May 28, 2012

Come Join Me...

at my new location Oh Darling Love. I have decided to shift my focus to areas that truly and continually inspire me. I want to focus on how I move closer and closer to living naturally, family stories and family profiles - what are other families doing to inject love and adventure into their lives. I will be writing up profiles of families that inspire me as well as what my own family is up to, lifestyle changes that we embark on and the thrills that ensue.

A little bit about the purpose of Oh Darling Love: I have always loved the feel of co-ops and natural food shops. I thoroughly enjoy looking over all the original products and smelling the essential oils that line the register counter. It is a warm and comforting feeling. Living a life close to nature seems like a perfect fit for me albeit one little snag…it turns out I like people. I like living in the city where the energy is always bursting and there are surprises around every corner. So how does one marry this love of natural things and city life? Well, this is my documentation of attempting to do so. I live in a relatively small city where neighborhoods still reign and small little communities are alive and well. I also live in an area where farms, bays and mountains are all within a two hour drive which makes living off the land a viable option even though I reside in a bustling metropolis. Despite my desire for more warmth and sun, I am coming to the conclusion that this may be the best possible spot to sort of have it all (this theory is still being tested out however.)
I also have a family – a daughter and a son. My husband and I were avid travelers before said children and strived to be just as adventurous after but the trials and tribulations of having small children (they are 3 and 1 years old) are proving to be more restrictive than we had anticipated. Well, let me rephrase that, we knew it was going to be restrictive, we just didn’t know how much we would miss our travels. So in addition to documenting how we strive to be gentle to mother earth, I am deeply interested in those who are living a life of purpose and adventure. How are other families making their dreams a reality?
So please join me over at Oh Darling Love!!!
If you are still interested in what inspired me to write Sidewalks and Sunshine (primarily kids stuff, design stuff, house stuff and recipes) please follow me on Pinterest

May 14, 2012

Monday Memo: The Latest

 Greenhouse Goodness
 So Green!

Beautiful Dinner
This is what I have been up to lately - farm life. I don't get much down time to play around online as we spend most of our time doing things - gardening, fishing, shrimping, kids are in heaven out there and when it is super nice out, frankly, so am I. So when my posts slow down, you can picture me here...

May 8, 2012

Edible Wednesdays: Allergy-Free Cookies

So it came to my attention (thank you Dr. Sodhi) that my lack of energy and near constant stuffed-up-ness was not due to a combination of a lagging cold and sheer exhaustion from raising two toddlers,,,it was actually an intolerance to those oh-so-common food allergies. Say goodbye to wheat, dairy and others my friends. I have had these reactions in the past but for some reason (again, perhaps from the sheer exhaustion) I did not put two and two together. Thankfully, I finally drove by ass over the bridge to visit Dr. Sodhi who it seems may solve all of my life's problems.

Just to test out the theory (ok, so I was still skeptical..maybe not skeptical but afraid) I decided to eat a very delicious cupcake 4 days after starting my new "diet"...and BAM BAM Thank You Ma'am, I was stuffed up and paying the price for it all night. I am actually STILL stuffed up from it. Damn wheat.

So hello garbonzo bean flour and arrowroot. Yuck, right? Well, again, thankfully I live in a city that is home to the BEST gluten-nut-free-vegan-organic bakery, The Flying Apron. In you are ever in Seattle, a stop here is a must even if you aren't allergic. The goods are just that good.

To top it off, she wrote a cookbook - bless her heart! So now I can enjoy her marvelous creations from the comfort of my own home. If you are curious, here is one of my favorites:

Berry Tea Biscuits

Interior Tuesdays: Play Areas Outside

Some fun outdoor chalkboard ideas and one crazy playhouse...I mean seriously, that is cooler than my house.

May 3, 2012

DIy Thursday: The Pirate Ship

This is too cool. A pallet (although this looks to be the sturdiest pallet I have ever seen) board with a wind sail on it. This could look very cool in our backyard. 

May 2, 2012

Edible Wednesdays: The Colors of Food

The posts are random and spaced out these days - trying to spend some time gathering and healing my health and sanity instead of online. I am also developing a new project which I hope you will like but more on that a bit later...still working out the details. Happy Wednesday! 

April 23, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

Road Trip!
Hanging out on the back porch
Wonderful Colors!


Flips & VW

This post is on the summery side as it has been a beautifully warm weekend here and it is inspiring all sorts of warm images...too bad it is supposed to rain again in a couple of days. Living it up while I can!

April 13, 2012

Book Review: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Peggy Orenstein, of Schoolgirls fame, recently wrote a thoroughly thought-provoking book about raising a daughter amid our grossly overly-pink girlie culture titled Cinderella Ate My Daughter. If you have a daughter, I would say that this is a must-read although reading it may make you more terrified than when you began it. You know from the onset of meeting your daughter that it may be a hard road ahead but this book really nails that idea on its head. The world is such a different place than the now-so-seemingly-innocent one that you and I grew up in (that statement alone should give you worry). She concludes, albeit a bit skeptically, that there is hope. You can raise an independent and lovable girl - it just takes some mindful choices in the beginning and following through to the bitter end (supposedly around 13 when they just stop listening to you).

Here is a oh-so brief summary (seriously, go get this book - at the store or at the library - it is worth your time):

Peggy is a journalist who has spent much of her career writing about issues that face adolescent girls so when she is expecting a child of her own she prays for the boy that wasn't to be. Of course, she has a girl, how silly of her to think otherwise. So when her toddler girl becomes infatuated by princesses (despite never have read princess stories) she decides to dive head first in to this crazy pinkalicious world of baby/toddler/tween girls and what this could mean for her future.

"According to the American Psychological Association, the girlie-girl culture's emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness can increase girls' vulnerability to the pitfalls that most concern parents: depression, eating disorders, distorted body image, risky sexual behavior. Even brief exposures to the typical, idealized images of women that we all see every day has been shown to lower girls' opinion of themselves, both physically and academically...The pursuit of physical perfection was recast as a source of young women's "empowerment." Even as new educational and profession opportunities unfurl before my daughter and her peers, so does the path that encourages them to equate identity with image, self-expression with appearance, femininity with performance, pleasure with pleasing, and sexuality with sexualization. I didn't know whether Disney Princesses would be the first salvo in a Hundred Years' War of dieting, plucking and painting. But for me they became a trigger for the larger question of how to help our daughters with the contradictions they will inevitably face as girls."

Family Fridays: Monkey See, Monkey Do

My daughter has always had a knack for eavesdropping and repeating anything and everything she hears. Toddlers are good at eavesdropping. They are quite stealth actually - there they sit, minding their own business, deep in play but all the while listening for any new word or catch phase they can use as their own. You go along with your conversation, taking note that the kids are minding you no attention what-so-ever - so you may drop a few swear words to make your point clear or describe the "idiot" who didn't help you one bit at work. Needless to say, my daughter has been heard saying "did Sebastien shit his diapers again?" or "damn it" while dropping something not just once but several times. These are not phrases I am proud of but they are phrases of life so be it. I don't think they will offend anyone too terribly.

Alas, there is one phrase that has stuck that I am afraid will offend someone and indeed it already has. My husband is always calling the tigers at the zoo "stuffed" as they rarely ever move and seem to be in the same lounging position no matter what season or time of day you go to view them. Maya picked up on this quite quickly and recently came home to say that the stuffed tigers were sleeping...again. Apparently she mentioned this aloud while watching said sleeping tigers and made the boy next to her cry. He apparently knew what "stuffed" meant and didn't seem to find the humor in my husband's animal description.

But there are good things that come from paying attention to the words swirling around you - they pick up on the good ones too. You will hear my daughter say "please" and "thank you" appropriately and willingly which makes my heart burst every time. Having good manners and respecting other people is on the top of my "to teach my children" list and I am happy to say that it is a lot easier than I had anticipated. Monkey see, monkey do.

April 11, 2012

DIY: Necklaces

Here are some fun necklaces that are ridiculously expensive but may be worth giving it a DIY try...
Isabel Marant
Erin Considine

Happy Birthday Boy

April 10, 2012

Edible Wednesdays: Fried Green Tomato

I am excited to try a fried green tomato BLT this summer...sounds so delicious. Here is how you would do the Tomato part: 

green tomatoes
fresh mint and chives
panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
garlic powder
salt & pepper
1. Whisk 2 eggs. Season with pepper and finely chopped mint and chives.
2. Pour flour into a bowl, season flour with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder and set aside.
3. Pour panko bread crumbs into a bowl and set aside.
4. Cut green, un-ripe tomatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Pat dry.
5. Dredge in flour, shake off excess.
6. Coat both sides with egg mixture then into the panko!
7. Fry in very hot oil until crispy and golden on both sides. Drain on paper towel.
8. Salt generously with kosher salt.
9. Serve with lemon wedges.
10. You can hold the fried tomatoes in a 200 degree oven on a rack for about 30 minutes.

Exterior Tuesdays: Yard Ideas Take Two

I have a problem. I like to rearrange my yard too much. As I have mentioned before, due to a large falling cedar tree, the yard HAS to be rearranged this year whether I like it or not so might as well so a little itty bitty more than required to make it perfectly lovely. I am hoping this will be the last are my inspirations:
Thinking instead of gravel, patches of grass

April 9, 2012

Monday Memo: Blow Ups

I made a huge collage-y/painting of a llama for my daughter's room when she was a baby and she loved looking at it - still does. So I am thinking of making another one for Sebastien's are some options. Scary or cool?

April 7, 2012

Happy Easter Weekend

We are off to the mountain to search for eggs in the snow and celebrate Sebastien turning ONE! 

April 6, 2012

Book Review: Bringing up Bebe

So the library finally released the much anticipated and talked about book by Pamela Druckerman, Bringing up Bebe. I must say, it did not disappoint. I was a little wary because some of the reviews I read were not that favorable but it truly was a good read. It may be because I have a soft spot for the French, but all their practices made perfect sense to me. This lady moved to Paris to be with her love, ended up staying and raising a family in the city of light. She quickly realized there was a huge difference in the way the French were raising their families versus back home in America. Coming from a journalistic background, she set out to find out why. She is careful throughout the book to not side with the French per se but to simply acknowledge what they were doing differently.

Here I tried my best to summarize her points:

March 27, 2012

Edible Wednesdays: Champagne Cocktails

I have died and gone to heaven. This may be the best thing I have come across lately - a guide to champagne cocktails. I am a HUGE champagne fan. It is one of the only alcoholic drinks I enjoy. Just in time for summer sippin'...(I am in a fantasy world thinking that summer is close but a girl can dream)

March 26, 2012

Exterior Tuesday: The Yard

So I did it. I started to tear up the yard tonight. It was sunny, I had the energy and so I just went for it. We still have to grind the large cedar stump out of the way but until then I moved the stuff that I could. I have a really big problem when it comes to the backyard. I am constantly rearranging it which means a lot of work and aggravation for my dear plants. Someday I will get it just right...? In any event, this photos are inspiring despite the fact that most of them take place in climates very different from the one I reside in. Sigh. 

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