Fall Colors at the Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna


Thursday, October 20, 2016

We spent the morning exploring the vast gardens at the Schonbrunn Palace before driving the remaining four hours to Prague. The gardens are amazing this time of year! Most especially playing in the tree-lined paths covered in fallen leaves and canopies of bright yellows and oranges.

It kills us when they do this. They are so precious!

Happy Thursday from our growing family to yours!

24 Hours in Vienna!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We were actually in Vienna for a couple of hours, so much less than 24, but we still got to see so much in the short time we were there! Our kids did absolutely amazing on this trip, and what a gorgeous city it is. The architecture, cafe culture, darling shops, markets and overall feel reminded us of Zagreb (which was largely funded and built during the Habsburg Empire) but much bigger, grander and more impressive. We still love our Zagreb more, though! And we certainly appreciate the prices in Zagreb more after being in such an expensive city.

With only one late afternoon in Vienna, we checked into our hotel room by the cathedral (amazing location! amazing cathedral!) put the kiddos in the stroller, and walked all of Innere Stradt, through the Palace and along the Ringstrasse, stopping in cute little shops on the way, the beautiful Volksgarten and of course for a piece of the famous cake on our way back. Everywhere we looked was another gorgeous church or impressive building, with people sitting at cafes sipping newly pressed wine. String quartets played outside, filling the streets with Mozart. It was lovely.

My husband knew I had to stop in at this flower shop in St. Stephen's Square! Maybe even more wonderful though was the little shop next door that made hand-carved nativity sets.

We spent the morning walking the gardens at the Schonnbrun Palace, which is coming in another post. It's hard to express how thankful we are for the Olmsted Scholarship and to have the freedom to be able to pick up and travel as a family to such incredible spots! We loved Vienna and hope to make it back in the spring for a longer visit. Have you ever been??

A Fun & Simple Fall Art Project for Kids


Thursday, October 13, 2016

We spent all morning on this little art project that fully entertained my kids for a few hours and gave us a chance to enjoy the sunny (cold!!) day outside. We've been reading about God's creation and how He changes seasons, so this was a really fun and easy way to teach that hands-on.

Zagreb is showing off its Fall colors! We walked the neighborhood collecting a basket of leaves, taped them to butcher paper and then the kids went to town with their watercolors.

You could get far more creative than we did and add glitter, stickers, etc. but both John Shea and Gracie are all about watercolors right now so that was all they wanted to use! It's now hanging proudly in their craft room.

Dumping purple water in her lap, perrfect ;)

You don't need much for this, but they loved it and totally took their time working on it. My kids always have a way of reminding me of the beauty of simplicity and slowing down!

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

John Shea and I have a treat for you today! He helped turn my Pumpkin Spice Muffins recipe into Pumpkin Spice Donuts. After sharing how fast those muffins go in our house and are loved by all of us, I have to say, the donuts actually surpassed that! I also love the way the house warms up and smells like pumpkin & cinnamon while these are baking.

Sweet John Shea has become such a good helper, across the board. He makes a total mess in the kitchen, but I love having him with me. He dipped the donuts in the cinnamon sugar and ended up taking bites from most of them. He's the best taste-tester :)

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts
(makes a little over a dozen large donuts)

15 oz canned pumpkin
1/2 C olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/3 C raw sugar 
1 TBS pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 C flour (substitute gluten-free if need be!)
2 tsp baking powder
1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (depending how much spice you'd like!)
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp fine sea salt

4 TBS (2 oz) butter, melted
8 TBS sugar + 2 TBS cinnamon, combined (add more cinnamon as you like!)

This is the same recipe as my Pumpkin Spice Muffins, inspired by Smitten Kitchen from years ago.  This is the donut pan I use and love!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, 176 degrees C.

Gently combine the pumpkin, olive oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Gently add in the remaining ingredients. Generously spray the donut pan with non-stick or rub butter on it. Spoon the batter into the pan, nearly filling to the top -- I made a poor-man's piping bag from a freezer zip-lock to help! Simply pour all of the batter into the bag and snip off one of the bottom corners to pipe through. Bake the donuts for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.

Once the donuts have cooled for a few minutes, dip them in the melted butter then into the cinnamon sugar mixture, coating the top and sides.

They're wonderful with a cup of coffee. If they're not all inhaled in the same day, your family has much more reserve than mine! :) I hope you love them!

Another Baby Marshall!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Coming in March!
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

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