Fall Nail Colors

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fall nail colors www.radmomcoolkid.com

fall nail colors www.radmomcoolkid.com

I was hanging out at WalMart the other day.

Listen, I’m a stay-at-home mom in a small town, people.

Anyway, Hollis and I decided to check out some fall nail colors and maybe try out a few- okay, five. I didn’t buy any of them, just wanted to see how they would wear over a few days because nail polish + my fingernails = a total joke. My fingernails reject nail polish like oil and water. Do you want to hear more about my fingernails? Seriously.

So, I tried on the following colors and would recommend 4/5:

1. In Prompt Blue– it has the potential to look crazy cool or just straight crazy. Try it on an accent finger first then go nuts if you’re feeling it.

2. I-Rush Luck
icon– again, start this color out on an accent finger and see if it’s your jam before committing to an entire mani with it.

3. Petal Pusher
– nah. The color has a very subtle lavender undertone that I don’t like. It also had the worst coverage.

4. Rapid Red– I love this red- it’s a little darker than my usual which is nice for fall.

5. Cinna-Snap– this one’s my fave. It’s a deep, dark oxblood. It’s so morbidly perfect for a fall mani.

Ok. The best part? These polishes are Insta-Dri and cover in ONE coat. Are you eyeballs bugging out yo’ face? As the mother of a toddler this might be life changing.

*Some reviews online say the polishes are hit or miss with longevity. I’m pretty hard on my fingernails- they are the perfect tool for scraping dried mystery substances off 100% of the surfaces in my house. I don’t have any chips but the blue and green did slide down my nails a teeny tiny bit HOWEVER- I didn’t really let them dry for a full minute and I was wrangling a babe/cart/purse/snapping phone pictures so I could remember the polish names for all of you. Also, I put the polishes on top of a darkish purple polish that I had been wearing for a few days. I didn’t do any sort of top coat. The end.

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer

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I made a citrus salad over the weekend and instead of tossing the grapefruit peels in the garbage, I put them in a pot, added a few things from the pantry and simmered it on the stove.  This grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer is a REALLY good one.  I had an extra grapefruit so I made the simmer in gift form for a few of my neighbor friends- one had surgery recently and it was the other’s birthday :)

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer

1/2-1 grapefruit, sliced thin or just the peels
1 tsp. dry rosemary
1 tsp. vanilla

Put all the ingredients in a small pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer.  Continue adding water as needed.  You can also use a bowl or mug and a candle warmer.

I have a few other simmer recipes :

orange cinnamon lemon ginger room simmer
orange vanilla cinnamon simmer

orange cinnamon lemon ginger room simmer

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I’m currently obsessed with this orange cinnamon lemon ginger room simmer.  Like I simmer it every day.  It is so cozy and bright, perfect for the seriously frigid temps I’m dealing with here in Utah right now.  15 degrees F felt warm to me last night.  It’s coooooooooold.  I hope you are staying toasty wherever you are.  And if you are, don’t tell me, I will hate you.

So, here’s my newest simmer love:

orange cinnamon lemon ginger simmer

1 orange, sliced thin, or just the peels…I simmer the peels and my kids eat the segments
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 lemon ginger tea bag, I use Stash Ginger Lemon Tea
Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer.  REMEMBER: check often and continue adding water as needed!

You can use the simmer for 2-3 days if you put it in the fridge over night.  It will look absolutely disgusting but it will still smell good.

Simmers are a great way to add moisture to the air.  Heaters dry out the air inside which leads to dry skin and hair, bloody noses, everything you touch shocking the living daylights out of you, and it dries out our mucous membranes (‘germ trappers’) so we are more prone to sickness.  Plus, simmers smell good.  Real good.

Some of my other favorite simmers:

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer
orange vanilla cinnamon simmer

thanksgiving recap 2012

We had a great Thanksgiving.  We invited one of Luke’s buddies from high school who moved out here a few years ago.  We slept in then started cooking like crazy!
Isca was so excited to help :)
Making homemade stock…
Cranberries, cider, and brown sugar…
My pie crust, ready to get baked…

I was trying to keep Hollis out of my hair.  I didn’t work:

Hollis is a climber
The pie…I made meringue for the first time!


We only had a few minor casualties!

I’m still amazed that we got everything done and kept hot until dinner time.  We were a little later than we had planned for but the food was worth the wait.

The turkey
Potato Gratin
Parker House Rolls
Brussels Sprouts
Savory Sweet Potatoes
The spread…

I’m thankful we could share our meal with family and friends.  I’m already thinking about next year…

You can find the recipes here.

thanksgiving menu

So, this will be about the 1 billionth Thanksgiving meal that I’ve prepared.  My husband usually works the days before and after, making traveling for the holiday impossible.

We sometimes have a stragler family member or two that come over but our crowd is usually a small one.  This year it will be us and Luke’s grandpa.

One nice thing about our small gatherings is that I feel no pressure.  When are we eating?  When it’s done.  What are we wearing?  Pajamas, tuxedo’s, I don’t care.  Where’s the green bean casserole?  At someone’s house who likes it, probably.

We’ll wake up, watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Luke and I will cook, the kids will watch movies and play outside, and Grandpa will still be talking about the election.

Here’s what we’re having, unless I change my mind:

Turkey.  Even though we all hate leftover turkey with it’s weird fridge taste.  I brine ours for 24 hours then follow this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, Turkey with Herbes de Provence and Citrus.  It requires fussing over it.  If you want to sit back and forget about they turkey, don’t make this recipe.  If you want to eat a seriously delicious turkey that tastes pretty freaking awesome, make this one.

Dressing.  Real dressing/stuffing is so much better than a box.  I’m trying this one, Apple, Celery, and Sourdough Bread Stuffing.

Cranberries.  I make mine, no canned jelly for us.  I’m not 100% on this but I think I’m going to make this Ginger-Cranberry Sauce.

Rolls.  Luke’s mom makes really yummy Parker House rolls, so that’s what I’m going to attempt.  I’ve never made rolls.  I make bread all the time but never rolls…pray for me.

Potatoes.  We usually make mashed potatoes but thought we’d go nuts and not, this year.  So, we’re making Parmesan Potato Gratin.  Fancy.

Sweet Potatoes.  We usually do dessert-ish sweet potatoes so this year, you guessed it, we’re doing savory.  We’re making Goat Cheese Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

Veggies.  Instead of the ‘traditional’ green bean casserole we’re trying Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Apples.

Dessert.  I’m only making one pie.  Should I make two?  Or one pie and another dessert?  What would you do??  We’ll only have 3 adults and 3 kids.  Anyway, the pie I’m making is Caramel Cream Pumpkin Pie.

We will have too much food.  I’ll go for a jog in the morning, maybe.  I’ll at least run up and down my stairs 5 times, that should help put a small dent in the caloric overload that will be our Thankgiving meal.

Then, I will boycot all stores that open on Thanksgiving because I think they are greedy and not at all thankful.

What are you making?  Are you traveling or are you hosting others?  I wanna know what your plans are!!

leaf celebration

A few days before we got slammed with snow we went outside and played in the leaves with the neighbors.  It was one of those beautiful moments in life where everything is happy and it  s t r e t c h e s  out longer than you think it will, making it even better.

My goal this winter is to find joy in January.  I did it once…but I was in Hawaii.  Any tips from fellow winter haters?  I promise to try every suggestion.

happy halloween

Noa: Air Force Corporal, Isca: Rapunzel, Hollis: Chick, Luke: Chick Magnet

Happy Halloween!!

I LOVE Halloween.  It’s creepy, fun, you get to dress up, people give you candy, teenagers steal your pumpkins and smash them in front of your house, you eat your weight in candy corns, your children become demons for 3 days after from the steady stream of sugar in their veins.  It’s tradition!

Speaking of tradition, here’s an idea I picked up from aunt last year.  It will help your devilish babes be nicer and it will keep you from dipping into their stashes 15 times a day…

Here’s what you do:  When you get home, during the sorting and admiring part of the night, have each child choose 25 pieces to put in a Christmas Advent calander.  If Christmas isn’t your thing, you could use it to count down to anything…Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, a birthday…the point is, you get rid of it right away and put it to use for something else.  Great idea, huh? I hope you have a happy Halloween!

Do you have a candy strategy?  Share!

what we’re reading: halloween

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I like reading something spooky (not horrifying) around Halloween.  I love being just a little creeped out but my imagination runs a bit wild so we read our Halloween books during the day….here’s our terrible line-up:

What they’re reading:

Noa- first grade- 7, Isca- preschool- 4 1/2

Monster Soup: And Other Spooky Poems
compiled by Dilys Evans

We love the goofy poems in Monster Soup and all the creepy pictures! It will have your kids giggling and squealing with delightful Halloween terror and joy!

Bears in the Night
by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Our copy of Bears in the Night was handed down to us from Luke’s grandmother several years ago. It’s a book she read to him when he was a kid and we are so happy to have that same copy in our home to read with our little ones! It is well loved and has been read by many!

What I’m reading:

Great Tales of Terror
by Edgar Allan Poe

I always love anything by Edgar Allan Poe. It is so fascinating to me how creepy and macabre his writing is. And how brilliant. He is one of my favorite authors when I’m feeling dark and broody!

Do you have any favorite Halloween books or stories? How about your kids?

orange vanilla cinnamon simmer

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The weather is turning into garbage here in Utah (snow before Halloween!) so we are snuggling up and spending more time at home.  My last candle burned out a few days ago and my kitchen needed a little warmth so I started looking through my pantry to see what I could come up with to simmer on the stove.  I made an easy simmer that smells delicious, like you have some wonderful and fancy cake baking up in your oven.  It’s spicy, sweet, and creamy and super cozy on a freezy snow day.  And the best part is it’s so EASY to make!

Slice your orange into segments then remove the peel from the meat of the fruit.  My kids eat up the leftovers…

Toss the orange peels into a saucepan with a cinnamon stick and a Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Vanilla Tea bag.

Fill the pan with water and bring to a boil.

Orange Vanilla Cinnamon Simmer

Reduce heat to a simmer and continue adding water as needed.  That’s it.  No chemicals from traditional candles or plug-ins and you get a bit of moisture back if you’re a desert dweller, like me!

Orange Cinnamon Vanilla Simmer

1 orange, peels only
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Sleepytime Vanilla tea bag

Combine all ingredients in a small or medium saucepan and fill with water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer.  Continue adding water as needed.  If you let all the water evaporate, you’ll ruin your pan, so walk by and check it often!

*At bedtime I scooped the solids out of the pan and put them in an airtight container in my fridge.  I put the liquid in a different container in the fridge and then combined them in a pan the next morning.  It smelled even better than the first day!  I’m not sure how long you can stretch the recipe but definitely two days.

Some of my other favorite simmers:

grapefruit rosemary vanilla room simmer
orange cinnamon lemon ginger simmer


caramel corn puffs

This is one of our favorite treats.  It’s sweet, buttery, crispy and melts in your mouth.  It is addicting so I try to give half the batch away to stop myself from eating every last bit.
This is an AMAZING party snack, neighbor gift, break-up cure, breakfast…(don’t judge me). I hope you like it as much as me. That way we can all look terrible in swimsuits together :)
First things first, gather up your ingredients:
butter flavored corn puffs (cheeseless Cheeto’s)
corn syrup
brown sugar
baking soda
How did I forget to put the baking soda in the picture?
Use a medium (2 qt.) saucepan to melt the butter, corn syrup and brown sugar together.
This is about to become a melty heavenly caramely sauce…
Whisk the caramel and let it gently boil for a couple of minutes.
It will look like this as it cooks.

Then, add the baking soda and whisk like crazy to incorporate it.  Your sauce will foam up…that’s why you’ll need the bigger saucepan.

My helper, Isca, adding the baking soda while I whisk (and take pictures, if we’re getting technical).
The sauce is getting foamier…
Once the baking soda is worked in you have a nice fluffy, foamy mixture that looks like this:
Pour the corn puffs onto a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan that has sides and quickly pour your caramel all over the top.

Then, stir stir stir :)  Little helpers are generally good at this.  The sauce will start to set up pretty quickly but it’s okay if your puffs aren’t 100% perfectly coated.  Just try to get them mostly coated and don’t leave some without any sauce.

Isca is a good helper in the stirring department
Once you’ve stirred enough, spread the puffs out evenly in your pan.
Put it in the oven.  While it’s in the oven you have to stir it every 10 minutes.  This will help distribute the caramel and ensure that every surface of each puff gets nice and crisp and irresistable.  Once it’s done, pour it out onto some waxed paper and break it up into bite-sized pieces.
Then try to let it cool.  I dare you.  You can’t, so start gobbling it up and keep a spatula handy to smack the hands of others who might think you made it to share.
Caramel Corn Puffs
The death of your diet, sorry.

Caramel Corn Puffs

8 oz. butter flavored corn puffs
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. corn syrup
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. baking soda

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Pour corn puffs into a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with sides.

Melt brown sugar, corn syrup and butter together in a 2 quart saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 2 minutes.

Add baking soda and whisk well into a frothy foamy caramel mixture.

Pour the caramel over the puffs and stir until all the puffs are coated with some of the sauce.  The sauce starts to set quickly so don’t worry if your puffs aren’t perfectly coated.

Arrange the puffs evenly in the pan then bake at 250 degrees F. for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Pour the puffs out onto waxed paper and break into bite-sized pieces, then let cool, if you can!

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid