Apples,Snow and sneaking branches from the neighbors yard.

Snow. On Saturday we got about 8 inches of heavy, wet snow. It just didn’t feel right. The trees were still filled with colorful leaves and it wasn’t very cold, so why were we getting snow dumped on us?


White impatiens sheltered under a tree, hadn’t yet been hit by frost.


Our garden reminded me of a fairy tale snow garden.

The day before this crazy weather, the news had been warning of the coming storm, so I snuck into our neighbors yard to clip a few branches!  shhhh, it’s a secret. Could I get arrested for sneaking a few branches?


I wasn’t ready to say good bye to the pretty leaves and wanted to make a loose arrangement for the dining room. I speared apples with skewers and added them to the vase.


Then I decided to sit here and have some cider and a snack and watch the snow falling outside. Enjoying Autumn inside, while watching a snow storm outside was a new experience for me.


I even dug out this old embroidered placemat.


Autumn is just too pretty to leave us so soon!


Pears would have worked in this arrangement and adding fruit is an easy way to celebrate the season. It looks so pretty too.

Our neighbor was waving at me from his window while I was sneaking. those branches.Who me?


Added to Making the World cuter Monday

Skip to My Lou, Life made Lovely
Debbie (((xx)))

Star sighting in Central park


You can read my previous post about my day in NYC here.

Dave and I took a carriage ride through Central Park and it was beautiful! The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

central dave n nan2011_10_22_2668


Our carriage driver was full of knowledge about who lived here and there, like Jackie O, and Madonna. He told us about the bedrock, the number and kinds of trees in the park and other information that I don’t remember. 



Our horse’s name was Rusty. I found it interesting that lots of the horses come from the Amish in PA. Rusty was a retired race horse and at one time was quite a fast runner. He looks a little old and grey now.cent2011_10_22_2670




A truly beautiful day in the city!


Here’s a glimpse of the ice skating rink.



A little glimpse of the lake. These pictures were taken from the moving carriage so they’re are a little fuzzy.


And now our star sighting!





Here’s the story;  a black escalade with blacked out windows was on the corner as we approached the park. A small crowd was gathering to see who was arriving. We saw a guy get out with a baby carriage and figured it wasn’t anyone famous so we just kept walking. We walked about 20 feet and decided to get a carriage, so we went back to the corner to get the carriage and that’s when we saw Jessica Alba get out of the escalade. She tried to keep her head down and covered with her hair but she was still recognizable.

Read about her visit to Central Park HERE.

What do you think of her outfit? I liked the dress and long sweater but didn’t care much for her shoes.

Have you ever had a star sighting? It’s fun.



Debbie (((xx)))

P is for Pumpkin, O is for Orange

Splashes of orange are popping up everywhere and not just on pumpkins. Shades of orange from peach to rust have always been on my list of favorite colors. Guess that’s why, back in the 80s I was so into the combination of peach and green.


Lately I’m noticing pops of orange in decor. Walls, pillows, rugs, you name it. Is it a new color trend? Will I be brave enough to paint my walls orange? As much as I love it, I don’t know if I’m ready for that! But I can still ohhh and ahhh over touches of orange.

Like these stairs, now that’s a bold, happy look in an entry. 


This rug is gorgeous! The color and pattern are perfect.



And so is this one with the complement of orange draperies.


Speaking of draperies, just look at these beauties. I love this look.


Greys are so popular now and this coral headboard against dark grey walls is swoon worthy!


Here’s a bedroom with orange, aqua and dark brown. I could sleep here. I could live here! Love that zebra rug too.


Bright orange walls create deep contrast against white board and batten. You either love this or hate it! It’s just a tad too bright for me.


Here’s another orange space with a touch of black and white zebra print in a vase.


And yet another room with an orange, brown and blue palette paired with a zebra print rug.

So now that I’ve shared my obsession with orange, have I inspired you? I hope it’s popularity lasts. I’ll be so happy to be seeing it more and more!


Coming up next is a post about our star sighting in NYC!  Woo hoo it was fun!

Debbie (((xx)))

New York City sights


Early Saturday morning I boarded Amtrak to NYC to spend the day with my grandson David.

He meet me in Penn Station and we immediately headed to one of his favorite cafes, French Roast on W. 11th street. We both had eggs Benedict and I can honestly say it was the best I ever had! The eggs were cooked to perfection.

In our cappuccinos, he got a leaf and I got a heart.


Next we strolled around the city heading toward the World Trade Center Memorial. I’ll be sharing that in another post.



The buildings were amazing.


Dave has taken classes on the history and architecture of the city, so he was a great tour guide, but I don’t remember the names of these buildings!




The arch at Washington Square commemorates the one hundredth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington. I did remember that, it’s inscribed on the stone!



The opposite side has a fountain.


Another little park with a fountain, again I don’t remember the name, but this is where a tiny piece of paper flew in my mouth and grossed me out and Dave spilled his Starbuck’s drink all over his boots.

rooftop garden

Roof top gardens were spotted here and there.



We saw many bikers riding in the crowded streets. I think they’re crazy!



I loved the look of these old buildings. Would you live here? Are you a city person.



Soho and Tribeca areas. As you can see, it was a gorgeous day!

No trip to NYC would be complete with a glimpse of the Empire State building.

empire closer2011_10_22_2601

We took a carriage ride around Central Park, rode the subway several times, strolled through China town and ended our day at a great little Italian restaurant. I took lots of pictures to share with you and we even saw a star! A real movie star! I got some pictures of that too which I’ll post soon.

It was a great day! Love ya Dave.


Debbie (((xx)))

The winner of 100, 5×7 customizable postcards from UPrinting is #5, Kathie (Krafty Kat). Thank you for entering the giveaway from 

Hot cider, A Fall favorite

The smell alone makes me happy.

At a Fall festival several years ago I had my first whiff of hot apple cider. As the cinnamon-apple scent enveloped me, I knew I had to find the source of that wonderful aroma.


I bought my first cup of hot cider and it was so good that I boldly asked for the recipe.  Amazingly the owners of the stand told me!

Hot cider will warm your hands and delight your senses.


Get yourself a mug of steaming hot cider and go enjoy a windy Autumn day.


Here’s the recipe;

a cup of cider with a splash of orange juice and cinnamon, that’s it! Just adjust to your liking.  I like it really hot with lots of cinnamon! In loveYou gotta try it!

Added to Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam 

Serenity Now weekend linkup

I arrived home yesterday after 8 days in Tennessee with my family. I ate soup beans, cornbread, sausage and gravy biscuits and some delicious home made ribs. We went to the Heritage Festival, a haunted house and got lost in the little kids corn maze!  I got a mini makeover from my granddaughter who’s in cosmetology school. She did a great job too!

The trees were so pretty, even more colorful than here. I love spending time with my family.Red heart


There’s a little giveaway coming up tomorrow!

Debbie (((xx)))

Family Time in Tennessee

I’m in Tennessee this week visiting family.

Meet Jake my grandson. He started kindergarten this year and is constantly counting, adding and spelling and really soaking up letters and numbers like a dry sponge.


We went on a pumpkin counting walk together and he said he counted a hundred!


His nickname is mud digger and the pictures clearly show why.


If there’s mud near, the boy will find it.


He lays in mud, rolls in mud and is pretty much covered in mud from head to toe. You can see more pictures of a much younger Jake playing in mud HERE in a previous post.


Muddy face, muddy hands, one tooth missing, did I mention that he’s a cutie?


It’s perfect weather here today and later we’ll be going to the Heritage Festival to celebrating Fall.

Are you enjoying Fall?


Next week I’ve got a giveaway coming up that’s perfect for Christmas.

Debbie (((xx)))

Another burlap pumpkin

Are you ready for another pumpkin? I think I may be heading toward pumpkin burnout! They’re everywhere! And they’re even blue this year. Blue pumpkins, can you imagine! Winking smile

Since my first burlap pumpkin was so dang cute I decided to make another one with some pretty turquoise burlap. I think I bought it at the thrift store last year and found it in my fabric stash. I haven’t seen colored burlap in any of the fabric or craft stores around here.


This pumpkin is a smaller version of the original and I added a vintage key and some twisted wire vine.


A pair of pumpkins on the coffee table, aren’t they cute?


Now I can say I have a blue pumpkin too!

The original burlap pumpkin and tutorial are posted HERE.

I’m traveling to TN today to spend time with my family, so I’ll probably start saying things like y’all and eating sausage gravy, grits and stuff like that.  And that’s ok with me. Smile I’ll post some pictures when I get there.

Have a great day!

Added to Tips and Tutorials at Home Stories A 2 Z

Today’s Creative blog, Get Your craft On

Whatever goes Wednesday at Someday Crafts

Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style


Debbie (((xx)))

Butternut Squash Risotto

Here’s the recipe I teased about in my previous post. Smile

Butternut squash risotto is one of my favorite dishes. Its creamy texture, paired with sage and the flavor of the squash is the ultimate comfort food. It’s every bit as comforting as mashed potatoes.  Have you ever made risotto? It’s so good!


I use Martha Stewart’s recipe but change it a little to make it work for me.


The color of the squash is amazing!.

Her recipe starts off by melting 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet. I added more because my skillet was so large and 1 tablespoon didn’t seem like enough.

Next, add about 1 1/2 lbs of peeled squash chunks. I used 2 small squash. The smaller the chunks, the faster they cook and it takes about 50 minutes to complete this dish. On medium heat, cook and stir about 8 minutes or until the squash begins to soften on the edges. 

Add 1 cup of Arborio rice. Martha’s recipe adds 1/2 cup dry white wine at this point, but I didn’t have an open bottle so I added broth instead. Cook this until almost all liquid is absorbed. Keep stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low.


You will need about 33 ounces of chicken broth and it needs to be hot.

Start to add the broth 1/2 cup at a time and stir until all the liquid is absorbed before you add more. This will take about 45-50 minutes. That’s a lot of stirring but you really can’t walk away from this recipe.

Add salt and pepper to you liking. Stir in 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish.

squash32011_10_05_2291All that stirring and magically it turns into a creamy delicious concoction. Open-mouthed smile


Pork chops with apples, butternut squash risotto and Harvard beets made a delicious Fall supper and it was just too darn good! Try it, it’s yummy!

What’s your favorite fall recipe?

Added to

Inspiration Friday, At the Picket Fence,

Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum

Potpourri party at 2805


Debbie (((xx)))

Free Herbs, a drive-by story

On a side street in town is the Real Foods Emporium. They sell organic foods, raw milk, whole grains and whatever is considered a real food, as in nothing processed.

While running some errands, I spotted the Free Herbs sign. What? When did they put up that sign? I almost slammed on the brakes, but realized that I’d have to come back later.  Bumper sticker, I brake for free herbs should be on my car.


When I had a chance to go back, I was a tad disappointed. The herb garden was very untidy, well, it was just a plain mess.


But the herbs were free, so why let a bunch of weeds bother me, right?


Look at all that basil! And there was lots more basil growing! All over the place.


Everything you need for clipping herbs is in this mailbox, including bags for your clippings. There was even a hoe and that little seat thing to save your back from all that bending over.

finished collage1


I saw the herbs pictured above and mint, tarragon and others that I didn’t recognize. Despite my first impression, the plants were abundant and healthy looking, but I took only what I needed for one of my most favorite Fall recipes.



I gathered a handful of lovely, fragrant sage. The picture is a little hint to the recipe. Can you guess what it is?

I’ll be posting the recipe real soon and I have to tell you, it’s so good!

I’m planning on going back to get more, especially some of that beautiful basil to make basil ice cubes for soups and sauces. Here’s how to do it.

Fall’s been great so far, but I have to get back there before the frost if I want to clip more. Wilted rose

Happy Fall!

Debbie (((xx)))

Dining room Sideboard dressed for Fall

The weather hasn’t been the best for picture taking. Most days it’s been dark and dreary but I tried to get some pictures anyway. If I ever learn how to set my camera manually, I’ll need to start at the kindergarten level. It’s so confusing to me.

Ok, here we go with the dining room.


Most all of these things were gathered from around the house. The white pumpkin is real as are the butternut squash.


One of my favorite colors is the color of butternut squash and it looks pretty with tarnished silver and white pottery.



The candle is battery operated and I used an upholstery tack to dress it with a touch of burlap. Moss, twigs and hydrangea were added along with a couple of tea stained books.


Twine and craft glue transformed a plastic orange pumpkin.


I tried wrapping twine around and around but wasn’t thrilled with the way it looked, so instead of wrapping, I cut lengths and glued them on. Yeah, it was a messy project but turned out cute. I used pins to hold some pieces in place until the glue dried. When I was done with the sides, I created the stem by wrapping in a circular motion.




An old tray turned chalkboard announces Fall and hangs below my latest yarn wreath. Have you had your fill of yarns wreaths yet? In love


Enjoy Fall, you know what comes next!


For more of the soft colors of Fall read my previous post, Autumn’s softer colors.

Adding to Centsational Girl’s fall craft linky.


Debbie (((xx)))

Autumn’s softer colors

With bright orange colors, my mantle screams Fall. Bright colors aren’t for everyone, so I’m featuring some softer inspiration from Pinterest. 



Whites, pale yellow and soft blues can look amazing in Fall displays.


Source: via Bungalow on Pinterest


Mercury glass, tarnished silver and white pumpkins seem to go together naturally.


Source: via Bungalow on Pinterest



These softer colors are so pretty. Next year I will definitely try a softer, lighter look.



So pretty! Are you inspired?

Coming up this week, a look at the Fall dining room, recipes perfect for cooler weather and more about yarn wreaths.. Be right back



Debbie (((xx)))

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There are new links in my sidebar too!

Debbie (((xx)))



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