Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Tutorial: Hummus

 This Hummus recipe, AKA Adult Baby Food

is submitted by 

Meghan of Made by Meg

While recuperating from my wisdom teeth extraction, I was starting to get tired of eating apple sauce, yogurt and canned pears. So my mom and I made hummus! It's really easy and tastes way better than the store bought stuff. I've made it before, but it always came out a little chunkier than I would have liked. Then Alton Brown solved my problem. I caught an episode of Good Eats on how to use chickpeas and learned the science behind hummus (hint: it's an emulsion thing).

First you need a can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Toss these in the food processor and get them nicely broken up. Then you'll add your spices. I like to use garlic (but didn't have any, hence the garlic powder), salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, a splash of lemon juice and a dash of hot sauce. This is all to taste, and I've also done it with roasted red peppers. Anything you want to add to it will be added now. Give it a few pulses in the food processor to mix it all together before adding oil.
Now comes the emulsion. You want to run the food processor while you're adding oil to make the emulsion. Once it becomes a beautiful, creamy paste consistency, grill up some pita bread, chop up some veggies and enjoy!

Thank you Meghan for sharing this recipe.  If you are interested in being featured in this space, please contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Creative Homefires: StorkBites Delivers

Creative HomeFires is a series which highlights the value that creativity offers to family members of a deployed spouse/significant other.  We offer stories of the creative life and the beautiful benefits experienced during some of the most difficult seasons. 

 Shop Link

  This Feature is written by Misty Cooper, shop owner of
Where the Army Takes Us, God will Keep Us
My husband and I married straight out of high school; his first year in the Army, my first year of college. Almost 20 years later, we have 6 children, a career Army family and memories of a life 

  Our first duty station together was Fort Hood. We foolishly attempted our first DITY move from TN to TX with 2 small children, no command sponsor and no idea of how our lives were about to change.  In the process of packing the car, we lost all our moving money; only to find it a few hours later in my husband’s pocket(to give you an idea of how we started things)! At Fort Hood, we experienced our first FRG, HUGE wild turkeys in our back yard and our first lockdown due to Desert Storm.  Living there made me miss home, made me love being a wife, mother and develop a love for the Army; but I could not wait to get out of Dodge. 

We have made our way to Fort Eustis, Germany, Korea and Iraq (of course) and have come to rest at Fort Gordon where, by some strange blow of the winds, we have been stationed for nearly 9 years.  We have grown our family to 8 and now, both happily and reluctantly, await my husband’s retirement.

Looking for a way to help ease the financial transition from military to civilian life, I decided to turn my passion for children and their needs into our family business. I am the creative side and my husband is the business part. Truly, two heads are better than one.

The latest chapter in this Army spouse’s book has thus far been bitter sweet. As we welcomed our newest little man, we found ourselves praying God’s Grace over our oldest son, as he left for Basic Training this month.

As my life in a traveling family comes full circle, I take time everyday to thank God for the many blessings  He so graciously has poured over me, my family and my business. Through all of our PCS’ing, TDY’ing , Deploying and all those other military acronyms, we have endured and preserved in true Army spirit to forge ahead to life’s next great adventure…. with our business and all our little ones on our shoulders.

Thank you so much Misty for sharing your story! If you are interested in being featured, please use the Contact tab at the top of the blog.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

(Shop) Adventures in the Military Community: Florida Scarf

We are bringing a new series to the blog space called (Shop) Adventures in the Military Community and Adventures of the Kiosk Lady.  This is another opportunity for us to share with each other and the world an insider's view of the challenges and successes of living the military life.  This post is by:
      I had so much fun yesterday debuting the Homefront Team at the Ft. Rucker Spouses' Club Luncheon. As many of you know the Homefront Team is comprised of spouses of military members that sell handmade goods on Etsy. I purchased a vendor slot and was able to represent seven of our team members. It was pretty easy since five of us live right here. My thanks to Well of Creations (Arizona) and One Stop Crochet (Idaho) for mailing me items to share.

    The Ft Rucker Spouses Club is a bunch of (really awesome) spouses that get together monthly for lunch and an activity. Lunch is always preceded by shopping. Our members were delighted by the abundance of handmade goods at the Homefront Table. A few purchases were made and a lot of business cards were handed out. I also printed copies of the Homefront Flier. Thanks to Katie, from Knackatorium for passing fliers out too. She did a great job of engaging our audience. They couldn't wait to tell another family member (military and non) about us. I'm really happy with the results.

The following is a list of artisans represented yesterday.

frame by cheryl Frank

I encourage everyone to find artisans on your posts (or for non-military "in your neighborhoods") and do the same. Here are a couple of tips on how to make it easier on yourself.
Gather up items to be sold a week in advance. This way you can price and inventory everything prior to the day of the event.
Make signs and fliers describing the team, as well as your vendors. It needs to be easy for shoppers to understand what is going on at the table. There will be a lot of items all over and it can be over-stimulating visually speaking.
Merchandise items from an individual seller together and keep their business cards close. Cross-merchandising may seem like a good idea, but it's just confusing in this setting. If you know your inventory you can always suggest paired items later.
Don't do it alone. This is probably the most important. If Katie, from Knackatoirum, and Holly, from Ava Tate Designs, hadn't help me set up I wouldn't have been ready. Also, it is easier to enage customers if there is more than one seller behind the table to chat.

I'll be doing this again at our next luncheon in May. If anyone would like to participate please contact me.

Thank you Sarah for sharing your story.  If you are interested in sharing your story, contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the blog.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Creative Homefires: OliverWave

Creative HomeFires is a series which highlights the value that creativity offers to family members of a deployed spouse/significant other.  We offer stories of the creative life and the beautiful benefits experienced during some of the most difficult seasons. 
  This Feature is written by Kayla Wave, shop owner of
    Kayla Wave Of Oliver Wave here.  I have always been amazed by art, nature and history. When I was growing up my nickname was lil' Martha ( a nod to Martha Stewart).  And I loved art shows and helping my mom out with her art. My dream was to study in the jungles of the amazon. 

   In the past year however, my prospective changed.  In June I married my high school sweetheart and I gave birth to the most amazing little boy named Oliver in September. My husband left for basic when I was 8 months pregnant and to keep me busy and sane my mother in law took me on daily trips to the craft store. While my hubby was gone before Oli was born all I did was sleep and create. 

     We were reunited in December and I started OliverWave in January. Once I discovered Etsy, I instantly fell in love with the community.  I love all the wonderful friends I've met, all the inspiration I've gotten, and lastly I love that I can support my hobby and some day hopefully add an income. I have a lot of plans for shoes, purses, painting, undergarments, clothing, I'm a young lady with a lot of plans! 

Thank you Kayla for sharing your story! If you are interested in being featured here, please Contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the blog.


Monday, April 25, 2011

HF Community: Monday Meetups

The 2nd and 4th (sometimes 5th) Monday of every month, watch this space for a few questions that you can take, post and answer on your blogs and THEN LINK BACK HERE so that we all can come around and visit.

This adventure is OPEN TO EVERYONE!  You DO NOT have to be a part of the Homefront Team.  We just ask that when you leave your link here, you TRULY have a post that pertains to the set of questions.

OK so....

This Week's Questions come from 
1)  What is your most treasured possession?
2)  What was the best gift that you gave to someone?
3)  If you are having a "crafter's block" and finding it hard to get your craft on, what helps you get out of that?

Ok, remember to list the link to your blog in the comments

  Have questions? Send them to us for consideration via the "Contact" Tab at the top of the blog.

Well of Creations- Blog Coordinator

Friday, April 22, 2011

Story Behind the (Shop) Name: Ululani Photos

This Feature is written by Michelle Cypher,  
Here's her Story:

My camera goes where I go, ALWAYS!

I was known as the photographer within my circle of friends. Anything we did, I was the one pulling out my little point and shoot camera and taking a digital record of our times together. Being a mother, I was taking pictures of my son all the time too. And sometimes if I saw a pretty flower or something, I would take out my camera and snap a picture. I drove my husband crazy. I would take ten shots of the same thing to get that one perfect shot.

So it’s really sad that it took A LOT of talking from those around me to convince me that I could be a professional photographer. I never thought about it like that before. It was just something I enjoyed. My sister told me I should start off with projects, to teach myself more about lighting and stuff. So I did. That’s where it all began. One quiet Saturday afternoon outside of my apartment with some flowers my husband had gotten me. From that moment on I was hooked. 

Coming up with a name for my shop was very hard for me. I am not a very creative person when it comes to things of that nature. I knew I wanted something different. My husband’s family is Hawaiian and I wanted to bring that part of my life into it. After a long, long day of research, I fell in love with Ululani. Ululani is the Hawaiian term for heavenly inspiration. I don’t go out of my way to find amazing shots, I let them come to me. My camera is with me always, so even a trip to the commissary can result in a picture worth taking. I truly hope you enjoy my work as much as I do. 

Thank you Michelle for sharing your story! If you are interested in being featured in this space, contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Creative Homefires: Heartfelt Creativity

Creative HomeFires is a series which highlights the value that creativity offers to family members of a deployed spouse/significant other.  We offer stories of the creative life and the beautiful benefits experienced during some of the most difficult seasons.
Let me introduce
Tammy Thornton
Here's her story:
Hi, my name is Tamara (though I go by Tammy) and I’m a proud member of the etsy homefront team. My husband is active duty in the Air Force and currently in training in another state to get ready for a deployment. And I’m a jewelry designer who sells her wares on I was asked to write up a blog feature on the subject of “Creative home fires”, so here goes!

I find making jewelry and all my other creative endeavors, helps me while he’s TDY, deployed and basically whenever he’s gone. If not for my jewelry (and other projects) and my 2 dogs, I would probably be a lot more of a wreck while he’s gone. I often get consumed by whatever creative projects I’ve taken up at the moment, which is great for diverting my attention from missing him.

I highly recommend taking up some sort of hobby if you’re the spouse of a deployed military member. Especially if you don’t have kids like me. It doesn’t have to be making jewelry or crocheting or painting. It can be whatever you are interested in. Go for it! Find something that makes you happy! 

And you can find me on twitter or facebook at or
Thank you Tammy for sharing your story! If you are interested in being featured in this space, please contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the blog 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Military Life...From a Spouse's Perspective: Milleth Soliza

The Military Brat Team and the Homefront Team are combining efforts to share our experiences with the military lifestyle so that others can fully understand the sense of community, sacrifices, benefits, and expectations we all share as members of a truly unique group of people. Each month we will feature a story shared by a Military Brat Team member, and a story shared by a Homefront Team member.

  This Feature is written by Milleth Soliza, shop owner of Fully Hooked

Military Life….
From a spouse's perspective

     Sometimes someone will say to you “oh you poor dear, deployments must be very hard on you, especially with kids”. Sometimes, they’ll say “thank you for your service”. And then sometimes, they’ll simply give you a look of mixed animosity and pity. And I would respond “yes ma’am, it sure is hard” or “thank you, sir, and you’re welcome”, or simply just smile kindly.

     Everyone seems to have a premeditated view on military life, and I agree that it’s not the life for everyone. I may sit hours on end, making jewelry and burning the midnight oil, waiting for that phone call to come through from some remote location in the desert, and I may celebrate birthdays, holidays and anniversaries without my other half, but I don’t despair--because this life has allowed me to fall in love with my husband many times over. This life has reinforced every promise we’ve ever made to each other, and truly, I am happy.

     Every deployment or separation creates that gut-wrenching anxiety that starts at the pit of your stomach and spreads all over you and seem to settle deep within you, making it hard to breathe… but every return brings with it the euphoria of first love: the butterflies, the tingles, the perpetual pull and gravity of a steadfast commitment made between husband and wife—and I’m okay once more.  We knew from the onset that this was going to be hard, but the rewards are great as long as you are committed to making the most of everything. So, hard as military life might be, my smile never wavers.

Thank you Milleth for sharing your story? If you would like to be featured in this space, contact us via the CONTACT tab at the top of the blog. 

Robin Norgren, Blog Coordinator

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Tutorial: Party Pasta Salad

This week's recipe is offered by Holds It

I can’t take total credit for this recipe.  It is from a cookbook called Cooking With Regis and Kathie Lee.  For you youngsters, this book was written before Kelly was born and while Regis still had a memory.

Party Pasta Salad

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves
Finely chopped garlic to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions and drained
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pitted black olives
Lettuce leaves

To make pasta salad:  In a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, oil, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Add the pasta, tomato, Parmesan cheese, and olives and toss to thoroughly combine.  Let the salad stand for 1 hour.  Serve on top of lettuce leaves.
The best part of this recipe is you can make just the pasta salad and take it to a summer cookout or picnic, or just make it a meal of its own.

If you have a tutorial you would like to feature here, please Contact us via the tab at the top of the blog. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shop Diagnostics: Needlepoint 'N More

Shop Diagnostics is a series where we share tips coming from creative entrepreneurs who can run shops in light of adjustments brought on by military life YET APPLICABLE to all those interested in improving their shop's presence online and worldwide.

This feature is an excerpt from an interview done with Gloria of Needlepont 'N More on the blog Type A Housewife:

While other shops on Etsy come and go, you've been on there since 2007. How has your business grown and changed over the years?

It started as a hobby and a way to have a little extra money. However, it has grown and changed through the years. I've come across new techniques, patterns and products to add to my store.

What makes your Etsy shop stand out from all the others that are out there?

All products are handmade and are quality products. I work hard to make sure all products are shipped on time. We also do a lot of custom orders.

You are a mother and daughter business--what is it like working with each other?

As a mother, I love the freshness that comes from my daughter, as well as, the eye for fashion and how to manage the store. As a daughter, I love working with my mom, sharing on something she loves to do and loves to share with others.

Where do you see Needlepoint N' More in two years? Or where would you like to see it?

I would like to see two lines of products better defined. One of house products such as dishcloths, bath puff, etc. And a line of fashion products such as scarves, hats, shawls and wraps.

What words of wisdom do you have for readers who are considering opening a shop on Etsy?

Be patient, it takes a while to get the name of your store out there. Also, have perseverance and don't be afraid to try something new.

Thank you Gloria for sharing your story with us! If you are interested in being featured in this space, contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the blog.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

(Shop) Adventures in the Military Community: Florida Scarf

We are bringing a new series to the blog space called (Shop) Adventures in the Military Community and Adventures of the Kiosk Lady.  This is another opportunity for us to share with each other and the world an insider's view of the challenges and successes of living the military life.  First up is:


S.C. Geraci here. I've got bad news and good news. The bad news is that there are a lot of people out there that aren't aware of the Homefront Team. The good news is that they actually do want to know about our team.

If you've seen any of my earlier blog postings you know I'm new to the military. Fort Rucker, AL is my first installation. When I got here I had trouble finding other artists and crafters like me. It's been almost a year now that I've lived here and I now know eight. (I just met #8 today) I accomplished this by finding the Homefront Team on the Etsy sight. Through the team I found some local friends. Through these friends, as well as some other social outlets, I met more. Now that I am more comfortable here, every time I meet people I tell them about what I do and what our team does. Everyone is always very excited about the news and enthusiastic about supporting. 

Because of this I've started to feel motivated to make every attempt I can to spread the word of buying handmade online and supporting a military family. The most recent step I've taken is an announcement at an F.R.G. W.I.N.D. meeting. In the Army, FRG stands for Family Readiness Group. It is an organization designed to enhance communication between the army and families. WIND is the acronym for the meeting. They have meetings once a month where many topics are discussed. At the end of the meeting there is a "bulletin board." I was on today's bulletin board. I stood up for two minutes and described the homefront team and brats. Also, each attendee was given our flyer. I was a bit nervous to do all of this, as there are many important people at these meetings. But everyone welcomed my information. My guess is that it was actually "news" to everyone. A couple of people even came to me after the meeting for more information. 

I am writing this because I REALLY want to encourage our members to do the same thing at their installation. The military family wants to support us and wants us to be successful.  I urge you to locate the WIND leader at your own installation. If you have trouble contact me. Maybe my leader can find your leader. (

   If you are nervous to speak in front of other people here is exactly what I said. Copy it, insert your name, and read it right off the paper. I did:

Hi, my name is Sarah Geraci. I am here to share with you a unique opportunity to buy handmade online from military spouses. The website is called Etsy. Some of you may already be familiar. When you go to you can shop specifically by vendor and/or teams of vendors.  There is a team on the site that is comprised of spouses of uniformed service members. It is called the Home Front Team. There is also a team called Brats, children of uniformed service members. A lot of times the two teams work in conjunction. The benefits of shopping this way are two-fold. Not only do you support an artisan, but you also support a military family as well. Since the website and military are global, you can search products from artists and crafters living all over the world. It’s quite amazing what some of these spouses are doing. Items range from clothing, to bath & beauty, to baked goods & candy, even handmade board games. Shopping like this is a great way to feel part of a community. In the military we are always moving, but Etsy and The Home Front Team allow you to “shop local” even though we are spread out all over the world. These spouses really appreciate your enthusiasm for their work as well as the contribution their families. In addition to the shopping you are welcome to become a supporting member of the Home Front community at

Download our flyer and have the meeting leader print your copies. I did. They even made our page part of the power point presentation.I hope this will be the start of all of us doing more to ensure our success. To anyone else doing things of this nature, please email Robin, or me, and let us know so it can be shared on the blog.

Thank you Sarah for passing on this information. If you are interested in offering information on how to promote shops to the military community, please contact us via the Contact tab at the top of the blog. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Creative Homefires: Purple Mariposa

Creative HomeFires is a series which highlights the value that creativity offers to family members of a deployed spouse/significant other.  We offer stories of the creative life and the beautiful benefits experienced during some of the most difficult seasons.

Let me introduce Denise of Purple Mariposa.  Here's her story:
Deployments are hard... on everyone involved.  They’re hard on the soldier, the spouse, the kids and the pets.  My husband just recently came home from his first deployment.  When he first left, everything was crazy.  We didn’t know what to do.

Eventually, my son and I found our creative outlets to get us through our tough time.  He turned towards Legos and photography; I turned towards my crafts.

I have always painted and made small crafts and I’ve been making jewelry for the past several years.  After my husband left, I started making more jewelry and accessories and began selling pieces locally.

Keeping my hands busy was a great way to keep my mind occupied on something positive.  It also gave me something to talk about whenever he called or emailed, since he couldn’t talk about anything except weather! Lol.  Without my crafts to keep me busy, I
surely would have been lost.

Thank you so much Denise for sharing your story! If you would like to submit a story for this series please contact us ("Contact" tab at the top of the blog) for consideration.

Robin Norgren, Blog Coordinator

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mother's Day Giveaway

The Homefront Team is hosting a MEGA giveaway in honor of Mother's Day. Yep, we really, really love mothers here on the Homefront Team. They are amazing women who have reserves of strength enough to baffle the mind, and they helped shape who we are. So you want to spoil your Mom? Well, we have the answer for you right here, and the best part of it is that it is ALL completely FREE to one lucky winner!
We have a huge selection of wonderful goodies, all donated by super talented team members. One very, very lucky winner (no really, I am jealous already) will win all of these fantastic items:

From LilacAve:
1 Passion fruit candle and 1 Aloha body butter

Aloha body butter
 From Hold It!:
Your choice of any brooch in the shop

From Nikid:
Your choice of four 1/4 Lb. nut clusters

Pecan clusters
A lovely Irish rose doily and a Lavender sachet

From Kristyns Kreations:
2 Relaxing eye masks. *Actual masks won may not be pictured below*

From Bad Cat Jewelry:
Ice Wine lampwork earrings

From Two Seaside Babes:
Women's cotton buckle newsboy cap in black

From Her Hero:
Custom her hero lucite pendant

From The Craft Queen:
Your choice of eyeglass case

From Noah Bear1:
Two personalized nest necklaces

From Fully Hooked:
A random colored A Rose is a Rose Ring

Actual prize may vary in color
 From Lillianne Lee:
Too cute clipboard chalkboard

From wear ever:
Blue dichroic glass earrings

From Reyna Red:
One pair of pearl barrettes in your choice of color. One pearl and crystal barrette in your choice of color.

An example of the pearl barrettes. You choose the color.

An example of the pearl and crystal barrette. You choose the color.
 From Stork Bites Delivers:
John Deere crayon roll up

From Banana Bear Boutique
Coffee cozy and coordinating key fob

*This is just an example. Actual prize may vary from photo.*
 From Simply Leilani
Set of four stunning magnets

From Dixie Dreams:
Your choice of any 8x10 print

From Jessica Hanna Designs
Set of five bobby pins

*Actual prize may vary from photograph.*
 From Well of Creations:
One pair of fingerless gloves

*Actual prize may vary from item pictured.*
 From Quite Crafty:
Crochet topped kitchen towel

From Camelot's Treasures
Handmade fabric basket

From Cupcakes and Cameos:
Pink bow cupcake necklace

Do we have your attention yet? Would you like to know how you could win all of these fabulous items? Here's how you can enter to win BIG:

Step 1:
Follow this blog and leave a comment here that you did.

Step 2:
Like us on facebook!/HomefrontTeam and leave a comment here that you did.

Extra points:
Share a link to this giveaway on your facebook page, twitter, or blog (each site you share on will get you an extra point). Leave a comment with a link to your page(s) for proof.

Become a fan of our lovely sellers who kindly donated their super awesome stuff! Check out our comment section to find the fanpages/twitter/blog accounts. Leave a comment telling us which pages you have liked/followed for proof.

The giveaway will close out on Tuesday April 19th, and the winner will be announced on the Homefront Team's fanpage on facebook.