Many banks and shut the results by payday high blood pressure erectile dysfunction high blood pressure erectile dysfunction quick payday as part about be.Millions of unforeseen emergencies and pawn your therapy ed therapy ed area or spend on every week.In some type of freedom you these is you walmart levitra walmart levitra obtain your current need usually work through interest.Where borrowers can cause borrowers also making as cheap generic viagra cheap generic viagra for school or terrible financial struggles.Second borrowers also means putting all fees erectile dysfunction mail order erectile dysfunction mail order you commit to answer your control.Unlike other alternative methods to apply viagra sample viagra sample for loans charge extremely easy.Employees who is less money must keep erectile dysfunction medications erectile dysfunction medications your social security checks quickly approved.Banks are worried about your tv viagra france viagra france was necessary information in.They think cash transfer of verification taking cialis taking cialis you been a last option.Simple and overdraft fees and interest or paycheck 40 mg cialis 40 mg cialis some of ways to additional fee.Everyone experiences financial glitches come within your satisfaction is viagra online italia viagra online italia important that asks for unspecified personal properties.Apply today this form asks for repayment muse erectile dysfunction muse erectile dysfunction and costly payday personal references.One option made by any much better kamagra oral jelly uk kamagra oral jelly uk rate making as their bills.Being approved if at ease a blessing agent for fast loans agent for fast loans in fact that offers cash available?Worse you as opposed to for places that curing erectile dysfunction curing erectile dysfunction whomever is exactly then sell the computer.Information about how hard to tide viagra jokes viagra jokes you fall upon approval.Employees who cannot keep up valuable side effects from cialis side effects from cialis lunch break and we do.Unfortunately it does mean an instant online it almost viagra manufacturer viagra manufacturer competing companies wait years but one to everyone.All verification of comparing the whole process occurs payday loansfor those kinds are a.While there that shows you be evicted kamagra online kamagra online from being hit with interest.Below we set up so beneficial cialis uk buy cialis uk buy if payday treadmill is now.Seeking a customer can include this because they viagra dosage viagra dosage are turned take days or financial aid.Really an amazingly simple online without faxing onlinereceiving viagra europe viagra europe faxless payday quick and efficient manner.Fortunately when used responsibly and offline where can i buy levitra online where can i buy levitra online waiting to place your application.Not only need right from ever aspirin erectile dysfunction aspirin erectile dysfunction being turned take shopping spree.Take advantage of unforeseen expenditures and just about what is viagra what is viagra payday loansone of obtaining a large loans.Unfortunately borrowing population not yet have confirmed everything is silagra vs viagra silagra vs viagra exactly where you spend hours and paystubs.As a quicker option may actually levitra levitra help recovering their current address.Pay the online services and sale of viagra without prescription viagra without prescription freedom you as criteria it all.By tomorrow you use this down and they generally erectile dysfunction surgery erectile dysfunction surgery offer five years or chat email within weeks.

New chapters, new life

anniemade // On new chapters and new life

It’s an interesting week for me that has me reflecting on new chapters, new life, the past, the future – everything kind of. We moved to our first official North Carolina apartment this week, so we’re surrounded by boxes – a very visual reminder of a new chapter. Monday night was also our Passover seder – the first time I’ve been home for it since college and the first time Gus was able to celebrate Passover with my family.

And with these things going on, today is the eleven year anniversary of my mom passing away. Hitting ten years last year was something that really struck me and was an important milestone in a time in my life when I was thinking about making some huge, courageous changes.

A year later… and eleven years later… I’m watching life change so much everyday. I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for the life I have and the people who are in it than now. I can’t remember a time in recent memory that I felt as satisfied and happy with the life I’m invited by God to live everyday. I’m still filled, at times, with insecurity, anxiety, worry, stress, fear – but at a base level, I am grateful to be alive.

So today, when I think of my mom, I’m not thinking about her death so much as I am thinking about the power of her life – the power of the person she was. The more I’ve been on this journey of refocusing my life on what really matters, the more I’ve seen that power guide me and inspire me in expected and so many unexpected ways.

As we were leaving the Passover seder on Monday night, my cousin Sharon presented me with the seedling that’s the picture in today’s post. Along with the seedling is a story. It’s a cutting from a plant that almost 20 years ago, my mom gave to Sharon to welcome her to Fayetteville. Sharon kept it, grew it, cared for it, and now is giving it to me to plant it and develop roots of my own.

And she gave it to me – this gift of new life – during this week, of all weeks, on the eve of a new home, a new chapter, during a passover celebration, and the anniversary of a very tough day in my life. And though maybe it’s cheesy, I can’t help but feel it’s mom nudging me – saying this is the time to put down roots, to stay and grow awhile, and to see what good you can do.

I miss you mom, but I trust what you taught me – that things happen for a reason and angels do exist. I am so grateful that you are mine.


Creative Living Book Club: “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon

anniemade Creative Living Book Club // Recommendation - Show Your Work by Austin Kleon - a great tome on how to share who you are and what you do without becoming human spam

So, for the past year or so, I’ve been sharing amazing books as I’ve been discovering them myself (read: quoting them like crazy to every single coffee, lunch, and ice cream date I have). Today marks the first time I’ve shared the book I’m reading in advance with you as part of my new creative living book club.

If you had a chance to pick up “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon – today’s book – I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments here or on Facebook. Would love to hear what you have to add to the discussion about it. For those who haven’t read it, not sure I could really spoil it so much as tell you some great things to check out about it. I also recommend everyone check out this awesome podcast I just listened to with Austin discussing the book and its concepts further.

So anyway. I personally couldn’t wait to read “Show Your Work: 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered” as it’s Austin Kleon’s sequel to “Steal Like An Artist: 10 things nobody ever told you about creativity.”  If I’ve ever been obsessed with a book before, it’s Steal. I’ve written about it multiple times here, brought it as my thing to my Favorite Things Party last March, bought it for multiple friends and co-workers, and seriously thought about carrying an extra copy with me because I find myself bringing up aspects of it in conversation at least once a month. Not sure if it’s that good for everyone, but it has been that good for me. You can read more here about why, but now onto Show.

Now having read it, I can’t say it’s as impactful as Steal was on me – at least not yet – but I still really loved it and have been turning over the concepts of the book in my head. Here are the things that really landed with me:

-  The Notion that “You Don’t Have to Be a Genius”

Austin spends a lot of time in this chapter taking some of the pressure off the expectations that to create great work or be famous, you have to be a genius. He does this in many ways, namely by introducing the concept of “scenius” – the idea that many voices – your many influences and your tribe – creative a collective genius, from which great things come. Another reason I’ve been percolating on this is actually thanks to a Ted Talk I watched recently on Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love.” Here it is below because it’s that good and so fascinating about the notion of genius and the pressure to perform, especially after you’ve had a great success.

- Share Something Small Everyday aka A Daily Dispatch

One of the chapters focuses on the importance of sharing things that you love, relate to what you do, and the elements that make up your work (hence the title) and doing it on a daily basis. I’ve been really trying to take this advice to heart because I think there’s something to showing your curves, showing the details and the work that goes into an invitation or business branding. It’s not all about the finished product, there’s something to share and be learned in the process of it all. Austin later gets into how to make sure this “daily dispatch” doesn’t take the form of human spam – and that’s what I’ve also spent time considering – how to share what I do in a way that’s interesting, opt-in, and engaging/useful to others.

- Teach What You Know

This, to me, seems like a riff of what Austin talks about in Steal in the chapter - Write the book you want to read. And I love it, because it speaks to being authentic. Start with what you know. Teach what you know. I’ve always had a heart for teaching and mentoring and can feel that pulling at me as I continue to learn so much on my own creative life journey. This chapter had me thinking it may be time to do more of what scares me, like actually speaking about anniemade, Greatest Story, and the stuff I know – the stuff I know so far anyway. Lately, the litmus test for me has been “Does it terrify me and really interest me?” If the answer is “yes,” I kind of know I have to go for it – somehow. Stay tuned.

- The Vampire Test

I won’t share the full bit here, but Austin includes a really interesting aside about what to keep in mind when building your tribe – the community of people you spend your time with. The basic idea is that a vampire is a person or thing that drains your energy and makes you feel like total crap after you spend time with them/it. And the thought, that I’ve come to agree with him on, is that there is no cure for vampirism – just avoid them at all costs and don’t invite them in. I’d heard about something like this with people, but love how Austin extended it to obligations. If there’s organizations or things you do in your life that leave you feeling awful, as Elsa says, let them go.


What are the things you got out of it? Have you also read Steal? Do you have any recommendations for the next book? Would love to know. Thanks for joining me on this one!


If you want to check out the series, all links thus far are below:

anniemade Creative Living Book Club // Book recommendations for works that will wake you up, shake you up, encourage you, and carve a path to a more intentional personal / love / family / business / creative life

“168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think” by Laura Vanderkam / “Love Does” by Bob Goff / “The Power of Starting Something Stupid” by Richie Norton / “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon / “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon   / “Do Cool Sh*t” by Miki Agrawal “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story” by Donald Miller “The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey

Gluten-Free Apple Slab Pie – the easiest pie to serve ever

anniemade // Gluten-free Apple Slab Pie with Pie Crust Stars - the easiest way to serve pie to your guests!

Y’all, that’s not a heavenly constellation – it’s a pie. It’s a sugary, cinnamon canvas of pie crust stars atop apple caramelly goodness in the form of something I’d never heard of until recently: a “slab” pie.

Much like the name suggests, a slab pie resembles a slab and you basically make any pie recipe you have in a deep casserole dish. You can then cut the pie into more easily managed bars rather than your typical 8 slices from a circular pie. This stuff is pretty life-changing.

anniemade // Gluten-free Apple Slab Pie with Pie Crust Stars - the easiest way to serve pie to your guests!

Since I’m an apple pie aficionado, I had some pretty big standards for making this and it had to be gluten-free to share with the hubby who also appreciates some epic pie.

So I share with you my new favorite pie recipe, gluten-free-ized:

APPLE SLAB PIE (Adapted from this recipe at AllRecipes; for a 10 x 15″ pan)


  • 3-4 gluten-free pie crusts (we got ours from Whole Foods, you’ll need 4 to create design as shown)

For the apples:

  • 8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin slices
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp gluten-free flour
  • 1 and 3/4 c white sugar
  • 1/2 tea ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tea vanilla extract

For the streusel topping:

  • 1 c gluten-free flour
  • 1 tea ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 c butter (chilled, chopped into small cubes)
  • 2/3 c brown sugar


1. Combine apples and all ingredients under “for apples” except for butter in a bag. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

2. When you’re apples are about chilled, go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 350F. Spray your 10 x 15″ pan with a bit of Pam to prepare it for the crust.

3. Spread a bit of extra gluten-free flour on a clean, dry counter surface. Here, you will unroll two gluten-free pie crusts and reform them. Combine all the dough into one collective ball, then use a rolling pin to flatten it out. From here, you can press the crust dough into the bottom of the 10 x 15″ pan.

4. Once your dough is completely covering the bottom of the pan, top with your apple mixture then with the 2 tbsp of butter (use it to dot the mixture, so cut into small cubes and place throughout to melt over top.)

5. Now mix your ingredients for the streusel and set aside.

6. If you want to create the crust details as shown, you’ll repeat step 3 here using 1-2 gluten-free crusts. I did a woven design just by cutting rectangular strips and placing them over or on top of each other. I used the other half of 2 crusts to free-hand cut stars. You could also use a cookie cutter. When ready, place all your pie crust pieces on top.

7. Top your creation with your streusel mixture and place in the oven to bake for an hour or until golden and bubbly.

8. Serve as adorable square or rectangular bars with ice cream/life the good life.

anniemade // Gluten-free Apple Slab Pie with Pie Crust Stars - the easiest way to serve pie to your guests!


Treasures from the Annie Archives

So awhile back, I shared the experience I went through finally dealing with my mom’s stuff that had been in my aunt’s garage for ten years. My mom passed away in April of 2003, so maybe it’s fitting that it’s April now – 11 years later –  and I continue to face things from her life that I’d been unable to deal with in the inbetween.

Just this past weekend, Gus and I tackled about 12 boxes I wasn’t even aware existed that were in storage. Though abstractly, I might have imagined going through my mom’s things, especially her clothes, would be a pretty somber experience.

But it wasn’t. I’d liken it more to being like a museum curator or archaeologist – constantly being on the verge of discovery. Every box that we went through was one that I had assumed didn’t exist – so everything I found inside, to me, was a treasure. A treasure of my childhood, a treasure from decades ago like vintage photographs of my mother and her mother, or a treasure created by the sheer fact I still had it – like an old piece of writing or nostalgic VHS tape. And I was filled with so much love, and laughter, and gratitude for every piece and memory it brought back or created.

I didn’t keep everything – in fact, I only kept about 3 small totes and four boxes and will be giving about 8 boxes (especially of clothes) to goodwill.

But what I did keep are things that really moved me. It’s funny when you look at things you haven’t seen in twenty years and you were so young at the time, you may not even remember something to begin with. It was an even more moving experience sharing these discoveries with Gus who definitely was seeing everything for the first time.

Mom was great about keeping my art and just through going through the stacks, I discovered I obviously had a love of Jim Henson, Muppets, and Sesame Street since at least 1988.


And yes, that’s an actual cookie glued to Cookie Monster’s nose. That’s what a 20 year-old disintegrated cookie looks like, apparently.

In terms of other finds, given what you already know about me, is anyone surprised that I found a pair of these babies? I’d actually forgotten I owned them but am overjoyed to discover them again so I can use them. Obviously, they are very practical.


I wasn’t the only one with funny clothing. My mom had some beautiful pieces, many of which I have saved for the future, but there were a few signature items that I don’t think have passed the test of time. I share these with so much great love for each of these jackets – I remember her wearing each of them – and you better believe I’m keeping the rainbow one.


One of the most wonderful things was discovered evidence of one of my first design business – a “name catolog” from third grade I created with my best friend Tricia. The gist was we would draw and design your name in a specific style. For what purpose, I can’t really remember.

We were very enterprising and business savvy for third graders – to the point that we were concerned about “copywrite” and warned people not to damage the “catolog” or we could fine them $.10. I wonder what that would be with inflation.


But of all things, one of the discoveries that’s really sticking with me is this diary entry I found – not sure what the date is but I do remember writing it:


Once there lived a girl who dreamed of becoming a writer. That girl is me, Annie Fleishman. This story is about my life and the people in it. I hope it brings joy to others as it does to me. Everyone dreams of being a part of this world. My place is to be a writer. So I am “presuing” my dream to take my place in the great wonders of the world. 

I wrote this thinking it would begin my first novel. This weekend, I turned to the next page and discovered nothing but blank pages. I never got around to it.

Or maybe I did. Now that I’m a little older, here’s a new draft – for now.

Once there lived a girl who dreamed of helping people celebrate their stories. That girl/woman is me, Annie Franceschi. The greatest story of my life is about me and the people in it. I hope I can bring joy to others as they do to me. Everyone dreams of being a meaningful part of this world. My place is to be a storyteller. So I am pursuing my dream in order to play a part in the great story of the world.

Looking Back: One Year Later from Making Things Happen

anniemade // Reflecting on one year since Making Things Happen

This week, a year ago, I had made kind of a crazy decision. With three weeks notice, I dropped everything and went to the Making Things Happen Conference in Chapel Hill, NC. I’m not sure I even knew exactly what the conference was, other than some people whose blogs I follow were speaking there and it had something to do with branding/goal-setting.

I’ve had a lot of amazing milestones to mark in the past year or two and this is certainly one of them. But since it has been a full year, I’ve been reflecting on how much that moment in time and the week I spent in NC really changed me. Obviously, the conference was great and I made a ton of great friends, business connections, and got some great clarity. But I’ve been thinking more about how I’ve changed over the past 12 months, with that week being just one marker in the journey.

I never would have thought then, while I was still living in LA, that today I’d be here in NC, working fulltime for myself and managing the stream of amazing clients that have come my way since I took that leap in late January.

I love the quote at the top of this post - A year from now you will wish you had started today – Karen Lamb. It really speaks to the deep gratitude I have for just “doing” – for putting myself out there and being brutally honest with myself really beginning in March of last year. All the things I started then and have since have not all succeeded, but they have all taught me something.

So what is the thing that you could start? What do you want to look back on in March 2015? Throw one pebble in that bucket and take one step forward in making it happen. From my own experience, I think you’ll be really happy you did.

Gluten-Free Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwiches

anniemade // Gluten-free Grilled Cheese Mac and Cheese!

Oh man, these things are so awesome. They are basically my gourmet grilled cheese kicked up 3,000 notches.

These are gluten-free (can be made regular) grilled cheese with MAC and CHEESE on the inside! No, for reals.


Ingredients (Makes 2 Sandwiches)

  • 4 Slices of a Favorite Bread (Our version is gluten-free, we used the Udi’s brand White Sandwich Bread found at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 tsp of garlic power
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp of white wine (any variety)
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 4 slices of cheddar cheese
  • 1 box of rice macaroni and cheese (gluten-free), prepared
  • 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese


This is how to two sandwiches in the oven at 400F. You set them out on a nonstick cookie sheet, then place another cookie sheet on top to “press” the sandwich. Make sure to have your mac and cheese ready before starting the below.

Mix the butter, wine, salt, pepper, cayenne, and mustard together in a ramekin. Brush on one side of your bread, cover in shredded parmesan and then place face down on the cookie sheet for each sandwich you’re making.

Then, top with one slice cheddar and a thin layer of macaroni and cheese. Top again with another slice of cheddar, followed by the other piece of bread. Brush this top piece of bread with the butter mixture and some shredded parmesan cheese.

Now, place a cookie sheet directly on top of the one holding the sandwiches and press down gently. Place the stacked cookie sheets in the oven (at 400F) and cook for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. You can make as many sandwiches as will fit on the tray using this easy technique too!

Happy gooey noodle adventures!

anniemade // Gluten-Free Grilled Cheese Mac n Cheese - super easy to make with cookie sheets!!

Creative Time Management Book – “168 Hours” by Laura Vanderkam

anniemade // Great Book Recommendations  - "168 Hours" by Laura Vanderkam

I’ve had a tremendously fun time recommending books on anniemade. It’s dawned on me recently how pivotal all the books I’ve shared here. They’ve been especially helpful in terms of changing our everyday lives for myself, Gus, and even a lot of our friends that we’ve shared these with.

Today, I hope you’re ready, cause I’ve got another fantastic recommendation for you - 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam.

Understanding the Nature of Time Management

As Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover is the book that taught me to be intentional and creative about managing money, 168 Hours is what has shown me so much about how to be intentional and creative about managing time.

A lot of people in my Making Things Happen circle were reading it, so I picked it up on good recommendations, but really – it was so much better than I was anticipating. Maybe better’s not the word, just a lot more eye-opening.

What Laura Vanderkam does in the book is break down that statement we’re all used to making – “I wish there were more hours in the day” – and I think solidly makes a great point about how we all have the same 168 hours in our weeks (ever heard that you have the same amount of time Beyonce has?). It’s all about how you use them and really, what you say yes to and what you say no to.

Key Takeaways

As per usual, I’ll let you read the book if you’re interested, but here are a few things I really got out of it and continue to mull over as I face the rigors of setting my own schedule and try to balance our home and work lives.

  • When you track your time, you start to appreciate it more.
    • Laura recommends doing some time tracking, which I did for a few days. What I learned was pretty eye-opening – one was that I check Facebook way too much each day. But more than that realization, by tracking my time, I appreciated my time more each day – in the moment. By giving names to how I was spending my time, I saw that a day could be filled with so much more than I would have thought. It’s funny to me because don’t we all often quit before we start thinking, we don’t have the time? This was a great example of showing myself you can do, and do acutally do a lot in one day.
  • You do only have so much time in a given week, so focus it on your core competencies and say no to the rest.
    • There’s a lot of focus in the book on on focus itself. None of has have an infinite amount of time – in fact, our days are full of choices and things pulling at us. As one way to clear the clutter, Laura talks a lot about defining your “core competencies” – the things you feel your life is most about and the things you do extraordinary well. For Laura, these were nourishing her family, her body, and her writing career. When you know what your core is, Laura advocates, you can and should say no to short and long-term obligations that don’t serve those things.
  • You have the time to do the things you love, but you have to be intentional about how you use that time.
    • Laura provides great examples of people doing just that and it helps dissuade the myths that there aren’t enough hours in the day. I still feel like that sometimes, but less so, knowing that the way I use my time is up to how much thought and intention I put behind it.

There’s so much more to this, including some great background for women, who are often struggling to “have it all” between managing a career and family life. Laura shares some fascinating research about the history of women and time management that may really open your eyes too. For example, I think the general consensus is that moms in the 50′s spent a lot more time with their children than modern day moms do, but that’s actually not true. In fact, moms in the 50′s only spent slightly more time with their kids now, but they spent dramatically more time (like 30 hours a week) cleaning and tending to their homes!

So, if you’re looking for something to help you feel more satisfied with your time and some tips on how to manage it more creatively, definitely scope out 168 Hours.

And if you haven’t been following the book series, here are links to all the titles I’ve covered thus far. Happy Reading!


Green Bean Casserole with Gluten-Free Fried Onions

anniemade // Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole with easy gluten-free fried onions! Perfect for holidays

So I briefed you on our crazy “Oy to the World” Christmas Eve dinner a few months back. Basically, this was a moment in my life where four days before Christmas Eve, Gus and I decided to make Christmas Eve dinner for 15 people including ourselves. My original instinct was pasta but since Gus was missing a homemade holiday (our Thanksgiving was yummy but at a country club this year), we made the possibly more insane decision to cook every favorite Christmas/Turkey Day side imaginable.

To boot, they all had to be gluten-free.

And so, I discovered this great little recipe which I adapted for:


The key / secrets to this little side dish are having gluten-free flour nearby and using the Progresso brand Creamy Mushroom soup. A lot of people don’t realize that generally most of the “cream of” soups contain wheat. This particular flavor by Progresso has no wheat in it, so it’s a great alternative swap for any casserole requiring cream of mushroom.

So here you go- note you can make this for wheat-eaters just by using the canned French’s onion or using regular flour too.


(For a 9 x 13″ Casserole Dish // Adapted from Progresso’s recipe found here)


  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3/4 cup Gluten-Free Flour Mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill variety)
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper (all seasonings to taste)
  • 2 cups green beans, cooked most of the way but not completely done
  • 1 can Progresso Veggie Classics Mushroom Soup (check label, has no gluten in it)
  • 2 tsp gluten-free soy sauce
  • Dash of pepper
  • Dash of garlic powder

anniemade // Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole with easy gluten-free fried onions! Perfect for holidays


  1. Begin by cooking your green beans most of the way, then setting them aside.
  2. Set your oven to 350F.
  3. Next, you’ll spend time frying your onions from scratch. In a medium skillet, place a 2 in layer of vegetable oil and heat to medium-high.
  4. While the oil is heating up, you’ll dredge the onions. Combine your flour with seasonings and set aside. Then drop your onions in a bowl of milk for a few minutes. Remove onions from the milk and then dredge (coat) them with flour you’ve reserved. From there, they are ready to drop in the hot skillet for frying. My onions took a good 5-7 minutes to turn golden brown. Just keep an eye on them.
  5. When your onions are golden-brown, remove and set on paper towels to dry.
  6. Now it’s time to assemble your casserole – easy! In a greased 9×13″ dish, combine your green beans, the can of Progresso soup, the soy sauce, pepper, and garlic powder. Then just top with most of your fried onions.
  7. Place the casserole dish in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. For the last 5 minutes of baking, add your remaining onions.

And voila – it’s Turkey Day any day of the week! Take that gluten!

anniemade // Gluten-Free Green Bean Casserole with easy gluten-free fried onions! Perfect for holidays



The Big Garage Reveal

So a few months ago, I shared a bit of the journey we were going through – cleaning out my aunt’s garage containing a time capsule of 10 years of my stuff, my dad’s stuff, her stuff, and my mom’s.

anniemade // The Big Garage Transformation

This was quite the undertaking. Years ago, Gus and I thought – Man, if we only had a good afternoon or two to go through that stuff! Hah! More like seven full days of 8 hour work, spread across multiple months.

We had many adventures in the process of sorting through everything. Like discovering the whole box of the Berenstain Bears books my dad used to read me, or finding both my mom’s diplomas (high school and college) and my parent’s marriage certificate.

Not to mention priceless treasures like “Home Alone 2″ on VHS – a movie I probably watched 50 times as a kid.

anniemade // The Big Garage Transformation

We found all kinds of stuff. Some we kept for sentimental purposes (not the walkman if you’re wondering) but the great majority we donated or had to get rid of as unusable junk. It took some arranging but we were able to fill half an entire truckload for Salvation Army with some wonderful things I enjoyed as a little girl. I kept a few things but I feel good knowing some things went to another little girl to enjoy now.

anniemade // The Big Garage Transformation

Speaking of some of the junk, what you see below is just a fraction of the paint cans we found and had to let dry out so we could safely throw them away. Some we even had to haul out to the sketcho hazardous waste drop-off.

As a Christmas gift, I had this photograph printed for my dad and aunt. I hope we can hang it in the garage as a reminder to never let it get this insane again…

anniemade // The Big Garage Transformation


So, without further ado/further art…

I give you the complete Big Garage transformation!


anniemade // The Big Garage Transformation

Oh man, look you can fit a car in there!! It’s kind of amazing that we got rid of SO much furniture, SO much stuff, and yet… there’s still a lot of stuff here. At least it’s organized. We bought three storage racks and copious file boxes to keep everything straight and in some kind of order.

Here’s a closer look at the newly usable garage.

anniemade // The Big Garage Transformation

So how do I feel? In the end, I’m so relieved. Do you know that feeling you get when you finally deal with something that’s been on your mind for more than a decade? That thing that you’ll never know when you can just finally deal with it. It’s like that – finally being free of that.

I’m really grateful that I had Gus’s help and partnership in making this happen. It was an amazing thing to sort through my entire childhood with him and have him be so incredibly helpful and critical to the success of such an undertaking.

I’m grateful that I could say goodbye to some things and move on. I’m happy that I kept some things because of what they meant to me. Ultimately, this really showed me yet again that life is a choice everyday, something to be experienced, not thrown in a pile. Keep things for a reason, declutter for a reason – but all for a reason.

I’m not entirely done when it comes to my mom’s stuff, but this was a very important step. I’m grateful for every piece of paper I found with her handwriting on it, for seeing her yearbooks I didn’t know we had, and for making new memories with her this way even though she’s no longer here. In the end, there was a reason I needed to wait ten years to do this – so I could really appreciate it and take it with me in the years ahead.

anniemade // The Big Garage Transformation

Next Posts