Thankful in October

by Andrea Cooley

Oct thankfulness CollageI missed the last 2 months of thankful posts, so this one sums up the last few months. Slowly but surely we’re getting on more of a schedule with Foster, so hopefully my writing will be more regular!

  1. Sunday afternoon naps for the whole family. It doesn’t always happen that both boys sleep at the same time, but when it does, it’s magical!

  2. Crunching in fall leaves

  3. Late afternoon sunshine

  4. Moby wrap and Ergo baby carriers–they have been a lifesaver!

  5. The night when Foster only woke up once! I have faith it will happen again…

  6. Going on a bike ride with Emerson

  7. My mom coming to help for a weekend. She held a crying baby, made lots of food, and loved on Emerson

  8. The first fire of the season in the fireplace

  9. Neighborhood festival and parade

  10. An unexpected writing assignment. I’m easing back into freelance work and this assignment was the perfect start.

  11. Peppermint mocha coffee creamer. Tis the season!

  12. Watching Emerson “play” with Foster. I can’t wait ’til Foster is big enough to participate!

  13. Snuggling with Emerson and reading countless books.

  14. Bible studies with girlfriends. I’m in two right now, What Women Fear: Walking in Faith that Transforms and Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe. I highly recommend them both!

  15. Going to the apple orchard

  16. Getting my haircut. Adam watched the boys and I soaked up every minute of pampering!

  17. Adam’s 4 week paternity leave. I don’t know what I would have done without him home for that time!

  18. Successfully leaving Foster with a babysitter for the first time.

  19. Worship night at a barn. It doesn’t get much better than twinkle lights, banjos, boots, and good music!

  20. Finding a babysitter so Adam and I could go to the worship night, and getting out just the two of us for the first time since Foster was born!

  21. Glorious, warm, sunny days and blue skies

  22. The colors of fall. God is so creative! I’m soaking up the beauty now to have on tap in January when all is bleak and dark.

  23. Being able to walk to the library for story time. It’s one of the highlights of Emerson’s week

  24. Smoked BBQ ribs. Adam is quite the chef!

  25. Apple crisp. So good I made it twice!

  26. Crockpot meals and leftovers–the easiest way to get dinner on the table!

  27. Baby monitors that let us still be outside when Foster is sleeping.

  28. Chocolate cupcakes and Emerson’s 2nd birthday! How has it been 2 years since he was born!?

  29. Pumpkin spice donuts

  30. A much-needed massage

  31. Cute Halloween costumes (although Emerson’s construction worker outfit wasn’t anything fancy)

  32. $4 flowers from Trader Joe’s

  33. A family outing to Rita’s Italian Ice

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared any tips or tricks on the blog. Remember when we did 31 days of tips and tricks? That was fun!

I’m always looking for ways to make life easier and for tricks that really work. I just saw something on Buzzfeed about 20 Pinterest tricks that don’t work. Well, I can promise you that any tips or tricks you find here have been tested and approved!

Well today’s you’re lucky day. I have not 1, not 2, but 3 super easy tricks to share! Are you ready?

baconThe first will revolutionize the way you make bacon. I know it’s not prime BLT season anymore, but breakfast for dinner makes a regular appearance on our menu and everyone knows eggs and toast are 10 times better when they’re served with bacon. That said, cooking bacon is kind of a mess. If you do it on the stove the grease splatters everywhere and then you have to clean all that fat.

Instead of frying bacon on the stove, bake it in the oven! Line a cookie sheet or 9×13 pan with foil (I try to use two overlapping pieces to catch all the grease). Then put the bacon on a cookie cooling rack or right on the foil. Put the pan in a cold oven, then heat it to 400 degrees. (no need to preheat) In 15 minutes you’ll have crispy bacon and all the fat stays on the foil. After you’re done eating the bacon, you can wrap up the foil with the grease and throw it away. Easy!

natural peanut butter trickI always buy natural peanut butter, but I hate stirring the oil when I first open the jar. It’s just messy! Now before I open it, I let the jar sit upside down for a few hours to distribute the oil. When I’m ready to open it I barely have to stir!

proseccoI bought a bottle of prosecco when I was still pregnant to look forward to drinking when Foster was born. Adam and I broke it out to celebrate him turning 1 month old. Since I have a low tolerance from not drinking for 9 months and am nursing, we didn’t drink the whole bottle. I didn’t wait to let it go to waste though! A friend told me that if you put a spoon in the bottle and leave it on the counter, it will stay bubbly. I know it sounds crazy, but it really works! I enjoyed a bubbly glass for several more nights.

So there you have it! Three easy tips and tricks.

Now it’s your turn. What tricks do you have up your sleeve?

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