what i made for monday-mini apple pies.

If you've been around a while you know that I like to make some sort of dessert or treat for my husband to take to work with him on Mondays.  Food is my love language.  I am not a diet friendly friend.   
It's just a small way that I feel I can help him with his work day...he and all his coworkers have a super long meeting on Mondays and...well, it's Monday...how can dessert not help that?
It gives me a good excuse to try new recipes and now all of his coworkers expect and look forward to what I will make and send in.
I've been meaning to document what I have tried here...but it's taken weeks for me to start...so we'll just start here.  :)
This week I made mini apple pies for him to take...and I made a large batch so that I could keep some too!
This recipe makes 24 mini pies but you could easily halve it to make 12.
 Start by cutting up eight cups of apples into small 1/2in bits.
Mix the apples with:
12 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2c of sugar
4 heaping teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg (depending on how much you like nutmeg...you could also leave it out)

You will also need:
4 tablespoons of chilled butter cut into 24 equal portions. 
two boxes of pilsbury pie crusts (four chilled NOT frozen crusts)
 Make sure you stir everything around getting the apples nice and coated.
Unroll your first pie crust and cut several circles out.   Continue this until you have enough crusts.
I found that a wide mouth mason jar ring worked perfectly.
Line each cup of your muffin tin with a tiny pie crust.
I found that pinching the edge of the dough around the top edge of the tin and making a hammock of sorts worked really well.  You can then gently fill the crusts with your apple mixture and push the crusts down the rest of the way.
 You should be able to fill until slightly mounded.
 Then take your equally divided butter...
 and put a dab on each pie.
 Cover as desired with left over dough.  Brush with melted butter and bake at 400 for 18 to 22 minutes.  I started checking in on mine at 10 minutes and checked every two until they were perfect.
And YUM!
They are the perfect size and I am looking forward to having the extras with my coffee in the morning.

Yes, for breakfast, there is fruit in there!

Enjoy making these!  It's the perfect excuse to head out to an apply orchard and pick some fresh apples!
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custom order sunday.

I thought I would start using Sundays to showcase my favorite custom order(s) of the week. 
This one by far wins this week.  A customer contacted me to create these super cute Christmas ornaments from drawings that her daughter did of all four of her grandparents. :)
How sweet will it be for that little girl to present these to her grandparents on Christmas day? 
Their own self portrait and name drawn and preserved forever from one of their favorite little ones. :)
These kinds of orders are always fun for me to do because I can just imagine how happy the recipient will be to receive them. :)
And this is my favorite custom order for myself. :)
I think I FINALLY have a true little bit funky logo.  I hope to make this appear on labels and outgoing mail and all sorts of things.
I drew out what I wanted and Meagan from Brown Pigeon did an amazing job of HAND carving my stamp. 
She made my drawing look professional and sharp and the time from ordering to receiving was amazingly fast for how great the end product is.
I just want to sit and look at it, I love it so much!

Happy Sunday to you!  I'm off to bake mini apple pies...or cream cheese bars...or sweet and salty cookies...or mini pumpkin pies...I can't decide. :)
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mixed bag giveaway!

Do you love good bags?
Come on over to my giveaway blog to learn how to become one of FIVE winners of $50 Mixed Bag Designs gift cards! :)
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birthday boy!





Moses' birthday was Wednesday the 5th. 
And I am still coming to terms with the fact that I have a five year old. 
That's partly why I am writing this letter to him two days late...it means I have to acknowledge that he IS five.  Maybe I can avoid that part.

Dear Moses on your birthday,

I really can't believe that you are FIVE! I know I say that (and this) with every age but I swear that I barely had time to blink and turn around since you turned four and now you are a whole year older.

You just went to your five year check up and were 3ft 9in and 47lbs.  You are still huge for your age.
This year you are in school three days a week with Mrs. Bruce and Mrs. Tornello.  You love school and I am always having your friends moms come up to me to tell me how much their kids LOVE you and talk about you non-stop.  I love that you are a good friend to others.

You are in what people call the "question phase" and oh man, are you taking full advantage of that stage.  If I had to guess, I would estimate no less that 40 questions an hour from you.  Some are easy to answer and some are a little tougher.  You are currently obsessed with both what Heaven and death will be like.  I am told it's part of your age to wonder about these things.  You seem to want to know everything about everything.  You get that from your dad.   

Your favorite foods are Norwegian pancakes, tacos and scrambled eggs.  The only vegetable you eat without a fight is cucumbers.  We are hoping it's a gateway vegetable.

You love legos and superheros.  You can name most makes and models cars.

You are a wonderful boy.  You are funny and smart.  You love Jesus and are compassionate towards others.  You are sensitive and tough, too.  Your dad and I are so pleased with the little boy you are and are becoming.  You just started to share a room with your brother and have been a good influence on getting him to go to bed.  You love your little brother.  You two could play "adventure" for hours on end, only taking breaks for goldfish and milk.  He calls you "mimi". 

You are a good kid.  You make my heart swell with pride.  I am thankful to be your mom. 

You have also asked, now that you are five, that we call you Austin.

I, having given birth to you (involuntarily) naturally, have the right to forever call you the name we chose to be your first name.  So while eventually others may one day call you Austin, to me, you will always be my Moses.

Love, Your mom.          
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working backwards.

Instagram photos are perfect for my life right now.
I feel like I barely have an instant to spare and I am taking photos on the run.
Here's what's been going on the last seven days...working backwards.
Fall has arrived here in Virgina.  
You can taste it and smell it. 
It's pretty glorious here.
We went home for the weekend. 
 Hoho was forced to wear this (adorable) hat.
We went to the Highlander festival at Radford University (my alma mater).
It was COLD.  
 Aunt Jen saved the day by showing up with tons of hats and scarves and warm things in tow.



Despite the frigid temps Moses was a happy, happy boy.

And this one excused himself for a nap in the car.  Over funned?  I think so.




This is part of the chain reaction STILL going on in my house.
Everything has shifted and moved.
I wish I had done this forever ago.
I hung this TV. 
While my husband watched football on it.
I'll be expecting a "awesome wife of the year". 
We took the boys to meet my in-laws at Luray Caverns.  AKA batman's cave.
Moses loved it.  Aaron fell asleep in my arms.  100 feet underground. 
I'm making progress in here.
Every day I must put away like fifty things.  So I will get there. 
I'm trying to decide which vintage sheet to make into a skirt for that desk.
I got cupcakes in the mail from a wonderful friend.
Happy mail makes me feel loved.
We're taking advantage of sunny warm days. 
This boy is my adorable wild thing. 
Organization makes me happy. 

Life is full and good.
We are blessed much.

What have you been up to?
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more than a prayer.

I recently made this for a friend.
Who started on a journey to adopt her daughter over four years ago.
It's a bittersweet story, as I am sure most adoption stories are, full of anguish and hope and love and desperation and every kind of exasperation and it has finally come to an end in the best way.  
This piece is meant to be a play on words...as in "Lord have mercy, this took FORever". 
Because four years is a long time to be "pregnant". 
But it's more than that. 
Four years ago my friend named this daughter Mercy.
So another way to see it is "Lord, have this daughter, Mercy, she's always been yours anyway.  Amen". 
But it's also an expression that each of us should carry in our hearts "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner, who longs to love you, amen". 

If you would like one too...to remind you to dwell on His mercy, email me. 

His mercies are new every morning...great is thy faithfulness.  {Lam 3:23}
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progress?

I've been busy.  Every single minute is full.  The chain reaction continues in the house.
There is not a trip up the stairs that my hands are not full of something that needs to now live elsewhere.  The new studio is coming along?  Yes, that is a question mark.
 I built my desk this weekend...and added a shelf.  And started carting all of my supplies in here from all over the house. 
 I wish I could say this was all of them.  Or even most of them.  But that would be a lie.
I have approximately 1,000 ideas for in here and through out the house. 
But the people I live with insist on things like food, baths and attention.  So it is taking a while.
 But I will get there.  Maybe.
Anyone want to come over and start in on this mess for me?
Or send coffee and chocolate to get me through? 

xo
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updates...

 here's my progress on this project...      i
 j
 k
 l
 m
 n
 o
 p
 q
and r.  I try to make time to do at least one letter a day and I have been doing pretty good with that goal.  I am hoping that once it is all done that the combination of all of them together will had all of my flaws in embroidery skills.
And the boys sleeping in the same room?  Well, if I had known that it would be this easy, I would have done it long, long ago.  I only had to go into their room a couple of times the first night to tell them to cut out the whispering and last night only once.  And the mornings have been just fine too!  They still stay in bed until the clock reads 7:00am. 
Since it seems that it will stick...I made an initial purchase for my new space...above you can see the wood that will be my new desk. 
Let me just say, that if Doug were there for this...it would not have happened.  He hates it when I MAKE things work like this.  I barely had room to get it in my CRV...the front of the wood touched my rear view mirror and I could barely close the back hatch.  I won't even mention the number of "men" who walked by me in lowe's trying to get an 8ft by 4ft piece of plywood off the shelf and onto my cart to get cut...(it was just Moses and I) but I am sure that number is nothing compared to the number of men who walked by me in the parking lot trying to get this beast in the car. 
Sometimes stubbornness is a virtue.  Because I did it.  And then we went through the Chick-fil-a drive through.
And finally a little before and after for you. :)  These hohos are some of my favorite to make.  You can purchase your own keepsake hoho from the shop. It's a great way to put to good use a favorite baby outfit. :)

Hope your weekend is a happy one!
xo
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