Previous month:
October 2012
Next month:
December 2012

November 2012

evening light + some weekend links

With the time change, I have been noticing the light pouring in through the windows as I begin dinner prep. Each room has a different glow to it as I walk throughout the house. I tried capturing a few bits for you. And then, I left the dinner I should have been preparing to find the younger two running off some yaya's in the backyard.

It was loud and silly and just plain crazy out there. I watched the golden sunlight fall upon them as they laughed and ran and chased their furry friends around our tiny suburban yard. Happy, free, lovely.

And that's it. A sweet little moment amidst an otherwise chaotic week. It was a moment of fresh air for my soul.... it's funny how the simplest change in our course can be just what we need.

These bits of light are for you....

 

evening light + weekend links

 

evening light + weekend links

 

evening light + weekend links

 

evening light + weekend links

 

evening light + weekend links

 

evening light + weekend links

 

evening light + weekend links

 

evening light + weekend links

 

some weekend link love.....

Jade and I spent a whole day together in our favorite little city last Saturday. We ate lunch here, the lentil mushroom salad is amazing. Later we walked downtown & stumbled upon a flea market. We found this sweet local shop, beautiful. Dessert was salted caramel gelato in a pool of espresso aka affogato. Oh my~

My new favorite cookbook. It's like Deb unplugged, right there in the kitchen with me. Awesome.

The youngest kiddos have been slightly obsessed with practical jokes.

Sew Mama Sew is offering a class on craftsy. How to make a reversible zipper tote. And it's free. Is anyone getting a good head start on handmade holiday goods? What are you making this year?

My holiday baking bug is waking up. It's especially looking for chocolate-peanut butter. And caramel.

A year ago this week, love notes.

Last but not least. If you could keep our sweet new furry girl in your thoughts, we would be so grateful. She's getting spayed today and I can't help but be a bit of a worried mama for her.

Happy Friday.... 

xo,

~Stephinie

 


weekends are going to be full....

Joe & I sat together this last weekend and made a huge list full of house projects that need done. Bathroom renovation number two. Painting. Kitchen Cabinet rehab. Laundry room redo. Painting. Sod & patio for backyard. Driveway repair. Did I mention the painting?

We're quickly realizing the weekends between now and February when we plan to list the house are going to be very full. I can't believe we're right around the corner from putting our house up for sale, and we still don't know where we're going! We're hanging in there, but the anticipation has got everyone on their toes.

Speaking of bathroom renovation number one, I can't believe I never shared that here. Some of you may remember a before shot of Joe playing guitar in the bathroom while the kids were bathing here. Look at that diaper cover hanging on the towel rack behind him. Diapers?! Oh, that seems like forever ago. After that photo, I did my best to give the bathroom a tiny touch up here. And that is how it stayed until this summer. It looks so nice now. The only thing I can take credit for is a day of scraping old grout out of the shower tiles. Really, it took the two of us an entire day. Everything else was Joe. (he's totally a keeper, right?) So here it is....

 

weekends are going to be full....

 

weekends are going to be full....

 

weekends are going to be full....

 

All that's left is to replace the door with a solid wood one & put in a toilet paper holder. Which we purposely did not do now. Why you might ask? Well, it seems the youngest in our house is convinced that toilet paper holders must be dismantled and strewn about the bathroom while using the potty. Every time. ahem~

If you're interested in the nitty gritty details... I have a few. Joe did the floor tile work his self, the tiles were purchased at Lowes. Our thoughts were that small tiles made the space look bigger. We really like them & plan to use them in our bathroom as well. The retro hued yellow tub was painstakingly sanded several times and then painted with this. The wall color is a soft gray with a hint of blue, which works lovely with yellow 1960's tile. We chose a super low profile vanity to add space (Home Depot). The bathroom has a nice closet, so we didn't need vanity storage. I love the vanity top. Very easy to clean... I also chose a sleek design for the faucet based on easy clean-ability. The entire renovation was done for under $1200. This includes new toilet, new lights, towel racks, vanity & mirror set, materials for painting tub & walls, bath & sink faucets, shower head, tile & grout materials. We plan to spend another $140 on a solid wood door & toilet paper holder.... bringing the total under $1400 for everything. I did some research and the average bathroom remodel is at least $10k, so we feel we did a darn good job. And by "we", I mean a tiny bit me and totally Joe.

I thought you all would like a peek into the beginnings of a bathroom reno. Our master bathroom currently looks like this..... 

 

weekends are going to be full....

Renovation essentials include: coffee, shirt to wipe grout dust off feet, hammer to help get old metal shower door hardware off of tile, lots of razor knives for removing grout, measuring tape to figure our price for prefab shower walls halfway through the day (too expensive, grumble & keep scraping grout). Grateful Dead playing in the background to make grout scraper think the next house should be a giant yurt or a vw bus, or anything without tile and grout. Wife says no. Dang. Keep scraping...

 

Hope to have an update on this project by the end of the month.....

In the meantime... I'll be painting.

 


~mindful monday~

~mindful monday~

 

"We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body."    ~Paulo Coelho

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you'd like to share yours.... please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.

 

happy monday friends,

~stephinie

  


more than the sum of my parts & weekend links

more than the sum of my parts & weekend links

 

I've intentionally kept quiet these last few weeks about political views. Actually, I choose not to discuss this or other heated topics in this space here. This doesn't mean I don't have opinions and views. I do. And I am one passionate girl too. But I feel such emotionally charged values should be discussed face to face. Person to person. Not screen to screen. I think it's so very easy to get spun up in the intensity of the moment, type things into a comment box & hit post before you consider the person reading it on the other side. Our media feeds on shock effect... on what makes a "good story". Kindness and compassion seem to not make this list.

In this age of virtual community I find it ever so important that we remember we are still responsible for our actions and the words we send out. With my older children now wading into the social media world, I do my best to remind them of two things: Never say something you wouldn't say in person & never put anything online you wouldn't want your Grandmother to see.

I am more than my political opinion, spiritual beliefs, and parenting style. I am more than the sum of my parts, and I choose not to let a difference of opinion divide me from fellow good hearted people. You are more than the sum of your parts too, more than one or all of the pieces of you.

And in the end, I will do my best to choose an open mind over judgement, kindness over anger, compassion to people I may not understand. Even in the moment I fiercely disagree. And there are plenty of those!

I choose love.

 

With that, I leave you with a few beautiful, inspiring, & delicious bits that have nothing to do with politics....

Sometimes yarn is made of a magic & love stories. Like this one.

These feathers. Beautiful.

Sneaky creative ways to get greens in your kiddos tummy.

Penne, Pesto & Butternut and Coconut Lentil Soup? Yes please.

Ginger Beer, ordered. I can't wait to get a batch brewing...

I've been looking for a way to send a little love to the victims of Sandy. I chose this.

And of course, a year ago this week. Granola Bars & Apple Cake

 

Happy Weekending Friends.

with love,

stephinie

 


good morning grains......

good morning grains

 

good morning grains

 

good morning grains

 

good morning grains

 

This is our current favorite hot cereal. The kids love it with a bit of maple syrup and almond milk. I love it with a spoonful of coconut butter & honey.

It's simply one bag of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal mixed with 1 cup quinoa & 1/2 cup amaranth. I store mine in an airtight jar. To make the cereal, bring 3.5 cups water & a half teaspoon of salt to boil. Whisk in 1/2 cup dry grains. Simmer, stirring often, until desired consistency is reached. 20 minutes or so. It is kind of soupy... softer than cream of wheat... but we don't mind. Actually, we really like it this way. You can easily adjust the recipe for your needs. Cool 5-10 minutes before serving to little ones, it's really hot! It makes 3-4 cups or so. I double it for us and we each have a good sized bowl.

We haven't loved straight quinoa for breakfast and amaranth is pricey.... so this blend fits our needs. You can certainly add more quinoa & amaranth if you wish!

We're still living mostly dairy & wheat free here. Eggs made their way back on the menu, which makes baking a lot easier. I wish I could tell you the migraines had left the house... but it isn't so. They might be less frequent. Food sensitivities are such a learn as you go & listen to your body journey. Often there is no such thing as a definitive answer, and it takes time for your body to heal from irritation. So for now we will continue to eat lots of allergy free foods. Beans, veggies, & fruit at the top of the list. My goal is to have a meal sized salad or green smoothie at least 5 days a week. That makes us all feel so very good.

And that is good enough for now....

 


if this is autumn, i'll take it.....

if this is autumn, i'll take it

 

if this is autumn, i'll take it

 

if this is autumn, i'll take it

 

if this is autumn, i'll take it

 

if this is autumn, i'll take it

 

if this is autumn, i'll take it

 

Yesterday we rose in the wee early hours to bring Joe's brother & sister-in-law to the airport. You know it's been a good visit when they leave far before you're ready to say goodbye.

These last few days were so full of coffee and laughter and wine and site seeing and more laughter. It was all just so very good. I'm so grateful to have had this time to visit and connect with them, to see bits of history unfold between two brothers, to see us all making memories together. Living far away from family, we don't see them nearly enough and having two visits in one year feels pretty luxurious.

On our last day we wandered through a tiny bit of nature. Finding treasures. Soaking in bits of this season that Louisiana calls Autumn. The sun was bright and warm overhead, the swamp a sea of wildflowers, and our footsteps softly crunched on brown oak leaves scattered along the trail. But here and there, if you really looked, a flash of red or a bit of orange could be found.

I walked along searching for any hint of fall color.

Yes, if this is autumn... I'll take it.

 


~mindful monday~

mindful monday

 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

mind.ful = conscious or aware of something

Something that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are. If you'd like to share yours.... please leave a link in your comment below for others to discover.

 

happy monday friends,

~stephinie

  


sunset, winter, & the sea

Did you already guess that I might have another post full of Alaska photos? Ahhh, you know me all too well. I know, I know.... you were there with me all summer. But it's winter now, everything looks so different. 

So bundle up, and come with me. On a wintry sunset walk along the shore.....

 

sunset, winter, & the sea

 

sunset, winter, & the sea

 

sunset, winter, & the sea

 

sunset, winter, & the sea

 

sunset, winter, & the sea

me, my mama & my aunt

 

sunset, winter, & the sea


The sun sets and the air chills my bones as we walk along..... puffs of air waft up from my mouth like dragon's breath. My fingers numb with cold make snapping pictures difficult, but I still do. Fumbling with mittens in between bits of capturing the pinks and oranges around us, seeing this place in a different season. I even manage to get the camera perched on a rock and set the timer.... running to find my place next to mom & Aunt Lori. Oh my, we were so cold by then. I turn back to look at the sunset one last time before it sinks into the sea for the night and find myself looking at a favorite rock of my little two, this one here. My heart ached for little hands in mine to share this with. I snap the photo and turn to follow my mom and aunt. Realizing this ache would someday be so much more than a few days vacation.....

Oh that sea, it always has something to whisper to my heart.

 

xo,

stephinie

 


bits of alaska......

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

bits of alaska......

 

These are some bits of my time at the Raven's Nest. We named it this summer. I drew the lettering above the doorway and Joe drew the feather. It was a healing bit of collaborative art the evening before we left for home.

It's hard to believe it had been over three years since I had seen snow. I had forgotten winter, a little. Her bite against your skin, the crunch of boots walking, and the quiet. The sun came up each morning with indigo blue and set with salmon pink. The icy world sparkled in midday, frost and snow covering everything. The cold had turned the recent snow into stalagmite looking crystals, growing from the ground. Some of it even looked like piles of feathers or giant snowflakes. I was reminded how much my soul loves seasons.

In between the wintry walks and time spent laughing with those women I love, some quilting did get done. I learned a few tips and tricks from my Aunt and I sewed up some samples of designs. Loving some and laughing at others. Using your needle to draw requires one to connect differently with hands and feet and sewing machine all working together. I have more quilting bits to share next week.

Happy weekending to you....

~stephinie