Cyber Monday?

Happy Thanksgiving weekend everyone! I hope you all had a blessed and wonderful weekend!
Well, tomorrow, I am learning, is Cyber Monday. I have be honest with you, since this is my first year as an online retailer, I have never heard of Cyber Monday. But as I was sitting here on the couch with the kiddos watching Christmas movies, I’ve been going through my emails on my Blackberry and I was shocked at how many of them were from retailers regarding Cyber Monday and all their sales that will be taking place. So I’m kinda catching on that this is big sales day for online retailers.
 I’m willing to open the shop back for TOMORROW ONLY starting this evening at 10 PM PST to Monday at 10PM PST. And the best part would be the Black Friday sales would continue and the perks would also be in effect. Here’s a screen shot of my newsletter that went out last week with all the info on Black Friday.
Did any of you miss out on the Black Friday sale? Would you be interested in Cyber Monday? Please let me know, I’m only opening the shop if people are interested.

Christmas Tree Time!

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll remember that I got a GREEN tree this year. By green I mean “non-flocked”.  This is a big deal for me because for the past six years of my married life, I have gotten a flocked tree. I LOVE THEM. They are so beautiful I think. But this year I decided we’d get a green one…you can read all the reasons in yesterday’s post. Ha.
Anyway, every year it seems that I am running to the Christmas tree lot the night before our youth staff comes over for our Christmas party and staying up very late decorating it. So I decided to go the day after Thanksgiving and I thought it would be really fun to have my parents go with us. And it was! We had a great time picking out a tree and decorating it. 
We get our tree at Tim’s Trees in the Macy’s parking lot on Pacific. We go there every year, they have the most beautiful trees. Tim and his wife Patty are so sweet and Tim looks just like Santa. I forgot to get a picture of him but Jake kept calling him Santa and giving him hugs. It was so cute.
Evy and Brandon when we first arrived. Evy’s hat is from Dear Lillie, but we forgot the cute flower that goes on it!! :( Anyway, we LOVE it!

We’re excited {or Jake is at least, ha!} :)

Following Mumsy around looking for a tree

We found one! Jake and Gramps turning it for us to see if it has any holes or ugly sides.

Mumsy and Gramps 

Evy does not go ANYWHERE without her blanket from Auntie Monica. It’s her wrap tonight at the tree lot. ha.

Mumsy and Gramps with Jake {making a very strange face} in front of the tree that made me stop and wonder if I was silly for not getting a flocked tree?!? ugh.

Tim {or Santa} gave the kids candy canes. They were soooo excited!

Jake guarding the tree while Daddy went to get the car.

Jake being helpful getting the tree on the roof

Daddy tying the tree to the top of the car

And then on to decorating! Evy went to bed and this year was the first year Jake helped us. The tree looks very interesting! ha. But I love it. We had so much fun and I had to move a couple things around after Jake went to bed, but it was so great to see Jake have so much fun. He’s really getting into the whole Christmas spirit. Seems like he really gets it this year.
He was so excited, he started opening the ornaments even before we were ready. We said, “hang on Jake”…
And here was his response! ha.
Putting the first bird on the tree

Jake hanging the stockings. And yes, that’s a bin of hoodies he’s using for his step stool. ha.
Picking out the ornaments
Hanging the first ornament of the season, Jake’s fire truck from Mumsy last year. Every year Mumsy gets all the kids their own ornament. It’s very special and fun.

Despite the fact that we were hanging up a gazillion ornaments, all Jake cared about were these nutcrackers. These were my Dad’s and the green one always was in our house in Tahoe, up high where we couldn’t play with it. Unfortunately Jake found them in the tub and pretended they were soldiers marching in and out of the room. My dad wasn’t too happy! ha.

The finish product

So remember that post yesterday? About not caring so much about the beautiful things and enjoying the special things. Usually my tree has beautiful ornaments with some of the random ones in the back, but I am finding that a tree isn’t really about that to me. I used to go over to my sister in law’s house and see her tree filled with random ornaments and wonder why in the world she didn’t have a theme?!? But now I know why…
Some ornaments are just so special. And they NEED to be seen. :) So here’s a few of my ornaments. And so sorry the pictures are so bad. They were taken late at night.
In this picture my mom gave us that wise man ornament last year, the Just Married car our first year of marriage, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel the second year of our marriage {we were trying to get one before we got pregnant with Jake} and the mouse solider I bought in the Germany exhibit while we were at Disneyworld last year.

This glass ball below is very special to me. The Christmas before Brandon and I got married, I had a little girl named Serene in my class. Her mom’s name was Stella and she was the same age as me. Stella had been married young and had Serene and another daughter. While she was pregnant with her second daughter, her husband, who worked for CalTrans, was killed while making a portion of a freeway in Fresno. Stella had remarried a very nice man and had little boy. Stella was SUCH a sweetheart and would come into my classroom and cut things or help with the kids or bring treats. A couple years later Stella got pregnant  with a little girl named Ashley and developed a very severe case of placenta previa. Unfortunately, when Stella went into labor some things went very wrong and she passed away right after Ashley was born. Our entire teaching staff was devastated, as we all loved Stella.
Well, she made this darling ornament for me that year I had Serene. It’s a transparency picture of Brandon and I put inside this glass ball. You can’t see it very well as the ball as gotten kinda foggy inside and the transparency has faded quite a bit, but it  means SOOO much to me. I hope it lasts for many more years to come. Every year when I take that ball out I pray for Serene and her family. And ask the Lord to touch them all. I’m sure you understand why this is means a lot to me.

And this ornament is from our honeymoon in Disneyworld. It’s the first ornament we bought as a couple. We actually aren’t big Mickey fans, but it reminds us of how much fun we had together on our honeymoon. Love it!

And the last ornament I will bore you with. This ornament was made by one of my student teaching classes. It was the 2nd grade class I taught for my pre student teaching. It’s the coolest idea, a plastic ornament filled with different paints and then all the kids wrote on it with gold pen. I would totally love to make these for Jake’s teachers and for grandparent gifts, so I am going to search for the directions. If I do them, I’ll do a little tutorial. It’s really the coolest ornament!

Well, that’s all for now. What kind of tree do you get? Do you have a real tree, a flocked tree or a fake tree? Do you have special ornaments or do you use only decorative ones, and if you do decorative, what do you do with all the “special” ornaments you get throughout the year?

Signs Of The Times

Signs that I am getting old:
1. I lost my sunglasses several days ago. This is a BIG deal as I have had these sunglasses for over 4 years {amazing record for me} and I am very attached to them. Not to mention that I seriously cannot see while driving without them. It is a hazard to have me on the road sans glasses. 
Anyway, you would think I would be jumping up and down for joy over the fact that I have lost them as it really is time for a new pair and who doesn’t love getting new {and a little more stylish, in my case} sunglasses?
Um, no.
This was a very horribly depressing thing to me. I loved my glasses. And when I arrived at Nordy’s tonight and started looking, I about had a heart attack over the prices and the massive amounts of choices. I practically wear the same thing every day, for crying out loud. Obviously I don’t care much about my looks. I just wanted my old glasses back. 
So as I tried on every pair in the case {while Brandon waited in the car with two out of control kids}, I finally found my old pair. And they were the cheapest pair there. Even though the two very hip sales associates assured me that several other pairs looked much nicer and much more “current” {their words}, I walked out with the same glasses I have had for 4 years. 
Like a little old lady. Oh boy.
2. I occasionally succumb to the fashion trends. Only because I am desperate and don’t care anymore if they are REALLY my style or not. I want comfort. Even if it means ugly. Like my Nannie had every color boring Ferragamo flats under the sun when she got older {because they were “comfortable”} I will be the old lady with every ugg, every puma, basically anything comfortable that is showcased up and front at Nordy’s.
{And yes, I buy anything at that store. Maybe someday we’ll see Evy’s Tree there…by faith! ha.}
Anyway, tonight I saw a mob of people surrounding a table and peeked over their shoulders to see what the fuss was about. Oh boy. Toms. 
Confession {and you can stone me for this if you’d like. And yes I realize I am using a lot parenthesis tonight}: I kinda think they are ugly. But we are going on a family vacation in a couple weeks and I needed something a little more versatile than my uggs and my pumas. So I tried them on. And they were super comfy. And they are hip. And in. So I don’t have to think about if they are considered cute or not. It was obvious by the mass of 20 somethings that they were. So there you have it. 
I have now become a bonafide blindfolded consumer. And to further put a nail in my coffin, I bought Evy a pair too. 
3. This is by far the worst. Brace yourselves all my dear friends who know me so well. 
I willingly chose to get a “green” tree this year. All by myself. I suggested it. And by “green” I mean a NON flocked tree. 

How can this be you ask? Well, several reasons but the top two are : Money and Mess. Which means the green tree without the flock is less money and less mess of white specks everywhere. Why does this matter? Well, every penny we have goes back into Evy’s Tree and the Evy’s Tree “factory” is in the living room so I do not want ANY white flocked bits floating around. 
So green it is. Again, WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!?
I guess this all means that I have really grown up and am starting to look at life through different lenses. Tonight as I wandered around the mall with my overburdened stroller, my two wild kiddos who ran like maniacs around, and my very handsome husband who kept reaching over and giving me little kisses on the cheek here and there….
I realized that life is not about what I thought it was many years ago. It’s not about the things that used to be so important. It’s about family. And love. Faith and happiness. And “beautiful” or “expensive” things aren’t always top on your list with those other things. 
I guess I am thinking about this because 10 years ago I used to be so fashion forward. I shopped all the time {because I had money and time! ha} and would die if I had to wear the same thing twice. But tonight as I walked around the mall, I could care less if I stepped foot in H&M, JCrew, or Anthro {well, ok, I could sit peacefully in Anthro for hours, so that’s a bad example, ha}. I had way more fun in Pottery Barn kids watching my babies play with the kitchen, the dollhouses and the wooden cars. 
So I guess I am proud to say that I am “old”. And I suppose that in itself is a sign of the times.
But please…
shoot me if my shoes EVER look like this:

These are my Dad’s 30 year old beloved penny loafers that apparently he bought at Penny’s a while back. Before we were leaving for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, my mom looked at my rug and said, “Oh, Ron, you must stop walking you are tracking dirt around everywhere!”
My Dad stopped for minuted and examined things and nope, it wasn’t dirt…it was the bottom of his shoe! It had literally exploded from age!! ha! And because my Dad is such a frugal person, he wore the shoes to dinner at Wine and Roses. When we left there was rubber scattered all over that floor and my Dad’s sock was showing through the bottom of the shoes.
No, I’m not kidding.
We kept telling him good thing he wasn’t on an airplane when it happened as the TSA would probably arrest him for being a shoe bomber! haha. 
But again, I guess not caring is a sign of the times because my Dad obviously doesn’t care one bit. About anything like that really. Must be a really peaceful life.
So pass the sofa and Centrum….it’s a wonderful and blessed life! :)
Oh PS hopefully tomorrow I will share my tree with you. It turned out really cute!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have been thinking about my childhood a lot lately. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I have kids and I am taking a really good look at our holiday traditions {or lack of, ha} that our family currently holds. 
 I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before but my mom, her older brother and her parents immigrated from England when she was 12 years old. My grandfather’s family had lived in the same town, Wolverhampton, for over 500 years, so you can imagine the huge shock it was when my mom’s parents decided to come to America. It definitely was a better life for them, but the one thing lacking was family, as all the family was still in England or Wales {my grandmother was Welsh}. As my mom got older and got married, my grandparents and Uncle moved to Oregon {weather more like “home”} and my mom was here in California by herself.
Because of this, we spent most of our holidays with my dad’s parents. My dad is an only child, born and raised in Burlingame, a suburb of San Francisco. My grandparents were members at The Peninsula Golf and Country Club up until their death and I have many, many fond memories of holidays at their club. The club would have the most amazing Thanksgiving dinners. The food was to die for and the desserts…oh wow. I remember those still. They had the most incredible custard dishes…yummo! And then after dinner they opened up their beautiful ballroom and my siblings and I would take turns spinning our Nannie and Gramps around the dance floor. 
Great memories!
For the last couple years, Brandon’s parents have been out of town for Thanksgiving and my parents have been with us. My parents, probably due to the many years at the club, prefer to go out for Thanksgiving, so this year, as we did last year, we went to Wine and Roses for their Thanksgiving Buffet. 
OH WOW. Was it good!
And it has made me think so much about my childhood. As I watched my kids run around the ballroom like I did, I smile. I know they have many fond memories of Wine and Roses like I did about the Club. When people act shocked that we eat out for Thanksgiving, I laugh. Probably because its MY norm, I guess its not a big deal to me. In fact, I actually enjoy it. No cooking for days, no clean up, no leftovers upon leftovers {which I sometimes do miss!}… Do I have any blogging friends that go out for Thanksgiving or do you all stay home and cook?
So here are some pictures from our day yesterday, hope you enjoy them.
Us arriving to W&R’s. Wish we had taken some pictures of the outside. It is sooo beautiful there!

And my boy. He’s such a ham {in need of a haircut too, ha!}. Anyway, my parents brought the kids toys when they arrived. Evy got that Groovy Girl and Jake that car, which you will hear more about throughout this post. ha.

Chowing down on bread while we get them their plates….

And my boy, could he ever make a normal face??
And then we tried to have Jake take a picture with Mumsy and of course, I say smile and this is what I get…hmm

Our plates of food. Seriously delish…
A bad picture of the ballroom and food area

And my dad’s plate{s}. I know I’ve said it before, but he has the metabolism of a teenager!
Me and my man, we are both so stuffed we can hardly smile. ha! Notice the little fruit custard tarts. I promise UNBELIEVABLE!! And notice my double chin…??? right. ha.
And the dessert room
Jake getting to pick out his dessert. Even though he didn’t eat dinner. oh boy.

Can we say chocolate overload?
Evy with her dessert. It’s custard. Yes, she’s my child.

Lots of hugs and kisses to go around throughout the night

And remember that car I talked about in the beginning…well it comes apart. Yes. You heard me. Lots of pieces. And they were lined up nice and neat under the table…
And dropped all over the floor, with tires rolling under the neighbor’s table, and the waiters having to crawl on their hands and knees to find the wheels. Right. Lots of fun.
And then of course we attempt the family picture in front of the fireplace {where Brandon and I sat at our wedding reception}, but it seems like a whole new ballgame every year…

I guess this one will have to do. Evy’s dress is made by my good friend Monique of La’Monique Boutique, by the way. LOVE IT!

And then this morning we are all gradually waking up after such a fun evening. {I went to bed at 2am thanks to Evy’s Tree Black Friday Sale at midnight. Good Lord, that killed me! ha}
And Evy Love…someone please help us out. All morning we have been contemplating what color her eyes are?!? Sometimes they look grey, sometimes hazel, sometimes even a green or light brown. Help! Any suggestions? We feel so bad calling them random colors! ha.

Anyway, every year I think about how blessed I am. How I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing me one more year with my family. I know I say this every year, but so many friends have lost loved ones this year and it just makes me so thankful that my family is still, by the grace of God, together. What a blessing!
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you..” I Thes 5:18
This verse has meant so much to me lately. NO MATTER WHAT you are going through or where you are in life, everything deserves thanks. So thank you Lord for such a wonderful and blessed life. I love you so much and I hope that the Miraflor family brings praise to you.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Black Friday Sale and Holiday Collection Release

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your day surrounded by those you love. That is my favorite thing about Thanksgiving, being with my little family and thanking the Lord for them. I am so blessed! I am sure you feel the same!
This post will be short as I we are off to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to share with the blogging world about my HUGE Black Friday sale.
All items in the shop will be marked down starting at 12:01 AM Pacific Time{they will have the normal 2-3 week turnaround time, but will arrive before Christmas}. And, on top of all items on sale, I will be releasing my Holiday Collection. The cool part about this holiday collection is that they will ship within a week so you have to enjoy through December. Here they are:
Charlie Brown Christmas Brilla
One hoodie per size, S-XL, plus size xl and xxl.
Christmas Plaid Brilla with Mrs. Darcy Red Brooch
Two hoodies per size, S-XL, plus size XL and XXL
Mini Christmas Plaid Brilla with Mrs. Darcy Red Brooch
Two hoodies per size 2-10
Mini Christmas Plaid Brilla with a jersey knit brooch
One 3-6 mth, two 12-18 mths
Red Lacey Zip Up
Three hoodies per size S-XL, Plus size xl and xxl
Mini Lacey Zip Up
Three hoodies per size 2-6 only
Black Zebra Brilla
Not sure how many I have. I will for sure have one hoodie per size S-XL and plus size XL and XXL
Mini Black Zebra Brilla
Sizes and quantities in {}
{2}2, {3}4, {3}6,{3}8, {2} 10
Butterfly Brilla
One hoodie per size S-XL, Plus size xl and xxl
Red Simple with gold Mrs Darcy Brooch
Sizes S-XL, Plus size xl and xxl, EIGHT hoodies available
Bella Brilla
Two hoodies available per size 12-18 mths, 18-24 mths, 2-10
Chocolate Brown Jackie Brilla with Mrs Darcy Brooch
One hoodie per size available S-XL, plus size xl and xxl
Chocolate Brown Zebra Brilla
Two hoodies per size, S-XL and plus size xl and xxl
Mini Chocolate Brown Zebra Brilla
Two hoodies per size 2-10
All of the hoodies will be released at 12:01 am PACIFIC TIME tomorrow morning, Black Friday.
If you see something you like I would suggest you log on to my shop a little before midnight and kept refreshing until you see the items pop up. For many of these hoodies I have used all the material I have, so when I say a certain amount is available, I am sincere. :) Some of them will be made maybe once more.
Also, if you are on Facebook, I would suggest that you check out our page there. All the information regarding the hoodies is on there and I will corresponding with you if have questions throughout the sale.
Ok, but I didn’t even tell you most exciting thing about the Black Friday sale…
If you spend $130 {before tax and shipping} you get a free Lacey Tee of your choice. Sizes and colors are limited, so please send me an email after buying {} and give me your color and size preference. I can match your size and will do my best to match your color….
If you spend over $250 {before shipping and tax}, you will receive free shipping! If you order a Holiday Collection item as well as some of the Fall Collection items, your Holiday items will ship before you Fall Collection, but you will still receive free shipping on both orders. I will send you a refund though paypal sometime over the weekend.
I hope this all makes sense? Please feel free to send me an email or leave a comment if you have any questions. Otherwise….I will see you tonight!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


Well, tonight its supposed to freeze here, so like a good horticulturist {haha} I ran out about an hour ago and covered my beloved not so little meyer lemon bush and my orange tree. While I was out there freezing {and realizing that my lemon bush is GIANT now…seriously! I had to use a queen size sheet instead of the twin I used last year!!}, I started thinking about all those people out there who didn’t have a lovely home like mine to keep warm in. The only ones freezing in our house would be the plants.
And for that I am so thankful. 
I am beyond, beyond blessed. Aren’t you? 
Healthy family, warm lovely home, food {even its mac and cheese or top ramen, ha}, clothes {even if its Evy’s Tree, Evy’s Tree, ugh}
and seriously the cutest kids on the planet
and the best husband EVER
So Lord, just a quick prayer for those who are freezing tonight out there. Keep them safe. And if there is anyone who is “freezing” inside…they might have a home, a family, but feel something is missing, I pray they would find You. 
….and I attempted to load pictures, but blogger hates me tonight, so this might be the blah looking post ever posted by me. ha. :) 
God bless you all!

Food Friday…er, Saturday: Apple Pie

I want to preface this post with the following:
That being said, I do know how to make a pie from scratch and am a firm believer that all pies should have homemade crust of some kind. I know I will be labeled a pie snob for saying so, but I can’t STAND store bought crust!! I probably have good reason for this, my mom is an incredible pie maker and we never had anything other than homemade crust in our house, therefore you can imagine my shock when I went over to a friend’s house for pie and realized that not everyone really knew how to make a pie from scratch. I realized that I was very lucky…my mom had taught me simply by osmosis how to make a pie  and I am so thankful she did. Even now when we have a little bit of time and all the ingredients, I’ll ask her for a little pie lesson.
So I dedicate this post to my baby girl, Evelyn. Evy, if I am not able to be around when you are a little older and therefore unable to teach you how to make a pie from scratch, please read this post and LEARN. You will be so happy you did. You don’t have to be a professional pie maker, but your family will love you for it, and even more importantly than that, you will feel so good to know that you are making something that will be so loved and appreciated because EVERYONE loves a homemade pie!!  I love you baby girl!!
Ok, so with those preliminaries out of the way, I have to warn you this is a very long post!! If you have made a pie scratch you will know it is a very involved thing…so many apologies, course I’ve been such a bad blogger lately that I don’t even think anyone reads this blog anymore! ha. So if that’s the case…we’re good!! :)
The recipe I use is actually passed on from my Great Aunt Luella. She was my Nannie’s sister {my dad’s mother}. Nannie and Luella were 100% German, their mother was an immigrant to America in the mid-late 1800′s. The story goes that Nannie’s mother was an exceptional cook and would make pies all the time as well as homemade pasta noodles that she would drape over the kitchen chairs to dry and my dad would nibble on them by crawling on the floor under the chairs! I’m sure she made many other wonderful things besides pies and pasta but apparently those two things were my Dad’s fave because that’s pretty much all my dad mentions when he refers to her food! ha.
Anyway,  I guess my Nannie wasn’t really interested in pies as much as she was in baking, but Aunt Luella was. She became an expert pie maker and before she died, she taught my mom. The story goes that she gave my mom several lessons my parent’s first year of marriage. According to my mom, she was so determined to learn how to make a good pie that she made one EVERY DAY for dinner just to practice. Amazing my mom stayed as thin as she did! ha. Anyway, after a full year of making a pie every day {or close to it}, one summer day she asked my dad, “So tell me honey, which pie is your favorite?” {referring to the many she had made…she wanted to know which kind of pie, berry, pumpkin, etc, that she made was his fave}. He thought about for a while and responded, “My Grandmother’s Custard.”
My mom said she quit making a pie every day after that. 
But the hard work paid off…I’m probably biased, but my mom’s crust is TOO DIE FOR. Seriously so light and flaky and just YUM MO! I have never tasted anything as good as hers {course I am probably biased}. But really, everyone loves her pies and all of us kids have a favorite one: My brother Jeff’s is rhubarb, Pammy’s Apple, mine is blueberry and Brad would eat any of them…anyway, we all love her crust. In fact, when my sister was little, if my mom made a fresh pie she would have to hide it from her as on many occasions my mom would leave the pie in the kitchen to cool and come back to find that my sister had eaten the crust off the entire pie!! It’s really that good. 
So ok, enough history…here’s the apple pie recipe:
{Excuse the straight out of the camera pics, I was too tired to edit ALL these pictures!}
Mumsy’s Apple Pie Filling

6-8 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 C. White Sugar
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
{add equal amounts more sugar if necessary}
2-3 TB of fresh lemon juice
1/4C of all purpose flour
1 teas salt
1 teas cinnamon
Make sure the men in your family are excited and playing air guitars before starting! ha
Anyway, peel the apples. Yes, I am aware there is probably some great machine out there that can do this for you. I guess I just can’t change my mom’s way of doing things. :)
Cut into small chunks
Peel almost completely to the core
If pieces are not even, make sure to cut them again. The pie will not cook evenly if you do not.
Add all the ingredients
Stir. It will seem dry at first, but as the apples set while you make the crust the sugar will begin to make a syrup. Taste the apples now and just before you put in pie. If it does not taste sweet enough add a little sugar{both kinds} a 1/4 C at a time. Set aside.
Aunt Luella’s Pie Crust

2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 tea salt
2/3 C. Crisco, heaping
1/4 C. Iced water

According to my mom, there are a couple very important things to know while making pie crust:
1. Make sure your house is cool. If it is winter, turn the heater off and open some windows, if it is summer, close all the windows and turn on the air. Heat makes the dough crumble and not able to form.
2. Do not touch the dough too much with your hands. The heat from your hands can have the same effect as #1. You can, however, use the pie cutter and fork as much as you would like.
3. Make sure all your untensils are available and at ready use. Every second counts when making a pie, and you don’t want dough to sit on the table for too long.
4. Fill your sink with extremely hot, soapy water. It helps to have a quick place to put all your utensils after being used, plus makes the clean up easier, especially if you have to remake crust.
Begin with 2 VERY level cups of flour
Add salt and mix
Set aside 1/4 C of very level salt and flour mixture
Add your Crisco, notice the heaping.
Begin cutting, using a knife to scrape crisco off cutter when it gets stuck. Do not use your fingers.
It will look like this when done…
Pour the reserved  1/4 C flour mixture into another cup and then add 1/4C of VERY cold water and create a paste.
Add paste to dough
Using fork, stir paste into mixture
Using your hands, shape into a ball. Try to do this a quickly and efficiently as possible. My mom says about 3 or 4 pats is all you need.
It does help to refrigerate for about 20 or 30 minutes if you have the time. I didn’t tonight…Cut dough in half and prepare your rolling area with a good portion of flour. You do not need too much, but I like to have a good amount that I can shove over in the corner and take from when needed…
Or that your daughter can play with!! ha.
Take the first half of the dough and start rolling. I like to put flour on the top to help the pin from sticking.
As you roll, the edges will naturally crack, with your fingers, quickly pinch back together.
Roll from THE CENTER TO THE SIDES, NICE AND FIRM. Try not too over do it. I like to get a feel for if I should roll more by holding my dish over the dough and making sure it will be enough.
Once you are satisfied, take a knife and carefully loosen underneath the dough and fold it in half. BE VERY GENTLE, it will break. This dough should have been refrigerated as it did crack some.
Gently lift the dough into the dish
Gently press the sides in and then take kitchen scissors or a knife and trim the edges a little, but not too much. I left a lot of mine as I like a thick crust.

Add the apple mixture. It will be much more juicer, so don’t be alarmed.
Sprinkle some flour, no more than 2 TBS, to ensure the pie doesn’t get too runny.
Put about four or five pats of butter on top. Butter acts as a thickener.
With the second half of the dough, follow the steps to roll out and fold in half. Bring on top of the apples. The second half of this dough did not make it. I had to start over. :( THIS IS NOT UNCOMMON!! I have watched my mom start over countless times, which is why she suggests keeping all the utensils in the hot soapy water…you can start over pretty quickly with that.
here’s my bum top…
And here is my second try at it. I actually had a little crack in it, which is why I kept the fold in the top. Normally you should aim to have a flat top. Unfortunately I was not lucky this time, and I was too tired to try AGAIN! ha.
Using your two fingers on one hand the index finger on the other, create the crust by gently folding the two layers under and then pushing together to seal. It’s important to seal, or else liquid will spill out. Sometimes you will find cracks, which is why I keep the extra pieces from the first time around. You can easily cover up a crack with an extra piece of dough and a little water…just put the piece over the crack and then run your finger under water and seal the edges. It will form together easily.
Prick to allow steam to escape
Bake at 400 for one hour. But watch carefully I bake for about 30 minutes and then usually I need to tent it, or cover with some tin foil, or if the edges of the pie are getting darker than the rest, you can drape tin foil around just the edges. 
So what to do with all the extra dough? My mom always made little pinwheels. :) Roll out the dough, pat with butter, sprinkle with a fair amount of sugar and cinnamon.
By this point it was 7:45 and my little princess had had enough. TIRED GIRL! ha.

Pop them both in the oven
And the finish product. Unfortunately the roll really makes mine look ugly, but it couldn’t be helped. No one cared anyway. :)
Usually you should let the pie cool, but Jake couldn’t wait. So I went ahead and cut it. When the pie cools, it won’t be as runny as this….
And lastly, my babies earlier. Are they not the craziest bunch?? I love you two! I hope you make pies from scratch..even you Jake. You LOVED baking with Mommy today. xoxo
And if I have ANY readers of this blog left…do any of you make your own pie? Would love to know some of your tricks. Thanks for listening to my little family recipe. Much love to you all!

When You’re Sick…

You eat.
Well, at least I do. You know the whole, “Feed a cold, starve a fever” thing.
Which is probably why I am still carrying around all that weight I’ve been wanting to shed.
The kids needed a quick meal and I was too tired and sick to really make them much, as I’ve had this stupid cold since last Thursday. It really must go away soon, or else I just might threaten the whole trip to the Dr on it. 
So as I was saying…food. The kids were hungry, Brandon was heading off to the youth revival that our church is having {how was it everyone??? So sad to miss it!!} and I needed food so I made this {Please ignore the HORRIBLE photos too tired to fix them}:
Artichoke Pasta is the name I guess…
And don’t worry, that’s not my plate, its my husband’s :)
This is mine
Right lots of veggies, extra cheese, minimal carbs. Ha.
And here’s my girl, she loves pasta, a girl after my own heart.
Jake on the other hand wouldn’t touch it. He would eat the “trees” however, thank God. I guess that counts for something. Seriously that kid just wants cereal and cereal bars. ugh.
Anyway, here’s the recipe, but I warn you its not healthy!
3 minced cloves of garlic
2 Tbs Butter
1 1/2 cups white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
can of artichoke hearts, chopped
goat cheese
parmesan cheese
Bow tie pasta
Boil pasta. Saute garlic in butter, add artichoke hearts, let cook for a few minutes. Add wine, let reduce by half, add cream, cook until bubbly and creamy. Add salt and pepper. Toss cooked pasta in sauce, add several large chunks of goat cheese and parmesan. 
I promise it is sooo good. Wowsers.
Please pray for me. I am up because I cannot sleep thanks to this cough. I would give anything for some rest. Nyquil is taking forever to work tonight. :(
Hope you all are healthy and cold free!

Need Some Good Birth Control?

Well, here you go….
Yes, that’s my kitchen at the end of the day courtesy of Jacob and Evelyn. In case you can’t see floor here’s an up close look….

And just to clarify I sweep the floor like 4 times a day….
Or how about this one?? This is my spare room, which houses our laundry pile, and this is the pile for the last couple days. In fact, there is about 3 more baskets at the foot of the bed that hadn’t been emptied yet. And I have to say that the majority of it is the kids stuff. My mom keeps telling me there is no way we can have that much laundry. I keep telling her that all my friend say they have a lot of laundry too…right friends??
Double Ugh.

Or having your son tell you that he made a the letter “C” with his poop.

{Brandon wants me to link this post with the above picture. Why he wants to subject you to more poop I have no idea, but he feels that if the above picture was not birth control enough, then the other post will be. ha.}
So when people ask me if I’m going to have more kids, all the above rush before my mind and that alone makes me think TWICE. 
But then my friends keep having babies and they are sooo stinkin’ cute. {Congrats SoShawna!!}
Oh boy. 
Triple ugh.
And my kiddos. I could have more like them. They are the best ever. Seriously the craziest, funniest kids on the planet. Like yesterday Jake wanted to learn how to point and shoot the camera, so I showed him and a few minutes later, this is what he came up with. Without my help, mind you, he took these while I was in the other room. He laid all his “friends”out on the floor….

And lastly he snapped a picture of my new serger!! Yes, I bought a serger. I have no idea how to use it, but long story short, Evy’s Tree might be progressing into making hoodies from scratch over the next year or so, which means I’ll have to learn.
Oh boy. 
Another good form of birth control…all that work down the road.
And ok, before I get lots of mean messages and comments from all my friends who think, “You’ll regret it later if you don’t have more” blah blah…..
I want to leave a disclaimer:
I still have not decided if we’re having more. I’m just simply pointing out the things that make me double think it all, so don’t worry. Double thinking is never bad.
And of course I’m acting as a public service to the rest of general society who can’t afford birth control.
Happy Sunday to you all…by the way. I’m home sick with the kiddos. I’ve caught the second nasty cold for the month and seriously, I’m about to pull my hair out. I think I have caught every cold virus that can possibly be on the horizon. Please pray for me. The kids are also sick. Jake never really got over that cold from last month and it is back full steam. I have been in bed all day and feel HORRIBLE. My older brother Jeff, my nephew Andrew and my Dad stopped by for a few minutes this morning to pick some things up and they had to stand at least 5 feet away from me. Kinda sad. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow.
Hope you all have a blessed week!
Oh ps…my next Food Friday {if I can ever get my rear in gear} will be my mom’s homemade apple pie. Please hold me to it. Thanks. ha.