Making Pies With Your Fall Harvest

imageAfter you have made a fresh pie with Fresh picked apples, peaches, pumpkins or squash; you will never go back to canned pie filling.

Fresh pies are so much better for your body and the taste is incredible! I used to shy away from cooking pumpkins. I don’t even like to carve them for Halloween. They are tough to cut, slimy and messy. Then my son wanted to plant a pumpkin patch one year. I think he meant to get jack o lanter pumpkin seeds but we ended up planting the small ones that you cook with by accident.
Yes his name really is Lynus. The pumpkins were so small and cute. We painted some of them for Halloween. We gave as many away as we could but there were so many that I knew I was going to have to cook them.
I decided to be lazy and just rinse off the pumpkins and put them straight in the oven. I didn’t cover them with foil or anything. When they were done, they were so soft you could cut them in half with a butter knife. The peelings just slid right off and the seeds were easily scooped out with a spoon.

Let me just say these were the best pumpkin seeds I had ever tasted. I rinsed the pulp off in a colander and put them back in the oven on a cookie sheet with some salt. They were light and crispy, not fibrous and chewy like some I have tasted. These popped in your mouth. Yum!

The meat of the pumpkin had a texture much like canned pumpkin, not stringy at all. I just scooped it into containers and put them in the freezer except for 2 cups that I wanted to use right then for pie. So delicious! I like pumpkin pie from a can but now that I have had this, Oh my goodness, I will never go back to canned! You can buy the little cooking pumpkins in the grocery store, but if they aren’t in season you can also use a butternut squash or acorn squash.

Recipe for one Pie

2 cups pumpkin
2 eggs
3/4 cup of maple syrup or sugar ( add a little maple extract if using sugar)
3/4 cup of milk or cream or yogurt
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (ginger, cinnamon and cloves))
1 Tablesppon of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Blend with an Emerson blender, pour into crust, bake 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I like to top the pie with pumpkin seeds the last fifteen minutes of the baking time. Then with whipped cream when serving.

Now for the crust…. You can buy a crust of course, but if you want to make one, it’s really simple. In a food processor put a cube of butter sliced up, 1/2 t. Salt, 1 cup of flour. I use the Namaste gluten free flour but you can use any flour even blended up oats will work. Pulse blend slowly adding 1/4 cup of ice cold water and the salt. Keep pulsing until it’s a nice dough ball that pulls away from the edge of the bowl. If you use gluten free flour then you will want to decrease the water and add an egg to make it hold together better. Refrigerate the dough for a half an hour so that it will roll out nicely. If it sticks rub oil on your rolling pin. Don’t use flour. Roll it out, spray your pan, drop it in and poke some holes in it with a fork and you are ready for filling. If you are in a hurry, you can skip the refrigeration step and just press it into the pan without rolling it.

Apple Pie:
Peel and cut up two Granny Smith tart apples and one red apple of your choice into tiny pieces. Layer the pie crust with slices of butter, Apple pieces, and sugar. Sprinkle each layer with apple pie spice blend. Cover the pie with a top crust if you’d like. We top the finished pie with ice cream and caramel sauce.

Peach Pie:
I don’t care much for cooked peaches but my kids like it. Follow the same process for peaches that you would for Apple. But if you want a cold fresh peach pie like I do, cook the crust ahead of time and fill it with fresh peach slices. Mix a little jam mixed with some sweetened gelatin and pour over the top. Not too much though. Refrigerate and top with whipped cream. I don’t use any spice on this one.

If you can’t choose what type of pie you want then get out your muffin tins and let the kids make little pies of all different kinds!


Adding Magic to Your Yard


I have a confession to make, I still believe in magic. From my earliest memory, I believed in magic and I have never stopped believing.

It’s not that I am a delusional idealist, well maybe I am a little. I have experienced some hard realities in life that are neither pretty nor fun, but I also have been lucky to have seen magic happen in my life many times! If you look for it, you can see it too!

Dream, pretend, paint rocks, go on pine cone hunts, build blanket forts, have tea parties, make a tree house (or live in one), create secret passageways, treasure hunt, sleep outside once in a while, and create a fairy garden.

Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies. I have five garden beds and wouldn’t mind having a few more. I hated weeding as a kid but I love it now. It can be quite therapeutic.

Our backyard feels magical. There is something kind of wild and mysterious about it. My daughter is in love with nature and everything magical so I decided to enhance the magic by creating a fairy garden or two.


I needed a solution for a dead tree stump in our yard. There were several Pinterest posts going around at the time so we went with the mushroom painted bowls. It is a basic cheap wooden bowl painted and placed upside down onto the stump. I bought three in varying sizes. You can pick your size from Amazon here.
Surprisingly enough they still look fresh after three years and we just used plain old craft acrylic paint, not waterproof or anything. The sprinklers hit them regularly in the summer and in the winter they get buried by the snow. They still look new.


Later we added some ceramic mushroom stakes and a solar fairy that lights up at night to one of our flower beds. If you have kids, always get them involved in gardening, the benefits are endless! My kids eat more vegetables when they grow them themselves.


Next we made a miniature garden in an existing potted topiary tree for the deck. This was the most fun. Miniature gardening is becoming more and more popular with little bikes, wagons, houses and all kinds of stuff. It’s really hard to choose which things to put into your space.


And last of all we added a door to one of the trees. I love this because little kids wonder what is inside the tree. I am sure we will keep adding more and more magic to our yard. Maybe one day we will have our deck extend into the trees for a tree house!


Happy Gardening!!!

Scary Bathroom Remodel



Is there a room in your house that you rarely go into? Possibly avoid at all costs? I do! The kids bathroom! I make my oldest child clean it but I don’t even check her work because I don’t want to go in there. So gross!!!!

So when my oldest moved out, I had to clean it. She had neglected it so badly! I’m pretty sure she lied to me several times about cleaning it. I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say I had to buy a new toilet. Not the most fun way to spend money. There are so many things I would rather spend money on than a toilet.


After a big family discussion over cards at game night on whether to get the round toilet seat or the elongated seat; I went with the cheapest one at Home Depot, Glacier Bay for $88. On the box it says that the seat is round but it is actually elongated. Perhaps the elongated one is even more elongated, I don’t know. I really didn’t care either way, I just wanted the boys to hit the target! You can get it here.

Of course I cleared it with my dad first because I know he has strong opinions about toilets and he knows a lot about them. He approved the cheap one. Yay!

I had never removed or installed a toilet before so I watched the video on the product site. My daughter was shoulder surfing at the time and watched it with me. She is 12. After the video she looked at me and said, “I think you and I could tackle this on our own.” This surprised and inspired me. So we did it and it was much easier than I thought it would be.

Backing up a bit……I figured if I was going to replace the toilet then I should replace the floor first since the toilet sits on top of the floor and we had linoleumin there that I hated. I also had a can of java gel stain that I had bought almost a year prior because of all those Java gel stain Pinterest pins. I also was looking for an excuse to do a plank wall.

So one thing led to another for an entire bathroom redo. (Now I love going in that room!)


Feng Shui Frosting

Feng Shui is like icing on a cake to any project. It’s an eastern tool to balancing your space. You simply overlay the bagua onto the floor plan of your space and check in with the elements. In this bathroom I have the shower faucet in my abundance corner. Faucets are a source of water. Water can symbolize the flow of water. I also have the drain in that same area. This can symbolize $ going down the drain but together with the faucet it symbolizes the continuous flow of abundance coming in and going out continuously. The fame area is where the window is and my son sings very loudly in the shower with the window open for all to hear. Pretty self explanatory. The toilet and sink are in the health and hygiene area as well as the bathroom rules sticker. The colorful planks on the accent wall is in the simple joy of childhood area. It’s the fun wall. Honestly I don’t plan my projects around Feng shui, I just go with a flow that feels good. Then I assess the Feng shui bagua and look for positive connections and intentions making any correction that I think are needed.

Here is a sample bagua. Of course there are many more detailed ones but if you are new to Feng shui, this is a good place to start. Most important – have fun with it. Note: the bottom of the bagua is placed over the entrance of the room’s floor plan.



LINKS below on the specifics!
How I did the vanity and mirror frame
Wall decal from Amazon
Rock Garden Shower Curtain
Plank Wall Details

Other links coming soon:
How I retextured over the Orange peel wall
Oil Rubbed Faucet Fail!
The floor