A glass of Jamaican Lemonade anyone?
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Deserves a summer-like dinner!
Sloppy Joes on organic, whole wheat sprouted buns with sweet potato fries
Brown meat along with diced onions and green pepper. Drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients, simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sloppy joes are too soupy, uncover until desired consistency.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
And these two vine baskets
However, the real treasure of the day was simply sitting outside and watching the kids revel in the beautiful, summer like weather. They ran, rode bikes, talked to bugs, blew bubbles and splashed in the cool water from the spigot. Sometimes I look at others with outward signs of wealth and think, how lucky. But this afternoon, I experienced the real wealth which so abundantly exists in my own life. The diamonds in my own backyard.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Genetically Modified Organisms
And they are rapidly becoming a part of the foods we eat each day. Right down to our chocoloate chips!
Why am I taking the challenge?
Because as a Mother and consumer, I want to know the food I'm buying and preparing for my family is safe.
To join in on the challenge, visit Real Food Media. This is a rolling, 30 day challenge to educate and raise awareness about GMOs. Perfection is not needed (which is perfect for me!)
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
What began as a temporary solution has now become a permanent part of Ash's lunch box! Not only does using the cloth napkins cut down on waste, but it helps reduce our consumption of paper towels. And as a family of six, disposable paper products is an area of the grocery budget I'd like to rein in a bit more.
Even though I'm not much of a seamstress (read - I can't sew AT ALL!), I'm thinking it wouldn't be too difficult to find some squares of fabric and make cloth napkins on my own. I could probably even hand stitch the edges. I sense a new project in the works!
Friday, April 17, 2009
There is alot we would change about our circa 1970's house if money were no object. The wood paneling in the family room, the harvest gold master bath, the faded lime green carpeting in the living room. But in the meantime, we're learning to be content with what we have and make small changes as we are able.
A few weekends ago, I decided to do a mini-makeover in the kitchen. Just one small corner. Here you will see our open storage in the kitchen. At the height of my couponing, we decided we needed extra pantry space. So we bought two bookshelves from Target and put them in the kitchen. You'll see it's a bit cluttered with plastic baggies of bulk goods and some boxed items that aren't apart of our diet anymore.
Since our need for extra storage space has decreased (less boxed items, less space needed), I moved one of the bookshelves out of the kitchen. It not only makes the kitchen look more open, but it also makes the space more functional. You can now easily access the light switches and the plugs that were hidden behind the shelves before. And use the cafe table next to the shelf. I also went through and purged any items that contained high fructose corn syrup and/or too many additives.
The top shelf now holds some of the bulk goods in glass containers that I've been buying from the thrift store. For the spices and remaining bulk items I didn't have containers for, I placed them in baskets nabbed from the kids' bedrooms.
Now, I just have to figure out what to do with the wall space above the cafe table. It's screaming for something. I really liked the look of the herb crates in this Lettered Cottage kitchen makeover. Something similar with baskets matching those on the shelf would be cool. Also loved this framed fork idea at The Nesting Place.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
One of our favorites is Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins. It's a basic but very versatile muffin recipe. When I've not had fresh or frozen blueberries, I've easily substituted bananas or ground flax seed and on occasion have just made them plain.
Soaked Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
1 1/4c organic rolled oats
Overnight, soak the rolled oats and whole wheat flour in 1 cup of water with a tablespoon of organic lemon juice added.
If you're new to the Nourishing Traditions methods like I am, you may wonder what the soaked oatmeal and flour are going to look like in the morning. Sort of like muffin paste, but don't worry!
In the morning, add the egg, sucanat, baking powder and melted butter to the soaked oats and flour. After adding these ingredients, I let my batter sit for a minute just to moisten the soaked oat and flour mixture a bit. Blend ingredients together. Slowly fold in 1 cup fresh or frozen organic blueberries.
Fill greased muffin cups and bake at 425 F for 20-25 minutes. Then enjoy!
This post is apart of the Nourishing Gourmet's Nourished Start Breakfast Carnival.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Considering past occurrences, this should have been expected. It really seems like every time we reach some personal or financial goal, something happens. This week, we just reached the halfway point of our Baby Step 3 emergency fund goal. The sink breaks. Last year after we completed our initial emergency fund, the upstairs shower broke and the roof in the sun room developed a leak, damaging the hardwoods. As we neared the end of paying off our debt in Baby Step 2, Reed was admitted to the hospital, the transmission and water pump in our van needed to be replaced and Dave's car also had engine issues. And then as we finally did pay off our last debt, the dishwasher broke. Coincidence, I'm beginning to think not!
Small things irk me, to the nth degree. Being aware of this, I'm trying to stop before I react. To realize that in the grand scheme of life, these "things" aren't important. And that maybe my attachment to them is too great. But why so many numerous attacks on such a small level?
It was after reading Jenn's post this morning about A Woman Inspired Conference, that the small attacks began to make sense. In short, God seeks our obedience with the small things. He wants our "yes" in those areas. So it makes sense the enemy would attack on the small level! Therefore, my defense has to be saying yes to God with each setback and frustration. Finding His lessons for me in each small trial and not giving myself over to the negative feelings the enemy would have me believe.
Slowly, I'm learning.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The seeds the kids and I started a little over a week ago, have already started sprouting! I guess when you start late, it doesn't take long for the exciting stuff to happen LOL! The long, tall seedlings are tomato plants and the smaller ones are the basil. Still left to do on our container gardening checklist is get some containers (a must!), more soil and get the lettuce and bell pepper seeds going.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo'me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
In Jesus' time, the dogwood grew
To a stately size and a lovely hue.
'Twas strong and firm it's branches interwoven
For the cross of Christ its timbers were chosen.
Seeing the distress at this use of their wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:
"Never again shall the dogwood grow
Large enough to be used so.
Slender and twisted, it shall be
With blossoms like the cross for all to see.
As blood stains the petals marked in brown
The blossom's center wears a thorny crown.
All who see it will remember Me
Crucified on a cross from the dogwood tree.
Cherished and protected, this tree shall be
A reminder to all of my agony."
~ Author Unknown
Monday, April 6, 2009
Earth Fare also featured two natural cleaner recipes in their Healthy Savings publication this month.
Natural Tub & Tile Cleaner
1 c vinegar
1/2c hydrogen peroxide
30 drops lavender essential oil
ETA: I'm seeing comments from this thread at Passionate Homemaking, that mention vinegar and hydrogen peroxide should not be combined together as it changes the properties of both (okay to use together, just not mix). Also if using hydrogen peroxide for cleaning mixes, it should be stored in a brown colored bottle.
Natural All Purpose Kitchen & Bathroom Disinfectant
2tsp baking soda
15 drops tea tree & eucalyptus oil
30 drops orange, lemon & lavender essential oil
*I added 15 drops of tea tree oil to the above tub and tile cleaner recipe and basically used it as an all purpose cleaner. Worked great and I loved the scent of the tea tree oil!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
2 gallons 365 whole organic milk
3 Synergy kombucha
2 loaves organic whole wheat bread
1 365 brand organic long-grain brown rice
1 Annie's organic cheddar bunny crackers
1/2lb organic green lentils (bulk)
2 cans 365 brand Wild Alaskan salmon
1 can 365 brand organic coconut milk
1 can 365 brand organic tomato paste
1 bunch organic Dino kale
1lb organic rolled oats (bulk)
1/2lb organic raisins (bulk)
1 Eden Foods organic shoyu sauce
1lb organic broccoli bunch
5lb bag organic russet potatoes
Total oop: $64.24
2 cans Muir Glen organic chunky tomato sauce 28oz
1 Zico coconut water
1lb grass fed ground beef (local)
2lb organic bananas
1 container whole organic mushrooms 8oz
Total oop: $20.52
Lowes Foods (apple juice B2G3F - $6.08), Target (diapers - $17.33) and ALDI (toilet paper, paper towels and dish detergent - $5.84)
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Today, we put the seeds for the organic Roma Paste tomatoes and Genovese sweet basil in toilet paper roll seed starters. Originally I thought about using a fish tank as a greenhouse for our starter rolls. But I found the rolls actually fit nicely in a large, plastic salad mix container. Once we get some more organic soil mix, we'll get our heirloom Rouge de Grenoblouse lettuce seeds started. Plus I'd like to pick up some green bell pepper seeds or seedlings.
Can't wait to get our little garden started again this year!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Need a mental break from the constant gloom and doom talk?
Go On A News Fast - Take a break from the 24/7 news coverage and turn off the TV.
Make a List of Your Simple Pleasures - This is another idea from Simple Abundance. Create a list of those small, ordinary parts of life which bring you joy. Sometimes they are so much apart of life that they can be easily overlooked. For me, it's the way Reedy's lips curl when he smiles. Or the feeling I get when I see Dave's car pull into the driveway at night, knowing we are finally all home and safe. Or eating an exquisite piece of chocolate. Writing out the list brings to your awareness the small joys you experience each day.
Focus Outward - Turn your attentions to the needs of others. Charity doesn't just mean large monetary donations or work out in the mission fields. It can begin at home with those who are around you each day, it can be a smile as you walk past a stranger, a held door or a simple thank you.