ringing in the new year

2011 is here and we brought in the new year by spending the first day of the year down in Big Sur. Our plans of camping there for the weekend changed as a raging rain storm moved in so after having lunch and splashing about in some mud puddles and taking a small walk down to a creek we made our way back home. On our way home we stopped by Carmel to take Owen on a lil trip around town on the holiday trolley then down to Ocean beach for a little walk with the dogs. All in all a wonderful way to start off a new year.

As with every year I see this time as a point of reflection and also as a time to look ahead. When I sat down this year, reflecting on the past one I was happy to recall all the new moments we got to share with our little one. All the firsts that we got to experience as a new family of three, all the knitting, sewing and learning. The small things really brough a smile to my face. When looking ahead I thought about all the new firsts to come, all the sewing, the knitting and crafting. As for our lists to become more eco-friendly we decided the most realistic changes for our family would be to try to create less garbage. Number one on my list was driving and gas. Living outside of town I really do a lot of driving but at this moment I can’t see how I could change this. Second on my list was diapers. We currently only use cloth diapers half of the time, when we go out we use dispossible, at home we use cloth. But with me back at work it’s gotten to be a lot more dissposible than anything else. Also we simply do not own enough cloth diapers and with them being so expensive we simply cannot afford to go out and buy as many as we need all at once. However, I was thinking of sewing my own, so if anyone knows of a good pattern to sew your own cloth diapers please let me know! Last on my list was to reduce garbage. Now this covers a lot of territory so we will start with baby steps, such as; sewing cloth napkins, sewing bags to collect our veggies and fruits at the market. Also collecting glass jars to keep our grains, sugars, flour, etc. and then buying in bulk with our own sewn cloth bags to reduce our amount of waste. Last on my list was to buy locally more often. We already visit our local farmers market quite often but I’m finding that especially with it being winter we have not been going every week as we were in the spring and summer. I’d really love to get to know our local farmers better and to even visit their farms. So there are some goals of ours for this comming year. More to come on all of them throughout 2011! Happy new year all!

-April

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’tis the season… to get ready for next year

When it comes to crafting, I am an ambitious procrastinator. I come up with a lovely list of a million things to do, and leave them to the last minute so that I can barely find any time to do them. As you can imagine, gifts fall into this category…. which is why i’m still making them and Christmas has since past. And although I had a lot of inspiration for things I wanted to make for our holidays, gifts had priority and crafting for our place just plain didn’t happen.

This could make me sad, being a Christmas freak (I can’t help but love the holidays) but instead I am just excited for next year. When my mom was starting our family she would wait until after Christmas to get new decorations for next year half price, or sew our stockings early in the year so they’d be ready for December. I’m going to have to take after my mom with this, because it is apparent that if I leave my ‘to do’s’ until the season it won’t get done. And so here I am collecting sale fabrics and ideas for our next Christmas. – Jenna

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happy 2011!

The beginning of the year usually looks the same for Tristan and I. We go for breakfast or to a coffee shop and list off the things we want to do in the new year. Normally this is business related. This year, for some reason we didn’t end up at any coffee shop or breakfast restaurant. We watered our friends plants and came back home to our still decorated apartment for the rest of the evening. Instead we knit, read, napped and cooked together.

When I woke up new years morning I thought to myself, I want to do all of the things today that I want to do in the new year. That list included knitting, sewing, weaving, cooking, yoga and reading all while spending quality time with my husband. Photography is a no brainer for us so it doesn’t get put on the must do list, it gets done list or no list. So anyhow, I clearly didn’t finish this entire list of to do’s, but that is okay. We did enough of them that I feel good about how we rung in the new year. And there is plenty of time left in January. Including today!

Today we continued on that list. I’ve been knitting, Tristan has been sewing, and in between it all we have started our first loaf of bread in our new bread machine. We got the bread machine in the fall eager as anything to bake with it but haven’t touched it. (That or the pasta machine we bought around the same time) Finally today we decided it was a good time to give it a whirl and it’s bouncing around in the kitchen now as I write. It’s dark already so i’ll have to make another one some morning so I can photograph it.

What I can show you is the recipe! For Tristan’s birthday my parents bought him Tartine Bread, a book we can’t wait to experiment more with. But there are no machine recipes in there so we were searching around google aimlessly until I remembered that there was a WHO Bread Machine recipe over on the Soulemama blog, one which April introduced me too and we both love. Since we have been stocking up on bread ingredients for months now we luckily had everything in the cupboard and so WHO Bread it is! If you’d like it please head over to this link to see Amanda’s tutorial. She also has a recipe for the same bread without the bread machine, here.

What is really fun for us is that we also had an excuse to use the anniversary present that our wonderful friends Justin Jaimie and baby Layla gave to us… a big beautiful blank hardcover notebook to keep recipes in! So Soulemama, thanks for our first bread of the year, and the first recipe in our book!

Happy new year everyone! I hope you can start it off doing the things you love!
– Jenna

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