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Showing posts from August, 2010

Back To School Book Week {Cookbook}

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The second day in the Back to School Book Weekis cookbooks. Our beloved cookbook is the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I'm pretty sure everyone receives this book at some point in their life. I have yet to hear of anyone buying it for themselves unless it's a 1970's edition they found at a thrift store because their newer one has lost it's spine during use. This cookbook is definitely not the prettiest, nor is there a picture on everypage (cookbook snob alert, ahem!) BUT it's got tips, tricks, and every single type of legume and cut of meat you can imagine. It's our go-to and it is worn thin, loosing pages, and grabbed and slammed back into the shelf again. It has worked as our 'most-used' cookbook for a bit over 5 years now.

Honorable Mention goes to
The Prettiest Cookbook: Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros. I like a number of the recipes in this book, but I'm not gonna' lie, I totally bought it for the fantastic ethereal-vintage phot…

Back to School Book Week {Craft Book}

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I'm playing along this week with Eren from This Vintage Chica to celebrate Back to School Book Week since books are one of my favorite topics. Today we're talking crafts. This is my all-time favorite craft book for a number of reasons. Simple Sewing with a French Twist by Celine Dupuywas one of my very first craft books, and the book I return to over and over again for visual inspiration and to get refreshed with sewing. The photography is wonderful (think Anthropologie style) and the textiles are always top notch. Even her visual glossary in the back is fun to look through.
Unfortunately, I don't think this artist has ever come out with another book, or I'd snatch it up right away! It is quite a thick book and has a lot of patterns and projects to make, from a patio umbrella, to a gardening apron, sweet camisoles, and travel covers for clothes. Kitchen apparel, seat covers, and an entire chapter devoted to things like re-doing old chairs, curtains, and foot…

{This Moment}

Playing along with Amandafor the fourth week. I'm thinkin' this is going to be a regular thing. Enjoying lots of cuddles from the kids this week.

{Book Review} Home by Marilynne Robinson

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You may remember my reviewa few months back about Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Gilead. Homeis the companion book to Gilead, happening simultaneously in the same town, but the other main family in the story, the Boughtons.This is a bittersweet novel about the main characters, Jack, a loved but much worried over estranged son that the family hasn't seen in over 20 years, and the sister, unmarried at 38 and caring for the aging father. Gilead, it's former, just grazes the question of Boughton family secrets, since it is more of a letter to a son from his dying father, but the characters Jack and Glory do make small appearances. I found this book to be much more somber and heartbreaking than Gilead. The book is almost joyful, even though the subject matter is so sad. Gilead was some of the most beautiful prose in a novel I have ever read, Home, however, had lost that zeal for poetry. The story was good, however, I would not recommend this bo…

Letter-Learning Lukka: Preschool Time!

Lukka reading on the couch. One of his favorite activities with or without parents! Our little Lukka is now three years old (3!), and he has become much more interested in reading, asking questions, and wanting to know "What does this say?" It's high time he learns some letters! I have a few fun things planned for the kids this year including Ani's first swim lessons, a fun 12 week Music Time for both kids (siblings under 2 are free!), a few days at the gymnasium to see if they like to tumble, and another round of swim lessons for Lukka. That might sound like a lot, but stretched over nine months is not overwhelming to me at all, especially when each spurt is 6 weeks here, 6 weeks there. The only exception is the music lesson from Around the Corner Music Studio, which will be done before Christmas. I thought this year I could spend a good amount of one on one time with Lukka learning his letters; to sound out, and quite possibly, to encourage him to learn to read. It m…

Raspberry Babes at Sunwest Farms

Monday morning bright and early we met friends at local Sunwest Farmsto go raspberry picking. This is just the beginning of their year, and they are a small farm, so we were completely done (with three toddlers in tow) after about an hour. The kids loved being helpful with the berries and although small, they are packed with flavor.
The orchard also does U-Pick peaches, though since we're now at the tail-end of that season, they just had peaches for sale in their small shop. The prices of their farm fresh produce were bottom barrel, and each of us came home with a full 'bushel basket' full of zucchini, corn, peaches, tomatoes, raspberries, and eggs for under $11! I'd say that is a steal.
If you're local and want to head out to Sunwest Farms within the next five weeks (raspberry season will be in full bloom here in about 2 weeks), CALL AHEAD! This is a small farm and they only let one person/group go picking every other day. You need to call in advance to set up a ti…

Movie Review: EAT PRAY LOVE

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This weekend I went to a movie. This is a rarity. With the exception of BABIESback in May, I hadn't been to a movie in years. I saw this trailer once, and I knew I wanted to go. Pack up the best friend(1 of 2 who love to travel, otheris in Cambodia :) and we were off.
A lot of people told me they either loved the book, or they hated it, though none had seen the movie yet. I was excited. Whether or not you agree with the theme, this really is a beautiful movie. The scenery was to. die. for.
This movie is about a woman, Liz, who has recently gotten a divoce, then a younger fling, only to find out what she's been missing all these years is simply herself. She's a traveler, with a suitcase full of National Geographic features and pictures of her true love--the world. She takes a big risk to fully reaquaint herself with...herself; through a year of travel. Four months in Italy (Eat), four months in India (pray), and four months in Bali (love).
She 'feeds her way&#…

{This Moment}

Work, and play. Following along with Amandaagain (do you see a trend, here?). Have a great weekend!

Been Thinkin....

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This week I've been non-stop running, which is odd, since I didn't really have any plans. I've finally got my BIG PROJECT sooo close to being finished, I literally have to cut out a few posters (animals on posterboard), throw the scraps in the recycle box...and I'm DONE!
This project has taken me at least 40+ hours to complete, and in snippets of an hour here, an hour there...it seems like it's been FOR-EV-ER since I've had a normal time to relax! I'm happily awaiting that 2-3 hour naptime today, let me tell you!
In the spare slots of time, I've been:
Thinking about Maineand the beautiful Northeast in the autumn, and how I really wish Stefan and I could set a date, and go. To be continued next year...Running all over town to get this, that, and the other from Staples, Sam's Club, Dollar Tree, and the like for my HUGE PROJECT. (Weee! Done!)Remembering school has started, so we need to play at Tragoone more time before summer is over.Wishing …

{This Moment}

A little co-pilot action!

Follow along with {This Moment} by linking up with Amanda.

Movie Review: The Lovely Bones

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This is an interesting to movie to watch and review, because I had so many emotions ranging from fear and disgust to sadness and even hope. Just re-watching the trailer I had a tense stomach with the action that takes place.
This story was originally a book, The Lovely Bonesby Alice Sebold. It's about a little girl, a 14 year old who gets abducted by her neighbor and is trying to help her parents catch him while she is in the 'in-between'. The in-between, a glimpse caught by her brother in a drawing, is in between Heaven and Earth, with magical landscapes and mystical enchantments, all while appearing to be Earth-like in geography.
The story unfolds around Susie, the girl, her killer in present day (years after), and her family all trying to stay together the best they can. Anytime the audience sees Susie, they are seeing the images from her eyes, and there is one scene that is really and truly horrifying because of it's subject matter. This is not a 'gor…

Lancaster County Fair

Lukka with Oma feeding a deer at the petting zoo area.

If you're local, this post is your for. The Lancaster County Fairis in town at the Event Center this week and it is a great place to take kids. You can get free tickets at any U-Stop location for entry. My mother-in-law (Oma to my kids) and I took Lukka and Anikka to the fair last week and had a great time. Lukka finished his summer reading program from the library and he received a number of free passes to go to places all over town. The fair was one of them. He even received food tickets and [my favorite] a Prairie Landmilkshake coupon. We're going back again this Friday with some extended family in tow, but you can believe we're stopping by for another milkshake. And potato swirl. I love fair food! Some of the attractions at the fair are horse shows including barrel, English jumping, and standard 4-H equine such. A pet show including a cat, a dog, and a rat (I have no idea!) and static shows including the best cinnami…

Real Food Guide's Recipe: Green Salsa

I said yesterdayI'd share a recipe from the Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Food that we liked. I had a lot of tomatillos and cilantro to use up from our CSA box last week, and so when I saw this recipe, I jumped at the chance, since there were only four ingredients, and two of them I had, just wasting away in our fridge.

From Real Food, "Tomatillos are a low calorie food, offering very little fat, some fiber, magnesium, maganese, copper, niacin, iron, and Vitamin C...

Green Salsa

8-10 tomatillos, peeled
4 jalapenos (for mild salsa, remove the seeds)
1 T cilantro
2 t pureed garlic

Place all ingredients in a blender with salt to taste. Chop until thoroughly mixed. Add up to 1/3 cup water, if needed."

That's it! We liked this salsa, though I had to 'strain' it, since I put in a bit too much water. I don't think, if I made it again, I would use any water at first. I also omitted the jalapenos, simply because we didn't have them. This was actually the first time I…

Book Review: Vintage Remedies Guide to Real Food by Jessie Hawkins

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If you think that this title sounded somewhat familiar, you may remember my review postI did on the first book by Jessie Hawkins, The Handbook of Vintage Remedies. I love reading and learning all about health through diet & nutrition, herbs, natural body care, and more, so I didn't even think twice about buying this book before I read it. I had such a great reaction with the first, I knew I'd want this on my bookshelf, too (or with my cookbooks, as is more accurate for this volume).

Similar to the other, Guide to Real Food is broken up into many sections and chapters. The first few sections are devoted to the following:

The history of food and how its production has been adulterated in the last 100 years.What makes up a "real food" or criteria as defined by composition (minerals, carbohydrates, protein, fats, etc.).What types of oils/fats are good & bad.How food today is targeted to children and why that is so dangerous (very interesting chapter on…

Linky Love Saturday

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I really, really, REALLY want to see Micmacs , and was a bit sad when I couldn't go this week with some old friends. I guess I'll just have to wait until it's on netflix, because it's already gone!"Green & Gorgeous: Home Beauty Routine" has all types of tips and directions for making your own beauty products out of basic household items/food.I would have never thought to use Craigslistas a way to find cheap summer produce! Again, with the birthday partyideas; these people are genius!A smorgasbord offelt food tutorials, by the Crafty Crow. That one is going in the favorites section!A neighborhood 'book party'; ideas, props, pictures! So. stinking'. awesome!To spice things up, a juice reaction postin response to CNN's 'Negotiated Fidelity' stance. Bizarre, people!If you're in Lincoln, hit up the County Fairthis weekend for all day fun events. Don't miss out on the fabulous Prairie Land Dairymilkshakes! (Get free ti…

{This Moment}

Playing along with Amanda again this week for the third time in a row now. A glimpse into the fun we had at the County Fair yesterday. Of course, the petting zoo was a win, and my little ones loved the baby pigs! Local Tip: The Lancaster County Fair is open 9am-late everyday until next Friday and is an excellent place for kids. To get FREE tickets, visit any U-Stop gas station. Head out early before the heat! Rides (other than small children rides) don't open until 5PM. Go herefor the event calendar.

Baby Shower Gift for a Knitty Friend

I love my knitting group. Although I am the most sporadic member, and probably the worst knitter there (OK, I am the worst! :), they are a fun group of girls. All different personality types, ages, and job professions grace the tables at the South pointe Barns & Noble cafe on Wednesday nights (7PM if you're local!) to catch up, drink overpriced coffee beverages, and knit.
I especially love when one or more of the ladies are pregnant because we have a baby shower for them. Handmade knits + sewed gifts only! My kind of shower. Remember all the wonderful lootI got for Anikka? I loved it.
Last night we celebrated our knitty friend L'sbaby, who is due in about a month. Her theme in her boy's room is jungle so that was my inspiration. This:
turned into this! It's a quilt-sized play mat for baby. Each of those six plush toys (bird, palm tree, elephant, lion, giraffe, and gorilla) have an exact replica underneath it appliqued onto the quilt, with Velcro on each item. It becom…

{HTML} Class....or...I'm a Nerd

I can't really remember how I stumbled across the blog Here We Go, but I remember seeing an advertisement for an upcoming online class that I'd never heard of before. Learn all the ins & outs of HTML code in a 6 week (daily post) class called {HTML} Yourself. What an awesome idea! Since this is a fairly undiscovered blog, the class was very cheap, $40 regular, but I got a special deal at $30. A lot of people have signed up so far and I wanted to share about it here in case anyone was interested.
I have had the same blog design for...um...years? simply because I have no idea how to change it. Of course, there are 'blogger' layouts I could rework, but none of them look nice without spending hundreds of dollars. I just want to know how to do it, for future reference.
This is very different from the creative online classes I'm used to, but I think it will be interesting to learn how to do these things, since the internet, and Etsyin particular, is a good way to star…

Why We Love Our CSA {And You Should, Too!}

Or maybe this post should be titled, "What the Heck is a CSA?".CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a win-win situation between people who eat (!) and those who farm edible foods. :) Signing up for a CSA is easy as pie, but you have to do it early in the year to reserve a spot. Since the trends the last few years have started leaning towards eating locally, fresh, organic (no additives, antibiotics, or hormones), free range (roaming over land rather than in cages, and a more plant-based diet, a CSA is a wise investment. For three years...yes THREEYEARS I have tried to convince Stefan to sign up. Finally, this year, with part of our tax return, we did it! Sign ups usually begin in February, but if you wait til' April, most spots are gone, so the sooner, the better.photocredit For $580 per 20 weeks, we were signed up for the biggest box you could get with Community CROPS, the Veggie Lovers. We split it 50% with my mother every week (and also that price) and…

World Breastfeeding Week Aug 1-7

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This Sunday marked the start date of International Breastfeeding Week. I thought I would just talk a little bit about what that means. The icon above is the international symbol for breastfeeding. Of course, it is similar to the signs we see as "Male" and "Female" when looking for restrooms, but with this sign has come much support of breastfeeding women! There are now places specifically for nursing moms and their babies to go to sit down in peace and quiet, and nurse in privacy. This symbol is also used to support breastfeeding mothers, where ever that may be. It's a pledge to turn around our nations' health crisis by starting when babies are infants, by breastfeeding.

From WHO (World Health Organization)'s website on World Breastfeeding Week:

"World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the In…