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Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin Addictions.....

Well....it's FINALLY feeling like Fall around here!! It's finally looking like it, too. The weatherman said...a few days ago...that our "color" was going to be delayed, this year, because the nights have been too warm to trigger the change in the leaves. It makes sense...I was beginning to doubt that Fall was ever going to get here myself!!

It is hard to believe you are in the month of October, in Pennsylvania, when the temperature is close to (and on a day, or two, above....) 80 degrees!! However....all of that is about to change!! I am really keeping a close eye on the overnight temperatures because I want to bring a lot of my plants inside for the Winter. It looks like that will be happening this week!!

Another thing that had an arrival delay, this year, was my pumpkin purchasing!! I wasn't sure what "route" I wanted to take for the front porch decorating....traditional....or all of those REALLY cool peach, pink, blue green and white pumpkins. I was having a little trouble getting into the spirit...between our crazy early October schedules and the weather....so I just didn't buy ANY pumpkins....at first!!

But....all of that changed, last week!! First I bought one of the new "pink"ones...at the grocery store...and then I bought a white one to go with it. Then I bought ANOTHER "pink" one...because it was, sort of, green and white AND pink....and it was really pretty. Then I bought two "traditional" orange ones...because the stems were fat and twisty....and then another one (with really deep grooves...)...and then another one, because it was HUGE....it turns out I am addicted to the little buggers!!! I tell myself we have enough...but I am drawn to them..like a moth to a flame...and find myself buying "just one more"!!

Oh well.....there are far worse things to be addicted to...right?? Hahaha...

To celebrate my "addiction"...and the coming of FALL(for real!!!)...I wanted to pass along a great recipe for you to try...and yes, it's PUMPKIN!!!

Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate

     1 cup heavy cream
     2 cups milk
     1 cup chopped white chocolate
     1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
     1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
     1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Heat cream and milk in a pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until hot...but NOT boiling!! In a medium bowl, pour hot milk mixture over the white chocolate. Stir until they are melted. Add pumpkin, vanilla and spices. Pour into cups, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.

You might want to make this before the week is over....it's warm and cozy...and we are going to need it!! You might, also, want to go buy a pumpkin....it will be one less that is calling to me!!!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A little cozy.....

Home....what does that mean to you?

We all have different ideas of what makes our house a home. We have different things that make it "ideal" for us. New...old, big...small, lots of property....no yard maintenance whatsoever!!! Some of us like warm colors...some cool, some like an open floor plan...some like well defined rooms, some are "minimalists"....some like to collect!! Some love modern, some vintage, some antique....some a mixture of all of the above!!!

No matter what your own personal style is, though....we all want a home that welcomes, not only US, but everyone who visits. We all want a home that is our haven...that makes us feel safe and warm and snug. We all want "Cozy"!!!

This time of year, the desire to make our homes cozy is even more prevalent. As the weather turns colder...we all find ourselves wanting to light candles, cook hearty dinners, bake apple pies and decorate the house....because we are going to see the inside of it...a LOT!!! Not to say that we don't care what the inside of the house looks like in the Summer...but there are better things to do when the weather is beautiful!!

Making my home cozy is a top priority for me....no matter what time of year it is!! We spend so little time "relaxing"...I need "home" to be a happy, comfortable place to be. But cozy homes are on my mind, almost, all the time. Not only is it important for my own home to BE cozy....it is part of my job to help you make YOURS cozy, too!!! I am, always, at least 3 months....if not MORE..."ahead" in the gift shop... (For example....I just finished a big Mother's Day and Garden order with one of the companies I work with.) It's part of the job....and I take it very seriously!! So....right this minute...I am "cooking" up ways to continue to "fluff" the dwindling Fall and Halloween merchandise so that it stays "cozy" right up until the end. However....I am, also, dreaming of that "White Christmas" and constructing those cozy Christmas displays (in my head....) with all of the fantastic merchandise that we have, this year, so that you can see how cozy it will look in YOUR house after you buy it and take it home!! And...in addition to all of that...I am, also, picking out the merchandise that will show up this Spring and trying to figure out how to make THOSE displays as cozy as possible!!

Like I said....I take this part of my job very seriously. I take a lot of pride in the fact that we have such a great selection of merchandise. A word I hear constantly is "unique"....and that makes me happy because I really work at it!! The gift shops are FULL....no matter what the season (after all..you are in them to SHOP...and you can't shop without LOTS to look at....right????) of the very best "cozy" I can find.

If you find yourself....here, in the middle of that "cozy" month of October, with the big gift giving season right around the corner....(you may not be ready to hear that...but it's a fact!!) searching for ways to make your life cozier....may I suggest a visit to see us...SOON!!! Not only are our gift shops as cozy as it gets....the whole place is full of the cozy smells of cooking and baking...all the time!! It doesn't get any better than that!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Better than ever.....

I have fallen behind on my blogging duties....I apologize!! It has been a crazy couple of weeks around here!!!

This past Saturday was our third annual "1803 House: A Very Merrie Halloween" event. And....other than the weather feeling a LOT like July....I think it's safe to say it was a huge success!! We tried to "tally" the number of visitors...just so we could have some idea...and we were in the 800 region. Not too shabby!!!

It has grown, substantially, each year. We have set new goals (and reached them!!) we have tackled new projects, and we have learned new lessons. This is a picture of "our" table full of goodies from the very first year....we had, about, three times this amount, this year....and, pretty much, sold out!!

Planning, and executing, this kind of event is a big, BIG job....and it "takes a village" (or a dedicated committee and an army of volunteers!!! hahaha....) We have food vendors, craft artists, a kid's tent...full of games and crafts...a harvest tent FULL of wonderful produce and fall decorations, we had stories and demonstrations, spooky music playing, a baking contest with delicious homemade pumpkin and apple desserts, alpacas to visit, a display of wonderful, handmade "Haunted Gingerbread Houses" to admire and amazing decorations to delight....and each and every one of those experiences....take months and months of planning and preparing!!

I, personally....could NEVER do all that I do without my family!! They created the decorations....ran the sound system, the baking contest, our booth and the shop....(while I ran back and forth between both places!!!) seemingly effortlessly (although I know how much time and energy we all put into it!!!) and I would just like to take a moment to thank them all...my husband, my daughters, my son-in-law and my future son-in-law....for being the talented, hard-working, patient, wonderful people that they are!!!

Needless to say....since none of us rest on our laurels...we are, already, talking about next year!!! New goals, new projects, new lessons to learn!! Oh.....and a lot of praying for a little Fall-like weather!!!

I hope you had a chance to visit the event this year...and I hope your experience was "spooktacular"....but if you missed it, that's okay....because, come the first Saturday in October of 2014....we will be back and better than ever!!!