Simple Moments v.II

agoldenafternoon-9School is here again!  As much as summer was especially AMAZING for me, I know that life needs the routines of the every day.  Summer wouldn’t be a gift, though, if it wasn’t a deliberate break from the ordinary, right?  It was indeed appreciated.

Homeschooling friends, have you signed up for the free Wild & Free content bundle?  There are so many inspiring homeschool mamas sharing their wisdom and stories in there!  The first PRAIRIE bundle is free, then you just pay $19/month after that to keep the content flowing!  This next month you can find ME, in the GARDEN edition, sharing a fresh tomato risotto recipe and tips on how to cook with kiddos. Go and sign up here!

This last week brought some simple moments I wanted to remember:

// The boys made wooden boats.  I LOVE that they are old enough to go in the backyard and build something from their imagination,using a hammer and nails. //

// Getting back in the granola game with my old favorites, pecan and vanilla.  I posted the recipe here this week. //

// Jack was so sad it was summer because he missed doing math.  Go figure. //

// Math-u-see blocks are part of every school day, but seeing the manipulative picture below makes me think of these wooden math blocks I just saw on Etsy here. //

// FINALLY got my vintage 5-panel door hung up in the kid’s bathroom!  Praise the Lord for finding a handyman and progress! Now, to find the piece that makes the fabulous glass handle turn.  I think my littlest guy ran off with it somewhere. Ruh roh. //

//I attempted to help my extremely tactile kiddo with letter writing by breaking out the shaving cream option.  Quite simply, it didn’t go as well as I’d like, but it did create 30 minutes of bath-time fun for the boys. //

// Every kid loves the time of year when costume magazines come nearly daily. Not sure whether to thank them for the few quiet minutes it allows or shake my fists for the junk mail. //

// Snap-circuits are amazing.  I’ve been storing them away until school started.  Have you tried them?!  The instructions are easy for the kids to follow and they love the fact that they can make an electrical circuit that creates explosive noises. //

// Peach roses forever. //

// Ice cream in a can doesn’t work with regular goat’s milk,  FYI.  Fat is necessary so cream is the only way.  Guess I’ll have to go out of my way for some raw cream so I can have some. San Diego, you can find raw milk options from Organic Pastures at some Sprouts and the little Boney’s Bayside Market on Coronado. La Mesa Sprouts is the only one I’ve actually seen it at. //

// I’ve been taking a lot of clay and salt baths lately, trying to get rid of some yuck stuck in my body during the gut healing I’ve been undergoing.  The happy effect of this is I’ve been getting some reading done. Any good books you think I can’t live without reading? //

// Experimenting with some new board balm options.  Coconut oil seems to be the only option that brings the least amount of rancid effects.  Mineral oil is a spawn of plastic so it’s weird that people think it’s cool to put it so near their food. I’ve been using a coconut oil and beeswax combo.  So far so good.  There’s a convo happening on my IG about this here. //

// Filling our pantry shelves with as much homemade canned tomato sauce as possible before the season is gone. I started with is Better Homes and Gardens recipe here, I just added the roasting element and kicked up the garlic. //

// The blessings of a backyard sunset. //

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Pecan and Vanilla Bean Granola

Processed with VSCOcam with s2 presetI love the flexibility of summer which allows us to go where we want or stay put if we desire to put up our feet a little longer.  I’ve loved the healing and purposeful rest that I was able to experience this summer.  The last few years have been rough on my body.  The rest was necessary and appreciated.  Now that Fall is only a few weeks away, I am ready to embrace this new season, where relaxation gives way to routine and pattern.  For me, the routine brings some of my favorite weekly food preparations.  Inspired by the Kinfolk Cookbook, this week I chose to get back in the granola game…

Pecan & Vanilla Bean Granola

3 cups oats 1 cup pecans (or any nut)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded

1/2 cup flax seeds

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup melted ghee or coconut oil

1/4 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract

Preheat oven to 300. Combine all ingredients and spread on a baking sheet lines with parchment. Bake and stir every 15 minutes until the granola feels dry, about 45 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

(Adapted from the Kinfolk cookbook)

Simple Moments v. 1

simplemoments13You guys probably don’t know this about me, but I was a ridiculously devoted scrapbooker for many many years.  I started in 6th grade.  Growing up, I worked as a janitor and my first major purchase was a film camera.  It cost me $254, if I’m remembering correctly.  I spent a lot of what I earned on developing film and I don’t regret it for a second.  Eventually, I was indeed that crazy person who would spend an entire hour on 1 page.  Wow, if I could go back and tell myself to find a better use for my time!  Obviously, I had to learn the hard way.  Fast forward to marriage and a new baby.  By the time Faith was crawling, I realized that this hobby and I were breaking up.  I was frustrated that I seemed to have the only baby who cried all day.  Why couldn’t she just let me work on HER baby book?  Distraction was in full force as I tried to wrongfully twist my calling and season of that time.  So funny to see how God weaves his plans and lessons in our life. We all know the crazy motivated little girl she is today!

I COMPLETELY see why I had my little Faith before an easier child.  God was molding me and showing me the things that weren’t necessary in my life so I could eventually understand how to drink those moments in, not just journal, cut, paste, and embellish them to pieces.  For me, it had become a part of my life that didn’t belong in that season of difficulty. So, I switched fully to a website I had started in 2002, before she was born. This continued for many years, even when I had Jack and Dean.  Then I realized my (little!) spare time was getting zapped again.  3 kids that were 4 and under.  WEBSITE OVER.  I may not have been working on that website during the day, but I needed that rest of the mind and soul at night and I didn’t even know it.  The season was missed again.

Fast forward, I start this particular blog in 2010 as a way to connect with friends and family far away who wanted recipes and tutorials.  My husband traveled all the time so I had a lot of evenings at home while the kids were sleeping.  We had left the church I grew up in, following years of growing apart in our understanding of God’s grace and our view of His love towards more than those who have their names in a member book.  We were rejected by friends in the process and carried from that place a further conviction that God’s love looks a whole lot different than we had experienced, up until that point.  His arms are wide and open.  I felt alone but hopefully for what was over the next hilltop.  In this season, instead of sharing about my kids, I wanted to offer up the things I was learning and experiencing.  This space has been more about sharing skills, information, and travel…something I LOVE doing and it has been very healing.  After that stretch of time, my husband traveled less, I had made a new group of friends and I wanted to just be with him and these ladies, sharing laughter and tears as we went.  It has been a lovely season and I’m so thankful for the hurt that has finally been removed from my heart through truth spoken in these friendships.  I’m finally starting to understand this “season” thing!

This new season is upon me where those babies aren’t crawling around (oh, how I miss it!), nobody is potty training or needs their bottom wiped, and my kids have even learned to play with each other (something I never thought would ever happen).  Change within ourselves is good and I’ve learned that even though I wanted to start something and do it exactly the same for each child for 20 years, that didn’t happen.  It took some time, but I’m OK with how God worked it out.

There will still be recipes and loads of things that are inspiring me.  It’s been a joy to have met some of you lovely readers in person and hear what you’ve made and tried from my site.  In my soul, I just feel that you, like me, don’t have time.  We don’t have time to read tons of blogs and live our life in the way we should.  If you read my blog in any sort of regular sense, I am truly honored.  Only a few blogs appear on my screen for soaking in every week.  The rest of my online stops are quick ones for recipes or how-tos, as it should be.  Anything more would be a distraction from the fullness of life out there waiting for me to grasp and devotion to the people who need my full attention!  God needs my eyes in a certain direction and I don’t want to miss his nudges.

All of this to say, see the season you are in for what it is…a season.  Tomorrow you might find yourself in a new place.

For myself alone, I wanted to start keeping more of a journal of our memories, experiences, and recipes.  I take pictures with my camera ALL THE TIME, but don’t have time to blog the “how-to” for everything. ;) I don’t know how often or for long I’ll do this, but I’m OK with that!  I don’t want to miss the season again!  I hope you enjoy soaking in these moments during your week.

Some simple moments I want to remember this week:

// Jack asked me to take a picture of him because Grandma wants a close picture of him.  She told him my pictures are too far away and she can’t see his face.  Here, Grandma ;) //

// We harvested all of our Thompson seedless last week because japanese beetles were on the attack.  Turns out that our insect book says the main things they eat are grapes.  Good to know.  I also made a fizzy frozen grape and lime drink I posted on IG here. //

// The pool is in full swing and we had people her every day last week!  Fun to see our friends so often. //

// After several months of no garden because the chickens had eaten it, dirt had been gradually added back in and the garden is reborn.  Thanks to my husband for lending his muscles. //

// Roast 4 pounds of tomatoes, 1 thickly chopped red onion, a head of garlic, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of oil on 425 for an hour.  Blend and use as pizza sauce, squeezing the roasted garlic from it’s casing before you blend.  It’s the best pizza sauce I’ve ever had.  You can thank me later. //

// Obsession with this heirloom tomato, Humbolt Fog, and vinaigrette salad continues.  I posted the dressing recipe on IG here. //

// Faith made risotto (Recipe coming soon!) for the first…and second time last week.  Super proud of her growth and I’m thinking she will be a way better cook than me before she’s a teenager. Yikes. //

// We made quick pickles inspired by “Little Bunny Follows His Nose”.  You can find the recipe on Paging Supermom here. //

// My Dad gave me some figs from one of my parent’s neighbors.  I gladly accepted and made figs poached in honey syrup.  I think a jar will be marrying some super ripe blue cheese soon. //

// Last week, my husband was working in Vegas so I decided to turn the house upside-down and reorganize…everything.  He has come to expect changes after his long trips and OBVIOUSLY I didn’t want to let him down.  I went through lots and lots of stuff and got rid of things that I thought I had already gotten rid of. //

// Every time we have an outdoor movie, we wonder why we don’t do it more often.  This time we watched “National Velvet” because Faith had just finished the book.  Her love of horses has fired up again.  I caught her reading a book on horsemanship.  I expect mention of horseback riding any second. //

I realize that I post a lot of pictures of food.  I’m sorry.  Well, maybe I’m not.

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Books Alive & Quick Dill Pickles

quickpickleYou can find me over on Paging Supermom today!  I’m sharing my quick pickle recipe, inspired by my favorite children’s story!  Jump over there and let me know what you think!

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Aoife Rie: Celebrating New Life

agoldenafternoon-7On this special day, the joy was overwhelming for my friend Erin, as she awaited the blessing of a little one.  We had been praying a long time for little Aoife.  She is truly a gift.

I wanted Erin to feel special and loved.  She is one of my besties so of course she deserves THE best.

I chose a simple brunch menu, so I didn’t need to flutter about the kitchen as I usually do. I partnered with Minted for the decorations because I’ll use any excuse for hanging their products at a party!  The lovely banner with Aoife’s name, the table runner (very durable material), striped grey paper straws, floral stickers, and the cutest matching straw banners that say “Oh baby” were all from the Minted party decor.   They can be found here on their website under the name “Matthiola”.  To complement the decor, thick crepe rolls can be found from Paper Mart for only a few dollars a piece (pictured surrounding the banner).  Plus, you can reuse the rolls since they are more durable than their baby crepe paper brother you’ve used at parties before!

agoldenafternoon-4agoldenafternoon-5agoldenafternoon-3Simple Brunch Menu:

Smoked salmon platter (thinly sliced red onion, capers, cream cheese, wild smoked salmon, bagels)

Yogurt, local granola, blackberries, and homemade spiced apple butter

Vegetable crudites and hummus

Chocolate croissants

Maple walnut scones

Bruleed grapefruit (attempted)

Freshly squeezed orange juice from Stehly Farm‘s oranges

Freshly juiced beets, oranges, strawberries, and spinach

To make your party day prep smoother, prep as much the day or night before.  Put things in bowls if you can, prep and cut veggies, put any items you can ready to go on platters, squeeze your juices, and you can even put the serving utensils in your bowls if you are serving everything first thing in the morning.  Every little bit helps.  I try to make my baked items fresh that morning if possible.  In this case, Faith made the scones so they were nice and fresh!

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It’s always a joy to celebrate new life.  Such a great reminder of the new life that Jesus brings to us.

I partnered with Minted for the decor shown in this post.  I love this company and all opinions are completely my own.

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