Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A day of apples ♥

Hello Friends!
As you can see from the picture above I have been enjoying my cozy Saturday October mornings.  After crazy-busy weeks I look forward to the slow pace of the weekends more than you can imagine.
This past week my mother had to go into the hospital to have surgery. Thank God she is recovering beautifully and came home today! The word home takes on a new meaning when you are away from it.  And suddenly it becomes even better when you get there ♥

I took both of these photos from my mother's hospital window.
I knew in my heart that she was being taken care of and I felt at peace ♥
She's doing great and very thankful to be home.  It's no fun in there. 
And now back to your regular scheduled programming.....  
The first Friday in October we always reserve for our trip to the apple orchid.  John had a half day of school so we met up with some friends and headed to the farm. 

The weather was nice, still warm but not too hot. I would have preferred it a bit cooler, but I'm not complaining : ) 

 Off we go....

John and I know that Rob loves Macon apples so that's what we were hunting for.  

We found them and they were huge!  

Eating them right off the trees. 

This is real life...:)


After a while we filled our bag.  I was dreaming of apples pies the whole time! 

Walking back through the orchard to the country store we came upon some friends. 

And some gorgeous mums! I came home with one of these. 

And a pumpkin of course.

John picked out a little one for his desk.  

I'm always curious about these jellies and relishes but I've never bought one.  

Candy apples on the other hand... YUM! 

The Halloween train is our favorite!

We like to linger around the table and look for all the spooky details. 
Halloween is coming! Do you have your costume yet? 

Now with so many apples in the house I have to think up things to do with them all.  I'll be making pies and freezing them for the holidays and I know I want to make my mom's
apple swirl cake. 
It has orange juice in the batter and is absolutely delicious! (click here if you want the recipe)
Tonight on a whim I decided to make a quick batch of apple sauce.  Have you ever made homemade applesauce?  Its easy-peasy and taste so fresh!

Are you having pork chops for dinner tonight? If so, please make this apple sauce to go with them.  It's a must!

Start with 4 medium size apples. Peel and chop into chunks. 

Put them in a large sauce pan with  1 cup of water.  Heat over med-high until boiling. 

Reduce to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. 


Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and 1 tbsp. butter.  Simmer for a few more minutes until all the flavors are incorporated.  Remove from heat.  Cool. 

That's it! 
Serve ice cold as a side dish to your pork chops or roast chicken, or for an instant tummy warmer stir some into your oatmeal on a chilly morning (that's what we're having tomorrow!) 

 OR you could be like John and put some over vanilla ice cream and top with whip cream : ) 

Either way...yum. 

What do you like to bake with apples? I still have so many and are looking for ideas.
Thank you for stopping by today! 
There's no place like home ♥

One more thing...

Here's a picture of the full Harvest moon over my neighbor's house the other night. 

Isn't she a beauty?! I think she outdid herself this month!

Happy October!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

John's first cross country race ♥

This year John joined his school's cross country team.  It's the first year St. Francis has had a cross country team, so it's new to everyone.  It runs from grade 5 to grade 8 and they have practices after school 3 times a week. 

I was actually very surprised when John came to me to tell me he wanted to sign up.  He's not very "sporty" and has never really enjoyed playing organized sports.  Running on the other hand is FUN and a few of his friends were signing up, so he decided to give it a try.  And even though  I thought 3 times a week might be a little much, I felt that it would be great exercise for him. 

Let's see how it goes.... 

After the first practice he was hooked.  "It's so fun" he said to me after I picked him up! The coaches and older kids make it fun for the younger ones.  They have relays and cheer each other on.  I can't tell you what a confidence builder it's been! 

Last week the team had their first official meet.  There were four schools competing.  Here is John and his best friend Sean running side by side.  Sean's mom's sent me this picture after the race. Isn't it adorable?! 

Everyone here is at a different skill level but they are all equally important to the team.  All such great kids!!! 

I'm very proud of John for stepping OUT of his comfort zone and trying something new. 

Great things can happen if you have the courage to take that first step...: ) 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Why I love October ♥

Hello Friends! Welcome to the first week of October!  My favorite month ♥
For me, the best part about living in my part of the country is I get to experience the four seasons.  As much as I love summer I don't think I would want it all year.  A little at a time and then on to the next.  And as much as I love them all, the beauty of spring, the Christmas season in winter, and the carefree days of summer - the one that holds the most special place in my heart is Autumn. Specifically October.
Why October?  Now aside from pumpkin spice everything.... (insert thumbs up emoji here!) I adore the smell of burning leaves in the air.  Its the first tell-tale sign that October is here! I got my first whiff the other night and it was glorious.  It's dark now by 7 pm and that wonderful smoky air just drifts along....telling me someone has a fire in their wood stove.  How cozy. 
October also brings Halloween!  John's been planning his Halloween costume for months.  Soon we'll have candy in the house.  I've been holding off as long as I can, but now that it's officially October I won't feel as guilty!  
(an oldie but one of my favorites : )
Crunchy leaves, apple picking, warm cardigans, and Yankee Candles are all wrapped up in this lovely month.  I have a pumpkin spice candle burning right beside me as I type this post.  The air outside is cool, but the sun's out so I can still feel warmth on my face.  We don't need the heat on just yet, but an extra blanket on the bed at night is a must. And I don't mind one bit.
The mornings are dark and chilly so my first sip of coffee tastes that much better.  It warms my body going down. My afternoon tea feels that much sweeter.  And how about a nice piece of apple pie for dessert?  Yes please.  October means comfort food, like chicken pot pie! I'm craving it.  And a savory pot roast in the crock pot.  Chili and cornbread are also on my mind. Can you tell I'm meal planning for this week!   
I live for comfort food!
October is also my anniversary month! Rob and I will be married 19 years on the 11th.  I think back to the time of my wedding and how pretty it was.  It actually rained on my wedding day and  remember leaves blowing around just as you would envision them on a rainy, chilly October day.  We went on our honeymoon in Disney World.  That trip in October 1998 renewed my love for Disney (as an adult).  We had so much fun!!! (I wrote a post about it here)
(oh hello legs I once had...I miss you : )
I could go on and on but I think you get the idea! 
Happy October, my dear friends! I do hope you enjoy this lovely month! ♥♥♥

Friday, September 22, 2017

Happy Friday!

Good Morning! It's Friday!

This week has gone by in a flash. Is it really the 22nd already? The month started off with summer still on our minds but now I'm in full Fall mode. I've officially put my flip flops away for the season.  

Happy First Day of Fall!! We've been waiting all year and it's finally here! ♥ 

The mornings are chilly and brisk, just the way I like them this time of year.  I look forward to weekends more and more because it means staying cozy at home and not having to rush out in the morning.  Plus my coffee tastes just a little bit sweeter these days...♥ 

It's pumpkin spice everything now (yay!).  This coffee creamer is my favorite!!! 

Goes perfectly with breakfast.  I'm obsessed with the cranberry muffins at my work cafeteria. They don't have pumpkin (I know, right???) but these are just as yummy!  If I get there early enough, I can get one still warm....right from the oven.  And only $1.50! Sometimes office life has it's perks! 

My two favorite Fall scents: Spiced Pumpkin and Autumn Leaves.  
I've stocked up on these for the next few months : ) 

It's still dark out when I get up in the morning now.  I shuffle out into the kitchen at about 6:00 am  to pour my coffee and I can still smell the scent of the candle I had burning the night before. Don't you just love that? 

This week we had rain and it felt more like November than October.  John was home sick on Tuesday and Wednesday : (  He was genuinely disappointed to be missing school which made my heart happy because he's loving this year so much! He went back Thursday and is feeling much better. 

Even though he wasn't feeling well I think he enjoyed staying cozy on those stormy days.

I was a bit jealous actually...

This weather has me in the mood to make soup.  But what kind? Do you have any suggestions? 


Monday I had to run to Khols to return something and I accidentally found the coziest gray cardigan ever! I slipped it on and it was a match made in heaven! I haven't taken it off since.  Seriously, I've worn it every day.  I love it!  Have I ever mentioned how much I love Khols? It's my favorite store! I hate clothes shopping with a passion, but I always find something  there that fits me well and isn't super expensive.
That's a win/win in my book. They also have an awesome housewares department.  Right now it's decorated for Halloween and Thanksgiving!  I did see the start of some Christmas items in the back corner, but I don't want to rush it ♥ 

I'm trying very hard to consciously  slow things down....I'm always in such a rush and I hate it.  Trying to live more in the moment and not worry about tomorrow.  There is something to that theory.  Deep breaths help too ♥ 

Take time out for yourself  (with no guilt) is key! 

This weekend I'm looking forward getting my hair done on Saturday, a visit to the library (because I need a good book!) seeing Stronger Saturday evening, and having dinner at my mother in laws on Sunday.  This weekend does NOT include unpacking because guess what.....I'm all done!  Every box is emptied!!!  It feels so good to be organized and not have that big weight hanging over my shoulder.  Maybe now I can catch up on some sleep : ) 

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend, my friends! xo 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Teapots ♥

Did you know that I collect teapots?  Neither did I.  Until I moved.
When you move you are faced with the reality of having everything you own placed in front of you and you have to make a decision...keep it or toss it.
I was amazed at some of the things I found during this process. For example: I must really love cinnamon sticks because in my spice cabinet I found at least 5 jars of them (really???). And what does one do with cinnamon sticks anyway? Aside from putting them in hot cider I can't think of a thing.  Thank heavens we are entering cider season : )  
Back to teapots....Yes I love them. I mean, who doesn't love a beautiful teapot.  I guess  I didn't realize just how much I've loved them over the years.  And even though my space is now limited I kept every single one.  Some are in my china cabinet, some on shelves, and some tucked away in a cabinet or in the attic. I'll probably never use them, but I couldn't part with them.  
Here's a few of my favorites:
I found this little cutie wrapped up in a box in my attic! How could I have done such a thing?!  I have no recollection where I got it.  I don't remember it from my childhood so I must have picked it up at a garage sale or antique store.  I love anything with strawberries on it so I'm not surprised that I had it. 
It's now front and center in my kitchen ♥
This teapot on the other hand I know very well.  I've know this piece my whole life.  It belonged to my grandmother, my Dad's mom who passed away before I was born.  My mother used to have it in a china cabinet in our living room.  They kept little papers and loose change in it. 
I always loved the blue color on it.
One day my parents gave it me and I was so happy! 
It got this one as a shower gift.  It matches my Phaltzgraff dishes.  The pattern is Grapevine. 
I love it's chubby shape!

One day my Dad came over to my house and said "I've got something for you".  He gave me this teapot with the fruit on it and a large tin of different teas (I still have the tin too : ).  It wasn't my birthday and I hadn't done anything to deserve it.  He just gave it to me because he thought I might like it. 
He was right ♥
Now these two pots are very special. They came to me all the way from Italy. 
Rob has a lot of family still living there and when we got married they had these sent over to me. 
The short one is for tea and came with a set of tea cups and the tall one is for coffee and came with a set of demitasse cups. 

I have a sugar and creamer for each set as well.  Aren't they beautiful?

The pattern is similar to my china pattern so they compliment each other well.  Rob always jokes with me that I have all these "fancy things" but don't use them, so what's the point?
Someday I tell him.  I will. Someday ♥
And just because my mother knows me so well, a few years ago she made me this little fabric teapot. 
How cute is this?
She even added the teapot charm! And a kitty...♥
So there you have it.  My teapot collection.  And now I'm off to make some tea.....maybe with a cinnamon stick in it???
Because of course, I kept all those too!
Happy tea time! xo