Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jack Avery's Kin

I hope that your day is filled with good things....a little tune from my brother...enjoy!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

on the table

I have been practicing baking a new bread every week. I loved the homemade breads my grandmother made when I was a child and I wanted to do the same for my beans. I also want healthier options for my family.  Our son has a peanut and tree nut allergy, so our bread options from the bakeries and stores are limited.  My thoughts on food allergies another day.  For now. I'm focused on cutting as many highly processed foods from our diets as possible.  This includes trying to eliminate high fructose corn syrup as well.

Here's what's on the table...Minestrone Soup and No Knead Bread

In my Pop's old neighborhood, they called it the poor man's soup.  If they were short on food for the week, they would take whatever they had in the fridge and make a pot of minestrone.



2 zucchini cubed
2 summer squash cubed
2 cups of small pasta
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
Olive oil
salt and pepper
2 carrots-don't worry about peeling
1 onion
3 stalks of celery with leaves
2 cans of beans (garbanzo, cannellini, or red kidney beans)
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
8 cups of organic chicken broth

(I have made this recipe with whatever veggies I have had on can't go wrong!)

Minestrone Soup
{adapted from The Pioneer Woman}
  1. In a large stock pot drizzle some olive oil.  Cut up one onion, a couple of carrots (I have even used baby carrots cut up), and a couple pieces of celery. Cook them until they are lightly browned.
  2. Next add 8 cups of organic chicken broth to the pot.  Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  3. Next grab 1 or 2 cans of beans and drain them in a strainer. Red kidney beans, garbonzo beans, and cannelini have all worked
  4. Throw those into the pot and let the soup cook for another 10 minutes
  5. While this is cooking cut up your zucchini, squash, and mushrooms. (broccoli works great too) Spread them out on a baking dish.  Drizzle olive oil over the veggies, stir, and add some salt and pepper.  Cook them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 500 degrees.  They will be added to the soup at the end.
  6. After the beans have gone in choose any type of small pasta to throw in.  Let the pasta cook in the pot for about 10 minutes.
  7. Check those veggies in the oven!
  8. Now throw in a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and the juice.  I cook it for another 10 minutes at this point. This is when I add salt to taste.  You may need several pinches of salt to give it a kick!
  9. Make sure the pasta is done and then add your cooked veggies from the oven and mix it up!
  10. Now it's time to dig in!  Don't forget to sprinkle on some parmesan cheese.  
No Knead Bread

I first saw this recipe at Elaina's blog A little bit country-a great blog if you haven't visited yet!
The original recipe is from Tania's blog  Ivy Nest another inspiring place to visit!

Tania lays it out fantastically, so i will let you pop over there to check it out!!  Here are the ingredients you will need..


3  cups water, lukewarm
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sea salt
6 1/2 cups plain white flour (or 5 cups white and 1 1/2 cups wholemeal)

And like the Italians say...bada boom bada bing...your done!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Etsy please

It's a wonderful thing when you meet someone cool and their work is just as lively and awesome as they are.  My friend Tanya from the blog Bead and Needle has an amazing Etsy shop full of outstanding one of a kind creations that I am over the moon about!

Bead and Needle Etsy Shop-jewelry and clutches
{for more of her work go Here}

Sunday, February 17, 2013

MAKING Mondays {Fairy & Gnome House}

This year, my little beans are going to be adding a fairy house to their garden.  My little one and I took a fairy & gnome house making class this weekend at our local nursery.  These whimsical houses look neat tucked into corners of the garden or under a tree.  While I'm not jumping feet first into creating an entire miniature village, I do appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into these gardens.   I can just imagine my kids playing here for hours with their little gnomes and fairies!

Anne Ashberry from Essex England created the first known miniature garden in the 1950's.  She began planting miniature gardens in troughs. which were set high, so that handicapped and elderly people could garden in comfort.

via-pinterest {original source unknown}

"Hardly a new trend, the miniature garden is enjoying a revival, not a discovery. Though often dismissed by “serious” gardeners as too whimsical, perhaps they should reconsider.  Gardening on a small scale requires the same landscape principles of placement and proportion, knowledge of plants, care and maintenance." source 

We each got to pick out a stump.  I think that constructing the house from an old log was the best way to go.  It was easy and our time was focused on the design and decorating. We enjoyed taking cues from the bark as to where things should be placed.

We brought things from home to add to our house.  My little one wanted to bring her shells and buttons.  And we had so many fun trinkets to rummage through in the shop.  Everything from dried yarrow to glass marbles.

Hot glue was used for fastening as well as the occasional drill for larger pieces. 

Color seemed to be her theme!

Come spring, we get to use our class certificate to pick out our gnomes and fairies as well as creeping thyme for our house!

Partying Here....

a humble creation

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination

I have been nominated for a Liebster Award  by the wonderful Derrith at Tied Up In Ribbon
Thank you Derrith for acknowledging my blog!  Pop on over to see her wonderful creations!

Here are the rules for anyone receiving a Liebster Award:
1. You must tell 11 things about yourself 2. Answer the questions your nominator gives you, 3. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate 4. Choose new blogs with less than 200 followers and link them to your post and 5. Please leave a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster Award blog so I can learn about you.

11 things about me..ha! Pressure!

~ I ate a 2 pound box of Fannie May chocolates {over the course of several hours} when I was 18 months old...and I didn't get sick!
~ I played the clarinet and during this time our band was chosen to perform several pieces at the Mid-West International Band and Orchestra Clinic in downtown Chicago 
~ I completed a half triathlon 
~ I love elephants

~ I traveled cross country to a bluegrass festival with one of my best pals

~ My husband was my little brother's friend...3 years younger to be exact!
~ My favorite artist is Cezanne 
~ I can make a mean meatball 
~ I enjoy everything about campfires on cool fall days

~ one of my favorite childhood memories was playing fort in a huge dirt pile with my brothers and sisters 
~ I can't wait to show my beans the world

Derrith's Questions for me....

1. What were your aspirations when you were a child?  I wanted to be anything that had design attached to designer, jewelry designer, garden designer
2. What is your favorite romantic movie?  The Notebook
3. What is your dream vacation destination?  Spain
4. Do you have a favorite book(s)? The Cabbage Moon.. most of my reads are non-fiction because I have much to learn and too little time!  
5. What is your favorite family tradition?  Christmas cookie, craft,  and sausage making at my folks house
6. How long have you been blogging?  I started in the summer of 2011 but didn't really get going until the summer of 2012
7. What do you most enjoy shopping for? HA!  Plants!
8. What pets do you have?  No pets..just plants and 3 Beans!
9. What one thing would you most like to do to change the world? work to help save the environment and our nations food supply for out kids
10. What do you collect?  rocks from all the places we have been
11. Do you prefer being indoors or outdoors?  outside digging!

My Questions for the Lovely Nominees...

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What is something that you enjoy that makes time stand still?
  3. What do you collect?
  4. What would you most like to change about the world?
  5. What is your favorite quote?
  6. If you were having a dinner party what tunes would be playing?
  7. If you could go anywhere where would it be?
  8. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
  9. What is one of your favorite memories from your childhood?
  10. If you have 30 minutes of free time, what is one thing you like to do?
  11. What is your favorite time of year and why?

The blogs I nominate for the Liebster Award are...

  1. Artsy Chicks Rule
  2. Harrison Home
  3. Rindy Mae
  4. A little bit country
  5. As Long As You Have A Garden
  6. Sweethearts and Sweet Tarts
  7. Being Home
  8. Gipsy in the Parlour
  9. Mindfully Green
  10. Osie Moats
  11. My Love 2 Create
  12. Chantille Fleur
  13. Wife, Mother, Gardener

Monday, February 11, 2013

my family room thrifts

I wanted to share my cheap and thrifty updates to our family room.  One of my goals is to do my best to find thrifted items before buying new.  There is a whole world of stuff out there just waiting for new homes!

I needed a couple more accent pieces for my bookshelf.

I liked the shapes of these {not the colors} so I grabbed them and painted them white.

You can never have too many old books and for 2 bucks a pop these 1930's encyclopedias were coming home with me!

and the biggie...

The upholstery is in fantastic condition and it's comfortable!  The true test was J.  He dug its old school feel so it passed! 

On to the mission...

So I saw this...

source-Life in Grace Blog

and this....

source-Pinterest {original source unknown}

and this...

source-Emily Clark Blog

which lead me to this...
paintable breadboard wallpaper ........for just 39 dollars!

so came the paint......leftover BM dark storm cloud blue from the hall

and some of these.......because I want to have the option to take it down one day

This is before....

This is the after...

  I like the way the painted wallpaper adds a backdrop to my books and treasured knick knacks. Overall, it was an easy project that I would recommend to anyone looking for a quick and easy update!  

Thanks for the feature Kristi!!!  I should be mopping the floor...

Linking up with....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

a family and composting

My dad and mom are earthy folks.  Yep.  They taught us from a young age to not waste water and electricity.  And to not use too much toilet paper or paper towels.  I can just hear my Pop now, "your wasting a whole frigging tree!"  Ha!  My mom's approach, though more gentle, was just as powerful.  She enjoyed teaching us about nature and finding the beauty in its simplicity.  Her homemade meals for her crew of 6 kids was an endless task.  I can't say that I ever bought a lunch.  I look back and appreciate the love of gardening that they instilled in us.  All 6 of us have our own gardens in one form or another.  Fruit trees in front yards, eco-clubs and school gardens, raised vegetable boxes, endless rows of flowers, cold frames filled with lettuce.  These are the things that have been passed on to us.  To take care of this Earth and do our best by it.  Thanks Ma and Pop!

My taken by Elizabeth Guzaldo

I first learned composting from my Pop.  He has been at it for years with a large homemade bin out back behind the pines.  One of my goals for the garden this year was to begin composting and teaching my beans about how we can make "good dirt."

I found this guy here 

I liked that he was made from 98% post industrial polyethylene and that he was lidded because we have some crazy buggers out back that get in to everything! 


Brown + Green = Black Gold

  • carbon-rich brown materials {dry leaves, plant stalks, pine needles, wood shavings, newspaper}
  • nitrogen-rich green materials {fresh leaves, lawn clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags}
  • try to add 3 times as many brown materials as green materials
  • do not compost {meat, bones, animal waste, dairy products, diseased plants, seeded weeds, plants treated with herbicides or pesticides}
  • chop garden clippings by running over them with a mower
  • moisten materials to make them damp not soggy
  • as soon as the bin is full let it "cook" turn once a week 

Free Healthy Fertilizer

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Etsy please

I'm bringing some Etsy to the table!  Here are some of my finds that I've been smitten with! I hope to spread the love for these wonderful shops...enjoy!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

MAKING Mondays {garden trellis}

Utilitarian design came to mind when I was thinking of my project for Monday.


having regard to utility or usefulness rather than beauty, ornamentation, etc.

I knew that I needed a trellis for the barn.  For those of you that aren't familiar with the "barn" you can read about it here.  The barn is getting a makeover this spring with a fresh coat of paint and new plants to adorn it.  I'll be growing morning glory from seed and hope to grow it over the the top of the barn.

"The Barn"

Since I want to spend my money on plants, I needed to re-purpose something to make the trellis.  So I grabbed a bunch of dry cleaner hangers from the closet and got to work.  I laid them out and worked on creating an interesting pattern as well as overlapping areas so the plants will have something to hold on to as they grow. 

I used....6 hangers, thin wire, and left over bronze spray paint

laying out the pattern

wiring the pieces together

spray it bronze and here it is...

I fastened the trellis to the barn with nails.

I will be doing a follow up to this post so you can see how the barn shapes up!  

What Color Would You Paint The Barn?

{1} Dark green with cream trim

{2} pale blue gray with butter trim

{3} deep blue with cream trim