Is it normal to take two WEEKS to get a post out? A post with few words, and many pictures? I think that's kind of weak. I don't know what's wrong with me, other than being begrudgingly busy. There's been one school break after another (really - Dec/Jan/Feb.), and then several snow days. Also, I have a couple volunteer projects going on right now, and bunches of playdates and after-school things to taxi around to. House work, cleaning, errands. I suppose it's simply life, just busy life.
And even though I love my life, and most of what I do, I still longingly look at the big old calendar that hangs in my kitchen, and wish all the time that it was just blank. Or at least sparsely marked. I know that I talk about this often, maybe even like a broken record, about feeling too busy. I'm the type of person who does beautifully when I have the time and space to focus on one solid project at a time. Busy days make for fragments of time though, and it always breaks my concentration and momentum.
I do it to myself though. I have only ME to blame! The good news is, is I've been learning to politely say "No thank you", when needed. Like today, after four years in a volunteer position on the executive board of our version of the PTA, I turned down the possibility of another executive position next year. I felt badly, and even a little sad, but it's something I needed to do for now.
Beyond saying no and setting up boundaries, I also have another solution. I want to homestead! Oh my gosh, I can not even begin to tell you what a dream that would be, to homestead. Vegetarian homestead of course! Organic fruit and veg, a cow for homemade dairy and as a pet, and chickens for eggs and to love. Oh, and a sheep for wool!
Ahhhhhh....to live out in an old old farmhouse in the woods. Making our own things, spending time together as a family. Away from modern life. Like SouleMama, or Kathy from Bliss Beyond Naptime.
Jon's not as enthusiastic as I am, at the thought of dropping it all for a homestead. One can dream......
I absolutely adore the following saying though. It's one of my mantras. Now I just need to live by it!
(Source: Becoming Minimalist)
Alright, let's get on with it, there's a lot.
I've mentioned before that Jon and I were married on Valentine's Day. Not on purpose. Not really. It was the only day that the temple where were were married, and the reception site both had availability. Don't get married on Valentine's Day if you can help it. Just my opinion.
most all of our nine anniversaries, for some reason or another, we just didn't manage to pull off a real night out. It usually has/had to do with having a young child, or being mid-week, not being able to get away, or feeling indecisive. This time, Noah had a doctor's appointment, and it was a Thursday, and we just resigned to having a family dinner at home. I surprised the guys by making hamburgers for them, veggie burger for me. Jon loves arugula, so there was that too, and fries.
Noah wore pink for Valentine's day. Also, he has worn this Finn hat almost every single day since his Uncle Daniel and Aunt Dena gave it to him for his birthday in November. To spiff it up for the big day, I crocheted a couple of red hearts, and pinned them to the ears.
He might not have been very into that idea........
Yep, not into it. But he did take to school, the Valentine's Day shoebox mailbox that we made together. Which, for the record, was covered in Christmas kitten wrapping paper and glittery foam hearts. Score!
Since I learned how to crochet hearts that week, naturally, I had to maniacally make them for a while. I did this while on a phone call..........
And this....... Do you know what it is!?
Why it's the leaning tower of hamsa! Lots of evil eye protection!
And then there is this girl.
Priya is an elderly cat now. About 16 years old. She sleeps a lot. She's mellowed with old-age. She's sweet and a constant companion.
Noah to a little friend who came for a playdate last week: "Did you know that Priya is about 90 years old!?"
Little friend: "Oh my! That is quite impressive!"
Hahahah. I think she really thought that Priya was 90 people years old. :)
There is this boy, Hector. He's so good and sweet. Just a perfect guy. We love him so much.
And Willow, Splat the Wonder Cat. She is hysterical. Willow is what you would call "food motivated".
She literally tries to talk. I'm not kidding. When Willow wants something, she looks up at you and lets out a LONG , warbly "meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee". Usually she wants food. Or when you pick her up and she has had enough (five seconds later), she'll screech. Kind of a whiny screech. I feel badly, but it's so funny. Then every night, around 9:00, she find her favorite toys, attacks them and the howls. HOWLS. But not like a wolf, like a injured goat.
Since she is also quite anxious, we will be taking a trip to this nice cat therapist. Oh, and because she won't stop peeing in our downstairs bathtub. It's really strange. When we're not around, she's jumping in and peeing into the drain. Precision! I know because once I decided to spy. I guess potentially, this type of behavior could save us a bunch on kitty litter, but it's kind of gross, so it should stop.
Hector and Noah are best friends.
It was mid-winter break last week. Noah spent every single second that he could in here:
He also did some mining.
I received a very nice gift from my Dad for Valentine's Day. A face-full of 100% natural makeup from Vapour Organic Beauty. You guys, I LOVE my new makeup! For the past several years I've been trying to only wear paraben free makeup. It's easier said than done, to find nice, affordable, organic cosmetics. Last month in a coincidence, two people mentioned Vapour to me within a day. I had never heard of this company before and was intrigued. I went to their website , you should too, it's a good one.
My father found out that I really wanted to try out their products, but for me, it bit pricey to buy a bunch right now. That's when my Dad surprised me with my whole wish list! Isn't that nice!? This is me after trying everything on.
I really love the Vapour Soft Focus Foundation that I was given in shade s110. It covers lightly, evens everything out, and doesn't accentuate lines and pores. AND....it's 100% natural!
Vapour does not use parabens, toxic chemicals, phalates, nano particles, irradiation, or animal testing! And, they're 70% organic material, 30% minerals and vitamins.)
Following the foundation, I apply Illusionist Concealer in 010. This little stick glides right across your face. The coverage is ok, but not as good as other concealers that I've tried. That said, if you're looking for something light, or stick that highlights, I suggest this one. You can just tell that these soft products are helping to make your skin MORE healthy! I love it.
Also, I use Aura Multi-use Blush in the Classic version. The color is Crush. This stick is really fun. You can use it on your checks, lips and eyes! It's very sheer and moisturizing. I like it a lot. There is also a stain version and a glow-y radiant version.
Finally, I use Siren Lipstick in Posses, and Mesmerize Eye Shimmer in Cinder. Both, like the rest of the line, feel smooth and moisturizing. I've also noticed that the eye shimmer is a good base for powder shadow, helping it to stay on long.
So, that's the scoop on Vapour. I recommend this unique line of natural cosmetic, they're wonderful. Thanks Dad!!!!
Another fun thing that I did this month, was purchase a few new pieces of clothing for myself. By using gift cards and shopping sales, I was able to get FOUR shirts for just $26!
The first two were from Anthropologie, one of my most favorite shops.
I always try to only purchase items that can span more than one season. This nautical stripe and embroidered tee-shirt looks cute with a red sweater and will work for summer too!
And then there was this.....Ahoy! Isn't the ruffle cute? I have worn this shirt already, and I think it will work through spring, and even on cold summer nights.
One thing that I've been needing for a while, is a pair of sneakers. I found this pair of Rocket Dogs at a good price. I haven't had a pair of RD's since college. I love them....AND....guess what? My stepmother is the head designer at Rocket Dog! She designed these shoes. Pretty fun, huh!?
Ok, enough with the shopping. That's really not what I'm about. Let's talk about "Circle Dinner".
You guys, I'm running out of ideas to get this little kid to eat. One night I came up with circle dinner. A dinner with a lot of circles in it. Kind of lame, right? I'm really grasping for gimmicks.
It was a circular mound of mushroom risotto, sprinkled with fresh Parmesan, and covered with a big, omelet like circle of egg. It might sound strange, but I PROMISE, it's actually quite delicious! Then there was a side of peas (circles) and blue berries (also circles).
Does he look sold....? Well, halfway, everything except the risotto. I'll take what I can get.
But, he did like the.....................
Circular squash souffle! I had some extra squash and wanted to see if I could get Noah to eat it. I was hoping for a savory soufflé, but this was actually more sweet! Actually, it almost tasted like pumpkin pie! Noah loved it. I was glad. It was kind of a random add-on, but fun to experiment with and make.
Ta-dah! Circular dessert! They're Trader Joe's chocolate flans. But, I kind of broke them. But still.....circles.
Look who came right up to my window! Isn't this this Woodpecker gorgeous!!!
Ok, don't look at this picture of me. It's a bad one, but I like it. Noah, Jon and went for a walk and mini hike in the trails below our house.
This may sound strange, but we also walked to the old cemetery where many of the people who lived in our house were buried. The cemetery goes all the way back to 1821! We visit Ann and other house ancestors regularly. I put flowers beside their graves, because it seems they might be long forgotten. Ann for example, passed away in 1888, without any known children to remember her. :(
I remember her all the time though. She must have been so strong!
Also, we visited the Redhook Coffee Shop & Pinwheel Bakery, which I've written about before!
Can you tell that my Instagram app is working again?
Noah is jammin' with the chopsticks. Shockingly, he's into.....octopus and squid sashimi!!!! Whaaaaaaat? This is the boy who refuses to eat spaghetti if there is any kind of sauce on top. Sheesh!
I wanted to try some new dishes for dinner. Here are some cheesy corn cakes with avocado salsa and a side of mango. It as delicious! I just loved this. You can see the recipe HERE. (Btw-I didn't make the salsa spicy. It was till great.)
Also, I did a bit of baking over break. This is a simple gluten-free vanilla cake. The frosting is vanilla butter cream, but I sprinkled it with these great coffee bean and chocolate sprinkles from Trader Joe's. Not really sprinkles, but literally, a mix of ground coffee beans and chocolate. It was fun!
Oh, and do you see that pretty flame colored Le Creuset canister? That was one of my sweet anniversary gifts. Also, guess what? Jon ordered me a custom made historical reproduction apron!!! Isn't it beautiful! I just love it. I feel like Ma from Little House on the Prairie.
Do you remember the wool seasonal gnomes that I made a while back? The green guy below is springtime gnome, minus his beard and er.......face....
Willow LOVES the season gnomes. Loves them so much. Every night she would play with them, until, one by one, they have all disappeared except for springtime gnome. She didn't mean to, but she pulled springtime gnome's beard and face and head off. It was ok. He was easy to fix. So, I decided to make a simple, round felted guy, one without pieces to pull off. So far, Willow is not impressed. We'll see, but maybe there was really something magical about the season gnomes!
OOOOOOooooooooh. White Breasted Nuthatch!!!!!!!!
After break was over, of course then we also had a snow day! But, wasn't it pretty!? :) These snow days will be over soon, and it will be rainy and then sweltering hot. Boo. I love autumn and winter. I would trade spring and summer in for them any day!
My Mom was going through some old papers, and I found the following scans in my in-box.
This is my brother and I around 1985. Notice our awesome Velcro sneakers. Yes!
And finally, I give you: My Birthday Invitation to Michael Jackson. Because if he could not come swim in my 1 foot deep pool, I would let him be my "pen pail".