Monday, September 30, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

 

 

My kitchen smells like there is a pumpkin pie baking this morning and on the last day of September, that will take me nicely into all things fall. In my search for another variety of one of my favorite healthy breakfasts ever - baked oatmeal, I pinned this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal, hoping it would taste as delicious as it sounded. When I was putting it together, and adding in the aromatic spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, I had a good feeling about this one. As always, for my diabetic diet, I substituted Splenda brown sugar for the regular brown sugar, with no difference in the taste.

The flavor was as I hoped; just like eating a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast. All it needs is a big dollop of whipped cream :-)

Have a great start to your week! I will be busy on my kitchen update, making decisions and preparing the walls for paint. I also hope to at least make a start on my fall decorating. This oatmeal will be the perfect thing to give me energy on my busy mornings.

 

{Linking with these friends


Savvy Southern Style

Jennifer Rizzo

Stonegable


Between Naps on the Porch

Gooseberry Patch

Sunny Simple Life (From The Farm)

Make Ahead Meals

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Mom's Test Kitchen

 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Kitchen Update Journal {two}

 

 

Before I begin the process of documenting the new, I wanted to show you the things I like about my kitchen and what I am keeping. First, I love my Corian countertops that we put in a few years ago. They are a dark gray with flecks of white, black and tan and a great natural looking neutral for anything I want to do.

The floor is a light wood that after many years, I still love. It has a cottage feel that will go well with the modern, French Country look, I hope to achieve.

I painted the cabinets several years ago using a color called Cottage White from Behr. They turned out great and have held up well over the years, with just a few touch ups here and there.

I love my metal Bakers Rack from Pier One. It is fun to decorate for all the holidays and holds many other dishes and pottery pieces that are special to me.

My new white dishes that I purchased this past spring, are perfect for the new look too. I will be adding other white dishes, both decorative and practical.

This whimsical chicken that has been sitting on my table, will also find a new home in the updated kitchen.

So, as you see my kitchen has good bones and just needs the fun kind of updates like paint, lighting and decor. Hopefully I can make some decisions about those in the next few days - I am off to the stores today to try and pick some things out :-)

Have a great weekend!

 

Kitchen Update Journal {one}

 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday...signs of fall, coffee, etc.

 

 

  • My daily walks have been very enjoyable lately, with just a little fall crispness to the air. I also am enjoying seeing the early signs of fall - the occasional pretty leaf on the path, the yellow ragweed blooming next to the woods, or the changing colors of the trees against the blue sky. It is a beautiful time of year to just be outside.
  • What is is about a new coffee mug, filled with your favorite coffee, that creates such a cozy feeling in your day? My new fall mug, filled with pumpkin spice coffee and an extra serving of half and half, have been making me smile this week. There is nothing better than sitting outside, with a chill in the air and a hot mug of fresh coffee :-)
  • My Detroit Tigers finally clinched their American League Central Division last night, with a close 1-0 win. They have been in first place the entire season, but have not quite been able to put the wins together to clinch. No one was getting too nervous, but there is a big sigh of relief all around the Detroit area today. Fall=baseball playoff time!

  • Grey's Anatomy returns tonight with a two hour season premiere. You will find me in front of the television at 9:00, watching my favorite characters at Seattle Grace. Will the Chief live or die?

  • I could really use some book recommendations. I am not finding a whole lot out there in the past few weeks. I have even started a couple books and been unable to get through them, which is very unlike me. Has anyone read a good book lately? Please give me some ideas.

Happy Thursday!

 

Linking with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, Thursday Thoughts

 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ten Minute Fall Banner

 

 

 

My love for simple DIY projects is evident and a ten minute fall banner is the perfect project when your time to create something is limited.

I found this wonderful pre cut card stock paper in fall designs, along with colorful twine, at Michaels (on sale for 40 percent off) and immediately knew I could turn both into a quick and easy banner to use with my fall decor. I picked three coordinating prints and folded down the top edge of each one for a total of six banner pieces. I then inserted the twine, beneath the fold and glued the top edge down with craft glue, spacing each banner piece as I went along.

Ten minutes later and I had a pretty banner ready to hang on my foyer stairway. I love the patterns, in the somewhat unexpected autumn shades, especially the shades of blue. Simple, quick and oh so sweet - just in time for fall.

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Lil Luna

The Lettered Cottage

Made From Pinterest

A Stroll Thru Life

House of Rose

Diana Rambles

Your Home Based Mom

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

The Tablescaper

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Easy Low Sugar Peach Jam

 

 

My first try at making jam and it was a success! I am enjoying this homemade jam on my fresh from the bakery, euro grain toast this morning, along with some pumpkin spice coffee in my new fall mug. It is a perfect fall breakfast, on this cool morning. And the best part for me, is that I can have something sweet, because I controlled the sugar in the recipe.

I found the recipe here and pinned it thinking it sounded too easy to be true. It only had three ingredients and all you had to do was cook them together for 30 minutes and you would have homemade jam. I was looking forward to giving it a try. When I saw peaches at a really low price, I brought some home and now I am thrilled to be able to have jam I made myself, on my morning toast - and it is healthy and delicious :-)

 

There were a few changes I made to the recipe: I used 1/2 sugar and 1/2 Splenda and it worked fine, I made a half batch and it made 2 freezer containers; one to use, one to freeze. Finally, about half way through boiling, I began to smash the peaches to the desired consistency ( I like it pretty chunky) and I also removed some of the liquid from the pan. This allowed the jam to thicken nicely.

If you have ever wanted to make homemade jam, give this easy recipe a try. It was fun to make, took no time at all and is the perfect fresh fruit, low sugar addition to any healthy breakfast.

Happy Tuesday!

 

{Linking with these friends


Savvy Southern Style

Jennifer Rizzo

Stonegable


Between Naps on the Porch

Gooseberry Patch

Sunny Simple Life (From The Farm)

Make Ahead Meals

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Mom's Test Kitchen


Monday, September 23, 2013

Kitchen Update Journal {one}

 

 

This is the first journal entry for my kitchen update that I began last week, with the time consuming removal of a dated wallpaper border. I will update my plans and projects, as I begin the decor decisions and DIY work, over the next few weeks.

I first talked about my inspiration for the kitchen here, and am excited to finally get busy. It will be fun to take all of you along on this DIY journey. One of the projects I am most excited about is a new product I found recently - no grout tiles, made of a gel substance, that look similar to glass tiles. I can't wait to see how they will work on a new backslash and since I know my DIY limits, I think it sounds like a project I can easily do myself.

I'll be making decisions on paint, lighting, window treatments and other accessories over the next few days and look forward to sharing these choices with you. My choices my not be exactly the same as these photos from my Kitchen Inspiration Pinterest board, but the style will be similar.

I can't wait for it all to come together! I already painted the cabinets a few years ago and had new countertops and wood floors done - so it is the finishing details that need to change. It will be a lot of work, but so much fun - and you can come along with me :-)

Happy Monday!

 

Linking with

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

Friday, September 20, 2013

September Book Club

 

 


There is always something special about the first time back to our book club, after a summer off. The hellos are a little more meaningful and the hugs are a little tighter, when we first greet each other. There is so much to catch up on; weddings, family events, new jobs and so much more, that the book we are discussing becomes incidental to the evening. And, what a beautiful evening it was. We started by sitting outside with our wine, before we moved inside for dinner and our book discussion.

Our hostess had our names, written with chalk, on our wine glasses; the perfect touch to make us feel welcome.

The table was decorated for fall and looked beautiful in the evening's fading light, with the glow of candlelight welcoming us, as we entered the dining room. At each place setting, was a frame reminding us to "keep calm and read a book". A perfect sentiment for any book club and a lovely touch to the night.

After a delicious dinner, and during dessert, our book discussion started and as always the insights, intelligence and humor of this amazing group of women makes me so thankful to be a member. But, it goes deeper than that. We have a bond of friendship - forged through these wide ranging discussions over the years.

So, another year of our book club begins, filled with laughter, joy and as always, friendship.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thoughts for Thursday...DWTS, Fall Flowers, etc.

 

 

  • I bought my first mum of the season, after walking by the display for a couple of weeks. I like to buy the ones with the buds barely opened, so they will bloom a good long time. There is a fine line between buying mums too early, where the warm weather drys them out and forces the blooms and waiting until it is cooler and the garden center is picked over. I haven't figured it out yet!
  • This skywriting appeared in the bright blue sky at the MSU campus on Saturday. The story is that a U of M alumni paid $3000 to taunt their rival with this display. But, where the story gets better, is that the MSU Alumni Association decided to turn it into something good and challenged its members to match that $3000 by raising money for ovarian cancer research. Here is the story of how that happened and how $20,000 was raised.
  • This book, The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison is one that you can't put down and stays with you when you finish it. But, for me, it wasn't in a good way. The writing and plot are very clever and is reminiscent of Gone Girl. However, I found the psychological introspection and revelations very depressing and it left me in a bit of a funk. I love a good psychological thriller, but this one took things a little too far.

 

  • The new season of Dancing with the Stars started this week and from all I have read, it seems that people are liking this group of dancers. I very rarely watch the first few episodes, because I think there are too many dancers to keep it interesting and that the judges scores can be very random. But, maybe I will make an exception before next week's show and catch it on line. The Valerie Harper storyline is kind of amazing.

Happy Thursday!

 

Linking with Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, Thursday Thoughts

 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Little Fall Inspiration

 

 

As fall arrives, my mind starts to think of some new things I can do with my fall decor. I haven't pulled out the bins yet, but have been pinning and looking at blogs to get ideas. Also, I find by taking a shopping trip early in the season, I am able to pick up a few inexpensive items that are different than what I have. These sweet acorns were found at Michaels and there are so many things I can do with them, when I start to decorate. There textures will fit in well with my fall decor style. I like to use natural elements and these will work well.

Also at Michaels, I couldn't resist a couple of new pumpkins to use on my mantle. Believe me when I say, I have pumpkins of all shapes, sizes and textures, but these, especially the metallic version, will add to the display.

I found this frame on line and fell in love with the details - the lock and handle are so inspired. My plan is to remove the photo mats and use it like a window frame on my fall mantle. I like the rustic look and I need the size and height of the piece. Unfortunately, the Target closest to me was sold out, so I will be visiting the others in the area to track it down.

There are a few other projects I will be working on over the next few weeks, as I gather other new touches for the decor. I will be showing a few things as I complete them, before I put everything together in October. I just love fall decorating :-)

 

{Linking with these friends}

Lil Luna

Made From Pinterest

A Stroll Thru Life

House of Rose

Diana Rambles

Your Home Based Mom

Savvy Southern Style

Handy Man Crafty Woman

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Funky Junk Interiors

Between Naps on the Porch

Alderberry Hill

The Dedicated House

Cozy Little House

a bowl full of lemons

Kathe with an E

Life on Lakeshore Drive

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Rooted in Thyme

The Girl Creative

The Tablescaper

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Minestrone Soup

 

 

Fall weather has arrived - maybe a little too suddenly, since we went from air conditioning to having the furnace on for those chilly mornings, all in the space of a few days. Sunday was cool and rainy and one of those days, I love getting out my soup pot and trying a new recipe.

I had pinned this recipe for Minestrone Soup recently, and thought the ingredients looked delicious and healthy too. It was full of vegetable goodness and if you like a tomato based soup, you will love this one. I couldn't help but think, that I wish I had some homemade canned tomatoes in my pantry, but unfortunately I haven't canned in many years, so I had to make do with the ones from the grocery store :-)

We liked this soup a lot, but I would have made a couple changes to make it even better. I think it could have benefited from the addition of some type of of small pasta, like found in many minestrone recipes. Also, if I make this again, I would use only diced tomatoes, instead of a combination of diced and stewed. The larger pieces of tomatoes were a bit overwhelming in relation to the other vegetables in the pot.

It is fun to try the recipes found on Pinterest, and I hope my suggestions make this one even better. Have a great day!

 

{Linking with these friends


Savvy Southern Style

Jennifer Rizzo

Stonegable


Between Naps on the Porch

Gooseberry Patch

Sunny Simple Life (From The Farm)

Make Ahead Meals

Rattlebridge Farm

This Gal Cooks

Mom's Test Kitchen





 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pompon Family Tailgate

 

 

It was an absolutely gorgeous day on the MSU campus for the family and alumni tailgate and we had a great time with Melissa and her team. Since she is the Spirit Chair for her team this year, she is in charge of events like this and did an awesome job pulling everything together.

Everyone brought some food to share and we had a delicious selection of sandwiches, salads and desserts.

All the puppies came with their families, and our cutie, Cooper had a great time meeting everyone.

Melissa sold raffle tickets to support the team and had great prizes for the winners including a football signed by MSU head football Coach Dantonio. We were even serenaded by the acapella group, The MSU Acafellas, who ended with a rousing rendition of the fight song.

At the end of the tailgate, it was time for the traditional family photos and a huge group shot, including all the doggies in attendance. It was a wonderful day to celebrate our daughters and their accomplishments on the pompon team - as well as a chance for the families to be together.

Have a great Monday!

 

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