Sunday, 30 September 2007

Reading Challenge! Fall into reading....

Around this time of year I always want to read more, it must have something to do with the weather and wanting to keep warm! I had planned a trip this week to my local library to order a few books that I have had on my reading list for a long time. Most on the list are fiction books with a fall/Halloween theme, I cannot resist a good cozy murder at this time of the year! In the past, either amazon uk could not get them for me, or my library would take too long, however I thought it would be worth another go to find the books I want to read.........

As I was browsing the Blogsphere I stumbled across
Callapidder Days. Fall into reading 2007

I have never given myself any set reading goals before and that is exactly what this is .........'A Reading Challenge' .......To make yourself a reading list that takes you through September to December. I am pleased to have found 'Fall into reading' just at the right time, I must admit I am quite excited at the prospect of actually getting through some of the books that are so familiar to me yet I have never read!
If you would also love to read more, take the challenge or just see what everyone is reading......... here is a bit about the challenge........

' Fall Into Reading 2007 is a casual, low-pressure challenge. The point is simply to provide motivation to read, and to provide an opportunity for all of us to set goals when it comes to our personal (or family) reading. As a participant, all you'll have to do is make a list of books you'd like to read (or books you'd like to finish!) this fall. We'll share our goals with each other, and then share our experience and results when the challenge is over.'

To read more and sign up visit......
Callapidder Days - Lets Go!

Here are the books on my list, The main two I wish I could lay my hands on Are Death Of A Trickster and Trick Or Treat Murder! A visit to my library today told me I couldn't have them for months so its up to amazon........ I hope to get through most of them! I did find two new books to add to the list. I found them in the library... Cherry Cheesecake Murder and Seeing Stars

Halloween/Fall Reading ...

Death of A Trickster

Trick Or Treat Murder

Halloween: Customs, Recipes and Spells - Non Fiction

The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

Library Finds

Cherry Cheesecake Murder

Seeing Stars

Christmas read

Skipping Christmas

I think it we be a joy reading the books from my list and seeing what others are reading, I want to thank Callapidder Days for the motivation to set ourselves goals and an enjoyable way to keep them! and for giving us this challenge.........

Happy reading everyone, Ill be back soon with how I am getting on!

Priscilla x

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Fall Decor

Over the last few week I have been feeling the pull of fall more and more. I felt it was time my surroundings reflected my mood so I have been searching out my fall decorations, most of my things are still in boxes and at my parents house from the move, but I managed to find a few old favourites and some new things I recently bought.

In my mind I have many, many ideas of how I wish my room to look! Crafts to complete etc. I am still searching for ideas, the web is full of beautiful homes decorated for fall........ table settings, outdoor decor, Halloween parties etc. If I could incorporate some of the ideas I found on the web into my own home I would be very happy! I picked up a few things from a thrift shop last week, I will show what I have found to do with them soon!

At the moment most of my decor is displayed on the fireplace, I initially placed them there to see how they looked, with intent to re arrange them later. However its been two week....... I must like seeing them,so they will stay where they are!

Back in May after just getting home from a holiday in Luxor Egypt, the first shop I visited back in the UK had these fall welcome signs! I couldn't believe they were out in may......... originally he was going to live on the inside of the front door, its been hanging around for months waiting to be placed. In august he spent some time on a coat rack! In the kitchen, then in the living room window sill. Now here he is next to the fire.........where he will stay!

I have mentioned before my love for Yankee Candles, no fall display or home would be complete in my opinion without some form of warm, spicy, fall scent. Pumpkins, apples, pine, fruit all conjure up thoughts of fall to me. Every September my mum and I visit a UK web site for Yankee candles and stock up on the candles we think would be good for fall and winter. We each have our favourites, mine all the food scents! Pumpkin Pie, Harvest, Pumpkin Spice, Butter cream, Trick or Treat and candy Corn! We cant wait for the package to arrive, even the box smells as the post man hands it over! We are like kids at Christmas, sorting who's candle is who's, and swapping and sharing.

here is the web site link....

Here are some of the candles I have burning at the moment, Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread, Trick or Treat........

I adore cats, on my visit to Luxor this year I found this wooden figure, I fell in love at first sight, I thought he would work well as part of the fall decorations!

One corner of the fire place...........the Pumpkin is a candle my grandma bought me two year ago, I knew it would never be lit, just to enjoy its decor value. The lit twigs you can see were bought from the same shop as the welcome sign, that shop had a good range that day! They too had been waiting for me to settle into my new house, in fact I bought them for a home I did not yet have........but knew very soon I might have.

At night I feel so at home and cozy...........Oh how I do love fall.

I hope you enjoyed viewing the little corner of my home, I will be back soon with some more baking I think, I have a craving for something sweet........

Happy Fall Everyone

Priscilla x

Monday, 10 September 2007

Autumn Bliss

I am really pleased to be a part of StoryBook Woods 'Autumn Bliss' week. Such a wonderful idea for everyone to share projects, recipes ideas, memories etc. I have been thinking all week what I could add to this fun topic! last year I enjoyed autumn in a way I never had before, I grew pumpkins from seeds and made pumpkin pie. This is what I would like to share with you, the recipe I used and the pictures of my pumpkin growing! Here in England I have never seen a pumpkin pie! or tasted one. I was new to gardening last year and chose pumpkins as my first project!

Here is where it all began, a quest for a jack o lantern to carve...... a packet of seeds, a small 4inch pot and a sun light window sill.........These things grow for fun! I was so excited every morning it was bigger I swear!

As the pumpkin plants grew bigger, I planted one in a huge plant pot! This is at my parents house, I wasn't sure how they would grow in pots but I was going to see!........ I knew nothing about growing them, I read up on the web what I was looking for and how to feed them etc, such an experience to learn something completely new!

They grew so quick, these pumpkins were from three plants, I didn't carve any of them. I read the packet to find they were eating pumpkins........I searched the web for ideas and found the American tradition of the pumpkin pie. I wanted in on this tasty tradition! Only two of them were used to bake the others I used to decorate the house and carve!

Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Ingredients: Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. (1/2 stick/2 oz/56g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp. cold vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces

3 tbsp. very cold water


1 can (15 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

4 tsp. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of ground cloves

Pinch of salt


To Make The Crust:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until reduced to 1/2-inch pieces. Add the water a little at a time and pulse until the dough just begins to come together in a rough mass. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a 5-inch disk. Wrap with plastic wrap andrefrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C).

Use a 9 inch pie pan.Line the crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue to bake until the shell is golden, about 5 minutes moreleaving a 1/2-inch overhang; reserve the trimmings, if desired.Transfer the pie dish to a wire rack and let the shell cool completely. Reduce the heat to 325ºF (160°C).

To Make The Filling: In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cream, eggs, egg yolk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt and whisk until smooth. Pour into the crust.

Baking The Pie: Bake the pie until the filling is set but the center still jiggles slightly when the pie dish is gently shaken, about 50 minutes, or longer if using a metal pie dish. Transfer the dish to the rack and let the pie cool completely.

I used fresh pumpkin instead of canned. I cut the pumpkin into quaters in the oven, placed face down. Bake in oven at 375 degrees F (190 C) for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until pulp is soft. Once cooked I used a food blender to smooth the pumpkin flesh. Then sived to make the puree more firm.

These are the three pumpkins I used, when halloween was over I made the pie. I didnt have the heart to move them, they looked so cute! Thats Jack, one of the jack o lantens I carved........

And finally I thought I would share a poem that I feel sums up fall and the atmosphere a carved pumpkin can bring. Halloween will be here soon and I couldnt be happier.........

Happy fall everyone!

I would like to say thank you to Clarice at storybook woods for giving us this chance to share Autumn Bliss

If you would also like to be a part of the fun visit her at this address:

Enjoy your week

Priscilla xx

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Fall is here...and the name game

Fall has begun, golden leaves are surrounding my front door, the days seem more cold and the air crisp. Fall is here so I decided now was the time to start putting up some Autumn decor. At the moment my decor consists of a lot of warm food pumpkin/spicy Yankee Candles, a scarecrow welcome door sign and a wooden cat I bought in Egypt. They are now all arranged on my fireplace mantel and hearth. This time of the year fills me with such anticipation, I cant wait for all the decor magazines to start including fall specials, even the local supermarket has a Halloween addition that has some great recipes. The shops begin putting out the Halloween items and soon the veg isle in the supermarket will display my all time favourite fruit....The Pumpkin! When I think of fall/Halloween I also see it as a time to get creative, at Halloween I usually carve about 5 pumpkins, make treats and spend time watching cozy movies whilst handing out candy to the trick treaters. Every year I cant wait to search for new ideas, recipes patterns and anything I can find on these themes. As more decor comes into the stores, I am planning a fall decor shopping trip!

This year I am trying my hand at making some door hanging pillows, or bowl fillers. Now I have my own home there are lots more to get creative with and thought why not try make some items!
I want to also mention I made the fall banner above using free Digital scrapbooking papers at Shabby princess

Recently I bought a pair of cream pillow cases for £1.99! Cut them into small squares and stained them with tea. I printed out text that reads 'Witches Brew' placed it under the fabric and traced the design. I have started to stitch the wording, and plan to stuff the pillow with wadding, maybe also place a black rope round the edges.

Here is how the pillow is looking so far......

Ill keep posting on how I am getting on with the crafting.......

Say hello to my kitten Truffles.....doesn't he look cozy all settled in amongst my stitching? So peaceful and rested not a sound would disturb him? ............ok, I cant do it.I am having you on! He is mine he's called truffles.....but he's not real! He's fake, a pretend pussy cat. He's made of card board or paper, with really soft fake fur. My parents brought him home the other week as a gift for my home! I wanted a cat but I am renting so no pets allowed........don't you just love him? ahhhhh unconditional love!

Now on to the Name Game. I am still very new to blogging/games and awards etc. But I was tagged by my friend Allison over at My Cozy Home for the Name Game .......

Here are the rules: Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are mine..... I suddenly realised how long my name was!

P - Presents/parcels. I enjoy buying gifts for family. Trying to find something they will love and wrapping is the main reason why I chose presents. If W was in my name the word would be 'Wrapping'. I love to wrap parcels, finding gorgeous wrapping paper, carefully wrapping and adding gift tags, then at Christmas arranging the pile of pressies in a pretty arrangement is just something I love! I don't see my pile of parcels before Christmas morning and I try to keep them secret from my family, the anticipation of my family's face at the lovely arranged parcels is wonderful. The pleasure something small can bring..... from the heart and wrapped with love is just pure happiness.

R - Rain. When I was young I used to sit at the back door on a little stool with an umbrella watching the rain. I still watch the rain today, it feels so refreshing, the fresh smell a rain fall brings. To simply enjoy nature is such a joy.

I - Inspiration. I find many things to be inspired by, blogging is one of the new things to inspire me. Searching for new loves, such as hobbies, information. Sometimes something finds me then I am hooked and inspired to learn more! One small thing can open a whole new world.........

S - Scented Candles, these play a large part in my life, for the past 3 years I have been buying Yankee Candles, they set a mood, change a mood and create such a cozy atmosphere, and make wonderful gifts. My home would not be a home without these little joys. When I awake I light one, and in the evening I set the lights off and enjoy the glow......

C - Cake decorating. This is my hobbie and my profession. I spend my free time trying new recipes, making models, decorating cakes just for fun, searching for new ideas, decorating books, baking for family. This subject takes up most of my life in one form or another. and I love it!

I - Imagination. I was always told I have a 'good Imagination' and I tend to agree! Sometimes its a good thing, like reading a good book, but not so good with scary movies!

L - Lights. I have to mention Christmas tree lights in this letter. I have really fond memories of our tree growing up, a warm house, food, family and little lights glittering on the tree. If you squint at them they all blur into a wonderful mass of colour. The lights reflect of the tree baubles, some even play music! and all this creates a very warm memory.

L - Lisa is my first name- I read somewhere that 'lisa' means a 'searcher of knowledge'. I believe I do in any way I can every day. My word was also going to be 'Learning'

A - Arts and Crafts. These words fill my mind and most of my life. Finding inspiration, hobbies, work, and filling any moment I can with anything that relates to this!

As I have 9 letters in my middle name Priscilla , I have tagged the following 6 sites

My Romantic Home,

Cherry Hill Cottage,

Vintage Home,

Story Book Woods,

Country Romance,

Caton Darling and Moore,

I will add the other 3 sites later! and the links......... I apologize if anyone has already been tagged

Until next time, Enjoy your week....

Priscilla x

Books I have read and enjoyed

I am counting down..