Monday, September 18, 2017

Dear Grandma Opal, 

You created the worlds best apple pie. I could eat this hot of out the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, I could eat you cold a day later, you have even forced me to consider lying to my small child just so I don't have to share you with them. 


Want the recipe!? 

Let's start with the crust: 

You'll need: 

2 1/2 cups of flour 
2 sticks of COLD butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon of salt 
1teaspoon of sugar 
6-8 tablespoons of ICE water

put flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse a few times // add  half of the butter to the mixture and pulse a few more times // then add the rest of the butter and pulse a few more times // add 1/4 cup of ice water ( be sure not to add the ice ) and pulse again // then add more ice water, about a  tablespoon at a time...mixing just enough to make a crumbled mixture.

Form dough into two balls and place directly into the fridge, for at least one hour but up to two days. Dough is now ready to use. NOTE: sometimes I use dough immediately and it turns out just fine. 

Now for the Grandma Opal part...

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup  sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 sliced and peeled honey crisp apples 

preheat oven to 425 degrees // melt the butter in a saucepan. // mix in flour to form a paste // add water, sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil //  reduce temperature and let simmer // layer bottom of pie pan with crust, fill with apples, then layer top of pie crust // gently pour mixture over the top of the pie crust // mixture will seep down over the apples //  

Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Honey caramel {apples}

Honey caramel is a staple in our house come apple season. I discovered this recipe a few years back...when I realized our corn syrup had expired. We wanted caramel...and we had no corn syrup...what we did have was honey! 

A quick google search later and we came up with the most amazing caramel recipe ever. We will never turn back...honey based caramel is where it's at. 

The best part?? 

It's super simple to make. 

You'll need: 

1 stick of butter 
1/2 cup of honey 
3/4 cup of brown sugar 
1 can of sweetened condensed milk

First melt the butter in a pan.

Once butter starts to melt...add the honey and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir for two sure you stir this mixture the entire time. 

Once mixture is bubbling and has a caramel color...add in sweetened condensed milk. 

While caramel is still warm dip apples in the mixture. Top with crushed candy if desired. 

Put remaining caramel in a glass dish and refrigerate. 

I would also recommend refrigerating the apples too...

Friday, September 8, 2017

Three {birthday letters}

Dear Brooklyn, (aka...Brooke, Brooks, Brooke the Cook, Cookers, Cookie, Cooks, Brookie, Brookie Poo, Squishy, Squish)

You my dear, are a delight. By now, everyone has gotten over the fact that they were all hopeful you'd be a little brother. God knew what he was doing...and you fit perfectly into this family. 

You've got fire in your bones...and words to say. Your will in strong. I know, I know...I seem to write that in all my birthday letters that pertain to two and three year olds...but this time I mean it. I'm not going to worry too much about you later in life because you won't be pushed around. You are clearly the youngest...but all of your siblings submit to you...probably because you still pinch...but still. 

Speaking of pinching...can we PLEASE be done with that?? Pretty please? 

Your vocabulary is so massive. You are an amazing talker.  I love watching you think about how to pronounce big words.

You love all things pink. In fact for a while you would refuse to wear shirts that weren't the time you own about 2 pink like any good parent I put my foot down and forced you to wear different colors...just kidding...I'm not crazy...went to the store and bought you a few more pink shirts...some battles just aren't worth fighting.

You consume enough blueberries to feed a small village...most of the time your little chin is stained is so cute!! 

You love playing in the basement with Jude. You can pretty much convince Elisabeth to do anything for you. You are Lyla's best friend. You have dad wrapped around your can talk him into a big glass of milk at night...and you often persuade him that you "need this" when you go to the store together. You are my little shadow. You love me so're kind of    obsessed with's ok I'm kind of obsessed with you too. I once heard a family member say..."I just want someone to love me the way Brooke loves mom." What can I say? We're thick as thieves. 

You currently dig Barbie Life in the Dream House, playing with your Paw Patrol pups day and night, going to the park, slime,losing shoes,  and messing up your hair five seconds after I've brushed it. #messyhairdontcare

You fancy chocolate, know all your colors, can count and sort, you don't like going down big hills in the car, and you also don't like to be pushed too high in the swing. Fear of heights, maybe? You despise pickles, skim milk, and spicy (sour) gummies. You sing Bad Blood, This Girl is on Fire, and songs from Trolls at the top of your lungs. 

You call me "Chubby, Chubby" and I call you "Squishy,Shuishy"... I don't even know how that started...but it's our thing. 

You have eyes that shine, like a pair of stolen polished dimes...and I love you so crazy much!!! I can't wait to see how God uses your drive and spirit to glorify him works. 



Friday, September 1, 2017

Book giveaway!

It's time for a book giveaway. Up for grabs this month is it Night Night, Train by Amy parker... it was treated by Virginia Allyn. 

This book is truly adorable and has been a nighttime hit in our house for the last few weeks. I think the reason my children enjoy this book so much is that family of six puppies takes to train... they have dubbed each person as a specific puppy in his book according to our family.  Follow this adorable happy family I think we can adventure on a train making all the right bed time stops. 

Want to chance to win a copy from our sponsor Tommy Nelson? 

Leave a comment telling me who you would read this book to. 

US residents only. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Huggies® One & Done® Refreshing Wipes + shaving cream paint!

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ThinkOutsideTheWipe #CollectiveBias

Baby wipes are me jam.

I keep wipes handy for everything! 

Wipes are more than just for babies bottoms. 

I use wipes for cleaning up spills in my car, giving the bathroom counter a quick wipe down, sticky hands, messy faces, and even for cleaning up after fun projects!

Huggies® One & Done® Refreshing Wipes are amazing! They get the job done!!  One & Done® is thicker for an ultimate clean. They also have a  refreshing patented Triple Clean Layers that get the job done. These wipes are alcohol free, paraben free - hypoallergenic. I really enjoyed the cucumber and green tea scent.

I truly enjoy doing fun and engaging activities with my  kiddos. In case you weren't aware...toddlers...and projects with toddlers...are messy. That doesn't mean we mama's should stop those projects! We need to embrace the mess...because messes happen. 

I'm going to share a very fun and messy project I'm certain your toddlers (and big kids) will love! 

You'll need: 

a cupcake holder (or cups) 
Shaving cream (I used an off brand for sensitive skin) 
Food dye 
Paint brushes 
Packaging paper (or any paper) 

Pour shaving cream into cupcake holder. 

Add the food coloring to shaving cream. 

Using paint brushes...mixing the food coloring into the shaving cream. 

Side note: This can be turned into a fun color learning lesson! This is an easy way to teach that mixing primary colors together make secondary colors. 

Finally...hand the paint brushes to your toddler and allow them to paint the paper! If your toddler is anything like my won't take long for them to abandon the paper and paint their bodies. 

These wipes have an EZ Pull® Dispensing that allows you to get one wipe at a time. This was absolutely perfect for this project! I just set out a package of wipes and allowed my daughter to grab them as she felt needed. She would paint for a while and then grab a wipe clean her hands off...and go back to painting. 

I picked up my box of  Huggies® One & Done® Refreshing Wipes from Sam's Club  Sam's Club is one of my favorite places to shop. It's a one stop place for active toddle is incapable of pulling items off the shelves. We are a family of six...bulk items are a must for us. Also, the Scan and Go service is a game changer for shoppers! I can scan items as I shop and pay without having wait in's amazing.! 

Huggies® One & Done® Refreshing WipesHuggies® One & Done® Refreshing Wipes

Sunday, August 20, 2017

That time we floated down a river in a unicorn raft.

That time my extremely adventurous husband (and by "adventurous" I mean sometimes dangerous) talked us all into "floating" down a creek in a 🦄 🌈 rainbow unicorn raft...with a 12 week old puppy in tow. "It will be fun!" he said. "It's only a two mile trip," the people at the campground said. "It's only two to four feet deep, you can walk the whole way," the creek workers said. Lies. ALL LIES. 900 mosquitos bites, one sopping wet puppy, areas where no adult could touch, a panicked (and very dramatic) five year old who was screaming, "I want Grandpa!" "I should have stayed with Grandpa!" "Why did I ever go on the trip!?" "I want to go home!", possibly the beginning symptoms of hypothermia, a random and very creepy passer by kayak-er who was making Deliverance movie references, forks in the river, a few tree branches to leg, a man in a green shirt who gave us hope that there was an end in sight, and 2.5 hours later...we smelt hot dogs...and spotted Grandpa! #forawhilewethoughtwemightbeonanepisodeofishouldntbealive #athreehourtour #thewaterwassocold #howdidigettalkedintothis #itwasthebrowneyesandthecharmingsmile #itsbeenmyweaknessforyears #wewillreferencethistripthenexttimehewantstobeadventurous #nowthatwesurvivedwecanlaugh #forthosewhoknowmyhusbandinreallifeprobablyarelaughting #ibetwewereasight #fivepeopleandawetshakingpuppyonaunicornraft #rainbowunicornraft #amemorableday