Friday Favorites #19

By this time next week, the packages will be unwrapped, the dinner guests will be gone, and the radio will be done playing Christmas carols.  Can you believe it?  We all spend so much time preparing for Christmas and then before you know it, the holiday is over.  I can honestly say that I've tried to slow down and take the season in this year.

Of course, that meant I kind of disappeared from here with any projects or recipes lately.  Believe me....I had plans.  But when it felt like the Christmas season was slipping away from me, I realized I needed to step back and enjoy my life.  There is always next year for those unfinished DIYs and cookies.  (And believe it or not, I already have the ENTIRE Christmas blog season planned for next year.  You'll just have to wait and be surprised!)

Friday Favorites #18

It was a snowy day yesterday and something about the flakes coming down put me in a good Christmas mood.  Don't get me wrong....I'm not a fan of the snow or the cold.  But there are days when snow just seems appropriate.  You know what I mean?  

Whether you are watching the snow fall right now or not, I hope that these favorites of mine will put you in a good Christmas mood as well.  Enjoy!

DIY snowflakes made from old book pages from Tifani Lyn | Friday Christmas Favorites at

Christmas House Tour | Home for the Holidays Open House

Today I'm sharing part of my home that has been decorated for Christmas as part of the Home for the Holidays open house tour.  It is a group of 25 amazing bloggers who are opening their houses for you to see throughout this whole week.  The links to the tour appear near at the end of this post.

Friday Favorites #17

Good Friday morning, friends.  I hope your week has been going well.  This past week has been busy, busy, busy decorating for Christmas.  It always seems to take me a while to get things just the way I want them.  Next Wednesday I will be participating with a great group of bloggers in my first ever Christmas house tour, so I'm being a bit more of a perfectionist than usual.  I hope you'll be back next week to see how everything turned out!

And now on to some more of my favorite Christmas pictures from the week.....

Chip and Joanna Gaines Living Room decorated for Christmas #fixerupper | Friday Christmas Favorites at

Friday Favorites #16

Thanksgiving is over.  The turkey is cleaned up.  And today I am out braving the crowds to do a little Black Friday shopping.  It is so hard to believe that the Christmas season officially starts today and the holiday will be here before you know it.  What are your plans for this weekend?  Shopping...decorating...spending time with family?

From now until Christmas, my Friday Favorites are going to be holiday related.  Isn't that what most of us are interested in being inspired by right now?  It's what I'm seeing the most of right now on Pinterest and throughout the many blogs I follow.  Whether you plan on decorating a lot, whipping up many delicious treats, hosting family, or just enjoying the season, I hope that some of what I share here will help you create a cozy, meaningful Christmas!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Simple Christmas Display with tree inside of crate from Dreamy Whites | Friday Favorites at

Friday Favorites #15

It has been a super busy week, so I'm keeping it short and sweet today.....Here are my favorites from the week!  Enjoy!

Neutral Pottery Barn Living Room....Looks really cozy! | Friday Favorites at

Handmade Gift Tag Ornaments

Learn how to make easy DIY Christmas Gift Tag Ornaments from leftover Formica samples! |

I'm not sure whether it is beneficial or not, but I've found that sometimes when people find that you are a creative individual, they tend to give you really strange items to do something with.  Today's project was created from one of those "donations."

My aunt had a bunch of Formica samples leftover from a recent kitchen remodeling project.  Rather than throw them away, she decided there had to be something  I could make out of them.

How to Paint a Christmas Pillow

How to Paint a Pillow for Christmas decorating | #Christmas #DIY

I can hardly believe that it is just about time for me to start putting out decorations for Christmas.....and I know many of you are already done!  Christmas is my favorite time for decorating.  I love adding greenery throughout the house, tucking some vintage ornaments in unexpected places, and decking out my Christmas tree.  I love the holiday so much that last year I shared 25 whole days of Christmas inspiration!

Friday Favorites #14

Welcome to another week of my Friday Favorites!  How has your week been going?  I've got some great pictures to share with you this morning.  I guess a lot caught my eye this past week.  Hope you enjoy my favorites!  Enjoy your weekend, friends! 

Rustic Wood Tool Caddy from Dreamy Whites | Friday Favorites at

Ultimate Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving Dessert

With three layers of pumpkin flavored cheesecake on a gingersnap crust, this Ultimate Pumpkin Cheesecake makes a wonderful presentation as an after-dinner dessert during the fall.  It also is a delicious alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.

Learning about Shutter Speed | Photography 101

It has been a month since our last lesson on photography when we learned about aperture.  (Where did that time go?!?!)  Have you been practicing how to use this amazing feature in your camera?  Another one of the basics in photography is shutter speed, and that is what today's lesson is all about.

Friday Favorites #13

Happy Friday friends!  I hope that your week has been going well.  Many of you seem to be feeling the same way as I have that things have been crazy busy lately.  And unfortunately, I don't think that is going to change anytime soon.  We are on the home stretch towards Thanksgiving, Christmas, and everything the holidays bring.  In addition to that, I've got some guest posts and a few blog hops coming up over the next month as well as my open house in less than two weeks.  Ack!  

Alright, now onto something a little less favorite pictures of the week.  I hope you enjoy your weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!

Gorgeous brick house | Friday Favorites at

Setting a Beautiful Tablescape for Thanksgiving

Check out this post for tips on creating a beautiful and special Thanksgiving tablescape this fall! |

As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, I get excited for decorating my home and table.  I love picking up new dinnerware or linens....making favors for my guest to take home...coming up with different side dishes to serve with the traditional meat and potatoes.  So when Kelly of Live, Laugh, Rowe invited me to participate in a tablescape blog hop, I jumped at the chance!

Friday Favorites #12

Can you believe that tomorrow is November 1?  Before you know it, the holiday rush will begin and 2015 will be here in a flash.  I am determined to slow down and enjoy the entire Thanksgiving and Christmas season this year.  What about you?

In case you missed anything, this past week I shared a display I did for Thanksgiving and put together a collection of 35 Halloween ideas.  Our Your Turn to Shine Link party is also going on so be sure to go over and link up some of your great projects you've been working on!

And now onto my favorite links and pictures of the week....

35 Inspiring Halloween Ideas

Check out this post with 35 Amazing Ideas for Halloween  | Recipes, Crafts, DIY, and Decorating Inspiration at

With Halloween just a few days away, I decided to post a round up of some of my favorite Halloween links that I've seen in the past few weeks of our Your Turn to Shine link party.  I thought this would be an easy task until I realized just how many amazing projects you've shared!  So, kick back and take a moment to look through just a few of the great Halloween ideas that have been posted here.

A Display for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Display |

Since the Christmas Open House my mom and I hold each year falls the week before Thanksgiving, I try to get decorations out early so that there is time to enjoy them.  By November 15, they will all have to come down so the house can be transformed into our little holiday shop.  

I hate jumping right from the fall/Halloween season straight to Christmas.  It is important to me to take the time to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday for more than a day off with lots of turkey and Black Friday sales.  

Friday Favorites #11

Happy Friday!  I'm so glad to have you back here once again for my Friday Favorites.  I hope that you are as inspired by these pictures as I am.  Each week, this post is really an accurate look at what my style is and the things I find interesting.  In a dream world, what I'm posting would look like these pictures.  I'm not there yet, but it is always nice to see what I'm working towards!  

Have a fantastic weekend and I'll see you back here next week!

Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches (from The Bojon Gourmet) there a more perfect dessert combination than this? | Friday Favorites at

We Gather Together Handpainted Thanksgiving Sign

With Halloween next week, I realize that I'm a little early for a Thanksgiving project.  But since I don't decorate for Halloween, I've already moved on to the next holiday.  For me, decorating for Thanksgiving is really just an extension from fall.  Add a few turkeys and pilgrims and you are good to go.

How to Create a Reclaimed Wood Tray from a Picture Frame

Check out this tutorial for making a reclaimed wood tray from a thrift store picture frame!  |

Whether it is a broken down piece of furniture or a random thrift store find, I enjoy seeing things for what they could become rather than what they are.  Sometimes I can instantly look at something and know what it could be.  Other times, I need time to think about it.  And then there are the times when I see something already made and know that I could DIY it with something else I've seen.

Friday Favorites #10

This week has just flown by and I feel as though I kind of left you hanging with just one other post this week aside from the link party.  I have been working on some great projects that you'll be seeing next month and it has kind of taken me away from getting projects done to post now.  I'm all prepared and ready to go for next week, though, so hopefully you aren't too disappointed!

I've seen a lot of things around the web this week that I've really liked, so here are some of my favorite pictures and links...See you back here on Monday!

Bookmark this post and bring it up when times are bad.

This post is full of great tips for those of you who are bloggers or are looking to start one.

I must remember this when I use a boxed cake mix.

Friday Favorites #9

Good morning friends!  Another Friday has rolled around.  The days seem to be going by in a blur lately, and from what I've been hearing from a lot of my blogging friends is that they feel the same way.  Have you felt a little overwhelmed with life lately?  Anyone have any suggestions for slowing things down?!?!

And for those of you who have left comments or sent me emails this past week, your responses are coming!  I'm a little behind, but I try to answer everything that comes my way.  

I really love sharing all the things that I've found interesting during the week.  It is so relaxing to take a moment and browse through my pins from the week.  My hope is that you are enjoying it, too.  Be sure to leave me some comments below about anything you find interesting here or out there in blogworld.  Enjoy and have a fabulous weekend!

I found out how to be rich....and it has nothing to do with money.

This is one of the best secrets to decorating your home.

Check out one of my newest favorite blogs.  I so want to move into her house!

Learning about Aperture | Photography 101

Basket full of apples for fall |

There is a lot of technical things to learn when it come to photography.  But for these photography lessons, I want to break it down to the absolute basics so that we can all understand how our cameras work and what we can do to get brighter, clearer pictures.  Whether you take pictures to post on a blog, to sell items you make, or to capture moments in your family's life, photography is important.  With just a few techniques and a little practice your skills can improve tremendously.

A couple weeks ago, I shared what I consider to be the three most important things that you need to take good photos.  Today's lesson on photography is all about aperture.

Rustic Apple Muffins with Crumb Topping

Whether paired with a cup of coffee for breakfast or alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert, these Rustic Apple Muffins with Crumb Topping are a must-make recipe for fall filled with spices and topped with a dried apple chip.

Giving Plastic Jack O'Lanterns a Makeover for Halloween Decor

Halloween Jack O' Lantern Candy Bowl |

Halloween has become the second most decorated holiday after Christmas.  Yet, I've never really embraced the ghosts, cobwebs, and tombstones that adorn many homes.  Even so, I do enjoy looking through the creative ideas that all of you have.  While browsing through the web, I came across a trick or treat banner.  It wasn't the banner that caught my attention, though.  It was a Jack o' lantern on a stand that I knew we could all DIY.

Friday Favorites #8

Thank you to everyone who took the time add a link to our party yesterday or to visit some of them.  There are some amazing ideas!  I haven't had a chance to visit each one yet, but I will before the weekend is over.  If you haven't had a chance to link up yet, the party will be open until Monday.  

I can hardly believe that we are in October already!  Where is the year going?  The weather this weekend looks to be very cool in PA. While I know that fall is here, I'd prefer that it feel like summer when I go outside.  I guess it will be a perfect weekend to curl up inside with a mug of hot cider.  Maybe it will give me a chance to look through the October magazines that have piled up over the last month.  

There are times when I'm putting this post together that I find I'm inspired by something, but it doesn't lend itself to a picture.  So here are some bonus links to check out this week....

Now I understand why my house always seems messy.

I must visit Target to buy some of these.  (Thanks Adrienne!)

This inspired me to plan my day a little better.

And this recipe may be just the way to get me to eat sweet potatoes.

Painting a Recipe Box to Give as a Gift

I was invited by Havalah and her sisters from Sisters, What! to participate in a Handmade Christmas Gift Blog Hop along with 14 other bloggers.  I know what you are saying.  "Tomorrow is only the first of October.  It's too soon to think about Christmas."  But if you are planning on making gifts to share with your friends and family, it is not to early to start crafting....or at least be inspired to begin!

When making a gift for someone, it needs to be something that the recipient will actually want and will use.  You don't want to spend your valuable time making something that isn't going to be appreciated.  A handmade gift also needs to be simple to create, especially if you are making gifts for many people.

6 Fall Wardrobe Essentials

I love clothes as much as I love decorating.  I love shopping for them.  I love mixing and matching pieces to create different outfits.  And fall is my favorite season for clothes because it is the perfect time for layering and adding accessories.  Decorating yourself is just as fun as decorating a room....and many of the same "rules" apply!

I admit that lately I haven't been taking the time I should to plan my outfits each day.  It is easier to just throw something on in the morning without taking the time to plan.  Easy is not always better, though.  I'm always pinning outfits that I'd like to wear, but like most of what I pin, I rarely refer back to them.  I've made the decision to change that and to start putting a little more thought and care into what I'm wearing this fall.

Friday Favorites #7

I want to begin today by sharing with you that I've had the honor this week of being featured on  I was so excited when Lauren contacted me a while back for permission to share the Pottery Barn knock-off I had done earlier in the year.  In addition to writing for SheKnows, Lauren (who prefers to be called Lo) has a beautiful blog called A Lo and Behold Life.  I can't thank Lauren enough for not just choosing one of my projects, but for the super nice things she had to say in her post.  Click here if you are interested in seeing the feature.

Tomorrow I'm going to a craft festival at Delgrosso's Amusement Park in Altoona, PA with my mom and my aunt.  It is a lovely fall setting outdoors walking underneath the trees that are beginning to change colors.  The path weaves all through the park.  There is also events throughout the day and free rides for the kids (or adults!).  I'll also be taking one of my four trips to Hobby Lobby for the year.  The disadvantage of living in a small, rural town is that there are no great places to shop without driving for a couple hours.  Trips to Target and Hobby Lobby become something to treasure rather than something done each weekend!

10 Ways to Decorate with Pumpkins

Fall decorating ideas seem to be exploding on Pinterest and blogs lately.  Everyone seems to be very excited about decorating this year which is fantastic.  And while it is great to have huge, amazing displays, sometimes all you need is a couple pumpkins.  Even if you aren't that into decorating, there isn't anything easier than sticking a few around for just a glimpse of fall.

Here are some easy ideas for using real or fake pumpkins around your DIY or decorating skills needed!

10 Ways to Decorate with Pumpkins |

3 Must Haves for Great Pictures | Photography 101

Vintage Minolta Camera |

Even as a child I loved taking pictures.  Granted, those pictures were not always good....sometimes a little blurry....sometimes a little dark.  But there has always been a part of me that enjoys holding a camera and snapping pictures from different angles.  My dad enjoyed taking pictures (this is his camera in the pictures), and I think I probably developed an interest from watching him.

As I've gotten older, my cameras have gotten to be of a better quality (and of course, more expensive).  About a month after starting my blog last year, I purchased my first DSLR and love working with it.  It is a Nikon D5100.  I'm dreaming of this camera, but for now with my budget the Nikon that I have is going to do.

Friday Favorites #6

Happy Friday friends!  How has your week gone?  Mine seemed to be crazy busy with blog stuff this week, which has been amazing.  I have to say that I am grateful for all the beautiful comments and emails I've been receiving lately.  I really feel like this little blog of mine is beginning to take off and I appreciate all the love and support you've been sending my way.  It feels so nice knowing that I'm making friends out there, even if I may never get to meet you face to face.  So whether you subscribe to my blog or follow me on social media, thank you.  And for those of you who are visiting for the first time today, I hope my blog can provide something that will interest and inspire you!  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and enjoy my favorite links from the week!

My Dining Room Decorated for Fall

Last week I shared some pictures of my living room decorated for fall.  My goal was to create a cozy space where you could curl up by the fire.  The comments I've received seem to confirm that I accomplished what I set out to do.  Today, I thought I'd share some pictures from my dining room.

Vintage Radio Stand Makeover with White Chalk Paint

Refurbishing a Vintage Radio Stand |

So the consensus last week seemed to be that I'm not going insane just because I purchased another piece of trashy furniture I didn't need.  That was reassuring.  Of course I think most of the comments I received were from people who can also see potential in discarded items, so the opinion may have been a little biased.  I'm hoping that all of you will agree now that this little $5 yard sale stand was a great find.  It turned out better than I could have ever imagined.

Buying Natural Dish Soap

I want this to be the type of blog that you never know what I might post on a given day.  Today is good evidence of that.

Lately, I've found that I have been dissatisfied with the dish soap I'm using.  There is not a dishwasher at my house, so all the dishes are washed by hand in the sink.  I've always used Dawn, but it just doesn't seem to be lasting as long in my water as I'd like.  I've also been trying to find more natural alternatives to the things that I buy.  It kind of bothers me that the ingredients are not listed on the bottles of Dawn.

Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies with Burnt Butter Icing

Cranberry Pumpkin Cookies with Burnt Butter Icing |

I love the tastes and flavors of the fall season.  Warm cider.  A slice of pumpkin pie.  Apples covered in caramel. Squash seasoned with butter.  Do I need to go on?

These cranberry pumpkin cookies with burn butter icing are the perfect flavor for the fall season!  |

And at the top of my list of favorites for autumn is pumpkin cookies.  For me, they just scream fall.  Today I'm adapting an old family recipe a bit to make these cranberry pumpkin cookies.  They are soft, chewy, and practically melt-in-your-mouth.....the perfect combination for a delicious cookie!

Friday Favorites #5

Before I get into my favorites for the day, I have a couple random things to take care of first.....

A reader left a comment on my Hometalk page about problems she was having mixing up the DIY chalk paint I had posted.  Her paint turned out very thick and grainy.  While I've never had any problems mixing up the paint, I was wondering if any of you had experienced similar problems.  My only thought about why this might have happened is that the plaster of Paris was added to the water, rather than adding the water to the plaster.  Any other ideas?  If you have any suggestions, I'd love if you'd let me know in the comments section below!

Second, I am super excited to share that a girl from my hometown is going to be competing on Sunday as Miss Ohio in the Miss America pageant.  And to top that, she was actually the winner of the preliminary talent competition.  I haven't watched in years, but will definitely be tuning in this year.  I live in a very small, rural area so this is a really big thing.   I'd love to see her make it into the top 15.

And now on to my favorite links of the week....

Favorite Organized Storage Cubbies | Friday Favorites on

Decorating My Living Room for Fall

I received such amazing comments and compliments last fall on the mantel display that I posted.  It was very layered and complex.  While I enjoy doing displays like that, I can also get a little stressed out making it look perfect.

This year, I decided I wanted to go simple (and stress free) with my fall decorations.  I wanted something laid back and cozy, yet still have all the elements of fall.  You can't go wrong with some leaves, pumpkins, and pine cones!

An Experiment in Overwintering Geraniums

Better Homes and Gardens magazine published an article last fall about saving your summer geraniums through the winter.  They claim that geraniums can survive in a dormant state for long periods of time.  I ripped the pages out of the magazine so that I could try the idea on my plants, but then the fall season came and went and my poor little dying plants froze.  I was too late.  

Fall Banner....A Great Alternative to a Wreath!

I wanted something different than an ordinary fall wreath for my front door this year.  I was imagining something that was eye catching from the road, yet still simple and relatively inexpensive to make.  I think I came up with a great DIY alternative using supplies you may already have or can pick up at any craft store.  

My Worst Furniture Find Yet

So, here we are to Monday again.  Time sure does fly over the weekend, doesn't it?

Just a little forewarning.....This is a wordy post and it will have you on the edge of your seat with anticipation of what will happen next.  Or maybe it won't.  Either way, enjoy!

I do not need to go shopping for anything.  I have plenty of things at my house to work on.  Yet, I see an estate sale listed in the newspaper classifieds and I have to take a look.  Friday I left work around 2 PM planning to make a super quick stop at just the one estate sale I saw listed and then head home to work on a post for today.  I was looking for one or two small things at a cheap price.

Friday Favorites #4

Thank you so much for visiting today to see my favorite links of the week!  I've heard from some of you that you are really enjoying this on Fridays.  It is so much fun to put together this post each week and look back over all the things I've discovered, so I'm glad that you are enjoying it as much as I am.  I'd love to know what you've found interesting this week, too.

Have a fantastic weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday!

Let the Fall Decorating Begin

Fall Vignette in a kitchen scale |

I want to thank you all for the fantastic comments and numerous pins on my  DIY pumpkins that I shared yesterday.  It means so much to me to know that you think my mission of creating a realistic looking stem was successful!

It isn't much, but I've started decorating for fall.  This is a little vignette I've thrown together to sit on the kitchen island.  The kitchen remodeling isn't even close to being completed and the countertop is currently made of a few boards, but this little display instantly brightens the entire room.

DIY Pumpkins with Realistic Looking Stems

DIY Pumpkins with Realistic Looking Stems |

I'm aware that painting pumpkins isn't anything new.  And if you search DIY pumpkin or pumpkin tutorial, you'll find plenty of inspiration.  But my problem is that even after painting a plastic pumpkin, it still looks, well, plastic.  The basic plastic cut stem is always going to give it away.  I set out on a mission to create a realistic looking DIY stem to take my chalk painted pumpkins from ordinary to extraordinary.

Friday Favorites #3

Can you believe that the last official weekend of summer is here?  It seems like just a few weeks ago the season was just beginning.  As sad as I am to see the warm weather, sunshine, and blooming flowers go, I do always welcome the fall least until the leaves are all gone from the trees and the weather gets cold!  I've got some great fall posts coming in the next few weeks that I'm really excited about.  But for today, I'm sharing some more of my favorite links.  Have a great weekend!

The Beauty of Fresh Garden Vegetables

Fresh garden onions |

My friend made another delivery today of some fresh garden vegetables.

Corn on the cob...


more cucumbers....

jalepeno peppers.....

and onions.

Fresh garden onions |

There is something about these onions that are just beautiful to me.  They are almost too pretty to eat, don't you think?

If a vegetable could beg for me to take their picture, these would.

So I did.

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