Oct 1, 2018

One Door Closed

Most of you have been around these parts for a long time and know I started sharing here around the time I was pregnant with my first born. That was nearly 9 years ago. You've been with me through pregnancies, shop sales, gardening, recipes, design randomness, hardships and dreaming big.

And now here you are for another milestone. I recently closed my Etsy shop.

If you feel like you missed the closing announcement, you didn't. It's been a long time coming and something I fought myself and God about and finally said, yes, I trust you and will do this. On one hand it was easy. Now that we're in year 2 of homeschooling and 3 kids under 9, I just don't have the time to run my shop, create new designs, package orders, ship, etc. It is hard and bittersweet. I never intended on starting my own business, I just wanted a way to express myself creatively as I stepped away from my career. Little did I know how much you guys would support my art, my shop and my family.


I made your Christmas cards. Kid's birthday party invitations. Adoption announcements. Prints, cards postcards and buttons. It was a good run. I am so thankful, so blessed that you trusted me with your life events. Thank you for buying prints for your home, your friends and family. You helped my family financially and brought us through some hard times one print order at a time and I am forever grateful for each and every purchase you made. For the friendships made.


Some of you asked why I didn't have a close-out sale or inventory clean out sale. I thought about it but you guys are such rock stars and buy so much I end up drowning in fulfilling orders and I just couldn't muster the strength for one last sale. I hope you understand.

Closing shop was not only hard because I was letting go of a one-time dream but also because my shop has always been financial support for our family of five. I'm a stay at home mom that is homeschooling. My husband is our sole bread-winner and I didn't want to create more stress or pressure to provide but also, I like contributing. I like feeling like what I do matters and makes a difference. Obviously, I know raising kids is super important but you know what I mean?



In the end I just felt God asking me if I trusted him. Do I trust him to meet our needs? And it sounds silly. He always has. And he promises he will. It's not always easy. It's often not easy. It's hard saying no to something that means so much. Like our land. That was hard. But I knew it was what we were supposed to do. And what did he do? Took my little step of obedience and blessed us more than I could imagine. So I closed my shop.

You guys, I can't even begin to tell you the amount of crazy that has happened since closing my shop but it's been such a blessing. A big exciting opportunity was placed in my lap and all I can think is God's looking out, nodding his head and saying, I've got you. Trust me.



See, the other day, I went to order some essential oils we were out of, we took a year + off "extra" expenses as we had zero income for several months so ordering oils was not in the budget and my account deactivated. Anyway, we're more financially stable now so I told my friend, Madison, I needed to reactivate my account and get my oils back. Y'all, I was so excited to get my new kit. My diffuser broke a while back and I've been missing my Thieves something fierce so I was just so thrilled to get back to making sure my family was surrounded by goodness.

Then my friend asked me if I'd be interested in the biz side of oils. Maybe, I said. Somewhat familiar with the business but no clue what she really meant. I mean, if I'd maybe be able to pay for my oils, I'm in! And considering I closed my etsy shop, that maybe little bit of extra income would be amazing. There is SO much more to this story but the timing was all God. She has taken me under her wing and blessed me with a business that has nearly doubled what I was making monthly with my etsy shop in the first month! It's been a crazy ride and I'm so excited to see where it will go.



Not only that, I get to do it with my mom and sister and my closest friends right beside me! I never imagined I'd be on a team of women I admire and respect so much and just feel like pinching myself all the time. I pray this new venture will be an avenue to not only provide for my family but bless the socks off of other people. I have some big goals and big dreams and I'm just so excited! If you would like to know more behind the story, leave me a comment or shoot me an email. I'd love to chat.

Also, it's my birthday week! 

I gifted myself a Premium Starter Kit for my birthday because I want to keep us healthy as sick season approaches and would love to bless others that are interested in joining the journey to wellness for their family or maybe even joining my team of rock stars and dipping their toes into the oily biz so I'm offering $25 off any Premium Kit PLUS I'll send you our member exclusive Handbook for all things Young Living and wellness when you order this week! Click the link to sign up then email me your confirmation and I'll send you a $25 paypal gift card! The kit is usually $160 ($300 value) and you'll get it for $135 plus the handbook for free!


PSK includes: 11 oils, a diffuser, Thieves cleaner and Ningxia Red samples


You guys. I don't know why God works the way he does because goodness knows I do not deserve the blessings he's been heaping on me lately and I'm just so thankful. For some time now, like 5 years or so, I've been praying some of the same prayers - not getting a yes, not getting a no. Just nothing. It has been SO frustrating. At times I've given up. But then I'll see something, hear something and remember I should probably keep praying. Anyway, all that to say SO many of those prayers are being answered and I'm just so thankful and feeling beyond blessed.

So if you're out there, feeling alone, unseen and unheard - I've been there. Keep praying. Keep trusting. You never know what's around the corner.

I'll leave with a quote I read today. It's a quote I've read many times before but it is SO FITTING for this season in my and my husband's lives.

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." - Hellen Keller


Sep 24, 2018

Update on the Land(s)


Well, I am hoping to clear up some confusion about recent posts on instagram regarding our current land situation and catch up on the last year since writing this post about putting the house building on hold and pursing a different dream.

I posted something on my stories a while back when we were out walking around some land and mentioned that it would be our future driveway. Then the messages started pouring in asking what was going on and realized I hadn't shared about anything that's happened in over a year. Oops. Sorry, didn't mean to leave you guys hanging, there's just been a lot happen since then and it's hard to share those snippets on instagram - too much to tell. So here we go.


First time driving around the new land.


I'm going to try to condense everything to make it quick.

First, update on Eric's job as a Land Agent.


He loves it and it's the perfect fit. His office is the outdoors and I couldn't be happier for him. Don't get me wrong, the first 4 months were super had as we all had to adjust to a whole new way of life.  Our routines were tossed out the door and the financial burden of starting a new business, ugh - it was all so much and so fast. I cried. A lot. But it didn't kill us and any dream worth chasing is worth walking, crawling and fighting through the hard times. It's now been over a year since we took that leap of faith and God has been so, so good to us. Good beyond anything I could have imagined!

We recently decided to walk through another open door where he left the agency he was with to start his own Land real estate company, "Zellers Land & Home"! Pretty sure he's a 3 on the enneagram because he is so brave, confident and just goes after things! I'm so proud of him and excited for this new opportunity and I'm learning to just throw my hands up and enjoy the wild ride of it all.

Next, the land.
Well, first things first, we are not building on "Our Land" after all. We still have it and love it but will not be moving there. And I'm actually pretty okay with it.

Why?

Because next up, we bought new land.









Crazy, right. I won't go into a whole lot of details but it was a total answer to prayer. Eric's high school buddy mentioned he saw some land for sale, Eric looked at, his crazy engineering brain started whizzing and before I knew it, we were the proud owners. It was originally 80 but he split some of it up and we'll actually build on 20 of it and sell the other tracts. I mean, it's just crazy even typing that. Our Pond Land, is just under 12. You guys. Go back to my 2013 post when we first bought the land.



It is CRAZY to look back over the last 5 years. 5 years of dreaming big, saying yes, WAITING, walking through doors, taking new risks, saying yes, WAITING, putting dreams on hold while dreaming new dreams, WAITING, saying yes and you guys, maybe this time we'll actually build on some land. haha. We're actually going out next week to lay out where the house will go! This new land, you guys, it's so beautiful. I'll share more as we move forward but wanted to let you know what's going on.




So far we have cleared all tracts, cleared the area for the road, had rocks brought in for the road and asphalt millings put down. The waterline is happening now and next up clear the home site. A lot can happen in a year. haha

And a lot can happen when you choose one little word for your year. Read where it all began here.

As for our Pond Land, we'll likely sell it as we get closer to building. It will be bittersweet, I'm sure but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Next up, I'll update you why I closed my Etsy shop and didn't tell anyone.

Apr 25, 2018

Instant Pot Quinoa Bowls 6 Ways

Happy Wednesday, friends!

I've been making these tasty quinoa bowls the last couple of weeks and shared some on instagram (@lesleyzellers) and recieved several requests to share the recipes, so here goes.



First off, I make quinoa in my Instant Pot. Most of you know my love for my IP but for those new to this blog, an Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker.


What does that mean? I'm not sure but for me it's like a speedy crock pot or sorts. It can cook just about anything, oatmeal, meat, pasta meals and the easiest peeling hard boiled eggs ever - but fast. I use it weekly, if not daily.

So when I found this recipe for "1 minute quinoa" in the Instant Pot I had to try it. I will never make quinoa any other way. I like Trader Joe's Organic Tricolor Quinoa. Granted, the "1-minute quinoa"  takes more like 12-15 from start to finish because you let it depressurize for 10 minutes but it only cooks for 1 minute it's SO easy and the quinoa comes out perfect every time.

I use bone broth to make my quinoa - yet another thing I make in the Instant Pot ;) Seriously, as I type this, I have a batch of bone broth cooking away. I also like to add fresh herbs from the garden to pack in a few more nutrients and flavor. The recipe I use calls for 2 cups of quinoa, but after making it once and having 8 cups of quinoa to eat for a week, I now half the recipe.

So what do you do with 8 cups of cooked quinoa? Make all the quinoa bowls you can think of before it goes bad. These are quick bowls I made with ingredients I had in the fridge.

Now the recipes, which aren't really recipes, just the quinoa topped with different meats, veggies and cheeses. I found by making little changes meals because totally different and I was able to prep several for quick lunches for the week. Just assemble, put in microwave safe containers and microwave when ready to eat.  

First is a breakfast quinoa bowl but also works great for lunch.


BREAKFAST AND VEGGIE QUINOA BOWL
1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed broccoli and spinach
2 Tbls reduced fat feta
fried egg over easy
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for a kick



 CARNITAS AND ZUCCHINI QUINOA BOWL
1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed zucchini, onion and spinach
2 Tbls reduced fat feta
1/4 cup shredded carnitas
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes for a kick



CARNITAS AND ZUCCHINI QUINOA BOWL
1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed spinach
1/2 chopped avocado
1/4 cup shredded carnitas
2 Tbls homemade queso
salt, pepper and fresh salsa



CARNITAS AND BEETS QUINOA BOWL
1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed spinach
1/2 Cup roasted beet slices
1/4 cup shredded carnitas
2 Tbls reduced fat feta
salt and pepper to taste



GREEK GYRO QUINOA BOWL
1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 Cup sauteed spinach
1/4 Cup chopped tomatoes
sliced globe onion
2 Tbls tzaziki sauce (I used Trader Joe's prepared sauce)
2 slices cooked gyro meat (again, Trader Joe's to the rescue)
salt and pepper to taste



BUFFALO CHICKEN QUINOA BOWL
1/2 Cup cooked quinoa
1/2 sliced avocado
sliced green onion, white and green parts
1/2 cup buffalo chicken (I pan simmered cooked chicken in Frank's Red Hot Sauce for about 5 minutes)
2 Tbls "dump ranch" (recipe here)
salt and pepper to taste


There are SO many more ways to change up the quinoa and I'd love to hear from you on what your favorites are. Or even your favorite ways to eat quinoa? For more instant post inspiration check out my pinterest board: Instant Pot Recipes.

Mar 26, 2018

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

About this time of year I get a lot of questions about what my favorite salad dressings are so I'll be sharing some I like over the next couple of weeks.


Today I'm sharing my favorite balsamic vinaigrette recipe. It's quick, easy and my go-to for nearly any salad.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons canola oil, or avocado oil
1 tablespoon spicy mustard (I like Jack Daniel's no.7)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs, I like basil, oregano and chives (if using dry, use about 1-2 teaspoons)
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake to mix. Drizzle of you favorite salad or pizza. Trust me, it's really good on pizza. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Nov 22, 2017

easy creamy deviled eggs

***UPDATED POST FROM PREVIOUS POST ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED APRIL 2011***


deggs5


Every time I share that I'm making deviled eggs in Instagram, I always get requests for the recipe so here it is again. I originally posted this several years back but wanted to make a few changes since I've tweaked it a little over the years. You can still see the original post here.

One thing that hasn't changed it the fact that it's still my favorite deviled egg recipe and it's the only one I use. I originally used Martha Stewart's recipe but have adapted it to make it fitting to my personal tastes.
What you'll need:
12 eggs
1/2 cup mayo
1 tablespoon  Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Dijon mustard (it really makes all the difference)
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 green onions - minced, green and white parts used
1/2 Claussen Kosher dill pickle spear - seeds removed then minced (again, this makes all the difference)
1/4 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce (I prefer it to Tabasco)
fine sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
paprika



Here's where I break into song about how much I love my Instant Pot. Perfectly easy to peel hard boiled eggs in 15 minutes? Yes, Please! Maybe I won't break into song but I do love my IP.

If you don't have an Instant Pot, refer to original recipe. If you do, and have never made hard boiled eggs, it's super easy. Put a steamer basket in the bottom, add 1 cup of water, place eggs on top, cover with lit (make sure the vent is sealed), set manual to 5 minutes. It takes about 5 minutes to come to pressure, 5 minutes to cook, and then I let it come down from pressure for about 5 minutes before quick-releasing the valve.

Then I take the eggs out of the Instant Pot and drop into a bowl filled with ice and water and let cool for about 5 minutes.

While the eggs are cooling, I make the filling. Combine everything else except the paprika into a mixing bowl fitted with the beater attachment for a stand mixer: mayo, mustard, vinegar, onions, pickle, hot sauce and salt and pepper.

After your eggs have cooled, take off all the shells (should be effortless thanks to the Instant Pot), slice lengthwise and put the yolks in the mixture.

Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until creamy.




Once the mixture is nice and creamy, I spoon it into a ziploc freezer bag to seal and stick it in the refrigerator to sit overnight. I like making the filling the day before because I think the flavors really come out but you could always do it the day of. No shame.

I also place the sliced eggs in the refrigerator on a covered plate. I've put the filling right in the eggs and then refrigerated it but it always seems to gather condensation and nobody likes wet eggs! So, I take the egg whites out, wipe them down with a tea towel and fill the eggs right before serving.


Here's my no-frill method to fill the whites. Take out your ziploc bag and make a small cut in one of the corners. Gently squeeze the bag and fill each egg. Simple!

I should note that I've tried regular Ziploc bags, not freezer, and have had them bust open before. So, invest in the heavy duty bag for mess-free filling.


Lastly, I like to sprinkle a little paprika over the eggs. I think it's more out of habit than flavor but it also makes them look even prettier. Not pictured here because I ran out of paprika.

And that's that! I'd love to hear your Thanksgiving dish staples! What is a must have at holiday dinners?

Sep 13, 2017

recipeforcrazy.com print closeout sale!

That's right. After several years of offering a variety of prints in my etsy shop, recipe for crazy, I am making a little change.

When I opened my shop I had three prints that I designed and offered as reproductions. I had just left my career as a graphic designer to stay home and raise my newborn baby girl. I had a lot of free time on my hands and wanted to continue pursing my love of design so I opened an etsy shop.



My shop grew. I created and offered more designs. Sales grew. My customers grew. And, my family grew!

I loved creating. I loved fulfilling orders and meeting new friends through those sales. I also liked the feeling of helping financially contribute to my family, especially since we were down to one income.

Now that I am a mom to three and just recently jumped full in on homeschooling them (I don't think I've shared that here, just on instagram, so yes, we are homeschooling this year), I feel like it's time for a change. I'll share more about other changes coming to the shop soon, but for now, I have decided to clear out my inventory for all prints. This was not an easy decision for me and one I've been wrestling with for a while. That said, I've decided to go ahead do it because I think it will be best for my family and hopefully open up some time I would have otherwise spent packing and shipping orders.

This does not mean I'm closing my shop. I will still offer postcards, greeting cards and buttons and maintain all wholesale clients and orders, but the days of being able to order a 5x7 or 8x10 print and have it delivered to your mailbox, well, those days will soon be gone.

A closeout sale wouldn't be complete without a massive discount on remaining inventory so I have marked every print down to 5 dollars!

That's right, every single print. 8x10 "Coffee and Jesus", $5. 5x7 "How Big is Your Brave?" 8x10 "Linger Longer" - that's right, $5.

ALL prints are only $5 (while supplies last).

I can't do this without saying thank you to every single one of you that has supported me by purchasing prints over the years. You have made this Okie girl feel so blessed. You made some of my wildest dreams come true and I cannot say thank you enough. Really, Thank you.

Alright friends, hop on over to the shop and grab some of these deeply discounted prints before they're gone!




Jun 27, 2017

What's going on with your Land?

What's going on with your Land? I thought you were building a house. Didn't you decide on your floor plans? What's the big news with your family?

Just a few questions I've been asked lately and this is the post where I try to answer all those. Grab a coffee, this may take a while.

Before I answer those questions I want to do a quick recap for those new to this blog, my instagram and our journey to "dreamin a big dream."

February 2013 - found 12 acres of rough land and bought it (read more about it here)



For the next year we worked at clearing some trees, building a fence and cleaning up the land. We moved into my husband's grandma's vacant house for the time being and that's where we still are. Thankfully his family has let us stay a bit longer than anticipated!



August 2014 - we started work to build a pond. The land had 2 small ponds on it but my husband (civil engineer) wanted a 2-3 acre pond so he drew up the plans and constructed a pond. He even got to put his surveying skills to work!




The pond filled up and the next couple of years that followed were spent looking at floor plans, dreaming and scheming where and what house to build and working out the finances.



August - finalized house location on land and had to do a little more ground work for the pad site, which also meant dropping the pond to pull dirt for the site, thus making the pond deeper.




September 2016 -  finalized the floor plans and sent them off for various bids!




That was nearly a year ago and we still haven't started building.

So what's going on?

Well, for one, the wood company (my husband read this & told me it should be lumber company not wood company >eye roll emoji< teasing ) kept missing deadlines, forgot about our project, the holidays hit and then it was January and still no finished wood schedule. It was really frustrating but it ended up being for the best because it opened the door for our family to walk through and even bigger dream!

Here's the thing, when we bought the land we had this idea that it would be more than a place to live. We wanted chickens, goats, maybe some mini cows, basically a hobby farm. We wanted to plant a garden and small orchard. We wanted to live off the land and live a more self-sustaining life.

Since the land didn't come with a house on it or barns or anything farm related, we would have to start from scratch and that kind of requires a little more money than we expected. We got the estimates back and were left with a couple options.

1. We build but hold off several years on the hobby farming. We live happily ever after.
2. We build smaller, start a small hobby farm, live happily ever after.
3. We sell. We find something else maybe with a house on it, maybe not. We figure it out and live happily ever after.

There was a problem with options 1 & 2. To be able to afford those, it basically meant my husband working at his job until retirement. We could make it happen but it would require his steady stream of income, working 50+ hours a week which didn't leave much time to work a hobby farm.

So now what. Well, I had a mini freak out moment. I texted my sister to pray for a miracle. Little did I know that the miracle I had in my head was much smaller that the miracle God was able to do.

I was praying for God to show us what to do with the land with Eric's job.

I loved my land. I wanted my land. I had my floor plan. I had the perfect hammock spot picked out. I knew what the kitchen would look like. I had the tile planned, sink picked out, I had already had a hundred cups of coffee in my kitchen in my head. I wanted to build on my land.




But just like that, God changed my heart and allowed me to release my tight little fists and let go of the possibility of building and living there. When I opened my hands, he poured out His grace.

For the next part of this story to make sense, you have to know my husband. His name is Eric & most of you know we've known each other since middle school. Anyone that knows him knows he loves to fish, loves the outdoors and is a major people person and he always has been. But he's also super smart. He got a degree in Civil Engineering and is really good at what he does. The problem though is his current office job and passions just don't mix. He spends the majority of his life inside an office building behind a desk and while I'm thankful for the provision of his career, I've always wanted more for him. I believe God gave him those passions for the outdoors for a reason and I wasn't at peace signing those papers to build a house knowing it would mean he would be in that office for the better part of the remainder of his life.

So, I did what any normal person would do and pretty much vomited all of my thoughts, feelings and fears up at his feet. We talked. Prayed and decided to press pause on the house building and wait on God.

Well, He did not take long. The next couple of months door after door after door opened to new possibilities and opportunities neither of us could have dreamed up on our own. We didn't know where we were going but we decided as long as He kept opening the doors we were going to walk through them, trusting God.

So now here we are. Where's that? I'll just copy/paste what Eric shared on facebook:
Hi everyone. I wanted to take a quick minute to introduce myself & update my friends on some recent life changes. I know a lot of you are surprised to see my name pop up on social media but here I am!
As most of you know, my name is Eric, I'm married to my high school sweetheart Lesley Zellers and together we have 3 kids. I went to OSU where I got a degree in Civil Engineering and then worked at a great company here in Tulsa, Meshek & Associates for 10 years. I went on to get my license as a Professional Engineer and pursued surveying as well.
Those that know me best know my passion is spending time with my family and being outdoors. While I was thankful for a job that provided for my family and enabled my wife to stay home to raise our kids, I struggled with wanting to do more and be more.
I recently had the opportunity to pursue a dream that has been years in the making. Every step I've taken brought me to a point where I (and my family) had to decide to take a leap of faith & go after ours dreams or stay in the security of our current situation. We decided to take the leap, knowing and trusting that no matter what, God is there and that's all we need.
I am now working with some amazing people at Midwest Land Group as a Land Agent. In short, my office is no longer a cubicle in the middle of a city, instead it's dirt roads and wide open spaces. I get to find recreational land, farm land, ranches, hobby farms, etc...for people and help them pursue their dreams and I get to spend more time with my family. It really is a dream come true and I am so thankful and blessed for this opportunity.
And since I'll have a little more free time on my hand I thought it was the perfect time to get on social media & connect with old friends, make new friends and share a little bit of my journey on this new adventure.
Thank you to everyone that has played a part in making this dream possible, the support of my family & friends, the Meshek's and all my engineering colleagues and the guys at Midwest Land Group.
So that's where we are. My husband left his engineering job and is now working at a job where he basically helps people find the land of their dreams! How crazy is this life?!

Will we sell our land? I don't know. Maybe we'll end up building out there after all and chasing those others dreams of a simpler life living off the land. But right now everything is on hold while we adjust to his new job and our new way of living.

But you guys, house or no house, land or no land, God answered a prayer I've been seeking for over three years and that was for my outdoorsy loving husband to have an opportunity to live out his passions and now he is! He is outside every day, talking to people, sharing his skills and vision with land owners and those looking for land and nearly every day he tells me he can't believe this is his job. Also, how cute is he?!

And not to toot our horns or anything, but I will say it took a giant leap of faith to do this. Eric is responsible for 99% of our family's income and had a very steady job that he was really good at. We could have stayed in that life, knowing what our future would look like and remain pretty secure financially or we had the opportunity to take a leap of faith, jumping into a much riskier situation for our family but trusting that God that He would catch us even if this new adventure fails.

So sink or soar, we took the leap and I'm pretty excited to see where this path takes us!

I am going to end this with a video my sister sent me shortly after I asked her to pray for a miracle.

Everyone should watch this video!




P.S. If you are looking for land to build your dreams on, hunting, fishing, farming, etc. contact Eric! Some of the listings currently available are up on his agent page but he is one of the first to see properties before they are available to the public so he has "dibs" on your future property! (not so shameless plug)