Thursday, August 29, 2019

Cheesecake Recipes and Inspiration + HM #248

One of the things that we love the most about cheesecake is that it can be made light and fluffy, and you can even make the kind that isn't so sweet that you fear you will die from a sugar coma! Of course, you can also make THAT kind of cheesecake if you want, but my family prefers the classic, simple cheesecake. Recipes that are fruit-based or just plain ol' ordinary cheesecake is the favorite around here. So for this week's Home Matters Linky Party #248 theme of cheesecake recipes, I was looking for a few cheesecakes that my family might really like to try this autumn. #Cheesecake #CheesecakeRecipes #HomeMattersParty

What is your favorite kind of cheesecake? Check out the ones I discovered for this week's recipe roundup and let me know what you think. I would love to hear about your family's favorite!

Welcome Autumn to the TFT Party!

I know it's a bit early but I'm ready to change things up around here. The summer was so crazy busy this year that I am looking forward to getting back into a routine and things slowing down a little. Perhaps that is wishful thinking, but even when things are busy but there is something restful about predictability. I know, I'm boring!

This week, as I was preparing for this week's TFT party, I found several fun autumn posts that I wanted to share with you. Every morning when we take our sweet doggie girl out for a walk, the air is cool and crisp. We are ready to welcome autumn! How about you?

Here are a few blog posts with sweet creative inspiration for your autumn days . . . . 

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hello September - Autumn is in the air!

Our summer has just flown right on by! My daughter said to me the other day, "Mom, doesn't it seem like summer lasted about one week???" Well, yes . . . and no, actually. It really did zoom right past me, it seems, but then when I think about everything that we did, it kind of feels like it lasted a very long time! 

Between end-of-school activities, graduation ceremonies and parties, and extended family staying for a couple months, and getting ready to start college activities - we packed a ton of stuff into this summer. Not to mention all of the work we did in our yard and garden, including painting the deck and gazebo and cleaning up a couple of garden areas. It seemed to fly by because we were busy, very busy, just about every single day, all summer long.

Now that one of our kiddos is off to college (but still living at home . . . you know, $$$$$$$) and the last one in high school, it is rather quiet around here during the day. And just the past couple of days I could sense a bit of autumn in the air when I took our doggie for a walk. So all in all, I guess I am looking forward to autumn and a change of scenery. 

But I did read the other day that we are supposed to have a very cold and snowy winter, so I'm definitely NOT ready for winter. But I am ready for cooler days with bright blue skies and fluffy clouds, or even gray, dreary, rainy days, but snow . . . not yet! 

For now, here is a pretty September calendar for you. I have so much fun making these cute calendars each month for RUBY magazine that I just have to share them here, too. If you want to use this calendar, just right click on the image and "Save as image" to your computer. Then, you can use it on your blog or website, or even print it out and put it in your daytimer / planner. That's what I do, just because it makes my planner really pretty!

And don't forget to be watching for the September issue of RUBY magazine, available next week here at Vintage Mama's Cottage and over on the brand-new, beautifully updated RUBY blog. Hope you are having a great week and that you, too, are ready to welcome autumn!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Labor Day Inspiration + HM #247

Find your Labor Day inspiration for the patriotic holiday weekend! Plus linkup @ Home Matters w/ recipes, DIY. #LaborDay #PatrioticHoliday #HomeMattersParty
Now that we are heading into the late summer days and anticipating autumn, it just seems like a good idea to get back out to the deck that we painted this summer and spiff it up again. For this week's Home Matters Linky Party #247 them of Labor Day inspiration, I decided to rearrange the deck chairs and switch out some of the decor. #LaborDay #PatrioticHoliday #HomeMattersParty

We painted the deck floor a gray-blue (Lazy River was the actual name of the paint we used), and I worked on painting the gazebo, railings, and built-in bench white, a transitional theme in red, white, and blue will be perfect until it is time to pull out the pumpkin spice outdoor decor! Here are a few ideas that I found to inspire me to get back out there and appreciate the remaining days of summer.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pumpkin Spice Bread

Even though it is still technically summer, about this time every year, we are all ready for autumn . . . more specifically, we are looking forward to pumpkin spice! The other day our college-bound kiddo asked, "Mom, can you make some pumpkin bread?" Well, of course, I would be delighted to make you some pumpkin bread!

I got out the old, old Betty Crocker Cookbook with the tea bread recipe that I've used for many years to remember what adjustments I would need to make for pumpkin bread. This is a great recipe that you can use for banana bread, apple bread, plain ol' quick bread, pumpkin bread and pretty much anything else you might want to stir into the batter.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Cakes, Desserts - Recipes, Serving Ideas + HM #246

Here I am again . . . kind of at a loss . . . because we don't actually eat cake very often. So when I discovered that you could make an amazing cake using cake mixes, I thought that would be a great short cut that just might work for our family. For this week's theme at the Home Matters Linky Party #246 we're rounding up recipes for cakes and desserts, and I think I found some that I might actually make for my family. #cake #cakes #desserts #HomeMattersParty

I've actually baked the old fashioned Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake from scratch for more years than I care to admit - we used to have it for every birthday when my big kids were younger. But then, they grew up and went on their way to college and now they have families of their own. 

If you've ever made the really old fashioned Red Velvet Cake, you know that it is quite a bit of work. The frosting is cooked and it is a two step process. The cake batter is also rather "fussy," but once you get the hang of it, the cake is really great.

Because it is made with cocoa, it ends up being chocolate but not a super sweet chocolate, which made it good for those in my family who don't really care for the extra gooey chocolate desserts. But these days, I just don't have the time to invest in baking a cake that takes a whole day to make. These cake mix cakes are great! So, here's to having your cake and eating it, too . . . and doing all the other stuff in life that makes you happy!


Late Summer Inspiration for Home and Family from the Favorite Things Linky Party

School started around here today. I wasn't ready but that didn't seem to matter one bit! Our youngest went off this morning and arrived back home, all in one piece. This mama is glad to have this day over! But then there's tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that . . . . I guess I better get used to it!

Since I've been working the past several weeks on renovating my little corner of the blogosphere, I've taken the opportunity to "clean up" a bunch of digital "junk" - like several thousand emails that just keep showing up faster than I can read them or even delete them. I still have a lot to do, but I did make great progress today. Do you ever feel like you are drowning in an ocean of cyber pollution?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Healthy Habits Giveaway Sponsored by Katherine's Corner

Hello! Here's another great opportunity for you! Thinking about the end of summer activities and the approaching cooler weather, it's time to re-evaluate and focus on getting healthy . . . I’m joining Katherine, from Katherines Corner for her Healthy Habits Giveaway!

CLICK HERE to ENTER to WIN the Healthy Habits Giveaway!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Are you ready for Back-to-School?

I'll be honest . . . . I am so NOT ready for my girls to go back to school. I've never, ever been ready for my kids to go back to school. We've considered homeschooling many times, but our experience with public school has been, for the most part, very positive.

We have many friends and family members who homeschool and several whose children have attended private schools. Perhaps it is because I have such positive memories of my own experiences in public school that I want my children to have the good parts of school.

But I really love having them home during the summer months, and I always feel a bit of sadness when it is time for them to return at the end of summer. Of course, one day they all eventually grow up and go on their own way, even after their school days.

I think I will finally be ready when the last one walks across the stage for her high school graduation diploma. But I'm not sure.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Blogging Basics: Grammar 101

Are you a writer? Of course you are . . . you are reading a blog post about blogging, so if you are a blogger then you are a writer! Pretty simple, but I’m thinking that lots of “bloggers” don’t see themselves as REAL “writers.” You know what I mean?
I’ve been blogging for a really long time. And, since I am also a writing instructor, and English teacher, and an editor for several published authors, I notice things that other people might not see. That’s my job. But that doesn’t mean that everything I read gets my “nit-picking” attention. I don’t sit in lectures or sermons and count all the times the speaker uses a split infinitive (well, we all do that) or leaves a modifier dangling (whatever that means exactly . . . ) But since I’m pretty good at what I do, I’ve had the opportunity to share a few tips with other writers on simple ways to make your blogging / writing more reader friendly.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Back-to-School Head Start + HM #240

We're giving you a head start on Back-to-School tips and ideas for a fab school year! Linkup @ Home Matters. #BacktoSchool #Back2School #HomeMattersParty  
We've been in the whirlwind of "back-to-school" busyness for the past several weeks, even though school doesn't actually start for a few MORE weeks. That's because we have a college student this year, and that means a whole bunch of other stuff that we haven't had to do before.

With one still in high school, and one getting ready to head off to college, it's been rather tricky making sure that all the bases are covered. This week's theme of back-to-school for the Home Matters Linky Party #244 gave me the perfect opportunity to get a bit more organized. #BacktoSchool #Back2School #HomeMattersParty

I thought that, as long as I'm looking for back-to-school ideas for organization, study routines, supplies and accessories, and food . . . why not ask my high schooler what she would like to see us working on to get ready for the big adventure that is just around the corner.

Here are a few ideas that she came up with - well, she came up with a whole bunch more, but I could only fit a few into this blog post! If you have an tried and true back-to-school ideas that have worked for you, sent them my way. I think my brain is all worn out after doing this for so many years. New ideas are welcome! See you at the party . . . . .
Summertime Treasures featured from the TFT Party! Link up your blog post and find more great bloggers at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop and Linky Party.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

RUBY magazine August 2019

RUBY magazine August 2019

The August issue of RUBY magazine features inspirational articles, short stories, poetry, book reviews, recipes, and free printable. You don’t want to miss the Kids’ Korner with a short story as well as a fun activity page for the young people in your family. You will also read the story behind the hymn, “Blessed Assurance” by Fanny Crosby as well as daily devotionals, all written by the RUBY Writers’ Team for you and your family.
I’ve been so busy updating and moving the RUBY blog along with Vintage Mama’s Cottage to a new platform that I haven’t accomplished anything else for the past week. I’ll do my best to get party features up again for next week’s TFT party . . . . on my new Vintage Mama’s Cottage blog! In the meantime please pop on over to the NEW and updated, beautiful RUBY magazine blog at

And don’t forget to join us for this week’s Favorite Things Blog Hop and Linky Party! See you there . . . .
Summertime Treasures featured from the TFT Party! Link up your blog post and find more great bloggers at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop and Linky Party.