Sunday, September 29, 2013

Yummy Apple Recipes

This year we didn't go to the apple orchard because we still had quite a few cans of apples leftover from last year's trip. 

However, if you would like to see a couple apple recipes I have made in the past, click on the links below! Happy baking and enjoy this fall Sunday!  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

10 Inexpensive FALL Date Nights

If you liked my post of Spring/Summer Date Nights, then keep reading for some great Fall ones too! It's so important to make sure that you and your hubby make an effort to spend some quality time together. If you have kids, find a sitter once in awhile or plan a little something once the kiddos go to bed. The great thing is, you don't have to spend a lot of money to make that time together special.

UPDATE: Check out Winter Date Nights too! 

1. Photo Shoot - Ask a friend or family member to take some pictures of you somewhere (pumpkin patch, field near your house, park, etc) It's fun to dress up and you get some new pictures of just the two of you!

2. Camping - My husband and I love to go camping! It's great to just get away from everything and focus on each other. (Have kids? Just set up your tent in the living room or your own backyard)

3. Bonfire- Whether it's your fireplace or backyard fire pit, sip some hot cocoa and make smores. Don't forget to cuddle up with a blanket!

4. Pumpkin Patch- Each of you pick out a pumpkin. When you get home paint or carve something for your mate and then reveal what you created for them. (Or pick one out and work on it together)

5. Apple Orchard - Pick your own apple orchards are fun and a great way to get outside and spend some time together. When you get home work together to make a yummy homemade apple pie or apple pie quesadilla. Turn your date day into a dessert night!

6. Target Practice - One of my husband's favorite hobbies is target shooting. I found these Battleship targets  that would be fun to do together! Take turns "sinking" each others ships. (It's always a nice surprise when you suggest doing something your hubby enjoys!)

7. Sunset Picnic - Head out to your local park or lake at sunset. Pack a dinner picnic and enjoy watching the sunset together. Print off a map of the constellations if you will be there after dark too!

8. Haunted Hay Ride - Check your local area for haunted hay rides or a haunted house. Spend some time just the two of you where you know you are going to want to be right by his side!

9. Dinner & Movie - Cook up a new recipe together and eat next to candle light. Then snuggle up on the couch with a movie or a TV show you both enjoy.

10. DIY Homecoming - Homecoming dances are always in the fall, so why not have your own? Both dress up and set out some punch and h'orderves. Put on some romantic tunes and dance the night away. (Add some balloons or sparkly decorations to make it more festive)

Do you have any other fall date night ideas? I'd love to hear!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Two Pinterst Ideas that WORK!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE Pinterest. There are so many neat and creative ideas on there and if you don't know how to make/do something, you can usually find it there! Here are two ideas that I saw on Pinterest, tried them out, and they worked great!

The first thing I saw was this great idea to keep lettuce fresh! I tried it and after a week in the fridge, my lettuce was still fresh and crisp! Placing a paper towel in the bowl or bag your lettuce is in, will absorb the moisture your lettuce otherwise would have, keeping it from browning or wilting. 

The second idea was homemade goo gone. I had a plastic shoe box with a bunch of sticky gunk on it that didn't come off when the sticker was pulled off. So, to Pinterest I went to find a homemade goo gone recipe since we were all out. Super easy, it worked great and I already had the ingredients at home!

1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. baking soda
 *Mix together to make a paste. Dip a paper towel in the paste and use to rub off the sticky stuff.

 Have you tried any successful Pinterest ideas?!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Page Pumpkin

I've seen these adorable pumpkins all over Pinterest lately and decided to try and make one myself! I found this old book at a thrift store for $0.50.

I tore off the front and back cover. (Save the spine for another project!) I then made a piece of cardboard the shape I wanted my pumpkin and used it to cut the pages out of the book. I started with this knife, but found it was easier to use scissors and cut a few pages at a time.

Once the pages are cut, hot glue the spine together. Then fan out the pages and glue a few of the pages together if necessary until the spacing looks about right. Finally, hot glue a stick to the top of the pumpkin and tie a ribbon. 

Now, remember I had you save the book spine?...just punch a hole at the top, tie a ribbon and you have a bookmark! 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Decor

The next few days here in Southern Illinois are going to be in the 70s and gorgeous! Makes me so excited for fall! Hubby and I went and got some mums the other day and got the fall decor up!

Book page pumpkin (tutorial coming soon)


Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, September 13, 2013

DIY Burlap Drawstring Bag

I had bought a few of these burlap peanut sacks at an antique store awhile back. I decided to turn one of them into a drawstring bag. Not sure what I'm going to put in it yet, but thought it turned out cute!

First, turn about an inch of the top of the bag inside out like the picture below.

Next, get a piece of twine long enough to wrap around the bag plus a little longer and put it under the flap you just made, all the way around the bag.

Sew (or use liquid stitch) the flap down on each side of the bag. Sew right above the bottom of the flap, where my finger is pointing in the picture below. Be sure you don't sew the twine to the bag!

Once both sides are sewn, tie the two ends of your twine together and you're done! 

P.S - While in the clearance section at TJ Maxx the other day, I found this mason jar with a chalkboard label and hole in the lid, made for a straw. Turned out perfect for my twine and would be a super easy DIY project if you wanted to make one yourself! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

10 Reasons I Shop at ALDI

The first time I shopped at ALDI, I was hooked! I had heard mixed feelings about it before going, some loved it and some didn't. The main reasons I heard for not loving it was that it wasn't a "one stop shop", they didn't have name brands and their wasn't a wide variety. All of which are true, and more of a reason that I liked it!

1. I love that it isn't a "one stop shop". Sure, I do have to go to Wal-Mart to get a few things, but because it's not a huge store, I can go right in and grab what I need quickly. It's great when you just have to run in and grab a couple of things too! (I usually got to Wal-Mart for things such as makeup, TP, and larger packages of items we use a lot of such as flour and rice.)

2. Most items are off brands. Sometimes you can find name brands of certain items, though! Things I have seen recently are Crest toothpaste, Bounty paper towels, Coca- Cola, and name brand candy such as Reese's and M &M's to name a few. Normally though, all of the items are off brands, which I think still taste great and make them much more cost effective! (the only things I have found I don't like are their off brand paper towels, TP, Doritos and Cheetos.)

3. There isn't a wide variety, but that's actually a good thing when you are on a budget and crunched for time! Not having to choose between several different types or brands of a particular item saves both time and money. 

4. PRODUCE! They usually have a great selection of produce and for cheap! This summer my favorite things were the strawberries for $0.99 and the watermelon for $3.00! I've also gotten bags of baby carrots for $0.25 before.Their bananas are good too, but usually really over ripe or under ripe, so you just have to plan accordingly. Make banana bread or just set them out for a couple days until they are ripe enough to eat.

5. Fit & Active is their healthy brand. They have everything from yogurt, cereal, snacks, lunch meat, beverages and more.We like their turkey bacon a lot! There are several other turkey options available throughout the store as well.  They do have a few whole wheat options too such as bread, spaghetti, and some cereals.

6. The Double Guarantee - Don't like a food item you bought from ALDI? No problem! Just take it back and they will refund you the money AND replace the product!

7. It's an energy saving store. Because ALDI doesn't have a huge variety, they have smaller buildings which saves on energy. They also don't have cart retrievers which helps keep the prices low. Just put a quarter in, shop and get your quarter back when you return the cart. They also encourage you to bring your own reusable bags, or you can use a cardboard box from their store or buy one of their reusable bags at check out.

8. Only cash or debit. ALDI doesn't accept credit cards because processing fees are expensive and this allows them to keep their prices low. I always make sure to bring cash along! I love this because if I have a certain amount in cash I know I can spend, I know I won't go over budget. When my cash is gone, that's it.

9. They have recipes online that only include items you can buy at their stores! Perfect for planning meals and making one stop to get all of your ingredients!

10. They have weekly specials that come out in the paper. Don't get a paper? Just grab an ad on your way in the store and be sure to grab the next week's ad as you go out the exit door! You can also view it on their website.  Their weekly specials consit of the regular food items, but also speciality items that they frequently change out. Specialty items are usually in a theme such as camping, back to school, kitchen gadgets etc. You can find some really neat things sometimes! Also, don't forget to check out their clearance bins for even better deals!!!

P.S - Almost EVERYTHING is labeled if it is lactose and or gluten free! Big plus having a sister with Celiac Disease!

I'm sure there are more great things about ALDI, but that is a pretty good list! Hopefully I have convinced you to at least TRY it! I promise you will be amazed when you go to check out and your cart FULL of items is half of what you would pay at another store! 

What do you love about shopping ALDI? If you haven't gone yet, be sure to let me know how your first shopping experience goes!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

House Front Facelift

Here is a picture of the house when we first bought it a couple of years ago...pretty boring, don't ya think?

And here it is now!

The first thing we did awhile back was take out those huge bushes in front of the windows. My wonderful dad helped me with that project! We replaced those ugly bushes with some new plants, a trellis and a bench! 

One of my favorite facelifts was the front door! I just love the bright green and how it stands out so much more now! 

I used the same green to paint the mailbox and replaced the boring knob with a cuter one from Hobby Lobby. The numbers and light fixtures got a facelift too! Really wasn't a fan of those gold accents!

I also repainted all of the trim and the white siding just to give it a more clean and fresher look.  

Final Before & After

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

No Sew Burlap Pumpkin

Here is a simple, inexpensive, DIY fall project! 

All you need is:
 A roll of toilet paper
Piece of burlap or other fabric you have laying around
Stick from your yard
Hot glue gun

Cut your fabric into a square that's large enough to stuff all corners into the roll of toilet paper, like in the picture below.  

Keep going until all your corners are stuffed inside.

Once all corners are stuffed in the middle of the roll, hot glue in a stick and a little flower or leaf, if you so choose.

And that's it! Pretty simple, right?! 

Anyone can do this simple DIY project, BUT if you would rather just buy one, you are in luck because they will be available at the OPEN HOUSE this Saturday! Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Faux Drying Board

Anytime I see a piece of wood laying on the side of the road, I always pick it up! I made this grocery sign with the last piece I found!

This time the board was a little smaller, but I loved that it already had some white paint on it. First, cut a small piece of burlap. Use upholstery tacs (found at Hobby Lobby) to attach the burlap to the board. Fill the pouch with some flowers...faux or dried real ones. Set your finished board on a shelf or hang it on the wall. I love the way it turned out and how rustic it looks!

This will be available for purchase at the Open House this coming Saturday, September 7th! Be sure to stop by if you are in the area!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy September!

Happy September, ya'll! I am so ready for fall!

Cooler weather, bon fires, camping, hot chocolate, pumpkin pie...

Couldn't wait any longer and got a few things up around the house too! 

Stay tuned for some Fall DIY posts in the next few weeks! If you are working on any fall projects I'd love to hear what you are up to as well!