How to Make a Pumpkin Roll
1/4 cup powdered sugar 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
1 cup walnut, chopped (optional)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional) 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Grease 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan; line with wax paper.
Grease and flour paper.

Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt into a small bowl.
Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick.  
Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture.
Spread evenly into prepared pan. (Sprinkle nuts if desired).

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. 
IMMEDIATELY loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel 
(Don't forget to sprinkle powdered sugar onto towel before placing cake on it!)
Carefully peel off paper.

Roll up cake and towel together, starting with the narrow end.
Cool on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese (Don't forget to soften it first!) Sifted powdered sugar, softened butter and vanilla extract in small mixing bowl until smooth.
Carefully unroll cake; remove towel.

Spread cream cheese mixture over cake.
(it will spread to one end when you re-roll it, so careful how much you put on)

Re-roll cake, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least one hour.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

* Make sure to add enough sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake, so it will not stick!
** Make several and freeze for another day:)



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When I discovered a few years ago how easy it is to re-wire a lamp, I soon progressed to making lamps out of cool objects I found at flea markets and antique shops--like the tripod above (see here for instructions). Since starting my own business, I've created a small collection of one-of-a-kind lamps out of everything from vintage tins to industrial molds. I have two main criteria for deciding if an object will make the transition: I have to be able to drill a hole large enough to fit a lamp pipe and then be able to tighten a nut at the base that doesn't compromise the lamp's balance (or be able to adjust the base to support the hardware and electrical cord). Clear cords are the priciest but they're guaranteed not to be an eyesore. 

Each piece presents its own unique set of challenges, some of which can't be foreseen until the work has started. Sometimes the trickiest part of the project is tracking down a lampshade that complements the base. Most often, I choose simple shades that don't compete with the object base. But I will occasionally recover an existing shade with fabric if I can't find what I want in the marketplace. Joann carries self adhesive lampshades that take the guess work out of that task. Overhead light serves a purpose, but a great lamp serves style and ambiance.

Wood cog.

Wood vase turned upside down.

Vintage wallpaper printing roller.

 Stack of vintage books (drilling holes through paper requires space to make a mess).

A vintage coffee tin.

A wood spool with a metal dry measure shade (requires low-energy bulbs to keep it from over-heating).


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I recently read an article in New York magazine about design team Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of the firm Roman and Williams and was intrigued enough by their old school materials meets modern living aesthetic to re-watch the film Addicted to Love in order to see some of their early work as set designers. The movie turned out to be better than I remembered and the sets did not disappoint. Though its release date was in 1997, the images could be ripped out of today's magazines. 

Meg Ryan and Matthew Broderick play jilted lovers Maggie and Sam, who camp out together in an abandoned building to watch their exes Linda and Anton through a camera obscura aimed at Anton's expansive loft. Their envious gaze falls both on the amorous new couple and on the space they share. When the apartment is vacated for a weekend, Sam and Maggie move in and comb each room for clues about who their partners have become in their absence. Though the loft takes center stage, the country house that Sam leaves to pursue Linda has plenty of charm of its own and even the shell of an apartment that Maggie and Sam share has a bit of steampunk appeal that Maggie's inventive wardrobe complements perfectly.

Sam's country home full of fresh flowers in anticipation of a dinner with Linda.

Linda's father arrives instead with a "Dear John" letter. 
The carved mantel is the showpiece of this room.

Decorative plates hang on the wall near an elegant settee.

Anton's workspace employs old metal locker bins for organization.

The neighboring kitchen features a carpenter's bench as an island.

A farmhouse table with mismatched chairs leads to a kitchen full of industrial elements--an old chalkboard, schoolhouse pendant lamps, a drafting chair and factory stool.

A vintage metal hospital cabinet is filled with fresh towels and strikes both a masculine and feminine note in the all-white bathroom.

The following are a few items on the market that channel the essence of Sam's house in Delaware and Anton's New York city loft.

Regency walnut fireplace mantel from Pegaso Gallery Design.

Plate Shelf from Silverfox Originals.

4 piece sofa set by Kai Kristiansen at Arenskjold Antiques Art.

Work bench from Lillian August Designs.

Vintage desk chair from Topsy Design.

Vintage metal locker basket from Haven Vintage.

Vintage medical cabinet from Amsuarezfl.

Film images are property of Warner Bros. Pictures.


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We're off for a week on holiday soon and I can't wait. We wanted to catch some last Autumn sun before diving into Winter and picked Portugal as our destination. It's promising to stay sunny and warm, so that's perfect.

Always looking for beautiful places that inspire me, I found a lovely guesthouse in the Algarve, close to the coast. I hate going to big chain hotels and places for mass-tourism - of which there are unfortunately plenty in the Med -  and so I was chuffed about this one. Of course, we haven't been yet, so we'll have to wait and see what it's really like, but the photos look promising!


I'll be chilling out by the pool or on the beach I think, while my man is trying out some kite-surfing (oh dear). I'd rather relax, read a book and indulge in some delicious 'Pasteis de nata' or Portuguese custard tarts. Don't know these tarts? Let me introduce you to them with this recipe...Yum!

I am also planning to look for some nice Portuguese antique tiles, or 'azulejos' as they call them, to take back home. I saw them some years back when I was in Portugal for the first time and they're so beautiful. I'll probably only be able to take a few back, due to airline restrictions, but perhaps that is not such a bad thing, budget-wise...

I got plenty of creative ideas for what to do with them anyway...using them in bathroom tiling, making coasters out of them or simply displaying them as pretty objects.

Or actually, you could do as the Portuguese and stick them on the outside of your house!

Até a vista ! (see you soon!)


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So there has been something that I have been thinking about ALOT. I want you to think about what I'm about to say.
The area we live in has ALOT of Asians (as well as other races). Everywhere I go I see at least a few of them. I work with a AWESOME Christian Korean women at my work and I have a beautiful Korean baby in my class. So when the mom comes to pick up her baby she will sometimes speak Korean to my co-worker about the babies day.
Its quite interesting sitting there not knowing A THING that's being said and trying to come up with my own interpretation... lol
So how many times are we like this to non-Christians around us? We (Christians) sit around and talk to our "brothers and sisters" about what God is doing in our lives, at church etc... BUT are we speaking in our own "christian language"? Do non-Christians know what were talking about? Or do they feel like me at work?

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 says "19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."

A few years ago when I was a youth pastor we had a Masters Commission group come to our youth group to speak and do dramas. The youth group we had at the time was 95% "non-church" kids. When the speaker got up to speak he started talking about the Holy Ghost and getting saved and all these (yes wonderful things) but I don't think they realized that alot of my kids had NO clue what they were saying! It was like they were speaking some different language.
We need to start thinking about the people around us. How can we reach the people at our work who have NEVER stepped foot into church. Or the cashier at the gas station with purple hair, tattoos and piercings??? 


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My guess is that the scene in the baggage claim section of any modern-day airport just isn't what it used to be--when folks bought luggage to last a lifetime. After seeing more than one fellow passenger reach for my beige suitcase before I could get to it and then throw it back on the conveyor belt when they realized it wasn't theirs, I've taken to tying an orange ribbon around the handle of my suitcase. 

Well crafted and distinct as many of them were, vintage suitcases wouldn't last a minute under the rigors of twenty first century airport security. Better to leave them at home, stacked in place of coffee and bedside tables or attached to a wall as shelving or display. Old suitcases and trunks are a great way to add storage to a small space while dressing up a room with rich shades of leather and elegant tweeds. No travel necessary to enjoy these abundant flea market finds.

Images: Inside Out magazine, March-April 2009 issue. Contemporary Country by Emily Chalmers with photography by Debi Treloar, published by Ryland, Peters & Small 2006. Country Living magazine, September 2010 issue. Naturally Modern: Creating Interiors with Wood, Stone, Leather, and Natural Fabrics by Ros Byam Shaw with photography by Andrew Wood, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 2000. Apartment: Stylish Solutions for Apartment Living by Alan Powers with photography by Chris Everard, published by Ryland, Peters & Small 2001.


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This morning I went to church in my p.j.s.
My son was sick with the flu yesterday and my hubby and brother were going to a Indianapolis Colts game today. So my hubby and I plugged the computer into the t.v and logged onto
Pastor Steven Furtick was talking about the book
 "Sun Stand Still" that he wrote.
It was just recently released to the public. 
They showed some video clips that go along with the book. In one of the videos he talked about praying scripture over yourself every morning. He encouraged us to post faith confessions on our bathroom mirrors, at our office, in our cars, where ever we would see them in the morning. Then to pray/confess these over our lives every day!
I personally am very excited about this challenge. 
Here they are for you to see. Print them out, post them, pray them over you and watch what God does in your life!
(Oh, and go get the book "Sun Stand Still")!


Twelve Audacious Faith Confessions 
1. I am fully forgiven and free from all shame 
and condemnation. 
Romans 8:1–2; Ephesians 1:7–8; 1 John 1:9 
2. I act in audacious faith to change the world 
in my generation. 
Joshua 10:12–14; John 14:12 
3. I have no fear or anxiety; I trust in the Lord 
with all my heart. 
Proverbs 3:5–6; Philippians 4:6–7; 1 Peter 5:7 
4. I am able to fulfill the calling God has placed 
on my life. 
Exodus 3:9–12; Psalm 57:2; Colossians 1:24–29 
5. I am fully resourced to do everything God has 
called me to do. 
Deuteronomy 8:18; Luke 6:38; Philippians 4:13 
6. I have no insecurity, because I see myself the 
way God sees me. 
Genesis 1:26–27; Psalm 139:13–16; Ephesians 5:25–27 
7. I am a faithful spouse (if you’re single, you 
can slip futurein there) and a godly parent— 
our family is blessed. 
Deuteronomy 6:6–9; Ephesians 5:22–25; Colossians 3:18–19;   
1 Peter 3:1–7 
8. I am completely whole—physically, mentally, 
and emotionally. 
Psalm 103:1–5; Matthew 8:16–17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 
1 Peter 2:24 
9. I am increasing in influence and favor for the 
kingdom of God. 
Genesis 45:4–8; 1 Samuel 2:26; Acts 2:37–47 
10. I am enabled to walk in the sacrificial love 
of Christ. 
2 Thessalonians 2:16–17; 1 John 3:16; 4:9–12 
11. I have the wisdom of the Lord concerning 
every decision I make. 
2 Chronicles 1:7–12; Proverbs 2:6; Ecclesiastes 2:26; James 1:5 
12. I am protected from all harm and evil in 
Jesus’ name. 
Genesis 50:20; Psalm 3:1–3; 2 Thessalonians 3:2–3 
Hear. Speak. Do. 


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Image: Papa Stour
I don't usually boast about Scotland as the place to be when it comes to interior design, as most interior shops up here I just find incredibly boring and traditional. Sofas are bulky, sideboards massive, "contemporary design sofas" often means "oddly shaped" and made out of black or red leather - but still bulky. Where are the aesthetics?

I am always flabbergasted (I love that word) by the many homes decked out with complete lack of inspiration, with everything bought brand new, in the same shop, on the same day, in the same colour. Playing 'safe', by choosing beige, creams and 'neutral' colours. It's so soul-less!

Image: Papa Stour
Anyway, I will get off my soap box now - phew - because today I am proud to present Papa Stour, a wonderful Scottish online shop featuring great individual, eccentric home decor pieces by some very talented artists!

Papa Stour was launched 5 years ago by Rosie Brown, a Scottish textile designer, freelance interior stylist and a regular contributor to publications such as Elle Decoration, Living Etc and Homes & Gardens. 

Since Scottish design seems to be my topic today, I'd also like to boast about my good friend Libby Day, who is a very talented designer based in Aberdeen, making the most wonderful contemporary interior pieces - and jewelry (including my wedding ring!). 

Libby focuses on the natural and built environment as inspiration for her designs, which I think is shown beautifully in her room dividers/screens and the box seats. Libby does large commissions and big interior projects, but also sells limited edition items on her website Do check out her fruit bowl and lighting, as they're ace.


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Despite my passion for interior design and vintage treasures, I've somehow never given in to collecting groups of one item. I suspect that once I began, I wouldn't know when to stop. Exactly how many straw bags or enamel signs or cooking molds is enough? For me, it's safer to stick to individual items that I respond to and group them together as though they are a family.

Collections seem to spring from a desire to honor a gift that was made by someone we love (grandma's cameo or dad's fishing creel) or from a genuine passion for the pieces themselves and what they represent. A collection that can be displayed in one place, without spilling into every room of the house, is often beautiful and visually arresting. And having something specific in mind when browsing flea markets and antique shops makes the hunt that much more exciting. A collector also makes life much easier on their friends and family when gift-giving season arrives.

Images: Aged to Perfection: Adding Rustic Charm to Your Modern Home Inside & Out by Leslie Linsley, published by Hearst Books 2010. The Way we Live with the Things we Love by Stafford Cliff, photographs by Gilles de Chabaneix, published by Rizzoli 2009. Marie Claire Idees magazine, July 2010 issue. Red magazine, July 2010 issue. Inside Out magazine, March-April 2010 issue.


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