Fall Decorating Finding Your Own Objects

Hand made Copper Vase

I love decorating for the seasons and it may change a couple times before the season is over. Just by finding things you already have and adding some elements from nature, i.e. rocks, flowers, sticks, makes it more personal and about you.  Look for the colors of the season, for fall warm tones of browns, copper, gold.  

By finding things that belong to you and have special meaning is what makes your house feel like a home. Here is my fall mantel, for now and below where I got my pieces.

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Delicious Moist Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

After several different pumpkin bread recipes I've made, this one is the best. 
The mix of spices gives this one great flavor.  Everyone loved it, even my husband who doesn't like pumpkin! It went very fast in this house..

1 can pumpkin 15oz
4 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
3 cups of sugar
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves 
1/2 tsp ground ginger

aprox 1 cup of chocolate chips (as much as you like)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray loaf pans, ( I used 2 pans, each 5"x9").
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
I then sprinkle chocolate chips into pans and mix in. 
You can add as much or as little as you like.

Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

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The Best {chewy} Granola Bars

Homemade granola bars are much better then the store brands and you know whats in them!
During the school year I make these often for my kids. They have them for breakfast or bring them to school for snack, they go fast.

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter or spray a 9x13 pan.

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup rice crispy cereal
1 cup flour
1/4 ground flax seed (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter, softened {or earth balance spread}
3/4 cup honey (add more if its seems dry)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
handful of shredded coconut (optional)

Mix everything well, except for the chocolate chips & coconut. It takes a few minutes to really mix well! Then mix in chips & coconut. If it seems dry/crumbly, add a little more honey or soften butter.
Spread into pan, press down.
Bake about 20 min. it will start to turn golden brown. 
Let cool in pan, if you cut them too soon they will fall apart. 
Cut into bars or squares.
Store in an airtight container.