Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Garden Nachos


The photo definitely doesn't do this yummy nacho lunch justice. What can I say, I was in a HUGE hurry! (Seems to be a trend these days.) I just had to take a quick photo to show you all how I incorporated a few of our garden veggies into my "fast food" lunch today! 

I never have my meals planned out and half the time I'm not sure what's in the fridge. With the garden producing lots of cucumbers, squash, and green beans at the moment, I've been trying to think of different ways to use all of my fresh produce! So, I decided to whip up a quick nacho lunch today. 

Things I generally have on hand (Zach and I love tacos and homemade salsa!): 
  1. Salsa
  2. Cheese
  3. Sour Cream or Greek Plain Yogurt 
  4. Tortilla Chips  

Things I added fresh from the garden:
  1. Green Beans- adds crisp texture and great color
  2. Cucumber - brightens and refreshes, goes great with heat from the salsa
  3. Sweet Corn- from a neighbor's garden :) 

Homemade Garden Nachos! 

Only takes FIVE MINUTES:
1. Turn on your broiler to HI
2. Microwave whole ear of corn 2 minutes
3. Rinse and chop green beans and cucumber
4. Put large handful of tortilla chips on oven safe plate and sprinkle with cheese 
5. Throw on green beans and corn off the cob 
6. Put under broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese melts and chip edges begin to get browned
7. Remove from oven
8. Sprinkle your chopped cucumbers over the top 
9. Finish with salsa and plain Greek yogurt for a healthy enhancement to your 
garden fresh nacho lunch! 
10. Enjoy!

Luckily, Zach and I almost always have homemade salsa in the fridge, tortilla chips in the cupboard, and shredded cheddar cheese on hand. Since I didn't have sour cream, I decided to use my greek yogurt and it was awesome! 

I'd Love to Know:
What fun veggies will you throw in from your garden or grocery? 
Have you ever used Greek yogurt in place of sour cream? 
This is probably my favorite light summertime lunch, what's yours?!

Answer in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Highlights from my first Midwest Fine Art Festival│Art Fair on the Green: La Crosse, WI

I spent this past weekend showing my work and sharing stories in La Crosse, Wisconsin. It was my first Midwest fine art festival, Art Fair on the Green, and it was a blast. Thank you so much to all of you who visited my booth, offered a kind word, and a special thanks to those of you who purchased your first JWebb original painting! It was a truly wonderful weekend filled with art, new connections, and sunshine!  

Some of the weekend highlights:

  • Meeting so many ART enthusiasts
  • Making connections and new friends
  • Sharing stories
  • Talking with other artists
  • Sharing words of encouragement with up-and-coming artists :) 
  • Being on a Midwest adventure with the darling Kate, my great and talented ceramic artist and friend!
  • Watching faces light up over my abstracts ;) 
  • Sweet compliments!   
  • Good neighbors! 
  • Staying at Rob's airbnb
  • Taking an order for a young lady's very first commission! (photo coming soon!)
  • Selling several people their first "original" piece of art!
  • Dinner on the town
  • Reminiscing about my move to the Midwest! Two years this weekend, still can't believe it!
  • Talking ART, inspiration, joy and life!
  • and of course... sending several of my paintings out to their new homes. ♥
Thanks again to the wonderful volunteers and people of La Crosse for welcoming us to your beautiful city and 57th annual Art Fair on the Green! We'll see ya next year!

There is so much that goes into any business and I am ever grateful to those who've helped and encouraged me along the way. From a simple kind word, the purchase of a greeting card, to the sale of a large work or commission, each transaction and encounter enables me to do what I love and love what I do. Thank YOU

I would also like to say a special thank you to my friends and family who continually support and believe in me. Thank you to my awesome friend Adam who helped me with my new festival display, to my hubby for fending for himself all weekend and being my biggest supporter, and of course a huge thanks to my artist buddy Kate for recommending Art Fair on the Green and making the trip with me! I ♥ each of you! 

* Note * 
My next fine art festival exhibition is:
Founders Park, Elkader, Iowa

Saturday, August 22nd from 10-5pm 
Sunday, August 23rd from 10-4pm 

 Hope to see you there! 

Coming Soon: 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Orchid │The small things ☺

love orchids.
Not only are orchids gorgeous, but I love how long their blooms last! I definitely don't pride myself on keeping plants alive, but some of these exotic-looking whimsical flowers will last for months, and you barely have to tend to them! You can find them at almost any home-store, plant shop, or sometimes even your local grocery. For these reasons, I've always been quick to purchase an orchid to spruce up my living areas, especially before company or cocktail parties☺. 

Last summer my mom, Aunt Kym, and cousin Leslie came for a visit out at the farm. Wouldn't you know one of my last minute preparations was picking up groceries, but I forgot to get an orchid! Thankfully, my sweet hubby grabbed one off of the clearance rack for $5! It was beautiful, and like usual, the blooms lasted at least a month. 

In the past when the blooms have faded, I've given up on the plant and eventually thrown it out. Last year I decided to keep up with the occasional watering because the glass container looked so pretty filled with the large green leaves. They say adding 3 ice cubes a week is proper but I just poured in about a 1/4 cup of water whenever I remembered... which probably equaled every other week or so. 

Over time the roots began to grow, and I began to realize that the orchid could potentially re-bloom! I've never kept one long enough or tried to get it to re-bloom before. I kept up the occasional watering and one day a month or so ago, there it was.... a brand new shoot! 

With excitement building, I kept watering and watching as buds formed! The buds grew and grew each day, and finally, this week I noticed the largest bud begin to open...

After nearly a year of waiting (suspenseful waiting the past two months), my occasional watering paid off with the most beautiful orchid bloom I've ever seen! 

With the occasional watering (such a small act), some resilience and forgiveness for those weeks I forgot about it, this little orchid taught me patience, inspired hope, and created joy. What a beautiful blessing. Life is full of precious moments. Witnessing this little orchid re-bloom was another reminder for me to slow down, take notice, and enjoy the small things.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ava Does Iowa & Our Memorial Day Tradition!

Throwback Thursday! 
Ava Does Iowa & Our Memorial Day Tradition Continues... :)

I'm finally posting the amazing week spent sharing northeast Iowa with my sweet friends and their beautiful baby girl! Since Heather and I met nine years ago, we've kept in touch with facebook, facetime, emails, texts, and phone dates. We've watched each other find our soulmates, taken vacations together, helped with each others' weddings, traveled to see each other all over the world, and most recently, we've celebrated as she became a MOM! 

One of our favorite traditions has always been getting together over the long Memorial Day weekend. Most years we've spent Memorial Day weekend in North Carolina, while some years we've had to adjust our "traditional weekend" by a few weeks. Only once or twice we were unable to get together. This year we celebrated on the farm as they got to spend an entire week with us! We had so much fun and managed to take a "few" pictures of Ava's epic trip to visit her Aunt Jilly and Uncle Zachy!

The Highlights:

  • She's Gone Country! We visited the neighbors' organic livestock farm! 
  • Ava got to meet Miss Jilly (the calf named after her Aunt Jilly) and even bottle fed a calf and lamb! It was fun watching Ava interact with the animals, but I think her mommy and daddy enjoyed it just as much and maybe more!
  • We played at several fun parks in Elkader, Marion, and even while enjoying ICE CREAM at The Burger Barn!
  • SILLY! Us grown-ups even enjoyed a ride down a slide or two!
  • There were lots of snuggles, sleepy afternoons, and baby hugs.
  • Girls Day! Heather and I made it to a morning YOGA class, had lunch at an Algerian restaurant overlooking the river, and spent the day shopping while the guys babysat!  
  • Guys Day! The guys had a movie day and made a trip over to Wisconsin, while us chicks hung out on the farm during a lazy rainy day.
  • Ava played dress-up with Aunt Jilly's sunglasses and giant purse!
  • The Farmhouse turned into a FUN-house! 
  • Ava loved Aunt Jilly's PB&J sandwiches!
  • We had an amazing dinner at Fennelly's Irish Pub! These Irish pub connoisseurs gave it a THUMBS UP! 
  • We cooked and grilled out on the farm, enjoyed cocktails and lots of front porch time!
  • Ava LOVED splashing in the Turkey River with her daddy and Uncle Zachy! 
  • She also loves Aunt Jilly's cellphone and flowers!
  • We had fun!

 Who could say no to that sweet face?

Ava totally did Iowa!

  •  And of course... MEMORIAL DAY! 
We had a blast with friends and family on the farm for Memorial Day 2015. It was so wonderful to watch all of these beautiful children run, laugh, and play all day! The weather was perfect,  the food delicious (not trying to toot my own horn!), the company cheerful, and it was an overall spectacular holiday! The tradition continues...

I'll cherish these memories for always!

 Heather and Nate, THANK YOU SOOOO Very MUCH for taking time off of work, packing all of those baby gadgets and gizmos, navigating the airports, flying with Ava for the first time, and spending a whole week with us on the farm!! We love you guys!!

♥ Aunt Jilly & Uncle Zachy

Friday, July 3, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler│YUM!!!

It's easy, it's delicious, it's my favorite summertime dessert!

My mom has often made us peach cobbler for family functions and summertime gatherings, and it has always been one of my favorite desserts! Since Zach and I have two humongous rhubarb plants on the farm, and it's officially strawberry season, I decided to make Mom's recipe but with fresh strawberries and homegrown rhubarb.... AMAZING! 

All you need:
  • 1 cup Self Rising Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar + 1/3 cup Sugar optional
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 4-6 cups Fruit or Berries (I like to go heavy on the fruit!)


Pre-heat oven to 350 
  1. Stir up your 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. (This keeps the batter from becoming lumpy when you add your milk!)
  2. Melt 1 stick of butter in microwave safe baking dish. (I do this in the same dish that I'm going to bake in, which saves extra washing!)
  3. Rinse and Slice your fruit. (Sprinkle with the extra 1/3 or less cup of sugar if using Rhubarb.) 
  4. Add vanilla to the milk.
  5. Add milk to the flour sugar mixture. Whisk it up until it turns into a smooth batter.
  6. Pour batter on top of the melted butter. 
  7. Stir up your fruit and dump it out on top of the batter mixture.
  8. Bake 350 for 60 minutes.
  9. ENJOY!

The wonderful aroma from the oven will make you want to take this cobbler out early, but WAIT! Let it get nice and golden brown for that chewy perfect texture! .... Wait again, let it cool for just a few minutes, or better yet, add a large scoop of vanilla ice cream to rescue your tongue from this hot goodness!  

There you have it... my summertime go-to dessert! 

(Thanks to Mom for sharing her recipe!)


I'd LOVE to know...
  • What's your favorite Cobbler?
  • Do you prefer Cobbler or Crisp? 
  • They say, "easy as pie" when really it should be, "easy as Cobbler!" Agreed?!
Let me know in the comments below! 

Coming Soon:
Healthy (?) Oatmeal Chocolate Chip NO bake Cookies!