Sunday, September 30, 2012

Silent Sunday

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Snail Mail, Do you or Don't You?

Hello! I hope that you are relaxed and having a nice cup of coffee, cocoa, tea or whatever your morning beverage of choice is. Perhaps you are perusing the blogs, and the morning paper while planning your weekend?

I have lots of plans and as I mentioned the list is so long I fear I will not finish it all. But I guess "tomorrow is another day." 

 In addition to baking some bread, making a pot of soup, working a little, and running a bunch of errands, I have some letters to write.

Do you write letters? Or do you prefer to communicate by email, text, tweet, Facebook or Skype?

 I am a great fan of "snail mail". I have boxes of letters from my husband, my parents who wrote faithfully while I was away at school or doing my internships, letters from my grandparents (although my grandfather never actually wrote anything he just signed), my sisters, brother and friends. 

Image Source

I have always loved to get the mail, in case there was a letter or a postcard from friends or family. In fact I still smile when I get a handwritten letter, it makes me very happy to think that someone took the time to sit down and pen me a letter or card.

Image Pine Cones and Acorns 

Recently I purchased two bundles of letters at an estate sale and when I glance at the bundles I see a dying form of communication.

Image Pine Cones and Acorns
It makes me sad to think that there maybe a time when people do not mail letters. Can you even imagine?

As I type this I am reminded of a favorite book and then later a movie,  84 Charring Cross Rd. Have you seen or read it? The story of a friendship between strangers told through their letters from London and New York. 

Image Source

I would love to know if you are a fan of "snail mail." Do you write, like to receive good old fashioned hand written letters? Do you save letters from special people?

I am off to run errands, and then come home to bake bread, while it is proofing I will be sitting with my antique writing desk, my fountain pen and writting letters. 

Enjoy your day!

Oh, if you would like something scrumptious made with the flavors of the season come to visit my other blog,  Once Upon a Chocolate Life. I made Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares, and there are delicious and easy to put together. 

And if you do love mail and mail art check out this post on the Suburban Pen Pal , a few weeks ago. The Suburban Pen Pal Blog is a work of art. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Colors Around My Home

Hello! It's Friday. How was your week? This week has been crazy for me. I feel like I have not had a minute where I am not working on something, either work a project at home or something for someone else. 

Hopefully this weekend I will find myself with a good book and a cup of tea. Although I do not think that will happen on Saturday as I have a list as long as my arm of things I am supposed to finish. I will reward myself on Sunday for a job well done. 

I have seen some beautiful decorating for Fall on blogs, Pinterest and in the home decor magazine but I have just not felt up to digging out my decorations.

I have managed to get some Indian Corn, pumpkins, acorns (which my sister stained, glued the tops on and mailed from Illinois), some feathers and some amber glass fishing floats.

Although it is not much it makes things look a little festive. 

The beauty of nature is sometimes all you need for a little pick me up.

Have you decorated to celebrate the bounty of Fall?

Are you a fan of natural decorating?

I would love to see your decorations or your finds from the gardens, the woods and trees.

 And if you tried the decoupage pumpkin project send me a link and I will add it to my post. I would love to see how you decorated your  pumpkins. 

Enjoy your day and have a wonderful weekend!

Linking to:
Thrifty Decor Chick
Stone Gable
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Karen Burke BF Equine Bag by Bravura: A Great Gift Idea

Hello! Happy Thursday! Only one more day until the weekend. I have so many plans I am getting antsy. I have been droning on lately about Fall because I absolutely love it, but I also LOVE the holiday season just as much. 

In fact I am one of those people that Christmas shop early (I am already finished), wrap all of their gifts and bake for friends the last two weeks of November (I bake for 5 families) and decorate on Thanksgiving afternoon. 

I like to get everything done early so that I can enjoy the month of December. I want to relax, go to the Nutcracker, see family, attend parties and all of the rest of the things associated with the holidays. 

The reason I mention this is because there are fabulous treasures to be be purchased for gifts and I do not want you to miss out on them. 

If you are looking for something special you need only look as far as our blog friends stores and Etsy. I recently found the most wonderful store on Etsy and I want you to know about it too.

I actually found it a few weeks ago while paging through Victoria Magazine; which I purchased because of the stunning Fall arrangement on the front cover and the headline, "Scotland Splendor" two subjects that I am quite fond of. 

Inside the magazine there was a beautiful photo shoot titled "Equestrian Elan" and spread over several pages, were picnic hampers, monogram stationary, wellies and a bag that stopped me in my tracks. Many of these items would make great Christmas gifts. 

Bag in photo above
I immediately checked the sources and found that the bag is a Karen Burke BF Equine Utility Bag by Bravura from Etsy. I could not get to my computer fast enough to order this bag. It arrived a couple of days later and it is even more stunning in person than on the page of a magazine.

I took a few photos so that I could show you the beauty and quality of this bag, just in case you want to purchase something for yourself or friends and family. 

The packaging is amusing as the bag comes packaged in tissue paper and a straw like cushion. 

The bag itself is wool on the outside, canvas on the inside and has leather handles and straps to keep it closed. 

The hardware is durable and compliments the bag nicely. 

What do you think?

I love it! 

I also received this key chain with a thank you attached, it is a great compliment to the bag or unique on its own.  Karen uses her background in graphics and printing to make each piece special. 

I hope that you go to Karen Burke for Bravura on Etsy and see all of her beautiful creations. 

In addition to the bag I purchased there are key chains, totes, tea towels and more.

Image Karen Burke Etsy

Image Etsy

The shop is actually looking a little sparse since I ordered my bag; as I checked it today there is a note that the article in Victoria Magazine has been quite a success for Karen and to drop in again soon as she is working to replenish her wares.  

Image Etsy

Image Etsy

Image Etsy

Image Etsy

Do you feel like shopping for Christmas now? Or is September 27th still too early? Remember the early bird catches the worm.

Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

I realize that I am probably the last person to have seen the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel based on the book These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach.

I watched it last night and LOVED it! It is a wonderful movie about seven pensioners from England who for various reasons, (retirement, death of a spouse, etc) relocate to India to live at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The hotel is not exactly the beautiful and tranquil place that they read about online but its quirky charm works on each of its occupants.

 Although none of the seven knew one another before they set off on this adventure not only do they each become friends; but their shared adventures in an unfamiliar land helps them to learn new and interesting things about themselves as well. 

The movie is funny, serious, mysterious and has a little romance. It stars an ensemble cast of some of the most celebrated British actors of our time, that includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith,  Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighly to name a few. 

As I said I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It is entertaining and funny; the perfect thing to watch after a long day at work and frankly, any movie that features Judi Dench, and Maggie Smith is something I would love. 

Have you seen The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? Did you enjoy it? Do you know of any movies that are similar? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies with Vanilla Bean Glaze

Good morning! I hope your week is going well so far, Mondays are usually the litmus test for that I think. So far so good here.

 I mentioned last week that pumpkin pie is my favorite dessert and that as we are in the season I would be Pinning on Pinterest and trying many new recipes.

 I have not let you down; I have already made everything from pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and pumpkin bars! Luckily I have friends that are willing to whisk it out of the house or I would be the size of a pumpkin.

I made these scrumptious pumpkin cookies that Debra of Acquired Objects posted on Sunday. 

I had not planned on baking as I had run of sugar (hard to believe) but when I read her post in the morning and this recipe started calling my name I ran out and the rest is history.

Pumpkin Cookies
Adapted from Acquired Objects

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
11/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 salt

Optional: In original recipe: 1 tablespoon grated orange peel, 1 cup of raisins

1/4 butter softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste
2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Heat oven to 375. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar, add pumpkin, mix. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Drop by teaspoons onto baking sheets. Bake until golden brown 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Glaze when cooled.

Note according to Debra: The cookies will look a little raw that is ok, they are done and will set as they cool. Mine were the same and came out perfect. 

These cookies are delicious, they are soft with a hint of cinnamon, the mild flavor of pumpkin and a burst of vanilla with the added glaze. I think you will really enjoy making them as they are fast, easy and delicious! 

Thank you Debra for the recipe. If you try these cookies please let Debra know! Here is her LINK.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Decoupaged Pumpkins

Hello! Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was GREAT! I walked, biked and sat and basked in the Fall weather. I cannot tell you how happy this weather makes me, I have a spring in my step and a smile on face.

 I also baked several tasty pumpkin desserts which I will show you tomorrow and made these decoupaged pumpkins. 

I had seen something similar to this last year in Country Living Magazine last year and was inspired to try it. 

Inspiration from Image Country Living

Inspiration from Country Living Magazine
I copied some images, dyed them in black tea and then got to work glueing the strips of paper to my paper mache pumpkin. 

Still Drying

I think they turned out pretty good. Obviously not very "Halloween like" but they suit my office decor fine. 

What did you do this weekend? Was it beautiful in your area? Are you feeling Fall?

I would love to hear all about your adventures!

In the meantime, I hope that you have a great week!

If you are looking for some Fall inspiration there are great things on