Thursday, October 13, 2011

Feather Wreath

Y'all.  Look at this wreath.  Is it not so pretty???  I was browsing the West Elm website and came across this gorgeous feather wreath and it's only $19!  I know Christmas is still a solid 2+ months away, but I already can't wait to decorate for the holidays.  This puppy is going to take center stage and will be hung with some pretty ribbon on the mirror over my fireplace.  Who knows, I may even dress it up by pinning a little cluster of holly leaves or something on it.

I already can't wait for this to show up on my doorstep, and I know it's going to take all I have not to hang it up now.  I love that it's something I'll be able to leave up through the winter and not a decoration I have to pack away with the ornaments and stockings.

Here's some other wreaths hanging on mirrors that I think are pretty.



I kind of want to make one of the ball wreaths for the front door - I just may have to add that to my fall DIY list.

I know I'm crazy for already thinking about Christmas decorating...but seriously...I love Christmas more than I love chocolate.  And that's saying a lot.

Anyone else looking forward to Christmas decorating already??

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Skillet Lasagna

I'm a lasagna nut; it's been one of my favorite foods since I was a little girl.  But a real lasagna takes so much time and effort to make!  I found a recipe for skillet lasagna and made it for the first time last night.  It was delish!  I modified the original recipe slightly, since cottage cheese scares me, so the recipe below is my slightly modified and oh-so-yummy version!

  • 1 lb lean ground beef 
  • 1 small onion (chopped) 
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (minced) 
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (undrained) 
  • 1-1/4 cup water 
  • 1 cup tomato sauce 
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes 
  • 1 tsp dried basil leaves 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2-1/2 cup noodles (you can either break up lasagna noodles, or use penne like I did)
  • 1 cup skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fat free grated Parmesan cheese 
  • Dash Basil and Pepper (optional) 
  • 1 egg 
  • Shredded fat free mozzarella cheese for garnish
In a large skillet, brown beef with onions and garlic. Drain.  Add tomatoes, water, tomato sauce, parsley, basil, oregano, and salt.  Stir in uncooked pasta.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is tender.

Combine ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a bowl.  Mix in the egg.  Sprinkle in basil and pepper to taste.

Drop cheese mixture by rounded tablespoons onto pasta mixture.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes more.  Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and serve.

Number of Servings: 6


Monday, October 3, 2011

Insert "Corn"y Joke Here

Fall has definitely arrived in North Carolina and I, for one, am so glad it's here!  The weather was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S this weekend - you couldn't ask for a better first day of October!  Perfect for that corn maze I was so excited about :)

Let me begin by reporting that adults were not allowed in the bounce house.  Major disappointment for me...but probably for the best!

This picture looks like we were way out in the country, but the maze was actually just outside of Raleigh.

We passed this sign in the maze (several times) and it cracked me up so I had to get a picture.

There were ten numbered spots in the maze that you were supposed to try to find...we found seven of them before calling it a day.

Yep.  That's (a lot of) corn behind us...

On the way home from the corn maze, we stopped at the pumpkin patch near the house and got some great pumpkins and gourds for fall decorating.  Pictures to come this week!  When we were loading the trunk with the loot, a bus pulled up and it was a bride and groom and their wedding party!  They had stopped to take pictures at the pumpkin patch on the way to the reception - how fun is that for a fall wedding??

Friday, September 30, 2011


This weekend is one of the only ones this fall where I won't be a) going to a wedding, b) going to a UNC football game or c) hosting friends in town.  I'm looking forward to having a fun fall, but the weekends are going to be go-go-go!

I'm going to take advantage of this non-booked weekend and enjoy some downtime.

Saturday will of course be filled with watching some college football.  LSU plays Kentucky at 12:20, and UNC is at East Carolina at 8pm.

I bought a Groupon last week for a corn maze, so we're going to do that on Saturday afternoon between football games!  I did one several years back and had a good time - it's a fun fall activity, and they have other stuff to do too (hayrides, pumpkin patch etc.).  The weather is supposed to cool off (finally) and be in the 60s so it will be perfect for something like this! 

The best part is it was only ten bucks for two people with the Groupon!  Wait, scratch that.  The best part is they have a bounce house.  Please oh PLEASE let adults be allowed to jump.  That would seriously make my day.  (And would probably land me in the hospital with a broken arm.  But whatever.)

I also want to get my fall decorating done!  There's a great pumpkin patch just down the road that has all sorts of unusual pumpkins, gourds and other fall decorating goodness, so I plan on stopping there this weekend to load up on some decor.  Pictures to come next week!

Do you have anything fun planned for your weekend?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scents for Fall

As the days start to cool off, I'm beginning to think about fall wardrobes and accessories.  While technically not an accessory, a good perfume can definitely step up your presentation a notch!  My absolute favorite is Vera Wang Sheer Veil, but it's a very light scent.

It's great for spring and summer, but I'm looking for something that's not quite as floral and fresh for the fall and winter.  I always have the hardest time picking out new scents!  What are your favorites for fall that I should try out?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Spice Bread

One of my favorite things about fall is the flavors!  Pumpkin, in particular...simply deeeelish.

I made this Pumpkin Spice Bread over the weekend and brought a loaf to some friends we visited in Greensboro who were kind enough to have us over to watch football before going to a wedding Saturday night.  The other loaf I kept, and let me tell you, it is some kind of good.

Pumpkin Spice Bread

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (make sure you don't accidentally pick up canned pumpkin pie mix!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (sweetened)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, applesauce, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake for about an hour. Loaves are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Makes (2) 8x4" or (3) 7x3" loafs - or you can make muffins instead!

I'm linking up again today to Neely and Amber's Fabulous Fall Challenge.  Their Fall Recipes topic for today fits perfectly with my Tasty Tuesday theme!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall TV Lineup

I'm linking up today to Neely and Amber's Fabulous Fall Challenge!  The topic is Fall TV.  I'm excited about all of the goodness that is this fall's TV lineup.  I love always having something new to watch on my DVR list!  This fall I'll be watching some old standbys and trying out some new shows as well.

Oldies but goodies:

Modern Family: Love, love, love this show.  Cam and Mitchell are my favorites, they always have me rolling on the floor laughing.  Last week's (two!) season premiere episodes were no exception.

Parenthood: I started watching this show last season because my parents watch it (ironic, right?), and love it.  I think Erika Christensen is great.  She just seems real.

New shows I'm going to try out:

Up All Night: I watched the pilot last week and thought it was a keeper.  Will Arnett and Christina Applegate are hilarious together.

New Girl: Saw the pilot for this one too last week and decided I'll keep on watching.  I think Zooey Deschanel is adorable.  A lot of fluff, but hey, sometimes that's what TV is for right?

Whitney: Looks like it could be entertaining?

Suburgatory: I know, I know.  It's ridiculous that I want to watch this.  It premieres Wednesday so I'll make the call on whether or not it keeps a DVR spot or not after that.

What's on your fall lineup?  Anything I'm missing?