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Monday, September 30, 2013

Rustic Autumn Apple Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

I haven't done very many food posts over here. Know why? Nearly every time I've set out to do a post on a recipe, either the dish doesn't turn out, my photos come out terrible or someone eats it before I get photos! Food blogging just hasn't been my forte, but today I did manage to capture a simple, rustic Fall dessert. Well, not the 'during' photos, but the 'afters' : )
This is so easy, and so yummy I know you'll want to whip this up soon.



3 large apples, peeled and coarsely chopped {I used Gala}
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon +
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs 
1 cup of oil 
1/2 cup white sugar 
1/2 cup brown sugar +
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla



1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened 
1 stick of butter, softened 
1 tsp maple extract 
1-2 cups powdered sugar {adjust for your own taste}
1-2 T. cream or milk if needed


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9" cake pan or baking dish. {I used a springform pan}

Peel and chop the apple and toss with 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon and set aside.

Beat together eggs, oil, sugars and vanilla. 

In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. 

Mix the dry ingredients into the oil and egg mixture. Add the chopped apples {batter will be thick} and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the maple extract and 1 cup powdered sugar, {adding more-up to 2 cups- to taste} beating until smooth and creamy. You may add a tablespoon or two of milk or cream at this point if you'd like it a little thinner.

This rustic cake is delicious all by itself. It's dense and very moist and is yummy with coffee or an ice cold glass of milk {as my kids will attest} 
But if you are in the mood for a little icing on top, this creamy, buttery, maple-y icing is to die for!


I'm so glad we are welcoming glorious October together, my friends! Thank you so much for being here!


Joining the fun at these lovely places:

Fall Nesting Party at The Inspired Room 
The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict 
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Tweak it Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style 
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm 
Tutorials Tips and Tidbits at StoneGable 
Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson 
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours 
Be Inspired at Common Ground 
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage 
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors 

Sunday Scenes

Just some snippets of our Sunday afternoon/evening. Thanks for coming along!


Sharing this week over at:

The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict 
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Prayer for Our Home

Autumn arrives, and as with each changing of seasons we find ourselves poring over magazines, Pinterest and a myriad of beautiful blogs for inspiration to beautify our homes. There's not necessarily anything wrong with that!

But today I wanted to take some time with you to thank the Lord, the author of all beauty. I invite you to join with me in acknowledging Him and asking Him to gently remind us that there is a beauty far more amazing than any image we will find in the online world.

Without His love and grace, anything considered 'beautiful' in my home would be empty and meaningless! 

{I didn't write this prayer, but I found it saved on my computer with no note of it's source. I added the chalkboard background, birds and leaves. I would be happy to give credit to the original composer of these words, if anyone knows who that is.}

God's blessings and grace to you as you ponder what it means to have a truly beautiful home this Fall. 

With love-


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rustic Pallet Decor: The Autumn Mantel

No, I don't have a real mantel. Having a real fireplace is something I've missed in this home. This time of year when those chilly evenings arrive and we're snuggling under some extra blankets in our beds and on the sofa, I sure miss the warmth and cozy ambiance of a wood burning fireplace!

Last year I created a backdrop and faux mantel for my little electric fireplace, and I've really enjoyed having that space for seasonal decor. Even if it's not 'real', I think having something that feels like a fireplace wall adds alot to this room, which has little in the way of architectural interest. 
The last time I shared this area was in my Summer Living Room post. 

This week I'm working on warming up this room a bit with more of a rustic, nature-inspired look-starting with the fireplace wall.

I started by replacing the white mantel shelf with a more rustic piece of weathered wood that I've used here in the past. 

Months ago I picked up this half of a pallet from a curbside junk pile. I've actually had a million ideas for it, but it's just been sitting down in the basement waiting for a new life. I'm kinda thinking this might be my son's next headboard, thing at a time! 

Can I just take a moment to say how much my 16 year old loves it when her mom says, "Hey, can you come hold this pallet up on the wall for me?" She. loves. it. Don't let her tell you otherwise :)


Well, I knew I wanted to try it up there, but I didn't have a plan for what was going on it. I tried some words in chalk. Sorta kinda liked it,
I decided on a white-framed vintage mirror and some illustrations from a backyard birds book. Somehow, birds always seem to make their way into every vignette around here!

Above the pallet I placed a wreath I made with brown coffee filter flowers. I had envisioned it being much fuller, but I used up all the filters I had and didn't know when I'd get more, so there it is : ) 
I'll probably add some more to it at some point...

On the mantel shelf, a conglomeration of birdies and squirrels and other rustic, fall-ish feeling items. 

How cute is this little guy?? My daughter gave him to me this weekend as a little Fall gift.

My 9 and 6 year olds came in the room at separate times while I was working on the mantel and told me how much they liked how this area looked. It was so sweet of them to notice and take a minute to tell me that!

I am really liking this warmer look, but in all honesty I'll probably be feeling the urge to simplify within a couple of weeks : )

That's one more little area Fall-ified over here as I move slowly along into my favorite season. I'll share the rest of the space with you all soon. I hope your week is filled with Autumn beauty!

      "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, 
for beauty is God's handwriting."
                                                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson  

Joining the fun at these parties this week-

Share Your Cup Thursday at Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
The Fall Nesting Party at The Inspired Room
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style


Tutorials Tips and Tidbits at StoneGable
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Be Inspired at Common Ground  
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage 
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo 
The Scoop at Confessions of a Plate Addict 
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm 
Party Junk at Funky Junk Interiors 
Empty Your Archive at Mums Make Lists 
Junkers Unite at Knick of Time 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's Really Autumn!

Happy "official" Autumn, friends!

I have been blown away by all the gorgeous Fall home tours I've seen this past week! Honestly, to get your WHOLE house "done up" for any season-technically before the season even starts? Well, I'm impressed. Not only with the beautiful homes I've seen, but with the amount of work that goes into creating and photographing those spaces, and all that goes with that. Such amazing talent out there!

I just haven't been very quick with the Autumn decor so far this year. Love love love looking at everyone else's, but just a little slower getting fully inspired for my own home. I'm totally okay with that. As I keep saying, I want Fall to arrive slowly and linger long. {smile}

It is a very blustery Sunday over here today. Low 60's, very windy and rainy. Of course this is the day I was going to put the garage door up and pull out all the stuff I need to get rid of. Really! I was! 

My oldest daughter has always been super creative and crafty. I must do a post one day to show you some of her darling creations. Last night we went to her home for a little movie party and she brought out this little owl she made! Her little brother squealed and went nuts over it, so she gave it to him. He slept with it last night, but he let me pry it out of his hands long enough to take a couple of photos today : )

Isn't he cute??

She had some very sweet Fall gifts for me this week, this handmade coffee cozy being one of them. Love it!

Since the weather isn't cooperating with my outdoor plan today, I'm 'forced' to work on something inside. I picked up this half of a pallet from a curbside junk pile last Spring, and it's been sitting in the basement just waiting for...something! Today is the day. Can you guess what I'm using it for?

Come on back soon and see what your slightly slow friend has been up to over here, okay? 

Happy and blessed first day of Autumn to you!