October 31, 2009

preparing for halloween....

Prissy is not quite ready for the noise...

We made caramel-chocolate apples...yum!

The Foyer...

The front door...

October 30, 2009

Homemade Caramel Apples...

1 C. real butter
2 C. dark brown sugar, packed
1 C. light corn syrup
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk... Read More
2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
8-10 medium-sized apples, sticks inserted in tops

TIPS: . Be sure your apples are washed w/ baking soda to remove wax (if store bought)and VERY dry before dipping.

Choose smaller apples to make caramel go further-- after all, it's hard to finish a whole one, anyway.

Use cold apples for dipping to keep the caramel from sliding off.


1. Over medium-high heat, stir together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, and condensed milk in a heavy sauce pan.

2. Bring to a boil.

3. Cook about 30-40 minutes (don't stir often, as you'll risk crystallization), until the caramel darkens and thickens. It should reach the "firm ball" stage of candy-making. This means that, upon dropping the caramel into cold water, a firm ball forms. This ball shouldn't flatten when you remove it from the water, but should still easily change shape when you touch it. With a candy thermometer the temp should read 245-250 degrees F.

4. Remove finished caramel from the heat.

5. Stir in vanilla extract.

6. Dip apples into hot caramel. In order to get as thick a caramel coating as possible, dip each apple at an angle and rotate within the caramel.

7. Pull apple out vertically and allow excess caramel to drip off. Then turn the apple right-side-up a moment (as if you were about to eat it) and let the caramel settle for a few seconds. This prevents large bare spots at the top of the apple.

8. Place apples on greased wax paper or foil.

9. While caramel is still warm and soft, decorate as desired. (Unless dipping apples in chocolate, in which case the caramel needs to be allowed to set.)

10. Let cool to set.

OR....to make EASY Kraft Caramel Apples:

1. WASH and dry 10 apples thoroughly. Insert stick into stem end of each apple.

2. MICROWAVE 75 unwrapped Kraft Caramels with 3 Tbsp. water in large glass measure or mixing bowl on HIGH for 3 to 3-1/2 minutes or until sauce is smooth when stirred.

3. DIP apples into hot caramel sauce and turn until coated. Scrape off excess sauce from bottom of apples and decorate*. Place on tray lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Decorating w/ chocolate: Refrigerate coated apples to set caramel. Then, generously drizzle with melted chocolate using a spoon. Let stand on lightly greased or waxed-lined paper tray until chocolate is firm.

photo meme...

Want to play too?
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

My Answers:
1. What is your first name? Peg
2. What is your favorite food? sushi
3. What high school did you go to? Serra
4. What is your favorite color? Lime Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? David Beckham
6. Favorite drink? water
7. Dream vacation? Florence, Italy
8. Favorite dessert? Coconut cupcakes
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? happy
10. What do you love most in life? family
11. One word to describe you. unforgettable
12. Your Flickr name. Pegstamps

photo credits:
1. the cupcake girls
2. Sushi
3. untitled
4. Lime2
5. David Beckham ITV World Cup Ident
6. When Waves Collide
7. Florence Storm
8. chocolate coconut
9. Bliss 4
10. Going home
11. Sunshower
12. Peg stamp 3

October 28, 2009

a gorgeous day...

blog under construction...

I am currently revamping my blog. I think I've decided on this template, but still need to add more links, widgets, blogs...

Sorry for not updating often enough. I find myself quite busy these days.

HUGS to all!!!


October 19, 2009

The San Diego Nacrelli's...

Don, Sheryl and Nick came for a visit this past weekend at my folk's house. It was so good to get to see them. I miss them so very much. They were down scouting out colleges for Nick's lacrosse scholarship.

Porter is HOME!

He got release from CHKD yesterday afternoon, since his platelets went back up to 73.
He still has a plehthora of Doctor appointments and blood checks, but he's home and looking great. He has a little cough, but he did in the hospital as well.

Thanks to everyone for all the cards, well wishes, prayers....we appreciate it all.

October 17, 2009

photos from the hospital...

Porter got very sick last week...Wednesday, to be exact. Vomiting, high fever...then by Sunday he aquired red spots all over his face.

This is Porter 2 days ago...starting to feel a tad better, but still very sick. They had him on a nasal canula for breathing issues. The spots are called petechiae.

Tracey came to visit Porter yesterday and gave him a cool board book....and so, he painted his nails with the markers when i wasn't looking. And he had tons of fun!

Today, Bethany stopped in for a visit and brought him 'Franken-Socks', a pumpkin book, tons of fun coloring items and such...more fun (and she brought me teas and treats):

Porter is looking much better today....but his platelets keep dropping, so they are keeping an eye on them and if they continue to drop, they will wind up having to do a bone marrow test to check for Leukemia. We are trying to keep in good spirits though...and so glad he is looking and feeling better.

October 4, 2009

it's that time of year again...

I spray painted my wreath black, added orange mums, dark brown tule and a black crow....looks awesome on the front door! Decorated the entry way console and mirror....ooohhhhh...the kids love it! Next is the counter top/bar.

Something about this time of year that makes me content. I love the cooler air, smell of fireplaces, colors of turning leaves, wearing sweaters, and making everything out of pumpkin to eat.

Carson already has her Halloween costume...it's her brother's costume from last year-the Grim Reaper. She looks so cute in this black outfit, sucking her thumb and her cute little face sticking out of the hood. No mask. We'll just add some makeup and make her a pretty reaper instead.

Porter's costume has yet to be determined. We were thiking Charlie Brown...just need that zig zag shirt and he'd be all set, bwhaha!

The Pugs will more than likely just wear last year's costumes too.

Cameron has decided he is done with trick-or-treating and wants to stay home with older brother, Brig to watch scary movies.

Halloween will be here before we know it. In the meantime, we all enjoy planning and prepping for all the holidays coming up in the next several months ahead.

OK...time to plan on making these next for the bar area...Science experiments...eeewwwww!!! (from mixmingleglow.com):

October 2, 2009

fun with felt...

I taught Carson a few easy sewing skills, so she could sew an Owl out of felt. I showed her how to make felt roses and then made her a 3-pocket travel pouch for the trip on Monday. This pattern was super easy to make and hold a notepad, scissors, pens, gluestick, 12 crayons and 2 stampers: