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#tcmeveryday november images + team happenings

Happy Thanksgiving, mamas!

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.” ~John Milton

We love seeing your #TCMeveryday moments.  It is a treat to view the beauty and wonder of the world through your eyes.  Thanks to all for sharing, and congrats to the following featured mamas-

@michelle.huber     @maurajoyce     @_xojanice

@liz.perryman     @zonemama     @acreativebuzz

@joymadeit     @tkelly912     @kellyharper75

Our hope with this monthly feature is that you’ll connect with other creative minded mamas, documenting their days.  Remember to tag your images with #TCMeveryday for the chance to be featured each month, and follow The Creative Mama on Instagram.

Team Happenings

As a collaborative blog, The Creative Mama offers many inspiring ideas and perspectives.  You will likely enjoy following the various personal/ professional pursuits of our artistic writing team.  Here are a few of the latest team happenings-

Ginger Unzueta‘s Everyday Beauty photography workshop at Bloom is now open for registration.  What a great help this workshop could be as you pursue your photography goals for 2015.

Carey Pace‘s Elf on the Shelf series can be found on Peanut Blossom.  Learn why Carey loves this tradition and collect some fun ideas for your own elves. 

Maegan Beishline was interviewed on A Butterfly in My Hair and also published “An Introvert’s Guide to the Holidays.”

And as a continuation of Kimberly Peck‘s ongoing Farm Food Life series, she has a beautiful 2015 calendar for purchase.  It pairs well with her book that was published last year.



The Creative Mama’s Top Ten Posts

The Creative Mama is soon to celebrate her 6th birthday! I thought it would be fun to share our most viewed posts.  Seasoned readers, which of these posts do you remember?  New readers, check out these great ideas from days past.

1) DIY Gift Card Snow Globe– This is our most popular post EVER and of course it is especially white hot now in the holiday season. Follow these instructions to make a fun and unique gift card presentation.

2) The End of Reinventing the Meal- Menu Planning and The Ultimate Menu Board– The Ultimate Menu Board has received tons of comments from readers who have been so excited to find a meal planning tool that works.  This system makes it easy to rotate meals and making a shopping list is a breeze when you consult your ingredient list on the back of the meal cards.  

3) On The Day I Was Born– How can you help a soon to be big brother or sister feel extra special? This darling, meaningful book made to highlight his or her own birth story is sure to be treasured.


4) Frozen Whipped Cream Dollops– Here is another post especially perfect for winter.  Hot cocoa gets a delicious boost when you have these pretty dollops on hand.


5) How to Make Glitter Playdough– Mamas everywhere are making this simple, quality playdough with sparkle.  After experimenting with different recipes, this one came in on top.


6) Dresses to the Beat of Her Own Drum– This article is one that many, many parents related to.  The author shares her experience of letting go of control while her daughter experiences the freedom to choose to dress as eccentrically as she pleases.

7) 20 Creative Ways to Upcycle Wood Pallets– DIYers can’t resist a wood pallet project.  This article gathers 20 different creative ideas. At least one is sure to strike your fancy.


8) One Frame a Day– Be inspired to click that shutter often, capturing the everyday moments that you’ll forever be grateful to visit again and again.  You may even choose to create a yearly book of your memories.


9) How to Create a Wall O’ Canvas– Love this look that has been pinned over and over? Learn how to create your own stunning photo wall with canvas collages.


10) DIY: Cheap and Easy Photo Wall– Here’s another popular option for an eye catching photo display.  The investment is minimal and you can tailor this idea according to your preference of size.

There you have it!  The Creative Mama’s most visited posts of all time.  We hope you found another gem to put in your stash of great ideas to add beauty and creativity to your life.  Keep following us for more!  If you want to make sure you don’t miss any future inspiration, subscribe to our email updates (sign up in the sidebar) and follow us on Instagram.

Easy Icebox Cookies

For a woman who calls herself a foodie, I’ve been consuming a dreadfully large amount of frozen, pre-prepared foods.  Granted, I try to purchase those foods from farmer’s market vendors who use real, local ingredients, but let’s face it, there are days when only chicken fingers will do.  Or a bagel smeared with sticky cream cheese from my local drive-thru coffee place.  I’m sad to say the food court in the building where I work has been a fixture in my daily routine.

This kind of eating is a fairly big diversion for someone who makes her own granola rather than buying cereal at the store, but I’m chalking it up to a particular season in my life which has necessitated some fairly drastic survival measures.

You see, my husband has been deployed overseas since July, and shortly after his departure, I found out I was pregnant with our second child.  Since then, life has been a roller coaster of adaptation to solo parenting, combined with the exhaustion and emotion of early pregnancy.  I have had to practice a lot of letting go.  My girl has watched quite a bit of Dora while I lay passed out on the couch next to her.  We have eaten more bowls of cereal for dinner than I can possibly count.  Though some of these changes have required just a little grace and self-compassion, there are others that weigh more heavily on my heart.  

Eating cereal for dinner – not having the time, or energy, or genuine desire to prepare a healthy homemade alternative – for someone who takes deep comfort and pride in preparing food, comes with a feeling of loss.  As have the other sacrifices; the fact that I’ve not written a blog post in three months; the stand-up paddleboard that remains in my garage, virtually untouched this summer; the feeling, on my worst days, that I’ve given up everything but work and parenting these past few months.

Surely, I am grateful to have my beautiful daughter and to be pregnant again, for a roof over our heads, and the ability to put food on the table, even when it’s chicken fingers.  I am thankful that I can remind myself that this time in our lives will end; sometimes that is the only thing that keeps my head above water.  But perhaps it’s also okay to acknowledge the ache that I feel when I see fathers out walking with their children, imagining that mama is at home with a hot cup of tea and a good book.  Perhaps it’s okay just to have a good cry about my untouched journal, the camera that’s collecting dust, and my racing bike with two flat tires and a net of cobwebs encircling it.

These cookies are a fairly good option for times like these.  My dad used to make them when we were kids; there were always a few rolls of icebox cookie dough in the freezer.  It wasn’t until he sent me some in a care package when I was in university that I realized the sheer delight of just slicing off a few discs to bake on a whim.  Just for me, just because I felt like eating soft, chewy oatmeal and hot, sweet maraschinos.

These can be made while balancing a toddler on one’s hip, or by sitting her on the counter and telling her to dig her hands in and help with the mixing.  They should be eaten with cold milk or a cup of tea, and should taste of love, and a bit of sweet relief.

Easy Icebox Cookies
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  1. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1 cup shortening
  5. 1 cup flour
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 1/2 cups large flake rolled oats
  9. Dried fruit, type and quantity of your choice (I use maraschino or candied cherries, candied ginger, raisins, and candied pineapple); nuts optional
  1. Using a whisk or a stand mixer, cream the sugars and egg together. Add in the shortening, and mix thoroughly.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, soda, salt and rolled oats.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet until they begin to form a cohesive mixture. Add in the desired quantity of dried fruit; I just "eyeball it" here. The dough will be quite sticky and tough, so you'll likely need your hands at this point to mix it thoroughly.
  4. Form the dough into square-ish bars approximately 10" long (you'll likely get about 3-4 bars from this recipe). Wrap first in parchment or wax paper, and then in tin foil. Store in the freezer until ready to bake.
  5. (Note: if you'd like to eat some of these right away, chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour before baking)
  6. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 325F. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer and slice off the desired number of cookies (it's helpful to used a serrated knife here so they don't break apart). Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes, or until slightly browned on the bottoms.
  7. Enjoy!
The Creative Mama