June 28, 2023

I {Heart} Glitterful Felt Stories

I can't say enough how much I love Glitterful Felt Stories, purveyor of fine handmade felt story boards and characters. I've raved about them in previous posts, but I'm extra happy to gush about them again because I won their BlogHer scholarship!
I rarely share my winnings via my blog, since it seems like bragging to me, and of course I wouldn't want you to think I'm arrogant or anything. But I really wanted to thank Shelby, the owner of Glitterful Felt Stories. She has been such a pleasure to work with, and she really puts her heart and energy into her business and does whatever she can to please her customers. I'm proud to represent her at the BlogHer conference next month.

Thank you so much Glitterful Felt Stories! Check out the blog for ideas on activities for children too.

June 26, 2023

Friday Feasts: More Local Goodness

I think this is going to be a regular feature, sharing what I cooked up with our weekly share from the organic farm. We got more of the same as last week--kale, lettuce, summer squash, potted herbs--with the addition of red beets/greens and garlic scapes.
I haven't cooked with garlic scapes (those curly green stems above) before, though I've seen them. They're the green shoots that come up from the garlic bulb, and they can be sauteed or minced for a light garlic flavor in a dish.
I've been adding them to just about everything this week, from omelettes to salads and some veggie wraps that I made with roasted zucchini, summer squash, and red peppers (not from the CSA).
I sliced the squash, tossed it with olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs from the garden and some minced garlic scapes, then spread it on a cookie sheet and baked it for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

I sauteed an onion, garlic scapes, and a red pepper in some olive oil while the squash was baking. I could have just threw it in the oven, but it wouldn't fit on the pan, and my other baking sheets were dirty.

When everything was cooked, I piled it onto a wrap with some white cheddar tucked inside.
These were so delicious! And healthy too. Add some corn chips and salsa, and you have a great summer meal.
It takes a little practice to master wrapping a wrap. Mr. Geek says mine are the equivilent of a Cuban cigar, but I beg to differ.

I believe we're getting some cucumbers (pickling and slicing ones) and green beans this week, so I'll have to start planning some new dishes.

For more Friday Feasts, head over to Momtrends.

We're Back!

A pleasant time was had by all on our trip to the seashore. Though we only stayed a few days, it was wonderful to get out of town.
SoJo had some issues sleeping, particularly with taking naps because he was scared of sleeping in a place other than his bedroom. The poor kid was exhausted by evening, and slept through the night just fine. I, on the other hand, tossed and turned, probably because he makes so much noise in his sleep with rolling around the Pack and Play. Thankfully we don't share a room or bed at home, otherwise I'd never sleep.

We swam a little in the neighborhood pool...
...took a walk on the nature trail
played on the playgroundate ice cream on the boardwalk...
and of course, saw the ocean!
I love his expression here. It was his first real glimpse of the ocean. We did take him to the beach last summer, but since he was only 4 months old at the time, he really didn't notice it much. The surf was rough when I took him down in the evening, and he was a little afraid. When he's scared, he does this thing where he rubs his chest and whines. He does this when I use the vacuum cleaner. You can see him doing it below.
And yep, that's ice cream on his face. Bad mama! I did my best with the resources I had available in my purse.

It's a little tricky walking on sand, but he liked the challenge.
I can't wait for our next trip down there, probably in a few weeks. We'll definitely bring Dada this time, since SoJo kept asking for him. Mr. Geek loved hearing that, since usually he's clinging to me. I keep assuring him that it will change, where all he wants is his Dada.

Now I need a vacation. It really is exhausting traveling with kids. Not sure how CanCan does it! So we're back to the old routine, and SoJo is making up for his lack of sleep by napping at the moment. I'm catching up on emails, so if you've contacted me, I'll be in touch!

June 21, 2023

Happy Father's Day!

Reasons why Mr. Geek is a great father:
  1. He gets up early with SoJo every morning and lets me sleep. I'm a night owl and both of my boys are not (6am is sleeping in for SoJo), so I really love that he lets me get a little more sleep before he goes to work.
  2. I never have to ask him to change a diaper. He just tunes in to when it's time.
  3. Anytime SoJo brings a book to him, he'll stop what he's doing and read it with him.
  4. When we have dinner together, he always is the one to feed SoJo, letting mama eat. And boy, do I like to eat, uninterrupted, I might add.
  5. When we go somewhere in the car, he's always the one to buckle SoJo in. Those car seats are a pain to buckle. I'm sure many of you agree.
  6. He's f-in funny! For example, he finds Thomas the Train pretty creepy. I had to write this because we were just talking about it and watching it really for the first time, and it was cracking me up. He joked that the show is all about conformity and social caste system, since the trains (by nature) are forced to stay on a track. Plus those trains never look each other in the eyes. Their eyeballs just go in circles, avoiding direct contact.
Happy Father's Day to one of the many #1 dads!

June 20, 2023

Father's Day Cards

Another last minute Father's Day post here. I was scrambling for cards for the dads in my life, and I hate buying them, usually because I'm not into the cheesy sentiments or the price tag ($4.75 for the ones I like! Yikes!).

So I made a simple card for one of the dads who likes to grill, with a pocket for a gift card inside.
You just need a few things, like:
*Decorative or construction paper
*Stiff paper (an empty cereal box works fine)
*glue stick or other adhesive
*envelope (optional)
*aluminum foil
I began by cutting a piece of decorative paper and a piece of the stiffer cardstock paper into the same size as the envelope I had on hand. Then I folded the decorative paper in half, and drew a slight diagonal line from top to bottom, to form the triangular sides of the apron.
Folding it in half ensures that both sides will be equal when opened up. I then traced the apron shape onto the cardstock, and cut it out.
The cardstock will be the sturdier background for the card and will prevent the gift card from slipping out.

Next, you'll need to cut a slit for the gift card. Fold the decorative paper in half again, and cut a slit half as wide as the gift card.
You'll be opening it up so the whole card will fit in the pocket.Then you'll start gluing the card together. Put glue in the areas of the cardstock that are marked in the photo below.
Leave the section in the center where the gift card will slide in free from adhesive, otherwise the gift card will stick. Also add some glue on top of and under the ribbons, which serve as the apron ties.
When your decorative paper is secured on top, you can add some grill tools. I used aluminum foil for the spatula and fork, and a piece of raffia for the marinade brush. An unraveled piece of twine would work well too. I cut some scraps of red paper for the handles. Just glue them down, and you have a pretty cool card.
I might write something pseudo-clever like "Light it Up" or "Smokin'". I need some suggestions!

Martha has some other clever handmade Father's Day cards, including this Folded Shirt card
and these adorable paper airplane cards, which would take like 2 seconds to whip up with the kids.
Enjoy your Father's Day with all of those wonderful dads in your life!

June 18, 2023

Friday Feast: Bounty from the Co-op

I've mentioned like a million times here about the local organic farm collective that we've joined. It's really made me get off my ass and start cooking some recipes outside of my usual repertoire.

This week I turned our first share into a few spectacular meals, including fresh sugar snap pea soup and awesome eggless dinner rolls (I substituted Smart Balance for the butter in the recipe).
Honestly, the soup looked a lot brighter in real life. The lighting is not so good, and it has literally rained the last 10 days around here.

Since I was stumped about what to make with the kale, which quite honestly, is not a favorite of mine, my friend Shana shared with me a recipe she picked up in her years of living in Spain. It is so simple and so delicious, and involved kale, potatoes (how can one not love anything with carbs), onion and garlic.

Rather than boiling the potatoes like she suggested, I quarted them, tossed them with herbs from my garden and salt and pepper, and drizzled them with olive oil.
I baked them for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. While they were cooking, I sauteed the chopped kale and some swiss chard that I didn't realize was in our share (it was hidden with the lettuce) in a little olive oil with onion and garlic. Then you just serve the potatoes topped with the kale.Add a simple salad and you have a wonderful summer meal.
I love how inspiring the CSA produce has been. It really gives me a respect of what I'm eating, and how it came to my plate. I really hope the motivation continues for the rest of the summer.

To see what's on other blogger's plates this week, head over to Momtrends and Nicole's Friday Feasts!

June 17, 2023

Wordful Wednesday: Trampoline Time

We saw it behind the tent and amplifiers of the middle-aged rock duo, playing oldies at the graduation party--the trampoline!
With La Bamba playing loudly in the background, SoJo took his first steps onto a trampoline at my aunt and uncle's house.
With my dad helping him keep his balance, he ran in circles and bounced to the music.
That is, until the kids showed up.
He took it in stride though, and got back up for more fun.
When the trampoline+kids proved to be too much, he hitched a ride in a land-locked fishing boat. No sea legs required.
For more Wordful Wednesday, visit 7 Clown Circus.

June 12, 2023

Local Goodness

The much awaited cardboard box arrived in my kitchen at lunchtime.
We ordered a medium share of produce from our local organic farm, and this was the first week of the farm's bounty. Here's what we got:
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce, Red Russian Kale, Swiss Chard, Sugar Snap Peas, Broccoli, Summer squash, Patty Pan squash, one Goede squash (looks like an unripe pumpkin) and Potted Herbs (common sage and German winter thyme). Yes, I had to add the fancy names because they're just so charming. Oh, and those peonies are from my garden, not the co-op.

So I'm in need of some great recipes for kale, Goede squash, and patty pan squash, which I've never cooked before. Suggestions?

Friday Feast: Cherry Crumble

I'm hooking up again with Momtrends' Friday Feasts, and this week it's cherry time!
I love cherries, and they bring back memories of visiting my aunt, uncle and cousins up on the mountain on Bald Top Road, which was just a few miles from our house, but seemed worlds away. They had wild cherry trees up there and my cousin and I would climb the trees (which were soooo tall!) and eat cherries before all the birds got to them.

We always had stained hands and clothes, but it was so worth it. I'm pleased to discover that SoJo also likes cherries, even if they're a little tart.
The funny thing is, they became tarter after baking, so then he was only into the crumb part of the crumble.
Again, I'm terrible about recipes, but as long as you have sugar and some butter, you can't go wrong with this one. And of course, the patience to sit there pitting cherries with a paring knife and fingers. And you thought that blogging took up time.

Cherry Crumble
2 lbs bing cherries, pitted
1 tbsp flour
1/4 cup sugar
Crumble topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter cut into pieces (half a stick--you can use more if you like)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss the pitted cherries with the sugar and flour and spread in a small baking pan (I used a breadloaf pan, cuz that's what I had but I recommend a shallow pan). In another bowl, mix the dry topping ingredients, then cut in the butter with a fork, knife, or your hands until the topping looks crumbly, like little peas. Sprinkle over the cherries. You can dot the top with extra butter pieces if you wish. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling over the sides. Enjoy plain or with ice cream, whipped cream, or creme fraiche!
Yum! My fingers are still stained from the work of the cherries. Not a bad way to spend a June morning.

June 11, 2023

Random Thursday Evening Thoughts

Nutty Mr. Geek says he wishes they made a candle of how our living room smells at the moment. Musty and reminiscent of cheap magazines, like the Wrestlemania ones he used to read as a kid.
The source of the smell is a package that came today, the contents of which were wrapped in newspaper, and it's now raining again, so everything smells heavy and papery. He says he'd call the scent "Foyer at Barnes and Noble." He savors the smell of books, my charming weirdo.

And in other randomly exciting news, we get our first box of veggies from the co-op tomorrow! Can't wait!

Beyond the Blogging Hobby

I'm always re-evaluating the direction I'd like my blog to take. What started out as a sporadic hobby has migrated into a happy (and sometimes obsessive) daily ritual--checking emails, thinking of something to post, organizing giveaways, etc.

You may have noticed that I've started to have blog sponsors, which has been something I've shied away from in the past. Nothing against paid advertisements (or selling out, as many people scoff), I just didn't want the responsibility of keeping up with business-type stuff and worrying about hits and page rank, since this blog began as a personal account of motherhood for me and didn't plan on being much more.

But since it does cost a bit of money to keep up with the business-type stuff that has creeped into the blog (how the heck did I land so many giveaways this week!), I'm taking on a few sponsors. They'll also help me with some BlogHer fees, as well as pay for those blog staples like an upgrade at Mr. Linky so I can get my linkies back on my Weekend Contest posts. I tried for a while to keep a mental policy about not spending any money on this hobby, save for a few shipping costs for giveaways, but since I'm always trying to grow my blog, I'm going to shell out a bit of money for online backup space and little things like that.

So have you spent much cash on your blog? If so, what do you spend it on? Advertising? Mr. Linky?

June 10, 2023

Wordful Wednesday: Impending Summer

Why does it go from 50 degrees and long-sleeve wearing weatherto pull-it-all-off-bare-your-chest-if-you're-a-boy hot weather in the matter of a day in PA?
I'm thinking I may just have to go topless too. Wait, even I don't want to glimpse these saggy nursing boobs in a mirror.
It would be a laugh, SoJo, yes it would.
For more Wordful Wednesday, head to 7 Clown Circus.
Related Posts with Thumbnails