Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Joy of Baking... Apple Pie in Fall


Has it really been almost two weeks since I last wrote?  Sometimes I cannot believe how busy
everything has been until I look back and notice how quickly each day passed by.  I have not had a chance to write anything for awhile,  so I am so glad to have gotten to catch up on your blogs today and to share a little something on my own as well :)

I hope you are all having a wonderful Fall season so far!
As I've talked about before when on the subject of the loveliness of Fall,
one of my favorite things to do when the "cozy seasons" arrive is to get in the kitchen
and have fun baking.  It feels so cozy to have something in the oven often throughout the season.
Oh, the joy of baking!  You have probably heard of the Joy of Painting, haha, but
I think one of the sweetest parts of the season as the Joy of Baking.
This weekend, I made what I think is one of the most wonderful Fall desserts...
apple pie!
It was my first pie this time of year, and I thought I would share
it because the last time I shared a pie was, I believe, about a year ago.
Does time fly! 

The recipe for this Apple Pie is one I am sharing again and can be found if you click here, or on the Recipes page if you click the 'recipes' tab above.

I think one of the things that is exciting about baking is the dishes and bakeware you use.
If you love to bake too, you understand that feeling.  I love to get new stoneware
especially.  Last week, we picked up a beautiful blue stone pie baker.
It is so pretty and made me even more excited about this pie I had been planning to make.
Even better, we got a free matching mug that goes with it :)

It was so fun and relaxing to get in the kitchen and make a pie again since it has been
so long since I've made one. 
I love rolling out the dough for the crust and working with my hands to
stretch it out.

After that, I cut up the apples and put them into a bowl to mix in all of the
delicious cinnamon and sugar to make them even sweeter.  Then, in the pie they went.

After I had rolled out and put on the top crust, I had a little bit of dough left which I had
saved for a special decoration for the top of the pie!  This is my favorite thing about baking, aside
from tasting ;) ... decorating. 
For this, I was so excited to use one of the sweet Fall leaf cookie cutters that a dear
friend recently sent to me!  They are a gift from someone who has such a generous
heart- I mentioned to her that I did not have any Fall cookie cutters and she so generously
sent these to me.  I was so surprised, and am so thankful for her as a friend and blessed by her kindness.
Thank you so much to my friend, Dianna!

I decided to use the brown one to cut out some leaves for this pie and
loved the opportunity to make my pie feel extra seasonal.

I lay the leaves going outward from the center in almost a pinwheel kind of
pattern and it was finished!
I put it in the oven after brushing some egg white on top and sprinkling on extra cinnamon,
and about an hour later, juicy, hot, crisp deliciousness
came out of the oven♥

Eating a delicious pie with your family is one of the nicest
ways to spend the weekend.

That was a highlight of my weekend, a very blessed one that I enjoyed!

What did you do this weekend?
What is your favorite thing to bake in Fall??

Have a lovely Wednesday.
Blessings to you!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Faithful Friday!

I love simple stories with heart and a great lesson in them like this.  This makes me think about all of the generations in the past in all different cultures and countries and the grandparents in each generation telling their grandchildren a story with a moral and values within it.
I think there is so much that we can take away from them.

This is a brief post, I know, but I think that in those few sentences there is so much beauty and genuine truth...  it made me think of the triumph there is when we choose to feed the good and righteous things in our hearts each day- the right wolf.

We can pray that we will be given the strength to choose the pure and right path, and trust that God will give us that strength to come out on top of what is wrong at the end of the day, with His help.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

.          .            .

Faithful Fridays are hosted by Joy at her blog, Doodlebug!   Visit her blog and read her posts, or even link up with your own, by clicking here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


It is my hope that God would give me a thankful heart to begin each day, that notices every blessing he allows into my life.  Although I think on this often, some days I notice I seem to have a more thankful spirit than others- or, rather, I am more aware of blessings and nice things throughout the day more some days than others.  Maybe it is due to being busier sometimes... but when I look at things that are just a part of the day that bring a little joy, I think of them as sweet.

Sweet... a word I love.  The word "sweet" is, well, sweet.  And I think anything that makes you smile inside is considered sweet to me.  I love finding the sweet things in life... sweet friends, sweet verses and words, sweet blessings of every kind.

Today I just felt like sharing what things have been sweet for me today, and in life in general...

It was sweet to wake up to a rainy, chilly day today (I love it, it feels like true Autumn!).
It was sweet to come home to a clean and cozy house this evening.
It was sweet to walk beneath the glorious, sky-high trees today and feel the raindrops on
my head as they fell from the leaves and branches above.
It was sweet to look at the pond in front of those trees and see how the little
ducks and geese were enjoying how full it is now because of the rain.
It is always sweet to get on the elevator and have a happy conversation with
someone about something random, and then hearing them tell you "Have a good day!" as
they step out and tell you goodbye.  I love friendliness.
It was sweet to smell the wonderful scents of supper cooking earlier this evening...
chili is so warm and filling and the perfect supper for a cold Fall day.
Sweet is what I thought of the weather around six today when I walked outside
and realized it had gotten colder!
It was sweet to have sweet, juicy strawberries at lunch.
It is sweet to read all of your blogs each week and find out how you have
been or what you have been up to, or to read something encouraging or inspiring about
 your faith  and walk with God, or something you share about your family or joys. 
Sweet is also reading the lovely and kind comments you leave.
It is sweet to have time to journal every day while I eat lunch; I cherish
that time to relax and enjoy writing.
It is sweet when you see evidence that chivalry is still alive.
Sweet is walking into the house after a Fall candle, like Cinnamon or
Pumpkin Pie, has been burning, and having the delicious smells overwhelm me.
sweet sound is the song of birds when I hear them outside my bedroom window. 
It is sweet to be walking in the rain without an umbrella and trying to
cover my head with a jacket or whatever I have, then realizing that it isn't
any use, so I just embrace the fun, child-like feel of being soaked.
And one of the sweetest things I have seen recently...
walking down a hallway and passing by two college guys who stopped and prayed
together.  You know you have a treasure in a friend you can
pray with and for.  Hearing them gave me a feeling that is hard to describe.
I am so thankful for every sweet thing.
And I know I am leaving so many things out, but I love looking back
at all the things I can think of each day that were wonderful or stood out to me.
(And I chose to add the photo at the top because it reminds me of the joy I
feel on rainy days-like today- but I guess it is also fitting, as it could
without a doubt be described as sweet.)
What do you find sweet?
I hope y'all had a wonderful Wednesday!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Faithful Friday! {Nature's Example}

I have always believed that faith is so connected with nature.  You look around you at all of the beautiful nature, from the glory of the scenery and sunsets to the sweet animals and other creations, and you feel a peace that can only be from the Lord.
Earlier this week, I saw the sweet graphic above, and I thought of it in terms of life altogether.
It was a reminder to me that sometimes we are so wrapped up in the fast pace of busy life, believing that we have to live at this pace to get everything done, when in truth we should stop and realize that God has given us an example of how we should take life at a slower pace...
What better example than nature did He provide for us to show us that if we just have faith, He will see to it that our needs are met and everything that truly needs to be done in our days will get done.
We don't need to live in haste and let the weight of things brings us down- because we have someone so much better and bigger to rely on than just ourselves!
In nature, we see this through so many things.
One of my favorites is the seasons- they come and go, but they are not rushed.  The seasons are spread out and they last a long time (thankfully, so we can enjoy them!), but what needs to be accomplished never fails to be done:  the changing of the seasons.  And the leaves don't worry about falling- they just do.
All of nature is the result of an amazing plan put into place by God... I am amazed at how everything in nature functions for purpose... from when I look at the glorious Oaks of the South providing homes to little creatures and shade to others, to when we visit out West and I see all of the majestic mountains giving homes to hundreds of types of animals, to the leaves dying in Autumn to allow a "clean slate" for the foliage to come in Spring.
I am amazed by the many lessons nature provides us- in faith and living, and living our faith, and even something as specific as a lesson in slowing down and trusting that we do not have to rely on ourselves to accomplish everything, but on faith and the Giver of faith.
God Bless you!
I hope you have a lovely weekend!
.          .          .
Faithful Fridays are hosted by Joy from Doodlebug!  You can read her faith-inspiring posts and visit her blog, here.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch #6 {and the Sunshine Award!}

It has been a while since I had a chance to join in on the chat on the farmhouse porch, so I'm glad to be writing one!  Today I will be joining in and I am so excited.  I know it is Thursday and a couple of days after the chat, but I love these sweet chats and getting to read others.  I will just be a late comer for this week ;)

Here are the chat questions for this week!


1.  Are you doing any crafts or DIY projects right now?
Lately, I have been working on fun seasonal crafts and adding things to our Autumn decorating for our home.  I have a lot of fun with it and just creating things that add a fun and cozy feel to the season.  Other than that, it has been fun to make jewelry and sew when I get the chance.

2.  If I could snap my fingers, I'd make                           for dinner.
A favorite and, in my opinion, the perfect addition to a good Southern meal...  macaroni and cheese.  And with it, some potatoes, chicken, biscuits and gravy.  Yum!  Maybe that's a lot to ask for out of just a snap though, hehe.

3.  What author would you like to have lunch with?  (It doesn't have to be someone living now.  Afterall, we could use a time machine!)
I love to read and love many authors.  My answer seems ironic because the author I choose is one who I have not actually read, but cannot wait to:  Margaret Mitchell.  I grew up with a special love and fascination with the film, Gone With the Wind, and I would love to talk about the South and all of the things that inspired her to write it.  I think it would be wonderful to get advice and inspiration in writing.  I also feel like someone who wrote such an incredible and moving story would have such beautiful knowledge to share and be interesting to talk to. 

4.  I wanted to tell all of you folks at chats                              .
That I love having these chats!  They bring me joy to be able to read the writing and ideas of other girls and ladies, and I have fun writing them, too.  I would also say thank you for sharing your answers because, of the ones I get the chance to visit, they are always so interesting to read.  And I have come to feel that I really have pulled up a chair on Ms. Patrice's farmhouse porch, enjoying a glass of tea and a breeze as we chat.

5.                             has been on my mind a lot lately.
Family and history.  I am so fascinated by the past and by our families who lived before us.  I often daydream about what living in days like the 1800's or early 1900's and would have been like, and what my family was doing all those years ago.  It is also so neat and a gift to see photos of my great grandparents in the 40's and earlier than that... there is something so interesting about getting to see the smiles and expressions of people I am related to but never got to meet and who never knew me.

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch are hosted by Patrice at her beautiful blog, Everyday Ruralty.
Click here to visit her blog, read her Chat, and even join in with your own!

For the second part of this post, I would like to thank my friend Kalin from her lovely fashion and modesty blog, Modesty is my Policy.  She has recently nominated me for a blog award called the Sunshine Award! 

Thank you, Kalin!  I am honored that you thought of me for this sweet award.  And I definitely recommend her lovely, vintage, modesty and fashion blog!

"Here is what the sunshine award means, "bloggers who positively and creatively
inspire others in the blogosphere." 
The rules are- thank the blogger who nominated you and
provide a link to her blog in your post, nominate ten bloggers of your
own for the Sunshine Award, then answer ten questions
on your blog.  Last, post the Sunshine Award button to your blog post.
Many of the questions are the ones Kalin answered in her own blog, but you can also make up your own, so I added a few different ones too...
1.  Do you prefer dogs or cats?
We have always had dogs, so I guess I would be considered a dog person.  I just love the energy of dogs we have had and their sweet demeanor and how they love to play.  But cats are so sweet too; I love all of the little wild kittens that live around us.
2.  What month is your birthday in?
3.  Do you like the season you were born in?
Yes!  I love that I was born in winter.  I love to hear about how it was a cold, winter day the day I was brought home from the hospital, and I love it now because waking up on my birthday each year, it is a cozy feeling for it to be chilly outside.
4.  Do you enjoy sewing?
I love sewing.  I love thinking about all of the women before us who sewed all of the clothes for their families.  It inspires me to think of what sewing has meant to homemakers even centuries before us.  And I find it enjoyable, and a fun challenge, to see all of the pieces of a pattern fit together to make a beautiful piece of clothing. I would love to have more time to sew to get really skilled.
5.  Your favorite book series?
I have mentioned this before, but I have loved reading the Little House on the Prairie books.  I love the beautiful simplicity and style of Laura Ingalls Wilder's writing.
6.  Would you rather live in the past or future?
The past.  I watch dreamy, classic old movies and shows like "I Love Lucy" and think of how much more beautiful the world would be if we all still lived valuing the simple things.  I love the way they dressed, too.  Vintage, lovely, and feminine
7.  Are there any books you are anxious to read?
Gone With the Wind and Tuck Everlasting.
8.  What is your favorite thing about the current season?
Fall is a season of so many blessings.  There are too many things to choose.... wearing big, soft sweaters, baking and making pies for my family (I love the baking seasons!), crunchy leaves, and cool weather are all so wonderful.
9.  Something you enjoy doing to relax?
Sitting down reading a book or devotional, and having quiet time to sketch, especially with a cup of hot chocolate or tea- hot or sweet♥
10.  If you could have any job- one that exists in real life or not- what would it be?
Be a nature photographer.  People who can do that to make their living are truly blessed.  How wonderful it would be to sent to new and beautiful places and see all of that beauty and capture it.
Or go to children's hospitals and dress up as Disney characters... what a joy to wake up each day to go bring joy to those brave little ones.
Now, here are my nominees.  I am inspired by these ladies, and their blogs are the epitome of positivity in faith and life, a true addition of sunshine to my day as they post throughout the week...  I understand not everyone likes to do these types of posts and answer the questions, so please don't feel like you have to do a post if you are one of my nominees.  But please know that I truly enjoy your bright and lovely blogs and the kindness that comes through your words!
~ Stephanie from The Enchanting Rose
~Tammy from Simply Gratified
~Joy from Doodlebug
~Grace from His Daughter
~Jerralea from Jerralea's Journey
~Betsy from Joyful Reflections
~Mildred from Blackberry Lane
I hope y'all are having a lovely Thursday!
Blessings to you!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Faithful Friday!

Happy Saturday!

It's a beautiful Saturday morning and another Friday got away from me yesterday, I still wanted to post my Faithful Friday today before it gets too late in the day.

Before I write more, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who read and commented on the post I put up last Friday.  It was something that was I had been looking forward to sharing and I was so encouraged by your comments and uplifting words♥

.          .         .

You may have heard this before.  I grew up with this instilled in me, and love it as the acronym JOY.  I love the word "joy", because of what it represents in faith and in life, and how fitting that living this way gives you a joy that you cannot find anywhere else than in giving of yourself and giving yourself to God...
Putting the Lord for first in your life and in everything you do.  Think of how you can please Him in your decisions and your actions and how you can draw closer to Him.
Remembering that others come before you... helping them, self-sacrificing for them, doing for them.
A wonderful way to put others first is to follow the example of Jesus in having a selfless attitude, giving of yourself and going out of your way to help others no matter what.
"In humility, value others above yourselves,  not looking to
your own interests but each of you to the interests of others"
-Philippians 2:4
And what J.O.Y. we can also give to God as he sees us living this way, and to others as we do things that can be a gift to them and their needs as a result of us living in a more selfless way.
God Bless you, & I hope you have a great weekend!
.          .          .
Faithful Fridays is hosted by Joy on her sweet blog, Doodlebug.  Click here to visit her blog and read her inspiring posts.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"Delicious Autumn!"

Just something simple I thought showed such a loveliness of Fall.
I found it in the newest Southern Lady magazine.  I love seeing things like this that reflect the beauty of the seasons in such lovely quotes or scenes.

I hope your day was a blessed one.  How has your week been?

In my free time this week, I have enjoyed looking up new dessert recipes to try this weekend, starting in a brand new journal, and getting a care package from my Grandma.  She sent us teas in a little basket all wrapped up with a bow, and a sweet bracelet for me with little footprints imprinted in the metal... they are to symbolize the "Footprints in the Sand" poem, which is very close to my heart.  Needless to say, I love it, and we loved receiving her package.  There is something about receiving a package that makes your day so special.
We also made a trip to the library today and got a lot of goodies that will be so nice to relax over and read during the upcoming weekend.  I am looking forward to that.

It is just about midnight here so it's technically still Thursday, but I wish you a wonderful Friday and weekend!
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