Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Tomorrow after we trick-or-treat, indulge in some sugar and manage to settle the kids to sleep, I think the Switch Witch is going to visit us. If you give the Switch Witch all of your candy, she leaves you a toy. I hope the kids go for it. I hope the Switch Witch has the self-control to get rid of the candy and not eat it all herself!
I think I am going to take a break from blogging for Halloween. I gotta get myself motivated for NaBloPoMo. It still isn't too late to join, and if you blog about anything green, be sure to join our Green Bloggers group!
Monday, October 29, 2007
Monday - Grilled Elk (from Matt's Uncle), steamed green beans, bread or brown rice
Tuesday - EV's Veggies (we just feel so healthy when we eat it, so we are making it again!)
Wednesday - Halloween Party!
Thursday - Matt cooks!
Friday - Matt cooks!
Get more recipe ideas at Org Junkie's new home.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
A – Alone is what I am right now – and I am not complaining!
B – Bowling. I’m a good bowler. Or was. I would like to take the kids someday soon.
C – Colorado is where I live now and hopefully forever
D – Dogs. Matt and I are both dog lovers, but we don’t have one right now. Someday.
E – Exercise. I don’t get enough of it.
F – Five feet nine inches is how tall I am
G – Garden. I love to garden. I have a small plot right now, but someday I would like to have a huge garden with raised beds.
H – Hiking is one of my favorite things to do, but we don’t do enough right now. The kids are at a funny in-between stage where the are too small to hike far on their own but are too big to be carried far (even in the backpack).
I – Introvert. I like people, but I really need to be alone to recharge. I think this is the toughest thing about being a mom for me.
J – Junk. I have too much of it. I’m always trying to get rid of it.
K – The first letter of my name
L – First letter of my middle name Lynne
M – Minnesota is the state where I went to college
N – Nebraska is the state where I was born
O – Oprah is my favorite TV show, and the only show I watch with any regularity (but I still only see it once or twice a week)
P – Pink is my favorite color
Q – Quilting. I love it. I’ve done a few but not for a long time. Maybe I’ll start again when I have grandchildren.
R – Radishes might be the only vegetable I don’t like.
S – Sweet Tooth. I have a really bad one and can’t control myself around sweets.
T – Texas is the state where I grew up
U – Unicycle. I actually used to own one. I bought it at a garage sale when I was about ten. I could even ride it pretty well. Wonder what happened to it…
V – Volvo is the kind of car I drive
W – Writing is not one of my fortes.
X – Reading X-Rays is what Matt does all day at work
Y – Yoga. I love to practice yoga, especially Bikram (aka hot yoga). Unfortunately my regular babysitter’s school schedule this semester doesn’t align with the yoga studio’s schedule. Hoping to start going regularly again after the first of the year.
Z – Zach is the name of the guy I was engaged to when I graduated college. It didn’t work out, and that is a good thing cause I really like the guy I’m married to now.
I am going to tag people where I don't think I've seen this yet (but only if you want to!)
Ashlee (have you done this??)
oh... and I'll write about me TV interview soon. It went well. It won't air until November.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I would like to continue the PIF by sending gifts to 3 other bloggers. Leave a comment and I'll choose soon!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I messed up on my original giveaway post and said the drawing would be Thursday, Oct 26th, but the 26th is a Friday so I decided to wait until tomorrow (Fri) to draw the winner! Can't wait to see who won!
I have to get the house clean because tomorrow there will be a TV crew here to interview me for a series on a local news station about going green. We are one of the families being highlighted. I am excited to share but nervous about getting my place in TV-showing condition. My biggest problem is that I am now looking at my home in a negative light. All I can see are the things that are NOT environmentally friendly. I need to make a mental list of all the things we have changed. What would you highlight in your home?
I need to go empty the countertop composter so I don't have fruit flies tomorrow...
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
My niece who I think looks more like me than my own children. She really takes after my brother (her dad)!
And my mom "Ama" and Kate sharing a moment.
As I sit here and download at least 150 pictures from just last week, it makes me think I might be overdoing it a bit on the photos...
I'll post some of my favorite photos from last week soon!
How scary is this CNN story about high chemical levels in kids' bodies?!? I was especially disturbed about the polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) which is a flame retardant since I recently blogged about kids' PJs. According to a Green Guide article there is not any sleepwear treated with PBDEs. Just to be cautious and because I got an anonymous comment about their PJs not being safe, I have emailed LLBean to find out if and with what they treat their sleepwear (both fleece and cotton). I'll update when I hear back from their customer service.** PBDES are still used in textiles and mattresses. Yikes... don't be surprised if you see me blogging about new mattresses in the near future!
The other chemical that was evident in high doses was phthalates which is flat out terrifying since it is found in bottles, toys, personal care products, and cosmetics (also happens to be very timely since I just posted about wanting to make some product changes and plan to post about it a lot more). Double Yikes!
To be honest, if I had the opportunity I am not sure I would opt to find out the chemical levels in myself or my children. I am too much of a worry wart. I think I'll just continue to avoid as best I can. Would you check your levels if given the chance?
**I did hear back from LLBean customer service. Their response was "I apologize that the formulas used for both fabrics to create the flame resistance are proprietary information. Both materials have the treatment built in on a molecular level of the fabric. The company that provides the cotton material for the Bean's Cotton Knit PJ Sets has a web site at securestfabric.com which may be useful to you."
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
(Thanks to my friend Nona for alerting me to this effort. Nona has a great blog that she recently started. Find her at the Everyday Yogini)
Kate's speech has always been pretty clear. (Even when she was three months old!) She has two words that she consistently mispronounces. She says "pillow" like pell-o instead of pill-o, but I don't notice because I pronounce it the same way (so does my sister!). Kate also says "rack" for "wreck" as in car wreck. And when she says it in a sentence with "a" it, it sounds just like "Iraq" which sends me into giggles every time. "Mom, drive slow so we don't get in Iraq."
We are heading home to Colorado today. Hopefully it has warmed up, and all the snow has melted. Wish me luck on the plane handling two kiddos on my own.
Monday, October 22, 2007
I just have to figure out how to get the kids to bed and asleep early. Makes me wish we had Tivo...
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Preheat oven to 450. Cut 3 large potatoes into 1 inch wide wedges. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with 3T canola oil, and 2tsp paprika, season with coarse salt, and ground pepper.
Bake potatoes in a single layer, cut sides down, until they loosen easily from the sheet, about 25 min. Turn the potatoes, cont to bake them until fork-tender and crisp 25-30 min more
1 12oz package small elbow macaroni
1 egg, slightly beaten
16 oz small curd cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
3T chopped onion
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup chopped pimentos, drained
8 oz grated cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain.
Combine other ingredients and add to cooked macaroni. Pour into a greased 9x13 dish and bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30-40 min. Serves 8-10
Saturday, October 20, 2007
What is the maximum amount that will be donated?
How much money was spent marketing the product?
How are the funds being raised?
To what breast cancer organization does the money go, and what types of programs does it support?
What is the company doing to assure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Senate is now debating the 2007 Farm Bill, the largest source of conservation funding in America. A vote is expected in the coming weeks. The House Farm Bill, passed in July, provided $4.5 billion in new conservation funding -- a step in the right direction. However, it left many critical conservation programs severely underfunded. At least $5 billion in new funding is needed to help meet demand and address some of our country’s most pressing environmental challenges.It is now up to the Senate to provide adequate funding for conservation programs. Supporting our farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners when they offer to help share the cost of a healthy environment provides more benefits to more farmers in more regions in the country than traditional crop subsidies, which are concentrated in the hands of a few. Send an email and/or call your senators asking them to support a Farm Bill that provides at least $5 billion in new funding for conservation programs.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday - baked chicken, steamed broccoli, baked butternut squash
Tuesday - Leftovers to clean out fridge
Wednesday - My mom cooks!
Thursday - My mom cooks!
Friday - My mom cooks!
Go visit Org Junkie on Monday for some other recipe ideas!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
The joking and laughing that took place is corny and wonderful all at the same time... there was a lot of singing of "Mulch-o, mulch-o man" and repeating of "What a tu-mulch-ous job this is" and "Thank you very mulch!" LOL
Not everyone is able to participate in a physical way, but almost everyone helped in whatever way they could. Our neighbor recently had foot surgery, but she brought milk and cookies as an afternoon snack. Another neighbor who is in hospice and actively dying still wanted to contribute (what does that say about community?!?) so she paid a needy high school boy to do her share of the work. Even Jack helped by directing people where to take the mulch...
I can not begin to express the feeling I get when working closely with my neighbors. I call it "the sense of community" but unless you have experienced it, you don't really know what it means. The cooperation, the fun, the overall sense of accomplishment, the feeling of belonging and contributing. Matt says that he feels like he is Amish and is attending a barn raising. I have come close to the feeling when volunteering at various events but sharing it in your home with your neighbors is an even greater experience.
My wish tonight is that everyone is able to experience this sense of community. It is quite extraordinary.
Friday, October 12, 2007
(Thanks to Amy for the heads up!)
If you don't know about it yet, National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) is coming up in November. Bloggers commit to posting once a day for the entire month of November. I read many blogs that participated last year never dreaming that I would be participating this year. In looking into groups to join, I didn't see one that really fit me, so I started my own group of Green Bloggers. Come join us!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Matt has to work a bit late tonight, so I am sitting OUTSIDE at a local coffee shop trying to catch up on my online class. He should be done soon, and we will catch dinner someplace. Pretty nice.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The Great Breast Fest Montage
(I wanted to write more about breastfeeding, but I'm just not in the mood today. I'm feeling a bit stressed about my online class - how do you other moms do it?!?)
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Last night Kate was prancing all over the community showing off her costume. Another mom asked Kate for some pixie dust, which Kate gladly bestowed on her. Kate then suggested that this other mom be the Fairy Godmother for Halloween. I suggested that maybe I should dress up as Fairy Godmother. Kate responded, "No, Mommy, you should be one of the mean stepsisters."
Monday, October 08, 2007
Now that I've finally gotten back in the groove of using my own bags, and I do it everywhere. Not just the grocery store. Crazy as it sounds, it took me awhile to figure out that I could and should be using my own bag whenever I go shopping, not just for groceries. I get the best responses at the stores. I really expected to get some rolled eyes, but the older woman at Target loved that I had my own bags. The teenager at Old Navy actually thought I was COOL (her word!) for having my own bags. Even at the stores that are accostumed to seeing reusable bags like Wild Oats, Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage and my neighborhood, natural grocery store, I get lots of compliments on my bags. Probably because I have the CUTEST BAGS you will ever see. I got my first one from my sister as a gift. I proceeded to buy more for myself and gave a bunch out as Christmas gifts last year. I have them in red and green, but they come in several colors (of course, green is my favorite!).
If you have never used your own bags at the grocery store, you may not know that many stores give you a discount for bringing your own bag. The bags pay for themselves pretty quickly.
To learn more about the problems with plastic bags and to make you feel guilty (in a good way!) read this.
If you want to be "cool" like me or you want to give bags as Christmas gifts, Reusablebags.com has offered 10% off your entire order using discount code eccd87 (case sensitive). Good through Oct 31st.How to get 10% off your entire order at ReusableBags.com: 1. Visit www.reusablebags.com 2. Add desired items to cart 3. Proceed through check-out 4. Redeem your special code: Enter the following code in the GiftCertificates/Discount Coupons section: eccd87 (note that it is casesensitive). 5. Complete check out process (discount will be shown before confirmingthe order). Special offer is valid from October 8-31, 2007. One use per customer. ReusableBags.com offers a wide selection of safe and reusable bottles forkids and parents, as well as lead free lunch bags and reusable shoppingbags. Why shop at ReusableBags.com? We donate 1% of all sales to the environment We support fair trade practices Top 10 nominee Co-Op America 2006 People's Choice Award Most orders ship within 24 hrs No sales tax (except IL) Member BBBonline % 100% satisfaction guarantee Thousands of product reviews & customer testimonials Questions: contact ReusableBags.com at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.707.3873
Monday - Grilled Halibut with Black Bean & Papaya Salsa (I have a papaya that I need to use quick)
Tuesday - EV's Veggies - this is one of my favorite meals from my friend Elizabeth who was the first to teach me about vegetarianism. I feel so healthy when I eat it. The recipe is below.
Wednesday - Calzones using a my favorite whole wheat pizza dough recipe (filling will be ricotta, mozzarella, broccoli and maybe some veggie pepperoni)
Thursday - Date Night! Kids will have baked chicken and some kind of veggie.
Friday - Sweet Potato Soup (recipe below) with a whole grain bread from a local bakery. We'll eat the leftovers for lunch this weekend.
Visit Org Junkie for more menu ideas!
This recipe isn't exact, but I've given some rough estimates.
Onion - 1 chopped
Garlic - 1 clove minced
Olive oil - a few tablespoons
Fresh spinach - 1 container
Tomato - 1-2 chopped
Oregano - 1-2 tsp
Salt/pepper - to taste
Cook brown rice as directed.
Brown chopped onion and garlic in olive oil. Add spinach and cook down. Add tomato, oregano, s/p and simmer. Add feta cheese before serving over rice.
Cream of Sweet Potato Soup
4lbs sweet potatoes
8 c water
1/3 c butter
½ c tomato sauce
2 T half-n-half
2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 c cashews
Peel potatoes, cut into pieces, boil in water until soft about 30 min.
Combine rest of ingredients.
When boils, reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Not long after I finished, I found out that the author Elizabeth Gilbert is going to be speaking near me next April the same weekend as another favorite author Kimberly Wilson is going to be in town. More than a coincidence, wouldn't you say?
Just wanted you to know.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Eat, Pray, Love is the book my sister-in-law recommended to me in August. I started it as soon as I got it. Unfortunately I left it up in the mountains when we were here over Labor Day. I've been dying to get back to it. A great book that is not only entertaining but very thought provoking for me.
Why I Wake Early is a book of poetry that Matt's aunt gave me. I keep it up in the mountains because I never feel the calm at home to read poetry. My favorite piece in this collection is Where Does the Temple Begin, Where Does It End? Maybe I'll find time this weekend to write it out for my blog.
Bitchfest was a gift from another mom in my playgroup. It is an assortment of essays from the magazine Bitch (which I didn't know existed!). I'm really enjoying the book, even it is going to take me more than a year to finish!
We Need to Talk About Kevin is a book that my mom just sent me. She said it reminded her of my next door neighbor issue. Can't wait to start it.
What is in your book stack?
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Matt did an awesome job on my birthday presents this year. He got me a Patagonia fleece hoody that I had been eyeing plus a Canon Rebel XTi. I know NOTHING about photography, but I am pretty excited to learn. I am planning to take a class through the local art museum this winter or next spring. Until then I'll probably just use the camera in automatic mode and occasionally fiddle with the settings.
I would also like to learn how to use Photoshop, but first I have to get it. With the price of the camera, I doubt Photoshop software is in my near future.
Here are a few of my practice pictures (Jack hasn't been in a photogenic mood this week)...
Monday, October 01, 2007
From my friend Michelle (thanks, Michelle!)
¾ cup ricotta (or feta, but I prefer ricotta)
¾ cup grated mozzarella
¼ cup Parmesan
frozen spinach – thawed and drained well (this is my addition to the recipe)
tomato sauce (I like Newman's Marinara the best for this recipe)
Slice eggplant in long strips (I usually salt them for a few minutes and then rinse), brush with olive oil, and saute about 5 min until soft.
Mix cheeses, spinach, and herbs together
Roll cheese mixture in eggplant slices, place in a baking dish, pour tomato sauce over rolls, bake 350 for 20 min.
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 saute 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.