Friday, October 18, 2013

Open for Business on Etsy!

I opened shop on Etsy just a few weeks ago! It's a humble shop, but I am enjoying the work already.

I am so amazed and inspired by the incredibly talented people who sell through Etsy. I could spend hours passing through pages of items. Inspiring!

Stop by my shop, and peruse others too if you need an artistic boost but can't make it to a local art gallery for inspiration (because your two-year-old will destroy everything in sight...)!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Four Sisters Wine Design

I have three incredible sisters. And two pretty amazing parents. And of course, three fantastic married-to-us-men (including my husband!). We are equally divided between Wisconsin and Florida and when we get together, we make it a good time!

We had so much fun during our last visit. Two parties in one day. We had a girls' night painting class (more on that to come! I can't stop raving about it!). We took cousin photos. And just hung out. All in four short days. Go big and then get back to reality, right?

One of the two parties was just to get together. My mom had this vision to have a wine bottle with "Four Sisters" on it. I took her idea and ran. With a little help from my very creative niece we came up with this invite (personal info removed...sorry for the dull space!).

After we created the funky invite. We realized that the party wouldn't be complete with our own bottles of wine to serve. So I went back and created wine labels! What fun! I don't think I could ever have so much fun with anyone else. Who would have thought that 20 years ago when we were all under the same roof fighting over bathroom space and clothes?! 

Maybe it's because we all drink wine now.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Luke & Jess Wedding Invitation

I can't believe that summer is here and gone already! I took a break from blogging to enjoy the fabulous, if too short, summer that we get here in Wisconsin. I also watched my niece and nephew two or three times a week this summer and we were too busy having fun to bum around on the computer.

The fun is all over and it's back to school. And back to blogging for me!

I have been waiting to post a wedding invite I created months ago...they have finally tied the knot and I feel like I can show off their invite finally!

The Bride and I had so much fun creating them. She had such a vision and we made it come to life! We went with a pocket-layering style so each of the cards were tucked over one another and just the top tab appeared. Lovely!

Congrats Luke & Jess!


Monday, May 6, 2013

Wives of Faith - Military Spouse Appreciation Week Day 1!

Twice each year one of my all-time favorite sites hosts a "Blog Carnival". I missed the Christmas one this year simply because I was swamped. But I'm gunning for it this week! I love the collective writing and reading all of the other posts!

Today's topic: 
Which scripture has been a life verse for you on your journey as a military spouse, or what scripture has God used to comfort you on this journey in military life?

The Bible has so many verses that I have relied on but one set I always come back to is Jeremiah 29:11-13.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,'" declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.'"

Wow. I sometimes get caught up in my daily life to remember that God has good plans for me. I sometimes feel so alone in this military wife journey. Living far from a military installation in Anytown USA, I forge my own way most of the time living my double life as military wife and common civilian. A stranger I pass in the grocery store doesn't know me. But God does. He knows each situation. He knows each day I wake up feeling alone. And He knows that this is all part of his grand plan. I can't help but smile to think that I have a place in God's plan. Most days I feel like a walking disaster. But God doesn't see us that way. If we're willing and open, we call out to Him and we seek Him with our whole hearts - boy, we won't know what hit us!

Things may not always be easy or good in life, but the more challenging situations I've lived through, the more I can see how God is using the tough stuff to help me fit right into His grand plan!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

{Mini} Puff Pancakes - Gluten, Soy, Dairy Free

I love a good puff pancake. My go-to recipe uses a 9-inch pie pan. And a host of non-The Boy-Friendly ingredients.

With my niece and nephew around during Spring Break, I wanted to make mini-versions. Kids always seem to eat better if their food is miniature. I hopped over to one of my favorite blogs to see what they had. Sure enough, I found a Mini Puff Pancake recipe. 

I have adapted the recipe below to be gluten free, dairy free (and soy free). Give them a try!

Mini Puffed Oven Pancakes with Berry Sauce
recipe by - adapted by Tree of Life Creative
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 tapioca starch
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
powdered sugar
Berry Sauce
6 large frozen or fresh strawberries or mixed berries
3 tablespoons berry jam

InstructionsPlace mini muffin pan in oven and heat to 400 degrees.  While oven is heating, place flour, milk, eggs, and salt in a blender and blend until smooth.  
Carefully remove the pan from the oven (don’t forget it’s hot!) and brush with melted butter. 
Fill muffin wells 3/4 full with batter.
Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until puffed and slightly golden on top.  
Remove puffs and place on plate or platter.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  
Drizzle with berry sauce and top with cool whip or whipped cream, or serve with sauce and/or maple syrup for dipping.
Quick and Easy Berry Sauce
Place berries and into small saucepan. Heat on medium until mixture is bubbly. Mash large pieces if needed. Drizzle over puff pancakes!
Yields about 24 mini muffin pancake puffs

Easter Egg Lunches

Three dozen...Easter Egg Lunches!
I celebrated Good Friday with my niece (9) and nephew (4) and The Boy (can you believe he's almost 2?!). I surprised them with an Easter Egg Lunch. An idea inspired by Pinterest. Of course. Pretty much all of my ideas from from Pinterest these day. 

I spent a few weeks purchasing eggs in these cool plastic containers. We go through a ridiculous amount of eggs each week so it didn't take long. The kids went crazy over the lunch. Next time I'll look for slightly larger eggs. I filled the eggs with strawberries, carrots, grapes, cheese (for the dairy eaters!), turkey, jelly beans, hard boiled eggs, and a tiny cookie. I did double up on a few. I would have loved to fit their sandwiches inside - cut into cute shapes - but the plastic eggs weren't remotely close enough to fit sandwich pieces. Maybe I'll try wraps next time!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free Cornbread

  • The Boy loves to eat. At his last check up he was in the 85 percentile for his weight and height. Not too shabby for a strapping Midwestern boy. I have an inclining that he might be a chef, or at least enjoy cooking when he's older. He plays in his toy kitchen every day. Plus since he has been able to stand on his own he has helped me out in the kitchen. 

  • We do a lot of cooking around here because The Boy has allergies to dairy, soy and lately some sort of wheat or gluten intolerance that we are doing food trials on right now. 

  • The dairy wasn't much of a challenge for me - I often substitute dairy alternatives. Soy was challenging. Turns out soy appears in many forms in the majority of store bought products. Over the last year and a half I have gotten my cooking down pat. Then the gluten issue came into play and I've had to reinvent my recipes and get a even more creative and bold in the kitchen. 

  • And even more so when I start a recipe thinking that I have the key ingredients on in this recipe! It's very forgiving when you realize that you're out of cornmeal. Oops. Feel free to substitute cornmeal for the grits and polenta if you happen to have them on hand!
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free Homestyle Cornbread

1/3 cup tapioca starch
2/3 cup rice flour
1/2 cup grits
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup prepared polenta (I used Trader Joe's fully cooked brand) OR Cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
1 cup (just under) coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup corn kernels (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 8x8 inch square pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix tapioca starch, rice flour, grits, corn starch, polenta (or cornmeal), sugar, salt, and baking powder. If using polenta be sure to mix very well - mixture will be very crumbly. 
  3. In a measuring cup mix coconut milk and vinegar to form "buttermilk". Let rest until slightly thickened.
  4. Once milk has thickened, add eggs and oil and mix until blended. In another bowl, beat eggs to blend with buttermilk and 1/4 cup butter; pour into flour mixture. Add corn (or green chilies, or bacon pieces...) if using. Stir batter until evenly moistened.
  5. Pour into a well-greased 8x8 inch square pan. 
  6. Bake until bread is browned and springs back when gently pressed in the center about 20-25 minutes.