Monthly Archives: September 2016

Easy DIY Abstract Art Paintings: Initials


So here’s the thing. I love art. I appreciate art and artists for their enormous talent and creativity. However, I have a hard time committing to purchasing “real” art! I admire art and am in constant awe of how artist’s minds can create paintings and sculptures and bring them to life. But for some reason I can never pull the trigger on actually buying art from artists. My husband has bought me several prints from Jenner Ament (she’s amazing!) and I love her work, but the key words here are, “my husband bought”. Truthfully (and somewhat embarrassing) most of my art around the house is from old calendars I have framed or something I have done myself. I have this mentality that I can recreate something myself. I’m a DIYer at heart and so if I see something I like, I usually find a way to create it myself.



With this in mind, I have been loving all of the black and white abstract art I’ve been seeing lately. I figured with my modest art/painting background, I could come up with something myself (this may be a curse or a blessing. I’m not sure which!). I have wanted to switch out the floral prints in my bedroom (…another old calendar installation) and so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to dust off my paint brushes and see what I could come up with. I’ve had the supplies all summer, but I’ve been hesitant to start because if I don’t have something intentional to paint, then I could see it becoming a big ol’ mess of paint on the paper and no message behind the reasoning of the strokes. After thinking about it off and on over the summer, I finally got my inspiration! Two of the most inspirational people in my life are my two girls. Why not take their initials and paint them in a abstract way to achieve that “look” I’ve been admiring without it being so literal with a big “V” and “E” on our walls. After a few attempts and versions, I like how they turned out. It didn’t take a ton of time, wasn’t super messy, and it makes me think of my two little angels when I look at my bedroom walls. Easy peasy and something anyone regardless of artist talent (I’m by no means a painter!!!) could tackle.

School Morning Checklist Freebie


Does anyone else struggle with your kids never listening to what they need to do each school morning to get ready? Even though it’s the same thing EVERY morning, they look at you after you get mad like a wounded puppy that is just learning the ropes. “You’re telling me that you were completely blown away that you had to brush your teeth after breakfast and I’ve never asked you to do that before? Even one minute ago? REALLY?!”. I digress 😉


Can you tell it’s been a trying morning at our household?! Yesterday I decided to try out a check list they can look at instead of me constantly repeating myself and getting frustrated. We have yet to fully try it since I am taking them to get laminated this morning. This way, they can check off each box over and over without me having to reprint. I put the basic steps that I think most households do to get ready in the morning: eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair and make the bed (not sure if this last one is standard for most, but I make them do this starting in kindergarten and they get a break on the weekend). I also created little pictures as well as words because my kindergartener isn’t quite reading yet. Fingers crossed this helps mornings go smoother and this Mama can rest her voice and save her sanity!!! Hope it helps you guys too! Click here for the download 🙂


Happy Monday!


Free Printable Stickers!!



Now that both my kiddos are in full time school now, I am trying to focus on creating new products for my Etsy site and up my branding game 🙂 I haven’t settled in to a routine yet and my head is spinning with all the possibilities of what I can do with my time. I’ve also been knocking items off my to-do list that have been building over the summer. Here is one item I just knocked off the to-do list (feels so good!). I’ve been wanting to create a little promo sticker set to add to my printed orders as a little thank you to my customers. And if you haven’t ever checked out Moo for printables, you simply must. Their quality is amazing and their prices are awesome too. The biggest awesomeness about them is their site is super user friendly. And for a gal with not much time to fuss with things, this is a major bonus for me. I just sent these little guys off to Moo and I’m getting 104 for $25 with shipping. Not too shabby I’d say! I can’t wait to get them in the mail in a few weeks.


BUT…I wanted to share these with all of you as a free download!! Yippee! They come 20 per sheet with four designs and 1.5″ round. I’ve given a generous .25″ bleed so you don’t have to worry about punching them super exact. They are perfect to stick on an envelope to a friend, jam lids as a thank you, or whatever you can come up with. I hope you enjoy! Click here for the link.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Blackberry Crisp – So Good!


I know, I know! I’ve been posting a lot of dessert recipes, particularly of the crisp variety. But I can’t help myself! Fruit and vegetables are plentiful right now and it’s the perfect excuse to rationalize my want for baking. We can’t let all this yummy food go to waste now can we?! And to my defense, I do make lots of dishes that aren’t dessert related, but the desserts photograph so much better I think 🙂


We went to my mom’s last weekend and she has fruit trees and berry bushes beyond what any one family can devour (her blackberries are ginormous!). So I happily help myself and squirrel home my goods. And to this, I wonder why I have to workout so much…hmmm. Let’s think here…maybe give up baking!!!! Ha! That ain’t gonna happen 😉

This is my latest baking creation that I have to say is so yummy and comforting for this time of year. Still the essence of summery berries, but also the comfort of a fall crisp topping. I adapted this from one of Ina Garten’s recipes. Her crisp topping is the all time best, so it’s hard to stray from something so perfect and foolproof. The filling is what I came up with. Crisps and pies usually call for flour as a thickener, but I almost always use corn starch these days. It thickens better and doesn’t leave a floury taste to the dessert. Hope you enjoy!


9 cups rinsed blackberries
Grated orange zest of one orange
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 + a scant cup granulated sugar (depends on how sour your berries are)
4 tablespoons corn starch

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zest, juice, sugar, and corn starch. Pour into a 9 by 12 inch baking dish.

For the topping:
Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.