Friday, July 20, 2012

What I am....

eating - the best macaroni salad ever by pioneer woman

This weekend brings many joys for this mama.  I get to go sew with a  mama friend tonight.  Tomorrow I'm meeting another mama for an event that brings exercise equipment for moms to parks where their kiddos play, and Sunday, I get to tour my dad's garden with my neighbor mama friend.  I'm looking forward to the refreshment of spending time with others :)

hope you all have a great weekend, too!

If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. 
- Robert Brault

I have been enjoying this summer weather Seattle has had.  Did y'all get that? I, Ms.I.Love.Rain.More.Than.Normal said that these sunny weeks haven't been the death of me like I always assumed they would be :).  I have been outside with the kids for 10+ hours each day in our very own yard, with our very own garden, weeding our very own beds, and eating our very own produce.  I have been wearing tank tops and the freckles on my shoulders are merging into one giant darn brown splotch, and my 30 year old sunscreened and freckled face is glowing back at me from the mirror, looking like I had imagined myself to be at this age when I was a young girl. 

I have had 2 kids, 4 hospital "births," and 5 pregnancies.  I've been married 10 years come this August.  I've accomplished much, but for some strange reason, it wasn't until earlier this week when I saw that 30 year old glowing face that I realized I'm not a girl - I'm a grown-up.  And gardening in the Seattle sunshine has helped me to find, claim, and own that.  How strange....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Stacks: crafting/creating!

Here is a stack of some of my favorite crafting/creating books!

1)The Creative Family - this book by Amanda (the soulemama), is a wonderful collection of ideas and inspirations to raise children in a creative and imaginative way, while nurturing that family connection that comes from creating and growing things together.

2)Carefree Clothes for Girls - this is a translated japanese pattern book that has these to.die.for.adorable little dresses and accessories for girlies who like to be, well, girlie, but also love to play in mud.  My Hazel to a T :)

3)Little Things to Sew - by Liesl Gibson of Oliver+S fame, this book is chock full of adorable little things the kids love to use.  Like a red-riding-hood cape, a reversible bucket hat, and an explorer vest for collecting all those outdoor specimens.  I have already whipped up about 3 things for each kiddo (the sizes span both of my kiddos - from 6 months to 8ish years old!), and I find it especially great for sewing ideas for the little Shepherd.

4)Simple Sewing for Baby by a textile favorite of mine, Lotta Jansdotter, this book has super easy and super necessary patterns and instructions for things every home with a wee one needs.  Bibs, burp clothes, swaddle wraps, and super-rad baby pants, Shepherd has been snuggled and cared for in mama-made style thanks to this book.  Also, most everything would be a WONDERFUL baby shower gift.

5)Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts - Martha has cataloged sewing crafts from A to Z in this volume.  Including tutorials for most all hand embroidery stitches, useful machine guides, and instructions for all things home: curtains, napkins, pot holders, holiday decorations, basic shift patterns, aprons, etc.  A great recourse.

6)Martha Stewarts Encyclopedia of Crafts  This is the same as the last book, only it isn't sewing or fabric related - it's paper and glue and ink crafting.  Lovely pictures walk you through what feels like hundreds of gift ideas from bookmarks and handmade cards, to silhouette wall art and sun printing.

What are your favorite sewing/crafting books?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

book stacks: cookbooks!

After finding a fabulous new blogger named Sarah (, I have been inspired to share with you some of my favorite books!  Today, I show you a stack of cook books I love!

1) Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook.  My mom had this cook book while I was young, but I didn't "discover" it until James and I were in Nairobi, and the missionaries we stayed with used this and the next book extensively.  It has great, simple, inexpensive recipes from all over the globe.  Our personal family favorite it the curry carrot soup - we eat it at least ones a month!

2) More With Less.  This has loads of recipes created around the intention of making healthful, delicious food that takes less of the worlds resources to create/grow/cook, as well as keeping your meal planning completely within budget.  We eat a lot of lentils and rice in this house, so this book is a fabulous resource for me.

3)Everyday Food: Fast.  For those of you who know me, you are likely aware of my affinity for all things Martha.  I know it may seem strange, but I really, truly, admire her (when she was in prison, I donned a "Free Martha" pin on my person at all times!).  Her company's Everyday Food brand has been a life saver for me many evenings, and this larger-than-the-magazine cookbook is organized based on the seasons and what is available, as well as by course.  It's a great one to peruse before I make a shopping list, reminding me that "oh yeah, in August, there is great corn on the cob to enjoy!"

4) Real Food for Healthy Kids  This book has tons of recipes that are delicious and also kid friendly.  We regularly make a mac n' cheese from this book, and it has numerous meals that are great to make for company, too.  My favorite thing about this book right now are all the breakfast ideas and recipes - as Hazel enters the full day elementary school system, I'm needing to up my breakfast ideas to keep her energy up while at school.

5)Dinner at Home Yes, another Martha.  This one is great because, like the Everyday Food: Fast book, it is organized by season, but is put together in whole meals - so there is a coordinating main, side, salad, drink, and dessert for every recipe.  It's PERFECT for entertaining :)

So, there you have it! My favorite cookbooks.  Look forward to my favorite crafting/creating books, theology books, and sexuality books, soon!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

summer begins July 5th in Seattle

today was GLORIOUS.
it typically becomes so just after the 4th of july - though yesterday was quite lovely, too.  
to celebrate, we spent the whole day outside.
 first we went to a church play date at a local park.  Shepherd loves his swinging, just like any good babe.
 Hazel is quite partial to swinging, too.
 since I'm always behind the camera, here's a lap self-portrait (and a poor image of my newest wiksten tank - LOVE THAT PATTERN!)
 in the afternoon, Hazel curled up in the grass in our front yard and promptly fell asleep! It was so cute, I couldn't resist taking a picture, after I smeared her bare skin with sunscreen of course :)
 after napping, Shepherd played in the pool (the hat is the reversible bucket hat from Oliver + S's Little Things to Sew book)
 but he's not fond of it, so he threw it in the water, and I had to rub sunscreen in his hair for his little baby noggin flesh.  Hence the most rad baby hair ever.
while his sister was still napping in the sun (which she later said was like napping in a big warm hug!), we are the rest of the watermelon from yesterday.  Somebody couldn't get enough!
I dropped my summer class because childcare was too complicated to organize.  I was a bit disappointed at first, but after today, I realized all the fun I can have this summer with my kids before they both enter the transitional times of fall - toddlerhood and kindergarten.  Savor the moments, mama. That I will try.