Monday, March 6, 2017

Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Maple Muffins

I know February is short but goodness it flew by. We had a nice stretch of warm weather and the sap was flowing. The days were beautiful. I planted some small garlic bulbs from the scapes that I didn't get around to planting last fall. It even got so warm that we were able to get back into the three remaining bee colonies and make sure they were alive and give them some food in case they need it. Needless to say, the days all ran together. The one consistent thing? Muffins.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Chocolate Maple Pudding and Goals

Oh February, how you  tease me with your warm weather. The days are getting lighter and warmer but that cold dampness is still in the air. Sap season has started so spring is on it's way and just like every winter, I have big dreams for being outdoors and the garden.

For the holiday of love, we decided to indulge in some dark, delicious chocolate pudding. Yum!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hello February 2017

So let's just let a snowy wind blow away my missing week or two. Have you seen the snow outside? My goodness it is almost 2 feet deep! The chickens are not impressed. The children on the other hand are thrilled.

I am thrilled to say that I did in fact keep our grocery budget as well as every other budget we set. So this post is going to be a purely a goal update but I promise to get back to delicious recipes very soon.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sausage, Beans and Goals

Sorry I missed you last week. I got knocked down by a terrible head cold. When I finally started to feel human around Thursday, it was just in time to cook and clean for L2's birthday. So now that I am feeling better, I am playing a bit of catch up. Thankfully the weather has been lovely so the kids haven't been under foot while I do laundry and dishes. The quiet house has given me some unexpected and welcome time to enjoy The Dave Ramsey show with minimal interruptions.

If you have never listened to his show, or read any of his books (I am currently reading The Total Money Makeover), his show is definitely inspirational. It has been inspiring me to continue working our budget without coming up with creative ways to cheat or talk myself out of it. For now though, I have been sticking to all our goals.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The 2017 Grocery Budget

As part of my goals for 2017, my handsome husband and I decided to try a "No Spend" exercise for 4 months. The main goal was just to not buy anything unnecessary. I really wanted to try it because I wanted to pay down some of our debt and I, if I am being completely honest, I have been feeling very out of control in regards to my spending. Sure, we are paying the bills every month but I know that I have been spending money without too much thought on things from groceries to books. So the No Spend time was really about getting back in control.

Now, I happen to have a brilliant friend who continues to inspire me in pretty much every way possible. We have always been able to chat about money and goals and all those other possibly uncomfortable topics, something which I am eternally gratefully for. So as we talked about my hopes for No Spend, I just kept rambling and rambling and rambling (thankfully she is also an amazing listener with the patience of a saint). As I babbled I began to realize that there was more to it than simply debt. I began to realize it was about feeling overwhelmed and incompetent. I mean, the solution to not having debt is pretty simple, right? Don't spend more than you have. So why was I feeling so out of control?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

Oh my goodness it is a new year already. I have spent the last couple of months thinking, oh I need to post this amazing (insert whatever I just made, pie, cookie, etc.) recipe! Only to look down and there is nothing left to take a picture of. Optimistically I then think, oh I will make it again this weekend and write down my changes and take pictures... can you guess what happens? No? Seriously? Okay, I know you know. Anyway, the holidays flew by and now it's the start of the new year, again. So many little changes and big goals are racing around in my mind. It can be rather overwhelming to think about all the things I want to get done. A year is a long time and yet, it is only a year.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Spending the Day in the Kitchen?

Despite one of my more recent posts, I have been hesitant to post. First off, there has been a big change in how we spend our days: we have officially started homeschooling. It is a deeply personal choice, and while it might not be for everyone, it is definitely what is best for our family right now. Needless to say, we have been spending more of our time learning/teaching reading and cursive writing as well as enjoying tons of living books; today it was Seeker of Knowledge, last week it was Over in the Wetlands, this week we will continue to explore monarchs with Hurry and the Monarch and Monarch and Milkweed as we watch for them as the days grow colder and shorter. I digress. This is not a homeschooling blog and I am planning on keeping it separate (leave me a comment below if you can think of a good title for our homeschool!). This space has been for me. A place to write about cooking and gardening and other fun aspects of our organic lifestyle.

Monday, August 1, 2016

No Stir Simple Granola

Happy August! I have always heard about granola. "It's amazing! What do you mean you don't eat it?" The things is, I never really cared for the really hard bits of not very sweet oats and nuts. I used to like Honey Bunches of Oats (way back when I bought processed food) and those had little tiny bunches of granola type clusters but they weren't the same. But I guess they were. When I got pregnant with L2, I tried a sample of locally made granola and was absolutely blown away. It was definitely not the granola I remember from high school. It was crunchy but not hard. Sweet but not sickly sweet and tasted like sweetened nuts. What had I been missing? To make a long story short, I realized I would have to learn to make it. I found lots of recipes but most seemed relatively time consuming. Then one of my best friends came to my rescue with a recipe that didn't require any stirring. It takes maybe 5-10 minutes to throw together and then you don't need to do anything until it is ready to eat, an hour and 40 minutes later. Seriously, unless you buy it already made, there is no easier way to make it that I have found.

Monday, July 18, 2016

One Good Deed

Recently I took L1 to the library in the evening after my husband got  home from work. We went partly to pick up our books that came in, partly to sign out a local museum pass but mainly to return a book, The Importance of Being Little, that was not only long overdue  but also now billed to me. I had been working my way through it for the last two months. Because, as you may have guessed in my absence, things have been really busy. I would love to explain that spring is the busiest time of the year and all these things happened, because they did but the real reason for my absence has been lack of motivation. Sleep and energy too but mostly motivation. When you get out of the habit of something, it can be so easy to just let it go for a few days but then days turn into weeks and weeks into months and suddenly it is a whole different season. So today, as I looked over the couple of books that came for me, I saw that One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better. I figured that I could check out the introduction while I made lunch. Can you guess what it was about? Yep, doing good but on a larger scale, it was about doing what you are passionate about. One of the things I have been behind on and really missing, is writing. I miss your comments and being part of a community.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Old Log Inn Bar Soap

Spring is coming. It is time for planning, planting, and cleaning. One of the things I need to clean out are all the drafts of articles I started to write but never got to finish. Today, I want to tell you about some amazing local soap I have been using for almost a year: Old Log Inn Naturals.

I discovered them at the farmer's market last year and have been hooked. At first I enjoyed the Peppermint and some other scents. Then I found her Honeysuckle and Plumeria. After that, I only use this soap and Dr. Bronner's Organic Unscented Baby Soap.