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.


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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.