feeling grateful

I was not feeling well this past weekend and wanted take a few moments today to reflect upon the things that I am grateful for this holiday season.

I am forever grateful for my family. I'm thankful for my husband Bert and the patience, love, support and friendship he shares with me every day. I couldn't have asked for a better partner in life or father for our children. I'm thankful for my children; Ethan shines with limitless happiness and excitement and Hudson sees the world with wonderment and creativity. I am extremely lucky to have them in my life and see the world as they do.

I am grateful for our home and all that we have. The kids and I went through our toys, clothes and household items this weekend. I was amazed and humbled at just how much we have and just how much we are able to donate to help others.

I am grateful for my extended family and friends. Without them, I wouldn't be me. They have helped see me through so much in my life and I am thankful for all their love and support. My good friends (old and new) help me to smile, laugh and appreciate others. And for that I say thanks.

I hope you had a lovely weekend, enjoyed your holiday and took a moment to give thanks!


desert botanical gardens

On Friday, my long time friend Carla and I got to spend the day together. Carla was in town for the ArtFest of Scottsdale and took some time out of her trip to spend the afternoon with me. We had a fabulous lunch at Arcadia Farms, known for their local and organic menu, and then headed to the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens.

I was the lucky recipient of a Culture Pass which led us to the Desert Botanical Gardens. The culture pass is a program that began in April and allows library members to sign out passes for free admission for 4 people to 15 different museums and cultural institutions around the valley. It's a pretty neat program. The library near me makes them available at random so, it's the luck of the draw and on Friday I happened to pick up a pass the Desert Botanical Gardens, score! While there we visited the Mariposa Monarca Monarch Butterfly Exhibit.

Hope you had a lovely weekend!


pumpkin fritters

This fritter recipe was passed along to me by my good friend Erica. It has become a recipe I look forward to making each year during pumpkin season. I took this recipe to a pumpkin picnic last weekend and the kids gobbled them up. The fact that I called them pumpkin donuts instead of fritters I think made the kids want to try them. My kids get giddy whenever donuts are mentioned.

I use real pumpkin but, you could try it with canned pumpkin and that would be yummy too.

Pumpkin Fritters (aka Pumpkin Donuts)
  • 1 small pumpkin (2 cups mashed pumpkin)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 - 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil for frying
  • confectioner's sugar
First remove seeds and peel the pumpkin. To easily peel the pumpkin I roast it in the oven for about 15 min covered until the skin easily peels away or is at least soft enough to easily cut away. Then chop, boil, drain and mash the pumpkin. Combine 2 cups of mashed pumpkin with sugar, whole wheat flour, vanilla and salt. Heat oil in tall saucepan, spoon in mixture and fry. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

This year I decided to make 3 small pumpkins at once. After I prepared the pumpkins I portioned out 3 containers with 2 cups of mashed pumpkin in each. I fried one batch up right away, refrigerated one for the following day and froze one to save for Thanksgiving. This way, I just combine the ingredients and fry without the hassle of preparing a whole pumpkin each time.

Hope you are enjoying pumpkin season! I sure am.


day trippin'

Last weekend we took the family for a drive up north to Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. We watched the leaves fall as we drove through Oak Creek Canyon. I forgot how beautiful it is to see the leaves delicately fall all around us. Once there, we ...

had a picnic lunch

played in the leaves

took pictures of the trees, this was taken by Hudson!

feed a goat named Amber

and admired this metal Javelina at an art show, Ethan loved him

While in the area we visited our friends Carla and Mark of Black Mountain Jewelry (and their dog Sam) at an art show they were attending. Lastly, we stopped at the Black Cow Cafe in uptown Sedona and enjoyed some homemade ice cream before hitting the road to head back home. What a sweet way to end a nice day trip with my family.


logo redesign

I created my biz logo for Creative Stash 3 years ago when I was selling handmade paintings and gifts at a local farmers/craft market. I signed up to be a vendor and scrambled to create a logo and print business cards. I have wanted to redo it for awhile but, the timing was never quite right. This year, Creative Stash has branched off into a few different avenues and I felt it was time to revisit my logo and create a professional and cohesive look.

I redesigned it to be a clean, simple design based off the color wheel and used own handwriting ta-boot! Remember when I created my own font? I am thrilled to be able to use my handwriting, it gives the design a personal touch. I'm really excited to begin using my new logo. Hopefully, it doesn't take me forever to get it implemented on my website, blog and etsy shop.


thank you veterans!

Happy Veterans Day to all who have served (and currently serve) our great nation. Thank you for your courage, dedication and sacrifice. Thank you for our freedom and for protecting our families. Many thanks and blessings.


i'm an art masterpiece guide!

The Olive Tree by Vincent van Gogh

I just finished the last of the mandatory training classes for the Mesa Public Schools (MPS) Art Masterpiece Program. As of tonight, I'm a trained Art Masterpiece Guide. WooHoo!

I learned about Art Masterpiece during parent/teacher open house and am really excited to be involved at Ethan's school. Art Masterpiece is an art appreciation program offered to elementary children by parent volunteer guides. Essentially, art history for kids. The goal is to help students look, think and talk about great masterpieces of art. As a guide I will lead 15-20 minute discussions about famous paintings once every two weeks starting in January. I am grateful for the training classes as they provided me with information about the program, art history and lots of presentation ideas. And, it was really nice to learn that Mesa Public Schools puts a high value on art education.

I remember loving my art history courses in college and look forward to learning about the artwork. Plus, seeing it through the eyes of 5 and 6 year old kids is going to be awesome!


monthly goal meetup

(image: Modish Biz Tips)

Ahh November. Weather outside is just perfect, we are spending our days visiting parks once again. All of the sudden life feels a little kinder, a little slower and a little more festive as the holidays peak around the corner. Last month I joined modish biz tips blog in their monthly goal meetup to help keep my on top of my biz goals for Creative Stash. I did not accomplish all the goals that I set in Oct but, I did start mid-month instead of at the beginning so, I guess I can cut myself a little slack. ;)

Here were my October goals and what I accomplished...

  1. create weekly schedule for marketing/business/creative time so, I'm not so overwhelmed
  2. take jewelry pictures for etsy shop
  3. gift packaging idea & photo for etsy shop
  4. website splash page
  5. new business cards
November Biz Goals:
  1. graphics referral sheet with info & prices
  2. website splash page
  3. new business cards
  4. gift packaging idea & photo for etsy shop
  5. add bookmarks to etsy shop
Best of luck to all those participating in the Monthly Goal Meetup for November!