Thursday, September 30, 2010

Greta's New Fascination!

I should have titled this post....
"What Has Loren Done To My Baby Girl?!"

This is Greta's favorite thing to watch lately...

He Man!

I know, can you actually believe it?!

With all sorts of movies around the house like Lilo & Stitch, Barbie, Yo Gabba Gabba, or even Barney! This is what Greta chooses!
Now I know I am coming off a tad sexist. Like "girls can't watch He Man?" And I guess they can. I just didn't think my little girl would find a new fascination with him!

She really does watch it all the time! It's kind of strange.
And not only does she watch the whole first season on dvd, but she even plays with all of the He Man figurines!

(Wonder where she got those Daddy?!)

The other morning Loren and I were in the kitchen packing lunches when we over heard Greta talking and playing with He Man and Skeletor.

He Man says to Skeletor: "Skeletor, give me your staff right now!"

Skeletor: "No way He Man!"

He Man: "You give it to me or I'll spank you in the butt!!!"


My daughter is a hoot! A crazy, little, He Man obsessed HOOT!
Oh well, she really is pretty stinkin' cute... my little weirdo!

We'll see how long this stage last! I am hoping not long! - I'm not really a big fan of watching He Man all night.

Side Note: I am sure you all are wondering where Greta would have even got the complete first season of He Man or all of the He Man figurines?!
Oh that's right... she got them from Daddy's little toy stash!

* Sorry honey! The cat's out of the bag! *

Any of your babes go through a strange toy or movie phase?!

Chat later,


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Banana's!

Now that's a mouth full isn't it?

Let's be honest, anything dipped in chocolate is fool proof and completely delicious!
The last 2 weeks with Loren's Birthday in the mix and my in laws being in town, I wanted to have little desserts, treats, and goodies around the house for people to snack on after dinner.
I believe nothing makes a home a home like some cozy decorating and little treats!

So when you are not in the mood for baking or just don't have the time... these little bite size banana's are super easy to make and totally de-lish!

Nothing too fancy... just start out with these few basic ingredients...
Chocolate Almond Bark, Peanut Butter, and Bananas.

After you melt the chocolate (30 second incraments in the microwave) add in a scoop or two of peanut butter! For real, it's that easy! Doesn't it sound yummy already?
From here you could dip just about anything in this mixture. Pretzels, strawberries, drizzle it over popcorn, etc. But for that day I had some bananas on hand that needed to be used up.
So line a baking sheet with wax paper and put your cut banana pieces on there....

Roll your banana pieces in the chocolate peanut butter mixture...

and then drop them one by one back onto the wax paper...

As they start to dry or "set up" the chocolate hardens (like almond bark does) and you have these nice, hard, chocolate peanut butter bites!

Easy peasy!

At my house we are all big fans of the chocolate, peanut butter, banana combo!
Elvis definitely had a great thing in the making with that power house of ingredients!

And like I said, this little treat could be tweeked so many different ways! Add the peanut butter or don't add the peanut butter! Try white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dip different kinds of fruit in. Dip half a cookie in the mixture and let it harden. Drizzle it over different cakes, cookies, or popcorn. (I am sooo doing this now! Chocolate, peanut butter, peanuts, and popcorn! WOW!)

This really is a great "go to" recipe for you girls that don't like to bake... like my friend Liz who seems to think she has an allergy to baking! lol

So, don't let your creative cooking stop at my recipe. But definitely give this quick treat a try when you need something fast or are just wanting a little snack at night while you and your hubby are sitting down to watch a movie! ;)

Men love treats! Men love wives who make them treats!

Momma always taught me the way to a mans heart was through his stomach.
Can I get an Amen?!

Hopefully you girls are inspired to whip up a treat tonight! For your hubby, for your babes, or just for YOU!

NOTE: Make sure you store these in the fridge.

Chat later,


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Real Vendors!

Sorry I have been neglecting the blog lately! Loren and I have been knee deep in house guests, car crashes, paint, and craft projects!
Yes I know, it seems a bit crazy!

Side Note: The house guests were my in laws and it was such a great trip having them here for 5 days. We really did have the best time. The car crash actually included them, the 2 babes, and my car... but everyone is perfectly fine! Praise the Lord. And of course the paint and projects are all for Louise's Basement!

So now that you are up to speed... wanna share in our excitement?!

Well on Sunday, we were able to go check out the space that is Louise's Basement and drop off our very first load of merchandise! Um... YEY!
Let me just first start off with how great the space is! It is in the basement of another store and it really does have the cutest most intimate little feel down there! I got to meet the owner, Kelly, and see some of the other vendors stuff... and boy was I giddy!
I am telling you girls... cute, cute, cute! I already spotted an adorable little table I want! (not that I need it or anything!)

Now that we have dropped off our first load of stuff I really feel like this is it! WE ARE VENDORS! We are apart of this cute new shop in Princeton and these girls really liked our stuff! I mean we are like the girls I dream about or hear about at little shops or in blogland! I totally feel like we have ARRIVED! Me and the hubby are making stuff that women actually want in their homes to become a part of their families! Ahhh! - I was totally doing a happy dance on Sunday and am tempted to do another right now!

Ok, anyways, let's all calm down... or shall I say, let me calm down!

So before we loaded up the truck and left to make our first delivery I snapped some shots of all of our stuff stacked up and ready to be loaded!
I really wish I could say that I took some pictures when I was at the shop... however, between unloading the truck, meeting the girls, showin' off my stuff, and really just my pure excitement... I did NOT get any pictures of the shop! - But no worries, during the weekend of the Grand Opening I will make sure to take pictures and document such a momentous occasion.

But for now... here are some shots of our stuff so you gals can get a look at the kinds of stuff we have been doing!
Oh... and I am secretly hoping to entice you with some of the below "little ditty's" so you want to come out to Louise's Basement and visit me for the Grand Opening!

We were so excited of our success that we made a victory stop at Sonic in Elk River for a little treat! :)

Did I entice you and make you want to come join me for the Grand Opening?!
I hope so!

If you want to see some of our items we previously posted, you can go here and here.

Check out the facebook page for Louise's Basement or the website here.

Hope to see you there!

Chat later,


Monday, September 20, 2010

Wonderful Weekend Update!

Well, my hubby's Birthday Week finally came to an end last night at midnight!

I had tons of fun stuff planned for him and it turned out to be such a great week!

My goal was to make him feel extra special and I think that was accomplished!

He was treated to Chipotle waiting in the fridge the night I worked, His favorite homemade meatball subs for his Birthday dinner, A gift and special surprise from the babes, a great Date Night with his hot wife, and 2 family get togethers!

So all in all, I think I pulled it off! Loren was treated like a king for a whole week!

And not to mention, his parents are even coming in from Missouri tomorrow night! So he gets to spend a little birthday time with his Ma and Pa! Boy, is he spoiled or what?!

Well, never the less, he totally deserves it!

Here is a photo recap of Loren's little birthday get together! ......

The big two-9!

A made from scratch German Chocolate Drizzle Cake! De-lish!

Like I said, de-lish! Click here for the recipe!

And yesterday we celebrated multiple family birthday's at one of our big "Cooper Family Get Togethers" ... beside Loren, a few others on the list were Ms. Joanna Talso, Greta's all time favorite best friend!

... and this little babe! Ms. Addison Smethurst turned ONE year old! - Here's a whole post on the day she came into our world!

See, it was a really great week!

Now we have a busy but great week ahead with Loren's Mom and Dad coming into town. Hopefully I'll get some relaxing in along with the start of a great season of T.V. shows! Should be fun!

Ohhh, and before I forget.......

I would also like to mention, some of the ideas I got for little gifts or surprises for Loren's Birthday Week came from 2 different resources....

#1 - A blog I recently found and totally love called The Dating Divas. These girls really know how to love their husbands and make marriage fun!


#2 - A website called Hot Date Ideas! The site is full of ideas, themes, gifts, etc. You name it, they got it! It's a great resource to have and look up when you are about to plan a date! I should throw out a little disclaimer and mention that some of the things listed are a tad risque' and are things that may definitely make your mother blush! So not all of the things were up my alley, but still... tons of other great ideas worth giving a try!

Hope you all are having a great Monday and don't forget to make your hubby feel appreciated, even if it's not his birthday!

Or let's be honest... maybe you need to feel appreciated and should print off some of this stuff and casually leave it lay where he can see it! ;)

Chat later,


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thee Best Date, EVER!

I love this man and am totally coming off a high right now! And no not a high like drug related! lol - But a high from last nights events!
You see, last night Loren and I went on a date... but not just any date, seriously the best date, ever!
What was so awesome, phenomenal, and different about this date you ask?

Well, last year... our church Eagle Brook did a 6 week message series on marriage called
Truly, Madly, Deeply, Stuck! And it was amazing!
You can actually watch all 6 of these 30 minute messages online, here. And I TOTALLY recommend doing that! Seriously, this message serious really did change our marriage and help us get some things in place. So when you have a second... watch one or all those messages... you might even come back to thank me later!

Anyways, along with that message series in one of the weeks church bulletins they had a list of references. You know, like... books to read, support groups if you needed it, and this link...
The Great Date Experiment!

The Great Date Experiment is a 6 Date Experiment that revolves around what this church calls, The Big 6 Essentials:
Nurture Romance, Cultivate Communication, Hurry Home, Celebrate Differences, Finish Together, and Trust God.

So every month you are to go on one of the six dates, starting with date one and ending on date six. On their website which I listed above, you can print off the schedule or itinerary for each date. Each date has specific steps that you are to follow. The print off pretty much tells you what to do for your date and it even gives you questions and discussions or fun things to talk about!
Really, all 6 dates are completely fool proof! As long as you put forth the effort to print off the dates and follow that dates theme or schedule... you are bound to have a really fantastic time!

So last night Loren and I decided to give this experiment a try! We went out on Date #1: How to Nurture Romance!
Just to give you a glimpse into what these dates are like I will spill the beans on what the schedule looked like for Date #1. - the list of events can be seen and printed off here.

Date #1 was kind of like a "progressive dinner" - meaning we picked one location for an appetizer, then moved on to a different restaurant for dinner, then ended the night at a completely different place for dessert!
Along the way there were fun and serious questions or things listed to talk about, along with silly nick names to use, gestures to do, and even a little pit stop to buy each other a gift!

From there you can put in as little or as much extra effort as you want!
Take my hubby for example... completely sweet and kind hearted by nature... he upped his game and opened EVERY door for me! I mean car, restaurant, store... he didn't miss a one! He even pulled, well what us married people would call a no-no and sat on the SAME SIDE of the booth as me!
Haha, I know right?! Married people DON'T do that!
Well... last night we did... and it was wonderful to be so close to my husband and feel his hand on my leg as we waited for our food.

I'm tellin' ya'... this date was phenomenal! One of thee best that I can ever remember going on! It was so fun and so different. I love that we were forced to talk about things besides our kids, our jobs, or our finances.
We got to talk about things that really matter! Things that are in our soul and at our very core! Things that are waaaaay more fun than our boring old jobs or broke budget!
Seriously... coming off a high is the best way to describe it!

I totally forgot to bring my camera on our date... but that's ok, I got to give %100 to the date and not have to pause time to take a picture. However here we are once we got home with our gifts we bought each other as part of the date.

(Clearly the faces of 2 really excited people who love their gifts! lol)

I had a real blast last night!

Now I am super pumped and CAN'T WAIT for Date #2!

I definitely would like to challenge all of you in taking this Great Date Experiment with us! I would love to talk about your guys' dates and hear what you did and how well you liked it!

So let this be an invitation to you and your honey! Go print off the dates and lets take this experiment together! Hopefully six months from now when all the dates are completed we will have made some great memories, have fun stories to tell, and most importantly... feel more connected to our spouse and realize that making God the center of our relationship is key!

Will you join Loren and I and share your stories with us???

I hope so!

Chat later,


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Things That Make Me Happy...

... Taking someone's junk and turning it into another's treasure!

This was an old fence taken down from someone's home in Coon Rapids. After taking it down the homeowner had no where to get rid of all that wood so he decided to put it on Craigslist in the hopes someone else would get rid of it and deal with the haul away and taking care of such an ugly old fence.

Well, my Loren instantly realized that ugly old fence had a ton of life left in her and lots and lots of potential.

After contacting the home owner, Loren was to their house with in the hour hauling load after load from the back yard to his truck.
He drove away with about half a pick up load of dirty old fence boards and a million ideas rolling around in his head!

A week later, here is that very same fence in her new glory.....

A wonderful, farm looking hutch! Ready to display a families books, pictures, nic-nacs, and their families story.

There are still a couple header boards that need to be added. So she is about %95 percent done, but I was just so excited to show off this old girls story!

How great, right?!

Now this tired old fence will get to spend the rest of her life in someone's cozy and warm house holding tons of family keepsakes and "perdy's" as my southern hubby says!

You will find this girl for sale at the Grand Opening of Louise's Basement next month!

We are getting pretty excited, things are slowly but surely coming together!

Chat later,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

I don't know about you gals but I am loving the cooler weather and the changing of the season. I always feel like when fall hits I am able to bust out a whole slew of "cooler day recips." Chili, loaded baked potato soup, hotdishes, anything in a crockpot, apple pies, pumpkin bread, zuccini bread, and one of our family favorites... chicken pot pie!
Over the weekend I whipped one up and boy was it warm, delicious, and great for a cool fall day!
Since it's one of our favs I thought I'd pass along the recipe for you to try!
(I'm not one to measure or stick to a recipe so this is my version - feel free to add whatever or tweek it yourself as well!)


3 - 4 Chicken Breast
6 T. Butter
6. T. Flour
1 C. Chicken Stock
1 C. Milk
1 t. Sage
1 t. Thyme
1 t. Garlic Powder
4 C. Cubed Potatoes (roughly 6 potatoes)
1/2 Bag of Frozen Mixed Veggies (peas, carrots, corn, gr. bns.) - Whatever you have works!
2 Pre-done Pie Crust

I prefer to make this recipe when I am home with the babes or on a weekend and you will see why.... well right now...


*First I start off by taking my 3 -4 chicken breasts and putting them in a crockpot, fill it about half full of water, and turn on high.
(however, if you needed to, you could put the chicken in the crockpot and turn it on low - that way by the time you get home from work the chicken would be done and you could just throw everything together then, then put it in the oven to bake!)

I do this in the morning then by the time nap time roles around my chicken is cooked and ready to be shredded!

*So, when chicken is ready take it out of the crockpot and put it in a large bowl. Shred the chicken.
NOTE: Don't disguard the water the chicken was cooking in... this is your chicken stock, homemade none the less, go you! lol

*Next cut your potatoes into cubes and throw them into a boiling pot of water. If they are cubed small enough this should only take about 5 - 7 minutes.

*Once potatoes are done throw them in the same bowl with the shredded chicken.

*Then add your frozen veggies to that same bowl.

*Now, head over to the stove and melt your butter in a pan. Once butter is melted add your flour. Combine and cook this for about 30 seconds to cook out that "floury" taste.
Congrats ladies... you have just made a roux. The base to any thick creamy soup! From here you could conquer the soup world! Chicken Wild Rice, Broccoli Cheddar... think of the possibilities!!!

Ok, enough! I get excited about soup! - Back to the recipe....

*After your butter and flower have come together then whisk in your chicken stock and milk. Cook and whisk this until you have a thick, creamy, mixture. - Oh now is the time to add in your spices.

*Pour the creamy mixture into your bowl of chicken, potatoes, and veggies. Viola! You're pretty much done. The "guts" to your pot pie is done. Yum-O!

*Grab a pie plate, or large oval casserole dish. Spray the bottom and sides with cooking spray then lay one of your pie crusts in the bottom and mold to fit your dish.
Like I said, to make this recipe easier, I use predone pie crust. Cheap, easy, and taste just as good as the orginal.

*Once your crust is in place, pour your pot pie mixture in and add your second crust to the top! (Make sure to poke holes in the top)

* You're DONE!

*Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 - 50 minutes. You'll know when it's done... the house will smell of chicken pot pie and the top crust will be golden brown.
(If your crust is browing way faster than the pie is getting done, put some tin foil over it and that will keep it from browning anymore than you would like but still cooking the inside.)


This recipe is great for a cool day and really not that hard to make. - I might have just rambled making it feel that way. So even though there are a couple steps it really is quite easy and totally worth it.
Even the babes like it! Unreal!

Well, hopefully you will give this a try sometime! My family loves it and I hope yours does too.

Chat later,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy 29th Birthday!

Twenty nine years ago today, my hubby was born at a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri.
And the Lord knew all along that the birth of him and his very existence would inevitably one day change my life. And he was right! One week before Loren's 21st Birthday, destiny took over and we met! He's been in my life for 8 short years but it really is hard to remember my life before him.
If you know me, you know that I think Birthdays are a big deal! I think everyone deserves their birthday to be a celebration! The one special day a year that we honor you! A birthday is the end of one year and all the memories that happened in it and the start of a new year! The start of 365 new journeys.

He may not have always made the right decision in the last 29 years but I think he has made quite the life for himself! I think he has stumbled but found his way, achieved some major life goals, become a fantastic husband and father, and has found along the way how to become a man of character and integrity.
We learned at church this past Sunday that life is all about transformation. That we are all works in progress. God knew we wouldn't be perfect but we could at least strive to be... and I could not agree more.

So here we are today celebrating the life of Loren Dale Appleberry and the 29 years he has been on this earth!

This morning the Birthday Boy was greeted with our traditional homemade birthday signs and a home cooked breakfast!

Early, fall mornings on the porch are the best! This is where Loren and I now enjoy our morning coffee and cereal... but today was more than a cereal kind of day!

After bugging me like a small child, Loren got to open his birthday present. A hunting knife! Woo wee! lol - too bad he knew about it all along! Stinker!

Wally was all about snuggling with his Daddy this morning. Actually I think that is what Walter got him for his birthday... a snuggle, a kiss, and a tail wag!

About an hour and a half after we woke up the babes joined the birthday morning breakfast! Greta was excited to show her Daddy the sign she had made and colored for him!

Soon after breakfast, Jes (my sister & nanny) got there to watch the babes and we left for work.

That was our morning, but little did Loren know that at noon today a pizza was going to be delivered to him at work. Upon opening the box he found a pepperoni pizza that spelled out "Happy Bday!"

Now tonight the Birthday Boy got to make the call on the menu so we are having Meatball Subs and a salad.

This day is actually all apart of "Birthday Week!" A week full of fun, surprises, and celebration!Actually each day this week there is a plan to give him a gift or surprise him in some way. Also on Friday we have plans to go on a date and Saturday we are having a little party with my family.

All in all, this is going to be a good week! - Exactly what I wanted, a week of celebration

So, Happy Birthday to my best friend and the man that changed my life! It is because of this that your life is so very important to me!

Wanna celebrate Loren's life or wish him a Happy Birthday today... be my guest! I am sure he would love a call or a text from each and every one of you!

Chat later,


Monday, September 13, 2010

A Dream Come True!

This is BIG, HUGE, I mean Big Big, Super BIG!
Remember a couple posts ago when I was doing all that stress baking and talking about a new endeavour that presented it's self to Loren and I, a new adventure that we have decided to take on?!
Well, it's all coming together and we are finally ready to share it with everyone!
(gosh, I'll bet half of you are thinking I am pregnant right now! Ha.... Wrong, I am NOT!)

Loren and I have been asked to become part of a brand new shop called Louise's Basement!
The Basement is going to be an occasional marketplace very similar to the shops at Buffalo!
Louise's Basement will be open only 4 days a month and it will focus on vintage furnishings along with tons of fun, shabby chic, cottagey, household items.

We have been asked (by Kelly, the owner and most delightful lady) to join her team of vendors and start crafting and selling all our little projects! So our love of crafting and woodworking is no longer a hobby but is actually taking flight and becoming a little side business!
I could not be more thrilled and excited for this new chapter in life! My Dream... my baby... is finally coming true!
For those of you that know me, you know I have loved doing this kind of stuff since I can remember!

Literally, it goes way back!
......way back to painting signs at the table of our old apartment before I was married.... or when other girls were partying or chasing boys I was one of the girls sewing pajama pants in Michelle Denyes's basement when I was in high school.... or digging through her mom's stash of fabric and making pillows with Adriann way back in middle school!

I have always held onto the vision or dream of one day opening up my own little store, our own little store. A store where I can make and sell the things I love most for my home! Hence where the name Appleberry's Attic got it's start!

I feel like this is our first baby step! A step in the direction of really trying to make something of this!
Oh - and I couldn't be more blessed than to have married Loren! Not only did he grace me with thee most perfect last name for a one day business like this... but he is so talented and more then hands on when it comes to wood working, building, and whipping out projects and little "diddy's" to sell!

Ahhhh, I am just bouncing up and down with excitement! And not too mention some nerves! I mean really.... what if I am not good enough, what if my stuff doesn't sell, what if I can't keep up?! This is the other half of the excitement that keeps me awake at night! But I think these are totally realistic fears right?!

Oh but who cares... the excitement of actually doing this is soooo much more!
So there ya' have it!
Now you are in the know! Appleberry's Attic the business, not just the blog side, is actually taking off!

I would be so honored and excited if those of you girls that live in my area would stop out and check out the new shop! The Grand Opening of Louise's Basement is going to be the second weekend in October.... Thursday, October 7th - Sunday the 10th.
If you want to learn more about the shop or get hours and the address, check out the facebook page for all the details!

Wanna sneak peek of what we've been making?

This isn't even half of what the pile looks like now! Our craft room and garage have stuff hidden in every little nook and cranny! Projects that are done or projects that need to be done! And I didn't even get to step out and take pictures of our larger items.... I guess I was so excited to post the news!

Oh, and check out our business cards! Don't we look all fancy and professional?!?!
(sorry, white out areas for safety purposes)

So, there it is, just a little peek at some of the stuff or the kinds of things you will find at Louise's Basement!

This is going to be sooooo fun!
Just excuse me if I've been a little tired and fussy lately, or if you see me and I have paint in my hair, spray paint on my thumb, a hot glue burn on my arm, or frosting on my lips!
- we've already covered my stress induced need for sweets.
Oh, and I'd like to give a quick shout out to my friend Shannon!
Shannon, if you would have never thought of me and mentioned my name I would not be apart of this! So thank you!
Now go check out that facebook page and I hope to see all you girls at the Grand Opening!

Chat later,

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