Simple October

Monday, November 25, 2013

Caramels for the Holidays

During the Holidays, I always think it's nice to give special treats to those you appreciate.
This week I went for my final haircut of 2013. Since I knew I wouldn't be back until sometime next year, I wanted to treat my stylist to something sweet.
Enter the Homemade Caramels.......they are so amazing!

You can find the recipe here at Inspired Taste. This is the same recipe I used for the baby shower I co-hosted at the beginning of this year. Only this time I chose not to dip them in chocolate. Instead, I wrapped each piece in a small bit of wax paper. Perfect! These caramels practically melt in your mouth.
All wrapped up and sitting pretty in a mint blue mug from Target. The red and white polka dot cozy is handmade to add a little extra charm.
It's so much fun to come up with little gifts to give. What are some of your favorite things to treat your friends?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Pies

Sharing my version of cooking a pumpkin, roasting the seeds, and my recipe for mini pumpkin pies.
Oh, how I love pumpkin!

Cooking a Pie Pumpkin from the grocery store:

Wash your pumpkin and dry. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds and extra string-y-ness.
Wrap each half with foil, just like you would for a baked potato. Cook in a 350 - 375 degree oven for about an hour. Remove pumpkin from the oven and let cool enough to handle. Scrape out the soft, cooked pumpkin with a spoon and mash with a fork on a plate, or pulse through a food processor until it's the consistency you desire.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Separate the seeds from the stringy core. Rinse pumpkin seeds under running water. In a small saucepan, add the seeds to water, about 2 cups of water to every half cup of seeds. Add a tablespoon of salt for every cup of water. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Spread about a tablespoon of olive oil over the bottom of a four sided sheet pan. Spread the seeds out over the pan, all in one layer. If desired, sprinkle seeds with a little kosher salt to give them a little extra crunch. Bake on the top rack for 20 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown. When browned to your satisfaction, remove from oven and let the pan cool on a rack. Let the seeds cool all the way down before eating.

Mini Pumpkin Pies:

Crust recipe:
1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. plus 2 T. shortening
3 to 4 T. cold water

In a medium size bowl, mix flour and salt. Add shortening and cut in using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in enough water to make a nice dough and mix just until incorporated. Scoop out 1/2 T. size balls of dough and press into mini muffin pan to create the mini crusts for the pies. Repeat until you run out of dough. Set aside.

Pumpkin Pie Filling:
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. plus 1/3 c. carnation sweetened condensed milk
1 egg

Whisk all ingredients together until nice and smooth. Pour into mini crusts and bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy with whipped cream or all by themselves.

*NOTE: If you wish to make a larger pie, double the filling recipe. I only make half when making the mini pies since you don't need as much for them. The crust recipe above will create one large pie crust.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Giving Pies

Well, I'm down to the last three weeks before our third little one arrives. I'm overly excited that he will be here so soon and equally excited to be able to eat different things again. Ha! I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes the last 9 weeks of this pregnancy and had to completely change my diet. In an effort to keep my blood sugar where it should be, I've been making the same few meals that seem to work, over and over. My husband has been such a trooper about it but I know he is just as excited for me to start cooking more variety again.
I say all of this to preface why all the mini pumpkin pies had to be given away. So, I took the batch of them, wrapped so sweetly, to my OB doctor and staff. They were a hit! Points for the win!!! *wink

Knowing that I was giving them away, I NEEDED to taste test them to make sure they stood up and didn't give me a bad rep. lol They were amazing! I even went so far as to cook my own pumpkin for these. (We never did get to that craft using pie pumpkins that I had planned. Oops.)

The adorable chalkboard tag is from Lia Griffith. Make sure to give her some love, if you visit her awesome website.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Birthday Celebration Week

It's my birthday week and I want to celebrate by giving you some amazing sales in preparation for all the Christmas gift giving that will be happening oh, so soon!
To start this week off I've restocked the chapstick cozies. They make fantastic stocking stuffers, happy mail to a friend, or a great addition to a teacher's Christmas gift.
I don't know about you but with the cooler weather comes chapped lips for me. Which means I like to keep my chapstick with me where ever I go. With the key ring on top, you can slip it onto almost anything to make sure your chapstick is ready to hydrate your lips at any time.

Our super birthday sale means that you can get three (3) of our adorable cozies for $9 (plus shipping).
Don't wait, we have a limited number of cozies available and I would hate for you to miss out.
Check out our Facebook page for this amazing deal!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

BOO 2013

Sent some Halloween fun to a few friends.
Similar to the "boo" bags from last year but through the mail.
Happy mail is the best kind of mail.
Don't you think?
The unexpected, just thinking of you kind that makes you smile.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Master bath (before and after)

When we moved into our new home in May, I knew I needed to paint the walls. They are all the same creamy, off-white color. The walls, baseboards, trim, doors, EVERYTHING is the same color.
I started in our master closet, since I had yet to unpack everything. It was nice to start that process with a clean, freshly painted room.
Then I moved onto the master bath. I used the same paint I used in the closet, Dolphin Fin by Behr

I love how it turned out! If feels fresh and sort of spa like. Especially with the white accents.



Shower curtain: white waffle weave from Target (except I bought the standard size not the long)

Shelf: Ikea shelf & wall brackets

Paint: Dolphin Fin by Behr

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Welcome Baby Gift

Hello! I promise I'm still here. Things feel like they are finally starting to slow down.
After moving to Houston in May, I've been painting walls and organizing closets. And cleaning, lots of cleaning. Is it just me or do you feel like it takes several times cleaning in a new house before it starts to feel like home?

Anyway, I've also been working on a few custom orders from the shop. As well as, a welcome baby gift for some friends of ours. Of course, I was exceptionally late getting this gift to them but with everything else that has happened the last few months, I feel like I accomplished something by getting it to them at all. They are really sweet people and just welcomed their second little boy.

As moms, we know that it's important to stay somewhat organized for our sanity's sake, right?
So, I thought a set of zipper bags would be lovely to send to them. After all, you can never have too many bags, (*wink) and since this is their second a quiet keeper was also required.

I love the idea of a "welcome baby" gift set and will be working to put a few together for the shop.

Stay cool this summer!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Adventure

Today, we had a lazy morning. Once everyone was awake and dressed we headed out on a little adventure. The weather promised nothing but yuck (rain) but we had to get out of the house for the day. It was most necessary for our survival through the next week. I mean, does it really have to be Monday already?!
We are obviously still in the "explore our new environment" phase. We'll probably be this way for a good bit, which is a nice change of pace.
As we left home it was time for lunch. We tried a new to us pizza place. Pizza was good.
With our tummies full, we ventured out to Galveston to see the coast. Making another trip out there when the weather is nice is on our to-do list. If it wasn't for the lightning, we would have gone out to walk on the beach. As it was, we just drove through, found a Marble Slab, and ended up driving home again. A few errands before we ended the night at home. Grilled cheese, (or toast and peanut butter for me) fruit, and chips for dinner. B and F spent about 30 minutes in the pool before bath and bed. I'm worn out but it was fun to do some exploring.
How was your weekend?



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

So many changes in our blessed life.

Hi! Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know I've been absent here for a little while.
We made an out of state move the middle of May and it's been just a little crazy around here.

Let me back up just a bit.
The end of April, David and I found out, quite unexpectedly, that we are anticipating the arrival of our third little one. *insert huge smile* We are over the moon excited to be given the gift of another sweet baby.
I never wrote about my roller coaster feelings about having another baby after being given the diagnosis for our twins. It was a hard thing to even think about for a while. After the initial shock of everything wore of a bit, we, David and I, decided if we wouldn't trade the boys for anything, why would we give up our dream of another. So, even though this pregnancy wasn't planned, we feel so blessed to be on this journey again.

The second weekend in May, David graduated from Law School. His parents came and as always, it was so nice to have them here. By the way, it still seems somewhat surreal that he is finished with school. I mean, he's been in law school for 4 years. Sometimes that feels like a lifetime.

Then there was Mother's Day. We ate lunch at Five Guys. Um...I've been craving beef like crazy.

The following weekend, my brothers and one of my sisters drove in from FL to help us move to Houston, TX. They had to leave for home all too soon but it was wonderful to have them stay with us. I was missing them before they left. They are really awesome people and I'm so thankful to call them family. Love you guys!

Our new house (rental).

We are loving it here. No neighbors underneath, beside, or above. Plus, the backyard is one of the boys' favorite places. Everything feels right and calm here.
Now, if I could just finish unpacking we would be golden. Ha!
I've been painting. So far, I finished our master closet and bath. I had not unpacked most of the stuff that goes in our closet and wanted to get it painted while it was still empty. Our bedroom is next on my list.
Since protecting the baby is a huge priority, this is how I paint. Special paint respirator mask and I wear gloves. The gloves are more for keeping the paint off my hands but whatever. *wink*

I'll be back soon with updates on my painting endeavors and you know I'll want to show off our completed rooms.
 Thanks for checking in to see what's been going on with the Kinsauls!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bye - Bye Law School.

If feels surreal that David is graduating from Law School in 16 days. (but who's counting?) *wink
He took his last final the beginning of this week. Crazy, right?!
I am just a little excited to be done with this chapter of our lives. I mean, it's been four years. Which seems crazy because it doesn't seem like it was that long and yet walking through it felt like we would never see this day.
I am one proud wife. It would be hard not to be proud of him since he's so amazing!
Proud of you, babe! ; )

Let's just talk about how incredible it is that we made it through law school with everything else that has happened in the last four years. Namely, what we've been through with our boys. The speech delay, therapy, the diagnosis. Most days it feels like a miracle that we are still standing, but we are.
We are preparing to embark on brand new adventure. (more on that later) Everything feels like it's happening fast, which is odd since we have been planning this for a while, and some days it's more than overwhelming. One day at a time. Deep breathes. Ha! Seriously though, major stuff in the works here, so if you don't see me for a bit, that's why. I can't wait to share our new adventures and awesome beginnings, so check back every now and then. I'll post again soon! Thanks for following our adventures.

*celebration cupcakes / Hooray for no more school!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A little travel with two...

Traveling with kids can be a real challenge, as I'm sure many of you know.

With that being said, we have a little travel system that seems to work for us and I thought it might be fun to share.
Seeing how others pack or do their daily tasks is always interesting to me.

Being prepared is absolutely essential for me.
Now that the boys are older, there are some things that have become easier. I don't usually pack a cooler with milk anymore. I know most restaurant's usually serve milk but when they were much younger we would run into places that didn't or were out. That used to be a big deal to these boys. These days, ice water is alright, if that's what we have.

So, I always pack a large bag of snacks, breakfast items, and drinks for all. David and I don't really snack when we travel but sometimes I need a little something to keep me going. This time I packed some roasted almonds and pita chips.
Since the boys are picky with what they will eat, it's best that I have stuff on hand all the time anyway. I carry our plastic food storage containers with us. It keeps the snacks fresh and I can wash the containers when we get home, so not a big deal. Also, I bring water bottles, 24 pack, with us and whatever David wants to drink (Gatorade this time.) to keep costs down and stay hydrated.

Snack cups...they go everywhere with us still. Then I also bring their milk/juice cups and separate water cups. All of these I wash out at the end of our day so they're ready for the next day. If I know we are going to be in a hotel, I pack a small bottle of dish soap and we keep paper towels in our car anyway.

This large utility tote from Thirty-One fits nicely on the floorboard in the backseat of our car. Plus, it holds so much! It's what I used for all our snacks this trip.

On to toys...
I changed up how I packed toys this trip.
Usually I have a container of toys and books that sits between their car seats so they can reach for whatever they want.
This time, I packed them each a plastic tool box of toys. The tool boxes fit on their laps and they could play with what they wanted, on their own. It worked great! There was minimal fighting over toys and both seemed pleased to have their own container of stuff. Using the boxes also helped to keep them more entertained with the toys since they didn't have access to them all the time. They fit on the floor right in front of their seats and I handed them to them when they needed some distraction.

Also included: books that I kept aside for later
                         Doodle pads
                         Alphabet electronic toys (their favorites, of course)
                         wallets from Aunt Julie with zipped up surprises (encouraging that fine motor skill of 
                         Travel DVD player and DVDs.........a serious must. They don't get to watch it most of
                         the trip but there are is always that moment when they don't want to sit there anymore
                         but you can't stop again just yet. It's a real lifesaver! Completely distracts them.
Then lastly, I whipped up this adorable terry cloth toothbrush travel bag for them.
I used Noodlehead's tutorial to make this. I found it ages ago and just got around to making one myself. I love it!
None of this makes travel a breeze but it does make it just a little smoother.
I hope you found this inspiring for your next trip or at the very least interesting.
Do you have any special tips that work for you when traveling with little ones?
I'd love to hear what they are!  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday / the line-up

Keepin' it real! These blankets have been sitting here in this corner since March.
How's that for real?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Simple October Shop Update

Hooray for all the warmer weather were we are!
Although, I'm not looking forward to the extreme heat that will be here all too soon.

Enough about the weather, let's get to the good stuff!

I am loving these large zippered bags for carrying extra sets of clothes to the splash park.

Perfect to keep you organized on your next family vacation.
Are you swooning over this yellow chevron like I am? Love.
How about this grey floral and bright pink dots? Gorgeous!

Of course I had to restock this lovely teal damask and grey dots. One of my favorites!
Which one is your favorite?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Sunday

One went to service.
Three stayed home.

This mama stayed up late making little fabric baskets.
I decided to go ahead and make them, since I want them for their room.
Also, I was being lazy about pulling their Easter baskets out of our storage closet.
The irony..........making these took a lot more time than getting them from the porch.
Oh, well!
They are sweet and adorable with their navy polka dot fabric and herringbone ribbon handles.

Filled with a few special treats for two little boys. Perfect.

We had dinner (lunch) together.
Roast beef, roasted carrots and brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, and homemade rolls.

Boys and cloth napkins = something silly.
This is the life.

The four of us took a wonderful afternoon nap while it thundered and poured outside.
Best nap in a long time.

Ready to welcome April. We have six weeks till graduation. The days feel so long and yet speed by.
Onward we go!


The winners from our weekend giveaway!

1st - personalized notecards - Leanne Schaffhauser
2nd - mini felt gift bag - Becky Ross
3rd - mini zippered bag - Kristin Laurel Rippy

Please send me an email at with your shipping address.

Thanks for joining in the fun!

*All entry winners were chosen using

Friday, March 29, 2013

GIVEAWAY from Simple October

*This giveaway is now closed!
Hooray! It's Friday!
Good Friday, at that!
I'm busy planning/shopping/prepping for Easter.
How about you? Do you have special family traditions reserved just for Easter?
I'd love to hear from you!

Alright, on to some fun stuff!
I am over the moon about giving away a few of my favorite items from my shop.
The giveaway this weekend is for not one, not two, but three different items.
That means that three of you could win one of our great prizes.
Prize #1: a set of our lovely personalized note cards. Use your name, say "thank you", "happy birthday", or "congrats", make them your own!

Prize #2: one mini felt gift bag. Perfect for giving a small gift to someone special. It's made from felt, so it can be reused as many times as you want. That's pretty sweet!

Prize #3: one mini zippered pouch. You choose from our shop selection. I love how these little bags can carry my necessities without carrying around a purse every time.
How do you enter?

Use the comment section at the bottom of this blog post to tell me what your favorite color combos are this season. Or on our FB post about our giveaway.
Easy, right?
Please make sure to leave your name for your entry to count.

Giveaway closes at midnight, Sunday, March 31st. Giveaway closed!
Our giveaway winners will be chosen using and will be announced on Monday (4/01)afternoon!

Happy Easter Weekend!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shop Update - New Products

I know it's been a while since I talked about posting the listings for some large zippered bags but the wait is over. I have three new designs in the large and a new medium size bag. These are going to come in other colors, as well, very soon.

What do you think? I am loving the new spring colors and patterns.

 Tomorrow I'm having a giveaway! It's going to be big and I can't wait!