Friday, October 29, 2010

Fab Fall Foliage

The leaves on the trees have been absolutely GORGEOUS this week.  So many shades of red, orange, and's what I love about fall.  The only downside to the trees hitting their peak color is that you know it will soon end with the leafy beauties lying on the ground and some not-so-interesting bare-naked trees.

So I'm thinking that instead of letting them just lay there on the ground until they shrivel up and brown, I want to put them to some use.  I found these great projects using real leaves that I'm totally wanting to try!

Love, love, love! These are actually color photocopies of real leaves! Get the project tutorial here.

I know I already have a fall "wreath", but I think this one is pretty cool too, made with preserved leaves.  Instructions here.

Or how about using them to make a pretty fireplace decoration! From one of my favorite blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere.

How do you preserve leaves? Follow this tutorial from Color Outside The Lines.

Picfolio - Scrapbooking Even I Can Do!

I am defiinitely what you would call scrapbooking-challenged.  Seriously, I'm really least at the kind where you cut your pictures and pretty paper into different shapes and sizes and creatively arrange them on a white paper canvas. 


That all changed when my mother-in-law got me the Picfolio kit from Creative Memories (my husband calls it "Cut-up-your Memories" which makes me chuckle every time) for my birthday. 

All you have to do with the Picfolio kit is slide the pictures into the slots.  So easy! You can also mix in pretty already-coordinated paper to give it the artsy, scrapbooking feel, and journal about the pictures.  This was perfect for me and now all my pics aren't just "collecting dust" on my computer.  

Here's a few pages from my book...

There's a ton of different styles of paper you can use on the Creative Memories website.  Check it out here!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grandma's Recipes: Danish Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pastry

For those of you who don't know her, my Grandma has an incredible talent and passion for cooking.  Many of her recipes have involved long hours of testing and trying to achieve the perfect ingredients and methods of cooking.  Lucky for me, I've gotten to "taste-test" many of her recipes over the years...and super-LUCKY FOR ME, she has given me a copy of all her recipes on one little flash drive.  How awesome is that?

While my Grandma and Grandpa were at our house for a visit last weekend, I asked Grandma if I could make and post some of her recipes on my blog...and she said yes! 

So, here is my first recipe to share with you.  Grandma says she makes these Danish Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pastries for Cowboy Church and everybody gobbles them up.  And now I see why! These are so yummy and fairly simple to make (once you figure out how to flip the second layer of crescent roll dough). :)

Makes a 15 ½” x10 ½”Jelly Roll Pan or a Pampered Chef  Stoneware Bar Pan

·       2 Tubes Refrigerated 
Butter Flake Rolls
Original Crescent 
·       2 Pkg. (8 oz. ea.) Cream Cheese (softened)
·       1 Cup Granulated Sugar
·       1 Egg (beaten)
·       1 Tsp. Vanilla
·       ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
·       2 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
·       6 Tbs. Butter (melted)

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 15½ x 10 ½ inch Jelly Roll Pan with butter.
Use a Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan, if you have one (do not grease, if your stone is already "seasoned")

Press 1 tube of Crescent Rolls to cover bottom.
(lay piece of plastic wrap over dough and press or roll with pastry roller)

Blend Cream Cheese, the 1 Cup Sugar, Egg, and Vanilla; spread evenly over Crescent Roll Crust. (do not go over the edges of crust) Refrigerate until top is readied.

Cover bottom of a 17”x 12” rimmed bake sheet with a piece of plastic wrap; lay second tube of Crescent Rolls on plastic, lay another piece of plastic wrap over dough; press or roll with pastry roller to edge of plastic wrap; transfer to top of Cheese mixture.

Mix the ½ Cup Granulated Sugar and Cinnamon together. Sprinkle over top Danish.

Drizzle melted Butter over top Danish.

Bake for 24 to 30 minutes (24 minutes for Stoneware Bar Pan) or until golden brown.

Cool overnight in refrigerator. 
Serve Chilled.

Plug: I put this post on  Check it out!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Do the Tanga!

I will never again pay more than $5 for a magazine subscription after finding  I've gotten Lucky Magazine, Women's Day, Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, and Shape Magazine for between $2-$5 each!  And for the hubby, I've scored ESPN Magazine, Outside, and Field & Stream for the same prices!  AWESOME!

Here's how to score a magazine deal:

1. Go to, get the coupon codes, and follow the links to

2. Check back every week if you don't see a magazine deal that interests you right now because they are always updating!

Magazine deals happening right now:


Other websites have some good deals on magazines as well (,, etc).  Some of those deals include:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Longwood Gardens

One of my favorite places to take people when they come to visit is the gorgeous, expansive grounds of Longwood Gardens in Kennet Square, PA.  Every time I go, there is something new to see. 

This year, I've been lucky enough to go during spring, summer, and fall.  And now that I have a membership, I will definitely be going around Christmas time.

Here are a few of the pictures I've collected at Longwood...

Oh, the beauty of God's Creation!

Weekend idea: visit your local botanical gardens or one of the top ten according to

1. Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver, Colorado)
2. Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Brooklyn, New York)
3. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (Coral Gables, Florida)
4. Chicago Botanic Garden (Chicago, Illinois)
5. Arnold Arboretum (Boston, Massachusetts)
6. UC-Davis Arboretum (Davis, California)
7. National Tropical Botanical Garden (headquarters in Kauai, Hawaii)
8. Memphis Botanic Garden (Memphis, Tennessee)
9. United States Botanic Garden (Washington DC)
10. Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, Missouri)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Goodbye, Old Spices...Hello, World Spice

This past weekend, I decided to go through my spice cabinet and throw away any spices past their expiration.  All I have to say is....WOW! I ended up throwing away half my spice collection!

It really hurt...all that money...wasted.  I came extremely close to just putting them back, but finally convinced myself that fresh spices can make or break a into the trash they went!

In an effort to find a way to be less wasteful and save money when it comes to spices, I've come across two ideas:

1. Grab a couple friends and share least the ones that you don't use often.  Half of those ground cloves would have been plenty for me!

2. Order spices online from World Spice.  A lot of their spices are 1 oz. for $1.  So much cheaper than the ones at the store and you have so many more options!  Stock up on all your fave spices once a year and pay shipping once a year...that will equal big savings to the store-bought alternative.   I may even order their adorable jars to put them in...or go with an even cheaper version from Ikea.

IKEA, $2.99/4 Pack

Maybe I'm getting ambitious, but I would love to have a spice cabinet that looked like this!

So cute!  Spice Jar Organization Tips at

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chocolate Walk

Lititz Chocolate Walk.  Need I say more?

It's like trick-or-treating for adults!  4 good friends and I embarked on the adventure this past Saturday, stopping at several downtown stores sampling chocolate this and chocolate was awesome. :)

There was chocolate tea, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate smoothies, chocolate fudge, brownies, truffles, chocolate donuts, and even chocolate chicken wings! (although I didn't sample them this year, I had them last year and I must say...not bad)

Wilbur Chocolate Co. in Lititz, PA is one of the 30 stops on the Chocolate Walk.  

This was just halfway through the walk.  Hungry yet?

Needless to say, I had a DELICIOUS time.  So good, in fact, I'm thinking of having a chocolate party of my own! Here's what I would make...

1. Too Much Chocolate Cake (that's the title)This is one of the top-rated recipes on  YUM!

5. Eclair Cake - This is one of my favorite recipes to make!

6. Chocolate Trifle


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Decor Part 2 - Wreath Alternative

I'm really excited to share this little project with you!

I was in Michaels yesterday searching for items to make a fall wreath (artificial flowers, vines, etc) and suddenly realized... I am really not wanting to put forth the effort in making this thing.  The daunting task of hot-gluing each flower on and most likely burning myself several times in the process was just not appealing to me yesterday.  And there is NO WAY I was going to spend $40-$60 on the ready-made wreaths.  My thrifty conscious just wouldn't allow it.  So, I left empty-handed and a front door looking like this. :(  Definitely not fall-y enough and definitely bor-ing.

Then came to me.  I don't HAVE to put a wreath on my front door.  While picking up a few groceries, I stopped by the craft section at Walmart.  Here's my wreath alternative:

Small basket, Walmart, $3
Foam blocks, Walmart, $2

Bought the ready-made bouquet of artificial fall flowers and snipped off each stem. 
Better Homes and Garden brand, Walmart $5 each.  I used three bouquets to fill out the basket.

Then, you simply poke the stems into the foam blocks at all angles.

Next, I tied a wide dark brown ribbon to each handle.  
Ribbon, Walmart, $2

And the final product for a grand total of $22!

Now I have a much-improved fall-cladded front door! :)

I added this project to
Check it out!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall Decor Part 1 - Coffee Beans, Etc

I love the rich color and smell of coffee beans - hazlenut in particular.  I also love SIMPLE AND CHEAP crafts/decor.  And this is what you get when you mix the two! Viola! 

Here, I'm putting to use the champagne glasses that we've rarely used and incorporating them into my fall decorations.  Fill with whole coffee beans (a medium-sized bag is $5 at Wally World), and stick in a candle.  So easy!  The ribbon is added for the "fall feeling" but switch out the colors and you have it for another season.

I got this glassware at a yard sale for $1!

A scattering of all things fall on a serving platter.  :)

Happy Fall, Everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Laundry Oops

This past weekend my husband was doing the laundry and found this surprise.  Note: Gel pens are not meant to be washed :)

I'm only seeing this as a good thing, however, because now I MUST go shopping.  Oh, Darn! (sarcasm)

And while I'm at the outlets looking for new pants, it's very possible that some new boots make their way into my shopping bags as well.  :)

Here's what I'm thinking for possible selections:

Classic Khaki Pants, Gap, $49.50 (Hopefully cheaper at the outlet!)

Tweed Trousers, Old Navy, $39.50

Candie's Tall Boots, Kohls, $38.99

Aerosoles Ankle Boots, Kohls, $47.99

Pierre-Dumas Orchid-3,, $59


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