Thursday, October 2, 2014

Crockpot Sweet Spiced Apple Butter




You know fall is in full swing in Michigan when you go to the grocery store and see full displays of apples freshly picked from your local apple orchard - right in the produce section. Since my days of going to the apple orchard, riding the hay wagon and picking apples with my daughters are long past, I love that they are available so readily.

I have been craving old fashioned, chunky apple butter for my morning toast and this simple crock pot version is a great recipe. I can't describe how wonderful the fall scents in my kitchen were yesterday, when this was cooking all day long in the crockpot. It came together thick, sweet and delicious - I could have eaten it with a spoon it was so good :-)

So this morning, I'll be enjoying all the flavors of fall - apples; in this sweet and spicy apple butter, spread on multi grain bakery bread and by its side, my favorite pumpkin spice coffee. Welcome October.

Happy Thursday!


Crockpot Sweet Spiced Apple Butter

4 cups peeled and chopped, granny smith apples

3/4 cup brown sugar ( I used Splenda brown sugar to make this suger free)

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, divided

1 T cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Place apples, brown sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, salt, cloves and 2 T butter in crock pot. Stir together. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Stir from time to time. Stir in remaining 2 T butter and vanilla. Cool and place in mason jar. Makes 1 jar apple butter. Enjoy!


{Linking with these friends}


Rattlebridge Farm

All She Cooks

Between Naps on the Porch

Savvy Southern Style


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dining Room Update - Fall Reveal




My dining room update is now finished and over the weekend I was able to add a few fall touches to the decor. My goal was to make this room warmer and more cohesive and I did that with a few details, fabric and wood tones throughout. This update cost very little money and I am pleased with the result. It is close to where I started when I wrote my inspiration post, but like all projects took a few turns here and there due to availability of certain fabrics and other items. After the holidays, I will make some changes in the seasonal decor both on the shelves and on the walls.


The chairs were recovered with a pretty, neutral fabric updating them from their tone on tone stripe. They are cleaner, brighter and by doing it myself the only cost was a few yards of fabric. The small gallery wall got new French inspired prints in square, dark woods frames and for the fall season, I added a cheerful metal sunflower.


The centerpiece of the main wall is this oversized clock. I had many choices, but am glad I chose this old world design. The warm tones achieve the look I had hoped and its size makes a statement in itself.


Fall details in warm tones of green, muted orange and gold add to the cohesiveness of the decor. The Pottery Barn shelf is rustic and adds an unexpected touch to the more formal pieces in the room.

Updating this room was a project I very much enjoyed and will enjoy the neutral tones that I easily work with to change both fabric (tabletop and pillows) and decor as the seasons or my mood changes.

Happy Wednesday!


{Linking with these friends}

A Stroll Thru Life

My 1929 Charmer

Savvy Southern Style

The Charm of Home

Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson

Serenity Now

Between Naps on the Porch

Cozy Little House

Craftberry Bush

Live Laugh Rowe

Skip To My Lou

Rooted in Thyme

DIY by Design

Coastal Charm


Thrifty Decor Chick


Monday, September 29, 2014

Homecoming Parade and Brunch




Another beautiful weekend spent on the MSU campus. So far, the weather on these Saturdays in September, here in Michigan, has been just perfect and we are definitely getting spoiled with sunshine and warm temperatures on game days.

But, before Saturday's game, Friday night was spent watching Melissa and her MSU Pompon Team perform in the annual Homecoming Parade. The streets were lined with people having fun and watching MSU teams, bands and floats parade by. We met a Melissa for dinner after the parade and had a lot of fun.



The next morning, we were back on campus, bright and early for the Green and White Alumni Brunch.



It was a lovely event with green flower arrangements on every table and a delicious buffet breakfast to enjoy. There were various speakers, including our head football coach Mark Dantonio, as well as the MSU band, cheerleaders and our mascot, Sparty. The fight song was sung many times and everyone was in fine Spartan spirit.



We spent the time before the game walking around the beautiful campus, watching the football team make their traditional walk by the Sparty statue and watching the band march into the stadium.

We even were lucky enough to run into Melissa and the pompon team and watch them perform at an alumni tailgate event.



After a great win, we walked along the Red Cedar River and back to our parking spot, happy to have spent another game day on such a beautiful campus.

Happy Monday!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Fragments




I know Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks are very popular now and most everyone can't wait for them to be available every fall, but they are just too sweet for my taste. When you are a diabetic and you don't eat much sugar, anything with a sweet taste can be a little overwhelming in flavor. I do love pumpkin spice Kcups though. They are the perfect fall flavored coffee. I just brew the coffee, right at home, add some half and half to my favorite fall mug and my morning is made better.



The final piece to my dining room update was supposed to be a table runner with this pretty fabric I found online from Since I'm getting ready to put out all my fall decor, it just doesn't seem very fall inspired to me, so I think I will save it for a later date - probably after all the holidays. I have decided I will use something I have and my project is now complete! Blog post next week :-)



I don't watch much network television anymore, but there are three shows that I do love and try not to miss. Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy and Once Upon A Time all premiere this week and I will be watching. I am especially looking forward to see what Once Upon A Time does with the Frozen storyline.



I missed my book club this past week, because I wasn't feeling well, but did want to mention the book we read. Wonder by R.J. Palacio is an amazing young adult book that really should be read by everyone. It deals with the hard subject of bullying, but is told from all points of view and the effect a special needs child can have in both a family and school setting. But, it is ultimately a story how being kind can make a difference.

Have a wonderful weekend!


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