DIY Playroom Sign

I continue to love making our home a special place for our future kiddos! (You can read about our foster adoption journey on THIS PAGE.)

Pinterest, oh how I love thee! 🙂 Seriously, my friends were on Pinterest at least a year before me….

I tried signing up once,

took one look at it,

didn’t get what everyone liked about it,

and then never went back.

That is, until I realized how GREAT Pinterest really is! 🙂

I came across the idea on Pinterest of making a playroom sign….it was a painted one, and I decided to switch the words up a bit and make it with a frame, 7 pieces of rope that I staple gunned to the back of the frame, mini-clothespins, and card stock. (Similar to how I made this ARTWORK DISPLAY.)

Our upstairs playroom area is red, purple, white, and black, so I used all different types of fun fonts in those colors to tie it in nicely with the room. I really, really love it!

Here is what it says:

Welcome to our playroom where we giggle, use kind words, play nice, tell the truth, laugh, use our imagination, include everyone, make memories, make messes, clean up after ourselves, try new things, help others, read books, say please, thank you, and I am sorry, act silly, share, watch movies, and have fun.

Heading over to Fiesta Friday with my fun new DIY creation!

What do you think? Have you made something like this? 


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Stuffed Sweet Potato

Sometimes the best tasting things are those you create when you have yet to go grocery shopping for the week and only have random ingredients to choose from. 🙂

Yellow Sweet Potato + black beans + Cilantro + creamy avocado sauce = Surprisingly Delicious

Not only delicious and easy to make, but lots of nutrients and good-for you-stuff wrapped up into one meal!

Thought I would bring some to the party. What party? Well, Fiesta Friday of course! Its been a few weeks, but I am excited to be back with my fellow party-goers….can’t wait to see what you all have brought! 


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More Distressed Furniture and a Foster Adoption Update

First, a quick foster adoption update: we were assigned our case worker this week! Many of you have been praying with us for that….thank you! We really like her, and had previously met her at our training time in February. We are grateful to be working with Antioch, a Christian foster-adoption agency. So, we begin our home study this upcoming week! This means I continue to get the house ready…

After painting and distressing all the furniture in room #1 for our future kiddos, which included 2 beds, 1 dresser, 2 bookcase type things, 1 nightstand, and lots of photo frames, there was no way I was going to do it for room #2. The good news for that room was that we owned furniture that would work and didn’t need to be painted, whereas we didn’t for the other kiddo room. The only problem was that we didn’t really have a nightstand….well, until my good friend Jamie and I found this one at a thrift store for $9.99, and that is when everything changed….

Of course I saw the potential in this beat up, not so pretty looking piece of furniture. You should have seen me….I pushed it around the big store until finally a person who worked there asked me if I wanted them to keep it at the front while I finished shopping. 🙂

As soon as we had a sunny and warm enough day, I got out our sander, and began this new project.

I absolutely love, love, love the way this nightstand turned out! For more information on how to DIY distressed looking furniture, go to this blog post.

I didn’t think I could possibly love a room as much as the turquoise, red, grey, & white one I designed for kiddo room #1, which I still need to show you a final picture of. But I have to tell you, I am loving this bluish white, dark blue, and lime color combination! The color I used on this nightstand is the same color that my mom used on the non-accent walls in that room when we first moved in. This was my hubby’s home office, which my mom so kindly painted just for him. Mom, I am so grateful this room was already painted and that I didn’t have to do that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Okay, so once I saw how awesome this turned out and how great it looked in the room….well, lets just say that I quickly made plans in my mind for the other furniture. 🙂

So, yesterday I carried this bookcase to the garage, sanded, painted it, distressed it, sealed it, and carried it back up. Hubby had no idea I was doing this, so I was super excited to surprise him. The before…

The after…

Of course I had 5 different paint projects going on at once yesterday 🙂 , and the fun lime green frame was one of them:

More to come from this room :-)….

My Fiesta Friday friends, I hope you enjoy looking at some more of my projects as you munch on all of that fabulous, creative food! Angie, I always look forward to this party….thanks for all the work you and the co-hosts put into this! 


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Fresh Basil, Garlic, & Tomato Mini Pizzas with Homemade Sauce

Sometimes Often, lunch can be a difficult meal for me. When you are eating low-gycemic and using fresh ingredients, there are many typical lunch ideas that don’t fit the bill. Plus, who doesn’t get tired of eating the same thing for lunch each day?

So, recently I was looking for something different, delicious, and easy to make. This is what resulted. 🙂 Loved the taste of the homemade sauce mixed with a little bit of cheese, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil!

Simple recipe; lots of taste!

Hope my friends and fellow foodies at Fiesta Friday will enjoy this! As always, thank you Angie and co-hosts!

Fresh Basil, Garlic, & Tomato Mini Pizzas with Homemade Sauce

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen


  • Flour tortillas (or a gluten free equivalent)
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • Red cooking wine (optional….I like the rich taste it adds)
  • Crushed red pepper (if you want a kick to it)
  • Honey
  • Fresh garlic, minced
  • Fresh Basil
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomatoes


  • Combine the tomato paste, honey, garlic, and cooking wine in a bowl. (I encourage you to experiment and see how much of the different ingredients suits you and your family.)
  • Layer the sauce onto the tortillas.
  • Cook in oven for about 10 minutes, putting the cheese on for the last minute or two, so it can melt.
  • When the cheese is melted and the tortillas have hardened, remove from oven and garnish with tomatoes and basil.


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Creating a Room for our Future Children

I can hardly believe I am saying this, but I have almost finished one of the rooms for the kids! Yes, there is another room I have been working on too. 🙂  (For those of you who don’t know, we are going through the foster-adoption process, hoping to adopt a sibling group).

So, what all have I been doing in there?

  • I painted the entire room
  • I painted, distressed, and put together two twin beds
  • I sanded, painted and distressed a nightstand
  • I painted, distressed, and put together a dresser
  • I painted and distressed a shelf
  • I sanded, painted and distressed a bookcase/shelving unit
  • I sanded, painted, and distressed lots of frames to put on the wall and filled them with fun art

So, what is left for this room?

  • Painting and distressing one more dresser
  • Getting the mattresses and making the beds
  • Hanging the turquoise frames on the walls

Not bad, huh?

I really love the way a distressed finish looks on furniture! It is sort of ironic to start with a brand new unfinished piece of furniture with the goal of making it look old. 🙂 Love the way both of these beds came out!

I’m also having fun with little details. Since the room is grey, red, white, and turquoise, I took this plain white shelf and used turquoise washi tape to add a little flare to it. This matches perfectly with the frames I painted and distressed that I am going to put on the wall.

So, let me show you a before picture of the room when we bought our house. What you won’t see in this picture is that one of the walls was purple and one had a tree with pink flowers painted on it.

We just couldn’t do it…..had to change the colors!  And we love the colors we decided on! This is the first room I have ever painted all by myself. Love the red accent wall!

My mom has been hosting a virtual baby shower for us since there is so much we need in order to get ready for the home study (the next step), and many generous people (some of whom I have never met) have been blessing us and our future kiddos with all sorts of needed things: first aid kits, comforters, car seats, pillows, music, baskets, baby safety things, toys, books, movies, car organizers, stuffed animals, sheets, rugs, bath toys, etc.  My heart is overflowing with gratefulness! You can see some of the stuff in the picture above.

I love this little corner with the red rug. I haven’t totally decided yet, but I think I am going to do some sort of decoration on the wall there that has words like: Create, Read, Explore, Have fun, etc. It is a cozy little area where they can sit and play, enjoy a good book, or create something fun.

And I just had to add this picture of some stuffed animals a friend got us…aren’t these little guys the cutest?! We are praying that things like this will be a blessing and a comfort to our future kiddos.

So I am bringing this room to this week’s Fiesta Friday….as always, a big thank you to Angie and the co-hosts! Hope you enjoy looking at the room make-over and all the DIY distressed furniture, while you are snacking on all that yummy food at the party! 🙂  Looking forward to seeing what you all create…you are an inspiration and continue to expand my foodie horizons! 🙂


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Homemade DIY Glass Magnets

Friday already! Fridays to me ( at least until we have kiddos) means a few for sure things….exercise, music practice (singing, djembe, sometimes the electric drums), spending time with my hubby and sometimes friends, and Fiesta Friday whenever possible. And my friends, this week Fiesta Friday is indeed possible! 🙂

I have some fantastic recipes to share with you, but I don’t have the energy to write the recipes right now. So, today I bring you some more of my crafting adventures.

These beauties are homemade magnets I created as a gift. All you need is clear glass pebbles (I got mine at the dollar store), an inch size round hole punch, glue you can use on glass and tile, scrapbook paper of your choice, and adhesive magnets you can get at a craft store.

You simply punch holes in the paper, glue it right side up on the bottom of the glass, then attach a piece of magnet. Easy as can be, and such a great gift idea! You can really personalize them, which is what I really love!

Here is an entirely different one I made for someone else, and then used it as a decorative top for a little container. Instead of putting the magnet on the back, I just glued it onto the top. I really love this one….love turquoise and love the adorable bird!

Try this out, and if you do, I would love to see what you create!

Happy Fiesta Friday to my fellow party-goers! As always, thank you Angie and the co-hosts!


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Creamy Avocado Tuna

Last weekend Doug and I went to a care giver core training, which is part of the process for us to get licensed as foster care parents. It was literally 24 hours of training in 48 hours… was encouraging, exhausting, great, hard, and very helpful. Some of the things I found most helpful-

  • We met and connected with some wonderful people who are going through this foster-adoption process and will be a part of our support team as we go forward.
  • We got to hear from parents who have already been through this process and have adopted their children.
  • We heard a lot about trauma and grief and the impact it has on the children that the Lord will hopefully bless us with.
  •  We learned a lot about behavioral issues and discipline and how the normal strategies parents use will not be effective. So, they taught us different techniques and the importance of not focusing on the behavior but rather what is going on beneath it, which was very helpful.
  • We got to meet and hear from some of the children who have been foster-adopted and are now a part of their forever family. That was really special.

Our next step forward is getting assigned a case worker and getting our home study done, which will consist of 4-5 visits before we will be officially licensed as foster parents. So, we are in the waiting process right now…but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been totally busy, because preparing takes a lot of time and energy….thus, my lateness to Fiesta Friday.

Busy, yes. But not too busy to do some cooking! 🙂

This recipe is one I randomly came up with the other day, and it has become one of my hubby’s most favorite things to eat. Awe, that makes my heart happy. 🙂

I was trying to think of a healthier way to make tuna, because to be honest, Doug and I cannot do tuna with hardly any mayo. It needs to be really moist. That is when I thought of using one of the avocados we had sitting in the fridge, which are really good for you and full of good fat. Like all my experiments, I honestly didn’t know how it would turn out, but I am pretty sure that we will never make tuna the way we used to anymore. 🙂

Creamy Avocado Tuna

*Created by Lori at Creating Beauty in the Kitchen


  • 1 small can white tuna
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • celery, chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red wine vinegar


  • Slice the avocado in half, keeping both sides intact.
  • Take as much of the inside out without making it weak, because you are going to use the shell to put the tuna into.
  • Mash the avocado. Mix it in with the tuna, mayo, and a little bit of red wine vinegar. Add the celery and cherry tomatoes.
  • Put tuna in into the avocado shell, and you are ready to eat!

Angie, thank you again for all you do to make Fiesta Friday happen! And another big thank you to the co-hosts!


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Black Bean & Squash Enchiladas with Homemade Red Sauce

If you have been around my blog for a while you know that I love Mexican food! I mean, I love it! I’ll take eggs with a Mexican twist, something with cilantro and avocados for lunch, a Mexican casserole or fajitas for dinner. Long gone are the days when I wouldn’t eat Mexican food at all and my hubby was forced to find a friend to go have some Mexican food with.

So no surprise then that I recently created a new enchilada dish, which of course I have to bring to the party. Fiesta Friday requires at least one yummy Mexican meal! It is a “Fiesta”, after all! 🙂

I have always been a meat eater. I still am. But what is different is that I am also a vegetable eater now. There are plenty times that there is no meat in something I cook and I am completely content with that. Long gone too are the days when this girl would never eat vegetables. Many of you have taught me that vegetables can be delicious! Thank you for that!

This reformed meat-only girl 🙂 loved these enchiladas! So did my hubby!

I am so thankful to my friend, Jamie, for sharing a recipe with me for red sauce! I hadn’t been eating enchiladas because the sauce is not low-glycemic. But, I was able to take the recipe this friend gave me and make it without anything that would be considered high glycemic. (If you are reading this, thank you Jamie!!) 🙂 We love the sauce!

Black Bean & Squash Enchiladas with Homemade Red Sauce

*Created by Lori at

Ingredients for Enchiladas:

  • Flour tortillas (could easily be substituted with corn for my gluten-free friends)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 onion chopped up
  • 2-3 yellow squash, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder (we like mild, so if you like hot increase this up to a couple tbsp.)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chicken stalk (or vegetable stock)


  • Begin cooking your squash on medium in a frying pan in a little bit of olive oil. When they begin to get tender, add in the onions, garlic, and black beans. Cook until everything is the consistency you like it.
  • To make the sauce, heat the oil on medium high, adding in the tapioca flour. Stir for about a minute. Stir in the spices, and then pour in the chicken stalk. Reduce heat and whisk until it gets to the desired thickness.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a baking dish.
  • In each tortilla, put a few spoonfuls of the bean and squash mixture. Then add some fresh cilantro. Fold up the tortilla, trying to keep everything inside. Do this until you have made all the enchiladas.
  • Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes.
  • When you take it out of the oven, add the cheese and more fresh cilantro.

We are beginning our second year of Fiesta’s together! How exciting!! Angie, thank you! And Sonal and Josette….so fun that you are co-hosting! Thank you!


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Cinnamon Pork Chops with Homemade Apple Sauce

What do you think? Is it true? Is it really better late than never? 🙂

Well, here I am “late” to Fiesta Friday! But it is not just any Fiesta Friday, it is the final week of celebrating the 1 year anniversary! Angie, did you ever imagine it would become what it has?! It is a place to get to connect with other bloggers, have fun, learn from one another, make friendships, and get to share our creativity. I have been blessed in all of these ways by being a part of the party! Thank you Angie for beginning something that would be impactful for so many people!

Surely most of you are stuffed by now, but what about a bite of these delicious cinnamon pork chops with homemade applesauce? Yummy!

I covered the chops in olive oil, cinnamon, and black pepper and fried them for about 30 min. You want to make sure that the inside is completely white. I don’t know what got me thinking I should put cinnamon on them, but that’s exactly what I did, and I definitely didn’t regret it. Delicious flavor!

For the homemade applesauce, I cut these apples up and used my Ninja to do the job for me. I think I added some water and a little bit of honey….experiment around with different flavors. It was so good! No preservatives, no refined sugar….love making things homemade!

Happy Fiesta Friday! And Happy Anniversary Angie!


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Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Coconut Shavings

Almond Joys have been my favorite candy bar for so long now that I can’t remember when that even started. But do you know what I would probably love even better? A “Walnut Joy!” 🙂 Chocolate + Coconut + Walnuts!? Yum! This very combination was the inspiration for these cookies.

I was a little hesitant…..coconut flakes in a chocolate chip cookie? Never heard of such a thing! Would it even taste anything like I imagined it would?!

Well, yes my friends, it did! I absolutely loved these! And I am hoping you….my Fiesta Friday friends….will love them too! 🙂

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts and Coconut Shavings

  • Servings: 24 Cookies
  • Print

*Created by Lori at


  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Chopped walnuts (as much or as little as you would like)
  • Shredded, dry coconut (as much or as little as you would like)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine all the wet ingredients in one bowl, and the dry in another. When both are mixed well, combine them together.
  • Add in the walnuts and chocolate chips, making sure they are spread throughout.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Try to make each cookie the same size so that they all cook evenly.
  • When putting the dough on the baking sheet, smooch it down a bit, rather than leaving a ball….it cooks better that way.
  • Cook for 7-10 min depending on how you like them.

As always, a big thank you to Angie at the Novice Gardener! Fun to have Julianna at Foodie on Board and Hilda at Along the Grapevine co-hosting the party this week! Thanks ladies! And if you don’t know what this party is that probably means you should join us! 🙂 All are welcome…not just foodies! Click on the icon below. 


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