Archive for October 2011

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to my Molly

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Molly turns 5 today. I can't believe it. She is growing up to be such a good person and I'm so proud of her. She is kind, thoughtful, funny, and polite. We will let the fact that her favorite word is "poop" slide for today.

5 months

Last night we did our jack-o-lanterns and they turned out cute!  I'd have better pictures but my camera died in the middle of it all. sigh. not a photographer I guess!  We did small pumpkins this year too just because it was easier than wrestling big ones. I did feel a little regretful afterwards because having a big j-o-l on your porch is part of the whole experience.


Hot Cocoa Cupcakes

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It's snowing today. Drat. I'm not ready for fall to end. I feel like it just came last week here in NJ!  But in the spirit of it all Molly stomped around in it a bit and then came in 5 seconds later declaring she needed hot chocolate to warm herself up. Not to be a mother to deny my child a little chocolate flavored warming, I set to work grating the chocolate, heating the heavy cream, etc. Ok fine. I used the Keurig. But whatever...the marshmallows were homemade. Ok fine! They were from Walmart.   Somewhere someone is DIYing marshmallows and hot chocolate. It's just not here and it's just not me.

Last year we made these adorable hot cocoa inspired cupcakes and it got me in the mood to do them again.

It was just a regular chocolate cake but I used a piping bag for the "whipped cream" icing and then added 3 mini marshmallows (homemade. OK OK!  Not homemade), a sprinkle of cocoa, and a little candy cane as the mug handle. Sweet (literally and figuratively) and easy!

Molly's birthday is Monday and she is beyond excited!  I love that she gets to go trick-or-treating on her birthday.  She will be 5 and I almost can't believe it!  My little baby!

Have a fantastic Halloween weekend. I wish you many treats and no tricks.


Latest and Greatest Friday #3 and Features

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Last week was great!  Thanks to everyone who linked up!  Here are a couple of my favorites!

Very Merry Vintage Style made this beautiful banner for Halloween!  I love how bold the colors are. Very classy.

Happy Hour Projects linked up these beautiful yarn pumpkins. I tried this after seeing these and mine was not nearly as cute and pretty as these!  She has a knack!

Painted Fireplaces--Inspirations

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I can't stop thinking about painting my fireplace.  I keep looking at lovely, clean, modern looking fireplaces and feeling like the only girl in class wearing the fake Keds from Kmart.  Check these out.

Better Homes and Garden

Love the white against white.  A red brick fireplace would make
this room more ordinary

The Brick House
White isn't the only option. Look at this lovely dark painted fireplace. It's chic in a sort of masculine way. 
The James Bond of fireplaces, if you will

Addicted 2 Decorating

Love the creamy color against the pale aqua. Lovely!

This room wouldn't be the same with a big dark red brick thang.
There is not one thing in this room I don't love. Love Love Love.

Homemade Ginger

The fireplace joins the built ins as a focal point for a seamless
and cohesive look.  Left unpainted it would have been the pimple on a nose

 Young House Love

Classic. Still lovely after all this time, lol. 
The soft buttery color is soothing and bright at the same time.

Design Sponge

I just love this. I know it isn't painted brick but it doesn't matter.
It should be mine.

Flaunt your brick fireplace. Link in your comments and I'll check them all out!

Rustic Apple Tart & Touches of Fall

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My darling Jim knows me too well. As he unpacked the POD he made sure each box labeled "FALL" or "HALLOWEEN" was delivered to my feet without being asked. It felt like Christmas as I threw wrappings and paper all over the living room, squealing with glee as I became reacquainted with some of my favorite pieces of fall.  To further put us in the fall and Halloween mode I decided to try making a rustic apple tart and it turned out so well!

Rustic Apple Tart
1 refrigerated pie crust (or your own recipe)
6-7 apples ( I recommend using half Granny Smiths and half a sweet baking apple such as Rome Beauty or Gala)
1/2 c sugar or so. If you use only sweet apples then cut that back to 1/4)
2 TBS fresh orange or lemon juice
1.5 TSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP ginger
1/4 TSP nutmeg
2 TBS flour
Milk or cream and sugar for the crust wash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the orange or lemon juice, sugar,flour and toss. Add the spices and toss well until the apples are well coated.

On a floured surface, roll out the pie crust a few more inches if you can. It can be thin on the bottom but don't let it get any holes. It helps to let the refrigerated kind soften a bit at room temperature.  Transfer crust to a nonstick baking sheet or line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment.

Mound apples in the center of the crust leaving about an 1.5 inches around the edge. Do not include the liquid at the bottom of the bowl. You don't want a soggy tart.

Pull up the edges up and over the apples. The sides will not meet and you should see the apples in the center. You are just creating a  crust frame I guess. Brush on the milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for approximately an hour. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.

I served it to my sister's family and we all seemed to enjoy it. And only having 1 crust cuts down on the fat in a regular apple pie. Bonus!

Can you see the apples? Hmm? Can ya? Can ya? Do you see? 

And so I got to do a little decorating for fall and now I feel festive!  Our house is really starting to feel like home now!

Hello Mr. Mercury Glass Pumpkin.  So we meet again.

My sister brought this back from the Rinebeck NY Sheep and Wool Festival.
It's made out of unspun wool.

We all have one of these hanging up, right?

No need to tell me twice. We're are right on the T-n-T


Painted Fireplace at Primitive and Proper

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This is to prove to my naysayers that painting a fireplace is the right thing to do when  you no likey.

Cassie at  Primitive and Proper  shows us how it's done! I can't post pics bc I'm on my sister's computer (no heat yet!) but go look at that, Dad and everyone else who walked in and said "You aren't going to paint that, right?"  Cassie transformed her space and made that outdated fireplace look fresh and modern. And I adore the color as opposed to painting it white (which is good too!). It is quite dramatic and I can absolutely promise that in 10 years she won't look at it and go "Now why did I paint that brick?" Rather, she's more likely to say "Why didn't Jenny paint her brick?"


Sneak Peaks

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We officially move tomorrow and we're so excited!  Needless to say I probably won't be here much this week. But I am working on some projects so I thought I'd give you a sneak peak until I can actually do a reveal!

I used a transfer method to create a monogrammed pillow for the master bedroom. I love how it's turning out!  I'm making a box pleat ruffle for each side out of a gray blue that will match our duvet.

This is the beginning of the slip cover for our storage ottoman.  It's made out of a drop cloth.

And I started sanding and priming the shelf I bought at the garage sale yesterday. It's almost done and ready to be hung.

These are all projects that aren't yet finished. I hope I'll have some time this week to finish them but we'll see!  Unpacking is going to be my number 1 project this week.


Moving Day

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Won't be around today!  The movers come any minute and I'll be unpacking the majority of the day!  YIPPEEE!!

Our new house
HA HA HA HA HA!  Well it feels like this to me!


Garage Sale Bargains

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We were at the house waiting for the new appliances to be delivered and I decided to run out quickly to buy some paper to line the shelves. Right around the corner from our neighborhood was a block sale that was supposed to have ended an hour prior. Luckily for me they decided to hang out a little longer!  Look at what I scored for a whopping grand total of $7!

I love my treasures.  I bought an old crate that I will just use to hold craft stuff, a long shelf (with scrolly brackets...SCORE) that is going to be painted and hung on the large wall in the kitchen, a white pitcher to go on the shelf, and that way cool old tool carrier thing. It's in ROUGH shape but I truly don't care. I'm filling it with dried hydranges as soon as I have a table to put it on.

Hope you all had a productive day too!

Don't forget to link up to Latest and Greatest Friday #2!!

Latest & Greatest Friday Link Party #2 and Last Week's Features

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We had so many fantastic projects linked up!  I was excited by them all but here are some of my favorites! 

Cassandra at Cass Can Sew made this super cute dress!  I love how sweet and simple it is!

I love this itty bitty change purse Bethany at Sweet Bee Buzzings made.  It is so cheerful and cute!

VixenMade linked up this adorable Halloween flower headband. I wish I could get my girls to keep cute things in their hair because I love this!!  How festive!

And lastly, Laura at Our Prairie Home created this gorgeous buffet using wallpaper!  Aren't people so creative?  I love the color and now my mind is spinning with ideas for furniture that could use some wallpaper. 

Guest Blogging at Sassy Style

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I'm over at Sassy Style today!  Tausha is showcasing wreaths and asked me to talk about my fall wreath and my Halloween wreath!  Stop by and say hello!

Remember, Latest and Greatest Link Party #2 is up tomorrow!  I'll be featuring a few of my favorites too!



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Ruffles are huge right now but in general I don't go for them in my furniture. I like clean, straight lines and crisp edges. However, we have a brown pleather ottoman that opens to hold whatever...right now toys. It is starting to grate on my nerves. It's so brown and so pleathery and so boring and so blah blah blah. So tonight I got inspired and sewed a ruffled slip cover for it. It was not easy in that I wanted maintain the integrity of the ottoman so I had to finagle it. It isn't finished so I am not posting it yet. Tomorrow is another day.

So in the spirit of ruffles, check these out!


This may be the cutest dress in the history of the world. I am so in love with it! 

PaulaAndErika's Etsy Shop

Yeah mine looks just like that. An exact replica. not.

Country Living

I have loved these slipcovers since I first saw this picture eons ago. I love how they pool on the floor.
I think this lady has too many but whatevs. And let's all sit down with bowls of spaghetti in that room.
Then we'll have chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce. It will be a hoot. But I digress...
Frito Lay

HA HA HA!  No but seriously, this is the only chip to eat with dip.

Full Bloom Cottage
I love the raw edges on these curtain ruffles!  So much easier than all that hemming/surging stuff


My wedding was very unruffly but if it was ruffly this is the cake I would have chosen!  It's lovely!

The Chloe Conspiracy

Actually this is me going about my daily business. This was either after I changed
Ellie's 3rd poopy diaper of the day or on my way to get Molly from preschool.
Aren't I fabulous? And insane? Because there is no way this is me. sigh.  The blouse rocks.

Blue Robin Cottage

I love the colors and pretty much everything about it. Oh surprise, it has fabric flowers!

So those are my ruffly inspirations!  I hope to finish my slipcover tomorrow!

Have a great day!

My Halloween Horrors

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I have more than one tonight. I need HELP. The mantel in our family room (the only mantel in the house) is made of concrete. Yup. Concrete. As in that stuff you ripped out of your front walk and replaced with pavers. It is a big ole slab of concrete and it's making me annoyed. It is a whole new form of ugly and I don't know what to do!   I want to paint the brick in some way but what to do about that thing?  Do I build a mantel to fit over it? oy.   It looks like this:

Unedited photo. Sorry. lazy tonight. But you can see the slab o' gnarly and the yucky brick
 I welcome any and all suggestions.

And now here is my other horror. I went to take the tape off the kitchen and this is what happened:


Of course I stopped pulling but the damage is done. sigh. I have no idea why this happened but I left the rest of the tape as it is and I'm going to try to cut the seam with a razor before taking the tape off. Otherwise, I'll just paint the ceiling royal blue and leave it there.  Brilliant right??  Not just looks here people...smarts too.

So of course I needed to soothe my soul with some chocolate peanut butter ice cream!  It makes the demons go away.


House Progress

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I mentioned here once that I am going to take a few more risks in this house than I did in my first one. In general, we are conservative and careful people. We don't do risky things and it takes a lot for us to think outside the usual box.  I had a gold sash on my wedding gown and I thought I was quite rebellious. What would my great aunts say??  To be honest,  I always want to do something different but in the end I usually cave and play it safe.  Well that girl can go scratch! This girl wants a dark brown kitchen with 6 ft white bead board and by golly (wha??) she's doing it.  Ok, enough speaking in the third person.  I know everyone in my world thinks I'm a little nuts to make my kitchen a dark color, especially when my floor is so dark.  But I really don't care.  Here it is after 1 coat of Valspar Deep Mink!

This was actually the painting in progress...obviously!

This is still wet so it is a little darker now. And we put on the second coat so it looks luscious and dark.

When we are all done you won't see so much brown, actually. The eating area will have the bead board and we are going to install a white subway tile back splash.   I am in love with the color and I'm so glad I took the plunge!  Not to mention the fun of painting with what looks like Hershey's syrup!

In other news a local photographer who is trying to build her portfolio asked if she could take some pictures of Molly in a wild patch of zinnias she found. So here are pics I took while she was taking real pictures with a huge kick butt camera.

Isn't it lovely?

And Jim cleaned up the newly painted family room and I started to decorate my mantel for Halloween. I still can't get to my usual stuff because we haven't unpacked but I'm making do. I'll show you this week!