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This September

I immersed myself in everything pumpkin.

I attempted canning for the first time. 

The sweet and spicy pepper sauce turned out great. I haven’t tried the pickled banana peppers yet.
I almost got killed by a plant. 

The sap from this eviiilll poison oak got on my arm without me realizing, and then transferred to my stomach and legs. It looked like a second degree burn and itched like nothing I’ve felt before. Three weeks in, the itch is nearly gone and the scars are beginning to heal………

 I made an effort to bake more.

These were some delicious pumpkin s’more brownies. I also made some pretty good pumpkin muffins!

I attended the first bonfire of the year.

 I am hoping to attend, (and host!) a lot more!
This last month was a lot of fun. I am so excited that Steven and I were finally able to find new jobs! They are just the kind of jobs we always dreamed about; Research positions downtown in our own city. We both start our jobs on the same day, which is kind of funny, and we will be working across the street from each other. What fun! 

September was a pretty great start to the autumn season. I just can’t believe how fast it went!
 I have a lot of great autumn-y plans for October and I hope I can fit everything in. I want to visit a pumpkin patch and a corn maze this year. I’ve never been to either! Plus we have to fit in all our usual fun autumn plans like the fair, scenic mountain drives, pumpkin carving parties, ect.

I hope everybody else had a great September! 
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Downtown in the Dark

I love the city, especially just after sunset.

The different lights from all the buildings cast an eerie glow along the crowded streets.

The newest addition; towers to serve as a monument to the city’s tobacco factory past, expel a spooky mist that fills the skies, and makes for a creepy atmosphere.

It’s fun to peer  in to the spooky dark shops, and see the wares back lit against a night light.

Murals can be found on many street corners. Some are quickly painted over, some last for years.

Lights from all over, reflect off of windows like Christmas lights.

Downtown Winston-Salem has a slightly eerie vibe to it. The ghosts of the tobacco factories that once ruled the land, cast a haunting feeling from their abandoned windows. 

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Weekly Journal #14

Good news this week: I got a new job! It’s a biology research position and it sounds really exciting. I start next Monday which is the same day Steven starts his new job. We’ll be working across the street from each other and for once, both be working in the city we actually live in. What a fun time. 

This week started off with an anniversary mountain hike!

And then an anniversary veggie Five Guys sandwich and an ice cream buffet.

I saw this cat on a walk and I hugged him and it was a great day and then I dreamed about cats that night.
I crashed Steven’s going away party at work because I couldn’t pass up the enormous pizzas he ordered! Plus, it was fun to see everybody again. (Goodbye Solstas!!!)

Added two more land cameras to my camera family. While standing in line for the second one, the guy helping out at the counter slipped it into this glorious two wolf bag and gave us a wink, not saying a word. It was a day to remember. 

We both took this week off, in anticipation of our new jobs. This week is going to be stupid fun.

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My favorite part of the aquarium was the jellyfish.

They’re just so mesmerizing, and mildly hypnotic. My favorites were these Moon Jellyfish.

Also they kind of remind me of lava lamps. Just a little bit..

I wish I could have a pet jellyfish. Maybe a tiny one.
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Wedding Anniversary

Two years ago, Steven and I got married! I thought I would share some more photos from our wedding.  

You can see more on my post from last year, where I wrote all the details about the day.

We got married in my Mom’s lovely Victorian house, and made all of the decorations.

We had a small ceremony in the morning. Steven’s brother got ordained for the event and married us.

After the ceremony it was time for some breakfast, and to rest up and get ready for the huge party in the evening. We invited everyone we knew!

And the best part was… All the food!

All the cheese you can imagine

Talking to my mom and my aunt afterward

It was fun but it all went by in a blur. I wish I could go back and enjoy it as a guest. 
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Weekly Journal #13

Back to work this week, although not full time, so that meant I had plenty of time for baking! 

These were pumpkin s’more brownies, delicious!

Bernie came to town so we went to see him! There were so many people and it was a lot of fun. It’s a neat experience to be around thousands of people who all have the same hopes for the future.

We saw a TESLA. I can’t wait until we have one someday 🙂
We checked out the local apple festival and took a bunch of film photos.

It was a pretty neat week. Lets see what this next one has in store!
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Zucchini Noodle Spaghetti

I try not to eat pasta, too many condensed carbs make me sick, plus who wants all those calories? But that doesn’t mean I don’t ever find myself craving spaghetti..

That’s why I am obsessed with our vegetable spiralizer! I can make so many yummy dishes, with no pasta in sight!

 One of my favorites is spaghetti made with zucchini noodles.

All it needs is a few ingredients:

Three Zucchini
Parmesan Cheese
Sauce of your choosing- I used about half the jar
Italian seasoning

Cut the ends off the zucchini and spiralize them. I like to use the large noodle setting.

If you don’t have a spiralizer you can use a mandolin or a grater. But definitely recommend a sprializer! They’re around 20 bucks on amazon. 
Put a splash of olive oil in the bottom of the pot and cook on medium heat. 
Don’t add any water!
Zucchini is made up of quite a bit of water, so while the zucchini is cooking, I like to reduce the sauce to eliminate as much water as possible. In fact, I start simmering the sauce as the very first step. Before I even spiralize the zucchini.

 I prefer my zucchini noodles to be on the firm side, so I don’t cook them all the way through. Believe me, it tastes way better when the noodles aren’t all soggy!

Once the zucchini noodles are cooked to your liking, (I usually sample a little piece to check) dump them into a colander like you would to normal pasta to drain out any excess liquid. I usually use a large spoon to squeeze out as much as I can.

After draining, return the noodles to the pot and add the sauce, cheese and seasoning. And anything else you like to add to your spaghetti! 

I think it tastes much better than regular spaghetti. And my favorite part is, I can eat as much as I want without going into a major carb coma and gaining 20 pounds!

This recipe makes about four servings. Or two if you’re a zucchini fool like me!

Have you ever tried a veggie noodle recipe?

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Cat Photos Friday #77- New Heights

One day, Cloud decided she needed to be on top of the fridge. 

Luckily for her there was a small box on the table next to the fridge, so she flew right up.
I didn’t really want her up there. That’s one of the only cat free surfaces in the house, and I will be storing my plants up there in a few weeks. So I moved the box.
No problem. She could still jump high enough without the box, knocking down my magnets in the process.
So now I have moved the table. If she can still fly up there without it, she wins!

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Aquarium Visit

When we were at the beach last month, we checked out the aquarium on a slightly rainy day.

I love watching all the fish swimming around, it’s so peaceful.

I was very relieved that the only sharks I saw were at the aquarium. There were so many shark attacks this year, and so many of them were close to the beach we stay at! I definitely stayed out of the water this time around.

The first time we went to this particular beach, years ago, we didn’t have enough money to buy aquarium tickets, but we asked the people at the front desk if we could look around the gift shop and they said that was fine as long as we only went in the gift shop. We went in there with the best intentions, however, the gift shop basically opens up to the entire aquarium so we couldn’t resist taking a quick peek at the fish. We were only in there a couple minutes when all of a sudden we saw the person who had let us in the gift shop coming straight towards us!  We raced out of there so fast, jumped in the car and sped away. I don’t think the person even saw or recognized us though, but we sure thought we were in big trouble. Haha!

It was nice to return as paying customers this time.