The Perfect Apple Cider

I have been getting SO many requests for my homemade apple cider recipe since I shared it over on Instagram! Ask and you shall receive! Today, I’m giving you all the details to make it yourself all year round without all of the preservatives that the grocery store versions have!

Here’s what you’re going to need:

First you’ll need 8 Honeycrisp apples, about medium to large in size. You can use different kinds of apples if you’d like, but these are the kind my husband I and prefer.

For spices you’ll need 1 tablespoon of ground Allspice (about 45 berries) 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon (about 7 sticks 2 ¾ inches long), ¾ cup of white sugar, and a pinch of salt.

You’ll need a stock pot to combine and boil all of this in and a lid that fits it. The one I used is 6 quarts, but a bigger one works too!

You’re going to need about 12 cups of water.

For the end, you’re going to need a fine mesh strainer and a second bowl.

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What to do:

Slice your apples into quarters and add them to your stock pot, reserving one for later.

Add your cinnamon, Allspice, and sugar to the pot. Then cover it all with about 10 cups of your water. Reserve 2 cups for later on.

Bring it all to a boil and keep it boiling for about 1 hour. You’ll want to leave it uncovered!

Remember that apple and 2 cups of water I had you reserve at the beginning? This is where you add them to you stock pot!

Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Let it simmer for about an hour and a half to two hours.

Remove from heat and let the contents of your stock pot cool before this next step. Trust me, I found out the hard way!

Once cooled enough to handle, you’ll strain the apples from your cider in batches. This takes a little time, but is so worth it in the end! I strain it over the second bowl to catch all of the cider.

Once your cider is strained to your liking, return it to the stock pot, add a pinch of salt, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

And there you have it, fresh, homemade apple cider!

Enjoy,
XOXO

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My Top 5 Fall Favorites

With cooler weather finally making an appearance in North Carolina, I’m breaking out all things cute and cozy! Today I’m talking all about 5 pieces I have been loving this fall!

1. Jameson Double Zipper Booties. If you’ve been following along with my on Instagram, you’ll know that these booties from Target are my absolute favorite! The cognac color is perfect to be worn year round too! They’re a soft leather-like material that has a super cute double zipper detail on the sides. The block heel is a modest 2.75 inches, but perfect for either a casual or dressy look! I love that I can pair them with a pair of jeans for an everyday look or with a skirt for date night with my husband! The memory foam footbed lets me wear these for hours on end without my feet hurting when I take them off! They also come in black.

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2. Austin Distressed Skinny Jeans. I’ve never really been a big fan of wearing jeans. I’d rather wear a skirt or dress over jeans, but not anymore! I ordered a pair of jeans from Vici Collection on a whim one day. I figured, it they don’t fit, I can always return them. The second I put them on, I knew I had found my new favorite jeans and a new favorite boutique! They’re a lighter wash and distressed as the name suggests. For once in my life, I don’t have to have them altered in any way! They have the perfect amount of stretch so I can avoid that skinny jeans dance, but they’re structured enough that they don’t lose their form and need to be pulled up every five seconds.

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3. Mauve Criss Cross Back Sweater. It’s no secret that this sweater from my friend’s boutique, Row & Berry, is one of my all time faves! The first week I had it, I’m pretty sure I wore it every day to lounge around the house in. It’s such a pretty shade of mauve, and I absolutely love the criss cross detailing on the back. I love wearing it with a cute bralette, but it’s perfect as is with a good sticky bra! It’s oversized which is great to wear off the shoulder as well or with a pair of leggings for more of a sweater dress look! You seriously can’t go wrong with this piece!

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4. Take The Lead Twist Back Knit Top. I love a thick, cozy sweater as much as the next girl! Sometimes it’s just too hot for a sweater, but too cold for a lighter weight top. Bring in this top, another favorite from Vici, and you’ve got the perfect compromise! It’s super soft and comfy too! The open back detail on this shirt is so pretty with a lacey bralette or on its own. My favorite part, hands down, is that you can wear it with the twist in the back or the front! When I do wear it in front, it’s like a cute cardigan and looks great with a simple tank top underneath!

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5. Sherpa Pullover. If you’re a Sam’s Club Member or have a friend that is, run, don’t walk to your nearest store! I got my Sherpa pullover there last winter for a fraction of what other boutiques and retailers are selling it for. We’re talking under $20!! It is seriously the softest and comfiest pullover I have ever owned. It also comes in several different colors. If you’d like a little more of an oversized look, I’d suggest sizing up. It’s perfect for a cool fall day or even in the winter over a long sleeved tee. I consider this, a fuzzy pair of socks, and leggings my official cold weather lounging outfit of choice!

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What are your fall must haves?

 

XOXO,
Leah

 

New Beginnings

Hey Y’all!

For those of you that have been following my ride through life over on Instagram (@alongftride) thank you so much for your love, support, and encouragement over the last year! It’s because of YOU that I finally got up the courage to start this new adventure!

This first week, I’m going all out and sharing a new post EVERYDAY!! Like I said, this has been in the works for a while now until I could build up enough courage to ut myself out there like this, so I want this first week up and running to be celebrated in a big way! After this week, I’ll be sharing a new post every Monday!

I am so excited for this new chapter in my life and super happy that you’re still coming along for the ride with me! I’ve always loved writing and the art of storytelling, so this and sharing bits and pieces of my life with y’all is really a dream come true! After lots of planning and much trial and error, I think I’ve finally found my groove.

Here’s to new beginnings and making dreams reality!

XOXO,
Leah