Thursday, September 30, 2010

a birthday butterfly

We have a big birthday coming up in our family. The big 4 years old for my little Mia! Oh how I wish I could just stop time with her. Most things that come out of her mouth are quite adorable, she's still so snuggly, and I marvel at her determined spirit. She wakes up every single morning, stands up as tall as she possibly can and says, "Mom, look how big I am!" My petite little girl says this with such gusto that it makes me smile every single time. She has been into trying on my rings, so I decided to make her one of her own for her special day. This knitted butterfly ring pattern is from the super adorable knitting blog spud & chloe. The site is full of wonderful free patterns and the spud & chloe yarn is simply delicious. Happy early birthday to my sweetest girl. I can't wait to celebrate being 4 with you!

Monday, September 27, 2010

i SO wish i could go to this...

I know... I know! Another video but I just couldn't resist. I came across the finale event to one of my all-time favorite things that lives on my lovely little links and I just had to share it. If any of you are in Chicago, I think you should try and go. It would be really incredible to be a small, beautiful part of something so big and just SO LOVELY!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

sugar free friday ~ mustards last stand

I had a lunch date with my girl today. We ate at the very fancy, schmancy Mustard's Last Stand. This girl of mine loves hot dogs, so much so that occasionally she asks for one for dessert. (Not a joke!) Being the picky eater I am, I somewhat doubted I would find something on the menu I would be excited about but lo and behold, they had a vegetarian section and on it was a tofu ruben. Only in Boulder, right? Tofu at a hot dog joint? And let me tell you, it was totally delicious. I couldn't wait to tell you about it for my sugar-free friday post. And to top off our experience at Mustard's, there was a sign in the restaurant that read, "Do you want to picnic by the river? Just ask us for a blanket." Don't you love that?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

time for twine?

It's been on my list! I love twine ~ the way it adds a dainty charm to just about everything. This picture makes me want to place an order right here and now. What color would you choose?

our hometown heroes!

This fire we had a few weeks ago was one of the worst Colorado has seen. As much devastation as it caused and as horrible as it was to witness, it was also a wonderful coming together of our small town and an energizing sense of community. The kiddos were also very aware of what was going on, and wanted to do their part to thank the firefighters too! We baked homemade chocolate chip cookies, made some special pictures for the firemen, and hand delivered the goodies to the fire house. I loved seeing how much this meant to the little ones and how proud they were to help in their own way. Oh I wish I could just bottle up the pure goodness in their hearts! The hometown parade celebrating the firefighters was the sweetest... brought tears to my eyes really ~ watching the firefighters marching and the loud cheers from the crowds, reading all of the 'thank you' signs from the children and the signs that read 'thank you for saving my home.'

Perhaps one of the most touching moments was this rescued puppy marching in the parade. I mean how amazing is that?!?

this quote

"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman (1900-1981), Educator, Minister, Civil Rights Activist

I found these amazing words on this blog. They speak to me so loudly. I love Nicola's thoughts on Squam. I was so lucky to attend Squam Art Workshops last summer and truly, it changed my life too. I will forever be grateful to Elizabeth creating such a magical place.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

where is creativity going?

Oh this is such a testament to how important creativity is for our children, and all of us really! This Newsweek article talks about how our children in America are just not creative as they used to be, and why, and how we can start to turn this around. Creativity is vital, and our world simply needs creative solutions. Period. It's a fascinating article and makes me want to be even more creative with my kiddos ~ every single day!

Friday, September 17, 2010

sugar free friday ~ fig jam!

Okay! I'm on time this week. :) We made this super yummy jam from you guessed it ~ Super Natural Cooking. I'm working my way through the whole cookbook, and am always so pleased with how the recipes turn out. This one was so incredibly simple, using only five ingredients ~ fresh organic figs, honey, lemon juice, toasted sesame seeds & freshly ground pepper. It seriously took me at the most, 10 minutes of work. I love having this little treat waiting in the fridge, ready to just slap onto a thick piece of yummy toast for breakfast. Mmmmmm good!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm dreaming about these decals for my little girl's walls. I think they are absolutely adorable and love that they are made with fabric instead of vinyl. And the most fun part, it's totally reusable so you can redesign your walls (especially good for someone like me who likes to change things up every now & then). Brilliant.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

sweet natural stamps

Won't these make the best stamps? Can you guess what they are? I'll give you a hint... they are yummy to eat. Yep, you guessed it. Bok Choy (the stems). Thank you Red Wagon for the delish veggies this week, and for creating these stamping beauties.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

please keep...

our beautiful little city of Boulder in your thoughts. This fire in our foothills has been incredibly devastating... over 169 homes have been lost, thousands of people have been evacuated, and word on the street is our neighborhood may be next on the list for evacuations. Please keep everyone effected by this fire close to your heart.

for a sweet new year (& belated sugar-free friday)

I'm a little late with this post, as I had intended on posting it Friday, but with the uncertainty of the fire still looming and hosting a Rosh Hashanah dinner, well here I am a few days later! Our Jewish New Year celebration was terrific. I always love the meaning and feelings around this holiday ~ new beginnings and the promise of a good new year ~ all sentiments wonderfully represented by food! We dip apples in honey to symbolize a sweet new year, which is a favorite treat for all, and one that I also thought would be a perfect sugar-free Friday goodie to share. Our Rosh Hashanah dinner tables were filled with our wonderful friends and family and children. It was such a lovely night and we couldn't have asked for a better way to bring in the new year. As we say on this holiday... Shana Tova (good year)! May this be a beautiful one for everyone!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

sugar free friday!

I've been on this kick of trying to reduce the amount of refined sugar in our lives. After a pretty rough winter health-wise, I totally lost my sugar craving for the first time ever in my life, and I truly never felt better. I mean, I was the girl who loved an extra vat of frosting to dip my already frosted cinnamon rolls in and always had to have something sweet after dinner. So after that sugar craving disappeared, I've been on a mission to keep it at bay. I have always been a pretty healthy eater (besides my love of all things sweet) and am always interested in exploring and trying new healthy ways to cook and bake. When you start really checking and reading labels on packaged and processed foods, well refined sugar is in everything, and I mean everything, and has hundreds of code names. Now not to say that all sweet things have been removed from our house, but I've been replacing our pantry with natural sweeteners (brown rice syrup, raw honey, agave nectar) and now carefully choose what ends up in our grocery cart. It feels so great to me to be feeding our family the most natural foods I can and finding fun ways to incorporate yummy treats without the added sugar.

So all that being said, I thought I would start a Friday ritual (sugar free friday) featuring recipes I find and love that don't involve refined sugar. So here we go!

Leave it to my favorite go to gal, Heidi Swanson, to come up with a fantastic caramel popcorn recipe using brown rice & maple syrup, along with a lovely smattering of toasted nuts. It's out of Super Natural Cooking (which I've mentioned quite a few times on this blog and I'm on round 6 of checking it out from our library) and it was just too good to be true. It was my first time making caramel popcorn from scratch and boy, I can't wait to do it again! I made it for a fishing picnic dinner we had along side one of our beautiful Colorado rivers and I have to say, it was quite a lovely evening. My husband (a most avid fisherman who would fish everyday of his life if he could) and the kids were busy reeling them in, while I sat in a camping chair, knitting, handing out caramel popcorn to my munchkins, and snacking on the popcorn myself. Oh that was a such a terrific way to end a week!