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Thursday
Mar072013

attic update.

one of my favorite parts of our house is the attic. it has this cool ship's staircase up to it (ladder-like), two skylights, two other windows that feel like they're nestled in the trees, and feels so cozy with the roof slants and white walls. we want to make it a space where we can be as a family & grow as a family -- i think of forts, movie nights, sleep overs, rainy days spent reading up there -- a place to escape, for all of us.

the problem is right now it is a storage unit gone awry -- piles & boxes & things we're not quite sure what to do with. so, bit by bit, i've been chipping away at the piles. finding good homes for some things, consigning others, donating & sorting. in the next few weeks, we're going to build some storage for what's left -- a fraction of what we began with.

the reality is, these are first world problems (having too many things in your attic), but i believe deeply in living simply & raising our family with things we intentionally want around us. bit by bit this year, i'm going room by room trying to simplify our lives -- normally, i'd try to do this in a weekend & totally overwhelm myself. this time, i'm taking my time, knowing it will go much better if i take my time & don't set artificial deadlines. it also allows me to really find good homes for the things we don't need, not carelessly getting rid of them. what's slowly happening is that it's changing how i think about our purchases -- i am more realistic about thinking about whether something is really something we need or will use. goodness knows i don't want things drifting up to the attic!

that said, this new space will need a few things to make it a family space. above are a few things i'm dreaming about adding: a shower curtain to separate where we'll store extra clothes/uniforms (we have old house teensy tiny closets in our rooms & so this serves as back up); a teepee for reading & play, bright knobs for the storage cabinets; open whale bins for a few toys (hat tip, alli!); & a world map i received in my stocking a few christmases ago -- so we can track our family adventures!

p.s. i've been meaning to do this simplifying since we moved in (almost three years ago) it's been on my "to do list" & kept getting pushed to the back. since our budget has changed dramatically since going down to one income, i set up some motivation for myself -- i've long dreamed of hunter rain boots. so, i told myself if i could consign and earn enough money for them from the attic, that would be my reward. & the check just came that got me over the hump! see you soon new rain boots!

click through if you want to see this room before we moved in -- i'll show you the updated room soon!

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Tuesday
Mar052013

a new kind of friendship.

Friday
Mar012013

etsy prints.

   

 

 

prints from etsy are one of my favorite gifts -- for a birthday, new baby, house-warming, wedding or just because. they're also one of the simplest ways to make a room feel brand new. here are a few of the ones i love (click on images for links!). have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Wednesday
Feb272013

post-nap time.

Monday
Feb252013

breakfast cookies.

months (maybe years?) ago i marked a recipe for breakfast cookies -- they looked wonderful & i tucked it away. i'm a dessert for breakfast person from way back -- if there's just been a birthday & there's a piece of rich chocolate cake in the fridge, know i'll be diving in as soon as i wake up. but, that's on special occassions. normally, i'm a big believer in breakfast being the most important and nutrient rich meal of the day.

i was taken by the idea of breakfast cookies because they would work so well for our family -- ryan could grab one as he ran out the door in the early morning for a flight. my daughter who has insisted on feeding herself from the very beginning (baby food? no thank you said ellie) could chow down on these while i made my latte. & well, we covered why i would love them.

but as i actually looked at the recipe (it called for 3 sticks of butter, 2 cups of sugar and 4 eggs in 16 cookies...) i realized it wasn't going to nourish us. so, i started playing around with it -- making substitutions, trying to pack as many healthy, flavorful ingredients as i could. batch after batch we've figured out what works for us. i know as they slowly disappear that i've snuck in so many wonderful things, which makes me feel good about the way we're starting our day.

i've been meaning to post this recipe forever, but you see -- i wasn't ever measuring anything. it's not really fitting with the rest of my personality, but i'm a crazy baker. i rarely measure anything & if i do so, it'd not what others might call precise. my friend allison, who had tried many batches, was determined to get the recipe -- so she came over one night and forced me to recipe. while every batch is a bit different, this is what seems to make the cookies we love best:

combine all wet ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin (can sub or add banana, avocado, pureed sweet potato! we like to stick with pumpkin)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter softened/melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TBSP flaxseed oil (omega-threes! i've been meaning to try coconut oil)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup honey (depending on how sweet you like 'em)
  • & 1/3 cup brown sugar

 add dry ingredients

  • 1 cup+ wheat germ
  • 1 cup+ whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups+ oats
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup almond slivers
  • ½ cup+ shredded coconut (I use sweetened, but you don’t have to)
  • 1/3 cup shredded dried mango
  • ½ cup dried cherries or cranberries or combo
  • 2 tsp+ cinnamon

you can make lots of substitutions (i can find all these ingredients at my trader joe's!), what’s important is that your mixer is STRUGGLING in the end, these are thick cookies. put big dollaps on a cookie sheet and bake for 18 min+ at 350 degrees (you want the tops to be browned and them to stay together). enjoy!

Tuesday
Feb192013

our favorite parenthood books.

when i did this post on ellie's favorite books, i promised to share ryan & my favorite books on parenthood. i'm your classic first time mama -- i've been reading like crazy since long before ellie arrived. i've gotten better at the balance along the way (although recently, i had a freak out & stayed up way to late reading an entire book trying to find the "answer" to that phase for ellie ... needless to say it didn't work).

what i mean by balance is this: often you hear "kids don't come with an instruction manual" and of course that's true. but, by the same count, there are a lot of great books out there & you will get the most from them if you don't treat them as prescriptions, but rather find the things that resonate with your kid(s) and how you want to build your family and know this is a long endeavor -- it simply can't all be done today. 

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