Decorating Pumpkins with Ribbon

I had seen this cute craft using ribbon and pumpkins across blogland and then a friend had a craft party with a few friends and showed me what she had done. They were so cute and I was sold. I used a couple of pumpkins that I already had, bought ribbon on sale at Michaels and I also found the cute stick on ‘bling’ or jewels {which come in a million different colors and patterns} there. Even though they were adorable, I felt they needed just a little something extra for that “pop”. So I looked a little more and I saw some pumpkins decorated on Autocrat, where she added a fun fringe to the top so I headed back to Michaels and used a lovely 40% off coupon and picked up some of the fringy/fuzzy black yarn. This is what I ended up with. Oh, let me just say that decorating pumpkins was so therapeutic! It was a relaxing craft for sure! I could have decorated an entire pumpkin family 🙂

What crafts have you done this Fall? What is on your ‘to do list’?

I’m linking up to these parties this week:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili

 

I posted that I was making this yesterday on Facebook and many of you asked for the recipe. I wanted to make sure that it was ‘share worthy’ and it is 😉 If you want a super simple meal and love using your crockpot then this is perfect!! I also love that her blog {Skinny Taste} is filled with delicious and good for you meals.

Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 2 lb 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 (15 oz cans) of white northern or navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4.5 oz canned chopped green chile
  • 2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
  • fat free sour cream for topping (optional)
  • chopped cilantro and chives for topping (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat a large heavy saute pan over high heat and lightly spray with oil. Add meat and cook, breaking it up until white, about 5 minutes.  Add to crock pot.
  • Add oil to the saute pan, then onions, garlic, sauté about 3 – 4 minutes; add cumin and sauté another minute.
  • Add to crock pot. Add beans, pumpkin puree, green chilis, broth, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaves. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  • Remove bay leaves and adjust seasoning to taste before serving. Enjoy!

I served this with tortilla chips as they are a MUST for chili in our household although I think you could do something more healthy like a salad. If you wanted to be good that is 😉 This coming from a girl that snacks on candy corns. Ha ha!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 15: 31 Days of Being Present

Today was super fun and very easy as far as being present. Probably because I got to spend it with my friend, Julie,  at one of our favorite places, Apple Hill. It’s our annual thing. The kids love to go but we like to sneak up on a weekday when things are less hectic. There are so many fun places to eat. I mean really, it’s gorgeous and all but I {heart} the food!! Apple pie, crisp, donuts, sauce, cider and then there are the caramel apples. Oh. My. Goodness.

Some of my favorite spots:

Ables Acres has an amazing selection of caramel apples. My personal fave is the apple pie one. Whoa. I can’t even put into words how amazing it is. They also have apple fritters as big as my head. Yep, that was breakfast! With a Starbucks of course.

I love the pies at Apple Ridge Farms although I hear that Hooverville makes a pretty amazing pie as well. That being said, we made the journey to Hooverville which is actually off of Highway 49 heading towards Coloma. Let me just tell you a funny story about this  spot. For two girls who are very used to the Apple Hill ranches and farms, this was off the beaten path. Down a one lane road that had arrows that kept pointing us in the right direction. Then a sign that said, “you are 1/2 way”. Wow, seemed like we should have been there by that point. As we are cruising along Julie tells me this story about a TV show she saw years ago that took place in the middle of nowhere and it involved creepy men and peacocks. Oh great story!! Where were we at anyway? Did we have cell service? Well we finally reach Hooverville and parked. There is only one person working but it has a lot of picnic tables and looks like it could be busy on a weekend. It’s Monday. So it was not busy. We parked and got out of the car and guess what I saw? Seriously. Guess. Peacocks!!! I was giggling and said, “Julie” and she said, “Don’t tell me, peacocks?” Yep — lots of them in cages. We just had to laugh and laugh and laugh. What are the chances? I can recall seeing peacocks at two places, the Folsom Zoo and Daffodil Hill. They were not caged at either place. Anyway, it was worth the journey for all of the laughs. Oh the pie? We each bought one so I will give you the verdict on that one later!!

High Hill Ranch has a great selection of food including burgers and sandwiches. I also love the apple cider {free samples} here. There are also several vendors on hand for handmade crafts and gifts.

Boa Vista has great prices on apples. We didn’t even realize this until we overheard someone at High Hill say, “They are $5 cheaper at Boa Vista“. Um OK — on it!! We popped over to Boa Vista and grabbed some apples and they also have other produce as well. Wish I remembered that before I went grocery shopping yesterday. Bell peppers were 69 cents each!

To cap off our day we popped into Placerville and grabbed lunch at The Shoestring. Cause after sugar you need some grease, right? I had a western cheeseburger and Julie had a hot pastrami. Of course we shared fries. They also had crushed ice for the sodas. I have a crush on crushed ice. Seriously. I even asked for a refill which I NEVER do cause I love the ice so much. It’s the little things 🙂

How often do you make the time to be present doing something that you love?

Candy Corn: A Love/Hate Relationship

Funny post name uh? Well let me explain. I love candy corn. But then I love it so much that it hurts my tummy. Then I hate it. Does that explain my madness? Well good 😉 Now we can move on. In honor of my relationship with candy corn, I am sharing some fun candy corn “stuff” with all of you. Some edible, some decorative.

Fun and fabulous Candy Corn decor 

  1. Candy corn bottles
  2. Candy corn bunting 
  3. Candy corn cones
  4. Candy corn candle {i love this blue chair!}
  5. Candy corn {wooden}
  6. Candy corn candle
  7. Candy corn banner
  8. Candy corn decor

Sweet & salty Candy Corn treats

  1. Sparkling candy corn cookies
  2. Candy corn sugar cookie bars
  3. Candy corn krispie treat 
  4. Candy corn crunch
  5. Sweet & salty Halloween treats
  6. Scarecrow Treats
  7. Candy corn pretzel rods
  8. Candy corn cupcakes

 

Are you a fan of candy corn or not so much?

 

 


 

Pumpkin Cobbler

I found this recipe many moons ago in a Gooseberry Patch recipe book. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Gooseberry Patch but they have amazing recipes, craft ideas and even cute gifts. I have several of their Christmas books. Actually several of their recipes are now family favorites, including this one. My hubby loves this one so thankfully I was able to surprise him while he took the big boy to soccer tonight. Good thing I stock up on things like cake mixes, pumpkin and spices when they are on sale for moments like this 😉 Oh, whatever you do — serve it with homemade whipping cream. I swear, you won’t be disappointed!!

 Photo Source

Gooseberry Patch Pumpkin Cobbler

3 eggs, beaten
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (18 1/2 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 1/4 cups margarine, melted {I used butter}
1 cup chopped nuts
Directions:

1 In a mixing bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients; stir well.
2 Pour mixture into an ungreased 13×9 inch baking pan.
3 Sprinkle cake mix over the top.
4 Drizzle with melted margarine.
5 Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes; top with nuts.
6 Bake 15 more minutes.

Homemade Whipping cream

Heavy cream and sugar to taste. Just use a hand mixer {I prefer the Kitchen-aid cause you can just let it go} and whip for a bit. Once it starts to stiffen up, add sugar to taste. How much depends on how sweet you like it. A quarter cup may be plenty. Just give it a taste to see. Keep on mixing till it stands on it’s own and keep in the fridge. Use as needed.

Oh, did I mention how divine this whipped cream is on hot cocoa? Yep, heavenly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Pumpkin Recipes

Ah yes, Fall has arrived {said while wearing the coziest sweater ever}. It’s time for hay rides, apple picking, you pick pumpkin patches or if you are short on time you can just visit your local grocery store and ‘pick your own’. 😉 I’m just saying, you have options!!

With that being said, I am sharing 15 pumpkin recipes that look amazing!!

  1. Pumpkin spice hot cocoa
  2. Cinnamon cupcakes with pumpkin pie frosting
  3. Pumpkin caramel spice cookies
  4. 2 ingredient pumpkin cookies

 

  1. Triple chocolate pumpkin pie
  2. Ooey gooey caramel pumpkin brownies
  3. Pumpkin lust cake
  4. Pumpkin pie granola

 

  1. Cinnamon sugar pumpkin spice donuts
  2. Pumpkin spice latte
  3. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls
  4. Pumpkin coffee cake

 
Do you love pumpkin? Please share your favorite pumpkin recipe — I’d love to make it and share it here!!

Sparkly Spider Wreath

 

Oh boy — I have crafted with so many glittery things as of late that my kids are often sparkly just cause they are near it. So in case you see them, no I am not a fancy mom who puts glitter on her kids. I am a messy crafter who doesn’t always get it cleaned up before it finds its way on to my kids faces!

My latest crafting creation was this creepy spider wreath. It was super easy and fun.

 

Materials needed:

  • 1 grapevine wreath
  • 1 can of black spray paint
  • Glitter spiders {Michael’s}
  • Boo sign {Michael’s}
  • Halloween ribbon {Michael’s}
  • Glue gun

Directions:

  • First, spray paint your wreath. You will need a few quotes but it dries quickly. 
  • Second, lay around with where you want your accessories to go.
  • Third, start gluing the spiders and the sign.
  • Fourth, add the ribbon. I just looped it through various places and knotted it – twice. 
The end. You now have a super cute, easy, cheap not too pricey and one of a kind wreath!!
I’m linking up to some super fun places this week!!

Apple Cider Caramel Glazed Pound Cake

Oh Fall how I love thee. I decided earlier this week that I wanted to make something with either apples or pumpkins. Well I stumbled upon this amazing recipe and decided apple is was. It actually called for apple cider but you get the point. Let me just say that my boys {including the hubs} were fighting over licking the bowl. It smelled like Apple Hill and it tasted amazing!! The kids have eaten it all week for breakfast too. I love when breakfast is just ‘that easy’. So here ya go — enjoy!!

Apple Cider Caramel Glazed Pound Cake
recipe from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody 

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup shortening
3 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup apple cider
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste {I used regular vanilla}

Preheat oven to 325F. You can use a large tube pan or I made 5 small loaves. Grease whatever pan you are using with baking spray.

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream together the shortening and butter. Add sugar ¼ of a cup at a time. When all sugar is incorporated beat on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after every addition.

Add the vanilla and beat another 30 seconds.

Do you have a favorite recipe involving anything apple? Do share 😉

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.

Starting with the flour mixture alternate adding the flour, then the cider, than flour, cider, and end with flour. Beat until all the ingredients are well combined.

Tube pan bake for 90 minutes. Small loaves took about 70 minutes. Just watch your oven to make sure a knife inserted in middle of cake comes out clean.

Caramel Glaze

1/2 granulated cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup (dark corn syrup can be used)
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste {I used regular vanilla}

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Drizzle over
cake while cake is still warm.

Also, if you like apple then this recipe I made last year was also amazing!! Do you have a recipe using apples that you love? I’d love for you to share!!

Halloween Decorating

What a spooky, crazy and fabulous holiday Halloween is. I just finished up the inside of my house and what fun I had. I love doing the mantel change up for every season and of course I always do the niches and buffet table in my dining room. This year I was inspired by Tatortots and Jello and her fabulous kitchen cabinet display. I had to do a little something to mine as well. It’s not quite as amazing as her’s but I do love it!! I already picked up some red and white dishes to do it up again for Christmas.

Here is my decorated cabinet. I picked up the black and white striped/polka dots goodies at where else? HomeGoods. I also bought the adorable scalloped cake plate there. The bowls I already had and the coffee mugs came from Anthropolgie awhile ago. I adore them. Oh, the owls? Target bargain bin and Marshalls. My shopping spots are pretty much consistent if you couldn’t tell 😉

My mantel which I love. Please note the little pumpkin guy and his sparkly sign. I don’t remember where I got him but he’s one of my favorite Halloween decorations ever. The sign came from the gift shop at High Hill Ranch at Apple Hill.

I made this Halloween chalkboard last year. I used an old frame and a friend wrote on it for me. I loved her writing so much that I left it alone from last year. Thankfully she used a chalkboard pen so it lasted. I found the black garland at Michaels, the candleholders hold cute little pumpkins and I made the Trick or Treat bunting with scrapbook paper and stickers.Oh, also I added a Candy Corn candle from Yankee to make the room smell like Halloween.

Then I got a little crafty and painted some pumpkins with chalkboard paint – warning, the paint peels off easy so be gentle. I used some scraps of b&w fabric and a spooky spider place setting. This is the first thing people see when they walk through my front door.

I also got crafty and made this easy and cute rag bunting. I cut a piece of twine that was a little longer then the mirror in my dining room and cut strips of fabric that I had on hand. I think it really adds a pop of color to my giant black mirror. What do you think?

 

Of course behind the dining room table is the buffet table. I found this adorable Boo set at Hallmark. I scooped up the second to the last one and then my friend got the last one the next day. Isn’t it fun? The tiny skeletons in the jar came from the Dollar Store. A whole strand of them was only a $1. I picked up several. I found the shiny pumpkin at Marshalls and the shiny candle holder was on clearance at HomeGoods. I just set a real pumpkin on top.

We also have a Halloween Countdown sign. I picked it up last year at JoAnn’s but I’m pretty sure I saw them again this year. The kids have fun counting down the days.

I already had this wreath up for Fall but I set a little Boo sign inside of it to ‘spook’ it up a bit.

 

I’m linking up to the following awesome bloggers:

Rock n Roll Halloween Wreath

OK — so I am on this tulle wreath kick. First the Autumn one and then I made this one, well the base of it and a friend messaged me and said, “I need a Halloween wreath NOW“. {she was quite bossy so I felt like I had to oblige ;)} I explained what I was creating and she popped over to take a peak. Well I had picked up some accessories and we decided that some creepy skull heads and black roses would give it it just the right added touch. I wrapped it up today and can we say creepy love? It came out so fun and looks very rock n roll to me.

Supplies needed:

  • Wreath form {I used straw} I picked mine up at WalMart but you can also get them at JoAnn or Michaels.
  • Tulle and lots of it. I think I used about 4-5 yards on one wreath? The basic tulle is $1.49-1.99/yard and the fancy glittery stuff can run you $5.99/yard. I only added a bit of that for extra oomph and it saved me some cashola. I shop at JoAnn’s where they always seem to have a coupon. They also have an app for the iPhone that allows you to download the coupons right then and there. They use them right off of your phone. Easy enough, right?
  • Accessories or embellishments {whatever you wanna call them!} I shopped around but really didn’t have luck anywhere besides Michael’s. The skulls and roses come on long stems and run $1.99/each.

Basically it’s an easy, sit in front of the TV kinda craft {the best kind!}. The length of your fabric will depend on your wreath form. Cut lots and lots and lots or strips. Then tie them, twice and continue on. Kinda like Keep Calm and Tie On 😉 Just keep on going. At the very end I give it a little trim by pulling the pieces up straight and trimming. I feel like a stylist during this part. For a minute I feel like I should have gone been a hairdresser. Then I know that is not a great idea and I keep on crafting! There is also excessive amounts of tulle scraps and glitter all over my couch. And me. And the house. It’s OK. Make a mess, have fun and clean up later.

Once you have completed phase one, move on to phase two. Cut down the embellishments just enough so that you can stick them in the straw and kinda play with where you want them. You might have to add some hot glue to make it good and permanent.

Voila — you now have an awesome Rock n Roll Halloween Wreath.

I am linking up to some awesome linky parties this week: