Whipped Feta, Pear & Rosemary Crostini @themerrythoughtWe’re definitely feeling some fall-like temperatures around here (finallyyy, although the cold can stay away, I was desperately looking for a break from that vicious heat wave that lasted all summer! I joked that we went to California to catch a break from the heat! [but for real, we did – it was so nice to have perfect weather out there!]); which finally has me thinking more about fall foods now! Since pears are currently in abundance around here, I wanted to make a recipe featuring this delicious fruit. One of my current favs for easy and delicious appetizers are crostini. And of course whipped feta, because I’m still thinking that’s the bees knees! These little gems are easy to whip up and are soo good! Rosemary has become one of my favorite herbs (mainly due to mocktails) and I love the combination of these flavors! (PS – the little bunches of rosemary on the crostini in these photos were just for looks, unless you’re a hardcore rosemary lover, just sprinkle on the chopped rosemary!). These are perfect for fall parties and would be great for all the holiday gatherings in a couple months as well! Whipped Feta, Pear & Rosemary Crostini @themerrythoughtWhipped Feta, Pear & Rosemary Crostini @themerrythoughtWhipped Feta, Pear & Rosemary Crostini

baguette, sliced & lightly toasted
whipped feta (recipe below)
pears, thinly sliced
rosemary, chopped
honey

Spread whipped feta on toasted baguette slices. Top with pear slices and rosemary. Drizzle with honey and enjoy!

Whipped Feta

6 oz crumbled feta
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

In a food processor, whip together feta, cream cheese, olive oil and salt & pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy (drizzle in more olive oil if you’d like a creamier consistency), about 3-5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.Whipped Feta, Pear & Rosemary Crostini @themerrythought

-Manda

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DIY Rock, Paper, Scissors Costume (& Printable!) @themerrythoughtFor the party-poopers that hate dressing up for Halloween or the procrastinators that will find this post an hour before they’re supposed to be going to a Halloween party, we created one of the easiest Halloween costumes for you and some friends! You can create your own batch of these in under 10 minutes using an old tee and some fabric markers or if you can’t even bring yourself to put in that effort, we’ve included some printables of the doodles that I created for ours and you can just print them out and iron them on!DIY Rock, Paper, Scissors Costume (& Printable!) @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
Tees
Iron-On Transfer Paper
Printables (Rock. Paper. Scissors.)
Iron
OR Fabric Markers

How to make it:
Print on transfer paper and iron onto shirt according to directions… Done.:)
DIY Rock, Paper, Scissors Costume (& Printable!) @themerrythoughtDIY Rock, Paper, Scissors Costume (& Printable!) @themerrythoughtDIY Rock, Paper, Scissors Costume (& Printable!) @themerrythoughtDIY Rock, Paper, Scissors Costume (& Printable!) @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin

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DIY Geometric Splatter Coasters @themerrythoughtIt’s been a while since I’ve made anything with air dry clay (one of my favorite crafting materials!) or made anything at all for that matter! Aside from crafting at the Summit last week, it’s been too long since I’ve been in a crafting rhythm. All of my crafting supplies are boxed up until we can move into my cousin’s new house and I’ve been finding it hard to get inspired to make stuff without a space to create in. But I’ve finally got some projects on the calendar that I’m excited to work on until the new space is ready! First up are these simple coasters!
DIY Geometric Splatter Coasters @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
Air dry clay
-Rolling pin
-Knife
-Black paint
Matte varnish
-Paintbrush
Cork pad protectors

How to make it:
Roll out clay to a bit more than 1/4″ thick. Cut out shapes and designs. Let dry according to directions. Use a stiff paintbrush to splatter some paint across the top of the clay. Let dry. Paint over with two layers of varnish allowing to dry in between. Attach pad protectors if desired.
DIY Geometric Splatter Coasters @themerrythoughtDIY Geometric Splatter Coasters @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin

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California Trip @themerrythoughtIf you have been following along on Instagram or Snapchat (@themerrythought), you’ve noticed that we just got back from a week on the west coast! We flew out for the Michaels Makers Summit and decided to extend the trip to do some exploring because we don’t get out there very often. Today we’re sharing some photos from the second half of our week in CA and a list of favorite places we visited while we drove along the coast.
California Trip @themerrythoughtCalifornia Trip @themerrythoughtCalifornia Trip @themerrythoughtThe first night after the Summit we stayed at Carmel Mission Inn. The outside of the hotel, the pool area, and the outside patio/deck areas (of the rooms that had them) were all absolutely amazing and definitely worth a stay! The room however wasn’t quite as impressive and the decor was way too neon-beachy for us. Ha! But the outside area definitely still leaves this as a winner – especially if you’re looking for a place where you can relax by the pool all day while being very close to a lot of incredible places along the coast.
California Trip @themerrythoughtCalifornia Trip @themerrythoughtCalifornia Trip @themerrythoughtThe second day we woke up early and set out for some drives along Route 1. We were obsessed with all of the gorgeous houses with huge windows just set out on cliffs overlooking the ocean! And we literally pulled off at basically every spot that we could and took photos and explored.California Trip @themerrythoughtWe stopped by Big Sur Bakery because everyone had raved about how amazing it is! We bought some baked goods and lattes and sat in the sun. Everything was delicious but the space and grounds (covered in cacti!) really won our heart!
California Trip @themerrythoughtBecause of the wildfires, tons of trails in Big Sur were closed but we did get to stop and admire McWay Falls in real life and not just through other people’s Instagram posts!
California Trip @themerrythoughtCalifornia Trip @themerrythoughtWe stayed in an amazing airbnb up in Los Gatos for the next two nights and just loved it! It was a crazy drive up the mountains but the host and the space were great! We explored Big Basin Redwoods and a bunch of coves along Route 1 near Santa Cruz. We ate incredible tacos at Taqueria los Pericos and died over the salsa bar!

And if the photos aren’t enough, here’s a shaky little video with some clips from our adventure!

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Pancake Bites @themerrythoughtSorry for the run on food posts lately! My DIY guy has been super busy putting in a new bathroom for us (yay!!), so I’ve been working in the kitchen and trying not to take up his time with other projects. But it’s just about finished and we’ll have a big reveal along with some little projects from that coming soon!
Caitlin and I are out in California this week – attending the Michaels Makers Summit and then doing a little adventuring while we’re out here on the west coast! (We’ll take any tips on what to see & where to eat in the Carmel/Big Sur/Santa Cruz areas!) So while it’s a little quieter here on the blog this week, you can follow along on Instagram & Snapchat – @themerrythought to see more of what we’re up to right now!Pancake Bites @themerrythoughtNow that school has started up here (last ones in the country I think!), I’ve been trying to come up with more breakfast options for the boys. Well, mostly for Levi – he’s not much of breakfast eater, so I’ve been trying to think of things he might like to get some food in him before school. The boys love pancakes (it’s actually usually eaten more for dinner than breakfast in our house), but I don’t usually have to time to be cooking up batches of pancakes in the mornings, so I thought these tiny pancakes bites would be a quick & delicious breakfast option for the boys. Or even an after-school snack! I can make them ahead and then store them on the counter for a couple days or keep them in the freezer & pop them out when needed! You can eat them plain, dip in them in maple syrup, or dust on a little powdered sugar and then drizzle with syrup! And you can add any of your favorite toppings – I did mini chocolate chips & sprinkles for the boys and then blueberry and cinnamon chip for me!Pancake Bites @themerrythoughtPancake Bites @themerrythoughtPancake Bites @themerrythoughtPancake Bites

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Add ins:

blueberries
mini chocolate chips
cinnamon chips
sprinkles
cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix together the wet ingredients (I like to use a large measuring glass). Pour the wet ingredients into dry, and whisk just until moistened, there should be lumps in the batter. Top with desired add-ins.

Pour into prepared mini muffin pan and bake for 8-9 minutes or until little golden and cooked through. Cool for a couple minutes in the pan, then remove to a cooling rack. Once cool, store in an airtight container on the counter or place in freezer bags and freeze.Pancake Bites @themerrythoughtPancake Bites @themerrythought

-Manda

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