Single Serve Baked Apples

There’s no need to pull out huge baking dishes or use a large number of ingredients just to have this fall favorite - just make a single serving of baked apples!

This simple recipe can be made in a small, oven-safe dish in less than 30 minutes. So

1 apple, sliced
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup apple cider

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small, individual serving baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Combine brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl.

3. Layer 4-5 apple slices in the bottom of the dish, then sprinkle with 1/3 of the sugar mixture.

4. Repeat a second layer of apples and sugars, then apples.

5. Before adding the last layer of sugars, pour apple cider over the entire bowl, stopping about an inch below the rim.

6. Sprinkle the rest of the sugar mixture over the top layer of apples.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or when the top layer of apples is crusted and brown. Serve immediately wit…

Bless The Lord, O My Soul

Fall came in like a lion this week. I know I’m mixing my metaphors and changing the season this phrase was written for, but trust me - it’s the truth. I think half the leaves on the property blew into another county over the weekend, and I even had to wear earmuffs in the mornings to take the dogs outside. That’s Iowa in October for you.

But despite all this, I have to ask myself if my heart’s in the right place. Am I more concerned about getting a few more minutes of sleep than getting up and doing Bible study? Do I mumble under a my breath as I take the puppies out into the cold, or am I thankful that we have three amazing companions? Heart condition and heart attitude are so important in every season, not just when the sun is shining and the temperatures are warm.

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1

Between Psalm 103 and 104, we find the phrase Bless the Lord, O my soul five times. We don’t know if it was David who wrote Psalm 104,…

Sunday Sketch

Did you ever have a card or other paper craft that just absolutely fell together as you were creating it? That’s what happened with the card for today’s sketch. I had the gold metallic paper for the background and the velvet, textured paper for the strip down the middle and - ta da - this fun, simple sketch that really packs a punch.

For my card, I covered a 4.5x6.25-inch white card stock card with the metallic paper, using a little more adhesive than normal since the paper is thicker and less flexible than the usual paper. Then I matted a 4.25x6-inch piece of black card stock on top. The velvet paper is trimmed down to show strips of both gold and black along the sides.

I finally had the opportunity to use this beautiful Bible image, and it’s raised on 3D adhesive to help it stand out. Both it and the phrase are matted on the same black card stock.

Ready to make this sketch your own? Start with your two colors of card stock for the background of your card. Then cut a strip of patter…

Fall Begins To Appear On The Carrell Wildlife Preserve

Praise the Lord, it's finally fall! There's not too much color out here on the Carrell Wildlife Preserve yet, but you'll find some if you look close. This is my favorite tree on the property, and it's already get some gold around the edges.

The most vibrant oranges come out right around sunset, when the sun is almost but not quite down. If there's an actual break of dawn, I think there's one at dusk, too.

This fall we have half a dozen does and young deer on wildlife preserve. It's fun to see the yearlings that we saw when they were tiny fawns. I'm like a proud aunt watching my babies grow up big and strong.

We're trying to teach the puppies that we like deer and they don't have to bark at them. It's definitely a challenge when the deer are everywhere, but we want to make sure they stay here, too. All of them are healthy and beautiful like these two, which is such a blessing.

As we welcome cooler temperatures and more fall colors, I just pr…

What Do You Do For Yourself?

Early this week it was about 70 degrees at lunchtime, the sun was shining bright and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I had a very short amount of time to grab lunch because of a work errand, so I couldn’t go home, but that was ok knowing Danny would be there to take care of the puppies.

Do you know what I did on that lunch break? I’m sure the picture gives it away - I picked up a little sushi and went to Central Park. It was the perfect day, the perfect light lunch and the perfect way to turn off my mind for a few minutes.

Do you ever do anything special, alone, just for you? For a while there was a mindset going around that all your time should be taken up doing things for other people. If you took care of yourself, you were shortchanging others. If you wanted peace and quiet for 10 minutes, you were being selfish.

I never, ever, for one single moment agreed with that mentality. If I use up everything in my tank, I definitely can’t help anybody else. If I’m exhausted and have to go…

Use Up Your Scraps With Mini Cards

Imagine being able to brighten the days of 70 people with these tiny little note cards. They’re just big enough to write a couple of sentences and sign your name. And every one is different, making it great fun to figure out who would get each design and phrase.

A few weeks ago I showed you how to make five cards from one sheet of card stock. If you tried it, you’ll have two 2.25x4.5 inch mini cards to play with. I have literally hundreds of them from making cards for many years this way, and these adorable little ones pictured here help use up both paper scraps and leftover embellishments from other projects. Totally a win-win situation.

I always have so much fun combining patterns and images to make these tiny cards stand out. Can’t you picture tucking them in someone’s purse, pew or coat pocket? You can have so much fun with these! And you can follow my pattern to make them yourself, or you can find several sets in our Etsy shop available for purchase.