• Entertaining

    Holiday Hosting Help

    Let’s all take a moment and appreciate that clever title, ok? So, you’re having a Christmas party, huh?  GREAT IDEA!!  What is better than gathering people you like to hang out with and having some fun together?  All you need is a little planning and trust me, it will be great. For the holidays, we like to send our invites early, like right after Halloween (we used Facebook this year, since everyone we wanted to invite was on it!  EASY!).  Even if you don’t know all of the particulars, send out the date so that people don’t make other plans.  Details like time and even a theme or pot luck specifics…

  • Food

    Cookie Game Plan

    I grew up in a house with a Mom who took her Christmas cookie baking seriously. She made several different kinds and always had an assortment out from thanksgiving to New Years. As a mom with kids who take cookie eating seriously, I try to replicate this in my own house. Each year, I ask the members of the peach house what they would like to eat. I peruse Pinterest for fun or new recipes that I think we all would like, and I like to add in a couple things my mom made as well. I feel it is important to note: we host a Christmas party every year,…

  • Holidays

    What I Am Looking at This Black Friday

    Admittedly, I am bonkers for shopping.  Honestly, Christmas is partly so wonderful because shopping is practically a requirement!!  So, clearly, this is my Superbowl World Series NBA Finals, with Black Friday being the first playoff game.  But instead of listing every Black Friday deal I can find, or rounding up a million things I think you could be interested in, I am going to let you inside my madness and take a peek at what I am buying (or really want to buy but my husband reads this and so I guess I can’t buy it all). Tech Things – this is always a big list in our house, partly…

  • Denise

    Rethinking Hostess Gifts

    Gift guides are starting to pop up all over the internet right now and I LOVE looking at gift guides.  I love finding new things or just the right gift to give someone.  I guess you can tell that gifts are one of my love languages. As I look at hostess gift guides that have been making their way around my social media feed, I can’t help wondering what people are thinking when they make these lists?  Maybe it is because I live in the good ol’ practical Midwest, but I can’t imagine gifting someone a $40 platter as a hostess gift.  What are you trying to say with that? …

  • Denise,  Organizing

    5 Things to Help You Get Ready for the Holidays

    ….especially if you aren’t ready to start the holidays quite yet! It seems like there are two types of Americans these days – those that decorate for Christmas starting November 1st, and those that get mad that people start decorating on November 1st.  I happily exist in the first group, while Mr. Peach is deeply entrenched in the second.  Therefore, without trying to suffocate him with my holiday cheer, I do little things to prep and start my holiday season.  Which got me to thinking that the few weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving are the perfect opportunity to do some things in preparation for the big show.  Items that seem…

  • Denise,  Gardening

    2018 Peach House Hits and Misses

    Since the garden is all sad and empty now, I thought it would be a good time to recap the season.  Lin will be doing hers as well this week, so come back for that! I tried several new things this year: a tomato trellis system, dried beans, potatoes, brassicas, squash (butternut and spaghetti) and onions.  I also planted sweet peppers, peas, green beans, carrots, kale, watermelon and zucchini!  Here’s the good list: Successes: Red beans – this was so fun for me to grow!  I planted maybe 12 vines, they did not take up a lot of space, and I got a substantial harvest from it (maybe 2 cups…

  • Denise,  Food,  homesteading

    My Hard Working Appliances

    Admittedly, I am a gadget loving girl.  I have almost every kitchen appliance out there, and if I don’t have it now, there’s a good chance I will soon.  And while I have everyday favorites that I use a lot and are my bestest friends (looking at you, espresso machine!), today I want to highlight the appliances that I use the most around this time of year for preserving the food I grew in the garden. Luckily, I use several different ways to store food for the winter, and oftentimes what I use depends on how much time I had in August and September (those months are typically when the…

  • Denise,  Food

    Fall Baking

    With 3 kids plus a husband who works from home, someone is always hungry.  Sure, I buy granola bars and other processed snacks, but I don’t like it.  I am not shaming anyone here; it is more that I am a stay-at-home mom who has always enjoyed baking and gosh darnitt, I should bake snacks for my kids!  In a perfect world, they would be whole grain, no sugar, filled to the brim with superfoods….but lets be honest here: it is hard enough to carve out time to bake up a bunch of tidbits as it is right now.  I am not adding to the stress by being militant about…

  • Denise,  DIY

    Adding Outdoor Space

    It has always been a dream of mine to live in a home with a screened in porch.  *sigh*  I am cursed with the tastiest blood known to mosquitoes, and given that Minnesota is home to more mosquitoes per square inch than anywhere else on the planet (I dare you to prove me wrong), a screened in porch has always seemed to be the one way for me to enjoy the outdoors in the evening.  But adding a screened in porch is expensive! Our current home has a two level deck, and ever since we moved in, my husband and I have talked about making that upper deck a screened…

  • Gardening

    A Micro Orchard in the ‘Burbs

    I love gardening in theory, but I am fairly terrible at it in practice.  I am all raring to go come March, April and May…but once the temps and humidity start soaring, my interest plummets.  Add to this kids being home for the summer, an increase in activities, gatherings and just plain socializing, and any lofty goals I have quickly fall to the wayside. Enter my love of fruit trees.  Growing up, our parents had several apple trees, and I loved picking them in the fall and all the different pies and bars my mom would make with them.  It also seemed like an unusual thing, since not many of…