Monday, September 30, 2013

The Beauty of a Michigan Fall

Not many people know this, but last year, Michigan had NO apples, and it was very hard on our farmers, not to mention us as consumers! I never realized the consequences of having such a mild winter. And when I say mild, I mean mild. There was a week in March that year where I laid out in my bathing suit and it looked as if I went to the Bahamas! I so enjoyed that weather.... until the following Fall came when we went to the orchards and they had signs saying "NO APPLES!" NO APPLES?! Wait! We have many Christmas Traditions, but this... this is our Fall tradition! How can we have NO APPLES?! I was stunned, and felt a little guilty for enjoying the warm weather as much as I had the winter before. So we are taking full advantage this season! The beautiful changing colors, picking your own Michigan apples at the cider mill, a warm cinnamon sugar doughnut with some apple cider, pumpkin filled farmers markets, and getting to wear my boots - everywhere! Fall in Michigan...it's just about my favorite time of the year. With low humidity, the fresh air seems to make your smiles louder. You take big giant breaths as if you may not be able to get air for the next 4 months. Sometimes, when the deep, cold Michigan winter hits, it almost feels like that, so yes, we will take full advantage! I mean... I LOVE Christmas, and decorating for Christmas, and Christmas movies but I just love what comes before that. So, we went to the farmers market, and to Spicer's Orchards this past weekend. We soaked up every bit of it, and it was a BEAUTIFUL day! 

It was hard to resist picking a pumpkin from this patch! They are beautiful aren't they?! But we didn't grab one this trip as we plan on going back again soon and I thought it might be a little early for pumpkins to survive!!  

We did however pick some apples ourselves. YUM! Honeycrisp are our favorite, and they were just PERFECT! If you haven't tried a Honeycrisp apple, you haven't really lived! 

They were perfect hanging from those trees! And there are so many! I wanted to just JUMP in!

This batch below is actually Courtand, which are great for baking. And doesn't it just look amazing in my Pyrex? I can't wait to make these into my favorite fall deserts... like apple crisp. I was also thinking of taking the Cream Cheese Monkey Bread I make, and altering it a bit to include some of these apples! 

...And since it was a beautiful Fall morning this morning as well, I went for a long walk, and was so thankful for the beautiful scenery! 

Enjoy this Fall season. It goes by so fast! 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guest post: Fortuny - Italian Design for your Home

Hello all! 
We have a guest post submission today from one of our sponsors, Fortuny! They blog about Italian design, as well as sell their great high end pieces. Since I know a lot of you love to see different types of home decor, I thought this would be a unique one, that all you "pinners" out there will LOVE! As an Antique Dealer, I think it is VERY  important to appreciate all types of trends, styles and history.... So let's get to it! 

Italian Design for Your Home

There’s something about Italian designers – it almost seems as if they were born with a natural sense of style and an artistic flair in their blood. Italian designers are renowned worldwide for not just home wares, but also art, fashion, food and more, so it’s safe to assume there’s a certain magic that everyone loves when it comes to Italian creativity.

For the most part, the majority of Italian designers are about creating a classic and well thought-out look. They rarely create anything ostentatious and designed to shock, instead it’s usually about sumptuous luxury fabrics, beautifully made woodwork, and items designed to last, not just look good. When you first think of Italian design, a pallet of jewel-toned colours comes to mind; golden yellows, deep sapphire blues, velvet reds and emerald greens – but that is also contrasted to the slight Mediterranean influence in their culture – there’s a distinct mastery of ceramics and beautiful print work evocative of the Med in this culture, and it goes beautifully with the more decadent materials.

If you want to recreate the Italian look in your own home, the first place to start is with the flooring. Think glossy real wood, pretty tiles and smooth stone, as these will provide a simple but luxurious base for anything else you plan on filling your room with.  Next consider the larger pieces of furniture; look for soft, elegant pieces like traditionally designed sofas in velvet and leather, and contrast them with bold, modern pieces like colour-block sideboards and mirrored storage.

When it comes to accessorising your room, getting the Italian look is a piece of cake. Make a display of ordinary day to day items; for example, empty your bar selection into some beautiful glass decanters and display them on an antique style serving tray. Another tip is to proudly display glossy magazines and designer books on your coffee table; they look great, and they’re always fun for your guests to flick through.

Add the finishing touches simply, just place a few beautiful fresh flowers in simple mason jars, and invest in some art that inspires you. Many people don’t think of art when they plan on designing their home; perhaps they are put off by the mass-produced prints we tend to see in home design shops! If you’re looking to capture some of that Italian appreciation for fine design, consider visiting a gallery and picking out an original piece of art. This will really add the wow factor to your room. Look for eye-catching pieces that mimic the colour pallet in your room and remember that bigger is usually better, as it helps to create a more striking look in your room. In terms of design it’s better to have one big piece of art, rather than lots of little room accessories.

Who are some of your favourite Italian designers, and what is your one must have piece from their collection?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Wonderful Wednesdays Linky Party #5 with features!

Boy have I had a busy couple of weeks. As I stated at the last linky party, I was going on vacation out of state, and due to all the craziness, I was going to skip that weeks linky party. Well I sure did, and I accidentally skipped the following week as well! I had so much going on, that I didn't even notice until it was too late, so I apologize to those who were waiting to see if they were featured!

I really never thought I would have an all food feature, but I gotta admit, I am hungry! Plus, a little jealous since I haven't been in the kitchen at all lately... not to cook, not to make, not even to make lunch! It really has been that insane around here! So let's see a few of the great participants from the last party, which was three weeks ago!

Stumbling Upon Happiness shared their Pinterest review of the Cinnamon Sugar Muffins. I love a good Pinterest review... it makes me believe that I can make them too!

 We Do Fun Here shared their recipe for Healthy Apple Chips Snack. A great find for fall time!

 Baking a Moment shared their Brown Butter Cream Cheese Jewish Apple Cake. The name is a mouthful, and it has ALL the right words in it because it makes me want to taste a mouthful myself! Can't wait to try this!

Hope you enjoyed our features as much as we did! If you are one of the lucky ones to have been featured this week, please grab a "I've been featured" button from our sidebar!

Now, onto this weeks party! A few things we ask:

  • Please follow Wonderful at Home on at least TWO of their networking sites (you can find them on the top of my page)
  • Put the Wonderful at Home button (found on my sidebar) somewhere on your blog, post or "where I party" page in order to be featured. If I can't find it, you can't be featured. I hope you understand, but we are trying to help each other drive traffic right!?
  • Link up as many of your WONDERFUL posts as you would like. They can be crafts, DIY projects, tips, repurposing ideas, recipes, etc! 
  • Visit at least TWO other link ups. Please - we are all here to support one another right!?
  • HAVE FUN! 
  • ** I will make EVERY effort to email the bloggers that are being featured, so that you are aware, and get to come see your feature first thing. If you are one of the ones featured, don't forget to grab the "I've been featured" button from my sidebar! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

A small house tour of an Antique Dealer

As an Antique dealer, my house is always in chaos. Always. It is crazy how we will clean, and everything will be put (or stuffed) in its place, and then a day or two later, it looks like a tornado hit! Furniture (that we are working on) ends up all over our living room. Items to be priced are all over the kitchen table (and coffee table, and kitchen counter and etc etc!). I would love to get a system going here, because once we have kids (staying positive that will work out!), we cannot have all this stuff everywhere. It is a definite hazard for small kids!

I wanted to give you all a small - and I mean SMALL peek at what kind of decor we have around our house. I could never take a panoramic shot of it all, because you would see what a disaster an Antique dealer has at their house! Someday, when I get everything in order, and the decor the way we want it, I will be sure to show you more!

Another issue an Antique Dealer has is that they want to keep EVERYTHING they buy! Going to flea markets is the biggest issue for me. I enjoy showing off the flea market finds that we have had a hard time letting go of!  You can usually find great stuff, for great prices, and then it is hard to put a price on it. Cataloging it through my blog is a good thing though, because I can always go back and look at all the great things we have found, but sold in our booth!

Here is our fall themed mantle. I will probably keep the burlap and the lights up all year around though!

My corner cabinet is still a work in progress... but I don't mind showing things that I am still improving on!

 This is a piece I have hanging in my entryway. If you haven't noticed yet, someone in my house is addicted to stars!

 The next three pictures were a little difficult to take. 4am, standing on a chair in my kitchen, trying to take a steady picture with my phone. Sounds... not very smart huh? So this is what I have going on above my cabinets. I still add to it once in a while when I find a piece that I really like, and that will fit!

As you can see, I have a lot of "works in progress", but I think as time goes on, and I am out junkin', I will find lots of goodies to add to my collection! 

Hope you enjoyed this Wonderful at Home house tour! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vintage Vintage Vintage!

These few days since my girls getaway to Nashville... whew! I am exhausted! Its baffling because its not as if we "partied". We did a lot of walking through Nashville, went to a waterpark, stayed up one night late, just talking and talking. We live in 3 different cities, Chicago, Las Vegas and Howell (Michigan), so when we get together, we have to get our 50,000 words a day in - each!

I just can't understand why I am so tired! My first day back, I slept until 1:15pm. WHAT?! I have not done that since college. The next day, I slept until 11:30am! And today, my darling husband woke me up at 10:45am! We had plans to go to breakfast this morning, and I had set my alarm for 8:00am (and must have turned it off in my sleep!). I have heard that when you are sleepy like this, its because your body needs it, but my goodness! I don't feel sick or anything - just exhausted! Even last night, I was cooking dinner at 5pm, thinking "Its time for bed!". I did end up being able to make some yummy Lower Sugar, Lower Carb Pumpkin Dip, that even passed the husband test, which is a miracle since he loves everything loaded with enough sugar to send me into a diabetic coma!

I just got around to unwrapping some of the great vintage picks I got at the big sale at our antique mall before my vacation, and thought I would show you a few of them! Please excuse the pictures, it goes with it being a Sunday!

This great covered Amish Butterprint casserole dish - YES! I have the whole set of the mixing bowls, and now I am hooked. I found this at such an amazing deal, that I couldn't pass it up! At 1 1/2 quarts, I can see this holding my YUMMMYYY Asparagus and Sun-dried tomato risotto, or baking the Wonderful Breakfast Casserole in on a cool Sunday morning! It gives it more character you know!?

 I spotted a few of these great jelly glasses several times at the mall, and so when the sale started, I snagged two of them up right away! Unfortunately, a plastic bag mishap while taking them out of the car, sent one to the ground, and it broke instantly! So, I have this lone jelly glass, and I might have to go back and get a couple more. They were reasonably priced anyway!

 I was working on a very slow day at the mall, and I came across this 1957 "Young Only Once, Secrets of Success" book. It was published in Grand Rapids Michigan, which is great because I can picture more easily, the Michiganders reading this "how-to" book in the 50's, on how to be a successful young person! Let me quote something from the book "How often should I wash my hair? Some ask. Bill is a mechanic at the airport. Grease and dust are a part of his routine, so he has to lather his crew cut several times a week. But Sue, the girl he is dating, works at the library. Because her hair is dry and her office is clean, she shampoos her curly red hair once every two weeks. A good guide is to wash your hair whenever it is dirty. Don't be fooled, hair get's dirty from being on your head, from perspiration and such. So don't igore a shampoo for more than two weeks".
WOW! That is something isn't it!? No one could get away with that these days! I think these are some great and unique finds. I love finding different things every time I go out junking. Like when we went to Midland, and found these great treasures. People went gaga over the old vintage bread n cakes box. Or this collection from some of my other trips, where I found the most precious vintage chalk!

I hope everyone enjoys their Sunday! I know I am, sitting by the fire, watching the rain, with a movie on, working on my blog! Couldn't be better!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lower Carb Pumpkin Dip

As I may have mentioned, I have PCOS. Part of this terrific disease (sense the sarcasm),  is that I really am suppose to keep a very low carb and very low sugar diet. If you don't know how hard that is.... I can't begin to explain to you. Especially when another great part of this disease is that you crave carbs uncontrollably. That is actually in the definition.There have been several times where I actually had dreams about bread. So seeing that I want to get pregnant before I am a hundred, I really need to start keeping to this low carb, low sugar lifestyle. Trying to keep myself from binging on carbs, I took one of my favorite Fall dips and adjusted the recipe a bit to fit it into my world!! YUM!

Here is what you will need:

  • 1 8oz tub of Sugar Free Cool Whip
  • 1/2 of can of PURE Pumpkin
  • 2 packs of sugar free vanilla pudding
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground Cloves
  • Ground Nutmeg
  • Graham cracker sticks, animal crackers and/or sugar free cookies for dipping
  • A cute fall dish! (optional)
Scoop the cool whip into a medium size bowl. Add one packet of the sugar free vanilla pudding mix and stir until mixed well. Add the pure pumpkin and stir again until mixed well. Add the remaining packet of sugar free vanilla pudding mix and mix in. Once mixed, add the spices you prefer. A shake or two of each is always good! This is when the "chef privilege" (of taste testing) came in handy! Scoop into a cute fall themed bowl with the dippers next to it!

While I CAN'T sit down and eat a whole bowl of this, because it would set me back, I will say having this as a treat once in a while, keeps me from going insane! Plus, no one would know if you slipped this in at a party, instead of bringing the high carb, high sugar version! 

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mini Peach Pies

I have had the intense urge lately, to make some mini pies. I think it is because I LOVE pie, or more... I LOVE the idea of pie. I just cannot eat a lot of it. I mean, most people will say that, but I REALLY cannot. I have PCOS, so sugar and carbs are suppose to be off my list - almost completely. But, a little sweet once in a while, is ok. That is why I love these! Its just enough! I saw some white peaches at the grocery store and knew I wanted to give some Mini Peach Pies a try!

I say we get right to it, don't you?

Here is what you will need:

*4 medium sized white or yellow peaches, skinned and diced
*2T Brown Sugar
*1T Cinnamon
*sprinkle of ground nutmeg
*sprinkle of ground cloves
*2T of granulated sugar
*2 pie crusts (I bought the refrigerated kind from the grocery store)
*1 egg and 1 T of melted butter whisked together
*cupcake tin
Preheat oven to 350

1. Skin and dice the peaches, and place into a medium size mixing bowl. Add sugars and spices and mix well. Taste a piece of the peach once you have added the sugars and spice! Make sure its to your linking. Some people want to go heavier on the nutmeg, some on the cloves, some on the cinnamon. Don't be afraid to play around with the mixture, tasting as you go of course!  Set aside

 2. Grease and flour each cupcake spot with crisco.

 3. Cut circles out of the pie crust with a floured glass, or a circle cookie cutter and place in each spot on the cupcake tin. Depending on the depth of your spots, you may need to use extra dough to line the top of each spot so it is high enough.

 4. Place spiced peaches mix into each mini pie. Use little cookie cutters to make leaves, stars, hearts or use a knife to cut strips for a lattice and place on top of each one.

5. Once you have all the pies ready, whisk the egg and melted butter together, and egg wash the top of each mini pie. When finished, sprinkle a small amount of granulated sugar on top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

And whooollaaaa! Your finished product should look something like this!

I think they turned out great. And now, I am full on ready for fall. Usually I have a hard time transitioning, as I know what comes after fall (winter - eeeeekkkk!), but I LOVE baking pies, going to the cider mill, watching football, and the crisp (NOT COLD) air! 

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” 
― David MametBoston Marriage

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wonderful Wednesdays Link up #4, with features!

Well hello again! Boy has it ever been a crazy busy week. My poor husband. My poor poor husband. He was off last week for vacation and what do I have him doing? EVERYTHING. From an extraordinary amount of family get together's, to taking a whole day to work in our new booth, to cleaning to the garage, the man was busy. I told him, the only way to get some rest and relaxation, is to actually GO (somewhere) on vacation! Maybe the Caribbean - maybe? Hee Hee! We were so busy, I only cooked dinner for us once during his whole vacation! That might sound like a relief to some people, but I love cooking, and he claims to love when I cook!

Before I jump into the features from last weeks party, let me just say that we will be skipping next weeks party. I will be out of state, and decided that with everything else going on, it is best to just take the week off, so we will have the party this week, skip 9/11 and resume on 9/18. I sincerely thank everyone who linked up last week, and supporting this new venture of mine. It is not easy to start a blog, and the support from you all is very much appreciated. Now let's get onto our features from last weeks party!

First, we have Fair Hopes Supply and their Antiquing trip! I just love this display!

Next, we have The Cottage Diaries yummmy Cinnamon Rolls. I can't wait to try this recipe! 

And last but not least, we have Ms Moozys Open House, and her Mish Mosh of crafty things! I think the roses look beautiful under the dome!

There are no "rules" to this linky party, just some things we ask with a smile :) 
  • 1. Please follow Wonderful at Home on at least TWO of their networking sites (you can find them on my sidebar)
  • 2. Put the Wonderful at Home button (found on my sidebar) somewhere on your blog, post or "where I party" page in order to be featured. If I can't find it, you can't be featured. I hope you understand, but we are trying to help each other drive traffic right!?
  • 3. Link up as many of your WONDERFUL posts as you would like. They can be crafts, DIY projects, tips, repurposing ideas, recipes, etc! 
  • 4. Visit at least TWO other link ups. Please - we are all here to support one another right!?
  • 5. HAVE FUN!