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September 2011

13

A little walk down memory lane to share with you all.... this feels a lot more recent then a thirteen years ago. My, oh my. Happy, happy birthday to my sweet girl. Much much love and many wishes for a wonderful year.

 

Little Bug ~ 1998

1998

 


hello wednesday....

Joe left Sunday evening and I've been parenting solo this week. It's amazing how the absence of a parent effects the whole household. Even though Joe isn't home until late afternoon during the week, it takes the kids a few days to adjust to this. And just think, we used to do this all the time.... for weeks on end. {there were a lot of waiting posts written at the house} This time though, it's just for the week. We pick Joe up Friday evening.... the day after we pick Sam up for the weekend and the day after our girl's 13th birthday. There is a trip to homeschool co-op in there somewhere too. It's gonna be busy.

But Thirteen? THIRTEEN! Oh my. She's a sweet one, that girl. I'm a lucky mama. 

The last few days here have been full of rearranging my craft area.... Joe keeps teasing me about moving everything to my side of the room. "Do we need to get some tape and make a border down the middle?" he asked. No, I say....

The sun had faded a few fabric pieces when everything was on the other wall, so the whole lot had to be moved....

 

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And nothing like moving your fiber goodies around gets you motivated to perhaps finally start a quilt with some beloved treasures. I'm really going to cut into that fabric this time... I'm planing a simple one with big wide squares for these hues. I also have the greens & yellows from this collection that I want to do a stacked coin quilt with. I love those. And I found this gorgeous scrappy-ish sort of quilt in Anna Maria's much adored Good Folks collection from awhile back. Gah! It's stunning. Pinterest is dangerous my friends, you should join me there.

 

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Jade & I have been spending the evenings knitting. Sometimes both of us knitting, sometimes her knitting and me sewing... I've been working hard on quilts for the shop. {Don't get me started on the irony of quilting for the shop and not for myself!} I've so enjoyed this chunk of time between 9&11 pm when the littles are asleep and the girl & I are laughing and chatting and creating. It's good.

Other creative endeavours have included legos. The small boy is obsessed. He comes out of the abyss for potty breaks and food. This is the room when it's clean...

 

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Last but not least.... it's cider season! I buy a gallon each week this time of year and we savor every speck of it. It's like liquid fall, right? The kids like their's straight up or mixed with some bubbly water with a slice of apple and ice. I like all of the aforementioned with the addition of a shot of vanilla bourbon. It's a good way to end the day I tell you. And yet another use for that uhm, vanilla extract I made.

 

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Recipe inspired by this which I found via Grace on.... you guessed it, pinterest. Grace by the way just wrote up a sweet little autumn post with the prettiest of pictures... do take a peek.

 


and the thrifting begins....

The fall change of season (even if only in my mind) prompts some serious thrifting around here.

I go through everyone's stash of long sleeve shirts, pants and such and make a list of who needs what that I keep tucked into my wallet. We regularly hit up the thrift stores in hopes to find some bargain priced clothing for all of us, though mostly for the growing bodies in the house.

I wish I could say that I totally didn't care what my kids wore.... and truthfully for day to day stuff I don't. But sometimes there is an event that comes around that has you scrambling and you wishing you had more than mismatched tshirts and hemp gauchos. Ahem. (both the boys outfits were thrifted in this photo! yes, even that suit & tux shirt!)

This morning I had a laundry basket full of a weeks worth of thrifted goodies ready to get washed up and so I thought I would share the loot....

 

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15 pieces for under $35.... not bad huh? Collared shirts and nice tops and some dresses. I must admit I'm a bit of a brand name shopper too. I find that higher quality clothing tends to be tailored better and therefore fit better. I think much of it also lasts longer. 

For my girl, this sweet little shirt is a size "0" and it fits my very petite almost nine year old girl perfectly. I'm dreaming up a twirly linen skirt to accompany it. How's that for formal? Also, as a disclaimer, the next time I try to squeeze into anything from this brand while thrifting... I will remember that size "0" is for a young child. Just saying.

 

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I always keep a lookout for true gems and I am especially a sucker for vintage threads.... wait until you see the crazy old shirt I found Luke. It's certainly older than any of my kids, maybe even me and reminds me of my Gramps old shirts. Faded & loved. This last trip however had me staring at this wool blazer. Equally as old and not without imperfection... but come on??!! How could I pass this up? And for those of you who know my boy and his obsession with such clothing.... I know you are all smiling right now. And it fits perfectly.

 

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Also, I must say.... what the heck is happening to little girl clothes out there? Is anyone else noticing that they are, uhm, kinda trashy? I have such a hard time finding appropriate attire for my youngest girl at the thrifstore. Or maybe more 9 year olds are hitting the club than I thought. Who knows.

I've had not much luck in the dress department for her... so we bought this women's tunic and I plan to sew up the opening on the front a little to make it look like a kimono style dress. I think it will be adorable paired with leggings and clogs. Now I'm trying to invision some other easy ways to turn adult clothes into kid clothes...

 

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How many of you out there are fellow thriftstore junkies??

Any good finds lately? Do share!

 


from where i sit

 

I can hear one practicing the piano.

one is still sound asleep after staying up late on a school night to watch a movie with mom and dad

one is singing to himself and busy creating yet another lego creation

the pot of steel cut oats & apples is keeping warm on the stove for the last to awake

there are still a few homemade donuts on the counter that will surely become a mid morning snack before too long

I should get to those breakfast dishes and out of my pajamas

just as soon as I savor the last bit of coffe in this cup

it feels like the beginning to a good week

happy monday friends~

  


Good to the last drop

The weather cooled for just about a week.

 

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We turned off the ac, opened up the windows and the whole house drank in the glorious fresh air. We ate, played and sipped our wine out of doors and remembered what it was like to love the sun. The hot is slowly creeping back in and reaching 90 during the day but that little taste of southern fall and winter weather to come left a smile in my heart.

September is always a  l-o-n-g  month to get through.... still so hot and my northern heart gets all confused at the lack of red leaves and crisp air. A mantra rolls around in my head "almost....almost...." and I feel like the little engine that could just nearing the top of the hill.... I think I can.

Kayaking. Picnics. Knitting. Oh, have I ever missed you. Soon dear friends, soon!

Until then, I will be grateful for the little taste of goodness to come and keep on keeping on. That week of lovely weather was savored like a perfect soup, good to the very last drop.

 

{Coconut Lentil Soup with curry brown butter & Gluten Free Olive Bread}

 


Monday Bites :: Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

We're entering our fourth week of being gluten free here..... it's getting much easier as we go, like anything does I suppose. I must admit that most of us have noticed a difference in our energy and overall health.... we feel good, better. However most importantly the littlest in the bunch who has always battled tummy issues is now tummy trouble free. (yeah!)

It's been tough to say farewell to our beloved bread.... and while I haven't found a gluten free sandwich bread just yet, we have enjoyed experimenting with quick rise sort of goodies. Heather's cookies are amazing, I made some fantastic zucchini lemon muffins and successfully converted our favorite much loved pumpkin bread. See that messy recipe card.... the original had been years in making my friends. 

 

 

Flours are a funny thing to experiment with. That gluten sure makes your baked goods stay together and rise well... but so far everything has been edible, dense sometimes, but still good. These pumpkin muffins came out awesome. Moist, tender, spicy, and delicious. It's co-op approved too as just about every kid gobbled it up with a smile on Friday. (and the mamas too) Since we're lowering our grain intake here as well as going gluten free I've been using almond & coconut flour often. I don't even want to think about how much almond flour costs.... I mean wow. You'd need a second income just to support your baking habit if you used it exclusively. But I have to admit, I do like the flavor and moist crumb it adds to my baking.

 

 

 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread (makes two dozen muffins)

1 cup packed brown sugar

4 eggs

3/4 cup light olive oil (or coconut oil)

2 cups pumpkin puree (1 15 ounce can)

1/4 cup water (see note below)

1 TBSP vanilla

*mix together & set aside

 

1 cup almond flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup millet flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp xantham gum

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cloves

*whisk together & add to wet ingredients. mix well. stir in add ins below if desired. bake at 360 until set & toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (yes, 360. I find they rise better at this temp, but 375 made them brown too fast.) 

**add ins - 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and/or 3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate chips (so good!)

** I use organic canned pumpkin, which is looser than the non organic (libby brand) if you use non organic, add an extra 2 TBSP of water to the wet ingredients

{if you are not gluten free you can omit the flours, cornstarch, xantham gum & in place use 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour & 1 cup of white flour}

On Thanksgiving I always toss a cup of cranberries in these along with the 3/4 c walnuts. These are a breakfast tradition here on turkey day!

Happy Baking!

 


these past few days

I recently grumbled to Joe about the lack of time to be in this space...

to write some words and share our days.

It is important, he said..... but be here now and there later.

Lately the pockets of time that usually are filled with blogging have been filled with so much more... all good, just busy. Just life. So I we have been riding this life, this moment like a wave in the sea... hanging on and making fun with it.

So, a week in pictures....

 

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The compost came undone. Which meant Joe & shoveled the contents into the wheelbarrow and I decided someday I should really get work boots. I braved the soldier fly larvae and my handy man put it all back together and it's working like it should. We did this before dinner, because we're ridiculous like that. Look at all that black gold for the winter garden!

 

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The garden fairy sunshine girl has taken to hypnotizing dragonflies.... she most always has one on her hand-finger-shoulder outside. I've no idea how she does this, she just does.

 

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We drove north to attend a matriculation ceremony for our big boy.... like a good mama I got all teary eyed and forclempt (that's a New York word that came with my husband, you must say it with a New York or Jersey accent "fah-klempt"). Most of our brood all dressed up for the formal ceremony... well, minus the keens on the littlest one anyway.... formal is a bit of stretch for people like us. Serious is also a stretch, as you can tell by the photo. And later when the big boy hoisted the little boy on his back as we walked to the dorm to get his stuff for the weekend... I think I got all misty eyed again. {My goodness!}

 

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Tropical Storm Lee blew through last weekend and had us watching trees and water levels... but thankfully all went well and we are now enjoying a beautiful cool front and unusually cool weather for early September. 70 degrees is glorious. Truly. And I will be very sad to see it leave at the end of the week.

 

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I've been sewing shop stuff, new bags will be listed soon and I've been working on quilts which will be in next week. Organic loveliness from this line.

 

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We ended the weekend with an early celebration of Sam's 15th birthday (which isn't truly until Friday). FIFTEEN? Wow.

His cake in German translates to :

"Happy Birthday Sam! We wish you success."

Or at least that is what we attempted to write on it. (He's taking German for a language class.)

 

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Last but not least I want to give a little shout out to Kate of MeatBagz on Etsy who at a moments notice got this sweet bag in the mail which arrived the day before Sam's party. Thank you Kate, you rock! Sam totally digs his new bag, which we filled to the brim with hippie dorm food & other goodies.

So that's it really. That's what we've been up to.

Missed you all!

 


Quinoa

Well, since quinoa seems to lead people to this space, let's have another recipe!

I could go into great detail about this recipe, but really let's be frank. We're not eating wheat (speaking of which, please don't say the word toast, it emits great moans of torture from my brood) and it's good. So good that even the texture wary five year old in the bunch recently wailed to me at 4:30 "why can't you just make me some quinoa." Does anyone else have a little (or BIG) grump-a-lump-agus on their hands that time of day? Uff-da.

I've been soaking any grains we eat lately. If I know we're having quinoa for dinner I try to remember to soak it in water & a splash of whey or apple cider vinegar several hours before dinner. As the grain absorbs water during soaking, in parentheses the liquid is reduced for this in the recipe below.

 

in our kitchen

 

Greek Inspired Quinoa

(serves 6 plus leftovers for lunch if you're lucky!)

2 cups tricolored quinoa (any color is fine, we just like this one the best)

3 c water (reduced to 2 cup if soaked, as noted above)

3/4 tsp sea salt

 

Rinse quinoa in a fine meshed colander. (if you soaked it first, drain the liquid off & add the reduced amount of liquid) Place in a medium pot with water & salt. (broth can also be used) Bring to a boil, lower to a soft simmer & cook covered until the liquid has all been absorbed. (15-20 minutes) Do not stir. Let it cool a few minutes & then fluff with a fork.

 

1/3 cup olive oil 

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 c chopped fresh parsley*

1/2 c feta

 

Add the above to the quinoa. *mint, basil & oregeno are all good to add too, I tend to add mostly parsley and then a few random sprigs of whatever is fresh in the garden. When I have green onions, I dice up some of those & throw them in too! Stir well & serve.

 

Option 1 : add 1 chopped red pepper & 1 small thinly sliced zucchini to the cooking quinoa after it's been simmering for 10 minutes. Do not stir, just gently place them in. They will steam with the quinoa. (as pictured) Proceed with the recipe as written above.

Leftover Salad : Toss with leftover veggies (we had broccoli & chicken) and a bit of harissa if you have it. It makes an awesome cold salad. Especially over a bed of salad greens. (Joe & I are admittedly a bit addicted to harissa right now, it's good on everything!)

 

*Some great info on soaking grains and why the heck anyone would do that can be found in this book.

 

*Eek! I made a mistake on the original posting.... the water level is correct now... so sorry if you made an inedible quinoa due to this!