DIY Lavender Pillow Spray @themerrythoughtSince we went to Carmel Valley Ranch last summer I’ve been obsessed with lavender everything. I ran out of the lavender pillow spray that they gave us while we were there and I’ve been determined to try to recreate it. I grew a big bush of lavender this year in the garden and every time I harvested a bundle of it I was reminded that I needed to take the time to make some of the spray. I finally worked on a batch a couple weeks ago and I’m so happy with how it turned out! I’ve been using it every night! I usually use a couple spritzes on my pillow and then diffuse a bit of lavender essential oil before going to bed. It’s a nice little bedtime ritual.DIY Lavender Pillow Spray @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
3 tbsp witch hazel
10 drops lavender essential oil
4 tbsp lavender hydrosol (You can buy it or make it – I made mine)
(**You can skip the hydrosol and just add a bit more witch hazel, distilled water, and few extra drops of essential oil but I feel like the hydrosols definitely give it more of that natural, herby scent that I like.)
Distilled water
Glass jar with lid
Two – 2 oz spray bottles

Add witch hazel and essential oil to large jar and shake to combine. Add hydrosol to mixture. Shake. Separate evenly between the two spray bottles. Top off with distilled water. Shake before each use.DIY Lavender Pillow Spray @themerrythoughtDIY Lavender Pillow Spray @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin


DIY Fall Wreath @themerrythoughtSince starting the blog I often skip over fall decorations because we’re busy preparing for Christmas. This year I’ve been trying to be a bit more intentional about getting fall decorations out there early so I can enjoy the season. I bought a pile of heirloom pumpkins a few weeks ago and have spread them around the house, broke out the candles, and have been getting a cozy, autumn vibe going on around here. And the fall weather is finally catching up too – my car was covered in frost this morning! This simple wreath is an easy project to put together in just a few minutes and savor this sweet season!DIY Fall Wreath @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Metal hoop
-Faux florals
-Faux pumpkins
-Floral wire
-Wire cutter/pliers
-Hot glue gun

Find the steps in the video below! And watch more of our DIY videos over on the Darby App!
DIY Fall Wreath @themerrythoughtDIY Fall Wreath @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin


DIY Wire Letter Wall Art @themerrythoughtToday’s simple project is a good way to dress your wall up with your favorite phrase! Whether it’s to be happy, to relax, or to hustle… you can turn your favorite reminder into 3d art for your walls! I’ve been making a bunch of these while watching Boy Meets World this week… I’m 9 episodes in and it’s bringing back all the feels. Haha!DIY Wire Letter Wall Art @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Gold floral wire
-Wire cutter/Pliers

How to make it:
-Form letter/word you want using wire – you can create it all using on continuous piece or connecting smaller pieces together for different parts of the letter. You can print out large version of the letter/words you are going to use in fonts you like and use it as a template when forming the letters or just do it freehand.
-Use the first letter/word that you created as a template to create a second one as close to the first as possible.
-Cut 3″ pieces of wire to connect the two letters/words to give it a 3d shape, trim excess wire after twisting each end around one of the letters/words.
DIY Wire Letter Wall Art @themerrythoughtDIY Wire Letter Wall Art @themerrythoughtDIY Wire Letter Wall Art @themerrythoughtxo. Caitlin


No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @themerrythoughtOne of our favorite desserts is the No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Pie, it’s incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. With fall and pumpkin everything in the air right now, I thought I’d adapt that to make a pumpkin flavored one. Friends, I wish for the love of our thighs that it didn’t turn out so well. But it’s terrific. Ah well, bathing suit season is ages away right?! The subtle pumpkin flavor paired with the gingersnap crust is amazing. Don’t skip out on the gingersnap crust. This is really easy and quick to throw together – a perfect, stress-free dessert for your next get together. I will emphasize that I realize the whole dessert is technically not no-bake, since you bake the crust – it’s the cheesecake filling that is no-bake. And if you’ve ever made real cheesecake, the 10 minutes of crust baking in this recipe is nothing compared to waiting on a real cheesecake to bake. But if you’re really short on time, and must have no-bake everything, go ahead and buy a store bought crust. It’ll be fine, just not as good, ha! 😉 I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like really strong pumpkin flavor, and this doesn’t have an overly strong pumpkin taste, so it’s just perfect in my book. And while this cheesecake is delicious on it’s own, the salted caramel sauce drizzled on top just makes it even better, so I recommend doing that.No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @themerrythoughtNo-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @themerrythoughtNo-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @themerrythoughtNo-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @themerrythoughtNo-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @themerrythoughtPumpkin Cheesecake Pie

1-1/2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (use the crispy gingersnap cookies for this, not soft)
5 tablespoons butter, melted

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl and mix until all the crumbs are moistened. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate. Use the bottom of spoon to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake in the preheated oven until it is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely while making the filling.

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
8 oz. whipped cream (I prefer homemade, but a frozen tub of cool whip will work, just be sure to thaw it)

For the filling, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin. Fold in the whipped cream – make sure it is thoroughly combined. Spoon filling into prepared pie crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled. Drizzle with salted caramel sauce (recipe below). Slice, serve & enjoy.

Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons salted butter, cubed & at room temperature
pinch or two of sea salt flakes
2/3 cups heavy cream, at room temperature

Melt the sugar over medium heat in a large pot. Whisk the sugar as it melts and cook until it becomes a deep amber color. Add the butter and sea salt flakes and stir it in until melted. Pour in the heavy cream (mixture will foam) and whisk until you get a smooth sauce. You may have some lumps but keep stirring until they have melted. Remove from heat and let cool. (If you still have some lumps in the caramel after it has cooled – strain it through a fine mesh strainer).
Store in the refrigerator. To use, heat in the microwave until it reaches desired consistency.No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie @themerrythoughtHere’s a few other fall favorite recipes: Apple Crisp | Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting | Pumpkin Ice Cream with Gingersnap Bowls.



Apple, Gorgonzola & Bacon Crostini @themerrythoughtThis time of year, I’m all about those apples. I’m wanting to make all the apple recipes, as well as consume lots of apple cider and eat lots of apple cider donuts. Just making the most of the season while it’s here! 🍎😉 So since I’m on my apple kick, and crostini happen to be one of my favorite appetizers, I thought I’d make myself some apple crostini to enjoy. Serve these up at your fall gatherings or pin it & save it for an easy Thanksgiving appetizer. The sweet, crunchy apples pair well with the tangy, creamy gorgonzola but I realize that this cheese might not be everyone’s cup of tea (it’s like a blue for those who haven’t tried it). If you’re not a fan, you can always use a sharp cheddar instead (I would toast the baguette slices with the cheddar on them to get it slightly melty), or try it with brie. Add a little bacon for a savory flavor and top with maple syrup drizzle to complete this yummy, fall-inspired snack!Apple, Gorgonzola & Bacon Crostini @themerrythoughtApple, Gorgonzola & Bacon Crostini @themerrythoughtApple, Gorgonzola & Bacon Crostini @themerrythoughtApple, Gorgonzola & Bacon Crostini

baguette, sliced & lightly toasted
gorgonzola cheese, we used Sartori Dolcina Gorgonzola
apples, cored & thinly sliced
cooked, crumbled bacon
pure maple syrup

Spread toasted baguettes with gorgonzola. Top with apple slices, bacon and drizzle with maple syrup. Serve immediately.

Apple, Gorgonzola & Bacon Crostini @themerrythoughtApple, Gorgonzola & Bacon Crostini @themerrythoughtWhat are some of your favorite fall appetizers? If you’re hungry for more crostini, check out our Whipped Feta, Pear & Rosemary Crostini, Whipped Feta & Basil Olive Crostini and Fig, Bacon, Goat Cheese & Thyme Crostini recipes.


cheese care of Sartori Cheese

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  • Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 4:35 pm

    Ivory - This looks amazingly mouthwatering goodReplyCancel

    • Friday, October 6, 2017 - 11:08 am

      Manda - Yes, I probably ate more than I should have! 😉ReplyCancel