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Friday, October 24

Dear Diary

happy fathers day 2.1

In today’s newsletter I am discussing why it is important to put your spouse first! If you would like to sign up for my weekly newsletter, which includes a new private video every week, click HERE!  



Every week I go through my sponsor’s stores and pick out my favorite items. Here are this week’s choices:


Vintage Long Silk Robe 


Vintage Rhinestone Flower Brooch 


Fashions Of The Thirties 

Thursday, October 23

Fantastical Homes

By Adrienne Breedlove

If there was one word to describe the Halloween season, I would use fantasy. It’s the time of year where everything seems magical and reality is a bit skewed. We can pretend to be other people in other places, while taking in the changes colors of our environment and enjoy the brisk weather.

I’ve said in the past that your home should be a reflection of you and your style. We all have fantasies when it comes to living spaces. Those grand, unique ideas that are beautiful but expensive, quirky but impractical. But there are some individuals out there who have the means and the creativity to make it a reality.

To celebrate this season of imagination, I thought I’d share a few fantastical homes that bend the rules of realism, and feature some uncommon characteristics.

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When you think of wallpaper, I bet your first thoughts go to kitschy patterns and bright colors. The last thing you may think of is moody scenery. This wallpaper is so well done with the high ceilings, that it actually appears as though the living room is set in another place entirely. You can purchase this wallpaper and many others at Pixers.

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The stairwell to this home is only the tip of the iceberg. The “house vvdb” is as intriguing in the interior as it is externally. Extravagant and daring in some areas, while refined in others, this house is a work of art in and of itself. I sincerely suggest you click on the above picture to view the photo tour.

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This home puts tree wallpaper to shame, actually incorporating limbs into the structure of the house. The home is actually built with natural, unshaped lumber. The result is what feel like a tree house, with the branches organic curves lending themselves to the architecture.

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You may have thought that Hobbit homes were things of fiction, but it became reality for Simon Dale in 2003 when he began constructing the “Hobbit House”. With help, the home was built and his family was moved in within 4 months. Since then, he’s built several more of these “shelters.” You can see them all by clicking on the above photo.

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I think we all dream about giving our children (and maybe a little for ourselves) the coolest room imaginable. Designer Steven Kuhl has set the bar pretty high with this pirate themed bedroom. He’s created a unique play and sleep area for his son, and I’m sure his friends love it as well.

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This Moroccan bedroom is just oozing with glamour. Such a beautiful and ornate ceiling is something most of us can only dream about. While renovating your bedroom for a similar look may not be on the top of your to-do list in reality, it would still be quite a sight to see every morning.

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Fellow book lovers, what better place to display your hardcovers than inside your staircase? While this unusual organization and decor tactic is interesting, and maybe even a little compelling, those steep stairs seem a wee bit dangerous!

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Lastly, I leave you with The Teahouse, the most adorable little house I have ever seen. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the interior, but I just couldn’t resist sharing it.

Happy decorating,


Wednesday, October 22

Amazing Cranberry Bars To Try Right Now


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I love pumpkin spice as much as the next person, but ladies, I think it has jumped the shark. When I walk into Trader Joes there is a HUGE display of all things pumpkin spice: cereal, granola bars, bread, croutons, cookies, butter, lotion, the list goes on and on! You know how you hear a cool new song on the radio and you love it so every time it plays you turn the music up and sing at the top of your lungs. But then the radio stations start playing it twice an hour and after a few weeks of hearing the same song over and over you are totally sick of it and can’t remember why you liked that song in the first place? That is how I feel about pumpkin spice.

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It totally bums me out how fun traditions are often marketed into oblivion. So to get away from pumpkin spice and yet still celebrate the season, I have decided cranberry is the new pumpkin. Think about it: this berry only comes out for a short amount of time during the autumn and early winter, the flavor is bright and tart, and the color! Who doesn’t adore that vibrant shade of deep scarlet?

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To start my cranberry commemoration, I thought I would make these amazing cranberry bars in individual portions. I have a difficult time cutting bars into squares or rectangles, so I thought it might work to put them into cupcake tins with cupcake liners. It turns out by using this method the bars don’t have to cook for as long, which is nice, and they automatically come out of the oven in perfect portions and look festive with their ruffled “collars”. They look beautiful displayed on a footed plate, and I ended up taking the final batch (it took me a few tries to get the proportions correct) to my son’s elementary school as a treat for the office staff.

Cranberry Bars

Cranberry Bars
Serves 12
An easy dessert that highlights the tangy sweetness of cranberries in individual portions.
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Crust and Topping
  1. 1 cup AP flour
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 cup ground slivered almonds or cashews
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
  7. 1egg
  8. 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (I used frozen)
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. Juice of 1/2 orange (4 teaspoons)
  4. zest of 1/2 orange
  5. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a food processor, chop the nuts into small pieces, about the size of small breadcrumbs. Next add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Pulse 3-4 times to combine.
  3. Next add the butter to the mixer. Pulse 10 times and then check to see how small the pieces are. They should be quite small, similar to the aforementioned breadcrumb sizing. If they are the size of peas they are still too big and pulse again until you get the right texture. I had to pulse 13-15 times.
  4. Pour mixture into a bowl and add the egg. Mix with fork until combined. This will be very dry and crumbly- not like a cake batter or even raw cookie dough.
  5. Now it is time to make the filling. Rinse out the food processor and then add all the filling ingredients. Pulse until the cranberries are the size of relish. You want them to have a bit of texture so don't puree them.
  6. Lay out the cupcake liners in the cupcake pan. On the bottom place a HEAPING tablespoon of the flour/butter mixture and then use your fingers to press into the pan. This is the base of your bar. When finished, add the cinnamon to the mixture and stir. This will now be your final topping. Set aside.
  7. Now we add the cranberry filling using the same tablespoon. I believe it was about 2-3 tablespoons per bar, but you can eyeball it. You might not use all of the cranberry mixture.
  8. Now top with the rest of the flour/butter mixture.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. They are done when the tops are a light golden brown. Do not over bake! I made this mistake and they ended up like hockey pucks and had to be thrown away.
  10. Let cool and enjoy!
  1. This is for 1 pan of cupcakes (12). Double the recipe if you want more.
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Adapted from Betty Crocker
The Glamorous Housewife
cranberry bars 1.1

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