Homemade Applesauce

On our way back from the Pumpkin Patch, we stopped at the Apple Barn. We had no idea this local treasure was so close to us! It smelled heavenly inside! They had a little cafe where you could get special apple treats made from their fresh-picked apples. I have been wanting to learn how to can from Ray’s Granny for quite some time, especially before she isn’t able to for one reason or another. In the past I had made applesauce when I was teaching kindergarten, so I figured we could make some at our house…why not make applesauce and can it to have for Jonah?!? We got 2 cases of apples. A little ambitious, but I had faith and we were excited!

Here’s a photo journal/tutorial of our Homemade Applesauce Canning Adventure:
1) Wash the apples. We used Mutsu apples (suggested to us by the Apple Barn worker). They were really juicy and tasted great!

Ray’s Granny’s hands (I love this picture! Lori, I hope you see this…)
2) Peel, Core, and Slice the apples…Thank goodness for Pampered Chef’s all-in-one contraption! It made things so much easier and faster!
3) Cover & Cook the apples on medium-high for 25 minutes or so…they should be soft. Stir occasionally so they don’t stick! (You could also do this in a crockpot)
4) Since we wanted smooth, creamy applesauce for Jonah (he doesn’t like chunky textures), we put the apples in the food processor. If you want chunky applesauce you can skip this step.
5)For the first batch, we added some cinnamon and sugar, but we decided we liked it plain after that. We added sugar to taste, but really it was very little sugar since our apples were naturally sweet!
6) We placed the applesauce in our heated jars following canning instructions provided by Granny.
7) Sealed them, put them in the water bath for 20 minutes, took them out and let them cool overnight.
You can see the difference between the batches with & without cinnamon here…
We also made apple pie filling and canned it. We had 2 jars that didn’t seal properly, so we’ve already made apple crisp with them. YUMMY!
We ended up doing 2 canning days. The second day went much faster, since Ray and I had the basics down. I really felt super-domestic after we were done! We ended up with several boxes of quart jars full of applesauce. We will use this instead of buying applesauce for a while. Jonah loved it…and he’s the critic that counted the most! He even says, “Mommy made this” when I put it on his plate….Here’s to teaching him that a little hard work can reap wonderful rewards!

Pumpkin Patch

We took a trip up the road to Dayton, TN to Brushcreek Farms to explore the pumpkin patch. When we got there it was sprinkling and a little gloomy, but that’s what the month of October looked like for us…there really wasn’t a good Saturday to go and we kept putting it off week after week, eventually we had to go before Halloween was over. Off in the mud and yuck we went! While we were waiting to go on a hayride, we walked around and looked at the old trucks they had on display.
Jonah thought this truck looked like “Mater” from his favorite movie-Disney’s Cars.
Photo time!
Inspecting pumpkins…
Jonah and Daddy walking to visit the horses…
Not to be gross, but it’s a funny story….
The horse did what horses normally do when they get out of the trailer after a ride. Jonah asks questions about everything right now so this is how the conversation went down…
Jonah: “What’s the horse doing, Daddy?”
Daddy: “The horse is pooping.”
Jonah: “The horse is pooping! Mommy, the horse is pooping!”
He then proceeded to talk about it for the rest of the day. He told everyone…and still is talking about it! Let’s just say that the horse relieving himself in the middle of the gravel parking lot did not help the quest for potty-training…now Jonah says he wants to use the bathroom in random places…the shower, the cup, etc.
Ok, moving on…
We rode on a hayride behind this tractor to the pumpkin field…
We decided not to get out and pick a pumpkin from the field because this is what the field looked like…I was NOT walking in the swampy mud with Jonah for a pumpkin. We picked one from the barn instead…he never knew the difference. :)
Jonah’s jacket wasn’t warm enough on the hayride so we stole daddy’s sweatshirt.
We stopped at the Apple Barn on the way back from the Pumpkin Patch. You’ll hear more about that next!


Jonah Says…

“What are you doing, Momma?”
Yes, I’ve heard this question way too many times this week. It’s Jonah’s favorite thing to say at the moment. I only wish he would wait more than 3 seconds to ask it again…or maybe if he would start to ask Ray the question of the week and give me a break from coming up with a new answer every 3 seconds…sigh…

I won a $50 YCMT Halloween Bundle!

I just checked my email and found out that I won a $50 YCMT Halloween Bundle giveaway that I entered on Courtney’s blog. Yippee!!! I totally didn’t expect to win when I entered, because I’m just not that lucky, but I actually won! So…guess I have no excuse not to be creative now! Here’s what I received:

Fancy Filled Tutu with Bonus 40 Tutu “Recipes”

Pumpkin Polly Patterns

Paper Piecing Project: Pumpkin Patch Pillow

Frayed Applique: Too Cute to Spook!

Little Miss Spider Applique Patterns

How to Applique the Easy Way

Hocus Pocus Patterns

Just a Little Something for a Happy Halloween Table Runner

I’m so excited! If you’ve never checked out You Can Make This, you really should check them out. They feature e-book tutorials & patterns to make lots of different things–clothing, hairbows, jewelry, digital scrapbooking, embroidery, and just about everything crafty you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make! The quality is wonderful, and you don’t have to go to the store and look through pattern books! You can download, print, and create without ever getting out of your pajamas! The directions and pictures are so much better than some of the confusing patterns you can buy at the sewing stores…It’s like having someone sit next to you and explain it. Click on the picture below and you can go check out the You Can Make This…

Download Today - Make Today!


Silent Monks…

Just needed to post a laugh on a rainy day here at the Happy Brown House…Enjoy!

Welcome new readers!

I’ve had a lot of new visitors recently and just wanted to say, “Welcome to the Happy Brown House!” Some of you probably found me from One Pretty Thing, Pretty Oganized Palace, Chatting at the Sky, or A Soft Place to Land. Others probably found me from MamaBuzz or Etsy. However you found me, I’m so glad you’re here!  I blog about life in the Happy Brown House–kids, crafts, coupons…and everything in between! Hopefully you’ve taken some time to look around and read through some old posts. If you haven’t had time to look around much or didn’t know where to start, here are a few of my favorite/most popular posts to get you started…

On kids…

On crafts…

On coupons…

Thanks for taking a look around! If you like what you see, come back and visit again! You’re always welcome! To become a follower, click on the “Follow” button on my sidebar. If you are a Technorati user, add me to your favorites! And most importantly, don’t forget to leave me some comment love! I read and cherish ever single comment I receive! Thanks!

Rubber Ducky Baby Shower

Some friends and I threw a surprise baby shower a month ago, but I totally forgot to show you the details since I couldn’t post beforehand…it might have spoiled the surprise! So here’s a peek at our hardwork…

Since Melody wasn’t finding out if it was a girl or boy we had to go with a neutral theme. We chose ducks. We made a duck cake…He was a little lopsided, but oh so good!

We had punch with blue food coloring in it and some rubber duckies floating in it to go with the finger foods.

The handmade tissue paper pom-poms and baby banner.
I made a diaper cake for part of my present. Since Melody didn’t know if it was a girl or a boy, I couldn’t monogram anything, which is my usual gift for baby showers. But you know me, I’ve got to go big, unique, and handmade.
Melody was totally surprised! She didn’t have a clue!
Jenna, Me, Melody, and Amanda
And by the way…
Her name is Sarah Elizabeth…I like to think she was named after me…only her name was misspelled. :)

Tutorial: Marshmallow Pops

Gather your ingredients:
Candy Melts/Dipping Chocolate
Lollipop Sticks (found in the cake decorating & candy making section in your local craft store or Walmart)
Your favorite sprinkles or sugar sprinkles
Don’t forget to grab your little “helper”…
  1. Melt the candy melts/chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Stir and reheat for 30 more seconds. Repeat until melted.


  2. Place a marshmallow on a lollipop stick.


  3. Dip the end of the marsmallow in the candy melts/chocolate. (I only dipped the very tip, but you could cover as much as you want.)


  4. Now dip the end of the marhmallow in the sprinkles.


  5. Place the marshmallow in a glass until the candy melts/chocolate harden (this only took a few minutes for the candy melts that I used)


  6. Rinse, lather, repeat….until you make the desired amount of marsmallow pops.


Allow your little helper to do a taste-test…
While your little helper is making a mess performing a taste-test, package them up in treat bags and  tie with a cute piece of ribbon or rick-rack. Give them to friends, new neighbors, as party favors, etc.
Note: if you want to make a cute display for your Marshmallow Pops, place a piece of styrofoam in a cute container or vase. To cover up the styrofoam, I used some of the shredded paper for gift baskets that I had laying around in my craft stash. (If making these for Easter, you could use Easter Grass! Wouldn’t that be cute!?!)
Let your friends “Oooh” & “Aaaah” over them, say thanks for the compliments, and smile to yourself because you knew it was super easy and super fast to make. Enjoy!
Make someone’s day with a Marshmallow Pop!

Jonah Says…

On the way to Parent’s Day Out…

Jonah: “Trevor a bad boy.”

Mommy: “What makes Trevor a bad boy?”
Jonah: “He’s loud.”
Mommy: “Is Jonah a bad boy?”
Jonah: “No, Jonah a good boy and Andrew a good boy. Trevor a bad boy. He’s loud.”

Stitches by Sara: Coffee Cozies

Meet the Coffee Cozy…
Want to save the planet in style? Jazz up your java!

This coffee cozy is lined to protect your hands from the warm cup. Designer fabric has been chosen to give your coffee a one-of-a-kind look so no one will pick up your coffee by mistake! An elastic band and button make this totally adjustable for any size cup. It is compact enough to stick in your purse, glove box, or desk drawer to use when needed. Coffee cozies make great gifts! Pair it with a gift card or a package of fresh-ground coffee for any occasion! Secret pals, teachers, coworkers, or for your own little “happy” present…the possibilities are endless!

All coffee cozies are made in a smoke-free, pet-free home. Fabric placement may vary a bit as I tend to make several cozies at a time from the same fabric. Occasionally, I will place a coordinating fabric on the inside if I am running low on the outside fabric. I take great care in choosing buttons that match the fabric, but they may vary a bit from the picture depending on what I found in my button jar at the time.

Want to make it extra special? Add a monogram for an extra $3. Please convo me first and I will set up a custom listing just for you.

Visit my Etsy Shop to see more!