Thursday, August 29, 2013

garden wreaths for kids

Don't you love it when a project takes on a life of its own!?! 
I have been working on a fall wreath, so naturally, my daughter wanted in on the action!  I cut some extra chicken wire for her to work with and she was off! She gathered things from the backyard and when I caught up with her this is what she created....

A simple nature wreath for all the beans out there!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Birthday Beginnings...

We are throwing one birthday party for all three beans this fall.  Their birthdays happen to all land around the same time and for now they enjoy it!  No surprise that the theme this year is a "Garden Party."   In an effort to stay on track with getting ready for their special day, I have begun making some decorations.  I have really been inspired by my pal Carol from the fantastic blog Art and Sand.  Her goal for the month of August is to "use what she has."  I'm challenging myself to do the same for the party.  Saving money and consuming less.....what a concept!

So first up are these burlap flowers.  I have seen different flowers made from burlap and I happened to have some left over from a party this summer.  I also grabbed some fabric scraps and buttons from my collection and here ya go..

Burlap Button Flowers!  Not sure where they are going yet and I have several more to make but they were free!  I will be doing little bits about the bash to try to stay ahead of schedule!  

Happy Making, Baking, and Growing!  

Monday, August 19, 2013

date night

We don't get out much with three kids under the age of 4, so when we do, we savor every moment!

Our date night was a concert located at the beautiful Northerly Island in Chicago.   I'm proud to call Chicago our city.   The people...the music..the food!

We went to see these amazing folks....Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks Band and The Black Crowes

If you've never heard this woman sing, I hope you'll give her a listen, because she is what good music is all about!

It was a cool night on the lake with a lovely crowd.  People kicking back and dancing the night away!

And me with this guy....sharing our love of music once again!

Here is to all of those little moments this week that make life sweet!  Have a good one!

Monday, August 12, 2013

around here....

around here...

the beans help Gramps harvest vegetables from his garden.

around here....

 I look for color among the fading areas of the garden.

around here.... 

I visit other gardens to study what is blooming.

 Lobelia "Monet Moment"

 Blue Paradise Garden Phlox

 Miss Ruby Butterfly Bush

Honeysong Purple Stokes Aster

 Blue Fortune Agastache

around here...

sisters are making music together.

around here...

I'm working to create as many unprocessed snacks as I can for my beans.

Oatmeal Bites

Oatmeal Cookie Bites...

1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
4 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup raisins 
1 cup chopped walnuts

Beat wet ingredients in a mixer.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and walnuts (good with or without nuts!) Mix the raisins in by hand.  I like to make them small for the beans but large are awesome too!  Cook at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

around here...

I feel so lucky to have met all of you talented folks!!!  You inspire!!

Joining Sarah for...

Grab button for CHANTILLE FLEUR

Thursday, August 8, 2013

quick combo

Sometimes I stumble upon a plant combination that feels just right..... 

Joe Pye Weed----Switchgrass----Coneflower  

I'm thinking the coneflower is Pow Wow Wild Berry Echinacea? 

I like this combination so much that I'm going to use it as a starting point for our new side yard.
 Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

calendar cupboard

Our first bean is heading off to preschool this year so it's time to get organized!
A year ago we took out the walls on our first floor so that we could use every square inch of this place.  There was no room for a desk, but we did put in an end cupboard for storage.  I knew the day would come when we would need a calendar cupboard.  It's only about 5 inches deep and has been a complete mess up until this week.

 I have researched systems and figured out that I'm kind of loosey goosey!  I'm not a chart person.  I can't have things mapped out to a T because I just don't roll that way, so I opted for areas where I can scribble, erase, hang and house a calendar to keep track of important upcoming dates.

Here is the cupboard before...

And here is our new calendar cupboard...

I painted the back wall with chalkboard paint and hung mini cork boards from Target.  Each kid has there own nook in the cabinet for their papers.

The clipboards are for my many lists.  I found a fantastic shop on Etsy with very cool stationary....Skel

And of course my bean has her spot too!

linking up with...

Cozy Little House
House of Hepworths
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Jennifer Rizzo
An inviting Home

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Funks Grove

We packed up the car and took a trip down to visit Auntie E!  She took us to Sugar Grove Nature Center in Funks Grove Illinois.  I wish our town had a children's area in the middle of the forest like this!  Mud pits for digging, zip lines, cabins, tire swings, sand boxes, and pots laid out by the stream for cooking. Basically, every kid's dream!

For the big kids there are miles of beautiful prairies, a magnificent bird sanctuary, and native gardens.

The barn is set up with old rockers to take in views of the prairie.

My new bird watchers!

And the youngest explorer of the group!

And since I am on the subject of my sis, I am going to take this moment to brag about her!   She is a passionate gardener who has shared her love of gardening with her students through their school garden program.  Keep up the mission E!!!  You Rock!