Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We're about to load up the car for a trip out West to Colorado!  We're so excited to see friends and family and just enjoy the beautiful place that is Colorado.  The littles are becoming pros at car trips this summer as we travel around near and far.  I just jinxed myself.  Dang.
 We're sure to have a good time anyway.  We may hug some trees.
 We (Rowan) may (will certainly) pick some flowers.
 And we'll miss Papa, who has to stay home and work.  Poor Papa.
See you when I get back!

Monday, July 29, 2013

cilantro edamame hummus

Last summer we would visit the farmer's market almost every Saturday morning (much like this summer) and my very favorite booth in the whole market was the hummus booth.  There was a student attending a local college who would make a huge range of hummus flavors.  I'm talking about 50 different flavors.  And he would let me taste every single flavor.  EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY.  It was a huge disappointment to find he is no longer participating in the farmer's market this summer.  He probably graduated or something equally selfish like that.  Just packed up and moved on, and left me so sad without his fresh, homemade hummus.  My favorite flavor of his (I became an expert, so I can really attest to this) was his edamame hummus.  So good.  A different taste and texture than chickpea hummus, but so good.  I finally caved and decided to try and make my own, and it came out pretty tasty.  Maybe even better than his.

2 cups cooked edamame
1/3 cup tahini
4 T olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1- 2 lemons
2-3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
serves 8-10

This recipe is very easy.  Once you get all your ingredients gathered, it's a matter of tossing it all into a blender or food processor and then tasting to adjust the flavors.
And you can decide how long to blend it.  If you like a creamy hummus, you'll want to blend it longer, and add more olive oil.  Be sure to taste as you go.  I added more lemon juice and garlic as I went along, and decided to blend it beyond it being a little chunky.   Rowan helped with the tasting.
She shares my love for hummus, so this was a recipe tasting that she did NOT want to miss.  So after you've tasted and adjusted the flavor, it's ready to eat!  But you can refrigerate it for a while if you like your hummus chilled.
Rowan likes her hummus with pita chips, and I like it with fresh vegetables.  But this would be so good scooped onto a salad, or spread onto a sandwich.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

middle of nowhere

When anyone asks where I live, I generally like to give the very true answer of, "the middle of nowhere."  I actually live in a "city," but it is not a city by any of my own definitions.  My definition includes (but is not limited to) museums, a lot more stores than just Walmart, and a movie theater that shows more than 4 movies at a time.  I know, I'm hard to please.  I've just never had to confront how much I need a Target in my life before I moved to the middle of nowhere.

But the bonus of living in the middle of nowhere is that it can be beautiful.  And we can see the stars at night.  And we can have seriously gorgeous views along side the road to get to somewhere.  Over the weekend we explored new roads to get to somewhere, and we took our time.  We got out at scenic overviews, farms with longhorn cattle, and we got out for sudden intense needs to go potty on the side of the road (Rowan, not me).  And we got out to look at the very big, full moon as she was on the rise.
 Sometimes it pays to live in the middle of nowhere.  Sometimes.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

peach basil popsicles

July has been a much hotter place to be than June.  And my deck herb garden is rife with basil.  And the farmers markets are rife with peaches.  So a peach basil popsicle was basically meant to be as far as July is concerned.  True story.  These are not sticky sweet popsicles (although you could adjust to make them sweeter) so Fletcher wasn't a huge fan.  Rowan ate hers right down, though.  So 50% kid approved.  100% adult approved, so that's the good news!  And only 4 ingredients.  Easy.

3 ripe peaches
1 bunch basil (1/4 cup chopped)
1 1/2 cup milk (coconut, almond, or regular)
2 T honey
makes 10 small popsicles
 Peel and chop your peaches.  Chop up your basil while you're at it.  Set aside half a peach.
 Throw all your ingredients into a blender!  I used my blender stick.  It's my favorite kitchen tool, by the way.  I use honey because I like the flavor (and local honey is so so good for you, ok?).  If you prefer you could use sugar or sugar substitute instead.
 After your mixture is blended, chop your set aside half a peach into small chunks and add into the mix.  I like to have the little fruit pieces in my popsicles.  If you prefer a completely blended popsicle, go for it.  Pour the mixture into popsicle molds (or paper cups with sticks if you don't own a set).
Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.  Run your molds under water briefly, and they should pop right out.
Could it be any easier?  And these taste so summery and light.  I ate one for breakfast, is that wrong?  If it is, then I don't want to be right.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I thought I'd give a little update on project make something.  I have completely focused on doing embroidery, because it is just so easy to take with me wherever I go.  I can stitch and watch the kids at the park, I can stitch while I'm waiting for the oil to be changed in my car, I can stitch while I watch tv in the evenings.  So I do.  I am so happy to say that I am officially half way through my list.  I had such a huge response to make somethings for people, and it has done my heart good to make them.  I'm sending a little piece of my heart with every something I send across the country, across the world, to people I've never met.  I've loved every minute.  I've cursed at myself occasionally.  I've really questioned my sanity.  But I've loved every minute.

And I love that my #1 question about this whole endeavor is, "Do you sell these somewhere?"  Soon, my friends.  I will soon!
{I post most of my projects on Instagram if you're interested in following along}

Thursday, July 18, 2013

this girl

This is one busy girl.  And so different from her brother.  While Fletcher is content to sit and play with his toys, this one is constantly under my feet like a puppy.  She is interested in my most menial household task, but interested in so much more, too.  Yesterday she "helped" me with the projects I am working on by gathering scraps of fabric and embroidery thread and artfully arranging them in a pile.  She said, "There, mama.  Send it to someone.  Just like this!!"  I almost wish I could!  She also arranged her ponies just so, and then insisted on borrowing my phone to take pictures of them.  She took about 25.
I think she's got an eye!  Or maybe I'm just an indulgent mama, who sees a little of myself in my little girl.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I was never close to my cousins.  Geographically and otherwise.  We had fun playing together when we were together, but we didn't have relationships outside of family get togethers.  And I have a LOT of cousins.  I wish we could live closer to my brother and Brian's brother so that our littles could grow up together.  When we visit home, Fletcher and Rowan just fall right into playing comfortably with their cousins, but I know this can change in just a few short years! 
I'll try to enjoy it while I can, watching these kids play together so freely.  I hope their cousins can become their constant friends since we will be moving every few years with the Army.  It's not going to be a perfect life for these littles, trying to find new friends everywhere we go, but hopefully they can always rely on cousin friends back at home.

Friday, July 12, 2013

and there's more

I know.  You're probably really tired of train pictures.  But this is my life, friends.  I'm kind of tired of train pictures, too.  For the last 3 years, we've indulged Fletcher's obsession as much as possible, just because he has such a passion for trains!  And I do love seeing him so happy.  Unless Rowan can move past her princess obsession and into something more interesting to the rest of us, trains are the family go-to fun.  Brian thinks trains are cool (left over from his own childhood obsession).  Both grandfathers think trains are cool.  And now Fletcher has spent time with my Uncle Fred who thinks trains are REALLY cool.  So we went to see some real trains.  Historical, beautiful trains.  We rode one, too.  I even had a little bit of fun.
 Great Uncle Fred and Fletcher really had some intensive discussions on the train ride.  I think one of the discussions included a warning about sticking your head out of a moving train.  I overheard something about a head rolling down the track.  Oh, uncles.  They're so good at providing fodder for playground stories and/or nightmares.
 Rowan likes a train ride as much as the next person, but she needed a little extra entertainment.  Tickles from my dad kind of helped.  Brian was playing the straight man, apparently.
 We spent a whole hot, sticky afternoon at the train museum, and we were all ready to leave at the end of the day.  Except for Fletcher and Uncle Fred.  I think they'd still be there if they had gotten their way.
And they would be perfectly happy.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

THE cake

My sweet uncle and aunt were visiting my parents at the same time as we were.  My uncle and Fletcher share a deep love of trains, so they were quite the pair.  My uncle and mom schemed to make Fletcher the most elaborate train cake I have ever seen.  It took them THREE days to make it from top to bottom.  It was elaborate, people.  And barely edible in the end, but that was not the point.  Fletcher loved it.  So much.  Almost as much as my uncle Fred and mom!
Rice krispy treats made up the road, kit kats made the track.  Ice cream cones made up the smoke stack, and malted milk balls made up the tinder.  It was a labor of love, no doubt.  And it was amazing.

Fletcher will never forget this one, that is certain.  Thank you, Mom and Uncle Fred!!