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Howdy Sugar Pies! Can you believe Fall is just around the corner? I know some of you are squealing “YES!! Bring on wonderful, glorious Fall!” for other’s of you adorable sweeties, you’re plugging your ears and singing “la la la la…I don’t want to hear about it yet!”  Well darlin’s, my heart is in both places, while I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Fall and all the goodness and coziness it brings, I also love summertime and having my daughter home! So I decided to be thankful for both! Choosing to be happy about the last juicy days of summer and also rejoicing and looking forward to scrumptious Fall!

In this blog post I have two very joyous things to share with you! Yee Haw!! One, is a fun tutorial on how to make whimsical, faux caramel apples for your Fall decorating! The photo of the  caramel apples above looks so yummy…but they’re FAKE!  Yup! They are! But they look so real! I know, right?!

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Now of course the real thing is better (and tastier too! Hee hee!) but I wanted to make a batch to use as fall-themed props for my booth at Spring Creek Antique Mall (in Ozark, Missouri). The real thing would get too sticky and would probably end up with a few bites in them…probably from me! Hee hee! These on the other hand will create the fall-ish feel I’m after and last a lot longer!

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Secondly, I’m so excited to re-launch my fall e-book…

Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides!

Woo Hoo!  I love getting a head start when it comes to preparing for a new season! I don’t want to miss a thing! Before you know it the scent of fall will be swirling through the air! Whether it’s  the aroma of burning leaves or our favorite pumpkin pie scented candle!

Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is a wagon-load of fall wonderfulness!

Take a lookie at my grand-babies Kade and Johnny…the two farm-boys on the front cover!

Pumpkin Pickin' & Hayrides

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Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is everything I love about fall…

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…the beauty!

The glory!

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…the starry-eyed passion I have for gathering autumn goodness

to adorn my home and making my nest warm and cozy

before the blustery winds of winter chill the air…Brrrrr!

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Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is a celebration of God’s blessings and goodness to us! It’s jam-packed with 96 pages of dear and sweet blessings from the Lord that are meant to warm your heart…to make it swell with thankfulness & joy and put a sparkle in your eyes. My hope is that this e-book of fall wonderfulness would make you feel delightfully and joyfully domestic as you cozy-up your home so you and your family would wholeheartedly enjoy this delicious season!

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Throughout the book I’ve sprinkled old time farm-y photos and images…

what I call “vintage eye-candy”.

Images of the “good ol’ days” to remind us of the goodness of old fashioned fall fun…

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…images that will hug your heart with the comforts of hearth and home!

Darlin’ it’s drippin’ with nostalgia like sweet golden honey from a warm buttermilk biscuit or a hot apple pie fresh out of the oven!

“As mama hens, we love that feeling of being prepared, having all of our needful provisions stocked and ready in  our snug homes. And when the icy frost sparkles on our windowpanes, we’ll be simmering hearty soups, and baking old family recipes; scrumptious cookies and delicious pies to bless and nourish your family and mine.” Excerpt from Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides, by Aunt Ruthie

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Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides is divided by chapters,

each focusing on a theme to get you down-right giddy

about celebrating this glorious time of year!

Get a sneak peak inside the book below…

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I share tips for getting your home tidy and smelling sweet to welcome your family home…

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…simple and delightful decorating ideas…

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…ideas for preparing for Thanksgiving Day…

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Oh, but there’s more!

I’ve included several recipes under “The Dinner Bell” chapter… yummy fall country fixin’s! There’s not a sweeter sound on the farm than the Dinner Bell a-ringin’! It means supper is on the table and its good ‘n hot! This collection of recipes is a “cream of the crop” sampling of my home cookin’ during this chilly fall season.

  • hot ‘n’ savory artichoke dip
  • mama’s warm-yer-tummy cold day soup
  • thanksgiving cranberry salad
  • sugared-pecan sweet potato bake
  • granny’s secret apple pudding cake

( Granny’s Secret Apple Pudding Cake is pictured above. This dreamy recipe came from an old newspaper clipping. The day I made it, my daughter and I took a bite of the sweet-warm-gooeyness and together our eyes got big-as-saucers and our mouth’s squealed! Oh. My. Goodness! I think I know why Granny kept this a secret…it’s fabulous! It’s worth getting the book just for this recipe alone!)

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Also included is my hubby’s Grandma’s Praline Pumpkin Pie …

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I can’t wait for you to see all of the ideas I’ve gathered to bless your heart!

There’s lots of family fun ideas too!

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The chapters “Harvesting Joy” and “Harvesting Comfort” were meant to hug your darlin’ heart. To open your beautiful eyes to see the love that God has for you! To see and cherish His blessings. To fill your heart with thankfulness…for that is the key to joy!

“May I encourage you Sugar Pie, in the midst of the flurry of your Thanksgiving celebration that you take a minute to step back and intentionally savor the moment. By that I mean, take a minute to stop and look around you…take note of your loved ones…their faces…their smiles…the sounds…the aromas…the blessings. Breathe in the beauty and the wonder of the moment. You know, each day is precious and life itself is a gift. So stop and smell the pumpkin pie…stop and listen to little girl giggles…stop and hug grandpa a little longer…stop and breathe in the sweetness of a newborn baby…stop and thank the Lord for His blessings. Let’s make sure these sweet moments of our lives don’t become just a blur when we look back, but will glimmer as treasures in our hearts.” Excerpt from “Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides” by Aunt Ruthie, Sugar Pie Farmhouse

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I think you’ll enjoy seeing several never-before-seen- photos of my family fall memories!

Get ready to giggle! I had some interesting back-in-the-day hairdo’s!! Oh dear!

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Here’s what a couple of my dear friends said about Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides:

Cat from the Vintage Housewife said: “OH MY WORD!!!!!!!! I can’t hardly stand it…. This is like the biggest Christmas gift under the tree …it’s like blowin’ candles out on your Birthday cake…Good golly can you see me running all over the room clicking my heels?!!! Oh my word, could this book be any more adorable?! Um…NO! For sure it’s the most wonderful thing ever!

Melissa from Huckleberry Prairie said: “Oh my goodness, I pretty much lost my marbles for your Fall ebook. haha Literally. I am telling you, God has blessed you with such a beautiful gift and you are glorifying Him by sharing it with all of us. What a blessing you are! Shining like a big ol’ light on a hill… such refreshment for the soul. :) I cannot wait to blog about it, facebook, instagram, tweet… (haha!) because I think this is the very encouragement that homemakers need. In a world that likes to distract and scatter your attention every which way, minimizing the role of “homemaker” as just something you are when you aren’t busy being everything else…it is SO refreshing to be encouraged that our role as a homemaker IS important.That home is the foundation for security and comfort, love and memories…and we have the privelidge of facilitating this for our family. What an honor God has given us! Now, it certainly didn’t hurt that this ebook was full of pumpkins and pie (and pumpkin pie) and all of the goodness that Fall is. ;) All of your images alone made my soul as giddy as a schoolgirl! I really am looking forward to sharing it!”

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Maryjane from The Beehive Cottage said: “Oh my, I am so excited! I am half way through reading it but had to stop for a moment to write you. I LOVE it to pieces! You never disappoint in making…being a woman, wife, mother, sister and a friend a blessing! Your uplifting words of wisdom just make ya want to be the best Mama/Grandma ever!!! Thanks for all your tips, recipes and praises to the Lord. Everything a gal needs in these times. The pictures are beautiful too!”

Lisa from The Warming House said: “Thank you for sharing your delightful Fall book with me! I adore the precious autumn vignettes throughout the pages of “Pumpkin Pickin’ and Hayrides.” Love the “Home Sweet Harvest Home” vignette; the vintage towel draped above the jars of beans with pumpkins on top; the clothespins hugging colorful leaves onto the line; the lantern, crow and pumpkin on the rustic table . . . and on and on. Your artwork, photos, recipes, quotes, and scripture references are absolutely charming. And, of course, I appreciate the endearing way you continue to refresh our souls with encouragement and inspiration to be better homemakers – and remind us of the significance of that essential role in our families. The warmth and coziness of this book made me want to crawl inside and live there!”

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When you read Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides on your computer you’ll be able to view two pages at a time, just like a book. Each time you click the “down” arrow it will automatically switch to the next two pages.

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You can also read it on your iPad or Kindle. You’ll see one page at a time but it will be crystal clear! You can also print it out if you prefer!

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The best way to read Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides

is curled up in a cozy spot, in your comfiest jammies and your favorite yummy hot beverage to sip and savor!

My favorite for fall is Hot Spiced Cider!

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Now that I’ve got you in the mood for fall…

let me show you how to make these fun faux caramel apples

so you’ll have them ready when you’re ready to decorate!

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Here’s what you’ll need: ( I got everything at Walmart except the twigs…I didn’t think Walmart would appreciate me trimming their trees in their garden department! Hee hee!)

  • 6 fake apples
  • 1 bottle of Gloss Mod Podge (I had the large size, but used only half)
  • 2 bottles of caramel colored craft paint; the color I used was “Cinnamon”
  • a round plastic bowl & plastic spoon to mix paint and Mod Podge
  • wax paper
  • glue gun
  • flat-head screwdriver
  • garden sheers (if using twigs)
  • 6 twigs (I cut mine from my apple tree. You can use any kind of twigs, wooden dowels or large Popsicle sticks)
  • faux leaves / optional
  • corn cob bedding/litter  for the “nuts” (found in the pet supply at Walmart) Pour some in a wide, shallow bowl and have a spoon handy to scoop and drizzle the “nuts” on the wet “caramel apple”

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This is the corn cob bedding that you can find in the pet section of Walmart or you can order it online HERE. It’s a HUGE bag and will last you for pretty much the rest of your life! Lol!  It’s cheap too! You might want to share with a hundred of your friends! Or you can buy a rabbit or a bird and just use the rest for the litter box. Hee hee! I’m just sayin’.

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Okay here we go! Take the flat-head screwdriver and twist it back and forth to make a hole where the stem is to make room for your twig. Take out the stem.

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With your glue gun, glue the twig in place.

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Now mix up the Mod Podge (I used half of the large bottle/about 1 cup).  It’s best to use the “Gloss”  Mod Podge so the “caramel” will be shiny when it dries. Add the two bottles of caramel colored paint).

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Stir until it resembles delicious caramel!

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Now for the fun part! Dip the apple in the “caramel” and swirl like you would if you were making the real thing!

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Be sure to let some of the apple skin to show at the top.

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Now take the gooey “caramel’ covered apple and drizzle the “nuts’ (corn cob bedding nuggets) around the sides.

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This is why you need a wide shallow bowl, so when you sprinkle the corn cob nuggets on the apple the extra will just fall back into the bowl. Less mess! Yeah, I learned the hard way the first time!

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Twirl the apple as you drizzle the “nuts”.

img_0946Line a tray with wax paper and set your wet apples there to dry. They will need to dry over night.

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As you get down to the last few apples, tilt the bowl so the Mod Podge/ paint mixture will pool in one spot so you’ll have enough to cover the rest of the apples.

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As I mentioned above, let the apples dry over night.

c4In the morning, lay the apples on the side to dry underneath.

You’ll have enough paint left over to touch up if you need to.

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Okay so, I cut my twigs from my apple tree and I left some real leaves on. Unfortunately, after about a week the leaves turned crispy brown and crumbled. On my second batch I painted Glycerin on the fresh leaves to preserve them (Glycerin is a natural emollient  used for dry skin and for preserving leaves). It did help a little but the leaves still got a little curly and slightly faded. So I thought since these caramel apples are fake anyway why not hot glue some fake leaves. I found a stem of berries at Michaels with realistic leaves and just cut them off to use on the twigs.

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Here they are with the faux leaves. It’s totally up to you which way you prefer.

You can skip the leaves and add some bows made from Raffia or strips of torn gingham!

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Either way, they’ll look cute sitting in your kitchen!

And that’s it! Easy Peasy! Right?

Ready or not Fall is on it’s way…lets look forward to it with joy-bells ringing in our hearts!

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So darlin’s are you ready to get in the mood for Fall? Then you’re gonna love Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides!

I’m so happy to tell you that a portion of the proceeds from this book will go to “Samaritans Purse” (A relief organization founded by Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham) and “Feed The Children.” What an incredible opportunity to help support these two amazing organizations in their efforts to relieve human suffering around the world.

Also, for a limited time, I’m going to give all my Sugar Pie Sistas a 25% discount on my eBook, Pumpkin Pickin’ & Hayrides. This discount will be available  until  November 30th, 2013To get your copy and to receive the 25% discount click here or click the giant button below. Paypal and Credit Cards accepted. Once you’ve purchased the eBook, you’ll receive an email with all the download instructions.

Just so there’s no confusion, I want all my Sugar Pie Sistas to know that this is a PDF document that you can download, view and print on your computer. This is NOT a printed book that you’ll be receiving by mail. If you have any questions about your download you can contact my son at (auntruthie @ sugarpiefarmhouse.com).  He will answer your emails as quickly as he can.I know you’ll understand that he has a full time job and fatherly duties.

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Happy (Almost) Fall Y’all!

Sugar and hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

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