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October 15, 2012
Posted by PC Tuesday under DIY
, Frugal Living
, Home Decor
| Tags: Arkansas Women Bloggers
, blog challenge
, Fall decorating
, maple leaf quilt
, thrifty decorating
I am a member of a group called Arkansas Women Bloggers. This week the group is hosting a challenge called BLOGtober Fest. Each day this week there is a different topic to blog about. I’ve never been part of one of these challenges, so I thought I’d give it a try. Click on the BLOGtober Fest picture to see who else is participating this week.
Today’s challenge is Fall Fashion and Decor. Well, we all know how my fashion posts turn out, so I opted for the Fall Decor.
We haven’t had the chance to go to a pumpkin patch this year. I haven’t bought any mums either. I started to get some at Lowe’s the other day, but they didn’t have the color I wanted in the size I wanted. Guess I’ll get them another day.
One of my favorite fall “pretties” is bittersweet! I don’t think I have ever seen the real deal, but I sure like the artificial.
I picked up these shutters curb-side one day. There are two more just like these on either side of my bathroom mirror. The planter was a freebie, too.
Yes, this is a fake pumpkin. I LOVE pumpkins-fake or real.
I like this little plaque. I think I like it because “y’all” is punctuated correctly!
The metal scarecrow and pumpkin are quite happy on the porch this year.
Wow! That is an ORANGE picture!
The Indian corn is actually my wreath that has gotten quite lopsided. I think it works just fine with a candle in the middle.
I love my leaf placemats–Walmart special!
On top of the entertainment cabinet is a favorite place for decorations. I went a little country this year.
Isn’t the blue tin great! My in-laws brought it back for us from one of their trips to Germany. It was full of yummy cookies!
A quilt top, covering a small accent table in the den, hides DVDs and Wii games. Now you know.
I actually made the maple leaf quilt top. One of these days maybe I’ll actually QUILT it! Every leaf is different. I especially like the border made from all the leaf fabrics.
This was an inexpensive decoration. The “runner” is actually two 10¢ placemats from Goodwill. The bowl is from Goodwill too. I think it was $1. Several years ago, we had a blast opening buckeyes from a nearby buckeye tree. I think they look pretty in the bowl. They are fun to play with, too.
Here is a sad little story. I bought four of these acorn plates a couple of years ago in a sale bin. Last year, I was excited to set them out with my china and crystal–kind of a country life meets city life look, I suppose. I was so happy with how they looked in the china hutch. I just wasn’t happy with how they sounded. The sweet little acorn plates toppled over, careening into the china and crystal. There was a large CRASH! followed by the tinkling of the wedding crystal as it made its way to the floor. I had no one to blame but myself. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with these little plates this year. Maybe we should just eat off of them!
Wheat in a decorative bucket.
I had an old punch bowl base sitting around. It worked great to give my wheat a boost.
This, however, is my FAVORITE fall decoration…
Okay, it is actually an anytime decoration. Me and my hubby on our wedding day–the weekend after Thanksgiving!
Tune in daily this week to see if I make it through the blogging challenge! Haha!
Be sure you visit the others who have taken on the challenge as well!
November 23, 2013
I love seeing the fall colors. We have a pretty little maple tree in the back yard that is still holding on to its leaves.
We spent last weekend clearing the yard of leaves. The next day you could hardly tell we had done any work at all.
I have many happy memories of raking and playing in the leaves. Fall is a happy time. I guess that is why I am in no hurry to get to Christmas.
I had a small amount of leftover cookie dough in the fridge, so I decided to make these cookies. I was inspired by these cookies I saw on Pinterest.
I took the easy way out on the decorating. The white part is good old ready-to-spread frosting. The tree trunks are made from melted chocolate chips. The leaves are teeny tiny leaf-shaped sprinkles!
They are called Micro Sprinkles.
The girls had fun adding the leaves for me.
Katie had a writing assignment at school around the first of October. In my “unbiased” opinion, I thought it was very good! It seemed fitting to share it along with this post.
Enchanted Place by Katie Bayer (age 12)
Being outside in fall is my favorite place to be. Here, I watch the pale morning sun as it plays golden shafts of light on the ground, livening the crisp, fall-time air. Its warm rays flow across the sap and morning dew, and they glisten on the earthen floor like spun sugar. Leaves fall like gentle rain, blanketing the ground in richness and color.
All around, nature sings its song. Leaves lazily strum the air as it passes, playfully blowing tendrils of loose hair around my face and bringing the faint, melodic call of a care-free bird to my ears.
All around me, nothing is heard except for the bird’s call or the song of the leaves rustling listlessly in the wind. They shyly twirl through the air and land softly on the crown of my exposed head. I take it off tenderly and observe its vibrant color, its fragile lace tightly webbed in between sturdy veins. I let the wind professionally claim them, the cool morning air running thinly through my outstretched fingers. I exhale, breath billowing visibly from between my lips, close my eyes, then inhale again, savoring the smoky scent of burning leaves. I smile. I am right where I want to be, my enchanted place, and I will enjoy every second that I am here.
October 24, 2016
Well, I finally got around to putting out some fall decorations at our house. I use many of the same decorations year after year. See some from previous seasons here.
I guess I was suffering from too much Pinterest! Too many cute decorations out there that I had no money to buy! “But wait…,” I told myself, “I don’t need to buy ANYTHING! I have TONS of craft supplies to make my own cute things!” So, I dug around in my fabric stash–pulling out ALL of the fall-colored fabric. I didn’t have a pattern. I did see a picture of a cute little hoot owl wall hanging that served as my inspiration. Sorry about the picture quality.
I love the hooties! The homespun border is pretty great, too. I didn’t go crazy with my quilting. just some outlining. If the black stitching around the owls looks messy, it’s supposed to! I love how my little wall hanging looks hanging on the inside of our back door. I had fun working on it!
When I was ready to put my cute men’s shirts pillow cases on my porch pillows I couldn’t find them! We had drug all the fall decorations out of storage and the pillow cases were nowhere to be found, along with a few other things.
Well, I just happened to be at Goodwill Outlet store the other day. I ran across a great plaid shirt. I LOVE PLAID!!! (I may have mentioned that a time of two! Like here, here, here and I’m sure a few other places!) I thought I would grab it for crafting something. I also came across a ’90s fall sweater. Sorry, I forgot to take a “before” picture. I loved all those fancy sweaters back in the day! I was an elementary school teacher back then. I guess those sweaters just WENT with elementary teachers! Plus, I have always seen myself as having a bit of a Mrs. Frizzle personality!
I knew immediately what to do with that sweater!
The front of the sweater was perfect for a pillow case!
The back was cute with just a little pumpkin on it. However, I thought it was a little out of balance with the scarecrow pillow. I roughly stitched “Pumpkin Time” on the sweater. The back of the pillows is made from old blue jeans. I had to add the twine ties on one side of each pillow to make a pillow case and not a pillow.
I think they turned out cute. Don’t you like the new plaid shirt pillow case? Pillow cases are much easier to store than pillows!
By the way, I did find my other box of fall decor hidden under a table and behind a box of Christmas decorations.
One more crafty show and tell item…a sweater pumpkin!
This orange sweater also came from the Goodwill Outlet. The leaves were from a moth-eaten jacket that was headed to the dump.
Here is another picture for you to see the size of the pumpkin.
I simply cut a square form the sweater. I gathered the ends together at the top. Before closing the top with a rubber band, I stuffed the pumpkin. I wrapped a little twine around and around the pumpkin to give it the pumpkin sections. Then I tied the leaves on with the same twine. I thought about stitching some veins in my leaves. I still might do that one day. It was quick to make! The front of the sweater had a zipper. I’m not sure what I want to do with the rest of it yet. For now, I’ll stuff it in one of my craft closets for another time when I need to have something new!
December 6, 2014
Posted by PC Tuesday under Christmas
, Side Dishes
| Tags: Baton Rouge Junior League
, River Road Recipes
You may have seen these green and white beauties at your local pumpkin stand or farmer’s market this fall. They are beautiful to use in your fall decorating. Did you know you can eat them?
Cushaw has always been a part of our family’s Thanksgiving feast. Sometimes we would have it for Thanksgiving and Christmas, depending on how big of a cushaw we found.
I realize that traditionally at holiday time folks have a sweet potato casserole or sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top.
My Dad grew up in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge’s warm climate is perfect for growing cushaw.
I remember my grandmother making it when we would visit. The recipe for Cushaw comes from the Junior League of Baton Rouge Cook Book.
I wish I had taken a picture of my Mom’s cookbook. It is all tattered, stained and well-used looking.
When my husband and I got married, Dad insisted that I have a River Road Recipe book. There are several editions. The first is in its 70th printing! Dad still recognizes some of the ladies’ names who submitted recipes. I don’t know if he remembers Mrs. Edward Wall or not. I’m sure my grandmother knew her.
Thank you Mrs. Wall for your Baked Cushaw recipe. It is a family favorite.
When Mom was telling me how to prepare the cushaw, she told me I could bake it or boil it. She said if I boiled it to be sure that it got drained really well.
I decided to try baking it.
I’ll tell you right now, a cushaw is hard! It took real muscle to get that thing sliced.
Below is the neck of the cushaw. I baked it @400˚. I was a bit discouraged when it was not soft enough to mash after an hour of baking!
The inside of the cushaw looks like a pumpkin. The bottom part was much easier to deal with than the neck.
There was just so much of it!
I decided to try boiling the base of the cushaw since the neck didn’t turn out so great after baking.
Boiling is the way to go!!!
Cut off the rind before boiling.
I boiled it until it was soft enough to mash. I was sure to let it sit and drain thoroughly before doing anything else to it.
I guess the fact that there are 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar in the Baked Cushaw might be the reason Cushaw is a family favorite!
My 4 quart mixing bowl was too full to allow for mixing. I had to move to the Barbie popcorn bowl-ha!
1 medium cushaw (Mine was HUGE. I’m not real sure what “medium” means. You can see how much I used in the pictures above.)
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter-melted
1/2 tsp baking powder
Mix together. Bake at 350˚ until browned.
Note: Be sure you mix your butter in before the eggs. You don’t want scrambled eggs in your cushaw.
Nutmeg goes in the mix. I don’t know how much I put in there. The recipe says “to taste”. I grated until Mom said “stop”. I know–not very helpful, sorry.
It also goes on top.
It turned out so yummy!
Healthy? With 2 cups of sugar and 2 sticks of butter I’m gonna say-no.
The cushaw is rich in vitamin A. It is a vegetable! I’m countin’ it!
October 31, 2014
The weather has been beautiful the past few days!
Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 50s make for good walking weather.
I never use ear buds when I go walking. I like to hear everything around me–like cars!
I really enjoy hearing the leaves rustle in the wind and squirrels scamper up tree trunks.
Morning walks are a good way to sort through all the junk rattling around in my brain. Sometimes I even go on prayer walks and pray for the people in the houses and schools I pass along the way.
The other day, I decided to snap a few pictures while on my walk. I have actually done this before in hopes of starting a blog series. Well–here is your first installment of “Scenes from a Walk”. We’ll see if it becomes a series or not.
When I was a kid visiting my grandmother, my sister and I would get bored with “grown up” talk. The city park a couple of blocks away was a welcomed escape. I loved climbing on the sidewalk that had been displaced by tree roots.
I reminisced about those days and climbed on the concrete just like I used to do. What you don’t see in this picture is me almost doing a face-plant about 10 steps past the broken sidewalk! Unfortunately, the car whizzing by didn’t miss it!
We are just starting to see a little fall color here in Central Arkansas. I love it!
I like seeing other folks’ fall decorations.
Are you seeing fall colors in your neck of the woods?
Is your house ready for trick-or-treat festivities tonight?
October 6, 2014
I love fall. I love that fall appeals to all my senses–beautiful trees, cooler temperatures, rustling leaves, burning fields, apple and pumpkin treats!
I enjoy getting out my fall decorations, too.
We usually go to a pumpkin patch for our pumpkins. The summer rains were not friendly to the pumpkin farmers. This year we ended up getting our pumpkins at the Open Arms Pumpkin Fun Run fundraiser.
Typically, I grab some mums at Walmart or Lowe’s to set around with the pumpkins.
After the blooms have died and the cold sets in, I dump the pots in the trash. Yes, I know you can plant them. I never seem to have the time.
Well, last year, the pots never even made it to the curb! Shame!
They have sprouted lovely weeds courtesy of the wind and the birds.
There is another pot, however, that is different.
It decided to root itself through the bottom of the pot!
I have mums and I didn’t even have to leave home to get them!
They aren’t the perfectly shaped kind from the store–that’s okay.
I have not bought any fancy mums from the store yet. I may let my “survivor mum” have a chance in the spotlight this year!
I have, however, added a few decorations to the porch. I’ll get around to the inside of the house eventually.
Don’t you love that you get to use your fall decorations for a long time?!
Now, go make some fall cookies or something. Here is an idea–Applesauce Cookies.
October 8, 2013
One of my favorite activities at Blog Camp was getting to participate in 5K sponsored by New Balance. The 5K came the morning after our delicious cupcake binge.
We were greeted bright and early by crazy people. Lisa and Ashley were way too perky and energetic for so early in the day. Runners-humph!
Really, they were lots of fun!
Since New Balance sponsored the run, all the New Balance wearers posed for a photo op.
Let me say this…I am not a runner. I walked the 5K. I walked the 5K with a big old camera draped around my neck. Now, THAT is exercise!
I didn’t have a planned partner for the walk. I ended up walking with Talya from Grace, Grits and Gardening. (Since I failed to get a picture of us together, I borrowed one from her website.)
I’ve been following Talya for a while now, so I was really excited to get to know her! I love when she has musical pairings to go with her posts. Talya is a genuine gal. I really enjoyed sweating with her!
There were so many great sights to see along the race path.
We had a couple of challenges along the way. This was the only one I photographed. I was too busy sliding down a fire pole to take other pictures.
I was so inspired by the AWBU 5K that I entered a local race a couple of weeks ago.
The Great 5K Pumpkin Fun Run is a fun event that supports the Open Arms Shelter. Follow the link for more information about the shelter.
I had some great supporters walk/run with me.
Look at all the wonderful pumpkins and gourds that were available to purchase. (These pictures were taken while I was on my walk the day before the race. That is why there are no people in the pictures.)
All of these beauties came from our friends’ farm.
How cute is this house of pumpkins?!
And look who was at the event sharing fall decorating tips…
P. Allen Smith! I did say hello! Unfortunately, I looked like this…hot and sweaty!
The kids took off and left us right off the bat and had a blast. I did actually run bits and pieces of the 5K but walked mostly. Who knows, maybe I’ll do another 5K and actually run the whole way–someday.
August 13, 2011
Posted by PC Tuesday under
- This is the stuff I blog about when I’m not blogging about recipes.
- In the Beginning
People and Places
The Impressionists Series
September 4, 2016
We had a wonderfully busy summer!
Here is a little run down of our summer. I’m sure you were all equally as busy!
*Childhood church reunion
*Vacation Bible School
*Minor home repairs-required a little painting
*Teenager getting braces
*Teenager taking and passing driver’s test
*Quick Vacation to New Orleans
*Theater camp + performances
*Regular church activities + a few extras while our pastor was on sabbatical (mostly my husband’s duties)
*Regular chorus activities
*Back to school shopping in town and out of town
*Garage sale x 2
*A couple of fun activities thrown in there when possible-lunches, pool days, etc.
The biggest activity of our summer, however, was painting our kitchen-walls and cabinets! Since our summer was so crazy busy, we decided to tackle the painting in stages. We thought having several different small messes would be better than having one gigantic mess! I am so glad we did it this way! You will have to forgive me-I failed to take “before” pictures. I’m really kicking myself over it, too. I kinda thought…I take pictures all the time in the kitchen. Surely I can use some of those. Well, mostly I had pictures of food in the kitchen. These photos from Thanksgiving a couple of years ago were the best I could find. You can read about the Thanksgiving experience here. (Scroll to the bottom of that link for all the other links.)
Our kitchen was red with brown cabinets.
We had a few red and green accents around the room.
Cream colored counter tops…
all had to stay. There was just not the money to do a big overhaul.
Several years ago there was a program on HGTV called Decorating Cents where they did room makeovers for $500. I loved that show! Anyway, our budget was not even $500! There was money for paint and that was about it!
I was so excited to get started, I only took one picture during the project.
At least there was one!
The red walls got a coat of Kilz. That stuff is messy and stinky!
After the primer dried we put the cream-colored paint on the walls. At first, I had my doubts. I thought maybe after a second coat I would love it. I wanted to cry after the second coat. It was supposed to match the trim but it didn’t. My sweet hubby, knowing I would not be happy the way it was, took me to get paint that matched. Then he helped me repaint the walls. (We also painted the back hallway.) We only had to give it one coat but barely had enough of the color-matched paint. Lesson learned! Get a sample!
The cabinets got sanded, painted with Kilz, then two coats of paint. After all the cabinets were painted, we drilled holes for new pulls and knobs. The pulls came black. The knobs were 87¢ wooden knobs I spray painted black. I also spray painted and reused the hinges.
Without further ado…our gray kitchen!
I love it!
I think my fancy red gel pro mats I got for Mother’s Day look great with the gray cabinets!
When choosing the cabinet color, I thought about the cream on the cabinets for a while. With the cream floor and cream counters, that just didn’t seem like the way to go.
Since we were on a shoestring budget, and I had already taken a chunk out of it for the extra wall paint, I had to use what I had on hand for the “updates”.
Fortunately, I come from a long line of pack rats!
These black cabinets were original to the house (1954). They were removed when the pipes froze and the kitchen flooded (1991). The cabinets were not ruined, so they were kept in the garage–for years! They were full of random stuff that had belonged to my grandparents. The stuff found new homes, and the cabinets got a facelift. They were just plain, old wood-no stain, no paint. I gave them a GOOD scrub and some black paint. These cabinets look so much better than the mismatched drawers and file cabinet that were stacked high with papers and random stuff.
I love having my vintage picnic tins where I can see them more often.
I really like our little coffee station now. I especially like the coffee cup shelves my husband cut for me.
It’s not anything fancy. It’s just a 2×4 from the garage cut to fit. I used two pieces for the back row and one for the middle row. We no longer have to be careful opening the cabinet, hoping the cups don’t fall out on us!
I picked up this canister set at a garage sale when we lived in Indiana.
Years later, I couldn’t resist the spice set when I saw it at a garage sale in Arkansas!
We continued to use some of the splashes of red and green we had used previously.
More red and green with the new gray!
A new little display with old items fills this corner of the counter now. I did purchase the tray. It was on the clearance aisle at Walmart. Everything else I already had.
I started to clear the papers and pictures off of the refrigerator. Then I figured I would try to “keep it real” here on my little corner of the world-wide web! (I did move the bright pink lunch box!)
I have used these little green bottles to decorate several times.
Another shoestring purchase was this lampshade. It was all of $5 at Walmart! The lamp has been with me since my sophomore year in college! It seemed a little low on the counter, so I pulled a couple of color coordinating cookbooks from my collection.
This little shelf was necessary-I guess. I wanted some way to hang my ice-tong paper towel holder. I thought we could figure out a way to hang them from a little shelf. Well, as you see, they are just hanging from the wall. Oh, well! I like having the little decorative shelf anyway! (and my new $5 Walmart clock)
My friend, Danielle, gave me a mixed set of these adorable plates last year. I’m kinda in love with black and white check right now! The tiny little pail was Megan’s. When she was little, she would put three buttons in it and pretend she was Sal from Blueberries for Sal.
I saved the Fried Apples can a long time ago because I liked the way it looked. I have probably had the artificial hydrangea for 20 years.
One thing that was exciting about the whole kitchen makeover was the cleaning! ALL of the cabinets got cleaned out! I even cleaned the top of the refrigerator!
I got this great cake stand on our trip to New Orleans this summer. We drove through Lake Village, AR so we HAD to stop at the Paul Michael Company! They had a great sale going while we were there. I had to maintain my composure because there was only so much room in the car!
My grandmother’s old baking tins are now on display. I actually tried baking in them once. They did okay but needed lots of non-stick spray. It was kind of a pain to scrub all those little grooves.
This utensil caddy was at one time a planter. It was given to us with a plant in it after my husband’s grandfather’s funeral. I had an artificial plant in it in another room. I like that there is more room for my utensils. They were cramped in their old container. I did have to put a little filler down in the bottom of the planter. It was just a little too deep for my spatulas and such.
This skinny set of drawers had been in our garage. It was unpainted and filled with some of my grandmother’s piano music. Since we eliminated the mess that was in this corner, the drawers were perfect!
I love that I live with talented people! Katie made this portrait of me for Christmas last year. I just have not had anywhere to hang it until now. I asked Megan to paint the pictures of the poppies. She painted from a picture we took while in France last summer. I just LOVE my new pieces of artwork!
I made the cork board when I was waiting tables at the Olive Garden while in college. The bartenders saved the corks for me that summer. Once I had the board all finished I had them all sign the back for me. Fun times.
Well, there you have it, our updated kitchen on a shoestring! I hope you enjoyed the tour!
May 17, 2016
Well, hello there! Long time no see! Last fall I tried to jump back in to blogging. I was finally getting back in the swing of things. I had seven posts in three months! That was news! Then, as I was ready to post about some delicious Christmas cookies, I ran out of storage on my free WordPress account. At the time, I just was not ready to commit to paying money for my blog. Today I bit the bullet and signed up for the premium plan. I’m sure there will be new things to learn, but I now have extra storage for my blog. Hooray!!!
You’ll have to excuse my Christmas decorations. Maybe you’ll have a Christmas in July party?! Actually, these cookies are so yummy, you will want to keep them in the freezer year round.
Now that I’m seeing my pictures again, I’m excited. I love Christmas decorations~and Christmas cookies!
Can you even find cranberries this time of year?
I used my food processor to chop up the cranberries and walnuts.
Do NOT leave out the orange zest! It makes the recipe!
I got a little technical with my parchment paper. I did use edible markers! (If you want to mark up your parchment paper, you can also just turn it over if you use regular pens.) The recipe says to roll the dough into a 10 inch square. When adding the filling, you are to leave a 1/2 inch border on two sides. I left a little too much.
The filling smells so good! It must be the orange zest.
I do feel I should warn you about these cookies. You will need to plan your baking time. Chilling and freezing time are a factor.
Cranberry Walnut Swirl Cookies
- ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cranberries, packed full
- ⅔ cup walnuts, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon grated orange rind
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, egg and vanilla, combining well between each addition.
Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until well combined. (Do not overbeat)
Cover the cookie dough and chill for one hour.
Combine cranberries, walnuts and orange rind.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface or parchment paper and roll into a 10-inch square. (About ¼ inch thick.)
Sprinkle with the cranberry mixture, leaving a ½-inch border on 2 opposite sides.
Roll up dough, jelly roll fashion, beginning at a bordered side. Cover and freeze 6 hours or up to 1 month. (Do not skip the freezing part! The cookies are too soft to cut otherwise!)
Cut roll into ¼-inch thick slices. Place slices on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake on top oven rack at 375˚F for 14 to 15 minutes or until lightly golden browned at the edges.
Cool completely on wire racks.
Merry Christmas! I mean…Happy, uh, School’s Out!? I’m glad to actually have a new post on my blog. Hopefully there will be more soon!