Wednesday, September 30, 2020

4 Fall Flower Tips

It's finally starting to feel like Fall in Indiana.  I've worn a jacket the past two days and there's a lovely chill in the air.  I am trying something new with my Fall flower pots this year.  It worked really well so I wanted to share my tips with you.  I'm obsessed with these Fall colors!!

1. Work with what you have leftover from Summer

My summer flower pots were looking a little sad after the hot heat in September.  I pulled out the dead plants and left the remaining ones that would work for Fall.  I kept the Sweet Potato Vines (although my squirrels ate most of them), Purple Heart Plant, Impatiens that went with my fall colors and Coleus varieties.  I also leave my ferns in their pots through Fall.  This will really cut down your cost of Fall flowers if you keep some of your Summer flowers around through Fall.

2. Buy a variety of Fall plants

I bought Mums in two colors, Ornamental Kale, and Celosia for my pots.  The more variety, the more interesting your pots will be to look at.

3.  Remember to Water

Don't let all of your hard work and money go to waste.  Remember to keep watering if you don't get much rain or if the soil looks dry.  The Coleus plants are great indicators of needing to water.  They get wilty and it's very obvious they're thirsty.

4. Stock up on Perennials

Now is a great time to buy those clearance perennials to build up your landscaping.  We got two plants marked way down to add to our front landscaping.  We're watering them really well so the roots will be established ASAP.  This is the perfect way to add to your landscaping and gardens on a budget.

*All of my Fall plants came from Lowes in case you're looking for similar plants.

Remove dead plants and see what is left:

Add in new Fall flowers.

I've always wanted to add in kale or cabbage to my Fall pots.  I love it!!

What have you planted for Fall?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

After our apple picking adventures last weekend, we ended up with a solid 20lbs of apples.  We all love eating them fresh and they really do taste better when you've picked them fresh.  However, I found myself scouring Pinterest in the hopes of finding a few new apple recipes for Fall.  

I didn't find an exact recipe that I was hoping to find so I made up my own.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

They're sweet and delicious.  They definitely give this traditional breakfast item a Fall feel.

You can use any cinnamon roll dough that you like.  For this recipe I used my sourdough bread starter to make my dough.  If you don't have that you could easily use a recipe like this favorite: TINY Batch of Cinnamon Rolls.  The recipe makes 6 rolls.  Or any dough that you love.


Ingredients for the Apple Cinnamon Roll Filling:

1 apple peeled & chopped up very fine

1 stick of butter

1 T cinnamon + some for sprinkling on top

1/4 c brown sugar

Your favorite icing.  I always use my recipe for Homemade Buttercream


Peel and chop up your apple very fine.  Microwave them for 1-2 minutes in a bowl to slightly cook the apple and drain off a lot of the juice.  Put the apple pieces in a paper towel and squeeze it until no more apple juice comes out.  I was surprised at the amount of juice I was able to squeeze out of one apple.  This step will keep your cinnamon rolls at their normal consistency and not make the filling watery.

Mix together room temperature butter, brown  and cinnamon until well combined.

Roll out your dough.  Spread the butter mixture on top. Spoon the apples over the top and do one last sprinkle of cinnamon.  *This step would be great to do with kids.  Roll dough into a log and cut into 1 1/2 inch cinnamon rolls.  Place in a greased pan and let them rise for several hours.  Mine rose for about 5 hours.  Bake at 350 for 16 minutes or until the top of the cinnamon rolls are golden brown.

Let them cool and then ice them with your favorite icing.  I usually stir up my icing while the cinnamon rolls are baking if I didn't already have it prepped.


These were delicious served warm right out of the oven or reheated the next day.  They're a yummy treat that could easily be divided up and shared with neighbors of friends.  

Would your family or friends enjoy these Apple Cinnamon Rolls?

Monday, September 28, 2020

Adventures in Apple Picking

One of our favorite Fall traditions is apple picking.  It's easy for the whole family to participate in, is fairly quick, is in a cute location and we all really enjoy it.  We have a favorite spot that we've been going to for years - Ditzler Orchard in Rosedale, IN.  It's about 25 minutes away and the drive through the country is really pretty.

Thanks to a very late frost in May, the apple picking season was greatly impacted.  Instead of allowing apple picking any day of the week from August through October, they are only offering u pick on the weekends.  The apple selection is much smaller than previous years, but that didn't stop us from having a great time.  Usually we have 3-4 apple varieties to pick from.  This year they had two rows of trees and only one type of apple - Golden Delicious - open for picking.  Kevin and I were a little bummed, but you know what, the kids did not even notice.  They didn't complain.  They had the best time.  I need to be more like them.

We woke up Saturday morning and headed off to the orchard.  No one got car sick and no one cried or complained.  Big wins for our family.  The weather was breezy with a slight chill in the air.  Fall perfection!

The nicest family runs this orchard.  They were still giving tractor rides, had tons of pumpkins, mums, yummy treats and apple goodies.  The staff were wearing masks, Kevin wore a mask in the store to pay and the rest of us stayed outside, kept our distance and did not wear masks.  It worked out great.

The big kids each got an apple basket to fill along with instructions on how to pick the very best apples - rough surface = sweet apple.  Smooth surface = not quite ready.

I was really surprised that Leo was interested in the apple trees.  He loved touching the apples and brushing the leaves with his hands.  An older lady commented that even the baby loved apple picking.  It was a really sweet bunch of firsts for him - tractor ride, apple picking, orchard visit and pumpkin patch.

The kids loved the tractor ride.
When we told Olive we were going apple picking she said, "I've got the perfect dress for apple picking!"  She was right.  I love this dress on her.
I wore Leo in the Ergo and he was a happy camper.

We decided it was too early to grab pumpkins, but that didn't stop us from scoping them out.

Pink pumpkins!?!  They were so pretty.
Popsicle pumpkins according to Fletcher.
We'd love to make it back to the orchard another time or two before apple season is done.  We'll definitely head back to pick out pumpkins once October gets here.

Do you have any orchards near you?

What are your favorite apple recipes - please share them with me in the comments because we have a ton of apples to eat!

Friday, September 25, 2020

Friday Favorites (According to the Kids)

Happy Friday!  It's been a wonderful week here.  The weather has been gorgeous.  We've been outside as much as possible and making plans for a fun Fall.

I thought it would be interesting to document Friday Favorites this week from the kid's perspectives.  I made a list of their highlights to share with you today.  

1. Notre Dame won their 2nd game & we enjoyed lots of game day food.  The kids love wearing their Notre Dame gear, cheering for the Irish and doing push ups when they score a touch down.  Can't wait until we can take them to a game one day!

2. We got cute Halloween plates from Walmart!  If you're in the market, they are just $1.48 each and are really sweet.  I typically like to pick up the Pottery Barn Kids holiday plates, but they are the same design that they released last year.

3. We drove down to my sister's house for my nieces 8th birthday party on Sunday.  It was tie dye in Paris themed.  We all enjoyed our first tie dyeing experience, loved all the desserts my sister made and had fun hanging out with our family.  We came home with a box of our very own macarons.

Olive and my mom in matchy matchy outfits.
Aren't these the cutest favors?  They were coconut, brownie, lemon, animal cookies, vanilla and strawberry.  It was fun to try so many flavors.

4. Haircuts by Mom!  I cut everyone's hair this week - Fletcher, Olive & Kevin.  Saved us tons of time and money going to a salon.  Fletcher yelled to the neighbor, "Hey, Guys!  I definitely have on clothes under this cape!"  haha  Olive requested a bob after letting her hair grow for the past few months.

5. We hung Leo's swing so now all three kids can swing together.  He adores the swing, and always holds on for dear life.

6. Double A+ week for Olive's tests at school.

7. Kevin brought home Insomnia Cookies a couple times.  Grown ups - Educators get 6 free cookies with any purchase this month.  Their Chocolate Chunk Cookies are AMAZING.
8. Playgrounds.  We met friends at several different playgrounds this week.

9. Matching tie dye shirts.  I love how they turned out!

10. If Leo could talk, he's say that our last favorite of the week was that the last three nights he's only woken up once in the middle of the night or slept through the night.  Hallelujah!  It's amazing the pep you have in your step when you are well rested :)

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