kid built

My kids build stuff.

Crazy stuff. Sometimes they even drive me a tiny bit crazy with the stuff they build. 

They worked on this cart all day long.

With such determination.

After Joe gave them a roll-y cart, they were unstoppable. {You know, the wheeled thing mechanics lie on to slide under cars. Does it have a proper name?}

Joe and I got such a kick out of their attention to detail. Head lights, seat belts, opening doors, license plate….. and Sophie used a power tool for the first time!

 

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Upon completion Luke ran inside to find a bike helmet.

"Let's go Soph!" he yelled.

The maiden voyage was successful and they pulled each other up and down the sidewalk and street, laughing and making rumbling car sound effects.

Joe and I were grateful for the flat terrain we live in, for just this brief moment. I'm quite certain these two would have found a hill to zoom down if they could!

Oh my.

 

brick by brick

It seems more often than not these days we are meeting in this place after the days end while I sip a glass of Joe’s amazing wine.

I do imagine the days leading up to our trip north to zip by as the to-do list gets checked off. I have sticky notes lining my kitchen cabinet door of things I need to do to. I should share a picture of that with you. Sticky notes are truly an amazing organizational tool for me.

The weekend was full. A trip north to get our eldest, and here we are all are under one roof for a brief bit. I’m loving up my little boy who is completely enamored by his giant-ish older brother. To see his face light up as he bellows “Sammy”. It’s a heart melter every time. 

But what I really came here tonight to share was our recent house project. We hauled these bricks one wheelbarrow at a time onto the patio. Load, unload, stack, stack. All in the hot, hot sun. 250 of them. Which is equal to three pallets.

 

brick by brick

 

brick by brick

air, tunes & math

 

brick by brick

the first row…

 

brick by brick

stacks….

 

brick by brick

progress…

 

brick by brick

 

brick by brick

smitten!

 

brick by brick

 

Over the past two days it’s come together. Somewhere along the way, we ran out of mortar and made a trip to the hardware store for some more. We also came home with a high powered fan….

which means I am currently sitting outside quite comfortably with my wine and enjoying the sound of peeping frogs mixed with live guitar music. We’ve got sore muscles and creaky backs. But I think, for us, the best of hard work is measured this way.

I’m looking forward to many cups of coffee & glasses of wine shared in this lovely space.

And for now, I hear the live music is ending in 15 minutes…. so I’ve gotta run.

See you soon…

~s

 

a bit of pre-coffee rambling…

IMG_5538

 

Thank you for the sweet words you shared on that last post. Your kindness never ceases to amaze me.

We're heading out the door in a few minutes to pick up the big boy from school.

Sophomore year complete. Wow.

I've packed a cooler full of food to to get us all through the 8 hour drive.

I'm waiting for the coffee to steep in the french press.

Each morning I am reminded that coffee is truly one of my very favorite smells. 

I'm loving up this hand picked bouquet from the backyard. (from my kiddos)

Last night when I tucked Luke in he squeezed me tightly and said:

I love you like a pumpkin mama.

I told him I loved him like a pumpkin too.

I'll see you again soon. 

Have a lovely holiday weekend.

 

~s


looking back

sam&i

Sam & I in Alaska, summer 1997

 

I shared a piece over on mamalode today.

It's about looking back on my own youth while navigating the waters of being a mama to two teenagers.

It's a bit serious & reflective.

But, you know, parenting is like that sometimes.

Mamalode is a site that pays writers per unique view.

So if you love it. Please share it. I would be ever so grateful.

 

xo

~s

 

just this…..

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some days are long

I know you have them too

you feel like you added more to the to-do list than you checked off

by 12:30 I knew today was one I'd be glad to tuck behind me

somewhere in the midst of it I tried to escape with my big girl for some sewing

(she's quite smitten with this)

it just didn't work out for me (mama duty called from the other room)

but somewhere in the midst of the chaos I decided I could at least sort scraps

my scrap pile had grown to about 3 feet

Joe has been referring to it as the elephant in the room

I sat on the floor and sorted & tossed

she sewed and talked

I really enjoyed just listening to her

watching her work her way through a pattern and sew up a garment

a garment!

it was the good moment of my day

now tell me, please tell me

what is your favorite thing to do with scraps?

I'd love to know

 

happy evening to you…..

~s

thrive + peanut butter banana pancakes

So, this is it.

This is what I couldn't wait to share with you…..

 

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Post cards!

These have been in the works for quite some time & I am so thrilled to have them in my hands.

The set is aptly named, thrive.

These are all photos from our yard. Food grown right here on this suburban street. A collection of things that have flourished and survived my amateur gardening skills and fed my someday homestead dreams. These are all treasured bits of focusing on simple beautiful moments over the past few seasons. There are sets of ten (two of each print) with soft white recycled envelopes in the shop. All tucked into a simple muslin bag. I hope you love them as much as I do.

 

And now, on to these….

Vegan Peanut Butter + Banana Pancakes

My people have decided these are even better than our usual pancakes. 

The peanut butter flavor is subtle and they are super moist due to the banana. Delicious with a bit of maple syrup and frozen blueberries. (or any berries, really!)

I made all of this in my blender. It's a ten+ year old refurbished cuisinart. Nothing really fancy. But you could process the oats in a food processor & make the batter in a bowl too. I like the consistency of the oats in the pancake… I blend them until they are a chunky looking flour. See the batter below…

 

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Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

1.5 cups oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

 

*Blend the oats until chunky, mix with remaining dry ingredients (these would be easy to convert to a gluten free recipe if you swap the wheat flour.)

 

2 very ripe bananas

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

2 cups non dairy milk

 

*Add the banana, vanilla, peanut butter & milk to the blender & blend on high, scraping the sides down. I find that pulsing it works the best.

You may need to add a bit more milk. Do so a little bit at a time, only making the batter just thin enough to flow smoothly in the blender.

Cook on medium heat until golden on both sides. I used olive oil on the pan, but coconut oil would be good too. Enjoy!

 

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hello from saturday

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hello there…

it's been a quiet week here in this space

and a busy week here in this house

quite by accident I did all the baking on Thursday

which means the kitchen is stocked with crackers, bread, fresh granola & cut up veggies for the weekend

why have I never thought of this before?

the big girl & I are 4 days into a month of eating vegan

we started a bit early for this, because we know it will be too hard to pass up fresh salmon for long at my parents

she can, of course, bow out at any time if it doesn't feel right for her

but for now, I'm grateful for the company on this journey

in other news, Solo kitty has found a home!

a perfect place for him & us

our friends are taking him in and he will be one pampered & loved kitty

and we're glad we get to see him again

also, his new papa is a jazz musician…

so his name seems all the more fitting

I can't get over how lucky he is to have fallen into our lives (sentimental fool, for sure)

I've got an awesome vegan pancake recipe to share here tomorrow

+ a little announcement

 

xo

~stephinie

photography as therapy

By this time, I imagine I've shared enough pieces in this space for you all to know that we are a bit like modern day gypsies. At least, this is how I've romanticized the often difficult task of packing up this family of ours every two to four years and moving a couple thousand miles away.

What I want to tell you, is this: I don't always like to move. Joe doesn't always like to move. The same goes for the kids. As much as we have adored this journey, sometimes it is more work than others. When you have no idea where you will be living in 10 months time, it can make for a sleepless night here and there. A wee bit of stress.

This is where photography comes in for me. If I focus on the big picture, on everything…. sometimes it's just too much to take in. Too many distractions. Too many things I'm not exactly loving. Too many worries that I can do nothing about.

Take these pictures for example. That freeway at the end of my neighborhood, not my favorite thing. The construction zone that took over the bike trail, the flood (HESCO) baskets that line the swamp. None of those are especially lovely to look at.

 

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But if I choose to zoom in on what I do love… my perspective changes. I can always find a little thing here and there. There is always a tiny piece of beauty.

 

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If I spend all my time focusing on where I'd rather be, I miss the magic that is happening right in front of me in the here & now.

determined wildflowers

frogs singing

green grass

busy little honey bees

the laughter of my little ones

All of these are moments I will someday hold dear. I'll forget about the other stuff. And you know what? I don't always have to take it all on. None of us do. What an exhausting task that would be. 

But to take that deep breath and choose to focus on that ladybug… that is goodness for the soul. Indeed.

 

fluff & fleas

Well…. so… you have read the about me page right?

You know that part about bringing home furry creatures… I haven't exactly outgrown that.

I had a day of paperwork yesterday. I ran to Joe's office to fax some things and upon leaving was met with a ball of fluff in the parking lot. Someone had just taken him out from under the hood of their car. Thank goodness they looked! And this someone had no idea what to do with this little ball of fluff. Joe had seen him sleeping on his own for over a week. He was filthy, and missing fur. I had a good idea he had an army of fleas. I think he weighs a speck over a pound. But I'm a sucker. I mean look at that little face!

 

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Fluff & Fleas

And so I took him home. In fact I hustled to the car before Joe came out of his shop so he didn't even have a chance to say no.

The poor little kitten was terrified. I wiped him down with a warm cloth and gave him a bit of food. That's when the purring starting. His purr is at least four times as big as him. Seriously. And he hasn't stopped purring since he got here.

Jasper our cat is not amused, and our dog Sid is trying to pretend he isn't here…..

 

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But the kitten has other plans….

 

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We've given him a bath, some flea medicine and he's got one huge appetite. All he does is purr. And due to him being all on his own… we thought we'd call him Solo. At least until we find him a good home and then his forever people can call him whatever they choose. We assume he got separated from his mama somehow. He's eating dry food with no trouble so he's probably 5 or 6 weeks old. He is the sweetest little ball of fluff ever. We've spread the word & have our fingers crossed.

Until then, he's got a warm place to sleep with more than enough love and food to keep him happy. Also, Sophie has a daily list that looks something like this….

1. play with kitten

2. feed kitten

3. brush kitten

4. ask Luke if he wants to play with the kitten

5. read with kitten

 

…..oh my!

 

weekend bits….

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Thank you for your sweet words yesterday.

You never cease to amaze me with your kind hearts. Truly.

I should really be making dinner right now, but I'm pretending otherwise. It's been dark and rainy all day here. The sun just peeked out from behind the clouds & the kids ran outside, so I thought I'd leave you with a few weekend bits of inspiration…..

I just found this food blog, and I love it.

I love this headboard too.

New fluffy wool quilts in the shop. Luxurious~~~

This photography course looks amazing.

Mine is coming next week.

This floor is simply gorgeous (I can't wait to see more!)

I think Grandma's house needs garden flags this summer.

Has anyone used these?

And yeah, I'm smitten.

Hold On & I Found You  love, love, LOVE!!

 

Happy, happy weekend to you friends.

xo

~stephinie