Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Inspiration: In Bloom

{My pink rose bush in bloom}

"How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!" - Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Homemade Croutons

I recently added these cute little cookie cutters to our store and instantly thought they could be used for so much more than just cookies. Although they would make the cutest tiny cookies. For a themed party you could use any cookie cutter for not only dessert like sugar cookies, but chocolate chip cookies, appetizers like cheese, mini sandwiches, fruit, and of course croutons.
I followed this recipe to make my crab croutons. My croutons came out a little crispy so next time I may not cook them as long as they suggested but they still turned out delicious. Actually my husband said they were the best croutons he ever had so maybe I shouldn't change a thing.

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Bushel of Apples

I went apple picking in my back yard over the weekend and was surprised to find a whole bushel full of (good) apples left that had fallen on the ground. I think this is officially the last of the apples I will gather from our trees probably until not next year but the following year.
With my last bushel of apples this weekend I made more apple butter, enjoyed sliced apples with organic peanut butter, and froze several bags for future pies and applesauce. Also made three apple crisps. Took one to my parents, one to friends and made one for us!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Inspiration: Eleanor Roosevelt

No mater your age, where you live, or what you have accomplished so far continue to push yourself. You never know where it will take you.

Image can be found on our Pinterest site.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Neon Door Mat

A good friend of mine who moved to Massachusetts recently visited bringing me this sign for my front door. Apparently everyone there has one with their last name on it and she thought I should have one too. I came across this picture on Pinterest and it became the inspiration for todays DIY project. With neon colors being so popular right now I decided to pull out the yellow/green from my last name to add a little pop of color to my mat.

All you need for this project is a rubber mat, spray paint, and a dust mask. I used Rust-oleum Painter's Touch that bonds to plastic. Place your rubber mat in a well ventilated place. Spray in a steady back-and-forth motion until the mat is covered. I let my mat dry overnight and then painted a second coat to get all the nooks and crannies I had missed the first time. I then gave it a clear top coat to seal and protect. I sprayed the mat a couple of times (with the clear paint) waiting a few minuets in between. The spray paint that I used recommended waiting 5-7 days for maximum adhesion and durability. So after a good seven days I placed my newly painted mat at my front door. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Around the Office

{Mail waiting to go out}

You would think it was spring with all the cleaning and organizing that's been going on around the office. With all the back to school items on sale we stocked up on circle stickers, pretty folders, and a label maker to keep things looking neat and tidy. 

 {Plant I brought back from my trip to CA that now lives in our entry way}

{Pretty new folders to make filing more fun}

{New Champaign Plastics labels to seal our bibs with}

{We have counted up to 10 hummingbirds outside our window}

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Inspiration:The Path

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Harold R. McAlindon
Image can be found on our Pinterest site.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

One of my favorite fall time treats is apple butter. I always look forward to picking up a jar from an apple orchard, grocery store, or home made by a friend. For the past few years I have been making my own (which has come in handy with all our apples) using this recipe from a friend.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter


14 C. peeled, cored, and sliced cooking apples
2 cups sugar
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground allspice


-Place apple slices in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, cloves and allspice.
-Cover; cook on high-heat setting for 4 hours.
-Uncover and stir, cook on high-heat setting 2 to 2-1/2 hours more or until apples are very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.
-Cool mixture at least 1 hour or cover and chill overnight.
-Process with a blender or a food processor.
-Place apple butter into half-pint freezer containers, leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top.
-Seal and label.

Makes 4 half-pints. Store 3 weeks in refrigerator or for 1 year in freezer. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Finds

{6" lobster, 5" & 1 7/8"crab cookie cutters}

Another reason I went to California for vacation was to scout out new items for our store. Here are a few new items I picked up on my recent trip to CA. I have decided to add them to our store and they should (if not already) be available online. If not you may call to place your order. 1-877-359-3664

{Lobster Picks red plastic 5.5"}
{Lobster Picks, metal 5.5"}

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Inspiration: Relax


After putting in a weeks worth of hard work it's important to take a day or two for yourself to relax and unwind. I know around here we come back after the weekend well rested and full of inspiration ready to take on another week.

Image can be found on our Pinterest site. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Apple Crisp

We are fortunate enough to have three apple trees in our back yard and this year they (seem to every other year) produced a huge quantity of apples. So much so that we were giving them away to friends and family by the bushel full. These pictures were taken after the trees have mostly been picked over. With the apples I kept for myself I decided to make (among many other apple related things) an apple crisp.

To make things easer on ourselves we used an apple peeler and cut the apples outside on our deck to keep the fruit flies from following us into the house.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients (serves 2):

2 C. sliced, pared, cored baking apples
1/2 C. brown sugar packed
1/4 C. flour
1/4 C. oats
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
3 tbsp. soft butter


-Heat oven to 350 degrees.  
-Place apples in a greased pie plate.  
-Blend remaining ingredients until crumbly.  
-Spread sugar-flour mixture over apples.  
-Bake 30-35 min., until apples are tender and topping is golden brown.  

Makes 2 generous servings.  Serve warm with ice cream or a slice of cheese. "Taken from the Betty Crocker's Dinner for Two Cookbook". Quick and easy recipe I have used many times. This cookbook was given to me by my husband after one month of marriage, maybe he was trying to tell me something.