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Thursday, November 27, 2014

The BEST Cherry Pie From Scratch


HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYBODY!! There is so much for me and the lou lou girls to be grateful for. Last night I was grateful for my husband the perfectionist, I guess I'm not so good at rolling out pie crust and he's amazing at it! This season is crazy and fun! Today, we're going to eat turkey, take a nap and perhaps go see a movie. Now Ben and I are the only ones who like cherry pie so I had to make some from scratch.  This pie is so good, you'll never go back to store bought again! I used the crust from the Apple Pie Squares on this same blog click here for the detailed directions! Have a great day and eat lots of pie!

Here are the ingredients for the pie crust, click the link above for the detailed directions!

Ingredients
Crust:
3 1/2 cups of flour spooned
1 1/2 cup All Vegetable Crisco
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Filling
3 cans of Oregon tart cherries in water 
4 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1 1/3 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1. Make the Pie Crust. Directions click here.
2. Put the cherries in a big sauce pan, using only the water from 1 and 1/2 cans, strain off the rest of the water. Mix in the cornstarch, sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer stirring occasionally on Medium low heat. Allow to cook for 10 minutes.
3. Pull from heat and allow to cool. While it cools, roll out the pie crust to put in the bottom of the pie dish. 
4. Preheat heat oven to 425 degrees.
5. Once cherries are cool dump in the pie crust and then we rolled out the remaining pie dough and cut into strips and weaved over the top of the pie. Pinch the edges together to seal the crust together.
6. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Then lower the heat to 375 and cook for an additional 40 minutes. When you lower the temperature, add the pie crust shield to the edges so that they don't burn.

This pie is so easy!! Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! We Hope You Have The Best Day Ever!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Chicken Borscht


Apparently, last night Matt got ambitious and thought he was going to feed the entire town of Springville. I was at work and I think he was bored. He made so much Borsht, an Ukrainian soup, that we have left overs for months. However, I am a picky eater and I think it's pretty great! Matthew served his mission in Russia and loves to make me try all of these random things. When we were celebrating our anniversary we had to stop at the Russian market to buy a bunch of items. He made me try Kvas which is like root beer but it's made with rye bread. I think it requires an acquired taste. Here is Matt's delicious Chicken Borscht!

Ingredients
17 cups or 1 gallon of water
2 lbs of chicken thigh or breast
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1/2 cabbage head julienned
5 medium to large carrots shredded
1 large fresh beet peeled and julienned (wash hands immediately after cutting to prevent turning your hands red)
1 large onion julienned
3 skinless tomatoes cubed
1 lemon juiced
5 cloves of garlic minced
6 potatoes cubed
5 tablespoons of sunflower oil (you can use vegetable oil)
4 whole dry bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. This recipe makes 8 quarts, so use a large enough stock pot.Bring to boil 1 gallon of water, add bouillon cubes.
2. While the water boils, sear the cubed chicken and 3 minced garlic cloves in a skillet with some oil. Remove the seared chicken and sauté the diced onions, shredded carrots and the rest of the garlic until golden with the rest of the oil, leave over medium heat, add half of the julienned beets to sautéed mixture, stir occasionally.
3. Add chicken, cubed potatoes and the rest of the julienned beets to boiling water, leave on medium heat.
4. Add skinless diced tomatos to the sautéed mixture and stir well, leave over medium to low heat add pepper, parsley, and dill to the mixture.
5. Squeeze lemon juice into bowl and remove seeds, then pour into to the stock pot.
6. Slice cabbage into thin slices and cut them into bit size pieces and add to the stock pot.
7. Add sautéed mixture to the stock pot and bring to boil for 10 mins, stir occasionally, add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Turn off heat, add the whole bay leaves, stir and leave soup to rest for 1-1.5 hours covered.
9. Add a dollop of sour cream or mayonnaise, stir to incorporate the dollop or just spoon a little of each bite, or eat it without. I prefer sour cream, you can eat it hot or cold. I think it's better hot!

I'll be home for Christmas


    With the Holidays coming up we all know that there will be guests. If you want to spoil those guests and get them to stay longer, the items below. If you are concerned they are going to out stay their welcome these items are not the way to go. Knowing in my family, we love when people stay for as long as possible. Especially when Jessica comes to town we want her to stay as long as possible so that we can squish the little cheeks of Max, Gracie and Sophie! Seriously, take a look at these items, they are so great!

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Boombox Network . The opinions and text are all mine.

  1. Custom blanket - A custom blanket that says "Welcome" would be instantly heartwarming. Or personalize or monogram it any way you'd like. Order it here.
  2. Custom pillows - It's easy to add color and custom designer touches to the guest bedroom (or the entire home!) with this service by LoomDecor.com. Simply click a pillow style and customize it with the fabric of your choice. Also consider creating your own custom designs in bedding and window treatments. It takes about two weeks from order to delivery. Start designing here.
  3. Bamboo towel set - Bamboo fiber is incredibly soft and absorbent. Bamboo towels are an addition to the guest bedroom that will make your guests feel pampered. Buy them here.
  4. Unisex bathrobe - A Turkish cotton bathrobe that will only get softer with every wash. A must for every guest room. Find it here.
  5. Fold-able luggage rack - So your guests can get their suitcase off the floor and more accessible. This one accommodates a smaller bag on the bottom shelf. Check it out and other models here.
  6. Reed diffuser - An elegant way to freshen up a room. Guest will certainly enjoy the distinctive scents developed by Nest Fragrances. Buy it here.
  7. Orchid in vase (a faux) - You could get the real thing, but this faux orchid will last forever. And look beautiful that whole time. Check it out.
  8. Bedside water carafe - A simple, colorful glass bedside carafe will brighten up the room and be useful too. Find it here.
  9. Wireless charging station and clock - Your guests forgot their chargers? No worries, small electronics can be charged here. The wireless charging station also doubles as a clock. Find out more here.
  10. Sample organic spa gift set - A beautifully packaged set of sample beauty products by Hollybeth Organics. All true beauty USDA Organic Certified products that smell amazing. Order the spa gift set here.
  11. Mattress topper - Offer your guests luxurious slumber for the price of a fluffy mattress topper. Shop for it here
  12. In order to make your guests feel extra special, consider offering some spa-like amenities, such as this aromatherapy eye pillow, to make them feel extra relaxed and so happy to be in your home instead of a generic hotel room.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Getting Ready for the Holidays with Rug Pad Corner!

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Now that the weather is getting colder and we are all getting excited and preparing for the holidays. Nothing is better than having a cozy house that feels like a home! We have four different homes with completely different needs to achieve the cozy factor.

Jessica and I have homes with wood floors. Amber lives in a condo and Cassie is just starting to get the things she needs to make her house a home. In my home, we have a big room that everyone gathers to talk or watch movies and having a wood floor with just a rug on top, isn’t that comfy. When we had the opportunity to try out Rug Pad Corner, I was excited. I could tell a difference as soon as I put it under my rug. In Jessica’s home, it made it more inviting for Jessica, to get down of the floor to play with her kids.

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Amber said”I love my rug pad! It provides a lot of comfort and protects my floor. It seems very durable like it will last a long time. I especially like that It keeps my rug from sliding around. It has a rubbery bottom that keeps it from sliding on the floor and a rougher side that keeps it attached to the rug. Overall I would totally suggest it”!

Cassie testimonial “There is nothing worse than a rug that slides when you step on it. Especially when you're caring something hot or fragile! It is well known by my family that I am a klutz, when we got married we bought a rug that slid and would take you for a ride. Then we got the rug pad and let's just say my toes and tush are grateful! It did it's job!

No matter, what kind of floor you have they have a pad for you! Their pad are RPC pressed with no adhesive, no chemicals and safe for all floors. Rug Pad Corner website is so easy to use that you will be a pro in no time. They have a buying guide that will help you order the right size and the right pad for your needs. They also provide custom cuts to match your needs.

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It is a family owned company, that truly cares about people, the community and environment. They are committed to maintaining affiliations with various GREEN organizations, striving to put more American made natural rug pads in more homes. They also believe that success and dedication can benefit those who are less fortunate and this is why they started Rug Pad for a Cause® – a campaign that raises money for the less fortunate by donating the proceeds of each order that passes through their web site. This is their way of making a change, one rug pad at a time.

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This is What Puts Rug Pad Corner on Top!

Manufacturer of only 100% natural American made rug pads

- Natural recycled felt or natural untreated rubber
- Utilizing only American made fibers and materials
- Never any chemicals, glues or adhesives

All orders are cut from the roll

- Unlike others, we do not stock cut and pre-packaged rug pads
- No stubborn lines or creases

Committed to a GREENER environment

- Active Member of GREEN America
- Active Member of U.S. Green Building Council
- Routine administrative examines for maintaining Green practices in offices and warehouse

Prompt and Free shipping

- No charge for Premium UPS shipping service
- Orders cut, inspected, packaged and shipped within 2-4 business days

Liberal return policy

- 30 days to return for full refund; Never any restocking fees

Custom cut rug pads

- Custom cut rug pads based on actual rug size at no additional cost

Rug Pad for a Cause

- Our own Campaign donating a portion of every order to one of 3 charitable organizations

Black Friday is Where Holiday Spirit Goes to Die!



I worked retail for years in almost every department, I think it's the reason why I lack in Christmas Spirit. First, I worked as a cashier, then customer service, apparel, general merchandise and lastly price accuracy. I literally understand every aspect of how retail works and I know each area has it's frustrations. This explains why I dislike decorating, Christmas music and shopping!

Black Friday provided so many funny and good times! They may have been funny because I got to work at midnight and was exhausted by the time the customers got there. One year, our manager thought it would be a great idea to put carts out in front of the doors so that customers could run in and just push a cart. Well one guy, trying to be a Hero, clearly, thought it would be a great idea to try and hurdle the cart. EPIC FAIL! He almost made it, until his toe caught the back of the cart and he face planted! Someone, behind him immediately after tried to push that same cart and rush to their desired area for shopping and partially ran him over. Don't worry he was just fine. He jumped right up and went on his merry little way, I'm not that heartless. Never the less, that act of heroism brought a glimmer of joy to my life.

This year the big companies are having their employees work on Thanksgiving night. I feel for them and it makes me sad that it's all about the money. I get it, people love the deals, adventures and camping. You can get two of those three other places. Anyways, good luck to all those workers this Holiday Season, here is my Retail experience, writing this felt a little more like Retail therapy!

 Here are my reasons for not liking the holidays due to working retail:

1. Christmas Music: I do not care what anyone says, Christmas music should not be played until December 1st! Matt thinks it shouldn't be played until December 20th, he also worked retail with me. When working in retail I heard every version, of every Christmas song (yes especially that bad ones), every single day, before my shift was over. Therefore, they are stuck in your head no matter how bad the song was. The day after Halloween is when they start playing the music but we set up Christmas trees and decorations half way through October! It's crazy! So don't call me a fuddy duddy for not liking Christmas music, you don't get it unless you have worked retail!

2. Sales: When working price accuracy, we spent hours trying to line up the signs to the correct sales item. I mean days and hours! The signs were pre-printed at corporate and some of the items we wouldn't even carry but we still had to look for them. When you are setting ad at three in the morning, you begin wandering like a zombie searching for brains in a ghost town.

3. Checking out: Now, when working in customer service and as a cashier we are equally frustrated when your item does not ring up for the right price. In fact, it gave me stress and anxiety, we had to call someone to see if there was a sign in a wrong place so that we could take it down. We're stuck in a little area feeling claustrophobic and it is quiet stressful waiting for the person working on the floor to find the item for you. It could take them one minute to find it, but it feels like hours! Behind the current customer more and more customers line up and give you glares because you aren't going fast enough. Be nice to that poor employee they are just doing what they are told.

4. Unlimited supply: Yes, there are times when we have the stuff in the back but it's never what you want. I swear, we always had so many gloves and socks and just about anything that no one wants. Sometimes it feels like people want you to pull a Mary Poppins and pull that item out of your magic bag. It's hard and frustrating on your end and I totally get it but don't get mad at me because there is nothing I can do about it. If you ask nicely, they will try and call another store to see if they have it.

5. Straightening: I will be the first to admit, my bedroom is rarely spotless. When I worked apparel it made me never want to clean my room. Which is sad, I acquired such grand skills of folding and what not. When you are about to close, there is always "that couple", they come in with ten minutes before closing. You've been folding clothes hours and almost have everything folded and they pick up every shirt, in every color and size and then leave and don't buy anything. It's a little disheartening. Yes, I know it's my job and yes that is what I am there for. However, it takes time and effort, we are only scheduled for a half hour after closing and that was going to be THE ONE TIME we got out on time!

6. No Family Time: I love to have a job and to make money. I was blessed with working with great people and so I will never complain. I only wish people would realize that we are spending the holidays helping you buy that last minute present on Christmas Eve or what ever holiday it may be, we are missing out on our family time. No matter how frustrating and how rushed you are take into account that we are missing family time to help you!

This Holiday Season remember what it's all really about, giving, compassion, love, kindness and Christ! Be kind to those retail employees this year! I know their pain! I appreciate what they do and I miss all my pals I used to work with!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party #34

lou lou girls linky party
Thank You! To everyone that shared their amazing projects last week! I’m always impressed, we had so many outstanding projects shared at this party! We had over 410 entries! WE LOVE YOU, GUYS ! Please spread the word and if you have your own party and it’s not listed, please let us know and we would LOVE to add it! Now on to this week’s Party
  • Link up your furniture makeovers, DIY projects, home decor, crafts, recipes, thrifty finds and archive loves. We want to see whatever is inspiring you, but please make sure it’s your own creation.
  • Grab a Lou Lou button or link back in some way!
  • We would love to have you follow along with us! We will be back every Tuesday with our favorites and yours with a brand new party!
  • We will PIN each and every post who join the party!
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Cassie’s Favorite: Five heart Home
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