Digital Joy Studio Giveaway!

Digital Joy Studio is giving away a set of 5 printable cards ($18 value) to one lucky winner!  These cards are perfect to encourage someone going through a tough time.  Since you will receive the actual files, you will be able to print unlimited cards!  


How to Enter: Follow @craftedwithjoyboutique on Instagram.  Comment on the contest post and tag one friend.  Contest begins April 23, 2016 and ends April 29, 2016.  

Eligibility: This contest is open to participants ages 18 and older.  

Winner Selection: The winner will be selected randomly from those who have followed the entry instructions.  Winner will be announced on April 30, 2016 on CraftedWithJoyBoutique’s Instagram account.   Winner will be required to email within 24 hours of announcement or winner will forfeit prize and another winner will be chosen.  Winner will be given instructions via email for how to download prize.  All communication will be done in English. 

Prize: Winner will receive no physical cards, just the downloadable files which winner will be able to print.  These files may be used for personal use only, and may not be used for commercial use.  Files may not be redistributed  under any circumstances, not even for free. 

Good luck!






Chocolate Coconut Zucchini Cookies

These cookies are made of *mostly* healthy ingredients and have no extra sugar except for what is in the chocolate chips and shredded coconut.  They don’t have the gooey goodness of other cookies, but they are actually pretty tasty!  They would make a great breakfast or healthy snack.  




1 and ½ cup flour

1 and 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1 tsp baking soda

½ cup melted butter (not too warm)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon liquid stevia

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 and ½ cups shredded zucchini, liquid squeezed out

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup shredded coconut

1 and 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips



Mix first 3 ingredients in one bowl.  Mix next 4 ingredients in a separate bowl.  

Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Stir in zucchini and coconut.  Mix in pecans and chocolate chips.  

Chill dough for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Form into slightly flattened balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baking mat.  

Bake 15 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before transferring to a plate. 


Southwestern Chicken and Rice Bake



2 (5 oz) packages of yellow rice, prepared as directed

2 chicken breasts, diced

½ cup salsa

½ cup Lawry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade

1 teaspoon chilli powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 cup salsa

1 can rotel tomatoes, drained

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, drained

1 can cream of chicken soup

¾ cup sour cream or greek yogurt

2 cups shredded cheddar

Fritos for topping



Marinate chicken in 1/2 cup salsa, ½ cup Lawry’s Baja Chipotle Marinade1 teaspoon chilli powder, and 2 teaspoons cumin for about 1 hour.  Sauté chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through. 

Mix in salsa, rotel tomatoes, black beans, corn, soup, sour cream, and 1 cup of cheese.  

In a greased 9 x 13 glass casserole dish, layer 1/2 of the rice followed by 1/2 of the chicken mixture.  Repeat.  Top with remaining cheese and crushed fritos.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 


This post contains one or more affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.  This is at no extra cost to you, but it helps me cover the cost of maintaining this blog.  For more information about affiliate links, click here.  


Chocolate Popcorn: Satisfy Salty and Sweet Cravings at the Same Time!

Chocolate Popcorn_Fotor

A few nights ago I was craving something sweet, but I was trying so hard not to give in!  I knew we had chocolate chips, but I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with just a few unless they were mixed in with something else.  So I made popcorn and spread it out over a sheet of parchment paper.  Then I melted some chocolate chips and poured it over the popcorn and mixed it up a bit.  I waited half an hour or so until it dried and then indulged myself!  

It was a great snack because I only ate about a third of it that night, and had plenty left over for the next couple of days.  Normally I devour a whole bag of popcorn in one sitting.  Or a whole cup of chocolate chips in one sitting.  Yup…that’s what I do.  So this was a major improvement.  As an added bonus, it’s got that sweet and salty thing going on.  Especially if you use buttered popcorn.  So this is just an idea for you if you want to indulge but need a way to stop yourself from eating a whole bag of chocolate in one sitting.  I know I’m not the only one with self control issues when it comes to food!   

Think Outside the Box: Unique First Anniversary Gifts for Her!

Thinking of a great anniversary gift is tough!  Personally, I find most of the typical anniverary gifts to be pretty boring.  Then again, I’ve never been one to wish for flowers or expensive jewelry.  

Even though I tend to prefer more unusual gifts, there’s something inside of me that wants to follow that traditional anniversary list.

Fortunately, I’m here to help you stick to tradition while thinking outside of the box!  Here are some unique items that fit the paper theme and would make fabulous first anniversary gifts.  


Folded Book Art: Have something custom made with your names, anniversary date, or a short message! These run around $25-$115, depending on size and complexity and whether you are looking for something custom or ready-made.    



Paper Filigree Earrings: $9

paper earrings


Paper Flower Embellished Letter: Pick your color scheme and your letter for around $60. 



A Book to Record Your Love Story: $8-$15




Cut Paper Art: Between $50 and $150 depending on complexity and level of customization.




Paper Tee: Okay, so this one isn’t actually made of paper.  But it definitely fits the theme and it’s only $20.  Bonus: You can get a custom message printed on the shirt for an extra $5!

paper tee


Scratch Map: Record your travels together for $38!



Paper Quilling Art: Beautiful designs made from strips of paper.  These run anywhere from $25-$2,000.



Handmade Bookmarks: Set of 6 for approximately $6.



Custom Portrait: Provide a photograph and have a custom portrait made for $75 and up! 



Wedding Vow Art: Have your wedding vows made into a beautiful print for around $20-$25, depending on size.



If you’ve made it this far and still haven’t found the perfect gift, what about keeping it simple with a handwritten letter telling your wife how much you’ve enjoyed this first year of marriage and what you are looking forward to in the years to come?  Sometimes the most simple things make the best gifts of all!  

Stay tuned for an upcoming post featuring unique 1st anniversary gifts for him! 

This post contains one or more affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.  This is at no extra cost to you, but it helps me cover the cost of maintaining this blog.  For more information about affiliate links, click here


What’s for Dinner? Greek Burritos and Roasted Potatoes!



This is one of my favorite meals.  And it’s decently healthy.  If you want to be super healthy, just eliminate the tortilla.  You could even make yourself a Greek burrito bowl with roasted potatoes as a base if you’d like!  :) 

For the roasted potatoes: 

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  Cut about 3 pounds of red potatoes into 1 inch cubes.  Place them in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish and drizzle some olive oil over them.  Sprinkle them with approximately 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon dill, 2 teaspoons freshly crushed garlic, and 1 teaspoon lemon pepper.  Mix the potatoes with the olive oil and spices until they are coated.  Then spread them out in the dish again and pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes.  Halfway through baking, stir them around to make sure they cook evenly. 

For the Greek Burritos:

Marinate 1 pound of diced chicken breast in 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 2 teaspoons Greek Seasoning, and 1 teaspoon lemon pepper for 30 minutes.  While it’s marinating, slice 2 red bell peppers into strips and prep your toppings.  We like tzatziki sauce, diced tomato, sliced cucumber, black olives, feta cheese, lettuce, and red onion.

Sauté the chicken in a little bit of oil on medium-high heat until it’s cooked through.  Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté until tender.  

Now grab your burrito size tortillas and your toppings and make yourself a greek burrito!  


This post contains one or more affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.  This is at no extra cost to you, but it helps me cover the cost of maintaining this blog.  For more information about affiliate links, click here

Black Bean, Avocado, and Banana Brownies

I made something interesting yesterday.  Brownies with black beans in the place of flour, avocado in the place of butter, and banana + liquid stevia in the place of sugar.  


As you know, I’m on a journey to eat “cleaner” and cut down on sugar, but I love my sweets.  I also tend to overindulge on sweets, so I’m not one of those people who can just be happy eating them in moderation.  Gluttony…it’s a real struggle for me!  And I’m working on it.  

So for now, I’m trying to figure out some alternatives that will satisfy my sweet tooth but are better for me.  I have been hearing about the avocado – butter substitution for a long time, but this was my first time to try it.  I couldn’t taste it at all, so I’ll probably be using that one a bunch more in the future!  There was no banana taste either, by the way. 


I found this recipe over at Ambitious Kitchen, but I adapted it further to completely replace the refined sugar (except what was in the chocolate chips).  I made a few other minor changes as well.  I have to say, they turned out pretty good for a black bean brownie.  My husband has eaten 3 so far, which really surprised me.  This is more of a “dark chocolate” brownie, by the way.



1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained  

3 large eggs

1/2 of a large, ripe avocado

1 teaspoon coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1 very ripe banana

1 teaspoon liquid stevia

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup chocolate chips, plus a small handful for sprinkling on top



Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a food processor, combine first 8 ingredients.  Mix cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish (or similar size).  Spread the thick batter into the baking dish and sprinkle on a few extra chocolate chips.  Bake for approximately 35 minutes.       

I tried making black bean brownies about four years ago and they were AWFUL.  So I honestly didn’t think these would turn out great either.  And I’ll admit – if I was expecting them to taste like a normal brownie, I would have been pretty disappointed.  But part of what I’m learning as I’m on this journey to cleaner eating is that we can’t expect the alternatives to taste exactly the same as the real thing, because they never will.  And we have to remember too that the real thing is only “better” because it’s what we’re used to.  The alternative is not necessarily bad – it’s just different.  

*I don’t have a gluten intolerance, so I’m definitely not an expert.  But I don’t think anything I changed in the recipe added any gluten, so they should still be gluten free like the recipe I adapted them from.  

This post contains one or more affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.  This is at no extra cost to you, but it helps me cover the cost of maintaining this blog.  For more information about affiliate links, click here.  

Meet Amy: Owner of Amy Zolkowski Designs!

il_570xN.914656170_fmnt (1)Amy, owner of Amy Zolkowski Designs, has always loved arts and crafts.  She dabbled in watercolor, scrapbooking, and florals before she discovered her passion for jewelry making.  While Amy was working as a florist at Michaels, she was asked to be a jewelry instructor for a new class they were offering.  This is how Amy became interested in making jewelry, and her excitement grew from there.  She eventually discovered that wire wrapping was her favorite.  


Amy is an entirely self-taught jewelry artist.  In the beginning, she would share her work with more experienced artists to seek advice for improvement.  She has now developed into a wonderful artist whose work is completely unique and absolutely beautiful!


Amy began her Etsy shop because she wanted to be her own boss and focus her energy on creating and spreading joy.  Some of her goals are to start teaching jewelry classes again and to give back to the community more.  She currently sells tutorials in her shop as well as jewelry, for anyone who would like to try their hand at it as well!  

il_570xN.903043768_agsuPrices range from $16-$100, and Amy is also offering 10% off with the coupon code THANKYOU.





Journey to Eating Cleaner: Reducing my Sugar Intake

Over the past couple of years I’ve really started to pay attention to what I eat and I’ve been trying to eat a cleaner diet.  By that I just mean I’m trying to cut down on processed foods and eat more whole foods.  My main motivation is to be a healthier person and take care of my body, but it would also be nice to lose some weight along the way.

I have made a lot of small changes over the past couple of years, but I’m still far from perfect in my eating habits.  I think that’s okay though, because for me the little changes are the ones that tend to last.  If I tried to go all in and eat totally clean, I’d be rebounding within a week  So I’m taking it one step at a time, and I’ll be a little bit closer to my goal every day.  :)

I have also recently been trying to cut down on my sugar intake because I have a pretty bad emotional attachment to it and I honestly think I might have a little bit of a sugar addiction.  I cannot totally deprive myself of sweets or I’ll completely rebound and start eating everything in the house!

I am quite a tea drinker.  I love hot tea and I tend to drink it throughout the day.  I used to use a lot of sugar or honey to sweeten it, but I’m trying to quit the sugar habit and reduce my “liquid calorie” intake.  I don’t generally like to use artificial sweeteners, but for now I’m pretty much okay with stevia as I haven’t really read anything bad about it yet.  It does take some getting used to because it’s a different kind of sweet than sugar, more of an herbal taste I suppose.  But I’ve been using it in my tea for about a month now, and it’s been keeping me satisfied.  

I have tried brewing the actual leaves with my tea and I’ve also tried the liquid stevia and just adding a few drops to a cup of tea after it’s been brewed.  In the past, I did try the powder but it left a weird aftertaste in my mouth so it wasn’t my favorite.  So far, I like the liquid stevia best.  There’s less of that “herbal” taste to it than when I brew the actual leaves with the tea.  But I think if I were making mint tea, I could get away with brewing the dried stevia leaf along with it and it would probably pair really well.  

I am not normally a soft drink person.  I don’t typically like carbonation, but every once in a while I really get a hankering for some Root Beer or Dr. Pepper.  As infrequently as I drink it, I probably shouldn’t even be worried about the sugar in it.  But the other day I was shopping at Sprouts and they had a ton of stuff on sale for buy one get one free.  One of these things was a soft drink called Zevia.  I normally pass the diet drinks right by, since I don’t care for most of the artificial sweeteners and I can’t stand the way they taste!  But since the name sounded so much like stevia, I figured I’d take a look at the ingredients.  And just as I suspected, it was sweetened with stevia!  It also has monk fruit extract in it, which is another sweetener I don’t know much about, but since I’m not going to be drinking these often I wasn’t too worried about it.  


I decided to buy some to keep at home for when I get a hankering for a soft drink.  I normally would NOT have bought them, because I think they were about $8.99 for a pack of 10 cans!  Yup, I can be a real cheapskate when it comes to my groceries.  I just like saving money and don’t like spending it on things that aren’t necessary.  Even at half price I still thought they were too expensive, but I figured I’d give them a shot since I wouldn’t be drinking them on a regular basis anyway.  I got the ginger root beer flavor and I finally tried one last night.  I have to say, I was very impressed.  It tasted like real root beer.  I didn’t actually taste the ginger at all.  They didn’t use any coloring, so it was pretty weird drinking a clear soft drink that tasted like root beer!  It did not have any kind of a weird “diet” taste at all.  If I hadn’t known it was a diet drink, I probably would have thought it was real sugar.

If you don’t have a Sprouts near you, these can be purchased on Amazon, but they are pretty expensive (almost $1/can).  If you have a Sprouts, I’d say wait until they go on BOGO again and give them a try.  My store only carried two flavors, but when I looked on Amazon I noticed they have a ton of different flavors.  Now I kinda want to try them all, but I just can’t see myself paying almost $1/can!  I’m hoping the price will go down as the company grows.  And I do hope the company grows, because I’d like to see more stuff like this popping up and becoming more mainstream.

So, my quest for cleaner eating continues!  I’m tried a new recipe for black bean brownies last night and it turned out pretty well for a brownie made of beans.  I’ll try to post soon!   

This post contains one or more affiliate links, which means I will receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link.  This is at no extra cost to you, but it helps me cover the cost of maintaining this blog.  For more information about affiliate links, click here.