7 Quick Takes: 3/1/13

Happy March 1st! I don’t want to tempt fate when I say this, but I will be enjoying a nice relaxing Friday today, and to start off my relaxing day….joining Jen at Conversion Diary for some Quick Takes.

Here we go!

1.) It is no secret that I love books, and I I am not ashamed to say that I LOVE used books. Used books are a story all their own (and they are dirt cheap!!). I just bought (from Amazon.com) A Countess Below Stairs and An American Heiress . From what I understand they have kind of a Downton feel to them, and I spent next to nothing to get them. I will let you know more once I have a chance to read them, but I’m pretty excited!

2.) I ventured out to Goodwill this week, and I bought three items….you can see my post about them here….I’m a pretty frugal  thrifty person. I have already done some prep work with what I bought,

I tore out shoulder pads…literally tore them out, they were held on with Velcro!! I then used my trusty seam ripper, and separated the two halves of the dress. It will eventually be turned into two separate pieces, a skirt, and shirt/jacket/multipurpose item.

3.) Also from Goodwill, I bought this gorgeous purple dress.

I payed $12.00 for it, it was smaller than what I would normally wear, and it still had it’s original tags on it.

this is a one hundred dollar dress! I couldn’t pass up this kind of deal! I spent a looooooooooong time inspecting this dress, and I now have a wonderful (wearable!!!) skirt! (I will post a short tutorial later, it was pretty easy to do though).

I know it looks uneven, but that is just the hi-low hem!!

4.) Here is another from Goodwill: Brand new, right size, just a little shorter than I prefer, cute with jeans or leggings,

Have I mentioned how much I just adore Goodwill!

5.) I have begun to work on my vacation scrapbook. I bought a Smash Book, and it’s pretty plain just as it is so I spiced things up a little bit by doing a Disney inspired theme on the cover.

6.) I bought the ingredients this week to make this recipe that Janssen posted. It is a vegan Thai Butternut Squash soup and it looks delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try. I will let you know how it turns out! I have never tried anything like this before…but I love butternut squash, and any time that I can find some new way to cook with it I’m willing to try anything!

7.) I always try to find a good way to end these posts, something that sort of ties all of my random ramblings together. There is nothing that can do that this week. I think my post may be too random, however among the randomness there is beauty. Like the things that I find and buy at Goodwill. Someone looked at that odd yellow dress and tossed it out, but I can see the beauty in it….with some work the beauty comes out. Much like our Creator, we may not see beauty, or meaning in ourselves or other things, but with the Creator always sees the beauty in what we see as random, or meaningless.

Have a great Friday everyone, and a great weekend. Check back later in the week for those tutorials, I’ll try to have them up so you can see the finished products…..if you’re interested that is.

Blessings,
Megan 

Homemade Granola Bites

It’s snowing here today, for about the third day in a row, and I’m hunkered down; working on my psychology paper, watching Downton Abbey on NetFlix, and figured that I would take a small break and share this recipe with you.

I love making these homemade Granola Bites, I eat one in the morning for breakfast with a smoothie, and it keeps me going for hours. They are delicious, you can add to them whatever you want, and they are easy to make and store.

The recipe is this:

1/2 Cup of Nut Butter (Peanut, Almond, Cashew) I use peanut butter, to please everyone’s taste
1/3 Cup of Honey
1 Cup of Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup of Shredded Coconut (I use unsweetened because this recipe is sweet enough already)
1-2 tablespoons of some kind of flavoring in my latest batch I used vanilla, and in my first batch I used maple  you can mix it up to be whatever you want.
1/2 Cup of some kind of mix-ins: Chocolate Chips, Butterscotch chips, dried fruit.

Throw it all in your mixer, and mix until well combined. You can scoop them out into little balls, or wrap them as small bars. This recipe is entirely yours to have fun with. You can literally do whatever you want to with this recipe. I do however recommend that you store them in the freezer, they hold up much better that way, than at room temperature.

 Gather your ingredients

 Throw them in the bowl and mix well!
Mix VERY well
Scoop, 

 and store. I use leftover containers. I stack them in two layers with parchment paper between them. 
I also scooped some right onto small squares of parchment (using the same scoop from above), 
and wrapped them up as bite sized granola bars! Then I tossed it all in the freezer to store. They are quite tasty, and really easy to do for breakfast with a green smoothie, or some kind of protein smoothie. 
With this recipe I cannot stress enough to just have fun with it. You can honestly put whatever you like into it, fruit, chocolate, nuts. The possibilities are endless! HAVE FUN!
Blessings,
Megan 

7 Quick Takes: 1/11/13

I’m so happy that Jen is back at the helm this week! She is still recovering, and still in my prayers, help her in yours as well. I’ll be linking up with her over at Conversion Diary……

Here we go…

1.) Friday caught me off guard this week, it really sort of snuck up on me and I wasn’t at all prepared for this post today. Well, there’s one!

2.) Winter semester starts officially on Monday, I have loved having so much time off….being home with my family, and just hanging out.

3.) I don’t mind winter, as long as there is snow on the ground, once it warms up and the snow melts away I want it to be warm and sunny all the time and get depressed with the next big snowfall. I know that it comes with living in Michigan but, it’s the same every year and after a while I just want to back my bags and head someplace warm…Florida, California, Arizona, Hawaii …..anywhere warmer than here would be perfect!

4.) I did a little sewing to keep myself busy this week, you can read about that HERE.

5.) After the holidays got over with, I got back to strictly counting my calories, and exercising….I’m to a point where my body is getting back in line, and I could eat anything that’s not nailed down in this house. I’m getting used to a certain number of calories again….but I feel GOOD!

6.) Tonight, I am (finally) going to go see Les Mis. I have been waiting a long time for this one, and I can’t wait!

7.) I wrote a little bit last week about the youth retreat that I am chaperoning, please continue to pray for as as we plan for this weekend. Pray for the kids as they prepare, and pray that God would ready their hearts for what’s in store. Pray also for Jen, as she continues to heal, pray that God will work in her, and bring a swift recovery.

Blessings,
Megan

Baked Apple Chips

It is a really cold, really rainy, really windy day here in Michigan….which to me means it’s a great day to stay inside curled up with a good book. Right now I’m reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I just started it, and haven’t gotten very far but it sounds like a great read.

Nothing goes better with a good book than a cup of hot tea. To go with my tea I made some baked apple chips.

To make the apple chips, preheat your oven to 200 degrees

Slice three apples (or however many you want) about 1/8 of an inch thick (you can slice them using a mandolin, or with a sharp knife, whatever you prefer. I used Honey Crisp apples, but you can use any type of apple.

Arrange your apples in a single layer, on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat…if you don’t have parchment or a silpat, spray your baking sheet with some non-stick cooking spray. When you have them arranged on the sheet, spray the apples with non-stick spray before you put them in the oven,

Bake your chips in the oven for two hours @ 200 degrees.

***NOTE: When the two hours are up, you will take your chips out of the oven, and ask yourself “Why aren’t they crispy…they’re supposed to be chips?!”
LET THEM SIT OUT! Leave them on the baking sheet, or put them on a plate….I guarantee that they WILL become crispy…you have to trust me on this***

Now, normally chips are served with some sort of dip right?? Salsa, Guacamole, Cheese, French Onion dip….you get where I’m going with this??

To go with the apple Chips, my mom whipped up a dip:

1 8oz. package of cream cheese
1 C. Peanut Butter
1 C. Brown Sugar
and a little bit of milk

Mix this all up, chill for a few hours and serve with your apple chips!

Beware: These are ADDICTING!! You will want to eat them all and not share…..please try to show more restraint than me! : )

Enjoy!

Apple Nachos

Last night I was really in the mood for some chocolate, but didn’t want to eat anything too super sweet, or any kind of candy…..I know, what’s wrong with me??

So, instead of digging through the candy left over from a trip I chaperoned with our middle school kids from church, I decided on something slightly healthier…Apple Nachos

Apple Nachos, YUM!
  • 3 small Gala Apples (or use your favorite variety) sliced THIN
  • Melted peanut butter drizzled on top
  • Topped with milk, and white chocolate chips
I made enough for three people, so we each had our own plate of “Nachos”
It is super simple, but REALLY tasty, and even kind of healthy! I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!
Blessings, 
Megan