food & family

food & family

 

food & family

 

food & family

 

I'm enjoying catching up with my big girl after her amazing adventure to play in the snow…..

and spending time with my little brother who I had not seen in over a year.

Food, sunshine & hanging with family. Italian Opera on Pandora & spaghetti dinner at the picnic table.

Life is good~

 

Strawberry Pancakes

strawberry pancakes

 

I'm over at Rhythm of the Home for my last guest post today. I've really enjoyed sharing with you over there during the last month, and most of all getting to know so many lovely souls both along the way. Come visit today to find our favorite recipe for whole wheat pancakes topped with sliced strawberries and fresh honeyed whipped cream!

In other news, today's the day! We're loading up the car in a few minutes to head to the zoo for the morning and then we are picking up Jade and my brother at the airport!

Luke was up at 6 a.m. whispering to me, "Mama, this is the day. I can't wait to hug my Jader."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

~mindful monday~

~mindful monday~

 

Only from the heart can you touch the sky – Rumi

 

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The first mindful Monday was here. It can be a photo, art, quote, words, poetry. Anything that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are.

If you’d like to share yours…. please leave a link in the comments for others to discover.

 

puffaloes…..

puffalos

 

puffalos

 

He calls packing peanuts puffaloes. (rhymes with buffaloes)

I was making lunch…. the little girl was reading….

he was making puffalo soup.

That's when I heard some shuffling and the vacuum cleaner turn on…

Oh my.

That boy.

He can keep a mama on her toes for sure.

But when he told me he was just cleaning up puffalo dust, I stood back and let him go.

 

Happy Friday friends….. enjoy your weekend.

 

some gardening bits….

I thought maybe you'd like to see what's going on in our little suburban garden…….

 

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The last week has seen me rearranging, weeding, harvesting, and such.

We've been pulling up beets & carrots from the garden. Those purple carrots have bright orange centers and are the most beautiful carrot I've even seen. We love them.

We've had grasshoppers and some sort of caterpillar snacking on our chard & beet greens. I'm hoping we've mostly gotten rid of them. We've been plucking and squishing daily. One thing I noticed is that nothing bothered with the beet greens next to the cilantro patch, nor do they seem to love arugula like me. So I've tucked some cilantro and arugula in the corners of most of the beds in hopes of deterring the hungry little visitors.

New plants are going in and seedlings are sprouting up. I love wandering out there after a thunderstorm to check on everything. The contrast of the dark damp soil and new green sprouts make me smile. It's taken time… but I'm slowly loving this humble little suburban garden of ours. Having little ones squeal with handful of homegrown carrots they unearth fills my heart right up. They are so proud of everything they bring to the table.

What's going on in your garden?

 

my whole foods pantry

Today I bring you……my pantry. 

My friend Amanda awhile back said to me, "you totally have to blog your pantry." And while that was like, forever ago, I finally pulled out the flash and took photos. So uhm, here it is.

I figured a good time to share was after a restocking trip….

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

The pull out drawers are my favorite. I love them. Those and the butcher block island are a must have in the someday-forever-house

I'm in the midst of this class. Week seven right now and still loving it. I've been looking at my pantry a little differently and with a little more gratitude. There are a lot more beans in there now compared to 6 weeks ago. I'm cooking up double batches of beans these days and freezing half of them for easy dinner night. Just toss the drained beans into a quart mason jar and freeze. Hello super easy dinner. I love this!

As you can see in the first picture, I buy a lot of pantry items in bulk. This is the bulk option at my health food store. They do offer a few bins…. but the majority of it is in pre-weighed packages. Bonus – I don't buy sandwich sized bags anymore.

For storage, I'm a glass jar girl all the way. Louisiana is known for bugs. Cockroaches in particular. When we moved here we were told you had to spray for them. We did. Twice. Outside only. (it's a monthly thing). I decided that I would rather keep a very clean pantry/kitchen with everything stored in jars of some sort before I would spray for the four years we live here. We're a few months shy of three years and guess what? No bugs.

Favorite glass jar tip : Sharpie markers to label. They come off with a gentle scrub from a sponge. I recently started labeling our drinking jars/glasses at the beginning of the morning too. Guess who is tired of washing 4 times as many glasses as there are people?

Also, Mandy just shared her genius idea of flipping the lid upside down for storing frozen/dried goods if you have old school canning lids that contain bpa. We're hoping to convert our stash this summer with bpa free lids & rings.

Just for fun, here are some favorite whole foods books with excellent pantry tips : 

Feeding the Whole Family: Recipes for Babies, Young Children, and Their Parents by Cynthia Lair

   (Feeding the Whole Family was my first whole foods cookbook…. it led the way for changing how we ate!)

~ Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen by Amy Pennington

Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

my whole foods pantry

 

Eating whole foods is not cheap. Humanely raised, organically grown foods will always be more expensive. Sometimes I struggle with the amount we spend on food. ($200 most weeks to feed 5-6 people 3 meals a day) Heather shared something in class last week that really resonated with me, that helped me rest a little easier about this expense, this investment.

 

"Many of us who include high quality whole foods in our diet have found it important
enough to make sacrifices in other ares of the family budget to accommodate the
expense. Clothing is sought after second hand before purchasing new, dining out and
travel is limited, books/furniture/household goods are often purchased used, traded or
decided not really that important. Families seek entertainment by way of local parks,
libraries, free in-town music festivals, and nature activities as a way to go easy on the
budget and still have a life." ~Heather Bruggeman in the Whole Food Kitchen

 

This is so true for our family. Somehow when you know you have friends in this journey, it makes the road traveled all the more worthy.

 

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p.s. I'm over at Rhythm of the Home today too…… come visit!

 

mindful monday

mindful monday

 

these little feet + sunshine

perfect love

 

———————————————————————————————————————–

The first mindful Monday was here. It can be a photo, art, quote, words, poetry. Anything that speaks to your heart and leaves you feeling beautifully grounded right where you are.

If you’d like to share yours…. please leave a link in the comments for others to discover.

 

friday lovin’

It's Friday.

And not just any Friday.

But THIS Friday…………

 

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Yup, his three week training is done & he is on his way home. Want to hear my favorite Joe is coming home song? Here it is. I know, I'm silly…. but you have to understand there has been a lot of coming and going in this life of ours. In our first year of marriage the boat he worked on was gone 275 days. For reals. I'm not making that up. I could've helped G. Love write that song. (Well, you know, minus the finding another man part….)

The little kids & I are headed to the city tonight to pick him up. Their excitement is kind of like a crazy sugar buzz. It's pretty cute. The weekend plans include a crawfish boil with friends and hanging with that guy I love. (Yes!!)  March is just going to get better from here on out. I can feel it.

 

I'm leaving you with some inspiring bits for the weekend….

I love what Susannah shared here. In fact, I love Susannah. She's amazing. Truly.

Thinking of digging out our rubber stamp making supplies, inspired by this.

Thrifting tips and sharing.

A sweet interview with Rachel of 6512 and Growing.

I just ordered two tubes of this lip balm and had it sent to my teenage boy. It's going to make him laugh. A lot.

Light……..

Flea Market Fancy (newly printed) oh my!

It's the last day to sign up for this amazing art e-course. My girls & I will be there!

 

Happy weekending. See you Monday…..

  

on being creative…

on being creative

 

on being creative

 

on being creative

 

I took these photos of Luke as he experimented with soft pastels for the first time.

(The girls & I had just finished ours.)

My boy sat at the table and created in such a burst of raw expressive energy, it left me spellbound. I watched as he chose colors and shapes became people and houses. Some of the pastels broke of course, and he looked up at me for my reaction. "Be gentle," I suggested. The flurry continued until he stopped, eyed it up, and thrust it at me announcing, "it's done!

Then off he went…. me chasing after him to get the chalky colors washed off his arms and fingers.

The entire event left me thinking about the process of art and creating. People create for so many different reasons. Process, product, beauty, utilitarian, restoration, nourishment….

I am a firm believer that we all have an innate desire to create in our own ways. That being creative is an essential piece of feeling alive. Of being whole.

I also believe many of us let this creative voice fall quiet as we grow up. As we become "responsible adults". And you know what else? I know a lot of us turn 30 and that voice starts jumping up and down and we realize it's hungry after all these years of forgetting to feed it. (My mama tells me the same thing happens again at 50.)

So we start to listen to it….

paint, draw, cook, write, sew, dance, garden, cut, hammer, weld, mold, model, photograph, CREATE

Do you hear it?

In a recent email to a writer I admire, I told her I felt like my creativity voice was all over the place…. completely overwhelming me and making a mess. Taking over. I told her I felt like I was trying to collect rainwater with a colander. That once I cracked opened the door, it got swung wide open with such force that I was left dumbstruck. I felt disoriented and vulnerable.

Take it slowly… she offered. But keep going.

This was a gentle reminder for me to appreciate the process, the act of being creative. To be okay with smudged drawings and bad writing. To meet myself right where I am in this moment. 

With all of this swimming around in my mind & heart….. I watched my kids create with new eyes. The eyes of a recovering creative. It's kind of true, right? I suddenly felt the utmost significance in my role to protect and nurture the creative light within in them. That this could be my greatest work. 

Are you with me?