Thank you so much for all your kind comments yesterday, I really do appreciate it. I am not sure how I managed to suck so many amazingly kind people into reading my blog, but I am grateful. Thanks for the encouragement!

****Those of that love cooking or have high standards for food should stop reading right now*****

Magazines and design blogs are not the real everyday life that goes on here. Everyday life around here is beautifully chaotic and non-stop. There are a lot of things I really enjoy. Creating, playing, blogging….cooking I don’t enjoy so much. Maybe I’d enjoy it more if three little boys liked variety and interesting foods. Probably not. The thing about cooking for me is it is such a temporary enjoyment. I could craft for 15 minutes and enjoy the product for a year. I could cook for 3o minutes and enjoy it for 10….even then I don’t really enjoy it because I am getting up and down more than I am actually eating.

How do I get a lot done in a day…I don’t cook everyday. We eat dinner as a family every night, but very rarely am I in the kitchen preparing it that day. A few of my friends and I have started cooking once a month. It is wonderful! We each pick 4 recipes and prepare them to go in the freezer. Then we trade. So we each end up with about 16 different meals and a few sides that are all great in the freezer. In the evenings I just have to pull something out of the freezer, let it thaw overnight and throw it in the oven or crockpot the next day.Β  It makes my afternoons and evenings so much smoother and the amount of money we save is crazy.

There are all kinds of Once a Month cooking websites, recipes, tools online. You can get menus and schedules and be very Type A about it. For my friends, we have similar sized families, and kids that are the same ages…so our recipe choices and sizes are the same. We just pick stuff that will freeze well, make it and pick a week to trade. It makes me happy.

I usually pick one day to do my shopping and cooking. This month I finished all 16 meals (4 recipes x 4) in about 2.5 hours….and after I trade with friends I will have 16 great meals and will have saved a ton of money.

When we began doing this (about a year ago) we did make the investment in a deep freeze. I figure with 4 kids (3 of which are boys) a deep freeze will get a good amount of use. I saw an Oprah episode once where a mom taught her sons (I think there were 3 of them) the basics of cooking. The boys loved it and it became a competition. The mom never cooked and the boys competed each night to see who could create the best meals. That is the smartest mom ever….I will follow her lead one of these days!

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  • Katie - This idea is amazing! I want to do this and I don’t have kids yet…ha!

  • Kirra Sue - Um oK. That is AMAZING.

  • Tawnya - could you share and post one or two of your very favorite once a month recipes???

  • jessica - i love this idea ashley! would love to hear some of the recipies that you use! have a great day:)

  • Tammy Kay - I’ve been thinking about doing this with my friends for awhile. Could you share some of the meals that seem to work the best?
    I would love to hear what some of your favorites are.

  • Sarah - Brilliant idea, Ashley. I’ve wanted to do the once-a-month cooking for ages, but thinking about preparing that many meals over a single weekend was always daunting. I love the idea of trading meals with other people. I’ve already emailed a group of friends to see if anyone wants to try this out. Thanks for another inspiring post!

  • tasha roe - i have 2 friends that do this and love it. i just never plan that far in advance or forget to leave the food out to thaw the day before. i guess if i made it a priority it would work. and if i could craft more instead of cooking i am all for it! great angle!

  • Katie B. - Rachel Ray has a new show about once a week cooking.

  • Yanet - Ok the once a month cooking is a great idea! And the mom teaching the boys to cook is just brilliant!!!!

  • Sarah - I’ve been trying to make 15min meals for a few months now but it always ends up being at least 30 b/c of someone pulling at my pants while i’m trying to cook! i’ve heard alot about the once a month cooking but never tried it. looks like i’ve got some research to do! thanks for the push.

  • amy - ok i demand that you and your friends share your favorite recipes!!! ok i don’t demand but i would love it if you did!! pretty please!!! i’ve been wanting to do this forever!! love the idea of getting friends to do it too!!

  • Anna Marie - Please post some of your favorite recipes that freeze well. :o) This is brilliant and I want to copy you!

  • Lindsay - BRILLIANT!

  • Ranee - Yes. So Smart! My sister and I do a version of this and it’s so much fun and so exciting to have a freezer full of food!

  • Gevay - I am dying to try this. A friend and I are making a recipe next week to trade. We’ll see how that goes. Freezer cooking/swapping is a great idea!

  • Christine - That is such a great idea! I might have to give it a try.

  • Alba - I didn’t know about it ;-O
    I’m one of those who loves cooking, but certain evenings I just can’t. I try to cook once a week the basics (soups, tomato sauce, …) and freeze it, to make my evenings less stressfull.
    I would love to know some of the recepies you are using.
    Even with my love for cooking, I think it’s a good idea.!

  • Rebecca - Will you share your recipes?

    I’d love to find a group of single girls to trade meals with. It’s no fun cooking for one – and having a few meals in the freezer is always a good thing!

  • Lindsey - Please share your favorite recipes!!!

  • Shea - Fabulous idea! I really like the saving money part. We go over budget in groceries almost every month. And I’ll send out another bid for recipes please!

  • Brooke Hedin - but where do you find the recipes? i’ve tried a couple of freezer recipes and they turned out gross (obviously i’m looking in the wrong places). share your favorite recipes! i’d love to share them.

  • Steph - Um, I think everyone wants you to share recipes.

  • susie whyte - i’ve never tried it with friends, but i do make meals and freeze them from time to time. i enjoy that–A LOT. πŸ™‚ i may have to try this…it would give my friends and i another excuse to see each other!

  • Tali - I’m curious about that organizer/divider thing that I see in your freezer. I have a deep deep freezer and I struggle with keeping it organized. I’m intrigued by your photo!!

  • Reidunn - I suggested this idea to some of my friends some time ago, they looked at me like I was crazy.
    I knew it was a great idea. Thanks for proving that Ashley.

  • Paulina J! - I told you you were an idea machine. We don’t have children, but this would work for us since we work full time. This would save time money and excuses that we don’t have nothing to eat. RECIPES, RECIPES, RECIPES!!! You shoudl also feature those wonderful friends and their tips.

  • Dena - How much do the recipies vary each month? My husband is picky and I’m not sure there are even 16 meals I could freeze that he would eat. I do freeze leftovers when I make large quantity items… chili, sloppy joes, etc. and those are life savers some nights…. if I remember to thaw them πŸ˜‰ Thanks!

  • Ruthy T. - I knew it…..you had to have a secret for dinner time! How can any mom with 4 kids get anything done in the kithchen if she has to be in it for hours everyday! GENUIS!!

  • Suzy Sholar :) - Once upon a time, I had a food swap with two friends. We did it on a weekly basis, and delivered the food (one night per week) at dinner time. I like your idea of swapping frozen meals… it would make it that much easier to make sure the timing and meals suited your family. It would also work well for people who want to swap, but don’t live right next door to each-other.

    Love the idea about meal-time competitions!!!

    Thanks for the ideas.

  • Alice H - Please do share your recipes and meal ideas…I am a mother to three kids, I work full-time, and the older two are involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities. I would love to start doing something like this with some of my friends.

  • ashley jensen - I have heard of once a month cooking and there is nothing wrong with it! I swap recipes with a friend so we don’t get stuck in a rut eating the SAME things all the time. There are only 3 of us in my little family but we usually have a menu written for the following week and that helps out alot. We rarely fix anything that takes over 30 from start to finish!

  • Anna - This is a great idea!! It’s so much better than ordering take out. I probably can’t do it for the whole month but I can probably cook once a week and freeze it just for then. Thanks for such a wonderful idea for busy moms!

  • meg duerksen - brillant!
    i wish someone else would organize this so i could participate.
    i would love to do it….but don’t want to be in charge.
    πŸ™‚

  • Jane - Ashley, I share your loathing of cooking. I hate it too. The return on the investment of time sucks! This is brilliant! I try to do this as well but unfortunately get caught up in other things often. Home made freezer meals are great. Sometimes I’ve used a service we have in our area called Supperworks. http://www.supperworks.com. You make an appointment and they have all of the ingreditents there, chopped, cut up, grated, etc. ready to go. All you do is assemble. It’s convenient but I find it a bit pricey. Doing it yourself at home is definitely more economical. It just requires a bit more organization and prep work. But a gift certificate for this place was my favourite baby gift after my son was born. They even have a “stork” special where they do the assembly for free if you have a new baby.

  • Rebecca - How do you do it? This is such a simple idea and it is utterly brilliant! Its official you are the best mom ever. If you ever have a bad day, just read this again. Even if I’m still a stranger, you have a friend in Wisconsin. You are awesome.

  • giozi - WOW. Excellent idea, but EX-CE-LLENT !!!!!!!!!!!!
    You won a big kiss only for this MUAAAAAACK !!! πŸ™‚
    I cook every day is really crazy. I’ve neve think cook once a month, is fantastic, only one thing bad, I live in a town and I don’t have car πŸ™
    but your idea is great I’m going to share it.

    I want friends like yours πŸ™‚

  • anne c - wow…literally last night when I was cooking dinner and running around after my 16 month old I was wondering how someone with more than one child (and I did think of you!) cooked EVERYDAY. I feel guilty the nights that I haven’t prepared something…I only have to feed 3 people and that is nothing compared to most! I def. need to find some friends to do this with….and buy a deep freezer πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing ashley!

  • Kaylene - Yea! I’m so glad someone else does this. So often i get crazy looks when i mention i cook a head of time. I helps so much with the weeks and planning. Also i do precook breakfast on wednesdays for the next week, pancakes and waffles freeze well. so do banana breads and applesauce bread, in busy mornings it’s a life saver, just add fruit. I do love cooking and even if it’s just browning meat ahead of time and making the pasta later, still so helpful. Where did you get the freezer divider, that would be fab!

  • Haylee - so glad to hear this works out! i’m starting this with my friends next week.. now i can’t wait!

  • Kaylene - oh, and it can be done for two weeks at a time too, And i just got books from the library on the topic, most came with recipes.

  • Asha - I LOATHE cooking!!! I have two kids and I think it’s my kids limited palate that discourages me to want to cook anymore. Every night is chicken, put anything new in front of them, doesn’t get touched. But I like the concept of what you’re doing because my last thought two minutes before dinner time is ‘darn it, what am i going to make for dinner? is there chicken?’

  • Seamingly Sarah - brillant! We’re going to buy a chest freezer soon so I can start better stockpiling the rewards from our garden. I only can tomatoes and other high acid foods, so I have a ton of other vegetables that I’d like to freeze. But I don’t batch cook often. I don’t hate cooking, I enjoy trying new recipes. But weekly meal plans have really helped with my budget and not wasting food.

  • Ruth - I love this! I need to find a few friends who would be up for the challenge. Do you mind if I post a link to this post on my blog?

    living well, spending less

  • Zoya - I’ve been thinking about doing OAMC for awhile now. We are expecting our 2nd child in a couple of months so i really want to start soon so i can at leat get some recipes done before she arrives and it will be a lot easier than cooking everyday. I would love to hear some of your favorite recopes, as i am looking for some tried and true ones.

  • Moriah - GENIUS!! Thank you

  • caro - great idea!

  • jill - Would love to do this, would you share some of your receipes? Thanks!
    Jill

  • Jen - I’d like to add my vote for recipe-sharing! Please?! I have three boys under 5 and can use all the help I can get! Thank you.

  • Jen - I LOVE THIS IDEA!!!! I am all about cooking a head and freezing meals but had never thought about a cooking co-op! Brilliant!

  • Katie - This is SOOOO me. I love eating, but the cooking–not so much. This would be a dream come true. Thanks so much for the idea!

  • Bekki4 - Isn’t it the best?!! I have been cooking once a month for 10 years. I now cook for two or three months at a time. There are so many other things to do with my time than cook. I do cook when I feel like it, instead of because I have to. I have info on my blog and some recipes if you are ever looking for new ones.
    I would love to see your recipies, I am always on the lookout for tried and true frozen meals!
    We have the same freezer, I love that thing, best investment ever!

  • Heather - have any of the frozen meals turned out a disaster? this is a great idea!! ill have to pocket this one for when i have kids.

  • Tysha - This is the answer to my prayers (and my husbands, too, since he suffers from my kitchen aversion)

    Thanks much!

  • Holly T - Where did you get the blue sorter things for your deep freeze, I need those some kind of bad!!

  • Michelle H - Can you share some of your recipes? With a little one on the way I would love to pre-make a bunch of dinners so we don’t have to worry about cooking when we are home from the hospital. I don’t know where to start with frozen meals though!

  • lisa and tate - What a greast idea!!! Can you provide some of your favorite recipes? Or favorite websites for ideas?

    Also I am very interested in your schedule… how you get it all done with four tinys.

  • Vicki - You know you can take this to the next level and do breakfast this way too…this is especially great if you or your husband have to run out the door in the morning and could eat lunch at your/their desk when they arrive. Pancakes freeze great as do waffles and you can save a ton of money here versus buying the premade frozen variety that are just so time saving in the morning. My personal favorite is breakfast tacos. Make a variety like potato and egg, sausage and egg, beans and rice and cheese and salsa. Make a huge batch at a time, wrap them in tin foil and those bad boys freeze just great and taste yum when microwaved later. It’s a hardy breakfast that will get you through the morning. You could also serve breakfast for dinner some night…kids think it’s just crazy fun!

  • Amira - Hi Ashley,

    Firstly, a belated congratulations on your publication in Women’s Magazine and joining Design Sponge!! Truthfully though, I’m sure we all figured it would just be a matter of time before more people appreciated your talent for all things gorgeous πŸ™‚

    I’ve been a reader of your blog for quite some time now (I think this is my first time commenting), and I’ve got to tell you I was wondering HOW IN THE WORLD you run a household, with three adorable, yet I’m very sure, active kids, ANNNDDD do something like cook everyday. Especially the cooking part because it’s a personal nightmare for me to cook everyday and I only have A (singular!) 2 year old.

    This post, honestly, made me want to cry because it’s such a brilliant idea and definitely a sanity saver. Would you mind, whenever you have the time, putting up some of the Once-A-Month Cooking sites you use? I’m going to Google this whole concept right now too.

    Many, many thank you’s!!

  • Jen - Ashley, I am fully aware of how nerdy this question is going to seem, but are those freezer organizers I see in your deep freezer?? Where did you get those?!?! I think I need some!!!!

  • Ashley - A group of us are doing this next month!! So excited!
    Please do share some of the recipes that you guys love and that freeze well! I’ll be honest…the idea of freezing alot of our meals kind of grosses me out. Does everything dethaw pretty well?

  • jessica h - THANK YOU for the tip! I have heard of a lot of “totally on top of it” moms with 12 kids doing this, but I never thought of doing it with a few kids and a few friends (!) Like you said, you are a mom of four, three of whom are boys {and you live it out beautifully & simply}…so I covet ANY of your tried and true tips on making home life more enjoyable and easier to manage πŸ™‚

  • Lorena Mair - Wow, that is such a great idea! Love it! So do you have any delicious recipies to share which are suitable for freezing?
    I’d love to hear and try it out!
    Also I personally am interested in your “weekly goals”. I think that would inspire us out here to do the same!

  • Carolyn - Such a great idea! This could definitely help the stress levels in the afternoons when I’m trying to get dinner and keep my toddler amused all at once! I love these sorts of posts…well I love all of your posts, but any little organisational tips to help make mothering easier!…
    P.S Congratulations on being published!..and being contributor to Design Sponge…love that site, such great ideas and inspiration.

  • Lisa - Hi Ashley, Love your creative ideas and encouragement. We have four young children and homeschool the two oldest. I found I would never survive without making our own frozen family dinners. We make about 40 meals in about two weekends. Those 40 meals last us about 2+ months when I add a veggie and bread. My favorite recipes that our whole family loves is from the Super Suppers Cookbook. Some of our favorites are Fish in a Flash, Fish Tacos, Salmon Cakes and Mom’s Meatloaf. http://www.amazon.com/Super-Suppers-Cookbook-Judie-Byrd/dp/0696230542
    You have really helped me to become bolder in crafting at home with my kids and given me much inspiration! thanks so much!!

  • Lindsay - I love what you said at the beginning about cooking. I have SUCH A HARD TIME COOKING for my new family….(married a man with teenagers and I had no kids to speak of at the time…now we have a 4 month old). I had to go from looking after myself and eating whenever I wanted to preparing meals for 4 grown-ups EVERY DAY. ugh… and all i want to do is craft! it takes soooo much time to nourish ourselves healthfully. I give ‘cook’s’ a lot of credit, but I’ve always said that people that LOVE to cook and do it A LOT, must not have ANY other interests…b/c it takes all day to prepare amazing meals….and I’d much rather spend the day taking photos, and crafting, sewings and computering. haha

    I will def’ly look into this ‘freezing’ business you speak of. Sounds perfect for us!

  • Lorena Mair - Dear Ashley,
    every year I make my own Christmas cards and every year I find it hard to find a great idea how to make a beautiful stylish DIY card. I have seen on you blog some cards from last year – I tried it but they didn’t turn out as nice as yours – do you have any other ideas or websites you can recommend? Thanks Ashley!

  • Susan Caing - i really like what you said about magazines and design blogs are not the real everyday life and the real thing is beautifully chaotic. i was just wondering how you manage your time. you’re an inspiration. thanks!

  • Jolie - what a brilliant idea – thanks so much for sharing! If it wasn’t the middle of the night, I’d be ringing Megan and Sue and getting them in on it too!!! Oh well, I guess I can wait until morning.
    I love cooking, but the daily grind of it does take its toll…this is a fabulous way of taking the resentment out of midweek dinners when I’d rather be doing something else!

  • Margie - This is brilliant…it’s like a cartoon moment where a light bulb just went on above my head! I need to do this, the drama it will eliminate at dinner time is priceless! Love the new blog look and congrats on all the happenings…designsponge…the magazine etc!!! Love your blog :0).

  • Kristin S - Your freezer dividers are awesome!

    I have lots of friends with big families who do this as well (one friend cooks once a semester and she has a rotation for her kids to choose what is for dinner each night so there’s no complaining).

    If you find others with similar tastes to trade? Brilliant.

  • Raechel Myers - We do something very similar with four other families in our neighborhood. Only in our case, we actually deliver the meals hot to each other’s doors every night. I only cook once a week and make the meal for 20 people (4 adult-sized servings per family). All other nights of the week someone is at my doorstep with hot dinner and sides (and sometimes dessert!) ready to put on the table.

    Last night we had pork tenderloin, squash and zucchini and applesauce. Made even more delicious by the fact that my only meal prep that day was setting the table!

    I actually recently blogged about our supper swap here: http://raechelmyers.blogspot.com/2010/09/coq-au-vin-for-20.html

  • Mirys - Hi Ashley!!!

    ItΒ΄s a pitty that here, in Brazil, people dont have 3 or 4 children anymore… I just love big families (IΒ΄m the oldest of 10 kids!!!) and I love you pratical ideas for life!

    You make living easier!
    Even if I dont trade food with friends, I still can cook once a week and save it for the next 7 days! Brilliant!!!

    Mirys – for the other post on the November 5th

    PS: one of your readers just left me a message in MY blog!!! In English (my special language)!!! Can you imagine how great this is as a birthday gift?????

  • Mirys - Hi Ashley!!!

    Its a pitty that here, in Brazil, people dont have 3 or 4 children anymore…I just love big families (Im the oldest of 10 kids!!!) and I love you pratical ideas for life!

    You make living easier!
    Even if I dont trade food with friends I still can cook once a week and save it for the next 7 days!Brilliant!!!

    Mirys – for the other post on the November 5th.

    PS: one of your readers just left me a message in MY blog!!! In English (my special language)!!! Can you imagine how great this is as a birthday gift???

  • cooking for friends « so glad I’m here - […] Under the Sycamore‘s […]

  • NH - Hi! Love this idea. Just wondering if you’ll ever share the recipes or even just the recipe names. To be honest this is something I find a bit annoying about some blogs. Some bloggers share great things and then keep out part of the details. Lots of people ask and are interested and then it’s like some big secret. It’s something I just don’t understand.

  • emily - ok this is the greatest idea ever!!!!! i have 4 little ones and have a few friends with 3 or more kiddos…totally going to get this going in my neck of the woods!! would love suggestions for fave recipes and fave sites with the best info for getting started with once a month cooking!

    thanks so much sharing…just thinking about it and my stress level has already declined!! :O)

  • Freezer Cooking » Penny Pickles - […] that I like to stock up on when it’s on sale at the store. I follow this blog and she did a post on how she and a few friends do freezer cooking once a month. It cuts down on their grocery bill […]

  • once a month cooking | 30 meals in one day | living well spending less - […] first heard about once-a-month (OAM) cooking here, on one of my favorite blogs, Under the Sycamore. Β The concept intrigued me, but I found it far […]

  • Rebecca - Love it! I am so going to do this–i hate cooking πŸ™‚

Today I am guest posting at Design Sponge….so go on over there to check out the diy post.

I find it very difficult to turn down a cute vintage tin. I feel a strong connection to Frank of American Pickers. I get the hard decision each time he walks away from an old oil can. Mike, I hear you. I see you. (hmmm Parenthood). My collection has been growing and I needed to do something fun with some of my tins. Head on over to Design*Sponge and let me know what you think!

So you want to hear something crazy? I am joining the ranks of Design*Sponge contributors! My monthly diy posts specialty will be flea market finds. A great excuse for me to buy even more junk treasures! For those of you familiar with Design*Sponge you understand why I am blown away and honored to be a contributor.

Chris and my lovely kids don’t get it, so I share it here…with my online friends that can understand!

****

Do you want to hear something even crazier? My doily canvas tote is featured in the recent Women’s Day magazine! I picked up a copy at Target and stood in the aisle trying to find the feature. I’m am sure people passing by wondered about the lady with the huge smile looking at a magazine. I was giddy. A little girl ran into me with a shopping cart and her dad gave me a look of displeasure for stopping in the middle of the aisle. I thought about showing him my Doily Tote page, but didn’t think he’d care. I had asked a sweet shopper to take a picture of me with my phone, but I can’t figure out how to get the pics onto my computer. Figures.

My first major national magazine feature meant a little celebrating.Β  I picked up Pizzelles from Aldi’s and fixed coffee in my kitchen…then a little person woke up from her nap early and interrupted my quiet celebration. It’s a glamorous life.

Quote by Chris – who as I am writing this is trying to be a handyman (which I won’t even address):

“I think God has cursed any work of my hands to teach me that I have to make a living working with people.

This is a bloody mess. Ridiculous.”

Obviously we will never go on the road as one of those builder/crafter couples….it would be a ridiculous mess.

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  • Carol - Congratulation on being published! You deserve it.

  • Jennifer Campo - Wow! Ashley you are getting quite famous. Congratulations!!

  • Lindsay - Holy moly congratulations! That is SO huge!

  • maria - wow! congratulations!

  • Laurie J - YAY! Congrats! Having followed your blog for some time now I feel like a friend of yours rejoicing with you that you made it “big time” now…a MAGazine!!

  • Heather - Congrats! But am I surprised? Heck no! Your blog is beautiful πŸ™‚

  • Holly - I am so incredibly excited for you! YOU GO GIRL!

  • Stephanie@Geezees - Congrats on being published on design sponge.
    Love your blog!

  • laura - so happy for you:)!

  • RachelC - I am so proud of you!!! Congratulations on the Design Sponge gig!! Even those of us who could never quite grasp the magnitude of the honor (b/c we are neither artists nor crafters nor craftivists), we do understand your amazing talents and celebrate with you!! And…..the magazine is way cool. Totally cool. You should celebrate all over again today!

  • allison - Wow, so much exciting news today! Congratulations πŸ™‚ I will love reading your posts over on D*S.

  • Amy - is it weird that when i saw this, i said ‘hey, i know her’?? haha!! congratulations on both!! we are all so excited for you πŸ˜€

  • Emily Lusk - That is so exciting!!!

  • Sarah - Wow! you have such great news to share! Very diserving!

  • Lori K - YAY! YAY! YAY! I’m so happy for you about the Woman’s Day. I would have run to Target too. Love the tins and anything pretty at a junk yard.

  • Dana Laymon Photography - that is so awesome! i can’t imageine what that feels like! being featured all over the dagum place πŸ™‚ enjoy it, i so love reading your blog everyday!

  • Ruth - Congratulations Ashley! As always, you are an amazing source of inspiration!

  • colleen - What an incredible honor! On both fronts… I love it when the world (unknowingly) appreciates God given abilities and gifts. It is made even sweeter when i know that the possessor of those gifts delights in the Giver! I’m sure when He made the world, He knew that He was going to plant part of His creativity in a girl in Oklahoma one day. Then He could delight in seeing Her reveal that part of Himself to a world that He loves. Psalm 139:13-18

  • Susan - Yeah for you!

  • meg duerksen - YAY!!!
    i saw that too and thought “that’s ahsleys?!!” but i must not have read it.
    way to go girl!
    ashley….i hear you and i see you.
    πŸ™‚

  • tasha roe - wow! that is totally rad! congrats lady!

  • Gevay - Way to go!

  • Jane - Oh wow! Congratulations Ashley! I predict that there is much, much more of this kind of thing ahead for you. And then I’ll be able to say that I was taught photography by the ultimate, crafter/artist extraoridnaire Ashley Campbell!

  • amanda torres - Such cool things happening to you! I have no doubt that they are a result of your faithfulness to God. Congratulations!

  • angie - Congrats! πŸ™‚

    Do you have a smart phone? You can email the pic to yourself and then check it on your computer πŸ™‚

  • ashley jensen - How stinkin’ exciting is that to see your DIY project in a magazine (even on MSN…AWESOME)!! I would have made a complete fool of myself in the store if it were me. Congrats on Design Sponge too!

  • Andrea Jett - Congratulations!! God has blessed you with so many talents, and made you an inspiration to so many! I will be expecting a signed copy of that magazine… πŸ˜‰

  • Jamie - Congratulations! That’s so exciting!!!

  • Kirra Sue - Congratulations Ashley! That’s amazing! I looked at Border’s for the magazine yesterday and they didn’t have it, so I’m buying it when I hit the grocery store! So excited for you!!! And the Design Sponge news? That’s awesome!

  • Kelly - wow! congrats on the magazine feature!! Sooo exciting! I would have been giddy too! Kelly

  • Yanet - That’s awesome stuff happening to you right now!

    Your reference to Patenthood made me smile. I love the show!!

  • jenny - Congratulations! That is SO FUN! I am not surprised though. You are very talented and have the cutest blog ever…I have told everyone I know about it in the last couple of months. πŸ˜‰

  • sarah W. - Congrats on being published! and working with design sponge!!
    That’s awesome Ashley!

  • Lynette - I was so excited when I open my Woman’s Day yesterday and saw you in there. Congrats!

  • stacey - how exciting/awesome is all that! congratulations and VERY deserved, i love your blog! it’s one of the first things i check every morning…your inspiration is fabulous! thanks!

  • lizibeth - Whoot whoot! celebrating with you for BOTH accomplishments! I totally heart d*s, and a national magazine …… WOW!!!

  • BriBedell - Love it! Congrats on the feature…you are very talented! I to also love American Pickers…I always think about you when they get some chairs! (now I sound like a stalker..sorry) LOL

  • Alissa - Congratulations! That is so exciting πŸ™‚

  • Candice @ ChiaSeedMe - Congratulations, Ashley! That’s amazing! I’m not surprised at all:)

  • Amber - love that you are so humble. can’t believe that women’s day didn’t overnight you a copy before it hit the stands! congrats! you are amazing ashley!

  • Sarah - That is so exciting, Ashley. Congratulations!

  • Rebecca - Congratulations on the mag. You are moving up in the world. HGTV watch out!

  • lifeologia - That is AMAZING NEWS. Ashley, Big Congrats.
    I have a confession to make, I found your blog with that TOTE BAG PHOTO. I was searching something in black & white I think and I found the photo of this tote bag on google! Seriously. I didn’t know at the time that by clicking on the photo, I would enter this awesome space and ‘meet’ the always creative and talented YOU. In fact, that’s how I was introduced to blogs in the first place – before this tote bag – I didn’t know this world even existed ;P
    Keep up the great work πŸ˜‰
    xoxo
    Ella

  • Ashley - OOOoooo! HOW EXCITING!!!!! Design sponge AND womens day!!!! That is too cool!!! πŸ™‚ Haha your pizelles from Aldi and coffee for celebrating during naptime sound like something I would do πŸ™‚ So exciting for you!

  • Jenn W - Congrats Ashley!!! I have made your tote for many teachers since I saw it at A Christmas Gathering. It was an easy and spectacular gift for my kids teachers last year at Christmas. This year when my son had to take all of his school supplies in before the first day of school I made one for his new teacher and filled it with his supplies and a few goodies for her.

  • Shannon Phillips - CONGRATS!!! Thank you for inspiring us, then inspiring us and then inspiring us some more. You work so hard at living out your passions and I am so proud of you for following your heart. You have come so far and you just keep getting better and better. This is such a huge honor for you but you’ve definitely EARNED it girl. Bask in the glory of your successes today!

  • Krista Lund - congrats! how very exciting and well deserved!

  • rachel denbow - Double congratulations, Ashley! The Design*Sponge gig is extra fantastic! What a smart move on their part!

    Looking forward to all of your creations in the future in one of my favorite places!

  • joy - Congratulations, Ashley! i am making that tote as Christmas/wedding gifts this month – thanks for the beautiful ideas!

  • Monique - That’s so amazing! What a great accomplishment! At the risk of sounding cheesy you really are an inspiration and I love seeing how God makes it possible to pursue our creative passions all the while throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into the passion of being a mom and wife. Congrats.

  • Sandy - I usually email the pics that I take with my phone to myself and then open them on my computer. If you don’t have that feature perhaps you can text the pic to someone, who in turn can email it to you. Can you tell I’d love to see that picture!! πŸ™‚ Congratulations…..that tote is on my to-do list.

  • Dacia - This is exciting!!! Congrats! πŸ™‚ the article still isn’t up at d*s, but I’m anxiously awaiting that, as I have a few vintage tea tins and I’d like to see what all you did with yours πŸ™‚ fantastic!

  • Monica - That is AWESOME and so are YOU!!

  • Seamingly Sarah - That is awesome – on both counts! Recognition can be so validating, not to mention you some of the cutest ideas anyways – now more people know it! Congratulations.

    It’s funny – I have to keep my husband away from my sewing machine. He wants various clothes altered and wants to do it himself, but I continue to make my sewing machine sound too complicated to let him try. =)

  • abbey - Congratulations!

  • Desiree - Wow! Congratulations! Design*Sponge! Woman’s Day! That’s fantastic! I remember when the Doily Tote tutorial was on Design*Sponge. That was the day I feel in love with your blog, photography, family, and inspirational message! Can’t wait to see you on Design*Sponge!

  • mandie - Oooh- I LOVE Parenthood & that quote is my favorite. My hubby & I use it on each other. πŸ™‚ Also, congrats! That’s super exciting! So happy for ya!

  • Heather - i totally get it so to you i say…hooray!! congratulations on being recognized for your beautiful skills. you’re going to be able to touch so many lives through these new ventures. have a happy day!

  • Mara - congratulations Ashley! So excited for you and hope this is just the beginning for you!

  • Jill - Woah, that is big time! I can understand how excited you are about being a contributor for Design Sponge… Congrats!

  • Paulina J! - Congrats!!! I am obsessed with both your blog and Design*Sponge. Can’t wait for your future contributions. Your an idea machine πŸ™‚

  • alamama - Congrats! You deserve it!

  • gina - You have great style Ashley! I am excited for you and glad you share your creative adventures and projects with us. Your blog is full of good ideas, inspiration, and fun to look at!

  • Urska - Giddy with you!!!

  • Trisch - Congratulations! That is so wonderful!!! Your work is beautiful and you are so creative! You deserve to be published in a magazine and to be part of one of the most popular sites there is! Wonderful!

  • Morgan - Congrats and Congrats! Those are two awesome accomplishments. Thanks for inspiring us!

  • Shannon{photos by shannon} - I love the candle in the vintage tin!! Great idea!! And Congratulations on the magazine feature!! I need to be more crafy so I will be featured somewhere lol, I’m a little magazine obsessed and it’s a dream lol. Oh, and I tease my hubby all the time that he’s *almost* perfect for meexcept he lacks any carpentry skill(or interest). He’s very manly and hands-on but more with cars and bluestone lol. I want custom built-ins, etc haha.

  • abby - ASHLEY!! Saw your feature in Women’s Day this morning when I was at Barnes and Noble. SO AWESOME. And congrats on joining the ranks at design sponge. Although I am not surprised one bit. You deserve that spot.

  • Kristin Eldridge - How fun is that to be published! I love your blog!

    I was wandering how you got your comments to show on your blog beneath your post (without clicking to get to the comments.) I have blogger. Any ideas???? THanks!

  • susie whyte - if chris needs a reminder as to how awesome you are, i will happily do the honors! πŸ™‚ love the DS post!!! thank you soooo much for that!

  • Reidunn - I’m so happy for you. Congratulations Ashley! I think it’s great that two of my daily reads mix. And, great quote at the end.

  • Carla - how fantastic and so well deserved πŸ™‚

  • Leanne - yay for you!! I’m loving the tin candles too!

  • jessica h - WOW!! Congratulations, Ashley!!! waaaa hoooo~ both Design Sponge and the magazine feature truly are super exciting πŸ™‚

  • sarah - Absolutely lovely. I’ve held back from buying these (even though I love them so much), I didn’t need anything sitting around collecting dust. Now I have such a good excuse! YAY! Thank you. I’m so happy for you that everyone is spreading your good ideas – magazines, blogs. You always have such creative and inspiring projects that are beautiful.

  • Betsy - WOW! You are amazing! Way to go!

  • ashlee - congrats to you!! its about time your fabulousness is shared in print!! and on design spponge!?! wow is all i can say!
    Chris’ quote was fantastic…reminds me of our house:)

  • Heather - congratulations!!! ill totally have to check out that article.. (and pretend like i actually know you)

    you can probably email yourself the pic from your phone to get it online.. some phones have an option to upload straight to facebook too.

  • Jeannette - Congratulations on Design Sponge and the magazine – just curious, how do you get in a magazine and don’t know about it – where did they get your pictures and stuff? You are awesome!

  • Jessica P. - This is such cool news! Congrats!!! I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for you!

  • Erica Buchanan - Sweet! Enjoy it!

  • Dick - Congratulations!!

  • Yolanda - Awesome and well-deserved recognition. Congratulations!

  • Kristy C - Congratulations! Will you remember us when your famous and have your own tv/online show? I’m so happy for you! Definitely an accomplishment you should be proud of!

  • jessica brown - You had every right to be extremely giddy – that is HUGE! I probably would have peed my pants with excitement if I were you. hahaha

  • Kathryn - This is such a great idea!

  • Aunt Sandy - WOW, this is so cool. Congrats on both. Guess I need to make sure I get a copy of WD so I have your first published DIY project. I love Chris’s quote and your remark after. Way too funny.
    By the way, do you need a manager to keep track of all your future booking???? Sounds like you might be in the market for one in the very near future. Way to go.

  • steph - Congratulations! I couldn’t be more happy for you. This is so fantastic, I can’t seem to get enough of you and your family. You are brilliant!!!

  • Jill R - I had this mag in my nightstand and hadn’t even opened it yet. You can bet I ran to get it out and there is your name in lights!!! Well, maybe “in black and white” is the better term. So excited for you. I know this is only the tip of the iceberg of what God has planned for you!!

  • Jolie - Congrats on Design Sponge AND Woman’s Day – what a week!!! Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person!

    (and now I have yet another thing to add to my list of *stuff-I-must-bring-home-with-me-from-the-opshop*!)

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh my goodness! Congratulations! I am so happy for you! It couldn’t have happened to a better person! Yay!

  • Jen - Congratulations! Couldn’t think of a nicer stranger for such great things to happen to! Hope the coffee was just the celebration you were looking for, even if it wasn’t as quiet as you had planned on. πŸ™‚

    Look forward to seeing your thrifting on DesignSponge!!!

  • Susannah - Congratulations! Your work and success are definately worth celebrating.
    http://www.uvinyl.com
    http://www.uvinyl.blogspot.com

  • Wendy - Just started reading your blog and your photos (and everything else) are awesome! Congrats!

  • brooke - oh ashley…i agree with laurie. I feel like my friend just got put into a magazine!! So funny, you are amazing! I have always wondered if Chris was in ministry…bc you say he works w. People…probably a reason why you don’t post that in a public forum! I love his quote about his work being cursed…funny! So excited for you! You are a great mom first of all but I’m glad you are getting recognition for your adorable creations!!

  • rebekah - congratulations, girl!!! how COOL for you…and for all of us who ADORE your creativeness!! yay for more ashley projects. πŸ™‚

  • The Mango Archives - Congrats! I love the idea of using the tins as candles. I have a bunch of them lying around. BTW is it safe?

  • Jennifer - Do you have internet on your phone? If so you can just send your picture to facebook and right click it and save it to your computer. Just a thought…

  • Stephanie - Congrats how exciting. Love the guest post too.

  • The Mango Archives - So inspired by the candles I went ahead and made my own yesteday! (although I used a different technique in making them) Thanks!

    http://themangoarchives.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/diy-make-your-own-candle-project/

  • wanda little - Ashley—I think you are definitely an AMAZING ( I hate this word because it is overworked, but that’s the only word I can think of that says it all) young woman, wife and mother. You seem to have your head on straight, your heart turned toward God, and your very being geared to being a woman who honors God. You get more done than anyone I know because you have goals, objectives, dreams, and you follow-through with even the simplest task (and take pictures of everything and everybody along the way!) I am definitely a fan–keep up the good work. (And you have your own BLOG too!)

  • How To: Save Money on Christmas GiftsΒ PartΒ 2 | - […] into each gift.Β  Some of my favorite ideas areΒ sewing aΒ ruffle scarf, decorating a tray, andΒ making vintage tin candles.Β  But really, the possibilities are […]

  • Sugar and Charm DIY: Beautiful tin candles -- Sugar and Charm - […] Christmas everyone! Here’s an adorable DIY candle project from Ashley Ann! I fell in love with it when I saw it on Design Sponge! I’m a huge fan of unique packaging […]

I am really excited about this month’s sponsors….there are some great shops and your Christmas shopping is sure to get a lot easier (or your personal wish list a lot longer!). I wanted to take a day and introduce you to the shops behind all those little buttons on the right side of the blog. So…let’s get started!

vintage + industrial + retro + primitive + antique + flea market finds….at least one NEW listing each day…

Catch Bellalulu here: Etsy, twitter:@bellalulu, Blog

offering pieces that are dainty, bold and everything in between….custom orders and wholesale available as well

Catch Stella Bella Boutique here: Etsy

{Tweet} things for baby and beyond

Catch Tweet Baby Designs here: Etsy

Lovies features vintage & antique items…sure to fill your home with lots of love.

Catch Lovies here: Etsy, Twitter, Facebook and Blogging

home of hand made patchwork goods….anything can be personalized

Catch BrowardPatch here: Etsy

creates boutique quality original custom hand stamped jewelry, stamped silver necklaces, bracelets and keepsakes

The Vintage Pearl is offering a 10% discount to Under the Sycamore readers for the month of November.

The offer expires 11.31.10. Use the code: sycamore10

Catch The Vintage Pearl here: Shop, Blogging, Twitter @thevintagepearl

a great place to find journaling tags, embellishments and stamps for all your scrapbooking needs

Catch Elle’s Studio here: Shop

handcrafted jewelry created with antiqued Sterling Silver, semi-precious stones, fresh water pearls, and vintage elements.

Elizabeth Williams Jewelry is offering a 10% discount to Under the Sycamore readers.

When checking out write “Under the Sycamore” in the Notes to Seller. Your discount will be refunded after purchase.

Catch Elizabeth Williams Jewelry here: Shop

shabby flower creations with all proceeds going towards bringing their daughter home through adoption

Catch Made4Adoption here: Etsy, Blog

beautifully created handmade accessories & photographs

Elizabeth St. is offering a 15% discount to Under the Sycamore readers for the month of November.

When checking out write “Betsy15” in the Notes to Seller. Your discounted will be refunded after purchase.

Catch Elizabeth St. here: Etsy, Photography, Blogging

an array of handmade items…custom orders are welcomed and encouraged

Catch TXstar here: Etsy, Blog

canvas notebooks with sewn binding, created to be practical, yet creatively done…you can even create your own custom notebook if you’d like

Catch May Books here: Shop, Web & Graphic Design, twitter @micamaydesign

a vintage inspired boutique….celebrating retro fashion and vintage couture

Catch Sucre Lulu here: Website, Blog

uniquely designed and exclusive products include journaling tags, embellishments & journaling spots

Catch Shabby Chic Crafts here: Shop


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  • Holly - Of course they are all cute but my favorite is Bellalulu! So many things I love. Thanks for sharing the details with us.

  • Leo - You mean November sponsors. Check title πŸ™‚

  • Wendy - You have such fabulous sponsers!

  • tasha roe - Beth’s Jewelry is a sponsor! She didn’t tell me. Very cool! EVERYONE, go buy Beth’s jewelry. πŸ™‚ I love it!!

  • tasha roe - Love all the sponsors – esp my dear friend Elizabeth Williams. Her jewelry is stunning!!!

  • Jane - Great sponsors! I just crossed off two people on my Christmas list by shopping at the Vintage Pearl. Oh, and maybe I had to include a necklace for me in there too. πŸ™‚

  • Heather - so many new to me stores to check out. can’t wait to pay each of them a visit. have a happy day!

  • MGF - I have just spent so much time browsing and loved every minute of it.

  • Ingrid - love the layout to show the sponsors!

  • Betsy Jo - Thanks, Ashley! Love all the shops!

  • Sheila - I wish I could find stuff like this in the UK! I’m sure it’s out there, I just don’t have it shown to me so easily and beautifully as you’ve done here. Well done.
    PS I LOVE YOUR BLOG! A friend shared it on Facebook, and I’m hooked πŸ™‚

  • Amy - oohhh what fun! Now I want to go shopping πŸ™‚

  • jessica h - awesome…can’t wait to browse πŸ™‚