Wednesday, November 5, 2014

a mini-trip

Back in September (I'm still catching up!) we met my parents in St. Louis for a quick weekend trip.  Rowan's immune system apparently sensed a fun trip away and she got pretty ill on the Friday we were supposed to go.  We waited it out, and were able to meet up with my parents the next morning, where she was back to her own cheeky self.
Although we've lived an hour and a half away from St. Louis for over 2 years now, we've never done the touristy stuff with my parents!  We all decided an Anheuser-Busch tour was in order.   So a brewery tour might seem strange for an outing with kiddos.  But the littles loved seeing the stables and the Clydesdales.  And the grownups all loved the free beer!  Win win.  We also went to the arch and took the tiny little capsule elevators to the top to enjoy a perfect-day view.  
And we took them to our favorite place in St. Louis, the botanic gardens!  I can't get enough of the gardens, and we literally stayed until closing.  Pretty sure my parents loved it, too.
 But really, those fish mouths?  Hilarious and only slightly creepy.
It was a perfect little trip away, or almost perfect!  We could have used a couple more days.  But isn't that always the case?

Monday, November 3, 2014

the ballerina butterfly and cyberman

Oh, hi there!  Remember me?  No?  I'm Ruthie.  I write blog posts here.  Sometimes.  After a humongous break, thanks to busy times around here, I am back and ready to use this space again to document my family's adventures and share recipes and fun little things.  And to kick it all off, I have our Halloween pictures to share.
Rowan likes to combine ideas into one costume Two years ago was she was a fairy princess. Last year- princess bride. This year she couldn't decide between a butterfly or a ballerina, so she combined them.  Honestly?  I'm was just ecstatic she didn't choose to be Elsa from Frozen.  Not that I have anything against Elsa, but I could have EASILY lost her in the crowd if that's what she had been.  Fletcher vacillated between a Lego guy, a Minecraft guy, or a Cyberman from Dr. Who for months before settling on Cyberman.  I truly enjoy creating their costumes, but I cheated this year and ordered both of the masks that they are wearing.  The rest of Rowan's costume just involved gathering elements.  Fletcher's, however, was a little bit trickier.  I got the idea to cut pieces of silver contact paper to adhere to a grey sweatsuit, but Brian was the genius that sewed it all on so that it wouldn't peel off.  Brian is a costume maestro.  His Brawny-man costume was pretty great, too, since it involved items we already had around!
I'm completely biased, but I thought the costumes were the best I saw.  Halloween night was super frosty, so we had to wear wings over puffy coats and fleece under cyber-clothes.  But these kiddos were such troopers and completed their mission to fill up their bags with goodies.  Can I just ask why no one gives out chocolate anymore??  I don't want to steal smarties and dum-dums from their stash after they're asleep!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween night!  How is it November already?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

new little things

Guys.  I'm still recovering from Summer, even though the littles have been back in school for a week now!  I'm just not in that groove yet, and I'm sitting here wondering how I ever kept up with this blog and my shop at the same time.  It's been a challenge!  But a good one.  And I've expanded my shop recently to include a few pieces of jewelry.  I'm excited!  I've made a few on custom orders, but now I'm adding them to purchase straight from the shop.
I've also been thinking ahead to Christmas, and I have a few little ornaments and trinkets in the works!  I know it's early, but I was so slammed last year with the ornaments, I thought I had better work ahead.

So here's a request from you, friends.  If you could design your own ornament, what would you want on it?  Or what would you want on your necklace?

Friday, August 15, 2014

first day again

I really do feel like I was just posting last year's first day of school pictures!  Unbelievable.  Rowan is in the older preschool class this year, and Fletcher is now in kindergarten (*sniff*).  It's been a strange few days not having him around for most of the day, and I just constantly wonder at how he's faring at school.  He told me on the first day that he was worried about school.  When I asked him for more specifics, he told me, "Well, I'm just a worrier."  I explained that it's the mama's job to worry, not the boy's job.  But he's wired in a similar way, so it's probably in his DNA to worry.  Rowan was just excited, and ran into school happily when we got there.  Fletcher had some tears for the first time on a first day.  And it broke my heart.  Made me nearly vow to homeschool him on the spot.  But then reason got the best of me, and so I kissed him, told him he'd have a great day, and walked away from him with my own tears.
Fletcher wants to be a scientist when he grows up, while ALSO working in the Army so that he can see Papa more.  I've tried to explain that Papa will be retired by the time he's old enough, but why crush his dreams?  Rowan wants to be the voice of a Disney princess.  Yes, she wants to sing songs that are in "Frozen" and other movies.  Oy.  I just tell her it will take lots of practice, and wait for the next career in her lineup.  Last week she wanted to be an artist.

And as for me, I've been slowly working on adding new things to my shop, so now that I have a little more time, I'll focus on that!  Hope all you mamas and your kiddos out there had a positive first day of school.

Monday, July 28, 2014

favorite places

 While the kiddos and I were back home we visited one of my favorite childhood places.  It's a farm and settlement from the early 1800s.  It's a beautiful place frozen in time, and up until just a few years ago, it was still a working farm.  I always try squeezing in a trip there when we're back home to enjoy it and feel like I'm reliving a part of my childhood again.

And it's one of those places that doesn't tarnish from memory.  It really is just the same as my child's mind remembers it.
 What I didn't remember was that some summers the mosquitos are ridiculous.  And so my littles didn't find it *quite* so magical, maybe.
Here's hoping for a trip back in the Fall when the colors are glorious, the mosquitos are gone, and these grumpy face turn upside down!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

spicy asian zucchini noodles!

We love pretty much any dish that includes noodles around here.  Spaghetti?  Yes.  Macaroni and cheese?  Yes, please!  Spicy asian noodles?  YES,  FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY.  Sorry, we feel strongly about noodles.  So after making spicy asian noodles as a staple for the past few years, I thought I'd try my had at making it with zoodles (the internetish way of saying zucchini noodles).  I've made zucchini noodles with just a cheese shredder in the past, and it's a little time consuming.  But!  I just got a handy spiral slicer, so it seemed like a good time to try!  And it was a great idea.  Using up the abundance of summer zucchini, and lower in calories and carbs to maintain my, ahem, swimsuit physique.  (Ha!!)  The best part was that it's so flavorful, you won't really notice the lack of real noodles.  Brian is usually not a big fan of any kind of noodle replacement, but he ate this dish right up!

You'll need:
3 to 4 large zucchini
1/2 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup sliced broccoli
1/2 medium sweet onion, sliced
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 t. red pepper flakes
2 T honey
3 T soy sauce
2 T tahini or peanut butter (or one T of each)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 t chopped fresh ginger
garnish with:
chopped green onions
sesame seeds
fresh cilantro
fresh lime

First shred/spiral slice your zucchini, and squeeze dry with a clean towel, gently.  I really recommend investing in one of these spiral slicers if you like your vegetables this way!  It's a very small investment with fun returns!
Set aside the noodles, and heat your sesame oil and red pepper flakes in a small sauce pan on low.  Don't bring to a boil.  Just warm the oil on low-medium for about 5 minutes, then let cool a bit.  Strain out the pepper flakes using a fine mesh sieve.

 Heat oil again in a large skillet, and add sliced sweet onions, broccoli, and shredded carrots.  Saute until soft, and then add in the zucchini noodles.  Saute mixture on medium for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add more oil as needed.  Whisk together the honey, soy sauce, tahini (or peanut butter), ginger, and rice wine vinegar in a small bowl.  I use half crunchy natural peanut butter and half tahini just because.
Take the zucchini noodle mixture off the heat and pour your whisked sauce over, tossing to coat thoroughly.  At this point you can serve it warm, or chill it for a few hours in the fridge and serve it cold!  I tend to serve it cold in summer.  Garnish with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds, sliced green onions and a squeeze of lime juice.  Experiment with your favorite veggies- pea pods would be delicious in here, too!
So fresh and summery, but it actually fills you right up.  Enjoy!