..at least in my opinion!

    This is a super easy recipe for my favorite Pumpkin Pie. We made this as a class when I was in Mrs. Harrelson's first grade class at Batesville Primary School. I liked it so much that I went home bragging about it to anyone who'd listen. My mom decided to try making it at home [probably to see if I really liked it like I said I did - kids can be so picky!] After making it at home and determining that I REALLY liked this pie, my Pappaw asked my mom for the recipe and he's made it for me every single Thanksgiving since! Cannot wait to be home eating it one week from today!
    Even if you're not usually in to Pumpkin Pie, give it a try! I took it to a dinner party last year not knowing that our hosts don't like Pumpkin Pie. At the end of the night they revealed that secret but said they liked this one, describing it as more of a soft pudding texture than any they've had before.

Crust-less Pumpkin Pie

Picture
Picture

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Bisquick
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk [5 oz]
  • 1 Can Pumpkin [15 oz]
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbsp Margarine
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Mix all ingredients together with mixer on high for about 1 minute
  • Pour into a greased 9-10" pie pan
  • Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Picture
  Could it be any simpler? I like to enjoy it with a huge dollop of Cool-Whip! ..unless of course I'm eating the leftovers for breakfast, then I try to keep it "healthy," ha! But seriously, it's great with coffee! So whether you're hosting Thanksgiving, or being hosted, this easy recipe allows you to spend less time in the kitchen, more time with family, and is sure to be a hit!

    PS. I've always wondered where my teacher got the recipe. After doing some research, it looks like this may be where it's from: Betty Crocker - Impossibly Easy Pumpkin Pie [see, even Betty calls it easy!]

   
 
 
    "You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said:
'You’re far happier giving
than getting.'"
-Acts 20:35
    Christmas is my favorite time of the year - I put a lot of thought into the gifts I purchase, and I love seeing the smiles on the faces of friends and family members as they open them up! While it's not even Thanksgiving, this week is the deadline for Operation Christmas Child boxes! This is a tradition my family has done for years, and my husband and I have done each year but one since we started dating. Imagine the faces of your friends and family members x10 to get a glimpse of the pure joy in each of these children's lives as they open up their Christmas box [or just Google Operation Christmas Child and scroll through some of the heartwarming pictures].
    I understand that not everyone has the time to go out and create a box and find a local drop-off station before the end of the week, but Samaritan's purse has made it so convenient to give this year by providing an option to build a box online!
    Just follow the simple steps and you're on your way to making a child's holiday!
Picture
Picture
    The tools are so fun and easy - just drag down what you want and place it in the box!
Picture
Picture
I built a box for a girl and Tyler built one for a boy. They have several options for each gender and age group, so you really do get to personalize the box, ensuring that your child feels special!
Picture
Picture
    One of our favorite parts! After building your box they give you the opportunity to write a short note to the child and include a picture. Totally optional, but we couldn't resist! Note: unless you're paying separate, the same note goes with each box!
Picture
Simple check out process - or you can choose to make more!
Picture
    Operation Christmas child is one of those great memories I had growing up, my mom taking us out, and we got to get all of this fun [and necessary] stuff for a child in need. My husband's family did the same, and this will be a tradition we start with our kids down the road. Start a tradition with your family and commit to making at least one box this year! Whether you have the time to go out and do the shopping yourself, or you do it online, every box helps! Don't forget the deadline is this week!
 
 
     Have you ever gone into a store, seen something overpriced, and thought to yourself, "I could make that!"? While things didn't turn out well for me trying to re-create the Mercury Glass Pottery Barn Pumpkins, these Mini Gold Corns are a different story!

Inspiration:

Picture
Mini Gold Corn, Pottery Barn Fall 2013
$19.95ish for a pack of 6

Step 1:

Picture
    Purchase mini corn from the local grocery store - At my grocery store it was $1.89 for a pack of 3. I purchased several sets of 3 and separated them by color. Some of them had such beautiful color as-is and I couldn't bear to paint them! I used the dull ones for this project, and the rest went into my hurricane vases in the dining room as seen below and in my previous post: "A Festive Feast"
Picture

Step 2:

Picture
    Spray! I chose the Metallic gold spray paint by Krylon [$7 - but it will last for more than just this project!]. I've always had good luck with the Krylon spray paints. In store I was debating between three different gold spray paints mostly because I was hesitant to choose this one [the lid is SO bright!]. The sales lady informed me that if the item you're painting is porous, it will dull the shine a bit [i.e. you should not expect this to shine if you are painting wood!].
Picture
Picture
    I used an old shipping box to spray the corn, placing the husks under one of the flaps at the bottom and spraying from behind that flap in one direction to try to keep paint off of the husks. If you've seen the PB ones, they appear dipped and there is some paint on the husks - so while I was trying to be careful, it didn't have to be perfect!
    Using the box also helps to keep paint off of other surfaces and after I would finish each coat, I would close the top flaps to prevent leaves from falling on the fresh paint! [The leaves in the picture are from leaving the box out overnight!]
    I flipped the corn about 3x to ensure full coverage, then checked each one for spots that didn't get sprayed. If I noticed a small spot, I just held the corn by the husk and did a quick touch-up spray.

Step 3:

Picture
Picture
Decorate! I simply chose to stagger mine against a pumpkin, on a platter in the center of my table.
    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Pottery Barn. I am also a firm believer in, "you get what you pay for," so there are some things at Pottery Barn that I am perfectly willing to pay full price for.. but a $20 set of six Gold Mini Corns are not one of those things! For just under $20, I was able to buy the materials to make 9 of my own mini gold corns for my Thanksgiving centerpiece, I had enough corn leftover for my two hurricane vases, and I still have half a bottle of spray paint. Win!
Picture
 
 
    Thanksgiving is 2 short weeks away! This is easily one of my most favorite holidays; this girl loves her momma's cooking, and her Pappaw's Pumpkin Pie! Last year when faced with the decision of going home for Thanksgiving OR Christmas, food won. As you'll see from the pictures below, our tiny California apartment is entirely too small to support a meal of Thanksgiving grandeur, but that doesn't keep me from decorating!

    I'm not big into Halloween decorating [nothing against Halloween, I just find more elegance in basic "Fall" decor], so I make it pretty easy on myself by decorating for fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving in one swoop in September. Plus, if you haven't noticed, most fall decor is replaced by Christmas mid-October now. The only benefit of that is that a lot of the stuff I purchased for our table was already marked down! See below how I decorate for the season, and most importantly, the feast [that will not be occurring at our place]!

Kitchen

Picture
Picture
Picture
Mini Cake Stand, Target [on clearance now, I have 3!]
Pumpkin Candy Dish turned Spoon Rest, Target $1 Spot Fall 2013
Dish Towel Set, Home Goods [$3] - I love the coloring of the dish towels but I didn't realize the ineffectiveness of linen dish towels: 1] they don't dry hands well 2] when they come out of the dryer, they are a wrinkled mess! I don't like anything that adds to my ironing pile! We keep them there for decorative purposes and keep a regular dish towel by the sink for our hands!

Family Room

Picture
Picture
Couldn't pass this little guy up at Target! [$3]
Picture
Target $1 Spot Glitter Pumpkins/Gourds

Dining

Picture
Picture
Picture
Pumpkins, Home Goods Fall 2013
Mini Corn, local grocery store
Glitter Acorns, Target $1 Spot Fall 2013 [$1 for a pack of 3]
Picture
Picture
Picture
Gold Mini Corn [DIY - check back later this week!]
Gold Dot tumblers, Target Holiday Collection 2013.
Candlesticks, Target Fall 2013 Clearance
Dark Red Patterned Place-mats - gift
Dark Red Felt Leaf Place-mats - Target $1 Spot Fall 2012 [I also saw these at 2 other stores last fall and this year!]
Picture
Picture
Picture
Napkins, Target Fall 2013 Collection [the leaf napkins were not out at my Target by the beginning of October so I chose the ones on the left then decided to do a mix and match with them after finding the leaf napkins. It works because they have the same color scheme!]
Leaf Napkin Rings, Target Fall 2013 Collection
[If you can't tell, I'm a Target Home fanatic! It's the first store added to the "Shopping" page!]

Now the only things missing from my table are the West Elm Gold Pinecone Salt + Pepper Shakers, and Gold Flatware Sets - both perfect for any holiday meal [September - December] and already on my Christmas Wishlist!
 
 
    Hopefully everyone had a Happy Halloween! And for all of the Ohioans - have fun passing out candy and Trick-or-Treating with your babies tonight! In the "spirit" of Halloween, I'm sharing my very scary Pinterest fail from last Halloween and how I fixed it this year!

The Original Inspiration:
Picture
Gorgeous mercury glass pumpkins from Pottery Barn. I couldn't find the exact ones on the website any more because they've switched to Christmas.. but I believe the smallest one was at least $35.
Steps to recreating a budget-friendly version of these beautiful pumpkins according to Pinterest. 1. Buy dollar store pumpkins. 2. Buy Krylon "Looking Glass" Spray Paint. 3. Spray the pumpkins. 4. Enjoy. All in all, the project was under $15. Not bad considering the price of the Pottery Barn pumpkins.

Here's what I got:
Picture
I believe the saying is, "Nailed It." And that's actually a "decent" photo of them. My husband laughed and I told him I was going to fix them, to which he "replied" by placing them in the fireplace. I salvaged the poor pumpkins and stored them for this year, waiting for inspiration to hit, and it did.

Inspiration Part II:
Picture
As I was looking through fall decor, I came across this spider pumpkin and instantly knew what I wanted to do with my Pinterest failures from last year. I already had white spray paint, so I sprayed the silver away and waited for them to dry. Using a Sharpie, I traced down the lines of the pumpkin then drew the crossing lines as the "webbing." I also used the Sharpie for the spiders. The last step was to use black paint I already had to paint the stem.

TADA!:
Picture
So. My spiders aren't perfect, but I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Major plus: my husband said they were cool - without being asked! Now I'm ready for next Halloween!

Yes, I realize spider pumpkins are nothing like glamorous mercury glass pumpkins.. but I needed actual "Halloween" decor anyway!

If you're feeling really talented, here's another pumpkin DIY that can easily be done following the same steps!:
Picture