Monday, December 23, 2013


Its hard to believe that this week is Christmas and next week will be the end of 2013 and in about 7 ish weeks we will have a new little person living in our house. I'm not ready, like at all. We have spend the last week cooking and cooking and prepping food for February in the hopes that having lots of food ready or close to ready will make the transition easier.

  I also started pattering and cutting out my mama cloth stash and getting the supplies prepped for making fitted diapers, wet bags, and mesh produce bags. I would have had a lot sewn if my machine hadn't died and the machine I borrowed hadn't died three inches into sewing after I borrowed it.  I did however find machine on craigslist that looks like it will be a good back up machine and let me get theses projects done before the Rutabaga gets here. 

Hopefully I'll get my new machine and go on a sewing kick and get a bunch done and will post pictures when I do soon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIY Sunflower Butter

C is addicted to sunflower butter and at 6 dollars a pound we can't let him have it as often or give him as much as he would like. I stumbled across a diy make your own recipe and figured it had to be worth a try right?
I'm kicking myself we didn't try this sooner.  So easy less than 2 dollars and you control exsactly what goes in it. It didn't take any time at all either.

I roasted 3 cups of raw sunflower seeds in a pan. Apparently you want to roast them yourself so you don't lose the oils that are released in the roasting process and you get a nice nutty flavor.  Don't over roast them, watch them closely and stir constantly.
Transfer the seeds to the food processor (leave the vent open to let out the steam) and turn it on and let it go. Every once in a while stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the processor so it keeps chopping the seeds up. It takes a while but eventually you get something that is sort of butter like. I think it was around 20 minutes or so till we hit that stage. We added a pinch of sea salt and then add a little extra virgin olive oil to make it creamy start with a little let it run till you reach a consistency you like, same goes with sweeter (honey, maple syrup both work well) start with a little until its the right amount sweet.
Here is a guess for the add ins but its just a rough guide.
  • 2-4 tablespoons light tasting oil (I prefer coconut oil or light olive oil)
  • ¼ teaspoon honey (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (to taste, or omit entirely…depends on your taste buds)

That's it your done. So Easy.  store in a jar in the fridge.

Sewing Projects

This pretty fabric is for wet bags and produce bags.
I've finished up the winter markets, we did really well. We are reworking out website to make the online shop work better and look nicer it will be great once we get it done. For the most part I can take a break from Roxy Roodle to work on all the baby projects I have that need to get done in the next 8 weeks.

I'm hoping to make a good start of mama cloth, produce bags, and wet bags today.  I have the wool prepped for making infant diaper covers. Menu planning for my postpartum freezer fill is under way.

Tutorials on the sewing project and other projects are in the works.Please leave a comment below if you are really interested in seeing one of the projects more than the others and I'll try to get that one written up first.  I'll post our organization and prep for hopefully making the transition to a two child house easier and then update them at some point with how well our plans worked after the baby has been here a while.

I'm totally excited to get C down for a nap and start cutting out fabric and figuring out just what prints I want to use for what and to write out a master sewing/ project list to try and keep myself on task.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

lots of little changes... Big impact.

I've been thinking a lot about how to make our eating habits better. We eat better than most people but we are far far from where I would like us to be. I'm going to attempt to start making lots of little changes and hopefully by this time next year our eating habits and food budget will be looking much much better.

A lovely friend of mine stumbled across this cool website were a mom is attempting to actually feed her family of 4 real foods, organic, all that good stuff for 400 dollars a month. Lots of blogs have written about doing a "Food stamp challenge" but the majority missed the point and had lovely stuffed stocks of healthy food they "shopped for free" also rules about how they got a certain number of meals that didn't count each month, totally cheating and not really helpful. This mom made her rules much stricter and as close to real life working family who might be on food stamps like as she could. You can check it out here 

Anyway, I'm hoping to pick up a few tips on how to add more organic goodness into our diet and eat better without breaking the bank. I'm hoping to get a little better at going after manufacture coupons for natural stuff we actually use and figuring out how to combined them if possible with store sales to save a little

The 1st little change I want to is give up canned beans and make the switch to only using dried beans preferably local when we can get them and by 2015 100% organic.  We use a lot of beans mostly black, pinto, and garbanzo. We also do a lot of lentils and I want to work on making sure we are getting those as organic and local as we possibly can as well (shouldn't be to hard I wouldn't think we do live in the lentil capital of the world.) 

My hope is that, while we might not save money switching from convectional canned beans to organic bulk that they will at least come out the same cost wise, health wise the switch is a huge improvement, since it would basically cut out 60% of our canned foods usage (tomatoes and coconut milk are all that's left)

The second little change is switching from using oil in baking to only using cold-pressed coconut oil (occasionally I'm still not a big fan of it in baking) or using organic applesauce.  I'll still use real EVOO in cooking and things but my hope is to seriously minimize the amount of oil we consume.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Coconut oil whipped lotion

Today I had a good amount of coconut oil that needed to be turned into lotion. Coconut oil is amazing stuff but if its cold it turns into a hard block of oil that can be tricky to spread all over you skin. I'd read online that you could put it in the kitchen aid mixer and whip it and that would keep it from being a block and it would stay in a nice fluffy whipped consistency.

 Turns out it does, we added a little honey to part of the whipped oil and it was a little difficult to convince a certain two year old to stop eating it. It made a really nice lotion.
 I added some melted bees wax to another batch and made a lip balm, hand cream for Rob his hands get so chapped in the winter they bleed its no fun. I'm hoping that it will help keep his skin hydrated and from cracking.

 C boy has had some dry skin and peeling skin so I added a little Epsom salt to a little oil to make a body scrub (I would have used sugar but we seem to be out.) and we scrubbed down his elbows, knees, and baby bum to get rid of the dry skin and then slathered him in lotion after his bath. He smells like a soft little coconut. He helped put lotion on my growing baby bump too which was pretty cute.

 I put most of our new lotions into small glass mason jars, the lip balm got separated into little batches and put in plastic baby food freezer containers that just hold a few ounces and the lotion for the shower ended up in a travel silicon reusable container since glass and showers don't mix. 

This was such an easy, fast, and cheap way to make a bunch of safe body products. I would write up a tutorial but there really isn't anything to write, it was that easy. I didn't measure anything or need to add anything to the oil, all the extras I added in where done on a whim. You can add essential oils to make scented oil too but I didn't have any that I wanted to smell like so I chose to leave them unscented.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Over the river and through the woods

We are getting ready to head out to grandma's house for the start of the holidays. Its hard to believe that its the end of November already. I'm 29 weeks pregnant and this fall has been a busy. I started writing for a website called Go check out all the cool articles on natural parenting and crunchy mommy hood. It has been exciting and taking a bit of time to get in the swing of yet another set of deadlines, I'm enjoying the challenge and it has given me so many ideas for posts I want to write here. C is growing an amazing rate and turned into a smart caring little boy, he is defiantly not a baby anymore. I'm still sewing my nights away working on Roxy Roodle projects. I'm hoping to get organized enough to finally get a few bulk buys run this spring and summer and defiantly do a lot more next winter. We have, as always lots of big house projects planned both before the baby gets here in 10 weeks ( omg that is soon!) and this summer.

That's what is new and happening in our household at the start of crazy holidays this year. Hopefully everyone traveling will be safe and have fun. Eat lots and lots of pumpkin pie and latkes and try not to stress out to much about the ever growing to do list.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Elderberry Syrup

I've been hearing a lot about elderberry syrup and how a spoonful of the stuff taken everyday drastically reduces your probability of getting a cold. With a two year-old in the house (we all know what germ magnets they are) and being pregnant this winter I don't want to get sick, my husband can't afford to get sick (hes saving up his sick time for when the baby is here) Anything that might help us avoid getting sick sounds like a good idea. The stuff is supposed to taste good too, and it can't hurt to try it. Which is my philosophy on most things crunchy. The only thing standing in our way was the cost of a bottle of this magic stuff at 20 dollars for a 16 oz bottle there was no way we where buying it. Which left good old make it yourself.  Finally I got around to ordering a pound of organic elderberries off Amazon which was around 20 dollars including the shipping. The recipes online looked pretty strait forward with the same basic ratio of water to berries and honey the herbs and spices differed depending on who wrote the recipe. So I didn't follow them exactly

Boil 3/4 cup of berries in 3 1/2 cups of distilled water along with whatever herbs or spices you wanted to add in to boost the germ fighting goodness. I threw an organic echinacea tea bag, some ground fresh ginger (about 3 teaspoons), and some cinnamon (a tablespoon maybe) Let the brew simmer for 45 minutes to an hour till it as reduced by about half the amount of liquid. Then strain the mixture into a glass bowl through a fine mesh sieve mash the berries to get all the juice out and then discard them. The brilliant purple juice should be about 16 oz worth give our take.  Let it cool a bit then add in a 1/2 to a full cup of local raw honey. I added a half cup after hearing from a friend that a full cup (what most recipes call for) was way way to sweet. stir the honey around let it devolve and pour the syrup into a jar. You can take up to a tablespoon a day to keep sickness away, or a few tablespoons if your sick. Kids under a year or two should not take this since it has raw honey but if you have older kids they can take a 1/2 to a full tablespoon.    C thought it was really yummy and asked for more medicine after licking every last drop off his spoon so I don't foresee and issue getting him to take it everyday. I have to agree with him it was pretty yummy. Hopefully it works and we won't get as many runny noses and colds this season. I'll let you know how it seems to be working as the winter progresses.

Bucket list :Cheese making

I'm not sure why I was so intimidated by making cheese, with so many pictures of how easy it is on Pinterest and all the oh so simple guides in all the homestead books I read. I was though. The whole concept of heating up milk adding a few things to it and in and in a few hours having pretty amazing cheese is kind of cool.  With the help of a friend we tackled cheese making today. The tutorial we used was the one on The Family Homestead blog. It didn't require a microwave like so many tutorials out there and it had the added bonus of how to use the whey to make ricotta.  Since everything is already dirty and the tons of whey (it was over 2 gallons) isn't so useful was a nice way to expand the cheese making experience and not feel so bad for wasting all the whey.

Taking the milk temperature basically you add the milk to the pot a little citric acid and let it heat up to 88 degrees
 then you add rennet that has been diluted in water and let it keep heating up till it gets to 105 degrees. Stirling the pot occasionally.Then you cover it let it sit for 15 min and the hard part is done. It was ridiculously easy. Hardest part was trying to figure out how to get the thermometer to stay suspended in the giant pot (not the sewing thread and clothes pin) and keeping 2 two year-olds out of the kitchen. 

 It gets all clumpy and becomes curds and whey. (feel free to insert Miss Muffet jokes here) 

 Then you drain off the whey. We put a colander over attached a cheese cloth. Well a flat cloth diaper, the gauzy cheese cloth stuff doesn't work don't use it but the cheap flat diapers work great.

 This is half the whey we had left over its going to make a few dogs and chickens very happy, I hope. Apparently they really like it on their food. You can all so use it in baking as the liquid in bread or in soups. We try to minimize the amount of dairy that C come in contact with though so I didn't save any food cooking 

After you drain off the whey (before you dump or store it) you take the still suspended cheese and pop it in the fridge for a few hours and put the whey back into the pot add some more milk and heat it back up to 105 degrees. Let it sit for 15 min and then drain the whey out and you get ricotta.  It looked solid until I added more fresh milk and broke it up a bit then it looked much more like the stuff you buy in the store. Thousand times more yummy. C was dancing around the kitchen singing "yummy cheese I eat it more."

Finishing the mozzarella cheese was a little more complicated. You take it out of the fridge and run hot water over it to get all of the whey out. It falls apart into a curd mess that is terrifying if you aren't expecting it. I drained mine through the cheese cloth and kept running the water over until it was clear. Then you stretch the cheese ball and the clumpy cheese gets magically stringy and looks just like mozzarella should.  

I will defiantly be doing this again. Often. We love eating lasagna and you cannot beat a mozzarella basil covered tomato that has been roasted on the grill in the summer. With cheese being so expensive however (not to mention filled with extra preservatives and hidden soy and gluten, yuck)  We don't get to have lasagna goodness all that often.  I have a feeling that might change.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homestead Bucket List

I spend lot of time nursing C and scrolling through Pinterest looking at pins of crunchy mommy, crafty DIY, house and garden dream lists, and lots of homestead ideas.   I realize that this lifestyle of earthy mom, attachment parenting, make it yourself and make do without. Simple natural life thing is oh so trendy right now. Lucky me it means lots of information on how to do all sorts of "old fashion" skills with pretty pictures. I'm a sucker for good photos. 

I am not a new passenger on the Crunchy Homestead train. I grew up in it, well before it was cool. We walked the walked and grew the garden and lived a simple life.  Now that I'm raising my son as a 2nd generation crunchy homestead kid, I want to try all sorts of aspects of the lifestyle.  There are aspects that worked for my parents that wont work for me and like wise things they chose not to do that we may end up incorporating into our life.  A big part of growing up this way is that you constantly evaluate if things are working or if they need to be changed, Comparing the reality of life with an idealized picture of how it could be (with an endless supply of time, money, and people to run it.)

Which brings me to my bucket list. I am a big list maker, I like to plan and thing things out and often don't ever actually get around to doing them. The point of the list is to save all the "oh one day I'll try that" things and to actually cross things off. Evaluate if they worked and are worth doing again and hopefully it will provide the motivation to Try things vs just think about it. My Goal is to do a minimum of two things (or one really huge one) each month. Eventually after a few months I may increase the number or type of projects for the Bucket list project breaking the list down into sections and doing one thing from each section. I want to start of small and work up to doing more however since its the start of the holidays and I'm 7 months pregnant things are a little busy around here.

My plan for this month (November)

Elderberry syrup:  Apparently taking a spoonful of Elderberry syrup every day helps keep you from getting sick and when you do get sick upping the dose makes you get better faster. Sounds cool and worth trying out. A 16 oz bottle of the stuff costs 20 dollars at the Co-op. I decided that if we were going to try this it would be good old DIY way. I ordered a pound of organic elderberries off Amazon and found instructions on how to make the syrup. As soon as the berries get here (should be today!) C and I will try making some. If it works, I have plans for planting two bushes in the back this year so we can harvest them ourselves and sell the extra.

Mold-able bees wax for sculpting:  This  looks way easy to make, other than messing around with melting bees wax. I have hopes it will be a great gluten free substitute to play dough and C will enjoy creating with it.

The whole Bucket list will be posted somewhere on the blog as soon as I get around to writing it all out. Its a long long list that I see getting longer all the time as I find new projects and discover new interests in my crunchy mama homesteader adventures.  Things that will definatly be tacked in the next few weeks/months are
Sewing Fitted Cloth Diapers
Sewing Mama Cloth
Sewing Baby Wipes
Making Herbal Sitz Bath

I'm having a Blessing way and Preparing for this baby and a homebirth (February is getting closer I'm 28 weeks already!)  Which means I'm sure lots of cooking, recipe trying and other little diy projects for the new little one.  I'll be posting about it all (I promise!)

Monday, September 9, 2013


Its a little hard to chase around a toddler and make healthy Brewer diet food for every meal. There are little ways to cheat and make it easier.

Today for breakfast we had Swiss Chard, Kale, caramelized onion, mushroom, roasted pumpkin seed, ginger pork sausage, roasted red bell pepper with acorn squash scrambled eggs. It took less time to make than our two morning lattes

I found that by cooking a bunch of leafy greens up with onions and mushrooms and storing it in a container in the fridge that its easy to throw a portion or throw into everything. I also love making big batches of things like caramelized onions they take all day in the slow cooker but a whole slow cooker worth frozen cubes easy to pull out of the fridge and slice off a portion and throw it into meals. Same with the red bell peppers we grilled 10 or so on the grill when they were in season and cheap froze then and its so easy to slice a portion. Not to sound like a broken record I roast a few different types of winter squash and stick them in the fridge or freeze them into cubes

Its great to go to the store on the weekend buy a lot of produce and prep it all for the week and if something is on sale and in season get a lot and freeze it.  Lots of days I'm tiered, busy the small folk in my house are crazy I can throw a frozen chicken breast brown rice a few cubes of frozen veggies or squash, add a few herbs form and its easy and healthy and grabbing a few frozen cubes or adding a few spoonfuls of leafy greens from the fridge after its done cooling is so easy.

It makes following this diet so much easier.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Brewer pregnancy diet with food allergies

I have been searching the web for information on pregnant woman who followed the Brewer diet with gluten free modifications. I just can't seem to find any good blogs were they talk about how they did it.  So I decided to say screw it a d write the blog posts I wanted to read.  The Brewer diet, for those who don't know is a high protein, lots of nutritional goodness diet for pregnancy that if followed is supposed to prevent preeclampsia and help with healthier overall babies and pregnancies.  You can read more a out it here.

The thing is its a Ton of food and even when you have no issues and can eat everything on the lists it's still a lot. I have the added challenge of trying to get it all with no gluten, no nuts, no dairy, no citrus, and limited eggs.

I've decided to keep track of what I'm eating, post some of the better recipes and try to do regular posts on what I'm doing to follow the diet.  Hopefully it will serve as motivation to keep it up and maybe help other celiac pregnant women and women with diet restrictions see how some else made it work.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

update on what's new

We've been busy working on the yard. Caden got a fancy new art space and one other thing
Caden's got some BIG Boy News!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Gluten Free Corn Bread Bites

C is a little obsessed with bread, part of it is that its a rare treat to get anything bread like, since he is gluten free and the gluten free breads that you can buy are expensive and don't taste good, we don't do bread very often. Today we made corn bread in mini muffin tins which is the perfect size for little hands.  I didn't exactly follow a recipe, shocker.  I substituted gluten free flour for the whole wheat and used water instead of milk, the recipe called for butter but I used coconut oil and EVOO in its place. I added sunflower seeds, flax seed, flax meal and used molasses in place of sugar. They came out great yummy slightly nutty. Happy baby, happy mommy. I will post the actual recipe tomorrow and pictures of the little guy cooking tomorrow when we make another batch.

In other highlights today was the third stroller exercise class today, its hard and one of the babies actually pointed at us and laughed while we were doing a particularly hard set of exercises  Its a fun class however and I'm hoping that after a month of going three times a week, I will be a little closer to summer swimsuit weather.
  C and I also learned that apple cider vinegar makes amazing conditioner, you only smell like a fish and chips shop for a few minutes and then the smell goes away but it leaves your hair bouncy and tangle free. You should not let it get in your babies eyes it makes them scream and scream and will feel like a horrible mother. He got over it and is happily sleeping next to his puppy now.
All in all it a fulfilling day.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bees Wax

I have a very strong hatred of wasps they swarm our house and make it hard to get inside or go out. My dislike for things that fly and sting you doesn't extend to bees. I have a respect of honey bees. They make my garden happy and produce liquid sunshine and Bees wax.

Good, Raw, Local, Honey is like summer on a spoon, even in the deep dark winter a spoon full of sticky sweetens adds light to my day. Not only do bees give us honey they give us wax.

block of wax
I just bought a block of bees wax at the ren fair this weekend and the weight of it the texture it just feels good and pure. Its a solid thing a good, no frills simple thing that is beautiful, the wax smells like honey it warms up into a mailable tool that lends it self to so many uses and it adds a purity and a goodness to everything it touches. The 1st thing I tried to make with my new block of wax was a replacement for plastic wrap. I dislike plastic wrap, I fail at getting it to make a tight seal, I hate the way it microwaves, I hate the waste and that its plastic, its frustrating and I have never been a fan of the stuff. I just haven't had a good replacement for it until now.

I have wanted to make a few bowl covers with pretty fabric and a little elastic to cover bowls in the fridge, or my new found pyrex glass from the thrift store ( last week I got three bowls with out lids for .99 cents each) I haven't actually gotten around to sewing any though I wanted them to be water proof and PUL well fine for diapers is not food safe so I have been debating how to make a replacement for plastic without using plastic.
waxed cloth

Enter Bees wax.
 You can grate the block of bees wax onto a cloth, stick it in the oven on low let it melt and infuse the fabric and you get a water proof manipulable reusable cloth. It holds any shape you bend it into and you can just flatten it back out, wash it in the sink and use it again and again. I'm definitely going to be making a whole bunch of theses amazing cloths and bowl covers in the future. I will post a tutorial soon too with pictures

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Its about time

This week the house that has been falling down next to our for years is gone, the guys came with their big trucks and machines and much to the delight of C and his friends they knocked it down, its gone. The light in our house has gotten much nicer its not so dark in our laundry room and kitchen any more. It all so makes our house look simultaneously better and worse. Better in that we are no longer next to the worst looking house in town and worse in now you can see so much more of our house and it really needs a little tlc. We have the paint and the pressure washer and hopefully in the next two weeks we will start the prep to begin painting the house a nice mocha color. I'll post pictures later when I find the cable to hook up the camera. Its a big improvement and we are so exited. 

Monday, April 15, 2013


I love waking up and finding the sun shinning and the weather nice. Yesterday we headed to the university plant sale and got 14 tomato plants and a few flowers to fill out our raised beds. Its still weeks before the frost date passes and it will be safe to plant them outside.  So for the time being my upstairs bathroom has been over taken by plants.   I think today we will walk down to the local food co-op and get a few seed potatoes and seed packets.
I can't wait to get C out in the garden to have him experience the joy and excitement of looking for a yummy strawberry, and picking a ripe tomato and eating it. All children should have edible plants growing at home, a potted plant in a window a small tomato plant on the patio. If every house had a garden even a tinny one it would make the whole battle against obesity and proper nutrition so much easier.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What I learned ~ All about Cloth

I knew that I was going to have a big baby, my husband was 10lb 10 oz and I was 8lb 8 oz at birth, I fully expected to be having a baby that was around 9 pounds.  Lots of blogs and things I read said that newborn diapers were pointless only fit for a week or two, and not to bother with them and just get xs covers that would last a lot longer. It seemed like good advice. I really really wish I hadn't listened.  C was 8lb11oz, he was a big boy and we probably would have been OK with ill fitting covers had he gained weight after birth, he lost a pound and took a month and a half to get back to his birth weight. We managed with small overs and prefold after a week or so of doing disposables (we went ended up using nearly three packages of newborn diapers there are maybe 6 or so left in the last package that I plan to use for the 1st day or so for the next baby so we don't have to deal with cloth and the brand new baby poop.)

Lesson one: is get a few newborn covers, buy them used,they last forever since they are only lightly used and, they have a few advantages such as the cut out for the umbilical cord and since they really do only wear them for a little while they last for ever. Lots of cloth moms pass the newborn stash of diapers around the neighborhood, so if you have friends that use cloth ask if you can borrow the newborn sizes.

Lesson two:You really do want a snappi, When we started we just couldn't see why we really needed a snappi, sure it was a littler harder to get the prefold in the cover with out one but we managed until C started rolling and I gave in and bough a snappi, Seriously wish I had done it sooner it makes prefolds so much easier. We ended up getting three one that lived in the diaper bag one that stayed on the baby and one at home on the changing table. On really messy diapers they sometimes get yucky or when changing wiggle worms its nice to be able to finish the change and wash the snappi later to get the yuck off.

Lesson three: Try a little of everything. Starting out I said we only need a few covers and prefolds, all the pockets, fitted, all in one, insert business seems unnecessary and so much more expensive. We rocked prefolds and a few brands of covers as well as a combination of snaps and apex. Starting out we loved the apex covers, I had compleatly been converted to snaps, they don't come unstuck in the wash and attack everything in the machine. We started using a combination of fitted diapers and prefolds until we out grew out current sized prefolds and all our friends were raving over one size pocket diapers so we switched and have completely fazed out our prefold usage.

Lesson four:  Start buying diapers early. I knew what I wanted and still was so overwhelmed by the choices of kinds of covers and types of prefolds. I was so worried I was going to make a mistake and I didn't want to "waste" my diaper budget buying the wrong thing.That I just couldn't bring myself to buy anything. I know now that buying something that's not right for you or your baby happens, its easy to resell your stash if you need to and having a back up of stuff you don't love is better than having no back up at all.Trust yourself really you can't go wrong. If your not sure buy one of a few different kinds of diapers and once your little one can wear them you can sell the ones you don't like and buy more of the ones you do.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Grumpy mom

C dumping the puffs and grinding them into the carpet

As a mom I feel I spend way to much time saying no, don't touch that do that, stop that, leave it. I spend way to much time feeling angry and grumpy.
I hate being an irritated mommy. I want to be one of the easy going parents and most of the time I am able to parent gently. I fully believe in attachment parenting. I know my child is a better because we don't cry it out, I listen to what he is saying and feeling and respond to his needs. Sure it means I don't have "Me time" but I feel like I get plenty of selfish time. I get to do what I want I get books read, I go out with friends, I take walks and go shopping. I just do it all with my little person snuggled up next to me.

Its getting harder as he gets older to feel like a calm easy going mommy. I get caught up in the constant redirection and it stresses me out and I end up losing my calm and snapping. I am done. I know how I want my day to go, how I want to be as a mother and I know I've gone off that path, I'm drifting and so I've decided I need a change.

I am going to try to actively work toward being a better mother, defining my ideal and figuring out what my life right now is lacking, I have started a long list of parenting books and memoirs I want to read, I have lots of projects I've been meaning to get around to. Ideas for structuring our days to avoid the dreaded toddler melt downs. I just need to put all this research into affect. Its not just parenting, its being a better wife, a better friend, its about being a better me.

I'll be posting a list of goals, a list of projects, and a list of books later and then I'll start working through the lists. I'm hoping that by having them written out and by using this blog I'll be able to keep myself on track.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Homestead daydreams

I am a little obsessed lately with the whole Homestead in your own backyard, mini farm movement that seems to be sweeping the country.

 I love the idea of The Little House in the City, vegetables growing in raised beds while small livestock like goats,sheep and bunnies graze peacefully in the backyard, the free range chickens cluck and wander laying pretty brown eggs that I whip up into delicious from scratch meals in my plastic free kitchen while wearing an apron that I sewed and embroidered myself, the panty is overflowing in homemade canned goods. At dinner we sit by the light of candles we made during afternoon craft time with the children and my darling husband sips his home brewed beer. I love the idea of this simple life with everything homemade and real not processed and packaged in plastic and just the buy more more more low quality fast life that seems to be so mainstream. I want my children to play in the dirt, I want them to know where food comes from, I want a simple life. A good life.

  In many ways the whole movement was how I was brought up, we grew a lot of our food, caned, lived simply and I want that same sort of life now. With the number of food issues we have in our house and the number of food issues that seem to keep popping up in the news suggesting that processed foods and gmo foods are really bad for us, it makes sense to get back to basics and grow our own.  I'm cheap too, I want to eat well but I can't afford to feed my family organic foods all the time, I can afford the time it takes to grow them however and so this month we have been converting our front yard in to a pretty amazing vegetable garden.  I can afford much nicer things if I buy them second hand from thrift stores and yard sales. I like the thrill of not knowing what exactly I'm going to find. I like that I could, if I wanted to, make just
about anything my family needed, I can do all sorts of crafty homemaker things that have become a novelty I can sew, can, bake, I'm good and figuring out how to make things work or go with out. I like the chalenges of being responsable for my home and family.

That's not to say that my house is always clean, it rarely is, or that we don't have nights were dinner is what ever you can find that's edible in the house. I would like to be a "better" mother and wife, to be more organized and together. I want to have the time to do all the crafty things I see on pinterest and to take the time to give my child pretty bento meals all decorated in a theme vs the same old standbys. I am human and there are only so many hours in the day.

That said I do want my house to be more.

This week the small one has been over joyed to spend the day sitting in the front yard with a spade and a pile of dirt to dig in while mommy and daddy work hard at converting a boring lawn into a bunch of raised beds. I have great plans for a large vegetable garden and its been  hard blistering work. I think once we get done its going to look amazing. We have already gotten complements from the neighbors probably because they have realized that this summer our yard wont be an over grown weed monstrosity it was last year.

Not only is a large vegetable garden on our to do list, building a chicken coop, new clothes line, jump starting the compost bin and a lot of do it from scratch recipes are on the list for this summer. Cheese making, and brewing beer are on the list too. There are lots of sewing projects like new cushions for benches and reusable bags that are on my ever grown list as well.

I'm excited I know that lots of things that go onto my list wont happen this summer, or even next but just having a list, having goals to work toward and things that I feel will make our family closer and life easier in the long run is comforting.

 I'm hoping that keeping this blog and posting my long list of Homestead wishes and Crafting to dos out in the open will be insensitive to do them, instead of spending hours looking and neat ideas on pinterest or talking about how we should have a craft night or canning party on facebook, I'm hoping that I will be able to use that time to just do it. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Night Dipaers ~ All about Cloth

At some point I think every mother hits a break up point with cloth diapers, for most this breaking point is night time. I was blessed with a baby who loves to sleep, even as a newborn he would go down for the night and other than nursing constantly he was not to be bothered. Before he learned to roll over a single microfiber insert and a pre-fold was enough to keep him try with no night changes. Suddenly he decided that sleeping on his tummy or side was much better than his back and we had huge leak issues.

I researched online and was lucky to stumble across a post by another mom talking about how she had a son who was a heavy wetter and a side sleeper and the liquid just leaked out the leg holes. That night I tried a micro fleece insert, then a prefold that was folded and snappied on, then a fitted diaper then another insert inside a cover with leg gussets.
No leaks,

We varied the layers play around with different types of inserts bamboo, hemp, microfiber. The fitted diaper was a homemade flannel and terry cloth. the key, for us anyway was that the extra elastic in the fitted diaper helped keep the liquid from pooling out the legs. The diaper is huge (see the big butt on the baby in the photo) but not having to get up and change diapers in the night or waking up to a wet bed and wet baby is wonderful.

Now that hes older we just do a normal diaper for night, we are currently doing a bamboo blend insert folded in half in the front plus a microfiber and second bamboo blend inside a Alva pocket diaper. It seems to work well for us.

A note: some kids don't react well to micro fleece right against the skin, I would recommend  a bamboo or hemp blend right against the skin, the wick the liquid way better and I'm sure the natural fibers feel better than the micro fleece.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I love watching C sleep. I was blessed with a baby who loves to sleep long naps,and through the night, cuddled up on his micro fleece blanket he sleeps and sleeps not even waking up to nurse just moving open mouth and closed eyes to where I am laying making his impatience little milk noises. I love feeling his body grow heavy when he gives in the power of the ergo nap, or watching him try to keep his eyes open when he nurses down at night.  Sleeping babies are the best so calm and peaceful. He wakes up full of happy smiles and hugs and kisses, it is worth all the early nights of sitting up struggling to keep my own eyes open, to be able to watch him now away in his milky dreams.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stripping Dipers ~ All about Cloth

Cloth diapers

Yesterday I stripped our pocket diapers for the 1st time. Caden has been smelling a little like a hamster cage. In 15 months this is the 1st time we've had any issues with diapers smelling. Honestly cloth diapers have been so easy and we have saved so much money by not using disposables. I'll write a longer more detailed account of our journey though cloth at some point soon.

 This morning I stuffed all the diapers. There is something almost therapeutic about sorting out all the diaper stuff the stack of inserts and the covers and then rhythmic stuffing each one folding them up snapping them and stacking them on the shelf.  I love cloth diapers, love the fluffy little butts, the cute prints and patterns. I love never having to buy diapers never having to deal with the blow outs and weird gel stuff that is in them. I have to say I love saying money and early potty training.
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