***Come link up your crafts to this week's party!***

Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy Monday & Happy Halloween!

Happy Occupy Monday Halloween! The idea of Occupy Monday came from my adorable [real life and blog life] friend Alyssa at little baby mamma bear. In her post "Not the Only One" she decided to change her attitude about Monday and start the week off on a great note. Brilliant idea! So, I joined her for Occupy Monday.

I feel like today was a great day for Occupy Monday because it's Halloween and I love Halloween, so it was a little easier to have a great attitude toward Monday. Anyway, my preparation for Occupy Monday started over the weekend -- I decorated my front step for Halloween to get excited for Monday. Take some pumpkins, a metal crate, old bottle, branches, leaves, and a basket and...

Happy Fall!

Now, I don't have a cute front porch like many of my creative blogger crushes, but I did what I could with what I have.

Also, for a little pick-me-up in the kitchen, I added some pumpkin love there too with another old bottle, some branches, a pumpkin and a garland I made out of Halloween themed scrapbook paper.

Those little pumpkins make me smile when I sit at the kitchen table, which I had time for this morning since I got up early enough to sit down to eat my breakfast and read my Bible -- Occupy Monday driven. I also sported a little orange and black in a very professional manner for work today in celebration of Occupy Monday Halloween.

So, that's what I did in an effort to "Occupy" Monday and celebrate Halloween. Handy Andy and I are going to a murder mystery party next weekend so that's when we are sporting our costumes.

What did you do for Halloween?

P.S. Linking up to these linky parties:



Friday, October 28, 2011

New Listings!

I normally don't post on Friday, but I'm going to today to show you two new scrapbooks that I listed this week in my shop.

Drum Roll please...

Autumn Leaves Mini Scrapbook Album - you can find it here.

Welcome to the Jungle Paper Bag Album - found here.

There you have it! Also, if you're loving the colors of the Autumn Leaves album, check out Life By the Book on Monday for a little giveaway from my shop!

Have a lovely weekend! And don't forget to check out all the fun at Followers Fest!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pinterest Thursday: An Apple a Day

I was a bit of an over-achiever this week and I tried two things from one of my Pinterest boards. A few weeks ago, Handy Andy and I were in Michigan visiting my family and we went to my sister-in-law's family apple orchard. We have so many apples from that excursion that I decided to try some fall recipes using the apples. Here's what I settled on:

Slow cooker apple butter from Oh My! Sugar High.

5 1/2 pounds (approx. 15-16 cups) of baking apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 to 2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Peel and slice apples to equal 15 to 16 cups. Finely chop apples and add to crock pot. Stir together sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt and pour over chopped apples. Mix together apples and sugar mixture. Cover and heat on high for 1 to 2 hours. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cook an additional 9 to 11 hours or until thick and dark brown, stirring occasionally. To reduce the amount of chunks, stir with a whisk. Remove cover off crock pot and cook an additional 3-6 hours or until the mixture is a dark brown and is thick. To test for  the right consistency, place a little onto a plate or bowl and allow it to cool.

Apple muffins from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Cream together:
2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/2 cups)
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples)
Brown sugar for topping (around 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin pan with paper liners.

Cream together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon (I never sift and they turn out fine). Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Add the diced apples.
Fill paper liners almost to the top, about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

(On a side note, both of these blogs are awesome, so you should definitely hop on over and follow them!)

Anyway, I was feeling pretty good about making the muffins (as I have made plenty of muffins before), however I was nervous about the apple butter because I have never made anything like that. But, the recipe looked so simple (and yummy) that I had to try it.

I started off with this (and that's not even all of them):

I peeled and cored the apples, and used my food processor to chop them up. Then, I pretty much just followed the two recipes with a few minor adjustments (I may have added a little more spice to my apple butter because I like it that way). Also, I didn't have any paper liners for my muffins, so I cut some wax paper into squares and that worked just fine. One tip about the muffins, when I got to the end of preparing the batter, it seemed a little dry, so I added some more oil until I felt good about the moistness. They turned out perfectly!

I let the apple butter cook on low all night in the slow cooker, and by morning it was looking just as delicious as the muffins! So I skipped the last step of 3-6 hours without the cover because it was on low for over 9-11 hours through the night and looked perfect with a final whisking.

Let me tell you, both of these recipes are winners! I took the apple muffins to work and they were a huge hit! I kept the apple butter at home for Handy Andy and myself. It is so good and so much easier than I expected!

So, there you have it, a successful Pinterest Thursday. If you're looking for some good fall apple recipes -- these should be at the top of the list!

Have you tried any good fall recipes this season?

P.S. I'm linking up to these fun link parties - check them out!

life by the book

shabby creek cottage

The DIY Show Off

Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy Busy

Last week and weekend were crazy! I haven't had time to sit down and work on any projects, but I have stumbled upon some fabulous finds in the last week, so I'm going to share them with you...

I went to a random antique store with my mom last weekend and found a few great things buried there.

An old dictionary for $2, three different types of vintage lace for $2 total, and some vintage buttons for $0.25! Can't wait to think up some fun projects for these supplies -- probably another mini wedding scrapbook for my shop, among other things.

On top of that, while Handy Andy and I were driving to see some friends yesterday, we spotted this chair on the curb, turned out as trash:

Isn't she lovely?! And FREE! I love the frame, but the fabric is a little too traditional for my liking. So, I'm going to give her a little NCAA makeover and put her in Sparty's room. Eventually...when I get a chance.

I did have a few minutes to try pumpkin painting (so trendy right now) over the weekend when I was spending some time with one of the sweetest little girls alive. Handy Andy and I were babysitting our friends' 2-year-old daughter and we decided to paint pumpkins together. Maddie painted hers purple (her favorite color) and I tried a few fun things with black and white.

Anyway, there you have it. Some fabulous finds and pumpkin painting. Sorry I don't have something more exciting to share. I'll be back for Pinterest Thursday with something more delicious.

Have a good week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pinterest Thursday: Paper Pinwheels

The jury is still out on this week's Pinterest inspired project. Not because I the original inspiration wasn't cute, because it definitely is -- See:

Super cute! Well, I followed the instructions from the second tutorial to make the pinwheels (out of orange scrapbook paper and dictionary pages) and modified the garland a bit. This is what I ended up with:

I like the garland, but I couldn't get a good picture of it hanging up over the window because it was dark outside and I didn't have any good lighting.

Besides those pinwheels, I made a few out of some other scrapbook paper that I then used on a wreath. I started with a wreath base from the Dollar Tree, used strips of burlap to cover it. Then I accented it with some wide orange ribbon I had. I added the pinwheels and some of the silk leaves I had left over from my candle holder project.

I'm still not sure about this wreath. It may be because I generally am not a wreath person, or because I'm not sure about the colors. I don't know. It also might be because all of the wreaths I've seen lately are absolutely beautiful and mine doesn't measure up. Oh well, Handy Andy likes it, so I'll just leave it on the door for now. What do you think?

Linking up to the following link parties. Check them out for more fun projects!

life by the book

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A 10-Minute Project & My Dirty Little Secret

Who doesn't love a 10-minute project? Well, I love quick projects, and this one is great!

While I was riding the train recently, I was doing some DIY digging online and found this little mason jar project from Martha Stewart.

How fun and practical is that? So, I gave it a go.

First, I gathered the supplies:

1. Mason Jar
2. Glue Gun
3. Batting (or in my case, the innards of an old pillow)
4. Cardboard
5. Fabric

Following Martha's instructions, I traced the sealer top on the cardboard and cut out the circle. Then, I glued the pillow stuffing to the cardboard circle (make sure the circle fits into the screw top before doing this, just to be safe). After this, I placed the cardboard with stuffing facedown on the fabric piece.

At this point, I mixed up Martha's steps and I folded the fabric around the cardboard and glued it in place. Then I put hot glue around the inside edges of the screw cap and pushed it through.

Martha said to push the cushion through first and then wrap and glue the fabric around the cardboard, which I'm pretty sure would have been better because it would have fit better into the screw cap. Oh well. Anyway, after that I glued the seal cap on the fabric-covered cardboard lid and...

Wah-La! There it is. Mason Jar sewing kit. Seriously, 10 minutes.

Ok, now for the moment you've been waiting for...my dirty little secret. This cute sewing kit is not for me. It's for a friend. Why? Because I don't sew. Actually, I can't sew. I am a failure at using my sewing machine. All my projects are no sew required. I know you're devastated. Anyway, there you have it -- confessions of a twenty-something crafter.

I hope you enjoyed this quick project and your weekend!

P.S. I'm linking up to the following parties -- check them out for more fun projects!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pinterest Thursday: Sopapilla Cheesecake

The time has come for my first recipe post here on the blog. I am not, by any means, an excellent cook or baker. However, in recent years, I have started to enjoy trying new recipes. It helps that Handy Andy will eat anything and enjoy it. So, for Pinterest Thursday this week, I decided to try Sopapilla Cheesecake. Here's the picture of it I found on Pinterest:

Can you say YUM?! So, obviously, I had to try it. I changed the measurements a little because I didn't want to make as much as the original recipe made.
-2 cans crescent rolls
-1.5 (8oz) packages cream cheese (softened)
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1/4 cup butter (melted)
-Cinnamon & sugar

What I really love about this recipe is that it's super easy! First, roll one tube of the crescent rolls out on the bottom of the un-greased pan, filling any holes (the original post said a 9x13, but I used my small Pyrex which is slightly smaller).

Then, mix the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together. Spread over the bottom crescent layer, then roll the other tube on the top and spread the melted butter on top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees, and...

Ok, so not as pretty as the picture from Pinterest, but don't let that deceive you. This stuff is GOOD. And so simple that you really have no excuse not to make it, like right now.

*Just a note: Because I used a smaller pan, the filling was thicker in the middle. Not saying that's a bad thing, but it may be too rich for some when it's that thick.

Happy Thursday!

Linked up to Life By the Book, as per usual. Check it out to see other Pinterest-inspired projects!

life by the book