join our local food experiment

fun tutorials!

peanut butter blogroll :: a rotating list of inspiring blogs

Friday, July 31, 2009


surviving the rain :: make a boat!

had it been raining cats and dogs in your 'hood, too? because here in New England it's getting ridiculous. in between spells of rain we go to the beach at the nearby lake. we stay until the rainclouds start to threaten. invariably we talk about the boats we see. some fast. some slow. all wonderful!

then daddy comes home with this really big box that held some fancy equipment in it and bb says, "daddy, can this be my boat?" well, YEAH! of course.

they started to decorate it which required the BIIIIIG box of crayons. my girl's got her boots on incase it gets wet out there!

coloring the boat happens daily. little more here. little more there. the badminton racquets are the oars, of course.

mommy decided it needed a sail, so i got a big wooden tomato stake and a rainbow silk and viola!
ready to sail. we packed a little lunch in a basket and off they went. so far, they have been to China, Nashville and Cape Cod. who knows what's next!

what are you doing to pass the indoor time? i'm always up for new ideas!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


wordless wednesday :: look who is finally peeking out!

Monday, July 27, 2009



when we visited the beach cottage, i endeavored to not bring much in the way of toys/books/things to do. i really wanted the experience to be about being in nature. and in general, i'm sort of looking to move more and more toward less is more when it comes to playthings. sure, i want them to enjoy themselves and to have "things" they like a lot, but i find it so much more rewarding to see them create with what they have. to watch my son build with blocks or logs is so much fun. he can create these amazing worlds.

so, at the cottage there was this little ceramic box that my daughter found. it had about 12-15 coins in it. she loved taking the top off and on and off and on. soon, my son found some golf tees and some sea shells and soon they had a full-fledged game going on.


so, for the next hour i heard, "mommy, look at our treasures!" they arranged them in cups and in a jewelry box, took them for rides on his log truck, poured them from this container to that container to the floor and on.

and i marveled at just how little they need in the way of toys and "stuff." they had the BEST time, just giggling over these treasures.

so, when we go home, we put together 2 jars of treasures. one for each of them. they contain buttons, shells, "jewels", marbles, stones, little sculpey beads and creatures, tiny pine cones and any other little treasure-like thing we come across.

they will play with these all morning some days. and given our strange summer weather, we need stuff to do indoors. it rains for part of just about every day!

now, of course, the treasures are all mixed up and we have no idea whose is whose. but they don't mind. they just love putting them in new vessels or separating out all of one kind or all the blue things. it's adorable. i love it.

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 24, 2009


a birthday boy

he is 5 today! it's crazy. i can't believe how much he has grown. all the things he has learned. the person he has become.
i think about how my life changed when he came and the 30 hours it took him to get here once he started his move toward his first breath. the transformation my body went thru. the transformation he went thru. it was the first dance we ever did together. and in the last five years there have been many more. from middle-of-the-night rocking to rockin' out in the living room to windy jumpy beach spinning.
i couldn't enjoy him more. he is my friend. he is my heart.

we're are celebrating this weekend, but i wanted him to wake up this morning feeling special, so here is what we did pre-breakfast (he chose waffles with peanut butter and sy
rup, lemonade and bacon, so that's what we had!) today.
these are the little offerings i left for him to find :: a birthday placemat and napkin made with his favorite polka-dot fabric from my small, but growing stash, a blue shirt which i put a number 5 on. and a small pouch sewed up late last night holding a rocket necklace. we made together, but he didn't know it would become a necklace. (we love the Sculpey lately!)

i worked on bunting over the week. the "recipe" is in Soulemama's book Creative Family. it was easier than i thought, which was a nice surprise! i wanted him to really feel it was a special day. and a festive one!

the birthday ring. this year, he chose an angel.

more for the dining room turned playroom....

daddy lights the candles.

angel watching over.

happy 5 t-shirt!

the "i'm FIVE! w0000t! dance!"

it was a lovely morning. after breakfast we went off to ride his bike. tonight we'll go out for pizza and icecream with one of his good friends.



Labels: , ,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


we've been to the ocean

i was so happy to take the kids to the beach for 6 days. it is at this beach that i feel most free and at home and my kids seemed to feel that same.

our days were simple. the weather was no matter. in the morning we played and enjoyed breakfast in the cottage. they often read books together while i sipped coffee and readied our beach bag with all the essentials.

then we walked to the beach and there we stayed for most of the morning-- walking, playing, digging, snacking, splashing, collecting, breathing. . . laughing!

then it was back to the cottage for snacks and naps. and here is me wanting to remember this one afternoon when everything was perfect and i watched my children wander the beach, so free. they laughed together and played and followed their joy. it was beautiful to watch. it was simple. restorative. and they began to reach further into their creativity. as did i.

the afternoon was full of anticipation. you never know what kind of beach you will see when you round the corner. will it be windy with big waves? will it still as glass? or somewhere in between? will it be high tide? low? MOON low? somewhere in between. it's anyone's guess, but most likely it is different than how we left it this morning.

back at home we adorned our nature table with some of our beach combing prizes. sea shells, rocks and our blessing. in the mail when i arrived home was this amazing starfish. more on that to come. this little scene reminds us daily of our beloved beach and the peacefulness, playfulness and of all the ice cream we enjoyed!



sewing project :: rocket shorts!

it's fun to see what kids gravitate toward.
i love to watch new fascinations emerge in my children. and for my son it's definitely rockets. rockets on the windows, rockets in his drawing pad, rockets with his building blocks, so the mama has to support that. . . i already made him a little rocket shirt and so now :: rocket shorts!

i used the idea in Amanda Soule's (i heart soulemama) book - The Creative Family, to sew the shorts. she teaches how to make pants for a child from an adult's shirt. so, i grabbed up one of hubby's old t's and made shorts. i sort of invented my own way of putting the rocket part on, after seeing Amanda's kids on the cover.

she doesn't teach how to do that, so i had to make it up. and i'm sure there is an easier way than how i did it. but! they came out pretty well anyway! and he adores them, so what more could a mama want?

Sunday, July 19, 2009


for the love of flatbread

a while back i mentioned this (awesome) cookbook that i got....for mother's day, actually. one of the many recipes we have taken a liking to is the one for flatbread.

it's really easy to make and the kids love to get involved with the dough preparation. i've found it to be true that kids will much more happily eat what they have helped to make. . . or grow.
flatbread is not only tasty, but versatile! you can roll it up with any number of fillings inside or just layer stuff on top of it. which is our favorite! i love to eat mine with a really fresh egg from the chickens at bb's school, some raw milk cheddar, ham and fresh herbs on top. YUM!

i'm not going to reprint the recipe here because i want you to go and get the book, but i will
say it could not be easier. flour, water, salt and oil. roll it around into a little ball. let it sit a while. . .

roll it out niiiiiiiiice and flat. . .

cook it in a super hot pan (no oil) until it starts to brown and flip it. . .

cover them with a tea towel as they come out of the pan. . .

definitely eat one warm with a little butter or almond butter or whatever you like because they are de-lish right off the griddle!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


my first dress.

i have been trying to post this for over a week. . .please, blogger, let me post again! whatever i did to make you mad, i'm so sorry! it won't happen again!

i did it.

i made her a dress! after 3 mostly successful skirts and a pair of pants for him i got on with it and made a dress. i'm totally proud of it. and the girl in it, too!

her grandmother left me a little stash of fabric last time she was here. so, that's what i used. i made the little pocket out of a linen scrap and did a bit of embroidery on it.

i got the pattern here. and how awesome is it that you can get sewing patterns on etsy and ebay for FIVE bucks. love it. love. IT.

i had a few snags with this pattern, but i believe it was me, not the pattern. i'm a newbie and a bit of a nervous sewer so i get tripped up easily.

also completed this week :: rocket shorts!!!!!! i have yet to get a final fitting and photo of that, but it's to come!

now i'm off to blog surf and be inspired by all the crafty mamas out there. anyone else as excited as i am for Amanda Soule's new book coming soon?

Labels: ,

Monday, July 6, 2009


cookie carnival :: june round-up plus the july cookie!

wow! we had lots of participants this month. thank you each for playing along. i really appreciate the effort everyone puts forth.
so, our JUNE cookie was the STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE COOKIE from martha.

i have to say, i really enjoyed these cookies. they were simple and i liked that. they were like biscuits. . . fluffy and sweet and fully of strawberry goodness. and they were not to be resisted. many of you talked about how they went totally south the next day, but i had no idea because ours didn't make it into the next day. too yummy!

i have no photo to show, but that's a good sign. we ate them faster than i could photograph them. i totally forgot. too busy saying, "mmmm." and it wasn't until later that i realized i had
blown it! booooo!

before we get into the round-up, let's also talk about next month. after the poll, the Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze were the clear fave. here's the link to the recipe. have at it! get our post and photo to me by 7PM EST JULY 31 to be included in the round-up! thanks!

okay, so onto YOU! you all did a fab job with the strawberries. . .

adam of baking with dynamite is back! he has some suggestions that might be helpful--"If I'd make any changes, I would not macerate the strawberries before hand." read his post here.

wendy of simple snow stitches burned her first batch, but went on to make some beauties! read her post here.

melissa of my caffeinated life is skeptical of m. stewart, but..."these beauties were so easy. They would be perfect for an afternoon tea." read her post here.

rachelle of mommy, i'm hungry played along againg this month-- read her post here.

mich of something new is cooking had this to say,"It's a wonderful soft cookie with lots of flavor." read her post here.

yi of workout then cook played along again this month! read her post here.

carol of no reason needed fed them to her husband he thought they were GROSS! how can that be? read her post here.

tessa of cookin' chemist had this to say, "If you like strawberry shortcake, I would definately recommend this recipe." read her post here.

candace of candy girl had this to say, "This was a simple recipe to put together and the cookies are best eaten right away." read her post here.

anissa of anissa's kitchen played along this month--read her post here.

pamela of cookies with boys had this to say,"Seriously, this one is good for anytime of day...morning, noon, or night and anytime in between." read her post here.

cristine of cooking with cristine baked with us this month. read her post here.

steph of plain chicken had this to say, "They were perfect because they weren't too sweet." read her post here.

sue of slice of sueshe has a new baby, so how she got around to making these and remembering to send the link along, i'll never know, but do read her post here and you'll also see her super cute babe!

steph of a whisk and a spoon (in additon to having a super-cute blog) gives good advice, "Keep a close eye on the cookies near the end of baking time…any strawberry bits on the bottom will start to caramelize if they are taken too far." read her post here.

katie of KBK bakery had this to say, "They are best still warm from the oven when they have a lovely crisp outside and a warm soft, slightly chewy inside." read her post here.

martha of simple nourished living had this to say, "I loved them and think they would be perfect as part of an afternoon tea party." read her post here.

christy of baker chick had this to say, "I'm so glad I tried them, because I definitely want to make them again, but maybe with some peaches this time." read her post here.

tami of tami's kitchen table talk made sandwich cookies with whipped cream filling. i like her style! read her post here.

tania of love big, bake often particpated for the first her post here.

joyce of flour power had this to say, "They pack a delicious strawberry flavor with just the right amount of sugar with the added sprinkles on top." read her post here.

aisha of sugar played along this month. read her post here.

steph of steph chows had this to say, "I have to say this is probably my least favorite cookie of the ones we have tested so far." read her post here.

juliana of horneando algo used chocolate chips! read her post here.

karen of shortbread had this to say,"Like a scone in cookie form, these are sweet and tender with a crunchy sugared top." read her post here.

kar of obsession made mini-muffins! read her post here.

temperance of high on the hog prefers the "real thing" but enjoyed these cookies, too. read her post here.

jackie of food wanderlust had this to say" My cookies had spread out and were flat... BUT, the taste was remarkable." read her post here.

shelley of playing with tablespoons had this to say "It's a soothingly old school prep, and I felt a bit like Ma in 'Little House on the Prairie'". read her post here.

tari of mcdonald family had this to say, "They were delicious and an excellent way to take advantage of strawberry season."read her post here.

jacque of daisy lane cakes had this to say, "The kids (normally chocolate chip cookie snobs) were scarfing them down faster than me." read her post here.

linda of baking foodie was distraught over last month's macaroon, but she persevered! and turned out a great strawberry cookie indeed. read her post here.

Labels: ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin