Welcome Pumpkin Season

October has arrived, and with it my desire for pumpkin goodies.  I rarely bake anymore but just can’t resist pumpkin bread. I tried two recipes and while both are good they are distinctly different. The first is a traditional moist pumpkiny flavored bread.

 Yummy perfection.  When this was gone I happened upon a recipe that added dates and pecans.  It made a much darker bread with clovey flavor.  Next time I would cut back on the cloves, yet as it aged over a few days the clove mellowed out. This was by far my favorite!

Here is the recipe courtesy of my friend Joyce

3 cups sugar
3 1/2 flour
2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1 cup oil
1 cup dates or raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tsps. each: Nutmeg, cloves (ground), allspice, cinnamon

Mix all dry ingredients, mix all liquids. Stir together until smooth.

Grease and flour a bundt pan.  Bake for a good hour at 350 checking occasionally to see when done inside. 

In the kitchen I also made up some of the blackberry harvest into jam.  Blackberry jam is one of my favorites. I always use the recipe inside the MCP pectin box. 

So yummy spread on bagel and cream cheese!  

One big change for me has been going caffeine free.  A few months back my stomach began hurting and I could not figure out why. Tried clearing things out of my diet with no success. Doctor visit and seems I have an ulcer. Testing for H.Pylori and if not that will be scoping my stomach.  So I went cold turkey off caffeine. Amazingly no headaches. And I don’t miss it. I now drink herbal tea and my newest hot drink love is 100% Apple juice with a shot of caramel.  Yum!  Stomach still hurting but better and bearable with meds. But I want it cured not bearable!!!  Thankfully my new Doctor (yes I switched after the first just put me on meds with no follow up).  This one is a D.O.  I just have no luck with MDs and have not used one in years since discovering the care that a DO delivers!  And with this the hubs and I decided to start eating clean and eliminating all processed foods. Of course this was after the pumpkin bread.  I’ll have to find a way to make it with whole wheat flour without sacrificing the taste. 

In other news the hubs updated his bike. This one had everything he had been wishing for on it. 

Love this man!  

This crazy boy, who is sitting on his sister (he did not hurt her and I got him right down), left us some nice gifts on the carpet one day while we were working.  Ivory carpet at that!  On to Pinterest to find a solution (I just love Pinterest).  Found one and it was amazing. Even took out some spots that were in the carpet when we moved in! 

Here is the recipe:  Just mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a container and add a generous squirt of Dawn dishing washing liquid.  Saturate the spot and scrub thoroughly working the solution all the way into the pad.  Blot out all the liquid you can with dry towels, let dry, and vacuum.  Spot will be gone!  Amazing!

Crafting and knitting has rather taken a back seat as work has gone crazy and been putting in 10-12 hour days (may be the reason for an ulcer?!).  But I did take time to make another banner for work.

Candy corn!  Simple yet cute. Did not get a finished photo. Just love making these banners.  Again Pinterest is the inspiration!  

Happy Pumpkin Season!


Playing Round and Round…

Am I the only one who just loves photo phone apps?  I just downloaded three new ones and this is what I have created so far…..



These were created using Auto Painter I II and III.  They allow you to chose one of the great masters and turn your photo into a picture.  Pretty fun.  I used Diptic to position them side by side.  Pretty much in love with this app and the endless possibilities.  Course I still use Pixlromatic, Vintique, and PhotoToaster the most.  Love the ability to manipulate and enhance my pics while engaging my creative energy!  

On other creative note, I have finally began the painting projects that I kept thinking about.  Started with a great piece of fabric and picked paint samples to match, then bought quarts of paint in the palette and let my fun begin.  First project was a hutch that I actually stripped all the paint off years ago.  The worst part was that first brush stoke as I still remember the pain of stripping this piece.  But wow the transformation is amazing!  I love it!!  I put on two coats, did some antiquing, and then finished with a wax coating.  I also used the same color on the base of my table and then did the top in chalkboard paint.  I have wanted to chalkboard my table since seeing it on Pinterest.  I love the results!!  Jimmy and I always leave each other notes and now we can just write them directly on the table…gotta love it.  The grands will love this too!  Gotta find some colored chalk in an assortment of colors.  I was sceptical about the clean up and durability but am finding it cleans up nicely and appears durable so far.  

How much fun is that!  

So the next project is this chair I bought at a yard sale for only $5.  I got the initial three coats of this green on and it is now ready for the sanding, antiquing, and final wax coating.  As I was painting it occurred to me how we are returning to the colors of the 70s.  Although these are a bit more muted they are still the 70s palette of green, orange, and yellow.  Ouch!  Swore I would never use those colors…..add the 80s brown and there you go.  But I swear I will never use the 80s pinks, mauves, and blues….shudder!!  

What's that?  A Golden Retriever and not a Boxer?  Charlie, my daughter's dog, has become a part of the family and she wanted her picture taken too. 

In keeping with the playtime theme also got in a beautiful ride to Tollgate.  Love just sitting on the back of the bike and letting my hubby do the driving (still love saying that…my hubby).  The weather was just the perfect!

Hubby said get on the bike….yup just for a pic.  No plans on taking over the drivers seat,happy being the passenger.  Notice the use of my photo apps….a bit obsessive….

It has been a fun week of playtime which is what lazy summer days should consist of…lots and lots of playtime.  Now where did I put that paintbrush….