Thursday, September 19, 2013

homemade applesauce and Pitch Perfect

Hi, lovelies!

I'm planning a "things I love right this minute" blog post, and I'd love to hear what (or who!) you're in love with currently! Today, I'm chatting about two things I'm obsessed with: Pitch Perfect, and homemade applesauce.

If you haven't seen Pitch Perfect, you need to get on this level: go watch it right now. Or right after you read this post. Whichever you prefer.

Pitch Perfect is a hilarious movie about collegiate a capella singing competitions and has killer music and genius actors. Some of my favorite moments include:

It is a lie to say I haven't watched this movie 3 times since Saturday. What was I doing while I was harmonizing my heart out, you ask? I was eating a lot of homemade applesauce. 

Applesauce is one of those recipes you cannot easily mess up, but it can be extremely boring. I have 3, check it, THREE, secret tips to help you create magnificent applesauce.

Over the Labor Day weekend, I visited my family upstate. My grandfather and I picked at least 10 pounds of FREE apples. Imagine the scene: I rode on the back of my Papa's ATV to a field behind the town cemetery where ten apple trees and three plum trees grow. There was once a beautiful concord grapevine there. too, before it was run over by a tractor. Welcome to my hometown!

For this batch of applesauce, I used 4 lbs. of various apples, peeled, cored, and cubed.

Tip 1: It's so convenient to throw the apples into the crockpot. I added 1 cup of water and cooked the 
           apples on low for 2 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

I used a potato masher to crush the apples into a chunky sauce. I then added ground cinnamon and the following two ingredients to taste. The amount of ingredients will change depending on the variety and ripeness of the apples, so keep adding them until you love it!

Tip 2:  I used real maple syrup as a sweetener instead of granulated sugar. The flavor is so much more
            natural! It doesn't taste fake like many store-bought brands.

Tip 3: Vanilla extract creates a depth to the applesauce that tastes amazing!

This chunky applesauce is my favorite! I set aside a jar of this for myself before moving on to the next step.

Mr. J prefers a smooth applesauce, and, since he's a tiny bit spoiled, I blended the remainder of the batch in my awesome Ninja for him. I love that thing! When the applesauce is smooth like this, you need to adjust the flavors.

Here are the two versions of the applesauce side by side. Both textures are delicious.

This batch made about 3 pints of applesauce. I froze 2 of them, and they defrosted beautifully. Give this easy recipe a try and tell me it's not better than what you usually get at the store. Go ahead and try (and watch Pitch Perfect) :D

Much love,

Linked to:
 Homemade Mondays @ Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity
What I Whipped Up Wednesday @ Sugar and Dots
Recipe Round-Up @ Goose Berry Patch

What’s Cookin’ Wednesday @ Buns in my Oven
Wow Me Wednesday @ Ginger Snap Crafts

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Project Sunday: back to school braided hairstyles

Hello, lovelies!

Sorry for another extended pause here at C.C. The last few weeks have been insane with moving, organizing, and traveling to see family. Two weekends ago, my cousin Kara came to visit, and she agreed to be my hair model. It's always easier to do someone else's hair, but I'm sharing three braided hairstyles you can do yourself in 15 minutes to get ready for school or college. Enjoy!

This easy updo is a fishtail braid with one extra step:
simple enough for every day wear, elegant enough for a special event!

Isn't she gorgeous?! Love this girl!
Create a deep side part, and pull all hair to one side.

 Fishtail braid the hair.

 Even out the braid by gently pulling on both sides of the braid.

 Roll braid under itself and bobby pin into place.

 Add decoration. (I made this pin myself.)

Here you can see the braided detail from the side.

Can you see how messy our new place is?
This updated bun combines two hot trends: braids and ballerina hairdos.
Create a high ponytail and secure with a hair elastic.

 Divide ponytail into two pieces, and braid each piece.
Secure with clear elastic bands.

Wrap one braid around the ponytail and secure with bobby pins.

 Wrap the other braid around the bun and secure with bobby pins.

 Flowers go perfectly with this sweet hairstyle. (I made this pin using ribbon.)

The braids turns this uncomplicated look into an intricate hairstyle.

This braid looks more difficult than it is. If you can French braid your hair already, you can do this! I like this look because it appears differently from all four angles, almost like four hairstyles in one.

 Start with a deep side parting on the top of the head.

Continue to part the hair diagonally to the back of the head.

 French braid the front section of hair until you reach the top of the ear.
This part is the hardest: from the top of the ear, French braid toward the back of the neck.
Braid across the back of the head, angling the braid toward the bottom of the opposite ear.

When you reach the opposite ear, you should have gathered all the hair into the French braid.
Braid the remaining hair normally and secure.

Voila! A headband would look great with this braid.

I hope your return to school is wonderful and fashionable :)

Much love,