Thursday, September 20, 2012

Falling Back

I've been flying under the radar for the last couple of weeks dealing with family things, work things, trying not to get sick, and planning a first birthday for Dablet! I've pulled up my "compose screen" a couple of times to get back into the blog, and nothing felt quite right. I told you all that my aunt passed away recently, and I'm trying my best to find a way to process that. I was driving to Kyle's softball game last night and I found myself talking....make that carrying a conversation...with myself. Odd, I know, but I'm sure every once in a while someone else out there does the same thing. I was trying to figure out how I can take the lessons and vivacity for life that she passed on to all of us and make myself more inspiring because of them.
I have always had a strong love for the Fall season! Not only because of the weather, but also because of the color and how the world seems to wipe the slate clean for the next cycle. The leaves turn brilliant colors and fall to the ground; sometimes we use them to decorate our homes allowing for a continued presence. My Aunt always asked us to mail her Fall leaves, because she lives in Arizona and doesn't get many, she loved the colors!

To shop this board click here

One of my favorite parts about Fall is the flavors and smells! I always swap out my candles from the floral, beach, clean smells of summer to the crisp, rich, and indulgent smells of Fall! Here are some of my favorite Yankee Candle smells for Fall:

For more on decorating with candles check out my Fall Feasts board on Pinterest and this pin 
from my Fall Tablescapes blog entry:

Now it's time for me to light my candles and get back into the world of purple and tulle for Dablet's first birthday party this Saturday! I will have plenty of pictures to share from her extravaganza! Keep your fingers crossed that the weather holds for us!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Focus On: Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Happy Hump Day! It's a day of link ups with two other fabulous ladies, Lynda of Focal Point Styling and Julie of Simply Savvy to talk about the "Big Three Before the Tree: Fall Decor, Halloween, and Thanksgiving". I jumped at not only to opportunity to join forces with them, but also to snag Thanksgiving! There are so many ways to turn your family gatherings, even if it's a small gathering, into a stylish event quickly, reflective of your own taste, and in an affordable way!

You have them around the house, in drawers, and guess what?! You can use and reuse them seasonally by changing how you display them! The top three show you ways of setting candles in common Fall things in somewhat more involved ways, but still very user friendly. What I love about the bottom three is that you could have had the same candles out the week before on the same table but with different accents. Grab your favorite shaped glass vase or small bowl, some dried corn, cranberries, or coffee, and you have instant centerpieces for your Thanksgiving table!

Let's face it, if we look out our windows the in the Fall (at least in all of the places I remember living) you see leaves! They're iconic Fall colors, textures, shapes, and even the delicate nature of the passing season come across from the outdoor foliage. My favorite three from this assortment are the pears (top right), napkins (bottom left), and the vase (bottom right). Each of these can be executed in less than 5 minutes to add color, texture, and the perfect Fall element to your table!

I've mentioned the importance of bringing color and texture to your table already, and pumpkins are perfect for that as well! We'll go ahead and include gourds in this too! I always love going to our local pumpkin patch and fishing through the bins of gourds to find the oddest shaped ones for decoration! Pumpkins are also perfect for painting, as seen in the bottom right photo to bring whatever color scheme you are going for possible with Fall nature. Not only can you paint them, but you can also add some bling with glitter (top left) as well! Maybe you're not the glitter type, but this would be a lot of fun for a kids' table! Just like the leaves you can stack them in tall glass vases for an easy way to bring color and height without fuss to your Thanksgiving table.

I thought this was genius and had to share! If you're lucky enough to entertain outside for Thanksgiving, use tiny pumpkins as table weights for your linens!

I know my "Focus" is supposed to be on Thanksgiving tables, but I warned Lynda and Julie when we teamed up that I would not be able to talk about the table without talking about the food you put on it! Every year I make the turkey and all of the things that go with it, and every year I wonder why I only do it at Thanksgiving! I LOVE everything associated with Thanksgiving cooking, and all of the Fall flavors! 
Here's the recipe for these Pumpkin Spice Pancakes:


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Directions

    1. In a bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a separate bowl. Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
    2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Recipe from

There is an infamous story in my family about stuffing a turkey! Apparently one year sometime before I was born my dad and my aunt (his sister who recently passed) got into it about which kind of stuffing would be made for the turkey and if the bird should be roasted breast up or breast down. It ended with my aunt getting to stuff the cavity and my dad getting to stuff the neck (it was a large turkey), and it was roasted breast up. Since then, we always have two kinds of stuffing at Thanksgiving which I love because it means more leftovers! Here are a few fun ideas I found for leftovers this Thanksgiving season:

Boxed leftovers to go with your guests names! This way you don't have to worry about not getting your tupperware back!

You don't always want to keep eating "heavy" food, so a shredded turkey salad with cranberry relish is a perfect option!

Thanksgiving leftover pie! For more info on this treat click here

I don't think I need to get into the pie recipes (yet!), but I'll share a couple great dessert table displays with you!

Even if you have simple desserts, remember to use varying height to make your table a bit more fun! Check out your local Goodwill store for cake stands, fun chargers for layering, and even short vases you can use as makeshift stands for plates. Just because you want to change your table decor for the season does not mean you can't reuse the same items year round! 
For even more inspiration check out my Fall Feasts board on Pinterest and head over to Olioboard to play around with some decor ideas there! 
To see this board and shop the look click here

As I mentioned before I've teamed up with to fabulous ladies today for the "Big Three Before the Tree". You can follow the buzz and join us on twitter by using the hashtag #Big3B4TheTree and check out the other blogs here:

Focus On: Halloween Steampunk Style

Focus On: Fall Decor

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Saying "Goodbye"

This is not a normal post here on Dabble in Chic, but blogging has become so much a part of my life that it feels right to use the writing as an outlet for what my family is going through. My Aunt has just passed away, our family matriarch, the glue that holds everything together, creator of tradition, teller of stories, lover of all the world. It is an impossible task to process the kinds of emotions that can take over your body during times like this, but I keep going back to her book. She recently published her first book "I Could Never Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Journey to the end of Life with Mom and Dad" chronicling her experiences during the passing of my grandparents. She talked about the ceremony of passing, not just the ones after it happens, and how you always carry people with you (sometimes literally). It's an amazing story, and because she put it on paper she will continue to touch the lives of so many though her lifetime of experiences.

These are a few of my favorites of us from my wedding week. The second one also includes my dad, this is his older sister and his best friend.

I am unsure what the rest of this week will bring except I know that Dablet and I will once again brave flying solo, this time to Arizona, and this time she's SO much more mobile than our New York trip. What I do know is I will always associate this fabulous leading lady with the reading she did at my wedding. She told me when I showed her my selection that, "If you're starting your marriage off with Oriah, you're starting off on the right foot!" These words mean so much more now:

I'll still be back here on Wednesday with the Focus on Thanksgiving Tablescapes, and maybe even a comical story about how to stuff and roast a turkey! Give your loved ones an extra squeeze tonight, and remember that you can relive a lifetime with your memories!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend & Before Pics!

Labor Day Weekend has proved to be fun-filled and inspiring! We spent Saturday and part of Sunday up on Lake Gaston with friends and Dablet got to enjoy more water festivities! She even gave her daddy a special touch on the fishing pole off the dock for a little catch and release:

After the quick hour drive back it was time to get back to it! I have been planning and dreaming about a home makeover for months now; finally, the ideas are starting to come together. In case you don't know the back story, Kyle and I moved into a fabulous house in Durham, NC just over two years ago. It's been a whirlwind since then and our home has been neglected. Our walls are (for the most part) "Blah Builder's Beige" and when we sold our printing company it seems like half of the office contents came home with us...utter CHAOS!!
I have been attacking the home makeover with the highest need rooms and the small neglected spaces coming first. Part of the benefit from this is I can have some extra time to make the decisions for colors and style for our largest spaces. However, I have given myself the goal of having our first floor (essentially) complete by Dablet's first birthday party just 2.5 short weeks away! After having "Hoarders" on in the background for 10 minutes yesterday afternoon Kyle an I started tackling the mud room and laundry room. I will preface this by telling you that our mudroom is where the dogs hang out when we're not home and I have recently repaired a few holes chewed in the dry wall....I'm thinking about some sort of wall reinforcement....luckily there have been no new holes in months!
We had this sign made at a fair representing our Golden Retriever, Husky, and Rottweiler

Classic find from the San Diego Zoo gift shop! Every pet owner needs a copy of this one!

Our mudroom is more than just a room, it actually has a granite built in desk and lots of cabinets. I use the cabinets for paper goods storage, flashlights, first aid kits, and such...I'm working on a creative use for the desk that is also pet friendly.

Here's a "spin around" into our laundry room to cover our before photos. The paint has already been picked out and I'm working on taping tonight. Whoever designed the cabinets was not someone who does laundry frequently because they are WAY too shallow given how far out the laundry machines come. Thus I am ALWAYS jumping up to get detergent and I'm 5' 10"!!!!! I will be making something "better" happen here!

I hope you all have had a fabulous Labor Day weekend. Enjoy your family and your time!!