Custom & One of a Kind: Daisy Lane Design

I have fallen in LOVE with the custom products from Daisy Lane Design! I just love her stuff. Yes, I said love twice. On purpose.  And there’s a surprise at the end for you.  From me & Allison, the owner of Daisy Lane Design.

We are very passionate about Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey. We’ve taken it twice in less than a year as table leaders. The Huzz and I are passionate about living debt free and helping others learn how to get a handle on their finances.

Last spring when we started FPU, I finally went back to using the envelope system. I used white paper envelopes. They worked. They got ratty. I wasn’t so thrilled pulling out my envelopes when paying. Not that I cared that much, but still, I knew there was something nicer out there.

Enter Pinterest. Daisy Lane Design caught my eye. I decided to “like” her Facebook page. Allison’s work on Facebook piqued my interest. So I commented on a photo asking questions and thus it all began.

Allison is amazing! I asked LOTS of questions. Probably too many. And I changed my mind… a few times on the colors. Allison worked with me and created a beautiful and custom cash envelope system for me. I loved the custom flowers on the outside of the pouches, but as a southerner, I wanted something monogrammed on the bag instead. Allison was very accommodating and well, check it out for yourself:

My First Daisy Lane Design Purchase.  My Cash Envelope System.

My First Daisy Lane Design Purchase. My Cash Envelope System.

My Cash Envelope System

My Cash Envelope System

I was like a giddy little child when I received my custom cash envelope system. I immediately broke out my label maker and labeled each cash envelope. Isn’t this gorgeous? I mean, really!!!

This pic makes me happy.

This pic makes me happy.

My Groceries Envelope

My Groceries Envelope

Here's a peek inside my pouch

Here’s a peek inside my pouch

Now I love pulling out my beautiful custom envelope system when paying. No more ratty old white envelopes! The pouch has organized my purse beautifully. I ordered the larger pouch with 9 cash envelopes. I only needed 7, so I made one envelope for receipts. (Does anyone else have 5 million receipts floating around your purse? Is it just me???) So now all of my receipts go straight into an envelope. Yes!

I have a giganto backpack purse. I do love it because I can fit, like, EVERYTHING under the sun in it. But sometimes, I want something a little smaller. Date nights, girl’s night out, a quick trip to Target… y’all know what I mean, right?

Then Allison made a beautiful new cash envelope system, posted it on her Facebook page and I drooled. I mean, I wanted it. The little girl inside of me had to have it. Thankfully, I had some budgeted fun money and it went straight to my next Daisy Lane Design purchase.

Here’s what sets Daisy Lane Design apart from the rest. I messaged her and told her how much I loved the gray and coral pouch, but wanted it as a purse. A messenger style purse. With a detachable strap. And oh yeah, it needs to be able to hold 2 EpiPens (4 total- one set for SG and one set for me.) And oops- the EpiPens are too tall for my current pouch. Can you make it a little taller? And can you put the state of South Carolina on it?

Allison created my very own custom purse. And I received it today. And y’all, I LOVE it! It is so fabulous!

Custom Mini Messenger Bag

Custom Mini Messenger Bag

Can you tell from the wall color and desk color that I love coral and gray?

Can you tell from the wall color and desk color that I love coral and gray?

See how perfectly our EpiPens fit inside my bag? They used to jostle around in my big purse.  Now they are snug and still.  Easy accessibility is a must with EpiPens.  I also have two cash envelopes, my iPhone, a little tube of vaseline and my driver’s license tucked away in a cash envelope.

These EpiPens are not budging or moving.

These EpiPens are not budging or moving.

This is not in any other Daisy Lane Design.  Allison will add one to your pouch for your EpiPens.

This elastic is not in any other Daisy Lane Design. Allison can add one to your pouch for your EpiPens.

Here's the inside of my new purse.  EpiPens, 2 Cash Envelopes, my phone & a little tube of Vaseline.

Here’s the inside of my new purse. EpiPens, 2 Cash Envelopes, my phone & a little tube of Vaseline.

To be true to my roots, I must say I’m tickled pink with my new purse! I love that I can zip around town here in Iowa, while carrying a little reminder of my home state with me.

Here’s my purchases from Daisy Lane Design:

Here's a peek of the inside of my 2 bags.

Here’s a peek of the inside of my 2 bags.

My 2 Custom Bags- Perfect for Me!

My 2 Custom Bags- Perfect for Me!

I also ordered two custom make up bags.  One was for my mother-in-law, who lives in TN.  The other was for my sister-in-law, who lives in Ohio.   These turned out amazing!

Make Up Bag- Ohio!

Make Up Bag- Ohio!

Make Up Bags- The blue one is the one I ordered.  Tennessee!

Make Up Bags- The blue one is the one I ordered for my mother-in-law. Tennessee!

Allison has so many great things for sale in her Etsy shop.  Her Facebook page has lots of photos with examples of past custom orders.  Allison creates custom, handmade and one of a kind items for all occasions.  She makes hand crafted bags, cash envelope systems, wallets (my next purchase!), diaper bags, beach bags, coffee cozies and more!

Here’s something just for you… I asked Allison if she would give my readers free shipping.  She said yes!  Use the code “BLESSED” to receive FREE shipping (in the United States only.)  If you are international and interested in ordering something from Daisy Lane Design, please comment below and I will reply to you in an e-mail.

***I have not been paid to write this for Daisy Lane Design.  I will receive a small percentage towards a future purchase for myself for each person who orders with the code “BLESSED.”  All opinions are my own.***

Our Favorite Easy & Budget Friendly Meatless Meal

This super easy dinner has quickly become one of our favorite meatless meals. I won’t drag on about a cute little story— let’s get to the “meat” of it. 🙂

The easy dinner is rice, refried beans and roasted broccoli. Simple, homemade and oh so yummy!

Rice, beans & broccoli

Homemade refried beans, prepared in advance and frozen.

Rice made in the rice cooker.

Fresh, roasted garlic broccoli.

EASY!

I make my refried beans in advance and ALWAYS keep some in my fridge. When I use the last bag of frozen beans, I make another batch. It’s seriously the easiest recipe ever. Soak the beans, throw them in the crockpot with just a few spices, an onion and water, cook and blend. Easy peasy. Click here for Ally’s recipe on her blog. (I omit the cayenne.)

For this dinner, I use 2 cups of refried beans.

Homemade frozen refried beans.

Homemade frozen refried beans.

I also use my rice maker to cook our rice. Easy peasy. I love my rice cooker!!!  Click here to see the exact the rice cooker I have.

As soon as I start the rice, I start prepping the broccoli.

I was inspired by this recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I made a few small changes- I don’t measure the olive oil. I drizzle some olive oil until the broccoli looks just coated. And I usually use 4 cloves of garlic, rather than 6-8 cloves. I love that I don’t need to measure anything for the roasted broccoli! Just toss stuff in and roast. I also roast at 400 degrees or sometimes even 415 degrees for usually 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

This does not take long to prepare.

This does not take long to prepare.

Broccoli ready for the oven.

Broccoli ready for the oven.

Those dark spots are the best part!  The Huzz says this tastes restaurant worthy!

Those dark spots are the best part! The Huzz says this tastes restaurant worthy!

While the rice is cooking and the broccoli is roasting, I defrost and heat the frozen refried beans.

I serve the beans over the rice with the broccoli on the side.

Not only is this a delicious dish, but it’s very budget friendly.

Dried beans: affordable

Rice: affordable

Broccoli: affordable

Lately, I’ve been buying our broccoli from Aldi’s and it’s such a great deal.  The last pack of broccoli I bought from Aldi was $1.39.  The entire bag of bagged dried pinto beans was about a $1.  I think I maybe paid $1.30 for an entire bag of rice.  I used 2 cups of the cooked beans (I think the recipe for 1 pound of beans yields 6-7 cups of cooked refried beans) and rice.  Maybe 32 cents for the beans and a cup and a half of dried rice (maybe 40 cents tops?).  I’m guesstimating.  Wet finger in the air…  $2.11 for the entire meal!  Super budget friendly!  (I didn’t add the cost of garlic because I always have garlic lying around the pantry.)

Beans and rice.  Rice and beans, baby!  (That’s for all of our Financial Peace University friends!)

I hope you enjoy our favorite budget friendly meatless meal!

Puerto Rican Black Beans

Arroz con Pollo topped with Puerto Rican style black beans

Arroz con Pollo topped with Puerto Rican style Black Beans

I love having a little taste of my Puerto Rican roots here in Iowa.  I had to learn how to cook like my mom since we live so far away from my parents.

This is my can free and dairy free version of my mom’s Puerto Rican Black Beans recipe.  You can easily sub red beans for the black beans.  I soak and cook my own black beans because of my nickel allergy (no canned foods.)  I also omit the ever so popular “Jamon” seasoning from Goya because it contains milk… what???  I found a way to make this recipe work for us.

This is yummy served over plain white rice or with arroz con pollo.

We are huge Dave Ramsey fans.  He talks about eating beans and rice, rice and beans.  This recipe definitely elevates the beans!  Give it a try.  It’s budget friendly, especially if you soak and cook your own beans. And y’all food allergy parents know we need to save money where we can, because living dairy, egg, & beef free “ain’t cheap!”  🙂

Puerto Rican Black Beans 

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1.5 cups of cooked & drained black beans OR 1 can of drained black beans
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 2 cubes of sofrito
  • Tomato sauce
  • Green olives
  • 2 tsp olive juice
  • Adobo (seasoning found in the Spanish foods aisle)

Directions:

  1. Boil the potatoes until tender in a medium sized pot. Pour out quite a bit of water and reserve for use later.
  2. Add black beans and tomato sauce. There is not a measurement for the tomato sauce. I would guess I pour in 3-4 ounces of tomato sauce. Eyeball it. If there is not enough liquid, add a bit more tomato sauce and reserved water. The beans and potatoes need to be just covered in liquid.
  3. Add the sofrito, green olives, and olive juice. Add a sprinkle of Adodo seasoning.
  4. Let simmer until the water and tomato sauce thicken. Stir as needed. Add reserved water if the bean sauce gets too thick. Add a little more tomato sauce and smash a potato or two if the bean sauce is too thin. This recipe is a taste and see and adjust kind of recipe.
  5. Serve beans over white rice.

Moving On

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My little blog has been oddly quiet this past month or so. There is a reason. In Letting Go Of Our Maybe Baby, I mentioned we decided to let go of something major that I wasn’t ready to share. It might not seem so dramatic, but here it is. We sold our house.

As a family who moves often with job transfers, moving is a part of our life. Only this time we stayed local. Why move then? After much prayer and discussion, we decided to let go of our beautiful house. Although I know I don’t have to share our reasons, I will.

To become debt free: We are HUGE Dave Ramsey fans. We have been debt free except for the house for many years, but kept making the mistake of relocating and buying expensive houses. Expensive house = Big mortgage. We were doing fine financially, but knew we could do better. The Huzz has this wonderful idea of paying our house off and OWNING it completely. The goal seemed too far away with our old house. With this house, our goal is within reach. We prayed about it, felt peace, listed it, and sold it!

We are ready to, as Dave says to, “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else.”

We are ready to truly be debt free. Proverbs 22:7 says, “…the borrower is the slave of the lender.”

To help me let go of our maybe baby: We had a three bedroom house. The third bedroom held a sleeper sofa and SG’s extra toys. But in my heart, it was a reminder of the second baby’s nursery room that is yet to be. Not unless the Lords blesses my womb again. And if you don’t know our story of infertility, click here to read it. We decided a two bedroom was a bonus of downsizing. We have just enough space and the perfect number of rooms for our little family. We don’t need a three bedroom house at this point in our life. We are truly surrendering this to The Lord. House, family, finances and all.

We now have a small but adorable two bedroom ranch condo. It has a finished basement with a rec room for all of SG’s toys (with a non-conforming third bedroom in the basement for guests. Yes, it’s kind of a third bedroom but I have no attachment to it as a future child’s room and it’s in the basement and opens to the storage area… Not something I see every day or envisioned as a nursery.)

To say we are happy is an understatement. We have finally made a smart decision in home buying. (It only took us 5 home purchases to get it right.)

So now you know why the blog has been quiet. I was busy cleaning all the time for showings, going through our own house hunt, moving, and in general, I was exhausted from it all. In fact, we haven’t even been in our new place a week yet. It already feels like home. Through every move, I have learned a house is just a house. Home is where we are all together. And this place is home. A beautiful little condo, with my gorgeous Huzz and precious SG.