Monday, October 28, 2013

Fall has Arrived

I LOVE summer.
I love the smells of summer, the warm sun on my face, family bbqs, boating at the lake, ice cream, fresh produce...and I could go on & on.
This summer seemed to fade (actually, I thought it more of dragging) into Fall, and I found myself wishing and wanting the cooler weather. Each time I got my sweaters, leggings, boots and scarves out--Summer wasn't ready to leave and I needed to dig into the back of my closet to get my summer dresses, the whole way into October!
As much as I LOVE summer, there are some pretty great things about Fall as well!

Crisp Air
Leggings & Boots
Hot Apple Cider
Colorful Falling Leaves
Hot Chocolate
Corn Mazes
Apple Pie
Black Friday Shopping

Decorating relaxes me, I arrange and rearrange and then normally move everything around again. I look through my decor in my basement to find 'forgotten treasures'. After buying lots of pumpkins at Brummers Happy Breeze Farm in Port Royal, I decorated my porch and then moved into my living room.

And my living room...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cleaning Your Oven with Baking Soda & Vinegar

Here's how cleaning my oven NORMALLY goes:
1) Bake an apple pie and the juices overflow to the bottom of the oven
2) The oven is to hot to clean right away
3) Once the oven is cool, I am either busy with other stuff or completely forget about the mess
4)A few meals later cooked in the oven & another mess
AND THE CYCLE, actually I don't normally clean my oven. oops.

How many of you do the same thing and end up with an oven like this?

Here's when I realize my oven is way overdue a good cleaning. When I am baking a delicious smelling chocolate cake, and the only thing I can smell is burning gunk
--you need a good cleaner.
Don't want to use those chemical oven cleaners, or the self oven cleaner that takes HOURS and makes the house hot and stink? Try baking soda & vinegar.

1) Take out your oven racks.
2) Sprinkle baking soda (heavily) on the bottom of your oven.
3) Spray baking soda with vinegar until wet.

4) Because I am impatient, I wiped and scrubbed the baking soda & vinegar paste a few times & repeated the process. I would suggest leaving it set for an hour or longer until scrubbing.
5) If you need to, repeat.
6) Some spots were bad enough that I had to use a screwdriver to scrape.
7) With a wet rag and bucket of water (with dish soap), clean out the paste, and hopefully all of the burnt food!

Feel free to PIN IT, and leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Painted Pumpkins

This coming June I will be married for 5 years! That means I have had my "own" house, (counting this year) for FIVE falls. Up until this year, I haven't decorated for fall, except for one or two carved pumpkins sitting on the porch. This year, I started decorating just my porch, but that overflowed into my house. Now my fireplace and mantel have been replaced with seasonal decor, along with a stand in my living room. I have been trying to keep myself from buying more pumpkins, but they are just so tempting--especially those white ones!

My mother-in-law had a pumpkin painting party at her house, providing materials for what could be endless hours of fun-paint, glue, glitter, tape, & ribbon just to name a few!

Here is what I came up with!

Chevron Painted Pumpkin

You'll Need:
-pumpkin (you could use real or fake)
-painters tape
-spray paint- I used Krylon Gold Metallic

1. Cut tape into strips two inches long. 
2. Using the strips of tape, create a chevron/zig zag design around the pumpkin. Repeat, one row at a time.

3. You may need to trim some of the pieces, since pumpkins aren't perfectly circular.
4. Spray your pumpkin with spray paint.
5. Remove tape immediately. If the tape starts to peel paint off, use a razor blade to cut through the paint.

Monogram Painted Pumpkin

You'll Need:
-pumpkin (real or fake)
-letter of your choice, cut out of paper or card stock
-painters tape
-spray paint (I used the metallic gold again to keep them in the same theme)

1. Cut letter out of paper.
2. Adhere letter to the sticky side of the tape (make sure you stick it on backwards so when you turn the tape around & stick it on the pumpkin its facing the right way!)
3. Cut the letter from the middle of the tape, using either scissors or a razor blade.
4. Stick to pumpkin.

5. If you feel like you might get paint on any of the pumpkin not covered in tape, continue adding tape around the pumpkin.
6. Spray letter onto pumpkin.
7. Remove tape immediately, using a razor blade if needed.

Gold Striped Painted White Pumpkins

What you'll need:
-gold glitter paint
-paint brush

1. Using the creases already on the pumpkin, paint gold lines. It's up to you how many you choose to do around, whether you paint every crease or every other. 

For the solid gold pumpkins, spray entire pumpkin using the metallic gold spray paint.

As a side note, I love my mint stand! My mom snatched it up at a yard sale for a few bucks. She originally painted it black for us, since my whole house was in black & white! Since then, I have been adding color into my life and this is one piece that needed a change:)

Please feel free to PIN anything you like onto your pinterest page:)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Consider Me Inspired Beginnings, Apple Pie!

Since the first thing I ever baked was an apple pie with my grandmother at just 4 years old, what better way to start out my blog than with an apple pie recipe??!
I searched for pictures of me and my grandma with my first pies but we only have a video. My first time baking, my grandma started me out with just a tiny pie tin (think personal serving size!) Each time we baked pies I was upgraded to a bigger size until I reached a full sized pie!
Unfortunately, sometime along the way as I grew up & got busy with life, my pie baking days with my grandma stopped. Now, it goes so long in between baking pies that I normally have to call my mom to remember what to do! But, each time I do bake an apple pie, as I am pinching the crust, I think of my grandma and how grateful I am for the time she took to teach me. I am also reminded how much I need to still take time and learn from her! I can't wait for the time when my little girl can go to her grandmas' houses and learn from them!
Well, here is a yummy Apple Pie with crumb topping. Enjoy! (this is not my grandma's recipe, I love a good crumb topping on my pie, if you prefer a crust on top just double your crust recipe!)


-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/2 cup Crisco
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp sugar
-1/4 cup of cold water

-Enough apples to fill your crust. (peeled, cored and sliced)
-2/3 cup sugar
-2 Tbsp. flour
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 cup water

Crumb Topping:
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 cup oats
-1/2 cup butter, softened

1. Make crust. Using a fork, mix together flour and Crisco in bowl. Add salt, sugar and cold water to bowl and mix until combined, you may need to use your hands.
2. Flour a flat surface and your rolling pin. Roll our your crust until its a little bigger than your pie pan. Place rolled out crust into pan and cut off access dough. Pinch crust together using fingers. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork.

3. Cut up apples and mix with sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt. 

4. Place the apples coated in the mixture into the prepared pie crust. Pour 1/4 cup of water over apples.
5. Crumb Topping: Combine all ingredients until crumbly. (make sure your butter isn't to melted, you want it soft but not runny). Spread crumbs evenly over apples. 
6. Bake at 425 degrees for 55 minutes, or until apples are soft.

Make sure to enjoy your apple pie with a scoop of ice cream! Happy Fall!

Please comment and let me know if you try this apple pie recipe & what you think!

Sometime during the baking of my apple pie, it baked out over the pie pan & made a HUGE mess in the bottom of my oven, ughhh! So, first of all, I am warning you to make sure you don't over fill with apples & secondly you might want to put a piece of aluminum foil on the rack below your pie. 
Anyways, this created a reason for a future post on how to clean your oven. To see how I cleaned this mess out of mine, keep in touch!

If you want to save this recipe & try it later, PIN IT to your pinterest!