It’s no secret that I hold veterans and active duty soldiers close to my heart. My Dad was Air Force and sweet Mr. Spice Grove was in the Army. So when I say how impressed I am by all that my friend Brenda over at STRUCTUREbags does for our military members and families, you can be sure that I’m not overstating things!
From her amazing letter writing campaign last Christmas, (distributing hundreds of letters and ornaments to soldiers overseas and to the families of those same deployed soldiers) her partnership with Team Red White and Blue – her heart is to help those who serve! Again this Holiday Season, Brenda is looking to make a difference for military families and YOU get to be involved!!
Here is more information straight from Brenda:
“During the entire month of November, nominators can visit www.structurebags.com to create a wishlist for a nominee and tell STRUCTUREbags about their deserving nominee. Wishlists can feature anything from the STRUCTUREbags store, including items from the soon-to-be-released all-new 2015 Organic Canvas Collection and the expanded Camo with a Cause line – now available in four camo options.
Winners will have their wishlist fulfilled by STRUCTUREbag’s “Deployment Angels.”
Prizes include a $150, a $75 and three $50 gift packages. Additionally, the first 25 nominators and nominees will each receive a complimentary tree ornament in the camo print of their choice. Winners will be chosen based on the written nomination and will be selected by a panel of military spouses. There is no purchase necessary to enter or nominate and self-nominations are welcome. Complete details can be found at http://www.structurebags.com/pages/season-of-thanks-2014.”
“My time at West Point opened my eyes to the daily sacrifices made by our military,” said Brenda Guyader, founder and designer of STRUCTUREbags. “And the holidays can be especially difficult.”
“I first heard of ‘Deployment Angels’ on Valentine’s Day 2013 when someone secretly left a small box of chocolates for a neighbor – the spouse of a deployed soldier. We all teared-up,” she said.
Since its founding location at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2011, STRUCTUREbags has supported active military families through its Camo with a Cause line of products. For every item purchased in that line $1 is donated to their strategic partner, Team Red, White & Blue, the national organization connecting veterans to their communities through physical and social activities.
STRUCTUREbags continues to invest $1 per item sold or donated from the Camo with a Cause line in Team RWB’s ongoing social and athletic programs for veterans and their families.”
After being married to a soldier who deployed I can tell you firsthand that anything you do for soldiers AND their families will make a world of difference to all of them. My Hubby used to tell me it gave him such peace when he knew that we were taken care of while he was away. So don’t miss out on this awesome chance to make a huge difference in the lives of those who serve this Holiday Season! Thank you so much Brenda for allowing us to share this opportunity with our friends here at Spice Grove Designs!
Have a blessed Veteran’s Day friends and a special ‘Thank You’ to all who have and are serving!
PS…..Don’t forget to click on the ‘Deployment Angel’ photo to nominate someone!!
Looking for any easy/healthy snack the whole family will enjoy? Look no further friends! Check out this amazing applesauce recipe for a yummy treat that even the pickiest eater will enjoy! (this has been adapted from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe which you can find here!)
~6 lbs. of apples (roughly 18 med. to large size apples of any variety)
~1 cup apple juice or apple cider – (most apple cider is gluten free too!)
~lemon juice from one lemon
~1/2 cup brown sugar – you can substitute maple syrup for a gluten-free recipe.
~1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
(optional ingredients: nutmeg, allspice)
Apple peeler/corer (if desired – it really speeds things up!)
Big stock pot
1. Core and chop all apples. We used all Granny Smith’s as that is what we picked at the orchard. I do like the blend of a half and half selection though such as 50% Granny Smith’s – 50% Pink Lady (or other sweet apple).
2. Add all ingredients to stock pot and cook for 25-30 min on medium. Stir often and taste to make sure you like the sweetness.
3. AFTER the apples are soft and COOLED add in 2 batches to a food processor and pulse until the consistency you like! We left ours a bit chunky!
4. Enjoy by itself or on pancakes, fresh bread, ice cream or anything you can think of!! One other nice thing about this recipe is that it freezes very well! (If your family doesn’t eat it all first!) I love that this can be made into an easy gluten free recipe too!
Next up tomorrow in our kitchen tomorrow…….apple pie with Grandma’s pie crust!!! (And hopefully on a post coming up!)
Let us know if you try this recipe out!!
Have a wonderful week friends and don’t forget to enter in our HUGE giveaway that ends tomorrow!! Just click here!
Coming next week!!
We are so excited to add a new ‘branch’ to our Spice Grove Designs forest!!
What will it be?
Tune in next week for the big launch!!
You won’t want to miss the HUGE giveaway that’s coming next week too!! We will even have 3 huge winners so you’ll have 3 chances to win!! Yay – we only have to keep the secret for one more week!!
Have a great week friends and we will see you back here for the BIG reveal!!
Welcome to the new blog series titled ‘Use What You Have!’
I am so excited to share a special collection of all things inspirational for your Heart and Home! This new weekly/bi-weekly series will feature so many wonderful ideas you won’t want to miss a moment! Just some of the ideas I have planned for you are:
~Gorgeous DIY Home Decor Ideas using things you ALREADY have!
~Easy, Healthy Recipes using what is ALREADY in your pantry!
~Inspirational stories and thoughts to uplift your spirit!
~FREE tutorials! (These will make your Holiday parties so special!)
~Festive Holiday ideas and Gift Guides!
~And MORE!!!! (giveaways too!!)
I’m so thankful for all of you and that you took the time to stop by! Do you have a recipe or awesome DIY you’d like to share with us? Just contact us here!! (or leave a comment below)
Have a beautiful day friends!
Blessings to you,
Welcome to our Anniversary Celebration!! Thanks to all of your loyalty and trust in our little company, we are celebrating 3 wonderful years of making designs to inspire your home and heart! How we’ve grown and learned over these years and we couldn’t have done it without YOU!!
Thank you so much for not just your purchases, but your honest feedback, your encouragement and your willingness to share us with your friends and family. We are so thankful to have earned your trust and can’t wait to see where the next three years will take us!!
To say thank you for your support we are having a huge giveaway! We throw the party and YOU win! We are giving away almost $100 in prizes so make sure you enter to win below!!
1st prize is Our Golden Flowers of Spring Wreath valued at $60.
Usher in Spring with a luxurious wreath!! Beautify your home for Fall with this is lovely 12″ wreath. A simple circle is wrapped in the softest of yarns and adorned with delicious spices which are hand selected by me. I have designed the spices to look like gorgeous blossoms. The luxurious golden – yellow color of the yarn pairs so beautifully with the burgundy of the rose hips. Each ‘flower’ is made up of 5 rose hips with an allspice and white pepper center. It features a delicious burgundy satin ribbon making it ready to hang right in your home. What a wonderful way to spice up a wall in your home!
2nd prize is our Shabby Chic Cinnamon Picture Frame valued at $20.
Display your treasured photo in this lovely frame! This recycled picture frame is adorned with cinnamon sticks hand-cut by me. Some sticks are wrapped whimsically with a pink and brown ribbon. It is lightly scented of cinnamon and would look great in any room. The brown paper is simply in the frame for decoration. This frame would add a touch of spring or cheer to any room in your home as well as a clean chemical-free scent! A great gift for someone special or for yourself!! This piece is approximately 6.25″ wide X 8″ tall and should hold a 4 X 6 picture. There are 2 hanging options on the back for vertical or horizontal views.
3rd prize is a set of our amazing Star Anise Magnets PLUS a $5 Starbucks gift card, all valued at $15!
For this design I have hand selected whole star anise and attached them to strong magnets. They have a light fragrance. I have not ‘sealed’ or varnished them at all to preserve this fragrance. The set will come in gift box of either pink or teal, and wrapped with a complimentary paper.
The contest will run from Tuesday, March 11, 2014 until Tuesday, March 18th, 2014. I will contact the winners by email after they are chosen on the 18th. 3 people will be chosen, one for each prize. I wish all of you the best of luck and thank you again for making the last three years so amazing!!
As we near the end of our week of inspiration I have to say thank you to all the amazing ladies who by being who they are inspired this week!! What an amazing group I am blessed to know!!
I can go on and on about the amazing things that move me, such as Nature and Faith and Family, but I want to make sure that you all know that YOU inspire me too!! YOU make my days of creating brighter by your feedback and your response to my designs. You make my long computer nights sweeter with your kind comments on Facebook! Your encouragement after a rough day makes more of a difference than I can ever say!! Your creative ideas, shared opinions and moving stories are priceless, valued and appreciated!
In short, YOU inspire me!! YES, you!! The one who takes a second to like a quote on my Facebook page. The one who browses our shop and comes up with an AWESOME idea for a custom design. The one who shares their heart and story with me. I treasure each and every one of you. YOU are the reason this dream has gone forward. You are the ones in my heart when I sit down with a blank piece of paper to create a new design. Your lives are the ones I think of when I find a new up-cycled beauty that I just have to share! And you are the ones who make all of this possible. It still boggles my mind to imagine my little designs sitting in their new homes……
So from the depths of my heart I can only say a humble and sincere ‘thank-you.’
I’ve never had a giveaway this HUGE, so make sure you enter the drawing below and WIN any design of your choice from the Spice Grove Designs shop, PLUS free shipping!! The best of luck to all of you friends!
If you haven’t already, make sure you stop by Facebook and Twitter to say hello! Or stop by and check out our inspirational Pinterest boards! Make sure you sign up for our newsletter on the right so you don’t miss anything! To view see all the giveaways offered this week click here!!
Every once in a while a friend comes along that encourages, challenges, and inspires you! Brenda at STRUCTUREbags has done that for me. Her candid honesty is refreshing and I’m so thankful for her help and advice as we both follow our dreams. I can’t wait to share her amazing business with you! Using her background of structural engineering she has come up with the most amazing line of bags and accessories! I have one of her Element Pencil Wristlets and I just love how adorable and useful it is! I love that I can fit whatever I need in it for a quick trip to the store. It’s durability has been tested by my 8 and almost 2-year-old who LOVE to play ‘shopping’ with it! I just love that she goes above and beyond to be eco-friendly with her work, recycling and reusing. I especially love her cadet gray line where she recycles cadet uniforms into amazingly beautiful heirlooms and gifts. Her quality and craftsmanship truly shine in each design that she makes!
I love Brenda’s heart for giving back to the community she is a part of at West Point. Brenda’s gratefulness to the military community is so heartfelt and sincere. Her determination to make sure military soldiers and families know that they are appreciated has truly touched my heart, especially since my Husband and Dad both spent years in the military. Make sure to check out her Season of Thanks campaign to see how she is saying ‘thanks’ to Military families and soldiers with YOUR help! We as a family are writing letters, as well as getting our local school and Scout troop involved!
Brenda has so generously offered to giveaway one of her Camo Mini Pouches so don’t forget to fill out the entry form at the bottom of the post! She’s even donating $1 from this giveaway to Team RWB, who she has partnered with, to help veterans. Here is more about STRUCTUREbags in Brenda’s own words.
Tell us a bit about yourself/business/products.
STRUCTUREbags uniquely couples an engineer’s attention to detail with eco-friendly materials. Bags and accessories feature clean lines and fresh looks for eco-conscious, patriotic, stylish women.
When you choose a STRUCTUREbag purse or accessory, you know you are getting a bag not only hand-crafted in the USA, but eco-friendly as well. The canvas on your bag is 100-percent organic. The vintage button on your bifold is often upcycled. The high quality, 100-percent wool fabrics are hand-felted by a one-woman-shop in South Carolina. We source our labels and printed canvases from other small businesses around the country.
STRUCTUREbags works hard to create unique bags made with great resources from great people.
We have three distinct lines: Our Organic Canvas Line is made with only 100-percent organic fabrics. Our Camo with a Cause Line gives $1 per item to aid military families thru our partnership with Team Red, White & Blue. Our Cadet Grey Line uses authentic, upcycled USMA cadet uniforms to create one-of-a-kind gifts.
What makes your products different from other similar products?
STRUCTUREbags is hand-crafted in the USA with eco-friendly materials sourced from great people. Because we are a small business, we can offer special touches not available elsewhere: complimentary vintage blueprint gift-wrapping, hand-written thank you notes, personalized responses on customer inquiries.
STRUCTUREbags gives back to the community that helped it get its start. When my family moved to West Point, we were 3,000 miles away from family. The wonderful military families embraced us immediately. Even though we are civilians, we always feel a part of the military community.
The design aesthetic and quality construction of STRUCTUREbags are truly one-of-a-kind. My tenure as a designer and manager taught me to control the details: durability, constructability and design must come together as one. With each fabric choice, with each stitch, my vision is brought to my clients with great care.
What brings you joy/encouragement in your life and in creating your products?
I think all the things that set STRUCTUREbags apart from others are the same things that bring satisfaction to my work. I love that I can give a personal touch to each order, I enjoy answering customer questions first-hand, I am committed to giving back.
If you had to choose just one of your products as your favorite you’ve created/made, which one would it be?
I find a special use for each of my designs! But, my go-to bag is without a doubt the Element Pencil Wristlet. I love its versatility and styling. I love how it holds just what I need when I want to scale down, but tucks in nicely when I am heading out for a longer trip. I love its simple, yet dynamic design. I currently rotate between the Navy Tri with Red and the Digital Camo.
Where can our readers find you?
We are working hard to bring STRUCTUREbags to a full-service boutique near you!
Make sure to sign up below to win one of STRUCTUREbags gorgeous Camo Mini Pouches, valued at $22.50! Brenda will also donate $1 to Team RWB as she does with all of her Camo With A Cause purchases! Feel good about winning something amazing for yourself while helping support military families. Thank you so much Brenda for sharing your heart and STRUCTUREbags with us!
*Giveaway open to all US residents.*
**All opinions expressed in this post are mine. I was not compensated for this review.**
To see ALL the amazing Savings and Giveaways from our ‘Week of Inspiration’ just click here!
I wanted to share some gorgeous fall loveliness with you from our past weekend. We took the whole Spice Grove family up to the mountains to see the colors and breathe the cool air! I thought I’d do a little introduction to the family today so that you get to know my team of amazing support!
My family is an amazing source of grace and unselfish love toward me which I am so very thankful for. My sweet hubby puts up with things that would make most men cringe. Whether it’s smelling a design for the 100th time, playing search and rescue to find a knife or tool that I’ve ‘borrowed’, stopping to pick up ‘just one more thing’ from the craft store that I forgot, or just giving me honest feedback – he amazes me with his willingness to help me. I am truly blessed! (And someday soon I’ll get that knife back in the kitchen where it belongs!) He is also my in-house editor and proofreader so if I’ve messed something up, chances are I haven’t let him look at it! As you’ve probably noticed I use WAY too many exclamation points! Believe it or not I’m doing 75% better than before he started helping me whittle them down. Hee-hee!
Our girls – my creative inspiration and gifts I thank God for daily! They have taught me to enjoy the little things in life as well as to dream big. Our eldest is a gentle soul, always helping me with design ideas as well as making things for the special people in her life. She was the push behind our Giving Back line and has helped us learn to give more joyfully and freely! I’m so thankful for her heart. Our littlest one is a bundle of energy and excitement and has taught me to be more flexible and compassionate than I ever knew I could be. She too loves to ‘help’ and I often have to ask her where she has put a roll of ribbon or jar of spices! (I forget how fast little hands are!)
They both had so much fun exploring the golden leaves and crunching through the pine needles. I’m so thankful we could share a bit of God’s glorious Autumn colors with them. I hope that they will grow up inspired by Nature and the Creator just as I am! We were able to end the night at a wonderfully rustic little restaurant served by a sweet lady who made all of us feel special. Both girls were fast asleep as we reached home and once we had them in bed I finished up my latest recipe I wanted to share!
If you are looking for a festive pumpkin treat that only takes minutes to prepare then head on over to the Structurebags blog! Here you can find our super easy recipe for these amazingly yummy pumpkin footballs that will be the perfect fit for any tailgating party. While you are there make sure to enter the GIVEAWAY for our new Spiced Burlap Topiary – perfect for the Fall Holidays! A big thank you to Brenda for letting us share both the recipe and the giveaway.
Here’s hoping you all have a wonderful week filled with inspiration and beauty! Thank you so much for stopping by! Make sure you sign up on the right to subscribe to the blog. We have some HUGE things coming in the next two weeks that you won’t want to miss!