pumpkin scones

It’s fall!! Well at least up north it’s fall, and I’m sure there are leaves changing, too. Here in Dallas, it’s still warm but we have had a few cooler mornings – and it’s beautiful weather all day (when it’s not in the 90’s)!! I love this time of year in Dallas! Plus, no matter where you are at this time of year, everything pumpkin-flavored is available!!

I was looking for pumpkin scones and came across this recipe on sweetpeaskitchen. She places not one but TWO different drizzles on top of her pumpkins scones, so I was all in!


Pumpkin Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 1 large egg

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon powered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Spiced glaze

  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the “wet ingredients”: pumpkin, half-and-half, and egg. Set aside.

Sift together into a large mixing bowl the dry ingredients: Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Add the cubed butter on top.

Now using a pastry blender, mix the butter and dry ingredients until you reach the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Don’t overwork the mixture, though there shouldn’t be pieces of butter larger than a small pea. You could probably do this step in your mixer using the paddle attachment, but I get all nervous about overworking the dough.

Now, fold in the wet ingredients. I usually make an indentation (like when you have mashed potatoes and gravy), then you can flip the flour into the wet ingredients. I used a spatula to try my best to mold everything, but at the end (with floured hands) I used my hands to mold in the flour. Again, don’t overwork the dough. It’s crumbly and not tightly packed and that’s okay! Just make sure all the dry ingredients are married with the wet.
On a well-floured surface, flatten and form the dough into an 8″ circle. Then, cut into 12 triangles! It’s looking like a scone now!
Place the triangles on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, or until light brown. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool before icing.
Make the powdered sugar glaze by mixing the milk and sugar until smooth; then paint the tips of the scones with glaze – I used a pastry brush. When making the glaze, start by putting the powdered sugar in the bowl and gradually pour in the milk. You might not need all ofthe milk.
While the first glaze is drying (~10 minutes or so.), make the spiced glaze by combing all ingredients and mixing until smooth. Drizzle onto the scones!

The recipe states you should wait a whole hour before serving, to let the glaze dry. So plan to leave the house for a while or else you’ll want to eat them all!

Note: If some of my pictures look like more ingredients than yours, don’t be thrown off. I made a double batch for my neighbors who just had their first baby! I plan to write in the card “We’re sure you’ll have some sleepless nights and early mornings. We hope these scones (with a cup of coffee) will help ease the transition. Congratulations on your new addition!”

Full Disclosure: I made these three times now (three times in four days!) and there’s a slight bitterness at the finish. I can’t figure it out?  I took out the cloves, nutmeg, and ginger on my last batch and still… bitterness!  I’m really sad to say, they didn’t turn out as good as I’d liked or looked. So, if anyone knows what I’m doing wrong, do tell. Or if you know of the certain ingredient that’s making these taste that way? Maybe one of my ingredients is old?!? I even bought new flour and spices. Or if you make these, and that doesn’t happen to you… please, please, let me know.

I honestly haven’t had a baking fiasco like this since my hard-candy experiment in sixth grade. I had a “small” kitchen fire my parents still don’t know about. 

we got bikes!

image via The Sartorialist

Hi friends! Our birthday month is over (tear.), and we were able to save up for a really exciting item, bikes!! I’m uber excited to share our goods! The picture above is how I think I look… Though, I’m pretty sure I look more like this:

image via Midnight Ridazz Bicycle Ride

If you are in the market for a bike, September is a great time of the year to buy. We read this article and set out to our local bike shop to wheel and deal (pun intended). They usually come out with the new models in September, so the older model (still nice) are discounted! The manager at Richardson Bike Mart reinforced this fact AND took $80.00 off the sticker price. Yay! I was pumped to have a new Trek!

The husband bought his mountain bike online! It was a little less than mine but assembly was required.

Both bikes are great! We even took them out yesterday morning and explored neighborhoods we would not have known existed otherwise. Plus, we stopped off at the grocery store for a couple staple items. There’s just something fabulous about biking to the grocery store or restaurants! I have missed that part of my “youth”, so it’s nice to have a little bit of it now! Lastly and more importantly, this checks off another one of my goals of my, 33 before I’m 33! Happy Monday!

kitchen nook evolution

I’ve been working very slowly on our kitchen nook, and I feel like it’s time to update everyone on its progress! Plus, I haven’t had much on here about my house lately, and that needs to change. Today! I’ve been doing a lot of changes in this kitchen and still foresee more coming, but for now, it’s just nice to sit back and see the progress. We went from navy wallpaper, to robin’s egg blue, to chocolate brown, to no wainscoting after water damage, to removing decorative poles, to a very light gray. (sigh.) Yes, a lot of good changes.

It was a lot of labor, especially in painting, but it’s looking better and better. Plus, we added those beautiful wood floors and baseboards making it look extra special! I also decided on a yellow (well mostly green) accent color for the space which has been receiving accolades from the visitors we’ve had.

I still need a rug, curtain hardware, and curtains for this space but it’s coming together nicely.

I also have a pendant light waiting to be installed by the husband and father-in-law. Here’s a sneak preview of the pendant light. Fun, right?! Gosh, I can’t wait for this goodness to be up! And yes, I got it on sale! Score! :)

More angled views of the kitchen…

I’m especially happy with the farm table I found on craigslist.  It has painted turquoise legs with a solid wood top. I sanded down the top and stained it with left over stain from our back door! It looks absolutely beautiful in this space.

Here’s a source list of my kitchen so far: Paint – Benjamin Moore – early morning mist, garbage can – simple humanchair – tolix french chairdog bowls (beer crate) – Etsytray on table – west elmpear – Z gallerieRoman shades – imperial trellis fabric, made on Etsyframes – thriftedposter – “Work Hard & Be Nice to People” – anthony burillFarm table – craigslist.

Happy Weekend!


We’ve had the liberty of hosting a french intern at our home for the last month. The husband’s company is based in France and periodically send French interns stateside, and we were asked to host Alex, a young French college student. It was a great experience and gave me a little insight into what a high school or college child would be like in our home. Ah, the things to look forward to. Even the husband knocking on Alex’s door asking if he was ready to go made me laugh.

We tasked ourselves with showing him some of what Dallas has to offer, and one of my favorite locations we took him (and somewhere I like to go on my Fridays), was the Nasher sculpture garden. It’s a beautiful garden nestled in the middle of downtown Dallas. Plus, just walk across the street, and the Dallas Museum of Art is there for the taking! Score.

We did both. Nasher was featuring Ernesto Nest’s Cuddle on the Tightrope. The artist has been recognized for these large experiment environments. And, Kink, which was built for Nasher was an “elevated crochet environment” you could actually walk through!  It was a fun experience. I think even the husband enjoyed it.

Then we went outside to the garden. I don’t know what it is, but this space never gets old!

After Nasher, we headed over to Dallas Museum of Art. And both the husband and the intern picked apart the art and asked the age old question “why is this art?”.

After a day at the sculpture garden and museum, we headed to the Ginger Man, a local hot spot with a wonderful array of globally-brewed beer. Alex found his favorite!

This was an absolutely wonderful day! Art. It can be anything and I love it all!

blogoversary 1

Hi Friends! It seems like just yesterday I was wrestling with the idea of starting a blog but oh so nervous about it being so public. One late July day (yes, this birthday’s belated; I’ll get it right next year) I took the plunge and posted my first post. I can’t quite believe it, but I’ve been blogging on my house talks for over a year now!

Between the house projects, kitchen adventures, and photography, it’s been the creative outlet I’ve longed for! I thank all of my friends and family for their support and am so happy to have new followers everyday! It’s been great to share my goals, house projects, recipes, and travels. I’ve really opened up, too – like documenting my personal goals and taking a friend’s suggestion to add my house talks to my Facebook feed. It’s funny what a “nervous nelly” I am about that stuff. Being completely more open is new territory for me but pushing boundaries has been really rewarding.

Plus, this is a great excuse to eat a cupcake! (diet starts tomorrow.) My cupcake is from Sprinkles, this amazing cupcake spot in Dallas.

They have a couple of different locations in the states, too! So, many of you can check this wonderful place out for yourself! Red Velvet is my favorite, but they have many different options to choose from, including doggie cupcakes, too! They all look SO yummy!

Besides the sweet treat for the blogoversary, I’m taking all of my blog spots from this past year and putting them into a book from Lulu.com. my house talks – volume 1. It’s a nice nod to my earlier days of writing everything down and cutting/pasting ideas to notebooks. Now, each year I’ll have a hard cover book to look forward to. Lulu.com also would be a great way to organize kids art! What a fantastic way to preserve their artwork and de-clutter your own home!

Otherwise, I’m just REALLY pleased I started this blog and over-the-moon others enjoy it, too! Happy belated birthday to my house talks!

Lastly, I want to thank my editor for his fine grammatical skills and low fees. He got half of the cupcake for his efforts.

bread bowl chili

I’m really ready for fall! Football has started, Starbucks has their Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Dallas has had a couple mornings in the 60’s! So, it’s officially time to bring out the chili!

Chili is one of my favorites fall recipes! It’s a great meal to make in a big batch so you can enjoy it all week long. I wanted to share one of my mother’s classic recipes (I believe she got it from a Kraft recipe book, but I couldn’t tell you which one. I’m sorry.) with my own personal twist!



  • 1 lb ground beef (I use venison)
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 16 oz can kidney beans, undrained
  • 16 oz can tomatoes, undrained
  • 16 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Bread Bowls

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

First, I used the instructions from my BBQ pizza post to make the dough. Make sure to allot for 2 hours-plus (before serving), in order to allow the dough to rise, bake the bread bowls, and chili.

P.S. I know making dough sounds primitive, and to me sometimes scary, but everytime I make it, I get reminded of how easy it really is! Don’t get discouraged! It’s easy and fun!

For the chili, I started by browning the meat; drain.

Add onion to meat and cook until tender.

Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the cheese. This is where you can get creative. I add cumin, cayenne pepper, etc depending on my spice level that day! Have fun with it!

Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now, back to the bread bowls. I used 4 corning ware 7 oz dishes, but any small (oven-safe) bowl will suffice. Spray each dish with non-stick cooking spray and mold the dough around the dish. The dough will make about 4 0r 5 bowls.

Place the bowls on a cookie sheet and bake until light brown, approximately 10-15 mins.

They should pop easily out of the bowl!

Add chili with or without cheese and enjoy!! I love me some bread with my chili and cheese, and these bread bowls are so easy and make for an adorable presentation if you’re hosting. Enjoy and Happy Fall!!

minnesota wedding

Our last stop on the Midwest adventure was another wedding in Minnesota! Jenni (the bride) is a professional event planner in the Twin Cities, so I was oh-so excited to see what her own wedding would entail. Needless to say, she did not disappoint; there was visual eye-candy all over the ceremony and reception… and this girl remembered her camera! So what if it doesn’t fit in my clutch, it’s coming! Now, I get to share all the goodness with all of you!
We checked into the hotel and were greeted with a sweet gift bag filled with goodies from both the bride and groom’s home states. Lucky for me, Jenni was adding another Wisconsinite into our family, and the bag came with my all-time favorite beer, Spotted Cow! It’s only sold in Wisconsin, so this was a pleasant surprise. There was a bunch of other goodies from both states, which were devoured on our trip home!

The ceremony didn’t start until later in the afternoon on Saturday, so we spent the morning swimming with our nieces and nephews and just enjoying a little time to breathe. Sigh. We headed out with the whole family and when the ceremony started, all eyes were on the bride and groom!

The ceremony was beautiful and Jenni took a page from my own wedding with her programs. It reminded me of my own wedding and made me happy that someone else enjoys the details. The subtle details throughout the church were perfect for the space, too! Molly and I really enjoyed the yellow poufs.

After the ceremony we headed outside to wish the newlywed couple off, with bubbles!

After the ceremony, it was off to the reception which was held in an old stable. Perfect for mason jars… which I was obsessed with. Add in gray and yellow striped straws – and I was in heaven. This probably makes me crazy, but I’m okay with that. Drooling over paper straws – it could be worse. We actually got to take them home, too! The husband and I got two, so all I need now are the straws! Ha!

We enjoyed our drinks outside, while the nieces and nephews found the photo booth. We didn’t know at the time, but these were props for the photo booth; we had fun with them outside! They were returned promptly after the photo shoot. He he. 

When it was time to find our seats, we were treated with escort cards propped up by wine corks! So cute. Each table corresponded to some place the couple had traveled and a little story of their adventure.

We got to leave the party with pictures from the photo booth and cake pops made with Packers or Vikings colors! Jenni doesn’t like cake, so she opted for an ice cream bar for everyone. Seriously, this girl didn’t miss a thing!

Don’t worry, I didn’t spend the whole time just taking pictures of objects! I had fun dancing and taking pictures of the whole crew, too.

I’m thinking I may ask Jenni to plan my next big event! She did such a fabulous job!

Congratulations Jenni & Adam! Cheers.


The husband and I stopped in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, which was right on our drive from Wausau to Minneapolis. Chippewa Falls is home to the third largest craft brewery, Leinenkugel’s, so it was a must to stop and see what they had to offer!

We had a 15 minute wait for the next tour, which worked out perfect. We checked out The Leine’s Lodge, which got us really excited for the tasting after the tour.

The Leinenkugel’s tour is about 45 minutes – 1 hour, featuring the brew house and all the goodness that goes into a Leine’s Lager. Our tour guide was a sweet girl from Withee, WI, a small town that supplies all the honey for Leinenkugel’s beers! Honeyweiss & Sunset Wheat are two of my personal favorites that get a dose of honey! Yes, I bought a bottle of that proprietary honey to bring home to Texas!

During the tour I did learn about Jacob Leinenkugel’s yeast. He brought it all the way from Germany to Chippewa Falls, which is still the same strand used today to make many of the Leinenkugel’s lagers. The yeast used is a bottom-fermenting yeast, one of the two types of yeast used in brewing. Bottom-fermenting yeast works well at low temperatures and ferments more sugars, leaving a crisp, clean taste and then settles to the bottom of the tank. In contrast to the lager is the ale, which is a top-fermenting yeast and works better with warmer temperatures. Interesting? I thought so. Both beers taste great to me!

After our tour, we were invited inside to sample 5 different Leinekugel’s creations. They also had a menu of “leine’s mixers”, which mixed beers together to make for some interesting combinations, like honey bear or pink lemonade!

It was a fabulous break from driving, and a really relaxing tour. Plus, how can you go wrong with free beer?!

I bought two “taster” glasses; I think they’ll be perfect for a Bloody Mary chaser someday! For anyone that isn’t from Wisconsin, a small chaser of beer is ALWAYS part of your Bloody Mary order. I think this tradition should be extended into all states. On Wisconsin!

on the mend

Hi Friends. Yes, I’m alive!

Two weeks ago…actually almost three now, the husband and I drove all the way from Minnesota to Dallas in a day. We were so proud of ourselves and oh so excited to sleep in our own bed!

My plan for that Monday (which we took off for travel) was to sleep in and surprise my office. I would work a half day. But my body had different plans. I decided to get pink-eye. Yep, pink eye. I went to an ophthalmologist and he was filled with wonderful news.

  • Not bacterial, viral.
  • Seriously contagious.
  • No medication to treat. Only palliative measures.
  • Your other eye will be infected soon.
  • Wait it out. At home. You can’t work for a week-and-a-half.

This doesn’t sound bad, but when you can’t see, AND your eyes hurt, itch, and are constantly draining, it isn’t fun. Plus, fighting fevers and chills. Not fun.

As I was quarantined to my room, I realized a couple of things about myself: I don’t have that “high pain tolerance” that I, like many, have claimed to have. It’s just that I haven’t had much physical pain in my life. Honestly, I hate being sick, I hate pain, and no, I don’t tolerate it well. I guessed my will to live is pretty weak. This made me realize, I should get the epidural when having children. Oh, and I hate the smell of lysol.

Did I mention after fielding the blow about my viral pink-eye, and not being about to work all week, I came down with the biggest pus-filled tonsils I’ve ever seen.  Yep, add strep to my week! Awesome.

Luckily, I’m back on my feet and worked this whole week… unfortunately, catching up with work meant my blog hasn’t received much of my love or attention. I missed it dearly and have so many posts to share. I hope to be back this week to my M-W-F routine.

Now, go wash your hands and don’t touch anything! I don’t want any of you to get pink-eye or strep! :)

Happy Weekend Friends!

Side Note: Yep, that’s penis in our pasta. Thank you Sarah & Adam for making the trek all the way to Italy and back with these little wonders. They are hilarious and thoughtful friends! It has nothing to do with the post material, yes, but posts aren’t fun without pictures, and this post needed a laugh or two!  He he.