Friday 30 September 2016

Local Produce Box: Week 14

A very colorful box this week: celery, leeks, carrots, peppers, potatoes, grape tomatoes, field tomatoes, shallot, green beans and apples.

The peppers and carrots made their way into our lunches. I steamed the beans and served them alongside mushroom burgers on the patio, likely our last meal outside this season. Lots of extra apples this week as well to compensate for last week's crummy corn; they were delicious - just the right amount of sweetness and crunch.

With the leeks, the celery, and the potatoes, I made two soups: potato leek and cream of celery. As the weather has turned, and the evenings are much cooler, there is something very comforting about tucking into a bowl of hot soup at dinner.

That's all I have to say about food today. Have a wonderful weekend, friends.....

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Now is Now

With school back in session and activities starting up again, I am finding it increasingly difficult to focus on Now, to ignore the never ending to-do list in my head and just see and savor what is in front of me. I wish this was not the case and I am trying to change things up a bit in order to keep present, but goodness it is difficult.....

That being said, I took a good look around the other day and really soaked in my surroundings, what is making me smile, and I decided to come back to this space and jot it all down.
  • Fall has officially arrived, both in terms of the calendar and the weather. I love fall. I love the colors on the trees, the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot, and that fact that people are more dressed out in public.
  • My new succulent, which I really hope I do not kill. I know these are supposed to be simple houseplants, the sign at the store even assured me of that, but that does not mean it is safe in my house, under my care.
  • This article about the little things in life being most stressful...funny and true.
  • A long weekend coming up
  • Crochet (has this ever not been on my happy list)
  • Kale in the garden. Once winter comes I am going to really miss strolling out to the garden to harvest a handful of kale when I need it. 
  • Watching Bridget volunteer at school and really take an active role in the community there
  • That my dining room drapes are finally hemmed
  • The geranium still blooming on the patio
  • Lavender cuttings on the kitchen windowsill

What is making you smile today?

Tuesday 27 September 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Claire: your smile has changed again, just look at that gap...

Bridget: I love you

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Local Produce Box: Week 13

In this week's box: corn, romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, field tomatoes, cucumber, potatoes, green beans, sweet onion, purple carrots, peppers, and apples.

With nothing really new or different this week, I don't have any meals or dishes to show you. Of course I used what was in our box, but in very simple ways: roasted potatoes, steamed beans, roasted carrots, romaine lettuce salad, chopped peppers and cucumber to add to the school lunches.

On another note, for the first time in almost two years of getting a produce box we had a major quality issue: the corn was all black inside and covered in worms/ was quite disgusting. I guess we were not the only ones who encountered unpleasant corn; other produce box recipients must have emailed the organizers who were quick to respond, apologize, and promise to add more apples in the next box to compensate. Works for me, I threw the corn in the compost and stroked apples off my grocery list; this happens, and is just one of the risks we assumed when we signed up for our box...

As we move solidly into fall, I am excited to see what comes our way...I am hoping for a butternut squash, it is almost soup season.

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Color Block Blanket Update

Stitch after stitch, row after row, color block after color block, I have been working away on my blanket.
It is the perfect "on-the-couch-watching-TV" project...perfect for right now when I am completely engrossed in watching Broadchurch (bloody good (British) show).
I'm working on the yellow block right now and while I was originally planning on doing a white block next, I'm not too sure if this is the best plan, if a huge block of white would look proper. I purchased some lovely indigo blue cotton yarn on the weekend which I think may be a better option - another darker color to balance out the dark purple - and then perhaps I'll save the white for a simple border.  Lots of thinking and considering as I go along, but that's okay.
I'm very happy with my blanket so far. It is simple and colorful and going to look fantastic in my crochet corner when it is done.

I'm joining in with the Winter Project Link Party at Thistlebear.

Sunday 18 September 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Sunday afternoon: you girls gathered around the table to make earrings and crochet. Your precious little hands creating, the intense concentration on your faces, the giggles, the silly banter back and forth....watching you this afternoon made me so happy. Keep creating girls, keep laughing, keep loving each other.....

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Friday 16 September 2016

Local Produce Box: Week 12

In this week's box: basil, celery, cucumber, potatoes, field tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, carrots, green beans, candy beets, and peppers.

With this box arriving right as the girls went back to school, much of the produce got sliced and diced and added to the school lunches - it was very handy to have so much fresh fruit and veggies on hand.

With the basil, I made a batch of this pesto - light and tasty, delicious stirred in with angel hair pasta. We loved this pesto so much that I went ahead and made a few more batches using the basil from our garden. I've frozen the pesto in jars to enjoy later.

As for cooking, only a few dishes to share this week:
(from left to right)
  1. Broccoli and Celery Stir-Fry with Tofu - this recipe was included with one of last year's produce boxes and it is a family favorite; so simple to make and so tasty.
  2. Roasted Beets - I roasted the candy beets from our box along with the yellow beets that I harvested from our delicious.
Have a great weekend friends...

Thursday 15 September 2016

A Great Gardening Moment

This week I had a great gardening moment, perhaps my greatest gardening moment to date: I harvested my yellow beets. Each plant I had carefully sown into the soil in the spring had grown into a beautiful beet, and some fairly large ones at that.
I mean, look at exciting...and there are still a few in the garden...

After last years' devastating harvest - I got only one tiny beet about the size of a golf ball - this was so encouraging.

I think keeping the beets caged and away from the pesky squirrels and birds was key to this year's successful yield... 

Anyways, I just had to share...I am so excited!

Any great moments in your garden?

Saturday 10 September 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Bridget: first day of grade five...completely excited

Claire: first day of grade two....excited and a little bit nervous

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.

Friday 9 September 2016

Local Produce Box: Week 11

Talk about a full produce box: cherry tomatoes, yellow tomato, field tomatoes, eggplant, purple carrots, peppers, potatoes, Napa cabbage, cucumber, pears, apples, cantaloupe, and onions.

With more fruit than usual this week, we ate many small fruit salads; the pears were unbelievably sweet, and we really enjoyed the cantaloupe.

I was happy to savor the yellow tomato - so good - as the ones I was growing in my garden turned all black on the bottom as soon as they ripened; I had to toss the entire plant without enjoying a single tomato....

As for cooking/meals, here is what we ate:
(from left to right)
  1. Basil Scalloped Tomatoes and Croutons - recipe courtesy of Oh She Glows. With so many cherry tomatoes on hand, as well as a lush basil plant in the garden, this was the perfect recipe for this time of year. I think I used the wrong kind of bread to make my croutons (they got a little mushy) but this was still a tasty dish. 
  2. Cabbage Salad - my own creation: Napa cabbage and tomatoes dressed with Greek Caesar dressing.
  3. Eggplant Tacos - a staple meal for us; as soon as I saw the eggplant in our box I knew we'd be having these tacos. Delicious.
  4. Plum and Tomato Salad with Basil - another gem from The Forest Feast; an unusual but delicious combination. 
I love that at this point in my 'local produce box journey', I immediately have several ideas on what to make as soon as I look in the box. Of course I do look up the odd recipe because I love to try new recipes and keep meals and cooking fresh and interesting, but having cooked a mostly plant based diet for quite some time now, I have a great arsenal of simple recipes that I can turn to. This is proving especially useful as the recipes that have come with the produce box have not been nearly as helpful as they were last year.

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Project Life: Eastern Canada

You may remember that I was working on a Project Life album to chronicle our road trip to Eastern Canada last summer? Or you may not remember this at all because I made a career out of finishing this album....
But it is finally done. I finished up the last bits two days before the one year anniversary of us leaving for our road trip; somewhere along the way finishing before a year was up became my goal, and I was happy to just sneak in under the wire.
My album is fairly large, each event or day trip taking up a double page spread, with some smaller half page inserts stuck in so I could include even more photos. We took so many incredible pictures on the trip that culling and selecting those to include in the album was an almost impossible task.

I spent a great deal of time journaling our travels. I did not only want to capture what we did and where we went, but to describe how the days felt, our beautiful surroundings, observations we made, conversations we had, and all the other small and special details; I wanted to really tell our story as we traveled east and explored the coast.  
And where it worked, I did some fun embellishing.....
I am incredibly happy with my album, how when I look through it all the memories come rushing back and I feel as if I am right back there. We had an incredible vacation and I will forever treasure this book of memories.

P.S. You can read about our travels here and here

Tuesday 6 September 2016

Taking Stock

The shift into autumn and the start of another school year seems like the perfect time to take stock....

Making : basil pesto
Cooking : summer harvest soup
Drinking : peppermint tea
Reading: old issues of Mollie Makes for some creative inspiration
Looking: for a brown leather luck yet
Deciding: where to hang some pictures
Wishing: all weekends were three days long
Enjoying: cooler evenings
Waiting: for the yellow peppers to ripen in the garden
Liking: my new houseplant
Loving: how my Color Block blanket is coming along
Pondering: the cost of living
Listening: to this good
Considering: how much honesty is appropriate
Buying: new shoes for the girls
Watching: Homeland
Hoping: for some good news
Marveling: at the girls' creativity
Cringing: at the music coming from my neighbor's yard
Needing: time for myself everyday
Smelling: my beeswax candle burning on the kitchen counter
Wearing: leggings
Noticing: that the leaves are changing color
Knowing: that I can do this, though I am not sure I want to
Thinking: about possible crochet projects
Getting: as organized as possible for the start of school
Coveting: this macrame wall hanging
Disliking: Halloween decorations in the shops already (!!??)
Opening: the latest Anthropologie catalogue
Feeling: a little anxious about the return to school and routine
Hearing: birds chirping through the open windows
Mixing: Greek yogurt and granola
Embracing: all the benefits of natural skin care products

(writing prompts courtesy of Pip)

Sunday 4 September 2016


"A portrait of my girls, once a week, every week, in 2016."

Claire: "Mommy, my smile has changed"

Bridget: more opinionated everyday....

Joining in with Jodi for the 52 Week Project.