Falling for Fall

What a fun week... I enjoyed all the excitement over doggy halloween costumes, Creative Tuesday's curtain theme, showing you my renewed footstool, and all the apple cupcake madness and here!!

The weather has turned chilly again in NY and most of the leaves are now on the ground; so, I thought it would be fun to reflect on a few true fall snaps!

And Katie, the Mr. and I want to wish you a ghostly and creepy Happy Halloween!!

Next week, there is so much more to share! 

We are carving pumpkins today, I want to tell you about the Declaration of You, I am styling a photo for  STYL.PLAY.WORK.SHOP hosted by Compai, I want to share the Spiced Carmel Buttercream frosting I made, I am crocheting the last few socks for Operation Caregiver, and I am also picking up an unfinished quilting project... phew!

Have a restful and amazing weekend!  See you on the flipside!


Happy Moments #4: Grass Nap

Happiness is all about "moments"  Don't you agree?

Here is that fun Friday game which highlights Happy Moments!!  Let's go you clever wits!!  Show me what you've got and think happy!

Here's how it works.  I post a picture of a happy moment, you give it a serious, wild, thoughtful, unique or cheerful caption!!

Then take a button for playing! 

Ready?  Go!
Happy Moment #4 Grass Nap

p.s. Yes, let's do the winning caption again... might be a little something happy to send to the winner if we can get five players.  I'm talking happy stuff here.  Jump right in with a caption in the comments below!  Winner (if we get enough players) to be announced on Monday!

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
~Omar Khayyam


Spiced Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I am so happy with how these cupcakes turned out!!

More details about the crazy caramel frosting and snaps later! -- general steps for creating this frosting can now be found here.


Apple Bake Challenge Cupcakes

Yup, like the title suggests I entered an Apple baking challenge!  It's really a cooking with apples challenge, but you get the point.  For my entry I decided to go with an apple spiced cupcake.  You know I can't resist a reason to make cupcakes!

I have made this recipe a few times now but more recently I made them this weekend as a trial run and then I made my big batch of the cakes last night.  These snaps are a mix from those two baking sessions.

I started by peeling and dicing a bazillion apples.  Not really a bazillion... it's actually only 1 cup of diced apples for 12 regular sized cupcakes.  Pretty reasonable in my book. 

I know it only called for 1 cup, but I thought a heaping cup made more sense!

In the mixer I creamed 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temperature.  I really like how this cupcake 'feels' more healthy overall -- you will see what I mean in a minute!

Then I created a mix of the dry ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and baking soda,  1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (I may have added a bit more), and 1/8 a teaspoon of nutmeg and cloves.

I added 1 egg and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture, then 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mixed it up.

Then you add my favorite part... 3/4 cup of homemade strawberry applesauce (healthy!) that I showed you here as Straw-pple Sauce.  The recipe called for regular applesauce, but I liked the twist! 

Add the remaining dry ingredients.  And lastly fold in the chopped apples.

This is the batch from Saturday.  So pretty as the rough chunks of apples stick out of the cupcake liners!

As, yes the batter tastes as good as it looks.  The cinnamon and apple flavors really stick out!  Can you see all those cinnamon flecks!!

This is a snap of the triple batch I made last night.  I seriously think this is the most I have ever had in my mixer bowl at one time.  It's a light batter thought.  As soon as the mix is together the chemical process takes over quickly and adds a lot of air to the dough!

One change I made last night was to tuck a small piece of caramel in the center of each uncooked cupcake as a sweet surprise once you bite into it!

I was making both regular and mini cuppies last night.  I think the mini's will be a real crowd pleaser as the crowd gets to sample and pick their favorite dish!

Batch after batch I popped cupcakes in the oven.

And yes, I am going to leave this hang right here.  I am whipping up spiced caramel butter cream frosting tonight and decorating all bazillion cupcakes.  I will be sure to take a ton of photos and see if I can't get a few on here pronto. 

Till then, I leave you with the smell of baking apples and cinnamon in your nose and the thought of biting in to fluffy moist cupcakes!  I'm a stinker... ain't I?


New Life for an Old Treasure

This footstool was a housewarming gift from my Mom when I first moved out on my own.  I have had it all this time and always found a nice spot for it in each place I have lived. 

Now that I have my house... I thought it was time to breath new life into this treasure.


This adorable fabric really had matched a lot of my places and decor. 

Light, airy, and worn by cat scratches (yes, at one point I had cats)

One of my favorite things about this little footstool is that the top opens up to a little hiding nook. 

I have always kept little treasures stashed away in there!  It now holds my color pencils, crayons, and crochet hooks!

I took the wee little hinges off the top and started to remove the fabric staple by staple.


Once I had the old fabric off it was just a matter of deciding in what orientation I wanted to use the new pattern and then cutting the new fabric to size.

Here it is ready for stapling!


And voila!  It's like a new little piece of art.  And it really fits the more modern and playful look I have going in my art spot!

Here's a peak at that nook!

Fancy crayons, sketching pencils, art books, web-cam, and I store crochet hooks in that re-used Japanese gummy tube (such a green re-use and it still smells like strawberries!!!)

I will still do something with that empty piece of wood underneath.  I'm thinking of painting something, but not sure what yet.

Do you have an old piece you treasure that could use a little new life infused in it?

This pop of color and my blue pencil and crayon case are serving as my Midweek Blues entry hosted by Rebbeca over at The Dusty Cellar

I hope you will check out other cures for the Midweek Blues there!

I have also linked this post to Fabric Tuesday hosted by Fresh Poppy Design over at Quiltstory (my new found favorite blog as I dust off my quilting juices!) 

Also, be sure to look at what others are creating with fabrics!

Creative Tuesday: Curtains

Tuesday = time to put on your creative hat for Mr. Toast's Creative Tuesday's assignment!

This week's theme we all explored "Curtains."  tada!  ya, I felt a little bit flat after reading the new theme, but it hasn't deterred me from jumping in and seeing what I could do with this.

[Aside: True story about curtains... I am not a fan of them.  I have the bare minimum amount of curtains in the house and would much rather plant a large tree outside my window than have window treatments.]

That said, I still gave this my all and tried to put together something I would still enjoy creating.  And I am so happy I did!!

I started with hippie bead curtains and then decided there would be a private and peaceful room within.

I think I surprised myself with the amount of detail that I included  -- that's the result of freshly sharpened pencil! 

Also, a scene like this... bare of animals, characters, and humor is a stretch for me.  But that's the point right?  Stretch that creative muscle and produce something that you didn't see coming.

As I began to fill in the colors I felt more connected to the place and could even see myself going to this restaurant or home of sorts to enjoy a quiet conversation and cup of green tea!

I also choose to work with and blend all the purples in my color pencil box -- I was stunned how many shades of purple I had.

And here is the final result: a combination of Hippie and Japanese with royal purple tones.  Would this design style be Hipanese?

A closer look at the table setting.  I tried to create a soft feel with the color pencils.  A stray from my normal bold color choices.

The bonsai tree and strange big daisy type flower.

The cushions, tea pot, and chop sticks!

Yup, I can see myself sinking right into this room and letting the day melt away.

I sure had fun with this assignment again.  Hope you will go check out my fellow artists here and see their interpretation of Curtains -- bet you didn't think they could be so fun!


Costume Outtakes

Ahh, Halloween is in the air!  And, I wouldn't be a good doggy mom if I didn't get my little pumpkin ready for Halloween properly, right? 

Yes, it's costume time.  I will show you the final shot closer to the 31st, but in the meantime, I thought it would be fun to start Monday off with a few bloopers from our recent costume photoshoot. 

These really speak for themselves!

Hope you are having an outrageously fun Monday!
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