happy halloween!

Hope it's not too scary.

More importantly, hope you stay safe!

giddy up!

I'm in the middle up typing up a recipe for you, I promise, but first had to share these.  Too good not to share.

When Benjamin got close and tried to help him Anderson pushed him away and proceeded to bounce the horse by himself.  Giddy up!

13 Months + a Giveaway from Tilly Claire's!

We have a 13 month old.  Although it's easier to just say he's one I can pick up on the Mom's who want to know how many months he is when they ask.  We've got an extreme cruiser and climber now too.  He loves going up and down the stairs and just this weekend I let him sit and stare out the door to look at the leaves and dogs that so often walk by.

This little one's personality continues to shine especially as he's started waving goodbye, mimicking the kids in his books and shaking his head No.  I'm sure someday soon that will be really obnoxious but for now we find it cute and funny.  Benjamin told him last weekend that he was a lot of work and he shook his head, "No no no."

To celebrate and because Giveaways are fun I've got some adorable prints to show you from Tilly Claire's Shop on Etsy.  The artist has gracious offered to giveaway one of these to a lucky reader- you pick which one you'd like!

The messages seem appropriate this week with all things scary and dark being celebrated with Halloween, don't you think?


To Enter post a comment about which one you'd like!

Giveaway will be open Monday through Friday!

For Extra Entries!
  •  Share which item is your favorite on your personal Facebook page with a link!
  • Pin your favorites from her shop to your Pinterest!
  • Like her page on Facebook!

Ready?  GO! Comment away friends.  These prints would be great for you or perfect in a nursery! Great for gifts too with a simple frame around them!

So I know what you've done for extra entries make sure you email me at laurabeth@lbsgoodspoon.com 


well said sundays

I've been blessed by the She Reads Truth Study recently.  Have you received the emails as well?  Check it out here.

falling friday

The leaves have been falling constantly the past few days.  So much so that I had to get out and take some pictures of the kiddos in their get up since Sandy may go ahead and take the leaves away come Wednesday.

I'll most likely try to get a few more of Anderson before Halloween but that won't be a problem.  The kid absolutely loves his pumpkin costume and wants to put it on whenever he sees it.  It gets the same excitement that the pumpkin bundt cake I recently made receives.

It's the same bundt cake I made right before Anderson was born.  I had my parents grab it and bring some to the hospital and they later that evening shared it with the nurses.  When I found out I was upset since those nurses weren't the ones who would have to deal with me when it came time for Anderson to arrive.  We should have bribed the ones on duty during delivery time!

moms word on mums.

Although I hope that one day I'll have the green thumb that my Mom does I admit that all too often I'm frustrated by our lack of space and sunshine and find little motivation to do anything about the plot of dirt we do have.  These was very clear over the summer when I watered less than often and as a result my flowers didn't look too hot.  Sure I can blame it on the huge tree that covers our house, but really I blame most of it on my lack of trying.

My Mom doesn't give up though.  She encouraged me to get some mums this fall for our front stoop and so we settled on some the other week.  The flowers were all closed, as they should be when you buy mums, but the flowers were in the same section of the store so we assumed they were the same color.


A lot has happened lately, most notably the first little bug we caught to welcome in fall.  Now that we're on the mend and have a bit more energy around here it's back to the b.l.o.g.  For starters though, let's recap with some pictures.

This past weekend we got to attend a wedding.  It was great to see old friends and faces from college back at Westmont.  To top off the weekend we finally made it to Teddy Roosevelt Island and took an urban hike where we stood along the river on a tiny island looking at sky scrapers.

The following day we headed out to Annapolis for Michael Symon's new book signing.  A real treat to see him and support the hometown.

on the cusp of change

I love this time of the year.  As much as I longed for the trees to regain their leaves just a few short months ago I'm ready for those leaves to change and fall off.  I'm hoping for some snow this winter and for sweet times cuddling with our boy in cozy sweaters and soft footed-pajamas.

Looking out our window it's apparent that a change it is a comin'.  It's as if God is screaming it loud and clear to us as we have many changes in our life ahead, and not just the reality of bare trees out our door.

Sponsor Giveaway! Stelie Printables Halloween Card

How cute is this card?  And how special would it be to send one, or as many as you like to your friends thanks to Stelie Printables.  I love the idea of printables these days.  It's how we did Anderson's birthday invitations and it worked out quite well.  No limits on how many you can send out!

This card will go to the lucky winner who comments
 letting us know if you've carved a pumpkin yet this season!

Extra entries go to those of you who head on over to 

Giveaway Open Sunday October 21 through Thursday October 25th- just in time for you to print, sign, seal and deliver to your lucky recipients!

our love story. chapter 4.

So the first meeting went well.  We frolicked around Santa Barbara and clearly had enough to keep us busy from the ocean to restaurants to nervous conversation charged with excitement and anticipation.  That all happened in Chapter 3.  Now onto the real test.  I would go to Montana and see what life was like for Benjamin there.  What did it look like to be in the Air Force?  What were his friends like?  Most importantly, could I honestly ever see myself living there?

I arrived in Great Falls and remember the airport looking exactly like a truck stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  There were shadowboxes of stuffed animals and large displays of Native American history.  Oh dear.  Here we go.

apricot + tarragon cocktail cookies

Some friends and I started having "Wine Nights" a few months back.  Fancy name for it, eh?  It was an excuse to get together and learn a bit more about a beverage we all love so much.  I was encouraged to start this up here after the Women and Wine Nights I went to in Santa Barbara.  Given the ridiculous amount of wine glasses we have and the fact that it was an clear excuse to get together with friends new and old I went ahead and sent out an invitation.  We've had a couple now and hopefully will have another one soon as the weather gets cooler and some red wine is up for sampling.  

At each party there's a specific type of wine we drink and everyone has to bring a bottle under $12.  It's fun to find some good table wines that won't break the bank and interesting to see how various wineries and regions can all taste so different.

As an added bonus each wine comes with a suggested attire thanks to this book.  Chardonnay for example is the black dress of white wine and Pinot Gris is denim.  Girls like excuses to get dressed up.  It works for us.

All this to say when I flipped through Food and Wine and saw there were Cocktail Cookies, I knew I had to make them.  These involve apricots and tarragon and taste a bit like shortbread too.  They're not too sweet though so they pair perfectly with white wine.

diaper talk. why we switched to cloth.

You may have noticed in some pictures that our boy is now sporting larger underwear.  We made the switch to cloth.  Although I thought about it for about 5 minutes before he was born I swore off the idea figuring we would have several kids and the idea of that many diapers to wash was silly.  It didn't seem less expensive and the idea of spending more on your water bill didn't make sense either.

I was torn with my decision just a bit thinking, "but I'm totally the type of person some people might think would do cloth... after all, I have some green crunchy things I care about!"

I was set in my decision and never looked back until about 10 months into Anderson's life when we went to Santa Barbara and without fail I was thinking about switching.  We stayed with my friend Jen for part of the time and I saw her using cloth with ease.  Like me, she enjoys cooking, and saving money.  We talked about it in length and soon I was convinced.  I asked her if it brought her some sense of satisfaction, similar to how we feel after we cooked a good meal, and she agreed that it did.

sponsor announcement!

I've got some new Sponsors on the site and wanted to give a big warm welcome to them!  They took advantage of my Holiday Special which means an ad up from now til January 15th for just $35!  

I love Stephanie's work over at Stelie Designs.  She has adorable cards, prints, and invitations too.  Of course I'm a sucker for the Ohio notes!

Then there's Bundle Design which is quite lovely as well.  Baby announcements, monthly onesie stickers, and adorable invitations too.  I love this announcement - probably because it reminds me of how small Anderson once was!

Be sure to check out their shops and stay tuned for fun giveaways and discounts from them in the coming months!

canning applesauce

Quickly after learning the basics of canning from a friend I headed out and got all the supplies necessary.  My Mom, not wanting to rain on my parade, picked up a box of seconds at an orchard and before we knew it we were ready to make sauce.

My Grandma made applesauce that my Mom remembers well.  She in turn has made it but likes to simply put it in freezer bags as she remembers her Grandma serving half-frozen applesauce as a treat for them.  To her, it was like ice cream.

Applesauce seemed like a good place to start.  We were thankful for all the canning blogs out there and found this Classic Applesauce Recipe on Simple Bites to be a great point of reference along with the Ball Blue Book on Canning.

I won't call myself a canning expert but I will share with you some things we learned along the way.

our love story. chapter 3.

Now that you've read Chapters One and Two, it's time for Chapter Three.

After two hours of video chatting for the first time with Benjamin I turned off my computer and thought I'd casually get ready for bed.  This isn't possible when you live with two other girls so the minute I left my room my roommate was ready to ask me questions.  My grin appeared again and I remember telling her it just seemed a bit different- it seemed like it could be the real deal.

All that to say- in no way was this love at first video chat or that we had no further questions for one another.  Clearly we took our time and got married within the year.

Slow Cooker Success. 8 Recipes I love.

My slow cooker is my favorite counter appliance right now.  It's saved me from worrying about being in the kitchen when that's the last place Anderson wants to be at 5:00, unless he's eating, and means we can be out and about until it's time for dinner.

Even if Anderson isn't partaking of the meal until the next day it means Benjamin and I won't be eating at 8:00 PM and it also means our dish cleanup is minimal.

Let's be clear.  I obviously love spending hours in the kitchen, using lots of pots and pans, and having an amazing meal.  Sometimes though when you have a little one whose all over the place something's gotta give.  And in this case it's the dirty dishes, not the lack of an amazing meal.

Thanks to Pinterest I've found some winners when it comes to Slow Cooker Recipes.  Just last night we made Aimme's Slow Cooker Apple Pie Oatmeal for breakfast and I'm gearing up to make her Lazy Cabbage Rolls which I'm sure will be another success.

I made Crockpot Korean Tacos last week thanks to Confections of a Foodie Bride and in the coming weeks I'll probably turn back to some of my favorites like Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff and Slow Cooker Chicken Curry.

{Sponsor Giveaway} Halloween Trick or Treat Bags!

I can see my future right before my eyes.  Next year we'll be dressing Anderson up for Halloween and this time the thought of having him walk around to a few houses will seem like a good one.  Every little kid should knock on the door and say, "trick or treat?" right?!

What will he carry to hold his loot? Why not get a bag that can be used year after year?  I love this idea.  I love the thought of not running out the the drug store to pick up a cheap bag for him to carry.  I love the thought that this will grow with him and when he has siblings everyone will know which bag is theirs- no fighting.  A girl can dream.

Wouldn't you love these bags?  Both of them?!  I thought so.  Carmen of Thirty One is giving these away today!

To Enter: Comment on this post telling me what you or your little one will be this year!

Entries open to US Residents only and the giveaway will be open through Sunday! 

Make sure your entry either includes your email address so I can contact you if you win or shoot me an email at laurabeth @ lbsgoodspoon.com with your email! 


apple pie muffins

I think I've posted this recipe before but it was time for a reminder.  If you didn't make these before you should make them now.  They really are my favorite muffin recipe out there, and perfect for the season.  The crumble really makes these stand out which is probably why I love them so much.  They are coffee cake meets apple pie meets breakfast.  Delicious.

I made these the other week while family was in town.  It the perfect excuse to throw something a little more decadent together for breakfast.  You should find an excuse to get yourself a more decadent breakfast too.

our life with a 1 year old

You've been missing the lil man, right?  I've missed sharing about him on hear knowing I need to now or else I'll quickly forget what he's been up to.  Things are changing fast around here and clearly he wants to be a big boy, sitting at the big kids table and all.

If "Beep Beep" could be his first words I think they would be.  He's also uttered out the obvious Mamma, Dadda, and I think sometimes Grandpa and Grammy- or Meme.  Thanks to cooking so often and the fact that he watches me make an egg for him just about every morning he tries to say the word "hot."  He also vroom vrooms in typical little boy fashion.  

He's growing up fast and practicing some walking by pushing his little learning table, stools at Grammy's house, and a little car he likes to ride too.  I won't be surprised if we have a walker by Christmas.

apple snack cake

This weekend was a long one.  We headed out to our country house, also known as my parents, to once again stretch our limbs and get out of the city.  We long for open country roads over bustling city streets and enjoy the fact, undeniably, that Grammy and Grandpa like to get up with Anderson and had suggested (or maybe I suggested) that they watch him some afternoon so Benny and I could head out on our own.

We took them up on their offers- to sleep in after I nursed him in the morning, and for us to get out and explore in the afternoon.  I loved the time with Benny and the chance to get some errands done, but I also really missed my buddy.  Staying at home with him and seeing him so often meant that on the second afternoon away I kept asking Benjamin if he too missed him.  Thing is, Benjamin goes to work every day.  Most days he sees him for about 40 minutes in the morning and gets home when he's already in bed.  He's used to it.  I am not.  

showing my face around here.

Turns out I'm not a blonde anymore, I have bangs, and I don't live in Santa Barbara.  The old pictures of me on this blog had to go.  Instead of posing for some pictures I decided to just take some of myself. This is what I got, so this is what you get.  

That's me.  Inspired by this great article on motherhood I'll try to show my face around here more often too.

our love story. chapter two.

I couldn't keep you waiting any longer.  After Chapter One it was time for me to dish out some more of our love story in this here Chapter Two.  

After being matched online there are a set of questions you ask for one another.  Most are pretty generic but hopefully help you weed people out in the beginning if you have certain 'deal breakers' and know things won't work out because of x, y, or z.  

Well, Benjamin kept answering the questions quite well and so we got to the step, quite quickly, where you can start emailing.  I blame his boredom in Montana and my failing company at the time to be the reason why we had more time than usual to respond to one another.

In one of the first email exchanges Benjamin suggested we become Facebook friends.  Again my first reaction was "No way!  I'm doing this to get away from the shallow confusing Facebook relationships out there!"  I suppose a part of me felt like I wanted to know one another outside of that world.

happy happy

So thankful for these two in my life.

chocolate snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles have a special place in my heart for no particular reason.  Something about the spice in them that pairs so well with a hot cup of tea and conversation with an old friend gets to me.  They also work well dunked in milk or while sitting on the couch with a blanket finally wrapped around you now that the weather has gotten cooler.

These cookies were claimed to be Food and Wine's Favorite Bake Sale Cookie so naturally I had to try them.  The recipe came together quickly and there were enough that I was able to freeze some for later.   

brussels sprouts and cauliflower pasta

This dish was by far the best way I've ever eaten Brussels Sprouts.  They cook down into this delicious sauce with the cauliflower and make for one lovely pasta dish.  I'd serve this any night of the week and for guests too.  

It made for a dish where Benjamin and I easily wanted seconds and were happy to eat up the rest for lunch the next day.  Although lunchtime leftovers are a daily thing for us, it's good when you're really looking forward to them.

pumpkin + ricotta stuffed shells

Autumn to many people means all things pumpkin all the time.  Although it's always a good idea to make pumpkin pancakes and the best ever pumpkin bundt cake, I like using pumpkin in savory dishes as well.  Pumpkin and Barley Soup will need to be made again soon, and then there's these Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells.

I decided to make these soon after Anderson was born and had myself wondering why I was so crazy to think I'd make stuffed shells with a newborn.  Lucky for me, and you, these are simple to throw together and perfectly kid friendly as well!  I'm not sure why we don't make stuffed shells more often in fact as it's a perfect way to slip some veggies into your kids dinner.  Children aside, these are delicious and perfectly timely for the season.

a happy parenting day.

Yesterday was one of our best parenting days to date.  Benjamin worked long hours last week and this weekend so when Sunday afternoon rolled around we decided to get out of the house and go on an adventure.

After posting a picture of Anderson on a train ride at the Outlet mall a friend suggested we go to Burke Lake Park.  If you're in the Northern Virginia area I highly recommend it!  This place was a little slice of heaven for Anderson and fun for Benjamin and me as well.