Feb 28, 2013

Hope Spoken


Pinch me now because I'm about to write a whole lot of awesome in one post.

In case you haven't heard, there's this conference going on next year and I think you should go. Three amazing women got together and made this thing happen. What women? Danielle Burkleo, Emily Anderson and Casey Wiegand! Can you even believe it?!

hope spoken

I know. Exciting stuff. Go to the Hope Spoken website, here, and check out all the information about the conference and see what amazing speakers they have lined up. You'll flip out. Seriously.

And since I care about you guys and want you to be in the know, tickets are going on sale tonight at midnight! You can register here.

Also, pinch me again because I was asked to design a print based on the verses for the conference, Romans 5:1-5. Here it is:

we rejoice

But wait, there's more! The first 20 to register get a little package of goodies, including my print.

First 20 tickets are gone! But you can still get your own copy of my print here.

Here's what you get:

from Hope Spoken instagram feed
headband from Rayna Jaye (shop here), print from me (shop here) and bracelet from maddynbella (shop here)

I'm so excited about this conference and really hope you'll come! It's a year away, so start planning!! Okay, set your alarm for midnight and go get your ticket!

Feb 24, 2013

The Dream


That picture was taken on January 7 and was the first glimpse I shared into our dream on instagram of all places!

Most of you remember this post where I shared about my word for the year. It was that first picture and that place where we stood that night that made me want to dream.

Here's a little history before I jump into the good stuff.

When I was in high school I wanted to live in the middle of the city - just minutes from anything and everything. Shopping, dining, concerts, etc. After the husband and I moved back to our hometown after college, we found the perfect little house smack dab in the heart of midtown.

It was perfect. Well not PERFECT. But exactly what I had pictured in my head. We also bought the house before we had kids with the intention of moving out of town after we did the city thing for a few years.

Well, time does what is does best and passed. We have been through some amazing times in the house and area and now, nearly six years and two kids later, we're moving out.

I know what you're thinking. "Whoop-di-doo. That's not super exciting news."

Well, no, it's not really. But it's about to get good.

While moving out of the middle of the city has always been a goal - it hasn't been the Dream.

When the husband and I talk about what we want out of life we always come back to a simpler life with room to run.


We always imagined we would move to a house out of town, maybe with an acre or so, raise our kids there, send them off to college, then and only then, be able to move to a dream-place with wide-open spaces and land - in like 20+ years.

Turns out our dream was a whole lot closer than we could have ever dreamed.


Over the course of several months, the husband spent hours every night scouring the internet for our next home. We found some possibilities and even thought we had found a pretty good option. God closed that door and we didn't get down, we just kept looking - praying and asking for the perfect spot.

God is good, y'all.


A few months later and a gazillion searching hours later, the husband found THE PLACE.

It wasn't anything like what we had been looking for.

Goodness, this place didn't even have a house on it! Ha.

Just 12 acres of woods and a couple ponds! Our little piece of earth to build and raise our family.


So we went to look at the land and just felt a calmness that this would be our place. We prayed and prayed about it and surrendered it to God. We asked for guidance and over the next week or so, we visited it a few more times and eventually put an offer in to buy it.

That's when this picture happened.


Ha. I'm a dork, I know. That's the day we got the call our offer was accepted!!

All we had to do was wait on inspections and closing and then it would be our's.


This past Friday, that 12 acre spot of awesomeness became our very own little place in this world!


And that, my friends, is our big dream.

To have a piece of land to raise our girls on, grow food and bless others through it all and honestly, y'all, it's more than we deserve or could have ever asked for.

There's so much more to this story and I hope to share it one day but this post is long enough and I just wanted to share our big news today.


Thank you to everyone that has encouraged us and shared in our joy. It means so much. Now all we have to do is build a house and sell this one! #nbd

Happy Monday! Oh, and to add to the celebration, head over to Meg's Craft Weekend sponsor post today get a discount code for my shop!

Feb 18, 2013

Garden Tip - Soil Prep

prepping your soil for food gardening

I realize this topic may have been better as the first part of my garden tips series, but alas, I didn't think all this through and I didn't realize you guys would be as interested in this stuff as you seem to be. So after some comments and emails regarding dirt, i realized it might be a little helpful to know how we prepare our soil for growing food.

This past weekend we planted herbs, tomatoes and peppers in starter pots so as my husband mixed the soil, I snapped some pictures from my phone.

This is how he does it:

1. Start your base with some basic potting soil. We used about a half a bag and just dumped it into a wheel barrow.

prepping your soil for food gardening

You can find this at your local nursery (Stringer's if your in town) or garden supply center. While Miracle Grow works pretty good, the husband does not recommend it for food gardening because it's a little acidic and heavy for food.

2. Add in compost or dark soil from your garden if you don't have a compost pile/bin. You'll want about equal parts compost and potting soil.

If you haven't started composting, you should. It's like recycling your food and it's not only great for the earth, it also makes the most amazing soil to add back into your garden. Win - win.

3. Add about a shovel full of sand. Sand is great for drainage.

prepping your soil for food gardening

We got a huge bag of sand years ago for the icy months in the winter and still have some left so we just use it. Nothing amazing here.

4. Add about 2 handfuls basic 10-10-10 fertilizer - better to go light on this.

prepping your soil for food gardening

It's just a multi-purpose fertilizer. We get it at Atwoods but any feed store should carry it and there's also an organic fertilizer you can get too.

5. Add about a shovel full of perlite. Apparently it's an inert stone that is good for drainage and air.

prepping your soil for food gardening

This isn't make or break stuff for your soil and is a little on the expensive side, so you can skip this if you want.

6. You may want to put your gloves on at this point - if you haven't yet. Add a couple shovel fully of mushroom compost.

prepping your soil for food gardening

It's rich in organic matter and adds good fungus and bacteria to your soil. You can find it at your local nursery, Lowe's or garden supply stores.

7. Add cow manure. The same amount as mushroom compost.

prepping your soil for food gardening

It's also rich in organic material and its high in nitrogen, which is really good for early crops like spinach and lettuce. It's pretty inexpensive and you can find it at your local nursery, Lowe's or garden supply stores.

8. Add a little shake of Epsom salt, about 2 tablespoons.

prepping your soil for food gardening

It's like a multi-vitamin for your plants and helps fight diseases. It's pretty standard in any garden center and you can find it at Walmart too. It's really inexpensive and will last years.

9. LAST THING!! if you have some limestone, I mean, everyone has this right? Add about 2 tablespoons or so to your soil mix. You can find it at your local nursery, Lowe's or garden supply stores.

prepping your soil for food gardening

It helps maintain a good pH and sweetens your soil.

Now mix it all until evenly distributed.

prepping your soil for food gardening


You can put this soil back in your beds, in buckets that drain or in your seed-starters and you'll have killer veggies in no time.

prepping your soil for food gardening

Now, if your like me, you might be asking yourself, "Seriously? Is that all necessary?"

It isn't.

According to the husband, if you have good soil in your garden to start with, just mix equal parts potting soil and garden soil with a little multi-purpose fertilizer and you're good to go.

So why add all that other stuff? Well, think of it this way, say your plants are your body - they need food to grow. Where does it come from? The soil and sun. So, if you plant your seeds in nutrient rich soil, it will help them flourish, just as if you feed your body with nutrient food like fruits and veggies, it will grow better and you'll have more energy than if you just ate oatmeal everyday. Sure, you could live off oatmeal and water for a while. But, you wouldn't be thriving. Same for plants and that's why we use this soil mixture.

I hope that helped! Good luck and enjoy!

You can see the other gardening tips here: planting strawberries or spring planting.

Feb 13, 2013

Garden Tip - spring planting

Spring garden planting tips

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! While most of you are working on amazingly cute crafts and gifts, we're getting ready for our spring garden. Ha.

If you live in Oklahoma, or at least in our gardening zone, you should start thinking about what you'd like to grow because February 14th marks the day when you can get your spring veggies going. If you don't have your beds ready, don't worry. We've planted spring stuff on into March and have great success.

Let's get started, shall we.

Spring is by far my most favorite growing season because I love home grown salads. I can eat them every day and usually eat at least two a day during spring harvesting.

Here's little run down of what we're planting this weekend.

These we'll plant directly in the soil:
  • onions - the plants that look like green onions
  • radishes - from seed
  • spinach - from seed, both curled and flat
  • carrots  - from seed
 These we'll start in those little plastic trays in our greenhouse or you can start them indoors:
  • lettuces - a wide variety from seed, including: butterhead, bibb, green leaf, arugula, meclun, red leaf, romaine
  • mustard greens - from seed
  • kale - from seed
  • herbs - from seed, including: basil, purple basil, thyme, oregano, dill, parsley, chives, cilantro and probably more I'm forgetting

We get our onion plants from Warehouse Market. They're usually the cheapest in town and they do great but make sure you call before you go to see if they have them in. As for seeds, we get them anywhere and everywhere, Warehouse Market, Lowes, online through Johnny's seeds, Burpee or anywhere we happen to see a good deal or fun variety.

* Here's a tip we (being my husband and I because he's really the green thumb, I just do what he says) learned from my grandpa, plant your spinach and radishes in with your onions. If you're like us and don't have a huge are for gardens, you need all the space you can get so this maximizes your space. *

The following pictures are how we did it a few years back in a bucket. Side note, we have limited bed space so my husband prepared several buckets with soil. In the spring they held onions, greens and radishes and then tomatoes in the summer. So if you don't have a big bed, get a couple buckets!

Get your soil prepared then make holes all over for your onion plants.


These are what the onion plants look like:

Onion Sets - 269/365

That's a mix of red, vidalia and yellow.

Plant your onions and pat the soil back in around them. Then, in between all the rows, plant your spinach seeds according to the package, cover and water.


In a few weeks it will look like this:


See the spinach sprouting!!

A couple of weeks later, this:


You can actually start thinning some of the spinach by picking those tender, baby leaves and using them in salads, or smoothies.

Another week or so you'll have this:


And you'll be picking spinach like crazy!

You better keep picking that spinach because this is what it will look like in another week:


Good stuff folks!

Here's a couple pictures of onions and greens from another bed.

Mesclun Mix and Radishes Growing - 104/365

After all that hard work, you'll be eating stuff that looks like this:

Pink Beauty Radishes - 316/365

Green's From the Garden

And those little onion plants become these:

Homegrown Onions - 361/365

A general rule on picking onions is wait until the tall greens start to fall over. We plant enough to pick some in the early spring, when they're still small, and to also have enough to keep in the beds so they get bigger.

* Did you know you can store onions in a cool, dry place, like your garage, and they'll last all summer! So make sure you plant more than you think you'll need because we always run out - no matter how many we plant. *

Once the spring turns to summer and temps start rising the greens will bolt, which means they'll go to seed. When they do that, they get bitter and don't taste as good. No worries though because about that time it will be time to plant your summer veggies! Stuff like squashes, tomatoes, peppers, etc! More on that as the season gets closer!

I hope that inspired some of you to try your hand at gardening! And just in case you need a little more inspiration, here's what one of our beds looked like this time last year:


And this what that same bed in the middle of the summer!


You can see more of our gardening pictures on my flickr photostream, I grew this.

If you have any questions, I'd be more than happy to help. Just leave it in the comments and if I don't know the answer, I'll as my grandpa! Ha!!

So go on, enjoy Valentine's day and get ready for spring gardening!

Feb 12, 2013

Shop Talk - printables

Apparently printables isn't a word. Who knew.

That little fact didn't stop me from adding a section of printables to my shop!

recipeforcrazy : the shop

Some of you may be asking, "what is a printable?" So for you guys, a printable is a downloadable file you can print.

wildflower printable by recipeforcrazy

That's a new postcard or folded card printable available in the shop.

So here's how it works:
  1. go to my shop and go to the printables section, or just click this link
  2. purchase the listing for the design you like
  3. I will then email you a PDF file that you can either open on your home computer and print yourself - OR - you can email it to Kinko's/FedEx and ask them to print it - OR - you can upload the file to an online printer like Overnightprints.com
  4. now that you have printed cards (or postcards) write a little message and send them on their merry way to whoever you may choose!

That's it.

I'm sure some of you are asking, why would I want to buy a PDF file  and not just the actual card. Well, think about these things:
  • you don't have to pay for shipping - they files are sent to your email
  • you'll never run out - since you bought the file, you can print it as many times as you want!
  • can't decide between sending a card or a quick little postcard - well, not to worry, both versions are included in the listing so you're actually getting two formats for the price of one!

What a deal.

So go on, head over and take a look! If you see something you like, go ahead and use INSTAWHAT for 10% off!

Feb 8, 2013

Garden Tip - Strawberries


I got a lot of questions last year about gardening and when to plant things so I decided to start a little "garden tip" series. Keep in mind, I live in Oklahoma so these tips are for what works best in my area and I'm not a professional gardener, my husband and I just do it as a hobby and a way to keep fresh food on our plates and for our kids.

That said, today I'm talking strawberries.

If you are wanting to start your own strawberry patch - now is the time.

First need to find an area that is in full-sun and prepare your beds by turning the soil so it gets nice and loose and mixed. Get a shovel, dig, turn the dirt out and repeat.


Once your soil is ready, go get your strawberry plants. We have found, and been told by my master-garder-grandpa, that Cardinal strawberries work best in these parts. They are June-bearing plants and tolerate our hot summers. Don't try buying your plants at the chain stores like Home Depot and Lowes. They have out-of-state green houses and farms that grow their plants so they don't grow varieties that do best in OK. We learned this the hard way and had several years of unsuccessful strawberry growing.

So where do you get strawberry plants? I'm glad you asked.

We get ours every 3 years or so from Stringer Nursery.


They carry Cardinals and a couple other varieties. They are located in Tulsa, between Sheridan and Memorial on 41st St. Call before you go to make sure they have the plants in.

Now that your soil is prepared and you have your plants - plant them!


Lay out the plants where you want them to go. Make sure there's a good amount of space between each one, at least a foot or more, because these things shoot off runners and spread like crazy!

Once you have them all laid out where you want, dig and area wide enough for the roots to spread out and mound it up a little. Fan out the roots, put the crown of the plant on the top of the mound and cover the roots with soil.

Repeat until all your plants are in the ground. Then water them really well.


It's really important to keep strawberries watered, especially in Oklahoma when our summers get really hot and dry.

The plants will shoot off runners which root and become new plants so before the end of summer, you'll have a bed full of strawberry plants, not to mention, bowls of strawberries throughout the summer to enjoy!

This is the growth in that same bed over the summer months.

Also, just a little fyi, the plants don't put off a ton of berries the first year.

Another Day, Another Salad - 357/365

But by year two and three, you'll be picking buckets almost daily for a month or two for all sorts of tasty treats!

So go, get some beds ready. You'll thank me later.

Oh, and here's a little heads up for you, Feb 14th is not only Valentine's Day - it's also when you plant your onions, radish seeds, greens and herbs. More on that next week.

Happy Friday!


Feb 7, 2013

PT update

I don't know why but I felt weird writing potty training in the title. But that's what the PT is for.

You know how I mentioned last week we started training little miss? Well, I'm happy to report that we have been accident-free since that post, day 3 to be exact! Woohoo. No more diapers. Well, we're at least down to one in diapers :)


I'm no expert in this but I thought I'd share how it all went down for us and what really worked. So here goes.

First off, we tried several times before. She seemed interested in the whole toilet thing so we thought we'd give it a shot. No success.

A few months later I decided she should be out of diapers. I warned her for several days that when the diaper box was empty she was going to panties. I bought her princess ones and everything. After one LONG day of continual accidents - I gave up. I folded. I quit.

Fast forward several more months and she seemed much more ready and aware of the whole process. It was right around the holidays so I decided to wait until after the new year to tackle it again. Then we all got sick.

Finally, one day she asked to wear her princess panties. I explained to her that she couldn't potty in her panties and had to use the toilet. She said okay so on they went.

I don't want to go into too many details about the whole process because of her privacy but here are the things that worked best for us:

  1. sticker chart - every time she went, she got to pick out a sticker and put it on her chart. Stickers are toddler-currency.
  2. skipping the pull-ups and going commando - she really started getting it once she could really feel it. Sure it was a little messy but we also have wood floors so it wasn't too bad.
  3. lots of liquids the first few days - it kept her needing to go and I think that helped her get it quickly
  4. m&m's = more toddler currency - she loves them and every now and then would get a special m&m treat for me not having to remind her
  5. sucker - she rarely gets them so they're like the best thing right now. If she stayed dry all day, she got a sucker.
  6. praise. praise. and a whole lot of praise. - every time she went I made a HUGE deal about it. I told her good job, gave high fives made up songs about her going. It was a spectacle and she loved it.
  7. waited for her to get it - this was a big one. She could've been trained earlier but I know it would have come with a lot more frustration and tears (on my end) and I didn't feel pressured to make it happen at a certain time.
  8. right mind set - another huge one. I knew this was going to be hard. I knew there would be accidents, messes and it would require patience so I turned on some worship music every day and just tried to keep a joyful attitude. I know it helped me but I also know it had to help her too. Instead of getting upset at accidents and putting pressure on her, I just tried to help her along in the learning process. I explained that accidents would happen and we'd just try again next time. Each time she tried harder and would be so proud of herself when she didn't have an accident.


Now we're a week into it and she's been wearing panties at all times. All day. During naps. At night - granted, she wakes us up at night to go to the bathroom but it's a trade I'll take. And she sometimes hollers at nap-time that she has to potty but hey, she's getting it.

I know every child is different and I'm not intending this to be the manual on how to potty train your toddler, but any little tip helped me and maybe there was something in there that could help someone else about to tackle this huge milestone.

charts went with us everywhere, even to the doctor

While I don't miss changing her diaper, I am a little sad that her being potty trained is just another reminder of her growing up. I love watching her grow and am thankful I get to be here for it all but my little baby girl is growing up and sometimes it's still hard. That may sound crazy but hey, I'm okay with a little crazy.

And now we're in a new phase, I will call it the "Toilet Tourist" phase.


EVERYWHERE we go, she needs to use the restroom. Sometimes multiple visits in the same trip. It's funny how fascinating it is to her and how it totally gross it is to me.

So there you have it. Our adventures in potty training.