When a muffin goes bad

Ever have a muffin or scone or bread recipe that didn't work?  Me too!

Two weeks ago I posted on Facebook this ddelicious pumpkin muffin recipe:
(1 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbls cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ginger, (I also add a tbls of chia seeds for omega 3) 1 mashed banana or 3/4 cup pumpkin or any other flavor you want, 1 egg, 1/3 melted butter (we use soy free earth balance), or you could use coconut oil, and a good tbls of pure maple syrup, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nut of choice. Mix all together and bake at 350 for 18 minutes.)

The last two times I have made these muffins, they have overly thick and haven't risen.  I think I am adding too much pumpkin, but I'm not sure.  The muffins don't rise, and they aren't dry, they just aren't done.  Cooking them longer doesn't work because then it will dry them out.  So then I am left with mostly done, thick, flat muffins.

What to do?

I really hate throwing away food, especially when I can factor in the expensive ingredients and my time.

So again, what to do with my "can't use as is" muffins?

We hosted our annual Harvest Supper and I was making individual berry pies.  The recipe called for a pie crust top, I created non-usable pumpkin muffin crumble instead!  I took thee muffins, crumbled them, added a handful of gluten free oats, a handful of chopped  pecans, and 3 tablespoons of honey.  I mixed it together and threw it on top. 

The outcome was DELISH!

(The berry pie is two containers of strawberries, one container of raspberries, and one container of blueberries.  Add 1/2 cup of berry preserve, 3 tablespoons of corn or tapioca starch and 1/3 cup honey.  Mix all together.)

Well, that took care of one batch.  Then I made another batch, but these were our only option for breakfast.  I had nothing else to serve my kids for breakfast.  No eggs.  No oatmeal.  No cereal.  And not enough fruit to fill them.  What to do?  I have half baked, unrised, thick muffins.

Our little mishap created the BEST breakfast ever!

I mashed up two muffins in a bowl, added some coconut creamer, drizzled just a dash of maple syrup, and sprinkled chopped pecans.


I mean it...BEST DISH EVER!  So yummy.

I have no words.

Except, next time you mess up a muffin, fix it with cream and syrup.  You can't go wrong.

A dream come true

It may sound silly to you, but it has been a dream of mine for quite some time to know how to can my own food.  When Paul met me I was idyllic and dreamy of growing my own food, cooking and sewing and painting and creating.  I couldn't cook anything but Mac and Cheese and didn't know how to sew a button.   It was bad and my dreams felt pretty out of reach.  I didn't even know where to begin.  Let's just say, Paul has eaten his share of throw away meals in the last 10 years.

There has been something in me for a long time that struggles with my complete dependence on everyone else for my survival.  I would think to myself, "If anything happened that took away grocery stores, communication, anything, I really wouldn't know how to take care of myself."  I saw strong survival qualities getting lost on our generations.  I saw people who work, but don't know how to live or take care of themselves.  It really bothers me.  We make money, but don't know how to take care of ourselves.

Fast forward eight years, and now looking at my family's need for healthy food, locally grown and organic, it just makes sense.  The time felt right.  I tried my hand at a vegetable garden a few years ago.  We ended up with a few cucumbers and some peppers.  Not that great.  I think I grew more weeds than food.  Last year, I increased my garden double in size,  I had Paul cut down three trees in our backyard for more sun exposure,I built my own fence and had the neighborhood kids come over and help me plant.  I went all out and was so excited for my garden. 

Then a tornado dropped a garage on my garden and I was left with nothing.  For all that happened and was destroyed, I was saddest for my garden.  Heh, I would randomly say to Paul when we were fallling asleep last summer, "I miss my garden".  He would just laugh at me.  It was pathetic.

Well, I was ready this year.  We re dug our plot and planted away.  I was diligent in my weeding and watering and was so impressed with the food coming out of our garden, and the fresh food we were eating, but we couldn't keep up, and the point was to preserve the food for winter. 

Well, I don't know how to do that.  Remember, it was my dream, not my reality.

Thank you dear Heather for offering your mom's hobby farm and her time to help me out!  Spending time with my mother in law in Texas showed me how much knowledge can come from sharing a kitchen with someone.  Yes, you can follow a recipe and search the Internet for answers to your questions, but nothing beats having a teacher/mentor in the kitchen with you.  That's what I wanted for all my questions about food, and how to can it, how to preserve it, what other options I have.  I wanted to share the kitchen with someone who has spent years figuring it out.  Well, Heather's mom saved the day!

Two weekends ago, my sweet friend Heather and I drove my three kids, a huge box of food from our garden and our adventurous spirits 45min north of the cities to her mom's house where we had a blast for two days.

We showed up on a Friday afternoon and the kids went right out to play and run around the acreage.  Probably the best feeling ever to just let your kids run around outside for hours knowing they won't get taken or lost or learn to curse.

Isn't it just perfect?  I couldn't resist taking this photo.  It feels safe and warm and like home.

Here is Big and Little playing catch with Emit, my friends dog.  And yes, Little is acting like a princess.  While they were playing catch, and middle was digging in the sandbox, Heather's mom and I were pealing and boiling two HUGE pots of tomatoes for Spaghetti sauce.  I went to work right away in that woman's kitchen which was exactly what I wanted.  We had big plans for all we were going to can and cook in two days.

Here is her chicken coup where she houses over 20 chickens.  And she was so kind to send us home with two dozens fresh eggs.  BEST GIFT EVER!

With all the fresh food we were preparing and eating, the kids got to feed the chickens all the time and loved it.  I'm not gonna lie, every meal felt like we went to the garden and picked our meal.  We ate fresh from the garden beans, corn, squash, zucchini  for bread, eggs, tomatoes, and watermelon.  The chickens loved that we were there.

After peeling and coring all the apples and piling them in the huge pot and doing the same with the tomatoes,  we took the kids to the lake while food cooked.  It was hot and the perfect time to cool off.  The kids spent their time digging for great rocks and shells and playing with all the dogs that showed up.  Great fun.

After a yummy supper, we enjoyed fresh warm apple sauce around a fire.  We burned pine cones, sticks and needles.  We also got to pick fresh apples off the three trees they have on the farm and enjoy those around the fire.

A beautiful photo of the front of the vegetable garden.

While in the kitchen working on grading zucchini to freeze, Little enjoyed the tire swing.

When it started to rain, Big improvised and drove around inside the barn.  I could have left him there and he never would have missed me.

Little got to be pushed around in a vintage stroller.  Yes her shoes don't match, that is the price you pay for empowering your children to dress themselves.  But she is wearing my pants from when I was 2.  She's so old school.


My friend Heather took this photo of my dream coming true.  She said she had to capture the moment since I had been wanting and waiting to can for so long.  In the end I love that she take the picture.  It may sound silly, but dreams come in all sizes and they take on different shapes and colors.  This was a dream of mine, and I love that it came true.  Heather's mom gave me her weekend, her time, her kitchen and let me ask dozens of questions, let me kids run around her home, and she taught me to can my food.  She was this huge gift in the process of giving us a healthier, happier, self sufficient life.  She gave me a tool to help love myself and my family.  A way to protect and preserve heritage traits and talents.  I am so grateful to her and Heather for helping make a dream come true.  It's a big deal to make room for dreams, whether big or small.  It was such a fun weekend, full of joy, laughs, learning and conversation.


Look what we did! 9 cans of spaghetti sauce, 5 cans of apple juice, 5 cans of apple sauce, and 12 bags of frozen zucchini for breads and soups.

At the last minute, we sent the kids out in the rain to collect as much Basil as they could.  Heather's mom had already collected as much as she wanted so the rest would just go to waste.  All the green in front of the kids is basil, and they picked a ton for me.  We made four big jars of pesto before we left Saturday night.  No matter how organic, locally grown pesto is, it will always include cheese.  We haven't had pesto in 18 months, but now.... Now we can have pesto twice a month if we want!  We are so excited if you can't tell.  Pesto noodles, pesto pizza, marinated pesto chicken, and homemade pesto gnocchi.

I had a small dream come true.  My kids got out of the hood for the weekend.  We had good, unscheduled fun with animals, plants, water and toys.

Thank you Lord for refreshing our weary souls and providing ways for dreams to come true.

Celebrating LIfe!

Yesterday was my birthday.  I love my birthday.  This year I am 33, the Jesus year.  I don't really know what that means, but people keep saying it to me.  Does that mean it will be my year of greatest trimuph or greatest heartbreak?  Only God knows.  I just pray I will handle my year, my circumstances and my troubles and joys with grace and eyes set on Christ.

Yesterday was my Birthday.  My mom always made sure that we felt very special on our Birthday.  It was our day and our day alone.  What I realize more and more is how I want to celebrate other people on my birthday.  To be surrounded by the people who love you, put up with you, listen to you, walk through life with you.  Hold you up when you fall miserably, pray with you when you are broken, cheer you on when you are inspired, encourage you when you are doing well.  My community gets celebrated today because they love me, invest in me, and make me who I am.  Yesterday we celebrated God's intimate design of our lives together.  Thank you for being here with me.  Last night we celebrated with cake and a bonfire and cocktails.  All food recipes come from www.thespunkycoconut.com.

Celebrate Life today!

This cake is THE BEST Vanilla cake I have found.  It was moist and fluffly  and amazing.  Totally made my day.

Who doesn't want a side of fresh berries and cream?  The blue and white dish came from Paul's grandma and the yellow dish I snagged at a pop up sale here in the cities.  So happy it lives in my home.
Terrible photo, amazing pie.  Mint coconut freezer pie with chocolate crust.  Recipe can be found at Spunky Coconut blog.

The candles were free from a friend.  The holder was found recently in our garage attic by another friend and the lace table cloth was purchased at an antique store for $3!  You heard me right.  I layered it on another yellow table cloth and the effect was perfect!

Peach and Cherry cocktails served in mason jars in an antique milk carries that I snagged at a shop with mom years ago.  I love bringing out small pieces that we don't usually use for special occasions like this.

Sangria served out of a large glass container usually reserved for oatmeal.  There wasn't much of this left over by the end of the night.  Perfection.

This beautiful addition was fond for $10 at a thrift store over a year ago and it was its first appearance tonight.  I did notice it has a small leak, but I hope to fix that.  I added fresh mint from the garden to freshen the water.  It was delish.

Mmmmm.... A slice of both cakes plus fresh berries.  I decided that since the yellow cake is made out of beans with no sugar and the mint pie is raw, I was in good shape to have two pieces.  So good.

I found old Terra Cotta pots in my garage, filled them with dirt, added more free candles and topped off with glass hurricanes that my mom and purchased for a $1 a piece at a garage sale.  Such a steal!  I placed them around our plants in our garden for more mood lightening.

Since we were eating and drinking, I brought out our TV trays and drapped them in fun scarves or fabric I had around the house.  I made small bouquets of mint in juice glasses for a table topper and lit a few candles.  The draped tables added to the effect of my garden party.  So did these ladies dresses.  They fit right in and made it perfect.

I made sure to have a wine table stocked with glasses.  Cocktails were popular, but we all ended our evening with a wonderful bottle of red.

For some reason, I love having wooden chairs around a campfire.  These were salvaged from a heap out back of a house that was severely damaged after the tornado.  To far gone to be kitchen chairs, but perfect for outside.  I love free chairs.

We had twinkle lights, a bonfire, amazing food, even better drinks, and wonderful laughs and memories shared.  This birthday truly was a blessing.  Even though we live in the hood, and the neighborhood noises reminded us of that, it did feel like a set a part garden party.

Berries, bread, and coffee

Fresh homemade morning

Today started with having my in-laws in town.  It was so wonderful to start the day with them in the house.  Sharing stories and doing life.  It was a quick visit, but always so wonderful to see them.

Since we are heading out on Friday, the goal for all of our meals is to eat through our food so as not to waste it.  Since I am a sucker for cheap food when I can find it, I scored big at Aldi this week, but noticed that we are only about a day away from most of our fruit going bad.

This morning started with smelling coffee brewing while we cut fresh fruit to munch on.  Nothing beats fresh berries and fruit as a morning snack.

While we munched, the kids helped me make squash bread. I have a recipe for Zucchini bread but didn't have zucchini left over from the Lasagna I made last night, but I did had steamed acorn squash and it was sitting in my fridge earlier this week so I used that.  I needed to use it before it went bad, so we turned it into bread.  This bread tastes nothing squash and everything like soft, moist goodness.  I love the crunch of the nuts, but you can easily leave them out.  The Sorghum flour adds to the sweetness, but you can switch it out with an all purpose GF flour.  Coming from someone who has experimented with switching out flours and thinking they are interchangeable, take my word for it, not all flours are created equal.  You could use almond flour or sweet rice flour, but I would stay away from any kind of bean flour.  If you want your kids to eat squash, use the best tasting kind of flour to help balance out the flavor.  Here is a quick couple photo's.

I'll be honest, the bread was so good, we ate the whole thing fresh out of the oven and didn't use any nut butter or jam.  Just soft, moist bread warm from the oven.  It truly lasted about 15 min and then it was all gone. We don't get a lot of bread in this house, so when we do, we go all out.

Coffee and bread this morning was just what I needed to start my day right.

Big really wanted to make a smoothie, so we let him be the chef on that front.  He didn't want any liquid or health benefits, just fruit.  ONLY fruit.  So we scooped fruit from our fruit bowl and he wanted to add a peach a plum and an apple.  So all in all, I think the smoothie included peach, plum, apple, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and kiwi.  It was Delicious!  That kid is onto something.  I always try to sneak in a veggie or some other health benefit and he went straight to the good stuff.  I'll let him cook more often I think.

After we feasted on brunch we went out to tend the garden.  This is when we got to pick our first produce of the season!  It was very exciting.  We planted late, and last year not at all, so this was a very, very big deal.  I let middle pick it and then we all took a turn to smell our fresh beautiful green pepper.  The smell was so potent.  We decided then we would marinate chicken and have baked chicken on a bed of spinach and strawberries and blueberries that night for supper with strips of our beautiful green pepper.

So today was filled with homemade goodness, a trip to our favorite children's bookstore and a game of Sorry where everyone was in a good mood and not one kid minded loosing. (a rare moment mind you).

Enjoy the recipe!

My version of a Zucchini Bread Recipe

I didn't have zucchini but had lots of squash frozen in one cup increments.  Here is my final version of a recipe that I altered.

Gluten/dairy/corn/sugar free Squash Bread

Preheat 350 degrees

1 cup cooked and mashed squash (or 1 cup of zucchini or pumpkin or banana.  Use whatever you have on hand.)
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch (sometimes called tapioca flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons of Chia seeds or flax seeds
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3/4 cup honey or agave or pure maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil or olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
2 egg whites or egg replacer (1/4 cup liquid)
1/4 cup coconut milk (or rice or almond if you don't have coconut)

1/3 cup nuts optional

Wisk together sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, chia seeds, xanthan gum, sea salt, nuts if using, and cinnamon.

Add oil, lemon juice, egg white, coconut milk and honey.  Beat to combine and continue to beat on medium high until batter is smooth.

Add in squash or banana, or pumpkin or zucchini.

Scoop and scrape the batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle nuts on top if using.

Bake for one hour, or till tooth pick comes out clean.

Truly a celebration

I am not sure if this is my story to tell, but I will share it from my perspective. Since my friend is a blogger herself, I am hoping she won't mind sharing a few of the details. If you want to check out their adoption story and to learn more about Amber's ministry, check out her blog here.

Amber was a fellow coworker of mine and friend. Her husband is also in the same band with Paul, 100 White Flags. I would actually call them a married couple on the road. Zac is Paul’s other half while they are away and vise versa. It’s good old man love.

Zac and Amber have been in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia for three years. Three years! Three years of paperwork, waiting, paperwork, waiting, praying, waiting, paperwork, and more waiting. And that’s just after they finally decided to adopt. I am sure there was much waiting and praying before then as well. Waiting is by far one of the most challenging character building experiences. It breaks you, strengthens you, challenges what you believe and in the end, grants you hope. What a great way to gain strength and wisdom for parenthood. Adoption is such a beautiful, beautiful thing.

So you can imagine how excited we were to hear that after meeting their daughter Feven for the first time two months ago, they are able to go get her in a couple weeks. Well needless to say, along with some other friends, we couldn’t wait to celebrate with Zac and Amber! We have been waiting alongside them, and now it was time to be truly joyous and we get to see the child that was waiting for them, matched at just the right time, and witness God’s goodness and faithfulness to this family.

So we had to do a shower quickly in order to get them ready for their big trip. They had held off on getting most of the items needed for a baby because they were unsure of their child’s age and gender up until a couple months ago.

What was so wonderful about this shower was all of Amber’s friends were able to come and love on her. We could surround this wonderful couple and let them know how supported and loved they are. We could with our presence reassure them that they are not alone in this. That’s what I love about parties. It brings people together and celebration happens!

Even better, I got to try out some fun pinterest ideas and in order to make that happen, had a little crafting party the week before the shower with friends and wine and laughs and music. This was by far one of my most enjoyable parties. Most likely because so many amazing women were in attendance and second, this child was such a wonderful thing to celebrate.

Thank you Amber for allowing us to walk this journey with you and celebrate your long awaited arrival, Feven.

Enjoy the pics!

Here is Feven's mom Amber with her mother and mother-in-law. How great that both these mothers got to be here to celebrate! Truly, such a blessing.

Here is a banner I made for the shower. I believe the party should reflect the essence of the person being celebrated and Amber is very natural and organic person. I tried to pick beautiful fabrics that reflected her love for recycling and nature. I used double stick tape on the back of the triangles so she can pull them off and reuse the fabric to make gorgeous little outfits for Feven. I didn't want to ruin the fabric by sewing it. I think I see a great skirt mixed in there.

Yes, that is the recycle logo you see.

I had this idea and I couldn't wait to do it. This was the backdrop to the food table. I found all these pieces for Feven at the half off sale at our local Thrift store. I wanted to honor Amber by using our financial resources respectfully and support the other "R" Reuse. It was such a fun way to do a centerpiece in my opinion.

Browsing around Pinterest one night I saw someone post a photo of premade cocktails in mason jars. I thought it was brilliant, but because this was a baby shower, and I have kept DOZENS of baby food jars in the basement, it just made sense to make shot glass cocktails. Since the mama could drink, we decided to do the right way, Ethiopian punch and Ethiopian banger cocktails.

Just because it they look fun and it added to the festive feel. Plus, I love these colors together.

I have discovered that you can find decorating success by creating a focal point. I wanted a special centerpiece focal point for each section of the shower. The clothesline for the food, the banner for the drinks and cake, and here I made pinwheels to hang over the party favors for the guests. In my mind I was going to have included three smaller wheels to hang as well, but ran out of time. They still turned out great though didn't they? I just accordioned the paper, stapled them together, strung them with string, taped a button on the front and hung from the ceiling. They were bowing out in the middle, so I duct taped some cardboard to the back to keep them straight. I like them so much, I made rehang them in the kids room. Here's a close up. The key is to use great colored paper with patterns that work well together.

The pinwheels hung over the party favors. I wanted to find something that reflected Amber and didn't induce a sugar coma. So I found cheap natural planters and picked Basil as the herb to give to each of the ladies. Amber loves to garden and I figured, who doesn't like Basil? To round out the planter, I added a couple little jelly beans to the bottom and put in a cookie cutter.

To bless Amber and Zac and their love for recycling and homemade goodness, we painted Feven her set of alphabet blocks. Our friend cut and sanded the wood and ladies all throughout the shower could come and paint a block. I love this. It brings a touch of all who love the couple and baby and if its homemade, I am a big fan.

My mom loves making signs for all of our parties. This is my version in the party color scheme.

So there you have it. A super fun evening celebrating the arrival of our friends baby. We are excited to meet her after she comes home.

Homemade in the city

Today was a great day, and I tried to document in photo's to share the joy.

This morning I took the kids with a friend of mine and her son downtown to the Minneapolis Farmers market. We were in need of some produce that doesn't grow in our garden. A little crazy with wired kids running around downtown.

Here is a look at all the great things we got, and yes that is a lot of fresh ginger, garlic and plantains.

And this was a treat for me. I couldn't resist the deep enticing colors. I split them between three vases and placed them around my house.

After we got home, another friend of mine came over with two little girls that she nanny's. We had planned to walk down to the cemetery to pick crab apples to make homemade sugar free jelly. I have read that crab apples make the best jam. I know what you might be thinking, that I took my kids to the cemetery to pick apples, but the apple trees line the perimeter of the grounds and there are over two dozens trees that are free for picking. Otherwise they would just go to waste.

(mmmm....food going to waste, and so you make the most of it. Sounds like my previous post, and there I was in a place of judgement and now I stand in the same place. Funny how God works those things.)

When you read this it sounds like it was a really great fall day, but I have to be honest, today it hit 95 degrees and because of the humidity if felt more like 115. We walked these kids more than 8 blocks and forgot to bring water. I know. Rock star mama. We stopped at business office, yes of the cemetery to see if we could get a drink of water. The men working were so kind looking at us drenched in our sweat dragging the kids inside. They did want to know why we had a step ladder walking around cemetery. My first thought, was OH CRAP he's gonna tell us we can't pick the apples. I kept thinking, most of the time I live by the philosophy, do now and ask for forgiveness later. This wasn't going to work this time. So I fessed up and told the truth with my most sheepish look and asked if that would be OK. They said of course, that's what their there for.

Then I thought, why have I been dragging my kids down to the apple orchards every year and paying a pretty penny to do this when I can go 8 blocks and do it for free?

Regardless, we had a great time! Here are my boys on the step ladder, working together to get the apples.

Middle was a very hard worker and very slow to find the right apples.

He couldn't reach most of the them, so I stepped in to help.

Little was the one in charge of inspection. She got fired after she kept eating the ones she got.

We thought we should get a photo of all the kids and all the apples they helped pick. One whole bucket full! That's a lot of crab apples.

And no, Big doesn't need the helmet, he just likes it.

Here's a close up of all the kids hard work. And Cassie and helped too!

On our way home, we walked and watched cop car after cop car scream by us, block of roads and patrol our area. We joked about how we were trying to be all farmer like and harvest food and make things homemade, but we totally live in the ghetto. The contrast was very striking today. Live where your planted right?

On our way home, still dripping in sweat, we decided to walk through the park. The park boasts a really great wadding pool. We decided to all jump in with our clothes on and cool off.

Or just stick your head in.

The baby was enjoying playing on the seal!

The best part was dripping wet from the pool and walking home to dry off. Once we got home, we were hot again and refreshed ourselves with cucumber water and fruit Popsicles.

After a rest, the boys manned up and helped seprate the good apples from the bad apples. Considering the kids picked the apples, I was pretty impressed how many good apples there were!

After the apples were sorted, we decided to try our hand at our first batch of jelly. Most jelly uses a 1 to 1 ratio of water/juice to sugar. We don't eat sugar so we decided to try a little honey instead. Instead of using all our apples and trying a new recipe with all of our spoils, we only used four cups of apples. We boiled them up, and then mashed them.

After we boiled four cups of apples, we got about two cups of juice to start our jelly. We added one cup honey and let it boil for another 10 minutes. It seemed to have worked, so we put it in a jar, and stuck in the fridge. We'll let you know how it turned out. We have a huge bowl of apples waiting for a recipe that works. If you have any tips, just let me know. We have no idea what we're doing. We just wanted to have fun.

A fun distraction

I currently have a thousand things to do. Truly. We have contractors we are setting up, we are getting a new boiler, new windows and trying to plant before we leave for a month of travel. The kids and I will be leaving on Sunday to visit my folks in Detroit. My in-laws surprised us yesterday by coming and visiting for a couple days. Its been crazy and good.

Instead of doing anything I should do, I made some new napkins!

I received an early birthday present today. My in-laws bought me a new sewing machine. I had been using Paul's grandmother's machine to get me started, but since it has been decided that I enjoy and will be sewing clothes soon, we upgraded! To test my skills, I wanted to start something small and simple. Cloth napkins seemed perfect!

So tonight instead of cleaning or cooking or organizing, or even better, SLEEPING! I made 12 napkins! Here they are.

There are three different patterns and four napkins of each pattern. They are a smaller Tea time size and perfect for us!

We use the dishes my husband grew up with. They are white with little blue flowers. I thought these napkins would fit perfect.

And yes, because they were so fun and easy to do, you can expect a similar pairing for a Christmas present from me. I am currently in love with my new sewing machine and I have gained confidence in my ability to sew straight lines. I have a shower curtain waiting for my attention, but I'm not brave enough yet.

I think I will find the ability and time later this summer and I can't wait. Doing something creative with my hands really helps give me perspective and makes me feel energized. It feels good to be crafty.

Thank you Mom and Dad for supporting my creative habits! I love you both.