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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Winter

Maybe because this is my first Winter in MI after 20 years, but I don't mind it.  In fact, I love it.  I love the flow of the seasons, the fact that you do certain activities only certain parts of the year, and it is exciting to welcome each season back every year.





From my car window.

I lived where it sunny and warm all of the time from age 7-13.  I never wore shoes.  I didn't have a coat.  South Florida will always feel like home, but once I experienced seasons, I prefer the rhythm of the living somewhere that has them!

My uncle now lives in AZ, and is always posting the temperature.  You can keep your 65F, because, "Is there anything better than a gentle snow falling, a warm beverage in your hand, while cuddling under a cozy blanket?"  I say no.


Instead of wishing you were elsewhere if you are deep into winter, look around.  It is fabulous!  My friend, Claudia (who lives is FL), sends me her big chunky sweaters because she can never wear them.  Today, as I was driving through fresh snow, everyone had to SLOW DOWN.  In this busy world, I love the reminder and excuse to do just that.

What is your favorite part of WINTER?



Thursday, January 08, 2015

Waldorf School Bread

I just searched for a SOLID HOUR for a post (with a bread recipe) from long ago.  Now, if I couldn't find it, there is no way in hell anyone else is going to find it either.  Also, I had to remind myself at some point, that I have the recipe memorized, so I could stop obsessing as I looked.  (But I just know it is somewhere, as I have sent the link to many a person!!)

Anyway, my kids both started their education in Waldorf schools.  We were lucky to have connected and/or attended 3 different schools, and have been part of online (ironically) homeschool groups, even though my kids go to public school.  (If you don't know what Waldorf school is, google it because google can give a much better description than I ever could!)

Ok, back to my story...  At all of the Waldorf schools that we have been a part of,  they make this wonderful homemade brown bread as part of the early years curriculum.  That bread with butter and honey on top, as you drink a little tea=complete bliss.  The bread is made with whole wheat flour, which creates a very filling yummy bun, which my dad refers to as "those 2 lbs rolls you make".

Many friends have asked for the recipe, when they try it at my house.  Tate, who is 9, can make the bread by himself, but chooses to let Mama make it, while he steals bit of dough from the kitchen.  Without further ado, here is the recipe:

WALDORF SCHOOL BREAD
2 TBS yeast
1 C warm water
1 stick butter
1 TBS salt
1-2 TBS honey
2 C milk
1 C hot water
4 C whole wheat flour
4 C white flour
*optional: cinnamon, sunflower seeds, nuts, raisins, any spices you like


2 TBS yeast+1 C warm water+teeny bit of honey.
Set aside.
In another large bowl, add:
1 stick of butter (8TBS) room temp+TBS salt+large wooden spoon dollop of honey.
Heat 2 C of milk and add 1 C hot water.
Pour over butter+salt+honey.  Stir with wooden spoon until butter is melted.
When mixture is cool enough to keep finger in for 10 seconds, add yeast mixture and mix.
Add 4 cups of whole wheat flour.  (Mix well with wooden spoon after each cup)
Add about 4 cups of white flour.  (Keep adding slowly until dough is formed.)
Set aside in warm place for 30 minutes.
Add enough white flour to knead the dough* until smooth and form into little rolls.
Bake 350F for 25-30 min.

*Knead the dough for a few minutes.  This is forgiving, as 2-5 year olds usually knead their own bread and it always turns out.



Making little buns out of the dough
Kneading the dough
Yes, those are Mr. Potato Head glasses. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

When you don't know how to be creative

Recently, I went to this amazing art space in Pontiac, MI with my one of my dearest, Gerri.  I had every craft supply at my disposal, and had absolutely ZERO crafting mojo within me.  One reason, was that I wanted to chat and catch up with my friend, and some times I have to get deep into "the zone" to start a new creation.

I walked over, took this sunshine sign off that wall, and started to copy the illustration.  It was a wonderful exercise, as it allowed me to relax, chat, and create. 

Another dear friend, Kat K, had spoken to me months ago about doing a "study" on art techniques.  In that same conversation, she used one of my favorite quotes: "I am allowing myself to suck right now".

Being an artist isn't always about making great things, it is about not forcing things.  I highly encourage taking another piece of art/craft that someone else has made, and copy it to learn from it. (Don't sell, steal or pass off as your own, mind you, but use it as a study:) 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014




Tate's trip to the MI Capitol

Christmas Cookies for the Bakesale

Happy Messes

Blessing Bag Supplies

Blessing Bags for the Homeless

A special gift from Aunt Carol

An outfit from Claudia (that she didn't take off for 3 days.)

Receiving an iTunes gift card

Buttershots and Hot Cocoa

That damn elf

Homemade St. Andrews Banana Bread (named after our church in London)

3 baby Jesuses

Relaxing with Daddy on Christmas morning
Ending the week in a hotel, in Iowa, with a sick little one.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Quiet of the Season

During this time of year, I fight doing too much, as most do.  But I really burrow in with intention, because when I was a child, I would ALWAYS get sick at Christmas.  It was too much for me.  My eldest child is a lot like I am, and he made one request for Christmas break: "I don't want to go anywhere."

I plan to live in the little family bubble, and emerge when we are all ready.  Last night, it was a Saturday night, and we went to the library, loaded up on books.  We came home (it was about 6:30p), snuggled under blankets and read.  It was silent.

Give yourself permission for the quiet this year, if that is what you seek.  Happy Holidays and thanks for reading!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Advent Calendar 2014

Every year, we do a Advent Calendar of activities.  
I also will include a few small little gifts, and printables of kids mazes, puzzles, activities. They are very excited to open packet #1 after school today!  Do you do an advent calendar?  What do you include?  I am always looking for new ideas:) 


Labels+Scrapbook Cardstock


Washi Tape+Paper Bags+Cards

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Nest

I have been in this new house since July, and this has been the first house that I know I will be in for a long, long time.  For this reason, I am burrowing in deep this season.  I have been making all attempts to make our home a cozy one, and Paul is handling the bigger renovations.

Take my advice with the home improvements:  go slowly.  We are in such a rush to make the house our own, and are used to having to move after a bit, so we have been making rush decisions.  (Like having carpet installed before part of the basement is fully painted!)  

I just returned from a spontaneous trip to NYC with one of my great friends, so I want to be at home even more.  It was fabulous, as expected, but home always feels good afterwards. 

One of the advantages to having moved around a lot, is having friends all over.  Now, I apologize to those friends at this time, because my online presence has been minimal.  I haven't returned texts, emails, FB, blogged, etc.  I have been in the here and now with the family and where I am right now.   I will be back soon!  This is a result of my nesting, my retreat, my snuggling in to HOME.  

Making PINK MILK with almond milk+strawberries

Homemade Advent Calendar in progress

Courtney & Soleil snuggled in
Making zipper pouches 

Running errands together. 
The easiest decoration ever
A bit off subject, but we started putting up the Christmas decor, and I must share this with you!  I had a coupon from shutterfly to make any photo a stand up, hard plastic/glossy material decoration.  I quickly found a free printable online, and used it instead of a photo.  Instant Christmas decoration!! It is quite good quality and will last over the years.  

I wish you all a cozy and restorative Thanksgiving weekend.