Snapshots

 {colorful indian corn}
This has been one of those weeks that started off being simple and ended being crazy and stressful (more about that to come). My weekend will be filled with plenty of fall activities such as a trip to the cider mill and decorating my balcony. What are your weekend plans?

 {autumn candy corners}
 {chili in a sourdough bread bowl}
 {favorite hair product: moroccanoil}
{plaid top perfect for fall}

A View From The Porch

Earlier in the year I took a trip to Louisiana. It was my first time in the south and immediately I fell in love with the nostalgic towns featuring cobblestone sidewalks, monogrammed gates and elaborate porches. The porches were like nothing I had ever seen before, large or small they were decorated and awaiting Mardi Gras. While admiring the porches in the Garden District one of the home owners informed me that the porch is the first thing people see when they pass by or enter the house, and it’s important to decorate like you would a room in your home. Ever since that moment I have been dreaming of having the perfect porch to decorate. Here are some of my favorite fall porches. Do you decorate your porch?

20 ways to spend an autumn day

1. Visit a cider mill and enjoy cider and donuts
2. Make a batch of your favorite cookies
3. Take pictures in the leaves
4. Make caramel apples
5. Tailgate at a football game
6. Buy a fabulous new sweater
7. Make caramel corn
8. Build a scarecrow
9. Bake a pie
10. Go for a nature hike
11. Visit an orchard and pick apples or pumpkins
12. Construct an autumn wreath
13. Go on a hayride
14. Create your own candles
15. Have a picnic
16. Make popcorn balls
17. Visit a craft show or flea market
18. Create leaf art
19. Bake a loaf of homemade bread
20. Host a pumpkin carving party

Apple Cider Caramels

To me it’s not fall until you are sitting outside on a cool crisp day enjoying a glass of freshly pressed apple cider, along with a cinnamon and sugared donut, basking in the aroma of the cider mill. This weekend I brought the aroma of the cider mill inside with apple cider caramels. 
Apple Cider Caramels
Ingredients
2 cups apple cider
1 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1.5 cups sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
½ cup butter

Directions
1. Pour cider into a medium saucepan and boil on high for 25 minutes or until the cider is reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside to cool.
2. Grease an 8 inch square pan with butter, set aside.
3. In a small bowl, combine 2/3 cup cream, cinnamon, nutmeg and reduced apple cider, set aside.
4. In a one( or two) cup glass (or plastic) measuring cup combine sugar, 1/3 cup cream and enough water to reach the ½ c line on the measuring cup and corn syrup.  Add to a large, heavy saucepan, and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Insert the candy thermometer and simmer until syrup reaches 234 degrees.
5. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cream mixture. Add the butter and stir until the cream and butter are fully incorporated. Return the pan to heat and re-insert the candy thermometer. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until it reaches softball stage (248 degrees).
6. Remove from heat and pour the caramel into the prepared pan. Allow mixture to cool completely at room temperature. I covered mine loosely and left it overnight. Cut caramels and wrap in parchment or waxed paper. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator (up to two weeks) or in the freezer (up to six months).

Pressed Perfection

There are some classic elements that many Michiganders look forward to when it comes to fall. Cool crisp air, a gorgeous foliage color display, picking pumpkins and apples and of course visiting a cider mill for donuts and cider. Ever since I could walk my mum would take me to an orchard to pick apples and pumpkins, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the arrival of fall then with a trip to Blake Farms.  We picked our own apples, pumpkins and when we went inside they were actually pressing apples for cider. I think the process is fascinating to watch, and a unique experience I had to share with you. 

Snapshots

 {homemade football cupcakes from this past weekends tailgate}
 {current nails: Zoya 'Toni' over OPI 'Black Onyx'}
 {canning applesauce}
 {the big house}
{homemade pizza with garden tomatoes and fresh basil}

Monogrammed Bookmarks (printable)

Sometimes on a chilly night nothing is better than curling up on the couch with a good book. So why not hold your place with a monogrammed bookmark. Just download, add your monogram and print on cardstock.
 {I used embroidery floss to make the tassel}

Apple Candle Holder DIY

When it comes to fall d├ęcor I love to bring in various outdoor elements. One of my favorite ways to decorate at a dinner party is turning apples into a candleholder. The look is simple, but chic and budget friendly.
 {you will need an apple, tealight candle and a knife}
 {cut a hole in the center of your apple a little over a half inch deep}
{place your tealight in your apple, light and enjoy}

Classic Oatmeal Cookie

Saturday evening the temperature started to dip into the 50’s making it the perfect opportunity to head to the kitchen, crank the oven and make some cookies. To me oatmeal cookies have a comforting smell and taste. Making it the quintessential cookie to bake during the fall.
 
Classic Oatmeal Cookie
Ingredients
½ cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons salted butter, softened
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
½-1 cup raisins
½-1 cup Craisins

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and sugar on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy (about three to five minutes).
4. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
5. Add flour mixture; mix well.
6. Add oats; mix well.
7. By hand mix in raisins and Craisins.
8. Drop dough by the rounded tablespoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown. 


Spring/Summer 2013: Nail Trends

{Erin Featherston: Butter London ' Lillibet's Jubilee' and 'The Full Monty' }
New York Fashion Week S/S 2013 has come to a close. When it comes to nails white seems to be a big trend for spring, the accent nail is out and new nail art is in. Which of these nail looks do you love or want to try?

{Honor: apply a shiny top coat or a softer white over bright white to soften}
{Jenni Kayne: nude nail paired with OPI 'Need Sunglasses' tips}
{Joy Cioci: water bubble mani light coat (white) dipped in clear multi-sized beads }
{JS Lee: sophisticated half moon}
{Kate Spade: Gingham }
 {Noon by Noor: french mani based Zoya 'Erin' tip Zoya 'Ziv'}
{Peter Som: custom Zoya shade 'Neely' with 'Sharon' french tip}
 {Prabal Gurung: bloody nail}
{Rachel Roy: eclipse manicure dark purple over pink}
 {Tibi: Dashing Diva 'Petal Pusher'}
 {Tracy Reese: two-toned half-triangle stiletto nails}
 {Veda: CND 'Toff', 'Sloane Ranger', 'Knackered' and 'Union Jack Black stripe}
{Whitney Eve: Zoya 'Purity' with a stripe of either 'Song', 'Raven' or 'Amanda'}