Monday, June 21, 2010

Messy Kids--I can either give them napkins or feed them in the bathtub.

My kids are really messy when they eat.  Food and drink often make appearances on shirts and shorts, chairs and floor.  I never really liked to give the kids napkins because they really wouldn't use them but I also found them to be completely wasteful (we eat three meals a day together, five get the concept).  I thought about introducing cloth napkins to the kiddos but the ones I have always used don't feel good...they aren't soft and they CERTAINLY wouldn't stand up to an entire cup of spilled milk.  So I went to Target and found these awesome washcloths.  They were under $10 and my kids love them.  They can wipe their hands, faces and messes without having to grab multiple napkins or paper towels.  The kids put their plates in the sink and throw their washcloths in the laundry basket; it is that easy.  I bought two bundles and we rarely run out.

If only I could get them to wear toddler-sized bibs... 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The happenings...

Sorry that I haven't posted lately, it hasn't been because I am UNinspired but because life has been busy.  :)  I always try to remember that a full life is happier than an empty one so I need to keep that perspective in my pocket while I am shuttling around town.

I haven't been meal-planning lately (SHOCK!  HORROR!) because I have been all over the fresh local food that I have been getting at the farmer's market and Whole Foods.  :)  Last week I made batches of green garlic pesto, taco salads and a bbq tempeh BLT.  :)  Lots of good stuff with some eating out thrown in there.

We received our first CSA pick-up yesterday and I was delighted to find lots of lettuce, kale, radishes, green snap peas and STRAWBERRIES in my brand new eco-friendly bag.  My farmers rock.  And if you have never eaten a fresh, local, strawberry, find yourself one.  No, they aren't the big (however delicious) Driscoll's strawberries, they are tiny, slightly dirty and imperfect...they absolutely will melt in your mouth. 
 Find them.  This week.  Before they are gone.

I plan on eating lots of leftovers this week thanks to my sweet friend that made me an entire pan of vegan enchiladas as well as the almost entire veggie cheese-less pizza from Father's Day dinner.  But oh the salads we will eat this week...yum.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

just give.

Most of us spend each and every day wondering what we are going to get out of it.  How am I feeling, am I happy or sad?  What am I getting from the grocery store?  What am I getting out of my workout?    When am I going to get a break?

We forget an awful lot about GIVING.

We all know the benefits of a warm smile, the feeling of surprise when someone lets us take a turn in line or when someone lets us in during a traffic jam.  Why don't we give more often??

I challenge you to consciously give today.  It doesn't have to be anything with money, it can be a compliment, a simple gesture or a hug.

Just give...and don't expect anything in return. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Our farm experience...

I am so excited because we have a new CSA this year!  For those of you who don't know, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is when you buy a share of a farm and every week during the summer and fall, you get freshly harvested local (and in our case, organic!) produce.  We started doing this last year with a well-known farm but I felt they were too expensive and I became bored with what was in my box.  I ended up going to our local farmer's market and meeting a new organic farmer and I supplemented what was coming to me every week.  I bought a huge grocery store bag of basil for $4 and whipped up five batches of pesto sauce and stuck them in the freezer.  The spinach was amazing.  I bought 50 pounds of organic potatoes from the farm at the end of fall and we consumed them throughout the winter. 

The farm had an open house on Memorial Day.  So with a few good friends, we packed into the van and drove a little more than an hour north.  As we get closer, we see little girls in dresses and bonnets as well as little boys in pants and suspenders, playing in the fields and wavinging to each car as they passed by. 

I forgot it was an Amish farm.  :)

When we arrived, our farmer took us on a tour (after I had to stop in the outhouse for some business) and we got to see the cows and the horses.  My littlest one thought a small cat was the most entertaining feature of the farm; he kept trying to pick him up by his tail and back legs  and would respond with such ferocious laughter, it was hard to tell him to put the kitty down.  ;) 

The entire farm is farmed by horses so we went on a hayride and got to see where our kale, corn, tomatoes and peas are growing.  After the hayride, we went over to the Amish family's personal garden and were invited to eat raw asparagus that we plucked right out of the ground.  NEVER have I EVER eaten asparagus like this...sweet, could eat the whole stem.  We ate spicy radishes and tender strawberries.  After our garden experience, we sat on the porch and ate popcorn and drank pink lemondae with the Amish family.

Our farmer that comes to market is more of the PR person of the farmer; she does help harvest but truly, she brings the farm to the farmer's market.  She and I have been working with the head farmer and this year, they are going to harvest dried beans for me.  Last week I bought six pounds of dried black beans and I felt a little frustrated and disappointed because they were the same price as Whole Foods but there were a lot of debris in the bags.  But once I saw the farm, I realized that my few dollars probably makes a bigger impact on this family rather than Whole Foods.  So I look forward to my garbanzo beans too.

The experience was extraordinary.  It was really neat to see another way of life and to see where and how our food is being grown. 

To find a local farmer's market or CSA near you, go to!  :)