birthday weekend

It was a lovely weekend. Just a few things to share about it. My hubby and I share the same birthday. Weird, I know. But not as uncommon as you would think. People often say, “Really? What are the odds?” And I like to say, “One in 365″.

The weekend got off to a good start with the opening of baseball season on Saturday.

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And our double birthday on Sunday.

gifts

The Girl was sweet enough to make us a chocolate/chocolate birthday cake. It was her first solo cake baking experience (she’s a chocolate chip cookie master). It was delish and you could tell that it was baked with love.

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It was a warm, sunny day that I mostly spent out on the patio reading one of my new birthday books. I’m so sad that Maeve Binchy died, but so glad she finished one last book before she did. I will miss her books terribly.

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In the late afternoon, we all went to see Oz the Great and Powerful (loved it) and had a nice dinner out before coming home to the aforementioned cake. Tonight I can’t wait to try out one of my gifts. My first (and probably only) Le Creuset pot. Isn’t she a beauty?

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As the kids were figuring out how many candles to put on the cake they informed us that our ages add up to 100. Yikes!

it’s been awhile

It’s been awhile. I’m not sure how or why I fell off the blogging bandwagon so completely almost a year ago, but there it is. It seems impossible to backtrack and catch up, so I won’t try. But, as I was looking through photos from just the last couple of months, I found a few things to share about what I’ve been up to.

There have been countless cups of tea and and I’ve discovered a unabashed love for pumpkin oatmeal (topped with sunflower butter- I know what you are thinking- but it’s delish).

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I’ve been in the kitchen making all kinds of yummy things. Still trying to move more and more toward a plant-based diet.

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There was a birthday that now makes me the mother of *two* teenagers! How did this happen?

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Said teenager clearly has his own agenda. This has never appeared on one of my to-do lists, but hey, that’s just me.

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There has been some knitting (the neverending Hufflepuff scarf),

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and quilting (an in-progress bookshelf quilt for my book-loving daughter),

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and a trip to Six Flags where the boys found the weirdest glasses ever.

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I am in the middle of a nutrition/cooking workshop right now and loving it.

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And, finally, the cutest Pinewood Derby car ever! (That’s Finn from Adventure Time, in case you are uninitiated)

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I guess that’s it for now. I am certainly hoping to pop in more frequently from now on. We’ll see if I can make that happen.

quilting

My quilt guild is having a quilt show in May, and while I have never felt compelled to enter any of the quilts I have made, I may try to get a little more involved this year. There is a “challenge” quilt section for smaller quilts. The challenge is very broad, “Pick a Letter, Any Letter”. This means you pick a letter and make a quilt inspired by that letter- not actually using the letter, necessarily. “S” for Shoo Fly blocks, or “F” for flowers, etc.

Last year I made a quilt for my dad’s 70th birthday. It is an on-point Shoo-Fly block with a pieced border, done in Civil War reproduction fabric. It was a fun pattern and I’ve wanted to use it again. So I decided that I would choose “C” for Civil War or “D” for Dad and make a smaller version of it.

I would like to hand quilt it, but I am running out of time and, well, my hand quilting is definitely not quilt-show quality. Not that it will be judged officially, but I’m feeling a little insecure about that. Either way, I’d better get working on it, as the deadline is in just a few weeks.

The show also has a boutique, where you can sell your own handmades and 25% goes back to the guild. Since my dream of an Etsy shop doesn’t look like it will become a reality anytime soon, I may sell the baby quilts, receiving blankets, and burp cloths I have been stockpiling at the boutique. Here is a sampling.

Well, I’d better get going, I need to get ready for a certain Girl’s 14th birthday sleepover and midnight showing of the Hunger Games tonight. I have never been to a midnight showing of any movie before, and I just may be a little too old for it now :) I think a stop by Starbucks on the way there may be in order (are they open that late?)

Have a wonderful day.

whole foods kitchen love

I’ve been having a blast in the kitchen with the Whole Foods Kitchen workshop. Here are some highlights:

almond milk

stirfry with greens

raspberry oat bars

savory wheatberry salad

apple oat cake

I love making the almond milk (so easy) to go with the homemade granola that had come to be a staple in our pantry. If only I could remember to get the almonds soaking the night before! I am really trying to up my intake of vegetables- green smoothies, salads as whole meals and I even dragged out the juicer again. When I realize that I might not make it through all the veggies in the CSA box, I start juicing. Plus I like that there is less sugar than when I make a green smoothie. Both are good, it just depends on the day.

My frustration is the reluctance of my kids to eat some of the recipes. I want to cut down on meat, but beans are a hard-sell around here in the under 14 set. I keep sneaking them into things like pasta dishes and soups, but the kids  just move them around the plate and  avoid them. It’s better than refusing to eat the dish, I realize, but disappointing, nonetheless. That said, they are definitely more open to “mom’s wacky whole food meals” than most kids their age. It’s all progress.

Whether or not the kids will eat them, I am cooking and freezing a lot of beans these days. I love having them ready to go in the freezer, reducing my dependence on canned beans and their BPA problems. I have to admit that I get a kick out of having all my bowls of soaking beans, grains, and almonds set out at night, ready for cooking the next day. It makes me feel so organized and homemakerly. :)

The workshop is already about half over, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It’s fun to have a whole new nutrition topic to dig into each week, and I love having a bunch of new recipes to try every Monday.

The only downside is that all this cooking leaves the kitchen looking like this. A lot.

twelve

This post is way overdue, but I could not forget the birthday post of Boy 1. The cake was duly recorded, but not the actual birthday. What can I say, it was one of those birthday celebrations that stretched over an entire weekend. Two birthday dinners, a birthday breakfast, a birthday lunch, a sleepover and go-cart racing. It was a weekend enjoyed by all.

To my boy: I cannot believe that you are 12- I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. I predicted then that you would be a musician (beautiful long fingers). I was right- you are a wonderful musician, so talented and passionate about music. I am proud to call you my son, you make me happy everyday and I am excited about the young man you are growing up to be.