Monday, October 31, 2016

A House Divided

 

 

 

We were missing a few family members (my Wolverine and Spartan daughters and two nephews), but we were joined by my brother and his family at our tailgate on Saturday and we took a photo of the family group we did have. It was rivalry weekend and our family is divided, like so many families in Michigan, between Michigan and Michigan State. Even my husband was wearing a little of both colors with his green and white for MSU, and a little maize and blue from his "proud Michigan Dad" pin. It's all in good fun and the game went to Michigan this year.

 

 

We were setting up our tailgate before the sun was up, but were amazed at the balmy temperatures so late in October. Breakfast was on the menu and we were cooking pancakes, sausages and omelettes made to order. We also had a big pot of chili and grilled cheese sandwiches cooking after the game, along with dips and chips. No one ever goes hungry at our tailgates and we are happy to feed anyone who stops by.

Only two more home games and tailgates to go, but so far, we've had a successful tailgate season; nice weather, good food and drinks and most importantly great times with friends and family.

Happy Monday!

 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

3 Fall Things

 

 

 

 

Walking right now on the trails in my neighborhood is a favorite fall thing. We are almost to peak color, the air is crisp and cool, requiring a light jacket and the swirling leaves both in the air and underfoot have that delightful crunch under my shoes. I am really trying to be in the moment, since this will be my last fall in this neighborhood and I will miss my walking trails through the woods in all their seasonal glory, probably more than anything.

 

 

Cozy is the operative word lately. Turning on soft and seasonal lights, a warm sweater and a hot mug of tea or coffee is another favorite fall thing right now. Yesterday I baked some pumpkin bread and a slice was a perfect treat on a rainy, cold afternoon.

 

 

I finally went through and brought out some fall decor. I was quite ruthless in getting rid of much of my decor that I didn't have any attachment to. All my Halloween decor went, since I prefer autumn themed decor now, rather than spooky. Since I am hosting Thanksgiving I used quite a bit throughout my house, but once Thanksgiving is over, another trip to Goodwill will happen as my goal is to go from four bins to one.

One of my decor favorites is this glass block light I made a few years ago. It's really easy to make and I love the soft orange glow it gives my kitchen on gloomy fall mornings. If you would like to try making one, the simple directions can be found here.

Happy Thursday!

 

Monday, October 24, 2016

24 Hours in Pittsburgh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a quick trip to see our daughter Megan, but it was so much fun, all packed into twenty four hours. We started the visit with a trip to the North Shore on Saturday night that included margaritas, local beer, football and a little bar hopping. There were a lot of New England Patriot fans in town for the game versus the Steelers the next day and the crowds were lively, big and friendly at all the bars.

On Sunday, we had a wonderful breakfast at a quaint restaurant near their apartment and then ventured back downtown to do a lot of walking and see the sites. It was a beautiful day and the views from Mt. Washington and along the riverfront were especially pretty. Since all that walking made us thirsty, we stopped in my favorite part of the city; the Cultural District, for a drink at another fun bar.

Before heading home, we had a late lunch at The Church Brew Works, a Catholic church that had been converted into a restaurant and brewery some years ago. It was definitely a unique atmosphere with the pews converted to restaurant seats, the stained glass windows intact and the brew works on the former altar. The in house brewed beer was delicious and my authentic Pittsburgh pierogis were some of the best I've ever had.

Megan is happy in her life there, she and her boyfriend were wonderful hosts and we will definately be back to visit before too long - it's a great city to spend twenty four hours in.

Happy Monday!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Friday, October 21, 2016

Crockpot Brown Sugar Acorn Squash

 

 

 

Another meatless meal was on the menu last night and this one was perfect for a rainy and cold fall day. The kind of day that requires a lamp to be left on all day and chase away the gloominess. The kind of day that something in the crockpot cooking and making amazing fall scents, brings a little cheeriness that is otherwise laking.

I just love something that is easy to prepare, but the flavors aren't compromised at all. I have always baked my acorn squash in the oven, in a similar fashion, but when I saw this crock pot method, it tempted me to try. I love putting something in the crockpot early in the day and having dinner ready later, with no fuss. The brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices were delicious mixed with the creamy, soft cooked squash. Yum - fall harvest on a plate :-)

 

Crockpot Brown Sugar Acorn Squash


1 acorn squash, cut in half and scooped clean

4 T brown sugar (I used Splenda)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

2 T butter

1/2 cup water

 

Cut off a thin slice from bottom of acorn squash so the two halves stand flat. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Spoon into both halves of acorn squash. Place pat of butter on top of each half. Wrap each half in foil and place in crock pot. Pour 1/2 cup water on bottom of crock pot, cover and cook 4 hours on high.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

My Side of 50

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekend in Photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We won't talk about the football game, because it was another loss and we are not happy fans. But, the gameday experience is not just about the football game. It's why we were there, but there are so many other reasons too. As I was walking around campus on a beautiful and balmy fall day, I couldn't help but be in the moment and think how happy I was to be there. Michigan State's campus is at its prettiest in the fall and we didn't stay put at our tailgate spot on Saturday, but went out and experienced the best of campus traditions on Homecoming weekend.

We went to our regular tailgate first thing and since the early morning was still a little chilly, the firepit was most welcome. For the past few years, we have attended the Alumni Homecoming Brunch, so again this year we headed over the The Kellogg Center for some delicious food, a speech from Coach Dantonio and appearances by the band and cheerleaders. We were able to watch the team walk to the stadium and also watch the band march from their practice field, through the heart of campus. The highlight was a visit to the student union to see the new bronze Sparty statue.

At this point, because we will be in Florida by next fall, I am just soaking in the experience. Of course we will be back for at least one football game each year, but it won't be the same as being season ticket holders. Florida may be our future home, but MSU will always have a part of my heart.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

 

 

 

I'm still not ready to let go of apple season quite yet and move on to pumpkin recipes. My latest use of seasonal Michigan apples is something I will really enjoy on the cooler mornings ahead. I used my crockpot to make some deliciously, spicy cranberry apple butter to enjoy on toast or English muffins. It has cinnamon, cloves and ginger, making it perfect for fall.

The best thing, besides the flavor, was the yummy scent in my house while it was cooking. I put all the ingredients in my crockpot in the morning and by the end of the day, the chopped apples, whole cranberries and spices cooked down to a wonderful color and consistency. It's thick, a little chunky and not your typical apple butter, but for me, that makes it even more delightful.

 

Crockpot Cranberry Apple Butter

(Makes 1 freezer container or jar for immediate use.)


4 apples, peeled and chopped

1/2 bag fresh cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup apple cider

Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir now and then. When mixture has turned a dark red color and is thickened, cool and spoon into jar. Store in refrigerator for immediate use.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

My Side of 50

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

Monday, October 10, 2016

Lately

 

 

 

Around the house

I am still working on my master bath update. There is one coat left to paint on my cabinets and then I will be able to move to the final steps - painting the walls and all the finishing touches to bring everything together. I have struggled to pick a neutral wall color that will be right with the cabinet color and the existing trim color, but I think I have finally decided. The progress has been slow, but that is ok. The end is now in sight.

Watching

Season two of Poldark on Sunday nights has been my favorite show of the fall season. It hasn't taken the place of Downton Abbey in my heart, but it's close. One of the stars of the show is the scenery and the Cornwall coast is simply breathtaking.

Downsizing update

My holiday decorations have been near and dear to my heart for many years, but since our move to Florida will mean much less storage space, many favorite things will have to go. This week, I plan on making a start with the fall decorations. One thing that makes things easier is picturing a light, bright new home in Florida where many of my decorations would simply look out of place. The same thing will happen with my Christmas decor in a few weeks.

Excited About

We have a few trips in the works - one to visit Megan in Pittsburgh and one to Florida to begin to look at homes. We think we know what we want in a home, but it's equally nerve wracking and exciting actually starting the process.

Cooking

In my crockpot this morning and making wonderful fall scents throughout my house is a new recipe for Cranberry Apple Butter. It has lots of fall spices and if it tastes as good as it smells, it should be delicious. I'll post the recipe later in the week.

So, you can see there is a lot keeping me busy lately, along with trips to help out my parents, hence less blog posts each week. I have given myself a break on this and know that this is the season of my life now. I make time for what I enjoy, like reading and walking my dog and blogging will always be a part of that. Whether I write twice a week, or every day, I'll still be here sharing the both the exciting changes and everyday happenings in my life. I would miss you all too much to stop.

Happy Monday!

 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Fall Reading List

 

 

It's the time of year that my reading list fills with good books and I look forward to time spent snuggled under a cozy blanket and a cup of tea by my side. Fall and reading just seem to go together as the days get shorter, the nights draw in and more time inside brings more time to read. My fall reading list is wide and varied with both new authors and some old favorites too. I look forward to delving into all these new books. Unless otherwise noted, these books are all available to download or purchase now.

 

In the tradition of books like The Paris Wife and Mrs Poe, this new book is of a genre that I really enjoy. It fictionalizes the life of physicist Mitza Einstein and the partnership with her more famous husband. Available on October 18th.

 

I have mostly enjoyed reading Oprah's book club selections and this historical fiction choice about a slave who finds a way to escape from her life on a southern plantation sounds particularly good.

 

Another book billed in the tradition of Gone Girl, but with excellent reviews. Hoping for a great thriller that will keep me up all night.

 

A cooking memoir with a twist; the author is Sandra Bullock's sister and this is the story of how she left her Hollywood life and tried something different. There are cake recipes too :-)

 

After being dissapointed with her last book, it sounds like Jodi Picoult is back on track with Small Great Things. It is getting very good reviews and deals with the difficult subject of racism in the workplace. Available on October 11th.

 

In addition to the books above, there are also some of my favorite authors with new books this fall. They are like old friends at this point, with characters I have grown to love. It's like catching up with an old friend.

 

 

Available November 15th

 

Happy Reading!

 

{Linking with these friends}

Savvy Southern Style

Between Naps on the Porch

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Monday, October 3, 2016

Individual Autumn Apple French Toast

 

 

 

It always makes me happy to see local Michigan apples for sale, right at my grocery store. I'm sure I will take a trip to at least one apple orchard this month, but for now, these juicy, tart apples will fill my fruit bowl with their autumn taste.

This recipe is so easy and quick and the flavors were delicious. What could be better on a cool autumn morning than warm apples and cinnamon? I have made these individual type French Toast recipes before, but this is the first time I added any kind of fruit. The addition of apples definately made this French Toast really special and for me, the sweetness of the apples was more than enough - no syrup required.

 

Individual Autumn Apple French Toast


1 egg

1/2 cup lowfat milk

2 tsp brown sugar ( I used Splenda brown sugar)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 small apple, peeled and chopped

2 slices bread, cubed


In a large mug or ramekin, beat egg, then add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and chopped apple. Mix in bread cubes until moistened. Microwave 2 minutes until set. Sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.


Happy Monday and Happy 83rd birthday to my mother!

 

 

{Linking with these friends}

French Country Cottage

A Stroll Thru Life

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have a Daily Cup

Between Naps on the Porch

My Side of 50

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

Craftberry Bush

21 Rosemary Lane

Stonegable

Rattlebridge Farm

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

family, books, gardening, simple DIY projects, golf, up north, msu football, football saturday tailgates, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, pinterest

Search This Blog

Sent to your inbox

about me (1) BBC (17) blog (24) books (125) christmas (62) cocktails (34) Diabetes (57) DIY (95) downsizing (17) empty nest (77) entertaining (50) faith (20) family (105) florida (24) florida house tour (3) food (215) friends (107) gardening (70) health and beauty (8) home (131) life (397) movies (9) my daughters (140) nature (48) pinterest (95) pinterest success (48) puppy (27) reality tv (36) recipe redo (8) repurpose (2) sewing (4) shopping (22) sports (59) tv and movies (71) walking (42) wedding (5) yoga (7)

 

 
Designed by Munchkin Land Designs • Copyright 2012 • All Rights Reserved