Monday, April 30, 2012

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving...

...a weekend that was-
            - outdoor play, mud, and lots of time with the hose
            - the completion of some nagging to-do chores, with time to spare
            - a gathering of friends and family to celebrate hard work, freedom from The Man,
              and good tequila
            - two victorious nights in a row for our Big Girl
            - the last of the cinnamon rolls and lots of coffee while the kitties chased rabbits pre-sunrise
            - hearing rain and seeing lightening while talking and planning grand things with the hubs
            - gray and windy, cool in the mornings, and peaceful... a combination I really love
            - moments full of heart-melting Daddy-babies time, some with camera handy

This weekend was a good weekend for us to come together, connect, and make a little forward progress in that never ending battle with chores, lists, and obligations. It was a weekend that has left a lingering glow that, even on this Monday morning, we're all still feeling right now. Happy Monday.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Friday "Out"





Going "out" on Fridays has taken on a whole new meaning since I became a Mama, but it's still just as fun... maybe even a little more so than before. Happy Friday.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls, Biscuit-Style

Aaaaaaaaaah, biscuits, you are one of my most favorite carbs. It's hard to beat a soft, fluffy biscuit, indeed.

Except with maybe a warm cinnamon roll... yes, it's quite possible a cinnamon roll would give a biscuit a run for it's money.

What if... what if you combined them?


Biscuity Cinnamon Rolls

3 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
(or 3 C baking mix, like Pioneer, and skip the baking powder and salt)
6 TBS cold butter, cut into little pieces
milk or buttermilk, enough to turn the flour mixture into dough (start with 1/2 C)
1 tsp vanilla, added to the milk

Preheat oven to 375F. Mix dry ingredients together, then cut butter into flour mixture until you have the texture of a coarse meal (butter should be in crumbles no bigger than peas). Separately, add vanilla to milk, then make a well in the center of the flour/butter mixture and add milk. Stir to just combine, adding more milk if needed until moist dough forms. Wrap in plastic and chill for about 20 mins.

While dough is resting, grease 9x13" pan and melt 3 TBS butter. In a small bowl, combine 1 TBS cinnamon with ~1/2 C sugar (plus or minus, depending on how sweet you want your filling... you could also add nuts or raisins at this point, too). 

Take chilled dough out of fridge, turn out onto a floured surface, and roll out, trying to keep shape as rectangular as possible. Spread dough with melted butter, and evenly sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture over buttered surface, leaving about 1/2" lip along one of the longest edges. Carefully roll up dough, keeping roll as tight as possible. Gently press to seal along buttered (un-sugared) edge. Cut into 1"(ish) thick discs with a length of unwaxed, unflavored dental floss and place in baking pan, leaving about 1/4" space between them to allow for rising. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until golden around edges and cooked through in the middle.

Frost with icing of your choice or butter while still hot and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Enjoy (we did)!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Everything Looks Perfect


Since embarking on my gardening adventure going on three years ago, I have had my successes, my total flops, my nemeses and my pièce de résistance... there has been good lettuce years, a good bean year, always good radish years, and a good greens year in general... I've also unsuccessfully attempted pumpkins and squash every year... ahem.

I've even had my constant, average-performance reliables like herbs and tomatoes. I'm always learning, always finding a better way of doing something, and always making new mistakes.

New mistakes? Oh yes... which brings me to the point: Did you know that if you incorrectly compost spent tomato plants, you can not just perpetuate but actually introduce the fungus that causes early blight? That's right... blight... as in the disease that stunts and kills not just tomatoes, but peppers, eggplants, and apparently spinach, lettuce, basil, squash, kale, cucumbers, and cantaloupe (so far).

It is a total bummer. Total. Bummer.


  Now, there are some peaks with the valleys...


 ...but even in those peaks, there are digs at my optimism... like, oh, root-knot nematodes all up in my carrots...

...or the usual, significant, constant caterpillar presence (there's more to those butterflies than pretty pretty)..., what can one do? Make notes, take pictures, do whatever one can do to remember this and do it better one more time, again and again? Perhaps... but with all the wind knocked out of my sails, there are days when I just want to throw my hands up and walk away... even though everything looks perfect... from far away.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Henry's Handmades

I had fun making a few things for Henry's birthday this year, and promised a quick look at what I worked on here in this space. I didn't forget, I've just been... a little short on time lately. However, after admitting to myself that the time deficiency will more than likely be perpetual, I have since made myself dig out what was gifted and take a few quick pics to share.

Now, be kind... I am by no means a master seamstress, nor a photographer... in fact, I didn't realize until composing this post that the light in the room I was in was really just terrible... That being said, here are Henry's Handmades, and the inspiration behind them.

Audrey's and Henry's birthday crowns- cardboard, felt, and embellishments

Find the inspiration to make your own here

New this year- Birthday Bags- muslin, cotton scraps, and rick-rack


Another new tradition this year- cotton Height Scrolls

Find the inspiration to make your own here
We, of course, have to make one of everything for Sister, too, and her Height Scroll is still in the works. I plan on transposing her height markings from our pantry door to the scroll before shifting her to the birthday-mark tradition (we were measuring her twice a year). She hovered around me the entire time I worked on Henny's, saying, "Will you make me one, too, Mama?"

Of course.

So there you have it, the all-consuming little projects that took heart, soul, and anything "spare" around here, and were gifted to a little guy who won't even remember them... or at least, he'll never remember not having them, and that's kinda a cool thought.

Totally worth it.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving...

...a touch of exotic to our usual weekend activities

...afternoons with breeze and sun on toes

...even more wee berries for my wee ones

...self-applied blueberry "war paint" mom's secret brisket rub, flowers, everywhere
...the kind of weekend that felt like it was three or four days long, that saw much going and staying, and that offered many firsts for the smallest among us. That's the best kind of weekend there is... and it makes for a very happy Monday.