Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Celebrating Autumn with Simple Decor and Applesauce Spice Cake

Hello, Dear Friends, in this most beautiful of seasons, 
I find joy by bringing the outside in. 

Simple joys are the best things in life, 
don't you think? 

Please come inside and share my joy
with a cup of tea and some delicious 
applesauce spice cake that I baked
just for you. 

While the cake is cooling, let me show you
how I've added some lovely fall color 
to the inside of my little hand-built cottage, 
here in the foothills of the Cascade mountains. 

The sun is streaming in on this beautiful day, 
casting golden light and shadows here and there.

I've replaced the white lace curtains of summer 
with velvet flocked sheers, added golden pillows, 
and art with autumn scenes. 

Kai enjoys the sunshine today! 

Flea market art :)

The top one, an original amateur painting. 
A print of Monet's sunflowers to the left. 
I painted the dark wood frame a soft green. 

More autumn art hangs by my hand-crafted hutch.
( built by someone named 'Bruce' in the 60's)

'Iris' by John Atkinson Grimshaw.

You can buy one for yourself,  Here.

I do love fairy art.
Do you believe in fairies?

Like Angels to mankind,
fairies, gnomes, and elves are to nature.

Pen and ink watercolors from the 1950's in their
original frames.

I love to collect art for each season.

I added sweet white pumpkins to my green glassware.

I just found these vintage etched wine glasses :)
I have a small collection of clear glass etched wine glasses
to mix and match.

A vintage bird print with autumn tones.

Sunshine streams in to our passive solar designed cottage.
On sunny days, we don't need supplemental heat.

My dear Father cast the flying ducks on the beam
when he was a young man.
He was a tool and dye maker all his life,
eventually becoming the president
 of his local steel-worker's union.

He also made the 'crow' whirly-gig on the top of my cabinet.
He and my Mother were very creative
and sold their wares in gift shops during retirement.
The beautiful basket was my Mom's.
The clay jug is a vintage thermos.

The 'Bittersweet' sign was from my
dear sister-in-law, Terry's gift shop.

I love this sign -
sometimes life can be very bittersweet, indeed!

The mantel showcases fall's bounty.

My funky hand-blown vase holds pods and rose-hips.

I love walking through fallen leaves.

When Ramblin' Man and I were high-school
sweethearts, we used to steal away to a beautiful
park called World's End where ancient trees
would drop their leaves in fall.
I remember running through the leaves,
hand in hand, laughing and kicking them high,
in those glorious days of youth.

Some fall gatherings light up the corner.

The settee' gets a new pillow fashioned
 from vintage floral fabric in soft, autumnal tones.

I painted and decoupaged the wooden tray
with pretty fall napkins a few years ago.

Maggie enjoys a sweet nap.

The owl candle-holder was my Mother's since I was a child.
The vintage hand-painted tray was a gift from my dear Sis-in-law,

It's these sentimental things that I love so much.

My little playhouse painting finds a home
on my entry table.

I gathered these wildflower seed stalks from
my garden.
They have tiny yellow flowers when in bloom.
The tall clay urn was a gift from Ramblin' Man
for my birthday one year.
I was born in this beautiful month of October.
The macrame' belt tied around the rim was my daughter's.

You can see the urn, and the window over the buffet,
in the mirror.

I hand-stitched the felt wall-hanging when my children
were young.
The wood box is filled and ready
 to go for the cold nights ahead.

We are grateful for this warm and cozy home
that we are so blessed to have.

The cake is cool and ready to serve!

Here's the recipe:

Applesauce Spice Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 inch square baking pan.


1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Mix all ingredients except walnuts and raisins
in a large bowl until well-blended.

Stir in walnuts and raisins.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 30 minutes
or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.



Thank you for visiting, Dear Friends!
I always love when you stop by!


We are expecting our first storm of the season
 tonight with high winds and heavy rainfall
that will last through the weekend, possibly knocking
out our power. Hopefully we will be spared, as I am
here alone while Ramblin' Man visits his family 'back East'.

Wish me well!

Today I am linking with:

Cooking and Crafting with J&J


  1. You have so many adorable & decorative details in your home - lovely! Maggie's nap place is quite appropriate for a feline princess :))) enjoy your lovely & colorful October Karen!

  2. Una entrada bellísima llena de calor y romanticismo ...las cosas sencillas a veces son las que nos hacen soñar y vivir en armonía ,los animales son un complemento muy importante para quienes les guste, a mi me encantan ...tienes un hogar lleno de encanto que transmite mucha paz... estoy encantada de haber pasado por aquí un día lluvioso de octubre que con tu preciosa entrada has hecho que todo tenga mas luz...besos

  3. Sweet friend, how I adore your charming home! Every little detail - from the lace pillows, to the sweet pumpkins, and right down to the sun shining through the windows - beckons one to come in and enjoy. Thank you for sharing your lovely little place with us through photos.

    And oh my, your cake looks divine! Have a blessed day. Hugs!

  4. I really enjoyed seeing all the lovely fall touches you have added to your home! And so many sentimental items! I feel the same way about our house. Even though we didn't build it, we have lived here our whole married life and I love it and feel fortunate to have it. Enjoy your cake, it looks delish! and I will be sending thoughts for your safety while hubby is away!

  5. You have some lovely thing´s there...I just love green glass!
    Have a beautiful autumnday.

  6. Thanks for the visit to your autumn home.

  7. You have a very nice decorating touch which makes your home look very cozy and welcoming. The cake looks pretty good too. Hope you make it through the storm ok. Best wishes.
    xx Beca

  8. What a wonderful home you have. And please note I said 'home' and not 'house'. There's a world of difference between the two. Blessings

  9. Your utterly charming home is a joy to behold. I love all the Autumn touches especially the art work.

  10. You have such a dear, sweet home, filled with so much beauty! Thank you for sharing.

    Your cake looks really yummy. I just made an apple cake yesterday. :-)

    Happy Autumn ~ FlowerLady

  11. Lovely home. I bet the cake does not last long!

  12. Your home feels like a big warm hug! I love seeing all of your autumn touches. I love seeing so many things that once belonged to your parents proudly displayed in your home. So happy to spy the pillow I made you too!! That really warmed my heart and made my whole day!!!!

    1. Hi Brandi - so nice of you to stop by! Yes, I love my pillow and I always think of you when I bring it out to enjoy for the autumn season! I'm so glad that you were able to see it lovingly displayed. Thank you, again :) xoxo Karen

  13. Your home is always so lovingly decorated and is very inviting. I also love each of the photos on your blog header. Always a pleasure to visit your blog!

  14. I to just love walking through fallen leaves and hearing them crinkle beneath my feet ...

    What a lovely post, your home is decorated perfectly for the Autumn season and I'd love to enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake with you...

    All the best Jan

  15. Your home is so charming! I love all your little touches of autumn!

  16. Autumn is my favorite time of year. It looks so cozy at your home! Just beautiful!

  17. Karen I always always love your decorating, and your home reminds me of a home out of simple abundance. Did you ever read that book? It is a book that I absolutely love and always helps me feel so appreciative of my home and the little things! Hope your fall is wonderful and thank you so much for the cake and tea. Feel as if I was there!

    1. Hello, Jeanne, yes, I have two of the 'Simple Abundance' books! I absolutely love them and they are so inspiring! I do wish you were here - I know we would have a wonderful visit :) xo Karen

  18. I do wish you well while your Ramblin' Man is away, dear Karen. Thanks for the autumnal tour around your cozy home. I love your special touches and your seasonal art work. Yes please, I'd love a piece of applesauce cake before I leave you today. Love and blessings!

  19. Dear KAren, thank you for y lovely look into your sweet home again! Your Autum decoration is lovely, and ouyr Flea Market Art looks wonderful! I like those paintings.
    Your cake looks so yummi, would love to sit done and have a piece ;O) ... thank you for this recipe!
    Wishing you a wonderful rest of the week, sending Love and hugs and blessings to you, sweet friend,
    Claudia xo

  20. That is a delicious looking cake!
    I love how you change the decor in your house to match the seasons!
    Today you should take Ramblin Man by the hand and run through some fallen leaves again!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend Karen :)x and yes I do believe in Fairies x

  21. The good smell of your hand made cake has reached my town. ( ◠‿◠ )

  22. Hi Karen, I love your fall decor and the cake looks and sounds so good. I'm pinning.
    Thanks for sharing at C&C with J&J.
    Enjoy the week.
    Julie xo

  23. Karen, what beautiful decoration!!
    I love fall colors!
    Have a nice day

  24. So many wonderful vignettes in your photos. I love the high ceilings and wood - makes it all look so cozy. Fall is making its way into our home, too. Last night's storm wasn't too bad - lots of rain, but little wind. Now we're getting ready for another system tonight. Tis the season!
    Stay cozy.

  25. The spice cake sounds really good to go with my coffee right now, Karen. It looks moist and Yummy. YES, I LOVE FAIRIES!!... and have always wanted to create a fairy garden. The flowers are so pretty on your table with the Autumn hues. Sometimes the flea market art is the best, huh? How interesting that your dad made the flying ducks and crow, what a special talent he had. And I love the wooden tray that you made. Your home is cozy and welcoming. I'm in the middle of moving right now to a new place and just put a few Autumn stuff out myself.

    Enjoy this glorious season, Karen.


  26. OH I can smell cinnamon and apples from here! I love your cozy home and wonderful decorating for the season. And you know I believe in fairies!! ;)

    I love that you're a kindred sister of Fall, - sharing a birthday in the same month as me.

    I love how you share such special memories of family through your posts too. I just know I would have loved your folks - they way I love our friendship dear Lady.

    Wishing you safe days ahead, snuggle in time, and a wonderful birthday in this best month of the year!! xoxo

  27. Hi Karen, Oh how I enjoy to visit your lovely warm and inviting home. Your treasures accent for fall make it so charming at every turn. I love your green glassware and teamed with the white pumpkins is so pretty. There is so much to admire in your rooms and your display everything so perfectly. Love reading how you and your Ramblin' man were high school sweethearts and you used to kick up the leaves and enjoy the fall days. What special memories!!
    Thank you for sharing the spice cake recipe. It looks so delicious and the perfect treat for the season. God keep you safe while your beloved is away.

    Thank you for your sweet visits to me and kind comments. You always bless me when you stop by. Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo

  28. Oh yes! The simple joys are the best ♥ Everything is looking so beautiful, and I am craving applesauce cake now♥

  29. Hello Karen, your cake sounds and looks wonderful! :)
    I repeat what everyone has already said: Your home looks so beautiful and welcoming. In every photo there's something completely irresistible.
    I hope the weather wasn't very bad. Have a happy weekend! xx

  30. This sounds so tasty! YUM!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  31. This sounds so tasty! YUM!

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  32. i love the natural feel and decor of your home, everything is so cozy!! good luck with the storm. i love when it rains and you can just bunker down, wrapped up in a blanket and eat something sweet. seems you've got that covered!!

  33. Karen, I love visiting your blog home. My heart feels filled with tranquility and beauty after visiting. Thank you!

  34. Dearest Karen,
    Wow, those ceiling windows are so genial as they let int the full light!
    Our home is by far not as light as it used to be with all the trees growing taller and taller, even from a distance away from the home, they still break the sunshine.
    You are so very clever for designing and creating new pillows for the settee. Uhm, Maggie's settee that is... She seems to approve of your latest version! Oh, those stinkers, they know which spots to claim.
    Lovely things you have to inter change seasonally.
    I must say, we never do that. Just adhering to the things we got and keep up with.
    Well, having been 65 times to The Netherlands for visiting my Parents and now only Dad, has depleted quite some money over the 33 years. And one can only spend it once, so a lot of other things cannot be done. But still I feel happy and am very content with our simple lifestyle.
    It is the cooking and baking very much that creates a homey ambiance; just the mere smell of something in the oven makes one happy.
    Hope your husband has a safe trip and that none of his relatives had any hurricane damage, either by heavy rain or otherwise.
    In our town the many crews from the electricity company and also surrounding counties have returned home today after a week long helping out on the coast and in Florida were over one million were without electricity.
    Sending you hugs and blessings and stay cozy with your fur babies.

  35. Your home is just beautiful all decked out in the Fall splendor!! So wonderful to have so many things handed down from your parents, so special to have goodies that remind us of our loved ones and friends. I hope you did ok through the storm and all is well for you this weekend!

  36. i love the soft green glass, pale peach accents and natural dried blooms/grasses. and the applesauce spice cake brought memories of my mom...

  37. I'm asking the Lord to keep you and yours safe. Thanks so much for sharing a tour of some of your home. I enjoyed the visit and had just made an apple cake :) xx

  38. I love all your autumn pretties, especially the sentimental ones. Happy Birthday! October is my favorite month and I have always wished my birthday was in it. So much to do and savor during this pretty month. I hope you were okay during the storm while alone.

  39. Hi Karen, thank you for the wonderful tour. I love all your beautiful decor and your sentimental pieces from your Mother and Father - how special!! The cake looks delicious. I love your spice jars, I would love to try something like that myself one day, so cute! I'm not sure if you've had your birthday yet or not, Happy Birthday if I missed it. Mine is in October too and I've always loved that. Take care, Kelly.

  40. Simple decor is the best and you have certainly proved that here. Everything looks so seasonal, warm, and inviting without being overdone. Very nice...and that cake!!

  41. So welcoming certainly have the touch...thanks for the cake!
    Enjoy your week...
    Linda :o)

  42. Such wonderful fall decor photos! Love the green glass, so pretty. How wonderful you still have things your Dad and Mom made, those things become so special to us. Your spice cake looks so good, need to try your recipe. :)

  43. Karen, your cottage looks so comfortable and cozy with your fall decorations and so many beautiful keepsakes. I love the handcrafted cupboard made by Bruce. I hope the storm wasn't too bad and that you were safe and didn't lose power. Have a wonderful week.

  44. Karen, how comfy I would be settled in your cozy cottage with Maggie on my lap and a nice cup of tea and slice of cake!

  45. What a stunning post, dearest Karen, you always put me in high spirits, and I'm so very grateful to you for this, precious friend of mine !

    May the remainder of your week be as beautiful as you

    Xx Dany

    P.S.: as I wrote on my blog, I'm truly honored to share with your daughter my name :)

  46. The cake looks yummy and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to adapt your recipe to my allergies!


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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