Apple Cider Cupcakes

My sweet Momma is a Halloween baby and turns 70 today!

We celebrated big over the weekend with lots of family, food and of course yummy cupcakes!

I was looking for some inspiration for cupcakes when I happened on a recipe where you replace milk used in most cake recipes with apple cider. That sounded like the perfect seasonal recipe so I adjusted the recipe to fit what I needed, gathered together eggs, flour, vanilla, apple pie spice, etc…. ad got to baking!

I loved how the cupcakes turned out and they were so moist! Honestly using Apple cider was a fantastic call! The fact the cider was fresh from Crow Mtn Orchard nearby made it even better!

I used a basic decorators buttercream icing tinted with Wilton gel colors for decorating.

Momma loves seasonal flavors and this was a great way to utilize her favorite!

Let’s not talk about the candles… seriously y’all , sometimes you have to improvise.

Here is the full recipe you can print for Apple Cider Cupcakes

BTW…. If you aren’t a fan of icing, serve these babies up hot with butter. Yep, they make fantastic muffins, too!!

Happy Halloween Y’all!

Skipping Halloween

I wasn’t going to decorate for Halloween.  
I REALLY wasn’t going to decorate for Halloween.
I was just going to skip it this year.
I started telling myself this back in July.
We had swim regions.  We had band competitions.  We were going to the October race in Charlotte.  We are never home.
Then October rolled around.
I saw cute little things in the stores.
I discovered really neat things on Pinterest.
And then other bloggers began posting their fun Halloween decorations.
And then there was this ….
“But Momma!  You always make the holidays so fun!  Why are you ruining it this year?!”
So I did this in the kitchen….
Hot Drink bar … coffee, tea and assorted creamers and sugar


And this in the dining room….




My Halloween Tree decorated with Christopher Radko’s Shiny Bright ornaments.



Simple touches on the bar cart
And yet another little vignette for the living room.


And then I decided since they really are too old to trick or treat that they needed this …..
Not healthy I know….
And this…
And this nacho cheese dip isn’t better.
And topped it all off with this …..
I REALLY want to dive right into this!
You can make your own Witches Hat Cheeseball as well…..
2- 8 oz. packages of Philadelphia Cream cheese, depending on the size that you want (It just tastes better)
3/4 cup chopped pepperoni
1 cup shredded, sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
Mrs. Dash Taco seasoning
Blue Tortilla Chips, crushed
Corn Tortilla Chips (1/4 cup crushed, the rest for dipping)
Combine the first five ingredients and shape into a cone for the top of the witches hat (or a pumpkin even … it’s very versatile) leaving enough of the mixture to create the round base as well.  Gently roll the top in blue tortilla chips, leaving the bottom uncovered so that you can dip it in the crushed corn chips that will make the band of the hat.
Use the remaining corn chips for dipping in the cheeseball.
So much for skipping Halloween!
Here’s wishing you a very Happy Halloween filled with many delightful treats!

Happy Halloween!

A nurse, James Bond & a train engineer … they picked out their own costumes & dressed up this year.


 When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.
~ Author Unknown
1. Caramel apples drizzled with chocolate & walnuts served up with a side of sour green apple popcorn 2. cupcakes fixed up like little ghosts 3. cheese ball witches hat … rolled in crushed blue tortilla chips


Hope your day is filled with sweets and treats!


Our Autumn Home

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot 

It is so hard to believe October is just days from being over.  The days are shorter, nights are cooler and the trees are turning brilliant shades of red, yellow and orange.  We are enjoying our first South Carolina autumn in all of it’s brilliance this year.  While many people I know look forward to spring, I live for fall.  I love everything about fall:  the colors, the smells, the temperatures, the holidays, even the last showing of my roses …. It just makes me happy!

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus 

Along with my love of fall temps, color, holidays, and of course football season is my desire to do a little deep cleaning and a lot of nesting.  Don’t you just love to add touches of the season throughout your home and enter the Christmas holidays with a sparkling home?  Not only are you savoring the season, your are encouraging everyone who enters your doors to savor this time of year as well.
And what a glorious time to savor!
I love the blessings I enjoy as a wife and homemaker, the privilege I have to make our house a home for my husband and children.

Is that an old-fashioned notion?  Probably so.

Is it necessary?  In our world today, yes it is!

Our homes should be havens from the world, a special place for our family to feel safe and secure.  As a homemaker, it is my privilege to see that a haven exists.

“If you are a housewife, take pride in that.”
Anthea Turner 

I have always wondered how much these things meant to my children as they do like to tease me over my overindulgence in celebrating the seasons.  As we visited with our oldest daughter, Samantha, over the weekend in Alabama, I noticed from the outside, in, her own little apartment was filled with autumnal touches.  These touches were things she took the time for and carefully placed with love to welcome everyone who comes though her door.
Your family does take note of the ways you make a house a home and appreciate them, even if they don’t say anything at the moment.
Here is a peak at our autumn home.


From the moment anyone walks onto our front porch, I want them to feel welcome and enjoy a visual taste of the season.
Full & colorful mums, assorted pumpkins, childish Halloween touches and a simple grapevine wreath with a burlap bow greet our friends and family.

I also love adding seasonal throughout the inside of our home, whether it be as an autumn accent on a shelf in the living room or a Halloween vignette for the child in all of us.
These are not usually over-the-top touches, but little things tucked here and there.
My kitchen is fairly simple, just a little pops of fun, like replacing candles with smiling jack-o-lanterns.
I like my kitchen to remain clear of anything that might make it nonfunctional or look cluttered, so something simple is all I need.


This little vignette in our dining room just makes me smile.

Our dining room is quite festive, filled with natural elements as well as a little fun, both which are pulled together for celebration of two autumnal holidays.
When I add Halloween touches I try not to make them dark.  Keeping it light and fun, sometimes elegant for the adults is my primary goal.

Our tabletop display of natures bounty.
Our Thanksgiving dishes arranged with pumpkin soup tureens and colorful leaves  fill the china cabinet gifted to us from Audley’s grandmother before she passed away.

“The cheerful joyous season,
the Autumn time is come.
With song and shout we welcome
The Golden Harvest Home.”
~Author Unknown

I always love to prepared a fun Halloween themed dinner for our children and then dig into those fabulous fall recipes tucked away for harvest favorites, and use my soup tureens and Harvest dishes for serving.  While we eat at the table together every night without fail, my kids and especially Audley really love when I light a few candles and set special table for our meals.  If you don’t think your family will notice, go all out one night.  Believe me, you will have their undivided attention!

Creating an inviting atmosphere for your family will encourage conversation and most definitely brings all closer together.

My week is crazy ….. Audley is out of town with work again and I am spending every waking moment preparing for a wedding that I am catering from dinner to cake this weekend, to serve 100.  It’s a huge deal for me, and I hope that I have wonderful details to share as I put it all together.

Have a wonderful week!