Monday, September 29, 2014

Homecoming Parade and Brunch

 

 

 

Another beautiful weekend spent on the MSU campus. So far, the weather on these Saturdays in September, here in Michigan, has been just perfect and we are definitely getting spoiled with sunshine and warm temperatures on game days.

But, before Saturday's game, Friday night was spent watching Melissa and her MSU Pompon Team perform in the annual Homecoming Parade. The streets were lined with people having fun and watching MSU teams, bands and floats parade by. We met a Melissa for dinner after the parade and had a lot of fun.

 

 

The next morning, we were back on campus, bright and early for the Green and White Alumni Brunch.

 

 

It was a lovely event with green flower arrangements on every table and a delicious buffet breakfast to enjoy. There were various speakers, including our head football coach Mark Dantonio, as well as the MSU band, cheerleaders and our mascot, Sparty. The fight song was sung many times and everyone was in fine Spartan spirit.

 

 

We spent the time before the game walking around the beautiful campus, watching the football team make their traditional walk by the Sparty statue and watching the band march into the stadium.

We even were lucky enough to run into Melissa and the pompon team and watch them perform at an alumni tailgate event.

 

 

After a great win, we walked along the Red Cedar River and back to our parking spot, happy to have spent another game day on such a beautiful campus.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Fragments

 

 

 

I know Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks are very popular now and most everyone can't wait for them to be available every fall, but they are just too sweet for my taste. When you are a diabetic and you don't eat much sugar, anything with a sweet taste can be a little overwhelming in flavor. I do love pumpkin spice Kcups though. They are the perfect fall flavored coffee. I just brew the coffee, right at home, add some half and half to my favorite fall mug and my morning is made better.

 

 

The final piece to my dining room update was supposed to be a table runner with this pretty fabric I found online from Fabric.com. Since I'm getting ready to put out all my fall decor, it just doesn't seem very fall inspired to me, so I think I will save it for a later date - probably after all the holidays. I have decided I will use something I have and my project is now complete! Blog post next week :-)

 

 

I don't watch much network television anymore, but there are three shows that I do love and try not to miss. Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy and Once Upon A Time all premiere this week and I will be watching. I am especially looking forward to see what Once Upon A Time does with the Frozen storyline.

 

 

I missed my book club this past week, because I wasn't feeling well, but did want to mention the book we read. Wonder by R.J. Palacio is an amazing young adult book that really should be read by everyone. It deals with the hard subject of bullying, but is told from all points of view and the effect a special needs child can have in both a family and school setting. But, it is ultimately a story how being kind can make a difference.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Three Easy Fall Projects

 

 

As October approaches, I have been slowly getting my fall decor in place. Because I leave my fall decor in place until Thanksgiving (which I always host), I like to wait until October begins before I completely change things over. I have some plans for a few new DIY projects - simple things, of course, but as I was going through my bins to see what I have, I came across some items I have made in the past that I still love and use every year.

 

Autumn Glass and Burlap Light

This glass block light is still one of my favorite projects and it is so easy. I keep it on my kitchen desk and it lends a cheery glow to the shorter days coming very soon.

 

Fall Window Topper

This project makes a big impact, but is as easy as tying a few branches together with some simple twine.

 

10 Minute Fall Banner

This really does take ten minutes - by using pre cut card stock shapes in fall patterns and colors.

 

DIY projects that are easy and quick are the best kind and all these fall projects definately fit that description. Have fun preparing your home for this fall season :-)

Happy Thursday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Thrifty Decor Chick

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

 

 

 

Between the pumpkin spice coffee I have been enjoying lately and making this pumpkin flavored baked oatmeal, I have definately been craving fall flavors. It's like we all have an internal clock that goes into effect once fall arrives and the flavors of apple, pumpkin, squash and cinnamon sound especially good. We pull out all our fall recipes, made with these ingredients and enjoy spending time in the warm kitchen, cooking and baking.

This Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal is a recipe I came up by using a basic recipe for baked oatmeal and adding fall flavors and spices. The pumpkin pie spice gives this a wonderful scent while baking and the use of sugar free maple syrup keeps the sugar amount to a minimum. This is the perfect fall breakfast. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal


2 cups regular oatmeal

2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups milk ( I used fat free)

1 cup pumpkin purée

1 tsp vanilla

4 T maple syrup ( I used sugar free)

Chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking powder. In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin, egg, milk, vanilla and maple syrup. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir well. Pour in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake for 40 minutes or until set.

 

{Linking with these friends}

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

All She Cooks


Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style


 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pompon Family Tailgate

 

 

 

Saturday morning, before the MSU football game, we attended the Pompom team family tailgate with Melissa. It was a beautiful day and a lovely morning spent on campus. There were around 100 team and family members in attendance and a delicious pot luck lunch was served.

 

 

After lunch, we were treated to a performance by the MSU Acafellas, an all male acapella group. They sang three songs, finishing with the MSU fight song, which the whole tailgate group joined in singing.

 

A fun part of any tailgate is a little friendly competition, between father and daughter. It was a perfect fall day.

 

 

Melissa and her roommate have been together all four years and are MSU Pompon teammates as well as friends. They were also pompon teammates in high school and seeing them together at all the senior year events is a little bittersweet. Time does go by so fast.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Recovering A Dining Room Chair

 

 

 

My update to my dining room has be stalled for awhile, but I am finally making progress and should finish by next week. The biggest job by far has been recovering the chairs. It is not that it was a hard job, but a temperamental stapler was causing issues that made the job go longer than I anticipated. I do love how they turned out and love the fabric I chose. It is simple, neutral and contrasts beautifully with the wood finish.

 

 

The method I used can be found with step by step instructions here, but I also have a few tips I discovered in the process.

1. Use the chair seat as a pattern to cut your fabric, leaving an additional 3 inches all around. Then, trim the extra fabric as you staple. It is easier to have more fabric to work with than not enough, especially on the corners.

2. Make sure and be aware of where the holes for the screws are located so you don't cover them with fabric.

3. The corners can be tricky, but I found they came out the best by pulling the fabric very tight and making small pleats as I stretched. I didn't care for the look of a fold or large pleat, but that is easier if you choose.

 

 

And finally, here is a sneak peak of some prints I will be using.

Happy weekend!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Thrifty Decor Chick

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall Reading List

 

 

A cozy blanket, a mug of tea and a favorite book. That is where you will find me often, during the fall season. There is a lull, before the business of the holidays begins, that I try to take advantage of. Luckily, there is a list of books by some of my favorite authors, just waiting to be read.

 

 

A new book by Jodi Picoult is always a good thing. Her books never dissapoint and always make me think.

 

 

I'm looking forward to reading the new Kathy Reichs book, in her Bones series. Tempe Brennan is an interesting character and her career in forensic anthropology always makes for an interesting story.

 

 

Medical Examiner, Kay Scarpetta is back in another psychological thriller by Patricia Cornwell. Her books can be dark at times, but her writing and character development is superb, as she explores the not so pretty side of human nature. There is a history between her characters that is built on in each book, making each one an intregral part of the overall story.

 

 

Deborah Crombie's new book is the one I have been most anticipating. Claudia from Mockingbird Hill Cottage got me hooked on this author and I quickly read all her past novels, from beginning to end. The books bring the London neighborhoods she writes about to dazzling life and she is a master at exploring the toll police work takes on the domestic life of Duncan and Gemma.

Happy Reading!

 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Crockpot Tuscan Bean Soup {Pinterest Success 33}

 

 

 

With fall in the air, a hearty bowl of soup seems perfect for any dinner menu. I love when the mornings are cool, puttering in my kitchen, with my coffee nearby and putting together dinner in the crock pot. There is always a great feeling going about your day, knowing that dinner is already prepared and cooking.

I have a Pinterest board full of crock pot recipes, some that I have tried and were successes and some that have been pinned for a while. This recipe for Crockpot Tuscan Bean Soup has been one that I have wanted to try for a long time and a cool fall day seemed the perfect occasion. The original pin and recipe can be found by clicking here.

This soup is my favorite kind - hearty and filled with vegetables. I thought it was a unique twist on bean soup, with the addition of the red skin potatoes. The only change I made to the recipe was the addition of an extra carrot or two to add even more vegetable goodness. The flavors all came together to make a delicious fall soup. Enjoy :-)

Happy Wednesday!

 

{Linking with these friends}


A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

A Delightsome Life

Cedar Hill Ranch

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

Jennifer Rizzo

DIY by Design

Common Ground

Coastal Charm

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm


Mom's Test Kitchen


Made From Pinterest

Coffee With Us Three

Gooseberry Patch

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fall Nights

 

 

 

Fall nights, with their crisp, cool weather have arrived in Michigan. And on Friday, I was lucky enough to be invited to a friend's new cottage, on a local lake. We knew the night was going to be a cold one and came prepared with warm clothes and blankets for wrapping up in, next to the fire. Our hostess had comfortable chairs set up for us, in front of the roaring fire and with a beautiful view of the lake, right in our sight.

After some delicious appetizers and wine by the fire, we moved inside for a light dinner of salad, bruschetta and squash soup, drizzled with sour cream and topped with croutons. It was the perfect meal for a cool fall night and I anticipate many nights ahead with comforting soups on the menu.

We spent the remainder of the night talking and laughing, as friends do. There is a special feeling in the fall, as night falls and the smell of a fire burning permeates the air. You gather closer to friends at that moment, realizing that the days have become shorter, a new season is upon us and another summer has come and gone.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Seasonal Twist

 

 

 

Update 10/1/14 - my newly updated small gallery wall with a spot for a seasonal change. For fall I have added a metal sunflower.

 

 

As part of my dining room update (which I should have pictures of very soon) I have a small gallery wall that I am currently making some decisions about. I am leaning towards leaving it as it is, but ultimately may end up changing the prints. I still like them, but have had them for a long time and maybe a change is in order, just because.

One thing that will definitely stay the same is the space reserved on this wall grouping that I use to make a seasonal change. It keeps things fresh and fun, when you can make a change for each holiday or season.

All summer, I used my red metal star in the space, for a touch of patriotism.

 

Now that fall is here, I have added a print with leaves in the background and warm autumn tones.

 

 

During the spring season, the space was filled with a pastel colored egg wreath, with natural elements. When Christmas arrives, I have a fun gift shaped chalkboard to hang there.

If you have a gallery wall, no matter how small, you can add a seasonal twist to one space very easily. Start this fall by adding something you already own; maybe a pumpkin print or a metal sunflower. The possibilities and your creativity are endless.

 

Linking with Kelly's Korner, Show Us Your Life

 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

 

 

 

Most important on this Thursday, Happy Birthday to my husband! You deserve a great day today, so I hope it is wonderful, even though you are at work and probably wish you were on the golf course :-)

 

 

My fall sedum is blooming; the very last blooms in my garden. Gardening thoughts must start to turn to spring blooms. I love the idea of planting bulbs in the fall, for pretty blooms in the spring and have plans to plant daffodil bulbs along the edge and scattered throughout the woods, bordering the back of my yard. I think those yellow, cheery flowers will be such a pretty, bright spot of color, mixed with the emerging green undergrowth of the woods.

 

 

I had this book, Whistling Past the Graveyard, in my pool bag all summer and just read bits and pieces for a long time. When I finally started to really read it seriously, I began to really like the story. It is told from the point of view of a young girl, Starla, and takes place in the deep south, in the midst of the Civil Rights era. Seen though her eyes, there is an innocence in her views on race, that is so sweet. She is aware of race as a part of her world, but truly doesn't see why the adults around her have such a problem with each other. She is a brave girl, who ultimately stands up for the ones who love and help her.

 

 

The thing I love most about Netflix is discovering a show that was a hit series in its time; one that I missed completely, but now love. I have recently been watching Army Wives and am really enjoying the lives of the women who live at fictional Fort Marshall. I am in the midst of season 5 and recently watched the episode dealing with the death of one of the main characters. It was very moving, from the military notification of death, to the flag presentation at the funeral and I think I cried the whole episode. If you missed this series as well, it is worth watching.

Happy Thursday!

 

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