Friday, September 30, 2011

Foodie Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am sharing how to make Cinnamon Apple Chips. If there is a way to make a healthy snack unhealthy then I will definitely do it. I love eating healthy but not as much as I love sugary sweet things. This is a great snack for Fall since some of us will be going apple picking.

Here is what you need:
Yep its that simple


First preheat your oven to 350.

Put 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
This is my tablespoon....I LOVE cinnamon so its heaping.
 Slice your apples (I used 2 for this recipe) the thinner the better. This is where one of those handy dandy apple slicers would be nice, unfortunately I went at it the old fashioned way.

Coat the apple slices in the cinnamon sugar mixture

Place them on a pan lined with parchment paper

Bake for 1-2 hours this really depends on how think your apples are sliced, the thinner they are the faster they bake. Prepare for your house to fill with a yummy Fall time scent.

Whem they look curled up on the edges and feel crunchy they are done! They look like they are burned but thats just the cinnamon.

Well I hope this post inspires you to make Fall time snacks. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Mexico Edition

Tonight while I was yelling at my DSL modem to quit being a giant piece of poop and start working right (it's been extra finicky lately and only works for about 5 minutes at a time and those 5 minutes are always when I'm not trying to use the computer...), I thought about a little perspective. Like how I went to Mexico to build houses for people who didn't have them or lived in shacks because they can't afford to build houses of their own. Yeah, I have terrible internet service, but I have internet (most of the time). I have a home. I have a place to call mine.

The week I spent in Mexico was a very eye opening experience and I am very excited to have the opportunity to return this February. Unfortunately, I could not go this year (2011) but have decided that I will make every effort to go in the following years. This is a trip that is worth the work. We are side-by-side with the families who benefit from our hard work. We put up the walls they're soon to call home. We eat the luscious meals they prepare for us. We pray with them. We play with the children. We share their joys and woes. We are familia.

I've been trying to brush up my Spanish skills (a Spanish minor in college including 7 years of courses and 2 stints in Puerto Rico and the best I can do now is talk with a 2 year old!) so that I can communicate better when I go visit. I am, to put it mildly, excited about this trip. It's something I am looking forward to. It gives me perspective.

They live here:

(Yes, that is a GIANT trash dump. Check out the blog post here and read about my very special birthday that I spent in Mexico...)

And I live here:

So today I'm thankful for the fact that I have much to be thankful for. I am not saying that because I live in the U.S. my life is better, because I don't believe that. I think you can have a great life no matter where you are. Life is what you make it. I am simply saying that there are many in this world who have it worse than me yet still find much to be thankful for. 

I'm thankful.

What are you thankful for?

Linking up with Southern Charm
And Miss Buckle

The trip is organized by a group from my church and we work with an organization called Esperanza International while we're in Mexico. Check them out. They do great things. If you want to join us on our trip, please let me know. We always welcome additional travelers. :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Ten

This weeks Ten on Tuesday is Handmade gift ideas for kids. Sometimes its hard to figure out a gift for kids, especially if you don't know them well. These are gifts I feel like any child would love.

1. Large floor pillow. You can personalize these with fabric.

                                             tutorial here: living with punks

2. Monster mittens
                                tutorial here: Martha Stewart
 3. A personalized clock. You can make a clock out of anything just like that shoe.
                                                                tutorial here: diy life

4. Car play mat
                           tutorial here: punkin patterns

5. Peek a Boo toy sack.
                                     tutorial here: Make it Perfect

6. Felt Crayon Holder
                                   tutorial: Skip to My Lou

7. Personalize canvas shoes
                                          tutorials: WikiHow
 8. Play Dough
                       tutorial here: Counting Coconuts

9. Lunch Bag. Make a lunch bag thats all their own. Personalize it with fabric with their favorite super hero or cartoon.
                      tutorial: A Lemon Squeezy Home
10. Crochet animal. There are tons of free patterns out there for animal crochet patterns.
                                            tutorial: Karen's Knittin Crap

There is my ten for tuesday! Have a great week everyone!

Top Ten {Tuesday}Photobucket

Monday, September 26, 2011

Made it Monday - Wedding Edition

This weekend two of my friends got married!! I wanted to give them something that would last a little longer than some towels, and would be a bit more personal too. So, I got to crafting! Since we have our state tote in our shop, I used that as inspiration and made them a piece of mixed-media artwork that commemorates their wedding day.

 I used these things to create this:

Here's a blurry close-up of the detail.

They love it and I'm so glad! I'm happy that I was able to share in their special day!! I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

September Stew - Foodie Friday

Hello everyone! It's Foodie Friday time again! I love Fridays for a multitude of reasons, one being Foodie Fridays, and another is that I get to wear jeans to work on Fridays. Yeah!

Ok, so this week I felt like making stew. Nevermind the fact that it was about 74 degrees outside by the time the stew was done and we ate it. I wanted stew. I made stew. It was deeeeeeeeelicious! Ask Brandi, she had some of it. ;)

Since I hate using recipes, here is what I put in it: stew beef (floured and browned then put in the crock pot with everything else), red potatoes, baby carrots, spanish onion, celery, Adobo, beef bullion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and water. Because I hate measuring anything, I ended up using BOTH of my crock pots to make it. At least I had some to share! Brandi, JJ, Dad, Mom, AJ (my dad's sister), Tony, and my freezer shared this stew. Oh, I ate some too. :)

It was tasty and very very comfort food. I can't wait for a cool night in October to pull the container out of the freezer and enjoy it again.

I hope you all have a splendid weekend! I have a wedding to go to this weekend. I made the wedding present and am so in love with it that I'm going to make some extras for friends whose weddings I went to recently and/or didn't get to go! I'll show you on Made it Monday so be sure to come back and check!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday - guest post by Jess!

Hey all you Crafty Girl Squared readers! Today for our Thankful Thursday post, Brandi and Meig are happy to welcome a dear friend of Meig's who is going to share some things she is thankful for. You can find Jess on her blogs here (food!) and here (social awareness!). 


Gratitude is an important word to me. My life has been a gamble since I was born, so I do my best to find the wonder in every day. Meig, one of the best sisters a girl could find, asked me to share with you some of the things for which I am grateful. I’m excited to share my somewhat unconventional list because I know, somewhere out there, someone is struggling to find the right words of pure thanks. If I can’t inspire a heartfelt note or a moment of expression, I can at least take such a wonderful chance to shout my gratitude to the rafters, right?

I am thankful for my family. The women who let me into their world of friendship (Cari and Meig,
Melissa, Liz, Nikki, Karissa, Lindsey), the men who adopted me even though they didn’t have to (Zach and Ken, Joe, Fluffy, Eric, Ryan); I am grateful for the family I found without having to be born into them. My brothers and sisters –each of whom share lives full of compassion, trials and triumphs – are a source of constant inspiration and hope for me. I’m grateful for the incredibly creative women who share this blog, and seek to inspire others with the gifts they possess. Such intellect and compassion!

There aren’t enough words to express how thankful I am for the opportunities my life has afforded me. Mine is a world where I have the chance to express myself on the internet, to write about my passions and loves. Without writing a letter in long-hand copperplate, I can address my concerns through an open medium. I am deeply grateful for the chance to express myself, knowing across the world that there are men and women with far more to say than I who have no chance achieve the same. I have been given a chance today to reach out to people I may never otherwise get to reach, because some impressively gifted women wanted to share their space. Something to be thankful for, isn’t it?

I don’t want to sound sappy, but I am also grateful for love. I don’t mean any specific type, be it the familial love I have for the sister who asked me to guest write this entry today (Thanks again, Meig!), or the romantic love I feel for my husband. I am thankful for the opportunity to simply love. I have been given a chance to feel kindness, compassion, attentiveness and appreciation of beauty when presented with another human being. I know, from personal experience, that there are people in this world literally incapable of love. Because I know how close I was to being one of those people, I find a moment every day to be humbled by the fact that I still find things to like about people with whom I do not get along. I try to take every chance I am offered to love people. Not because they can do something for me, or enhance some imagined status; I love people because they exist. In all forms, in ranges of delicate beauty and hardened pain, with scars so plentiful I cannot begin to guess the origin of each, I find patterns of exquisite tenderness that take away my breath.

So today, I’m grateful to reach out to you. This was a favor for my Meig, for whom I would
unquestioningly do much, but somehow it feels like another opportunity. I’m grateful that I had the chance to say hello, to share some of my loves and experiences. One of the greatest parts of gratitude is hope. Hope that our thanks mean something, hope that the good we acknowledge goes on. I am indeed grateful for all the good in my life, and hope my words remind you of those special relationships and moments for which you are grateful as well.


Thanks Jess!! Brandi and I are so glad to have you here today. :)

Linking up with Southern Charm

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!?!?!

Today I’m going to share with you ten of my favorite football players! I am a Cleveland Browns fan, so I know there are number of Browns/former Browns on this list. :) I tried to share some from other teams, too! (If you click on the picture it takes you to their Wikipedia page! Cool, huh?)

In no particular order:

Phil Dawson (I have a thing for kickers…think it’s because I played soccer.): Currently plays for the Cleveland Browns and is actually the only member of the team left from the expansion in ’99:

Josh Cribbs: Enough said, right?

Robbie Gould (Told you I have a thing for kickers…): Placekicker for Chicago Bears (2nd favorite team.)

Adrian Peterson: Plays for Minnesota Vikings.

Adam Vinatieri (Remember that thing about kickers? Yep.): Placekicker for Indianapolis Colts

Bernie Kosar: Again, enough said.

Brian Urlacher: Middle Linebacker for Chicago Bears

Vinny Testaverde: Favorite QB the Browns ever had. Don’t ask why, must have something to do with his name. I was kid, give me a break! :)

Joe Thomas: Offensive Tackle for Cleveland Browns

Dave Zastudil: Punter for Arizona Cardinals but I wish he was back with the Browns.

So, there are ten of my favorite (American) football players.

Today we’re linking up with Miss Mommy, Oh Amanda, and It's a Crafty Life!

Top Ten {Tuesday}Photobucket