Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taylor Swift's #1 Fan!

Our Greta girl is a HUGE fan of Taylor Swift... or as she likes to call her "Taylo" ... I guess they must be buds like that!
She loves Taylor Swift and any and all of her songs!
She loves to watch her music videos on YouTube, catch Taylor on T.V. singing her latest song, and mainly just humming, singing, or dancing to any Taylor song running through her head at that very moment!

Taylor Swifts most recent song "Mean" has been a huge hit around our house! - I am positive I have heard that song at least a thousand times - but Greta absolutely loves it and can't seem to get enough!

Well, just yesterday "Taylo" happened to be on Ellen! - so I taped the show just so Greta could see her gal pal Taylor sing her favorite song!
About half way through the performance Greta ran into her brothers room and grabbed his guitar and started to strum along!
Click on this You Tube link to see just how cute the whole performance went down!!!

Later that day she was sitting at our kitchen table writing Taylor Swift a letter when she decided to go off the cuff and give a little acoustic performance right at the table!
I grabbed my camera, disguised it the best I could and hit record.

Wanna see what Greta wrote to Taylor Swift in her Jessie the Cowgirl Journal...

I don't know what it says... but if I had to guess I am pretty sure it says something like...
"Taylo, I love you and your song Mean."
"Maybe you could come over and play someday?!"
"I think you're pretty."
Love, Greta

Hahaha, I can't wait till Greta grows up and I have all these wonderful and funny candid videos to show her!
She is probably the cutest, most precious thing I have ever laid eyes on!
Who knows, maybe I have a country singer on my hands and this is the start of something big! lol

Come on Greta... Momma needs a new pair of shoes! ;)

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day Weekend!
My five day weekend was fantastic!

Chat later,


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No Pectin Strawberry Jam!

Over the weekend I tried my hand at making jam for the first time!
And I'd have to say... it was fun, exciting, and a definite success!

The wonderful Mr. Appleberry found a crazy sale on strawberries at a local gas station Friday night.... so he surprised me and came home with 8 lbs.!

So what does a girl do with 8 lbs. of strawberries you ask?!

Well, I made chocolate covered strawberries for dessert that night, kept one pound in the fridge, cut up and froze 2 lbs. and used the remaining 4 lbs to make strawberry jam!

I did not have any sort of pectin on hand when the "jam bug" hit Sunday afternoon so I googled no pectin recipes and

Read that recipe and some of the comments below it.
There were some great tips on how to seal your cans with out doing a hot water bath... and that is what I did and it worked out great!

So, just in case you want to make this no pectin strawberry jam, here is my picture slide show on how the whole thing went down!

Just to see if it worked I started out with the 2 lbs. of strawberries that the recipe called for.
(I later went back and made my second batch after the guarantee that the first batch worked.)

Cut the tops off your 2 lbs. of strawberries then put them in a blender or food processor to "puree" them. - although I just used my food processor and hit pulse a couple times. I like my jam to have a few chunks in it!

Dump your 2 lbs. of strawberries (or 4 cups) into a big pot...

The recipe called for 4 cups of sugar but all the comments said that it was too much and too sweet. So I cut it down and went with 3 cups of sugar...

Then I added 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. It took about 2 lemons...

After the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice are in the pot... heat all of that on medium till the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved crank it up to high and get it going at a rolling boiling.

One of the reader comments suggested throwing the rhine of one lemon in the boiling pot to help compensate for no pectin! It helps preserve the jam for longer.
Since I had one on hand from juicing I threw it in the pot as well!

Heat the jam at a rolling boiling for about 25 minutes!
Remember to keep stirring it.
The recipe talks about doing the freezer test with a plate?!
I found that I didn't need the test.... after about 25 minutes you will see that the sugar has come together to form a nice syrup-y texture and the jam has started to take shape!

Don't forget to take out those lemons!

Ok, here is the part of canning!
Since I have never canned anything before I was a bit leery. But I just followed the directions in some of the comments on the recipe page and I was fine.

While the jam was boiling I filled my sink up with hot, hot water, and put all of the jars and lids I was going to use in the water.
This cleaned and sanitized them.
After 5 - 10 minutes I pulled them out with tongs and placed them upside down on a clean kitchen towel to dry till I was ready to use them.

Once the jam was done I flipped the jars right side up and poured the hot jam in the jars.... leaving a little room at the top.
As soon as the jam is in the jars twist on the lids and flip them upside down immediately.

Let them stay upside down for about 10 minutes before you turn them right side up again.
This will cause them to seal with out needing the big canning pot and hot water bath! - Genius!!!

And here they are!

2 packs or 2 lbs. of strawberries made 2 jars of jam!

And let me tell you... this jam is to die for!

We have already had it on toast, made PB&J's with it, and the babes LOVE it!

Next time you find strawberries at a rock bottom price.... try whipping up a couple batches of
Homemade Strawberry Jam.

It is so much better than store bought!
Trust me!

Happy Canning and Happy Tuesday!

Chat later,


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy...

.... this girl!

... and this face!

Doesn't it look strangely similar to this face...

(G 14 months old... just about a month shy of Tuck being born)

Earlier this week when she was getting snuggled into bed, right after she told me she loved me to the moon! - Greta said... "Mommy, one day when I am big I will take your car and go to the store to by cheez-its and hot milk so you don't have to!"

In the moment I just smiled and laughed but as I write this I can't help but have an "oh my" moment... because she is so very right. One day and one day not very long from now, my little girl will be driving to the store to buy cheeze-its and milk... and what a strangely sad and happy day that will be!

But for now.... Greta is still my one and only little girl! My favorite girl to be exact!
The girl who loves to hug and kiss me goodnight and play with my hair while she is snuggled up to me watching Tangled.

Man, do I love that girl!

Love, hug, and smother your babes with kisses today!
They are so, so, worth it!

Chat later,


Friday, May 20, 2011

A New Adventure - The Front Room!

Hey guys,
So.... Loren and I have been keeping a secret for a little while... or I guess only chatting with our close friends and family about this... but Appleberry's Attic is proud to say that we are joining forces with a second shop!
The Front Room in Blaine is going to be a new shop opening this June and we couldn't be more excited for this adventure!

When we were approached about joining their team I was very hesitant since we are still apart of Louise's Basement! I didn't want to add to much to my plate and start to hate the thing I love most. But with that said, Loren and I chatted for a day or two and came up with a list of pros and cons.... and I gotta tell ya... the pros won!

We love that The Front Room is so close and in our neck of the woods.
We love that the The Front Room is actually inside of O'bella Salon & Spa, meaning it is open all day, every day.
And we love that they sought out Loren and his wood working talent for building custom, big, furniture!

So Loren and I won't be doing all of the things that we do for Louise's Basement.
As of now, at The Front Room you will only be able to find our gorgeous signs, mason jar soap pumps, some chalk boards, a couple pieces of furniture and a whole custom line of furniture made by the one and only... Mr. Appleberry!

In that line of furniture you will find a kitchen table, coffee table, end table, bench, book shelf, and a wall shelf!
And all of the above furniture pieces can be stained and/or painted to fit the space you are looking to fill!

How fun this is going to be!

Here is a sneak peak of the new shelf sitter signs I am whippin' up....

We are pretty maxed out and busy right now as we scurry to get a delivery made for the June sale at Louise's Basement along with filling an entire quota for a new store!

We are pulling lots of late hours just to make sure we get done as much as we can... so, we shall see how it all plays out! - and excuse us friends and family if the house is a mess, there is paint splattered all over us, and the garbage hasn't been taken out! lol

Wish us luck and we really hope you will head up to The Front Room for our Grand Opening on Saturday, June 4th!
There will be prizes, goodies, and lots of great shopping!

But if you are further north and can't make it... 
no worries, come check us out at the June sale up at Louise's Basement the second weekend of June!

Hope you all have a great weekend and if you think of it... say a prayer for us... we are going to need a miracle to get all of this done!

Chat later, 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

My Version of Extreme Couponing!

Well, most of you that know me or follow me on Facebook know that I have completely lost my mind when it comes to getting obsessed with couponing!
I said it yesterday, "Oh my gosh... I am starting to eat, sleep, and dream of couponing! And it all started with .52 cent nail polish! - Alysha Mauriala-Smethurst and Extreme Couponing... you have created a monster!"

Yesterday I also stated on Facebook that I was  "Headed to Target after work and about to tackle my biggest coupon item to date! Goal: 6 boxes of Special K cereal for $5.75 total! That's .96 cents a box! I'll let you know if it turns out how I have planned!"

Well turns out all my couponing paid off!
My Target trip last night was a success!!!

Here is what I scored on...

*Special K cereal for .96 cents a box
*Goldfish crackers for .88 cents
*Nail polish remover for .44 cents
*Nail polish for .52 cents
*Pain reliever for FREE
*Caress body wash for .99 cents
*All laundry detergent for $2.50 a bottle
*Snuggle fabric softener for a $1.75 a bottle!

Everything that you see above cost me $27.83
(not pictured: a box of Snuggle Dryer Sheets, 1 Gallon of milk, and a tank top for myself!)

My total before sales and before coupons should have come to right around $65 dollars! That's a $37 dollar savings on things that I was mostly already buying! - Crazy!

Now I don't know a ton about couponing... actually I know very little!
But I think I have done enough research to say... I know the basics. 
And really the basics are all you need to get started. Once you start and get into it you will find more and more things and more and more ways to save.

Ok, so here is my quick tid bits on what I know about couponing...

1. First you have to get your coupons. Get them in the Sunday paper, online, through facebook, the manufactures site... wherever! - just get them and get as many as you can.

2. Once you have coupons you don't have to use them all right away. Sometimes if you sit on them and wait you will end up getting a better deal.

3. That brings me to this point... what I have learned to be the basic of good couponing is, listen to this... 
When you pair the 2 together that is when you really start to see a savings.

4. Next point, Pairing a STORE COUPON with a MANUFACTURERS COUPON only gets better when the item you have those coupons for is ON SALE!!!
When you get that trifecta together you are bound to get a product for dirt cheap or better yet, FREE!

Now, I'll be honest. I have only done my major couponing at Target so far.
I have not gone to a grocery store and participated in things like "double daze" where they double your manufacturers coupons on certain days.
Like I said I am just getting started and testing the waters on what is out there, what kind of skills I have, and honestly, at what crazy level I want or can find time to take my couponing too!

But like I said, the above things are just the basics I have found from research and my own personal shopping trips.

Some sites I love and follow when it comes to this stuff is...

www.target.com - they have their coupon section listed right on their website in the top right corner.
www.totallytarget.com, www.dealseekingmom.com, www.pocketyourdollars.com and www.coupons.com

Couponing is actually really fun and a great way to save some extra money!
If you are crazy like me... join in!
Me, my coupon friends, and I am sure others would love to chat back and forth with you about what you guys are finding as well!

Hope this helped give you guys a basic start... that's really all I know.

Have a great day.

Chat later,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Some What Wordless Wednesday!

Sorry I haven't been around much this week!

I have been busy painting a bunch of furniture and signs for the shop and I have recently spent some extra time (ha! like i have any of that!) couponing!!!
My cousin Alysha is pretty good at it and after hearing her steals and then watching a couple episodes of TLC's Extreme Couponing... I was slightly hooked!

I'll have to right a quick post on all the new tips and tricks I have learned!
Trust me ya'll I have already saved a good amount of money! Yey!

But besides all the busy-ness of life, I still have these two gorgeous faces to look at every day...
 Gotta love a little brother and sister time while they hang out in their new clearance rain boots! lol
 Funny faces while they play with their talking pigs from Grandma for Christmas! (thanks Gma, those pigs won't shut up! lol)
My beautiful, beautiful babies... who aren't even really babies... but I guess they are my babies!

Hope you all are having a great week!
I'll post more about some couponing and let you guys have a sneak peak at the crafty stuff I've been working on!

Chat later,


Friday, May 13, 2011

A Conversation With The Babes...

We just got home from a great day at the Mall!
We saw the puppies (twice), had a pretzel, went on some rides, and even stopped by Bath & Body Works to claim my free item for signing up for their emails.. nice!
The morning was really fun and like usual... when the babes are out and having fun... they are good!

While we were in the Food Court enjoying our pretzel, pop, and hot dog (I know, healthy!)... 
Greta and Tuck started to talk amongst themselves while I dug in my purse for change...

Greta: "Tucker I am beautiful."
Tuck: "I am beautiful."
Greta: "No you are a boy, you can't be beautiful."
Tuck: "I beautiful!"
Greta: "No, you are stinky!"
(I look up from my purse)
Greta: "I mean you are handsome... and Mom, you are just pretty!"

Oh Greta Janel, you are a funny one!
And my precious Tuck, of course you are beautiful... you just may not want to keep screaming that as you get older! haha

Gotta love toddlers! 
They always have something funny to say!

Happy Friday by the way!
Hope you all have a great weekend! :)

Chat later,


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Oriental Chicken Roll Ups!

Here is a recipe that we tried at our house last night and it was so yummy!

Have you all been to Applebee's and had their Oriental Chicken Roll up or Oriental Chicken Salad?
Well this is my version and here are the ingredients you will need....

Grilled Chicken
Coleslaw/Cabbage Mix - this is just the premixed stuff in the bag (no dressing)
Crunchy Chinese Noodles (think egg foo yung)
Sunflower Seeds
1 Lime
And the main ingredient that makes it all, is this dressing....

Ok, so here is all you do....
Cut your grilled chicken up into thin strips and lay them on your tortilla.
Then add a handful of the cabbage/coleslaw mix and a handful of the crunchy noodles.
Next, sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top and take a quarter of the lime and squeeze the fresh juice onto your roll up.
Once all your ingredients are on the tortilla, simply add a drizzle of the Ken's Asian Sesame dressing and roll that bad boy up!


They were so fast and easy to make!
And the best part is, the clean up was minimal and so were the calories!

Just one quick tip....
Now that grilling season is upon us, Loren and I make sure if we are firing up the grill we grill enough meat for more than one dinner.
So a few nights back we had chicken on the grill, along with a potato and some broccoli.
Well like I said, since the grill was on... Loren threw another pack of chicken on and we were able prep for 1 or 2 more dinners for later in the week!

So, there you have it!
Just an idea of a yummy and simple dinner.

What are you guys having tonight?!

Chat later,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Fun Chalkboard!

I have stated before that I LOVE chalkboards and mainly chalkboard paint because it gives you the freedom to transfer anything or any surface into a writable one! - a chalkboard!

Well, many of you that have been to my home or read this blog know that we have a big old farm window from Missouri that we nailed to the wall and made a chalkboard out of.
(here's the post on that)

I love this chalkboard!
It is a huge, centrally located item in our house that I can right or share just about anything on!
It started with a quote that I love.
Then moved onto a great share board at Tuck's Birthday Party...
And most recently has been changed into our great Summer Fun Board!

I have seen and heard of ladies and Mom's who make a "To Do List" when it comes to all the fun things they want to do or accomplish over the summer and I love the idea!
So I sat down with a pen, paper, and cup of coffee while the babes were napping and brainstormed all the fun things I wanted to do with the babes as a family this summer!

Now when one of those fun activities is done, we can simply check it off the list and move on to another activity!

I just love that it serves as a great reminder and motivation for me to get out there and make some fun memories this summer with Greta & Tuck!

What about you gals?!

Need a giant chalkboard like this?
Do you have a summer fun list?
Or fun activities you love to do every summer?

Share and share alike if you see something fun I could add to my list!!!

Hope you all are having a great week!

I am off to Princeton tonight to make our May delivery for Louise's Basement!
Hopefully I can snap some pics while I am up there and share some of our goodies with you!

Chat later,


Monday, May 9, 2011

Gotta Love These Blooms!

Over the weekend I got not one, but two, lovely bunches of flowers from one of my best friends, Ms. Jamie!

I LOVE fresh flowers in our home!

They are cute and fresh and add just a wonderful pop of spring!
One trick I always follow when I get flowers is to split them up into multiple arrangements.
There is no sense in shoving all of your flowers into one vase.
Split them up into smaller arrangements and spread the love all over your house!
 (oh and fyi: a little white platter and scrap of burlap help bulk up one jar of flowers!)

I made 5 separate arrangements out of the 2 bunches of flowers James brought me!
And just so you know... Mason Jars make thee cutest and perfect size vases!

Once the arrangements were made I simply put them around the house in the places I see, or spend the most time at!
The Kitchen Table.
The Kitchen Sink.
One Living Room End Table
The Living Room Library Table
My Bedside Table.

Now when I see or smell these flowers I can't help but smile!
I think fresh flowers are great and we should all try to have them in our home a little more often!

Actually, check out this great idea from Young House Love....
flowers once a month for one year!
What a fantastic idea and gift!
I better share this post with Mr. Appleberry! ;)

Who's with me?
We could start a club...
Budget Blooms Monthly!

Anyways, hope you all had a great Mother's Day yesterday!
Here's to a happy Monday and a great week ahead!

Now go out and buy yourself a bouquet of flowers on the cheap!
Aldi has them for just $3.99!
Correction... when I went to Ald last night (5.9.11) they had their Mother's Day Bouquet's clearanced out for .99 cents!!!! Better get there today for that price!

Chat later,


(Watched the movie "The Switch" with Jennifer Aniston over the weekend and it was cute. Little slow, but cute. Anyways, this song from the movie just has a great springy beat! Crank this up while your making your budget bouquets and you should instantly feel in a good mood!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Here we are... Mother' Day!
A day to honor, cherish, and tell the Mom's we love just how much we love them.

Today has been a wonderful day.

A woke up to breakfast in bed, which Tucker so politely came running in screaming "Happy Birfday Mudder!" And I was greeted with a wonderful surprise... a note under my plate that read
"Just some facts about our Mommy..." which then lead me around the house reading things like...
"she is kind, warm, funny, crafty, dedicated, smart, and a good cook!"

Yes today has been a good day.

Greta already had a melt down this morning and Tucker's whining and neediness usually hits an all time high on days like this. But, that is a typical day for this Mother. I guess it just reminds you that today may be special but it is still a day in the life of a Mommy.
However needy or naughty my kids can be it still doesn't change the fact that I am their Mother, today is a day to celebrate that, and when the day is done or life is done... they will be my most prized and cherished possession.

And with that I would love to leave you with one of my favorite books that I read to Greta.

"My Mommy and I"
by P.K. Hallinan

My mommy and I are as close as can be.
We always have fun, that's easy to see!
We like to sip punch and watch great cartoons!
We like to play bunches of games with balloons!
And few things are better than the stories she tells,
When it's time for my nap or I'm not feeling well.
Sometimes we'll go on a trip to the zoo,
And look at the bears and the elephants too!
Or sometimes we'll visit the mall down the street,
And pick out new clothes and have treats to eat.
We play at the park.
We sing like a lark.
We light up our flashlights to brighten the dark.
And Mommy's right there if I ever feel scared.
We like to dress up on Sundays for church.
We like to have picnics under the dogwood and birch.
And we like to give thanks to God for His love,
For the shoes on our feet and for heaven above.
Yes, Mommy is special in so many ways.
Her love is the sunshine that comforts my days.
She's there when I laugh and there when I cry.
We're joined at the heart,
My Mommy and I.

To all the Mom's out there...
Happy Mother's Day!

May God bless us Mom's with patience and wisdom to raise healthy, happy, children of God.

Chat later,


Saturday, May 7, 2011

First Bonfire of The Season!

Yesterday was the perfect Friday!

The sun was shining, the weather was finally warm, the babes and I spent the afternoon outside playing and having a picnic, and we even had a bonfire at night!

These are the Fridays that make you love Spring & Summer!
These are the Fridays that make you open all your windows and enjoy the warm air to come!
These are the Fridays that kick off a great start to a great weekend!

Now that both babes are old enough, we were so excited to get out and try our hand at a family bonfire!
Greta & Tuck have recently been talking about having a bonfire and "roating martmellows" and we thought yesterday was the perfect weather and the perfect night to do so!

So, I grabbed a tray and loaded it up with all the bonfire goodies you could think of and hit the backyard!
Hot dogs, chili, cheese, ketchup, mustard, relish, potato salad, and chips!
Now that's my kind of spread!
The babes jumped on the trampoline while we roasted up the wienies for everyone.

 I'll have to admit though... not much of the babes hot dogs were eaten.
They were too excited for what was to come...
 ... roasting marshmallow's!!!
Mmm mmm!
My favorite part of the night!
Daddy helped Tuck and Mommy helped Greta and we set off to roasting!

Tuck had fun roasting and loved his marshmallow... Greta on the other hand caught hers on fire and freaked out! I however LOVE the crispy ones, so I had no problem getting rid of it for her and starting a new one! ;)

 They absolutely loved it and had so much fun making S'mores!
 Camp fire, s'mores, and some outside play time... the babes were in heaven!
 And so were we!
A nice relaxing evening... together!
As our night started to wined down we enjoyed one last time on the swings...
 ... before they were told to head inside for a bath!
 All in all it was a GREAT night!
Lots of fun, lots of family play time, and lots of laughs!
A GREAT start to a GREAT Mother's Day Weekend!

I told you last night was the perfect Friday night! :)

Hope you all are having a great weekend!
And to all you Mom's out there....
Happy Mother's Day if we don't chat tomorrow!

Make sure to relax and do something for yourself that you love... you deserve it!

Chat later,


Friday, May 6, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy...

This boy...

On this chair...
Walter George Appleberry is thee sweetest 10 lb. 2 foot long wiener dog you will ever meet!

He loves to cuddle on my lap, lay outside and sun bathe, play with the neighbor dogs, bark at everyone, pee on anything outside, sit on the kitchen table, "sing", and sleep at the foot of our bed!

He is beyond wonderful and brings so much joy to my life!
I have always said...
if you don't own a pet... you are missin' out on life!

Hope you all have a great Friday!

Chat later,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...