Fall time is the best time (Turn your fake pumpkins real)

I love fall. It is decided. This is my favorite time of year. In Oregon fall time is different than other parts of the country, like Indiana, or Maine, or Texas. Not really sure how much fall happens in Texas…

It starts to rain more in fall, and I hate rain. Well not hate. I just really don’t like being out in the rain, if I can help it. Why do I put up with it? Cause all that rain makes it so green and beautiful.

Anyway, rain isn’t what I’m writing about this time. It’s Fall. So there’s rainy days that make staying inside all cuddly with coffee or cocoa so great. And there’s to color of leaves, and the crisp early mornings. The fog that rolls across the ground and the boots and sweaters and scarves.

And the start of the Holiday Seasons!!

I pretty much started on the first day of fall pulling out all that I had and figured out what more I needed.

Last year I purchased some fake pumpkins from Goodwill which is the best thing you can do really. Because it rains so much real pumpkins can mold faster out here. I’m still using real pumpkins, don’t worry! But I got some fake ones too. There were two problems however….

1. They are light. Super light. I spent most of last fall chasing them around our house. It gets really windy where we live and I have nothing around our house to block gusts.

2. They look fake. IMG_2200.JPG

Bright orange fake-ness.

I did some searching and found a way to make it less fake. Yeay!!!

Here’s what you need!!!
• Paint brush (optional)
• Paper Towels or Rags
• Antiquing Gel
• Paint (Burnt Umber)

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I used Martha Stewart, yes, I hate myself a little bit for it, but when I live out in the middle of nowhere, my options are limited.
Now the burnt umber paint, it looks super dark…And I had my serious doubts but that’s what the instructions said.

I used a bowl and mixed some Antiquing gel and paint together. It was pretty runny. I used a paint brush at first, a big ol’ bristly paintbrush. I said it was optional because maybe you can skip it and use a rag to apply. Think of like a stain where you rub on and rub off.

After I painted a section of pumpkin with the paint, I took a paper towel and wiped it off. Sounds weird but there was enough stain on it to make it look awesome!!

The antiquing gel and dark paint together gave my garish orange pumpkins a beautiful, natural look to them.
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And this year I am leaving them inside so no chasing pumpkins. 🙂

If you have fake pumpkins that are too fake, try this trick and make them look FABULOUS!!
Until next time!
DFTBA
Becky

Extra bonus!!
The rest of my interior fall decor. The exterior is a work in progress.
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Poor Little Snobby Bratty Pepper

Poor Pepper.
She’s such an old lady.
Brandon has a cat, she is older than our other 3. That’s right…I said 3.
She is older, like about 8 years old. Which in cat years is like 2000. Not really. But she’s old. I call her the old lady.
Pepper has been through a lot in her life. Brandon got her in college, but when he moved a year later I took her for about two days then she went to his grandmas farm where she ran away for almost a year living as a wild cat on the farm. She is small, a small cat compared to other cats. She was beat up a lot and eventually came home with sores, scabs, and worms.
Brandon got her treated and fixed up and all better, physically.
She was emotionally not well though. Hates me completely and totally anxious and stressed out.
She started licking all the hair off her body.
So we got another cat. Kitten. Really original name I know!
She stopped licking all the fur off her body. Then we moved and Kitten had babies and we now have 4 cats….yup.

Well crazy, neurotic, stressed out Pepper hates everyone, except Brandon, and we were having a very difficult time getting her downstairs to get food and use the litter box. Partly because of Pepper and partly because of Kitten and the kittens.

So we had to make adjustments for her, but I didn’t want a gross litter box in any of our rooms like we had in the past, or out in the open on the landing. So I made her her own little stand.
Or really repurposed one.
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I found many helpful and creative ideas on how to hide cat box on Pinterest.

For lack of wanting to buy a cabinet or closet fixture I went with the curtained option.

The origional design was stapled, but i wanted to be able to remove and clean the curtains if I needed to. So I bought some cheap curtain rods, like $3 or $4. And since it was pushed up against the wall, I only did 3 curtains.

I had to attach an extra piece of wood to each side to hang curtain rods.IMG_2133.JPG

I got some fabric from the store and made little curtains. Fortunately curtains are easy straight lines. I can do that!!
Pepper loves Brandon’s Duck blanket and while it doesn’t match the curtains I got, they both insisted it stayed. Yes…both Brandon and Pepper insisted.
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This shelf unit we used has this little space in the back perfect for a food and water dish.
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And duh-duh-duh-duh!!! Curtained cat box!!! She gets privacy, food and water, and a place to sleep.
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Hopefully she will be a happy cat from now on and not pee on anything. Like the bed. Or chairs. Or towels. Or bath mats. Or the carpet.

The Sewing Games!

I’m not a very good sewer….seamstress.
I don’t really have the patience for it.
I can do straight lines. That’s about it. And I use straight very loosely. Like so loosely that my thread doesn’t quite stay in place.

But I sew anyway.

If you want a really great seamstress, I can hook you up! Between my mom, Cassie’s Mam, Melissa’s mom, AND Christi’s mom…I don’t know why I bother… Although if I didn’t I would be putting my past 4-H leaders to shame. Though if they saw my sewing that might be enough shame…

Ok it’s not that bad.

So this project I sewed… A little over the seat car caddy…thing…

I saw one at Goodwill one day and didn’t get it and realized I needed it too late!

I thought that I could probably make it using something I already had…something easy to turn into a bag…like… a pair of pants! Sew easy!! (Waa-Waa!)

And I have a ton! Well a few at least. Like this bag.
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Here they are all folded and neat looking. There was even a cami in there.20140211-170010.jpg

I limited down to 2 choices. I really wanted cool back pockets.20140211-170225.jpg

I went with the light ones.
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Got my tools ready…(trust me, I’m gonna need the seam ripper)

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And here is the reason these jeans ended up in the bag… holes…
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Then I CHOPPED the legs off!! (BA-HAHAHAHAHAAAAA!)
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Looks like I made a pair of $60 shorts! jk!

I turned them inside out and did a quick straight line.20140211-171703.jpg

Flipped them inside out! Look! So cute!
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Now to sew up some of the holes!!

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I used left over jean to make a strap…this is my attempt at cutting straight…as you can see from exhibit A…I suck.20140211-173037.jpg

I fixed it…kind of and used some extra biding tape.

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And here it is! All finished up! It works really well. 20140211-173343.jpg

So yes. I’m finished. It hasn’t fallen apart yet. And I am the best person to do that if I do say so myself. 🙂

Happy sewing days.
And May the bobbin be ever in your favor!

DFTBA
Becky

Cupcakes and Roses

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I have never had the urge to bake as bad as I did this week. The reason? I watched Cupcake Wars. Seriously.
I don’t usually watch food stuff cause it makes me hungry… I am more of a HGTV person. Ya know, House Hunters, Love it or List it, those kind of shows. But one day I found myself flipping channels and something caught my eye… SUGAR!!!

More importantly, CUPCAKES!!
Watching these people create and decorate cupcakes, seeing their passion and love for what they do, it’s impressive.

OUCH!
And the Baking Bug bit me!

Not just baking though, decorating too.

I pulled on the ol’ apron and baked!

I was super sure that I had a box of cake mix, but after tearing apart my pantry to find it, I turned to my cute lil’ cupcake book!
This cute thing was a gift from Cathy (my mother-in-law). They are decorations mostly, organized by color. They do have some recipes though for simple, everyday cupcakes to fun new cupcakes!!
The cool part, the recipes make 8-12 cupcakes! So much better than a whole 24-30 that lie around the house begging to be eaten!

I also learned a few things!
1. The difference between all purpose flour and self rising flour! The difference is the latter has baking powder and salt in it! The proportion is for every 1 cup all purpose flour, add 2 tsp baking powder. You can add a pinch of salt to!

2. Add powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) to your store bought frosting to make it stiffer. This will make it easier to decorate with.

3. How to make frosting roses! I went online and found it.

The short version is to start with the center bulb, then apply the 3-5-7 pattern. Use the tip that is large rounded at the bottom and pointed at the top. I can’t remember the number…

Start with your cupcake. 🙂
You can put this on a metal stand thing for decorating, then remove the rose by snipping it with scissors, or straight on the cupcake
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This is the center bulb.20140204-234438.jpg

3 Petals 20140204-235453.jpg
5 Petals 20140204-235631.jpg
7 Petals 20140204-235714.jpg

Pretty Simple.
The first couple I tried I didn’t do so well…20140204-235819.jpg
I had to go back and rewatch the video again and the other ones turned out better 20140204-235918.jpg

Now to share the cupcake joy!!
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Repurpose Jars

Do you have an amazing mom like me? A mom who makes you homemade jam and salsa? Well I hope you do! Cause mom’s are the best. And mine is the very best! Like no one ever was!! (that’s a Pokemon joke btw).

My mom is super amazing and I could start a whole new blog just about her and you would all be super entertained bored out of your mind. Maybe. She is a pretty hysterical and amazing woman and has a ton of amazing stories. When my brothers and I can finally get her to write her book I will feature some stories on here.

Back to jams and jellies.
20140108-223744.jpg And salsa’s. Mmmmmm Mmmmmm.

My mom cans her own jam and graciously shares it with us which is awesome and good on the grocery bill. Cause jelly is EXPENSIVE…
And after I eat all we eat all the jam and salsa in a jar I clean them out and store them. Almost compulsively. Almost…

Now what to do with all these empty jars now that I have them?
Where does a girl turn but to PINTEREST!! Heck yes! Pinterest is the BOMB-DIGITY Y’ALL
(Sorry about that)

There are many cute things to do with jars. I narrowed it down to 2 projects. I’m gonna feature one today because the other one is simply just wire wrapped around it to hang little tea lights inside.

Since all of you are smart, intelligent, well informed people, I won’t bore you with step by step word instructions. I will show you with pictures!! YEAH PICTURES!!!

If you do have questions please be free to ask in the comments!

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20140108-222910.jpg (I used an exacto knife to cut it out. Sorry words…I know)
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20140108-223106.jpg (More words here… I sprayed them with clear sealer to keep it from chipping)

I used these as gifts filled with hot cocoa and marshmallows. Very cute! You can use them for candle holders too.
Any questions? Lemme know!

Much love my peeps!!
DFTBA
Becky

Cookie Monster!!

It’s Cookie Time!!
I decided last week to get all my baking done. This decision means that I stayed up till 2 a few nights in a row. But it’s all worth it.
I love to bake.
It’s awesome.
And fun.
It’s a science.
An art.

I figure that if I lived at Hogwarts I would be excellent at Potions. Since Potions is really an art form, and the slightest deviation can ruin the result. Baking is really the same kind of thing. Maybe with a little more wiggle room.

Not only did my midnight baking deprive me of my blessed sleep, but it also created quite a disaster in our house. With all the time spent in the kitchen, and only a very small amount of decorating done there were half finished projects, decorations laying around, laundry piling up, plus our vacuum broke…it was a mess. A very large mess. A Meh-meh-meh-meh MESS, as I would say it when I was young. It was really bad that I could not take pictures.

To add to that, Brandon and I have been traveling every weekend since the week before Thanksgiving. Yes, really. It has been tiring, and we decided to have Christmas here at our home.
Really it was more like us going, “We’re not going anywhere for Christmas”. And that was it. So everyone is coming here. Now I’m on to decorating and wrapping gifts. My favorite parts!
No really.
It’s my favorite.
I love it!

So now my baking is done and I’ve begun the delivery process.
I didn’t do any step-by-step instructions on these cookies, but if any of them look super tasty and you want the recipe I will share it! Just let me know in the comments.

Here are all the plates I put together.
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AND here are the left overs!
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Honestly there are quite a few in there. Even though you can’t see it.

I wanted to give you a break down of the plates.
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Eight types this year. I don’t remember how many I did last year. Though I know it was a lot. Usually my mom and I bake together and we trade some cookies around. There were at least 4 other cookies I had on the plates last year. This is a pretty good amount though. 🙂

If there is a cookie you want a recipie for please let me know. The Peppermint Cookies are like Girl Scout Thin Mints, and the Kiss Pies are super easy and not too sweet. And the Lemon Cookies are a favorite of many people.

I hope that you all get to eat many delicious cookies and enjoy the wonderful aroma of fresh baked goodies in your homes this season.
And like me, I hope you get to experience to joy of sharing your goodies with people you care about, or really anyone. Because that’s why I do it. I bake to share. It’s better that way.

Love ya!
DFTBA
Becky

Christmas Time in the City

ACK! It’s like December 12th! Holy Cow! How did it get to be so late?!

I meant to post many more times before this with my Christmas Decorating and activities, but all those activities have taken so much time, plus all the traveling we have been doing the month now that we live 100 miles from our family and friends, that I’ve barely had time to do much posting.

But now I find myself with a few minutes as the timer on my oven counts down with the last few batches of Christmas cookies to post at least ONE thing in our home.

This summer I found a beautiful miniature village set at an estate sale! I was super excited and gladly gave the last of my spending money for it!

I’ve always wanted one, just like my mom used to have at Christmas time. *sigh* It just says Christmas!
I’m sure I would have gotten one earlier in my life if I had a place to actually display it. But I never had any.

Well now I have an abundance of space to display many things! Which is AWESOME! And also a new challenge to find, or my favorite, MAKE things to go on those spaces!

At first I had the village in our large picture window. It looked great! Buuut we wanted our tree in the window so I had to move it. But it looks good!
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I chose here because:
1. I don’t have kids. So it’s totally safe on a lower level.
2. There was a big open space there in that corner since we moved some things around to make room for the tree.
3. The plugs were close and I didn’t have to move it far.
I’m an easy person. I mean, I like to make things easy. No need to over think, over do, or over….move…? things that don’t need it. 🙂

So here is the first Christmas thing I’m posting.

I suppose the next will be all the cookies I’m baking, so stay tuned!

DFTBA
Becky