Monday Morning Inspiration…

Happy New Year!!

I saw this photo floating around facebook and just love it!!  I thought of trying to recreate it yesterday in Asbury Park at the Polar Bear Plunge (supporting a cousin… our plunge is in February!!) but unfortunately forgot to even try.

Wishing you and your families a very happy and healthy 2012!!

Fall Apothecary Jar

Here’s a great and easy Fall Decoration you can put together in only a few minutes that can make a huge statement on your mantle or dining room table!

Last year my Mom purchased a box of small pumpkins and gourds after Halloween at Michael’s on major clearance.  They vary anywhere from about 3-5 inches long and are different colored – some even have an icy, glittery look to them!  I wanted to find a way to display them without having to set them all out individually so I gathered my box o’gourds, some leaves (mine are faux but real ones could work too) and some corks.

You can use a vase or big glass bowl for this project, this time around I chose an apothecary jar I usually have about an eighth full with corks on the hearth of my fireplace.
I set out my materials – in this case pumpkins, leaves and corks…

And then the fun begins! Just start arranging until you find a look you like. I started first with leaves at the bottom and quickly noticed that no one would see them so I dumped everything else and started over.  I found the corks to be the most substanial ‘bottom’ and just started adding things one at a time until I had this:
I added some more leaves and corks and in a few minutes had this:
Finally, after a few re-dos to ensure this piece looked just like I pictured, my new Fall Apothecary Jar was complete and on display on our Mantle.

As you can see, this project was SUPER easy and very fun to put together! You could easily re-create this project with pine cones and ornaments for Christmas!!

What new decor pieces have you added or made for your Fall Home decor??

I’m linking up to the Homemaker in Heels’ Weekend Craft Soiree … please visit to check out some other great ideas and inspiration!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Deliciousness…

I love pumpkin… pumpkin pie, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin spice cookies, you name it! Come to find out our pup is a big fan of pumpkin as well so we always try to have some on hand to add to his breakfast, kongs, etc.  I like giving it to him since it’s lower in fat, is all natural and I feel it’s better for him than peanut butter and kong stuffing. I usually buy the 100% pure canned pumpkin which looks like this:

A few week’s ago dear Hubby did our food shopping and came home with this instead:

Even though it smelled like Heaven I didn’t think Pumpkin Pie mix would be as healthy for the dog as pure pumpkin so I started searching my favorite recipe site, SkinnyTaste, for something Autumn-y that called for pumpkin pie mix.

Low and behold I came across my new obsession… Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Yogurt Cupcakes – yes, you read that right! Yummm! I have made 2 dozen of these bad boys in about 5 days and just cannot get enough of them!  I followed the recipe to a T and it came out perfect.

All in all very easy, Gina’s recipe calls for the following ingredients, which you just may already have in your kitchen! The only thing I needed to run out for was some cream cheese.

  • 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin pie filling
You can find the rest of the recipe for these delicious gems here.
If you’ve never tried any of the recipes on SkinnyTaste before I highly recommend you check them out!! You can take comfort in knowing you’re feeding your family something on the healthy side while not compromising taste or sweets along the way. I’ve already started eyeing what I’ll be making next…Pumpkin Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting, oh my!

Have you made any Fall-inspired treats yet this season??