Apple Pie Sangria

Stole it from the Big P (Pinterest for all of you people that have offline activities). Made it our own but still awesome enough to share! Loved drinking this at the holiday popup!

Pretend this is my sexy picture. It is not – I grabbed it off of the Big P. Click it for a recipe.


  • First I sliced up (left skins on) some apples that were starting to soften enough for kids to take 2 bites and reject them for their tenderness. I added these to a freezer bag with a ton of pumpkin pie spice and froze them.
  • Second I purchased at the store a bag of clearance Cranberries (poor cranberries – their time is so short to be in the spotlight). Froze these too.
  • I also purchased a 1/2 gallon of apple cider, a bottle of white wine and a bottle of ginger ale.

Truth be told I had the wine and my in-laws bought the ginger ale on the way to my house for the party because I forgot about it in my pre-popup madness.

I am not a big fan of measuring and of course I took no after pictures so just use your imagination.

Here is the basic recipe:

  1. Put about 2 apples portion of the frozen spiced apples in the large glass pitcher. Put about half of the bag of frozen cranberries in as well.
  2. Filled the pitcher half way with white wine (Pinot Grigio) – this was about half of a normal sized bottle.
  3. Added one of those teeny bottles of Vanilla Flavored Vodka.
  4. Filled the pitcher 3/4 of the way with the apple cider (this is farm cider not apple flavored juice). Filled the rest with ginger ale.
  5. Stirred it and let it sit for a bit.
  6. Drank it.


So I was not hammered I mixed it up with half glasses periodically and topped them off with the ginger ale. That seemed to work well. It is not highly alcoholed BUT went down quickly.





A few weeks ago Liam came home from school and asked if we could celebrate Hanukkah. AND for those following along that solved the HAN? on my calendar mystery. I told him we could and I picked 2 dates that might work for our family after I said we would not do it all 8 days but one night (see the point above). Jenyka was concerned that it was not ok to do that since we are not Jewish. I also felt a bit hesitant. I also had no idea what to eat to keep it traditional. So I purchased some frozen potato pancakes (latkes – and actually a traditional food served at my grandmother’s table as she was Czech). But I still did not know what else to do – besides dreidel and eat foil covered chocolate and tell the story. Yesterday Jackie and I were at Crossgates and there were 2 young Orthodox men handing out dreidels and information about Hanukkah. I could not have been more excited! I am sure they were a little scared of my enthusiasm. Anyway they said eat donuts! And they gave us a book of traditions. After we left the mall we went to Michael’s and purchased a Hanukkah gingerbread house to decorate and a Hanukkah donut kit to make. So this Wednesday we will be celebrating a mini Hanukkah at our house. If you celebrate, even for a day, Happy Hanukkah to you!

EO Recipe – Natural Rodent Repellent

You may think they are cute. I don’t. There is nothing I like less than cleaning out a room and finding evidence of their presence. I have found that they really dislike peppermint oil and where ever it is they are not. Plus it smells great to us!

I have been adding peppermint essential oil to cotton balls or makeup remover pads and placing them near where I think they are coming in (and yes we also have steel wool and rodent foam and anything else to block holes but they are sneaky). Not seeing nearly as much evidence!

Give it a try!

Upcycled (and reasonably priced) Holiday Decor

GoodWIll wreath – with  craft store wood letter spray painted. Dollar store bow and PEACE sign.

Flocked Walmart garland ($12 or so) shaped n a wreath shape and tied with twine with craft store branch and silver berries and clip on cardinal (LOVE THESE!).

Walmart $1.98 9 foot garland wrapped in a wreath shape with a wood sign from Hobby Lobby and another clip on cardinal.

Rusty old can I found in basement with thrift store find cake pan attached to top (with Aleene’s Adhesive). Fake greenery and berries with a Balsam Creek candle surrounded by my vintage tea ball collection.

File this under reasonably priced holiday decor. Inherited sled (that is just luck I admit), over the door towel hook to hold, Trader Joes $10 boxwood wreath, bow from Wal-Mart and large, white jingle bell from Dollar Tree. Covers the garden hose that I never detached and is now frozen. That is how we roll people.

Another little Christmas doo hickey I made. Old grater that my mother was horrified I was still using so she showed up with a new one. Being the junk princess I am I shouted “don’t take the old one away! There is a way to use it.” Well here you are. Plaid hand towel, faux greenery and berries and pine cones. Little ribbon to hang on nail and voila! Farmhouse decor on a budget.



Friday Freebie – Christmas Edition!

Made this with Liam (8 year old). Thought other people might be interested too. This can be designed as you see fit – we used one of our 16 ounce smooth side candle jars but any smooth sided container should work. If your container is wider than ours just print several and tape them together.

What you will get in download is black and white image of hand drawn building silhouettes with windows and doors, trees and snowy hills.


  1. Print image and put inside container
  2. Use sharpie to trace over black parts
  3. We cut a cardboard circle that fits bottom and added a tree with a wire base on it. We stuck base through the cardboard, bent the wire and taped it down.
  4. We added a plastic Penguin that was part of a set at Dollar Tree – they were on springs and I have no idea why. We ripped off the spring.
  5. Poured some faux snow in.
  6. Added battery operated LED tea light – put velcro on lid to hold it and switched it on (try not to cover the switch with the velcro)

Little snow scene for a shelf!


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Step 4 and 5
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Final product!

Click on the image for a full sized, high-res version.


Stocked up at Young’s Pharmacy!

Stopped by Young’s and dropped off some products including:

  • Beard Stuff (including hats, mugs which make great gifts!)
  • Milk Bottles filled with bird seed – great little gift for the bird lover!
  • A Tin pitcher with holiday greens (remove them after the holidays and fill it with something else)
  • The wood HOME decor items with corks so they stand – these have been really popular this holiday season and I only have a few left
  • Lots of candles
  • Jen’s Rice Therapy bags (use hot or cold)
  • Jen’s Simple Soaps (no dye, no fragrance)
  • Essential Oil Sets – Holiday and Winter Lift


Display DIYs!

Prepping for the popup on Saturday and making some stands. These are easy peasy if you are looking for ways to elevate in your kitchen … for buffets or decor.  Cookies, fruit, cheese and crackers all work well on these. I purchased glass and brass candlesticks and silver trays at thrift stores and use the Aleene’s Ultimate Adhesive. Seriously the best for the job.

Super simple cocoa bar. Kids are going to love this! This double stand is 2 cake baking pans with a brass candlestick between them – and painted and distressed to make it a cohesive unit. More prep for Saturday’s Pop-Up! Blue lidded item is mini-marshmallows canister. Liked being able to use shaker top so covered label with wrapping paper.

Posted in DIY

Birch Tree Sketch – you can do this!!

I was playing around on Pinterest looking for stuff to do with birch. I am a big fan of the bark and I purchased a bunch of it from eBay and want to use it. I saw an ornament made out of birch with a beautiful burned in image. And I thought – I could draw that. And you could too!

All I did was free hand in the following order:

  1. Vertical lines to show tree trunks
  2. Leafless branches off of the trees sporadically
  3. Variegated lines to show the natural variation in the bark
  4. The heart with letters “carved in”
  5. Colored the heart with red, the trunks with grey and the places in between with sky blue

Going to frame and give it to the Mr for his desk at work with a picture of us.