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Showing posts from March, 2012

Happy First Birthday

One year ago I decided to share my journey with others by writing a blog. I had planned on doing something "big" like a give away to celebrate the birthday of my blog but alas, life got in the way. As it should. Because really, isn't life more important? As much as I love to share what I'm learning with you, I wouldn't be learning much if I wasn't living. So I'll just commemorate this joyous occasion with a top ten list. The top ten were determined simply by the number of visits a post received.

Stay-cation: Fun Things to Do Around Rochester, MNA Week of ChickenKaleCHEESENo Poo ResultsNaughty Henny PennyGarage Sales: Green Frugality at it's BestHomemade GranolaKefir BrewsSuper Duper Power Smoothies Thank you for joining me in my journey.

Five Minute Friday.....on Saturday

Ok, I'm a bit late but I'm joining in on Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday anyway. Even if it's really Saturday. The rule on Five Minute Friday's is to write for five minutes. No correcting. No going back. Today's, or should I say YESTERDAY'S, prompt is GIFT.

I long for the gift of time. Time to finish all my tasks and then still some more time to have with family and friends.

More time to complete all the projects that I've began. The scarf I started to knit in December. The chicken coop I've been meaning to build. The stack of books that I want to read. The playroom that stills needs to finished (this project started a year ago....walls are finally painted yet there are still many finishing details that are unfinished). 

More time with old friends. More time with new friends. How often do I say, "Oh, I need to call so and so." or "I would really love to have such and such family over for dinner". Relationships that I'd love to g…


I'm trying really hard to be good. Really. I am ready to shed some pounds and have spent the last couple weeks being very diligent. Smoothies for breakfast, huge veggie filled salads for lunch and healthy dinners. But sometimes, usually in the afternoon, I just crave sweet. I've been warding off these cravings with Larabars but the this week I wanted chocolate. 

This week I made up three treats that satisfied my cravings. Cranberry Yogurt, Chocolate Mocha Yogurt and Chocolate Chia Pudding. All were simple, yummy and not too naughty. 

Cranberry Yogurt
1 cup of Viili homemade yogurt
1 T. Wildtree Cranberry Spice Blend
Blend with a spoon and eat!

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
1 c. milk
2 T. chia seeds
1 T. cocoa powder
tiny splash of vanilla

Stir ingredients and let sit for 20 minutes (this gives the chia seeds time to expand and thicken the pudding).

Mocha Yogurt
1 cup Viili yogurt and 1 heaping teaspoon of Wildtree Mocha Mousse and Cheesecake Blend 

Stir well and enjoy!

Shared on:

Delicious Obse…

Jars Full of Goodness

I like canning jars......and all other glass jars. I'm kinda a jar pack rat. But as I've leaned towards "green", moving away from plastic wrap and baggies, I appreciate my jar stash. 

Whether the jars are found in the cellar, filled with fall's harvest........
.....a jar of lemon and honey to sooth the throat or an old kombucha bottle turned vase for a handful of fresh cut pussy willow branches, in their usefulness they become beautiful.

I have jars in my refrigerator, jars on top of the refrigerator, jars in my bathroom and under the kitchen sink, even a few jars on my counter. Some people collect knick-knacks. I collect jars full of goodness. 

Here's just a few in my collections ~
From left to right: Ant Killer, Dishwasher Detergent, Shaved Soap, Bone Broth, Viili Yogurt, Flax, Cold Remedy.

ANTS I was amazed to see ants under my cupboard the other day. It's March. I live in Minnesota. Really? I have a bucket under the sink that I keep for collecting scraps for…

Solid? Liquid? It's SLIME!

When public school has a day off, so does my homeschooling boy, simply because no school means more kids for me. Big Kids (that's what we call the school-agers), for some reason, are harder to entertain than the littles. School (or their peers) must teach them the phrase, which is quite often delivered in a whine, "I'm bored........."  I try to stay a step ahead of them to ward off their lack of creative play. 
Last Friday, with no school and a houseful of kiddos, I had the playmobiles ready. I bought the playmobiles on ebay last year and it was the best money I EVER spent as they entertain both the the Big Kids and the Littles for literally HOURS! I also had the ingredients ready for making SLIME! As soon as the playmobies had lost their popularity, we picked them up and made our slime. It was a big hit. The kiddos helped me mix up the slime, we then divided it into pie plates to play with. Afterwards I put the slime into baby food jars for kiddos to take home. Yep. …

The Wonderful Powers of Garlic

Please excuse my appearance in the following pictures. Keep in mind that these were taken in morning, shortly after waking. It is also Sunday and part of my Sunday routine is to delay showering for awhile so that I can spend the morning in my pajamas, sipping coffee and enjoying the quiet. I am "blessed" with bags under my eyes. I don't know if it's due to age, lack of sleep, "luck", or a combination of all of these. If I was ever to go back to wearing makeup, my bags would be the reason. I've heard cucumbers work but I've chosen not to waste time (or cucumbers...they are better used in a salad) in the mornings. Luckily I'm not too vain about my appearance. I am even more lucky that my husband tells me that my lack of vanity is the most attractive part of me. (Thank you, Lord, for giving me a man that isn't attracted to superficial beauty and loves me as I am.). So, any small amount of vanity in which I possess is being tossed  to the side t…

Loud. Just one more part of my life.

The other day, through a wandering path of blog hopping, I ended up at Gypsy Mama. What a blessing. Her writing is pure poetry which captivated me. Gypsy Mama (Lisa-Jo) hosts a writing party,  Five Minute Fridays.  Each week she gives a different prompt/word to write about with this rule: "Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking." 

Today's word: LOUD

Loud seems to be a large portion of my day. Kids playing. One child banging on the drums. A boy that does not know the meaning of "be quiet". He makes noise not only with his mouth but with his hands and feet constantly in motion. 

I try to embrace each part of my day. The good, bad and the ugly. Sometimes the noise is overwhelming but when I step back, clear my head and listen. Listen with my heart. I hear laughter. I hear learning. I hear babies learning to speak their first words. 

Occasionally my day is quiet. The days when I am all alone. The days when I drop off my son at an activ… the Kitchen

I love being in the kitchen preparing nutritious and delicious foods. I have a deep feeling of contentment in the kitchen.....more than contentment. Joy.
I love the colors. Organic potatoes in purple, red and white. Orange peppers. Green kale.

I love the smell of onions and garlic. 

I love the sound of the coconut oil sizzling in the skillet

I love the rhythmic sound of the knife chopping the vegetables. Munching on a raw pepper as I chop and mince. Finally the taste test to see if anything else is needed. To make sure the peppers are still a tad crisp, the potatoes are just right....not too hard, not too soft. 

Time in the kitchen, preparing food, makes me extremely happy.

Maple Syrup

As I've mentioned before, I often look at things that I buy and ponder if I can make it myself. Maple syrup is no different so when I received a newsletter and saw "Sugar Bush" on the list of upcoming classes at a local nature center, I didn't waste any time signing up. After learning the basics I set out to find some trees at my parents farm.

I think the hardest part of maple syrup-ing is finding the right trees (elder or maple will work) and the cooking down of the sap (haven't done this part). I remember in Jr. and Sr. High studying trees in Science class.....yeah, I haven't improved on this skill. I mean, to me a tree is a tree. During my sugar bush class the instructor showed us what to look for when identifying trees but when we went out to field we only looked at maples and elders. We didn't look at non-elders/maples. I think that comparison would have helped me. Dad to the rescue. He showed me which trees that I could tap.
I drilled holes into th…


After hearing so much about this super-food, I finally decided to give kale a try. I love it and will be growing kale in my garden this summer.  Kale Chips Toss kale in a little oil (I used Wildtree Garlic Grapeseed Oil), sprinkle with salt and bake at 300 for 20-30 min. That's it. 

Benefits of Kale: Lowers cholesterol Antioxidant Anti-inflammatory Contains glucosinolates, an anti-cancer nutrient

Kale and Bulgar Soup This was an experiment that turned out to be so good that it is now my new favorite soup. Of course I didn't measure...

I sauteed in coconut oil:
2 garlic cloves - minced
Fist full of cilantro
Handful (or two) of kale
2 T. of bulgar (next I may double this amount)
Dried Peppers (these are the peppers that I dehydrated and crushed up last fall).

It was good just like this but my intention my soup so after nibbling a little (I couldn't resist) I added it, plus 1/4 cup of chicken (leftover from the previous nights dinner) to 6 cups of homemade chicken broth.


Terrarium in a Baby Food Jar

Remember the hundred (give or take) jars of baby food that were gifted to me? I have a bucket full of empty jars now that need to be "crafted".  I also had a bucket of aquarium rock that needs to find a new use. This week we used up a few rocks and jars while making terrariums. Easy peasy and the kids loved this project.
First we painted the lids a sunny yellow. 
I was wondering where I'd find moss or other greens to put into our terrariums. It is March in Minnesota after all (although you won't know it with temps nearing 80 degrees today). While at the farm checking my maple trees (I had hoped to harvest a bunch of sap to make my own syrup this year. Unfortunately the weather has been too mild to produce a good sap flow), I noticed a pile of concrete blocks, which were once the walls of the horse barn, covered in moss. Perfect! The Boy and his big, muscular arms loaded up a moss-covered block for me to bring home for our project.
Yesterday we filled our baby food jars …