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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and it’s over

Christmas day has come and gone. Decorations have been put away, the holiday tree taken down, and rooms rearanged to make room for new toys. Now we try to settle into a new routine, somewhat stuggling to find what exactly that is with still a house full of visitors and knowing I will soon again have to return to work. But one thing we all look forward to is the light, and the opening and warmth of spring.

This being our second Christmas celebrated together as a family of three, shared again with my parents, and this time also with my sister and her kids I felt it was difficult to keep things simple. It was nice however to share with everyone some of our holiday traditions we have started. I look forward to the family traditions we will build upon year after year as our family grows. Next year I am hoping to keep it even more simple and with Owen being a year older I am hoping he will be better able to apart of the handmade aspect of our Christmas.

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas filled with light and joy. With the new year coming soon what are some things you and your family are looking to change if any? I really love the feeling of a new year and the feeling of a fresh new start. We have decided this is our year to really make a difference and try to be a greener, more environmentally conscience family. So new years eve we look forward to sitting down and each making a list of the things we feel are most wasteful or harmful to the Earth and we will chose which we can realistically give up and which ones we can make a change to, to help minamize our inpact here on this Earth. More on that later!

-April

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fun with gingerbread

On the Sunday before Christmas we had some friends over to our home to build gingerbread houses. Owen was so happy to have all his little friends over and was having a great time showing off all his toys. In the end there was quite a bit of icing and candy scadered all around the house but all that matters is that we all had a great time. However, I do think next year we will make gingerbread men instead and simply decorate them, as this is probably something more toddler friendly and also something you can actually eat in the end. Whereas the houses don’t usually get eaten which seems pretty wasteful.

After all our friends had gone home my parents arrived and on Tuesday afternoon my sister, neice and nephew arrived who had been vacationing in Las Vegas and so on Christmas eve we got to making some holiday cookies. We made both gingerbread and sugar cookies, we even made a few that had a mixture of a little of each and they were actually my favorite. Owen’s favotite was the gingerbread dough so I had to hide that from him so that he wouldn’t eat it all. Then for breakfast on Christmas morning he ate two whole gingerbread cookies. Impressive considering he doesn’t care much for sweets. More to come later about Christmas day! How did you and your family spend time preparing for Christmas?

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this moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a peaceful and beautiful weekend.

-April

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travels

For the last couple of weeks we have been visiting with family and friends and so I took a break from the blogging world for just a bit, but we are now back and I will be jumping right back into the swing of things. Here are just a few photos of our lil guy having fun on our trip.

-April

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just a glimpse

A few things I wanted to share until I have more time to write about them: My first sewn bunny!

My mother in law’s stuffed squash from our families vegetarian thanksgiving…

and the chai tea she had steeping all afternoon along with it.

The wedding season is winding down for us so I’ve been spending a lot of time in the office. There is a lot more to share very soon, including more about these 3 pictures!   – Jenna

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this moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a peaceful and beautiful weekend!

-April

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a birthday moment

Tristan’s birthday was a couple weekends ago, and there were so many moments that I looked up and couldn’t believe my luck. This is one I kept seeing… Tristan busy with his new sketch book and I in my library book. Oh and there was also fondue and sangria. – Jenna

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this moment

{this moment} – A Friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Wishing you all a peaceful and beautiful weekend!

-April

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fall apples

A few weeks ago the family decided to go apple picking, to say the very least it was a total blast!  I just love fall and everything about this day conveyed fall to me. The brisk cool air, the falling and turning of leaves on trees, and of course harvesting apples! Once back at home we ate most of the apples but I had enough left to make some apple crisp. Since then however my parents in law have have given me about 20 lbs of apples from their backyard apple tree. I was thrilled as I was a bit sad I had not gotten the chance to do much baking with the one’s we had picked. And boy oh boy did I ever get the chance now! Let me tell you, pealing 20 lbs of apples with a toddler at your side is quite the job.

With my first batch of pealed apples I decided to make some apple butter, apple sauce and more apple crisp. Bellow are the recipes I used for the apple crisp and apples butter. I’m not too sure how healthy these recipes are for you since there is quite a bit of sugar in them but they sure are delicious!

Apple Crisp Recipe

  • 6 apples
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

Peel and slice apples. Arrange in buttered 8 inch pan. Mix oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Cut in butter until crumbly. Spread over apples. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes.

Apple Butter Recipe

  • 5 lbs. apples
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Peel, slice and core apples. Add apple juice and cook slowly until apples are soft. Once soft using a hand mixer mash em all up. Add sugar and spices and mix well. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, stirring often, until mixture sheets from spoon. Ladle into hot sterilized jars. Seal immediately. Yields approximately 3 pints.

Enjoy!


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