Wednesday, September 26, 2012

15 Fabulous Fall Mantels

Nothing says 'fall is here!' like a mantel decked out for the season. There are so many different trends going on right now (classic, rustic, neutral, colorful, etc...) and I love all of them! Here are 15 that caught my eye. I've listed the links below the pictures so be sure to stop by and give them some blog love. :)

Fall Mantel With a Warm Glow by Kristen's Creations

Autumn Leaves are Falling by Remodelando la Casa

Fall in a Box by Posed Perfection

Fall Fireplace Mantel by How to Nest for Less

Fall Decor with Pom Pom Garland by Craft Interruped

Fall Mantel by Visual Meringue

Last Year's Fall Interior Decor by Her Southern Charm

A Mantel Fit For Fall by The Frugal Homemaker

Halloween Mantel 2012 by A Grace Full Life

Autumn Mantel by Homespun with Love

Fall Mantel by Nesting Place

Rustic Fall Mantel by Ode to Inspiration

Scary Free Halloween Mantel by Vintage Gwen

Fall Mantel by J Bigg's Little Pieces

Fall Decor Mantel by Achieving Creative Order

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Homemade Apple Pie

I made this for my husband when we first started dating and now it's a fall tradition! I love making it, we all love eating it, and it's just one of those special things that all of us look forward to every year.

I used Fuji apples because they're sweet and don't turn to mush after baking. Granny Smith apples also work great or a combination of the two. The nice part about a recipe like this is that there's room to play until you get the flavor you want.


7-8 Fuji apples, peeled and sliced
Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust--box of 2
3/4 c. butter
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/3 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. packed brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pre-measure ingredients.

Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Make Lattice Crust

Over, under. That is lattice crust in a nutshell. You can make your own crust or use the Pillsbury refrigerated kind like I did. For the edges, I press the lattice into the crust dough that's hanging over the side of the pie plate, then roll it inward, toward the pie, and create ridges with my fingers. I used water on my fingers to smooth out the edges.

Parmesan Herb Chicken

This is the first chicken recipe I ever made and it's still my favorite. It's full of flavor without being too spicy and really easy to make. The best part--my daughter loves it and we know that's important. :)

3-4 chicken breast halves
1/4 c. flour
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp Parsley
1 Tbsp Oregano
2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper


1. Combine Parmesan, parsley, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper on a plate. On a second plate, melt butter. On a third plate, spread out flour.

2. Dip each piece of chicken in flour, then butter, then spices, covering both sides. Place in an ungreased casserole dish.

3. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

This is a fall classic that I look forward to every year. It's smooth, buttery and I love how the potato and nutmeg  bring out the pumpkin flavor. I usually use chicken broth, but it's just as good with vegetable broth if you're looking for a vegetarian option.


1 onion, chopped
3 Tbsp butter
2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken or vegetable broth
3-4 peeled, sliced potatoes
1 can pumpkin
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper


1. Mix broth, potatoes, and pumpkin together in a large pot. Set aside.

2. Saute onion in butter until tender (about 2-3 minutes).

3. Transfer onion to pot. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally.

4. Puree with a stick blender.

5. Add milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir well.

6. Simmer for 5 minutes, until nutmeg, salt and pepper are blended. Top with parsley, chives or sour cream.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

DIY Autumn Spice Sugar Scrub

Oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar...this scrub is the perfect blend of my favorite fall spices and just like the Cinnamon Ginger Salt Scrub and the Lavender Mint Foot Scrub, every ingredient is natural and beneficial to skin. You're going to love it!


1/2 c. brown sugar (exfoliant)
1/2 c. old-fashioned oats (anti-itch, soothes skin irritations)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (draws blood to the skin's surface)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (anti-inflammatory)
1/4 tsp. cloves (anti-microbial)
3/4 c. sweet almond oil (moisturizes and smoothes skin)


Place dry ingredients in blender. Blend until oatmeal is ground.

Add almond oil and mix until dry ingredients are saturated.

Pour into a half-pint jar.

Use weekly to exfoliate and refine skin.

Note--Sweet almond oil has a shelf life of 4-6 months when stored in a cool, dark place. People with nut allergies should not use almond oil. Substitute with grapeseed or jojoba instead. 

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Reverse Stencil Pumpkin

I really wanted a white pumpkin with orange stenciled letters.  Nothing fancy, just something cute and personalized that would greet people when they came to my house. At first, I was going to paint it white and then paint the letters orange but that seemed to be a little redundant. After all, it's an orange pumpkin.  So I decided on a reverse stencil instead using scrapbook letters. Perfect! It's exactly what I wanted and was super easy to do. Here's what you need:


White spray paint
Scrapbooking stickers


Remove dirt from the pumpkin. Press stickers firmly against the pumpkin.

Spray paint the pumpkin, until it is covered completely and evenly.

Once dry, *gently* remove the letters from the pumpkin.

Coat with clear gloss or mod podge for extra coverage or leave as is. Wasn't that easy?

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

How To Antique a Picture Frame

By using antiquing glaze, I gave my picture frame that aged look I wanted without having to sand. I like it because it's hard to screw up. It also adds a lot of dimension to the picture frame and is good for toning down colors that may be a little too bold on their own. You can find antiquing glaze at Lowe's and other hardware stores for about $8-$9.

For this project I used:

Wood picture frame (thrift store)
Primer--(Valspar Red Oxide)
Paint (Rust-Oleum Satin Spray Paint in Heritage Red)
Antiquing glaze (Valspar in Asphaltum)
Clear coat* (Valspar Clear Sealer Gloss)
Paint brush
Rag or paper towels, slightly damp

*Use if desired. I didn't end up using it for this frame.


Prepare the frame by wiping off any dirt and debris.

Apply primer. Once dry, apply spray paint. It's better to do 2-3 thin coats than to make the first coat too thick. Allow the frame to dry completely.

Once the frame is dry, you're ready to glaze! Pour a couple of tablespoons of glaze into a bowl or cup.

Dip paint brush into the glaze and apply to the picture frame.

Once a small area is covered, go back and wipe away excess with a rag before it dries. Glaze has a very thin consistency, like really watered down paint, so it will wipe away easily. If you wipe away too much, just apply more.

Let the picture frame dry. You can seal with clear coat or just leave it as is, depending on the finish you want.

That's it! Wasn't that easy?

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