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My Idea of Adventure is Your Gain – Starbucks Card Giveaway!

by Cathy Baker

I want to be adventurous. I really do. 

I look at my friends and wish I could live vicariously through them but the truth is, my idea of adventure is trying a new latte flavor at Starbucks. Sad, I know.

Today I asked the Barista to create a short Toasted Graham Latte instead of my normal Skinny Vanilla Latte. I knew I was in trouble (Weight Watchers point-wise) when she swirled a bit of whip cream on top and sprinkled tiny bits of graham cracker on top, but I gulped it down took one for the team, and let me just say…it was worth every single point. Yum to the max, my friend! 

Fall is the perfect season for us to venture out — turning onto an unknown back road, taking up a new hobby, or going to a place we’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t. Or, for the more adventurous at heart, trying a new Fall flavor latte at Starbucks.  🙂

Now there’s no way I could tempt you with such a delight without offering an opportunity to win a cup of your own, so simply fill in the blank below via the comment section, and you’ll be signed up for a random drawing being held Wednesday, October 14th. 

(If you’re not a Google user and it shows as Anonymous, please FB message me or email me via the button on my side bar so I’ll have your address if you’re the winner!) 

Just one more way to love, love, love this spectacular season.

Weight Watcher’s-Friendly Apple Crisp

by Cathy Baker

You know the old adage: 

The way to a man’s heart is 
through his stomach. 

Thankfully for me, the way to Brian’s heart wasn’t through food but a solid friendship and a goofy sense of humor. 

Still, a girl needs to cook, even the empty-nester type, like myself. As you may know from past posts, I’ve been doing Weight Watchers since April. I’m learning that healthier food doesn’t have to look or taste all that different. Take this classic Fall dessert, Apple Crisp, for instance:  

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium fresh peeled apple slice(s)
      {I used Honeycrisp}

  • 3 tsp sugar
      

  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
      

  • 2 Tbsp regular butter
      

  • 3/4 cup(s) uncooked oatmeal
      

  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
      

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
      

Instructions:

  • Arrange sliced, peeled apples in 11×7 baking dish sprayed with
    cooking spray. Combine all other ingredients together to form crumbs,
    scatter evenly over the top. Bake at 350 for 30 min. DELICIOUS! 

Serves 6, at 5 points+ per plentiful serving. Top with Fat Free Whipped Topping for 0 points. Yes, life is good. 

— recipe posted by Laura, Fairfax VA, Weight Watchers site, 2013
 

Five Overnight Activities to Enjoy with Your Grandchildren

by Cathy Baker

Grandchildren heading your way on one of these beautiful Fall evenings? 

If so, here are some fun ideas to make the most of the season, and your time with the next generation. 

Pile On! Rake a heapin’ pile of leaves on a grassy area of your lawn. No rules required. It seems like children instinctively know that if there’s a pile of leaves before them, they must jump.  

Enjoy a Picnic. Simplicity is the key. Pack up peanut butter and honey sandwiches, cheese sticks, fruit, and juice boxes. Throw out a blanket or sheet (avoiding fire ants!), gather the little ones and prepare for lots of giggles. Be sure to take pictures. Raining? No problem! Move it inside.   

Hand Shadow Puppet Show. I walked in on Brian’s show with two of our grands at the beach a few weeks ago. They were in awe of Brian’s masterful bunnies and hawks (we’re grateful for the awe-factor while they’re young). All you need is a dark wall and a flashlight. Not sure how to make the figures? Check this out on Pinterest.  

Turn on the music…and dance. “Your royal highness, may I have the honor of this dance?” Brian asked. Piper’s facial expression was priceless. Donned in her Belle princess gown, she accepted with the grace of a real princess because, well, she is. 🙂 But we’ve also cut loose by playing The Doors while all four of us (Brian, me, Piper and Gabe) formed a dance train, moving throughout all the rooms of the house. Oh my, the laughter!

Backyard Campout. If the weather is nice, pop a tent, pull out the sleeping bags/pillows, and a lamp (those operating with LED are ideal to read by.) If possible, make a small campfire and break out the graham crackers, marshmallows, and Hershey bars. Weather not cooperating? Move it inside! The best part? You can make S’mores in the microwave. Score! Hershey has great instructions for both indoor and outdoor prep. 

Fall is a magnet for fun, laughter, and the making of good memories. Let’s take hold of these moments refusing to let them slip by.

Which one of the above ideas could you see yourself enjoying the most? Or do you have another idea we can add to the list? Love it! Let’s get it posted via comments. 

 

Date Nights and Fall Buckets

by Cathy Baker

Friday nights around the Baker house means date night! 

Tonight, after we trek over to Moe’s (hubster’s favorite place) we’ll make our regular rounds to TJ Maxx and perhaps a bookstore. Yep, we empty nesters know how to whoop it up on a Friday night. See what so many of you have to look forward to? 🙂

But wait…the excitement continues! (Actually, if you’re a list-lover such as myself, you know I mean this in all seriousness.) Later tonight, we’ll pull out a sheet of paper and take turns listing ten things we’d each like to add to our Fall Bucket List. Here are a few of mine: 

  • Start a walk/run regime. (I just got clearance from the doctor!) What better time to begin an outdoor exercise than the Fall? 
  • Go to the Pumpkin Patch with the grand kids. I mean, could anything top this? 
  • Put on my flannel PJ’s, pop my favorite corn, turn on my heated throw blanket (best purchase EVER!), and watch all the original Pride and Prejudice’s (with Colin Firth, the one and only Mr. Darcy in my book) in a row…with the lights out. Remember one of the final scenes where they finally confess their love for one another? It’s a beautiful Autumn scene! But then again, I have to admit I’m a little distracted by the pools of affection catching light in Mr. Darcy’s eyes around that same time. Just sayin’.

It’s time to fall in love with Fall all over again and one way to accomplish this is for us to become more intentional. Just as we could list the many reasons we love someone, let’s list a few things we love and appreciate about Fall so we can make the most of our time. 

 
So now it’s your turn! What’s one Fallish delight that will be added to your Fall Bucket List this October? 

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