Archive for October, 2010

Handmade Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone! Halloween is hands down one of my favorite holidays. It’s the holiday with no rules; full of fun and whimsy. So of course, our little house is brimming with handmade goodness. We’ve had so much fun whipping up this year’s decor and thought you might like a peek of our festive little abode.
The hearth is really the center piece of our home. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk in the door. We decided to put the book mobiles to use once again. Flying books and a newspaper pennant, the mantel took on a very scholarly theme. Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder really pulled out all the stops by creating these beautiful silhouettes. One of my favorite parts of the display.
It just so happens that we had to cut down a splitting pear tree in our yard a couple of days ago. We decided to use the wood in our display, filling the fireplace from top to bottom.

I’ve always loved these Halloween canvases. I found them a couple of years back at one of my favorite stores, Home Goods. While they’re cute as pie on their own, I added a few paper pinwheels for a touch of whimsy. Love it! My sister created beautiful paper pinwheels for a wall in her bedroom. Seeing her display inspired me to create some of my own. Such an awesome and inexpensive touch.
The season wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins, scarecrows and cheery yellow mums. Let’s step outside and take a peek.

Now there is just one thing missing…little trick-or-treaters! We’ve got the goodies ready and can’t wait to see all the funny, scary and just plain cute kiddies. As the sun dips down, we’ll light the jack-o-lanterns and warm up a bowl of homemade chili. Later, we’ll build a little fire in our fire pit and make s’mores. Looks like it will be a spook-tacular night! 
Now, now… don’t think for a second that I wouldn’t have a little goodie for you too. 
Because it’s finally cooler outside, the leaves are falling and there are little goblins running around…
To enter, send me a picture of your Halloween decor (jack-o-lanterns, scary treats, costumes, whatever!) I want to see what Halloween looks like in your neck of the woods. A winner will be picked at random and announced next week on the blog. I’ll also post some of your Halloween pictures.
Pictures can be emailed to blueeyedyonder{at}gmail{dot}com. Can’t wait to see whatcha got!

Posted 10/31/10, Topic: Blog

The Owl is abroad…

The owl is abroad, the bat and the toad,
and so is the cat-a mountain,
the ant and the mole sit both in a hole,
and frog peeps out o’the fountain;
the dogs they do bay, and the timbrels play,
the spindel is now a-turning;
the moon is red, and the stars are fled,
and all the sky is a-burning.

– Ben Johnson

Photos by: KHJ

This was my first try at a yarn wreath. I’ve seen them popping up on lots of sites and just had to try one for myself. They’re just so warm and cozy. I’m in love!

Stay tuned… I’ve got more “Handmade Halloween” coming your way!

Posted 10/31/10, Topic: Blog

The Baker and the Blogger: A Tale of Pecan Pumpkin Butter Squares

I recently came across a delicious recipe on Bakerella using William Sonoma’s pecan pumpkin butter. Pecans? Pumpkin? Butter? Need I say more?

I just knew I had to try them. So, last Saturday my cousin, Savannah Jane, and I (i.e. the Baker and the Blogger) took a trip to Williams Sonoma to meet Bakerella in person. (More to come soon on that little excursion). While we were there, we picked up a jar of pecan pumpkin butter and decided to tackle this scrumptious treat.

This was the first time I can remember baking something with her. I mean, I have devoured many of her delicious treats, but I have never baked along side her. We had lots of fun and she got to see just how slow “blog” cooking can be. Stop…click, click, click….ok keep going…..now stop….click, click, click.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering…where are all the progress pictures? Well you see, when you are cooking, giggling and making scary egg faces the pictures don’t turn out that great.

See what I mean? How can you take pictures seriously when you have this weird egg face looking at you?

If you have time, you should whip some of these babies up. They’re really quite simple to make and have the most scrumptious golden, buttery layers. They get even better as the days go by. The pecan pumpkin butter seeps into the cake layer making it very, very moist. But don’t be surprised if they don’t last that long.

Photos by: KHJ

Williams-Sonoma Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares

18.25 oz. package yellow cake mix, set aside one cup
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 large eggs
13.5 oz. jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour a 9 X 13 pan.
Divide cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl.
Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix until combined.
Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan.
In another bowl, mix pumpkin butter with two eggs and milk until combined.
Spread pumpkin mixture over pressed cake mix.
Stir the reserved 1 cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.
Then add the softened butter and mix together until crumbly.
Sprinkle over the top of the pumpkin layer.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool and cut into 2 ” squares. Serves 24.

Posted 10/28/10, Topic: Eats

City of Lights

With Halloween coming up this weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to kick off Blue Eyed Yonder’s French excursion with the magnificent night shots of Paris. After all, it is known as the “City of Lights,” or la ville des lumières if you want to get all Frenchie.

Upon arriving in Paris, after dealing with the 4-hour (yes, you heard me the 4-hour) mumbled, jumbled shuttle/train/metro ride from the airport to Paris, we were exhausted. Our bodies didn’t know what time it was. We looked utterly ridiculous trampsing the streets of Paris with two large suitcases, a shoulder bag, a rolling wee little suitcase and a pink neck pillow looking for our hotel. It was hot, while we were dressed for the expected cool weather, and I am pretty sure I had the words AMERICAN TOURIST tattooed on my forehead.

For the most part, our time in Paris thus far had been spent underground in the Metro system. We emerged from the underground labyrinth and were squeezing our way through the crowded narrow streets looking for the hotel. We were walking, walking, walking, dragging, dragging, dragging our luggage, when Mr. BEY announced, “I think we missed our street.” Ugh!

We decided to plop down on a bench beside a group of Indian men eating Subway sandwiches no less! I thought to myself, is this really France?

That’s when I saw her. Perched just across the river – Notre Dame. Could it be? Is it really her? The beauty, the detail, the magnitude. It was almost as if the clouds had parted and angels were singing, like one of those cheesy moments in a movie. I knew in that instant that things were going to get better and this was going to be one of the most magnificent and fulfilling trips of my life.

That was the turning point for me. That “turn that frown upside down” moment. We eventually found our hotel and were greeted with this view from our teeny, weeny room:

Butter my butt and call me a biscuit! I could have perched in this window for the rest of the trip. I just adored the precious townhomes, their little windows warmly lit. I could even see inside them. One had bookcases lining the wall, and at night, a lady would sit in a cozy chair by the window and read. Is this a dream? If so, don’t wake me up.

Not only did the room over look the beautiful buttresses of one of the oldest churches still standing on the Left Bank, we also had a view of the top half of the Eiffel Tower. Just perfect. For the first five minutes of every hour at from dust until midnight, the Eiffel Tower would erupt into a fantastical display of lights. Glittering and twinkling, so romantic. We would leave the windows open, falling asleep listening to the laughter and muffled voices of the people walking below and wake to the sound of ringing church bells and shop keepers starting a fresh day in the beautiful city.

Photos by: CMJ

Just want to give a little woot, woot to my talented husband. Looks like that night photography class paid  off. Your pictures really capture the warmth and beauty of the night.

Posted 10/27/10, Topic: Blog


To say I have been in a slump is quite the understatement. We made it back from France, despite the terrorist scares, transportation strike and 5 1/2 hour flight delay. Whew! Was it worth it, yes, a million times yes! But I have to admit, leaving a chateau in the south of France and sitting in a cubicle at the office a mere 24 hours later was quite a shock. 
So I have moped, worked, slept, and tried to figure out a way to get back there…fast. It’s not just that it was a great vacation or that we were exposed to some of the most amazing sites, smells and tastes. There was something different about this place, something that makes my heart ache just thinking about it. I think Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder described it best, he told me, 
“I think you found your soul there.”
I have never heard words that rang so true. This trip has got me thinking, rusty wheels in motion. Inspired and heart refreshed – everyone deserves that every now and then.

I adored France, and like I said, it’s hard to even look back at the pictures. It makes me miss it so much. But instead of filing them away in a folder, I’ve decided to share this experience and this beauty with you. A little taste of our journey. Perhaps it will be all you ever want to see of France or it just might inspire you to dust off those travel bags and hit the road. If not to France, then to whatever place makes your heart light up. 

So, stay tuned. We’ll whisk through Paris and dive into the heart of Provence… and you don’t even have to leave your couch.

Posted 10/24/10, Topic: Blog

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