The Life of Jennifer Dawn

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pumpkin Desserts and Treats & Weekly Link Party

It's pumpkin season! Pumpkin treats, anyone? This week's features are desserts and sweets perfect for fall with their flavors of pumpkin and spice. Grab that mixing bowl and enjoy stiffing up one of these delicious recipes in your own kitchen! The only question will be...which to make first.

1. Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting / My Name is Snickerdoodle for Lolly Jane
There are so many of my favorites in this recipe! Chocolate, pumpkin, and Nutella all come together to make these scrumptious cupcakes.

2. Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake / Simply Stacie
Take a look at this dessert--smooth, creamy pumpkin cheesecake with chocolate spilling over the sides. Yes, please!

3. Pumpkin Caramel Coffee Creamer / The Gracious Wife
Pumpkin is wonderful. Caramel adds a whole other delicious layer of flavor. Click on over to see how to make your own delicious creamer that'll give your morning cup of coffee a flavorful boost!

4. Baked Oatmeal with Pumpkin Pie Spice Syrup / Life Over C's
This recipe takes breakfast to a whole new level. What a warm, comforting treat this would be on a crisp, cool fall morning!

5. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins / The Life of Jennifer Dawn (right here!)
These delicious muffins are easy to make and gushing with a decadent cream cheese filling inside.

Now it's time for...

Friday, September 16, 2016

DIY: Glitter Pumpkins for Fall

Happy pumpkin season! Today I'm sharing with you how to make cute glittered pumpkins for fall that you can decorate with year after year. Oh, and I'm going to show you my "secret" for cleaning through the mess when the crafty fun is all finished.
Carving real pumpkins is fantastic! We carve some every year with the kids, but I also LOVE decorating artificial pumpkins! They can be used over and over again and the work doesn't fell wasted when the pumpkin rots because these never do. Last year I made cute chalkboard pumpkins. This year, I decided to break out the glitter!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stuffed Pasta Shells

These Stuffed Pasta Shells made with RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce are an easy and hearty meal to prepare for your family.
Years ago my mom and sister complied some of our family's favorite recipes into a cookbook. This is one that made the book! It was a recipe given to my mom from a friend who being married into an Italian family has mastered the art of Italian cooking. My mom's friend may not call herself a "master" but anyone who makes their own pasta noodles from scratch is a master in my book. Don't worry. You won't have to make your own noddles for this recipe though. I use boxed noodles and one of the Homestyle Thick and Hearty Sauces from RAGÚ® that is so thick it seems to hug every noodle. I've also made a few slight adjustments to the original recipe with some ingredient substitutions and my own tips and tricks in the directions.

When preparing this recipe, I use any broken or extra noodles with some of the RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce to make a plate for my youngest who has a severe dairy allergy. This provides him with a dairy-free meal and he's still able to enjoy pasta--one of his favorites--with the rest of the family. That is one of the many things I love about the RAGÚ® Homestyle sauces. With the exception of the one sauce with cheese, they are milk-free which means my little guy can enjoy them too!
Want to know the best part about this recipe? It is a great make-ahead meal. You can prepare it the night before or in the morning and put it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake it in the oven for dinner. I made this batch earlier in the day and then popped it in the oven after we got back from taking my daughter to dance class that evening. If you plan on enjoying it more than a day in the future, it also makes a delicious freezer meal. Prepare it in a tray and cover the dish with foil and freezer wrap to bake at a later time. Thaw it in the refrigerator and bake it when you're ready to enjoy. It's that easy!

From our family cookbook to yours, here's a delicious recipe for stuffed pasta shells that's sure to be a BIG hit with your family at dinner!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Creative DIY Projects for Fall & Weekly Link Party

I know the first official day of fall isn't until September 22. As soon as I tasted my first pumpkin spice latte of the season and the Dollar Spot at Target busted out it's autumn goodies, it already started to feel like fall though. My family has had a horrific summer, and it's left me feeling like I just need this summer to end. I pray that next summer will be better, but for now...bring on fall!

This was my sister's favorite time of year and I frequently helped her decorate. I plan on filling my own home this year with loads of fall goodness in her honor. I've already stocked up new fall decor items and started a few crafty fall projects.

Need some inspiration for your own home? The posts featured below have given me loads of inspiration for fall decorating. They are stunning and simple--my favorite combination! Which would you love to try for your home?
1. Placemat Pillows / Wonderfully Made by Leslie
Remember how I mentioned Target's Dollar Spot earlier? Well, I saw these Grateful placemats and almost bought a bunch. I felt like they would make my fall tablescape too busy and ended up passing on them. Leslie had the perfect idea for them though--turn them into fall pillows. Brilliant! Looks like I'll be taking another trip to Target soon.

2. Metallic Fall Jars / The Country Chic Cottage
These bright red and gold jars are perfect for fall! Oh, and I love the idea of placing wheat stems inside.

3. Fall Wreath / Anika's DIY Life
How cute is this wreath?! Can you believe that it took only 4 minutes and $10 worth of supplies to make. Be sure to visit Anika's blog to see a video tutorial on how it was all put together.

4. Outdoor Metal Pumpkins / The Navage Patch
I love a good Pottery Barn Inspired project. Why spend a huge amount on something that you can just make yourself and have fun doing it?! I think these galvanized metal pumpkins turned out even better than the ones that inspired them.
Now it's time for...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

DIY Decor for a Girl's Bedroom & Weekly Link Party

It always amazes me the impact that adding a few new pieces to a room can have. I especially love decorating with handmade pieces like when I made this wreath to hang on a tobacco basket above our mantle. Decor items that you've painted, made, or even sewn yourself are what give a room life and character. Here are some DIY Decor Ideas for a Girl's Room. They're some of my favorite things--the color pink, vintage-inspired pieces, and sewing--all in one round-up. And let's face it...after I poured my heart out on the blog yesterday, I think we could use some happy, girly decor! Which of these DIY ideas would you want to try for your home?
1. Shelf Makover / Anika's DIY Life
You just have to click over to see the before pictures on this shelf! It's amazing what chalk paint and stencils can do. Do you have a furniture piece that could use some TLC?

2. Cedar Name Plaque / That's My Letter for Lolly Jane Blog
Here's a beautiful "take" on pallet art! The possibilities are endless with this DIY idea!

3. Fox Fabric Art / Love Create Celebrate
How cute are these! Visit the link above for a video on how to make these cute wall hangings with fabric and a canvas.

4. Vintage Window Dry Erase Board / Making it in the Mountains for Lolly Jane Blog
There are so many things you can do with a vintage window pane. This idea for turning one into a decorative and functional dry erase board is fantastic!

5. Pinwheel Quilt / Kiku Corner
Quilts are timeless! This pastel, patterned quilt would look beautiful in a nursery or child's room. It would even make a beautiful gift!
Now it's time for...