September 26, 2014

This Makes Me Happy...Our Autumn Porch

Autumn brings beautiful weather and amazing colors to our part of the world. As much as I enjoy sitting on our front porch during the beautiful summer months, I enjoy it that much more in autumn. Perhaps it is the slightly cooler mornings or the slowly changing shades of the leaves from vibrant green to glorious hues of red, yellow, purple, and orange, and finally to assorted muted browns before falling to the ground yet again. Whatever the reason, spending time on our autumn porch always makes me happy. : )

Have a wonderful autumn, my friends!

September 22, 2014

Cherry Coffee Cake

Fall is my favorite for all things pumpkin. But every once in awhile, we whip this up for something different. I cannot remember where I found this recipe, but it is delicious. Steve likes it warm, out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I prefer it the next day, with a cup of tea. Either way, it is divine. : )

Cherry Coffee Cake
  1. 1 egg, beaten
  2. milk
  3. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 2 tsp. baking powder
  7. 2 21oz. cans cherry pie filling
  1. 1 cup flour
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  4. Combine all ingredients until crumbly.
  1. Break egg into measuring cup.
  2. Add milk to equal one cup. Set aside.
  3. Combine butter, sugar, flour, and baking powder.
  4. Add egg mixture. Beat well.
  5. Pour into greased 13x9 pan.
  6. Spread pie filling over top.
  7. Sprinkle with topping.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes. Check often.
  9. Enjoy!

September 18, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Today I'm thinking about...

...Packing. Because we are heading to the BEACH! Yes, this weekend we are heading out for a week at the ocean. The ocean is Steve and Madison's very favorite place on earth. One of the homeschooling perks we enjoy is the ability to work ahead and free up a week in September so that we can travel to the ocean in the fall. We love it then for the obvious reasons...The weather is perfect. For us. Meaning low seventies with less heat and burning sun. And no one else is there. Which comes in handy for people like me. You know, socially awkward people.

...My mother. And how happy I am she is coming with us. We always took my parents with us to the beach. They loved it. They had never been until Steve and I took them when Madison was but one year old. They came every year after that until my father's illness made it too difficult. I know it will be hard for us, but perhaps a bit healing as well. I can almost hear him telling us to get going already!

...My bestie Marian. She is coming too! We are all so happy!!! And I'm pretty sure she is too. I'll let you know how she feels after spending an entire week with us. In an enclosed area. With no escape. ; )

I will be checking in with you all from time to time. And I have a post or two ready to share as well. In the meantime, here is a peek at the past week in our home. I hope you are having a blessed and cozy autumn as well!

We were very excited for our Steelers to play last Thursday night.

Luckily, Peyton and I prepared a really yummy spread. Because that was the highlight of that game. We made Pizza Stromboli, baked Taco Dip, and really yummy brownies.

We posed for some pictures Saturday before Mass. It was really windy, and someone thought it was really funny. I just adore her happiness. : )

Steve managed to get a decent one...of me and my life. : )

On Sunday, my sweet little lady brought me coffee and toast in bed. With a little help from Daddy, of course. : ) She wanted to make my birthday special. Yep. I turned forty five this past week. And I couldn't be happier or feel more blessed. : )

There was cake. Pumpkin cake. With cream cheese icing. And it was good.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

September 15, 2014

Stuffed Peppers

We love stuffed peppers. Always have. In fact, this was the very first meal I ever made as a new wife. Steve was a great sport and ate them, ever though I forgot to cover them, and they were still hard and crunchy. : ) I know there are many different ways to cook stuffed peppers, but because I have a thing about raw meat...ugh...I like to brown mine first. : )

Stuffed Peppers
  1. Bell Peppers
  2. 1 pound ground beef or turkey, browned with garlic salt and drained
  3. 2 cups of rice, cooked (I use Jasmine Rice.)
  4. Tomato Sauce
  5. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Slice top off of peppers. Rinse and clean out well.
  2. Mix browned meat and rice together.
  3. Stuff peppers with meat mixture.
  4. Pour sauce over, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  5. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until melted.
  6. Serve with mashed potatoes and applesauce.
These can be made up early in the day and refrigerated until ready to bake. : )

September 11, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Today I 'm thinking about...

...Delegating. Or rather, my lack thereof. I have a hard time remembering that others are more than capable of doing things around the house. It isn't that they won't do it, or that I think I do it better myself. Rather, I simply do things without thinking. I was reminded of this yesterday, as I was folding a large basket of laundry. Flynn came over and offered to fold the washcloths. In that moment, I realized that I need to start including my children in certain things I often don't even consider. My four year old is indeed capable of folding washcloths. It was helpful to me of course, but even more so rewarding for her. Lesson learned. : )

...Autumn. And how much I love it. I have always been an autumn person, so much more than summer. Apologies to all you sun people out there. I hate being in the sun! Always have. I don't like the heat or the rays or the sweat or the burn. Hot summer days find me inside. With the air conditioning on. Drinking tea. So when autumn rolls around...with its crisp air and cool breezes...shorter days and cozier nights...colorful leaves and pumpkin flavored everything...I am happy. And that is that.

...The big box of freshly delivered cupcakes from our small town bakery. And which one Im going to have with my afternoon coffee. : )

Here are some pictures of this past week in our country home...

My Madison...her first time driving herself to work. Or anywhere. Alone. Such a good sport. She let me take a picture before she drove off. And I will admit, when she did, I thought back to the baby I brought home from the hospital. And then I went inside and prayed Hail Marys until she called to let me know she got there.
Flynn worked hard on a Hop Scotch board...
and it was just perfect. : )
I love to iron. Especially Happy Ironing like Halloween dresses for my girl.
Last Saturday was chilly...the perfect day for coffee and a movie.
Pretty evening sky. No filter. Who needs one?
Autumn mornings. Before Mass. My baby.
She dislikes the sun too. : )
One with her Peyton...
and one with her mommy.
Sunday was park day...
followed by FOOTBALL!
It's back. And we are happy. : )
We celebrated my hubby this week!
My man turned 44!
Happy Birthday to the best hubby and father around. : )
We love you.
And cake. We love cake too. : )
Happy Autumn Weekend, my friends!
Oh...and for the record...I went with the caramel brownie one.
First. ; )

September 8, 2014

Fall In Our House 2014

It is that time of year again. The time for pumpkins and leaves and cooler, crisp air...the time for warm soup with hot rolls for dinner and early evenings spent inside together. It is autumn my friends. And our home is decorated to welcome our favorite time of year.

A welcome in the mudroom...

and some touches in the kitchen...
This is a little shelf beneath the coffee station.
That Pumpkin Patch picture is before my little Flynn came along.

The sideboard...

and even a few of my favorite fall cookie cutters add some autumn to the kitchen.

The sink gets a touch of fall.
And it smells really good. : )

The view from my kitchen sink...the Hearth Room...

around the corner...

 into the Family Room...

 and into the Foyer, where the holiday tree is all set...

with colored leaves, pumpkins, and acorns. : )

And this...Our very favorite Yankee Candle...Spiced Pumpkin...
It burns every evening in our country home.

Happy Autumn, friends!