Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Awards? ¿Para poco mí?

After making the decision to take my blog to a more "professional" level and at a faster pace, I wasn't really sure where it would really take me.  I am so happy and pleasantly surprised at all the positive responses I have been getting.  I have been connecting to other bloggers and moms from all over the world, sharing ideas and visions.  Emails and messages have been coming in from all different areas of the world with questions, praises, thanks-you's, and ideas.  It has blown me away.  I am truly excited for what is to come of this!  It has been very therapeutic for me to be able to write about my musings and thoughts.  Thank you all for the ongoing support and for reading what I write.  I feel a little shy and humble about all the wonderful responses that are coming my way but I seriously can't thank you all enough for giving me so much love.  My husband and I have been doing some serious brainstorming on what other steps and ideas we want to bring to my blog.  I am excited to try some new things out!

In the past two weeks my blog has received two awards!!!!  WOW!  I am overjoyed and honored to receive them.  One was The Versatile Blogger award.  The other was The Stylish Blogger Award.  Both from two different awesome bloggers!

The Versatile Blogger award was from Christine at Our Family of Four.  In a very lovely poetic way, she writes about being a mama,  a photographer, and loving crafts.  I have enjoyed reading her musings about the love for her family and her love for taking photos.  She has the cutest little family and I look forward to reading more about them.  Check out her wonderful blog, Our Family Four.

The Stylish Blogger Award was given to me by Crystal at These Happy Michie's blog, which she likes to call her journal.  She writes hilarious stories about being a mama and all the joys that come along with it.  She also owns a dayhome where she cares for 6 other children.  She writes to keep memories stored and savored for years to come.  I have enjoyed reading her musings, check her out.

Thank you both Christine and Crystal for sending these awards my way.  I feel incredibly honored.  I am going to combine the rules of these awards since they are SO similar.  The only difference is the Versatile Blogger Award asks you to pick 15 bloggers to send this award to and the Stylish Blogger awards ask you to send it to 1 blogger.  I am going to choose 2 bloggers...one for each award.  I know....I am changing it up a little!  

The Rules:

1.) Thank and link back to the blog that gave you your award
2.) Share seven things about yourself.
3.) Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers. (I am doing only 2 bloggers)
4.) Contact the bloggers to let them know you've given them an award.

Seven little things about little me:

  •  I work better under pressure and with a close deadline.  My husband thinks it is crazy!
  •  I am pretty strict about where everything goes in my kitchen.  Everything must have a spot in my kitchen.  The rest of the house...not so much!
  • I am obsessed with writing lists.  I have several notebooks with several lists inside of them.
  • I have a goal of making my children clothes, soon!
  • I love it when my husband plays with my hair.
  •  I day dream way too often about my future dream family farm house!  I might need a day dream intervention.  
  •  My power to love keeps growing as I get older.  

Two incredible blogs to follow:

A Banana Medley, written by Anna
She writes a very fresh feeling blog abut life.  Her love for photography, thrift shopping fashion, and yummy recipes keeps me intrigued.  She writes a weekly gratitude post, thanking four people or things that have brought her a smile that week.  I love it.  Check her out!

Living our Own Lives, written by Julie
I started reading Julie's blog about 3 or 4 months ago and we started communicating through comment love.  I seriously feel like we would be great friends outside of the blog world.  She writes about unschooling, her family, gardening, peace, and urban homesteading.  Just my style!  I love reading her blog and feel like I learn something new all the time from Julie.  

Check these ladies out, you won't regret it.

Thank you all for sending me so much love through my blog.  It is very much appreciated and keeps me going!

Happy blogging,

"Gratitude is the best attitude."  ~Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yearning for Spring

I am ready!  I am ready for more sun!  I am ready for mother nature to paint some colors on our trees, flowers, and bushes.  I am ready to get my hands and feet dirty while digging, planting, and tending to our garden and farm.  I am ready to get our baby chicks (yes, I said chicks.  I can't wait).   I am ready to watch new growth outside.  I am so ready for spring!

I am so ready that for the past week I go outside every single day and look around to see what new growth I can see.  I watch to see if the tulips and daffodils have started poking through the dirt.  I watch to see if the trees are starting to bud.  I listen for all the birds and maybe just maybe I can hear a baby bird.  When I do see new growth....I get REALLY excited!  So excited that I have to show my little family.  My husband thinks I am funny when I pull everyone over to see this small little green thing pushing through the dirt or forming off the end of a tree branch.  But I notice the small things and that is why he loves me. 

We have started our preparations for the growing season to start.  Our green house at our farm is up and will be finished in the next few weeks.  We are having a farm meeting this week and making our final decision on the seed order.  Then ordering the seeds!  YES!   We are preparing to get our chicks very very soon!  I can't wait to get out to the farm and to our back yard garden and start working.  I read that pregnant women who garden and farm have easier and better labors.  So...I will be out there on the farm everyday till I go into labor.

For those of you that don't know, we lease certified organic land with two other families to grow organic produce on.  Last year was our first year and our learning year.  This year, we have a better understanding and a feel for how mass gardening and farming works.  We are working on being able to provide CSA boxes for our local community and finding ways to educate the community on growing food and eating healthy.  Everything on our farm is done organically and with a positive impact for this planet.  Check out our Seed the Farm Organics facebook page!  I will be blogging a lot about this in the next few months......with recipes using our grown produce,  how to preserve what you grow for the winter months,  gardening tips,  lots and lots of pictures, and updates on what we are growing!  We do have a Seed the Farm Blog, which is somewhat in "under construction" mode.  I will be blogging there too but linking back and forth with this blog.

32 days till the first day of Spring!

Enjoy my "new growth" pictures.....

My hydrangea bush is budding!!!!!
What are you growing this year?

Happy growing (soon),

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" -Robin Williams

Monday, February 14, 2011

Menus and Love

Happy Love Day everyone!  In our house, we celebrate our love for each other everyday, so today is just like yesterday!  BUT we do have a little fun with different projects, treats, and card making when celebrating Valentines Day.  Today I am just going to share with you a couple pictures of how we prepared for our "love" day.

Last week, we did some watercolor painting on recycled watercolor paper.  We then cut hearts out of the painted paper and made homemade cards with them.  All of our card making was from materials I already had at home.  The only thing I bought was the recycled watercolor paper, recycled card stock, and a cute owl stamp.  We had a lot of fun creating our own cards. 

This morning I made chocolate chip pancakes for my boys.  They were delicious!   My son and I then continued our morning with decorating organic chocolate cup cakes that I made last night.  At Whole Foods I found organic red licorice hearts and red sprinkles that were naturally dyed from beet juice.

On to our menu for the week.  Last week was unusual for us, our menu got a little messed up at the end of the week. We are usually pretty good at sticking to our menu but life happens and we just go with it.  At the last minute my husband got an out of state photo job and had to leave for the weekend.  So the menu for the weekend, got a little rearranged.  SO you will see a couple repeats this week because I didn't get to them last week.  Recipes and pictures will be coming soon for the cookbook recipes.  With the seasons slowly changing, I am getting excited for the growing season to start and fresh produce to start arriving.   Eat smart everyone!


MON:  Cod with Fennel Butter, Steamed Artichokes, and Roasted Rosemary Potatoes (*Recipe will be posted next week)

TUES:  Huevos Rancheros with Kale

WED:  Homemade Veggie Pizza with a fresh garden salad

THURS:  Salmon Croquettes and a fresh green salad (*Recipe will be posted next week)

FRI:  Farm meeting and dinner at our good friends house. 

SAT:  Falafel Pita Sandwiches with homemade Hummus and Tabbouleh 

SUN:  Out to dinner to celebrate my amazing Mother's Birthday!

Kale and fruit morning smoothies

For more meal planning inspirations, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie every Monday.

I hope everyone has a great Valentines Day and a beautiful start to your week.

Happy loving,

"Where there is love there is life."  -Mohandas Gandhi

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Saving the Planet through Play

One of my One Small Change Plans for this month is being outside more and enjoying what we work so hard at home to save...our environment.  I think I have done a pretty good job with this.  While my boys sleep, I go for early morning walks almost every morning either with girlfriends or with my mama.  My family and I have been going on lots of mini adventures outside to our backyard, on walks, or the park.

When we go on these fun adventures outside, it usually become a small little learning experience for my son.  We have been talking a lot about Planet Earth and what our planet gives us.  I have been sharing photos with him of the planet, animals, trees, different beautiful sites from around our world and I am amazed on how much he is loving it.  My son is the future and if we want this world to be a better place,  we need to start with our children.  They hold our future and what happens to it.  So the first step, is showing our children how beautiful and amazing this world is and in return they will naturally want to protect what they love.

When we go outside on an adventure, everything we talk about at home starts applying itself.  My son will see the trees and say.."Those big trees help us breath."  Or he will find a earth worm and state..."He is BIG.  He is crawling around all this dirt and helping it."  I get a great big grin on my face and then it opens up to a wonderful conversation about trees or worms or whatever subject he picked all by himself.  This becomes not only a learning experience for my son but also for myself.  I am learning so much about myself and this world just by being a mother.  It is truly amazing.

Here is an organization called, Cool Moms Care,  that helps mothers encourage their kids to change the world around them by helping the environment, other people, and themselves.  They provide tips and ideas for "5 minutes of caring."  Since being a parent is full time, this site gives moms (and dads) tips that are quick and easy to apply to any busy schedule.  I just found this site and can't wait to read more.  It is also a sister site to Cool People Care, that provides more quick tips for everyone (not just parents) on how to make a positive impact in this world.  All you cool people out there, check out these sites!

Here are a few pictures from our park adventure on Tuesday.  They are all taken by my husband, who is the master mind behind the camera and who teaches me everyday on how to be a better photographer.

Happy playing,

"All the woulda-coulda-shouldas layin' in the sun, talkin' 'bout the things they woulda-coulda-shoulda done... But all those woulda-coulda-shouldas all ran away and hid from one little did." -- Shel Silverstein, Author

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What is support?

I want to share with you all a poem I received during one of my Doula Training Classes.  I went home the night I received it and read it over and over again.  It really made me think about what kind of Doula I want to be and what I want to offer to mamas.  This poem also made me reflect on the support I have given and was given to me in my past and present.  I realized that this poem isn't only for mamas in labor but also for the female relationships in my life.  My mama, sister, grandmothers, aunts, girlfriends, cousins, coworkers, and all the females in my life.  It is so important to support each other and to do it the right way by always being there unconditionally.  Being surrounded by positive, encouraging, and supportive females is a necessity in life.  If you look at past and present tribes from around the world, the women of the tribes always worked together and supported each other in a generous circle of love and kindness.  I think in today's American society we need to remember our female relationships and think about the support we give them.  Can we reach out to women we don't know but that needs support?  Can we love more?  Can we support more?


Support is unconditional.
It is listening...
not judging, not telling your own story.
Support is not offering advice...
it is offering a handkerchief, a touch, a hug...caring.
We are here to help women discover what they are feeling...
not to make the feelings go away.
We are here to help a woman identify her options...
not to tell her which options to choose.
We are here to discuss steps with a woman...
not to take the steps for her.
We are here to help a woman discover her own strength...
not to rescue her and leave her still vulnerable.
We are here to help a woman discover she can help herself...
not to take responsibility for her.
We are here to help a woman learn to choose...
not to make it unnecessary for her to make difficult choices. 

Peace, love, and understanding,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

My husband and I love this soup.  We make it a lot, especially in the winter months.  It is perfect with a piece of warm homemade bread and a fresh green salad.  

This recipe is actually a family favorite from when I was a little girl.  My mom loves this soup and she has been making since we were little.  It comes from The Moosewood Cookbook by Molli Katzen.  I highly recommend this cookbook and any of her other cook books.  Her handwritten recipes are all vegetarian and easy to prepare!  I have fond memories from my childhood of playing "restaurant" with my brother and naming our restaurant Moosewood Cafe.  We even made a menu based on the cookbook.  I think my mom might still have it and it would be a blast to see it again! 

HUNGARIAN MUSHROOM SOUP (from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

Ingredients:   (yields 4 to 5 servings)
2 tablespoons of butter (I actually substitute olive oil instead of butter) 
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon mild paprika
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoon  flour
2 cups of water
1 cup of milk (I use non or low fat)
black pepper, to taste
1.2 cup sour cream (I use non fat)
finely minced fresh parsley, for the top

Directions:  (1 hour to prepare):
Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch Oven.  Add onions, and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes.   Add mushrooms, salt, dill, and paprika.  Stir well and cover.  Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally .  Stir in lemon juice.

Gradually sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir another 5 minutes or so over medium-low heat.  Add water, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in milk; add black pepper to taste.  Check to see if it needs more salt.  Whisk in the sour cream, and heat very gently.  Don't boil or cook it after this point.  Serve hot, topped with freshly minced parsley.


Happy Cooking,

“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.  For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.” -Louis P. De Gouy

Monday, February 7, 2011

Menus and Voting

I am so humbled and honored that the judges at Paper Mama decided they liked my photo and placed me in the Top 30!  I am thrilled to be chosen with so many other great photo submissions.  YAY!  I am really excited!  So the next step is to get my friends and family to vote for me.  The top four with the most votes will win!  I can't believe I even made it to the Top 30.  Like I have said before, I NEVER win things, so this is new and fun for me!

So if you feel so inclined, would you pretty please vote for me!!!!!  I would SO very much appreciate it.  My number is 24 and it is under Peaceful Mamma.  Go to the Paper Mama post and vote at the very bottom.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

My husband and I decided to put our cook books to more use. I use a lot of online recipes when making meals, which is great and very easy but I have a huge collection of wonderful cook books.  I will be choosing at least two recipes from our cookbooks a week.  The following week, I will be posting the recipe with pictures to share with you all!  I am excited to share some of these delicious recipes.  My Hungarian Mushroom Soup recipe will be posted this week.

As much as possible, we make sure the recipe ingredients are organic, fresh, in season, and sustainable.  We do very well with not using canned or boxed items.  If the recipe calls for a canned item, we will substitute with a fresh item if it is in season.  If it is not in season, we use what we have frozen or canned (in glass jars) from our summer/early fall season (like tomatoes).  Some of our local grocery co-ops also have a great frozen section with lots of local frozen produce.  Of course it is hard to get away from certain canned items, like olives and coconut milk.  To be honest, those are the only two items I can think of that we buy canned!

During the summer months, we preserve and can in glass jars a lot of produce.  I can't wait to share the recipes this summer with you all.  I hope you are all doing your best to fight for the food revolution and eat healthy, organically, and sustainably.


MONDAY: Leftover Hungarian Mushroom Soup and Apple, Walnut, and Endive Salad

TUESDAY:  Whole wheat spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce and steamed broccoli

WEDNESDAY:  Cod with Fennel Butter and roasted potatoes & brussels sprouts. *Recipe will be posted next week

THURSDAY:  Vegetarian Taco Salad  (We omit the tomatoes, for season reasons-more about that in a later post.)

FRIDAY-  Homemade Pizza with homemade dough. 

SATURDAY- Salmon Croquettes* (recipe will be posted next week) and a green salad

SUNDAY-  Polenta & Vegetable Bake (Not using the vegetables from the recipe.  Instead we are using all the leftover veggies from our week and our homemade preserved tomato sauce.)

Extra Cooking,
Valentines Day Baking & Treats (I will dedicate a whole blog about this later this week.)

For more meal planning inspirations, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie every Monday.

What are you cooking this week?

Peace, Love, and Understanding,

“Don’t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. There are a great many food-like items in the supermarket your ancestors wouldn’t recognize as food (Go-Gurt? Breakfast-cereal bars? Nondairy creamer?); stay away from these.” -Michael Pollan

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Heart Is Yours- Valentines Photo Challenge

The Paper Mama

I am joining Paper Mama's Valentines Photo Challenge today.  I have been practicing a lot with my photos and editing, which in turn has made me more comfortable and quicker with the camera.  So this challenge was a great exercise for me.  My husband and I don't usually use a lot of heavy Photoshop editing with our images, we like the natural and organic look, so I had to think outside of my elements a bit.  It was lot of fun!  I might have to do this more often.  The original photo is in the post about my Valentines Heart Felt Wreath

My son definitely has my heart!  It truly is amazing how much love you instantly have for that little person!  It is endless and bottomless!

Thank you Chelsey @ Paper Mama for having such an fun challenge.

Happy creating,


"The greatest science in the world; in heaven and on earth; is love."  -Mother Teresa

Valentines Heart Felt Wreath

My goal to be more crafty and start making my own decorations, clothes, curtains, blankets, etc is all becoming real for me.  I am enjoying the process of learning new crafts and projects and excited to get them going.

For St. Valentine's Day I found this very cute wreath at a blog I have loved reading for a couple years now, The Idea Room.  It looked pretty easy so I decided to try it.  I loved it!  It was a fun experience, from going to JoAnn's to get the materials, preparing the felt (with my little helper), to finishing, and taking pictures.  The Idea Room suggests buying 3/4 yard of felt and that was a perfect amount.  I had a few scraps but I will be using them to work on my sons felt board that I am making.  No waste!!!!  I finished yesterday and I am enjoying it hanging up in my living room. 

You can find the directions to this wreath at The Idea Room or at Design Sponge

Here are my pictures of the process.

My materials.
My lil helper bringing me more felt circles!
Half way done!
All done
What a cute model!

He is my heart!

What are you making this week?

Happy crafting,


"Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."  ~Elizabeth Stone

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Menus and My lil Kitchen Helper

I have said it before and I will probably say it a million times more.....I LOVE baking bread and that includes all kinds of bread.  Pizza dough, pie crust, rolls, biscuits, and all the kind of yummy bread you can make! Last week, we made homemade pizza and every time I make pizza I always make the dough myself.  It tastes so much better and we stay away from any preservatives or processed ingredients that store bought dough might bring us.

My son has showed an interest in cooking and helping in the kitchen.  YES!  Every time I walk in the kitchen and start cooking or even cleaning, he drags in his little chair, steps up on it, and says "I want to help, mama."  I love it.    So last week when we made pizza dough, I made some extra so that he could help and have his own dough to play with.  He made us bread sticks!  While waiting for the pizza to cook, we enjoyed them.  I told my son,  "Your bread sticks are so good!  I love them."  He responded with, "the trick was rolling the dough ssssloooowly."  There you have it everyone, the secret cooking trick of a 3 year old!  My husband and I giggled, it was so incredibly cute.  Our son has been quite witty lately! 

Enjoy some pictures of our dough making experience.
The pizza dough before the final rise. 
Enjoying the bread sticks he made!

Last week menu went well!  The Jamaican Curried Shrimp & Mango Soup was delicious.  We really enjoyed it and plan on cooking it in the future.  I am not trying any new recipes this week but making some family favorites.  We are still doing everything we can to eat organically, sustainably and as healthy as possible. 


MONDAY-  Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, and Salmon

TUESDAY-  Out to eat with my little family @ Hopworks Urban Brewery 

WEDNESDAY-  Black Bean Soup and Spinach Quesadillas

THURSDAY-  Spinach Ravioli with homemade pesto sauce.  Steamed kale and a fresh green salad.

FRIDAY-  Fish Tacos and homemade Spanish Rice

SATURDAY-  Hungarian Mushroom Soup and Baked Potatoes.  (Soup recipe will be posted on Saturday)

SUNDAY-  Super Bowl~ Bean Dip and Homemade Pizza

Extra cooking & baking:  Pretzel Bites (my hubby LOVES these) 
                                   Bran Flax Muffins (great breakfast muffins) 

For more meal planning inspirations, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie every Monday.

What are you cooking this week?

Happy cooking,


"While we try to teach our children all about life, Our children teach us what life is all about."  ~Angela Schwindt

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One Small Change- February

I never win things.  Never!  But yesterday I won!  I entered my January's One Small Change at the One Small Change blog giveaway and they choose ME!  Little 'ol me!  I won a homemade eco-friendly coozie from Peaceful Peacock.  I am so excited.  Thank you Suzy from One Small Change and Julie from Peaceful Peacock!

My plan for February's One Small Change is, as usual, going to be a few small changes.  There is just always so much to do to help this planet and the people on it, that every month I usually come up with more than just one change. 

February's Plan:
  • I will be sewing and making my own produce and bulk reusable bags with my mama.  We always use our own reusable grocery bags but find that I am still using the plastic produce and bulk bags. I did reuse the plastic bags but they eventually get torn or yucky, so I end up throwing them away.  UGH....it kills me every time I throw away those bags. So I ordered some reusable produce bags from reuseit.com and those will work perfectly.  BUT I wanted to make my own bags, so that I can make them more personal-able and practice my sewing skills since I have sewing plans in my future.   My mama and I will be using muslin fabric because it will hold my bulk purchases as well as any produce.  
  • I signed up for one of my city's tree plantings in a local wetland.  My husband and son will be joining me on this one. I believe it is important to always involve your kids in activities like this, to teach them about "being the change."  If you are interested in tree plantings in your area, check out your city's website and volunteer information. 
  • I also signed up for SOLV's neighborhood cleanup.  We will be going to Portland's NW industrial neighborhood to help clean up garbage and litter.  I am excited to bring my camera and take pictures in this area too.  SOLV is a wonderful organization that focuses on cleaning up Oregon's land....beach, rivers, parks, and streets.   I have worked with them before on the beach clean-ups and plan on doing it again this year in March to help clean-up, Manzanita Beach, my favorite beach and the one I grew up on! 
  • I will also be focusing on my family and I being outdoors more this month.  Why work so hard to save this planet and not go out and enjoy it?  Of course, we love being outside and we do lots of outdoor activities but with the weather being cold and wet the past two months, it has been hard!  So I will be refocusing on outdoor activities.  With the seasons changing soon and our farm getting ready for Spring, we have lots planned to be outside and to enjoy our beautiful mother nature. 
I will be sharing how all this went at the end of February with lots of pictures.  Check out my first One Small Change to see why I am doing this challenge or check out the One Small Change blog for more ideas about environmentally friendly changes you can make.

What changes are you making?

Happy February,


"He that plants trees loves others besides himself." -English Proverb