Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Fun Link Party

Tonight I'm linking up Oliver's nursery at the Alamode Roomspiration Link Party.
Come and check out all of the amazing baby rooms and get some inspiration!  Link up your own sweet baby room if you've got one!  Hope to see you there!


Have a great night!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rustic Italian Ravioli Soup


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  We spent our time hiking a local park, trying in vain to hunt down some bittersweet sprays from local nurseries and florist shops, eating good food, and watching football.  It was a great weekend and like always, it went too fast!

I made this soup for the first time a couple of days ago.  Jason and the boys really liked it, "green things" and all!  I thought I would share it with you!  The recipe is adapted from Almost Homemade by Taste of Home, the edition was on shelves until August 2011.  It was originally called Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup.  Since we're more ravioli people in this house, I substituted ravioli for the tortellini.  Here is the original recipe.

Here is what you will need, according to my version!

Rustic Italian Ravioli Soup

3 Italian sausage links, casings removed (about 12 oz total)
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz beef broth
1-3/4 cups water
1 can (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package frozen ravioli (about 9-10 oz)
1 package (6 oz) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
2-1/4 teaspoons minced fresh basil
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon minced rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt to taste

Remove sausage from the casings.  Chop the onion and mince the garlic.  Or, if you're like me, you'll coarsely chop the garlic.  I love biting into big bits of garlic!

Cook the sausage and onion in a Dutch oven over medium heat until the meat is cooked and the onion is tender.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add the broth, water, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil. 

Don't forget to scrape up those lovely bits on the bottom of your pan!

Add the frozen ravioli, spinach, herbs, and pepper.  Cook until the spinach is wilted slightly and the ravioli is tender.  Aren't those colors so pretty?

I am going to miss cooking with fresh herbs from my garden!  Unfortunately, my green thumb does not extend into my house.  I've killed more herbs in my kitchen than I would like to admit...

I served this soup with some homemade garlic Parmesan cheese bread.

Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


Happy Monday, all!  I hope you are having a great day!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dining Room Fall Decorations

Last week I shared how I decorated our living room for fall.  Today I'll share the little things I did in our dining room to prepare for my favorite season.  Like the living room, the accent colors will change with the seasons.  I decided to make the living and dining rooms more cohesive by choosing the same yellow and orange colors.

The view into our living room is quite different than it was this time last year.  This picture makes me cringe!  This was also before we painted the baseboards and trim and added crown moulding.

We didn't eat in our dining room for a long time!

After refinishing our table, painting our chairs, and refinishing our craigslist corner cabinets throughout the fall and winter season last year, decorating them has been really fun!  I couldn't even decorate in this room last year.  I kept things pretty simple, but incorporated color where I could and didn't try to break the ol' decorating budget!

The silver pumpkins are from the Dollar Store.  I spray painted them in hopes that they would look like the mercury glass ones from Pottery Barn.  I'm not sure how well I did but they are better than they were before!

You can see how I made the super easy and subtle leaf wreath on canvas here

I incorporated some more color into the room by adding a yellow table runner.

The little gray side table simply got some vases and bowls filled with leaves and sticks.

The silhouettes of my boys got a little decoration as well.  That crow is keeping an eye on them!

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into our dining room.  What have you done to decorate your dining room for fall?  Or any part of your house?  Do share!

Happy weekend, everyone!

I'm linking up to:

Involving Color

Thrifty Decor Chick

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall Window Boxes


We're having quite the busy week around our house.  I did manage to squeeze in some time to put together my window boxes for fall.  Jason made me these beautiful window boxes for Mother's Day earlier on in the summer.  I love them.  I can't wait to decorate them for every season.  I'm thinking pine boughs, winter berries, and lights this winter and tulips this spring.  Now, I'll show you what I did for fall.  I went to my favorite local nursery and bought some bronze colored mums, flowering white kale, pie pumpkins, green fairy tale pumpkins, and some gourds.  The white and orange (which you'll see later) pumpkins were ones that we already owned.  They are the carvable pumpkins you can buy from Michaels.  Jason filled those with sand so that they wouldn't blow away!  We've had them for about four years now.  My husband is a genius, I must say.

Like most projects around here, I had this little cutie to help me out.  Oliver was inside the house, napping away!

To begin, I cut out the white salvia which was looking a bit neglected from my lack of watering...  Oops.

I planted the kale in each of the four corners of the window boxes.

I then planted the mums in the middle.  The smaller window box got one plant and the larger got two.

I then filled in the empty spaces with my gourds and pie pumpkins.

I'm not sure how the plants I left in the box will weather in the cold, but I didn't have the heart to give them the boot.  If we get some frost and they die, I'll just pull them out.  I do like how they fill things in a little until the mums and kale get a little bigger.

This is the smaller box under our dining room window.

This is the larger box under our living room window.

Here's a full house shot.  I love our Cape Cod house!  Oh, and the orange pumpkins on the steps are the pumpkins I was talking about earlier in this post.  I'm not sure if they're staying or not.  They look a little bland compared to the vibrant orange pumpkins.  Maybe it is because they're not real!  :)

The rest of the pumpkins and gourds I used in the the planters on the porch.  I'm thinking the pots need a little height, so we're planning on taking a hike this weekend with the boys to gather some sticks.  We'll see what we can find!

I'll let you know if anything changes with these window boxes.  I'm sure I'll post about them again when the mums bloom a little bit more.  Also, what say you?  Should the bland, fake pumpkins stay or be booted to the backyard planters?

Night, all!  Have a great Wednesday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Living Room Fall Decorations

Hello, all!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is thankful that tomorrow is Friday!  I would be looking forward to it a little bit more but I've got to take my two boys for back to back checkups tomorrow.  We'll see how it goes!  I'm expecting a few tears to be shed.  Oh boy!

Today I'm sharing with you what our living room currently looks like, all decked out for fall.  I had virtually no color in my living room for the past five months or so.  It was refreshing to me and I liked the blank canvas.  For so long our living room had the color red as the main color.  I liked it when we were first married but it was beginning to annoy me.  We moved our old furniture down to the basement family room when we refinished it and bought our couch and tables, installed the crown moulding, and painted.  I assumed all along that the colors in my room would change with the seasons, while the main colors of gray, white, black, and brown would stay the same.  I decided to incorporate yellows and oranges into the room since they are fall colors.  Yellow also happens to be one of my favorite colors!  We even had it in our wedding!  Here is what I've done so far.

The pumpkin was a Pottery Barn clearance item I bought last year after Thanksgiving.  I love it!

I filled my apothecary jars with some brown, orange, and yellow leaves.  The little pumpkin used to be orange until I bought it from Goodwill and spray painted it white.

There's that mouse again...  He hasn't appeared in the laundry room yet, thankfully!

I think one of my favorite decorations right now is that white pumpkin on the left.  It lights up at night and gives off a pretty glow in the room.  I found it at T.J. Maxx a couple of weeks ago for ten dollars.

The shadows it gives off on the walls are so fun!

This is the other side table next to the couch.

Our console table is home to a crow, hovering over some antlers.  Creepy, no?  He's a little difficult to see though, so I apologize.

His friend has taken residence in my wire basket under the coffee table.  The pumpkin is from Michaels and was spray painted white.

This pumpkin sits on the bookshelf.  I also bought it from Goodwill.  It was clear, but I spray painted it white.  Surprised?  No, me either.  I just didn't want to see the candy that was inside.  I'm picky like that.  Plus, "I'm Lizette.  I spray paint everything until I like it, just like"

Here is the other Pottery Barn pumpkin that I bought last year.  The garland is one that I made this year with some twine and leaves.

The yellow pillows are a new addition to the living room.  They are from Pottery Barn.  I haven't actually finished sewing the yellow pillow on the left.  I bought some napkins and have good intentions of making them into pillows.  I just need to buy a sewing machine...  If anyone has any tips on what kind to buy, I would most appreciate it!  I just want to make easy things, so I don't need anything fancy.  I don't plan on taking up quilting or anything.  :)

Can you even tell that the pillows aren't finished yet?

The yellow and white pillows were on clearance.  I love Pottery Barn clearance items!  I know that they're somewhat summery looking, but I'm a decorator on a budget.  Sometimes you just have to make things work.  I've been looking for some orange or bronze pillows to add to the room but I can't find anything that I like.  We'll see what happens as the season progresses.

Since I like to tweak things around the house until I like it, I added these little pumpkins to the apothecary jars.  I found them the other day at Michaels and adore them!  They're technically called "mini pods" but they look like baby pumpkins.

There you have it!  Our living room is officially ready for fall.  Have you decorated yet?  Or am I the only one who decorates for upcoming seasons long before I should?  I'm okay with it, really.  I'll share with you how I decorated our dining room soon.

Have a happy Friday, all!
I'll be sweating at the doctor with two sobbing, clinging little boys...  Any prayers would be appreciated!

I'm linking up to:

Simple Home Life
which is such a fun blog!  Check it out!

Tatertots and Jello
where I get limitless ideas!  I love this blog!

The Lettered Cottage
has the best style!  One of my favorites!