Monday, September 7, 2015

Labor Day Kickoff to Fall Decorating!

I hope all of you are enjoying the Labor Day weekend!  There is nothing better than a three day weekend, is there???  I've been able to find a good balance between being lazy and getting things accomplished - and that is quite a feat for me. 

Traditionally, this is the weekend I find time to put out my first layer of Fall decor.  And, true to form, I started dragging out stuff yesterday after giving the house a good cleaning.  In the last couple of years, I have done a better job of separating the Fall stuff from the Halloween stuff when packing things away, so this was a huge help! 

Since we don't have a fireplace, meaning "no mantle", I use this little sofa table as a display area in much the same way others decorate their mantle.  A lush garland filled with pumpkins, gourds, berries, sunflowers and leaves makes the perfect backdrop for some of my pumpkin and bird collection.  Battery operated mercury bulb lights are woven in with the garland and a couple of scented candles give this vignette a soft glow, day or night. 



The wreath that coordinates with the garland hangs on another wall.  Although I have had these for several years, I am still getting mileage out of them!


I absolutely love downloadable prints that pop up all around the blogosphere this time of year!  Here is one I just recently acquired, in a Goodwill find frame.  It was just $1.99!!!  I thought about painting it, but decided that the gold and wood tones worked just fine for this project and made it super simple to display in a hurry. My favorite thing is the colors - just perfect to bring some Fall tones into our living room which is heavy on the creams and aquas. 


Decor on the piano is super simple - another downloadable print and a chippy black crow nesting in an inexpensive candle ring. 



In the kitchen, I simply added some ceramic pumpkins on the buffet.  Oh, and another of those wonderful framed download prints!  The afternoon sunlight fills this area with terrific light, muted by the woven blinds and it is one of my favorite areas in the house to decorate simply.



A new pale blue cake stand from HomeGoods is featured on the kitchen table, along with a green painted tin pumpkin, which has been one of my favorites for years.  We are on our first batch of our favorite seasonal snack - a jar of dry roasted peanuts dumped in with a large bag of candy corn.  Yum!!!


After dinner last night, I lit some of the candles before we settled in for some chill time and the living room felt so cozy and inviting.  This is what it's all about, isn't it?  Creating a comfortable area to spend time with the ones you love, a place that wraps its arms around you and makes you never want to leave!

It's early in the season yet, so there is more to be added and lots of tweaking to do.  I haven't even touched the front porch yet!  But, at least, it's a start! Check back and follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see how things develop.

Thanks for stopping by....

Jane







Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Baked Chicken & Veggies With a Twist!

Howdy, y'all!

Is everyone getting in a Fall sort of mood?  I've been a pinning, Instagramming kind of fool lately, taking in a multitude of autumnal images....getting all inspired to drag out my bins of Fall decor this weekend.  Traditionally, I wait until Labor Day weekend to set out my first layer of pumpkins, leaves and such.  So, the countdown is on until time to get started! 

In the meantime, we have been really focused on eating healthy - which, for us, means cooking and dining at home most evenings.  I found a super simple recipe idea today and decided to try it out for dinner tonight.  It turned out awesome - definitely a keeper!  

Let's just say it is a new twist on baked chicken.  So, so simple........

I had two boneless, skinless chicken breasts already thawed out.  So, they went into the 9x13 glass baking dish first.  

Next, I quartered the six red potatoes that I already in the fridge.  They were nestled in one end of the baking dish, followed by a batch of fresh green beans on the other side of the chicken.  I had some prepackaged fresh, select sized green beans - they sure are convenient, all ready to go.  

Then I sprinkled a package of Italian salad dressing mix over everything and ground some fresh pepper over that.  No need for additional salt - there is plenty of salt in the dry dressing mix.  

Finally, I drizzled a stick of melted butter over everything and put the whole thing in a 350 degree oven for one hour.  I covered it with foil after the first 20 minutes, to keep the moisture in and prevent the veggies from getting too crispy.  Let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving. 

Finished result - absolute deliciousness!!!

 
So, there it is.  An easy to fix, cooks in one dish, dinner - perfect for those evenings when you have other things to do besides slave over a hot stove!  

I hope you're following along with my Facebook page and on Instagram.  I've been sharing some of the terrific stash I got on my first trip to HomeGoods this past weekend.  Would love to have you tag along, so check it out. 

Let's meet up again after the Fall decor makes its appearance at our cottage this weekend!  


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