Monday, May 31, 2010

growing up with veggies

jamie oliver’s food revolution and the time for lunch campaign has really inspired me to get my kids growing their own veggies this spring. it’s rewarding on so many levels and may even help soothe and relax us as some days are a little too busy. we'll get to spend time together, and we can then prepare and eat all the goodness that we grow. so, they’ll taste new things. all we need to do is make a plan, keep it simple and give them a little know-how they’ll use forever.

make a plan

get a seed catalog or visit a local nursery with your kids and have them pick out the vegetables they want to plant either from seeds or seedlings.

i like choosing a few unusual vegetables like multi-colored cauliflower or carrots (sometimes these will get very curly if planted too close) and prehistoric looking broccoli.

if you feel unsure about what to plant, kits specifically for kids and novices make it a bit easier to grow a selection of everything from herbs to tomatoes or even a “rainbow of vegetables”

sit with your little one to draw a garden plan on paper so they can start visualizing what it will look like and the things they wish to grow....maybe a cookie tree.

get planting

find a nice sunny spot in your garden or a container for your patio or balcony, and there are many options available (window boxes, planters, raised beds, etc).
i have noticed that a lot of our garbage is actually stuff that would be very beneficial to a garden. we might try an odor-free countertop composter.

to add to the lesson of how stuff grows, have the kids plant a few seeds in a transparent container so they can watch what happens under the soil (like an ant farm for veggies)

having kid-sized garden tools or at least more than 1 of each is key to a peaceful experience....i haven't quite figured out how many of each we need because hudson always seems to find a way to carry more and more all at once!!! but, this guarantees they can get into the work too and they may just have a lot of energy to burn. nuchi (a wisconsin based toy company) offers this colorful set.

a mini wheelbarrow holds your equipment, dirt and plants and is lightweight enough for the kids to be able to transport everything on their own.

books to help

plant a rainbow  and growing vegetable soup by lois elhert
tops and bottoms by janet stevens "ONCE upon a time there lived a very lazy bear who had lots of money and lots of land."
the ugly vegetables by grace lin

family treat

you have spent all day digging in the dirt now try this yummy dessert. give your kids a small bowl of chocolate pudding, sprinkle some crushed oreos on top and have them mix their "soil". once the dirt is ready have them plant their own lollipop flower.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a day off.....

sometimes it is nice to just catch up. to actually have a day off. no obligations. no to-do list. a time to enjoy the grace of a normal day.

we spent lots of time playing in the grass.

the kids took a well-deserved nap from a well-timed walk.

a nice refreshing treat. 90 degrees.... in may.... in wisconsin??? seriously!

it was a good day.

Friday, May 21, 2010

you say it's your half birthday

any reason to celebrate....and bake cupcakes! that's what being a kid is all about and so what if i am not the kid anymore, i can still play the part and my little man turned the big one point five today and well that only happens once and it seems from this point on you start counting only the years. SIGH

this past month hudson has had a language explosion. some words i swear he doesn't use anymore but, the biggest right now are "gram PA", "oos" (juice), "ba" (bottle, sheep, barn, etc), "cow", "tor" (tractor), "uk"(duck) "pooh" (if you want to make this kid stop in his tracks just say poop and he will immediately stop and check the ground). also, if you need a translator, i am here for you. he understands so much and tries so hard to be understood, which is very cute and heartwarming.

i wish to capture lots of moments on camera for my kids but, i have almost resigned myself to the fact that inevitably i will not have the camera with me or i will just miss the moment and the shutter will close a moment too late but, more importantly i have a huge store of great smiles tucked away in my memory.
not quite sure he wanted to share at first but, he offered up a piece in the end

one other big piece of news....he used the potty!!!! not that this will happen again in the near future but, it is a start. while we were getting ready for bath, i just caught him in the stance and swung him up on the pot and wahhh lahhhh!

ms. ava i adore you. your personality will win over the room and your independence and stubbornness will take you far.  i cannot believe that you will be starting preschool in the fall. SIGH.

you are the best two things in my life!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

tuesdays, unwrapped.

today i am unwrapping the gift of impromtu water fights! the weather was dreary last say the least. today the sun was shining, we had swimming lessons in the morning, and my daughter is just begging for the pool to be put up.

granted it is only the middle of may and the nights are still chilly, but, the sun was shining oh so bright and we mixed hot water from inside with the cold outside and we were big grins from ear to ear!

it is nice to run barefoot through the grass, with littles chasing and laughing all around.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

my little ray of sunshine

I was just awarded the Sunshine Award!
How exciting! I never win anything! christina at just a mom, reading to her kids has given me the sunshine award! it made me happy! you rock!

the idea of the sunshine award is that it is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world... so thank you that means a lot!

So, here are the rules for this award!

1. Put the logo on your blog and/or within your post.
2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers.
3. Link to the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and the link to the person whom you received this award from.

I would like to give this award to:

1. for the love of naps --her blog is her little place in life to reflect, remember, vent, and ponder...the little things.

2. life as mom --let's face it. unless you've got a nanny, a housekeeper, a chauffeur, and a chef, it's hard to manage a home and family--and still keep a smile on your face. join her as she tries to figure it out.

3. sew liberated --written by meg, a sewing pattern designer, former montessori teacher, and self-proclaimed fiber junkie.

4. one hook wonder --she is a mom of 4 living in a small town. because this can be boring, she is forced to craft and do montessori activities with her kids and some waldorfy things too. if not for those saving graces, they'd be living a life of crime and mayhem.

5. letters from m --wife, mother, daughter, evening poet, wine enthusiast, dog owner, novice gardener, counselor, adventure seeker, travel addict, lover of food, cooking, painting, hiking, biking, literature.

6. ostriches look funny --stay at home mom with two small children that make her laugh and sometimes hand her boogers. so you can imagine that she needs to interact with a computer: it doesn't have boogers and it lets her write in complete sentences.

7. my stilettos and diapers --she is a 25 year old SAHM, aka, Slightly Appreciated Hot Mess. mom to one amazing boy, and wife to the best hubs anyone could ask for. a georgia girl living in the DC metro by way of california and new york. currently loving leggings and baroque.

8. fresh and fun --she promises to be entertaining. her blog revolves around the ups and downs ....the oh boys and the oh craps of life with the most amazing little girl ever daughter chloe..........and on my "baby" little shop on etsy....the place where my emotions and ideas come together....

9. sesame ellis --a very talented kid photographer who needs a blog about as much as she needs another baby.

10. rebecca talks --born of cuban parents, born in the midwest, raised in belgium and texas, fluent in three languages, a voice over actress, a photographer, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend.

11. l'accent nou --this very creative person shares her livings, art experiences, discoveries and good mood.

12. making of a montessori mum --the aim of this blog is to chart her journey in using montessori with her toddler in the hope it becomes a resource to others starting out - and also to provide a way to reflect.

thanks again for everyone who reads and comments on my blog. you guys rock! keep smiling, the sun is shining and you have lots of little daily sweets to be thankful for!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

little citizens, big appetite

I have called in a guest blogger to help me get the word out about
"Giving Kids the School Food They Deserve: Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch Campaign" 

Christine Binder opened my eyes to some of the vast differences in our country and the obstacles that we face. This is a topic I feel very strongly about and I hope you will add your voice to the community of others fighting to give our little citizens only the best.

It’s no surprise that the food kids eat influences their wellbeing. In addition to affecting their health, the food kids eat can also affect their mood, behavior, and their ability to learn. Though many children bring their own lunches to school, over 31 million kids eat school lunch, which can range from healthy, fresh, and delicious to unhealthy, super-processed, and unrecognizable.

The Berkeley Unified School District serves kids fresh, local fruits and vegetables, hormone and antibiotic free milk, grass-fed meat, and whole grain, organic bread. High school students in Escondido, California are happy to eat school meals that are cooked from scratch. Not all students are quite as lucky. Mrs. Q works at a school in Illinois and has decided to eat the same school lunch as the kids every day in 2010. She takes pictures of the food - which is prepared off-site and heated in those airplane food-style containers - and blogs about her experience at

The good news is that school lunch has been getting a lot of attention from some important people recently. In February, First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move (, a national initiative to end the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. One of the four pillars of the initiative is Healthier Schools, which means that the Administration will be working to improve the nutritional quality of food in schools.

Jamie Oliver, a celebrity chef from England, and the winner of the 2010 TED Prize, came over to America to help change school meals and the way people eat at home. His efforts were documented on a 6-episode reality show on ABC. You can watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on the web here. (

Jamie’s show illustrates a lot of the obstacles faced by those working to improve school food. It is very difficult to serve delicious, healthful meals to children with a food budget of less than a dollar per meal. Many schools need to sell junk food in vending machines and snack bars in order for their budgets to break even. Procuring local food is not always possible, due to bureaucratic and logistical barriers.

People who are interested in improving school food have a unique opportunity right now. Every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Child Nutrition Act, which determines the budget, nutritional requirements, and other policies having to do with the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Programs. Congress will hopefully vote on the bill within the next few weeks, so this is the perfect time to contact Congress ( about improving funding, getting rid of junk food in schools, and funding Farm to School programs, which make it possible to use food from local farms and to have school gardens. If you are interested in getting involved, Slow Food USA’s Time for Lunch campaign website is a great resource.

Christine Binder is a graduate student of public health nutrition at New York University, and an intern at Slow Food USA in Brooklyn, NY.

Slow Food USA is a non-profit organization working to create a just and sustainable food system. Slow Food USA has 225 volunteer-led chapters across the country, representing more than 150,000 members and advocates. The organization creates youth programs to bring the values of eating local, sustainable and just food to schools and campuses; preserves and promotes vanishing foods and food traditions; and advocates for food and farming policy that is good for the public, good for farmers and workers, and good for the planet.

Friday, May 7, 2010 what was i doing again?

may has started and i am sorry this post is a little late but, there are so many fun sites to read and great activites to plan for my kids on the internet that .sometimes. i. get. lost.

here's to moms everywhere. you have endured sleepless nights, diaper explosions, crayon on the walls, missing paci's, and more. my husband has always worked mother's day...that's just his industry, so we will celebrate later but, i hope you get lots of yummy pastries in bed, the perfect cup of brewed coffee, and lots of love showered on you this Sunday.

this gorgeous pink gerber daisy photo that has been transformed into notecards comes from Amanda Foshag's etsy shoppe. She uses a number of photography techniques to create works that express the essence of natural subjects around us and takes something that is seemly ordinary, transforming it into something that is spiritedly different.
this "feeling lovely" skirt by twirlaway will really brighten your day! what sweet little girl wouldn't want to dance the day away wearing this.

12 mocha brownie walnut cookies sent right to my door!!!......need i say anything else.  (KEcookies)

tea a la rose by la marquise des anges is a little vintage and a little modern.

i would love to have any of these newest items but, i would also appreciate some time to relax and enjoy the day...the best gift anyone can give.

got your credit card ready here's this month's any reason to shop - May Calendar
Get Caught Reading Month
National Barbecue Month

5/1 May Day (spread some colorful cheer to your neighbors)
5/3 Teacher Appreciation Week
5/3 Work at Home Moms Week (hooray!)
5/5 Cinco de Mayo
5/6 No Diet Day AND No Homework Day
5/9 Mother's Day, aka The Most Important Holiday Of Them All
5/11 Eat What You Want Day
5/15 National Chocolate Chip Day and National Pizza Party Day
5/31 Memorial Day

Thursday, May 6, 2010

a few of my favorite things

1. the perfect pairing of a warm spring day and the scent of lilacs. (i spent the day shoveling mulch under the bushes but, it was well worth it)

2. i adore my 3 year old fashionista and my 17 month old bookworm!

3. any and all things green. i can't wait to get all the plants in and reap the benefits of our garden. ahhhhhh...fresh basil on pizza, refrigerator pickles, tomato salsa......just can't wait!

4. again with the green. we planted 41 of these little guys. grow, baby grow. my little citizens need fresh air to breathe.
5. crafting new goodies for my shoppe. hudson is all work and no play in his daddy tie tee....can't you tell. he has got some serious math to solve at the chalkboard!

6. this man. what can i say. he always goes straight for the goodies when we head to gramma's. and, she always has something good and/or all the ingredients to made something grand.

7. toddlers and kids are favorites of mine. how they can balance in some positions, i'll never know. trust me, i've tried.

8. sweats and stripey socks to warm cold toes. sunglasses and sandals to look oh so cool on the hottest of days.

9. hudson knows where his nose, eyes, ears and belly are, and can point to each one. he knows a cat meows, a cow moos, fishes go muah muah, and a doggie says ruff ruff. he is a  fierce head nodder and shaker. he will tell you yes or no. as soon as his feet hit the ground in the morning he is down the stairs, boots on, and headed for the door and if by chance it was left open to let in fresh air he's out the door. basically every day he amazes us with something new. he is still chillin’ in size 3 diapers, barely! but i’m happy to say he is growing strong.
10. a weekend of good times with family, great conversations with friends and a good old fashioned date night.

11. ava is so smart, so funny, so lovable. she is very independent and caring, which can be a struggle sometimes. but what she lacks in patience, she makes up for in personality. i love her constant "that's for sure."

12. wishes.

happy wishes to you this fine thursday!
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