Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Holiday decorating...

My holiday decorating has begun, but I must admit it's quite a bit less than past years. With our plans to move in less than a year and quite a bit of our stuff in storage in the meantime, including most of my Christmas decorations, the decorating is going to be pretty light. Still, I'm managing to add a little holiday cheer here and there, which I'll show you in the coming days.
How is your decorating coming?

Photo by The Pink Home

Saturday, November 26, 2011

And the holiday season begins...

With Thanksgiving over, the Christmas holiday season is officially upon us. I feel like Christmas came early to me this year as I am writing this on my brand new iMac, which is a treasure to behold. My ancient iBook has been bordering on the brink for quite awhile now, so I figured I had better upgrade before it was too late. I decided to go with the iMac instead of another notebook because of the large screen. Really, I've had televisions that were smaller and much less crisp and clear. :) It's going to be a huge help with my work for The Pink Home and just generally lovely to play on. (By the way, everything is on sale in The Pink Home Shop, so if you're looking for a unique holiday gift, stop by.)
My Thanksgiving was wonderful and my pies turned out fabulously ~ thank you, Martha. I did manage to get in a little bit of shopping late Friday and now I need to get the house cleaned and in Christmas mode. What are all of you up to this weekend?

Photo by The Art of Living Beautifully

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans. May your holiday be filled with family, friends, good food, laughter, and most of all, thankfulness. Blessings to all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The search for perfect holiday pies...

It's nearly Thanksgiving, which means I've been deciding for a week now which pies to make. I've settled on a pumpkin (of course) and an apple. I've made both before with great success, but I feel the urge to try new recipes. So, this year, I've decided to make Martha Stewart's version of both, from her recent book, Pies &Tarts. When I've made apple pie in the past, I've done a lattice design for the top crust, but this year I thought I would do a plain cover, sugared well, with some vents poked through in a pretty pattern. I'd also like to try making a more elaborate crust on the pumpkin pie, perhaps with little leaves around the edge. Since I wanted to switch up the crust, I thought it might be a good time to try new recipes for the fillings as well, although, honestly, there isn't really a huge amount of difference in ingredients. Still, it's always fun to experiment to see if a little modification improves the flavor.
Should they both turn out to be a disaster (please, Martha, don't fail me...), I've got plenty of pumpkin bread in the freezer as a back up. If you're interested, here are the pumpkin pie and apple pie recipes from Martha I'll be trying. I'll let you know how they turn out. And if any of you have a pie recipe you think I should try, let me know.
Hoping all your Thanksgiving Day preparations go smoothly...

Photos from

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Autumn pillow love...

Pillows are one of my favorite things ~ they make a home seem more welcoming, hard edges softer and little nooks sweetly inviting. I came across these lovely pillows while looking for something else and thought their beauty suited the season perfectly.
Today I'm off to run errands and prepare for Thanksgiving. I hope all of you are having a lovely weekend.

Pillow 1 ~ Pottery Barn; Pillow 2 ~ Pier One; Pillow 3 ~Pier One

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Setting a Thanksgiving table...

I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving next week ~ a house full of people and a table full of delicious food is a great combination. I love setting the table, too, and making it as pretty and seasonal as possible.
Which brings me to my latest dish "need": Thanksgiving dishes. I have plenty of dishes that I can and have used for Thanksgiving, including some autumn-themed dishes, but I suddenly have this desire for some actual turkey dishes. I'm thinking something along the lines of these salad plates and this platter from Pottery Barn. Aren't they lovely? I would probably use them throughout the fall, though, rather than just one day, just like I use my Christmas dishes throughout the the holiday season.
Do you have special Thanksgiving dishes?

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4 ~ all from Pottery Barn

Monday, November 14, 2011

The perfect seasonal treat...

A few nights ago, I spent the evening making pumpkin bread. This is a recipe my mom used to make and every time I make it, my co-workers, friends, etc., go nuts for it. The only thing is you must bake it in coffee cans (3 per batch, as a matter of fact). Now I know that sounds odd and you're probably thinking, well, I can use a regular loaf pan or a bundt pan. You can, but the texture isn't quite as good (I know this from personal experience). Baked in the coffee cans ~ and yes, I know they are hard to find these days ~ the bread (which is really more of a dessert type item, or great with tea or coffee) is perfectly moist and absolutely addicting. In a regular baking pan, it can come out a little dry if you're not careful. It's still good, mind you, but not as good.
And remember, when you create something wonderful in the kitchen, you are bringing a little more beauty and love into the world. Hope you enjoy.

Pumpkin Bread

4 eggs
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda

Mix starting from the top and continue down. Grease and flour three 1 lb. coffee cans. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. Test with broom stick or long tester.
I've found it's best to make the bread the day before you plan to eat it. After it cools, you can remove the bread from the cans and keep it wrapped in aluminum foil. When serving, I usually cut the slices in half. Serve with cream cheese slightly softened for spreading on top, if desired. (It's bliss.) This bread makes a great dessert, or a perfect treat with your coffee or hot tea. It also freezes well.

Bon appetit.

P.S. For those of you who follow my other blog, The Pink Home, you're not seeing double. I just thought readers of this blog would enjoy this recipe as well.

I am linking to Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Friday, November 11, 2011

Scents of the season... Autumn

Autumn is my favorite season for many reasons ~ the beautifully colored leaves, the crisp weather, pumpkin-flavored goodies, apples, the holidays...
And of course, the scents. I love cinnamon and nutmeg ~ they smell like autumn to me. Not to mention hot apple cider mulling on the stove and a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. Swoon worthy.
Scent is one of those finishing touches in a beautiful home ~ spices in the autumn, peppermint and evergreen in the winter, flowers in the spring and freshly cut grass and the ocean in the summer are my favorites. Do you have a favorite autumn scent?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The joy of new dishes...

New dishes are one of the great thrills in life, at least to me. I have been wanting a soup tureen for some time and when I saw this one from Longaberger, I knew I had found the right one, even if it was a bit pricey. I loved the matching mini-tureen bowls that you could purchase to go along with it, so I started with those. Then my parents came to visit from the opposite coast and my mom insisted I open my Christmas present early. Inside was the soup tureen I had been coveting, along with two more matching bowls. I had mentioned to her in passing that I wanted it and of course being a mom, she made a mental note. I am still over the moon about my new set, which happens to match a few other Longaberger pieces I have. We used it while they were here, so it's all broken in. What do you think?

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Monday, November 7, 2011

The beauty of dreams...

Colorful Autumn

Fences & Flowers, Fine Art Print

The Pink Home Signature Collection fat quarter bundle

Miniature Pink Rose and Antique Yellow Note Cards

As some of you know, I launched The Pink Home in September. I've been hard at work on this venture and thought you might be interested in seeing what I've been up to.
For those who don't know, The Pink Home is my little dream come to life; you can find my original fabric designs, fine art prints, note cards and framed art all available in my shop. I also have a blog, Facebook page, Twitter account (@ThePinkHome) and Pinterest account under The Pink Home name.
These are some of my fabrics, note cards and prints; all are my original work. I hope you enjoy this little snapshot and will stop by and see me at The Pink Home.
Wishing everyone a lovely week, full of beauty...

Tea Time Note Card Set

Pewter & Peach fat quarter bundle

Purple Medley

Autumn Birds

Scattered Pink Flowers

Tea Cup Painting Card

Simply Teal

Photos by The Pink Home

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Autumn afternoons on the porch...

I stopped by the market a couple of weeks ago and picked up some pumpkins ~ I love the white one for a spot of unexpected color ~ and a beautiful mum. I love chrysanthemums as a rule, but this rusty brown is my favorite. It's just perfect for autumn. Together, they provide a nice little bit of seasonal beauty for the front porch, don't you think? I just wish I had more free afternoons to spend sitting in that chair...

I am linking to Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine's Corner.

Photos by The Art of Living Beautifully

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Welcome November...

Ah, November ~ the month of falling leaves, cold nights, and Thanksgiving. I've always enjoyed the month of November ~ I love bundling up for an evening walk, the run-up to the holiday season and Thanksgiving. It's a month to be grateful, to give thanks for our family and friends. The photo is the design of the calendar that hangs near my desk. A lovely thought, don't you think?
I hope all of you enjoyed a fun Halloween. Have a wonderful week...