Fall Traditions: Homemade Applesauce & Glitter Pumpkins

Welp. It's officially winter-weather here in Chicago. I've pulled out my thick sweaters, boots and gloves this morning to stay warm on way to work. As much as I like the snow, I want to bask in everything fall, for just a bit longer. Cue....homemade applesauce (& Glitter Pumpkins)! Earlier this year, the fam took the annual Apple Picking trip up to Michigan, and as always, managed came home with far too many apples. After weeks of eating apples, I had a few apples leftover from our haul, and decided to use the remainder on some good homemade applesauce.

Let me tell you, if you've never made your own, get off your iPhone and go make yourself a batch (or two).

I used many kinds of apples for my applesauce.















Peeled (whoops, we aren't all perfect), cored, and cut. 

Apples & Cinnamon in all their glory!































Ingredients
- 6 pounds of apples, peeled, cored, and cut into pieces
- 1 Cup Apple Cider
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon (more or less to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook over low/medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes. Pour entire contents in a food processor (or blender) until smooth. Store homemade applesauce in the fridge in air-tight containers.



Glitter Pumpkins!
Making homemade applesauce is fun, but not as fun as glitter pumpkins. Sound messy? It is, but totally worth it. This project turned into a girls night, which then turned into glitter fest. Blue glitter, orange glitter, black, gold and silver glitter! Mix in a batch of homemade brownies and we were set. As girly as glitter pumpkins sound, we pulled out some power tools to drill small holes in the top of the larger pumpkins to add a tea-light candle in the top. I think our glitter pumpkins turned out awesome! What's your favorite Fall tradition?

Glitter mess

Finished pumpkins

Basil, Cilantro & Dill Herb Garden

I finally did it! I started a garden! Well, started a herb garden The people around me who know me best, knows this is a enormous step for me. I've been meaning to post about my adorable little herbs for quite some time now, but my obsession for Breaking Bad got the best of me.

My green-thumb project was a total whim. All I know is I found myself pushing the red Target cart out to my car with a toddler-sized bad of organic potting soil, cute little red potters and seeds. The Basil, Cilantro and Dill are about 2 weeks in, and the little sprouts are already poking up! Check it out!


Cilantro




















Dill
Basil




I have the perfect growing spot, right on the edge of our gigantic window in our living room. These guys get so much sunlight, my pale skinned self is slightly jealous. I cannot wait to use my fresh herbs in recipes this summer. Mmmm. 

Gringo Dip Recipe

Hosting my first party was a success! Everything went off without a hitch. I do have bad new though, I didn't take one photo the entire night. Not a single one. I made such a huge newbie blogger mistake, and for that, I say sorry. Since I don't have photos to share, I'll share a recipe for the tasty, semi-spicy Gringo Dip. Gringo dip is a local favorite at the Lee's Summit 54th Bar & Grill. You can serve Gringo Dip with tortilla chips, dipping bread or waffle fries (Yes, fries. I feel the glaring eyes of all my health conscious friends as I type this). I found a copy-cat recipe online and gave it a try. It turned out fantastic!

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½ block Velveeta Pepper Jack Cheese (16oz) 
1-½ cup Milk (I used skim, since that's what I had on hand)
1 cup Prepared Pico De Gallo (I bought pre-made, but you can use homemade) 
¼ cups Parmesan Cheese 
4 ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach (Make sure you soak up the extra liquid once defrosted) 
¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (more or less, depending on preference. I used 2 teaspoons)

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a crockpot, and heat on medium low until melted completely. Keep on warm and use crockpot as serving vessel. 


What are some of your favorite appies to bring or serve at parties?

Cheese, Wine & Dessert Party

I always thought hosting parties after marriage was something I would hit the ground running with. Welp, that is 100% false. I haven't hosted one party. I am proud to say, after 10 months of marriage I'm hosting my first party this coming Friday, a cheese, wine & dessert party! Is it bad to admit, I think I'm more excited to use all my super cute wedding gifts than the actual party?

I'm going to be honest, I don't have the first clue about hosting a party. I also gave myself 7 days to throw everything together as well. All I have to say is thank God for the internet and Pinterest. My knowledge of cheese is slim to none, as I usually only buy cheddar or mozzarella. I think I'm just going to hit up the local Trader Joe's and pick up whatever catches my eye. If anyone has any other helpful thoughts, all ideas are welcomed.

I'm feeling a bit crafty, and found these ideas for wine glass markers and cheese displays on Pinterest. Which one is your favorite?


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Breaking Out of My Routine Rut

Anyone else find yourself in a routine rut? Working your 9-5 desk job, then come home and flop yourself on the couch for the evening, completely letting your mind go to mush? For the past month, I can embarrassingly admit I am 100% guilty. Ever since the the new year hit, I have been so lazy.

Thankfully, I was pulled out of this routine rut when a few friends got together for a craft night. The day before our craft night, I logged onto Pinterest to find that perfect craft, and I totally found it. It was absolutely perfect and I could not wait to bust this bad boy out the next night. Unfortunantly, none of us crafted, but carried on about girl stuff and ate an overwhelming amount of food.

Anyways, long story short, I was inspired enough to finish my craft the next day, and here it is! Dino Magnets! These bad boys were fairly easy. Don't you just love how they turned out?







Supplies:
- Plastic Dino Figures (Dollar Store)
- Small, Heavy Duty Magnets (Hobby Lobby)
- Gold Metalic Paint (Hobby Lobby)
- Paint Brush (I already had on hand)
- Hot Glue Gun (I already had on hand)