Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let's Get Cookin'

If you haven't tried cooking with a 4-year old, you don't know what you're missing.
This week my little one has been studying the letter "G".
So she pulls out this fabulous cookbook she received for her birthday, flips to a recipe for Granola, and says, "This is a G, can we make it?"

I know, brilliant.

If you haven't heard of Mollie Katzen, I encourage you to check her out.  She has some great cookbooks, for adults and little people.  My favorites are The Moosewood Cookbook and Simple Suppers.  My 4-year old loves Pretend Soup and Salad People.

So let's make Granola!
First ... collect the ingredients ...
... make sure you pose ...

... show Mommy the step by step instructions ...

... put it all in the bowl and start mixing ...
... like totally get your hands in it and squish away!

... and when Mommy's not looking ...
... sneak a taste.  I mean, who wouldn't do that?  You know you would.

Spread it in the pan and bake it.

When it comes out of the oven you add the dried fruit ...
and it looks like this:
Totally yummy!

Here's the recipe:

Letter "G" Granola
(adapted from Salad People by Mollie Katzen)

*mix together:
3 cups of old fashioned oats
2 cups of raw pecans
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar

*whisk together:
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 TBS vanilla
*pour over dry ingredients and mix well to coat.  Spread into greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking time.
Remove from oven and add 2 cups of dried fruit.  We used raisins and cranberries.  Toss well and let cool completely.  Then break up into chunks.  We love sprinkling it into yogurt!

Finally ...
... after all that hard work and learning, take a much deserved break!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This is my 100th post.
Just thought you might like to know.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Girls' Room

When our 3-year old became a 4-year old we figured it was time to get her out of our bedroom and move her in with her older sister.

 I know what you're thinking ... 
yes, we had the baby in our master retreat love nest ...
for 4 YEARS!
I know.  It was time.

Imagine the excitement our oldest daughter had at this prospect.  She has had her own room for 15 years.  And now she has to share it with a little sister?  Yikes!

Now the bedrooms in our house are pretty small.  So we needed to be creative with how to fit everyone and everything in the space.

I searched the Internet for bunk beds.  And I found a great corner unit that is actually called a captain's bunk.  This would be perfect, I though.
Until I saw the price.
Good grief!
Have you priced children's bedroom furniture lately?
Obviously I had not.
We needed to tackle this from another direction.

So I called my daddy.
Have I mentioned before that my dad is a master carpenter, painter, craftsman, and all around amazing handyman?
Seriously.  He can make, do, craft, create and fix ANYTHING!

And now my girls have the coolest bedroom ...
all thanks to Papa!

Here's my 4-year old to take you on the grand tour ...

So my dad actually built this bunk bed from scratch ... it's way better than anything I saw online.
My 4 year-old LOVES the steps.
She has the top bunk.
My oldest is on the bottom, which is actually her existing bed.  My dad built the bunk addition to fit right over the top!
Look at all the great cubby holes for books and storage!

Take a look at the books my oldest has on her headboard ...
Austen, Defoe, Bronte, Dickens, Shakespeare.
Impressive, yes?
She's super smart.

Alas, we still haven't purchased a twin-sized mattress for the 4-year old.  So for now, she sleeps on her crib mattress and has this extra fun space around it to play.
Can you see the ABC border on the wall above the bed?
You know, we're always thinking education around here.

The wall paint colors are Cheery Pink and Lettuce Alone.
The ceiling is a mix of white and blue ... sponged on all sky-like.
The flower accents are something we made out of a foam craft kit from Oriental Trading Company.  I put Sticky-Tac on the back and let my 4-year old place them where she wanted.

Look over the edge ... there's even some room to hang all those pretty princess dresses!  Not an ounce of space was wasted.

Here are the shelves underneath the top bunk where my oldest keeps books, DVDs and other important stuff.

Across the room is a $29 shelving unit that I found at Lowe's a few years ago.  It works perfectly for storing games, toys, knick-knacks, and the TV and VCR for watching the old beloved Disney tapes.
Behind that green sheer curtain is a little bay window area ... a great space for playing or hanging out.

Speaking of hanging out ...

So a HUGE thanks to my Daddy/their Papa for the awesome new bed.
How cool is that?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Doin' My Part, part 1

I've decided to step it up in doing my part to save the environment.
If you don't know by now, deep down I'm really a hippy earth mother-type.
Or at least I want to be.  I'm trying.
I grind my own wheat.
We have a compost box in the backyard.
I take my own reusable bag to the store.

Exciting, no?  But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

There has to be more I can do.
I don't want to be political about it.
I just want to be wise and take care of the earth God has so generously given to us.  I think we can all do a better job at that.
And I also want to save money.

So call it what you want ...
earth mother

I'm calling it smart.
And I'm going to try and do something or make a change every week.  Some will be little, some will be big, but they all count.

This week ...
I am hanging a clothes line, 2 actually, across my back patio.

I cannot believe that I have never had a clothesline!
Growing up, it seemed like everyone had one.
I remember helping my grandma hang clothes outside to dry.
They always smelled so good.  There was just something about watching fabric flutter in the breeze that made me think everything was well and good.

I was doing some research on clotheslines.  Did you know it's actually illegal to have a clothesline in some neighborhoods in some towns?  I don't know, I may be breaking the law.  (wait until I get a few chickens ... I'm sure I'll be a criminal!) But I'm hanging my clotheslines this week and I'll be back to post photos for you.

So do you do your part?  Are you frugal?  What do you do?
I'm taking notes.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I love this commercial!

This just makes me smile every time I see it! 
I want to be one of these when I grow up! Wanna join me?  
What fun we'll have!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How I Spent a Week ...

Here's what I did for a week when I was sick and I really didn't venture out of my bed.

I used a lot of these ...

I watched the entire first season of this on DVD ...

I discovered hulu ... who knew?  
And I watched all the episodes of this short-lived show ...

I read through a bunch of old copies of one of my favorite magazines ...

And along those same homesteading, farm-living, organic life-stylin', romantic country notions, I drooled over MaryJane Butters' books and discovered this great magazine too ...
I revisited some old dreams and plans about living on a few acres, raising chickens, milking a cow and growing our own veggies.
I love that dream.

And the only thing I ate (drank) the entire week was this ...
Chocolate Milk!
And I lost weight.
I think I may be on to something.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Just where have we been?

I wish I could say we have been on a grand vacation.
But no.
We've all been sick.
No, not the swine flu.  At least I don't think so.
I don't know because we don't go to the doctor for stuff like that.  All we needed was time to rest and heal.


I thought of a bunch of blog topics while I was resting.  Of course none of them come to mind now that I'm actually blogging again.


But I can give you this ...

My 4-year old playing Candy Land.
In her pretty pink princess dress.
Of course.