Saturday, December 29, 2007
This week I am grateful for my little family.
I am unbelievably grateful for my very supportive husband who is always there for me. Sometimes I am amazed at how well he puts up with my frequent crankiness. This week he set aside his own desires to make sure I got what I needed (even before I recognized what I needed!).
I was also reminded this week of how lucky I am to have my two beautiful children. I am so grateful that I was able to bring them into this world with so little effort and that they are healthy, strong, and capable (even if they seem a bit too capable at times!). Sometimes I take it for granted how lucky I am to have them.
I hope you find time this week for your own gratitude practice.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
*I reserve the right to deem any charity unsuitable for the contest. The charity must be a nonprofit and must be legit (no i-need-a-new-car.org). I also will not donate to any group that I adamantly oppose (I can't actually think of any group that I oppose, but just in case someone finds something like killthetrees.org or clubtheseals.org, I want to be able to refuse to donate). I also reserve the right to limit the donation to $500 - although if for some crazy reason the comments get past 500, I will honestly consider more.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
I think I'll continue to take a bit of a blogging break while we celebrate the holidays. BUT be sure to check back sometime this week because I am going to have a blog giveaway like NONE you have ever seen before! Really, it is going to be fun and inspirational. I hope to make it a holiday blog tradition.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
If you live in Colorado and get the Denver Post, I hope you saw my candy cane fudge recipe was published! Also be sure to check out my friend Shannon's yummy recipe. I sure hope she is planning to share some of those cookies with me!
Also check out the Greenstylemom interview at AlaiVani. I was pretty excited when Jen and I connected since we both share a love of India.
PS - It is a gorgeous day in NY today!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Our flight was a bit delayed yesterday due to weather on the East Coast. A little over an hour delay doesn't seem bad until you throw in two cranky preschoolers. My kids were amazingly well behaved despite the long day of travel.
And this morning when we thought the turbulence was finally over? Jack broke a bone in his foot. Yup. You read that correctly. Jack has his first broken bone. There is (rather, was) a full length mirror with a heavy frame hanging on the hotel room wall. Jack was looking at himself in the mirror while holding the frame when the whole thing slipped off the bracket and fell straight down on his foot. Fortunately I was right there and caught the mirror before it crashed over onto him. His foot immediately turned nasty purple and red colors and swelled up. Jack would not walk or even stand. If I even looked at his foot, he started screaming. I called Matt out of his conference, and we took him in for xrays. There is a slight fracture. Fortunately the orthopedic surgeon recommended NOT casting it. He said the painful injury is the soft-tissue crush, and his recommendation is to let it rest. He said Jack might be walking in a few days... or it might be a few weeks.
While we are in NYC this week, I probably won't be blogging a bunch. If I even feel like getting on the computer, I am going to try to catch up on reading other blogs and do some commenting. Have a great week!
Saturday, December 15, 2007
- I am grateful that I get to pack for our trip. Our family able to enjoy so much travel.
- I am grateful that I get to do laundry. Our family can afford nice clothes.
- I am grateful that I get to wash dishes. Our family has more than enough food to satisfy.
- I am grateful that I get to disagree with my husband. I have a husband who will be with me through anything.
- I am grateful that I get to spend all day with my children. I am able to shape their lives (hopefully for the better!).
- I am grateful that I get to pay the bills. We have the money to pay them.
- I am grateful that I get to clean up toys every evening. My children have everything they need.
- I am grateful that I get to address holiday cards. We have many friends.
- I am grateful that I get to go to the post office today. I have much to give to friends and family.
- I am grateful that I got to have food poisoning the last 36 hours. I lost 5 lbs! (okay, I'm being facetious, I'm not really grateful at all. The last 36 hours have been awful. Can't keep anything inside me. Not even water. I'm a bit better this morning. I've kept down a bite of banana and half a piece of toast for 30 min, and I'm sure I'll gain the 5lbs back as soon as I rehydrate...)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I was also pretty excited to find Natural Candy Store's selection of decorating sugars and natural food colors. I cleaned out my stock of cookie/cake decorations and thought we were going to have to skip cookie decorating this year. I'm excited to restock my supplies!
Natural Candy Store is offering readers 10% off any purchases through the end of the year using discount code greenmom.
Christmas 2006, Jack is almost 21 months old and has taken an interest in Kate's dolls. He carries them around, gets the wipes and pretends to change diapers, wraps them in blankets and puts them in Kate's doll cradle. I think it is adorable but am concerned that all of Kate's dolls are female (aka lacking boy parts). I decide that what Jack really needs is a "boy doll" for play. A doll that has the same parts that he does. I know that Matt is not going to be pleased with my suggestion, so I plan my arguments which vary from developing a boy's nurturing side to helping him potty train.
All prepared for a battle, I approach Matt one evening and say, "I think we should get Jack a boy doll for Christmas." Before presenting my case and to my utter surprise and amazement, Matt quickly agrees that it is a great idea. I couldn't believe what a sensitive, modern man I had married! The next day I go to a small, local toy store and buy the boy doll that I have been eyeing. (Note that the doll's name on his shirt is Paul which also happens to be our neighbor's name) I bring the boy doll home and put him in our spare bedroom with the ever-growing collection of presents.
Later that day, I am out running more errands when I receive a call from Matt. He gives me no greeting and simply and flatly says, "I saw Paul." Confused and thinking of our neighbor, I ask, "What is Paul up to?" Matt continues, "Paul in our guest room." Still confused and concerned about the mess my guest room is, I say, "What in the world is Paul doing in our guest room?!?" Matt, still in a quite flat voice, responds, "No, I saw Paul the boy doll in the guest room." Finally realizing what we are talking about, I exclaim, "Isn't Paul great? I think Jack is really going to like him." Matt says, incredulously, "Does Paul have a penis?" and without missing a beat he continues, "When you said a 'boy doll,' I thought you meant a GI Joe..."
We had a good laugh, Jack got his "boy doll" for Christmas and loved it (almost as much as his Tonka truck), and Paul is still a close part of our family spending each night in bed with Jack. You can often find Jack in Kate's play high heels and Paul in a pink dress enjoying each other's company. It makes Matt cringe, but it makes me smile.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz chocolate chips
7 oz marshmallow cream
1 tsp peppermint extract
Melt butter, sugar, milk
Boil for 5 min on med heat stirring constantly
Stir in chips until melted
Add marshmallow cream then peppermint then crushed candy cane
Pour into greased 13x9 pan
Cool at room temp, cut, and store in fridge or freezer
Monday, December 10, 2007
Monday - Leftover Chili Blanco (I didn't make it until last night since Matt brought home Indian takeout on Friday)
Tuesday - Southwestern Risotto (I'll post the recipe later)
Wednesday - Baked Chicken, steamed broccoli, butternut squash (I want to do something new and different with it, but I haven't decided what... any ideas?)
Thursday - Kids' Meal - English muffin pizzas
Friday - Rosemary Garlic Spinach Cakes (recipe below) served with whole wheat spaghetti and Rao's Marinara
Rosemary and Garlic Spinach Cakes
(from the Cascadian Farms spinach box)
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup onions, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
10 oz thawed spinach, drained
2/3 cup instant potato flakes
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup grated parmesan
2 tsp fresh rosemary ( ½ tsp dry)
½ cup bread crumbs
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Heat olive oil over med heat. Add onion, garlic and spinach. Sauté for 3 min. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Scoop and flatten into patties. Saute both sides of cakes until golden brown. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 10 min. Serve with marinara sauce.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
- My absolutely wonderful husband. I sometimes wonder how (and why!) he puts up with me.
- My two beautiful children. There really is nothing more wonderful than watching them be alive and explore the world.
- The really relatively stress-free life that I live. I know I just said that I've been struggling with some issues, but when I look at the struggles of others, I really don't feel like I have any right to complain.
- Our family's ability and love of travel. We are gearing up for a trip to NYC, and instead of stressing over all that I need to get done, I am going to try to focus on how lucky we are to be able to travel.
- Babysitters! I'm so thankful to have good babysitters that I trust and the kids enjoy. Allowing me to take time for myself and allowing Matt and I enjoy time for just us.
I strongly encourage you to participate in the Everyday Yogini's Gratitude Practice. I can already tell that participating will help me keep a positive outlook throughout the week!
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I did re-learn (my mom has taught me several times) to knit last night which was lots of fun!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Monday, December 03, 2007
12 cups broth
1 ½ cups lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 lbs canned tomatoes, drained and chopped, juice reserved
3 carrots, sliced (or more!)
1 onion, chopped
2 cups chopped celery
3 minced garlic cloves
½ tsp basil
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
½ cup minced fresh parsley
2 T cider vinegar, or to taste
In large pot, combine the broth, lentils, rice, tomatoes including juice, carrots, onion, celery, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 40-45 min, or until lentils and rice are tender
Stir in the parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Discard the bay leaf. The soup will be think and will thicken as it stands. This the soup, if desired, with additional hot broth or water.
2 cups Great Northern White Beans, sorted, soaked overnight, drained
10 cups broth
2 minced garlic cloves
2 chopped onions
1 T oil
2 4-oz cans green chiles, sliced
3 cups canned tomato quarters & juice
2 tsp ground comino
1 ½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups diced cooked chicken
garnish: Monterrey Jack cheese, chopped green onions, diced avocado, sour cream
Combine beans, broth, garlic, and onions in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the beans are very soft (about 2 hrs)
Add remaining ingredients (except garnish). Continue to simmer one hour.
Garnish as desired.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
- I have to have the TV volume on an even number or on an integer of 5. So 20, 22, 24, 25 are all okay levels, but 21 and 23 are NOT okay. It drives Matt crazy, but it drives me even crazier to have it on an odd number.
- I can't stand liquid coffee, but my favorite flavor of ice cream is coffee.
- I can play the piano, flute and euphonium (baritone) but not very well. I actually don't consider myself to be very musical.
- Speaking of music, background music is annoying to me. I can't carry a conversation in the car with the radio on, and I don't like music just playing in the house.
- I always feel a strange urge to coordinate my underwear with my outfit.
- I have always wanted pet chickens.
- I can't eat spaghetti without cutting it up into bite sized pieces. Fortunately Matt does the same thing.
I could go on and on, but I won't! I'm not tagging anyone since everyone else in the blogosphere seems to already have been tagged.
Cranberry Pecan Cake
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
3 large eggs (or equivalent egg sub)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup finely chopped pecans
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9 inch square cake pan. Beat sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla with electric mixer for 5 minutes or until thick and fluffy. Fold in flour. Stir in cranberries and pecans. Spread in prepared pan. Bake 45 min or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot or cold.
Friday, November 30, 2007
This idea is something I've been mulling over for awhile and NaBloPoMo just brought it to the forefront. Not about blogging, but about life. That need to live up to the standards of others. It is something I often find myself in an internal struggle over. I often feel pressure to fit into my "role" in society as a mother, wife, community member. The expectations of others don't always jive with my internal desires.
Matt and I are wrestling with several life decisions right now. It is causing us to really look at what we want in our life. I am also going through a normal holiday process for me where I examine what is important in my life. I clean out both physically and emotionally. I'm reading a related book right now by one of my favorite authors. I'll probably be blogging a lot about the book in the next few weeks. It has many "exercises" that I might complete on my blog.
I'd love to write more but my kids are going in opposite directions... and not the direction they need to be going!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
This is a really yummy recipe, and I think I've posted it before. Just make sure the squash is fresh. Older squashes don't have as enough flavor for this dish.
Butternut Squash Risotto
1 lb butternut squash
7-8 cups broth
2 T minced parsley
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
s/p to taste
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and fibers, bake in oven at 375 until softened (about 30min). Cool. Scoop out pulp and place in medium bowl. Mix in parsley and nutmeg.
Pour broth into a saucepan and warm to a simmer.
In another saucepan over med heat, warm oil. Add onion and sauté until softened (about 3 min) Add the rice, stir to coat with oil, and cook, stirring, until edges are translucent, about 3-4 min. Add a ladleful of broth and cont to stir constantly over med heat. When the stock is almost fully absorbed, add another ladleful. Cont to add broth, a ladleful at a time, as soon as each ladleful is almost absorbed. The risotto is done when the rice is tender but firm, about 20 min total. (If you have a rice cooker, I make my risottos in the rice cooker. Follow directions up until you add the broth. Put the rice/onions/broth in the rice cooker and use the slow cooking option. It takes about an hour for the rice to cook.)
When the rice is done, add the butternut squash mixture, stirring well.
- Ride your bike
- Use the library
- Bring your own bag
- Use hand-me-downs (okay, those who know me can quit laughing... I would use hand-me-downs if I had someone to give them to me! At least I pass most of my kids' clothes on to become hand-me-downs.)
- Bring your own mug to the coffee shop
- Use scrap paper for all your lists (I probably save a forest a year doing this!)
- Hand pull your weeds instead of using chemicals
- Carefully choose the companies you support when buying new
- Teach your children how to care for the earth
And check out the Eco-Bag instructions on Penny's Walking Upside Down blog! I love the bag that she made for me. The stamping is SO cute!
The kids and I are headed home today (finally!) to join Matt who went home on Saturday. I'm ready to see the mountains again.
Monday, November 26, 2007
After hollering, "KATE!" and watching her scamper away, all I could do was give a good sigh and smile. And take them out to get the do's freshened up. The stylist was awesome. She blended Jack's chopped hair enough that he didn't have to have his head buzzed, and she gave Kate the cutest little stacked bob - as short as a bob can get - with a little unevenness of the sides where Kate did her finest work. I'll post some pics when I get home.
I have been a fan of King Arthur flours (have you tried their white whole wheat? It is awesome.) for as long as I have been buying my own baking ingredients. I was naturally intrigued when I received The Baker's Catalogue from King Arthur Flour. I saw the bakeable paper pans in the catalog, and I knew I had to have some for gift giving this year. How cute will a loaf of quick bread look in theses pans with the recipe attached with a bit of ribbon?
The Baker's Catalogue has donated a set of 12 Paper Gift Bakers plus 3 of their new Bakeable Star Pans to be given to a Greenstylemom reader. To enter, comment on this post (be sure to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win!) and link to this post on your blog (if you don't have a blog, you can email 3 friends a link to this post and cc me on the email kristen at greenstylemom dot com). The contest will be open through next Tuesday, Dec 4th. A winner will be randomly drawn and announced on Wed, Dec 5th.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Be sure to check out the giveaway I'll be doing tomorrow (Monday)! It will be an interest to any of you who like to bake.
Monday - Last day to enjoy Mom's home cookin'
Tuesday - EV's Veggies per Matt's request
Wednesday - Quick Barley Vegetable Pilaf
Thursday - Kids' meal - baked chicken, baked butternut squash, drop biscuits
Friday - Homemade pizza (using my favorite whole wheat dough recipe) and a great big fresh salad
Visit Org Junkie for more menu ideas!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Shannon at The Cole Mine
Email me your addresses, and I'll get those off to you as soon as I get home next week!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
- I have a nasty cough and a bit of a stuffed nose
- The decongestant I took last night before bed kept me awake from 2-4am.
- Jack kept me awake from 4-5am.
- I haven't had internet access for several days (which was a good thing!) but now I am behind on emails again (I am perpetually behind, huh?)
- I left my laptop power cord at my father-in-law's house, so no laptop
- I forgot to pack the skirt I was going to wear for Thanksgiving dinner.
- I forgot my cell phone charger at home, but I did remember my car charger.
- I forgot to charge my cell phone with my car charger on our long car trip yesterday.
- This morning while trying to charge my cell phone in the car, I locked my kids in the car with the keys in the ignition! Fortunately the car wasn't actually running.
- And that is all by 10am!
BUT it is Matt's birthday today! The day can only get better because we have a birthday party this evening with chili, presents, and a pecan pie birthday "cake" planned.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
2 10oz packages of chopped frozen spinach, cooked and drained
2 cups herbed seasoned stuffing mix (I found an organic brand at the grocery store)
1 large onion, chopped (I like it finely chopped in the food processor)
5 beaten eggs
3/4 cup melted margarine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon garlic salt (I often use fresh garlic plus reg salt)
1 tsp pepper
Mix everything together. Chill 2 hours. Roll in small balls. Bake on cookie sheet for 20 min at 350. Let cool 3-5 minutes before serving or balls fall apart when taken off cookie sheet. Can freeze before baking. Makes about 90 balls.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Awhile back (okay, a long while back) Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess was interviewed by a fellow blogger and offered to interview any of her readers. It has taken me much too long, but I finally found some quiet time to answer.
1) What was your inspiration for starting your blog?
I had been contemplating a blog for several years (even had my Blogger account!) but just never felt I had the time to start. One afternoon on a long drive, I was listening to a podcast by Hip Tranquil Chick featuring the founders of Ladies Who Launch. I was inspired to just start writing and see where it goes.
2) You have two beautiful children. Do you feel your family is complete or do you see more children in your future down the road?
I am pretty sure our family is complete. Occasionally I have an urge to add another child, but I also like the balance in our family. I am also enjoying the increased freedom of having older children. I'm not sure I want to return to the baby days. However, Matt won't do anything permanent because he says that he is only 98% sure that we are done.
3) What little known fact about you might surprise some of your readers?
Everyone always seems surprised to find out that I was a waterpolo player in college.
4) If you could ask everyone in the world to make one single change to benefit the earth, what would it be?
Recycle everything they can. It isn't that difficult, but I am amazed at how much people complain about it or don't think it matters. It sickens me when I think of the amount of waste that we produce.
5) Let's say you are going to be stranded with your family on a deserted island for 90 days. What 3 things would you take with you and why?
- My laptop to stay connected to friends and family (there is Wi-Fi on this island, right?)
- Sunscreen for my red headed husband and his sensitive skin offspring (although both kids tan)
- A collection of children's novels that we can read out loud around the campfire
It is interview weekend - I am doing another interview tomorrow!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
- Post your birth story
- Please mention the birth story carnival in a current post on your blog and link back to this site.
- Sign Mr. Linky below. You may sign more than once for multiple birth stories. please link to your individual birth story post instead of to your home page. You can do this by: right click on the time at the bottom of the post you want to link to, click “copy shortcut” and then paste it into the Mr. Linky.
- When signing Mr. Linky, please list after your name what type of birth you had. Examples: c-sect, home birth, unmed hosp birth, etc.
- Please respect everyone's birth choices.
I am really looking forward to reading all the birth stories!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I know I am behind on the birth story carnival. I am going to do it tomorrow... cross my heart!
AND interviews! I have lots of 'em! My TV interview should be ready to post on Friday. I also plan to post interviews from Crunchy Domestic Goddess and Everday Yogini over the weekend so you can learn even more about me.
Edited to add: Garnet Hill has extended their 20% off on the entire site until 11/18/07 if you use source code H7W44B
My love affair with cast iron is fairly recent. It started last Christmas when Matt got me a cast iron griddle. I use it for everything... pancakes, fish, chicken, veggies, eggs. I expanded my cast iron cookware last spring and bought myself a small skillet. I continue to be amazed at how well food cooks on cast iron. It heats evenly and is nonstick once it is seasoned.
Cast iron is relatively inexpensive, and it lasts forever. Unlike Teflon and aluminum, you don't have to worry about what is seeping into your food with cast iron. Any iron in your food from cast iron is actually considered healthy!
Cast Iron Cabin has a whole line of cast iron cookware and is offering readers 10% purchases on their website using code GSMBS07. It would be a great place to start or expand your cast iron collection. They carry a 3-piece pre-seasoned skillet set that would make a great starter set. They also have muffin & biscuit pans or apple bakers that would make great gifts. And look at the cute alphabet cookie pan. I am planning on expanding my cast iron collection soon to include some bakeware and a dutch oven. I am also planning on giving several cast iron gifts this Christmas.
Edited: I missed a letter on the discount code, so try the corrected one!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The common house has multiple rooms for multiple purposes - a big kitchen, dining room, lounge room, playroom, etc. Our common house also has 2 guest rooms. One has a queen bed and the other has 2 twin beds. There is no charge to use them, and it is as easy as signing up in the reservation book for whatever nights you need them. Your only requirement is to clean up after your guests - wash the sheets and towels, make the beds, empty any trash, and do a quick vacuum. The guest room users are usually family and friends of community residents, although occasionally the community will host visitors in the rooms.
We use the guest rooms whenever we have visitors. I often leave our guests a little basket of extras in the room with some sample shampoos and soaps as well as a snack and some water. Can I tell you how nice it is to have guests close but not too close? At night guests usually wander over to their common house room before it gets to late giving our family a little alone time. I also don't fret over making sure guests are accommodated in the mornings. If they are early risers, they can shower and head over to the coffee shop on the corner for coffee or tea and a breakfast taco. If they like to sleep in, we don't worry about being quiet and trying not to disturb them.
There is also an environmental benefit to these guest rooms. We have over 30 households all sharing the use of two rooms. (Rarely is there a problem with one not being available - usually only over holidays) Instead of 30 families heating, cooling, lighting, cleaning, and up keeping 30 guest rooms, we share those responsibilities in just 2 rooms.
We hosted my friend from Indianapolis in one of the rooms last night. She is heading home this afternoon, so I gotta go get the room ready for the next guest!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I have put everything on the back burner the last two weeks with traveling and trying to finish the class. The only reason I have been blogging is because of NaBloPoMo. I am at least 100 emails behind, and when I just went to check my Bloglines, I have over 500 posts to catch up on! So I'll be emailing and commenting a lot this week...
A quickie update on the kids - Jack started pedaling today, and Kate started really swimming on her own last week. I'm a very proud mommy.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
- College hockey game (did that last night - I think Jack is going to be a hockey player!)
- Finish online class (please, please, please let me get it all done...)
- Memorial service for our friend Jinne (have to make spinach balls for reception)
- Girls' night out with my good friend Becky visiting from Indiana
- Double date with our good friends Shannon and Joe
- Something outdoorsy with Becky from Indiana
- Review and finish Christmas presents for my family (I'll be giving my side of the family gifts over Thanksgiving)
- Hopefully do a little baking. I have a few new recipes I want to try. I'll share them if they are good.
What do you have planned for your weekend?