Over the weekend Garrick and I visited the Amana Colonies!  If you have ever been there you know all of the DELICIOUS foods they have to feed your face with!  Baked good and candies are the best!  

We went to the chocolate store and indulged in a delicious gourmet caramel apple!!  That did it!  I had to have one at my disposal at all times... are at least part of the time! LOL  

So when I got home I looked up a recipe for gourmet caramel apples, headed to HyVee with my kitchen apprentice, Addy, purchased the needed ingredients and came home and got to work! 

THEY WERE DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!  I learned some new tricks along the way and I am happy to share them with you all!!  They were pretty easy, very fun and extremely tasty!  


*8-9 apples of your choice 
*popscicle sticks
*1 Cup of butter
*2 Cups of brown sugar
*1 Cup Corn Syrup
*1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
*1 t Vanilla
*Ingredients for dipping apples such as; mini chocolate chips, mini M&M's. nuts, toffee bits. chopped Snickers or any other addition you would like to try!

1. Wash apples thoroughly. Place a popsicle stick in the core of each apple!  As you can see... I ran out of sticks as one of my adorable children chose to use them to build a "house!" So.. I improvised and used plastic knives! Place tray of apples in the freezer. Freezing them helps the caramel adhere to the apple once you have dipped them! (didn't know this, new little secret!)

Peace and Blessings
Your  Friend

2. Place butter, brown sugar, condensed milk and corn syrup in saucepan.  bring to a boil and boil until candy thermometer reaches 235-240 (soft ball stage) this will take around 14 minutes. The mixture will become thick and creamy.  Once caramel has reached desired time, add vanilla and mix well.  
3. Set up your dipping station with your goodies!  Then remove your apples from the freezer.  Dip each apple in the caramel, coating well! If you find the caramel getting to thick and globby, just throw on the heat for a minute or two to soften the caramel! Then roll in any other goodies you want on the apple!  I have found it easier to sometimes use my hand and smash them on the outside!  Place apples on a cookie sheet covered in foil and sprayed with cooking spray!
We used melted white chocolate, nuts, chopped Snickers,  mini chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar!
Place apples in the fridge until caramel is set!  
Keep apples in fridge, but you may want to remove for 5-10 minutes before eating to allow caramel to soften!
First off, I want to start by saying thank you to everyone who participated!  You don't know how badly I would love to send you all a candle!!! 

I truly believe this challenge of allowing God to transform your heart to be used as a foundation of peace in your home, is so very important!!  SO... if you are not the winner!  Treat yourself and buy yourself a candle!  Right now Yankee has a coupon code for $20 off a $45 purchase!  So you could also throw a little something in your cart for a Christmas gift!

Go to the Yankee Candle website and use this promo code-  CATH116


OR run to Wally World and grab a cheaper one!  But please join me in this challenge!! A heart that has found peace.... is a heart unshakable!!

SO.... if you don't have time to watch the video.... The winner IS................


Congrats sissy!  I will send it home with mom!  

I pray you all, no matter what season of life you may be journeying through... find that peace that surpasses all understanding!!

LOTS of love and blessings
Your Friend

PS  stayed tuned!  I love giving gifts... so more giveaways will be coming up!!!

It is a beautiful thing.  What do you think of when you think of the word "peace?"

My mind begins filling with visions of quiet mornings with warm coffee, a hot bubble bath by candle light, a rejuvenating walk/run by myself, the sound of the gentle waves crashing on the beach, silent evenings laying cozy in my bed watching a good movie or reading God's word. I see people holding or shaking hands, hugging, smiling, laughing.  

You can visibly SEE peace. Even just seeing it can bring immediate solace to even the anxious of hearts.

One of the most wondrous attributes of peace, is it can be contagious. 

Just a misery loves company, peace loves partners.

Have you ever experienced that in your own life.  Perhaps you were stressed, hurting, angry or extremely worried or anxious....

BUT THEN.... you were brought into the presence of a person that spreads peace.  Maybe it is just who they are.  Maybe it is their environment they create.  Maybe it is their ability to live in peace and joy irregardless of the circumstances that surround them.  Maybe its their unshakable faith.  Maybe its their gift of always knowing the right thing to say that brings immediate peace to your own heart.  Maybe they say nothing.... they simply listen, touch your hand and smile.

Maybe its not even a person but an environment.  Is there a place where you feel the most peace?  When you walk in the door contentment fills your heart.  You can feel the presence of God there.  The surroundings are tranquil, uplifting and safe.  The environment simply displays peace... from every corner.  

I have known those people and I have experienced those places.  And in both situations the peace that was displayed.... began with one common thing...

One persons heart. 

All it takes... is one person that knows peace to spread it to hundreds and possibly thousands of others.  Maybe more!

Is your home peaceful? 

I understand those of us raising children often lack consistent peace in our homes.  That is a given, however, as a whole, do you find peace in your home?  Do you look forward to walking in your doors or do you dread it?  Do you have a feeling of unrest when you are in your home or do you feel a sense of comfort and contentment?  Does your family experience joy and security there or is a place of chaos and instability? 

I have experienced both in my home.  During the difficult seasons that Garrick and I have gone through, there were many stretches of time that our home was chaotic and unstable.  It was brutal.  

We had been so used to, for the most part, a stable, peaceful and joyful home.  This season of war we have experienced was devastating to all of us.  Most tragically, my children.  

It is our job as parents, to provide that peaceful home environment for our children.  They, will learn by example.  We failed at that, off an on throughout this season.  

Oh God, never quit convicting and speaking to me.  And once again, even though the journey was painful... I learned so very much about .... peace. 

Peace in my home.... can begin with me.  

Yes, others in my home can be in utter turmoil!  My spouse can be choosing things that may hurt me or be devastating to my heart.  My children can be mouthy, disrespectful or full of attitude.  We could have illness, stress and struggle happening all around us.....

BUT... I can still... bring peace. 

I failed at this many, many times.  

Why?  Because of what I have blogged on previously... my hasty reactions.  Folks, I will not sit here and tell you that I did not have just cause or justification for the way I felt on many occasions... I absolutely did!  Very often, I had the right to feel angry, hurt and broken beyond belief!!
However, my reactions very often did turn that mess... into a disaster.  A war zone.  I know darn well that I CANNOT control others.  Ever.  BUT... I can control myself.  If I want peace in my home... even during a chaotic season, I can bring that into my home.  

With God, all things are possible.  Since learning that I can have and choose and bring peace, even during a painful circumstance... my world has changed.  My home has changed... back to what we once all knew.  I feel a contentment I have not felt in a very long time.  And I wish I had a magic wand to help you feel this same thing... I don't.

BUT... God has the power!!  It is all Him friends... not me!  He has shown me He stands in the eye of the storm, with His arms raised, blocking the deadly waves from crashing over me.  I may still feel the heavy winds that leave me staggering for a time, but I WILL NOT FALL!!

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

His peace is like no other and I want you to experience THAT kind of peace.  

It is a process that only God can help you master, however, I want to be as much help as possible... SO....

Join me for my "Fall into PEACE giveaway!"

I am going to be giving away a full size Lemon Poundcake Yankee candle!  They are my FAVORITE!!!!  

Most people attribute peace... the the low and calming flickering of a candle.  The scent can also bring peace and tranquility.

Each morning or evening, whenever you are home for the day, I want you to light this candle.  If you don't happen to win mine, I want you to purchase a large candle.  You can buy great smelling ones at WalMart for pretty cheap!  When you light your candle I want you to remember the peace God gives and can and will give you.  I want you to meditate on the scripture I posted above from the book of John.  I want you to pray that God would fill your heart with that peace and every time you begin to doubt, may the flickering of the candle and the pleasant scent remind you how intensely God's love burns for you and the magnificent peace He gives.  

If you would like to win the giveaway, simply leave a comment and I will connect you via facebook if you are the winner!  I will be drawing a name a week from today!!!  

May the peace and joy of the Lord... be yours... today.

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend


Leave a comment and you could be the winning sniffer of ME!!!