pho·to·jour·nal·ism ˌfōdōˈjərnəˌlizəm/ noun the art or practice of communicating news by photographs Okay, okay so photos of my kids and our life may not exactly be “news” but they do tell a story. I’m sure my friends on social media … Continue reading
I don’t know about your kids, but when I pick my kids up from school, the very first words that come out of their mouths are usually “I’m hungry”! Sure sometimes they grab a yogurt or some sort of prepackaged … Continue reading
If you know me personally, you know I am simultaneously the most organized and the most unorganized person you will ever meet. lol Let me explain, I love my label maker, organizing bins, color coding, and labels that all face … Continue reading
I’m gonna get a little personal for a second. This isn’t so much a DIY project, recipe, or one of my usual posts as it is a tribute. For those of you who don’t know me personally, we lost my … Continue reading
I’m a bit quirky. I like unique things that’s for sure. My kitchen is no exception, I strive to find the funnest and funkiest kitchen gadgets around. I’m going to share with you my top 20 adorably fabulous kitchen gadgets … Continue reading
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Everyone is always raving about my apple pies so thought I would share my process with y’all. The greatest part is, you can use your leftovers to create an additional goody: baked apple cinnamon cups. Yummmm!
I think everyone is going to be shocked by how easy this is. Seriously, everything I make is easy and quick even if it doesn’t look like it at first glance.
I do sometimes make my own crust but I’ll be honest with you, I despise rolling it out. It frustrates me beyond belief. This is also why I hate working with fondant when I make a cake.
Sorry, couldn’t resist! Anywho, more often than not, it’s pilsbury to the rescue! My OCD really loves how the crusts are perfect circles when you roll them out unlike my own hand rolled crust. But I digress…
-1 box of refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts per box)
-4 apples. I use 4 different kinds of apples: Granny Smith, golden delicious, red delicious, and gala. You can use any combination of apples you so choose or all the same kind if you prefer. I personally like the different tastes the variety provides.
-1 pie tin
-1 small mixing bowl and 1 larger mixing bowl
-cinnamon, brown sugar, sugar, apple pie spice
-vanilla flavoring and caramel flavoring
-1 stick of butter
Preheat your oven according to your pie crust packaging instructions for 2 crust pies. Usually 375.
Peel and core your apples and slice them as thinly as possible. I put the slices in the large bowl as I cut.
Line the pan with the first pie crust and trim edges with a knife or kitchen shears if needed. I use my hands to mix up the apple slices so that the different types are evenly distributed. Once mixed well, fill your pie crust and place the stick of butter in the small mixing bowl.
Microwave butter for about 45 seconds or until fully melted. Add about 1 tbsp of sugar, 5 tbsp brown sugar, and a sprinkle of each cinnamon and apple pie spice. Mix it well and pour about half of the mixture over the apples.
Lay out your second crust on a cutting board and use cookie cutters to make a design or cut the crust into strips to make a basket weave design if you want. Place the crust on top of the apples, press firmly all around and trim edges if needed. I like to put the crust cutouts back on top. Looks nice and the crunchy crust pieces are the hubby’s favorite part. I then take a fork all around the edge and sprinkle top with cinnamon.
Ovens will vary but you’ll need to bake it for about 20-30 mins or until your crust looks golden brown.
Now, I usually have some leftover crust trimmings, sliced apples, and buttery filling on my hands. We don’t let that go to waste! Take an extra apple, (I used a golden delicious here) and use a knife to cut around the core. Use a spoon to dig the insides out. I rinse the apple and pour a little of the butter mixture inside it. I twist it around to make sure the inside is coated. I line a pan with foil and place the apple on it. I then take a handful of leftover apple slices and dice them before placing a handful on the pan. Drizzle a little buttery/sugary goodness over the apples and mix around. I use the cookie cutters to cut out a few shapes from the pie crust trimmings and place them in the pan as well.
I bake the apple next to the pie for about 10 minutes or until it’s nice and soft and the pie crust shapes are nice and flakey. Place the hot apple on a plate or in a bowl, place a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream inside and top with baked cinnamon apples. I sprinkle a dash of cinnamon over the top and add a pie crust shape for garnish.
Going to quickly share one of our favorite quick easy meals with you. My kids can smell these a mile away and always get super excited when I make them.
You know the drill, gather your supplies:
-1 lb lean ground turkey
-Shredded cheddar cheese (about 1/4 cup)
-BBQ sauce of your choice. (About 1/2 cup). I use sweet baby rays sweet and spicy sauce. It’s ah-maze-ing!
-about 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, crushed crackers, or oatmeal (I used bread crumbs here)
-bacon bits jarred or fresh
-seasonings of your choice (optional). I use my old trusty garlic powder and onion powder.
We often choose asparagus and white rice or cauliflower rice as our sides. I start by chopping the ends off of the asparagus and laying it out on a cookie sheet. I then drizzle some coconut oil and squeeze a small lime wedge over the top and use my hands to toss and coat it. I then sprinkle a little pepper and sea salt and toss them in the oven at 425 degrees.
While those are busy getting extra delicious in the oven, toss all your meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl. Only use about 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce and save the rest for the pan. Mix well.
Pour the remaining BBQ sauce into a pan, add a little water, and mix around before turning the heat on medium. While your sauce begins to warm, use your hands to roll meatballs and drop them into the sauce.
While these are cooking, you should start on your rice. I don’t think you need an instruction on how to make instant white rice do you? Lol
By now your asparagus should be perfect. Remove it from the oven, serve it all up, and enjoy!
Well if you know me at all you know once I get rolling on a project, it pretty much consumes me! I will stay up till the wee hours of morning to get things just right if need be. Our doll house additions were no exception to the rule. A few days ago I shared with you our doll bake shop and our schoolroom. We’re still working on a name for the bake shop, we’ve received several great suggestions so keep them coming! If you missed the last post you can find it here:
Today I’m going to feature our newest additions. A doll salon and a doll playroom. I’m not going to lie, the playroom was my ultimate favorite project! I kinda have a bit of an obsession with miniature things so this room was super fun!
For the salon, the girls chose a purple and white stripe scrapbook paper and a light pink.
The spa chair, salon chair, and the vanity/nail salon are all from AG. The pink mirror is actually a jewelry mirror I found at Hobby Lobby a few years ago.
The pink cash register is the extra register from the second snack stand I purchased for the bake shop. I got the little nail polish graphic online and added pricing to it in photoshop. I printed it on card stock and attached it with double stick tape. The tiny plant came in a package of 2 at Michael’s in the dollar spot. I think they were originally $3 but I found them on clearance.
The styling caddy is AG and they have since released a new one that is super cute! The styling cape came from a Target Our Generation styling set. I found the super cute word art styling sign by googling “salon sign” and then adding pricing to that as well.
The girls and I scoured google image for “american girl doll photography” and found some super cute images of dolls with different hair colors and styles to display on the salon wall.
For the playroom, the girls chose a super fun bright colored striped paper for the top and a sunny yellow for the bottom.
The table is a Bitty Baby art and music table that has since been retired but it’s super cute. The top flips over and has a working xylophone and some other fun things. I found the rocking chair at a city wide garage sale for charity a few years ago and the little stand was an old jewelry box that I removed 2 drawers from to create shelving and repainted. It actually used to be in one of the girls doll bedrooms but was perfect for in the playroom instead. The doll sized jenga game came from dollar tree as did the lamp. The foam alphabet flooring also came from Dollar Tree. My girls flipped over it because we used to have the big kid sized ones in our playroom!
The little toy bucket came in a package of 2 at Target in the dollar spot last year. The small princess ball came from dollar tree and we’ve collected various doll sized toys over the years. The rubix cube, frisbee, slinky dog, and etch a sketch came from Party city. The mini build a bear came in a Mcdonalds kids meal last year and the other stuffed animal was a beanie baby keychain that we removed the ring from.
The tiny doll sized board games are all keychains that I purchased on amazon and ebay last year. I used to love them when I was a kid! They all have real moving parts and game pieces! The mouse trap is ADORABLE! The apples to apples game came in the AG sleepover set.
I googled “playroom art” and found this cute playroom rules sign. I scaled it down in photoshop and printed on card stock and secured to the wall with double stick tape. I need to make a large one for our real playroom because it’s so stinkin’ cute!
The painting easel and canvas came from the AG Saige’s painting set. The cute little Fancy Nancy book was purchased on Amazon.com by my mother as stocking stuffers for the girls one year. They came 4 to a pack and she split them up amongst them. You can find the whole collection here:
Aaaaaahhhh! My absolute favorite part of the playroom! I googled “children’s art work” and “kids handprint art” and went to town picking some of my favorites. I scaled them all down in photoshop and printed them. I colored the tiny hello kitty sheet with actual crayons for effect. Yes, I know, I’m a complete freak! lol I stapled them to a piece of yarn and tacked it to the board. I’ve since purchased tiny colorful clothespins at hobby lobby to secure the art in a much cuter way than the staples!
That’s all for now kiddos! I’m taking a break from elaborate doll rooms for a while to I don’t know, re-organize my own real people size closets! lol Hope you’ve enjoyed our little doll tour and are able to draw some inspiration for your own little darlings.
With the start of a new school year, the girls have been playing school with their American Girl dolls even more than usual. We’ve talked about adding on to our existing doll house but with our favorite doll house contractor (Daddy) off at work, we decided to take matters into our own hands. We had lots of extra items that just didn’t seem to have a place in the doll house so they needed a space of their own. These rooms are a work in progress and have been completed over the last week or so mostly using items we already had.
To start, we picked up a few tri-fold presentation boards. The first 2 I purchased at Michael’s for about $5 but then discovered they sell them at dollar tree as well. The dollar tree boards are a tiny bit smaller but still totally worked out.
We also selected some scrapbook paper (some I already had) for the “wall paper” and attached it to the board using spray on adhesive.
Once the paper was on I trimmed it and then trimmed the remaining board using a box cutter. FYI: 2 stacked scrapbook papers are the perfect height for American Girl Doll rooms.
The school desk is AG while the locker came from Justice last year. We are hoping to add another desk soon.
I found the cork board and the dry erase board at dollar tree. They’re super cheap thin cardboard actually so they worked really well to hot glue onto the board without being too heavy. I happened to have a whole bag of the little flags leftover from several years ago. I trimmed the stick a little to fit and stuck it in the board. The clock, map, and all the bulletin board goodies I just printed on card stock and used double stick tape to secure them to the walls and board after the girls cut them out for me. I just used google image to find the photos using search terms like “classroom clock”, “classroom map”, “bulletin board printables”, “classroom art”, etc.
I recently had to photograph an event in Dallas and had some extra time to kill before hand so of course I seized the opportunity to take the girls into the AG store to check out the new Beforever line. We absolutely fell in love with Samatha’s ice cream parlor. It’s so super cute but I did not love the $300 price tag!
Check out Samantha’s ice cream parlor here: http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/item/id/244005
When we got home, we hatched a plan to create a sweet shop the same way as the school room. Walmart’s 18″ doll line just released a fabulous snack stand that we thought would be a great start. I had actually already picked one up a couple of weeks ago but hadn’t given it to them yet. These aren’t available online yet but I imagine eventually they will be. At $27.97 each, I decided to pick up another to display even more goodies. These would also work great to create a concession stand type thing. American Girl has a really cute snack cart priced at $150!
You can see the snack cart here: http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/item/id/228583/uid/235
They’re actually surprisingly sturdy I thought and come with lots of goodies. Each stand came with 2 milkshakes, 3 super cute cupcakes, a baking sheet with 2 cookies, 2 glasses of lemonade, a pink cash register with a drawer that really opens, a sheet of money, 2 plates, napkins, and cardboard bakery signs.
We set up our AG baking table for patrons to enjoy a treat and added our metal dining chairs. These actually came from the garden decor section of Ross a couple of years ago. I spray painted them this lovely tealish turquoise color when I purchased them. I used double stick tape to secure the cardboard signs to the wall.
The little candy jar is a button holder purchased for $1.50 at Michaels. We filled it with mini Christmas ornament candies we found at Hobby Lobby and covered the top with a circle of scrapbook paper. I glued the lid on so they didn’t get lost or eaten accidentally.
I found this fabulous shelf at Home Goods last year on clearance. We were using it in the living room but it works much better in here! The pink and purple tea sets came from dollar tree. Most of the ice cream treats are from AG and the cakes on top are actually Christmas ornaments from Hobby Lobby last year.
The flowers on the table came from an old AG pet show set, the truffles came with the AG baking set, and the yankee candle is a car air freshener that my daughter absolutely had to have from Hobby Lobby. It was $5.99 I think but I used a 40% off coupon on it since the paper I was buying was already on sale. We chose the vanilla cupcake scent hoping it would fill the bakery with sweet scent and it does! Smells ah-maze-ing!!!
There you have it! 2 super easy rooms that can be easily folded up for storage any ole time we want. They took little to no time at all to put together since we had most of the stuff already and it was such a fun project for the girls and I to do together. They loved helping me find images for the classroom walls and stocking the bakery shelf. They’ve already had so much fun with these 2 rooms that we’re working on a playroom and a salon. You know they’re a hit when they wake up extra early for school just to grab coffee and a muffin at the doll bake shop and get their girls to school before it’s time to head to class themselves! Have I mentioned how fun having girls is!??!?!
So now the girls want to know what you think. What should they call their bake shop? Comment here or email me at email@example.com