Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Rhubarb Cranberry Crisp

It's that time of year where the rhubarb is ready to harvest and you're thumbing through your recipes trying to figure out what you can make with it. Well, I'll make it simple for you: Make this! It's a little twist to the classic rhubarb crisp. The rhubarb pairs nicely with frozen or fresh cranberries giving it a nice sweet and tart treat. What are some of your favorite rhubarb recipes?

Rhubarb Cranberry Crisp



2 C. Chopped rhubarb
2 C. Fresh or defrosted cranberries
Toss with 1 C. sugar

Spread filling into buttered 9x13" baking dish.


1/2 C. Flour
1/2 C. Rolled oats
1/2 C. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp. All spice
1/3 C. Butter

Mix until course. Spread over fruit topping. Baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

He made me want to change my life

Hello again. I see it's been an entire year since I've posted on my blog. I am going to try and make this a regular thing again. So much has changed in that year as well. I thought this would be a good way to re-introduce myself and reconnect with you. I hope to include more recipes, mom stories and insights, books I'm reading, random things, and design inspirations.
This summer, I submitted this essay on what it means to “Be You, Bravely,” to a national magazine. It obviously wasn't selected, so I have all rights to publish my own works on here. I tend to be more private about my personal life, but I am being "brave" and letting you in on something that has changed my life.

Be You, Bravely

A year ago, I made one of the bravest decisions of my life. It meant quitting a newly promoted position, cutting our income in half, and moving three hours across state lines to be closer to our families.

A few months into my third pregnancy, I had a change of heart of what I really wanted in life. I was promoted as a shift supervisor (that included a hefty raise) at the local 911 center. I was working the afternoon shift from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. five days a week. My oldest son was in kindergarten and my other son was a year away from starting pre-school. I only saw my oldest if I took him to school in the morning or on my weekends. I decided enough was enough, and having a little baby was not going to make my life any easier. And my job wasn’t going to let me really enjoy my family.
I resigned from my position when I was five months pregnant. At the time, it felt like one of the hardest and easiest decisions. We sold our home where we had several “first” memories, from baby's first steps to completing our lower level. We uprooted our family from a city where they were establishing friendships and memories of nine years to move back home to be closer to our family.

It was certainly an adjustment to being a stay-at-home mom to two boys and I was several months pregnant. Moving and unpacking was not easy, especially when my husband started working long-hours.  Adjustment was an understatement in my vocabulary. I will admit it took some time to come to grips with the reality that I wanted. We moved away from several friends in a city of 150,000+ to a small town of 500, and the nearest city with most amenities 15 miles away.  But, nothing beats being able to wake up every day, have breakfast with my kids, teach them right from wrong, and not miss out on them growing up.

Some days my sense of purpose and self-worth are questioned, but I know in the end it doesn’t matter what fancy title I possessed or where I use to work. I’m reminded of the career I once had every time I see a police officer. My job was to protect them and make sure they went home safely to their families every night. Now, I must remind myself that my job now is to be a role model and guide to my kids. This is what “Be You, Bravely,” means to me: To give up a more comfortable life to one with less and more family.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Baked apples with savory ingredients

Here's a perfect recipe for those apples you may have picked at your local apple orchard. We took our annual outing to Country Apple Orchard (see photos below).
I found this baked apple recipe.There is an alternative for the stuffing, which has sweet ingredients. I wanted this to be more for a supper item. And it was delicious!  Hope your taking some time from your busy scheduled to make those favorite autumn recipes. This pairs nicely with apple crisp if you're not sick of apples!

4 large apples
6 oz. we pork or turkey sausage
1/3 c. Chopped onion
1/2 c. Cooked brown rice
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (I used dried)
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
1 T. Olive oil
Dash ground black pepper
3/4 c. Apple juice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the tops off each apple and a thin slice off the bottom to allow them to stand flat. Core apples, starting from the stem end, using a melon baller or small spoon, going to but not through the bottom of the apple. Leave a 1/4" apple shell. Save the flesh.
2. Prepare the filling. Cook the sausage and onions until sausage is browned, stirring to break up the meat. Drain the fat. In a bowl, combine sausage mixture, rice, rosemary, thyme, oil, pepper, and 1/2 c chopped apple flesh. 
3. Place apples in a 2-qt baking dish. Fill shells with savory mixture. Pour apple juice into the baking pan. 
4. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

Baked apples with savory ingredients

The boys at Country Apple Orchard in Harrisburg,SD

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Our D.I.Y Bathroom Design

Welcome back to Tote-ally Inspired's Blog. Sorry to be away so long. It's been a busy first half of the year designing new products including our new reclaimed barn wood home décor, wallets/cosmetic bags and décor pillows for many spring shows and boutiques.

Just want to remind you of our giveaway survey. Please check it out on Tote-ally Inspired Facebook page. Let us know what you want. In a week or so we'll be starting our share contest for a chance to win one of our products.

Okay, enough about business. Now on to fun design ideas that you can use to add richness and style to your drab bathroom.

My husband was itching to repaint our once very purple bathroom when we moved into our house. I guess I wasn't opposed to it (especially if he was willing to repaint).  We decided to repaint the room gray. The gray was a little lighter than we had envisioned, but it has grown on us now.

So show you what we were working with before, here is a very old photo of our former bathroom:

Before repaint. Scott, who is naturally a plumber, switched out all the fixtures to oil-rubbed bronze and changed the shower head to a rain head, and replaced the dated "Hollywood lights" you see above.
Below you will see how he took primed wood trim pieces and painted them with a high-gloss black paint and attached them to a very boring flat mirror. I did distress the corners to give a slightly rustic look. This totally changes the entire look and ups the value.

I am solely responsible for the design as I really did none of the physical work besides distressing the mirror. I will play the "sick card" as I'm still in a walking boot from my foot surgery.
I chose to decorate with sea blue colored towels and accents with a little touch of a mustard yellow (yellow is the this season's latest must-have-color). Most of my accents were found at Target. The shower curtain was purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond which has a matching gray branches and brown leave accents.

Candles and white candle pillar by Target

Wood Rosettes

Rosettes in the corners of the mirrors, painted and distressed

Branches and leaves design shower curtain purchased at Bed Bath and Beyond
Sea blue/green towels purchased at Target. Hard to really capture this color.

Hope this helps inspire you to add a little pizazz to your bathroom decor!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Quinoa With Veggies

I wanted to share with you a healthy ingredient, that I've had some experience cooking with and like trying to find new recipes that incorporate it. It's called quinoa,  which is a pseudo-cereal. The grain-like crop primarily grown for its edible seeds. It's rich in fiber, contains essential amino acids, and also rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron.
I found this recipe that works as a perfect hearty side and pairs nicely with any meat. I made this to go with baked tilapias. The recipe calls for a few vegetables, but suggests adding whatever vegetables you like. I threw in half of a green pepper and one whole zucchini, but chopped. This was quick and easy to make and went over well with the adults at least. We'll keep trying with the kids.

Quinoa With Veggies


1 C. quinoa
3 C. water
1 pinch Salt
3 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, chopped

1. Bring the quinoa, water and 1 pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Once done, use a mesh strainer to drain, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic softens and the aroma mellow, about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper, and corn; continue cooking until the pepper softens, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more, then stir in the cooked quinoa and green onions. Serve hot or cold.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Space

So as promised, I finally got my studio/craft room cleaned and organized enough to show you. A few months ago we decided to move our desk and computer out and into our family room so I could have my own work space. My little corner in the family room was turning into an eye-sore ... especially when it got disorganized. Many of you know how quickly this can happen when you get "in the zone."

My husband had suggested this move before, but I liked being able to work and be with the family in the same room. I must say, I do enjoy this arrangement a lot better though. I still have to share this space as the toy room. Most of the boys' toys are in the closet. I would really have it made if I had the closet too :) I guess you can't have it all. Happy Crafting!

Here's where I put my inspirational signs I found at the Autumn Festival in Sioux Falls as well as my own fabric wall art corkboard. That table is holding some scrap booking supplies. I wish I had more time to update my boys' albums. Too many hobbies!

Here is an old shelf I sanded and repainted to hold my scrapbook papers and fabric.

Where the magic happens

Fabric and more fabric ...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Family Time

So now that the busyness of the holidays are over, I decided we were going to do something fun as a family and take the boys ice skating for the first time.

Now mind you, the boys are 5 and 3 years old, so my husband and I weren't quite sure how this was going to play out, although, I think Scott was more leery of the idea than I was. Last weekend, we headed out to Memorial Park's outdoor skating rink.

I guess you could say ice skating is sort of a treasured past time of ours. While I was attending SDSU, Scott and I would head over to the indoor skating rink in Brookings on a Friday or Saturday night. and skate. We can skate fairly well, so it was always fun. This was probably the first time we've been skating since.

As expected, skating was a little rocky for the boys to start off with. We were doing everything we could to keep them upright and not fall too hard. By the end of the two hours, Jack was at least skating (walking across the ice) and skating with the assistance of a traffic cone. Cameron was so determined to skate .. he never wanted us to help him up after he would tumble down.  He kept saying "Let me get up by myself, I will do it."

The boys were so determined to skate, it made it very enjoyable and so fun to watch their progress. We can't wait to take them again. This weekend is Frosty Frolics and ice skating is free all weekend. Otherwise, it's only $1 for kids and $3 for adults to rent skates at any of the Sioux Falls outdoor skating rinks.

Daddy and the boys

Jack and I doing the chicken pose (I don't know, it was his idea).

And again
Crazy Jack

Proud boy

Jack said this picture looks like we're getting married. Where do kids come up with this stuff?

Mommy, Cameron, and Jack