Entryway Rugs

We’ve been in our “new” house three years now and things are starting to feel not-so-new anymore. Top of that list is our entryway rug. We’ve had it since we moved in and it is starting to get really worn and grungy looking. So, I’ve been shopping around for a new rug and there are so many great options out there right now. Here are some of my favorites. I’m leaning towards #3 because I think it will hold up the best but which is your fave?
A Feteful Life: Entryway Rug Roundup

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Fall Patio Refresher

We spent a lot of time outside using our new patio this summer. We enjoyed playing in the sprinkler, hosting BBQs, or just dining al fresco. But as the weather has shifted a bit cooler and the season has changed, it doesn’t seem like we’re out there as much as we were this summer. I miss it and I think it’s time I dedicate some efforts into making it a bit more fall ready.

It doesn’t take a lot to make things feel a bit cozier and inviting. Some throws, pillows and a fire pit would really warm things up (roasting marshmallows are an added bonus). Then switching out some of my perennials with some fall grasses and decorating with the some of the beautifully colorful pumpkins we found at the pumpkin patch wouldm’t be a bad addition either. Here’s to a happy and cozy fall… outside. A Feteful Life: Fall Patio

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Cocktail Hour: Pumpkin Shandy

A Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - Pumpkin ShandyThis cocktail – it’s fall in a glass and it’s wonderful! I did a fairly classic version of the shandy this summer but this one might be my favorite variation. I’m a huge fan of pumpkin but generally not in the drink form with the exception of pumpkin beer. It’s not overly pumpkiny but it has a nice addition of spices that I love. Combining it with some lemon juice and sparkling apple cider just enhanced everything I love about it. Happy Fall!

Pumpkin Shandy (adapted from Brit+Co)

Ingredients

1 bottle of pumpkin beer
Sparkling apple cider
cinnamon stick
half a lemon juiced
slice of lemon for garnish

Directions

Add a cinnamon stick to your glass (I used a pint glass but you could any glass that holds a beer). Pour between 1/2 and 3/4 of your beer into the glass, add the juice of half a lemon, and top off with the sparkling cider (be careful because the cider can easily foam over the glass). Garnish with a lemon slice and enjoy! A Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - Pumpkin Shandy

 

 

 

Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

A Feteful Life: Butternut Squash Baked RisottoHappy World Vegetarian Day! While I may not be a vegetarian, every year I get closer and closer to taking the plunge. I’ve cut out pork, almost all red-meat and I still eat chicken and fish once or twice a week but I almost always prefer vegetarian meals.

I find it easier in the summer when there’s an abundance of fresh produce and I crave lighter meals. As the cooler weather rolls in during the start of fall, I start craving heartier dishes that often involve meat. But, recently I stumbled upon this baked risotto from Martha Stewart and it perfectly encapsulated my craving for a hearty meal with my desire to eat a more plant based diet.

It is delicious, elegant and so very simple. Make it for a weeknight meal or for a dinner party. It is excellent either way!

A Feteful Life: Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

A Feteful Life: Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

A Feteful Life: Butternut Squash Baked Risotto

Butternut Squash Baked Risotto (from Martha Stewart Meatless Cookbook)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 medium butternut squash (2 pounds), peeled and diced medium (4 cups)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 bunch black (Tuscan) or curly kale, tough stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick strips
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium Dutch oven or heavy ovenproof pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until opaque, about 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add wine and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add squash and broth; bring mixture to aboil. Stir in kale.

Cover, transfer to oven, and bake until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan.

I Want it Now: Coat Rack

A Feteful Life: I want it now - Ikea Coat Stand

Fall is in the air and that means jackets and backpacks are becoming a part of our daily routine again. We don’t have a coat closet near our front door so all of those things tend to wind up cluttering our banister. But, I’m hoping that this year will be different because I’m getting a coat rack! I’ve been shopping around for them for a while and I think this simple birch one from Ikea is perfection! I want it now! A Feteful Life: I want it now - Ikea Coat Stand

Ask AFL: Fall Handbags

So we’ve had an unofficial “Ask AFL” request. A friend of mine in need of a new fall bag asked when we were going to put up our favorite fall everyday bags (like we did for summer). And even though it didn’t come through official “Ask AFL” channels, I happened to be in the mood for virtual shopping and love my friend C’s sense of style, so I pulled together my favorites (shocking I’m so willing to flaunt the rules, I know). I’m in love with rich colors and jewel tones, and a few black + white bags as well (particularly the animal-inspired polka dots — I really, really want to figure out a way to work that print into Cam’s big girl room — jungle spot wallpaper perhaps?). Have a favorite?!

A Feteful Life: Fall Handbags

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DIY Candied Jewels

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

While I’m getting a bit sad that warmer weather will be on its way out soon (although it has been super hot and humid around DC lately and I won’t be sorry to see that go), I love love to see fall jewel tones make their arrival. Couple that with my general love of all things sparkly and a real sweet tooth (it is some serious kind of cruel that Halloween candy is already in stores), I thought I’d try my hand at making some edible candied jewels. Now, as I’ve said before, I’m really not much of a baker. I just lack the ability to measure exactly and patiently work in that particular arena of the kitchen. And while I love how these candied jewels turned out, they certainly pushed my frustration meter to the limit. It took me lots and lots of tries to get a good batch and, even then, I’d make a random bad one. They’re not difficult, but they require some time to concentrate. I do think they’d be beautiful as a lovely little favor packaged up in a glassine bag, served alongside a cup of cider or hot toddy, or even topping a plain cake. So set aside some time to slow down and try them yourself!

DIY Candied Jewels (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup water
– 2 tablespoons corn syrup
– gel paste food coloring
– 1/8 teaspoon of flavor extract, such as lemon, orange or cinnamon (optional)
– cooking spray

Other Equipment
– hard candy gem molds (such as these)
– candy thermometer
– pyrex measuring cup

Directions
1.  Spray molds lightly with cooking spray and set atop waxed paper or aluminum foil.

2. Bring sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat in a saucepan. Heat until mixture reaches 300 on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat immediately and add 1-2 drops of food coloring and 1/8 teaspoon of flavor extract if using. Transfer mixture to a pyrex measuring cup and let settle for 15-30 seconds.

3. Slowly pour mixture into candy molds sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Fill molds until just below the top. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Tips
– Make sure the mixture is heated to exactly 300 and then remove quickly from the heat source. If it’s under that temperature, the candy will be sticky. If over, the mixture will caramelize.
– Pour less than you think will fill a mold cavity to start out — the mixture expands a bit once its in there.
– If candy hardens inside of your saucepan and/or pyrex measuring cup, fill the saucepan with water, place measuring cup inside, and bring to a boil. Discard water once residue melts.

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

A Feteful Life: DIY Candied Jewels

Cocktail Hour: St. Germain Sparkler

A Feteful Life: St Germain SparklerApple season is upon us and this cocktail is a must for any apple lover out there. Plus, it uses some of that huge bottle of St. Germain that I bought while I was at the beach so, double bonus. The original recipe calls for 4 ounces of apple juice which I find makes it a bit too sweet for my liking. So, I would recommend going down to 2-3 ounces and adding more club soda.

St. Germain Sparkler (adapted from Food & Wine)

Ingredients

1 ounce St. Germain
1 ounce Green Hat Gin (or vodka)
2-3 ounces good quality apple juice (or cider)
Club soda
Apple slices for garnish

Directions

In a wine glass filled with ice, add the St. Germain, gin, and apple juice. Stir to combine. Top off with club soda and garnish with an apple slice or two.

 

 

Black + White Striped Wardrobe Pieces

My body type does not always lend itself to stripes — it can be hard to find a good stripe that doesn’t accentuate the wrong things. BUT I happen to be so, so in love with black + white stripes right now and I’d love to work them into my end of summer wardrobe. It makes so much sense to me as a print right now — still fresh and clean, but transitional to fall (whereas navy stripes always screams spring/summer to me). Perhaps paired with leather, mixed with camo, or even some leopard print. And I think I’ve rounded up pieces that will work for me. Here’s what’s topping my list ….

A Feteful Life: Black and White Striped Wardrobe Pieces

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