Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An Favorite Autumn Recipe, Modified (THM S)

This is what I'm eating for breakfast today!

One of our favorite seasonal desserts is from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook called "Autumn in the Country."  I've been making this recipe, "Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Crunch." for many years.  It is basically a pumpkin dump cake type recipe, here is a link to one that is very similar to mine - Pumpkin Dump Cake.

My mom and I had been talking about this and she asked if I could modify it to be 'on plan' for she and I. (We are doing Trim Healthy Mama)  I thought it should be pretty easy and it was.

How I modified it - 

I exchanged the sugar and condensed milk in the recipe for Erythritol (a sugar alcohol that you can use in place of sugar and it doesn't trigger the glycemic index) with a 1:1 substitution, and I used heavy cream in place of the condensed milk. (this is not sweetened condensed milk)  Everything else in the pumpkin layer was the same.  The topping is usually a yellow cake mix and I used the dry ingredients only of a low carb cake, made with nut flours.  

I sprinkled the dry cake mix on top of my pumpkin layer, and then drizzled a stick of melted butter over the mix and added chopped walnuts.  It bakes in a 350 degree oven for almost an hour, depending on your oven.

It turned out great, and I am so happy to have another family favorite recipe that I can enjoy, guilt free!

Tomorrow marks two years since I started eating the Trim Healthy Mama way!  It's doable and sustainable!  Feel free to ask me questions!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Early Autumn Decor

Technically, autumn runs from September 22nd - December 22nd, but since Christmas celebrations start right after Thanksgiving, no one thinks about it still being autumn three days before Christmas!

So, in my way of thinking, all of September is autumn, especially with all the kids back in school, summer is over.  Make sense?

Anyway, since I have company coming on the first, I put out a little autumn decor a few days early.

The hallway tends to be on the dark side so I used light colored autumn flowers and a white faux pumpkin.  The brown pumpkins work well with the light colors.

In the living room over the mantel we added deep burgundy flowers to the pale flowers and it looks really nice, too.

 Christmas tree shops has become my go to place! I got this pillow there!  I also bought a turkey pillow but that will not come out until November!

Here it is in a close up shot.  I'm loving this pillow!

I'll add more color as the season deepens and the leaves start to change. 

For now this seems just right.

Joining Sandi for No Place Like Home!

I'm also joining Thoughts of Home on Thursday

A Full Day

Today, we headed home right after church, and all the family arrived too.  We had arranged for a friend who is a professional photographer to come and take family portraits!

That was really fun.

Then later in the afternoon, Lindsay hosted an Airsoft gathering.  This lasted until dark and then they cleaned up.

There was a lot of good food - 

 Lots of dishes

After I had it all cleaned up, the outdoor clean up crew came into eat!

These are wonderful days, of family and friends and fun.  Soon, we'll have new babies here, Emma and Vinnie will be leaving for school, and life will settle into a new routine.

I hope you had a great weekend.  We sure did and now we are looking forward to the arrival (on Thursday) of long time friends who'll be with us at least through the holiday weekend!

What are you up to this week?

ps- I haven't forgotten about my decor photos.  I'll share them on Tuesday!

Friday, August 26, 2016

An Autumn State Of Mind

This weekend I will be freshening up the decor around the cottage.  September first is on Thursday!  I know that is Labor Day weekend here in the States, and there will be 20 more days of summer on the caledar, but a bit of autumn will be making its way into the decor.

We have company arriving on Thursday and I'm ready to use a few new things I bought like a new welcome mat, sign and small garden flag.  It'll be subtle, I may put my new glass pumpkins on display, too.

All the summer flowers are gone at the greenhouses, and mums, autumn color sunflowers, and brown eyed susans are about all you can find.  I still have black eyed susans in my garden but the only other flowers blooming are so rudbeckia, hydrangea and zinnias.  The finches are enjoying the echinacea seed heads.

  This weekend we are heating up a bit, but we've had a preview of early autumn weather - warm sunny days, cool nights - this last week and we are ready for it!

I know many people like to hold on to summer, but give me the autumn with all its beauty, cooler temperatures, sweaters, and bonfires and I'm a happy, happy girl.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hospitality: Tea with Friends

This morning we had such lovely time with our friends Amy and Annie and all their girls!  Amy is actually the mama of Annie too, and now Annie is mama to two little girls.  Amy also has a 12 year old and a 6 year old.  Her family is so similar to ours and so our girls were all very happy. Lindsay used to give riding lessons to Amy's 12 year old and they are starting again soon!

All the little girls, including Kamryn,  used sweet little tea cups and had so much fun putting honey and milk into their tea!  They mostly played together and we enjoyed good conversation and good food.

Then we sat out under the trees and watched the kids play.  Lindsay and Sarah were here and helped me so much.  Rachel helped until she needed to go make candles with our friend Becky of Good Neighbors Candle Company.

Its so important to me to make time for friends, to bless and encourage them.

 This chocolate fudge cake is on plan for me and so is the salted caramel whipped cream frosting! Yum!

 Homemade lemon curd - so good!

I hope you have a lovely day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Living Room Rearrangement

 Today was a beautiful day, and we turned the a/c off and opened the doors and windows.  This is the view of our living room from the front door.

 I sit here mostly.  It is a reclining chair and while I don't recline, I do put my feet up. (a nice thing for short people to be able to do!)

 The little wicker balls are actually a battery operated string of lights.

 Looking back toward the front door.

 This bookcase used to be at the end of the hall.  I put a smaller bookcase there, and it holds the kids school books for this year.  This bookcase has Bibles, and other favorite books of mine.

I like this arrangement for space and movement in our living area.  I like being able to make our spaces work for us in every stage of our family life.

I'm joining Laura, Jemma, Stacey, and Laura for Thoughts of Home on Thursday!

Monday, August 22, 2016

I've Got Interesting News

I went to the eye doctor on Friday for a check up and to get new glasses as I knew my prescription had changed.  Seems the issue is that I have a significant cataract on my right eye, and one on the left.  My eye doctor says they should just come off, or I'll have to keep getting a new prescription every six months.

It was quite a shocker at my age, but I know that even children can get them.  This week will be setting up appointments and seeing what a surgeon has to say.  From my parents both have this issue taken care of in the last few years, I know that the cataract has to be in a certain condition to be removed, so there is the chance they will want to wait.  

Having this news, many things now make sense with my vision.  It's been increasingly harder to read, and I noticed that I was having issues with seeing well at night.

Once the shock wore off, I am looking forward to only having to wear reading glasses here in the near future.  The procedure and recovery were easy peasy for my parents and I trust it will be for me as well.

Photo from my Snapchat.  Do these eyes look like they have cataracts?  Crazy!

I know that I promised photos of my living room rearrangement, I will get photos today and share them tomorrow.  I did work on it this weekend and I am liking it!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Changes In The Living Room

As my grandmother used to say, "You just don't never know." In this case its about what's going to happen when I start thinking.  

I'd been pondering making a change in the seating arrangement in the living room for a while but with the fireplace and the piano, I was pretty well stuck.

But not anymore!  (Disclaimer - I haven't rearranged the items hanging on walls, on shelves, or table tops yet.)

 We'd (translation - I) been talking about moving the piano out of the living room because Sarah is the only one who plays and then not everyday.  She is one who would be content to leave things where they are, but she got into the idea of having her piano in her bedroom.  Her room is small but it is shaping up nicely. (she is going to rearrange her artwork on the walls as well!)

Some of the sketches on the walls are her own.  She is a reader and an artist, and a lover of poetry and Tolkien and Lewis.

I will be working on the living room/kitchen space this weekend and I hope to give you a sneak peek tomorrow!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Home Keeping: Kitchen Update

Last fall, our over the stove microwave died.  We had just started our business in August, and my husband was not wanting to spend any extra money, so we borrowed a small counter top microwave and life went on.

We don't cook in a microwave - we use it to reheat things and melt butter, basically.  We don't even cook microwave popcorn.  We old school it on the stove top!  Tim makes the best popcorn ever, but I digress.

When winter came we stuffed the vent with a towel and there it stayed, through the holidays, through spring, until this weekend.

We went to Lowe's and found a one we liked.  

I'm so happy to not have a gaping hole above the stove with a towel shoved in the vent!  This is SO much nicer!

Now to find drawer pulls and handles that I like without breaking our budget!

Joining the lovely ladies at Thoughts of Home on Thursday!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Home Keeping: Black Iron Daybed

It was quite a day Monday.  It had all the earmarks of crazy on it, with two stray dogs (a momma and older pup) pestering our chickens to running out of gas (while taking Rachel to work), thankfully close to home.  A friend was able to help us out quickly and we were on our way!

On the way home, I stopped by our local thrift store as the sign said, "All Books 50% Off!"  That's the siren call at our house!

They didn't have many books that I was interested in but as I browsed around I spotted a black iron daybed.  The price was great.  I shot a photo to Tim and to Sarah (who has been in need of a frame for her twin bed).  I got a thumbs up from both of them, and Nate who was just home from work was able to swing by and give me a hand bringing it home.

It looks great in her room and my romantic hearted girl loves it!

The day ended well.  Our friend Denny brought dinner which was a win-win for me as I didn't have to cook, thus helping to keep the house cooler!

I'm thankful for how the day was redeemed by these gifts - the great find at the thrift store, my awesome son who was so willing to help me after he'd spent a long day at work, and a friend who brought dinner.  God's hand was on the whole day. He never leaves me nor forsakes me.  


Joining Laura, Jemma, Stacey, and Laura at TOHOT


  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. We spent Saturday, doing things around the house, and then we swam. Kyle and Sarah left after that...