Easy Apple Butter in the Crockpot

My family and I went apple picking this past week. One of our Fall traditions that we love to do (but don’t always do) is to go apple picking and make apple butter in our slow cooker. It is easy, makes the house smell wonderful and has NO sugar!

no sugar apple butter

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Slim Apple Pickings

The woman told us that we would have to drive pretty far down to get to the apples since there were so many people at the orchard, and apparently the end of apple picking season. We drove to the end of the road and started walking down the long aisle of apple trees. No apples.

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“The True Cost” of that $5 T-shirt…Now What?

Did you know that the clothing industry is the second leading cause of pollution? The oil industry is the first. I heard that surprising statement on the Slow Your Home Podcast on conscious capitalism and ethical shopping.

The True Cost Documentary (now on Netflix)

Curious to know more, I watched one of the documentaries mentioned in the podcast called The True Cost, which delves into what the true cost is for everyone involved in manufacturing cheap and fast fashion. The biggest impact, of course, is on the garment workers and their countries, countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam.

$5 t-shirts and ethical shopping

The documentary is really well done. The interviews are interesting and varied – from following a garment worker in Dhaka, Bangladesh to fair trade fashion brand People Tree. Safia Minney, the Founder and CEO of People Tree is amazing and inspiring.

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October Intentions and Recap of September Goals!

I’ve been writing down monthly goals  to help me focus in on what is important. Many of the things listed are daily habits I’m seeking to maintain or grow in. The goal is not to obtain perfection, but to make steady progress…and months when there isn’t any progress, to give myself grace and start again the next month. That is my hope for you too as you strive to implement daily/weekly/monthly habits.

Monthly goals for october

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Things that were challenging in September: running twice a week (I’ve started running at least once a week, and hope to get up to twice a week again now that the weather is SO much cooler!) , decluttering in our basement, meal planning (hubby did most of the cooking during the first two weeks of September without a meal plan), and blogging! I’m starting to get back in the swing of a blogging routine, especially after I stopped working full-time in the middle of September.

Things that went well in September: my morning routine, making our bed, keeping my gratitude journal, getting at least six hours of sleep, tracking expenses, and dates with my husband. We actually got out for dates twice this month! Woo hoo! It was our 18th wedding anniversary in September so that was one reason we made time to focus on us time.

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A Funny Story About Decluttering Sentimental Objects

Do you want to hear a funny story about the lady who kept an object for over 19 years because she thought she should? Well you’re in the right place! Decluttering sentimental objects isn’t one of my top struggles when it comes to minimizing, but one particular gift has been boxed up in our house for over 10 years.


Once upon a time there was a boy and girl who started dating. The boy didn’t have much money…actually, neither did the girl. So when the boy gave the girl a gift, it was a very big deal. The girl appreciated the thought and hours of work that the gift symbolized.

Fast forward 19 years and that girl (me) still has that gift from the boy (my husband Gabriel). Here is the beautiful gift:

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Lessons Learned while Riding a Tandem Bike

My husband and I are celebrating 18 years of marriage this month. Last year for our anniversary, we spent a weekend near the beach and rented a tandem bike for the first time. These are the lessons learned about myself and my marriage from those few hours of Tandem bike riding.

lessons learned from riding a tandem bike

On a rare weekend away, sans kiddos, one of the ways we celebrated was riding a tandem bike together for the first time. It was revealing and convicting. Renting bikes for our anniversary weekend wasn’t planned. We tried using Airbnb for the first time and they stated that there were bikes available for use so we didn’t bother bringing ours. Unfortunately, they turned out to be unsuitable (rusted, flat tires, and children’s bikes versus adults). We decided to rent bikes near the beach. On our way, we decided to try a tandem bike.

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