Monday, December 17, 2012

Dearest Charlotte


Nine days ago our daughter was born. For reasons we may never know, she decided that 36 weeks was enough cooking and was born happily and healthy at home. 

Four days old

We are all adjusting to the changes and so very grateful for how smooth the process was. I struggle to find the words to honor these experiences that have shifted our life in such profound ways. 

Thank you so very much to all those who have helped us and continue to help ease our transition. We appreciate your care more than we can express. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we adjust and strive to be the best parents for this incredible person. 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pebble Magnets


I have a fondness for small stones as many windowsill in our house can attest. On walks I often find myself with a few choice pebbles in my pocket tracing their edges with my fingers. 

I also love magnets. A couple years ago I combined my love for magnets with a couple other loves and made vintage typewriter magnets. This time, it's pebble magnets.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Coconut Oil Kettle Corn


Some time ago I received a request to do a post on coconut oil kettle corn, so here it finally is.

It's as tasty as you can buy but so much healthier! Coconut oil has countless health benefits and more are still being discovered. Unlike many of the other healthy oils (olive for example), it can be used for high heat cooking, which is perfect for kettle corn. 

After looking up a bunch of recipes, I experimented myself and have found the following to be spectacular!

Coconut Oil Kettle Corn

1/4 C coconut oil
1/2 C popcorn kernels
2T powdered maple sugar 
Salt to taste

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saying "no" to a baby shower


While both my husband and I are only in our thirties, we have spent years decluttering, 
purging, and generally downsizing our amount of stuff. I firmly believe that 
the fewer things you keep, the more special they are. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Garlic Harvest - 2012


With everything going on, this year's garlic harvest kind of snuck up on us. We had a couple meals of scapes, but having three different varieties of garlic meant scapes of different sizes maturing at different times. (for last year's scapes go here) My dear husband rescued some slightly woody scapes and made an amazing garlic scape pesto (yum!) and a couple weeks ago, pulled in all the garlic.

Here they are curing (gettin' their skins on) in the kitchen. We should have a good amount for planting and plenty for eating. We'll see what is our favorite and in a couple months make sure to plant plenty for next year. 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buff's girls - introducing day old chicks to a broody hen


We have wanted to expand our flock of chickens for some time and were planning on getting a new batch of chicks in the fall or next spring. In our flock we have two Buff Orpingtons that are known for going broody (trying to hatch eggs) but as we have no rooster, they will never be successful here.

We had one of our Buffys go broody this spring and after a few nights locked in the pen but out of the hen-house, she got over the feeling. When we found one trying again a month ago, we decided to order day old chicks again and see if she would raise them for us. 

Broody hens will sit on eggs for a few weeks to allow them all time to hatch, so we put in our order. A couple weeks later we got the call that our chicks had arrived. (Here's the video from our first batch)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Recovering our Diningroom Chairs


For my birthday (almost two months ago) my mother and I recovered the chairs to the dining set that came to us almost a year ago. Thanks mum!

The set originally belonged to my great-grandparents (Agnes and Nelson Johnson) and made their way through several lives to our home. My grandmother had recovered them years before they arrived here, and while I have a fondness for anything so "her" the stuffing was showing through and it was time for their next life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Heavy duty cleaning cloths


A little over a year ago, I made a holder for un-paper towels. While I love them and use them daily, I found I need a sturdier cloth for some jobs. The un-paper towels are perfect for any job where paper towels would do the trick but even though they're cloth instead of paper, something a little heartier is called for when it comes to more significant cleaning jobs.

Inspired by this post, I decided to make my own.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Latest Painting - finished at long last


Sometimes things take a while.

24"x36" Acrylic on Canvas

I began this painting in the old apartment, about 4 years ago. 
A month ago inspiration for how to finish it appeared. After a few weeks of adding the lacework and finishing the background I put the final touches on it last night.

It is moments like these when I fully realize how important it is to believe that things will happen well in their own time, if we will only be patient.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lemon Drop Chia Pudding


I've been experimenting  with different types of chia puddings for a bit and this was too delicious not to share. Another plus is that just about everyone I know could it eat! It's vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, chocolate-free, has no refined sugars, and is nutrient dense to boot! Perhaps I'll try a grapefruit flavor next and see how it does.

Lemon Drop Chia Pudding 

Mix together:

  • 1 can of coconut milk (I used full fat)
  • Juice and zest of 1 organic lemon (if you're using the peel it's best to get organic)
  • 1/3c chia seeds 
  • Sweeten to taste (I used about 1/4 cup of maple syrup)
  • 1t Vanilla extract. 

It'll take about an hour to fully soak up the liquid and won't solidify until it's been chilled for a bit longer. It's delicious for days - although I can't honestly attest to longer than a couple as it's never lasted longer in our house.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

200th Post! - Rhubarb and Raspberries


Between traveling and all the various events and possible events, almost another month has gone by. I'm still running and hope to do a 10k race next month. 

Spring is most definitely here with leaves on the trees an flowers everywhere. A recent trip to visit my family up in New Hampshire sent me home with rhubarb and raspberry plants. They've had quite a patch up there since I lived there and it was starting to take over the lawn. I was happy to take some off their hands and start patches of our own. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Functional Decor - picking a project back up


A couple years ago, I decided to make a copper wire tree. I have seen similar wire trees in window shops for years and decided to try my hand. Instead of using thin wire, I used a thicker gauge, hoping to make it a functional piece to hold jewelry.

The tree tipped over too easily without a strong base and so it was shelved until the muse felt like visiting again. 

She visited last week. I've been searching for inspiration for a piece of art for the bedroom and it struck me that I could not only create a base for the tree, but could incorporate it into a larger piece of work. 

A quick trip to the basement to see if we had any suitable materials quickly evolved into this:

A functional piece of art that incorporates two abandoned projects, scraps from the basement, and parts of a long unused household item.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vanilla Extract - Take 2


As promised, here is a post from a pre-holiday project that has waited until now so as not to spoil any surprises.

You may remember that a couple of years ago I tried making vanilla extract. I posted on day 1 and day 30, but no final results. After the allotted couple months from the recipes I had found, it hadn't intensified and was basically vanilla infused vodka.

Original batch at 30days
This time I wanted more! So I did way more! I  used almost half a pound (buy in bulk online) instead of the few for the original batch and steeped them for six months! 

The result was an intensely aromatic and delicious vanilla extract.

The deep color and aroma of the extract is solely from the vanilla beans without any added colors, sweeteners or dilutes. It is absolutely divine and cost a fraction of store-bought bottles of similar size and quality. 

Most was given away as gifts and I still have more than I'll use in the next year.  I'll fill up the jar again and by the time I run out I'll have a whole 'nother batch.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

We did it! I ran 5k!


We did it! We ran my first 5k race and ran every step of the way.

Since announcing the run a month before the race, my continued absence from this space has been very well occupied. I've spent at least one night in five different states and and traveled through five more several times each as well as continuing to train for the run.

Joe stayed with me the whole time and we clocked in at 42:10 which makes it a 13:35 minute mile. Based on how my runs had been going, I was aiming for around 45 minutes and am so pleased! 

 We're at the back right here. I'm carrying my coat. I brought a windbreaker to Joe's place on base but forgot it when we left to visit my aunt a few days before the race. Race morning it was 23 degrees when we arrived, so I started the run in my regular jacket and took it off when I warmed up.

It was so inspiring to run with such a vastly diverse group of people. There were people who walked every incline, people who sprinted and walked, the runners who did 5 minute miles and were done before we reached the half way point and so many like me - people challenging themselves to get off their butts (and buts) and do this.

Thanks so much for all the love and support, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next challenge.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Taking the New Year and running with it.


Phew! Since the last post (almost a month ago) we survived the holidays, prepared for a 2.5 month school for my husband, had an amazing singing party, and generally had a grand ol' time.

I have a backlog of posts to write and share (now that they won't spoil any holiday surprises) and intend to post a little more regularly now that there's time to breathe.

My big news (one that I'm a little nervous to share) is that I'm going to run a 5k!

My husband's military career requires him to pass their fitness test, which always includes a run. As he has never found pleasure in running, it has often turned into a chore. In an attempt to be a more supportive partner, I decided that I would surprise him by doing the Couch to 5k program (C25k) and registered us for a 5k race close to his course for Valentines day.