From the Studio to the Cupcake Shop

The colors are really beginning to show here in Northeast Tennessee. I snapped this photo on Sunday on the way to Asheville.

The colors are really beginning to show here in Northeast Tennessee. I snapped this photo on Sunday on the way to Asheville.

Hey, y’all! Welcome to to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee or nice glass of wine and chat about everything from home renovation to handmade goodness. I am often asked what I do all day–obviously, I am asked this because I am “labeled” a housewife…homemaker…domestic engineer. Click here to read my Real Media article “Just Piddling”–which is all about the “housewife” topic.

Yesterday I was questioned by the nice lady at the doctor’s office (Don’t fret, Mom. I am not sick. I had to go for the annual mammogram…hopefully, that was not TMI for y’all…but I didn’t want my mom worrying.)…where was I? Oh, yes. The nice lady at the doctor’s office wanted to know when I was planning on getting a job in Johnson City. I am assuming she was making light conversation…like chit chat stuff. I told her that I was not really unemployed…that I was a freelance writer, blogger, and artist. This answer was not suitable for her. She suggested that I look into temporary holiday work to get myself started in the workforce. I then explained that I had been in the workforce for many years as a teacher, and I was exploring my options as a writer and artist. This was not a suitable response. The well-meaning lady then suggested that I get a part-time job and go back to school. I simply responded “What a wonderful idea! Thank you for suggesting that.” It was not a wonderful idea, and I was not thankful for her suggestion. But how do you argue or explain your career choices to people like that? Simple. You don’t.

Stand tall and reach for the sky :)

Stand tall and reach for the sky 🙂

I understand that what I am doing right now with my life is hard to explain. It doesn’t fit the standard box. Each day is different. It seems like I am spending more money than I am making–which I am. But I believe in what I am doing. We are never too old to dream big *smile*

Today on the blog, I wanted to share a little bit of what I do. Perhaps to show that I don’t spend all day in my pajamas. However, I do wear leggings…a lot *wink*

I spend several hours of my day in my art studio--from sketching to painting. I am currently working on a series of small, wooden houses

I spend several hours of my day in my art studio–from sketching to painting. I am currently working on a series of small, wooden houses and some flying pigs. I have a plan for my art pieces…I am just not ready to reveal my plan *smile*

I love creating custom pieces. Y'all can check out the Facebook page for a sampling of past projects. I am terrible at taking photos because when I am working--I am in the zone!

I love creating custom pieces. Y’all can check out the Facebook page for a sampling of past projects. I am terrible at taking photos because when I am working–I am in the zone!

I try to add personal touches to each piece that I make.

I try to add personal touches to each custom piece that I make. I don’t believe in a standard box or a one-size-fits-all.

The initials were a three-step process--paint, paper, highlight. The paper gives the cross a bit of dimension and personality.

The initials were a four-step process–paint, paper, distress, and highlight. The paper gives the cross a bit of dimension and personality, and the silver highlights add a touch of shimmer.

The birth announcement details are detachable.

The birth announcement details are detachable.

The bow is made from tulle and ribbon. It is attached with wire--not hot glue!

The bow is made from tulle and ribbon. It is attached with wire–not hot glue!

After a few hours in the studio, I usually explore new places to find gluten-free foods–from restaurants to farmer’s markets. This sounds like an easy thing to do. Get in the car, drive to a new place, and check out gluten-free products. It is not that simple–research is involved, questions are asked, and risks are taken–especially when I am dining on gluten-free meals at a restaurant. I am trying these things not only for myself, but also for all of you that read my blog. The risk is real–and sometimes, I get sick…very sick. But I have to try…so I will know, and so I can pass the info along to others.

Today I checked out the revamped Cakes in A Cup in Johnson City. I tried two new cupcakes--Cinnamon Swirl and Strawberry Dream. Both were super delicious, moist, and so far I have had no reaction--which is fabulous news *smile*

Today I checked out the revamped Cakes in A Cup in Johnson City. I tried two new cupcakes–Cinnamon Swirl and Strawberry Dream. Both were super delicious, moist, and so far I have had no reaction–which is fabulous news *smile*

Gluten-free Cinnamon Swirl cupcake from Cakes in a Cup. Stay tuned for more on this sweet establishment *smile*

Gluten-free Cinnamon Swirl cupcake from Cakes in a Cup. Stay tuned for more on this sweet establishment *smile*

What I love about these gluten-free cupcakes is the detail. These are not sloppy, sorry-you-can't-eat-real-cupcakes cupcakes. They are pretty--and that means a lot to someone with Celiac or a gluten intolerance.

What I love about these gluten-free cupcakes is the detail. These are not sloppy, sorry-you-can’t-eat-real-cupcakes cupcakes. They are pretty–and that means a lot to someone with Celiac or a gluten intolerance.

Check out this gluten-free Strawberry Dream. I can't wait to go back and get more details for y'all.

Check out this gluten-free Strawberry Dream. I can’t wait to go back and get more details for y’all.

Isn't it pretty! And it is gluten-free. And it is moist and delicious. The icing is divine!

Isn’t it pretty! And it is gluten-free. And it is moist and delicious. The icing is divine!

After getting cupcakes, I went to the UPS Store to ship a package. While there, i asked a few questions about shipping other packages and learned more about their services for small businesses. Now, I have to weigh the pros and cons of UPS versus USPS for my shipping needs.

Once I got back to Hathorn Hall, I had a business meeting with my daughter. She runs two blogs and also freelance writes. We had to go over event requests, discuss fan mail, and work on scheduling photo shoots. Lots of brainstorming took place + we are working on a big plan for all of the blogs. That means more research…which means more time in front of the computer…reading, taking notes, emailing people and calling people for advice….

No, my day is not typical. I don’t punch a clock. I don’t have a boss–other than myself and the VIP…and the furbabies. But my days are full and productive. My house is clean, my laundry is done, and the furbabies are happy. I am learning all about social media and website building…I am helping Abby achieve her dreams and her goals. I am creating a new path for myself. So to the nice lady at the doctor’s office and everyone else who thinks I spend all day in my pajamas watching television, I am working *smile*

I do not spend all day in my pajamas, but I do love my leggings and oversize sweatshirts. A big thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for sending me this fabulous Mississippi State sweatshirt. #hailstate

I do not spend all day in my pajamas, but I do love my leggings and oversized sweatshirts. A big thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for sending me this fabulous Mississippi State sweatshirt. #hailstate P.S. please do not tell Abby that I “borrowed” her super comfy Tom’s flats. She may or may not get these back *smile*

To be perfectly honest, I have spent a great deal of time trying to take selfies. It is the trendy thing to do, but it is so much harder than it looks. Or it least it is hard for me...I could learn a thing or two from Kim Khardashian. Note to Self: Look up KK's Instagram.

To be perfectly honest, I have spent a great deal of time trying to take selfies. It is the trendy thing to do, but it is so much harder than it looks. Or it least it is hard for me…I could learn a thing or two from Kim Kardashian about how to take selfies. Note to Self: Look up Kim Kardashian’s Instagram.

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. I hope that I have inspired all of you to go out and do what you love even if others do not understand it…or approve of it. I have no idea if what I am doing with my life will work or produce a profit, but at least I am trying *smile*

 

SSL’s Top Gluten-free Picks

 

wpid-20140722_144856.jpgHey, y’all! Welcome back to Sweet Sorghum Living.  Today on the blog we are chatting about SSL’s top gluten-free picks of the week. So let’s grab a good cup of coffee and sit a spell while we chat about delicious foods.

The VIP and I visited Cakes in a Cup in Johnson City, Tennessee in search of gluten-free cupcakes that were moist and delicious.  Believe me–we have had our share of not-so-edible GF baked goods…so we went knowing that it could be a flop…but it wasn’t!

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I had the Chocolate Lava Cheesecake + Diet Dr. Pepper, and Abby feasted on Chocolate + Diet Pepsi. We were pleasantly surprised with not only the moistness of the little cakes,  but also the rich chocolate flavor. Two thumbs up and five stars!!

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It was a busy day of running errands and searching for gluten-free top picks. It was so much fun having Abby along to help me sample and critic.

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One of my favorite places to shop. I love the atmosphere, friendly service, and top-notch produce.

After our cupcake break, we ventured to Walmart because I needed lancets…because I’ve been in a struggle with my insurance company’s prescription provider…long story…but I’m not seeing where Express Scripts has saved me time…made me cry…yes…stressed me beyond my limits…yes…I digress.

Back to eating healthy and delicious 🙂

After surviving Walmart, we ventured to a happy place–The Fresh Market–which has a nice selection of gluten-free items + the prettiest fresh flowers.

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Breakfast of Champions. Warning: This cereal is so addictive and so yummy that the hubby requests it!

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Chips fromThe Fresh Market + Hummus from Earth Fare = yummy for the tummy snacks that are good for us!

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Super easy dinner–just add a side salad. Now, this is a bit spicy and will make you miss NOLA.

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today as we chatted about yummy snacks and an easy dinner–all sans gluten. As a person with Celiac these above items do not bother me, but they might bother you. I’m no expert…I’m just trying my best to eat healthy and delicious all while living with Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes.

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Another reason to shop at The Fresh Market in Johnson City–the gorgeous view 🙂