the barefoot budget

unconventional grit for a mindful life


Apple Season

Last weekend, we were privileged enough to spend the weekend in an incredible fancy cabin in the North Carolina mountains. We hiked to waterfalls and peaks, and the fall colors were gorgeous! We also spent plenty of time around the blazing fire, playing games and watching a scary movie. I love family trips! As we drove home on Sunday, we winded through North Georgia and made a few pit stops. 

First, we stopped at Warwoman Dell, a WMA and trailhead for our beloved Bartram Trail. This place is very special to us, as it is somewhere we visited often when we were first falling in love. As we got out of our car, we breathed a collective sigh of comfort and agreed that it had been too long. We went for a short hike, then hopped back on the road to our next stop: Hillside Orchard. 

I love visiting orchards in the fall, even if it is a little kitchy. This particular orchard had lots of farm animals! We said hi to chickens, goats, cows, donkeys, and the biggest pig I have ever seen in my life! Of course, the best part was that we scored a couple pumpkins and half a bushel of apples. I see apple butter day on the horizon!


My Homemade Christmas Gifts

This year, I made all my Christmas gifts. It was something that sounded romantic at first, but man oh man was I busting my ass the last couple weeks, bagging tea, baking, tasting beers, and packing everything up.

We are trying to get away from wrapping paper, so this year I upcycled mostĀ of my packaging material. I took a big stack of boxes from a Dollar General, and cut them down to make little open top boxes. I wrapped these using Trader Joe’s holiday brown grocery bags, and accented using homemade name tags and gathered pine cones. The rest of the packaging material was bought cheap at the dollar store.

As you can see, our little gift baskets included: homebrewed beer, homemade candy (buckeyes!), pizzelle (Italian cookies I made using my late grandpa’s pizzelle press), tea tins with homegrown tea and tea cookies, and finally a jam or jelly. We made habanero pepper jelly using our own habaneros; apple butter using north Georgia mountain apples; and blackberry lavender jam using all the wild blackberries we foraged plus homegrown lavender.

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