how do you like them apples, france?

here’s one of the best and simplest treats … homemade apple sauce.

basically these are apples cooked down. easy, healthy, and delicious!

last weekend we were in iowa with my husband’s family, celebrating grandma’s 90th birthday. my husband and I went over to her house to visit for a bit, and she was pawning off apples on me. she had a huge bag full of apples and told me to take half. the next morning she told my husband that I didn’t take enough! so I got ALL of the apples.

fine by me! apple sauce, apple crisp, apple pie – I can’t get enough of them!

here is simple little recipe I adapted from a pinterest post.

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I chopped up all of my apples the night before so they were ready to go in the morning! I left the skin on – I kind of like the texture (others might not), and there’s probably some extra fiber … right?

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when I came home from work, this was waiting for me! I took a whisk to mix them up a bit, but they were pretty much ready to go.

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I got about 5 1/2 cups out of this recipe. put in jars and ready to enjoy.
this applesauce is great by itself, but it might is probably very yummy with ice cream or as some other topping. hm … gives me some ideas for other uses … 🙂

ingredients:
10 apples
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of honey
1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla

combine all of the ingredients in the crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

*for the title, watch from 1:49-2:09 of this video. actually, watch the whole video. it’s a flashback to my high school life.
http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/320224/

25 and fighting wrinkles.

I am fully aware that 25 years old is very young. But it is definitely older than I used to be, and therefore I am starting to see changes in my body. Some are good, some are not. Even my husband said today that he felt like he needed something for wrinkles forming around his eyes.

I wanted to find a simple eye cream that I could make with things I already had on hand, would really rejuvenate my skin, and hopefully prevent some aging that I already see. Since the skin around the eye is about 10 times thinner than the rest of the skin on our bodies, it needs a lot of extra care. That care should include moisturizers, vitamins, and herbal extracts (particularly essential oils).

Coconut oil is growing in popularity and one of the best things you can have in your home. Cooking, skin care, hair care – you can use it for everything! Coconut oil is great for dry and flaky skin and for preventing wrinkles and aging. It is also a good immune support, and since our skin is one our body’s first defense systems, why would I not use it on my skin?

Vitamin E oil is a strong antioxidant that prevents aging, skin cancer, and the appearance of skin spots and stretch marks.

Lavender is a soothing essential oil that has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties that are wonderful for all skin types!
Frankincense is one of the most sought after essential oils with extremely powerful properties. It also is antifungal, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and cellular protective.

Taking these 3 simple ingredients, I made a wonderful little eye cream that hopefully will have me singing its praises in another 25 years!

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I melted my coconut oil in the microwave for just 20-25 seconds.

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I poked a hole in the Vitamin E capsule and squeezed out the oil.
Then I added in my Lavender and Frankincense.

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I put it in the refrigerator to get it back to a solid.

We’ve got eye cream!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 capsules of Vitamin E
5 drops of Lavender
2 drops of Frankincense

Process:
1. Melt the coconut oil for 20-25 seconds in the microwave.
2. Poke holes in the Vitamin E capsules and squeeze them into the melted oil.
3. Add in your lavender and frankincense.
4. Refrigerate your oil until it returns to a solid (about an hour).

*depending on the temperature, you may need to keep the coconut oil in the refrigerator to keep it a solid. as we move into winter, I am not worried about keeping it a solid!

you’re invited.

i’ve been so excited to prepare for my sister’s baby shower! i love hosting. i love my sister. i love babies. this is a combination of all my favorite things!

i found some cute invites on pinterest to help inspire me. i happen to have two sisters-in-law who are graphic designers, but due to my being cheap and loving to make things myself, i took the ideas i found and put together these little gems.

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i love doilies. they’re delicate, beautiful, and versatile. i wanted to figure how to print on them, but due to their delicacy i had to play around a bit. i looked up some tutorials, just to make sure it was possible. it was. so i figured it out.

1. find the size that works on the cards (4″ doilies).
2. type out what will go on the doily. (if you have space for more than one doily, you can put the text in 3-4 different spots on the paper … you will be able to do 3-4 at a time!)
3. print your text off on a sheet of white paper.
4. place the doilies on the white paper (you should be able to see the text through the doily to get the placement just right).
5. tape down the doilies LIGHTLY. i used masking tape around the doily. you might need to play around with this part and figure out what is easiest for you, making sure that the tape is sufficient but that you will be able to peel it off once you print.
6. put the paper in the printer. i couldn’t figure out how to manually put paper in my printer, so i just figured out that i needed the paper face-down for it to print properly. again, this part you will need to mess around to figure out what is best for you and your printer.
7. print!!
8. peel off the tape. this part you have to take slowly and carefully. i probably ripped 1/3 of my doilies. i just had to print off a few more than expected.

all set! this really wasn’t that difficult. just took some messing around and some patience!

after printing my doilies, i printed off the rest of the information for the invite on the back, using the same process as the doilies.

once everything was printed, i put together the whole thing! i found some burlap ribbon at Hobby Lobby. i just used scrapbooking tape to put down the strip of burlap, put the doily on top, and voila! super cute invites – handmade and exactly what i wanted!

it’s better homemade.

everything seems to be better when it’s homemade. over the course of the past few years, I’ve slowly learned to love things that are homemade. whether it is my favorite snack (cheez-its), a DIY project, or a beauty product, everything homemade seems to taste better, [sometimes] look better, and feel better. in this process I’m reducing the amount of processed food in my diet, finding creativity in making our house a home, and replacing chemicals in beauty products with natural products that let my body work and heal like it is made to.

I hope for this space to be a place to log my experiments in a homemade living. and to possibly give new ideas for other to do the same.

to start, I’ll share my sunday afternoon project … a prep project for a certain sister’s baby shower in a month! I needed to try it out to see how it would work. turns out, it’s delicious.

I slightly adapted this recipe that I found on http://chocolatechocolateandmore.com/2012/10/chocolate-pumpkin-spice-cake/ . it’s the perfect combination of chocolate [sister’s favorite sweet] and pumpkin [my favorite sweet]. it’s chocolatey, moist, and has just a hint of the spice that makes fall the very best.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 2  cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 8-inch cake pans.
  2. Cream butter in a large mixing bowl, add in brown sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and then pumpkin puree. Beat until well combined.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and spices. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing on low speed. Fold in chopped chocolate. Spoon into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Let cake cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto rack to cool completely.