Sunday, September 30, 2018

Silent Sunday 9-30-2018

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Saturday Finds

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Good morning! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. I have plans for a lazy morning and then some work around the house.

 I can't wait for the newest Kate Morton book The Clock Maker's Daughter

I am thinking about getting this dress from J.Crew for next summer. 

Pumpkin Bread

If you like pumpkin bread but don't want to make it from scratch than you might enjoy this mix from Sur la Table.

How cute are these Christmas plates

This scarf is perfect for Fall and Winter and it is in my favorite plaid. 

Have a great weekend! 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday Favorites from Fox Valley Foodie, Home is Where the Boat Is, But This Cook That and More

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Good morning! How was your week? Mine has been busy and crazy. The bathroom renovation is almost finished and it has been a circus the last two days with plumbers and tilers coming in and out all day long and my two protectors barking up a storm all day long. Needles to say I am looking forward to a quite weekend. 


Chicken Salad

Doesn't this Mandarin Chinese Chicken Salad from Buy this Cook That look beautiful and delicious? I think it would be great for dinner and then lunch the next day as well. 

French Onion Soup Stuffed Potatoes! I have never heard of them before but they would make a comforting meal on a cool Fall day!

I love cheese and this Beer Cheese Soup from Fox Valley Foodie is at the top of my list of soups to make once the weather cools a bit. 

In addition to pumpkin, Fall is all about apples and these Caramel Apple Crumble Bars are the perfect way to use some of the apples your get when you make your pilgrimage to the apple orchard.

This No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake with Truffles is fabulous! It is so easy and it is one of the best desserts I have ever had.

If you are a chocolate lover check out my 5 Chocolate Friday Favorites HERE


Home is Where the Boat Is

I love this Fall inspired table-scape from Home is Where the Boat Is

I rarely watch TV but a friend recommended Planet Earth from the BBC to me  and I recently I watched the Yellowstone episode and it is phenomenal. If you have not watched it you should.


I got this book on Saturday and I am really enjoying the recipes and the stories.

Book Here

I am waiting for this book , Not Quite Mastering the Art of French Living to arrive.

I got this Rosie Jane Leila Lou perfume and it is my new favorite perfume. With notes of pear, jasmine and fresh cut grass; Leila Lou is clean, fresh and totally addicting.

Isn't this watercolor fabulous? I think it would be a beautiful addition to your holiday decor. You can find it and many more beautiful works of art in this Etsy store.  

In case you missed these posts this week.

Mad for Plaid some of my favorite plaid finds for you and your home.

My first recipe baking with pumpkin this Fall, Bourbon Pumpkin Pumpkin Bread with Spice Swirl

I hope that you have a great weekend. Please share your favorite recipes, books, movies and whatever else you discovered this week!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mad for Plaid

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This Michael Kors Tote, and Cape is a splurge but it is beautiful. 

Plaid is the official pattern of Fall and I could not be more happy about that because I love it! I wear plaid scarfsgloves, boots, and slippers and even wrap myself in a cashmere plaid blanket while sitting by the fire. I have no less than 4 tartan coats which I have purchased over the years in Scotland from Barbour and a new one recently from Orvis.

Plaid shoes

I wear tartan tennis shoes, tartan bootspajamas and basically any other item of clothing that I can if it comes in plaid. That is how much I love it. The good news is that I do not wear it all at one time. 

I found a few tartan items that I think you might like. 

Plaid Chargers

I think these plaid chargers would make the perfect backdrop for any winter table but in particular for my Christmas table. 
If you don't like the chargers perhaps some napkins

Something for the pups? A cool collar? Or a leash?

Blackwatch Leash

Paper goods are always a great way to add your personal plaid touch to things. 

Plaid Cards

Plaid Note cards are perfect for the holidays, you could use these cards for gifts, notes to friends and more. 
Plaid Christmas Cards

What about these plaid Christmas Cards! It is never to early to get your cards done.

Tartan Notebook

notebook is always a great idea and in tartan cloth it is even better. This is a great little book for your brief case or purse.

And you can carry all of your great plaid finds in this plaid Scott bag


There are many books  about tartan and this one, Romancing the Plaid is a great one. This one looks so funny! If you are Scottish and would like to learn more about tartan and your plaid this book looks interesting. 

Are you a fan of plaid? Are you drawn to a certain one when you are looking for pieces to add to your home or wardrobe? Are you of Scottish ancestry and have your own plaid? Or do you have an aversion to plaid? 

Whatever the case, I hope that you have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Bourbon Pumpkin Bread with Spice Swirl

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Good morning! I hope your week is off to a great start, mine has been a repeat of last week, lots of contractors, barking pups and general mayhem. But the end is near and the bathroom looks fabulous so it is all worth it.

This past week while I was homebound I worked and baked everyday and one of the things I made was this scrumptious Bourbon Pumpkin Bread with Spice Swirl. Pumpkin bread is one of my favorite Fall treats and this bread is hands down better than any bread I have ever made. The crunchy sugar and nut topping and the swirl in the middle makes it a special treat to serve at breakfast of for dessert.

Bourbon Pumpkin Bread with Spice Swirl
Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens 100 Best Pumpkin Recipes 2018

3 2/3 cups sugar
cup finely chopped pecans
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable pil
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup bourbon or water

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the bottoms and 1/2" up the sides of two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. I like to line my pans with a strip of parchment paper as well so that I can life it out easier. In a small bowl combine 2/3 cup of the sugar, pecans, and 1 1/2 tsp. of the pumpkin pie spice

In an extra large bowl stir together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt and remaining 1 tsp. of  pumpkin pie spice. Make a well in the center of the mix. 

In a large bowl combine the remaining cups of sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, the water, and the bourbon. Add all at once to the flour mixture. Stir the mixture until combined, but do not over mix. Spread half the batter into prepared pans, then sprinkle 1/2 of the nut mixture over the batter. Repeat with the remaining batter and the sugar/nut mixture. 

Bake the loaves for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover the loaves loosely with foil the last 15 minutes if needed to prevent over browning. Cool the bread in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and cool completely on the wire racks. 

Have you been baking for Fall? What have you made? Sweet or savory recipes? Please share your recipes with us!

Have a great day.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Happy Fall Y'all

Good morning! Happy Saturday and a happy Fall to you! Although I have been trying to savor the last days of summer I am ready for Fall. I am tired of the heat and humidity and looking forward to cool crisp mornings, although they are still aways off. 

I can't wait to carve a pumpkin, pick some apples, curl up in my tartan blanket with a good book, bake my favorite Fall treats,  and just nest for a few months. 

Are you a Fall fan or are you still clinging to summer? Whatever the case I hope that you have a fabulous day and enjoy whatever comes your way. 

Friday Favorites from Cooks with Cocktails, Cooks with Cocktails,Sugar & Charm and More

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Good morning! Happy Friday. I am so happy its Friday because I have 2 days with minimal barking and no contractors. If you missed my post yesterday I mentioned that it has been a bit of a challenging week with the contractors coming in and out and my pups barking non-stop from 7:30 until the contractors leave for the day among other things.

Needless to say by the end of today I will be sitting with a slice or two of pizza, a cocktail and a good book easing my way into the weekend. 

Image the Chunky Chef

Saturday is the first day of Fall and although it does not feel like it yet I am bookmarking Fall foods, decor, fashion and more. A big bowl of soup is a comforting and easy meal especially on a cool Fall day, this Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup from the Chunky Chef looks like the a great one to try.

Cooks with Cocktails Image

This Hot Gruyere Cheese and Onion Dip from Cooks with Cocktails looks perfect for game day or a party. I do not watch football games but I love football food. 

I made a batch of these Valdosta Pecans wit Cranberries and Orange and they are delicious and a great snack. 

Image Here

I cannot wait to make these Pumpkin Spice Sunflower Cupcakes. I love the spices of Fall and I will get to try my hand at a little cake decorating.

If you like chocolate desserts come and check out My Friday Favorites All Things Chocolate!

Interesting Reading 

Great post from It's All in the Detail about Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi, which means “golden repair”).


I have no where to wear this dress but I love everything about it, the color the cut and the style. Maybe you are looking for a dress to wear to a fancy Fall/Winter event, if so this might be a contender.

I love orange and recently ordered this sweater from J.Crew. 

Cute placemats for Halloween. My grandkids will love them. 

Image Lil Luna

I am getting ready to make my first pumpkin pie and this year I think I will try my hand with a little decorative leaf crust. If you would like to as well you can get the cutters here, and  here .

I love this book

My husband got this Blackwatch plaid Orvis wax jacket while we were in Maine and it is a beautiful jacket. Sadly they do not make it in a woman's. 

Just started reading The Muralists, Have you read it? 

That's all I have for this week. Please share your recipes, books, movies and whatever else you discovered this week. I love your suggestions and always discover something new from you!

Have a great weekend. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Life Lately...

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You cannot make this day yesterday. I am currently having the master bathroom remodeled and after two days of work and barking dogs(mine) from 7:30-4:30 I told the contractors I had an appointment yesterday morning( I lied because I wanted to go to yoga), they could not start until 8:45. They said they would let me know the estimated time of arrival for the day by 6:30 am.

I was awoken at 5:00 by my pups to go out and eat breakfast. They refuse to use the back fenced in area when its raining, so I let them out the front, typically they mill around the yard in the rain, do their business and come back in, not this day though. They took off after a fox. I proceeded to get them back, in the dark, in my pj's and in the rain, without waking the entire neighborhood. Let me say this, it wasn't easy without screaming at the top of my lungs and wanting to murder them.

I went back to bed to be awoken by the contractor at 6:30, who was incredibly chipper, to let me know they would arrive at 11:30. Fell back to sleep again only to wake up after my alarm. Running around like a chicken with my head cut off to get to my class on time I accidentally set off the house alarm. After giving the alarm company the wrong secret code twice I finally got it right and managed to convince them not to send the police. I rushed off to yoga to have an hour of peace while getting my butt kicked. I then ran two errands, the home to jump in the shower only to hear the dogs barking and door bell ringing, the plumbers are early! I ran up the back staircase jumped into some clothes and ran down the front staircase sopping wet to let in the contractors. They check out the bathroom and ask me what they are there for? Seriously? Then they tell me they are going on lunch and will be back in an hour. All the while my two pups are barking as loud as they can.

The plumbers come back and get to work, after an hour I hear a loud bang, broken glass and yelling. Then I hear an argument and a bunch of expletives and finally one of the men comes down and asks me to come upstairs. Upon entering the room I discover a pile of stuff and glass, everything on top of the dresser, which was on the opposite wall of the shower that was being re-plumbed, was broken and on the floor, including a favorite oil painting, a lamp and a vintage blown glass dome filled with antique fishing floats that I collected over the last 5 years.

After many apologies we get it cleaned up and the contractor shows up, he has already been briefed and has been online trying to replace the damaged goods. Many apologies later the contractor leaves and the plumbers resume their work moving the shower and pipes. The next thing I know all of the fire alarms in the house are going off. I run up stairs and ask what the problem is and they look at me with black stares, I explain the situation and everyone starts running around trying to figure out the problem as they had just been welding. We cut off the breaker and the ear splitting noise stops for a minute and then starts again, all 15 of the alarms going off at a deafening rate. I am starting to panic a little because if I cut off the breaker and they are still going off surely there is a problem?

Everyone grabs a broom and we proceed to jab the alarms to dislodge the batteries. I hit the one in the room under the shower and water pours out on my head. Plumbers run back up the stairs to take care of the water leak.

Needless to say by the time they left at 4:15 I was on my last never. Everything is ok and there is no damage, the bathroom is looking fabulous and it getting tiled tomorrow!

Note: For those wondering the photo above is something I found on Pinterest, not my bathroom inspiration but something similar. My bath has penny round tiles on the floor of the shower, white subway tile showerblack and white tile floors, white counters, board and batten around the tub, similar mirrors and chrome hardware, vanity fixtures and sconces. A traditional white bath fitting the style of the home. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The 100 Best Loved Novels from The Great American Read PBS

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The Great American Read

Have you been following the Great American Read on PBS?  Were you surprised by the list? Were any of your favorite books on the list of 100 books? 

According to PBS: The chosen books span five centuries, from Don Quixote  (1603) to Ghost (2016). Authors from 15 different countries are represented, with genres ranging from beloved children’s classics such as Charlotte's Web to modern best-sellers such as Twilight.
Below is the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels, in alphabetical order by title:
A Confederacy of DuncesHeart of Darkness
A Game of ThronesThe Help
A Prayer for Owen MeanyThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
A Separate PeaceThe Hunger Games
A Tree Grows in BrooklynThe Hunt for Red October
The Adventures of Tom SawyerThe Intuitionist
The AlchemistInvisible Man
Alex Cross Mysteries**Jane Eyre
Alice’s Adventures in WonderlandThe Joy Luck Club
AmericanahJurassic Park
And Then There Were NoneLeft Behind
Anne of Green GablesThe Little Prince
Another CountryLittle Women
Atlas ShruggedLonesome Dove
BelovedLooking for Alaska
Bless Me, Ultima The Lord of the Rings**
The Book ThiefThe Lovely Bones
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar WaoThe Martian
The Call of the WildMemoirs of a Geisha
Catch-22 Mind Invaders
The Catcher in the RyeMoby Dick
Charlotte’s WebThe Notebook
The Chronicles of Narnia** One Hundred Years of Solitude
The Clan of the Cave BearOutlander
The Coldest Winter EverThe Outsiders
The Color PurpleThe Picture of Dorian Gray
The Count of Monte CristoThe Pilgrim’s Progress
Crime and PunishmentThe Pillars of the Earth
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimePride and Prejudice
The Da Vinci CodeReady Player One
Don QuixoteRebecca
Doña BarbaraThe Shack
50 Shades of GeyThe Sirens of Titan
Flowers in the AtticThe Stand
FoundationThe Sun Also Rises
FrankensteinSwan Song
GhostTales of the City
GileadTheir Eyes Were Watching God
The GiverThings Fall Apart
The GodfatherThis Present Darkness
Gone GirlTo Kill a Mockingbird
Gone with the WindTwlight
The Grapes of WrathWar and Peace
Great ExpectationsWatchers
The Great GatsbyThe Wheel of Time**
Gulliver’s TravelsWhere the Red Fern Grows
The Handmaid’s TaleWhite Teeth
Harry Potter**

I thought I would see classics like  Little Women, The Grapes of WrathGreat Expectations, and The Sun Also Rises but I will be honest I was totally surprised to see Flowers in the Attic (which I read in the 80's when I was in high school), and Fifty Shades of Grey(which I have not read). But then I realized that the list is about peoples most beloved book of all time so naturally it would include books that have been incredibly popular over the last 20 years like Twlight and Harry PotterThe Shack and Left Behind.

You can take the quiz here to see how many of the books your have read and you can print the list here. If you would like to be a part of the The Great American read you can vote once a day, every day until October 18th to help pick the most popular book in America. 

I hope that you discover an old favorite on the list or something new but more importantly I hope just hope that The Great American Read encourages your to read more!

Have a great day!

Note: Many of these books are available on the  Kindle Unlimited Subscription and many of the classics are free if you have the Kindle app.