decorating with dodi

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Moving Along

Today we are heading into the dining room. I managed to get the guest rooms and sun room done yesterday so today all that is on my decorating to-do list is to get the backyard finished. I like to have the holiday feel out there as well because we do a lot of outdoor activities at our kids' and family parties as well as "spilling" out there for seating when there is no more room in the house...and, in the evenings around a fire. But, I digress!

Back to the house...

I still love my pig! Apparently, I am now totally the minority on this issue but it is my house and my pig, so he stays. As a matter of fact, now that I am looking at this picture, I realize he is missing his boa-tweaking to come!

This is still a room that I have trouble with. I am thinking about making a HL run and buying some of their glittery Halloween picks, sticking them into the dough bowl full of "realistic" pumpkins and replacing this centerpiece. I think maybe the proportions are what is off for me. Lately I have been decorating with larger items...I'll let you know.

And, still having trouble here. Daughter #1 suggested that I paint the walls behind the shelves. That is how it used to be and I wanted a change but she may be right. Now if I only knew what color???!

This lamp that I made is another of those things that I haven't used in a few years but I thought I would try him here and I think I like him.

Pumpkin man is back also. For whatever reason, I didn't hang him last year but I must have known in my soul that he would return because when I painted this room, I left the nails that he hangs from "just in case".

So that is the dining room as it stands. I have some time to "live" with it so changes may happen but for now, I am happy it is done. Heading out to the backyard. More to come. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Not Cooking This Time...

...but, we are back in the kitchen. Thought we would continue our tour 'cause everybody knows everything tastes better with orange and black!

Except for the "apothecary" area, I am keeping the kitchen pretty functional this year. As you know, we have three rather large sized gatherings already on the calendar as well as just lots of holiday fun. I wanted to be sure I could access all of the Halloween cooking and serving pieces that I only use for special much easier than having to dig through all of the cabinets! It doesn't always make for the prettiest arrangements but I will be very thankful I went this way once the fun begins!!

Right as I was about to start gloating about being totally done, I realized I still haven't decorated the guest rooms, backyard or sun room so I still have a bit more to do. I will be back. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


So once again, the "pumpkin" bug struck. I needed to have more pumpkin in my autumn! I didn't want to make any of my go-to pumpkin recipes so I decided to try a recipe I pinned from daughter #1. It came from a site named "Platter Talk". It is a "sticky pumpkin caramel cake" made in a slow cooker. Yep, a slow cooker.

I thought the sticky, caramel part of the recipe name came from some magic that happened in the crock pot. After reading through the whole thing I realized that the caramel comes from a jar poured on after the cake was done. Nothing really magical about that.

The recipe went on to say that the cake was also delicious with just ice cream, whipped cream or even plain. Since neither hubby nor I really love sweet, sweet things, I decided to go for the whipped cream. Was there ever any doubt which way I would go?

This cake gets put together in a mixer just like any other cake. Then, it gets spread in the slow cooker and set to go.

Here it is just starting...

...and here it is two hours later.

It sits in the pot for ten minutes and then gets turned out on to a plate to cool a bit. The cake can be served warm, room temperature or cold so pick your preference.

...only to be covered in yummy whipped cream and quickly devoured.

 This cake was really good-it was extremely light and definitely not too sweet. It didn't have quite the "pumpkin punch" that I was hoping for so if I make it again, I might amp up the spices. That being said, I'm not exactly sure why you would make it in a slow cooker for two hours instead of just baking it in the oven for half of an hour. I guess if you were leaving the house and wouldn't be there to take it out of the oven??? You still have all of the same mess to clean up but, this was really a nice way to end a meal-yet another pot of yummy homemade soup that I can't stop from preparing this time of year-so I might do it again. In any case, it was a first for me. I have never made a cake in the slow cooker in all my years so a guess I can check one more thing off of my bucket list-lol. More Halloween to come. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Life Keeps Interrupting!

I thought I would be done by now but, you know, life keeps getting in the way. I NEED full days to get all of our Halloween up and full days at home are few and far between...and that is a GOOD thing-usually! This has been the week of hair appointments (both hubby and I), doctor appointments and lovely, unexpected breaks. This is autumn in its full glory-except where Mother Nature is concerned-it is still HOT but every now and then a slight, noticeable difference in air temperature drifts by and keeps me hopeful-which means lots of sports for the kids. Saturday we had a soccer game for Hud, this week we will have both soccer and football and yesterday we got to pick the kids up from school and take them to their favorite yogurt shop and watch them build their own, individual yogurt confections. It was so nice to just sit and talk with them about school, sports and their thoughts on life in general-as I said, a lovely, unexpected break.

We are also waiting until this weekend to do the outside of the house. My family and friends all know that the inside is decorated already but I don't feel the need to try to explain to my neighbors and passers-by why we have the only house in 100 square miles that is already ready for a holiday still more than a month away-ahhh, if they only knew. Soon I will be sitting back and enjoying while they are just getting started. I will have time to stop and smell the "pumpkins"-haha.

But, I am ready to show you one room-the others are almost all decorated but need a bit a tweaking. Sit back and get cozy-many photos to come.

 Welcome to our living room.

I was hoping my new console would give me more decorating room but, alas, it does not. I do still love my Grandin Road sign knock-off that I made last year.

Any visiting witches can borrow my recipes for potions...

...or perhaps a fail-proof spell.

I am always amazed at this witch every time I bring her out. I am not a doll person. On a normal day, I don't think I would even look twice at her. But, for whatever reason, on that one of my favorite little decor boutiques in Alachua...that witch spoke to me and I spent way more than I should have for her...but, I did! And I haven't regretted it once! She is full of braiding, lace, ribbons, twine, charms and oh so many, many more minute details! I think I see something I have never seen before every year when I bring her out!

I still love the coven picture hanging on the hook I made as gifts a few years back. This year I added another key-you never know just how many secret places a witch has to open!

I know this table is "busy" but I still love the pictures of all of our crazy gang in costume at all of our parties over the years!

I love my vintage pillows but my favorite is the "BOO" pillow made for me by my cousin because she knows I love all things "Bethany Lowe". I really think it is one of my favorite gifts of all time!

I actually have forgotten to use these cages the last few years. Somehow, I not only remembered to use them but I remembered where I had put them-quite a coup with my memory these days. It is hard to see in this picture, but that is a large raven up there "taking it all in".

So that is the living room this year. It never quite looks in pictures as it looks in real life. It is a hard room to photograph because of all of the glass and mirrors and maybe it doesn't present as well when you can't see the candles flickering or smell the pumpkin fragrance. I guess you really need the sights, sounds, smells and colors-oh the colors-of Halloween. Much more to come. Stay tuned.