Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A is for Apples

I love all things apple. Apple cider, apple pie, apple butter, apple crisp, apples themselves, you name it. There is nothing that is made with an apple that I won't eat. Not to mention they are soo good for you.

Growing up we went apple picking as a family. We always went to Applecrest Farm in Hampton Falls, NH. The hubby and I continue the tradition with our kids every year as well. Every weekend during apple picking season, the farm throws huge festivals. There is tons of pumpkins, bluegrass music, scarecrow making, tons of food to eat, farm animals to pet and feed, not to mention the hay rides.

Now, we are blessed to live 5 minutes down the street from them. I tend to go there at least once a week during the warm months to pick up veggies and other things we do not grow or make. This farm also supplies our local grocery stores with apples too, but there is something about going to pick the apples yourself (yes it costs a bunch more but the apples are huge and sooo worth it).

Here are some of the recipes that I like to make using apples:

Apple Butter

Apple Sauce

Apple Pie In a Bag

Dehydrated Apple Slices

Apple Crisp

What kind of things to you like with apples?

Monday, March 23, 2015

A to Z Blog Challenge Theme Reveal

Starting April 1st, I am participating in a month long A to Z blog challenge. This is my first year participating, so not entirely sure how to set up my posts, other than the daily post starts with A and ends with Z. One post a day, six days a week.

It seems that most people that participate (and there are hundreds that do) have a theme. Seeing how my blog is about my family and I, I decided to do posts about my life. I have most of my posts already done. All I need to do is hit publish.

So my theme is all about ME, in a way. I'm going to have recipes, tips, info, ideas, all around what interests me and my family. Hope you join me for the month and get to know me and my family better.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

My Crochet Rug

I finished the rug I crocheted for my kitchen, finally. It seemed to take forever. I swear I have ADD and kept getting distracted and wanted it finished faster.

I am happy with the way it turned out though. No pattern, nothing fancy. Just used cotton yarn doubled up to make it thicker to keep my feet warm. Eventually my kitchen will be painted yellow to match the yellow in the rug and I will have blue curtains up as well.

Every morning the rug is either in a ball or pushed all the way up next to the sink. One cat, who will remain nameless *cough* Abby *cough*, loves to run and slide on it. It's funny to watch. One of the many little things she does at night to amuse herself.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Homemade Citrus Cleaner

Here is a little recipe that I use to clean the bathroom. I love the smell of oranges!

I take orange peels and put them in a quart sized canning jar. Add white vinegar to the jar and let the peels sit in the vinegar for 2-3 weeks. I will swish the peels and vinegar every couple of days, but you don't need to.

Then drain the vinegar from the peels. Save the vinegar, but toss the peels. The vinegar is a beautiful light orange color and smells just like oranges. So yummy!

Add to a squirt bottle and then add 20-30 drops of sweet orange oil. Then clean away. I use it all over the toilet, inside and out (I swear my boys miss on purpose) and all over the counter and sinks. Works great and smells great. No vinegar smell at all. Something I can't stand.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Updating the garden journal for the new season

About this time every year I get anxious to get into the dirt and start growing my veggies. But we are still under a ton of snow, so all I can do is plan my garden.

I pull out all my notes and plans from the year before and save them in a pocket folder. I use the past year notes to plan the placement of my veggies and for other things that worked in the garden.

Here I am with a clean sheet (I use two because our garden area is so big now). I also have the veggie placement from the past 2 years. I try to move all the veggies around the beds every year. I do companion planting, so I don't want any veggies planted in the current year that was planted in a spot where a non friend was planted the year before.

Snap pea trellis placement last year

I plan on moving my snap pea trellis to the opposite side of the garden where there is more shade. It still gets a ton of sun (6+ hours), but I want to plant more sun loving veggies where the snap peas use to be, like my pole beans.

About a month after planting

The strawberry bed is the only one that I don't move around. I planted 26 plants there last April (well my dad did lol) and they are now well established. I even gave my sister a ton of the runners last fall.

Pole Bean trellis made with trees from the yard

My big pole bean trellis is moving as well. I was thinking where my tomato and pepper plants were last year. It gets a ton of sun there, but I am afraid it will shade a bunch of the rest of the garden. That's why garden planning is important.

Time to get back to the planning. It will have to suffice until I can get my hands into the dirt.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lazy Sunday

I have been working on making a crochet rug for my kitchen. The floor in front of the sink and stove gets very cold in the winter there. I have been using a towel, but it is getting annoying. I have to double up on it so the cold doesn't go through. Granted, I could wear slippers, but I hate anything on my feet.

I picked up some Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn on sale at Michael's in three different colors. One is a white, blue, yellow and green variegated. The other two are solid blue and yellow that match the blue and yellow in the variegated yarn. I double up on the yarn as well. The variegated runs throughout, but I alternate it with the blue and yellow. Its nice and thick and keeping my lap warm while making it.

Time for a little Nascar. What a perfect way to spend a cold lazy Sunday. A little car race (Go Tony!) and crocheting.

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