sure if they are "sellable".  Thanks in advance for your input!!!

P.S.  If you haven't already checked out Elisabeth's recipes for Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas and Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding at You Plus Me Equals; then you better get over there to check out the yummy goodness and the beautifully designed blog.

P.P.S. Be sure and visit Jora at Domestic Reflections tomorrow to see what she is cooking up.  Visit, if not for the food, for the chance to "meet" a cool lady!

Sharing with...
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge

Closet-Craft Room Update: DIY Roman Shade

I'm excited to say that the craft room is well underway.  Walls have been patched and painted.  Wood for my desktop has been purchased and cut.  The Ikea trestle legs have been put together.  And...I finished the window treatment!!!

I made this roman shade using a wonderfully straightforward and easy tutorial from Little Green Notebook that uses mini-blinds as it's base.  It's simply cut some strings, remove the blind slats that you don't need, and uses some fabric glue to attach everything together.  Even better, is that the finished product actually works! *I didn't do step-by-step pictures because I found Jenny's tutorial to be so clear...why re-do it!

I'm sorry this picture is so dark, but I couldn't get the lighting right with the shade closed and the sun shining in there. new craft room is actually a closet.  

I used this fun and bright butterfly print.  I've painted the walls a "white" and the furniture will be white and pine wood; I've planned for all the accessories to be bright and colorful to inspire my inner creativity!  Plus, I had purchased this fabric on a whim during a JoAnn's closing sale.  It was less than $3.  

In reality, the total new cost for this project was $0; since, I already had the fabric, glue and the existing mini-blinds.  Yay! Score one for super budget DIY!

Today, I will be sanding and painting the polyurethane on my desktop. This will take a day or so; since, I'm putting on 3-4 coats to really put a protective layer on the wood.  Next up, CLEAN OUT SUPPLIES AND CURRENT OFFICE! It's a scary place right now.

Sharing with...
Strut Your Stuff with Somewhat Simple
Frugal Friday with The Shabby Nest

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