Friday, November 09, 2012

A day out with Elijah

On Monday, I surprised Elijah by pulling him out of school in the morning to spend the day with me.

We started off by making our living room into a "movie theater", making hot tea, popcorn and chocolate, and renting a The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

home-movie day

I let him pick out a restaurant for lunch.  ("I want Mama Fu's!  Because the brown shiny rice is my favorite.")

Lunch with one of my favorite little guys

An "in bed" fortune -- my inner 12 year old is snickering wildly
Yes, my inner-twelve-year-old was snickering wildly when we cracked this fortune open....if you've never put "in bed" at the end of a cookie fortune....please forgive me for sullying your mind -- move along, nothing to see here.

After lunch we went to pick out some yarn for Elijah's hat and mitten set that I'm going to knit him this winter, and he also picked out these cheap foam sun-visors for himself and everyone else.  Those visors + a whole heck of a lot of stickers produced hours of fun that afternoon after we picked up Jonah from school, so I was glad he thought of it!
Decorating sun-visors

The last stop before going to get Jonah from school was to hang out at Starbucks for a little bit.  It was really special to get some time to really listen to Elijah.  I love having a whole pack of children, but it's a special treat to get the chance to have such a good chunk of one-on-one time too.

All Hallows Eve

Our family doesn't really celebrate Halloween -- Greg is completely opposed to it, but I say "yay!!  An excuse to wear costumes!! Not like we need one, but it's fun!!"  So our compromise is to just celebrate....costume day-ish.  And get lots of candy at a local Fall Festival.  (Our children are almost never allowed to eat candy, so Halloween is pretty much just CANDY DAY HOORAY in our house.)

In the morning, the children participated in the Halloween/Scare Away Drugs parade at their school:

Halloween/Scare Away Drugs School Parade
Harry Potter

Halloween/Scare Away Drugs School Parade
A Ninja

Halloween/Scare Away Drugs School Parade
A Pink Princess Barbie Cowgirl Cat (obviously) (haha, oh my!)

Kitty (Halloween)
I, of course, was ALSO a Pink Cowgirl Cat.  I didn't realize we were doing the whole Princess Barbie thing on top of that.  Next time.  Jonah had been a Ninja too, but decided that his "costume" (bandana) was just way too hot. (Thank you Alex for this pic!)

Harry Potter!

Harry Potter!
(This is actually a daily costume around our house at the moment)

After the parade, I painted my friend Jenny's face before she left for work.

Jenny's Fire Angel Eyes

We're pretty sure this gives her super powers as some sort of a Fire Angel Supervillan.  Not entirely sure what those superpowers are, so LOOKOUT!

Jenny's Fire Angel Eyes

So much fun!  We decided that we should do this more often.

Since I was already painted up as a pink kitty, we decided to go do a little shopping before work.

Pink Kitty

We like to dress in costume and go out together anyway, so this wasn't really all that different for us...but people finally thought it was normal.  Since it was Halloween.  We decided not to correct anyone ("OH! Yeah, this is just the way we are.")  :-)

Later that night, we met up with my best friend Angela and her little girl, and exhausted the children at the Fall Festival.
Kitty Cat BFF's

Halloween Fall Festival

Halloween Fall Festival
A Ninja transforming into a Power Ranger

Halloween Fall Festival
TWO face painters for the Pink Princess Barbie Cowgirl Cat!

Sugar High at the Halloween Fall Festival
Sugar high!!

Halloween Fall Festival

Halloween Fall Festival
In a fluffy Princess dress, sweet blond curls, and a finger up her nose -- she kills me!!

Halloween Fall Festival

Halloween Fall Festival
The Fireman Ninja (these hybrid costumes are my favorite...because these are actually his "normal clothes" for trips to the grocery store and such.)


But even more exciting....GREG IS COMING HOME TONIGHT!!  These weekend visits are a beautiful thing.   Just a little over a month until he lives with us "for real" again....

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The perpetual countdown.....

Lately, my entire life has become a countdown.  As we draw closer to the end of Greg's year of school in Kansas City, I find myself caring less and less about anything else at all, and my entire being is leaning forward, waiting with bated breath, willing time to tick by just a little faster.... distracting myself with friends, movies, tv shows, children's playdates, parties -- but in the end, all I want is Greg: home with me, right now.

Here's some pics from the last time he was here for the weekend (Roller Derby + East Side King food truck with friends):

Yay Roller Derby!!

Our men at Roller Derby

Out with Greg and friends at Roller Derby

at Roller Derby with Angela & Josh
Our BFF's, Josh and Angela

We threw a big party with friends to smoke meat, drink beer, and make a huge batch of Poutine (gravy fries with cheese curds -- devilish and delicious):

Making Poutine and smoking meat
Greg, Glenn, Josh

Making Poutine and smoking meat

Making Poutine and smoking meat
Drying the soaked potatoes on the tailgate of Glenn's truck before putting them in the deep fryer

Making Poutine and smoking meat

In two days, we get to see Greg again!!  And the countdown continues....

Saturday, October 06, 2012


I've been a bit spare with the blogging lately, but I've been posting to Instagram/flashbangfibers (often linking through Twitter/@flashbangfibers).  I've been having fun sharing little moments and playing around with double proccessing photos/mix-and-match with filters using Little Photo, Retro Camera, Vignette and Instagram (I've got a Droid Bionic).  For those of you who haven't been following along, here's a little catch up...

Getting ready for school

Weekend crafting with the children

The Garbage Men's biggest fan
Cheering for the garbage men

Birthday Cake Protein Shake
Birthday Cake flavored protein shake (not very good, but pretty to look at!)

The Oil Cleansing Method face wash experiment
The Oil Cleansing Method face wash experiment -- I used a ratio of 2-1 (olive oil to castor oil), with 3 drops of Tea Tree oil.  Next batch I'm going to try a 3-1 ratio, with 6 drops of Tea Tree -- more moisturizing, more blemish zapping power.

Pesto and Rosemary-Olive Oil Flatbread
Pesto and Rosemary-Olive Oil with Smoked Sea Salt flatbread -- I'm avoiding wheat for the most part these days, but I made this for an event and it was FAB.  I miss bread...but my body is way happier without it.  ~sigh~

Pumpkin Coconut Smoothie
Pumpkin Coconut Spice Smoothie: 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup canned coconut milk, 1/4 cup almond milk, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, pinches of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Blend with ice and adjust sweetness to taste.  LOVE IT, and it totally kills my pumpkin-spice-frozen-custard cravings.  Score!

Jonah has started caring about clothing A LOT, and now gives me his unfiltered opinion every morning.  He makes me laugh so hard -- his comments on this particular outfit: "Um, Mommy, next time when you get dressed, can you please put on something that looks good?!"

Lavella is learning to read!

Audio books are a lifesaver when I'm housecleaning.  And did you know that you can "return" a book to now for a new credit if you didn't like it?  I recently returned two that I was less than pleased with, and got two more I loved instead!

White Bean Fennel Soup with buttered crusty French bread
A chilly, rainy day dinner of White Bean Fennel Soup with buttered crusty French bread...because sometimes, I just need BREAD BREAD BREAD!

Soaking nuts and seeds to dehydrate.  (See reasons for this here.)

Honey Spice face masks for a cozy night in watching New Girl and eating hot soup in our pajamas.

Coffee date and consignment shopping with a girlfriend

....and literally trying on about half of the store.

Greg came home last night for a 10-day visit, and we're so glad to be able to spend some time together this week!!  Fun pics soon of a night full of Roller Derby and food trucks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


So kind of a while ago, I promised that we would talk about sauerkraut.  Then I got distracted, blogged about some other things, then had a long blogging silence.  But I never forgot!  Last week, I made a new batch of sauerkraut, so I figured that now was as good a time as any to talk about it FOR REAL this time.

I am fascinated by fermentation and culturing.  I have, at different times, cultivated cycles of kombucha teawater kefer, and yogurt, and I love being able to have live, active probiotics in my diet.  It's good for the digestion and yeast balances in the body, as well as countless other health benefits.  When I first read about making raw, fermented sauerkraut in Ani's Raw Food Essentials by Ani Phyo, I knew that I had to try it.

First I shredded one rather large head of cabbage very thinly and evenly with my mandoline slicer (saving the very outer leaves to use as the "covers" for fermenting).  Then I massaged a tablespoon of sea salt into the cabbage until it started to look a little bit "cooked" or pickled, and it became a bit wet.  Next, I mixed in a tablespoon of white Miso paste, because introducing a live, active culture to the kraut helps speed the fermentation process, and I get a little impatient (this step is not strictly necessary -- the cabbage has enough natural cultures on it to ferment itself with no help, but I just wanted results more quickly.  I've also used a big splash of kombucha, and another time I used some water kefir).  I packed the cabbage tightly into three mason jars, tucked them in firmly with pieces of the outer cabbage leaves, and topped them up a bit with salt water to cover (1 tablespoon of salt to 1 cup water).

Making fermented sauerkraut

I weighed down the kraut with smaller mason jars half-filled with water and placed them into a large casserole dish (to catch any drips in case of bubble-over later on), and covered with a kitchen towel.

Making fermented sauerkraut

Finally, I tucked the whole thing into a dark corner of my pantry and let it do it's thing.  I checked on it occasionally to make sure that it didn't need to be fed any more salt water, and also checked for mold or white scum, but this batch was super well-behaved and needed no extra attention.  Today when I tasted it, it was done!!  Perfectly tangy and delicious, and perfectly healthy.  Love it!  (You can let it go for much longer, but it's all according to your taste preference and if you innoculated it with extra fermenting power, like miso paste, etc. -- this one tasted exactly right to me at 6 days.)

Sandwiched between "pumpernickel rye" raw flatbread (recipe also in Ani's Raw Food Essentials by Ani Phyo) along with thick tomato slices, ripe avocado and crispy eggplant bacon, I had a satisfyingly thick Raw Reuben Sandwich.

Raw Reuben Sandwich

I'm not giving up real Reuben sandwiches forever, but I'm so excited to know that I can create an acceptable substitute that makes me feel great afterwards, instead of feeling like I need a serious nap.  Raw foods are just fabulous like that.

Here's a blog post with a few more step-by-step photos if you need to see the whole process before you take the plunge into kraut making.