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It's a Tump-kin- Persimmon

I love the Fall. 
I think I've told you that. 
I love the colors, the food, the crisp cool air and the excuse to wear beautiful layered clothing with my favorite boots. Every bit of it. I'll take it.
 In fact, every year I am disappointed when the weather goes from semi-warm sweater weather cool, to all out cold. 
It all happens way to fast for me. 
I love looking down my lane and seeing the change of the trees from green to gorgeous shades of oranges, yellows, and reds. I simply thrill and my heart skips a beat. 
So when we were waiting for the bus yesterday and my darling 10 (what, and yes, 10 years he is) boy called out to me from around the car and showed me what was resting on my car windshield, I was simply beside myself with delight! 
Somebody left us a treasure. 
I have never seen one before, and I can't fathom a more appropriate Fall gift. 
Out of a need for a name...while all of us moms and children there waiting for the bus trying to figure it out, I simply stated in a confident voice "It's a Tump-kin". 
It has a name. 
And I thought to myself, "even when I find out what it truly is, it will always be my Tump-kin."
You know, like Emma's Mr. Knightly. 
So, the Tump-kin. An introduction to something great, a cross between a scrumptious garden tomato and my favorite fall ingredient for any delicious treat being a pumpkin. 
So there. 
You combine the two and you have got yourself a Tump-kin...
 But the great thing about this day and age is the resources we have at our fingertips. So being the savvy googler that I am (haha!), I googled "a fruit that looks like a tomato and a pumpkin"
 and what do you know?! 
I learned all about Persimmons and how to prepare and eat them. So today I'm trying my Tump-kin-Persimmon a few different ways. 
 So now the true challenge is...

how far can I make ONE Tump-kin Persimmon stretch? 
And how come we don't decorate with these all over blog land? 
I ask you!

Rainy Days and Mondays- Fall Tablescape

When I was a young girl...about 9, I used to sing to a record by the Carpenters. 
One of the main songs on there was Rainy Days and Mondays. The chorus included the words always get me down (you can listen to it HERE). 
Oh boy did I belt this out on my microphone connected to my record player. 
Am I aging myself, or what?! 
I played that record over and over again...
                           singing every song word for word... 
                                      ...AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS.

Wow those are good memories!
 It's one of the few records of those days that doesn't make my heart ache.

You might wonder why I am bringing this up today? 
Well, it has to do with the fact that while the children were getting on the bus this rainy Monday morning, I mentioned it to Ms. T the bus driver.
(You know, the snowball thought processing effect.)
Though you know what? 
Contraire mon frère
About the Rainy Days and Mondays always getting me down.
It isn't true for me.

 Rainy days and Mondays don't always get me down.
 In fact, if the kids are going to school, Mondays are my favorite day of the week. Wait now, that didn't sound nice. It isn't because I don't like to be around my beautiful, wonderful, amazing family, I cherish every moment. But let's face it, when they are home--- 
I am all theirs, 
pulled in many different directions. 
It's just reassuring that when Monday rolls around, I'm going to have time to myself, to think and accomplish a few things without interruption. 
All by myself. 
Quiet house.

We all need that now and again, don't we? Don't you?Especially when two of those adorables came into bed with you during the night because of bad dreams and then one of them wets the bed?
I could have decided then that Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down. 
But nope. I love them! 
No matter how rainy. 
No matter how Monday.

They are the perfect time to make a fun tablescape to make dinner special.
I love shocking them when they walk through the front door after school and work. 
They get so delighted!

That makes my day even happier. 
As I've been typing this post, I have been enjoying all those wonderful Carpenter songs over again. With all that singing....
I was going to be a bus driver when I grew up...
we'll save that topic for another day. ;)
Source List:
Fred Meyer- Candle Holder, Table cloth 
Wal-Mart- Place Mats, silverware, stem ware
TJ Maxx/Marshalls- Table runner, corn on the cob candles, textured balls/pumpkins/fillers
Sweet Salvage (local vintage store)- Basket
JoAnne's- Rafia
Target- Textured candles

For More Fall Ideas Visit These Other Posts:

 Fall Home Tour One or Two

Furniture Refresh- Hall Console (re-do)

Hello lovelies! It's a new month and we're back for another Furniture Refresh! Please welcome another member of our group, her name is Michelle from Michelle James Designs, you will love her work. Plus her name is Michelle too, except with two "L"s. How fun is that? (She is the sweetie on the bottom right hand corner.) We're so excited to have her join us! Don't forget to look at all of the other projects at the end of the post, okay? They are AMAZING! I have been so looking forward to this day to share with you...  

So, this month I chose this piece of furniture that came with our house when we bought it 12 years ago. I didn't love it at first, and didn't know what to do with it. Then one day I had this epiphany of where it could go, and wouldn't you know, it was just perfect for the space.
 I had tried other pieces of furniture in this space at the top of the stairs before, but none of them worked. It is right outside the girls' bedroom, so I didn't want whatever was there to block coming in and out of the room. 
When we got this piece, it was a different finish and had the hardware on it. I painted it with a knock-off duck egg blue, homemade chalk paint, then "glazed" over the top of it. It's sat like this for around two years.
I can't believe it's been that long. In our hallway where everyone can see it from the bottom of the stairs. It's amazing what I'll put up with when I don't know what to do with something. Needless to say, it was a failed project. So as you can see, it was the perfect candidate for this furniture refresh. Since it was already a chalk paint finish, there was no need to sand or prime it. It was pretty porous already. So I had a sample color mixed in Behr satin latex and repainted the entire thing.
The hardware looked like this. I put a coat of black on it, then sprayed it with some looking glass spray paint. I loved a lamp I did this way, so I thought I would try it on the hardware. Not so fond of how this turned out, but it's not too bad.
Will do until I think of what else I want to do with it.
Meanwhile, I love how the Hall Console turned out.
This furniture piece really lends itself to all sorts of options.

I'm really loving the new finish. I think it looks a whole lot better in the hall.

I plan on re-doing the flooring soon, but am not settled yet on what exactly I want to do, stays until I'm ready. Though the color of what we have isn't ideal, it's a great quality carpet, so I don't want to get something not-so-nice. Know what I mean?

About the items on the table, I bought this lamp at TJ Maxx a month or so ago. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Even while it was in my cart, people kept commenting on it, even the lady at the checkout. Don't you love a find like that?!
The leaf bowl is from a local decor store. I don't usually buy things at places like that, but I couldn't resist. It holds little wax leaves that have a sweet fragrance. The mirrored picture frame is one of my favorites. I put an "X" & "O" in there as a message to my children each time they pass by it. It will stay that way until I find a picture I want to put in it to replace them.
So what do you think? Shall we take another look? Here it is again:
Now you've got to see all the rest of the group's projects! 
Click on the links below to see more before and afters.

You might also enjoy some of my other furniture refresh challenges:

Girl's Desk

Household Tip Tuesday-Holiday Clean-Up

We love our decorations, right? But let's face it, once we've put them all away, the last thing we want to do is find that lone forgotten piece. Going into the Holidays is a good time to think about how to make the clean-up process easier, and to avoid forgetting anything. Especially at this time of year when each Holiday runs into the next. So I thought I would share a tip I've learned through the years to make things easier and lessen the chance of finding that one lone and forgotten item that generally presents itself as soon as you have everything good and stored in their proper place as you sit down and take a sigh of relief. You know it will happen. It always does! So here are my simple tips to make sure you've gotten all the decor put away until you need it next year.
Tip #1) As you are taking down decorations, place everything in one designated spot. Mine is the kitchen table. This keeps things up off the ground safe from small hands (if you have little helpers) and up where you can easily reach them without a lot of bending and kneeling (something I have a hard time doing since my knee injury) when putting things away later.
Don't get too hasty with this step. While things are in the designated space for decor, go about your regular duties such as laundry, breakfast clean-up, vacuuming. During this time, if you have missed anything, you will be sure to find it, and can easily add it to the clean-up pile.
The most common items missed are those that are easy to accept in their new home. This time mine were a pillow on the living room couch, and kitchen glasses.
It took me a minute while adjusting the pillow during my routine clean-up to even recognize that it was a seasonal decoration. When we have adjusted easily, it's common to forget something doesn't belong. These bell spiders and spider web bowl were other tricky decor that I had gotten used to, similar to that ornament set neatly somewhere unusual during Christmas time. It never seems to fail. You're likely to find something later on.
Once you have given yourself time to find hidden items, you are ready for the next tip-

Tip #2) Use storage totes that are see-through. I have a TON of totes that aren't see through, and the labels have peeled off or the marker is difficult to read in my attic lighting. When I finally get the time to get the decor down from the attic to set up, I want to make it as simple and efficient as possible because I don't know if I'm going to get another opportunity any time soon. I've learned to use see-through containers, mark them on all four sides with a label that won't peel or with permanent marker, and then when I go to grab them, I can easily determine what they are by label and sight.
Tip #3) This tip goes along with tip #2. Buy storage totes that are large enough for your items.  For years I tried to make do since I already had totes on hand and didn't want to buy more with varying sizes. The best way to store items, especially seasonal ones that don't come down but once a year, is in a container of some kind. I learned that if I had a new item that was taller than the rest, I needed to buy a container large enough for it to store in. When it is larger than the rest, I store it as foundation tote for the rest of them.  Buying a tote large enough has been very helpful in subsequent clean-ups and has saved me a lot of grief. Once I have the item properly stored, I can forget about it and get ready for the next Holiday. If you don't want to buy larger totes, reconsider when purchasing your holiday decorations as to whether you want to buy them or not.
Well, those are my tips. I hope they help make your clean-up process complete and efficient. 
Now, bring on the Thanksgiving decor, huh?! 
Happy Holidays,

Rainy Days, a School for Birds...and How the Blog Turns

I've been preparing for this time of year for the last couple of months with very little success.
I've been working on projects to clear out the garage.
Organizing inside the house little by little.
Trying to get on a better cleaning schedule.
...but the rainy days have really started now here in Eugene and I'm not quite ready.
If you know anything about the weather here, then you know it will be continuing off and on for the next several months until Spring shows her bright and beautiful face again.
I've been really busy with school starting for the kids, volunteering there, starting school myself the week after them, and getting ready to start a part-time job.

Pumpkin Pie Dessert Bars

Fall is my favorite time of the year. There are so many things I love about it, one of them being the food. It is such a great comfort food time of the year, don't you think? Being that pumpkin is one of my favorite foods, I absolutely love that I have this as an excuse for making these delicious treats. This particular dessert is a family favorite. I haven't made it in a long time though, then the other day,

Project Challenge- Reclaimed Wood

Hello everyone! I have some exciting guessed it, project challenge is back! 
Remember that this post includes projects from my friends to give you more wonderful inspiration for what to do with all that reclaimed wood, so don't go away at the end, hop on over and see theirs too through the links provided at the end.
Fall is definitely here. I know it, not only because I feel it in the air, but because our big maple tree in the front yard is covering our lawn with it's big leaves leaving a beautiful red and gold blanket. 
Also because it is pouring rain most of the time, which here in Eugene, that is what fall looks like. This made me anxious to work on something with a touch of fall. So I dug out some boards and metal spindle I got at the antique store and got busy.