Category Archives: Uncategorized

Easy IKEA Hack.

DSC_4912It happened. Hera outgrew her toddler bed. I feel like she was just in her bassinet yesterday and then I blinked and all the sudden she grew up. We’ve been on the hunt for a twin bed for her for quite awhile but just never pulled the trigger. I needed something on the smaller side to save space and I wanted something with a trundle for sleepovers.

I found this super cute one and even though the price was right the only trundle I could find that would work for it was from The Land of Nod and that price tag was twice the price of the bed! My friend Michelle turned me on to the BRIMNES bed from IKEA and I fell in love with this space-saving, trundle bearing, toy collecting bed. Not only did this thing fit my physical requirements but it fit our budget as well.

We quickly picked one of these up and it was perfect, but knowing me I can’t leaving things as they are and decided to ditch the cheap wood drawer pulls to amp up the look of this bed. Michelle actually did the same thing and luckily had a couple extra drawer pulls on hand that she was willing to throw my way; luckily because IKEA sizes are metric and we don’t carry much of anything like that in the states. I picked up a can of brass/gold spray paint and after a couple quick passes (and patiently waiting for it dry) I popped these bad boys on and think they give the bed an awesome (and more expensive!) look. The great thing about this is that you can make these pulls virtually any color you want! I think IKEA has become more of a place where you can buy awesome basic pieces that are ready for you to add your personal touch, which is right up my alley because that’s what I end up doing regardless.

It definitely makes a difference! What do you think? Hera loves her new big girl bed and is anxiously awaiting her cousin’s arrival next week for her first sleepover! I love the bed because we can throw all her toys in the drawers!

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Decking the halls too early.

Nah, it’s called “The Holidays” for a reason. Mainly because “the” holidays get scrunched together into one gigantic jolly old mess. With it being our first holiday season in our new home I couldn’t wait until after Thanksgiving to start decking the halls. So, sue me.

Stockings. World Market, Similar ones at Target. // Garland. Trader Joes //  Kids Table. IKEA //  Faux Fur Rug.Wayfair //  Tabletop Christmas Tree. Michaels Craft Store

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Oak Glen Farms

Known for their famous “mile-high apple pie” we decided to take a day trip and venture out east to Oak Glen not knowing what was in store. Tucked up on the hillside are miles and miles of apple orchards and though they were not currently in picking season it was still a beautiful site to see.

The farm houses dozens of chickens, roosters, and turkeys; you also might be able to spot the occasional peacock as they tend to run ramped up there. The livestock pens are busy with lambs, sheep, goats, cows, and horses; and after bonding with a sweet baby goat for what seemed like hours we headed to their shop to peruse their baked goods.

As much as I wanted to try a little bit of everything, and I almost did, I managed to escape with only their mile-high apple pie, buttered caramel corn, cinnamon candies, apple butter, apricot jelly and a taste of Apple Annie’s famous Bloody Mary.

I cannot wait to return this fall when the apples are in season; you can bet there will be an apple-inspired recipe popping up here. But for now, I was pleased to have visited some new furry friends and a neat little orchard surprisingly not too far away from home. I swear, Southern California surprises me sometimes.

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March 4, 2012 - 3:15 pm

Calantha - Your photography is absolutely stunning! And it probably comes as no surprise that I am totally smitten with that first photograph of the pie. I am grateful that you ended up stumbling across my site because it’s lead me to yours! I think I’m going to have to spend the rest of my morning browsing through all your previous posts, they are so lovely!

February 28, 2012 - 5:43 pm

KimberHills - He was an alpaca and the friendliest one I have ever met! :)

February 28, 2012 - 5:42 pm

Chrissy (My Fare Foodie) - I want to snuggle with that furry monster. Is he a llama? Alpaca? Love your photography!

February 28, 2012 - 4:42 pm

Amee - Hi! Thank you so much for dropping by my blog!! I love visitors. :)
I sure could buttered caramel corn. Oh so yummy.
Have a blessed day!

Maple Candied Apples + Spun Sugar Nest

Even though I am tempted to start pulling out my old winter cookbooks, I am refraining; and even though, the shopping malls and department stores have already begun decorating for Christmas, I am doing my best to stay true to the current season; autumn. It seems like once Halloween hits everyone is so eager to skip straight to Christmas, but luckily the local markets are on my side and are keeping the autumn traditions alive.

After casually strolling through the fresh produce, these bright little honey crisp apples caught my eye. Without a recipe in my head, I threw them into my basket and headed home.

It is so hard to escape the wishful winter wanters, and because of this a holiday gourmet cooking catalog on my coffee table caught my eye. On the cover: candied apples. Right then, I knew there was a reason I brought those sweet fruits home. Desperately trying not to give into the winter temptations, I decided to pull flavors that reminded me of fall and immediately maple syrup came to mind. Puzzled about how to incorporate maple syrup into candied apples, I did a little research and stumbled upon a fellow blogger’s blog Sprinkle Bakes and she had made these stunning Maple Candied Apples with Spun sugar and they looked too cool not to try!

inspired from fellow blogger Heather Baird from Sprinkle Bakes

4 Apples, preferably organic
4 Sturdy Sticks
¼ Cup of Light Corn Syrup
1 ½ Cups of Granulated Sugar
½ Cup of Water
¼ Teaspoon of Maple Flavoring Oil
Wooden Spoon


Grease a baking sheet with vegetable shortening and set aside. For creating our spun sugar, prep your kitchen before candying apples as you will need to work quickly.

Place a piece of parchment paper into the bottom of your dry sink. Grease the handle of a wooden spoon with vegetable shortening and secure the spoon head to your countertop using tape or a heavy object. Allow the spoon handle to hang over the parchment paper.

Thoroughly wash and dry the apples and carefully remove the stems. Using a small paring knife slice a small slit where the original stem was to easily allow the sturdy sticks to be inserted. Pick up each apple by it’s new stem to make sure they are in snug and set the apples aside.

Mix the corn syrup, water and sugar in a saucepan over a medium flame. Heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, then bring the mixture to a rapid boil.

Using a candy thermometer, carefully watch the sugar mixture until it reaches 302ºF; this is commonly referred to as the “hard crack” stage. Once it has reached this stage, remove the saucepan from the flame and add in the maple flavoring and mix thoroughly.

Grasping each apple by it’s “stem”, dip them individually it into the sugar mixture, swirling it around to evenly coat the apple. Hold the apple above the pan for a few seconds to allow and excess syrup to drip off. Place the apple on the greased baking sheet and allow it cool. Repeat with each apple.

Being that these apples are candied, they can be difficult to eat. I learned from Heather that an easy (and fun) way to eat these are to give them a nice hard smack on a cutting board or counter top. This breaks up the glass like candy shell and makes it easier to eat.

With the remaining sugar syrup, bring the saucepan over to the sink and using a ball whisk, dip the utensil into the syrup and begin to vigorously wave it back and forth over the spoon handle. Repeat these steps until you have a good amount of spun sugar hanging over your spoon handle.

Gently slide the spun sugar off the spoon handle and carefully form the threads into a spherical nest shape. Tear off smaller portions to top the candied apples with creating a whimsical look.

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November 21, 2011 - 9:12 pm

Kate @ Kate from Scratch - The photos are just amazing! I love the spun sugar. Too pretty to eat!

November 18, 2011 - 6:47 pm

Asmita - Absolutely gorgeous!

November 16, 2011 - 8:30 pm

Sarah-Jane - I love the photo with the smashed sugar on the side of the apple too. It’s like the cracked windscreen look. My little one has still to discover the joys of toffee apples (as we call them in the UK – I know it’s not toffee). MAybe next year his mouth will be big enough to manage !

November 16, 2011 - 12:48 pm

Liz - Truly stunning! I love the sticks and your spun sugar is AMAZING!!!

November 16, 2011 - 2:40 am

Lindsey@Lindselicious - Awesome photos! Love love the one that is shattered too- so cool!

November 16, 2011 - 12:33 am

Kate @ Kate from Scratch - Autumn is my most favorite season of all but Christmas is my most favorite holiday ever, so you can understand my inner turmoil. These apples are gorgeous! Definitely worth sticking to fall for a week or two more just to get these in the recipe rounds. They are stunning and I just love that flavor. Beautiful.

November 15, 2011 - 9:09 pm

Michelle - Very cool idea! I love how they look cracked too!

November 15, 2011 - 8:53 pm

Kimberly (Badger Girl) - Your pictures are so beautiful and they so capture the essence of fall. Not to mention, the apples look super yummy and yes, that is my technical expertise speaking. :)

November 15, 2011 - 8:25 pm

Kelly - What a great idea, these look gorgeous! :)

November 14, 2011 - 6:37 pm

Laurie {Simply Scratch} - Oh my WORD! That photo of the broken sugar… holy beautifulness! I’m speechless! These sound phenomenal!

November 14, 2011 - 5:43 pm

Colleen Bierstine - Whoa, talk about an impressive presentation! I’m loving the idea of maple instead of the same old caramel.

November 14, 2011 - 5:16 pm

Tina@flourtrader - I have never had a maple candied apple, but it does sound delicious. Love the presentation of the apple, the spun nest makes for a nice touch. Thanks for the tip on the cracking of the shell! I need to try my skills at this. Great post!

November 14, 2011 - 1:56 pm

Kitchen Belleicious - Man- I saw a picture for this in food and wine or something like that and I wanted to make it but never got around to it. Oh well, your pictures are 10000 times better than mine anyway and you do it justice! How cute!

November 12, 2011 - 4:14 pm

Emily @ Life on Food - What a great idea to use sticks for the “sticks”. How interesting!