Pumpkin Bread to Warm Your Tummy and Your Heart

It’s pretty cold outside.

The Polar Vortex may be headed back to where it belongs, but if you ask me, you should still stay in bed and only get out from under the covers in order to make some hot tea or coffee and a warm meal. I’m here to help you with that. First, forget soup! I present to you my mother‘s pumpkin bread recipe! It’s all the inspiration you should need to wrap yourself in your giant down comforter and make your way to the kitchen. You should also maybe add a little something fun to your coffee…

This recipe makes three loaves of pumpkin bread, so you can share them with your neighbors after you bundle up like Ralphie’s little brother. 

You’re going to need:

  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 3 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of all spice
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed cloves
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 3 greased loaf pans

It’s really wonderfully easy.

Step 1: Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Combine the sugar, eggs, oil and pumpkin. Beat it all up until it’s smooth.

Step 3: In another bowl, combine all of the remaining dry ingredients and mix them thoroughly.

Step 4: While using an electric mixer, slowly add the bowl of dry ingredients to the pumpkin mix. As you are adding the dry ingredients, alternate with the 2/3 cup of water to help it all blend together.

Step 6: Pour your yummy-smelling pumpkin mix into your 3 greased loaf pans.

Step 7: Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour at 350. When a toothpick comes out of the loaf completely clean, your pumpkin bread is ready!

You may not have eaten pumpkin bread this way before, but I highly recommend spreading a little butter on each slice. It makes for an amazing breakfast!


Another New Living Room Design

Just like Emily, I’m also in the process of a serious home makeover. We just bought a cute house in East Lake, and my mind has been racing a mile a minute ever since! To give you a quick idea of what I’m working with, here are the stats:

  • a gray 1950’s ranch with black shutters
  • fully renovated interior
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and 1,400 sq ft
  • medium wood floors
  • light cream walls in the living room
  • light gray in the master bedroom
  • a 50-foot magnolia in the front yard

My style is a mix of global, antique and organic. Add just a little bit of chic, and I think we’ve got it covered. I adore browsing West Elm, Twenty One Tonnes, L’Aviva Home, and Shop Latitude.

I made an inspiration board for our in-progress living room. The sofa and chair are on their way here from West Elm, the rug is getting cleaned, and the plant is still just a “maybe” because we worry our kitty cat, Nacho, will destroy it. I’ve collected baskets from antique stores and my travels, and they hold my collection of vintage National Geographics and and a hodge podge of my husband’s blankets from Mexico.

What else would you recommend to complete my global living room?

global living room

Living Room Makeover

Happy New Year, friends!  Sometime after bringing all those Christmas presents into the house, the purging bug bit me pretty hard.  I am a woman on a mission to simplify and declutter.  In the midst of making toss and donate piles, I realized that part of the simplifying process should be honing my style in the direction I really love.  Sorry for the terrible photo, I would take another one but I’m too lazy.

About the cleanest this room has ever been. Also definitive proof I need to upgrade from the iPhone 4.

It seems really counter intuitive to buy things in order to simplify.  I have always felt that way but honestly I think part of the cluttered feeling comes from having furniture that is all a different style.  I don’t want to bore you with my terrible inner dialog justifying my living room makeover so let’s skip to the mood board I made.

Living Room Inspiration

The mood board is a combination of things I own and items with the style I want to move toward.  I want to keep this little makeover super cheap.  My biggest issue right now are couches.  They are huge, they are dark brown, and they are not my style.  I can bring in a ton more mid-century style on a budget by going with the Ikea Karlstad and make some basic adjustments myself.  I plan on buying tapered legs with a walnut finish and tufting the couch to make it resemble this West Elm beauty!

Another Ikea hack I might try and tackle is turning the IKEA TARVA into a more mid-century console/media center a la this pin.  I can’t find any bloggy that has tackled exactly what I want so if I go for it, expect a tutorial.

I have some big plans for this room but I really need your help to get started.  I am (as usual) paralyzed with indecision about what the couch formation should be.  I am toying with idea of a sectional but I am not sure if that will make the flow of the room weird.  To give you a sense of the layout I made a really super rough Visio diagram.  It is not to scale because I am too tired for all that.

This is the current setup.  I could just buy two of the Karlstad and maintain status quo.  This would be easy though the scale of the Ikea sofas are smaller than my current sofas so it might look a little weird.

Current Living Room

Current Living Room

This is a rough idea of what a sectional would look like in the room.  I sort of love it but it also raises a million questions.  Is the flow between the two room openings too strange?  What would I put on the now empty wall that formally was half occupied by a sofa?  Should I change the direction of the TV?

Living Room w/Sectional

Living Room w/Sectional

In summary: Help!

New Calendars for Your New Year

Happy New Year’s Eve to all of you! We’ve been on a bit of a short hiatus over here at The Rarest Thing, but we’re back now! Our Christmas celebrations were wonderful, and we hope yours were as well! My husband and I just moved into a new home. It’s keeping us pretty busy right now, but we’re so in love with our new adventure! You’ll be hearing more about that in the weeks to come as I share our decorating ideas and ask for your input.

In the meantime, let’s focus on celebrating 2014! I love new calendars; they just get me so excited for all of our plans and dreams for the upcoming year!  I’ve rounded up some of my favorite designs below. You know the travel-themed ones caught my eye!

2014 Calendars

Emily’s Christmas Haul

Christmas was kind to me this year.  Specifically my family was kind to me this year.  I posted a few gift guides but below is the gift guide to my heart, my family really knows me.  It doesn’t hurt that Pinterest exists and that I actively curate a Wish List board.  I might have to do a post just on One Love Organics because my skin feels amazing after only 3 days of using the kit I got and I just found out they are based out of St. Simon’s Island which I frequent often.  Remember my Thanksgiving trip?

Emily's Christmas Haul

5 Links for Your Weekend

At The Rarest Thing, we often come across things that simply must be shared.  I hope these treasures from my browsing history get your weekend off to a good start!

1. It is no secret that we love Amy Pohler over here. This clip of Amy and Billy Eichner challenging New Yorkers to sing Christmas carols had me in tears. Christmas caroling with Amy Pohler is ALL I want for Christmas!

2. This Christmas list has been making its way around social media. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re going to love it. Apologies in advance for a bit of swearing. Now we all want “a little thing that can turn into anything at anytime.”

3. Speaking of Christmas lists, when I was young, all of my lists included something from the American Girl catalog. It was Pleasant Company back then, and I had Kirsten Larson, the Swedish immigrant who moved to Minnesota and looked just like me. My husband doesn’t understand the American Girl doll craze at all, so I’m sure he could relate to Conan O’Brien during his trip to American Girl Place this week.

4. Huffington Post Travel knows the way to my heart. This article on 9 Places Cat People Fit in Purrfectly showcases some spots around the world that even I’ll admit cross the line. That being said, if there was a “cafe” by my office with kitties and “fat golden retrievers,” you better believe I’d be there on my lunch break.

5. Don’t forget to check out our holiday gift guides. If you’ve got a long drive or a lot of baking in your future, turn on our Christmas playlist and start singing along!