A Little About Me…….

Hello! My name is Debbie. I am a Mother, Grandmother, Daughter, Aunt and Friend. I am the oldest of five growing up in a small town in Illinois. I have two grown children that I am beyond proud of and two grandchildren that have my heart and I lovingly refer to as “My Munchkins”. Keeping me company, as well as entertained, at home are my three fur babies. My two beloved dogs were adopted from shelters and my crazy cat decided to adopt me as he crossed my doorstep one day. I would not give them up for anything! After a bad day, all I need to do is walk in the door and they are patiently waiting with unconditional love to melt the day’s troubles away.

I have always been a tomboy, an outdoors kind of girl. I love to garden, fish, camp, cut firewood or just take a stroll through the woods. Nothing calms my soul more than a walk in the woods or sitting on the water’s edge and being one with nature. The woods are my happy place. I love people but I am happiest at home. Simple, cozy surroundings. No tv. No drama. No Noise. Just peace! The older I get the more of a minimalist I have become. Things do not create happiness. True happiness can only come from within.

I currently live in my hometown in Illinois, but my heart belongs to the Northwoods. It always has. Ever since I was in grade school my heart and mind were drawn North. We spent most family vacations on Wisconsin fishing trips. In my adult years I had a friend who moved to Northern Wisconsin. Trips to visit her just re-ignited my longing to be up north. Now, coincidentally, my grown son has moved and settled with his wife in the exact area of the Northwoods that have always felt like home to me and not because he was even old enough to remember those visits made to the Northwoods, but because he was drawn to the same area. That story will be a blog post all on its own! Ironically when I go to visit we make several trips to their favorite coffee shop that is owned…..are you ready….by my friends two daughters. I feel like life is coming full circle. Need I say more?

Over the years I have worked in the accounting field. I ran a small restaurant at a private club. I started and ran my own brick and mortar craft boutique. For 12 years I sold commercial log splitters (yes you read that right). When the log splitter business was sold, I took a leap of faith and purchased a vacant building and started a bakery/cafe in the small town of Darlington, Indiana. I always lovingly refer to Darlington as my Mayberry. I loved that small town. So many lifelong friends were made during the 8 years I lived there. Then life, as it does, made an abrupt turn and I moved back to my hometown. I purchased a bakery/café, with my brother, near Starved Rock State Park. I have enjoyed the combined 13+ years in the bakery/café business but as I am growing older my body is saying it is time to slow down. And my mind and heart are saying, it is time you go back to your roots and do what you have always dreamed…..Create! I love sewing, quilting, and creating with just about every medium. I may have a sewing machine and glue gun in my craft room, but I also have a workshop with assorted power tools in the basement. You see, I do have an independent stubborn side. I will try everything in my power to do things on my own before I ask for help. I do not play the role of “damsel in distress” very well. It is just not in my character. I am more like the little kid stomping his foot and saying, “I can do it myself.”

My passion for the last 5 years has been designing and making gnomes. Even though they may be the same design, each one takes on their own personality as they are being created. It brightens my day to get notes from customers telling me that my creations put a smile on their face. That alone is my driving force. Knowing I put a smile on someone’s face makes my heart happy.

Another passion, the last ten years, has been researching and studying the benefits of herbs. Oh, how I wish I would have understood this at a much earlier age. I have taken courses by a renowned herbalist and have learned so many uses for herbs beyond adding to a savory dish. So many good things for the mind and body in the form of teas, tinctures, syrups, and infusions. I would love to share some of my knowledge on how to use, as well as grow many herbs.

Along with my love of herbs is my love for cooking and baking. I know big surprise considering my current career. Although I have loved cooking and baking since I was a small child, my recipes and methods have evolved over the years into a much healthier version of my past. Healthy does not mean hours in the kitchen or less than tasty. Nor does it mean being a strict vegan or vegetarian. It simply means to be mindful of what you are eating, how much you are eating and how you are cooking it. I avoid canned, processed and chemical laden foods and instead opt for fresh. Produce, grains and yes even meats. Healthy does not have to mean “meatless”. I do eat less….way less….meat than I used to, but I must say I enjoy meals I prepare more than I ever have. Plus, the benefits of eating healthy are endless. I would love to share some of my tips, techniques and recipes. Interested?

Do you love to surround yourself with beautiful things? Do you love handmade vs mass produced, chain store products? I have a store, here on my website that I have filled with handmade items. I would love for you to take a minute and give it a peak. You never know….you may find something that you just can’t live without.

So…… if you have read this far and would love to learn more, please subscribe to my page and come with me on this journey of Creating, Cooking and Living (and maybe a little shopping now and then).  I believe knowledge and imagination are two of the most powerful tools we can arm ourselves with.

Let’s learn and grow together!