about me Joanna standing in front of bookshelves filled with Ambleside Online books


About Me: Meet Joanna Overly

Here on my site, I share gluten-free recipes and Charlotte Mason homeschooling. I also love gardening/ homesteading and share about that on my Instagram. (Currently set to private but you can request to follow here.)

about me being in MN for winter with my youngest child in the snow
Minnesota Winter with Little Miss

A bit about me: I grew up in Minnesota, which is where I met my husband Ben. After being married for a few years and having two children, we moved to California for 6 years where we had two more children. In 2019 we moved to Tennessee and are so happy to be raising our family here in the south. If you are interested in what gardening zone I am in, it is zone 7b.

Gluten-Free Living

I have been gluten-free for over 8 years after dealing with some health issues. About 5 years ago we found out that one of our daughters has Celiac disease, so gluten-free food is just a part of our lives. But I also love food and want it to still taste great! That’s why I love sharing recipes with you here. 

How to Make Gluten Free Sourdough Bread with Recipe

Gluten-Free Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup: Better Than Grandma’s

The Best Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce For Tacos

about Joanna homeschooling her 4 children on the front porch

Homeschooling Life

We’re a second-generation homeschooling family with 4 kids from middle school down to preschool currently. My husband and I hadn’t planned on homeschooling our children, and we even tried public schools for one year with our two oldest daughters. But eventually, we felt we needed to bring them home, and we have really thrived with the Charlotte Mason philosophy of educating our family. Not to say it is easy, it’s definitely a lot of hard work, but it’s so worth it. I hope if you are a homeschooling mama, you get encouraged by what you read here. 

Here are some of my homeschool posts:

How to Homeschool Multiple Ages: with 10 Tips

Homeschool Morning Time Menus with Free Printables

Nature Journaling Supplies: What You Need in Your Bag Now

You can always click on the navigation menu at the top labeled “Homeschooling” for more posts.

Fun Facts About Me:

Mystery Game spread out on table while playing a game with friends. Meet Joanna Overly
Playing a Hunt a Killer Game with Friends.

I love mysteries and comedies in books and movies. No horror or gore.

So naturally, Clue and different variations are some of my favorite games. Pictured above is a Hunt a Killer game that was so much fun to play with friends! It was like an escape room but from the comfort of your own home. Perfect for my introverted self. You can check out the games here.

I’ve been a licensed hairstylist for over 13 years but I’m not currently working in a salon. 

Civil Air Patrol honor guard nationals with meet Joanna Overly on the far right
That’s me on the far right

I was part of the Civil Air Patrol (Air Force Auxiliary) for a few years as a teen. (What is the Civil Air Patrol answered here.) I received several different awards and I was planning on joining the Air Force after graduating. God had a different path for me though. 

I also was a trained sky warn spotter and wanted to be a meteorologist till I realized how much math was involved. (Math is not my strong point, lol.)

My first job was at a quick-service Chinese restaurant because I didn’t want to work anywhere that served breakfast. I am a night owl by nature. 

I didn’t really know how to cook my own food until I was 18 and leaving to live in Ukraine for 6 months. It was a slow time of growing into becoming a self-taught cook. My husband can attest to this. 🙂

I Never Would Have Thought I Would Have a Food Blog

I remember back, circa 2009, I was working in a salon in Minnesota. It was fall and as the days started to get cooler, people were talking about soup recipes. People had been telling me different things they would put into chili that I had never thought of before, I was inspired!

So one day I’m at home making dinner, and I try my hand at making a new version of chili. I don’t often cook with a recipe and didn’t bother to look one up. As I was throwing things into the pot I thought, “I’m going to add that secret ingredient to this!” (This was before I realized the importance of tasting as you go along…)

I then finished up the dish and I proudly served the bowls of chili to my husband. Only for us both to be very surprised that it didn’t taste good, like at all! I had put in a lot of cinnamon! I only could recall that it was some kitchen staple that started with a C that people had suggested adding to chili. Turns out, it was supposed to be cocoa powder!! He said it tasted like a pumpkin spice wannabe version of chili. My husband still brings this story up to keep me humble. LOL

I’d like to say I’ve come a long way but I’ll leave that up to you. I don’t have a chili recipe to share yet, but I do have soup recipes if you’re interested to see those here.

Thanks for taking the time to read about me. Say hello in the comments below and let me know if we have anything in common!

If you’d like to contact me, you can do so here.