Friday, September 30, 2016

My favorite fall Pinterest finds!

*this first "link" was spam or a fake link or whatever it's called? I tried to give credit!*

You guys, can you even BELIEVE tomorrow is October?  I feel like I have some days where time goes by, slow as molasses.  Especially this week because we've been fighting sinus infection type stuff.  But then before you know it, it's Friday again! And THIS Friday we're looking October right in the face.  Let's have some fun on this Fri-Yay! I'm sharing a few of my favorite (only about 80 more left on my Pinterest board) pins from Pinterest, just in time for October!  

Love Pinterest as much as I do? You can find me here!





 here
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You guys, I don't even make pie.  And I'm really back on my bandwagon of not eating it.  BUT THIS is a work of art!  Seriously.  I must make a pie this season! Check out the other pie crusts on this blog. Simply stunning! 

I hope you've enjoyed dreaming of cozy fall days as much as I have! This kind of thing always puts a pep in my step.  Happy weekend! 
**Come back tomorrow-we're having a Happy Fall Y'all sale in the Etsy shop!!**

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Creative in the kitchen.

I used to not like being in the kitchen.  Isn't that hilarious? I think it is, now that the kitchen is the space where I unwind at the end of each day.  Long ago I wasn't that great of a cook.  I'm sure I've told this story a million times, but the first meal I made in our crockpot in our new home as a married couple, I burned.  We're talking BADLY burned food.  We got home that night to a charred rock instead  of the delicious meat I'd envisioned all day in my newlywed, naive head. 

It is really quite laughable now.  My heart was in it at least! 
Somewhere along the way I learned to cook, at first using recipes like training wheels.  I totally depended on them and if they threw me for a loop with a new ingredient or spice I didn't have, I was totally sure I was going to fail or fall.  But as I practiced and grew in confidence, my style of cooking changed too.  The kitchen went from the "have-to" spot in the house to the "want to."  I wanted to be in among the mixing bowls and spoons, clanging and banging, moving swiftly from one counter to another.   
At the end of each day (and really-the beginning and middle too), I needed the strong smells, the bubbling of a pot, the mixing and making, to keep me company.  I've learned that no matter what goes on outside of the kitchen, the stuff that happens inside is usually good. 
My burned leg incident makes me say "usually"! 
This year my creativity in the kitchen has gone from one perspective of thought to another.  I learned to can all by myself with our garden produce.  This was a huge moment for me and definitely required me to follow every. single. rule and read and re-read every. single. step multiple times! But I'm happy to say, it worked! Every time I see the rows of neatly lined up peppers in the pantry, I am proud. 







More often than not you can find me throwing a pinch of this, a bit of that, into a pot and making dinner or something else entirely like these tasty frozen banana treats.  
I like to read cookbooks like I would a good novel.  There's almost nothing better than sitting down with a good stack of cookbooks and settling in for a good read.  I get this from my Grandma. 

One of our favorite types of meals (ever) is a platter full of delicious, healthy foods like this salad bar plate we had one night.  The girls are always much more inclined to eat a good dinner when they get to pick what goes on their plates.  I suppose having a choice is rather fun, isn't it? 
Although I'm the main cook in our home because I'm there more often, Brett certainly does his fair share!  Over my birthday weekend he learned how to make pizza on the grill.  Yet another food he has ruined me with.  Same with burgers!  
What I mean is, his version is seriously so good and so wonderful that it's totally ruined the excitement of going to a restaurant and ordering the same thing. 

I'll take that kind of ruin any day! This particular night we fed the girls something else and made this pizza after they went to bed for an at-home date night. 

It took me a long time to realize I could also be creative in the kitchen, much as I am with my art.  Instead of paintbrushes I hold a spoon, parsley and peppers instead of paint.  

This big bowl of goodness is as much a work of art to me as a painting or photograph.  It's "made-up chicken coconut curry soup".  I read a recipe here and there for it and then made up my own version.  It was spicy and hot and filling and went straight to the heart. 

In this season, I'm praying for new eyes to see how I might help others outside of my own family with this gift of creativity in the kitchen.  After all, my most favorite types of creativity are the ones I share.  Soup and some soul encouragement, anyone? 




Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This is your close-up.

My oldest usually isn't fond of having her picture taken.  "You're a photographer so don't you get the most amazing photos of your kids?"  Well, yes and no.  My kids are amazing, have no doubts about that.  But as far as me styling them and having them pose, well that just doesn't happen as much (or ever!) like it did when they were young.  Now, they have minds of their own.  Considering my approach is more lifestyle, meaning I like to capture life as is, this makes sense.  

However, one afternoon the girls were showing me their fun play spot they made in their closet and I noticed the lighting was spot-on.  I ran downstairs for a snack for the girls (rice cakes) and also grabbed my camera.  
I am so glad I did.  Here's my sweet, smart, serious, silly, FIVE-year old girl! 




Yes, this is what I sometimes get. :) 
My sweet Betsy wasn't in the mood for her picture being taken that day.  So no worries, she wasn't left out! We did have fun cuddling with each other on Sunday, relaxing the afternoon away. 

The girls also got new bike helmets last weekend.  Anna had previously been skeptical about riding her big girl bike until Brett prompted her to try.  Then she loved it! I found her giving Sheriff Callie the same pep talk her Daddy gave her.  And she actually requested this picture! Sometimes she will pose herself and ask for a photo.  Kids are the funniest! 

Do you photograph your family?  With your phone or a camera? 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

mini painted pumpkins

The girls and I had to run in to the grocery store last week and the mini pumpkins stopped us in our tracks.  Normally by this late in September I would have pumpkins and signs of fall everywhere at the house.  I don't know if it's because of my craving for simplicity or the temperatures still in the 90's, but this year we've stayed in a summer state of mind much longer than normal.  In fact, we're still there! The girls played in their kiddie pool just yesterday. 

But still, the calendar is creeping up on October and surely at some point it must get cooler.  All that to say, the mini pumpkins were each picked out with care and placed in our cart, visions of fall dancing in our heads. 

These masks also came home with us (a $1.38 each), putting us in the costume-mood! But if we're honest, we're almost always in that mood! 
We cut open some grocery bags, poured some paint into egg cartons, and got to work on our mini canvases. 


Although we each had the same paint colors, everyone's pumpkins ended up looking so different.  I love that.  The girls worked a long time on these, making sure to do their best.  We used regular acrylic paints, like you can buy at Hobby Lobby in the little bottles. 

The mini creations looked so pretty that night at dinner, all gathered up on the table together!
The next day I quickly sketched a few leaves to go on the pumpkins.  I also added some word stickers that are my favorite! 



I really love how the leaves look and I'm always a sucker for having prayers and positive reminders throughout the home. 





Simply artful, indeed.  Making art doesn't have to involve expensive supplies, loads of time, or buckets of expertise.  It just requires showing up and getting those fingers moving. 

Crafting also helps calm my questions during this slightly questionable season we're in.  It does good things for my soul and could for yours too!  This week, why not give it a try? 

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