Friday, August 31, 2012

Faithful Friday: Bacon

So a couple of nights ago, I was thinking about how much bacon makes my mouth water...

I know that today is my Faithful Friday post. I'll get to the 'Faithful' part, I promise...

Back to bacon, it makes my mouth water. I enjoy eating it, my entire family enjoys eating it, and I know many others that enjoy eating it. We, as a family, also keep at least two packages of bacon in our freezer at any given time (you never know when you're gonna need it). Now before I get in trouble, I understand that others may not share my excitement for bacon (specifically) or any type of pork-in that case, think of your favorite food instead of bacon :)

I pondered on my experiences with bacon: breakfast side or braid, BLTs, topping for soups and salads, a salty coat for chicken or pineapple, casseroles, and many other delicious things. My motto: adding bacon to something makes it better (except to maple doughnuts...I just don't quite understand that). Even when bacon is not dazzling my taste buds, it is on my mind. It is going to be in tomorrows recipe, or Widget is requesting it to dance on her mac and cheese. It is, it seems, an underlying them to my meal planning...which, of course, spills into other parts of my life.

Now that your mouth is watering too, I'll bring you to my next point. If bacon is like the bonus ingredient in food, then the Gospel is like the bonus ingredient in life. More specifically, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord has given us many tools and ways to use His word and commandments: to brighten dark days, soothe morning souls, guide struggling families, and increase our faith. And most importantly, redeem us through the Atonement. Do you know how awesome I feel knowing that I can repent of my sins and transgressions, and be forgiven...that I can live again with those that love me so deeply that I cannot even fathom its depths? I have great faith that the Gospel, including the Atonement and Plan of Happiness, have been given to the children of men as the zest to our mortality, the bonus ingredient to sweeten our experiences even further.

Which leads me back to faith...the thing in our lives that leads us to be better people, gives us hope and calms stormy seas in our journey on this earth. We are loved here and now, and also beyond.

May your world be filled with the 'bacon' you need, desire, and deserve.

P.S. All recipes linked to in this post have been tried (and loved) or will soon be tried by yours truly. Some other awesomeness with/without bacon can be seen on my Favorite Recipes Board on Pinterest. I'd love for you to follow me on Pinterest, if you'd like.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hair Today...

We wanted to try a few new hair styles...well sort of new...well, really anything other than our daily ponytail. Widget requested my hair roll thing:

I use this method, and I normally just roll my own hair. It does make my hair curly, but not evenly (the back section doesn't get wrapped around the headband as many times, but still one of my favorite ways to do my hair-here is another example. Anyway, Widget really wanted this style, but since her hair was dry (I normally do mine wet) it wouldn't stay 'rolled' around the headband as tight. I used a bunch of bobbi pins to secure the roll around her head. Cute none-the-less :)

And my hair, you ask? Braided of course:

I braided the front (shorter) part of my hair using this method, and the rest of my hair I did the same thing but upside down..kinda. I grabbed 'new' hair for one side of the braid only, like the first method, but included the 'new' hair into the opposite side of the braid (nape of my neck instead of the crown of head). Yeah, I knew this would be hard to explain. Just braid around your head in your favorite braid method, tuck ends of hair back under the side of the braid and pin. The end.

What hair style do you like to switch up your daily routine with?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Easy Pizza Slices

I was feeling a little lazy today after swimming with Widget at the pool, so I went for something easy for lunch. Sorry about a few of these pictures, it's hard to take great pictures with the timer setting ;)

I started with a handful of ingredients:
-sliced bread
-provolone cheese
-pepperoni slices

I also used, but not necessary (& not photographed):
-Alfredo sauce
-shredded Parmesan cheese

Here is how I made my Easy Pizza Slices:

Lay some plain slices of bread out on an un-greased cookie sheet.

Optional: smear about 1 tbsp of choice of sauce on bread.

Lay slices of peperoni on top of bread-use as many or as few slices as you'd like

Then bake the bread for about 5 minutes at 390* Sorry I don't have pictures for this step

After baking the peperoni, I dabbed the grease off each slice...kind of gross, but I think this step makes it taste a bit better.

After degreasing the peperoni, top with cheese. I used sliced provolone, but you can use any kind of cheese you like.

Then bake for 4-5 minutes, until the cheese gets bubbly. Once I pulled the Pizza Slices out of the oven, for good, I sprinkled shredded Parmesan cheese on top of the provolone.

Here is the final Easy Pizza Slices-sorry my face is cut off, at least you can see the food, right?!?!
And these are great to pare with raw carrots (with ranch dipping sauce), fruit smoothie or any other veg/fruit your family enjoys.

The Widget wanted her picture taken, too...because it's fun :)

What lunch staples do you use when you need something quick, or easy, or for a picky eater?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Generic Chevron

So we all totally know that chevron is super popular, everywhere...I mean in clothing, accessories, home decor (especially home decor), and crafting supplies like paper. I few months back I went in on a pack of printed paper with Mandy (ordering from one of those daily discount sites). I picked the pack with blues/grays/yellows. You can see one of the projects Mandy has done with her paper here (it's totally awesome!).

Well, I finally made some cards with my new paper pack, and I quite like them. They turned out even more versatile than I had thought they would be. I think you could use them to give advice to an expecting mother (baby shower), congratulate a soon-to-be bride (bridal shower), share your joy with newly weds (wedding) or even send a thinking-of-you to an old friend...definitely many possibilities.

But, I chose to use two from my stash (of blanks) as Thank You cards for a couple of my giveaway winners. Keeping it subtle, I added only one word to the front of the cards, with a few lines and such for personality. I am very glad I bought those papers, even if chevron is blatantly overused not uncommon in the crafting world.

Have you made any paper crafts with chevron (cards, scrapbooks, books)? Do you love chevron or do you think it is overused?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Faithful Friday: Apologies and Announcements

I need to apologize, my friends. I did not mean to fall off the radar for the last couple of days, but sometimes it is just how life goes, you know?!? As you may remember, we are living in Puerto Rico...but what you may not know is that we are experiencing our (me and my family) very first tropical storm. Tuesday was spent looking for updates on Isaac, Wednesday was spent picking up extra supplies (like extra water and non perishable foods) while the Hubs was working, and Thursday the Hubs stayed home (which keeps me occupied-who knows why).

Anyway, where was I...oh yes, watching Isaac. We spent some time prepping the house as well-taking down the hammock, clearing out the patio and making sure all windows were shut along with a number of other things. Then we waited, and waited, received some rain, then nothing, then more rain, then...well, everything repeated, just not at the ferocity we (and the weather people) expected.

As a matter of fact, Isaac decided to take a bit of a southerly turn and miss his debut in Puerto Rico-which is lucky for us, I guess. We plan to still have increased rain and thunderstorms here on the northern central part of the island, and possible flooding in other places of the island.

I am very thankful that this experience has been so mild, compared to what it could have been. I know that our Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of His children and knows us all on an individual basis. We do not live through tough situations, including crazy weather, for punishment...however, I am truly grateful to my Heavenly Father for staying the storm and keeping the people of Puerto Rico, whom we love, from overcoming a more dangerous storm. I know many of us that have been missed by Isaac are praying for those still in the Isaac's path---praying they may be as prepared as possible and that the storm does not increase over a Category 1 Hurricane (as it is projected to be by the Florida Keys). I am happy to have spent this time with my little family, to renew our 'energy' as one, and to rely on the Lord.


Onto different news...

I actually had two winners not contact me, so I get to pick new winners...which is exciting :) and also sad :(  (sorry ladies!) So here we go...

The new winner of the Rolled Rose Necklace is:
These turned out absolutely amazing! 
My therapy craft is making printable word art. :D

Please email me (within 48 hours) with your full name and mailing address so I can send your prize on its way... apples(dot)chandler at gmail(dot)com

The new winner of the ZLilly Accessories applique shirt/onesie is:

So cute! Thanks for reminding me to enter :)!

Please email me (within 48 hours) with your full name and mailing address so I can make and send your prize on its way... apples(dot)chandler at gmail(dot)com . Please let me know the specific design you'd like (i.e. turtle, spy, etc.) and what size (2T tshirt, 18 mon onesie, etc.). 

Congrats Erica and Kiley!

Remember ladies to contact me by Sunday, August 26, to claim your prize :)

Hope you have a fun and safe weekend! Thanks for reading :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Owl Card Examples

I love owls. I even make an Owl why not an owl card?!?

I used multiple pieces of patterned paper to make each part of the owl, cut by hand...and two colored brads.

And I used a flower punch to make the eyes 'pop'

Lots of different ways to make and send friendly owl greetings to someone special...

So, which color combination is your favorite?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Faithful Friday: Choosing Happiness

We are now past all of our scheduled visitors here in Puerto Rico (besides my husbands co-workers(s) of course), and I am filled with relief (who wants to change bedding on the guest bed three times in 9 days?) but also feeling a tinge of sadness. I usually thrive in being in more social settings, or at least need to be social on occasion to keep my energy up...but I know I am plain worn out from hosting guests at our house for almost 3 weeks straight.

These types of situations...when I get worn out or run down...usually mean I have some sort of breakdown/tantrum myself-short temper/occasionally raising my voice/locking myself in my room all followed by a good old fashion cry...believe me, it's not pretty. I can become an emotional wreck because I bottle up (and save) my emotional turmoil, then it releases like a geyser...sometimes as reliable as Old Faithful in Yellowstone. It's like my life rotates on a cycle or something, I wonder how that works? (j/k I really do know how that works...and my ups and downs are usually predictable).

You've heard the term Mind Over Matter, right? Well I've been working on 'counteracting' the inevitable breakdown with positive reinforcement-not so easy to apply to yourself, but it's quite possible. I have been praying for peace and trying to choose to feel happy (or at least not hurt or angry) for the last few weeks, and I feel like I have had some success in balancing out my 'mood swings.' Now, I'm still not perfect but I am moving forward...which is better than before :)

Does this situation sound familiar? Does this concept sound foreign to you? I wish this type of situation did not plague us all. And I do hope this concept of 'choosing happiness' is not a new to anyone, either. One of my greatest inspirations actually started off as a craft/sewing blogger; when after losing her father and battling cancer, she has strengthened many others by promoting her choice to "Choose Joy." It also doesn't hurt that we share our name ;) as well.

May this moment be sweetened with every new breath you take. May the next be fertile to grow and strengthen positive memories.

Giveaway Day #5 Winner

Congrats again to our winner of the ZLilly Accessories applique shirt/onesie!
And thanks again to all of you that entered the Day #5 giveaway for the $25 Paper Coterie electronic Gift Certificate.
 The winner of the $25 Paper Coterie Gift Certificate is:

GFC and I love my Google Reader - - great giveaway

Congrats Mandy!
Please email me (within 48 hours) with your full name and email address (this is an electronic gift certificate only) so I can make and send your prize on its way... apples(dot)chandler at gmail(dot)com .
Special thanks to all of you that participated in the 5 Days of Giveaways! I appreciate and love all my stalkers (followers) and hope that my little ol' blog can inspire you to matter where you are in life, or where you are in the world.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Giveaway Day #4 Winner: ZLilly Accessories

***Note: a new winner has been chosen, please see this post for details! 

 Congrats again to our winner of the Rolled Rose Necklace by Tash!
And thanks again to all of you that entered the Day #4 giveaway for the ZLilly Accessories applique shirt or onesie.

The winner of the ZLilly Accessories applique shirt/onesie is:

The turtle shirt is adorable!

Congrats Julie!
Please email me (within 48 hours) with your full name and mailing address so I can make and send your prize on its way... apples(dot)chandler at gmail(dot)com . Please let me know the specific design you'd like (i.e. turtle, spy, etc.) and what size (2T tshirt, 18 mon onesie, etc.).

For the rest of you, remember you have less then a day left to enter the Paper Coterie $25 Gift Certificate giveaway.

Third Thursdays with Tash: Baby Girls

Hello again everyone.  Fancy meeting you here twice in one month.  Congratulations to the winners of the giveaways!  And congrats Jennifer for winning the Rolled Rose Necklace! Remember to email Apples (24 hours left) with your full name and mailing address so I can send your prize on its way... apples(dot)chandler at gmail(dot)com

If you haven’t already entered the Paper Coterie Gift Certificate giveaway, there is still time. 

This month I wanted to share some baby quilts I’ve been busy making.  For those of you that don’t already know this, I like to sew.  It started last year when five of my friends were pregnant, and I wanted to give them something homemade.  Turns out they were all having boys.  How they planned that I don’t know.  Remember this picture?

It’s a leftover blanket from last year.  I thought I would finish it, and be prepared.  However this year everyone I know is having a girl, so it had to be put on the back burner for now.  This first one my sister asked me to sew for a friend of hers. 

When I made it the couple didn’t know it they were having a boy or a girl.  So my sister asked that it be made in their favorite colors.  I’m glad they had girl.  Red and black might not have worked so well for a little boy. 

The second one was for my friends, who are having their first baby.  Mr. & Mrs. K love everything to do with the beach, and that was what they wanted for their little girl.  A blanket that inspires you to lounge by the sea, or a pool since it was readily available. 

While making this quilt I discovered I am not nautically minded.  Fortunately I found this blue wave fabric for the back.  I almost shouted for joy when I found it.  Oh wait, I did.  Never mind. 

You might recognize the fabric from last month’s post when Spencer and I hung out at the hospital.  I was desperate to do something, and was pretty sure the hospital wouldn’t allow me to bring my sewing machine, so I started sewing this quilt by hand.  It was nice to come home with my husband and sew on my machine again.   

See you next month!