Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Feature Image

Are you craving a little something warm and comforting? Because these warm, melt-in-your-mouth moist banana muffins will surely satisfy your craving!

I’m not sure if banana muffins technically qualify as a comfort food, but they sure do in my book! I love piping hot sweet bread taken straight from the oven and slathered with a copious amount of high quality salty butter. Mmmm… The immediately melting butter seeps into all the nooks and crannies and enhances the overall flavor with every single bite. It’s quite divine.

There is just something about the warm aroma that banana bread emits as it is baking. It brightens moods, eases anxiety, and just smells of happiness.

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Encouraging a Love of the Outdoors through Gardening

Encouraging a Love of the Outdoors through Gardening Feature Photo

I grew up loving the outdoors, as a child I used to practically live in tree in our yard.  It had a perfect little nook where I could climb and hide away.  Whether I was watching the clouds pass me by or stuck with my nose in a book, that tree opened the doors to let my imagination run wild!

I’ve shared my love for the outdoors here, here and here.

I’m pretty sure my love for everything in nature was spawned by all the time I spent with my dad outside growing up.  I remember riding along with him to fix fence, spending days on the lake fishing, and bearing the cold and snow to scout coyote or deer.

I’m a believer that we all need our own unique connection to nature in order to appreciate it.  We all have our own story and our own memories that sparked our love for the outdoors, if we had the chance to interact with it on a deep, personal level.

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Herb Garden Basics

Herb Garden Basics Feature Photo

So, you may recall from earlier posts here on CWC that gardening is not really my thing…I’m just not a gardener.

You can catch up on a little bit of my gardening experience here.

I have to give Wildland Man full credit for any gardening experience I do have and any crops we are able to harvest.

But, I tell you what; I’m learning to like it. Heck, I may even be falling for gardening. Only time will tell.

I liken it to how I became comfortable in the kitchen and began to like cooking and baking.

I guess, now that I think about it, both the kitchen and the garden have always been Wildland Man’s domain. Now I’m encroaching on both. Hope he doesn’t mind.

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DIY Pallet Deck Table

DIY Pallet Deck Table Feature Photo

Waste not, want not. That should really be the title of this post. Because if you’ve been reading along the past couple weeks you know that this DIY Pallet Deck Table is project #3 that we got out of just a couple of pallets.

First, Wildland Man and I picked up some pallets to create herb boxes for our deck railing. You can read about that project in DIY Pallet Planters {Part 1}.

Then, we used some of the leftover pallet scrap to make a large square planter box to put flowers out by our mailbox. You can read about that project in DIY Pallet Planters {Part 2}.

Finally, we used what was left of the pallet wood to construct this little table for our deck.

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DIY Pallet Planters {Part 2}

DIY Pallet Planters Feature Image

As a child I used to tend to my mom’s flowers and the few vegetables she had time to plant in the spring.

Well, maybe saying that I tended to them is a bit much. More like watered. Once in awhile. Or forgot and dried up. And probably more like drowned when I finally did get around to watering them. I really wasn’t very good at my job.

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DIY Pallet Planters {Part 1}

DIY Pallet Planters Part 1 Feature Image

Let me tell you a few of my favorite things about pallets…

  • They make for a good ole DIY project. And I love me a good DIY project.
  • They are FREE! (Of course, you might have to search a bit to find them for free or in decent condition to use for your project.)
  • They have a certain rustic appeal about them, which aligns beautifully with my country-style home décor.
  • There is no shortage of Pinspiration for pallet projects.
  • You can make so many things out of just a few pallets. You’ll find that with this particular project, we were able to make three different planter boxes and a small table for our deck out of just about 2½ pallets.

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Chronicles of a Provincial Wife

Chronicles of a Provincial Wife Feature Image

I almost named this blog Chronicles of a Provincial Wife. It’s true. I just kinda liked the sound of provincial wife over country wife. Not to mention the nod to my very favorite Disney princess, Belle, who sang of her provincial life in the movie Beauty and the Beast.

Google defines provincial as “of or concerning a province of a country or empire” and lists several synonyms for the word, including: small-town, rural, country, rustic, backwoods. I feel like provincial is a more sophisticated way to say country. Though I’m not sure why I’m intrigued by a title that sounds more sophisticated, I’m about as plain-Jane as you can get. I mean, I am the Country Wife, folks. Let’s be real.
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Lessons Learned After 5 Years as a Wildland Firefighter’s Wife {Part 2}

Lessons Learned After 5 Years as a Wildland Firefighter's Wife Part 2 Feature Image

So last week on Country Wife Chronicles, I shared Part 1 of this post, “Lessons Learned After 5 Years as a Wildland Firefighter’s Wife.” You may want to check it out to get a little bit of insight as to how I ended up 5 years into this Fire Life.

Over the years I’ve learned a few things to help me cope with the absence of Wildland Man while he is away fighting wildfires during fire season. It is always an adjustment and takes some intentional preparation, but I sort of feel like I’m getting it figured out.

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Lessons Learned After 5 Years as a Wildland Firefighter’s Wife {Part 1}

Lessons Learned After 5 Years as a Wildland Firefighter's Wife Feature Image

It was the spring of 2012 when Wildland Man got his first taste of fire. He was hooked immediately and ultimately began to pursue his passion in the field of wildland firefighting and prescribed burning.

You can read more about how we found ourselves in this reality by checking out the post, “Living the Fire Life.”

Not long after that initial experience, I found myself spending my first summer alone while Wildland Man fought wildfires out west. It was an adjustment I wasn’t quite prepared for. And, now, after five years in fire, I can say that while I am certainly more prepared for each fire season, that first fire call still stings just the same.

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A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 2}

A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife-Part 2, Country Wife Chronicles

I shared the following in, “A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 1},” but felt it was worth re-sharing in order to set up this post.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are two seasons when living the Wildland Fire Life—fire season and not fire season, or the off-season.

These two times of year aren’t necessarily written in stone, they are a general guideline, but each year is different and the length of each fully depends on your geographic location.

For Wildland Man and I, at least currently, the fire season seems to out-length the off-season. Something I’m still getting used to. For us, the trade-off is more experience for my husband during the longer fire season. Then, eventually, hopefully, we can afford to move somewhere with a shorter fire season.

But for the purposes of illustrating how a day in the life of a wildland fire wife looks, we’ll examine my day-to-day in both seasons over the next two posts: “A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 1}” and “A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 2}.”

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A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife {Part 1}

A Day in the Life of a Fire Wife-Part 1; Country Wife Chronicles

As I’ve mentioned before, there are two seasons when living the Wildland Fire Life—fire season and not fire season, or the off-season.

These two times of year aren’t necessarily written in stone, they are a general guideline, but each year is different and the length of each fully depends on your geographic location.

For Wildland Man and I, at least currently, the fire season seems to out-length the off-season. Something I’m still getting used to. For us, the trade-off is more experience for my husband during the longer fire season. Then, eventually, hopefully, we can afford to move somewhere with a shorter fire season.

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Living the Fire Life

Living the Fire Life at Country Wife Chronicles

I never would have imagined this life for us…ten years post-college and we are both pursuing our dreams, a little delayed perhaps, but here we are chasing the fire life.

As you may have gathered by now, I refer to my hubby as Wildland Man…not so long ago we were high school teachers working in the same building and same department. Now I’m attempting the blogging thing and Wildland Man is, well, all about wildland fire.  You can read more about our journey here.

This career change has come with some adjustments to what we were used to before, and a few major moves across the country; definitely some sacrifices along the way…but it’s been an adventure, a whole new world of exploration and learning. It is a life worth living and a life that is uniquely ours.

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Life Lessons from Man’s Best Friend

life lessons from Belle at Country Wife Chronicles

I have always loved animals; I grew up with an assortment of pets and always thought I might end up working in a zoo one day. Though that dream never came to fruition, I did teach high school for a while, which is pretty much a zoo in it of itself. But I digress…

Suffice to say, my husband and I immediately added a dog to our family once we were married. Now, I may be bias, but this was no ordinary dog…this was Bellaroo, our sweet, stubborn, assertive, wire-haired, scraggly and scrappy Drahthaar.

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5 More Tips for Taking Back the Sabbath

5 More Tips for Taking Back the Sabbath Blog Title

In my original post, Taking Back the Sabbath,” I shared how establishing boundaries in my life that included guarding the Sabbath as a holy and restful experience was a critical factor in my shift to slow down.   I spoke of my struggles to balance work and home life and suggested 5 tips to help you take back the Sabbath in your home.

Today I’m sharing 5 more tips with you that I hope you will find helpful and inspiring when it comes to taking back the Sabbath in your own life.

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Taking Back the Sabbath

Taking Back the Sabbath Feature Image

The day starts in a rush…packing lunches, picking up the kitchen, and trying to get out the door for work or an appointment. Hopefully a workout can get fit in somewhere, a quick scrub-down of the house in a spare moment, while paying bills and checking off the to-do list get pushed to tomorrow. And this is just your day-to-day schedule, add in a husband’s, children’s, and anyone else that depends on you and your agenda is overflowing.

The week has been survived and while looking forward to the weekend reprieve the realization hits that there is no such thing when it comes to your schedule. The weekend is full of activities, events, projects, and an overdue to-do list. You’ll be lucky if you get everything you “need” to get accomplished done in a matter of two days.

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