Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Fun

The weather is finally turning cooler and apples & pumpkins are everywhere...Fall has arrived!

This is my absolute favorite time of the year. Yes, it signals the start of the hectic holiday season but it also brings with it the beauty of nature, yummy food and, most importantly, good times with family.

My girls are beyond excited for Halloween. We are attending as many costume parties as possible to get some mileage out of those outfits! I read an interesting article over at Today's Mama (read it here ) about how Halloween has changed since we were kids. It's true that we are invited to more functions now than I would have thought possible when I was a child; however, I think it's the kid in me that wants to try to let my girls experience as many fun activities as possible. One more trip to the pumpkin patch? Sure. Halloween movie at the library? Absolutely.

What are your feelings about this? Is it getting to be too much or is it a happy improvement to the norm? Also, like Today's Mama, I wonder why DON'T kids still use pillowcases?!?

Just for fun, I added a couple of photos of the handprint ghost puppets that my girls made. Ahhh...tis the season.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 25, 2011

Possibilities of a Paperless Kitchen

Since Earth Day just past, I have been trying to think of some new ways to improve my stewardship of our amazing planet. As far as going 'green', I would say that my family is middle of the road. While we do participate in our village's recycling program and buy local, organic food whenever possible, I must admit that I do enjoy the convenience of driving my comfortable 'grocery-getter' and using as much water in the shower that is needed to wake up in the morning. However, one wasteful aspect of our life continues to stare me in the face on a daily basis...paper towel.

I recently read the article Going Paper Towel-Less by Margie Monin Dombrowski which contains some disturbing facts about our addiction to paper towel. The amount of paper waste added to landfills each year in addition to the chemicals used on the paper towels that we use to wipe our hands and our kids' faces with has led me to take action.

I am going to attempt to have a paperless kitchen for one week. I realize that this may seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things but every little bit helps, right? With two toddlers at home all day, this change is sure to be a difficult one. It's a little challenge but a step in the right direction. Anyone willing to make the switch with me?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring into Your Dream

It's easy to see why Spring has always been symbolic of new life. We can look to nature and see bird's nest filled with eggs or buds on a flowering tree and be reminded that life, great and small, is bursting all around us.

I like to think that Spring can also give us another shot at reinventing ourselves, kind of like a New Year's resolution do-over. Whether that means getting in shape for the rapidly approaching bathing suit season (yikes!) or actually cleaning out that junk drawer, the possibilities are endless. So, why can't it include taking the first steps towards achieving a long held dream?

I read a really interesting article in Women's Day magazine today that discussed this very topic. It gave some practical first steps for a few common 'dreams' that I thought were worth sharing.

(The below is from the article 'It's Never Too Late' found in the April 17, 2011 edition of Women's Day magazine)

If you want to:

WRITE A BOOK: Go to for writing conferences info.

SING: Go to to find open-mike nights near you.

VOLUNTEER: Go to for opportunities in your town.

START A BUSINESS: Go to for free how-tos.

RETURN TO SCHOOL: Go to to find scholarships and grants for adults.

I hope that this might have given you that little nudge to taking those first steps. Go for it!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Set those piggies free!

The arrival of Spring can mean different things to different people. Some are bit by the 'cleaning bug' while others bust out the shorts & tank tops on the first day with a temperature above 40 degrees. For the girls in my house, it's a love of sandals.

I think that this need to be rid of socks was somehow inherited from my mom who would prefer to wear flip-flops 365 days a year, regardless of Michigan weather.

In true diva fashion, my daughter has been begging me for months to paint her nails. I haven't done it yet for two reasons: 1. She bites her fingernails. 2. I haven't been able to find a non-toxic, natural nail polish. The thought of putting a toxic polish on her nails that will inevitably be chewed on that night is frightening.

My dilemma was solved with Piggy Paint. Have you heard of this? It's slogan is that it is 'Natural as Mud'. It's a kid friendly, non-toxic, odorless polish. I loved the story behind it's creation. You can find it under the 'About Us' tab on their website.

So, my little fashionista will have the Cotton Candy trio set in her Easter basket this year. Bring on the warmer days, our piggies will be ready.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is in the Air!

And LOVE smells like chocolate! I know it's been a while since I posted and my only excuse is that it is more difficult to get to our basement computer than I thought it would be with two toddlers running around. However, I'm using a new app (BlogPress) so I can now post from my iPhone. Sorry for the delay.

Now, back to my favorite subject...chocolate! Valentine's Day & Chocolate go hand-in-hand so I thought I'd start up my blog on a sweet note. I made a healthy version of chocolate-chip pancakes for breakfast this morning and want to share it with you. Let me know what you think of them!


2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds, opt
Dash of cinnamon, opt
1 1/2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips


Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flaxseeds and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add yogurt, milk and vanilla. Stir with a whisk until batter is just smooth. (Add more milk if the batter becomes too thick). Stir in chocolate chips. Cook on heated non-stick griddle over medium heat as usual. Enjoy!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dip & Bite Baby!

We've just received our 3rd farm box of veggies and there's a little more variety. In addition to the greens that I mentioned in my last post, this week's box also included broccoli and Hakurei (Spring) turnips. I'm not a fan of broccoli and I've never cooked nor eaten a turnip in my life...should be an interesting week in the kitchen.

Clara has been very excited to pick up our share at the farmer's market each week. She's also been my big helper in the kitchen when all of the veggies need to be cleaned up and put away. This week she wouldn't stop talking about the broccoli. Odd since, as I just told you, broccoli is not my fave and hasn't been included in our meals often. Maybe it's her age or just a phase but Clara loves to dip. I mean, you can give this kid almost anything and if she can dip it into a sauce, she will eat it! Naturally, when it was dinner time the day we brought home the farm box she said that she wanted broccoli and, lo and behold, ate an entire bowl of raw broccoli! Wow, did I feel like super-mom...even if I didn't eat a bite of it. : ) Yes, she dipped the broccoli into a small amount of ranch dressing. I say this is a small price to pay to get some green veggies into a toddler's diet.

I'm off to search online recipes for anything including turnips. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Tofu vs Toddlers

So it begins... we received our first share from Two Creeks Organic Farm yesterday. We've been really anticipating this and, as fate would have it, I was sick with a fever and couldn't even go to the farmer's market to pick it up. Thankfully, my loving & wonderful husband left work early to help me out and picked up our share on the way home. What a guy! He even cleaned the veggies up and made dinner! I know, I know...enough of my bragging on how lucky I am. Well, our CSA share this week included: Radishes, Chinese Cabbage (Napa Cabbage), Red Leaf Lettuce, Tatsoi, Pac Choy, and Green Onions. If you're anything like me, you only recognized a couple of these items...and probably rarely cooked with those! Hence, my challenge for the week - Incorporate these ingredients into our meals.

Tom made a delicious Asian stir-fry on Thursday night that included the Pac Choy, Tatsoi and Green Onions. He also used tofu. We were curious as to how this healthy dish would be received by our greatest critic...our two year old daughter Clara. Get ready to be amazed...SHE LOVED THE TOFU!!!! I know, I still can't believe it as I'm typing this but that kid gobbled up every bit of tofu in her bowl. Wonders never cease.

Tonight I had to get a little creative since I haven't been grocery shopping in over a week and the house is almost bare. Yes, call me Old Mother Hubbard, I'll survive. So, I decided to put together a veggie soup using some yellow onion, green onions, Pac Choy, and garlic. Then I took a package of Near East rice pilaf (the Garlic & Herb style) and cooked it according to the directions. When it was fully cooked, I mixed in some chopped green onions and chopped Tatsoi. The results were delicious as you can see by the smile on Clara's face below (Please disregard her crazy hair. It's always like that by dinner time. Who am I kidding...I'm lucky if its not a tangled mess before lunch!). All in all, I'd say these first few dishes were a success.

Toddler Approval Rating: Yummy
Grown-Up Rating: Delicious