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Fall Decorations at Pier 1

Is it just me, or is it tricky to decorate for Fall and Halloween at the same time? I think September and November are for Fall with October for Halloween, but some don’t “do” Halloween, and keep fall decor up the entire time!  So I’ve got a bucket full of fun that I put up in September, took it down for the month, then back up in November. Anyone else?  I’m sharing today some of my fall decor. I was contacted by Pier 1 recently to shop their Harvest Collection and share some of my favorite things. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.  I’ve also got a gift card giveaway at the end of the post!

Fall Decorations at Pier 1 Harvest Collection

I only have so many surfaces to place decorative items. On top of my piano and my mantel are the two main places. I was very excited about the tall wheat bundle in the picture above. I couldn’t find the official name from the Pier 1 website, but I think it’s pretty fab. I need height in my displays, I seem to have so many average/short pieces, it’s nice to go taller. What about the scented wire owl? Mmmm, brings the fall right into my house with the cinnamon potpourri! The raffia multi tone pumpkin came in several sizes, this one fit just right.… Continue Reading

Vermont in the Fall

I mentioned a week ago that my husband and I took an anniversary trip to Vermont 3 years ago.  I thought I’d share some of my favorite images as well as the quaint places we stayed, in case anyone else out there likes the idea. Scroll to the bottom to download some of my favorite fall images to print as you like.

Though we got married in December, I figured we could take an early trip, because getaways in December aren’t very convenient. Even though I had a nursing baby, I didn’t want that to stop us from our 10 year anniversary trip, so she came along. The dream was to drive through the countryside and see the colorful changing fall leaves from every angle possible, as well as photograph covered bridges. I got online in the weeks before our trip, and found a different quaint bed and breakfast each night that would accommodate a baby crib as well. Since the trip was really all about my dream, I thought I’d also fulfill a dream of my husbands and scoot on over to Maine as well since we are so close. He LOVES the ocean, and I found the perfect spot where we could fall asleep to the waves crashing on the shore. (These were originally posted on my private family blog with smaller images, it’s too much to re-upload, so you get what you get).

We were gone 3 days and 4 nights, and covered 500 hundred miles. We flew into New Hampshire, and I squealed with delight as I saw beautiful leaves right from the start.

Our first stop: The Stonewall Farm in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. This is the drive on the freeway through the windshield. I was SO excited about the color!

I woke up in the morning to this beautiful scene. I ran outside on my own and snapped some shots with the bright morning light.


I learned the house was built in the 1700′s. We left the Stonewall farm, and headed out for our first days adventure. About half way, passenger #3 got a little sad, so we had a pitt stop in a random town and took a stroll.

I spent a lot of time hanging out the window shooting as we drove (you’ll be happy to know those kiddie glasses are now long gone).

Our first covered bridge we saw also happens to be the longest one to date.

The 2nd one became my favorite. Probably because it was secluded and we didn’t see others and I got to take lots of fun shots in and around it…

We headed to Vermont to the Quichee Gorge. I had seen it in my searches online and knew hubby would like the hiking/walk through nature aspect.  This was at the bottom after a little hike down.

We loved how this tree grew through the fence.

We drove through the Quichee Village and onto our 2nd stop which was Woodstock, Vermont. This town was really fun and quaint and hoppin. Our B&B was called The Lincoln Inn at Covered Bridge. I was hooked when I found out there was a covered bridge on the land! It was pretty rainy most of the time we were there, but I still got a few shots. Inn at the right, bridge at the left below.


I like the pedestrain walkway on the side.


All of a sudden, we came upon a RED covered bridge–I was waiting for this.


Then we went to the one place I had actually heard of–Sharon, Vermont. The birthplace of Joseph Smith.  Since he is quite revered in our hearts, it was wonderful to get a chance to be there. It was tucked way on 300 acres and was SO beautiful. I should have known, the church takes great care to keep up the places they own.
It was so beautiful there.

I liked this sign…LDS Lane.

There were speakers outside playing hymns–it was so awesome to hear the music “singing from the trees.” We got to listen to General Conference and had a tour of the grounds.
This monument was erected in 1905, the centennial celebration of the birth of Joseph Smith. The solid granite piece is 38 and a half feet tall, symbolizing the age Joseph was when he was martyred. They hauled that granite for many many miles (back before cars and good machinery). Cool story about the town he was born. The home he was born in actually sat on the dividing line between Sharon and South Royalton. It was his mother that verified what room he was born in, and that was on the Sharon side.

Replica of the home he was born in….

After our visit here, we drove on through the Vermont countryside. I just sat in awe looking out the window wondering who lived there, what was their job, did the grow up and stay around here or move in from the noise of the city?

Longest bridge
Snapped this as we drove by….
Cool old barn snapped as we drove…
This was a pedestrian bridge in Littleton, New Hampshire. We stayed just a stones throw away from it.

This is the Thayers Inn which we stayed our 3rd night. It was a 4 story hotel used as a hotel 100 years ago, too. Lots of cool history inside. It was on main street, so close to a handful of shops. At night, it was raining we sat out on the balcony just above the blue sign. It was really cool and cozy. 

The river under this bridge in Littleton.

. This is hiking at the Franconia flume gorge We had to pay for this hike, but it was pretty cool.

Just love that baby… I had a railing to set my camera on for this one.

Tree root growing through the granite
Pretty view
Cool tree
Strong baby legs

We were warned of moose and saw lots of signs, but unfortunately, saw no moose (just like our Alaska trip). We liked the warning below it…”HUNDREDS of collisions.”

From Franconia Notch State Park, we drove 2 hours to the Atlantic Ocean in Maine. We stayed in Scarborough, Maine, near the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse. Apparently it is the most photographed lighthouse. I think it is in Forever Young? We got there just at sunset.

The beach by our B&B
It was so peaceful to just sit and look out these windows facing the ocean.  We had the windows open at night and slept to the sound of the waves crashing.

Our morning stroll
Baby’s first sand/ocean experience.

The Breakers Inn, we stayed in the Tower Room because I knew hubby would love the sloped ceilings and wood walls. I enjoyed some Maine Blueberry Juice (how could I pass that up?) 

Here are just a few taken with my “small camera.”

The sitting area in our Maine B&B looked out on the ocean was so delightful.
Download some of my favorite fall images you see above HERE, and print as you like. A few more images previously posted HERE.

Better than Delicious~Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

Well, I got several recipes once I mentioned my craving for this delectable treat.  First was from Jackie (an event coordinator in Indiana), so I used hers right away because I had all the ingredients on hand!  I had no idea the unique method of making this, so I thought I’d document the process. It was late at night and I didn’t want to dig out my flash, so these are pretty dark (this first one was taken the next day)….

First you sprinkle the surface with powdered sugar and a clean dish towel on top of that sprinkled with powdered sugar (I was so confused how the dish towel played into the recipe).

Then you cook your cake recipe on parchment paper on a jelly roll pan (cooks a thin cake).

Then  you pull out the paper/cake and place it upside down on the powdered dish towel, and start to peel off the paper

Then you roll up the cake IN the dish towel (weird, I know) and let it cool for an hour…

after it cools, you unroll it…

and frost it with the scrupmtious cream cheese mixture…

Then roll it back up without the towel…

Then put it on a plate and sprinkle a bit more powdered sugar and chill.

Slice it up and enjoy a taste of heaven…

 Oh my, SO good!  I introduced this to my daughter saying it was delicious and she said, this is BETTER than delicious!  I was actually glad when my boys turned their noses up on this…I probably ate more than half of it myself. Thanks also to my friend Monica who shared a recipe that mentioned the parchment paper (the one from Jackie said to grease the pan, but I don’t have much luck with greasing things).  And to Tamra my friend who said she has many other “roll” recipes from living in Europe (I guess they do this a lot there), so I can’t wait to try those!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

Preheat oven to 375.  Place parchment paper down on jelly roll pan.

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. lemon juice
3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. ginger
1/2 t. nutmeg

Beat eggs and gradually add sugar.  Add pumpkin and lemon juice.  Mix well and set aside.

Mix together dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well.

Pour into jelly roll pan and bake for about 16 minutes.

Immediately when removed, turn out on a dish towel generously sprinkled with powdered sugar (on both sides).  Roll towel and cake together and let cool to room temperature.  Carefully unroll and fill with cream cheese filling.

1 stick butter
1 pkg. softened cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

Mix well and spread in roll.

Lovely leaves

Ms. W. was my sons kindergarten teacher last year. I was so excited to bring him along as my assistant, though he didn’t know we were photographing them. He was on the shy side, but was pretty excited to see her and her sons.

This color was gorgeous, but I’ll post just one because mom said she loved black and white. Here is a little sampling for you.

She was such a great teacher for my son, he really loves her. Now he’s a big 1st grader.