Saturday, November 1, 2014

Smart Blanket

Well, I'm not sure how smart this blanket is, but the textures on it are great for getting those little baby brains working.
 There are 4 fabric pieces on the top: Denim (recycled blue jeans), terry cloth, printed fleece, and slipper foot fabric (you know that nubby stuff they put on the bottom of footie jammies?). It's backed with a solid fleece (this one matches the terry cloth), and edges with coordinating satin blanket binding.
Here's a pic of most of the top altogether. 
I just gave my third one as baby gifts. I hope the babies like them! I also made some with a pink & green color scheme. I think they turned out pretty cute and am making a batch to have on hand for gifts or to sell.

It's been busy around here with back-to-school/work, then Halloween (with costumes I forgot to take pictures of), but I'm hoping to get back with craft-of-the-week, just in time for the holidays.

I hope this Fall is treating you well so far!!
Happy Crafting!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Sweats: Catching up

I know, I know, I've missed a few Sundays. This doesn't mean I haven't been out sweating, it just means I was too busy sweating to blog. LOL!
It has been pretty warm here, so swimming has been one of my favorite options. They have an adult-only lap swim at our pool while the Little Monkey is in lessons. So I've been taking the opportunity to swim for about half her lesson to get a little workout in, while still getting to watch her progress.
I've been using the early morning times to deadhead flowers and do some weeding for the yardworkout.
Eldest had a fundraising garage sale last weekend, and I pressure-washed a few of our no-longer-used big outdoor toys to sell. Who knew pressure-washing was such a good workout? Between that and moving & lifting stuff for the sale, my upper body was sore the next couple of days. I ironed out the kinks in my muscles with yoga, and found out that after a tiring yoga workout, swimming pairs, well, swimmingly with a yoga-sore body. Like magic!
I'm going to leave you with this article about why it's good to continue hot yoga in the summer, even when it's hot enough outside.
I was just having a conversation with some gals at the pool the other day about why I do it, and the benefits I've gained, to include handling summer-heat in an A/C free PNW. Then, I saw this article.

Have a great Sunday, now go sweat a little, or a lot.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Try-it Tuesday: Homemade Larabars *updated 8/14*

Yes, I know it isn't Tuesday, but I tried something new yesterday: Homemade Larabars.
I have been wanting to do this ever since I tried a Larabar and my sister sent me a recipe from her Cross-fit group. I found more recipes online and sucked it up and bought the ingredients at Costco.
Here is the link to the awesome homemade larabar recipes that I used.
Flavors chosen based on the ingredients I had: Cherry Pie, Gingerbread, and Dark Chocolate Brownie.
 I forgot to take pictures during the making of, so I apologize that you have to make-do with the after pics.
They turned out so good!! I'm partial to the Cherry Pie ones -which ironically was the recipe with the biggest substitution. I found a smokin' deal on the Craisins flavored with cherry juice and figured I try that rather than spending a small fortune on dried cherries. So good!! Probably adds a little extra sugar though.
I opted to make these more of a snack-size so I formed them using a 2T scoop which comes out to be approx 1/2 a regular bar size.
My picky eldest happened to be in the kitchen when I discovered a Gingerbread one that had missed getting into the bag -she gobbled it down and pleaded for another. Win for me!! Everyone had a Brownie one for dessert and the kids were begging for seconds. More win!
There are two things I LOVE about these: First, they are made with no added sugars, have lots of protein and fiber, and are in general a great snack option that the kids truly enjoy. Second, the great value -I'm a sucker for a bargain.
At my Costco you can get an 18 count box of Larabars for just under $16 which comes out to just under $0.88/bar. Good price, I'm not arguing that. I just get bored with the lack of flavor options. Enter the plethora of recipe options.
Here is what I purchased from my local Costco (unless otherwise noted):
Dates: about $8 **found a pitted variety for $5 in yesterday's trip to Costco, bought them instead*
Almonds: 3lbs for 15.69 (48 1/4C servings)
Pecans: 2lbs for 13.69 (32 1/4C servings)
Cherry flavored Craisins: 10oz bag for .99 (a deal from the back-rack at QFC) (7 1/4C servings)
*I also got a sack of cashews from Trader Joe's, but did not use them in this round of "baking", so did not count them in the calculations.
I used all of the dates (save for 1/4C): approx $8.00
8 servings of almonds: $2.62
4 servings of pecans: $1.71
4 servings Cherry Craisins: $0.57
I got the equivalent of 19.5 bars with those 3 recipes, so the total comes out to approx $0.66/bar. That's a 25% savings. :)
Granted, I did not include the 2T cocoa powder, 3T chocolate chips, 3/4t ginger, 3/4t cinnamon, and 1/4t cloves. These are all in my regular pantry stock, but I can't imagine they would add more than a couple of cents on per bar.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

As the Garden Grows

Well, as I've been trying to keep the school garden updated in this blog, I've neglected updating my own home garden, which is doing rather well. Bear with me, this post may get long-ish.

Marionberries: Sadly a week or so ago we said farewell with this final handful of super-ripe goodness:

We harvested well over 20lbs of fruit and my freezer runneth over of their goodness. Now I need to suck it up and start canning and baking. The weather has been unusual in that it has been continuously warm. We usually have some cool days/rain breaks. This summer we've had maybe two.
Strawberries: Still chugging away. They are in an upswing right now. Kiddos are happy. 
Blackberries: They're here -early!! I picked my first sampling last week (we don't usually get to do it until later in the month as we have a later-producing, thornless variety), and they were good. A little on the tart side, but very flavorful. Now it is time to start seriously picking. A lot of them are right in the center of the bush, which because of it's height, means I'll need a step-stool to snag these beauties:
Cucumbers: We put these into what had become a compost bed, then hubby added soil, turned it a bit, and BOOM, you get seriously crazy cucumber growth -not to mention the good-sized tomatillo volunteers in the back (right of the picture).
These plants are so densely packed it's kind of a challenge to find the cucumbers themselved. We're going to find some monsters in there, I know it!!
Tomatillos: These are all volunteers from our experimental (bumper) crop last year. Looks like we'll get enough to make a few batches of Salsa Verde again this year -YUM!! Here is the recipe I used from Ball Canning: Tomatillo Salsa, and I love to use it in this family favorite crock-pot recipe: Chile Verde
Corn: This is probably our 3rd or 4th go at corn. Our first couple tries were unsuccessful, but last year worked out well, hence, an attempted repeat this year. Hubby bought twice as many plant starts this year, and so far it's looking good. I just wish it would ripen already! I want to roast those ears up on the grill and butter 'em up!
Beans: We've got some green pole beans flanking either side of the corn. They got planted at least a month later than they should have been, so are taking their sweet time, but have held up beautifully in the heat, and have got some teeny little beans going. 

Watermelon: This was a random, fill in an empty patch, we have some leftover seeds from last year, planting. Hubby was not really inclined to have them planted as they were a total bust last year, and from all the times we've attempted them, we've gotten maybe 2 or 3 edible small melons. I am very hopeful this year:


Peppers: Aside from the berries, we consider these to be the biggest success this year. Hubby and the Eldest love peppers, and we've grown them for the past few years with varying degrees of success. Nothing like this though. We've got 2 Green Bells, 2 Yellow Bells, and 2 Hungarian Hot Wax. They are all amazing this year!! The size and quantity are at least doubled on our previous "best crop". We've already eaten up a few, and I plan to smoke/roast a bunch of the Hot Wax to use later in the year, and some will, of course, go into the salsa mentioned above.


Tomatoes: Ripen already would ya?? We have what feels like a zillion tomatoes, but nothing has ripened yet. Not even the Green Zebras. 8 plants this year that have gone berserk. Canned tomato sauce will be happening this year.

Cool-weather crops: Not pictured. Last Fall, rather late-Summer, I made another unsuccessful attempt at growing turnips. I love turnips and have had the worst luck growing them as a spring crop (if you have a secret/tip/etc. let me know), so I thought we'd try the Fall/Winter crop route. Planted broccoli, turnips, and I think kale. NOTHING! We got a couple of sprouts, and then NOTHING! Fast forward to end of June: Beds have been turned, left same bed unplanted. I see some "weeds" that don't look like the usual fare. We left them to see what would become of them...Ta-Da! Turnips! There were 4, but not even more have started growing. Go figure! A friend had given me some Pak Choi starts and we planted those nearby the turnips using their leaves for shade. This has worked out really well for the pak choi. Reason there is no picture: When the weather started getting really warm about 4 weeks ago, we draped a sheet around the puppy fencing to keep the plants from getting completely scorched. It has worked beautifully, but doesn't provide the best photo setting. It'll probably come down in a couple weeks, then I'll take a pic for ya.

Herbs: Here are my new herbs that I received from my Hubby and my dear co-worker between Mother's Day & my Birthday. Beautiful!!
From foreground->back: Tri-Color Sage, Purple Sage, Golden Sage, Pineapple Mint, Oregano, & African Blue Basil. Yoga Frog keeps them all peaceful and happy. :)
Last, a sample of yesterday's harvest (what didn't get eaten or passed around):
Oops, honorable mention to our zucchini, yellow squash, and onion plants who are among our early producers, and we're happy they're a part of our garden too!

Have a great day!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

We Be Jammin'...Again

So, local fruit market has some beautiful Eastern Washington apricots for a great deal. Recognizing that I didn't get my 1/2 flats x2 of raspberries this year (gasp!), and that apricot jam is second only to raspberry as my favorite kind of jam, it was a no-brainer.
So lovely, and large too! The ones on the bottom looked a little green, so I figured we could start off by eating our fill of the perfectly ripe one, then start jamming when the others began ripening. Hubby, Middle Monkey, and I ate quite a few this week, and what you see in the box is after I took out a jam-batch worth.
So good! The picture gives them a green hue for some reason, but as I was chopping them up, I was reveling in their beautiful rosiness.

Look at the beauty there! It was a bit foamy, and I didn't put butter in, but knew hubby would be thrilled. The scum is his favorite.
My eldest comes in after I'd gotten them canned up (save for the remnant jar in front). "Oh, did you caramelize that Mom??" "Oh yeah, isn't that great?", is my response while trying not to laugh. The color is gorgeous, however, not the color I aim for while making apricot jam. After I had cleaned up the stovetop area and gotten utensil loaded into the dishwasher, I 'fessed up with this:
Not so lovely scorched spot in the pot. I had forgotten that apricots have a tendency to burn more easily than the normal berries I use (this has happened to me before), but was so very careful not to scrape it while stirring so there wouldn't be any nasty flecks in the jam. End result: Yummy apricot jam with a hint of smoke at the finish. I've been using the Ball brand classic pectin. I get more jam for the money than using the pre-measured pectin, and I get it at my favorite hardware store, where they also have jars, lids, etc. cheaper than anyone else around here. I have to admit though, I cheat a little. According to the recipe, you aren't supposed to do more than 5x the batch listed on the label. I consistently do 6x as the numbers come out a little more even for measuring, and I like that.
And, hubby likes this:
Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Very Welcome Wet Wednesday

And, we have rain:
 It has been a long time since we've had "real rain". Very light sprinkles yes, but this was an honest-to-God downpour. The rain woke me up in the middle of the night, I smiled, and promptly fell back into a peaceful sleep. Fast forward a few hours: dragged myself out of comfy bed to go on a morning walk, and enter the thunder. Hmmm...walk on. Enter thunder and friend lightning and mild rain. Walk off. Before I knew it thunder and lightning were overlapping, rain became pour...
 Here is a glimpse of the gushing gutters (there was plenty of overflow off of the roof as well), and standing water in the garden.
Here's a peek at the new garden space...the new plants seemed to be holding up okay. I was a little worried about them in the downpour.
Just ran some buckets out to catch the rain to save on watering when the rain does go away in a day or so. It looks to be in the mid-80's again by Monday.
Welcome to the Pacific Northwest.

Enjoy your welcome wet Wednesday PNWers. Hope it helps the firefighters on the East side of the Mountains.
I'm going to work and craft inside, guilt-free, today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

School Garden Weekly Update

It's still chugging away...


The garden definitely wasn't loving the heat we had the past couple of weeks, but it's still hanging in there, and the weeds haven't come back either.
Tomato and tomatillos had some blossom drop which could be attributed to the heat, or lack of pollination. I haven't seen many bees when we've visited. 
The cukes seem pretty happy, or at least pleasantly green. It's time to watch for their tendrils and get those running up the side so they don't latch onto the tomatillos. 
Onions and nasturtiums are growing well. I am really wanting those nasturtiums to go nuts and call in the bees. :) 
The rest of the seeds are still showing, but not showing a lot of development. We'll see. 
I'm chomping at the bit to get those fall/winter crop seeds in, but need to wait a few more weeks.
Still hoping someone will come in once school starts with a plan for Garden Club or for one of the classrooms. 
Until then, I'm happy to keep it "presentable". 
Have a great afternoon!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Camp Crafting 2014

The correct answer to the previous post is:
 Tie-Dye t-shirts
As the Unit Leader of 18 (!) 4th graders, I got to process their shirts. The girls (and the leaders) tied them on Monday morning (craft #1), another lucky soul dyed them, then I brought them home to rinse, wash, and dry them. We had a warm week and they dried very quickly (and prettily) on my line. One of these days I'm going to hang the camp collection on the line. After 4+ years of 3+ of us going to day camp, we have accumulated quite a collection. I'm thinking awesome tie-dye t-shirt quilt in the future... might even have enough for one per family member. :)

Check out this sweet craft I got to partake of:
Totally reminds me of these floating glitter bracelets we used to have when I was in middle school. This one is made out of new medical tubing, sparkly yarn, baby oil, metal peg, and electrical tape. I'm thinking of finding some larger diameter tubing and making these with next year's Pre-K class. Beads can be used in lieu of yarn for a different, but very fun look.

 Supplies:

  • Soft clear tubing. Ours was medical tubing, approx 1/4" diameter from outside edges, 3/8" for inside diameter (the actual opening). You could also use tubing for aquariums. Also, a wider tubing could certainly be used, you'd need more filler. :)
  • Baby oil, or clear cooking oil. I liked the baby oil -it smelled good, made my hands soft, and was very light. However, if scent is an issue, try a cooking oil -light colored and clear works best.
  • Shallow dish for the oil.
  • Assorted yarn pieces (color is entirely up to you!) or beads. Seed beads work great with the smaller diameter, but if you are going bigger, try pony beads or those darned perler beads that get everywhere, to see how they look. Make sure to not use any liquid initially if you are using beads, they will stick to the sides of the tubing.
  • Scissors
  • Wood skewers 
  • Finishing items: we used 3/4" metal pegs that fit right into the tubing and linked them together, then sealed them with electrical tape. If you did not use any liquid in the bracelet, the peg is enough. Here, they sealed the ends with heat, I haven't tried that, but it's an option.


 Here's the how to: 

  1. Cut tubing long enough, so that when the ends are placed together the wearer can slip their hand through the hole created.
  2. Yarn: Cut yarn approximately twice the length of the cut tubing. Put small amount of oil into shallow dish, then run yarn through the oil. The oil is what enables you to easily feed the yarn into the tubing. Then, using the skewer to assist, feed the yarn into the tubing. Fill as desired, leaving a small amount of room at either end. Cut shorter pieces of yarn in several colors for a different look. Tip: You don't need a lot of oil to help feed the yarn into the tubing, however, if you have more oil, it gives your bracelet a very cool glassy look. 
  3. Beads: Fill dry bracelet with beads. Size, color, and quantity are up to your preferences. After filling tubing with beads, you may go back and add water or oil for a different effect. **We haven't tried this at home, but it was suggested to try. :)
  4. Insert metal peg into one end of tubing, then bring other end of tubing around and insert other side of peg. Push together until ends of tubing meet. If you used oil in your bracelet, wrap the matched up ends with electrical or plumbing tape. 
  5. Enjoy your fun new bling!
**Note: this is a messy project! Make sure you have something covering your work surface (we used old plastic tablecloths), and have paper towels on hand to wipe excess oil off of your hands, and to wipe off the bracelet before sealing with tape.**

Last, but not least, SWAPS. For those non-girl scouts out there this roughly stands for: Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere. There are many variations of the acronym, but they mean the same thing. A little crafted something you swap with your friends and pin on something like a hat, shirt, vest, etc.
At camp, you try to have it go with your camp name, or camp theme. We have swaps above that Snorkel, Shark Bait, and Bunny swapped at camp this year. For scale, the Shark Bait Swap is 1.5" square. Those bunnies are teeny!!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Name That Craft!

Guess what I've been doing this week??

Tune in later this week to get the answer, and to see 2 other crafty things I've done this week!
Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Sweats: Just Sweaty

Been seriously lazy around here...
Okay, lazy is not a good word. We've been lacking in the exercise for exercise sake around here.
It's been in the upper 80's since last Sunday, over 90 starting Friday and supposed to go most of the way through this coming week. In a relatively un-air-conditioned Northwest, just doing the day-to-day stuff is sweaty enough for me this week. :) Not even any yoga... boo!
We did wrap up the kids' swim season with the division champs meet yesterday -Middle Monkey PR'd in his backstroke. He had so many time improvements this season, we were all very proud of him, and he got his annual swim mohawk -his favorite part of swim season. Eldest also PR'd in her backstroke, which resulted in a first place ranking for her age group. Great way to wrap up the season.
Tomorrow kicks off day camp = much sweaty + much crafty = crafts for me to post for you this week.
Thanks for being patient.

Have an awesome week!
Happy Crafting!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

School Garden Update

Happy Wednesday!
It's starting to heat up around here -starting Saturday it looks to be in the low-mid 90's around here. Pretty warm for us. About time for us to drag the portable a/c unit in.
Because it's been warm, and about to get warmer -I've been checking in on the school garden a little more frequently. The school sprinkler system comes on about 3 times per week, but I'm concerned about those little transplants and seeds getting enough water.
I've started taking my watering can down a couple times a week to supplement.
They seem pretty happy:
The tomatillos are starting to sport some fruit and get some new growth at the base. Tomato looks happy, but no blossoms yet, same with the cukes.
 Tiny mustard and chard sprouts coming out...hopefully they won't bolt immediately.
A lone nasturtium sprout.
And...
Happy onions! 
It's hard to see, but to the right of the onions, there are a zillion little lettuce sprouts.
So far so good.
I'm hoping with enough moisture and all this warm weather, the sprouts should be all up by next week. My plan is to do a weekly school garden update. So look for more (green!) next week. 
This little bed has definitely inspired us to look at some square foot gardening next year in our own garden beds. Maybe even do one specifically for a fall/winter crop this year -we've got room to add in one more bed. :) 
Have a great day!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday Sweats: Just Keep Swimming...

Okay, I just finished logging my efforts in the workout area -I got behind on the 4th of July.
So, swimming is a pretty big deal around our house this time of year. The two older kids have been on the local summer swim team for a few years now, and the little one finally was ready for lessons.
Hubby and I have always enjoyed swimming, but never did the swim team thing.
I was really good about swimming for awhile during my aquathon training, but once that finished, my lap swimming days dwindled away. The pool time I'd been getting, was bobbing the baby around in the pool -fun, good for the arms, and getting an upper-body tan, but not a great workout.
All of the kids have been working really hard in the pool this swim season; the little one has knocked out each level of class she's been in (and is really mad we're on a lesson break the next 2 weeks), the middle really has been focusing and his race times keep dropping and he's learned to do a flip-turn (Yay!), and the eldest has really become quite competitive this season, which is quite contagious. Me watching the kids swim has become kind of like me watching the Seahawks -a little loud. Anyway, it's pretty awesome fun!
This week they have their last regular meet, then their championship meet two days later. Crazy swim time!

Okay, so where does the Sunday Sweats come in?
I've been inspired by my kiddos work in the water to get back in myself. Starting slow: once last week, twice this week. Only about 10min at a time, but it's a start. Working on a new habit.
Swimming is such a great sport for anyone!
There are so many benefits:

  • Low impact -easy on the joints
  • Pretty inexpensive: Just need a suit and a place to swim
  • Increases flexibility
  • Reduces stress (similar benefits as yoga! Me likey...)
  • Great aerobic activity -gets that heart pumping!
  • Builds and tones muscle -water provides some great resistance training for this.

There are other great workouts you can get in the pool besides lap swimming. Try water aerobics, water Zumba, and water running. These are great low-impact workouts, with awesome aerobic benefits.
Here is some good reading at The Hungry Runner Girl. She has quite a few posts about the benefits (and how-to) of pool running.
In the pool is a great place to be if you are recovering from injury, or just getting started on a fitness plan.

In the great spirit Finding Nemo, and as we often hear at the meets:




**due to technical difficulties, this Sunday Sweats has been brought to you on Monday. **

Added 07/19/2014:
Check out this article at MindBodyGreen on the benefits of swimming. They've also got good articles on general good health topics. :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

School Garden Update

It's been the better part of a week since I did any significant work at the school garden beds, but I'm excited to see how it will come out.
 The top of the bed faces North. Starting from the NW corner, left to right, this is what was planted:
Row 1: Cukes x4, Row 2: tomatillos x4, Row 3: empty, unknown type tomato, tomatillos x2, Row 4: nasturtiums, empty x3, Row 5: empty, lettuce x2, chard, Row 6: nasturtiums, lettuce x2, mustard greens, Row 7: empty, onions x2, empty, Row 8: nasturtiums, carrots x3.
The first three rows utilized extra starts that were thinned from my garden, except the tomato that was a volunteer. I'm very curious to see what variety it is -we had quite a few different ones last year.
The nasturtiums I put in for color and to bring back the bees that the previous resident clover did. Also, they're edible and pretty in a salad. :)
The empty squares, I plan to utilize as fall crops, and plant seeds in about a month. Going to try: beets, turnips, cabbage, and more greens.
These are very late plantings, especially the seeds, even by Puget Sound planting standards. The spring was much drier and warmer than normal, and summer is looking the same. A lot of crops are kicking off earlier this year than they would in a "normal" year. Check my berry  post for more on early crops. I was very glad to see that the sprinkler system is working, and hoping it will carry the transplants through the warmer days.
Overall, I'm really not sure how these plantings are going to work out.
We'll call it a summer science experiment. :)
Hopefully, there will be something for the students to check out once school starts.
I would LOVE it if the fall crops come out well and a class or two could use the beets to pickle or use for dyes: science and art, two of kids' favorite subjects! If there are any NHE teachers reading this, please comment or email me if you have an idea for the fall crops (or any of the summer leftovers!). Pinterest has some good ideas for using fall veggies.
If the kids could use these to make a snack, that would be my dream come true! I think it is so important for kids to learn where food comes from and how to utilize it from a fresh and local source. Unfortunately, there always seems to be a lot of red tape where this is concerned. If you have interest in a garden for a school you work at or that your children attend, check out the Teaching Gardens hosted by the American Heart Association. They've come up with a program to combat childhood obesity by teaching children the steps of gardening: planting, nurturing, and harvesting. While it teaches them the value of being able to produce their own food and good eating habits, it's also giving them hands-on science, math, and heck, you can even work art into it!
Another thing it incorporates, is just good old-fashioned time outside, another thing many children just don't get enough of, and this subject could be another post on it's own. Until it is however, let me just give you the title of the book I'm reading right now on the subject: The Last Child in the Woods.
Before I really get going, and you stop reading, let's go enjoy the beautiful day -rain or shine!
Garden on friends...

Monday, June 30, 2014

It's Berry Good Life

Happy Monday!

This looks to be one of the best berry seasons I have ever experienced in Western Washington, and I am so excited!! Local berry farms have been selling berries 2 weeks ahead of schedule, and don't believe the season will be shortened -WooHoo!!
We've slowly been building up our berry patch over the years; Started with a couple of dwarf blueberries, one of which is still incredibly small and not a great producer, next came the thornless blackberry from my childhood backyard, a few strawberries here & there that got their own patch this year, a marionberry in a gallon pot 2 years ago, and this year a raspberry patch comprised of a few new sticks (uh, canes) we bought at the favorite hardware store and transplants from Mom K's house.
This has all resulted in some good yield so far:
Strawberries -not enough for a decent batch of jam yet, but plenty to pick and eat.
Blueberries -couple of handfuls so far, some of them even came off of the teeny one!
Raspberries -even though these were just planted early to mid spring, we've gotten a couple of handfuls off of them. Success in my book! We will be making a trip south to buy some locals just so I can get my jam on. We like Spooner's.
Marionberries -The current star of the show:
 As they started ripening, we picked and ate a few each day, but I was able to pick enough (5+ cups) to make hubby a welcome home crisp over the weekend. It was gone before I could snap a pic. :)
 This morning I went out and snagged 3+ cups, with probably a second picking later today.
Here are my happy, berry-stained fingers. :)
I'll be washing and freezing the berries this week to jam later on, and probably another crisp or cobbler.
Last but not least:
Blackberries -Already seeing green berries, busy bees all over the multitude of blossoms. It's gonna be another great (and early!) blackberry year.
Honeyberries -Okay, this is a new one. Some friends of ours are moving out of state and gave us their 2 honeyberry bushes. I had never heard of honeyberries. We won't get berries this year, but if you have tips for this plant, I'd love to hear it! They are going to be planted east of the raspberries.
This is a section of our berry patch. Blackberry is blooming in the back. That one bush can get me 3 large batches of jam, a couple of cobblers/crisps/pies, and leftovers for smoothies or just eating. Shrub at the right is our "large" dwarf blueberry. It usually gives a handful+ each year. This year we've already gotten two, with another ready to pick today. Enough for munching, or maybe pancakes. Unfortunately, with it's location (low) I think we lose the fruit to birds and other critters. In the foreground is the marionberry. I am so glad we bought this, it rocks! Raspberries live to the left of the photo, strawberries to the right.
We have a berry good life...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Nacho Challenge #95

The Nachos are getting close to 100, and here's the sketch they presented for this week's challenge:
Clean and simple. Today I was inspired.
A sweet notebook for someone dear.

I used: Sweetie Pie & Favorite Thoughts (ret.) set; Tuxedo Black Memento ink, Early Espresso pad, Skin Tone and Daffodil Delight Blendabilities; Very Vanilla, Old Olive, Early Espresso c/s, Spice Cake DSP; Spiral edge, 2-3/8" Scallop & 2.5" Circle punches, sequins, 6x6 spiral bound notebook, Vanilla 5/8" satin ribbon, Liquid Glue, Glue Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals.

Thanks again to the ladies over at Nacho Average Challenge for the honor of Top Nacho last week. It makes me feel all cheesy. *big smile*

Happy Crafting!

Sunday Sweats: By the numbers

By the numbers (Map My Run style) it was a good week for me!

DISTANCE

9.4
miles

DURATION

07:42
hours

CALORIES

3,164
burned

WORKOUTS

15
completed
Daily
  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Yearly
Distance
  • Number of Workouts
  • Distance
  • Number of Steps
  • Duration
  • Calories Burned
1.7mi1.84mi2.49mi1.84mi1.08mi0123
MON
06/23/14
TUE
06/24/14
WED
06/25/14
THU
06/26/14
FRI
06/27/14
SAT
06/28/14
SUN
06/29/14
This is as good as I've done in awhile. I even swam this week! I figured that my kids are putting in some serious mileage in the pool, and I should follow their good example, even if I could only hang for a few laps. I also signed up for the swim club's 100mile run/walk challenge which, unlike our family challenge, only goes to 8/31. It started Monday. So far, so good. I'm taking turns walking the dogs (no way I can walk them both at the same time!), so they're getting a little extra energy burned off at the start of the day.
Now, one week of this is great, but what is even better, is consistency. Goal is to find a level I can consistently maintain. This may be it, I don't know. What I do know: I've had good daytime energy, and have been sleeping like a rock at night. It doesn't take me long to get to sleep either. :)

Now, for those of you who yoga, here is a great link regarding yoga nutrition.
To be honest, I hadn't really thought of yoga as requiring fuel -silly, right?
I fall into the category of folks who yoga on an empty stomach, and call water my fuel of choice, so I had never really thought much about it. The closest I have come to considering food with yoga is: "Should I have dinner at 2pm or wait until after 7pm class?" or "Do I have a bar in the car I can have after 8am class while I'm enroute to Costco?"
Generally, dinner isn't ready by 2pm (go figure!), and when I've tried having a heavier late lunch, it's still sitting like a brick when I go to the evening class. Not my favorite. For the early class, sometimes I'll grab a banana for later, and there is a bar somewhere in the car 95% of the time, so I'll eat those if I'm absolutely starving afterward and can't wait until I get home, or if I'm going to run errands afterward.
Yes, sometimes I wear my sweat proudly in public after class, as offensive as it may be to those around me. I did feel badly for the drive-thru coffee barista on the way home today...for you "Frozen" fans, I did not smell better than a reindeer. :)
Have a great Sunday!