Tuesday, October 24, 2017

A Picnic, A Kitten, Some Craftiness, and A Birthday

Welcome to The Homemaking Party! Last week was fun and full---and full of fun! Ha! Wednesday morning, Brenna planned a picnic lunch out on our lawn.

That afternoon, friends delivered our new kitten, Mr. Bingley. {Our Yorkie is Mr. Darcy...Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy are best friends in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.) They're getting along surprisingly well!

On Friday, Selah and I went to the Bella Vista Arts & Crafts Festival---a yearly tradition we always look forward to. We get there early in the morning and ride in a hay wagon to the entrance. The annual hay wagon selfie is a must.

There were so many fun things to see at the festival. Selah picked out a gift for herself, Daddy, and Cainan and some peanut butter fudge to share with everyone.

Then Monday was my birthday! Jamie made me this gorgeous cake. I told him I wanted a 1950s cookbook cake decorated all pink and sorta gaudy like they did them back then. He didn't disappoint! Ha! I love it!

I'll share most of my gifts with you in my Pink Saturday post on Friday afternoon but I had to share this photo because I'm just so excited! Jamie bought me my favorite design of the new Pioneer Woman slow cookers and then my friend bought me all these pretty things that match it perfectly! I just love this design! ...and I love my birthday! Ha!

Hope everyone has a beautiful week!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Our First Day of School!

Good morning! Well, I did it! I finally started school for these guys! Hahaha! Whew!

Me and the nine sillies began lessons bright and early Monday morning. We're jumping in full Charlotte Mason (a method of homeschooling that is literature-based...also called Classical Education) and loving it!

This right here. This is the last picture I'll ever take of the nine of them on their first day of school. Lynzie graduates this spring! I told them to make funny faces...

We had a happy morning exploring outside. It was nice and cool but very sunny and pretty out.

Not sure what these two were doing... Maybe they still had a little Oregon tree-hugger in them after our summer out west.

Sweet Kynthia is SO excited about school this year. She's a Kindergartener!

A friend posted these leaf pictures on her Facebook a week or so ago and I thought they'd make for a great scavenger hunt. The kids had a blast looking for the different leaves, acorns, and nuts around the neighborhood.

Brenna was really the star of the hunt---she found many of the leaves that matched up perfectly with the ones on her sheet!

It's only Wednesday morning but I'm sort of feeling like our little gnome already! (I named him Eldon.) One hand to my brow, but still smiling!

Hope everyone is having a beautiful week!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Enjoying Some Lovely Fall Weather!

Welcome to the Homemaking Party! Can you believe, it's 35º cooler right now in NW Arkansas than it was 24 hours ago?!! Wow! We have a much-anticipated cold front passing through and are loving the 50º weather! I think it's supposed to head back into the 80s by Thursday so we're gonna just enjoy it while we can!

The kids have been loving our new yard. A few days ago, I went outside to find them playing a camping game. These boxes are tents and they'd even built a little fire! (Yes, they did ask me to light it...ha! No.)

Our front yard is very steep so they love to push each other down the hill. Weeee!

I'm so thankful everyday for these sweet kids and our peaceful home. What a blessing!

Chickpea Olive and Tomato Salad #WinWithTonysPizza #ad #CollectiveBias

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WinWithTonysPizza #CollectiveBias

It's important for our family to feel a close connection to our community and we are feeling it strongly this fall as we've just moved into our beautiful new home! The kids love to invite friends over and are super excited to be able to host parties again now that we're unpacked and settled. Several of them really love themed parties and what better theme for this football season than a pre-game pizza party!

Our local high school is small with lots of family-oriented activities available to pull the community together in support of our kids. Even though our teens are homeschooled, we have several friends involved in high school football and we love to be supportive of the local teams.

Last night I put together a quick and fun party dinner combining Tony's Pizza and a zesty Chickpea Olive and Tomato Salad. I was surprised that everyone in the family loved it! Usually the olders will eat anything, but the littles are pretty picky. Everyone gobbled it up so I call it a win!

Tony's has been serving up delicious, pizzeria-style pizza since the 1960's. In fact, they started business nearby at a local restaurant in Salina, Kansas.

Be sure to take a minute to visit this sweepstakes site as you could win some pretty great prizes like Walmart gift cards or $3,000 for a high school team!

We purchased Tony's Pizza at our local Harp's store. I love the friendly, hometown atmosphere at Harp's and I was able to find many varieties of Tony's Pizza there.

We wanted to try every option so we got one of each. Ha! My favorite is Tony's® Pizzeria Style Supreme Pizza because I love the peppers and onions, but most of the family enjoys the meat varieties the best. With 100% real mozzarella cheese and sauce made from real tomatoes, Tony's prides themselves on offering an authentic taste.

I hope you'll give this salad recipe a try. It's so quick and easy, you can put it together while the pizza is baking.

I like to begin with the chickpeas, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice so I can let the beans marinate a little bit. I combined these three and then set the bowl aside to await the other ingredients.

Next, I sliced some grape tomatoes and black olives and added them to the marinade bowl.

Then I diced half a red onion and snipped off the remaining good leaves on my basil plant, adding both to the other ingredients. I hope I get some more leaves this year but I'm not holding my breath. A cold front moves in tonight!

Finally, I mixed up the oil and vinegar dressing and stirred it into the mixture, along with some dried parsley, salt, and pepper.

I just left the salad out on the counter while the pizzas finished up. It was lovely at room temperature as the flavors had the opportunity to really mix.

Chickpea Olive and Tomato Salad

Salad Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 TB red wine vinegar
1 TB lemon juice
9 oz. grape tomatoes, sliced
1 can olives, sliced
1/2 red onion, diced
3-4 TB snipped fresh basil 
2 TB dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:
4 TB olive oil
4 TB red wine vinegar
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Begin by mixing the chickpeas, vinegar, and lemon juice in a bowl to begin the marinade. Add remaining salad ingredients and stir. Mix dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and stir into mix. Let sit at room temperature for up to 90 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

I love it that our teens have adopted our town as their hometown and see the value in supporting our friends. Whether it be football goals or any other dreams, celebrating successes is something to be proud of!
I'd love to hear what your family is celebrating this season. Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out the Tony's Pizza Social Hub for more recipes to pair with Tony's Pizza.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Autumn In the Sitting Room

Welcome to the Homemaking Party! I'm still unpacking!! Today I finished all the upstairs sitting room boxes and a few bedroom boxes. I also organized our closet and did some more work in my library. Whew! I'm exhausted!

Even though it's still in the high 70s and extremely humid, I figured it was time to get my Autumn on so I went ahead and put out the rest of the Fall decor. Liam (7) was concerned these things would be ruined when we fire up the woodstove. I'll be sure to move them if we need it this year!

These little buddies are occupying the window seat that looks out on our front yard.

Well, and look who's appeared! Lynzie Mae (17) and Mr. Darcy!

This is the coat closet and decor at my entry way. No need for coats yet!

Here's a little vignette I set out on the cabinet between the sitting room and the library. I think it may be time to take another pumpkin patch photo!

My hutch with Fall decor. I used to have a bunch of neat plates to display but I broke them all at once last year! Yikes!

My mom gave me these two owls and I've displayed them atop the hutch. I have several owl things that I set out at Autumn. Selah (11) asked me what do owls have to do with Fall? I suppose not much more than any other season, but they've got the right coloring!

This was supposed to be a nice photo of my Autumn centerpiece but apparently the camera wanted to focus on my porch chair instead. Ha!

Here is another hutch near our back porch. The red books are a collection of Shakespeare's works published in the early 1900s. Jamie gave them to me last year. The Steampunk owl atop the hutch was my sweet find from Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago.

Here is our screened back porch. It's a lovely place to sit when it's cooler outside---which is not often...but I'm holding out hope. Ha!

...and here's the final shelf in my sitting room where I'm arranging my homemaking, homeschooling, and this season's read-alouds. 

Hope you've enjoyed a mini-tour of my home. It's all coming together nicely! Have a lovely week, friends!

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