Wednesday, January 22, 2014

great morning smoothie for a non-smoothie gal

I know a lot of people LOVE smoothies these days, but I just don't crave them. I rarely want to drink my breakfast and I rarely want fruit or something fruity sweet. 

BUT, what I do love, is second breakfast. :) 

While I was pregnant last year, I could indulge a bit in second breakfast. Now, I have to be a little more mindful of what I consume. Solution: a rich, healthy, FAST smoothie. 

Great Morning Smoothie

2 handfuls of organic kale, rinsed and chopped (I buy it pre-chopped at Trader Joe's sometimes-so fast)
1/2 cup organic frozen mango chunks
1/3 cup organic frozen blueberries
2 TBSP chia seeds, ground
1 TBSP flax oil
1/2 c. + organic almond milk, unsweetened

Optional: daily fish oil serving and daily probiotics serving. *I take liquid fish oil and powdered probiotics, recommended by my naturopath. I LOVE that I can just throw these in my smoothie now.

Put all of the above in the blender and blend until smooth, adding more almond milk (and shaking the heck out of your blender) as needed. We don't have a fancy blender (yet).

I think it's the flax oil and the almond milk that make this smoothie so rich. It's not too sweet/fruity, but, in my opinion, it doesn't taste too green either. Yum! Plus, you're getting a great serving of superfood kale, healthy oils, seeds and antioxidants from the berries. Mmmm. I've had this at least 5 times over the last week and a half. They keep me from eating that (second) bagel or bowl of cereal.

Bonus: Sienna loves mangos now! You can see her here mastering the art of the mesh feeder. We're still learning how not to paint the table top with it (why we switched from blueberries to mango).

I hope you enjoy one of these as much as I do! You can add in any powdered vitamins/supplements you may take. Some days I will add some hemp protein or other powdered protein. Wow. I sound way more healthy than I probably am, but this is a start, no?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


What?! Surprised to be on my favorite blog today. Shana inspired me a while ago to try out these overalls (which I now adore). I returned the favor by sending her a couple of pics of the outfit I put together using some of her suggestions. What a great, fun opportunity to be on her wonderful blog. Thank you!! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

8 months old!

Sienna Wren is 8 months old today. OH MY. She's waving, sitting up, and testing out that voice. Also, making a weird old man face that I can't seem to capture on camera. I couldn't decide on just one photo from today's shoot, so here are a few favorites :)

Btw, this IS supposed to be a knitting blog, so the hat pattern can be found here. I used Malabrigo Merino Worsted, doubled ;)

Friday, January 17, 2014

weekly roundup

Here's a roundup from our week:

Sienna tried blueberries for the first time. I spared you and captured it in b&w.

I patched some jeans using this tutorial.

Got a haircut from the fabulous Tamara at Oranj Studio.

My daughter continued to be the cutest of all time.

We joined our friends Lida and Lilu downtown today for a little city walking.

The sun finally decided to show itself here at the end of the week.

This weekend we are heading to a wine dinner in Willamette Valley so Pinky can round up some business. We're also watching the playoffs on Sunday, of course. We might even try braving a restaurant this evening with Little Bit. Big plans, big plans. Happy weekend!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

hearts banner and precious doll, next up

We've had a cozy Saturday at home. I've gotten a little organizing done (OVER RUN with baby clothes here) and I'm currently working on this adorable heart banner for Sienna's room, using some Garnstudio Drops Alpaca yarn. It's coming along quite quickly. I think I'll do 5 hearts and see how long that turns out. I like odd numbers. Check out the pattern here

Next up, I'm considering making this adorable doll for her. Oh. my. I mean, it's so so cute. And I'm not a big doll fan. I think it's the giant head and tiny legs, plus the super precious sweater/hoodie she's wearing. And the scarf. Seriously.

Off to make cheesy chicken enchiladas for dinner now. Happy weekend knitting! This is the best, coziest time of year to enjoy our hobby, no?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Iberis Hat finished...what to knit next?

Just finished this hat, Iberis. It was such a fun knit, made out of Madeline Tosh Merino DK. There are a variety of options to choose from in the pattern - size, stitch combo, length. I chose the large size and the men's stitch pattern. I wanted it to be slouchy, but found the directions called for a REALLY slouchy hat. I knit mine to be about 23cm long and then did the decreases. I LOVE it. It turned out great and the stripe of diagonal mock cables is so striking. I never say this, but I'll probably make this hat again. I might even make it for Pinky, if he's lucky :)

Hmmm. I, of course, have plenty of things already on the needles that I need to finish, but I want to start something fun soon. I bought some neon yellow Manos del Uruguay to make another hat and hope to find some fur-like yarn in  mink color to make a pom pom for it. I will probably work on that first, but am looking at some options for projects after that:

This cowl is gorgeous. It would make a nice gift.

I'm in love with these. No pattern, but I think I can figure it out from the photos. SO lovely.

I still love this, too. Wondering if I would wear it much...

I've also been love loving this for a while now. So pretty. And not the full commitment of a whole sweater. 

And then, there's this star pillow. Oh my. Love. I may have to make it for S.

So many pretty choices. Maybe I'll just keep looking at patterns instead of actually getting started on something. :) Seems to be my favorite part of knitting, after all! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

2013 recap in photos

Well, we all know what happened in my life last year. :) Here is a look back, in (too many!) pictures:


Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Goals

The new year is upon us. It's amazing how it sneaks up on us this time every year, huh? I really enjoy the beginning of the year, though. Even though it's sad the holidays are over, it's nice to think about a fresh start, invigorating to think about things we can improve upon, and exciting to think about trying new things, finishing old things, and setting doable goals. Now is the time! It's hard to feel so renewed and ready to do these things come August, right?

Setting goals is a great thing to do, but it is hard to follow through on lofty, over-arching goals. This year I'm trying to set reasonable, project-oriented goals that I can actually achieve and that I look forward to accomplishing. Being a creative person, someone who literally feels better when I'm making things, I've learned that my resolutions must include creative and crafty projects. Of course, there are many other parts to life - cleaning, organizing, teaching your children, cooking, staying healthy- but I know when I set goals that are creative and exciting, the rest of these parts of life seem to fall in place.

So, here are some goals I've set for myself for 2014:

1. Finish Sienna's Christmas album, make a 2014 family album and a Pinky and Laura relationship album. I started a First Christmas album for Sienna in December. Now is the time to print all the photos and finish the album for her. This inspired me to continue to do photo albums for our family and have some hands-on memories to look at, rather than having them all stored digitally. I'm so excited about this goal and will continue to share my progress.

2. Finish my hand-lettering I class and complete the hand-lettering II class. I've shared part of my project progress from the class, The First Steps of Hand Lettering. I want to finish up my project for this class and then dive into the second class where you get tips on adding color and digitizing your piece. While I know, mostly, how to do this through my design skills it will be great to have some tips on how to get hand-drawn items to look better on the computer. I'm excited to finish these classes and have a final product to hang in our home. I hope I will continue to create hand-lettered pieces in the future.

3. Downsize! Everything. Ok, that's a big goal. But, I think if I continually think about getting rid of things, I'll be reminded more often, to, get rid of things. Genius! Ha. Specifically, I wrote down "clothes, shoes, & decor." Craft supplies should also go into that list. OH MY, the craft supplies. I want to go room by room in January and do a cleaning out. We are fairly good at giving things to Goodwill and I did have a great yarn sale in November that made me a little $ and got rid of some of the yarn stash, but I want to make this a continual focus in our house. We might be moving to a new house later this year and babies. take. a lot. of stuff. They just do. So, I can downsize a lot of our things to make life simpler. And moving simpler, for real. Any tips are highly appreciated and welcomed. I've been perusing the lifehacker tips and Pinterest lately for good organizing tips.

I'm slightly obsessed with pinning closet office space nooks. They are so cozy and fun. And genius. 
photo courtesy of:

4. Speaking of organizing, that's another goal. Make a place for everything. Then, it's easier for things to stay picked up and organized. I live my life in stacks of things. Oh my. They are everywhere. I'm not super messy or a packrat, but I stack things up and leave things out so I'll remember to do them. I want to make a place for things to be put away and then make lists of what I want to do, rather than just leaving everything out in the open for me to see and possibly, someday, work on. This is a HUGE one for me that is gonna take lots of effort. Wish me luck!

Photo from:

5. Learn baby sign language to teach Sienna. This is a goal that needs to happen soon. She's over 7 months old and I really think at the point where she can start communicating soon through other means than crying. Ha. Yeah. It's worth a try! Plus, how cute is it to see kids who sign!? Super cute. And then she can tell me when she's hungry or not and develop that little brain :) (Hey, here's a free downloadable/printable chart!)

Those are where we start. First, I gotta get this little girl feeling better :( But, at least I can be in the planning stages while we're still on the mend here. It feels good to really think about these goals, get them written down, and start moving forward with them. Good luck with your own goals! I would love to hear about them. Happy 2014!!

New Year's Day and a Good Luck soup recipe

Happy New Year! I hope yours was lovely and relaxing. Or fun and exciting. That's what our New Year's Eves used to be, but now we are very happy with lovely and relaxing. :) We have had a sick little babe for a week now which is NO FUN at the holidays, but she's managed to keep a smile throughout most of her feeling bad, for which this mama is SO grateful. My heart breaks seeing her hurt.

So, due to the little one being under the weather, I decided we should have a day of yummy food, cozy at home. We started the day with a great brunch of delicious omelets (hubby-made), French baked donuts, bacon, and grapefruit mimosas. Mmmm. I made the donuts last year on NYD, too, so this is our new tradition!

After brunch we took down Christmas, which is always sad for me. But, it is nice that it generally spurs us on to do a little tidying up around the house. It sure is hard to keep a house clean with a little one! Ours is slightly better after yesterday.

So, back to our day of yummy food. For an early dinner I made us a New Year's Day soup. In the South, we always have black-eyed peas and ham (and sometimes greens) for good luck in the New Year. I decided to make ours into a soup, since we had lots of carrots and delicious greens from our weekly veggie delivery. I would say this is a step up from previous years where I've just heated a can of the peas and smothered them in ketchup. Ha. Don't judge. Try it. Anyhoo, here is the recipe:

New Year's Day Good Luck Soup

1/2 - 1 c. onion, diced
2 c. carrots, diced
2 TBSP oil (I used ghee- it's better for you at high heat than olive oil- you could use grass-fed butter)
1 TBSP thyme
1 TBSP sweet basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ham steak, pre-cooked and cubed
2 c. chicken or vegetable broth
2 c. water
2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch of greens, washed thoroughly and chopped, stems removed
salt & pepper to taste

Melt oil/butter/ghee in a large stockpot on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add carrots, thyme, basil, and a few pinches of kosher salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes to add a bit of roast-yness to the carrots. Add garlic and ham and brown for another couple of minutes. Add the chicken/veggie broth and water and a couple more pinches of salt. Turn up the heat, bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until carrots are mostly cooked (20-30 minutes). Add the black eyed peas and greens, cover, and cook for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add freshly ground black pepper and more salt, if needed, to taste. Serve with cornbread or crusty French bread. Enjoy your good luck for the coming year! (Approx. 6 servings.)

I hope you'll try this out. It was really easy and doesn't have to cook too long, like some soups, since the ham and black-eyed peas are already cooked. Of course, it would be best for you to buy dried beans and cook them yourself, but the mama of a little one doesn't remember to do things like that...pre-planning and soaking things the night before?! Someday.

Happy New Year to you. I will be posting some fun(ish) resolutions soon.