Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall Favorites

I love the sights, scents and tastes of Fall. It's a season that caters to our senses, whether we're drinking hot apple cider on a crisp evening, smelling pumpkin bread baking in the oven or admiring the colorful trees.

Here are a few of my 'must-have' treats for Fall that help me savor the season:

*Sweet cinnamon pumpkin collection*
from Bath and Body Works

*Yankee housewarmer Pumpkin Pie candle*

*Starbucks pumpkin spice latte*

Buy a gift card for yourself or give one to a friend to enjoy all the holiday specials including the gingerbread latte and hazelnut hot chocolate

*My family's Pumpkin Ring recipe*
YUM! This is my favorite fall treat--for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack with coffee. My sister just baked this for me for my birthday and the entire thing was gone in a couple days. I cannot get enough.

1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 cups canned pumpkin (16 oz total)
4 eggs
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cups chocolate chips

1. Beat oil, sugar and salt
2. Beat in pumpkin and eggs
3. Mix dry ingredients together and add to pumpkin mixture
4. Add in chocolate chips
5. Bake in tin bundt cake pan (lightly greased) for 1 hour at 350

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Must Read Books

My favorite author is Karen Kingsbury. Her books have encouraged me in many, many ways. I started reading these books several years ago and found myself staying up almost all night just to finish the book that I was reading. They are that GOOD!!!

Chilly fall and winter months are upon us... so what a perfect time to start reading these books. Have fun reading, relaxing and sipping on your cup of coffee. You can visit her website at

Redemption Series - Baxters Series #1
In The Redemption Series, winner of the 2005 Retailer's Choice award for Inspirational Fiction Series, Karen Kingsbury brings you the bestselling Redemption Series, five books that follow a family with trials and triumphs like your own. The Redemption Series illustrates the relational teachings of Gary Smalley in a way that is changing lives across the world.

The Dash

My girlfriends have a great sense of style, quirky senses of humor and are extremely creative but, what I love best about them are their souls. They are kind, loving, gracious and purposeful in the way the live. They value people but, appreciate beautiful things.
In these unstable economic times, I am reminded that things of this world can not define us. They come and go so quickly. But who we are, can leave a legacy.
I am not a fan of forwards but I got one the other day that was very thought provoking. I wanted to share it because it encouraged me to be more intentional in the way I live. I hope that you take as much away from it as I did.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Fun seasonal ideas

Fall, it lasts for such a short time, but it makes such an impression on my mind and mood. Each year, I find myself longing for the crisp and colorful season, waiting patiently for the day I can pull my sweaters from the cedar chest and begin searching for the perfect pumpkin.

I feel inspired by the rich, earthy colors--deep cranberry , rusty orange and burnt amber. I look for ways to incorporate these colors into my decorating and pull the outside in. Twigs, gourds, pine cones, all feels so festive and rustic!

Take advantage of these months when nature provides us with so much to admire. Dine outdoors with candles and blankets, sit by the fire with a mug of hot apple cider or a glass of mulled red wine, decorate and bake with apples and pumpkins and spend time being thankful for another season to celebrate God's creation.

Try a few of the following ideas to help you incorporate Fall's colorful palette into your decorating:

Coast to coast
'Highlight seasonal motifs or messages in envelope-style coasters with cards that you can change out on a whim. Cut out a thumb notch and a window on one end of a felt rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half and stitch or glue the sides. Print words or designs on card stock and cut cards so the printing shows in the cutout.'

Inspiration from Thomasville Furniture

The following suggestions come from

'Old license plates declare delightful greetings when they are snipped into individual letters and lined up along a tablecloth. Just cut a collection of letters from various plates, punch a hole in the top of each with a nail and hammer, then use 18-gauge wire to hook them to a burlap tablecloth. To make the table covering, fold under the edges of raw burlap, press, and secure with fabric glue. Rickrack, also glued on, adds a nostalgic touch.'

Shine an eerie glow in a dining room or hall with this candle display. Spooky letters printed on scrapbook paper that looks like aged parchment are illuminated from within. Download these letters, print them, and tape them around glass candle hurricanes or plain 9-inch-tall prayer candles. Accent with sprigs of bittersweet vine.

Dress up a window, doorway, or stair rail with an apple garland. Spear apples through the center with an awl. Then thread waxed twine on a 5-inch large-eye upholstery needle and run the twine through the apples. Tie a twig to each end of twine to secure the apples. Add leaves for fullness and color.

Add the sparkle of candlelight to your setting. We floated several apple votives in an old washtub. To make, cut, core, and scoop out each apple to accommodate a tea light. Add fresh maple leaves for rich autumn color. You can apply this same idea to individual glass containers filled with water on a table.

Buy a grapevine wreath at a crafts store. (Ours is 18 inches, a good size to hang on the front door.) The beautiful orange berries are bits of bittersweet vine tucked into the wreath. Attach small apples using wood skewers that you tuck into the wreath. For more stability, add hot glue to stabilize the skewers. Pressed maple leaves are another seasonal touch.