Family, Food, Surviving Chaos

Äppelpaj: Swedish Apple Pie

Swedish Apple Pie

Äppel means apple and paj means pie and when you put them together you get a scrumptious Swedish dessert. The Skåne region, in the south of Sweden, is famous for growing yummy apples so this recipe is a must! This pie is so good and so simple, you don’t even need to make a crust. It can be eaten warm or cold and don’t forget to top it off with ice cream or whipped cream.


  • 4-5 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) cinnamon
  • dash of cardamom (optional)
    • Fun Fact: Cardamom is popular in Sweden where its called kardemumma.
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) butter
  • 1 cup (128 g) flour
  • 1 egg

Let’s Make It!

  1. Preheat the over to 350o (175oC). Put the apple slices in the pie dish.
  2. Combine 1/4 cup (50 g) of the sugar, along with the cinnamon and cardamom (if using), and sprinkle it over the apples.
  3. Gently toss the apples to coat them evenly in sugar and spice.
  4. Put the butter in a medium-sized bowl and have a grownup help melt it in the microwave.
  5. Take the melted butter out of the microwave and add the remaining cup of sugar and the flour. Stir to combine and then mix in the egg.
  6. Pout the mixture into the pie pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture over the apples.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes. That’s it….easy as pie!!
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Family, Surviving Chaos

Halloween Craft-Paper Pumpkins!

If you won’t be trick or treating this year and are looking for something fun to do, why not try paper pumpkins. This fun craft is courtesy of Easy Peasy and Fun blog which has lots of fun crafts for all the seasons. Of course when we did this craft we put our own spin on it…..yes, the top pumpkin is wearing glasses! Ha! Here are the super easy instructions in visual format. There is so much more you can do with these pumpkins, have fun!

Here is what you will need:

  • Orange Paper (regular or construction)
  • Green Paper (regular or construction) to make a leaf (optional)
  • Black Paper (regular or construction) to make the eyes and mouth
  • Glue (glue sticks are easier for little hands)
  • Scissors

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When in

5 Least Visited Places in the U.S.

Most of the time when people think about visiting the United States, they immediately plan trips to New York or Los Angeles maybe even Miami. Although the places are awesome, why not take trip off the beaten path? Why choose the road less travelled? The U.S. has a lot of hidden gems in other cities that are not as well known. Here is a list of charming cities we think are worth visiting when your looking for new adventures.

Boise, Idaho

Idaho may not seem interesting or may only be known for its potatoes but the capital of Idaho has so much more to offer. A youthful destination, you’ll find fresh air and low pollution as you stroll Basque Block. While your there, take a ride on the Boise River Greenbelt for some relaxation.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Gorgeous state parks, skiing, rocking climbing and Mount Rushmore all make Sioux Falls a fantastic place to visit. A river literally runs through the city – Big Sioux River is a site to see and ends in a series of rapids in Falls Park. And if your looking for something quirky, check out the butterfly house at Sertoma Park.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

What does cave spelunking, wooden roller coasters, and underground boat tours have in common? Bowling Green!! If you looking for something off the beaten path, this city’s got it! When your done with all your outdoors adventures, head over to the National Corvette Museum for a little car history.

Asheville, North Carolina

If your into the art scene, Asheville is the perfect place to be. The Downtown Art District is home to numerous art galleries and museums and has opportunities to showcase local up and coming artists. And since the city is located in the lush Blue Ridge Mountains, there is plenty of inspiration.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

If your looking for a centuries-old Spanish colony, then you want to visit Santa Fe. With architecture influenced by Pueblo people and distinct Southwestern feel, Santa Fe has lots to offer. And if your a foodie, the New Mexican cuisine, a blend of Mexican, Pueblo, and Spanish flavor and styles.

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Family, Travel, When in

Old Settlers Park, Texas

Old Settlers Park, Round Rock, TX

Round Rock’s Old Settlers Park is one of the best parks in the state of Texas and known as the best sports destination in the youth and amateur sports leagues. The park’s 640 acres provides lots of options for hike and bike trails and plenty of ample space for recreational pursuits such as disc golf, cricket, baseball, softball, soccer facilities, and more. You will never run out of things to do and there is lots of space for social distancing. This is a great idea to tour your own city; not sure how to get started? Check out my post here for some creative ways to tour your own city.

We decided to take the trail closest to the disc jokey and cricket fields. It must have been disc jockey tournament day because there were lots of teams playing and making their rounds through the park. I would call this the scenic route as there were some great photo opportunities and lots of native Texas landscape to see. Of course the first things our kids spotted was the el chupacabra sign which led to lots of questions. Which some how turned into a Bigfoot conversation….needless to say their imaginations got the best of them! Old Settlers Park is also a great place to congregate outside, BBQ and have a game of horseshoes at one of the two pavilions available.

Brushy Creek that runs throughout the park and even has a mini waterfall that you can look over from the bridge. Our kids had some many questions and enjoyed the sound of the rushing water. Plus there are so many beautiful flowers to see and plenty of trees to provide lots of shade on hot days. Don’t forget your fitness tracker, you can easily walk a mile or more on the trails, just look for the mile markers along the way. We explored one of many trails at Old Settlers park so we will definitely be going back. Parks are a great opportunity to spend time with your family, experience nature first hand and spark your kids curiosity!

Surviving Chaos

In order to make the most of you time at the park and prevent kid meltdowns, I’ve provided some surviving chaos tips. Have fun exploring at the park.

  • Sunblock: Be sure to put on lots of sunblock to prevent sunburn. This is the first rule of thumb for any outdoor activity.
  • Early Morning: Best time to visit the park is early morning. It’s cooler, less crowded and your kids will have energy to burn. A fun filled morning at the park makes for a well rested and relaxed afternoon (I hope).
  • Backpack: This is the perfect place to keep water, first aid kits, sunblock, snacks, portable potty seat, etc. What ever creature comforts you need. Remember to keep it light weight since you’ll be doing a lot of walking and/or biking.
  • Snacks: Don’t forget the snacks! Apple slices, carrot and celery sticks, granola/protein bars, goldfish or whatever your kids like. You don’t want food meltdowns and HAN-gry kids in the middle of your hiking journey

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