Saturday, April 28, 2012

growing like a wildflower*

little luca. he is growing big entirely too fast *sigh*
next month, the first week of next month to be exact, he will be two years old. i just now allowed myself to count even though i said i wouldn't. nine days. nine days left of this one year old "little" guy. i picked up a gently used tricycle with a long handle that we can guide him along with complete with a bell on the handle bar. it was his big birthday gift and has been hiding in the garage. a few days ago while we were out back doing yard work i suddenly realized he was no longer playing on the slide. we all abandoned our chores to look for him. then we heard the tiny chime from that bell coming from the garage. 
he loves his new trike.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

earth day*

{self watering seed starters}

yesterday we had friends over to make these. luca's pumpkin is in the middle and we planted it a couple weeks ago to see how it would work. it worked pretty well, as you can see! harper planted sunflowers and esmé also planted big max pumpkin seeds. i wish i had thought to take a pic of everyone's seed starters, all lined up. but i forgot. next time. someone please remind me!

happy earth day, friends! treat your surroundings extra kind today! xo

{have you read my sustainable living list? is there something you think i should add? please let me know!}

Saturday, April 21, 2012

lunch on the river*

just a few photos that i would like to share from our little mountain trip a few weeks ago. 
hope you are all enjoying a lovely weekend! xo

Saturday, April 14, 2012

doughnuts in a hurry*

 this day started out a bit hustle-y and bustle-y as we attempted to catch up on neglected chores {i blame the sunshine} 
wash the blankets and sheets, make the beds, sweep the floors, scrub the dishes, water the plants, pick up the toys... the sweet promise of cinnamon-sugar doughnuts when we finished our tasks made the busy morning smooth sailing.

doughnuts in a hurry ::
refrigerator biscuits, make a hole in each center {i used a 44 north shot glass made by my glass cutting hubby} heat a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat, fry each doughnut until golden brown, dip each side in melted butter then coat in cinnamon-sugar. eat while hot. yum, yum, yum!

they received an enthusiastic thumbs up from the little folks at my table. 

happy saturday, friends! xo

linking up with gingerbread's sweet saturday post! go check it out!

Friday, April 13, 2012

this week*

 on monday while luca napped i cut harper's hair shorter than he has ever wore it. he is, of course, absolutely adorable and it seems to survive the day a little better than his shoulder length golden locks, especially when tucked into a bicycle helmet for an entire afternoon.

 these photos were taken immediately after the cut and i have since fixed it up a bit. like that longish chunk right the behind his ear has been trimmed shorter, for example...

 on tuesday while luca napped i sewed this reversible dress up cape for a little friend's 4th birthday (which is today! YaY!) 

and yesterday we discovered this set of vintage chairs while out thrifting and happily paid $15 (!!) for the two and brought them home. the bottom cushions were dirty but easily cleaned right up. they are perfect for my space and i have been looking for so long for something just like them. but then today i stopped into another favorite thrift store looking for a side table and ottoman and i found an amazing rocking chair. comfy, pretty, and in fantastic shape. gah, i must have it, but where am i going to put it? i am considering putting one of the new green chairs in storage so i can bring the amazing rocker home. that seems reasonable, yes? i think i will sleep on it and decide in the morning. 

happy friday, friends! i hope your weekend is off to a fantastic start! xo

Friday, April 06, 2012

kombucha*brewing, bottling and flavoring

 i showed you how to breed your own scoby in this post and now i will share my method for brewing, bottling and flavoring home brewed kombucha tea! this tutorial will brew 40 ounces of kombucha at a time - i prefer to brew in smaller amounts like this because the jar doesn't need much space while it is brewing and i can have two (or even three!) jars going at the same time with different flavors of tea. one black tea and one green tea, for example. it is easy to tuck the 40 ounce jars into a high cupboard and leave them undisturbed while the tea ferments.

you will need ::
a scoby
36 oz hot water
3 tea bags (make sure it is not decaffeinated tea - your scoby needs the caffeine to do its work) 
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brewed kombucha (use the liquid you started your scoby in)
 pour the hot water over the tea bags. add the sugar and stir until dissolved. then let the liquid cool to room temperature.

 remove the tea bags and poor the cooled tea into a 40 oz jar. add 1/2 cup brewed kombucha and place the scoby on top of the liquid.

 cover the jar with a piece of cloth secured with a rubber band and place it somewhere safe and warm to let it work its magic. i like to bottle my tea after 12 days but this is just personal preference. at 10 days you can slip a straw under the scoby and siphon a tiny bit of tea to taste. when you like what you taste it is time to bottle!

i use empty kombucha bottles for my tea but you can use beer bottles or mason jars if you prefer. make sure they are nice and clean and have a tight seal when the lids are on. 
*while mason jars work just fine if that is what you have on hand i find my tea to be slightly less carbonated when stored this way.

with clean hands gently lift your scoby out of the jar and set it aside on a plate. funnel the tea into each jar. make sure you save a half cup of the liquid for your next batch!

i flavor my tea with pureed fruit. the tea in the photo above has pureed mango in it. i have also used pineapple, grated ginger, kiwi and my absolute all time favorite is mashed strawberries. serious yum. after i add the fruit puree i tightly cap each bottle then leave them out on the counter for a day or two before refrigerating. i find the carbonation builds up more with this method and i get nice, fizzy kombucha.

another wonderful way to flavor kombucha and build carbonation is to use the double fermentation method (my new favorite!!) food renegade has a great tutorial on this.

and that is just about all there is to it! give it a try and let me know how it goes.
happy brewing!

chicks :: day four

here are our happy girls, 4 days old. jojo, daisy, ramona, holly, matilda and sunny.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

wild birds, baby birds and giveaway winners!

 the kids and i put this out a few days ago.

that is handspun rainbow merino there on top - spoiled birdies!
 a fiber scraps, yarn and dryer lint for nest building birds. we do this every year and the birds happily take our offerings but we have never, ever spotted a brightly colored nest with yarn and fiber bits. we will be on the look-out again this year and please believe, if we spy one you will hear all about it!

 and look! we have baby chicks at our house! six sweet little bundles of fluff. we picked them up and settled them in yesterday.

 this was kind of funny - after they each had sips of water and explored their new home they all settled down in pairs - the two araucanas together, the two barred rocks and the two sex links. they are still doing it this morning when they sleep. so far they are happy and healthy and getting along fine. i plan to take and post lots of photos as the girls grow - get ready!

and lastly , i have two winners for the smell better butter weekend giveaway (this giveaway post completely disappeared yesterday! so weird! but the comments are all there so no worries!)

the randomly selected comments were #6 and #18
meggie and pepperberry knits! yay! i will contact you both this afternoon and get your smell better butter mini tin trios to you!

huge thanks to everyone who entered! xo

Monday, April 02, 2012

this is monday*

this in the blender :: bananas, peaches, strawberries, rainbow chard, spinach, water, spirulina and cinnamon

this in the stereo.

this at the table :: he has finally quit eating the crayons! yay!

this in my studio :: basil-lime and grapefruit

this in the garden :: the cutest little hen house ever, in progress.

this on the mantle :: you can knit your own spring nest with eggs! pattern here.

i hope you are having a happy little monday too, friends! xo

oh, and while you are here don't forget to enter the smell better butter giveaway!