Three Things Thurday: Black Cats, Natural History, and Doodles

They're the top three things that I love this week. They may be sweet, they may be smart, or they may be just to eat... 

► I am loving The Evolution Store. I love everything about natural history, and The Evolution Store has it all covered. The botanical posters are what first drew me in (pictured above is the Pine poster), but they also sell fossils, minerals, home accessories, and educational toys

► I love black cats. Little Bear here (he looks like a black bear cub to us) is our second black cat, and both black cats we've had have been so full of personality. It completely surprised me to find out that black cats have such a hard time getting adopted from shelters. The Michigan Human Society developed the Overlooked Pets program, which has helped cut the time of "longest stay" felines in shelters (originally 220 days) in half! Longest-stay felines are identified as black cats, chubby cats, elderly cats, and independent cats. I guess in the end a pet rescued is a pet rescued, and I'm happy for any cat that is adopted; however, next time you're out looking for a shelter cat, do stop by and visit those adult black cats who may have been waiting for a home considerably longer than other cats of lighter color. 

► Finally... I love this free printable from Dabbles & Babbles! It's just a fun little activity for kids to draw any face in their imagination, but it's something that I'll want to sit down and do with my daughters. I plan on printing some this week .

8 More Fall Pinterest Boards to Follow

Follow Ashley Pahl's board Autumn on Pinterest.

We're a month into autumn now, but there is still plenty of time for these fall projects and seasonal recipes.

Below you'll find 8 of my top picks for fall-inspired Pinterest boards to follow, featuring home decor; craft projects for adults and children; recipes for cooking and baking; and a fall planting guide (it's not too late!). I've also shared my own autumn-themed Pinterest board for you to follow, if you wish.

Hope to see you over on Pinterest!

Follow Gwen's board Seasons: Fall Front Porch on Pinterest.

Follow Kristin Cadwallader | B @ H's board SIMPLE FALL DECOR on Pinterest.

Follow A Prudent Life's board Fall Decor on Pinterest.

Follow Allison Miller {Cupcake Diaries Blog}'s board Fall DIY on Pinterest.

Follow Sunset Magazine's board Fall Planting Guide on Pinterest.

Follow Joni Johannsen's board Fall Baking on Pinterest.

Follow Sally [Sally's Baking Addiction]'s board Apple Recipes on Pinterest.

Follow Dana Lynn's board Kids - Fall Crafts on Pinterest.

Want more? Check out Fall 2013's list, the Top 6 Autumn Themed Pinterest Boards to Follow

We need your votes! Snowed In Holiday Favorites Poll 2014

Snowed In, a free holiday e-magazine, is launching on November 11th, 2014! The handmade community is the most important element of this project of mine, and I want you all to be a part of it.

Please give your opinions to the following questions below. The results will be published in Snowed In Magazine (I'm sensing a series of nifty pie charts in the future). If your favorites aren't an option in the polls, please leave a comment below telling us what it is!

Would you like your name, business name, or blog to appear in the magazine? Leave a comment below telling us what you voted for and why; or if your favorites weren't listed below, what would you have voted for? You could be quoted in the magazine, along with a link to your shop, blog, or social media!

Thank you so much in advance for participating in this project - I can't wait to see your answers!

A quick note: after you vote on each poll, it will take you to the current poll results - just click the "back" button underneath the results to return to this page.

What is your favorite holiday song?

 free polls

What is your favorite holiday movie?

 free polls

Which holiday TV special was your favorite as a child?

 free polls

What is your favorite holiday treat?

 free polls

Would you like to receive Snowed In Magazine for free, right in your inbox on launch day? Sign up for our mailing list below!

Berry Cozy: a handmade collection

I've been spending a lot of time browsing Etsy, specifically to find this year's picks for Snowed In's Handmade Gift Guide. A few beauties really started to pop out to me, and I created this Etsy treasury filled with beautiful colors for the holiday season. Rich, gemstone tones, cranberries and sugar plums. Simply gorgeous!

Click here to view the original treasury with 4 additional picks; or go directly to any of the above featured shops:
BlackBirdTees, KnitbyPearl, ShopHedgerowRose, Claylicious
CallMeMimi, Monicaj, ArtfulTea, Etherealle
FairyBubbles, MySelvagedLife, theseamdesigns, giardano

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

If there's anything I've learned from working at home, it's that it doesn't make housework or cooking dinner any easier. My oldest started kindergarten this Fall, and it certainly hasn't helped our schedule - that's why I was pretty excited when Hamilton Beach offered to send me a Slow Cooker to try out - specifically, the Set 'n Forget® 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker With Spoon/Lid. I was not paid to write this post, and all opinions here are entirely my own.

Slow cooker meals are all the rage on Pinterest, but I hadn't really thought about working them into our own weekly meals. We're a family of 4 now, and I've been slow to adjust to the dinner demands of a family. I need more meals that I can put together during nap time, and walk away from until dinner time. The catch? They need to not only be satisfying, but vegetarian as well.

Enter: slow cooker pumpkin pasta sauce. My idea was to use it over a cheese ravioli, which cooks in about 10 minutes on the stove. Altogether, the meal has three cheeses, plenty of vegetables, and a lot of flavor. It was a winner for everyone in the family.

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