Saturday, November 30, 2013

Homemade Apple Pie Recipe

We went apple picking back in September, and I made my first homemade apple pie and apple crisp. It came out so well, I went ahead and made the same homemade apple pie for Thanksgiving the other day. I made the crust and everything from scratch, and I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself for doing a pretty dang good job for never having done it before!

I love it so much, I wanted to share the recipe here for all of you! 

Here's what you need for ingredients:

Pie Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1 egg
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Apple Filling:

5 Northern Spy apples (I used McIntosh both times I made this pie, tastes just as good! Use whatever our preference is!)
3/4 cup fine sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Combine the flour and salt in mixing bowl.

2. Cut room temperature shortening into flour until mixture is uniform and shortening resembles large peas. (I had some little helpers for some of this...) 

3. Beat egg, water, and vinegar together to blend.

4. Pour all of the liquid evenly over flour mixture. Stir in with fork until all of the mixture is moistened.

5. Divide dough in half and shape each into a ball. Flatten each into a 4-inch circle. Wrap and chill dough for 15 minutes for easier rolling.

6. Peel, core, and slice apples.

7. Mix apple slices with sugar, flour, and cinnamon.

8. Dust rolling pin and work surface lightly with flour. Roll dough to a uniform thickness. Roll to a circle about 1-inch larger than upside down 8-inch pie plate. Carefully place one dough circle into pie plate and gently press into form of place. Trim excess dough if necessary around the edge with the back of a knife.

9. Place apple mixture in pie shell.

10. Place second pie crust on top and form to the edges of the pie plate. Cut slits in the top crust to allow for steam to release in oven. Bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, until pie is fully baked and apples are tender.

Meeting Santa!

We met Santa this weekend! I found out he was visiting at a store nearby, so we decided to take the kids. Hubs is going away next week for about a month, so we figured we better get the Santa excursion in as soon as we could so he could be involved with that. 

I figured Connor would be fine because he has been for a couple of years now.

I thought for sure Merasia and Mason would want nothing to do with Santa, as that has been the case the past couple of years. Mason surprised me though! As soon as we entered the store, he started yelling, "Ho! Ho! Ho! Saaaannntttaaa??" As soon as he saw him, he walked right up to him and got a candy cane from him, and then even sat on his lap! I think he has finally overcome his Santa fear! :)

Merasia was still too timid to sit on his lap, but she did take a candy cane from him when he offered one to her, and she did sit in the chair next to him, and was happy, which usually she won't even step foot near him for the past year or two. This was definitely a slight advancement! 

Kendall was asleep by the time we got to the store, and was still sleeping when we got inside the store, so she was half asleep when she sat on Santa's lap. It was still cute, though! ;)

I'm sure we will see Santa again before the year is over, but this was a fun first trip for this Christmas season. Tomorrow we will venture out to get our Christmas tree. I dug the decorations out of the basement this afternoon and the kids have been talking about the Christmas tree and everything alllllll afternoon and evening. Pictures sure to come from that fun tomorrow! 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover Review & Giveaway!


With four little ones in our home now, it seems there's not only an endless amount of laundry, but an endless amount of tough stains included on that laundry! Everything from pizza sauce to ketchup, spit up to Gerber baby carrots, dirt and grime, and of course, the ever lovely poop. With the money spent on clothes for four kids, used or not, it's a shame to have to throw clothes out because there are stains that just will not come out in the wash. I haven't had a ton of luck with stain removers in the past. It has always been hit or miss for me in the past. I have tried many brand name laundry stain removers, and even just used a little detergent on the stain itself, rubbed it in, let it sit, and then threw it in with the rest of the laundry. Sometimes I would get lucky and the stain would be gone. Other times, not so much.

Enter the Purex Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar & Stain Remover! With the Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover, you can pre-treat hundreds of tough stains, remove dirt and grease, and it's safe on colors!

The first thing I noticed about this bar was that it has a nice odor to it. It was't too strong but it was strong enough to give off a nice, fresh, clean scent, which I like.

I read the directions real quick before using it, and was surprised at how easy it was. Almost TOO easy! You simply wet the stain, rub the Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar, wait a minute or two, and then wash the clothing as usual with your normal load of laundry.

I first tested this on one of Mason's favorite Mickey Mouse shirts. There has been this weird stain on it for weeks now, and nothing I had tried had gotten rid of it. I was really hopeful that this laundry bar would do the trick.

I wet the stain, and rubbed the bar into the stain. You can see the nice lather from the bar in the second photo below.

Unfortunately, I found that this stain was still there after the laundry was done, but in defense of the Fels-Naptha laundry bar, the shirt DID sit stained like this for weeks because I had run out of options, so I think it was just too far embedded that nothing would bring it out, no matter what.

The next items I tried this laundry bar on were a couple of Kendall's shirts. One was white and had a slight spit up stain near the collar.

Much to my delight, when the laundry was done the stain was gone from this shirt!! In the photos above you can clearly see the slight yellow stain near the blue collar. In the photo below, it's gone!

Another shirt of Kendall's had a left over poop stain from weeks ago from a diaper blow out. Of course, I tried out the Fels-Naptha laundry bar on this stain too!

Again, the stain was GONE!!

About a week ago we had pizza for dinner. Mason had pizza sauce on his hands and touched Kendall, thus getting a little pizza sauce on her shirt. I figured it anything could get it out, it would be this stain remover and laundry bar.




Lastly, Connor had a shirt with a ketchup stain on it. I didn't know this stain was on the shirt from weeks before and just never came out in the last wash. I thought it might be a lost cause but decided to try out the laundry bar on this stain too. I don't have a before shot for you, but I'm sure you all have had experience with a ketchup stain or two, especially if you have little ones. Here is the after shot of this shirt:

Nada! Nothing! Zilch! It's completely GONE!!

I think I have finally found my best companion in the world of laundry and stain removers!

The Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar and Stain Remover has become an essential aspect of my laundry duties now, and I would recommend this product to everyone I know! It's small, but it's goes a LONG way and seem like it will work on ANYTHING! And it's just so easy to use, and very, very cheap to buy! 

Purchase it: You can find the Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar & Stain Remover in your local grocery store or at a retailer listed here.

WIN IT: 3 lucky readers of Mama 2 Multiples are going to WIN a coupon for a FREE Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar & Stain Remover! To enter, simply follow the instructions and fill out the form below!

Two New Winners for Smart Ones Oatmeal Review & Giveaway

Unfortunately, two of the original winners randomly drawn for the Smart Ones Oatmeal Review & Giveaway did not respond to me in the 48 hour time window, so I was forced to have Giveaway Tools randomly draw two more winners to replace them.

Lacey B. and Stephanie O. are the 2 NEW random winners for the Smart Ones Oatmeal Review & Giveaway. Both have been notified and have 48 hours to reply to my email and claim their prize, or I will be forced to choose different winners to replace them.

Thank you to everyone who follows my blog and for participating in the giveaway!

***Disclaimer*** Winners are chosen completely at RANDOM and done automatically through Giveaway Tools, once the contest is closed. I have NO CONTROL over choosing winners unless winners do not reply to my winning email to claim their prize in the time specified.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Smart Ones Oatmeal Giveaway WINNERS!

Joanne M., Anne N., and Lacey L. were the random winners generated by Giveaway Tools for the Smart Ones Oatmeal giveaway!

All winners have been notified and have 48 hours to reply to my email and claim their prizes, or I will be forced to choose different winners to replace the old ones.

Thank you to everyone for entering the giveaway and following my blog!

***Disclaimer*** Winners are chosen completely at RANDOM and done automatically through Giveaway Tools, once the contest is closed. I have NO CONTROL over choosing winners unless winners do not reply to my winning email to claim their prize in the time specified.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy 5 Months!

Guess who's 5 months old??

It still feels like yesterday that Kendall made her ever-dramatic delivery into this world! Maybe it's because I keep replaying it over and over in my head because it was so amazing....

Either way, I can't believe it has been 5 months!

I feel like a slight broken record when I say this but it's the truth: Kendall is SUCH a happy girl! All of our babies have been pretty easy going and happy, but it seems like Kendall really just doesn't care about much and is just so genuinely happy all. The. Time. She just LOVES life!

As of about three weeks ago, she weighed 15 lbs., 6. 5 ounces. She has another weight check coming up next week so I will have a much more updated weight then, and I can't wait to see how much more she weighs! She is a big girl! Her thighs have become quite roly-poly...I can't get enough of them!

She eats about 7 ounces every few hours, and has a container of solids for breakfast and dinner. Sometimes she eats TWO whole containers per meal! She has a very hearty appetite! ;)

She's not very picky at all with which foods she likes, which is so great for us! She babbles non stop most of the time, and I just love hearing her talk and figure out all of her sounds! Her giggle is contagious, you can't help but bust out laughing yourself every single time you hear her giggle or have a full belly laugh, which doesn't take much sometimes!

She is pretty content, and even when she does get hungry, tired, bored, or wants attention, she doesn't complain much at all. Her cry can't even really be considered a cry; it's more like a whine. She never gets too upset, unless she gets hurt of course! 

She sleeps fairly well. She has had some weird sleeping issues going on lately where she is just restless and fussier than normal during the night. She is fine if she is in bed with us, so if that's what it takes to make her calm down and feel safe and secure to get her through whatever she is dealing with right now, then so be it. She is only this little once, so I want to soak it up as much as possible and get in every snuggle I possibly can while I can.

Her siblings haven't gotten sick of her yet, so that's a positive! Mason loves her and is always saying "Hiiii, baby girl!" He loves giving her kisses and she loves watching him and smiling and laughing at his antics.

Merasia just loves to help mommy Kendall. She is always asking to hold her, or when I set her down on the floor and she starts fussing, Merasia will be the first to step in and play with her, give her her paci or bottle, give her a toy, talk to her, or even pick her up and comfort her until I am able to get to her and meet her needs. It's nice to have such a big, responsible helper!

Kendall goes to daycare one day a week with her siblings. This is usually my biggest homework day, since it's the one day a week there are zero kids in the house and I can get what I need to get done quickly and efficientely. Everyone at daycare just loves her and are always commenting on what a happy (and big!) girl she is.

She loves holding and playing with her toys, and though she can't get her feet to her face or her mouth while laying on her back, she can get to them quite easily while sitting in her bumbo seat. Much to her surprise, she has discovered just how cool and fun her feet and toes are! ;)

She loves to jump in her jumperoo and play on her playmat too! She is also very interested in the world around her. When I am doing little things around the house I will carry her with me and she is so content just watching everything I do and checking it all out. 

She absolutely adores her daddy, too! Sometimes the only way she will calm down or fall asleep is by holding his hand or finger. It's so sweet!

As for her gross motor skills, she can roll from back to belly and from belly to back. She is much better at rolling from her back over to her bally though, and often times will throw a fit and fuss a ton when she rolls to her belly because she has trouble getting herself back over or just doesn't want to try and do it, even though she can and she knows it. Silly girl! 

She has gotten up to her knees a few times in the past week, which is exciting and scary at the same time! I am not ready for her to be mobile and crawling because 1.) it's one more active child to keep track of and that is wild, and 2.) it just means she is getting bigger and older and that's bittersweet!

She has yet to get any teeth in, but I know it's coming. If she is anything like her big sister though, it will still be three or four months away. I am curious to see how she does with teething compared to the other kids. Connor was never an issue and never made a peep when he was teething. Merasia was a little fussier than normal and cranky at times, and Mason was AWFUL while teething. He would literally be up ALL night, fussing and crying in pain and discomfort. It got to the point that every time he was like that, we just KNEW it was teeth and our theory was proven right the next morning when we checked his mouth and discovered the new jagged little tip each time!


Kendall got a small taste of snow for the first time the other day! Well, not a real TASTE, know. I took the older kids out to play in the slight dusting of snow we got earlier this week and Kendall was interested in checking it out from the warm coziness of her hat, snowsuit, and stroller.

Another favorite past time of Kendall's is bath time! She gets a bath every night, and loves it.

I think my favorite baby age is between 3-6 months. They are just the pinnacle of cuteness at these ages! They smile, giggle, laugh, coo, babble, squeal, talk, play, and socialize and it's just so. Much. FUN! I dread this time to end as she gets older and changes, but I also am looking forward to seeing her engage differently and come into herself and her personality more as the months continue to pass all too quickly. I will be sure to share with all of you too, of course!