Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Blessed is the Family....

I follow a lot of great blogs via Facebook and ever so often, one of them may host a giveaway that completely swoons me.  Well, more than 6 months ago, one of the bloggers I follow (I can't remember who), did just that.  The giveaway was something from Red Letter Words.  As part of the giveaway, we were supposed to peruse their site & pick the thing we loved most. I came across this set which comes from Psalm 1:1-3 and I just fell head-over-heels in LOVE with it.

I had been wanting to get some sort of scripture regarding my family on my walls for the longest time.  I did not win the giveaway and seeing that this set was priced at $165 - $465 (depending on your mounting option), I could see that this was clearly out of my price range.

But, I'm crafty and I knew, where there is a will, there is a way.  So I saved the image on my computer so I could refer back to it when I was ready.  I grew really excited about this plan because I could customize it to the colors I want AND I envisioned putting a tree into the painting.  But, I loved that "typed" effect of the words & I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to certain things so, I knew I did not want to freehand my words.  I paid a visit to my Other Crafty Ventures board on Pinterest.  My first plan was to use stickers, paint over them and peel them off as I saw on this pin from Brassy Apple.  But, this idea was simply not going to pan out for various reasons...the biggest being that the stickers were really hard to peel off after painting over them.  I had some other tutorials pinned but, they seemed a little too complicated for my liking.  Then...just recently, one of my friends pinned another tutorial for transfering words using chalk.  Now THAT I could do!  And, the best part was, I was able to pick fonts closer to what I envisioned as opposed to the sticker collection at Michael's & JoAnn's.  So I finally got to work...

First I printed & planned out my placement

Then I used my daughter's sidewalk chalk on the back

Then, after taping everything in place, I started tracing

"It's working!!!" 

Then I traced carefully with paint before filling in the letters

I would trace & paint-trace one row at a time to ensure that my hand or arm would not rub the chalk off on the words further down.  It was a little tedious but, worth it because I am really pleased with the final outcome...

I couldn't get these on my walls fast enough! They are mounted just inside our front door.  :)

The passage in the tree trunk.

So thankful for how it turned out.
I am still pondering if I want to add a little something to my tree...perhaps some colorful dots or a little bird...or maybe a family of for each of us.  I might down the road but, for now, I think I'll leave it alone.  I'm too nervous to have come this far and possibly ruin it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Banana Oat Muffins *Vegan & Gluten Free* - A Pin Re-Spin

I finally got around to making another pinned recipe, these Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins looked so moist in the picture that they just called my name anytime I would scroll through my pins.  But, as always, I had a few changes to make. :)  And it's funny because, Debbie Reichert at Fit & Healthy adapted her recipe from another blogger.  So this muffin recipe has definitely evolved.  The first was using GF Oats to ensure it would be Gluten Free and the next thing was finding something to replace the yogurt to make it dairy free....full fat coconut milk sounded good to me.  I actually fully intended to use the 2 eggs the original recipe called for however, I only had 1 on hand and I had already added the other ingredients to my food processor.  So, I improvised by adding an extra tablespoon of flaxseed meal.  (I usually soak it in 2 tablespoons of hot water to use as an egg replacement but, I figured the extra moisture from the coconut milk would suffice).  I chose to go with Enjoy Life chocolate chips for my add in because, who doesn't love just a little chocolate?   The muffins came out delicious and the texture was fabulous.  But, the more I thought about it, I figured, if they came out great with only 1 egg, then maybe, I can just eliminate the egg all together and make these vegan friendly.  I still had 3 more overripe bananas sitting on my counter and the muffins were a hit with the whole family so I knew they would not last long.  Sooooo...I went for it & whipped up another batch lickety-split.  The end results?  Perfection!  They had the exact same texture as the first batch (they are mixed in a container and there is no telling which is which now).  These really are SO good!  Paired with some fresh fruit (and a cup of coffee), these are a great way to have a quick and easy breakfast.  And they are perfect for young kids to serve themselves if they are asking for a snack.


2.5 cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats
1 cup full fat coconut milk (mixed well).  The canned version or homemade.

1/2 cup honey
(or maple syrup...My next batch will include maple and pecans... mmmmm)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

4 TbSp ground flax seed
1 tsp vanilla
2 ripe bananas 

Optional Mix-In Ideas:

1/4 C Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1/2 C chopped Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts or pecans.  (I just LOVE macadamia paired with banana)
1/4 - 1/2 c Raisins, chopped apricots or other dry fruit
A little combination of 2 or more


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
    grease your muffin pan (I use Spectrum Organic's's soy free!)
  2. With your chopping blade in place, process the oats in a food processor for 15 seconds. (The original pin said no flour, however, this process creates Oat Flour.)
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients (in no particular order) to the food processor.
  4. Process for about  30-45 seconds to ensure everything is well mixed.
  5. Remove blade, scraping batter off into work bowl.
  6. Add mix-in of choice and stir well.
  7. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin tin. (if there is any batter remaining, divvy it up among the ones with the least amount to even them all out).
  8. Bake for 16-18 min.

1 recipe makes 12 muffins