Browsed by
Author: Elizabeth Smillie

Hello there! I'm Elizabeth. Welcome to my website and blog space. All the products in my little shop are hand crafted and stem from my desire to provide creative and high quality products that make people feel lovely. I believe the little moments of life matter, every day should be celebrated, and that the beauty all around us is a gift from the Creator to be enjoyed. I'm married to a wonderful guy who happens to be my greatest cheerleader and best friend, mama to three little ones and currently reside in the heartland of America.
grandma’s muffins

grandma’s muffins

Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled Oh, the smells and flavors of family recipes! This month my grandma would have been 91 years old, and I’ve been thinking of her {and her recipes} a lot. These muffins came to mind, and I dug around a bit in my box of her recipes {sometimes I can hardly believe I have it! Such a treasure.} and found it – the recipe for grandma’s muffins.Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less TraveledGrandma was an RN, and she was a firm believer in keeping everything “moving” ….and these muffins are some that I remember being a staple. {these, and her getting after grandpa for drinking too much coffee or using too much salt – “Jerr-ry!” :D}
Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled They are just a simple bran muffin, and best served warm with a thick swipe of butter.Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less TraveledGrandma would top each one with a half of a pecan – a lovely touch. I remember Grandma loving the lovely touches, especially in the food she made.
Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled When I found the recipe, I was a bit surprised to see that it was one that she had gotten from a friend – but only a little. :) Sometimes the best recipes are from friends, aren’t they? Also, I’m not sure why they are called “6-week Bran Muffins”. Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled Grandma's Bran Muffins | The Path Less Traveled

These are quite simple to whip up, and freeze well.

6-week Bran Muffins

  • 3 cups bran cereal {grandma used All Bran}
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup shortening {I used oil, grandma noted that she used margarine}

Mix above and let cool.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 quart buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 cups flour {I used whole wheat}
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pecan halves for topping, optional

Mix everything together, and bake the muffins at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes 30 muffins.

Remember, they are best warm! With butter! But don’t eat too many at once ;D


a storybook themed baby shower, part 1

a storybook themed baby shower, part 1

A while back we had the privilege of welcoming a new nephew into the family, and we celebrated with a storybook themed baby shower! His mama loves reading, so we thought a party filled with children’s books would be a perfect way to welcome the little man to the world.
Babies and books – love them both! Since this was a storybook themed baby shower was for a baby boy, I used lots of neutrals (“vintagey” colors), whites and blues, and scattered stars and vintage books about liberally – and I think it all came together beautifully.DSC_0002We split up the hostessing duties a bit – I got to hostess at our home and provide the decor and drinks, my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law took care of the food.
A shower for a baby boy - with a storybook theme! Most of the decor were things that I either already had, we had in the shop and tweaked a little, free printable from Pinterest or that I made just for the occasion {children’s book page pinwheels and pennant “BABY” banner! And an adorable table runner from vintage children’s book pages, too – so cute.}A shower for a baby boy - with a storybook theme!We went with a simple color scheme – white, light {and a little dark} blue, kraft brown and vintage papers. The colors were a perfect backdrop for the children’s books, and played well together. :) I used a mix of vintage and new(er) linens, a variety of mixed metals and some wild grasses instead of of flowers. Stacks of vintage books (of course!) in brown and blues came into play, too.
A shower for a baby boy - with a storybook theme! I was delighted with how my table runner turned out! My mom has a knack for finding gorgeous old children’s books, some of which are sadly too worn to be enjoyed by our children. I used the pages with colored illustrations, arranged the pages a few times until I was happy with how the colors looked together, and secured them in placed with some double-sided tape. Super cute! (it was inspired by this table runner)A shower for a baby boy - with a storybook theme! | the Path Les TraveledFramed quotes from children's books were a perfect touch at this storybook themed baby shower. | the Path Less TraveledOne of the details I loved adding to this party were the framed storybook quotes and artwork. I found several through Pinterest, and a few through a basic web search – all were free, and when placed in frames I already had, made a fun addition to the shower. And the new mama enjoyed keeping a few for the little guy, too!Framed book quotes for a shower for a baby boy - with a storybook theme! | the Path Less Traveled


Stay tuned for more party photos, including more decor, the super darling and delicious food (all storybook themed!) and the guest of honor!

shop items featured:

customer love – Chefs For Farmers

customer love – Chefs For Farmers

You know the feeling when you realize you forgot to do something? Um, yeah …we had an amazing customer a while back who shared some gorgeous photos, and I completely forgot to share them with you. So …Chefs For Farmers!

BBQ Banquet in an industrial modern space

Chefs For Farmers is an organization that brings “chefs, artisans and culinary influencers together to celebrate supporting local and regional farmers”, and their event decorator contacted us at the last minute to see if we could help decorate their banquet – our answer? Yes, of course!BBQ Banquet for Chefs For Farmers

They were kicking off their season of celebrations, and needed lots of bunting style garlands to add drama and texture to their modern industrial style venue. The planner needed something that was classy but also rustic, and she decided to use our Vintage Book Triangle Garlands in extra long lengths to mix in with some cafe lighting and twinkle lights -the final result was amazing!modern industrial feteI love how the individual elements she used for the event – white cloths, wood chairs, flowers in glass bottles, kraft paper, string lights and bunting – are all so simple by themselves, but when they’re put together create a sense of refined, industrial drama. Gorgeous!

Chefs For Farmers kick-off dinner

The bunting style garlands are amazingly versatile, working in rustic and classic venues alike {and, because they aren’t event specific, they can be reused for other occasions!}.

Thank you to Chefs For Farmers for the photos – the event was such a feast for the eyes, and it looks like it was for the stomach as well! {more photos of the lovely event here}



Items featured:

Vintage Book Paper Triangle Garland

6 years

6 years

Today our little Etsy shop celebrated 6 years of business! 6 years of following a “path less traveled”, taking twists and turns that we didn’t expect {but that have been a wonderful blessing} as we “live creatively & celebrate every day”. 6 years! celebrating 6 years | the Path Less Traveled

6 years ago we were living in a little {uh, yes …quite little…not our littlest ever, but still, quite little} apartment, living from one slim paycheck to the next with an almost 1-year-old {and another baby due that summer} and gratefully taking advantage of any opportunities to earn an extra dollar that we could. We had opened a shop on another selling platform the year before {you can read a bit about that story here and here} and, as pennies were getting pinched tighter, the time had come to mix things up a bit and see if something else would work better – and lo, our Etsy shop was born. office luncheon | the Path Less TraveledOur first sale came over 2 months after opening our virtual doors – and it was a welcome one! 6 years later, our shop bears very little resemblance to what it was in early 2010: we are in a different city, different state, we have a house {with an actual yard!}, our family has grown to 4 precious little ones, John is the one mainly running the business now {there’s a good chance he’ll be the one answering your emails} and I have taken more of a back seat while I homeschool the littles, we have 3{!} employees and every single item in the shop right now was birthed sometime in the last 5 years.
celebrating 6 years! | the Path Less TraveledA few things are still very much the same – every single thing that we sell is hand made right here in our home, we still make sure that each new product fits within “live creatively & celebrate every day”, and we do everything we can to make your visions come to life. The custom orders that we fill are always a fun challenge!

We are so, so immensely blessed. This “path less traveled” is not the easiest thing, but it is well worth the rewards. {Our 3 year old cannot remember a time when her Daddy wasn’t home every day – he may be busy, but he is home, and it is wonderful. :D}celebrating 6 years! | the Path Less Traveled You – each and every one of you – are a huge part of where we are today. Without you and others like you, our shop {and lives!} would look very different! Your orders and feedback are always, always deeply appreciated.celebrating a year together | the Path Less Traveled Our second hire celebrates her 1 year anniversary with us tomorrow, so we rolled both events into one and celebrated with a lunch – and cake {of course!}! It was a fun time to take a few moments to mark the occasion, to celebrate how far we’ve come – plus, a great excuse to have cake. :Dthe evening glow | the Path Less Traveled

So … here’s to another “Etsy-versary” in the books, and looking forward to whatever new and exciting things this next year holds.


items featured: Monogram Cake Topper (6 in Gold Glitter)

Sparkly Star Cake Toppers

Customizable Letter Banner in Gold Glitter



customer love: “Winter Baby” first birthday photos

customer love: “Winter Baby” first birthday photos

Customer love time! I know Christmas is just next week, but who wants to take a break from the hustle and see some cute little babies? You do? Oh goody -we’re happy to oblige! "Winter Baby" themed first birthday cake smash sessionJoelle purchased some snowflake garland from us and has been using it in her photo sessions – she shared some pictures with us, and they are so, so cute!!! I love how she has taken the theme of “Winter Baby” and run with it. :)
"Winter Baby" themed first birthday photosSuch a sweetie pie!
"Winter Baby" themed first birthday photos

You can see even more of these cuties and her other work on her Facebook page (and maybe schedule a session if you live nearby!). Thank you so much for sharing these with us, Joelle!

Do you have photos that you’d like to share? If so, you can either email them to me at or tag them with #thepathlesstraveledmarket or #thepathlesstraveledevents on Instagram {as long as you have a public profile :)} – we’d all love to see your ideas! Also, I often send “thank you” coupons to the lovelies who let me share their photos with you – so if you’re looking for a coupon for your next order, sharing photos is a great way to get a discount!


Items featured: Frozen Snowflake Garland, 20 ft

customer love: travel themed baby shower

customer love: travel themed baby shower

Customer love time again! Erin just sent us these photos of the dessert display at the travel themed shower for a baby boy she put together a few weeks ago, and they look great!Travel Theme Baby Shower | the Path Less Traveled Erin combined our Vintage Map Heart Toppers with our “It’s A Boy!” toppers – pretty sweet! Travel Theme Baby Shower | the Path Less Traveled Travel Theme Baby Shower | the Path Less TraveledFor the cake topper {which was stuck in a pair of cupcakes :D}, she asked for a customized version of our original Vintage Map Heart Mini Cake Banner. We placed a handstamped heart in the center, and the result was perfect!

Thank you so much for sharing these with us, Erin!

Do you have photos that you’d like to share? If so, you can either email them to me at or tag them with #thepathlesstraveledmarket or #thepathlesstraveledevents on Instagram {as long as you have a public profile :)} – we’d all love to see your ideas! Also, I often send “thank you” coupons to the lovelies who let me share their photos with you – so if you’re looking for a coupon for your next order, sharing photos is a great way to get a discount!


Autumn Leaves Light Catcher

Autumn Leaves Light Catcher

I love Autumn (and Winter. And Spring. And Summer – okay, I love them all …). I love the crispness, the colors, the baking, the lack of mosquitoes, and the way the light changes. It is not quite Winter blueness, but not quite Summer intensity – kind of warm, makes you feel cozy, like you are being wrapped in a blanket.

DSC_0071Our trees are changing colors so quickly, and then shedding their leaves promptly – changing and moving toward Winter. I was looking out our back window the other evening, watching the light stream through our maple tree. The color was just so glorious. Knowing that the leaves would be gone in just another day or two, I wanted to capture a little bit of that gloriousness for a while longer, to enjoy the light in the leaves for a few weeks more. So – an Autumn Leaves Light Catcher!DIY Autumn Leaves Light Catcher materials needed:

  • an assortment of lovely fall leaves (collecting these would be a perfect opportunity for a Nature Walk)
  • a branch – this can be straight or curvy, your choice!
  • string (you could also use fishing line/monofilament to achieve a “floating leaves” look)
  • scissors

DIY Autumn Leaves Light Catcher

step 1:

tie the string to the stem of a lovely little leaf.DIY Autumn Leaves Light Catcher

step two: cut the string to the desired length and tie it to your branch.DIY Autumn Leaves Light Catcher

and continue these until you like the way it looks! I like the way staggering the heights of the leaves looked, but there really isn’t any “Wrong” way to do this. Just enjoy the process. :DAutumn Leaves Light Catcher Project

Once you have the leaves suspended the way you like, add one more string to hang the mobile with and find a place where the light will stream through. After that, just remember to take a moment or two every day to enjoy the beauty, let the warmth of color and light feed your spirit.

This could be altered in all sorts of ways – add feathers! Use paint pens to decorate the leaves! Or glitter! Really, the only limit is your imagination. :)

If you’re looking for other Autumn Inspiration, I have some lovely Autumn and Thanksgiving things on Pinterest.



Introducing …

Introducing …

DSC_0047Introducing…our newest member of the team, Ruth Ann Smillie!

Smillie siblingsOur new baby girl joined us just before noon on August 6 (which is the excuse I’m using for the lack of blog content recently :D). The birth went perfectly, different and yet the same as the three before her. She has been welcomed by enthusiastically loving arms of her siblings (they’re just about loving her to pieces!) and has been such a joy.

We are so incredibly thankful for this new little bundle. And, now that she’s here (and we are sleeping again! YAY!) you’ll see some more fun things around here. So much to share! So many new things in the shop! And perhaps even a giveaway in the near future. :)


I’m so happy to be back blogging again, sharing thoughts, ideas and updates with you lovelies,



Summer Crafts: Ice Painting

Summer Crafts: Ice Painting

(I wrote this post at the end of July and am just now getting around to publishing :D)

Around here it has been wet and warm this Summer, which put together makes for hot, steamy days! Hot, steamy days can lead to the kids being just as cooped up inside as rainy ones, so we have been coming up with some ideas to help them stay out (and cool) as long as possible, one of which is Ice Painting. It is super easy (you could probably figure out how to do it by simply looking at one of these photos!), entertains kiddos for quite a while and is also (nearly) free – a triple win!Summer Crafts for Kids: Ice Painting | the Path Less Traveled They love any craft that involves painting, and could spend hours coloring on the sidewalk, so I combined both!Summer Crafts for Kids: Ice Painting | the Path Less Traveled It is quite simple, really, only involving a bit of forethought on the part of the parent. :)Summer Crafts for Kids: Ice Painting | the Path Less Traveled

You will need:

an ice tray


food color

paper (optional)

paintbrushes (option)
Summer Crafts for Kids: Ice Painting | the Path Less Traveled Fill the ice tray with water and add a few drops of coloring to each well. I used two trays and made about eight different colors for this project. Put the trays of colored water in your freezer, and wait! Summer Crafts for Kids: Ice Painting | the Path Less Traveled Once the ice has frozen, spread out some papers (I used a length of white butcher paper) on a table or concrete (we used our patio – a driveway or sidewalk would also work well) and add the colored ice cubes to it. I also supplied some small paintbrushes and encouraged the kids to rub the ice around, “painting” with the trails of colored water it left.

Summer Crafts for Kids: Ice Painting | the Path Less Traveled

Much fun was had by all! Now that the weather is starting to cool again, I’m imagining that using the colored ice cubes in a warm bath would be equally fun. :)



We’re preparing for some fresh additions to our shop, and to that we need to make room – by having a sale! Our sale section has some terrific deals on items that are being discontinued, and some of them are even one-of-a-kind.

The Path Less Traveled Sale!

Once the discontinued items sell out, they’ll be gone for good, so don’t delay if you’ve been wanting to get your hands on any of these!