Showing posts from October, 2020

Words For Wednesday


My “Fall Blessings” Planner Layout

Here are my colors! Those deep, rich colors of fall are my favorites, so this week’s planner spread is full of them. Other than putting a lion’s mane on our Great Dane and making her queen of the jungle, we don’t celebrate Halloween, so I chose an autumn-themed week instead.

I mixed several sets of journal blocks and embellishments together this week, and they all coordinate like they were made to work as a team! I designed this left hand page to be one huge prayer list - there are many, many prayer requests on my heart right now, and if I don’t use this whole page to have them recorded, I think my brain my possibly explode. Please pray with me that God will do great and wonderful things in response to these prayers. 

Between work, youth group, voting, errands, some special projects around the house and listings for the new Stuff From Trees website (, I know exactly how full this page will be by the weekend. It’s times like these that having an organized and plann…

Brownie Waffles - Because There Are No Smash-Up Names That Work

Sometimes the best things are the most simple things. This totally applies to brownie waffles. You can put any kind of batter in your waffle maker, wait for it to cook in about two minutes and then decorate it to your heart’s content. I used brownie batter to make waffles for the chili cook off last night and the youth bonfire tonight.

You can decorate them just about any way you want. The brownie batter crusts all beautiful and crispy on the outside, so you don’t have to worry about it getting soggy and mushy. I set out frosting, caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips and that fun autumn mix with he adorable pumpkins. Mine looks very simplistic, almost minimalistic.

And then Danny brings this to the table. It was very possibly the most beautiful culinary creation I have ever seen. The frosting made the perfect base for a coating of mini chocolate chips, a caramel drizzle and three candy corn for good measure. But the best part was the caramel smear on the side, just like you’d get in a fa…

A Reusable Concentration Game Board

One of our favorite games to play at youth group is Concentration. Just in case you don't remember watching Concentration or Classic Concentration on television, there is a puzzle behind pairs of prizes, which are behind the numbers. It's like a giant Memory game with fun stuff behind the panels. 

To make your own version of this Concentration game, start by coming up with a rebus puzzle - pictures that become words. This rebus is day+VID (David), hand (and) goal+eye+th (Goliath). David and Goliath! The pictures are attached with double stick tape to a 25x25-inch poster board.

Next cut 25 squares of card stock 5 inches square. This layer is where you can write pairs of prize names, Scriptures and chapter/verse or any other combinations you want to make. Add in a wild card as the 25th square.

Write out you cards and attach them over the pictures with reusable mounting squares, ones that specifically say they’re designed for multiple uses. Trust me ... they’re going to get reused!


Mini Pallet Fall Art

After being sick for a week, it was so nice to just create something. We’re just about to be past fall, but I couldn’t resist making these adorable mini pallets. You know those projects that you have all the supplies for but you never get to them ... these were that for me.

I started with some plain, boring little pallets from the dollar store and made them much more realistic-looking with some pretty stain. And they only have to dry overnight to be ready to work with, which is also great.

From there, all I chose some die cut phrases, thin wood trucks and wood leaves. They’re just the right size for these minis, since they small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.

I used the thinnest double-sided tape I could find. It is super sticky, so it’s perfect for this wood project.

Aren’t they the cutest? I couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out. And now I have two more of each of these ready to stain, along with two trays made from the same wood. Just wait until I show you what I’m go…

Words For Wednesday


Meat And Potatoes Biscuit Cups

Buttery biscuits aren’t just a tasty side dish - they can hold the whole meal together. Literally.
These meat and potatoes biscuit cups are a fun appetizer or a hand-held main course at a picnic or family gathering. With three layers of goodness inside and a flaky biscuit outside, this dish has yummy written all over it.
Ingredients: 1 lb ground beef Steak seasoning blend 1 sm jar salsa 1 bag frozen potatoes and onions 1 can (8) refrigerator biscuits
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray.
2. Brown ground beef in a cast iron skillet with steak seasoning.
3. While the meat is browning, pour bag of frozen potatoes in a bowl and cook in microwave for 5 minutes.
4. Separate the biscuits and flatten each one until they’re as thin as possible without tearing.
5. Layer a small amount of potatoes, salsa and ground beef onto the flattened biscuit. Pull the edges up around the filling and tuck into the muffin tin.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes, until biscui…

My “Glory To God” Planner Layout

There are two empty days on last week’s planner layout, two days when a head cold knocked me out. It made me a little sad because 1. I didn’t feel well and 2. I really liked that layout. For that very reason, I can’t wait to tackle this week in a butterfly and bird-loaded planner spread!

With a no-longer-stuffed-up head and a somewhat rested body, I’m looking forward to using this week’s layout to its full extent. And I pray that I’ll be able to accomplish things, not so I can cross them off or have a full page of writing at the end of the week, but so it will all be done to the glory of God.

I have been blessed beyond measure, so both pages are full of reminders to focus on those God-given blessings. I’ve seen so much answered prayer in the past few days that I’m overwhelmed. I know there will be so many more answered prayers this week specifically, and there are places on this spread to write them all down. It’s going to be a great week because God has already planned out what’s going…

Fall Colors On The Property - More Or Less

This year has been so weird already, why not have some unusual stuff happen in nature, too? I was looking back at pictures of the property from previous autumns, and there was much more color, more widespread and for a longer period of time. We definitely had bright colors this year, but they were smaller and didn’t last as long.

At this moment, the trees are dropping their leaves at a crazy speed. You can really see it along the driveway, which always makes me feel like we’re driving into a national park. Some of the trees still have full, green leaves, while others are completely bare. (Don’t look ... they’re naked!)

So here is the backyard on that one peak day of fall color. It makes me want to put on flannel, wrap up in a chunky blanket and drink apple cider. This is still my favorite time of year, and if I have to really search out the changing leaves, so be it. There’s beauty out there to find in fall in Iowa, you just may need to look a little harder.

ShopStuffFromTrees.Com Is Live!

It’s official - is up and running! This is a huge step for us, and we couldn’t be more excited that it’s finally here.
We’re adding and updating the site daily as we fill orders and make new pieces. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, all under Stuff From Trees. You’ll get an inside look at what we’re working on, how we put together different projects and know everything we’re listing in the shop ... before anyone else does!
Right now you can see our new fall line, complete with pens, wood burnings, gift sets, journals and handmade cards in every autumn color and pattern you can think of. They’ll be perfect for the coming gift-giving seasons, and they are all one-of-a-kind and personalized just for you. 
And don’t forget - we love custom orders! If there’s something in the shop you would like in a different color or with a lighter or darker wood, let us know. We would be glad to start an order just for you.
What has been your favorite purchase…

Words For Wednesday


My “Plants Are Our Friends” Planner Layout

Before we go any further, let me tell you that this week’s planner layout is wish fulfillment. I don’t have a green thumb - in fact, it’s pretty much black and dead and about to fall off. There are a handful of plants in our home, all in one place, and I have to work very hard not to kill them, like I killed a cactus in college. That’s stayed with me all these years.

So my planner will be filled with plants this week, and that will make me happy. I used them to cover up the journal block headers that I never use, and I bordered the whole layout with the cutest cactus washi tape I’ve ever seen. There are so many prayer requests on my heart this week that I may just fill this whole page with them, keeping them in the front of my mind.

Our Bible study is youth group Wednesday is about what God controls and what we control, and we’ll be using a giant tv remote as our visual aid. Between my notes for that lesson, errands I have to run and the normal work lists I make, these pages are going t…

Deconstructed Taco Plate

Did you know you can have a full, healthy plate full of food and still feel like you’ve had a taco? It’s true. All the ingredients get a healthy twist and you can add in crunchy stuff where it’s needed. 
So, from left to right:
Chopped spinach Peach salsa Greek yogurt Shredded cheese Avocado Browned and seasoned ground beef Cherry tomatoes
And the presentation is half the battle - and all the fun. Everything can be prepared ahead of time so all you have to do is dish it up. It’s also easy to stick to your portion control this way ... because everyone knows you can’t eat just one taco.
Is there anything you would add to the perfect taco plate?

Our Totally Wonderful Stuff From Trees News!

You’ve probably noticed that my posts here have been sporadic lately. Well, there’s a really good - and totally wonderful - reason why.
Stuff From Trees is getting its own website!
After 9 years in business, we’re taking a super-bold step and venturing off Etsy. It was a great place to start our business, and we have met so many great customers from all around the world. It’s been such a blessing, and we’re so excited to start this next phase of our small business.
In just a few days we’re going to flip the switch and introduce our new fall line to the shop. From handmade journals and greeting cards to pens and wood burnings, we’re celebrating autumn in true Stuff From Trees fashion. We’ll let you know the minute we go live, so you’ll be the first to see our new shop. We hope you love it as much as we do.
Please pray for us as we move our shop and work to honor God in all we do with this business. Our shop’s life verse has always been ... Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever …

Words For Wednesday


My “October” And “Fall Is The Best” Planner Layouts

Can you believe that it’s actually October? I’m not complaining because I love this time of year, it just seems like summer flew by. When I look at my planner for this month, I can’t help but smile seeing all those beautiful pumpkins. The monthly spread is where I keep track of blog and social media schedules, so I’ll get to look at it every day during October - that makes me very happy.

There’s just something about falling leaves, trucks full of pumpkins and thoughts of home that make me want to pull on a warm sweater and fix some hot apple cider. There’s a lot of planning, scheduling and organizing to do this month, but it’s a joy with pretty pages like these. I love scattering some stickers and die cuts across the entire page, but it’s especially effective with leaves, when they look like the wind is blowing them around.

Ok, so how can you resist these cute little faces? Well, I couldn’t, so that’s why these woodland creatures cover my first planner spread of October. This will give …

Turning Dollar Store Wood Into Something Beautiful

Thank you so much for all of your kind words about my fall centerpieces this year. You can find all three of them HERE, but I really want to talk about this one. There’s a super special piece tucked in there: the wood crate. It’s absolutely adorable, but it didn’t start out that way.

This crate, along with two pallets and a wood sign, all came from the craft section at our dollar store. They are do cute just the way they are, but there is an easy way to make them even better!

A small can of wood stain turns those pale wood pieces into ones that are aged, worn and more realistic. The difference is pretty amazing, and it really only takes a few minutes to give them their makeover.

I normally use a sponge brush and a clean piece of toweling to apply my stain. I apply the stain with the sponge and wipe it off with the towel. For the small spaces like this miniature pallet, I wrap the toweling around an old screwdriver and tuck it in all those crevices. The wood soaks up as much as it can, an…

Four Very Distinct Puppy Personalities

This (dramatic pause) is Diesel. He hates it when I leave for work. He hates it when I leave again after lunch. He hates it when I leave to run errands. He hates it when I get up to go to the bathroom. He hates it when he can’t see me. Or hear me. Or touch me. Diesel is the definition of a Velcro Dog. And I love that about him.

His twin sister, Callie, has a completely different personality. She is incredibly persistent, fiercely protective of me and the house, easily distracted by wildlife outside the window, endlessly curious and very demanding. She may be the smallest, but she is a take-charge kind of girl. She teaches me new levels of patience every single day, especially on the days the deer are playing tag in the backyard. Callie is the first to ask for tummy scratches and the last come when called. We could cuddle all day and she’d be happy. And I love that about her.

And then there’s my happy guy. Parker is very possibly the sweetest, most well-behaved and cuddliest puppy ever. …