Friday, August 31, 2007

We are packing and cleaning and racking our brains to remember everything we'll need because we are off to Massena, New York tonight! We can't wait...10 days of a much needed vacation visiting family and friends. We'll leave you with some pictures of random cuteness from this past week. See you when we get back!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Home beautiful

"Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
-William Morris

The longer I've been married and the better I am at keeping house, I wonder why I have some of the things I do. They don't serve any purpose and I don't particularly like them anymore.

We spent this summer slowly going through boxes of things we paid to move across the country...twice. Stuff that went straight from the box to the garage sale pile. We sold most of it last week at a family yard sale and the rest was loaded up and taken to Good Will.

Our garage and extra rooms are nearly empty now and I have to say it feels great to lighten the household load.

Which in turn makes room for those things I feel are either useful or beautiful. And this, I'm happy to say, is both. It's a beautiful baby hammock for Sawyer.

We got it a few weeks ago and my only regret is that we didn't have it sooner. The wood and fabric are gorgeous to look at hanging in our family room. It hangs from the ceiling on a spring that slowly bounces the baby and rocks them like they were still in the womb. I would imagine newborns just snuggle right in. Sawyer naps in it during the day and smiles every time I put him in it to bounce a little.

It was so worth the (slightly) hefty price to ship it here from Australia. I know it's true when my sister said it's something to be cherished and handed down to my grandkids. It is and I love it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

As promised

Here's the purple potato salad I made earlier this week. The peel itself and just under it was the darkest shade of purple. The inside was shades of light purple and white with dark purple streaking. Very pretty actually. They cooked up fast and I may have over-cooked them just a bit because the potato salad turned out to be half mashed/half chunky. I just used a simple family recipe...hardboiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, sweet pickle. It was delicious! They tasted very similar to regular baking potatoes and the color made the dish a little fun.

To go with the potato salad I made baked chicken and a simple green salad. This salad is my current favorite that goes with pretty much everything. In fact, we have it most nights. Any mixture of greens will work, my personal favorites are baby greens and red leaf. Then I add a small handful of raw walnuts and raw pumpkin seeds to each serving and top that off with feta cheese. I love the crunch of the nuts and seeds with the feta cheese. It's very simple to make and with the raw walnuts and pumpkins seeds, it's very very good for you.

The dressing I've been making lately is so yummy. It goes perfect with most salads and is especially good with this one.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

6 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T balsamic vinegar
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 T maple syrup or raw honey
1 T nama shoyu*
1 T white miso*
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 t oregano
Sun-dried sea salt to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Store in the refrigerator and it should keep for a few days.

from: Living Cuisine: The art and spirit of raw foods

*Nama Shoyu is a raw organic soy sauce and white miso is fermented soybean paste. I have made the dressing without both of these before and it tastes great. Recently I've been making it with the white miso and gives it a creamier, richer flavor which I love so I would definitely try to find the white miso...most local health food stores will carry it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Here's a few pictures of Ian and his animals. He's a pro at animal sounds now.

Hugging his hippo

Mooing like a cow

Croaking like a frog

Roaring like a dinosaur

Here's a few more pictures of Sawyer. We brought out the exersaucer this weekend and he loves it. He's so happy to be able to sit up and look around. I just couldn't resist posting these because of his smile. I'm bummed his toy got in the way of one of the pictures but you can still see his face lit up. He had his first appointment with his pediatrician today. He's very healthy and is in the 75th percentile for pretty much everything.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Every Saturday morning we pick up fresh organic produce from a local farm. We are a part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where we've bought a share. This is our way of supporting a small local family farm while enjoying very fresh (picked that week!) organic fruits and vegetables.

One thing that intrigued me about sharing in a farm was the idea of cooking seasonally. Since I'm not personally picking out the produce, I am at their mercy every week. I have to come up with recipes to fit the vegetables instead of the other way around. I've been able to try things I normally steered clear of in the grocery store . I've found I really enjoy swiss chard but don't really care for collard greens. I found you can cook and eat the greens of radishes and beets, and that for a very short period each summer, garlic scapes are available and let me tell you, they make a delicious pesto.

Our farm seems to specialize in unique vegetables. Purple potatoes, purple beans, and lemon cucumbers which taste exactly like normal potatoes, beans, and cucumbers only now adding a little flair. Purple mashed potatoes anyone? I plan on making purple potato salad this weekend so I'll take a picture to share.

This past week we got tomatillos... little green husk tomatoes mostly used in verde sauces/salsas in Mexican food. I made a salsa with them that turned out pretty good. It went really well with the Black Bean and Zucchini Chilaquiles dish I made for dinner tonight.

Our weekly share goes through November so I'm sure I'll have more fun foods to share with you. If you are interested in CSA's yourself, here is the link to find a local farm in your area.

***Ian helped me take the husks off the tomatillos and then he placed each sliced tomatillo face down on a cookie sheet to broil. It was such a sweet time , just the two of us because Sawyer was sleeping and Ian had my full attention. It struck me how few moments we've had like that since Sawyer was born and how much I missed them. I think we'll plan on making dinner together every night.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Sawyer turned 3 months old this week! He is such a happy baby. When he's not nursing, he loves to smile and coo. He started giggling a few days ago too! He's up to 14 1/2 lbs and has the sweetest little leg rolls. He's already taken more bumps than Ian did but there wasn't another 2 year old around then. "Be gentle" can be heard all day long around here. He seems to take it all in stride though because he smiles biggest for Ian.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Healthy Cleaning Products

Ian's at the age where he really wants to be involved with what we are doing whether it's taking the trash out with Jeremy, carrying groceries in from the car, or helping me clean the house. This has made me rethink what I'm using as far as cleaners and if I really want him touching them. So I've slowly been banishing all those harsh cleaning products with more natural ones. I have tried different homemade mixtures but none seem to clean as well as I like. But I think I've finally found it thanks to my sister. Here are the recipes if you are interested. My sister posted them on her blog. (yes! My sister blogs too!)

Since you make the cleaner yourself, you can try out different essential oils to find the scent you like. Nearly all will smell and feel cleaner than any artificial product you use. They are really very easy to make and definitely worth the time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A new baby!

It's another girl cousin for Ian and Sawyer. Makayla Mae was born on August 2nd with a full head of red hair! She's just adorable and fits right in with her two beautiful sisters. Welcome to the family Makayla.

Mackenzie and baby Makayla

Ian and Madison

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wanting a change

Lately I've been wanting to write. I love this little space of ours so much that I've made several attempts to start another blog to go along with it. Unfortunately, it just hasn't come together the way I want. So after talking with Jeremy, I'm going to just incorporate into this blog. Nothing big...nothing earth shattering....just a post here and there about what we are actually up to, or little things we've accomplished. I love cooking so maybe I'll throw in some recipes every now and then. My heart very much leans toward the more natural way of parenting from snuggling with my little ones in bed to giving them arnica for bumps and bruises. I may even include my favorite restful sleep tincture that has worked wonders on Ian. I love to research and read about everything so I usually have plenty of opinions to share :-). I'll be adding some links and lists to the sidebar and Jeremy has already informed me that he wants to post occasionally too. For the family back East...please don't worry...we will definitely continue with the pictures of the boys!

***Bonnie, do you recognize the flower? It's from your garden. I took this picture in 2002. It's beautiful isn't it?