Week 4: Exceeding our goal AND a sneak peek at Rosie!

Hello!  Wow!  At this exact minute, Kickstarter site shows 40 hours remain on our campaign.  Yikes!  We did it, everyone!  I’m so excited and overwhelmed and can’t wait to get out there and bake my heart away!  Our progress went quickly and all the support and words of encouragement have made this such an amazing experience!

  IMG_0417   Progress Halfway   Progress 75  Progress 100

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Today, I went to visit Noah at American Vintage Camper.  I have been dying to see Rosie and want to share all the details with you!  I didn’t really know what to expect but I’m happy with where she is and the plans for the next couple weeks!  Noah told me she will get her beautiful black and white floor tiles today and he’s ready to start covering the exterior and she’ll head to the painter late next week.  I am in the process of ordering all the equipment so Noah can install all the good stuff!  We are really rolling!

This is Noah, the master builder! (sorry it’s a little blurry)

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Here’s Rosie!  This is the service window side.

IMG_0661I had to climb in and get my picture!  Oh my gosh, so amazing!  This will be super fun!

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Here’s a view of the other side.  We’ll have a little door on this side.

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Here’s one more from a different angle of that side.

IMG_0670Seriously, how cute is she?  I can’t wait to see the next phase and share it with you!  I’ll be putting together all the Kickstarter reward info and thank you pages over the next week along with finalizing details for community events I want to be part of. I am so happy you are part of this, thank you!

From the heart, Shannon

We did it (on wonderful timing, too)!

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If you didn’t hear the big SCREAM last night at 10:45 then you are just finding out that WE HIT OUR GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is incredible!! Thank you for all you’ve done to make this happen! We are truly blessed to have so many generous and kind people in our lives! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Want to hear something really neat?  If you watched our video or if you’ve read our story, you know my grandma was a big influence in my life.  Well, today would have been her birthday!  What a way to pay tribute to someone who touched so many with her cooking and baking!  This dream is about to become a reality and it’s all because of you!  I’m truly touched!

The campaign will stay active until our end date of 3/22/15. Please keep sharing and let’s see how far we can go!

Floured Apron Kickstarter

From the heart, Shannon

New reward level and incentive added!

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We made a slight change to the apron giveaway!  We’ve made a new reward level for a LIMITED EDITION apron!

We’ve connected with a local seamstress who is custom making some adorable aprons for us! We’re really excited to wear them the first day we introduce Rosie to our community!

Our goal is just within reach!

Thank you for your support and please keep sharing–we’re almost there!!!   From the heart, Shannon

Floured Apron Kickstarter Campaign

Week 2: Beyond amazing + Rosie’s sweet name!

Progress 75

It’s the end of week 2 and we are 89% funded!  See our pan filling up?  I am so excited!  No, I’m WAY past excited!   This has been a magnificent ride!

I am surprised every time I see a new backer.  It’s remarkable that many of the backers are people I know, people I haven’t seen for many years and some are people I haven’t met.  What continues to blow me away are the number of generous, kind hearts out there and it’s an incredible feeling to be part of this Floured Apron family!  It’s not just the financial generosity.  It’s everything from the sweet texts, Facebook and email messages to people I run into and give me a hug and say, “I’m behind you–this is so neat!” to all those who’ve given their hard-earned money.  I will NEVER forget this feeling as long as I live.  It’s difficult to put into words.  Please know I’m touched and enlightened by every single piece of this adventure.   Okay, enough sappy stuff…let’s move on…

Rosie.  I’ve been asked many times how we came up with that name.  She just looks like a Rosie, doesn’t she?

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During the initial discussions with the craftsmen at American Vintage Camper, I mostly talked about what I wanted to do with the camper and what style I was fond of.  I was crystal clear on the design and size and function.  It wasn’t until I stood inside a model of one that I realized the camper was so much more than a hunk of wood and metal. 

I gave my new friend at AVC a check, we shook hands and he began building.  I got in my car and started the 2 hour drive home.  I was full of excitement and fear and every emotion in between!  It dawned on me that this camper would be part of our family (totally crazy!).  As I drove, I realized I wanted a better name than “this camper bakery thing”.  I thought and thought and thought.  I had a few ideas and then the name Rosie came to me.  It had some meaning, so I held onto it for a bit to make sure that was the best name.  I wanted to get this right. 

We are big Cincinnati Reds baseball fans and Rosie Red, one of the mascots, has been a long time favorite!  We have baseball caps adorned with her stylish autograph, we seek her out at games to say hi and grab a hug and just think she’s super classy and really fun!  I mean, look at that cute skirt, those eyelashes and that big smile!  Love her!

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                Han and Carrie     Carrie and Kassie at the game

The roses on our logo were intentionally part of the design.  We love roses for several reasons.

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To pay tribute to our Cincinnati roots and the meaning and fondness for roses, Rosie seemed like the BEST NAME EVER!  It’s sort of retro, it’s cheerful and lighthearted.  All good things. 

I ran the idea past the Floured Apron leadership team (Casey, Hannah and Carrie) and they were on board immediately! It was unanimous that our new family member would definitely be named Rosie!  YAY!

I can feel myself beam every time I say her name!  Try it…Rosie!  You have to say it quickly with a little pep in your voice…Rosie!  I bet you’re smiling!

Until Rosie is up and rolling, let’s keep making progress to our funding goal!  Thank you, again, for your unconditional support and please keep sharing!  Here’s the link.  Let’s make the next 15 days count!

Floured Apron Kickstarter Campaign

From the heart, Shannon

Week 2 (almost): AMAZING!

Progress Halfway

What an AMAZING week!  We are 57% to our goal (a little ahead of the two week mark)!

In the last update I shared so many kind words from many of our backers.  This week I’d like to share a private message I received from one of our new backers:

“More than happy to back floured apron I didn’t get to tell you but your frosting is the only frosting I’ve ever had that tastes like my grandmas, which made me really happy. Super corny but I jut wanted you to know!!  I was honestly so excited and taken aback, sure do miss her! I had the blueberry lemon and I can’t remember what the other white one was I think raspberry in the middle! “

This captures the true essence of what I love about baking and why I am so excited to get out there and share with as many people as I can!

Bake people happy…Rosie can’t get here soon enough!

Thanks to all of you for your support!  I know we can reach our goal!  Please keep sharing and please know your generosity means the world to me!   xoxo

From the heart, Shannon

Floured Apron is going mobile!

You may have heard the news!  We are taking our home based business to the next level this spring!

Meet Rosie (pictured below), our vintage inspired mobile bakery and the newest member of the Floured Apron family.  Now we can share more of what we love with the community we love!  We are so excited!

In the meantime, we are trying to secure additional funding for the equipment we need.  We hope you’ll consider helping us get Rosie to her full potential. 

All the details are available here:   Kickstarter

Share it with EVERYONE and, most importantly, come see us this spring!  Stay tuned for updates on Rosie’s progress and her grand introduction.

From the heart,

Shannon

Rosie Drawing 3

Sweet Thanks

Hello friends!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  November flew by for me and I can’t believe tomorrow marks the start of December!  I filled many orders on Wednesday and spent Thursday morning at the Aurora Turkey Trot.  Casey and Carrie participated in the Mashed Potato Mile and many others turned out for the 4 mile run.  It was a beautiful, snowy morning and I was thrilled to have an opportunity to sell goodies at the event!

Turkey Trot 1

This time last year, we were just settling into our house after a challenging move from Cincinnati to NE Ohio.  I didn’t know which end of me was up!  A year later, I’m happy to share this has been Floured Apron’s highest sales month ever!  Woo hoo!  I am touched by the tremendous support of people who have trusted me with their baking needs and many who have opened doors of opportunity.  Thank you doesn’t seem like enough to express my gratitude.

Honestly, I have considered giving up on this business many times, especially, since we moved.  It has been challenging to start over and build a customer base in an area that was completely new to me.  There have been many tears, confusion, frustration and several agonizing moments over business decisions.  What keeps me going on this business venture?  I think it’s a combination of meeting new people, making great friends and fulfilling my passion for baking.  Countless supporters push me to be better and try harder.  Thanks to them, the difficult moments pass and I get to keep doing what I truly love!

Motivation comes in many forms.  For me, it’s receiving phone calls or emails sharing positive feedback.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know I’ve brought a little joy to someone’s life because that’s what sharing food is all about to me.  It’s rewarding and fulfilling on so many levels!  This year, I’ve been fortunate to be part of baby showers, bridal showers, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, rehearsals, shopping events, small business events, baking classes, 4th of July festivities, Halloween parties, office parties, races and Thanksgiving.  Countless pumpkin rolls, pies and cupcakes consumed my November and I couldn’t be happier!

Pumpkin Roll    Apple Pie Nov 2014    Pumpkin Single 2

Thank you SO MUCH!  I hope your support continues because we have amazing plans for Spring and I can’t wait to share all the details!  I’m taking the pursuit of my dreams to the next level and I want all of you to be part of it.  You’re going to LOVE what’s next!  In the meantime, bring on December!  I’m excited to spend time with my daughters baking our favorite holiday treats, decorating the house and simply hanging out!  Enjoy this magical time of year with friends and family and thank you for all you do to make Floured Apron the best it can be!

From the heart, Shannon

Sweet and Sticky Caramel Love

Things have been pretty exciting lately in my little Floured Apron world!  I conducted my first baking class and it was wonderful!  The theme was “Falling for Cupcakes” and I featured my Pumpkin Patch and Caramel Apple cupcakes.  This class was a dream come true for me because I’ve always wanted to share my passion for baking with others.  The women who attended were fun, enthusiastic and so supportive.  I can’t even explain how fulfilling and rewarding this was!

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The prep for this class was the perfect opportunity for me to start my annual caramel making.  As I was making it, I decided to snap some photos so I could share.  I remember the first time I tried making caramel.  It was a disaster because I had no idea what I was doing.  Now, I’m kind of addicted to the process and, of course, the final product!  These pictures aren’t the best because I was trying to take them while I was making it but you’ll get the idea.

Start by heating the sugar and water in a pan on medium-high heat.  Stir constantly!  The sugar will burn (trust me).

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Keep stirring.  You will see some of the sugar begin to turn brown.  Keep stirring.  I promise it will liquefy!

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As the sugar dissolves, you will see it transform to a beautiful golden brown liquid.  Keep stirring.

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Once the sugar is dissolved, add butter and vanilla.  Remove from heat and slowly whisk in heavy cream.
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Once the cream is whisked in and you have the gorgeous color, set aside to thicken for about 15 minutes then refrigerate. It is an absolute must to keep a small spoon near the pan, as it’s cooling, so you can test the temp. 🙂 YUM!

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I love to pour my cooled caramel into jars.  They make great gifts and I keep plenty on hand this time of year so I can make Caramel Apple Cupcakes whenever the urge strikes (which is pretty often).  I also like to eat a spoonful every time I open the fridge.  It’s fall, right?  I gotta do it!  Look at this cute jar full of deliciousness.

Caramel Jar

One of the best things about having homemade caramel around is our Caramel Apple Cupcakes!  These cupcakes are the perfect combination of everything fall…cinnamon, apples and caramel.  They are a mouthful of gooey goodness!  When you finish eating one, you are a sticky mess and it’s wonderful!  Did I mention these are filled with caramel?  I could just drink caramel so the more the better for these little beauties!

Caramel Apple Cupcake 2

Caramel Apple Cupcakes are available to order now.  Please contact us if you want some for your fall festivities!

Here is the full recipe for the caramel.  I’m going apple picking next week and I can’t wait to make more caramel and apple concoctions!  I’m on a pumpkin kick too, but that’s another post!  Yay for fall!

From the heart, Shannon

Caramel
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon water
12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, at room temp

Pour the sugar and water into a large sauce-pan. Heat on medium-high heat and stir constantly until the sugar completely liquefies. After sugar has dissolved, add the butter and vanilla extract to the saucepan and mix thoroughly. Once the butter has melted and the butter and sugar are completely mixed, remove from heat and using a whisk, slowly whisk in the heavy cream until you reach a beautiful golden brown caramel color. Set aside and let cool and thicken for 15 minutes at room temp. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to thicken further before using.

 

Apron Strings Part 3

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This is the third and final post of my Apron Strings series.  I’ve told you how much I adore my aprons but I am crazy about the apron collection we have for Hannah and Carrie!

I have not purchased a single one of these aprons.  They have all been gifts, with the exception of one Carrie made.  This little collection started when Hannah was about 3 years old and has, fortunately, extended to Carrie.

These are sure to bring out the kid in you!  If you haven’t made something in the kitchen with a child, please try it!  If you are lucky enough to have a cute apron, it makes him/her feel extra special so don’t waste another second and make some wonderful memories together!  I am thankful for special baking moments with the girls.  I am also thankful for cute aprons that have served as dropcloths to splattered eggs, flour, batter, dough and anything else that somehow ended up on them.  If these aprons could talk, they’d say most of the baking sessions were full of smiles and kisses.  You just can’t beat it!

Here’s the oldest member of our kid apron collection.  My mom gave this to Hannah when she was about 3 years old.  Hannah thought she was the bee’s knees playing with her toy kitchen while wearing her special apron.  It was a staple for Christmas cookie making!  I have fond memories of her wearing it over her pajamas, sitting on the counter, cutting out sugar cookies.  There are little pieces of velcro on the front that once held bright red oven mitts.  I’m not sure where those are but the idea of velcro to hold mitts on an apron is genius!

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Here is a set of Christmas aprons my mother-in-law gave to Hannah and Carrie.  I’m so glad she gave them matching aprons!  These aprons have seen lots of peanut butter kiss cookies and Hannah’s amazing holiday pizzelles!

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Here is another of Hannah’s aprons.  This one was given to her by our cousin as a Christmas gift about 5 years ago.  I kind of have a thing for snowman stuff and think this is adorable and really wish it was mine!  That snowman face melts me.  Hannah wore this many times when we made snowball cookies (one of her favorites!).  Lots of confectioner’s sugar and lots of deliciousness!

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The same cousin who sent Hannah the snowman apron, sent this Santa apron to Carrie.  So cute, right?  Carrie thought she hit the big time in her very own Christmas apron.  She wore it all day, everyday for weeks.  She seriously thought it was part of her outfit most days of December!  Why would I ever object?  Cutie!

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Carrie Apron 2    Carrie Apron 3

Now, let’s think SPRING!  Casey gave this charming chick to Carrie for Easter the same time he gave me the cute mint green/orange apron featured in Part 2.  First, it’s yellow with lavender gingham ruffles.  Second, it’s a chick!  This apron screams spring!  It is the perfect thing to wear when we make carrot cake!  It also doubles as a prop for our Easter Egg Vanilla Cakelets.

DSC_0650                 Carrie Apron 5

The next few aprons are really special.  The first may look familiar!  It’s the other side of the matching Christmas aprons above.  This side is a bright red cherry pattern with classic black and white details.  The reversible idea is so clever!  I have also used this pattern as a background for Swiss Meringue (YUM!).

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DSC_0661 Swiss Meringue on Red 2

My mother-in-law gave these to us for Christmas and we can wear our matching cherry side year round.  Here’s mine from Part 2.  I always wanted to get a photo of all three of us in these but never did.  I’m going to work on that this summer because I love that they match!

 

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This apron is so cute!  Carrie made this at Vacation Bible School the year we had a cooking theme.  It’s artsy, fun and one of a kind!  The kids used stamps and paint to make their individual creations.  Carrie’s name completes this apron and it is truly a keepsake!

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The final apron is one Hannah gave to Carrie.  It was from her mission trip I talk about in Part 2.  It’s perfectly endearing and dainty and all things girly.  At first glance, it makes me think dress instead of apron.  Carrie looks adorable in it and it’s my favorite apron on her.  The color makes her eyes look extra beautiful!  The back is just as lovely as the front.  Precious.

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Aprons captivated me at a very early age and I have had a soft spot for them for quite some time.  After putting this post together, I realize how much I cherish each one.  I wish I had more photos of Hannah, Carrie and me wearing them.  The truth is, they are just part of what we do when we bake and I never think to snap a photo of us.  I will try to do that moving forward.  In the meantime, I hope you will share any apron photos you have.  I have seen some really cute ones and plan to expand my collection.  Don’t be surprised to see an Apron Strings Part 4 in my future! 🙂

From the heart, Shannon

Apron Strings Part 2

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Hello!  I’m so happy to share the second part of my apron series (click here if you missed Part 1).  Part 2 features aprons that have been given to me for many occasions.  Some of them I “gave” to myself!  I never get tired of seeing and receiving new aprons.  This collection is very special to me and I hope you can get lost for a few minutes in my little apron world!

 

 

The first is one of the most cherished aprons in my collection.  Hannah brought this back from one of her high school mission trips in Liberty, KY.  It was made by a Mennonite woman.  I love the bright colors and the simplicity of the design.  It’s modest and sweet.  When I wear it, I feel like Ma on Little House on the Prairie! DSC_0613                 DSC_0615 This cute blue and white apron was given to me by a dear friend.  I love the shade of blue combined with the bright red rick-rack trim.   There are little red sombreros on the patterned squares.  The apron shape, colors and patterns make it whimisical and fun!

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The next couple aprons were given to me when I started Floured Apron.  Hannah ordered this one and it has been my go to working apron when I have a lot of things to bake.  It’s soothing and brings me thoughts of her and all the times we have spent baking together.  I’m pretty sure she bought this one because of the chocolate cupcakes and cherries!  It’s a cute pattern but not super frilly and it was just what I needed in those early trial and error days of Floured Apron!

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This one is from my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew as a “congrats on starting your business” gift.  I have worn this a lot and it shows!  I feel like a professional baker and, of course, love that it has our name on the front!  Boy, it’s a mess, huh?  Rightfully so!  This apron has seen me through several test recipes, the good, the bad and the ugly!  We bonded early on in my learning process and I refer to it lovingly as my friend!

DSC_0611Casey, my husband, is so supportive of what I do and he enjoys surprising me with new aprons from time to time. He purchased both of these at Sur la Table.  If you haven’t seen their aprons, you won’t be disappointed!  Whenever I walk in that store, I run right to the clearance section to see what they have.  After that, I go look at the full price aprons and find myself lost in the cuteness!  He gave me this bright red one for Christmas.  Aren’t the little pom poms adorable?  The whole design is just FUN!

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Casey gave me this delightful apron for Easter.  I just wore this orange and mint green one today while making St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes.  It screams spring and I’m more than ready!  Isn’t it pretty?  Both the red and orange aprons are so feminine with their necklines and ruffles.  Confession:  When I wear these, I do twirls around the kitchen because they make me feel like I should dance!

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My mother-in-law and I share a love for baking and she rarely finds an apron (or a piece of pottery, but that’s an entirely different post!) she doesn’t buy and send me.  Each one is unique and I’m not certain where all of them came from but I’m thankful she spots them!

She loves nature and the environment.  This apron sums up many things I associate with my mother-in-law: natural, beautiful, sweet, gentle and LOVELY!

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Here’s a beauty she gave me for Christmas a couple years ago.  It’s covered in cherries and the little polka dot and outline details really give it character!  Can you see the big red buttons at the top?  Look for a couple more like this in my final Apron Strings series.

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Here is the most recent apron she gave me for Valentine’s Day.  The note she included was very sweet.  Since we moved, I have told everyone we do not want more stuff.  I’m trying to simplify and not collect so much.  Her note acknowledged that wish with a caveat that it’s fairly small and she couldn’t resist.  Thank goodness because this is SO STINKIN CUTE!  Right?  The color, the sweetheart neckline, the stripes, the cupcakes.  It’s perfection in an apron!  They really don’t take up that much space and I secretly hope she never stops finding  aprons for me! 🙂

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Get ready to step back in time!  Think 1950’s soda fountain and ice cream parlor.  Helen, a member of our church in Cincinnati, made several of these many years ago for an ice cream parlor type function.  I was introduced to this apron when we had a cooking theme for Vacation Bible School last summer.  Helen kindly shared these wonderful pink beauties with us to wear during VBS.  I told her I collect aprons and she knew all about Floured Apron and we exchanged a few stories.  The Sunday after we announced to our church family we were moving, Helen handed me a gift.  As you’ve already figured out, it was one of her adorable aprons.  I cried.  It serves as a reminder of our church in Cincinnati and sweet Helen!

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I bought this apron on a trip (not to North Carolina, believe it or not!) to San Francisco last summer.  I always wanted to take Hannah and Carrie to San Fran and, with Hannah leaving for college, I decided to do it.  We covered as much ground as possible: Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, cable car ride, Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods and Ghirardelli Square.  We spent a few days in San Fran then drove down the coast to Santa Cruz and took a whale watching cruise in Monterey Bay.  It was a blast and we had many adventures and even more laughs!  This apron captures several California memories, including where Casey and I were married (hint:  it begins with a Y!).

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Last, but not least, is a darling pink, cupcake covered, ruffly apron.  I also bought this for myself.  I keep this one hanging in my kitchen all the time and wear it frequently.  I immediately get in my baking zone when I put it on.  I can’t explain it but it’s the one I turn to time and time again when I really have to crank out some cupcakes.  Plus, it’s precious (and pink)!

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I thought that was the last, y’all!  As I was finalizing this post, Casey returned from a business trip.  While traveling, he found himself in Savannah, GA and grabbed a bite at The Lady & Sons (Paula Deen’s restaurant).  He also grabbed this sweet thing!  Our kitchen is yellow with accents of blue and this definitely belongs with us!  Thank you, Honey!

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I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into some of my apron gifts.  I love each of them for so many reasons.  You won’t want to miss my next and final piece to this series!  I’m sharing all the fun kid aprons we have.  I would still love to see any of your aprons and please feel free to share this with your family and friends so they can share as well!

From the heart, Shannon