Finally Fall is here...unfortunately it feels nothing like fall in California.  Luckily I'm spending some time in Michigan this week, the wind is blowing and there is a chill in the air, fall is definitely here.  I love wearing a sweater when I leave the house.  I love searching the internet for new pumpkin recipes to try.  I love a visit to a cider mill complete with cider and donuts.  I love a trip to an apple orchard to pick my own apples.  I love the crispness in the air.  I love Halloween.  I love seeing pumpkins everywhere I go.  I love watching the leaves change.  I love pulling out all of my rain boots and matching them to the perfect outfit.  I love fall and lets face it even a cup of coffee tastes better in fall.  

Here is some inspiration to give you a head start on rain boot season!
Bridal party rain boots by Heather Parker Photography.
Charlie Rain Boots by Anthropologie.
Rain boot box planter by Modern Parents Messy Kids.
Dress up your rainboots by Hayseed Homemaking.
Joy Folie boots for kids by Joy Folie.
Tom Jones rain boots featured on Lauren Conrad.
Welly socks by Hunter.
Bride in rain boots by Bridesmaid Trade Blog.
 
I've said it before and I'll say it again my girl Candi is "Mother of the Century" material!  I'm always amazed by her patience, organization, dedication, and the amount of pure love she has for her daughter Maecy. Not once have I ever seen her at her wits end or even come close to being frustrated. Every time I visit her house I love to look at the most recent hand print plates or tiles she has made. There on the wall are animals, holiday characters, and seasonal items all made out of Maecy's sweet little hand print.

I've been dying to make some of these with Maddie, on a recent trip to visit my brother's family we took her to make a plate for her mom. Of course I had Candi send me pictures of Maecy's plates for inspiration and I spent some time on the internet looking up ideas. I finally decided on elephants holding trunks, with my brother and his wife's initials above. Madelyn was a little less than thrilled to have her hands painted which resulted in Matt's elephant looking like it had one huge leg, poor Matt, but she loved helping me paint the plate! The ladies at the shop were extremely helpful and one even ended up painting the letters on the plate for me. If your ever in Austin, TX check them out;
The Art Garage.

I think this a great project for parents and kids it's an excuse to get out of the house, not a lot of commitment in buying supplies or clean up, and if you go to a paint studio they clear glaze and fire the project for you. Also I really love the idea of using these plates and tiles as holiday or seasonal decorations for your home. What better way to decorate your home than by handmade artwork you and your little one made together. Below are some of Maecy's plates, some inspiration, and a few helpful tips!

Tips:
1.) Double check with the art studio about how many layers of paint they suggest you use to make a nice solid coat.
2.) Be careful with lighter colors, especially with the hand print as you will not be able to do a second layer.
3.) Push straight down and pull straight up when making your handprint.
4.) Bring some toys or books for your little one to play with while you finish adding details to your project.
5.) Bring pictures for inspiration.
6.) Use a good layer of paint when making the hand print.
Inspiration
Flamingo family by Kaman's Art Shoppes.
Handprint Owl by Rips in my Jeans.
Holiday Wreath.
4th of July Flag by Jae Art Works.
 
Saying these past few days were "overwhelming" is an understatement!  I was overwhelmed with the amount of packing and moving we did in two short days.  I was overwhelmed that for the first time in almost 10 years I felt like I was home.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of love I feel every time I walk through our front door.  I was overwhelmed with pride as I watched Scott spend 15 minutes in home depot picking out a garden hose.  I was overwhelmed that dark wood floors show EVERYTHING and I will permantely have a broom attached to my hand from now on.  I was overwhelmed by just how many "collections" one man can accumulate.  I was overwhelmed with sadness when I remembered that I would never see my dad’s big smile come through the front door of this new home.  I was overwhelmed that all of a sudden this felt like a HUGE commitment, in terms of Scott & I's relationship.  I was overwhelmed by love, happiness, and support from our families.  I was overwhelmed that REALLY an all-purpose cleaner is not meant for all purposes.  I was mostly overwhelmed by how much I learned about myself in just two days.

After we looked at this house for the first time, we knew it was our home.  It wasn't easy getting to this point but at the end of the day if it's not worth fighting for it's not worth having.  Scott & I definitely did our share of "fighting for it" these past two years.  We made a choice to keep our heads up and not let any obstacle become a negative experience in our life.  Through it all we stood next to each other and never lost sight of what was most important.  I love him, I love our life, and I love our new home!

I hope to be blogging more soon and can’t wait to share more decorating & crafty home ideas with you,  but until then I will be unpacking ALL of these!

 
What is brown butter you ask, to put it simply it's butter on crack.  Brown butter adds a nutty flavor and heavenly aroma to your dish.  By using brown butter you will enhance the flavor of any dish from pasta and vegetables to delicious baked goodies.  I had my first experience using brown butter this weekend, making a batch of brown butter sea salt rice krispie treats for the PD.  I was hooked as soon as I could smell that nutty aroma.  Find more directions, recipes, and pictures below.  Enjoy!

Directions:
Simply melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat.  It's best to use a light colored pan so you can see the color change.  Swirling the pan occasionally the butter will start to foam and the color will begin to darken.  Once you see the yellowish color turn to a nutty brown remove the pan from the heat.  When using the butter try to leave as much of the sediment in the bottom of the pan as possible.  However some people may enjoy the slightly burnt taste this will give the butter.

Brown Butter Sea Salt Rice Krispies by Bran Appetit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 12 oz. marshmallows
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal

Directions:

  1.  Melt butter over low-medium heat, letting it cook until the butter is completely melted and is starting to brown,   about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Stir in the marshmallows and sea salt and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes until the marshmallows are totally melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour in the cereal and stir, quickly, until all the cereal is coated with the marshmallow.
  4. Dump the mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish, top with a sheet of parchment paper, and press on top of the parchment with your hands to get the bars into an even layer in the dish.
  5. Remove the parchment paper and let the bars sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
More Recipes:

Brown Butter, Brown Sugar Cookies by The Novice Chef.

Pasta with Brown Butter and Fried Sage by The Kitchn.

Brown Butter Glazed Cinnamon Donuts by Buns in my Oven.

Pumpkin Gnocchi in Brown Butter and Sage Sauce by Closet Cooking.

Brown Butter Pound Cake by Sweet Sensations.

 
Easy DIY steps to lining an alligator clip with ribbon. Lined clips give hair bows a clean and finished look as well as making it more comfortable to remove clips from your little ones hair.

1. Start off by quickly running the end of the ribbon over a flame. This seals the ends and prevents the ribbon from fraying.
2. Open the alligator clip and insert the ribbon end. Be sure to line it up with the opening down the center of the clip.
3. Run hot glue along the entire top of the clip.
4. Fold ribbon over and press together with bottom layer of ribbon. Be sure to seal the corners and line up the two layers of ribbon.
5. Flip the clip upside down.
6. Cut your ribbon to length and again seal the end of the ribbon over a flame. Ribbon should stop once it reaches the opening.
7. Line the clip with hot glue, stopping when you reach the opening.
8. Pulling tightly fold the ribbon over and press into place.

Now you can glue bows and other fun hair accessories to the top of the clip.

Enjoy!
 
A bowl of granola and milk is my absolute favorite breakfast. Skip the eggs, skip the bacon, skip the pancakes and pass the granola. It is also the reason Scott avoids going out to breakfast with me at all costs. Deep down it pains him to watch me eat an $8 bowl of cereal as he puts it. If you're ever in Monrovia, CA stop by the Peach Tree Cafe for a bowl of their homemade granola, pure heaven!

I decided it would be fun to make my own homemade granola. After searching for a recipe online I decided on this one from Eating Made Easy. One thing that attracted me to it was it it felt like a solid, go to granola recipe. I haven't stopped eating it since it came out of the oven. After it cools I'll need to package it and send at least half of it away. That or buy all new pants and the smells coming from my kitchen right now make me want to go with the new pants!

Here is the recipe:

Number of Servings: 35

Ingredients
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 ½ cup Walnuts, rough chopped
1 cup Toasted Slivered Almonds
7 cups Rolled Oats
2 cups Flaked coconut
2 cups Puffed Rice Cereal
1 ½ cups Canola Oil
1 ½ cups Honey
1 cup Corn Syrup (light)
2 cups Golden Raisins
1 ½ cups Dried cranberries

Directions

1 Mix dry ingredients.
Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, puffed rice (can use Puffed millet or Rice Krispies), and nuts.

2 Warm the wet ingredients
Pour oil, honey, and corn syrup into a microwave-safe bowl or large Pyrex measuring cup. Microwave until warm enough to pour (20-30 seconds) then pour over dry ingredients and stir until everything is evenly coated.

3 Bake.
Bake granola in a large roasting pan at 325 for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Granola is done when it's golden brown.

4 Cool.
Remove granola from oven and spread out on 2 large cookie sheets. Stir in cranberries and golden raisins and allow to cool to room temperature. Pack into little bags or mason jars to give as gifts, or store in airtight containers until ready to eat.

Note: this recipe makes A LOT of granola!

Before it was baked!
After, yum!
 
I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing Labor Day weekekend. Here are a couple of fun breakfast ideas that are pretty simple, enjoy!
Flag Toast inspired by Emily Henson.  The receipe can be found here by Taste and Tell.
Star shaped french toast by Sweet Paul.
Colored milk ice cubes by A Subtle Revelry.
Note* Try in Red & Blue, also you could use colored sugar to dip glass rim in!
Fruit kabob flag by The Kitchn.
Red, White, & Blue pancakes by I am Baker.
Firecracker bundt cake by Cooking with Sugar.
Ok so maybe not technically breakfast but it's a holiday, right!
Yogurt berry parfait by Jeanette's Healthy Living.