Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The First of Many Annoying Gardening Posts-2012 Edition

For all of you lucky enough to spend time with me in real life, we all know how I have been obsessing about my garden for quite some time.  Actually, I started talking about clear back in January.  And again in March when we discovered our garlic was growing back.  So, I guess we all know about my nerdy obsession and this post comes as no surprise. 

We've started prepping the garden in March and got our early stuff in a while back.  The peas are doing really well and we actually have a few carrots and onions growing. 

And of course....the garlic....isn't it lovely?  And HUGE?  It's the biggest of the eight we planted.  I wonder what it's going to look like when it's ready to be harvested.....
The one thing that I hadn't planned on this year is all the rogue plant volunteers that we've had.  We counted about 21 volunteer green bean plants and three volunteer cucumber plants.  It's made planning the garden a bit of a challenge.  But I just couldn't pull them out after surviving the winter and growing this spring! 

So we transplanted them into rows to make it all a little more workable.  They're looking a little droopy today but I'm hoping they perk up soon.  Preferably before we plant the rest of the garden around them. 

We also got this funny little potato pot this year.  It's a double bucket contraption to make it easier to grow potatoes and harvest new potatoes.  I wanted to try potatoes this year and this seemed to be a good way to start small.  As soon as it starts flowering we can check for new potatoes.
We're planting the rest of the garden this weekend and I'm so excited!  And maybe a little crazy.  This year I'm really trying to enjoy the journey of gardening and not just the results, like I have in the past.  This is quite the goal when you consider my irrational fear of spiders.  Whatever happens, it will be quite the adventure that I will be sure to keep you posted on with pictures and everything.  You Are Welcome!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day at Our House

Although I did spend most of Mother's Day weekend sick I did manage to enjoy the holiday.  Because can I not with these two beautiful girls?!  Seriously, it just does not get any cuter than this.
On Saturday we went to the Farm Fest at Wheeler Farm.  Technically I dragged my sick and cranky self through Wheeler Farm and still managed to have fun because I was with my cute family.  And then we came home and I crashed for a while.

On Sunday I was the very lucky recipient of the illustrative gifts of devotion from my children.  They were so happy and proud to show me their cards and pictures.

And I loved all the answers on their Mother's Day card that they made at church.  Here's a sampling:

Translation: Surprises

Translation: Super Mommy
When asked what mommy's favorite chore was Babs put a question mark and Lolly said "none".  My girls know me so well!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book of The Week-Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes

It's been a while since we did a Book of the Week so we really need a lot of bang for our buck.  Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes was a fascinating read.  This book really made me think and look at things differently.  Although on the surface it seems like a radical change in the way we approach homemaking, as I got in to the book I realized it actually discusses a radical return to the way homemaking was originally approached prior to the industrial revolution. 
I had to read this book slowly (especially the first half) because it just had so much information to absorb (all referenced in the end notes) and process.  The second half of the book went faster for me because it discussed specific people and how they live the radical homemaker lifestyle.  The book not only focuses on the many different ways to live the lifestyle, but it also discusses the similarities that seemed to connect all the radical homemakers to each other.

I loved how this book didn't glorify independence, but focused on an inter-dependence that we can have within our local community.  None of the radical homemakers were able to provide for their every need completely on their own.  Instead they would trade what they did have....extra produce, arts, crafts, skills, time, energy, etc.....for the things that they needed that they couldn't provide for themselves.  That is where the importance of our community comes in.    

But of all the many things that I learned from this book, there is one thing that stood out for me the most.....there was not one "right way" to do it.  It is not all or nothing.  Every little baby step you take towards a greener lifestyle (or whatever particular goal you have) really does count for something and moves you that much closer to your goal. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Favorite-Bowling Babs

Although this isn't as good as seeing it in person, this video is still pretty awesome. 
Happy Friday Everyone! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Breathing Space Retreat

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Breathing Space Retreat at Daybreak.  It. Was. Awesome.  It was completely different from any other blogging event I've ever been to.
First of all, after arriving on Friday afternoon, I attended a style class taught by Becki of Whippy Cake.  It was fun and interesting and hopeful.  The thing I liked most about her class was that style is not approached in a way that makes people of a less than perfect body type (!) feel like they can't be just as stylish as someone wearing a size zero.  Plus, she passed out a handbook of basic information for style, body type, coloring and face shape.  That way I can refer to it whenever I'm having a fashion crises.  So...daily.
Here I am with cute Karina from Karina's Challenge

My next class was called Living Essential, which I was actually not scheduled for, but crashed anyway.  It was lots of fun AND I learned how to make soft scrub bathroom/kitchen cleaner out of natural ingredients and essential oils.  No know I'll be sharing that later.  With pictures.  And maybe smell-o-vision.

Friday night was the long awaited Stepford Wives Party!  
This was my Stepford outfit.  Believe it or not, I got the dress, belt & purse (not shown, but super cute) for less than $20 at Savers.  It's probably a good thing I found it all on my first shopping attempt or it may not have happened.

We got to enjoy the lovely ensembles and company and new and old friends and have a yummy dinner provided by the Corner Bakery Cafe.  We got a chance to learn a bit more about Daybreak.  The thing that stood out for me the most is that Daybreak keeps honey bees on their property to help ease the environmental issue of a lack of honey bees.  That really spoke to my hippie heart.  Plus, they announced the House That Bloggers Built....lots more info here.
That is totally my hands.....KNITTING!

I think the class that I really enjoyed the most and was so excited I had signed up for (I forgot what I'd signed up for) was knitting. KNITTING!!!  Technically I've only done 2 rows, but I'm loving it already.  Plus my friend gave me some of her extra knitting needles and some self striping yarn (which totally fascinates me) so I'm super excited about it.  I'm currently knitting a dish cloth.  It may be the only thing I ever knit, but I may hang that dish cloth up on the wall to properly honor it.
Showing off our hawt knitting skills with Jessica of Utah Deal Diva

I was also able to attend the Cooking For Your Family class that was taught by The Food Nanny.  Although I already have family dinner as a priority, it was an inspiring class that reinforced the importance of family dinners.  There was one thing that she said that really struck home with me.  She said that whatever else you're doing, wherever else you're going throughout your day, you need to have a fulfilling life at home.  You need to have your own routines and traditions and family life.  When she said that it really struck me that that is the reason behind so many SAHM's that are unhappy with the lifestyle.  You can spend your day running errands, going to activities and attending play dates, but eventually you have to go home.  And if it's not a happy place, you're not going to be happy.  It made me very grateful for my home-body, sometimes hermit-y, way of life.  Although I am FAR from perfect (ah ha ha ha ha ha), that particular thing has not been a struggle for me because I honestly enjoy hanging out at home with my little family.  How could I not?!

She also said that if you don't cook dinner on Monday, then your chances for cooking the rest of the week are pretty low.  I think she's probably right.  I've never used her meal planning techniques or even looked at her cookbook, but I think I'm definitely going to spend some time with her cookbook to see what yummy stuff can be added to our meal rotation list. 

My last class of the retreat was a Hair/Make-up/Style class that was lots of fun.  She shared with us some easy techniques for hair and make-up.  And showed us how to use the True Birds band to do some really cute hairstyles, which I've already used on my girls.  I'm hoping to figure out how to use it to curl Lolly's hair because that girl has some seriously long hair and loves for it to be curly.  We'll keep our fingers crossed for that one.

I had such a great time at the Breathing Space Retreat.  It was so fun to catch up with old friends and meet many new friends.  And I loved learning a few new things that I can use in my life.  And knitting.  I'm seriously so excited about the knitting!  I don't know if this will become an annual retreat, but if it does, I totally recommend going.  Hanging out with friends and learning some fun new things is the perfect combination for a rejuvenating weekend.  Maybe I'll even see you there!  And if you're lucky, I'll bring you a dishcloth.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recipe Swap Wednesday-Mini Quinao Cups

I found this recipe a while back through a link on Facebook that lead me to Iowa Girl Eats.  Although I haven't tried a lot of her recipes, they all look good and the few I have tried have been super yummy.  Plus, she doesn't use a lot of processed ingredients which works well for me. 

I have been trying to find more yummy quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") recipes for our family and have been super happy with this recipe.  It's so good that it has recently been requested for a birthday meal (the birthday girl/boy get to pick a week's worth of meals the week of their birthday for added specialness).  They are really that good.  Here's the link to the original recipe (which I have never actually made) but I'm sharing the versions here that I've made for your viewing pleasure.  I even have pictures with this one!  Go me.

2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
3 eggs
1 cup broccoli
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (your choice of sharpness)
1/2 cup ham (I've made them without ham & it was still yummy)
1/4 cup parsley (I don't usually add this)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 green onions (I usually forget the green onions...)
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients except quinoa.
Then add the quinoa.  Spray your mini muffin pan liberally with cooking spray and spoon mixture in.  Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Makes 24-28 cups.

Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labors.  Not only is this pretty healthy, but your family will LOVE them.  Seriously.  And they can be served for any occasion....brunch, dinner, appetizer, midnight snack if there are any left.  (There are only leftovers at our house if I double the batch.  And there are only four of us.  It's that good.)

I've also tried a Mexican flavored variation and substituted the ham, broccoli and parsley with tomato, avocado and cilantro.  Mmmmm....good stuff.  And I'm looking forward to some other substitutions this summer with VEGGIES FROM OUR GARDEN!!!!  Ahem.  I'm a little excited about our garden. 

Let me know if you try this recipe out and if you come up with any yummy variations!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Color Me Rad 5k...Conquered!

This past Saturday the girls and I got to participate in the Color Me Rad 5k in Orem, Utah.  And to be quite honest, we had A BLAST!!! 

Here is CG with the girls before the race began.
Don't they look excited?!  They have no idea of the fun that soon awaits them.

And here are the girls making a run for it once we got started.
Here we are with our friend at the end of the 5k who walked with us the whole time.  Even though she's a runner and just had to be twitching with wanting to run.
As people finish they have a big Color Finale.  Don't you wish you were there?!
I took the double stroller since I figured the girls wouldn't make it the entire 3-plus miles.  This cute little 5 year old walked the first mile or so and even enjoyed having color randomly sprayed on her.
And I'm super duper proud of this cute girl!  My Lolly girl walked the entire time.  Except for when she was running. Not only did she walk the whole 5 kilometers, towards the end she was getting sore and had a stitch in her side and STILL insisted on finishing because she wanted to walk the whole thing!

Overall, I can easily say this was the most fun I have ever had walking a 5k.  Not only do we highly recommend it since it's the funnest 5k EVER...AND we'll be doing it next year, but it was cool enough that it will be shared at Show & Tell this Friday.  Now that is what I call Success!

**Disclosure: I was given an entry for Color Me Rad (and one to give away on my blog) because of my involvement with the Breathing Space Blogger Retreat.  All opinions are my own.  And Lolly's.  And Babs. 
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