Thursday, May 26, 2011



Lots going on here, like I know with you all too-traveling down south for my cousins graduation, participating in the girls school activities-school will be out in about a week, can you believe it!
In between all these happenings I'm also taking a class. The class, which meets once a week for seven weeks, is a class about food preservation. I am really enjoying this class because its so hands on-perhaps too hands on seeing that I cut my pinky finger pretty good today while cutting carrots for a pickled carrot recipe.
So far in the class we have made and canned jams, jellies, soups, fruits, and today we pickled lots of things and even made our own custom herb vinegars. I kept my vinegar simple, a white wine vinegar with chives. We also are making sauerkraut and kimchi the old school way (using salt fermentation). Next week we are going to learn the proper way to process and can tomatoes, make salsa, as well how to make fresh cheese-queso fresco. I think I'll take some tortilla chips to class for some good ole' taste testing (:
Have a great holiday weekend!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

fermentation station

~brewing kombucha


~injera starter


~kefir grains

Someone has been busy in the kitchen and guess what it hasn't been me! My husband is currently experimenting with the process of fermentation. He is reviving some kefir grains that we have had for at least 2 years now (we thought they were not "alive", but after sitting out on the counter at room temperature for a week (and adding lots of sucanat) the grains are now bubbling up. Next is the injera. We are huge fans of Ethiopian food. Injera is like a sourdough pancake that is used to scoop up lentils, vegetables, and stewed meats-no utensils needed-and it is so so good. I think the starter has another week to go before its done. He also has a batch of kombucha going. Now I'm a little apprehensive about this one. My husband found a free scoby on craigslist and the person who gave it to him even included their favorite recipe. A couple of years ago (after reading Nourishing Traditions) I did think about making kombucha, but instead thought kefir would be easier and less daunting to make.
At first when I saw him doing all these things in the kitchen, I kinda felt like he was taking over my "territory"-not the kitchen per say (because he cooks a lot of the time too) but the territory of experimenting-doing "quirky things" but hey I'm learning to keep my mouth shut. Really I'm looking forward to the results of his fermentation station, especially the injera (:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

out of doors

If I'm completely honest, I'll admit I'm not "too much" of an outdoorsy person. Yes, I love gardening, but as far as hiking, camping, and going on trails-I haven't done much of those things-but now we are living in a part of the country where people love (and I do mean love) the outdoors-and that feeling is a bit contagious. The more I venture out and see the beauty of this place we now live in I totally get it. Bring it on-I'm ready to get us a tent!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

in the kitchen, for the kitchen

~in the sink

~by the sink

~making salad

~making potholders

I actually cut out the material for these potholders before our move. I finally got around to sewing them up this weekend. A really small satisfying project (although I found it interesting to sew bias tape around a circle:) The pattern for these potholders are in Handmade Home.
Hope you are having a great Tuesday!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

crocheting, in between naps

Between naps I've been keeping myself occupied by doing a little crocheting. I got this book a while ago and like the different shapes/motifs that is included in it. Having a bad cold at that time of the month (I know, I know, tmi) should be illegal-but at least I'm learning some new interesting crochet stitches like dc2tog and dc3tog(:
now back to my nap!

Monday, March 21, 2011

last week, this week....

~we've eaten quiche

~we've been hit by the cold/virus bug, drinking lots of tea with lemon and honey and taking cold medicines, my workout routine is also lacking now-really I should be in bed now but I can't sleep.

~we've been admiring the beauty of plants, forget clothes shopping- I'd rather go shopping at the plant nursery.

~we took enough cough syrup and a supply of cough drops in order to visit with a dear friend who was visiting in the area (from the Midwest), we had lunch at a great vegetarian restaurant (I told her to load up on elderberry syrup and vitamin C after our visit :) she's headed back home today.

I'd better go get some sleep, the kids on spring break this week and when these colds subside maybe we'll get to something a bit adventurous.
hope you are having a good week!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

a little owl family

Finally finished up this little owl family. Fun to knit, but lots of little parts that needed to be whipstitched on. I found that if I got the small parts knitted first (the wings, feet, eyes- which I only did this with the smallest owl) then I could add them to the body right away, instead of being done with the body and then impatiently knitting the small parts (because really I wanted to see the owl come together quickly:)
Right now they are perched on my dresser, but I'm sure not for long!

the pattern for the owls can be found in knitsimple-Holiday 2010.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


When I came home this morning I noticed that one of my houseplants had been knocked over onto the ground. I suspect Chester had something to do with it. Anyway, I wasn't to happy about the whole thing but really it gave me the opportunity to re-pot some plants that needed it. So in a round about way thanks Chester-but next time try to stay out of the window that has the plants, ok?

Monday, February 28, 2011

a journal of sorts

like I need to spend anymore time on the web, but I've decided to keep an online journal about the half-marathon.
maybe it will keep me more accountable, maybe.
Have a good evening!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

needing motivation

(just have to have color, bright too, you know)

early this morning, perhaps because I was under the fog of sleep, I got online and registered to do a half marathon in April. 13.1 miles. is this crazy? I can't tell you the answer to that just yet, but last night we were talking to some friends who had already signed up to do the marathon and they told me it would be a great experience (ah,the beauty of peer pressure). in fact one of our friends told us that he intends to walk the whole race. truth be told I've been struggling with getting down a regular exercise routine since our move (I'm so not consistent-I've been going to the gym once every two weeks and at times less than that!)
I guess it boils down to my strong need of external motivation. exercise and I have a strange relationship. I avoid it, mentally talking myself out of it-however there are those rare moments when I show up and "just do it" (thanks Nike for that one). Then as I work out I find myself liking it (especially when I have my music pumping), but what I love is that after workout feeling, if only I could hold onto that feeling. Well for this upcoming month that feeling is going to keep me going, it just has too.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, February 25, 2011

friendship through the distance

sometimes in life you meet people that just get you. they are easy to be around. they like things you like. they like things that are different too, and that you admire. these are the friends you treasure~

today I received a package of lovely goodies from that kind of friend. a friend I miss a whole lot. I miss our adventures, our lunches (which we always enjoyed some baked goods and a nice cup of hot tea or coffee), our library visits and our knit nights which included sharing our favorite fish sandwich. initially I was worried about the distance and sometimes what it does to friends, but you know somehow I think being aware of this distance makes me cherish our friendship even more.
always hold on to your friends.

Monday, February 21, 2011

just the facts....


~one of my children has been in her p.j.'s for almost two days straight, only was she now convinced to get dressed to go out and get ice cream with her dad and sister.

~our little kitty is being very adventurous, not so long ago he hid himself in a kitchen drawer one morning after I had dropped the girls off at school. I was on the verge of tears. I had looked almost everywhere in the house-until I pulled open a kitchen drawer and found him (he was just lying there-looking completely unfazed).

~I'm still drinking my morning decaf, and its past three in the afternoon.

~I need to catch up on my garden reading.

~ I have knitting needles sticking out my hair at this moment
(probably should be reading instead of knitting, huh?)

~I made soup for lunch today, so we could have it again for dinner.

~I'm hoping for an early bedtime, for everybody.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

into the forest


today we hiked into the forest. It was a little chilly, but a clear beautiful day. I'm so glad we decided to go out instead of sucumbing to the oh so popular after lunch nap~

lots of people were out on the trails, so glad that we were out there too, taking in God's beautiful creation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

dishcloths and orchids

I was asked to be a volunteer driver and parent assistant for a field trip today. Grades K-5 of the girls school went to see a play at the local community college.
Just as we were rushing out of the door I grabbed some yarn (the colorway is fiesta) and some size nine double pointed knitting needles and stuffed them into my purse. I just wanted to knit something, something that was not going to need any attention to detail. Since the theater was dark I knew that I was going to make something super simple and do whatever stitches that came to my head. Now mind you the dishcloth came out wonky (increasing and decreasing stitches with no rhyme or reason will do this to a project) but a little crochet edging decreased the wonkiness factor a bit-plus it's just going to be a rag to wash the dishes! It was nice to have something small to work on during the play.


For Valentines day I received an orchid-truly to make me happy for any occasion just give me a plant of some kind. I'm so excited that my collection is now up to four orchids.


I am going to try to attend a community garden meeting tonight that is being held at the library. A big pot of beans are cooking on the stove and to tell the truth I'm here blogging to avoid making dinner-but soon my ears will be met with famous "I'm hungry", so for me (after I push publish post) it's back to the "chopping board".
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

making Valentines

The weekends go fast don't they? After church yesterday we had some people over for lunch (which included jerk chicken). After sunset my husband went out to get a few things and I requested ice cream (didn't I just say something about healthy snacks?)
Well I ate a bowl of rocky road last night as I surfed the web, then I knitted a little and finally went to bed. This morning the girls were telling me that we needed to go to the store today to pick up their Valentine cards for their school parties tomorrow, but I suggested that we make some cards instead. I have a stash of stuff, paper wise, that needs to be put to use- so today we did some cutting, gluing, and a little stamping~

making cards, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

cut-out, originally uploaded by *nichole*

making cards, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

making cards, originally uploaded by *nichole*.

now we just need to add candy to the cards, wonder if I have a stash of that around? (does extra dark chocolate count, I don't know since its full of anti-oxidants and all:)

Friday, February 11, 2011

snack time

~today's after school snack

~my snack of choice lately, dates and slivered almonds

We try to eat relatively healthy snacks, but of course there are times we eat a cookie or two. Anyway my snack of choice lately has been dates with slivered almonds. Dates are so sweet, sticky, really they are natures own caramels. Just a few of them help subdue that sweet tooth of mine-they are full of good stuff too. Here are a list of snacks that make there way on our table after school and on the weekends~

*chips and salsa
*apples with nut butter or cheese
*bananas with nut butter
*cut-up pieces of pineapple
*toast with some spread
*popcorn popped in coconut oil and topped with a little butter and brewer's yeast

snacks of course should quell those hunger pains, but shouldn't fill us up.
I notice that the higher quality of the snack the more satisfied I feel (which really is the case with most of the food we eat).

Have a great weekend, and have some great snacks!

Monday, February 7, 2011

this and that~

I am

~working on knitting up an owl family, two more to go

~painting on a big yellow canvas (more on that later:)

~liking the blues on this recently thrifted vase

~glad we saw a rainbow today

this weekend also included church, ordering pizza Saturday night, attending a birthday party (for a classmate of my youngest daughter), vacuuming, with Sunday evening being topped off by a deep, deep cleaning of the upstairs bathroom-yeah. I love seeing the shiny chrome on the hot and cold water knobs-again.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

in the garden cowl, three ways

this cowl is something I worked on a lot during the girls weekly piano lessons. all it is really is a couple of rounds of stockinette stitch with some rounds of seed stitch thrown in.


~cowl pulled to the back


~cowl shoulder to shoulder


~cowl pulled to the front


for the last couple of rows I did add some increases so that the cowl would be wider at the bottom than at the top. I don't even know how many increases I actually added, I just added them at whim.
I think my favorite way to wear it is going to be the pulled to the front look.
now I gotta go find something else to keep my needles warm!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

untangling the tangled....

I spent a good part of my Tuesday night untangling yarn. I won't tell you how long it took. For the love of knitting, a knitters gotta do what she's gotta do.
(but I won't lie, this certain thing along with this are both looking quite appealing right about now).