Thanksgiving Recipe #1- Butternut Squash Soup

I told all my fabulous fans and friends on my fan page that I would start posting some of my recipes that I plan on using for my Thanksgiving feast this year.

This recipe is one I use every fall and winter and it is pretty much a meal on its own. It is creamy, thick, filling and delicious! Always a favorite at my dinners.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup margerine
8 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
4 cups water
4 cubes chicken bouillon
3/4 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese

DIRECTIONS

Saute the onions and margerine on medium high heat, and put in pot.

Add the peeled, cubed squash, water, bouillon, marjoram, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Cool for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Puree the squash and cream cheese in a blender until the batch is smooth. Heat through, but do not allow to boil.

Serve.

It is amazing. Promise. (The picture has green onions in it. Just a small variation.)

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Monthly Cookie Club benefitting Texas Baptist Childrens Home!

As a lof of you know, I am deeply passionate about helping children who are underprivileged or going through unfortunate situations- I have been there, as well as all of my siblings. So my heart really goes out to them. After Legend was born, I toured the TBCH campus and fell in love with it. This organization is amazing.

Here is something even more amazing. Just a little background. My brother and I were seperated when I was 18 and he was 13. He was sent off to a horrible boys boot camp in another state where no one could find him or see him. When he was finally able to get out of there, a couple named Gene and Joyce, who lived in Alabama, took my brother in and cared for him.

Years later, my brother and I were reunited, and I was able to email Ms. Joyce and thank her for taking care of my brother when he needed it.

Well, Ms. Joyce and her graceous husband are now in Texas at the Texas Baptist Childrens Home. They work as house parents in one of the cottages on the campus- still caring for children who desperately need love and attention. I am truly grateful to them.

What better way to show them my appreciation and also help out all of the cottages there than to give them homemade cookies and dinners??

Once a month, on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, I will be donating cookies and a meal to 1 of the 8 cottages on campus, and I would love your help! If you love to cook, bake or donate your time to cook or bake, then please leave your name and email below (or you can email it to me at autumnmorgan83 [at!] yahoo.com.

I will be in charge of supplying food and cookies for the month of October, and we will take turns each month baking and cooking. Just drop off your goodies at my house or we can arrange for you to drop them off at the Childrens Home. If we get enough volunteers, maybe we can even do this more than once a month.

Lets not forget how blessed we are to be able to care for our own children, and make sure to give back to the children in our community who need us. They LOVE homemade goodies!!!!

Texas Baptist Childrens Home

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Women’s Week is here! and other announcements

Im pretty excited! Tiffany over at His Little Mrs has posted a review about my Etsy shop and is giving away one of my “to do” chalkboards! Be sure to go check it out and leave comments to win!

I have also finally started a fan page over on Facebook, where I will be posting discounts, giveaways, new items and all kinds of fun stuff! After I receive 20 “likes” I will post my first discounted item. I will also do a giveaway to the 100th like and whoever sends them! This item will depend on if it is a man or woman! hehe!

I have also started posting some fun fall items in my  Etsy shop. This is my personal favorite!

A few weeks ago, I joined The Boutique Challange Group and they hosted a contest. The theme was “football” and so participants made an item to match that theme and posted it on their wall. All items were voted on and there were winners in each category- accessories, home decor, clothes, and misc. My two items were in the “home decor” category and this piece won for my category!

Now this item and many other amazingly adorable items are up for auction this week! Be sure to check everyone’s stuff out! Just “like” the boutique page and comment with your bid. Its pretty fun. Im playing too. 🙂

Finally, I wanted to let everyone know that my childrens book was delayed in printing because of some file errors which I dont understand or know anything aout. lol. But from what I understand, they are almost fixed and the book will be available soon.

Phew! Lots going on! I hope you all enjoy your week!!

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To be Featured on “His Little Mrs” for Women’s Week!

A fabulous blog called His Little Mrs. is hosting “Women’s Week on her blog, and I am one of the sponsors to be featured! Women’s Week begins Sept 4, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the rest of her blog! And stay tuned to see what item from my Etsy shop is featured!

His Little Mrs

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Woe to Breastfeeding

*I know, I know, why on earth would I blog about BOOBS?! I wouldnt read this if you are easily sickened or have a weak stomach. I would also not read this if you are a man. Just sayin’.

Where should I begin- the first clogged duct that doubled me over in pain? The second clogged duct? The third? The cracked, bloody nipples that I cant force myself to put in my infants mouth? The fact that I cant keep up with a baby who eats 6 ounces a feeding when I lost milk in one breast often due to it being clogged? The pins and needles feeling when milk lets down, that actually feels more like Im being stabbed by pins and needles? The fact that if Im out in public when my milk lets down it is almost impossible to feed him with another kid to keep up with?

I thought breastfeeding was hard with Iris, but it is at least 10 times harder with Legend. I never had infections and clogged ducts with Iris, though it was so painful feeding her that I literally saw stars during feedings. I gave up after 4 months. I was determined to go longer with Legend, but let me tell you, this has been one of the most painful, challenging experiences ever. At least with giving birth, I did it, and it was over. With breastfeeding, its putting myself through agonizing pain 8-12 times a day.

Now I know everyone has their tricks, and they swear work. Well, they dont. The midwives were sure I was doing something wrong, so they watched me latch him on and feed him. Awkward, yes. But even they said I was doing it right.

Last Friday, I cried for hours. And hours. I got yet another infection, I pumped less than half an ounce TOTAL from BOTH sides, I was cracked and bleeding, and I felt like a total. complete. failure. I just didnt understand why my body wasnt doing what it was supposed to. I was pumping in between feedings to stimulate milk, but that led to more dry and cracked nipples. Then I tried to ONLY nurse and not pump, and that was even more painful, though I was getting more milk. It just wasnt working. I cant even tell you how hopeless and utterly (like my pun??) defeated I felt. Nathan got me out of the house to get some Starbucks and make me feel better, but I cried the whole way there, while we were there and all the way back home.

Luckily, I have an encouraging husband and SUPER encouraging girlfriends who have ALL been there. After venting and crying to them, I decided to give it ONE more week. And if I couldnt do it, I couldnt do it. I would just do formula and deal with it. Afterall, Iris got formula and she is really healthy. Plus, I have been supplementing formula with Legend, when he needs 9, yes NINE ounces at a feeding. Hes a heffer!

I nursed Legend all weekend with few problems and my milk supply went right back up. That stuff was shooting all over the place! I was so excited I cried a little.

It didnt last long though. I got another clogged duct (yay) this week and now they are both bleeding again. Frustrating to say the least. Tomorrow my “one more week” committment is over… I thought maybe if I wrote this all out, I would come to a grand conclusion when I was done and I would feel better… but I didnt… I guess Ill still grit my teeth through feedings for as long as I have milk. And later in high school when he tells me I never did anything for him, I can say OH YEA????? You have NO FREAKING IDEA!!!!

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African American, Family, Orange Mixed Media Collage

This mixed media collage was created when a customer requested that I make something using the color orange, African American history and family. I made a collage of important images and figures in African American history, and used various textures, stamps and painting techniques with acrylic paint. I intended the background to resemble a sunset in Africa, and I painted a family of elephants to emphasize “family”.

Each image used in the collage represents something important to African American culture, including a letter written during the Civil War that has been ripped up and placed throughout the collage.

This quote also inspired me throughout the creative process: Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life;
love illuminates it.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

This canvas can be recreated, though it will not be identical to this one. I can use any color for the background that you choose. I can also recreate it on a larger size canvas.

This piece is for sale at http://www.etsy.com/shop/artbooksandcanvases

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My Happy Place

Several years ago, before I had a husband and kids, my best friend, Amber and I decided to go on a vacation together. We were roommates for 4 years and were both at a place in life that we had the money and the means and the time to get away. She actually planned the entire trip and didnt tell me where we were going. She only told me when we were leaving and what the weather would be like so I could pack accordingly.

Once we were at the airport, her then boyfriend, now husband, Luke held a video camera while Amber revealed to me where we were going. She gave me a manilla folder with a plane ticket, an itenerary for the next few days and a bunch of fun ideas for sunny CALIFORNIA! I screamed so loud that I scared people at the airport. The video is pretty priceless.

We spent the next few days exploring San Fransisco and the wine country, and that trip has been one of the biggest highlights of my entire life.

I thought about posting a bunch of pictures from that trip because Ive been thinking about it a lot lately (being stuck in the house with a new baby makes you wish for the outside world). But the greatest part of this trip was a little cafe, to which this post is dedicated. Near the Cliffhouse in San Fransisco is a tiny cafe called Louis’ Cafe. Each morning of our trip, we went here for our breakfast, and it was a magical place. It is old and full of history. The floor and barstools are old and creaky. The entire back wall is a glass window that overlooks the ocean, as it sits right on the edge of a cliff. The cafe smells like ocean salt and bacon. And the staff is as rugged as the edge of the cliff. (I mean that in an endearing way!) The cook came out and greeted us in the mornings, and our waiters/waitresses treated us like we were old friends. Dispite the cafe’s flaws, it was absolutely perfect in my eyes. Something about that place captured my heart like no other place Ive ever been. Im getting misty eyed even thinking about it…

Louis’ Cafe has since become my Happy Place. You know- when doctors are about to poke you with a needle or put you to sleep, or a midwife is about to help you push a child from between your legs, they tell you to go to your Happy Place. When you’re stressed out, on the verge of a breakdown, or need a place to envision to calm you down, this is where I go. To that little cafe on the cliff. Sitting on the barstool laughing with the big black man who made our breakfast. Taking in the smell of the ocean and the bacon. Walking along the cracked, creaky floor. Eating my favorite foods next to one of my life long best friends.

Ill never forget the first conversation we had with the big black man, who we loved so much… Though I have forgotten his name. We will call him Cook.

Cook: I dont know anyones name here. But I memorize them by the food the order all the time. That guy over there is Mr. Ham. The lady he is with is Mrs. Buscuits and Gravy.

Me: Well how do you do? She’s Scrambled Eggs and Im Over Easy.

All of us: *laughter*

My Happy Place

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