Decorating is endless.
Cooking never ends.
Gardens are always changing.
And best of all shopping goes on and on!

Hence the name,
Open Ended!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So I was thinking....

I need to have a fall giveaway!

To celebrate one of my favorite seasons!

But what to giveaway.....

Then is came to me!


I mean, who am I to tell you how wonderful they and not to at least 
give you a chance to have them for your very own.

Why didn't I think of this before?  duh.... 

Here's how it's friends....

 Leave a comment that you are already a follower 
or that you have just become a follower!

Leave a comment telling me what your favorite thing or things 
are that you like to read about on a blog.
Can't wait to hear what you love to read about!

So there you go, 2 chance to win these 4 wonderful pumpkins!
They retail for $72 and you will love them!

You have till Tues. Oct 5th to comment!
I will announce the luck winner on Wed. Oct. 6th!

Oh how I love to give gifts!!!
Good Luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Short and Sweet!

That's right~I am going to keep this short and sweet!
I've got a busy week but I wanted to show you a couple little things.

Not to long ago while on the hunt I came a cross 
this really sweet shopping cart.

You see these carts all over the place these days.
I loved the burlap ribbon that they wove thought it.

So I brought it home and filled it with none other than Bittersweet!

I can't wait to change it out for all the seasons!
Kinda cute~don't ya think?!!

Next... my daughter and I had a baby shower 
to go to over the weekend. 
Now a days knowing the sex of the unborn baby 
really makes shopping and wrapping a gift so wonderful.
And....I love~ love~ love~ to wrap gifts!

I'm so bored with gift bags!
I like to find something fun that can be used 
again and again to put my gifts in.

Besides with the price of those gift bags 
I can usually find something for about the same price!

if you get some time today check out 
                                          Joy @ Savvy City Farmer.

She actually named me as one of the blogs that she likes!
Thanks Joy... your so sweet!

Well that's it for now!

Have a sweet day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

i am finally feeling like myself again!
I am 48 years old, so i have had plenty of years to have the flu.
But this time, i can say was officially the worst flu ever!
I still have a dull headache today but at least my
appetite is back!
i have this pet peeve!
I really don't like it when I am at the Doctors office or salon and 
am looking through a magazine and someone has torn out pages!
  And ......
 yet a few weeks ago I did it!
I tore out a recipe!
Never say never!
I found it here.

And get this... I get this magazine in the mail!
Yep, I forgot.
So I destroyed the salons property for nothing!
Oh holy menopausal moment!! 

So after days of not eating much I made these last night.
Now I don't know if it is because
I have had only saltines and sprite 
for the past several days or what but I loved these!

This is who gets credit for these yummy little numbers!
*A couple little notes... 
No, as I told my husband they are not diet food!
They taste best if you taste the pumpkin,
maple and toffee all together.
So don't leave anything out.
 And yes, you can buy pumpkin again!
I made 12 instead of 10 cupcakes and the frosting is enough to 
cover a double batch!

So enjoy my friends!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
(via House Beautiful, Oct 2010, by Ina Garten)
Makes 10 cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (8 ounces), not pie filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Maple Frosting (recipe follows)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Heath bars, for serving (2 1.4-ounce bars)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush or spray the top of 10 muffin tins with vegetable oil and line them with 10 paper liners.

2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil. Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.

3. Divide the batter among the prepared tins (I use a level 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

4. Spread the cupcakes with the Maple Frosting and sprinkle with the chopped toffee bits.

~Photo via House Beautiful~

Maple Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor (I just used imitation maple since it was all I could find)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese and butter on low speed until smooth. Stir in the maple flavoring and vanilla extract. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth. (I just used a hand mixer!)

Please write me back and tell me what you think!
I would love to hear if any of you really try the recipes I post about!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Anniversary Wish!

 I had planned to post this post on Sunday
but because I had a BAD case of the flu {ugh!!}
that has lasted for several days, I am a little late!
Still a little under the weather today but I really wanted
to say Happy Anniversary to Ben & Kelly!

One year ago on Sept. 19th our son, Ben was married.
He is our second son and our first to tie the knot!

It was a very exciting and busy time around here.
Leading up to the wedding we had a bridal shower, a bachelor party and 3 weeks after the wedding & reception in St. Louis we had a second reception, all of which were at our home!
Even though it was busy and a somewhat stressful time 
it was still so exciting and so much fun!
I still find myself daydreaming about it to this day! 
Oh what wonderful memories we made last year!

I also need to tell you about my daughter-in law, Kelly!
She is the perfect fit for our very stubborn son! {love you Ben-boy} 
And we think the world of her!

And when it came to planning the wedding....
Kelly did a fabulous job with every detail.
She didn't sweat the small stuff and yet 
she seemed to think of every thing.

So here's some photos so you can get inspired 
in case you have one of these coming up some time soon!

 Save the dates!


Place cards and table numbers!

 Wishing Jars!

Yummy favors made by Kelly's mom, Marcia!

She did a table of photo's of all the 
parents and grandparents wedding photo's!

And Kelly had a surprise for Ben!
It was a cigar bar!
And Ben & his buddies had fun!


And this was my favorite surprise!
A note to all of the guests!

Beautiful Bridesmaids!

Some of the Crazy Groomsmen!

{And a little mom bragging!}
These are my babies!

Happy 1st Anniversary Kelly & Ben!
~Thanks for the memories~
Love Mom!

Have a great week everyone!
And... stay healthy :-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Plush Pumpkins!!

I recently went to Aunt Kathy's house and 
she had some of these little beauties!

They are called Plush Pumpkins and they are to die for!

Ever so often I come across something that just calls my name!
And after I saw hers I couldn't stop thinking about them.
Aunt Kathy is the Ultimate Shopping Diva!!
She always finds the best stuff.

after I asked for her blessing I went and purchased my very own.

Now I know some of you have already heard of these
rich colored velvet pumpkins made with real pumpkin stems.
They are stuffed with rice
{like a beanbag}
and you have to lift them from the bottom
so you don't pull off the stems.
{they are pretty weighty}

But this was the very first time I had ever seen them.
They are a "tad bit pricey" and there are others 
out there that are even more expensive!
  So turn them over and check the bottom for the "PP" logo!

Check out their site HERE!
If you live in the area they sell them HERE!
If not... you can order them online from HERE

Now, another alternative is to make your own.
My mom is going to try this.
She's pretty crafty so we'll see how hers turn out!

Hugs to you all,

Monday, September 13, 2010


It's fall and it's BITTERSWEET time!
Now... if you are older you know what I speak of.
But if you are younger you probably don't have a clue.

Bittersweet is a wonderful vine that
produces these bright orange berries!
They are perfect for decorating for fall.

Most years my mom brings me some.
But this year my daughter and I got to go to her secret hiding place.

Several years ago my mom came across
all kinds of bittersweet growing along a farmers fence.
And it's TOP SECRET!
But... I'll let you have a glimpse of our perfect bittersweet day! 

Look at all this lovely bittersweet!

Even my step-dad got in on the fun!

The key to picking bittersweet is to get it at just the right time!
The berries should be very bright orange and 
the leaves still green not dried out and brown.


We packed the car to the top!

And off we went!
The only problem with packing your car 
with a bunch of vines are the BUGS!
We had all kinds of bugs crawling and buzzing around in the car!

 we persevered and we even saw all kinds of "wildlife"
on our buggy drive home! daughter thought she would capture it for all of you!!



~Jack Ass~

Wild Turkey's

And even Bambi!!!

How about it? 
We saw all of these guys on Bittersweet Day!

Once we got home MaryKate and I went to work 
cleaning all the leaves off the bittersweet.
Then after a couple days the bright orange berries POP!
Seriously....they pop open!

And then....
you go to town and splash some bittersweet 
where ever you need a little hint of Fall!

Bittersweetness ~ Don't ya think?