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Archive for the ‘Just Life’ Category

Father’s Day…It Just Doesn’t Make Sense To Me

Bean w/Daddy & Grandpa

Today is Father’s Day, a day when we honour the men who raised us.  From my perspective as a son, I can fully understand this.

My father worked 16 hours a day for 25 years, only taking a handful of days off (he even worked a half day on Christmas every year).

It was through his sacrifices that I was able to go to college. He provided for our family and taught me what a real work ethic was.

To this day, he still tries to make sacrifices by telling me I shouldn’t have bought him anything for Father’s Day, and that I should have saved the money.

As a son, this Father’s Day thing makes perfect sense. It’s the official day to recognize and give back to our dads for the countless things they do for us.

As a father myself, and looking at it from a father’s perspective, this day makes absolutely no sense to me at all.

Let me start from the beginning. Read the rest of this entry »

In Her Own Bed

Sleeping Angels

Since the day our little Bean was born, we’ve been practicing a form of co-sleeping known as bedsharing, something that has been a sweet, sweet bonding experience – especially since I’ve returned to work full-time.

We hadn’t set any expectations for this practice to end, but simply waited on a time that seemed right.

This bittersweet time has now (sort of) come for us.

It started a few weeks back as Bean approached the 18-month mark. She sleeps between my husband and I on our queen size bed, which has generally provided enough space for all involved, until she decided to start taking a little more than her fair share!

How could a tiny toddler take up so much space??

And yet one or both of us (my husband and I) would all too frequently find ourselves hanging on to the side of the bed by a hair, curled up in a bottom corner, or simply relegated to the couch or guest bed when we couldn’t take it any longer.

This grew progressively worse, to the point where for several nights in a row I was being pushed, kicked and prodded by a little Bean who was no longer seeming to get the concept of bed ‘sharing’ and seemed all too consumed with the idea of bed ‘hogging’.

I don’t mind admitting – I lost my patience with this idea pretty darn quickly. Read the rest of this entry »

My Crunchy Wishes for 2012

I was driving, so Michele snapped these pictur...

Because it’s a new year, I’ve been thinking about all the things I’d like to have/do in 2012.

There’s nothing set in stone and I have no idea how much of it will actually come to pass, but there’s nothing wrong with a little wishlist, right? And if you can’t share your random thoughts and wishes on your blog, where can you share them?

So here goes…


The idea of living sustainably/independent of mainstream corporations, etc. is a hugely fascinating one for me (though it’s something I still have a looooong way to go on).

But in that spirit, here are some of the things I would like to own/do to began attaining that goal:

  • A dehydrator. I have dreams of making jerky, fruit roll-ups, etc. and keeping my family in healthy snacks at every need.
  • Canning supplies. Because my gardening efforts were such a success last year, I have big plans for expanding this year – and I want to be able to preserve all that yummy goodness! Of course, this will also involve learning how to can things without giving us all botulism.
  • An indoor herb garden (plus lots of herbs outside!). I planted sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lavender and mint last year. The sage and thyme are actually still growing (outside!) and I continue to use them frequently. Thus, I want to do bigger and better this year – and make sure to dry and preserve those herbs as well (I’m afraid I was pretty crap with that this past year). Now I just need to find some space inside that won’t be destroyed by my daughter/dog/cat. Hmm….
  • A juicer. My husband loves juice. And no matter how much I tell him how worthless it is and how much it’s all sugar and how it’s not even real even when it says it is, he persists in drinking it. So I would at least like to make him real juice. And I admit I wouldn’t mind putting together some veggie juice concoctions for myself. So this is one of the wants on our list.
  • More cast-iron/glass/stainless steel. We’ve begun the process of converting all our cooking stuff to these materials, but we’re not where I’d like to be. It would be great if 2012 could see us there!

As these are mainly all to do with kitchen/cooking/food stuff, I’ll throw in a few goals I’d like to put into action this year. We’ve had great success with going paper towel free and become pros at separating our garbage, compost and recycling, but there’s still a lot more we can accomplish.

I think the biggest problem continues to be waste – mainly in Ziploc bags and food. I’ve been pretty decent in the past with washing those bags out and using more reusable containers and planning meals so food doesn’t get tossed, but we started slacking big-time when I went back to work. I don’t want this downward spiral to continue, so it’s something that’s on my list to work on for 2012.

Continuing with the wishes… Read the rest of this entry »

Wordless Wednesday – Autumn Family

I’ve actually never done a WW post before, but thought I might give it a shot this week with a few pics from last year’s visit to the pumpkin patch. I’ll be linking it up at I Thought I Knew Mama – all kinds of cuteness for you to enjoy!

Bean & Pumpkin

My lil pumpkin

Happy autumn!


Reader Spotlight at A Little Bit of All of It!

I feel so honored this week to be featured in Julia of A Little Bit of All of It’s Reader Spotlight, where she shares a bio/interview on one of her readers – and this time around it’s all about me! ;D

Julia has become one of my favorite bloggy friends; she writes from the heart, shares lots of fun and informative stuff, and is just an all around super nice and caring mama with a heart for people; I love the interaction I’ve been able to have with her blog and hope you take some time to look around when you head over there!

Julia has also guest posted at Becoming Crunchy – an awesome and interesting post about CSA’s: What Is a CSA and Why Would I Want to Join One?, while I’ve made an appearance at her blog before with a guest post about my take on internet community: For the Love of Mom Bloggers.

I so appreciate Julia giving me the opportunity to get a little bit more personal over at her blog, and hope you get the chance to stop by! Read the rest of this entry »

Feels Like It’s Been Awhile…

Enjoying our vacation...

We very recently returned home from an amazing vacation – and it’s so great to be back and be able to connect in again with the community here – though I will admit I wasn’t missing my computer much when I was swimming in the lake by our cabin! ;)

We started out at 3AM last Wednesday on our 12 hour drive to stay at Halfway Lake Resort in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which was, funnily enough, just about exactly halfway between my MN family and us.

Bean and Luther (the dog) were both amazing in the car – I know it can’t have been easy for them!

We had a truly wonderful trip – so much fun with family; beautiful place, awesome food…I just wish we could have stayed longer! We may very well end up making it into a yearly tradition…

The drive home seemed much longer as we left later in the day, and we decided to cut it a bit and stayed overnight about 5 hours from home, so we ended up getting back a little later than we originally anticipated. And even though I still have a huge pile of laundry to get through, it is very nice to be back to our own bed.

We also came home to find quite a bit going on around here… Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating Breastfeeding & Taking a Break

Well, everything continues to be hectic around here lately…

While not impossible by any means, transitioning from a year of being able to focus almost solely on baby (and occasionally housecleaning ;) ) to widening that focus to ‘the real world’ is getting to be a bit out of hand.

Work is still uncertain – I’ve been applying for jobs but I may also be able to work it out to stay at the place I originally wanted to stay – I will be figuring that out (hopefully Monday) and if it actually becomes decided then a whole lot of stress will be lifted off me!

If it doesn’t…? Well, you do what you gotta do, right? 

GAPS is still going well – I’ve shortened the intro a bit and haven’t suffered any ill effects thus far. I even had a cup of (gasp!) coffee this morning!

Well, it was half a cup. And it wasn’t very strong. But it was really good…

I am certainly feeling more normal after last week’s exhaustion, though I probably haven’t been getting to bed early enough and it really shows when I don’t.

It’s still a lot of work to make pretty much everything I eat from scratch at home, but I’m definitely getting a routine down for it and it becomes easier every day. I am very proud of myself, knowing I haven’t eaten anything processed in 2 weeks!

I’m still buying yogurt because I haven’t gotten a chance to try making it again, but that is going to happen soon. I made butter last week and it was a success, so this week I’m making cultured butter. Stock is so easy it’s pretty much ridiculous – the most difficult part for me is washing the stock pot lol.

I really don’t like the sauerkraut I made – I find it way too salty tasting and I’m not sure if it’s because I used too much salt or if that’s how it’s supposed to be. At any rate, I think I need to figure out some different fermented foods – hopefully will be able to check out the Nourishing Traditions book at some point as I hear it’s pretty much the cultured/fermented food bible…

Aside from work and diet, Bean is coming up on a year and definitely requires a lot more attention now (not that that’s a bad thing at all) – but she’s really getting to that stage of so much fun interaction and wanting to do what we’re doing – and not wanting us to do anything without her!

All told, there’s a lot on my mind lately – and we will be visiting with family members we rarely see during most of next week, so I’m officially taking a break from blogging for a week to a week and a half or so – in fact I will be going mostly screen free when our family members arrive.

So – just a few housekeeping details (and more on World Breastfeeding Week): Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Family…

Read the rest of this entry »

Straw Bale Success!

Holy Zucchini!

Well, I think I can say in full confidence that our straw bale garden experiment has succeeded.

It took a few weeks longer to get them ready plant than I thought it would, my neighbors looked at me like I was bit crazy, and I had a month or so of worry about whether the whole thing was going to work or not after I invested my time and money…

But as you can see, it’s all paid off. :)

I have learned a few things as a newly budding gardener that I’ll be sure to remember for next time around: Read the rest of this entry »

What Do You Think?

Personal care army

Image by A30_Tsitika via Flickr

OK – quick dilemma to share with you…(help me please!) :)

I have an entire box full of almost new cleaning and personal care products that I’ve opted to get rid of becuase of all the toxins they contain.

I kind of hate the idea of just throwing them away – it seems awfully wasteful – and I know a lot of people don’t have concerns about such things like we do…

So I’m pretty much planning to put them all out at our garage sale tomorrow for free – but including a sign that says this:

Everything on this table is free, mostly new and little used. We have decided to discontinue the use of these items as we are making attempts to limit toxins in our home – we don’t wish them to go to waste so if it is something you are unconcerned about, please help yourself.
If you are interested in knowing more about why we are doing this, just ask! :D

I would also include little cards if people are interested enough to take them that say: Read the rest of this entry »

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