Am I the only one who STILL can’t get over how fast October flew by? It feels like September was only last week…but I guess time flies when you’re having fun? But in my case, it’s flying because I’m ignoring all of my problems and trying not to get overly stressed and anxious about life. WOO (not).
Because my life feels like a super hot mess right now, I figured this would be an appropriate post to do today! Because just like my life at the moment, my “fun + easy” caramel apple project turned into a “shit I overheated the caramel and am making a huge mess” project. And the worst part is that THEY DIDN’T EVEN TASTE GOOD. Talk about a blogger fail. BUT before I get to all the crazy-hot-mess details of my life, grab yourself a hot cup o’ joe (or a huuuuge glass of wine – I’m not judging) and get comfy!
So first thing’s first. I ended up staying awake for much of last night stressing over a credit card bill that was due today. I managed to block it out of my mind that I charged my amazingly-perfect wedding dress to one of my cards that makes you pay the balance in full, and today was the day it was finally all due. And I was completely scrambling. Because I completely forgot about it, I used my savings last month to pay off a different card, which meant I didn’t have any money to pay off this bill.
To give you a bit of a TMI backstory, I’ve had credit cards for years. And up until I left for grad school, could pay the entire balance off every month (like you’re supposed to!). But when I moved that changed. I charged everything onto them – rent, groceries, school supplies, etc. I couldn’t work with my course-load and my student visa only allowed 20 hours of work per week anyway. And while my parents were originally going to be helping me pay for all of that, things changed and they weren’t able to help as much as I planned. Things kind of spiraled from there. While I am salaried now and make more than minimum payments, my monthly income barely covers what little expenses I have, and it isn’t making a significant dent in my credit card balances.
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Yes, I know I should have made better financial decisions, and yes, I realize that everything is my fault. But honestly, seeing my card bill was a huge wake-up call. I’ve been blocking out this huge problem in my life and pretending like everything was all rainbows and sunshine and that I had it under control, but it’s not and I clearly don’t. It absolutely sucks. So I’m going to be really focusing on making money, getting my finances under control, saving/planning a wedding, and just getting my shit together over the next few months. Send positive vibes my way!
Now, moving on to actual important business…blog stuff! I did an Instagram poll not too long ago seeing if any of my subscribers would be interested in an email wine + book club. I had the idea to, each month, send my subscribers a book and wine recommendation, then get together at the end of the month and doing a Live session or something similar through a Facebook group to chat about it. And the response was great! So I will definitely be doing that (starting January!) and opening up the group soon, so if you want to sign up and make sure you receive any updates, see below!
Another thing I asked was if anyone would be interested in getting a weekly or monthly meal plan, complete with recipes from yours truly and a brief shopping list. Also a great response, and will be starting that up as well starting January, so again, if you want to sign up + stay updated, you can sign up below!
And finally, I’ve updated a few things on the blog already (hello new logo!) but still have a few more to do. Most importantly, changing up my post topics. Turns out I love writing recipe posts, so will be doing that more, but will be focusing mostly on food/cooking, real estate (coming soon), home decor + misc. things to love (beauty finds, books, etc.) and random advice I have for you!
Ok, I know I already said it, but I seriously still can’t believe that October is over. But even though it flew by, I still had quite a few monthly loves! The first being this amazing fall weather we’ve been having. Here in Louisiana, fall it pretty non-existent. The weather tends to jump immediately from “omg I’m dying from the heat and humidity” to “light a fire and let’s make a gumbo”. And October was (for the most part) right in that happy medium. I made a gumbo, lit a fire, wore jeans and cute sweaters, and didn’t even need to break out my jacket!
I’ve said it so many times here that I’m sure you all know it, but just in case – I LOVE COOKING. But sadly because my fiance works at a restaurant and isn’t usually here for dinner time, I haven’t really been cooking fancy meals much lately and I hate cooking a big meal for just myself. But one good thing about fall weather is I get a craving for soups and stews, which are super easy, perfect for the crockpot, and make excellent leftovers for my fiance when he gets back home. And my favorite soup of all? GUMBO! Which you miiiight have seen I wrote a post about (if not be sure you check it out!).
I also got a randomly strange craving for soft pretzels the other night, so I decided to just make my own using an Auntie Ann’s copycat recipe I found on Pinterest. And while they looked nothing like Auntie Ann’s pretzels, they were absolutely delicious! I’ll have to try actually dipping them in boiling water (like you do for bagels!) before baking them the next time I try them. I was seriously cooking up a storm this month!
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I know, I know, I just wrote a post all about it, but seriously – I LOVE my phone. I’m honestly obsessed. Every day I discover a cool new feature or new way to do something, and every day I’m impressed with how well it’s been designed.
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I know, I am constantly loving this too, but if you think about how I’ve had more orders in September and October than I did the entire time my shop was even open, you’d be pretty darn excited too! This month I sold a lovely mint green druzy necklace (sold out now, but I still have some in lavendar and red) and a customized birthstone family tree key chain, both of which are gorgeous. I’ve made several of the key chains over the years for friends and family before I added the listing to my shop, and I can definitely say they make fantastic gifts!
Now on to the fun part…
There’s just something about Fall and October (Well now November!) that just screams CARAMEL APPLES to me. Thankfully all you really need to make them is caramel bits, apples, and chopsticks (for the sticks!), but I also picked up some melting chocolate, mini M&Ms, and sprinkles to decorate with. And while I totally messed them up (see pictures below – we didn’t follow the directions AT ALL), here’s how you SHOULD make them.
First thing you’ll need to do is melt your caramel. Simply follow the directions on the bag (add a tiny bit of water, stir until melted, then chill apples after dipping). We forgot to chill after dipping, so our caramel never set and just melted off our apples….
While your caramel is melting, prep your apples. Wash them, remove the stems, then insert chopsticks at the top.
Next, dip your apples! Swirl your apples around using the stick to cover them with caramel. Then lift and hold above the pot of caramel to let the excess drip off. Once excess caramel has dripped off, place apples upright on a cookie sheet that has either been lined with plastic wrap/foil/or a silicone mat, or greased to prevent sticking! Once all of your apples have been dipped, place in the fridge for 10-15 min to allow the caramel to harden.
While they are setting in the fridge, you can melt your chocolate (if you want!). I set up a double-boiler with a large sauce pan with a few inches of water and a small glass bowl, and slowly melted the chocolate on medium-low heat.
Once the chocolate is melted, take the apples out of the fridge, hold over the melted chocolate, and use a spoon or plastic spatula to drizzle.
Return to lined/greased cookie sheet and when finished, put back in the fridge to set. We drizzled both milk and white chocolate on a few, but we added candy decorations to the rest. To do this, simply roll apples in candy or sprinkles after taking them out of the fridge. And voila! Delicious caramel apples!
Like I mentioned earlier, we forgot to put them in the fridge after dipping them in caramel. This prevented the caramel from setting and instead dripped down the apples, candy toppings included. This was our result:
So how was your month? What did you have going on, what have you been loving?? It’s not really much of a chat if it’s just me talking (writing?)!
Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!