Clean Juice Cleanse: An Honest Review

THIS IS AN UNBIASED REVIEW REGARDING CLEAN JUICE’S THREE DAY CLEANSE. I BOUGHT THIS PRODUCT WITH MY OWN MONEY, AND HAVE NO PARTNERSHIP/SPONSORSHIP WITH CLEAN JUICE.


I have known that I needed to hit the reset button on my health for a long time. Before having my daughter, I led an extremely healthy lifestyle. I was very picky about what I ate, and ran every day – even participating in half marathons. However, in the last few years, I have let the chaos life (being a mom, moving, family illness) creep in and suck out my motivation to care for myself. I made sure my daughter ate organic and healthy, but would grab comfort foods for myself, or just skip the meal entirely. This path led me to feeling completely depleted. As I contemplated what I wanted out of 2019, I knew that a healthier me needed to be somewhere on that list. So, when Karrie and I stumbled upon a Clean Juice while out taking blog pictures, I decided that it was time to stop making excuses, and get my body back to healthy. The Clean Juice employees were patient, answered all of my questions about juice cleanses (they have multiple cleanse options), and I went home to do some research. Within a week, I was back at Clean Juice picking up my three day cleanse!

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WHY CLEAN JUICE?

I chose to purchase my juice cleanse from Clean Juice for several reasons. First off, they are organic. If I am cleaning my body, I want clean fuel, so I needed a company that could offer me organic products.

Second, they use cold press to make their juices. This means that they are able to juice without sacrificing nutrients and the integrity of their products. For more information on this process, check here.

And finally, I just liked their customer service. I love when people are kind and respectful, and are able to be informative without being pushy. This is the vibe I got from Clean Juice, and I wanted to be able to support that community.

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HOW DID IT GO?

In a nutshell, a three day juice cleanse is not what I would call easy, but I would say the positives far outweigh the bad! I am extremely pleased and feel I have more energy and mental clarity after my experience. For those of you wanting a more detailed breakdown, I am giving it to you below!

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CLEAN JUICE THREE DAY CLEANSE

Clean Juice asks that you call 24 hours in advance to order your cleanse. When you arrive, you will pick up three cartons that contain six juices each (see juice descriptions below). The cartons are labeled with numbers on each slot to let your know the order in which you should drink your juice, as well as a list of guidelines to follow during your cleanse. If you have any questions, like I did, the employees will be able to answer them before you leave the store. Click here for a more thorough breakdown offered on Clean Juice‘s website.

DRINK ONE: SWEET GREEN

WHAT’S IN IT: organic cucumber, organic apple, organic kale, organic spinach, organic mint

POSSIBLE BENEFITS: huge vitamin boost, sharp brain, glowing skin, regulates pH

MY THOUGHTS: This is the perfect drink to start your morning. You definitely taste the greens but the apple adds sweetness, and the mint gives you a great morning pick-me-up.

DRINK TWO: ORANGE

WHAT’S IN IT: organic carrot, organic pineapple, organic orange, organic turmeric

POSSIBLE BENEFIT: cold and flu protection, happy digestive track, joint and bone pain relief, reduced inflammation

MY THOUGHTS: This is my second favorite juice in the pack. You can taste oranges, carrots and pineapple – but the pineapple gives it the sweetness to balance out the carrot taste. Not only is it yummy, but I love that it adds a burst of nutrients to assist in strengthening your body’s immunity during cold and flu season. I will be stopping by the store to pick this juice up anytime I feel like I might be getting sick.

DRINK THREE: GREEN

WHAT’S IN IT: organic cucumber, organic celery, organic spinach, organic kale, organic ginger, organic lemon

POSSIBLE BENEFITS: low sugar/high vitamin boost, hydration, illness protection, antioxidant boost

MY THOUGHTS: This is pretty much like drinking your salad – with no ranch dressing to make it taste better!

DRINK FOUR: YELLOW

WHAT’S IN IT: filtered water, organic lemon, organic maple syrup, organic cayenne

POSSIBLE BENEFITS: intense detox, increased metabolism, lower blood pressure, healthy cell function

MY THOUGHTS: I love Yellow. I do want to warn you that this is not your typical lemonade – it has a kick with the cayenne!

DRINK 5: RED

WHAT’S IN IT: organic apple, organic carrot, organic beet, organic lemon

POSSIBLE BENEFITS: boost stamina, improve blood flow, protects skin and eyes, huge vitamin boost

MY THOUGHTS: Okay, I am going to be perfectly honest here. I HATE beets. They taste like dirt to me – which is why this was my absolute least favorite juice. If you like beets, you will like this juice. If you don’t like beets, I suggest you grab a straw and pinch your nose and get ready to drink as fast as you can!

DRINK 6: WHITE

WHAT’S IN IT: organic cashews, filtered water, organic vanilla, organic cinnamon, organic maple syrup, Himalayan pink sea salt

POSSIBLE BENEFITS: good source of protein, healthy muscles, promotes heart health, calm nerves

MY THOUGHTS: My favorite juice hands-down. I looked forward to drinking this tasty beverage ALLLL day long! White tastes like the milk left over after eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. If you have never eaten Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or just never sampled the leftover milk, trust me when I say this is beyond delicious! You feel like you are rewarding yourself for sticking to your cleanse, and is the perfect way to end your day!

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DAY ONE

I started the first day with a cup of organic coffee (which if you are an avid coffee drinker, this is allowed so as to not shock your body, or make the cleanse process more difficult to get through). The morning went pretty easily, however by afternoon I missed food. But, I knew I could pull my big girl panties on and get through the rest of the day. Then came Red… and I swear it almost broke me! My lifetime hatred for beets made me want to throw in the towel, but the dollar signs of what this cleanse had cost me danced before my eyes, and I knew I had to power through and follow the cleanse as directed for the best results. I lay in bed wondering if I had just taken over $150 and thrown it in the trash. I fell asleep with visions of Rice Krispies treats and chocolate chip cookies dancing through my mind.

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DAY TWO

I woke up energized on Day 2! I am typically very slow-moving in the morning, but I immediately started on my to-do list before my coffee was even ready. Not only did I have more energy, but I was in a better mood! I laughed easier, was slower to get frustrated, and just happier in general. Do I credit this entirely to the cleanse? I honestly have no idea. But I do know that I felt better. This made me realize that there is something in my typical diet that is not working with my body, and I need to be very aware when reintroducing things back into my dietary routine once my cleanse was over.

I will not say Day 2 was a breeze, because that was the day that I missed chewing. Not food really, but the actual act of CHEWING! I was no longer daydreaming about fast food and junk food, but I was dreaming about chewing on something, anything – even if it was a leafy green salad! However, I managed to get through the entire day without cheating (even when I took my niece and daughter out for a special dinner)!

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DAY THREE

I did not sleep well, so waking up on day three was hard, but I was able to break out of the morning fog easier than I normally do. I did feel the most fatigue on day three, but I can honestly say that I wasn’t hungry and that I got through the day without many temptations. My favorite juices tasted even better (Yellow was definitely competing with Orange for my second favorite drink), but I dreaded the idea of drinking Green and Red. The juice kept me feeling full, and I knew that I was getting the health benefits from the nutrients. This is the day that I realized that I had gotten into a rut of eating what tasted good and not what made me feel good. I know it sounds a little trite, but I had already grown more of an appreciation for the benefits of what I was putting into my body, as opposed to how it tasted going down.

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THE OUTCOME

I have more energy and feel better now that I have cleansed. I am not wanting to dive face-first into a plate of a hamburger with french fries like I had been worried about, and I am more likely to lean towards healthier food options. This may be a subconscious decision because I have just gone through three days of not eating and my mind is telling me not to let it all go to waste, but I will take it!

I lost a little over two pounds after completing the three days. Was I hoping for a little more? Yes. However, losing weight was not why I started this cleanse. I did this to hit a reset button on my body – and I feel that it succeeded.

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WOULD I DO THIS CLEANSE AGAIN?

Probably… I am really pleased with the outcome, but I have to be economical. This particular juice cleanse is expensive – it was just over $150, which breaks down to around $50 a day for just me. Yikes! However, I do feel better, and isn’t that the point? I will say this – I am hoping that I can stick to a healthy eating plan, and figure out which foods are making me feel so heavy and groggy so that I can eliminate them from my diet. But, I also know that life is hectic, and I can be honest enough with myself to know that I am going to slip off the healthy eating plan from time to time. Ideally, I would like to do this cleanse once a year to jump start my healthy eating goals.

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DISCLAMERS

Please discuss with your doctor before beginning a juice cleanse, especially if you have any current health issues, or eating disorders.

This blog entry was written based off of my personal experience, but everyone’s body is different, and your body may have a different response to a juice cleanse.

If you decide to do a juice cleanse, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. A juice cleanse is not a weight loss program. It is meant to fill your body with nutrients – and will hopefully help you discover if there is something in your diet that may be affecting your daily life.

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Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope my experience has helped any of you that are considering taking the step towards a juice cleanse! Wishing everyone good health this year!

My In-Home Teeth Whitening Experience…Did It Work?

I am so excited to share Smile Brilliant’s teeth whitening system with you as it has been a game changer for my smile. If you’re like me, you have tried teeth whitening strips and teeth whitening pastes through the years and spent lots of money trying to get that perfect white smile. So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned about the Smile Brilliant whitening system and how easy the process was from start to finish. The best part…I can do it all from home.

So here is the skinny…

Smile Brilliant offers an in-home option for professional grade whitening that’s perfect for us that never seem to have enough time for ourselves. To determine the system that is best for you and your whitening goals, you are asked to complete a brief questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask if you’ve whitened before, the sensitivity level of your teeth, do you drink coffee, tea, smoke, etc.  Easy peasy!

My teeth are sensitive and I was a bit concerned how I would handle the process. I was happy to learn that Smile Brilliant offers a gel for sensitive teeth and they recommend using the provided desensitizing gel after you whiten. This step helps decrease sensitivity and helps prevent re-staining. Awesome!

Once my system arrived in the mail, the first step was to make my dental impressions to create the teeth whitening custom trays. This step was so quick and easy. All you need to do is mix the two putty-like compounds together, place the compound in the mold trays and position over your teeth for a couple of minutes. Detailed instructions with pictures are provided to guide you through the process. Once the molds sit overnight, you mail them back to Smile Brilliant in the provided pre-paid package.

My whitening trays arrived almost 7 business days later.  I started the night they arrived. I only whitened for 45 minutes the first few nights and built up to 1.5 hours after that (per the instructions, you can whiten up to 2 hours). Each night I whitened, I followed with the desensitizing gel. I would highly recommend not skipping this step as it tremendously helped with my sensitivity.  I skipped the desensitizing gel one or two nights and I did notice more sensitivity the next day.

The other “rules” are easy…stay away from coffee, red wine, and other dark drinks that may stain while whitening. I admit, it stinks for a while but is so worth it!

Did it work? YES! I’m so happy with my results!! I came away with whiter teeth, I experienced little to no sensitivity and it was so EASY! I would highly recommend Smile Brilliant for those who may be looking for a convenient teeth whitening solution and would love to hear about your results if you decide to use Smile Brilliant!!

Before: December 11, 2018
After: January 12, 2019

And because I am so pleased with my results, we have teamed up with Smile Brilliant to give one lucky follower a complimentary teeth whitening kit (valued at $149)!

To enter, complete the entry form here.
We also have a 15% off store wide code: twostyleavenue15

Again, thank you Smile Brilliant for gifting me with a great product and giving a complimentary kit to one follower! Get your entry completed and good luck friends!

Peace Out 2018, Hello 2019

Can you believe another year has come to an end?  It’s time to reflect on the last 12 months, make plans and set goals for the upcoming year.  We agree that 2018 has been the longest and yet the fastest year of our lives, if that even makes sense. We have been through the trenches this year with the unexpected death of our dad in February. For us, it’s been a year of tremendous sadness, growth, and thankfulness. Sadness and growth because we are learning our “new normal” without this man who was one of the centerpieces to our family.  Thankfulness because we were reminded of the true meaning of love as our family and friends have given abundantly in our time of sadness through prayer, hugs, cards, and calls/ texts. We are so grateful!

To say we are ready to say “peace out” 2018 is an understatement, but we are ready to kick 2019 off the right way! If you haven’t thought about your resolutions yet, there’s still time and we are here to help get you started. Here are a few things to consider when setting your New Years resolutions.

  • Start small. If you set achievable goals, you will be more likely to stick with it.
  • Be specific on what you’re trying to achieve so that you don’t lose focus. We are both guilty of getting sidetracked and losing sight of the what we are trying to achieve.
  • Set a start date. It helps to have that hard date in mind as it always mentally prepares us to commit. It doesn’t matter if it’s January 1st or February 1st, just pick a date that works for you and GO FOR IT! You’re less likely to push it off to next week.
  • Write your resolutions down. If you have your resolution or goal in front of you, you are more likely to follow through.
  • Have fun! If you keep it lighthearted and have fun along the way, you are more likely to stick with it!

Now that you have a few tips to help you get those 2019 resolutions set, let’s bring in the new year and be as productive as we can.  Thank you for coming around this year as we have embarked on this blogging journey. It’s been a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for us!

 

Christmas Cocktails

Christmas is positively the most wonderful time of year! Our families are in full holiday mode and the kids are bouncing off the walls with the anticipation of Santa. Their excitement is contagious and it’s hard not to feel the magic of Christmas, especially when family and friends are around.  Our family has enjoyed a special holiday cocktail on Christmas Eve for the last few years. It adds a little pizazz to the festivities and well, it’s just fun!

So how do we decide on the perfect cocktail? Research of course!  It’s a tough job, but you need to try a few to make sure it’s a crowd pleaser, right?! The gals like fun and the boys enjoy the heavier traditional favorite – eggnog. This year we may just mix it up a bit as we have found several drinks that will have everyone jolly. We will start with sophisticated and fruity and make our way down to the heavier eggnog.

First up, the Champagne Cocktail. While visiting a local specialty store, Belmont’s Specialty Foods, a friend and staff member highly recommended Gilded mixers.  I was told that it is great with your favorite vodka and mixes nicely with champagne.  Gilded mixers are locally made in Charlotte, fresh, and comes in a variety of flavors. Of course we tried it both ways and it’s too good not to share. If you aren’t local to the Charlotte area, we have you covered and you can make your own Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup.  Click here for a great Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup recipe we found on the amazing blog, Natural Fit Foodie

Blueberry Lavender Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 ounces Gilded Blueberry Lavender-Aid cocktail mix or Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup
  • 4 ounces Prosecco

Vodka Blueberry Lavender Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces Titos Vodka
  • 3 ounces Gilded Blueberry Lavender-Aid cocktail mix or Blueberry Lavender Simple Syrup
  • 3 ounces Sparkling Water

Mix in shaker and pour over ice.

Moving on to a nice half way point between the fruity beverage to the heavier eggnog. We share the Sugar Cookie Martini. It actually does remind you of a sugar cookie, but with an adult twist.

Sugar Cookie Martini

Ingredients:

  • White frosting and holiday sprinkles for decorating rim
  • 3 ounces Vanilla Vodka
  • 1.5 ounces Butterscotch Schnapps
  • 1.5 ounces milk

Line rim of glass with thin coating of white frosting and dip in holiday sprinkles. Pour vanilla vodka, butterscotch schnapps and milk into ice-filled shaker, and shake well. Pour into sprinkle rimmed cocktail glasses.

Easy Eggnog

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 ounces Spiced Rum
  • 1.5 ounces Bittermilk No. 7 Gingerbread Old Fashioned
  • 3 0ounces Whole Milk

Pour Spiced Rum, Bittermilk, and milk into ice-filled shaker, and shake well. While choosing the liquor for this drink, I was told that Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum has a nice vanilla note and is a good match for eggnog.

Any one of these cocktails would be a fun and festive add to your holiday gathering. And please don’t hesitate to comment and share one of yours. We promise we will give it a try!

Thank you for stopping by and we hope that you and yours have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Alta High Fashion – A Boutique That Meets Your Every Need

Isn’t it amazing when you find a store that has quality pieces for every occasion?  We discovered just that when we visited Alta for this first time last week.  Alta is a high-end fashion retailer located in Rock Hill, SC that can outfit you from head to toe, and have you walking away with the cutest gifts!  The owner was nice enough to let us do a quick try-on session while we were there.  Unfortunately mom life stepped in, and we had to cut it short to pick up the kids.  Trust us when we say the selection is insane, so we were only able to scratch the surface of what this boutique has to offer!

Cute outwear is a must have this season and Alta does not disappoint when it comes to options. We were so excited to find this Teddy Bear Coat in several colors. This camel beauty is so soft and is a perfect length to keep you warm when wearing anything from jeans to dresses. If the weather calls for something lighter, this sherpa lined faux suede vest is the perfect stylish addition to keep the chill away.

Alta has their own line of clothes that is something that you want to look for when walking through the doors. If you are searching for something fun to wear to the office, brunch or party, look for the Erma’s Closet line. We had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of some of the newly released designs from this line. The cut and bright colors of these fun dresses is flattering for all shapes and you can’t help but turn heads when you walk through the door.

Did you say holiday party? We tried these holiday pieces we didn’t want to take off. As you know, plaid is one of the favorite patterns for this holiday season. Look lovely when you pair this blue plaid poncho (also available in red) with jeans or even a skirt. The best part – velvet trim!  We love all things soft this season and we are excited for this velvet top!  Velvet is such a classic material and when it’s a smokey silver, you just want to ring in the New Year with that special someone.

When talking outfits, we can’t leave out cute accessories! You will find a wonderful selection of accessories ranging from rings, earrings, necklaces to handbags. You may walk the boutique looking for something for yourself, but don’t be surprised if you leave with something for your gal pal too. You can purchase these looks by visiting Alta’s online boutique.

Thank you for stopping by and we hope you have a great week!

 

 

 

Big Daddy’s Bourbon Pecan Pie

To make this blog post even more special, Karrie is wearing our Grandmother’s apron she always wore during the holidays.

Isn’t it amazing how the holidays can trigger a memory with a song, a place or a taste? Growing up we were one of those families that kept the same tradition year after year.  Our big extended family lived within 10 minutes of either grandparents’ house, so needless to say our holiday gatherings were crowded, loud, and full of love and laughter.  If those gatherings involved a meal, a pecan pie was always included! If you haven’t had pecan pie before, there’s still time to add this to your holiday menu. Not only does it taste amazing, it’s super easy to make!

Pecan pies weren’t just part of our holiday menu, it was part of our dad’s holiday routine. As children, we would wake to the sweet smell of dad cooking pecan pies each morning for up to three weeks prior to Christmas.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to have any pie for breakfast unless there was one that didn’t pass his inspection.  You see – our dad was in sales and for the last thirty years or so it was his tradition to bake and deliver pecan pies to his friends, family, and clients. It wasn’t just a few pecan pies made each year, it was dozens upon dozens. He would cut the pecans and put the pie boxes together the night before baking. Then, Dad would wake around 4:00 AM to begin baking the deliveries for the day. Dad loved doing this for his friends and his friends loved receiving them.

The original recipe was shared by our Grandma Wilson, but dad added a little kick – Kentucky Bourbon.   We did make a slight change as one of the ingredients, Green Label Karo Syrup, can be difficult to find these days.  We adjusted by substituting  ½ cup of light Karo Corn Syrup and ½ cup of dark Karo Corn Syrup in lieu of the 1 cup of green label Karo Corn Syrup. Don’t fear, it turned out great!

We included a separate recipe for those of you that prefer maple syrup to corn syrup.  Both pies are delicious, the only difference being that the maple syrup recipe tastes a little sweeter.  Find both recipes below!

BIG DADDY’S BOURBON PECAN PIE – ORIGINAL RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 unbaked deep dish pie crust – We use the ready made crusts by Pillsbury Pet-Ritz because they are so good and it’s easy!
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ½ stick butter (melted)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup green label Karo Corn Syrup – Or substitute 1/2 cup Karo light corn syrup and 1/2 cup Karo dark corn syrup.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon – We add 3 tablespoons to give it a bit more bourbon flavor. However, it’s still amazing if you only add 2 tablespoons.

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Gently poke holes in the bottom of pie crust with a fork – careful not to poke holes in pie pan.

  • Coarsely chop the pecans. Some recipes don’t call for chopping the pecans, it’s just preference. 
  • Spread chopped pecans over the bottom of your pie crust.
  • Melt cubed butter in microwave or stove top. For the sake of time, we put the butter in a covered microwave safe dish until melted. Let the butter cool before adding to the other ingredients.  Set aside.
  • Slightly beat eggs and set aside.

  • Measure the remaining ingredients and mix in one bowl.
  • Stir cooled butter into mixture.

  • Add eggs to mixture and stir.  Once mixture has settled, use a spoon to remove any egg pieces that float to top of bowl.  After years of making these pies, Dad realized that by eliminating these, the pies were prettier.  If these are left in the mixture, they will float to the top during cooking and make dark, burnt spots on top of the pie.
  • Pour mixture over pecans.  Pecans will rise to the top.
  • Place pie in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. If the pie seems a bit loose, cook pie until firm.  You can tell if it needs to cook longer by gently shaking the pie.  If the pecans shift, and the pie does not seem firm, cook for another 5 minutes and test again. Tip: If you notice the crust is becoming too brown, cover with a piece of foil for the remainder of time.

 

BIG DADDY’S BOURBON PECAN PIE – MAPLE SYRUP RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 unbaked deep dish pie crust – We use the ready made crusts by Pillsbury Pet-Ritz because they are so good and it’s easy!
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • ½ stick butter (melted)
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon – We add 3 tablespoons to give it a bit more bourbon flavor. However, it’s still amazing if you only add 2 tablespoons.

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Gently poke holes in the bottom of pie crust with a fork – careful not to poke holes in pie pan.
  • Coarsely chop the pecans. Some recipes don’t call for chopping the pecans, it’s just preference. 
  • Spread chopped pecans over the bottom of your pie crust.
  • Melt cubed butter in microwave or stove top. For the sake of time, we put the butter in a covered microwave safe dish until melted. Let the butter cool before adding to the other ingredients.  Set aside.
  • Slightly beat eggs and set aside.
  • Measure the remaining ingredients and mix in one bowl.
  • Stir cooled butter into mixture.
  • Add eggs to mixture and stir.  Once mixture has settled, use a spoon to remove any egg pieces that float to top of bowl.  After years of making these pies, Dad realized that by eliminating these, the pies were prettier.  If these are left in the mixture, they will float to the top during cooking and make dark, burnt spots on top of the pie.
  • Pour mixture over pecans.  Pecans will rise to the top.
  • Place pie in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. If the pie seems a bit loose, cook pie until firm.  You can tell if it needs to cook longer by gently shaking the pie.  If the pecans shift, and the pie does not seem firm, cook for another 5 minutes and test again. Tip: If you notice the crust is becoming too brown, cover with a piece of foil for the remainder of time.

 

DOWNLOAD A RECIPE CARD HERE!

 

We hope that you love this pie as much as we do. This is one that will always bring back many memories for us.

Thank you for stopping by and wishing your family a wonderful holiday season!