In the Kitchen

Kaelyn and I spent some time in the kitchen today making pumpkin cookies. I meant to get these made before the holidays but for some reason I ran out of time. :)
When I suggested making them with K today, she was not interested... I think because chocolate was not in the name. But I told her she might really like them if she gave them a try, so she did.
And she loved them. I think it's one of the yummiest cookies to come out of my kitchen so thought I'd pass on the recipe. I followed the directions HERE but halved everything, which made 30 cookies. If you like pumpkin you should definitely make some. They are really good right out of the oven without any icing... yes I may have eaten too many that way. :)


Christmas 2011

We had a wonderful Christmas... very busy, but fun. When Kaelyn was asked today what her favorite part of Christmas was, she answered "eating together!" So I guess she really enjoyed all the yummy food she had while family was around! :)
{collage created using Smilebox}


From Us...

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Photo shot by K's Aunt Amy, Edited by me, Outfit from Shoppe on the Corner.


Yummy House and Shop News

{Kaelyn decorating her first gingerbread house}
With every one piece of candy that went on the house, one would go in her mouth. Little stinker! She had so much fun! :)

Quick Enduring Arts update: The shop will be closing Monday morning, the 19th for holiday break. I plan on opening back up January 2nd. Thank you to all those who have supported the shop this last year! I wouldn't be able to do what I love if it wasn't for you! ♥


Simple Owl Cake Directions

Since I've received a few emails/comments asking how I did the owl cake for Kaelyn's last birthday I figured I should just share the directions on here. If you've been reading my blog for awhile you know I don't spend any longer in the kitchen than I have to so this cake was quick and easy.
I made two cakes in a 9x13 cake pan. (Pick your favorite kind(s) of cake.) The body part of the owl is chocolate and when the cake was cool I cut the outline... just eyeballed it. If you want something exact I suggest making a template out of wax paper then placing it on top and cutting around it. (I prefer making a slight indention with my knife first to make sure I like the shape.) I made the body as big as possible, so not much cutting off the sides, just the top and rounding off the bottom. The wings are white cake... again just eyeballed the cutout. When moving the big body part out of the pan I did have my husband help so we each had a spatula under it so it wouldn't break apart. I bought 1 container of vanilla whipped frosting. I kept some of the frosting as is for the whites of the eyes, then added a few drops of red food coloring for the pink, and a few more drops for the darker pink. Jellybeans were used for the flower and beak and a mini oreo split in half makes up the dark parts in the eyes. Simple, right!? :)
Go HERE if you want to see more pictures of Kaelyn's owl birthday.
Can't believe my baby is almost 4! Tear. I do have some fun ideas for her next cake though. I plan on keeping it just as simple. Stay tuned...



I won't list all that I'm thankful for because it would seriously turn into a book. :) At the top though is my wonderful husband and my beautiful daughter, as if you couldn't have guessed that! Ha, ha. I am a very lucky wife and mama.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Photo by Kaelyn's Aunt Amy. See more of her wonderful work at DesignerGenes Photography. The adorable outfit is from Shoppe on the Corner.


Unglued Christmas Market!

If you are around the Fargo, ND area be sure to check out Unglued's Christmas Market!
Several talented artists and crafters will have their work displayed. I was thrilled when they asked me to send a variety of my inspirational and religious prints to be part of their shop's inventory! Yay! And to add to the excitement there will be awesome gift workshops for both kids and adults! There's also free hot chocolate for people to enjoy and sweet tunes. It will be a whimsical, refreshing holiday shopping time. So go get something entirely unique for a family member, friend or just spoil yourself... you deserve it! :) Shopping begins Black Friday!!!


Bicycle Painting in Progress

Hello! It has been awhile since I've showed you some artwork so thought I'd share a glimpse of what has been going on (or rather SHOULD be going on) in my studio. Time for just painting has been very limited lately so I've been glad for our art group that meets once a month. We met yesterday and I was able to get a little more accomplished on this detailed project...
It is a gift for my hubby. He knows about it and probably wonders if it will ever be finished. I still have quite a ways to go. Maybe in 2012 it will be complete? :)


Happy Halloween!

This little flutter bug could not wait to go trick or treating this year! She is already looking forward to next years Halloween. :)

It was a delightful night filled with visiting family and friends.
Hope you had a Happy Halloween!


Artistic Pumpkin

Here is Kaelyn's masterpiece of a pumpkin. :)
She loves to paint so that was her choice on how to decorate it. For some reason this girl likes spiders. (She is not at all like her mother in that area!) Anyway so I obliged and drew her a spider and then she drew a web and gave it some nice color. She loves it and insists that it cannot stay outside for other people to see. It has to be in the house so she can keep an eye on it. Ha, ha!

Have a great weekend!


Beautiful Fall Weekend

The weather was beautiful this weekend. (for SD temps anyway) It was nice to be outside for awhile even if there was work to be done like raking. :)
Hope you all had a nice weekend!


Follow Your Heart...

Always... even when it is hard.
Believe in yourself!


Super Simple Supper

Thought I'd share what I made for supper last night... a baked taco ring. It looks a little fancier than our normal meal and it's easy to make! I love that since I don't enjoy sending long in the kitchen. (I just don't have enough time in the day! Ha!) Click HERE for the recipe. Kaelyn really enjoyed watching the "sun" be made out of the crescent rolls and meat mixture. When I make it again I'll probably add some beans to it. :)
I was able to use onions and tomatoes from my garden. Love fresh produce!
Kaelyn is a pretty picky eater but she gobbled it up (except for the lettuce and onions)! Hope you enjoy it as well.


Beautiful South Dakota Day

Enjoying this weather. There aren't going to be many more days like today (atleast for several months)... soon the ground will be covered in snow and I will want to hibernate. :)


Kaelyn's Happy Place

Kaelyn had so much fun last weekend. Here are just a couple of the highlights...

{K and me by my cloud painting}

Last Friday was the artists' reception at the Goss. K was so proud of her painting and the attention she was getting. Sure you can't tell with her happy dance! :)

Then Saturday after playing with one of her cousins she hadn't seen for a long time she went to a birthday party at one of her very favorite spots... the Children's Museum in Brookings SD. If you have young children and you're near Brookings, it is a must stop. Kaelyn would go every day if she could.

You won't stay dry in the water room, but it is sure fun for all ages.

Who wouldn't love a huge light brite!?
Here's Laney the birthday girl in the art room. :)
K with 3 of her cousins on air!
Digging for dinasour bones... or just digging. :)
One happy three year old.


Part of My Heart...

belongs to creating art. I've had so many ideas run through my head over the years for paintings and other artwork/designs. I've tried many and never been real happy with the outcome. I think I'm finally getting to where I want to be and I'm so excited! I enjoy creating lots of different art and designs like the typography prints in my shop but they haven't been exactly what I would say I LOVE to do.

This is more "me", its letting go with my own style...

{Proverbs 21:31 ~ acrylic on wood}

it is painting from my heart. I believe God gives us our own unique talents and dreams and He wants us to use them. And well since a very young age I have always loved art and said I would be an artist when I grow up. Because of this I wanted Him to be part of my paintings. Not only did I want to paint a creation of His that I think is beautiful but I wanted to incorporate scripture as well. I literally asked Him to pick the verse He wanted me to use on the painting (after it was almost finished) and He gave me Proverbs 21:31. You may be asking how did He tell you to use that one? Well I asked Him if He wanted me to use one of His verses He would have to help me by picking one that would go with the painting and it would have to be on whatever page I first opened the bible to... and there it was.

"The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord."

Coincidence? I don't think so. I'm excited to see what He has in store for the next one! ♥


Celebrate the Arts at the Goss!

There is always so much to see at the Goss Opera House on Kemp Ave in Watertown SD. If you love art and a building with lots of character, this place is a must stop... just make sure you have enough time to browse through all three floors. My cloud painting is currently being displayed on the second floor along with many other talented artists' work. Yay! :)

The show will run through the end of September. There will also be an Artists' Reception on Sept. 30 from 5pm-7pm. So if you are in the area we would love for you to stop by! If you can't make the reception you can visit the gallery Mondays from 9am-7pm, Tues.-Sat. from 9am-9pm or Sunday from 10am-2pm. The second floor artwork changes monthly.
Look, little Kaelyn's painting is also there! (on the right) She's the youngest (3) to have art on display there. :) My mom also has a beautiful watercolor painting on display as well. Thank you to the talented and sweet Corine Beving who invited us to be part of the show! She has a show of her work on the first floor.
Also when you are there, you have to get something to eat or a specialty drink. It just goes so well with the art ya know. :) The boy working created art in a cup for me. (He had to make sure I saw it before putting the cover on, so I made him happy and took a picture of it. Ha,ha!) Gotta love it!



Wishes... we all have them; dreams for ourselves as well as our loved ones. It is up to us to make dreams a reality. Some can take a LOT of work and determination while others may just end up staying a dream... you know the ones that only a greater power has control over and maybe the dream/idea was planted into our mind so we would experience a new journey and learn new lessons along the way. Either way doing something about the wishes/dreams we have is good. Nothing can come true if we don't even try.

I took this photo of my daughter last June and I recently came across it again. I LOVE capturing moments like this. Life seems so magical through a child's eyes. The simplest things in nature are great treasures. Kaelyn has the best time making discoveries of God's little creations... what we as adults often pass by. It is refreshing to follow her around and look at things from a different perspective. I will never tire of witnessing her excitement from the natural "beauties" in the environment around her.

The photo also makes me think of my own wishes. So often we are drawn into the "worldly rules." By this I mean we are brought up to think we have to go to school, get a good paying job so we can afford the material items such as a house, car, food, stuff... and to take care of our family. Money is such a control factor. It seems many of us lose sight of the dreams we once had as a child. Do many people even dream anymore? Or maybe several dream but just don't act on making it a reality? I think fear has a lot to do with following our heart. I know people's thoughts/opinions have an impact on me. I'm finally realizing I can't make everyone happy and that is okay. I've always wanted to please everyone else but it isn't fulfilling me or my purpose.

Yesterday I came across a reading from a daily devotional I was given at the Rescue Her 5K event, and it really struck a chord in me. Talk about everything happening for a reason! Anyway, here is what it said:
I will give them an undivided heart. Eze 11:19
Do what you love, love what you do.
Successful people allow their God-given passion and talent to guide them in life. They have a single focus and an undivided heart. God doesn't create you to be talented in an area, then ask you to give yourself to some unrelated area. There's always a potential alignment of talent and passion, if you have the courage to pursue your life's purpose and take risks. Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life? writes: "I'm convinced that business success in the future starts with the question, 'What should I do with my life?' People don't succeed by migrating to a 'hot' industry or by adopting a particular career-guiding mantra. They thrive by focusing on the question of who they really are--and connecting to work they truly love (and, in so doing, unleashing a productive and creative power they never imagined)." Carly Fiorina said, "Love what you do, or don't do it... Make the choice to do something because it engages your heart as well as your mind. Make the choice because it engages all of you."

Pretty powerful isn't it? I'm guilty of often putting my passion on the back burner. I tend to stay in the "safety lane" you might say. I think I need to switch lanes or maybe try a roller coaster... it would be a lot more fun wouldn't it? I truly believe our passion is there for a reason so why not follow our heart now?


Rescue Her 5K run

Last Saturday our family participated in the Rescue Her 5K run. Some of you know I do not enjoy running like my husband does, but since I feel so strongly for this cause I was determined to do the run. I honestly haven't done any running for the last 3 years (other than chasing after my daughter). So to get in shape to run a 5K was a bit of work! :) My hubby, being the fantastic athlete he is, had no trouble figuring out a running schedule for me and specific stretches for my knee. I had a couple goals for this event... 1. Raise extra cash for the organization to help save more girls from living a horrible nightmare. (Thank you to my family for all your support!!! Love you guys!) and 2. I really wanted to run the entire 3.1 miles and do it in less then 30 minutes. And you know what? We did it!!! Yay!
{Right after the race. K had enjoyed her ride and me, well I was glad to be done. Ha!}
{our family}

It was a gorgeous day!

I previously posted about Rescue Her but if you would like more info please go HERE.


True Love {adoption}

It is pretty amazing all the connections that can be made through technology today. You never know whose path is going to cross yours. A total stranger can have a huge impact on your life. Are you willing to allow others to touch your heart whether it be on-line or off-line? We can be taught so much if we are just open to it.

I recently had the pleasure of getting to know a little about Whitney Runyon via the internet. She shared photos she took from a recent adoption she was blessed to witness and document. Here are a few of her shots...

You can see a lot more of the journey HERE.

The moments that Whitney captured made me cry... they really did. She captured so much love from this family. And the little boy... he is finally home and you can see how happy he is. ♥ Doesn't it look like he has always been with them? What a perfect fit... God is so good. He joined this family together through adoption.

I want to give this mom and dad a hug for opening their hearts to a little one that needed a home... needed a family... needed to be loved. You can get a glimpse into the family's life HERE. I especially love this post. Their blog is bound to make you smile. :)

The Eicher's family went through Reese's Rainbow adoption agency.

And guess what, Whitney is looking for more families to work with and share their stories! If you are interested send her an email at wrunyonphotography@gmail.com . To see more of her photography go HERE.


the outdoor photo shoot

A few of my favorites from last weeks photo shoot...

I made her stick around extra long just for these dress shots. I wanted the sun to be in a certain spot. So I was really hoping they would turn out. I was happy with the results.
Oh, and she is going into photography... so no extra pressure in getting good photos! ;)

Had to play around with shooting into the sun. You never know what will show up on your photo.
Thought they turned out pretty good as this is the first time I've really photographed anyone over the age of 4. (Other then my husband with K.) Wonder if she knew that before asking me to take her pictures. Hee, hee. I also don't have anything real special for a camera... so I was pretty nervous prior to taking these photos. Thank God for helping me out. He created some amazing backdrops!
Now if only my kiddo would pose for me, I'd have a lot of fun! :)
{Linking up with Jennifer's Sneak Peek Friday. Check out more creativity on her blog!}