Thursday, September 30, 2010

World peace, or a clean bathroom

there are very few things in life that make me happier than a clean bathroom, and that makes me feel bad. Maybe it's because I live with 3 boys, maybe it's because I'm lazy, but a truly clean bathroom is truly a glorious feeling. This makes me feel bad because it's not a championed court case, it's not a new designer accessory, and it's certainly not world peace. maybe, just maybe it is a sort of my-world peace. Now I feel as though I should let you know that I throughly clean my bathrooms about once a week and maintain it daily but that absolutely clean kind of clean is, well, a triumph.
I'm not quite sure why I am ashamed of my joy but I feel that as a modern woman I should be. but alas I am an official and professional artist and today my newest piece is this very clean house.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

sometimes you just have to laugh

At your kids, yourself, and those around you that you love

like today when Mason gave himself his own Bindi Dot ( his Montessori school teacher is From India and gives the kids dots on the days the behave at school)


I finally finished painting the boys room and have them all moved in. We even had room to put their play kitchen in here

Complete with a turkey in the oven

I'll post more pictures of the finished room as soon as I get all the cowboy decor hung up
Today I am just playing with the money pictured above : )

Giggly Happy Peace

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And the winner is...

Me, because I finally got around to painting the red in the boys room...see...
Oh yeah, and I helped in Orion's class, babysat my neighbors little boy, made blackberry jam, made and canned Spaghetti sauce and then made some stuffed manicotti for dinner, whew I'm pooped!

By the way the winner of the First day of Autumn apple butter giveaway is......... Lenae!
Congrats, please email me you mailing info and I'll get it packed up and in the mail asap.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering what kind of very scientific method I used to pick a winner I'll tell you. I assigned you all numbers then had Orion pick one.
Thanks to everyone for playing and I hope to do many more giveaways in the coming months.

Peace and a plate full of steaming hot manicotti!

there is still time...

I'll be back later today to announce the winner of my very first giveaway. you still have a chance to enter if you haven't already. For now I am headed to school to help out in Orion's kindergarten class.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Club

A few moths ago I reluctantly joined a newly formed women's book club. We are still somewhat new to the town we live in and I am still trying to make new friends and connections so with hesitation I agreed to be a member. I say with hesitation because while I am an avid reader, I am also find reading to be a very personal experience that I am not eager to talk about with strangers. Having done my fair share of high school book reports I felt that I did not need to sit in a room and prove how large my vocabulary is.

Well, I was wrong.

as much as I wanted to hate the book club gatherings, secretly I really enjoyed them. I even agreed to host our third meeting, which was a hoot! We are up to about 12 women and apparently word of my lemoncello cranberry cocktails from the 3rd meeting has gotten around town because there are about 5 more women wanting to join the group.
Currently we are reading Little Bee, the story of a Nigerian girl who Travels to England. She prides her ability to captivate people on the fact that she has taught herself to speak the Queen's English by reading newspapers while in an immigration holding facility. Author Chris Cleave is an utterly beautiful writer,and maybe my new favorite. And just look at that cover, it's so yellow and pretty!
I truly recommended this little jewel of a book to you, or as LaVar Burton would say at the end of Reading Rainbow, "Of course, you don't have to take my word for it."

Peace, quiet and a good book

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fresh Apple butter & a Giveaway

Friday I spent the entire day making the most amazing apple butter. And I do mean the ENTIRE day. A few years ago I attempted making apple butter and it turned out terrible. I am happy to say that this batch turned out much nicer and I have already given about half of it away to friends. the whole process is worth it to me because I get to use one of my most prized objects, my grandmothers food mill.

Apple butter

4-5 lbs. Fresh baking apples
1 c. Apple cider vinegar
2 c. water
White sugar
brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. clove
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1-2 tbsp. lemon juice

Cut apples into quarters and remove seeds. I like to leave the cores in and the peels on to enhance flavor and add the natural pectin from the cores.
place apples, apple cider vinegar, and water in pot or crock-pot and cover. Bring to a boil for about 20 minutes or until apples are tender.

Ladle apple mixture, juice and all into food mill and process. (this step gives the apple butter is smooth buttery texture, if you do not have a food mill you can use a food processor but peel, core, and chop apples before boiling.)
after all the apple has been put through the food mill transfer it back to the pot or to a crock pot and add sugar salt, lemon juice and spices. I add 1/2 a cup of sugar for every cup of pured apples, this amount can be reduced if you are using a sweeter apple or want a tart apple butter. cook apple stirring frequently butter for several hours or until the butter has a dark brown color and thick consistency.
when the apple butter is finished you can ladle it into clean sanitized jars and refrigerate for 3-4 weeks or process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes and store for up to 3 years on the shelf. Enjoy!

And here's the best part...
Because I finally have a following (all 4 of you) I decided to say thanks by giving away a jar of this delicious jam and a few other goodies. All you have to do post a comment to enter and really seeing as you have A 25% chance of winning, you might be enjoying apple butter with out all the labor.unless of course my bribing pays off and I get a few more of you following my bloggie antics...

mmmm...warm cinnamon scented peace

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Have you ever wanted to have fun teaching your child to spell? Have you ever wondered just how many scrabble tiles a 2 year old can stuff into their mouth,pockets,diaper and your purse before you can catch them? well then may I suggest a rousing game of family scrabble. We try to do this about once a week or so and it really adds some interest to the usual flash card routine, and the best part is that we are all together and all laughing the entire time. We don't keep score when we play with the kids but it would also be a good way to practice basic addition.

P E A C E = 11 points!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Harvest Muffins

This time of year my inner baking beast goes wild, baking delicious cakes and cookies almost everyday. So it is no coincidence that this is also the time of year that my darling husband decides after about a week that it is time for him to start watching what he eats. A baked goods boycott ensues and of course it only makes me want to bake more, I'm such a considerate wife huh? So every year I start trying to figure out ways to bake healthier goodies. This has to be of of my absolute favorite recipes that has come out it. I prefer to use all high quality mostly organic ingredients for the best nutritional value.

Harvest Muffins

1 C. Oats
1 c. Whole wheat all purpose flour
1/2 c. multi grain hot cereal mix (it is loaded with all sorts of goodies like ground flax, oat bran, wheat germ and so on)
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 c. Yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons butter room temp
2 eggs
1 tbsp. real vanilla extract

Optional tasty add ins:
1 medium size grated apple
1 grated carrot
2 smashed ripe bananas
sweetened flake coconut
1/3 c. cranberries
1/3 c. chopped pecans
you could also substitute pureed pumpkin for the banana

Optional tasty spices:
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. clove

preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix flour, oats, hot cereal mix, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices in bowl of stand mixer, add in grated apple, carrot, coconut,cranberries and pecans and mix until combined. add room temp butter and mix until just combined

in another bowl mash bananas, eggs, yogurt and vanilla together until smooth add to dry ingredient/fruit mix and beat until just combined, mixture WILL be lumpy, that's a good thing.

Divide evenly into muffin pans and top with mixture of b. sugar, cinnamon and oats sprinkle on top of muffins and bake for around 18-25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

I like to make a bunch or these and pop most of them into the freezer for busy mornings. Enjoy!

Peace is a warm muffin
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