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And the Winner is…. Dusty Dreams & Grace!


I’m so excited to be writing this. For some time, I’ve prayed for guidance and have been pondering whether to launch my very own blog. Well,  I’ll take this as reassurance that I’m on the right path!

Here is the announcement!

I’m so very honored to share that I was nominated for the Liebster Award by a peer blogger, the lovely Laura Vaughn at This Mom Blog. If you have a moment please show her some love and support by following her blog! Her page is beautifully set up. She writes about her family and also gives great motherly advice!

What Exactly is The Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award an award dedicated JUST to bloggers. It dates back to 2011. It’s an honorable award given by bloggers to bloggers. It’s such an honor to have peer support in the blogging world, there are so many blogs out there! The Liebster Award allows us to support one another so we can all experience positive growth.

Q/A for My Liebster Award Nomination

  • What has been your biggest challenge with blogging?

My biggest challenge has been regarding technology. I’m fairly savvy as it pertains to the computer, but maintaining and building a site, while expanding a following has been a challenge, but a great learning experience at the same time.

  • What are your hobbies other than blogging?

I love to do a few different things. I LOVE to be outdoors; camping or fishing. I crochet, make home-made bath and body products, play guitar and sing, I love to read.. Let’s just say I have plenty to do to keep me occupied when I’m not actively being a Wife and Mama!

  • Tell us about your blog and why you started blogging.

I’ve always had a love for writing and expression. My main avenue to do that in was in my music. Although I still use music as an outlet, writing allows so much more opportunity to express myself in a genuine way.

  • What and who motivates you to write?

My husband and kids are my drive. I would love to have this be my primary source of financial support in our home. Also, the amount of positive feedback from fellow bloggers and other followers encourages me to keep going.

  • What has been your proudest mommy moment?

Wow. This is such a hard one, so I’m going to cheat here. Mo most recent proud moment has been when my oldest decided to get baptized in July. Nothing could make a Mother more proud than to know her children are positively modeling the life you hope they would live.

  • What has been your biggest mommy fail?

I’m sure I fail daily, as I’m not perfect (not even close!) but I would have to say it was when I missed the end of year graduation/preschool program for my oldest. Ugh. I was so devastated! I thought it was a different day and totally missed it. I cried for a good 2 hours!

  • What is your number one piece of advice for a new mom?

Dear New Mom, you are enough and you’ll get through this. NO ONE can do this better than you, so give yourself some credit. You’ll be tired, you’ll feel like you can’t get anything done – and that is ok! Your baby needs you, and you made just for that baby of yours! Love yourself, and respect the process. Know that it’s okay to ask when you need help, and if you feel like you can’t take anymore, breathe and know you aren’t alone in this Motherhood journey!

Now, for My Nominations!

As a 2017 winner of the Liebster award, I also have the privilege of nominating 5 more deserving bloggers. After a day of reviewing, I’ve decided on my five top blogs:

Tara Frieden’s blog on her professional page here

Emily at Dainty Kicks

Sarah Rogers at This Modern Momma

Valerie at Sunflowers and Mimosas

Stefanie at Free Spirit Blonde

Congratulations goes to you women, and thank you for your well-written, informative and inspirational posts! I always look forward to a new publish from you all!

In response to your nomination, you need to follow the guidelines found here.  Here are your questions that you can give answers to in your post as well:

  1. When do you find time to blog?
  2. What inspired you to begin your blog?
  3. What would you like your readers to get out of reading your posts?
  4. When you have days that it’s hard to sit down and write, what do you do?
  5. What would be your go-to weapon in the case of a zombie apocalypse? (sorry I had to do it!)

I can’t wait to read your responses!

I wish you nothing but the best in your future blogging endeavors!

And thank you to everyone who takes the time to read my posts, send kind words, and support my new journey. I appreciate it so much.

<3 Jo



I Created A Vision Board & You Can, Too!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Why I Wanted a Vision Board

I’ve been taking this really great course called the 30-Day blogging fast track. I signed up for it after joining the FB page called Start a Money Making Blog. Ever since then, I’ve been very moved by the writers and entrepreneurs there. It was just enough to spark some change in my life.

Lately, I have been doing some soul-searching. I’ve also been brainstorming ways that I can manage to be at home and work while attending to a 4 month old baby, and 2 school-aged boys in the afternoon. I’ve recently decided to take the plunge and work towards being a full-time writer. I do have 3 other income-sources, but my hope is to make my blog the primary one after a lot of hard work!

The idea was all fine and dandy, but I was finding it hard to be motivated along with all of the other things racing through my mind..Ugh! Can you relate? It was difficult to start putting everything into forward motion without a fuel source.

I needed inspiration.

On Day 2 of this course we were asked to write our goals. This is a pretty standard process for anyone hoping to do better and/or make significant changes in their work, home, and spiritual life. So I thought, what the heck. I’ve done this so many times, what’s one more time?

I wrote down a list of goals for myself and for the family, but like so many times before, I closed my computer and never looked at that list again. I knew that I needed a way to change this. The Day 2 assignment also said  you could create a vision board instead.

I needed to see what I was working towards for days I felt discouraged and wanted to give up. It allowed me to step outside myself and truly envision what will (not could) be! I know myself too well, and I wanted to be accountable to my goals.

So I thought, what the heck, I’ll try my hand at making my own dream/vision board.

I’m glad I did! Now my kid’s and husband can look at this along with me, and my dreams become theirs. It’s so exciting to know that they are excited for me to reach my goals, too!

How I Did It

Creating this was a lot of fun and it was so very simple!

You’ll only need just a few supplies:

Before you begin, if you haven’t done already, write down your goals. It could be for this year, 3, 5, or 10 years out or a combination! Whatever you do, set a deadline on paper and refer to it often. Also, use this list as a reference as you look for cut-outs to add to your board. You can add to or remake your board as your goals and timelines change, too!

My Vision Board had two parts to it really; one for 2017 goals and another for a bucket list – things that we want to be able to do as a family within the next 5 years.

Now begin to rummage through your magazines for visuals that are a match to your goals/dreams. You can use a combination of words or actual pictures of items. The beauty in this is that YOU are the only one who needs to know what each cut-out means.

If you need any more ideas to help you along, please check out My Pinterest Board.

Make sure you measure the glass on the frame (if you use one) and cut your backing paper/cardboard to match. On most frames the front view is a smaller surface area than the actual size of the frame. If you don’t do this first, you may not see all of your board! Once you have the correct measurements, cut your cut-out backing to fit. I made mine a smidge smaller so I didn’t have to force the board back into the frame.



Ok, you’re getting closer! Place your cut-outs strategically on your paper/backing  BEFORE you glue. I find this strategy helpful to make sure that everything fits just right.

I also used colored pencils to write on the vision board what I couldn’t find in the magazines. You don’t have to do this, but it’s another crafty option. You can also use your craft markers instead.

And now you are ready to paste! Add your pieces permanently to your board. You can also add flare to your board by gluing buttons, ribbon or using glitter if you want to get really fancy.

It’s getting real, folks! Can’t you see yourself on that beach, already?!

Now, you can let your board dry. The time will vary depending on what type of glue you used. I let mine dry for 20 minutes (well..  it was actually longer because I had a fussy baby!).

Carefully place your board back in the frame and…

Voila! You have yourself your very own Vision Board!

Make sure to put it in a place where you will see it every day. I have mine on the coffee table where I do my daily wok. I can see it throughout the day, and it now keeps me very excited for life’s next chapters!

Do you have a Vision Board?  Post yours in the comments below to share and if you have any tips to offer, drop a note!

Happy Creating,

<3 Jo



DDG Pinterest Recipe Win or Fail?

This post may contain affiliate links.

— Insert Homer Simpson Drooling Face Here–

If you need a go-to-everyone-loves-recipe, this is it. Look no further.

So.. obviously I’d give this one a big WIN!


I came across this recipe about a year ago on Pinterest (full credit given Brandie at The Country Cook). I love to try new things and this was a big hit with our boys! So when we do decide to go off of the beaten path (we really try not to eat a lot of dairy, meat,  or high carbs), I pull this out. It’s great because you can decide how spicy you want this casserole and it’s easy to make more or less of if needed.

If you do try it, I hope you like it!

And please leave a comment on how it turned out below. I’d love to hear what you think!


Psalm 107:9