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?
Friday, November 09, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
The wild population of Bornean orangutans is estimated at 45,000-50,000. There are 15 times more deer in the state of Colorado alone than there are orangutans on Earth! There are about 7,300 Sumatran orangutans in the wild; they are on the list of top 25 most endangered primates in the world. Orangutans give birth once every 6 -10 years, the longest interbirth interval of any mammal! Orangutans are the only Asian great ape; they are the largest arboreal mammal on earth... and their babies are super cute! (not high on the conservation list, but they are really cute!)
Millions of people in Borneo and Sumatra rely on the palm oil industry for their livelihood. That is one reason not to support a blanket boycott on all palm oil. The land for new plantations is often forcibly taken from indigenous people who traditionally owned the land, resulting in violent conflicts. Local people can and should be trained in environmentally sustainable agriculture, (including palm oil and other food sources) and other sustainable trades, crafts and professions.
Read product labels at the store and find the labels that contain no palm oil OR labels that contain sustainable yield palm oil or palmitate. How will you know when Palm Oil is sustainable yield? Start with a Shopping Guide to Sustainable Yield Palm Oil Products
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
- Organic & local foods
- Environmentally friendly cleaning and personal products
- Reusable bags
- Smaller living space with shared community space
- Home that is built green and energy efficient
- Wooden toys
- Recycled home products
I think they may also do a blurb on my blog, so welcome to any new reader and visitors!
I have some more giveaways and discount codes coming soon. I also am going to choose the PIF recipients this weekend, so there is still time to comment if you want to be included. And I am planning to host a birth story carnival next Tuesday, so start writing out your birth stories!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
- Bring our own water bottles. Since we can't bring them full of water through security, we bring them empty and fill them up at one of the restaurants or a drinking fountain. Takes less time than buying a bottle of water and is free!
- Bring your own snacks. I like organic mini carrots, Lara bars, Annie's organic whole wheat bunnies, fruit leathers, Puffins cereal, and our new favorite organic lollipops.
- Plan for any meal during travel time and bring your own food from home. You'll feel better than if you eat the fast food junk in the airport, and you don't have to worry about time. I pack PB&J, veggie bootie, apples, grapes, etc.
- Refuse airplane snacks. They are overpackaged and really aren't that healthy (most I have seen have hydrogenated oils)
- Refuse airplane drinks or bring your own small cup (or use your water bottle!). Think of all those plastic cups that are being used everyday on every airplane. I usually let the kids have a can of apple juice while on board, but we use our own cups.
- Take any recyclables off the plane with you and recycle when you reach your destination(although some airlines do recycle the aluminum drink cans).
-Dine at local restaurants. I find them by using websites like Happy Cow (specifically for vegetarian establishments, but many of those tend to also be local), Dine Originals, or Best Independent Restaurants. I also check out restaurants associated with local museums or just search online "local restaurants" or "independent restaurants" in the city or state I am visiting. Not only is this a green and sometimes more healthy way to dine out, but it is also a great way to get a feel for the local culture and find little places you might not normally stumble upon.
I'd love any of your tips on how to eat and drink in a healthy & environmentally friendly way while traveling.
Monday, November 05, 2007
I'm still a Cowboys and Colts fan, but it almost makes me want to become an Eagles fan...
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Monday - Kids' meal - Spaghetti
Tuesday - Quick Barley Vegetable Pilaf (recipe below) & baked squash
Wednesday - Wheat Berry Salad (recipe below - this is a new one that I am trying. Got it from Wild Oats) and broiled salmon (just lemon and butter)
Thursday - Community Meal - I am helping to serve, but no cooking!
Friday - Dinner out with friends!
Check out OrgJunkie for more menu ideas
Quick Barley Vegetable Pilaf
½ cup chopped onion
1 chopped red pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup broth
¾ cup quick cooking barley
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped
¼ cup minced fresh basil
3T grated Parmesan
Melt butter in large saucepan or deep skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender. Stir in red pepper, mushrooms, and garlic and sauté until red pepper is tender. Season generously with black pepper. Add broth; heat to boil. Stir in barley. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in spinach, tomatoes, and basil. Cook, uncovered, one to two minutes or until spinach is wilted. Spoon into serving bowl and sprinkle with Parmesan. Makes 6 servings.
Wheat Berry Salad
1 cup hard red winter wheat berries
1 1/2 cups broth
1/8 broth dried cranberries, chopped
1/8 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup whole walnuts
6 T olive oil
3 T white Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 bunch green onions, finely diced
4 butter lettuce "cups"
2 oz crumbled feta
Rinse wheat berries and place in a saucepan. Add broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for about an hour or until the wheat berries are soft. Remove from heat and stir in cranberries and apricots. Cover and let sit 10 minutes. Chill in fridge until ready to use.
Place walnuts in a skillet. Toast over med heat. Allow to cool and chop.
Place olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and rosemary in a blender. Pulse to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place cold wheat berries in a bowl. Mix in walnuts, onions and just enough dressing to hold everything together. Place in butter lettuce cups and garnish with feta.
- Turn off your TV
- Leave you house
- Know you neighbors
- Greet people
- Look up when you;re walking
- Sit on your stoop
- Plant flowers
- Use your library
- Play together
- Buy from local merchants
- Share what you have
- Help a lost dog
- Take children to the park
- Honor elders
- Support neighborhood schools
- Fix it even if you didn't break it
- Have pot lucks
- Garden together
- Pick up litter
- Read stories aloud
- Dance in the street
- Talk to the mail carrier
- Listen to the birds
- Put up a swing
- Help carry something heavy
- Barter for your goods
- Start a tradition
- Ask a question
- Hire young people for odd jobs
- Organize a block party
- Bake extra and share
- Ask for help when you need it
- Open your shades
- Sing together
- Share your skills
- Take back the night
- Turn up the music
- Turn down the music
- Listen before you react to anger
- Mediate a conflict
- Seek to understand
- Learn from new and uncomfortable angles
- Know that no one is silent though many are not heard
- Work to change this
Saturday, November 03, 2007
We went to the American Girl grand opening benefit last night. So opulent (so NOT green) yet so much fun. I'll post all about it next week when I am home and can download pics to post also.
Kate is having an amazing time with Abbie. I think both girls are enjoying being only children and getting lots of attention. So many giggles and so little discipline. Krista and I are talking about making girls' weekend a regular event.
I am so far behind on reading and commenting on posts. I didn't have much time last week with Matt off work and now NaBloPoMo is making it even worse. I'll catch up when I get home!
Friday, November 02, 2007
I always come to birthing discussions from two different angles. I am intimately involved in the medical system as a nurse and as the spouse of a medical professional, but I also chose to have unmedicated births. My first birth was attended (well, supposed to be attended, but that is a story for another day) by a midwife, and the second by an OB who was very supportive of my decision to have an unmedicated birth. She is also very supportive of midwife attended births and was the backup OB for a group of independent nurse midwives. I originally wanted a home birth, but Matt was quick to veto that idea. We then explored the freestanding birthing center option which was very convenient as it was only 3 blocks from our home. Our insurance wouldn't cover it. Instead I chose the birthing center within the hospital, but I ended up in regular L&D for both births (but not for medical reasons - read Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf for more info on the misleading practice of hospital "birthing centers" as well as more great info on our birthing systems in the US.) Still I had amazing, unmedicated births. I'll post my birth stories someday. But I digress...
I am a proponent of birth being treated as a natural process. I like to see as little intervention as possible, and the statistics certainly support the safety of midwifery and home births. On the other hand, I also understand how and why hospitals work the way they do (not saying it is right or shouldn't change, but I understand). I also understand the pressure our legal system puts on health care providers. The rate at which legal action is taken agains doctors is ridiculous.
My point being that I am always concerned that information about natural childbirth is going to be anti-hospital and/or anti-doctors which always puts me on the defensive. This film didn't do that. While doctors and hospitals weren't always shown in the best light, the film did an excellent job demonstrating that sometimes the interventions of hospitals and doctors are absolutely necessary.
I did get a little annoyed and spoke up after someone at the screening made the comment that unmedicated birth is "impossible" in the hospital. It is very possible and relatively easily attained with the right information, the right mindset, and the right support.
My only real complaint about the movie is that it made me want to give birth again... but Matt veto'd that idea too.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Kate and I are taking off today for a girls-only weekend. We are going to the grand opening benefit for the new American Girl store. I think I may be more excited than Kate!
One of my bestest friends Krista and her daughter Abbie are joining us from Minnesota. Krista and I know each other from way back when we both started working as new graduate nurses at Parkland Hospital (infamous for being the place where JFK died and where Matt and I met). Krista and I met in computer class and have had many wonderful adventures together. We even lived together for a short time. Eventually she moved back to Minnesota to be near her family, but we have remained friends and have seen many changes together. We were in each other's weddings and between the two of us, have supported each other through a combined 6 babies and 6 moves. We even have children days apart (my 1st, her 3rd!). I sometimes talk to Krista on the phone almost as much as I talk to my mom!