Sunday, June 30, 2013

To Market

Yesterday was a beautiful day for visiting the market. This is one of my favorite markets, in fact I used to work at this market before I was a mother. We scored some amazing fresh, local yogurt, sea salt from our own shores, fresh fruit freezes and some local sausage. April adored the O'Brien Family Band that was performing. She was dancing away and I must admit I really enjoyed them as well. They are definitely a band I want to hear more from. Hope you enjoyed your Saturday as much as we did.

Friday, June 28, 2013

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama

Thursday, June 27, 2013


We needed to get out of the rain, it was such a grey wet day. Not at all summer weather. So we headed to butterfly gardens and had a mini-getaway. It was warm and beautiful (albeit crowded) in there. Our favorite activity is playing butterfly i-spy. April is wonderful at noticing those butterflies that I might have missed completely. I don't blame them really. With all the cameras, people and loud children I would want to hide away on a sheltered flower too.

The hibiscuses are in bloom. Sometimes I just can not believe how bright and rich the colors in nature can be. The reds and yellows were amazing. There were orchids and ginger, pitcher plants and vanilla beans. I enjoy the horticulture in there almost as much as the creatures.

April loves the tortoises and honestly, I do too. They are such wise looking creatures. Never in a rush, taking it all in and so aware. She is also a big fan of the flamingos. She could have stood there all day watching them eat their lunch. The koi are always in a frenzy when the flamingos are eating. Fighting over any dropped crumb, they certainly get your attention with all the splashing they do.

We used the microscopes there to examine butterfly wings, bird feathers and gecko skins up close. So interesting but unfortunately that activity quickly devolved into a simple game of twisting all the dials. Then the crowds and loud parrots started to get to us so we departed for our rainy reality. A beautiful break on this rainy day.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Her Mermouse

By far one of the most popular books in our house is Phoebe's Birthday. Beautifully illustrated it is a very sweet and simple story of a little mouse overcoming her fear of swimming just in time for her birthday. We are fans of the Phoebe books and this one is just the latest addition. I have yet to beginning any of the knitting patterns in the books as I just don't have the yarn required but the birthday dress in this book is amazing. It might be a next summer item though.

It was a no-brainer when it came to making April's next toy. I found the kits on Etsy which made this project a breeze. It was so fun making something I knew she would love so much and honestly that I love too. After seeing how popular the little mermouse is, I'm thinking it might be a good idea to make the spool of thread quilt from the book as well. That logic makes sense right?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Still Growing

The garden is still happily growing, getting bigger and producing more everyday. While we still have our losses, most of the garden seems to be doing well. We had to replace our cucumber seedlings. I'm still baffled by what caused their demise but the new seedling appear as though they will not suffer the same fate. My beets continue to be the victims of birds and bugs. So difficult being an organic gardener when you lose so much to "pests". Perhaps my beets will do better in the fall.

We have been harvesting berries (both strawberries and raspberries) which I am certain thrills April. She can not wait to pick the ripe red berries from the vine. I don't blame her one bit, they are so sweet and juicy it's nearly impossible to resist. We harvested 32 bulbs of soft neck garlic which are now drying in preparation for braiding. Our hard neck garlic is still in the ground but producing many scapes. I almost enjoy having a bumper crop of a particular vegetable. It forces me to be creative and try new recipes that I might not have tried if I weren't swimming in produce.

We are looking forward to peas and carrots from the garden, I'm sure they will do well. I'm nervous for my squash, zucchini, cucumber, bean and cabbage crops this year but as always only time will tell if my efforts to nourish them are successful. I think we will need a few more hot and sunny days to get those slow plantings to really grow. July is almost here so lets all hope for perfect summer days.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

On the Summer Solstice

We were expecting rain for the summer solstice but were pleasantly surprised by sunny weather. We decided it would be a perfect night for backyard camping. We just spent time together in our little piece of earth. We set up the tent, we harvested some soft neck garlic, we ate strawberries straight from the vine, watched the moon rise, played Wildcraft, ate popcorn and all snuggled together under one sleeping bag for the night. It was the perfect celebration to welcome summer.
How did you celebrate the solstice?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Den

In our house there is one room that is an everything room. We call it the den. It is where our computer lives, our writing desk, our library, my sewing table and all the other items that I use for crafting live. It's an overwhelming room to say the least. It is difficult to keep orderly since there is so much changing and living happening in that room. So I've been trying to focus on one corner at a time.

The other day I decided I needed to organize my fabric and yarn so I would know where to find it when a particular project called to me. My sewing table is still a bit disorganized so it is next to be spruced up. But having my fabric organized by material, and length helps immensely then I'm holding a  pattern I was to begin but feeling overwhelmed by all the fabric pouring off my shelf.

My yarn could still use a bit of organization. I had Jon attach some old crates to the wall above my sewing table. Then I used mason jars to store my double pointed needles and the few straight needles I have. The rest of my needles live in my Addi kit which is permanently in my knitting basket. I've also stored a few knitting books a top one of the crates.

It will always be a work in progress but it feels so good to know things are in there place and when I was to start a craft I have a clean slate to work from. It doesn't exactly look pretty (and really I'd love it if it were more esthetically pleasing but I was going for function at the time) but I feel so much more relaxed in this space. I'd love to hear how you organize your creative space. What works for you and what doesn't.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Raw Energy Balls

April is a huge fan of Larabars. So much so that we were spending quite a bit of money each month buying just the bars for her. I had tried making my own before but ended up with a sticky mess. Then we went camping with some friends and she brought along what she called "Laraballs". They were so good, I felt the need to race home and make a large batch of my own. She was kind enough to share her recipe which I have tweaked to make right for us.

I love seeing April eating foods that are healthy and nourishing. She calls these "cookies" and honestly I would rather see her eating a dozen of these than a dozen chocolate chip cookies. There is a lot of room to customize this recipe so make it what your family with enjoy.

Raw Energy Balls
You will need:
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dates, dried cherries and goji berries)
1/2 cup raw nuts (I used almonds, cashews and walnuts)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

In a food processor pulse dried fruits and vanilla extract until it forms a ball. Spoon the ball out into a bowl for now. Add the nuts to the food processor and pulse until fine. Add the ball of dried fruit back into the food processor. I like to pulse the two together a couple times then add the cocoa powder. Pulse until well incorporated. Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and squeeze and roll it into a ball. Roll the formed ball in a dish containing the shredded coconut. Repeat until all mixture has been formed. Balls with keep at room temperature in a sealed container for several days.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

For the Fathers

You have been the best partner to parent along side. You have given our baby all the love she deserves. You make her laugh more than I do. You are patient when I am not. You are the greatest father. We love you.

Friday, June 14, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by SouleMama

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Taking Care


We are all feeling under the weather here. Summer colds always seem to last longer, missing out on sunshine makes it so much worse. We are drinking lots of fluids, reading books, resting and taking the time to care for our bodies. I hope to be back here sharing projects and ideas very soon but for now I will join my little one in a nap.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Scenes from My Garden


Things in the garden are progressing. We are finally at the part where we can start to harvest a few things. A few strawberries have started to turn red, our raspberries are slowly coming ready, the kale and radishes are both ready to eat. I've collected chamomile for tea and chive and sage for cooking. I have calendula that I was hoping to use to make a lotion infusion but April picks them before I get a chance. Oh well, I'd rather she pick calendula than pick fruit blossoms.

Speaking of fruit blossoms, the blackberries are coming into bloom. I'm not sure who is more excited, us or the bees. I think we shall get quite the haul of blackberries again this year. It also looks like the garlic is getting ready to bloom. What to do with all those scapes? We used them last year for pesto and we still have some left! I found a recipe for pickled garlic scapes so I think I might give that a try. Can't waste a thing from the garden.

I have some fertilizing (I'm giving seaweed fertilizer another go this year), weeding and mulching to do this weekend. The garden has no down time, it is always growing, always changing. It's been such a joy for me this year. I've been taking my time, observing more than before, and feel more in touch with my garden as the years go on. We are getting to know each other better and better with each passing year. I can't wait to see what the summer brings.