Autumn Apples


Yesterday I shared about our super fun ladies night!  Of course you can't have an amazing gals night without amazing food.  Since it is Autumn here in Australia, I decided to make some of my favourite Autumn dishes including apple crisp and apple cider.  

Here's the problem.  I struggled to find the ingredients I would normally use in order to make both of these dishes (story of my life here in the land down under), so I made up the two recipes and they turned out pretty fabulous.  I would love to share the recipes with ya!

Spiced Apple Cider
3 liters apple cider
3 cups orange juice
3 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 a lemon sliced.

Super simple!  Just combine all the ingredients in a stock pot on the stove and head until boiling.  Then shut off and put the lid on the top.  Let it set for a couple hours so all of the flavors can be absorbed.  Then, when ready to serve, simply turn back on the burner briefly.  

I love making this dish, because the whole house smells incredible!

I don't know about you, but I have a really bad habit of buying a bag of apples and eating all but one or two, which then those one or two seem to become lost somewhere in the fridge.  After a couple weeks of this, I find I have about 5 apples lying around in my fridge, all different types, textures, and tart levels.  That's when I usually make some sort of apple crisp.  It is a great way to use up a lot of those apples, even some that may have been rolling around in the fridge a bit too long and have lost that perfect crisp level.  

Caramel Apple Crisp
(the caramel apple filling)
5 apples peeled and diced
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water

(the oatmeal crisp)
1/2 cup butter melted
1 cup flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup oats
1 tablespoon cinnamon

(the extra buttery topping)
1/4 cup butter melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Being by making the caramel apple filling
1. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a pot on the stove and then whisk in the 3 tablespoons of flour to create a paste.  
2. Now add the 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup water.  Stir.
3.  Add the diced and peeled apples and let simmer for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
4. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.

Next make the oatmeal crisp topping.  
1. Simply combine 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup oats, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon.  The mixture will be course.
2. Sprinkle over the caramel apple pie filling in the 9x13 pan.  

Finally, add the extra butter topping.
1. Drizzle the 1/4 cup melted butter over the top of the crisp
2. Sprinkle the top with the 1 tablespoon cinnamon.

Bake on 350 for 45 minutes.  Best served warm and with ice cream (of course).

I can't believe I didn't snag a final pic of this dish.  It turned out so well, we just gobbled it up.  woops.

Mmmm, so much applelicious goodness!  I hope you will enjoy these two recipes!   Christy

Kind Words

Just stopping by to share a little story from my day.  Today a friend who I haven't known very long spoke such encouraging words to me.  Reminding me that I am a woman of strength and that God has a huge purpose for my life.  They were such simple words, completely out of the blue, but spoke volumes to me.  Then I arrived home to find the lovely print above as French Press Mornings Encouraging Wednesday post, and I really felt lead to speak some encouraging words into your lives.  I know these words are specifically for a few of you, so I hope they will speak volumes to your heart.

God loves you, He cares about you, He desires to be in close relationship with you.  You may feel so far away from Him right now, but just turn around.  He is there waiting there for you, a loving Father with open arms who longs to embrace you.  He has such great purpose for your life, a purpose that is far beyond what you are even imagining, so hold fast during this season.  It is hard, but He will make your burden light.  Find peace and rest as you snuggle close into His embrace.

I can't help but rejoice right now.  I serve such an amazing, outstanding, loving and uplifting God.

Much Love, Christy

Ladies Night and the Feeling's Right


Friday Night we hosted a ladies night at our place.  All the gals showed up in their comfy clothes, we enjoyed some amazing food, painted our fingernails to look like candy, laughed, and talked and talked and talked.  Us girls do that so well don't we?

Here's to ladies night! ♥ Christy

Make It Happen May


When it comes to your health, what goals do you have in mind?

Would you like to no longer huff and puff when you go up a flight of stairs?  Want to tone up those arms or slide comfortably into that pair of skinny jeans?  Well May is the month to make it happen!

I am looking for anyone who would like to join me in doing 30 Day Shred during the month of May.  Those of you who aren't familiar with 30 Day Shred, it is a workout program designed by the USA Biggest Loser Coach Jillian Michaels.  Workouts are 30 minutes a day with a combination of strength, cardio, and ab training.  The tools you need are a set of hand weights (can goods or sacks of flour will work for this), an internet connection, computer ipad or iphone to watch the workouts, and a soft surface for floor work.  Carpet or a yoga mat will work great.

I already have some Aussie girls signed up and ready to join, and would love to get some of you USA folks to join us as well.  Doing it as a team will help hold us all accountable and it will be super fun to see results and watch each of us make our goals happen!

If you are interested in joining, please shoot me a facebook message or leave a comment below.  Let's make it happen in May!

Love, Christy

Love the print above?  It's fabric from Hus and Hem.  Check it out here.

Things I Love: April Edition


 Christy here with 10 things I am loving this April, starting off with this amazing painted floor.  I have always been drawn to black and white checkered floors.  This room is simply stunning though!

Some lovely iphone cases for all of you iphone 5 folks, by Julia Kostreva.

I know these have been all over pinterest world lately, but all of you getting ready to go into spring, you should be gold leafing your pots right now as you prepare for the upcoming planting season.  Speaking of planting, dad I hope you have your first crop of sweet corn in!

 Anthropologie, you are always spot on.  I could have put so many of your spring time blouses in this post, but of course I went with the lovely golden yellow choice.

First off, I am now totally obsessed with greek yogurt pancakes.  Dane and I have made them twice now and they are the best pancakes I have ever eaten!  Super simple to make, I recommend you try this recipe out this weekend!

And seriously, the most amazing picnic accessory ever, thank you Kate Spade.  

I am loving these bobby pins which will be in the upcoming Kate Young for Target collection.  We won't see any of this collection in Australia, so if someone would like to pick a few of these up for me, I would LOVE it!  

The owl picture is from Krystie Lee's instragram feed.  She has been visiting Malaysia and this picture has me wanting to do a face to face owl encounter like crazy!  Robin, I couldn't help but think of you when I saw this picture because the owl on her shoulder is the same type of owl we did a watercolor of during the holidays.  I just love his gnarly eyebrows.

And this gem necklace from Urban Outfitters.  I am really loving gem stones right now.  So pretty.
 Rifle paper company, I reckon you create some of the most beautiful stationary on the planet.  Check out these amazing note cards.

 There you have it.  Things I am loving this April.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend.  Dane and I have plans to possibly hit up the beach, church, and the markets.  

Much love, Christy.

Make Your Own Dino Shirt


Clothes aren't the easiest thing for me to come by here in Australia.  They are pricey and fit oddly.  What can I say, I was made in America.  One of the stapes in Dane and my closet is our white t-shirt collection.  The other day it was HOT out, and I wanted a cute graphic tank to wear with my maxi skirt.  So I started looking at what I had on hand and decided, I can make one!  It was super simple!

Gather some supplies:
A white t-shirt (although colored ones would work as well)
A piece of cardboard the size of the design you want to create
A sharpie
A stencil

So Dane gave me this book of fun stencils from Typo last year.  When he got it for me, I knew the possibilities were pretty much endless.  Let the creativity flow!

1.  First pick a design.  I chose a dinosaur because it made me smile.

2. Place your cardboard in between your two layers of t-shirt so the sharpie doesn't bleed through.

3.  Place your stencil on the t-shirt and trace around it with Sharpie.

4.  Color between the lines.

5.  Throw the shirt in the drier or set it in the sun to get the Sharpie to set.

So the possibilities are endless with this!  I am sure fabric markers would work even better but I didn't have any on hand.  I have also washed the shirt and didn't have any problems with bleeding or fading.  Yay!

So there ya go!  If you don't have any plans, you should try and make one this weekend!

Happy Creating!  Christy

Resurrection Sunday


Well we have made it to the end of the show and tell of our Easter Weekend.  Sunday, Resurrection Day, started off with church.  Dane and I had the privilege of being on the worship team Easter Sunday.  Dane played guitar and was musical director for the first time and I sang background vocals.  

Then in the afternoon we drove into the city for the city wide Easter Service that Hillsong does in the Entertainment Center.  The place was packed out.  I said to Dane, I don't know if I will ever celebrate Easter with this many people at one time again while on this earth.  I reckon heaven will be one big gigantic continuous celebration of Jesus conquering the grave.  The speaker that evening was Reinhard Bonnke, an evangelist who has seen millions come to Christ.  So many people stood up to receive salvation Sunday night.  It filled my eyes with joyful tears.  

The college students wrote and performed a song called Victory, and I was loving the celebration.  

Our evening ended with a wonderful dinner on Darling Harbour with Gav and Monique and then we came home to an Easter Egg hunt, only our bunny left Cocoa Cola cans instead of chocolate eggs.  Dane has quite a fancy Easter basket don't you think?

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  Love, The Kids Down Under

Living Like Royals

Saturday morning we got in the car with Gav and Monique and immediately the day had been titled.  "Treat Yourself, A Day of Excess."  Our friends were taking us to the Royal Easter Show at Sydney Olympic Park and they wanted to make sure we felt like royalty (and that nobody judged another for all of the amazing fried and bbq food we were about to consume).  So basically, if we saw something we wanted to do/eat/experience we did.  

My best explanation of the Easter Show is that it is much like our Kansas State Fair, only with a lot more!  We wanted to share a few of the pictures with you all!  Hope you enjoy!

Every year they create unique three-dementional scenes all made out of produce grown in Australia.  I loved the the canning that was back lit because it is so pretty!  Reminded me of stained glass. Yes, that airplane is made out of grains, the fields out of produce, the sheep out of wools and fibers.  

A sky-writer flew over the festival and wrote this in the sky.  The cool thing, that's our church, Hillsong!  They represent Easter with the cross equals love symbol!

Honey comb carvings. 

Some pretty impressive decorated cakes. 

I would give him this award, hands down.

Horse shoe making is such a lost art.  It was really awesome to watch them do this! 

So coming up is a lot of pictures of alpacas.  I'm not even apologizing for this.  They made me so happy, they are so soft, and the cutest.  Each one seemed to have it's own personality and I loved them, even if they do spit.

Then we went to a barn that was full of baby animals.  They were just wondering around and would come right up to you or plop down on the ground and look super cute, making you come to them.  I love the baby animal barn.  Oh, the cow above, that is the biggest dairy cow I have seen in my life!

See those adorable ducks going down the slide, well it was my favorite part of the day.  And Dane took this awesome video of it.  Enjoy!

We had such a great day at the Easter Show.  Gav & Monique, thanks for treating us like Royalty.  We are so blessed by you both!

Love, The Kids Down Under

A Really Good Friday


Easter Weekend in Australia is a huge celebration.  USA we should take notes.  EVERYONE gets off work for Good Friday and most people don't have work on the following Monday, so it is a four day celebration.  Over the next few days we are here to share our Easter celebrations with you, starting with Good Friday.  

Our good friends Gav and Monique have a family tradition to travel to the fish markets on Good Friday early in the morning (I am talking up at 4:30am) and then spend the rest of the day enjoying a seafood feast.  We were fortunate enough to be invited along for the family festivities and here is a glimpse into our lovely day.

Oyster Shucking.  Later on in the day we ate our first oysters.  One raw and one cooked.   Brave souls we are!  Surprisingly they were quite pleasant.

Do you feel like she is smiling at you?

I couldn't get over the cheese selection here.  Someday we are going to a place like this and going to try a bit of everything!  We love cheese way too much!  I know some of you out there are right there with us. 

By the way, those are the biggest crab legs I have ever seen in my life!   

That fish is made out of bread.  Super impressive bakery skills displayed at the markets. 

We enjoyed a breakfast at dawn with the Anzac bridge in view.  Breakfast consisted of fried baby octopus and scallops.

We then ventured to Doody Street where the new Hillsong City Campus opened.  Yes, we were there for the first ever church service held at Doody Street.  Hillsong has been trying to open a second church in the city, but it has been a 10 year battle for property and building space.  Last year, as a church we diligently prayed for the space and one year later, the doors were opened.  It is so exciting to know the number of lives that are going to be changed in this space.  All glory to you Jesus. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent with Gav and Moniques family eating so much seafood.  Let us see if we can remember everything we ate: calamari, prawns, crab legs, perch, salmon, baby octopus, oysters.  It was super yummy too!  

We hope you all had a good Easter.  Back tomorrow with more exciting photos to share!  

Love, The Kids Down Under