Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Light & Flaky Mini Apple Pies with Puff Pastry Sheets

There's something about the cooling weather and crisp air of a fresh new fall season that invigorates my time in the kitchen. Apples are usually my source on pie, apple crisp, apple cider, apple cinnamon muffins. All things apple!

When the urge to bake hit me strong this week. I grabbed a box of Puffs Pastry Sheets from Pepperidge Farm, a bag of apples, my favorite spice (cinnamon) and preheated my oven.

These pastry sheets were new to me...and they were perfectly simple to use and bake with. They added a light, airy and wonderfully flaking texture to my mini apple pies. I almost whipped up some delicious icing to dip my mini pies in, and just might the next time I make them!

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Light & Flaky Mini Apple Pies
Quick and easy to make, especially with the Pepperidge Farm Puffs Pastry Sheets.
  • 1 box Pepperidge Farm Puffs Pastry Sheets
  • 3 Medium apples
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Apple pie spice
1. Preheat the oven to 425.2. Thaw your Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets.3. Peel your apples and cut them into small chunks.4. In a small bowl, combine the apple chunks, cinnamon and apple pie spice. Set this mixture aside.5. Each of the two Puffs Pastry Sheets in the box will come folded into thirds. Break this large sheet into three small sheets, using the folds as your guide. Stack on top of each other, and then cut the stacked sheets into thirds.6. Lay one freshly cut square on a parchment sheet or floured service. Heap a generous portion of the apple mixture in the middle of the square. 7. Cover with a second square. Pinch the edges together tightly.8. Cut a little "X" on top of the mini apple pie.9. Follow steps #6-8 until you've used all the squares you created from the Puffs Pastry Sheet.10. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 adorable mini apple pies

Found in the freezer aisle, these Puffs Pastry Sheets are perfect for quick baking projects. Pick some up today and whip up a tasty treat!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What I'm Reading: October

Be still my reader's heart. The books I've read so far this month rank in the top ten books I've read in my entire life. (Also, making the list of my top books was last month's book Uninvited. You can see my review of that book here.) I have a few other books on my nightstand that look particularly interesting; however, I don't see them being worthy of cracking my top ten. I'll add those book reviews to this blog post as I'm able to finish them. Maybe I'll have to post the full list of my favorite ten books in another blog post?

Open by David Gregory // This book made my top ten list. Honestly, I didn't have high hopes for this book because I haven't read any other books by Gregory, or frankly heard of him. Seeing the little stamp in the corner of the cover displaying that he has a previous New York Times bestseller gave me the confidence to start devouring this book the second it arrived in the mail. The book starts off with a twenty-something aged girl named Emma. She had just undergone a breakup with her boyfriend and for the first time in her adult life was questioning the applicability of the Bible and religion in her life. It's not that I'm currently doubting my faith, but the words I'm reading in my Bible don't seem to have the same power or relevancy as they used to and desperately want to feel the life and power in the words again. And so I quickly related to Emma's character. Soon into the story, Emma receives a vague note telling her to walk through the nearest open door. Sounds cryptic and after trying to apply it metaphorically, she decides to follow a more literal approach and physically steps through the door to her pantry. Immediately, she finds herself in a different place and time in history, surrounded by strange men and waves crashing over the sides of the boat. The book then walks through interactions Emma has with Jesus, bringing more energy and "real-ness" to stories she (and I) have grown up reading.

The reason this book cracked my top ten favorite books of all time is too big of an answer for my blog post. If you appreciate the way C.S. Lewis is able to break down Biblical truth into new and easy ways to digest - but without the intimidated intellectual verbiage - I think you'll really enjoy this book and the way it gets you to look at Jesus' stories in a fascinating new light.

Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle // This book was just reprinted with an updated cover in October 2016. The original version was published in 1980. The new cover art is quite fun, and quite frankly, I definitely do judge books by their cover. In this classic book, L'Engle, who you might recognize is the author of The Wrinkle in Time series, addresses questions like, "What does it mean to be a Christian artist?" This book is full of beautiful and insightful thoughts on what it means to see God is all created art. I can't do her explanation justice in a blog post.

I strangely more right-brained than people expect when they discover that I am a CPA, almost more right-brained than left-brained in fact. This book fed into my art-loving soul in equal parts intellectual and inspiration. This book was written in a very wordy and literature-esque in nature, which made it a slower read than current bestsellers. Yet, it was one of the most rich and thought provoking books I've read. It's definitely earned a spot on my top ten favorite books of all time.

 Jesus Always by Sarah Young // This 365 day devotional was written by the same woman who wrote the very popular devotional called "Jesus Calling." It's written from the view of God speaking to the reader each day, focused on Scripture and personal reflection with the emphasis on Jesus' message of joy. Because after all, Jesus has more for His followers than a life of striving, pain and discontent...He offers a life brimming with joy.

This new devotional is every bit as touching everyday as Jesus Calling, one of my favorite 365 day devotionals. Young has a fantastic way of connecting the reader with an intimate moment which speaks in a way that seems straight from God because of the viewpoint of God speaking. There is no such thing as a coincidence in how God uses what we hear, say and read to give us the message, or encouragement, or challenge that we need that day. And as I've used this devotional every day for the last couple weeks, God has met me in these words as I sat on my couch.

As far as devotionals that don't seem cheesy, but have real meat to their bones, this devotional is a winner.

Everything Beautiful Coloring Book // Alright, so this technically isn't a book. This coloring book is a companion to a coloring book I received last December called Whatever Is Lovely. The style of the two is very similar, mixing Bible verses with quotes from historical and modern Christians. As I was flipping through and starting to color a few of the pages in this coloring book, I noticed that the quotes and verses were explained or had more details as to what book/blog post/etc they came from on the back of each coloring page.

This coloring book is large and square in shape, with perforated edges to the pages to make it easier to tear out the pages. Not all the coloring pages are floral like the cover shows (those are my favorite to color.) Some of the pages are intricate and require more time, while some are more basic to color for those days when you don't have a lot of time or energy to devote. Overall, I quite enjoy this coloring book.

Disclaimer: Some of the books in this post were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Also, affiliate links used. This means that if you purchase a book via the Amazon links, I'll receive a small percentage. Thank you for supporting Sunday Charm!

Friday, September 30, 2016

My Insta September

this great new book and my Golden Drop Garland // thrifting finds // more Golden Drop Garland :)
Mocha chowing down on a cracker // logo mug makes drinking coffee fun // starting a gallery wall
fabric stash // giant crochet hook and an early Christmas gift in the making // more yarn


Thursday, September 29, 2016

How to Shop for Secondhand Clothes Online

 Pictured: J.Crew crossbody bag, via ThredUp

If y'all have snooped around my blog, you probably have noticed that I'm a big thrift shopper. I'm exceptionally frugal (I can't remember the last time I paid full price for anything except for coffee) and love the idea of shopping for quality, used items in an effort to reduce waste and live consciously. In fact, my fall capsule wardrobe was made up almost entirely of secondhand items (all but two items, actually!).

But it's tricky to shop for secondhand clothes online. The key is to find trustworthy websites - and by trustworthy, I mean websites who will be extremely picky on the quality of clothes they accept and then re-sell. While that doesn't work out as well for the clothes sellers, it works out exceptionally well for the shoppers. One of my favorite online secondhand clothing websites is ThredUP.

Pictured: GAP black skinnies and a J.Crew eyelet top, both via ThredUp

After finding a trustworthy website, it will be extremely tempting to scroll threw their inventory and add anything and everything that catches your eye. I've done that. In fact, I've came thiiiiis close to ordering tops that were two sizes too big, but in the cutest stripe fabric I ever did see. Luckily, I came to my senses before pushing "place order" and stuck to only purchasing items in my size.
Tip #1: Be sure to set the website settings to search for your size only! It will make it easier to stay on track with your shopping. 
Pictured: J.Crew leather purse (originally over $200 at J.Crew - only paid $34), Old Navy dress, 
GAP striped top and Steve Madden booties, all via ThredUp

Also, if you come to the table without any idea of what you're looking for, then you'll walk away with things you don't need. Different than a Everlane or Steve Madden website, secondhand clothes websites are full of the biggest variety of clothes. Just like you wouldn't leave for a road trip without a general idea of what direction you're headed, you shouldn't start online shopping without a goal in mind. Need a new pair of jeans? Looking to add a pair of tall boots to your wardrobe? Search for those.

I can't tell you how many times I was leisurely shopping on ThredUp and almost walked away with a Free People dress...when I've never shopped at Free People before and can't quite pull off the bohemian style. Or there was that time that I was convinced I was in love with another chambray button down shirt, when in reality I already had three similar tops hanging in my closet...and shockingly, I haven't worn that fourth chambray top I apparently couldn't live without. As fun as leisure shopping can be, it's dangerous for your wallet and self-control.
Tip #2: Make a list of types of articles of clothing you want to add to your wardrobe before you open your web browser. This will help you save time searching for things you don't need AND save money by not falling in love with an item you don't need and/or have a budget for.
Tip #3: Which brings me to - set a budget!! 
Websites - like ThredUp - are perfect for the budget-conscious shoppers. They offer quality pieces at a fraction of the brand-new price. One my most recent order (placed two days ago!), I saved a total of $144 on five items, only spending $43 (say what?!). The Nike workout capris were originally $54 and I snagged them for $14. The Nike workout shorts were $36 in stores, but I paid $13. And the Nike workout tank that sold for over fifty dollars when brand new was listed by ThredUp at $14. Hello bargain shopping!

Pictured: the order I placed two days ago via ThredUp

Knowing how clothing styles fit your body will also give you the best success rate with online shopping. If you feel funky with tops that have a elastic or a drawstring around the waist, then don't be swayed by an adorable name brand top with elastic around the waist, even though it's the great deal of all deals. On that same page, if you don't feel comfortable in halter style dresses, scroll right on by any halter style dress that comes up in your search.
Tip #4: Know what fits your body. If you don't feel comfortable with how skinny jeans fit look on your body, don't be swayed by the good deal on that pair of normally-too-expensive jeans.
ThredUp has been one of my personal favorite online stops for quality secondhand clothing. In the last year, I think I've placed roughly ten orders from them - and loved every item! The fancy leather J.Crew purse, multiple pairs GAP jeans that fit my body like a glove and then Nike workout shorts and capris I just ordered this week have only strengthened my adoration for ThredUp.

Obviously, I can't recommend online secondhand shopping enough. It's been key in helping me fill my wardrobe with quality pieces I wouldn't be able to splurge on otherwise. I hope these tips help you maximize your online shopping, and especially if you head over to ThredUp to see what deals you might score!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Favorite Things Party

On Monday night, I threw my very first favorite things party. It's something I've wanted to do for quite a while, and y'all, it was so fun!

The concept is to invite your friends, all with individually wrapped packages of their favorite things to exchange. For this party, I asked my friends to bring three of the same item - one of the their favorite things - to swap with one another. We piled all the wrapped gifts in the center of the room. Each lady wrote her name on three slips of paper, and then we went around the circle, each person taking turns drawing three names to find out who would receive that woman's three favorite things.

What kinds of things did we bring? I chose my favorite Larabars. These are beyond scrumptious and quite healthy with only six ingredients (cheers to guilt free snacking!). I almost chose the travel version of The Wet Brush (best brush ever!!), my favorite set of Papermate Flair felt tip pens and my favorite Target notebook. Or even a giant bag of plain M&M's because you can never have too many M&M's, right?

Other ladies brought candles from the Target Dollar Spot, vintage tins, earrings from a country where she has family serving as missionaries, ESOS chapstick, chocolate bars and mugs. Such a great variety of FUN things!

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