Sunday, January 31, 2010


Spending snowy days with your loved ones is a wonderful way to spend the weekend.

We've indulged in all our favorite snow day activities - catching up on house and paperwork, cleaning closets and doing some home repair. Fun stuff too of course - winter walks, playing in the snow, family naps and long lingering meals.

We've also enjoyed some new activities. Putting out food and water for the birds and waiting and watching with bird guide in hand as they come and play in the yard. All the delicate birdie
(and deer!) footprints in the snow are so beautiful.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crafty Discipline

We've been out of the craft groove lately and I've been looking for a way back in. I finally had a little talk with myself yesterday, I reminded myself how much it helps my mental health when I sit down and do something with my hands. I have so many projects in the works but they all involve unpacking boxes I still haven't unpacked yet, so I went for something simple, and something that could be done here and now. Origami. and I just happen to have a lovely book for this upcoming valentines month.

Like any discipline (which I think crafting is) I think the sitting down and starting is always the hardest part. I felt better just clearing that hurdle and I definitely feel inspired to dive back into some of my bigger projects now. Here are a few of the things I made yesterday

and my favorte - a heart ring. I think this one will have a home on our nature table for the valentines season.

I vow to complete and feature more of my craft projects on this blog over the next few weeks. If I say it then it will come true right?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chocolate For Breakfast

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie was Cocoa-Nana Bread chosen by Steph of Obsessed With Baking. She has the recipe (and some much prettier pictures) over on her site.

Again, I wasn't thrilled about making this weeks recipe, but I'm a total convert now. When I read Dorie's intro to the recipe about trying to make chocolate acceptable breakfast food I knew I'd be sold. I think chocolate for breakfast is a genius idea, and a way of life we should all adopt.

The recipe was super easy to come together and looked like such pretty chocolate icing as I was scooping it into the loaf pan. Speaking of which....
Instead of a 9x5" loaf pan I used a 8.5"x4.5", I didn't think it would be too big of a problem but it definitely overflowed...

and the top came off when I was trying to get it out of the pan. Strangely the top was fairly uncooked but the rest of the bread was perfect - moist but not doughy and undercooked. I guess I'm glad the top came off! even though it wasn't very pretty....
It was tasty though! It's not super chocolatey which I actually really liked. I also didn't taste the bananas at all but I could tell it gave the bread a lot of moisture, I'm sure you could do this with other fruit, maybe applesauce or pumpkin in place of the banana.

As always, check out the rest of the TWD blogroll to see all the other amazing bakers who baked this weeks recipe.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Mouse!

this adorable little sweet potato came from our garden, it was just asking for a little boy to eat it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On The Town

There are few things I like to do more than explore my own town on public transit. My family has been in town visiting, including my über cute nephew from California, and on Friday I ventured out on the bus with Q and nephew in tow.

If I thought taking the bus was fun, taking the bus with a two and a half year old was just amazing, he was so into it. We talked about every aspect of the bus, the doors opening and shutting, the people getting on - where are they going? where are they coming from? why? we looked at the buildings outside, we talked about bus stops and bus drivers and how some are men and some are women. We talked about the seats in the front, and in the back, and when the bus got full we talked about how you can hold on to the poles and stand up. It really was quite an adventure, and a long bus ride too. Q was no less amazed, he just doesn't have the language yet to ask so many questions, well that and the fact that he is equally as amazed by his big kid cousin and observed quietly the whole time we were on the bus.

We took the bus up to Franklin St (main drag) to go to the childrens museum Kidzu. This was our first visit to the museum and it was wonderful! Not large in size but huge in creativity and quality. There was a tots area in the back for 24months and under but Q wasn't really interested in that, he wanted to be watching and chasing after the big kids.

So many wonderful interactive displays and both kids had a wonderful time. There was so much to do

My favorite was the food area, there was a play farmer's market, then a cafe, kitchen, compost, garden, farming area, then back to the farmer's market.

It was a wonderful day and we all needed naps when we got home

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Cough cough

The littlest one seems to have kicked the nasty illness he has had (!!) but now B and I are fighting off a little something. B has a sinus infection it seems, and I feel pretty good comparatively but I do have a raw throat that tickles. Last night it was making it hard to sleep and so I took a little cough medicine. homemade. Wowza did it work, no coughing all night long!

Just happened to have everything in the house and so here it is - equal parts fresh squeezed lemon juice, honey, and whiskey. Hot or room temp but nice and warm made it feel good coating my throat. One to two tablespoons as needed. It's strong but tasty and effective.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Almost-Candy Bars

This weeks Tuesday's With Dorie was baked in the very last moments of the day, eaten for dessert and then packed up for the coworkers to enjoy tomorrow. Lillian of Confectiona's Realm chose the recipe this week - Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy bars. I was only slightly excited about this, it just sounded sort of boring to me honestly.

Although I wasn't particularly inspired by this weeks recipe I do love me some chocolate and oatmeal and was looking forward to being wowed by this bars. I wasn't. I probably could have tweaked them some and enjoyed them a lot more. They are basically a chewy oatmeal bottom (with chopped up peanuts in it) with chocolate fudge on top, topped with some crumbled oatmeal/peanut mixture and baked. I wish either the bottom layer was more crispy and less chewy, or that the chocolate layer was thinner, darker and less sugar-y sweet (mostly due to the sweetened condensed milk).

Either way, these aren't sticking around the house or else they will get eaten. They are already packed up and ready to go to B's coworkers tomorrow. I'm hoping for 'wife of the year' award 2 years in a row.

As always, check out the other amazing bloggers here at the TWD blogroll. Lillian has the recipe posted over at her site if you want to check it out.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mommy Instinct

Oh man does it suck to have a sick kid!

The little one has respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which is a really common virus, in adults it's just a bad cold and we usually don't even know it's RSV, in kids it's a lot worse though. It still acts like a bad cold but it's a lot easier to have breathing problems and lung infection, oh and it's highly contagious and takes a good week or two to kick. Major bummer when we have family coming into town and a memorial to plan for my grandfather. Q has been going to the doctor daily and started 3x daily nebulizer treatments, he seems to be on the upswing so we're hopeful that by the middle of next week he will have some of his energy back and will be able to spend time with his cousins.

While it would seem that we are on the way out of this mess, RSV can get nasty and so we still have to watch the boy carefully. Everything I read says to trust your instinct, watch for labored breathing, wheezing, any other signs of respiratory distress, and mostly to trust your gut and go to the dr or ER as soon as you feel like you need to. My husband, mother and doctor would all agree that I have a strong (and good) instinct but I find myself really scared and doubting my instinct a lot this week. I mean, how could I make decisions on my kids well being based on anything less than fact? I know trusting your instinct isn't really a gamble but if I'm good at listening to my instinct I'm equally as good at doubting myself when under pressure, and there's nothing like sleep deprivation and a feverish lethargic child to make me feel under pressure. It all comes back to one question for me - how can you ever really know?

If I had to answer my own question I guess I would say you never really do know. You do your best, you hope you're right, and when it comes to things most precious (like my boy) you err on the side of caution. I can tell myself that, but last night when Q had a coughing jag that made me jump out of my chair screaming for my husband to come quick I had to stop and think about what my instinct was telling me. Was I a overreacting first time mom or was my instinct saying something important? On the one hand I was ready to jump in the car and run straight to the ER. But on the other hand I wanted everyone else to listen to his breathing and tell me what I should do, make the decision for me. I am embarrassed to admit that I also thought about the ER bill that we just got done paying for my husband, what they could and would do for him at the hospital (nebulizer treatment) and my sleep deprivation before I decided that if no one else heard anything amiss then we would just stay home and see if anything else changed. It sounds like a decision someone else would have no problem making but I keep beating myself up for not listening to, or not having a good instinct.

Does everyone doubt their instinct? Does it help or hinder to doubt your instinct? and how?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mrs. Vogel's Scherben

What a bizarre name for this weeks Tuesdays With Dorie!

But really these are not bizarre at all. It's basically funnel cake, but instead of all together it's small pieces/sticks/scherben - shards.

The dough is incredibly simple and these would have been SUPER quick to make except that I had to let the dough cool, cut it, then cool again, then fry it. By itself the dough is incredibly bland, but deep fry it, roll it in cinnamon sugar and then top with confectioners sugar and yum!

I liked these more than I thought I would, which isn't saying a lot because I thought I'd hate them. But really, isn't everything good if you put cinnamon sugar and confectioners sugar on it?

I think so.

As always, check out the other amazing TWD bloggers here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brainstorm With Me

Won't You?


It's bitterly cold and I'm stuck inside. Fortunately I have some beautiful sunny windows to gaze out of all day. These windows are the perfect windows for napping by since the sun comes through and heats you up and puts a magical sleepy spell on you, just watch out for the dreams you may have. The most recurrent dream has been of spring, spring through these windows will be beautiful and green and lush since they overlook the front garden. My little boy will be toddling this spring (if not sooner) and I want to start a tradition of gardening with my kid. I want to learn how to garden more (better) and this is as good a time as any. So this is my dream, a children's garden to create and enjoy together.

In my head it's huge and has places to hide and little rock circles and stones that make a chair that is only big enough for a little kid and tracks for toy cars and trucks and diggers to do their work. In reality, the space is not that big and I have three main ideas. I want to have somewhere for him to hide (maybe a sunflower house), somewhere for him to play (water play, sandbox, bean box) and somewhere for him to watch small things grow into food we can eat.

So now, I need to figure out how I'm going to do all three of those things... ideas? suggestions?

Friday, January 8, 2010


I love being a mom. I love passing on traditions to my son and this is a fun one. I remember playing with these with my mom when I was little. Please Cards.

The idea is that there are 4 different colored cards that have different types of activities/suggestions on them, your little one picks a card for you to do together.

My mom gave them to me after Q was born and while he's definitely not old enough to pick one (except to chew on) they have inspired me during these cold days stuck inside.

Some are indoor and some are outdoor activities, some quick and some are for when you have some time. I've picked a few over the past couple days and done them just to mix things up in our usual nurse, sleep, play on the living room floor routine.

There are some blank cards for adding your own activities to the deck. Finding my mothers handwriting on some of these old cards has made me smile.

I think I would like to make a set for my niece and nephew, pass this fun tradition on.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday

to Tuesday's With Dorie!

Today is the second anniverary of the start of Tuesdays With Dorie - a weekly blog even where bakers/bloggers bake the same recipe out of Dorie Greenspan's cookbook 'Baking: From My Home To Yours'.

This week we had the option to bake either the tarte tatin or the cocoa-buttermilk birthday cake. Because I just baked the tarte tatin this fall (during all that apple baking I did) I chose to go with the birthday cake.

Unfortunately, I don't think I like chocolate cake. I'm embarassed to admit it but it's true and this cake was no exception. I thought maybe it was just me who thought this cake lacked chocolate flavor and was a bit too sweet and turns out, it was. My husband said it's delicious and will be taking the rest to his co-workers tomorrow. I think I just like chocolate in creamy rich forms - mousse, ganache, ice cream, bar. Mmmmmmm.

I do think that I'd make this again if someone asked me to make a chocolate birthday cake because it came together surprisingly quick and easy. The recipe intimidated me at first but I was actually really happy with the whole baking process for this cake, I usually have a hard time deciding if a cake is done or not and this one came out perfect.

My first week back into TWD may have been a flop for me but it's always fun to bake along with everyone and see their creations. As always check out the other amazing TWD bakers here.

Monday, January 4, 2010


My mother in law and a group of her friends were kind enough to make this quilt for Q. I absolutely love it, I plan to hang it on the wall because I love it so much and want to look at it all the time. I love it for so many reasons, the colors, the pictures, the beautiful pattern, the fact that it was made by a group of women who were thinking about me and my baby when they put their hard work into this. Mmmmmmm. so sweet. Without further ado... let me show you around our new quilt

Nine beautiful photos. The center is the picture we used on his birth announcement, with his name and birth info around it

I just love this face

and the reminder of those first sweet smiles during his first week at home with us. I even love this face

and I really adore this blissed out daddy face

and there's some blissed out momma as well

and precious sweet little toes

and check out this gorgeous backing, I love the fabric combos they used.

The littlest one has stamped it with his seal of approval (drool).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Welcome To The New Year!

How bittersweet the new year is. I love celebrating new years, it's such a beautiful fresh start that lets us reflect on the year we're saying goodbye to and dream about all the things we'll do in the new year. I have many personal goals I'm looking forward to working on this year (and a big list to work on too). The gist of my personal goals is to be more aware/present/in the moment, aware of my surroundings, aware of each moment passing, aware of my emotions and self and mostly aware of my beautiful son growing up and cherishing the moments with him and the rest of my family.

Another thing I'm doing to celebrate the new year is to participate in Hip Mountain Mama's One Small Change Challenge. The challenge is to make one small change each month leading up to Earth Day (April 22) to help our environment. At the beginning of each of these next few months I'll reflect on the last months 'small change' and then share what my new goal is. This month my goal is to take the bus. I love public transportation and having better access to it was a huge selling point for me in our recent move. I want to use it more often for errands, for outings, and mostly for fun.

Wish me luck on my 'one small change' and send me some suggestions for what I should do next month!