Charity Gala

On Saturday night, Pete and I attended a charity event for the Rainbow Foundation called The Gala. My cousin, Jackie, is an active member of the foundation which helps families in need that have children suffering from illnesses. Every year, they host the charity event, which is a fancy evening filled with gambling, food, drinks, and prizes!

The attire of the event is “dressy date night,” so the hubs and I got all fancy 😉

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Depending on when you register for the event, you get a certain amount of play money for casino tables. We registered on the early side so had lots of money to play with- and wasted no time getting started. Blackjack is where it all began…

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What’s great is that since it’s “play money” the dealers are really cool with teaching you the game and helping you along.

After blackjack, we headed over to my favorite game- roulette.

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I played 5 the first time and it hit! Before we knew it, I was up pretty big- take a look at my chips!

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What what!

We took a break in gambling to eat dinner, which was served buffet style.

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I went with some make-your-own tacos and pasta.

While getting food, I couldn’t help but notice this…

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And it wasn’t long before my dessert plate started getting piled up.

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Don’t let the three items fool you- I made numerous trips to that fountain during the night!

Back to the event…depending on how many chips you accumulate during the night, you get a certain amount of tickets to use for the Tricky Tray portion of the evening.

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Over 70 baskets were filled to the brim with amazing prizes. One of the most popular, which I put in a bunch of tickets for, was a Coach wallet stuffed with tons of gift cards to various locations.

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What I was really hoping for though, was a pair of Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses. Ironically, I had started making my Christmas list a few days before and a pair of  Ray Bans from J Crew were on it.

Well….I won!!!

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I was soooo excited- obnoxiously excited even!

I didn’t waste anytime wearing them- in the dark on the way home (kid you not) and pretty much all the next day.

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Pete keeps calling me “officer” but I don’t care, I love them!

All in all it was a great night with family fun, awesome prizes, and a great feeling of supporting families in need. Big shout out to my cousin for doing such an amazing job.

Have you ever won an item from a Tricky Tray?

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Semi-Homemade Apple Crisp

I feel like Sandra Lee with this title 😉

My famous (yes, I’d like to say it’s famous) apple crisp recipe came about several years ago. I had just started working at my school and learned that the last Friday of the month, a rotating team hosts a breakfast. Wondering what to make, I came across the idea of apple crisp…and it stuck. Each team is responsible for 2 breakfasts a year and I’m still making this 7 years later. Must be good cause each time, the dish is completely cleared! It’s my team’s turn to host breakfast this morning and I’ll be serving this :).

Cast of characters

  • 5 small-medium sized apples
  • 5 tbs butter
  • 1 package apple crisp topping

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Peel and core your apples.

Grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Slice the apples into small pieces and place inside the baking dish.

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Melt the butter and combine with the topping contents. Mix well.

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Spread the topping on top of the apples.

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Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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Wala- easy, done, delicious!

 

Girl’s Day at Peddler’s Village

One of my family’s fall/winter traditions for the past 4 years or so has been going to Peddler’s Village in PA to begin our Christmas shopping. We always say we’re “going to New Hope” even though the village is technically in Lahaska. Either way, we’re big fans and love the stores on main street and in the village. This year we decided to make it a “Girl’s Day” and left the guys at home- it was my mom, sister, niece, and I.

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Upon arriving, we noticed there had been a Halloween contest where people create scarecrows of sorts out of different movie characters. Despicable Me seemed to be a big theme.

Walking around, we admired the beautiful landscape of the area and the amazing fall decor.

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Pete and I actually had our engagement pictures taken by my father in both New Hope and Peddler’s Village.

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Picture on the left taken with the gals, on the right taken by my dad during our photo shoot. Same locale! It was actually really cool because we saw a couple get engaged while we were there the other day- so cute!

What caught my attention next was an old school buggy filled with long, soft pretzels.

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I bought one for the four of us to snack on while walking around- it was so good. Fresh from the oven and still warm!

We headed over to our favorite store, Pine Wreath and Candle. It is mainly a Christmas store and we begin our shopping every year by selecting ornaments from their huge collection.

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We stopped to take a pic outside the store where there is a huge water wheel.

After all of our shopping, my mom and I introduced my sister and Bella to our “secret cafe.” It’s a tiny cafe called Nancy’s Village Cafe tucked away in the village.

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Every time my mom and I come to New Hope, we eat together there- it’s become our place. We brought Vickie and Bella into the secret.

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Silly gals!

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Madre and I.

For lunch I ordered the grilled cheese special.

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It was cheese and tomato served on spinach bread with a side of chips. Very tasty.

Our last stop of the day was the Italian store, Casa Casale. They always have free samples of their many Italian specialties.

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We sampled some cheeses and pasta- delish as always! I purchased some of the almond anise biscotti, which I’m sure to pick up every time we go there.

One final tradition is that Bella makes a wish at the fountain outside the Italian store.

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My sister and I taught her how to do this when she was just a baby and each time she’s there with us, we repeat!

Great day with just the girls- and got a few Christmas gifts checked off my list!

What are some family traditions you have around this time of year?

When do you start Christmas shopping?

 

 

Brown Butter Banana Bread

Whoa…say that 3 times fast!

So ever since getting my new oven, I’ve been baking every Sunday- I just can’t stop! This banana bread was my most recent treat and was incredible. Something about the browned butter just adds a ton of flavor. Plus anything with a streusel topping and I’m sold. I made this last year for Thanksgiving and other times just for Pete and I. Enjoy!

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Brown Butter Banana Bread Source: Tasty Kitchen 

Ingredients for the bread:

  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter
  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Bananas, Mashed
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Ingredients for the crumb topping:

  • ¼ cups Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Cold

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, cook the butter, stirring occasionally, until it darkens. Be sure not to burn it, cook it until it smells nutty. Once the butter has browned, remove from the heat, and cool slightly.

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While the butter is browning, combine the ingredients for the crumb topping in a medium bowl. Use your hands or a fork to mix the 2 Tablespoons of cold butter into the dry topping ingredients until crumbly, pea-sized crumbs form. Set aside.

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On to the bread…in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, and set aside.

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In the bowl of your mixer, combine the egg and sugar, and mix at medium speed until light and fluffy.

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Mix in the cooled brown butter slowly.

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Add the mashed bananas, the milk and the vanilla extract, and mix on medium speed until combined.

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Mix in the flour mixture until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

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Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the top of the batter.

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Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before enjoying.

Makes 1 large loaf, or 3 small loaves.

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Enjoy!

October Date Night

Hi everyone! Hope you had a great weekend! Pete and I went on our October Date Night on Friday, and thankfully this one didn’t go awry.

Previous date night posts:

A local family in the area has a huge farm called Schaefer Farms. Every October, they have the whole haunted gambit. I’m talking a  hayride, walkthrough, corn maize, and a haunted house- crazy scary too! Unfortunately, they do not allow photographs so any pictures I have are snuck and very dark…aka not great. Please don’t judge!

Snuck in a quick Instagram shot right when we got on the hayride. 

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The haunted hay ride was the first attraction. Even the walk to line up for the hayride was freaky, with ghouls and monsters jumping out from every corner. Once on the hayride, our favorite was a man with a chainsaw swinging from trees- literally. Totally unexpected!

One of the stops along the hay ride was a Beetlejuice attraction.

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Sorry for the blurry picture- I snuck it when our guide was not looking. It was actually pretty inappropriate, with curses and vulgar jokes- not suitable for the many children on the ride, but funny for us!

The hayride was followed through a “Trail of Terror” where we basically walked through the woods with monsters jumping out from every corner. This led to a corn maize. I’ve done corn maizes by day that were challenging- try doing it at night with creepers in the corn!

Lastly was the Carnival of Chaos…

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…a haunted house. This creeped me out the most! There were tons of lights that made it appear you were in a crazed tunnel- hard to explain but very scary!

We made it through and were happy to have survived! Once out of the maze we had the freedom to take some pics.

 

IMG_4565Why I chose to pose with the Bearded Lady? Not quite sure!

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Pete chose Krampus. See the resemblance? Hehe jk baby.

Once you are out of the attractions, there are carnival type games and food stands.

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What attracted us the most? The funnel cake stand!

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We snagged a funnel cake and a lemonade and enjoyed it at the picnic tables they have set up for customers.

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Nom nom nom.

Definitely a fun night- although I must admit I was totally freaked out! I survived though and we had a blast :).

What’s a fall themed date you’ve gone on lately?