Monday, May 13, 2013

{into nature}

{into nature} is a weekly Monday post inspiring the exploration of nature. It is a grassroots effort to combat the nature deficiency syndrome in our current generations. Please join this movement back into nature by sharing your own nature inspiration, whether shared through photographs, words, poetry…. leave a link here in the comments for all to enjoy.

“For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot- whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world… nature does not steal time; it amplifies it.” -Richard Louv

a mother's day beautifully spent...
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we spotted a few of these bright orange salamanders on our walk.  the photos don't do their color any justice, they were NEON orange, very cool!  noah spotted this one for us all to check out.
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all my boys...
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hope you too had a day beautifully spent :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

this space

i've been missing this space lately.  every time we go into nature and i have my camera in hand, i think about sharing it here.  but life has been so full lately.  and my computer problems haven't gone away like i had hoped.  i'm slowly and steadily working away at getting my computer back in shape, trying to convince myself that i can get a few more years out of this already going on 9 year old machine (what is that in technology years, like 100 years old, ha!). 

there has been so much crafting this holiday season, so many beautiful outings.  i'm hoping to share when i have the time and patience, so please excuse christmas gift postings in say february :)  i also have some new tricks up my sleeve- a new avenue for creativity.  something that i feel i can manage with two littles running about, unlike my last sewing business. 
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those are a sampling of some of the vintage inspired prints i've been working on for a new shop in the making.  for several years i've been hoarding away vintage illustrations (hmmm this could contribute to the slowness of my computer!).  from the first day of stumbling upon them, i knew i needed to do something with these beautiful images.  it took close to 7 years to figure it out.  i've been taking bits and pieces of vintage illustrations and digitally altering and then combining the components into new art pieces.  i love it.  i'm excited about it.  i can do it with two littles running about.  while they ride their bikes up and down the driveway, i sit out there with my borrowed work laptop and work away.  or when they go to sleep at night, i work a bit more- something i found too tiresome to do when it came to sewing for my old business. 

anyways, thank you to those of you who have checked in during this quiet time.  i still check in on my favorite reads now and again when i have a few minutes to spare at the office.  while i haven't been commenting, i have been enjoying.  i hope the new year brings lots of love and laughter, and may your dreams come one step closer to reality :)
xmas 2013 final

Monday, November 5, 2012

{into nature}

{into nature} is a weekly Monday post inspiring the exploration of nature. It is a grassroots effort to combat the nature deficiency syndrome in our current generations. Please join this movement back into nature by sharing your own nature inspiration, whether shared through photographs, words, poetry…. leave a link here in the comments for all to enjoy.

“For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot- whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world… nature does not steal time; it amplifies it.” -Richard Louv

*****

like every spring and fall, the ticks are making their seasonal invasion into our favorite hiking spot in the state forest.  as i've mentioned before, i try not to mess around when it comes to ticks since we are in the lyme disease epicenter.   this pictured outing from this week will likely be one of our last strolls in the forest up the road from us until we have a few hard frosts.   until then we will enjoy some of the outdoor spaces that are a bit safer for my boys, as well as stock up on our natural bug repellent (does anyone else have a favorite natural bug repellent, i'm especially looking for something that repels ticks?).  with their new found love of riding bikes, this should be a bit easier than in the past years :)  we are lucky to have a few nearby parks that have plenty of smooth riding areas that become off limits to vehicles after labor day.  

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Monday, October 29, 2012

{into nature}

{into nature} is a weekly Monday post inspiring the exploration of nature. It is a grassroots effort to combat the nature deficiency syndrome in our current generations. Please join this movement back into nature by sharing your own nature inspiration, whether shared through photographs, words, poetry…. leave a link here in the comments for all to enjoy.


“For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot- whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world… nature does not steal time; it amplifies it.” -Richard Louv

*****

just some phone snapshots from our week, which included lots of fall fun in the outdoors.  from leaf piles, to bike riding, to hiking, to picnicking at the park, to exploring the local dam (which just might be put to work this week with hurricane sandy on it's way and a week of rain forcasted along with her).  hope you're enjoying your week too!


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Monday, October 22, 2012

{into nature}

{into nature} is a weekly Monday post inspiring the exploration of nature. It is a grassroots effort to combat the nature deficiency syndrome in our current generations. Please join this movement back into nature by sharing your own nature inspiration, whether shared through photographs, words, poetry…. leave a link here in the comments for all to enjoy.
“For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot- whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world… nature does not steal time; it amplifies it.” -Richard Louv

*****

probably the most important lesson i've learned from my boys in nature is to stop and admire the tiniest of things.  for years i've been in awe of mother nature and all of her glory, but before my boys it was more awe on a broad scale.  amazement of the entire beauty surrounding me.  as my pace was forced to slow down with two babes leading the path, i've come to enjoy discovering that beauty at a micro level as much as the large scale.

Monday, October 15, 2012

{into nature}

{into nature} is a weekly Monday post inspiring the exploration of nature. It is a grassroots effort to combat the nature deficiency syndrome in our current generations. Please join this movement back into nature by sharing your own nature inspiration, whether shared through photographs, words, poetry…. leave a link here in the comments for all to enjoy.

“For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot- whatever shape nature takes, it offers each child an older, larger world… nature does not steal time; it amplifies it.” -Richard Louv

*****
even though we live just a short distance to the shoreline, it's a short trip that we rarely make.  pat doesn't really like the ocean.  i like the ocean and the beaches, but for some reason i always feel somewhat frazzled going to the saltwater beaches during the summer.  especially having kids now, it just seems like so much more work and stress for me compared to going to the small lake beaches we frequent a bit more.  perhaps it's the vastness of the water and beaches at the shore combined with the summer crowds that plays tricks with my head.  

but then i recall my childhood and the fun and excitement of going to the shore.  my mom is a definitely an ocean beach lover, so we headed to the shore quite often.  remembering this joy is the reason i force myself to visit at least a few times each summer with the boys.   

the other day the boys, my mom and i took a little day trip to a local shoreline beach.  it is off season now, and the day was grey and chilly, with short spurts of drizzle.  we practically had the entire park to ourselves.  the boys cruised on their bikes through the closed campground, stopping to examine mushrooms, collect wildflowers for me and various shoreline treasures for themselves.  we visited the geese and collected some cattails from the marshes.  then we headed over to the beach and played in the sand, collected sea shells and crab shells, followed rabbit tracks, and ran along the boardwalk.  

it was such a peaceful and magical day- it made me realize that i definitely need to visit the shoreline more often.  while i probably won't be frequenting it more in the summer, i most certainly will be visiting more often in the off season. 
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

apple pie experiment- aka not your grandma's apple pie

i've been on a pie baking spree the past few week- there has seldom been a pie-free night.  in the midst of all this pie baking i started thinking to myself there must be some healthier (ie less processed white sugar) recipes for the classics.  that morning the boys and i had gone apple picking, and so began the apple pie experiment.  dates instantly came to mind.  out came the food processor.... and out of the oven came this perfectly sweet, perfectly classic, perfectly processed-white-sugar-free apple pie.

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ingredients
1 cup dates, soaked in hot water for about an hour
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon coriander (optional)
5 cups apples, peeled and thinly sliced- preferably a mix of apple types
double pie crust of your choice

heat oven to 425 degrees F.  drain the soak water from the dates, add the dates and maple syrup to your food processor.  process until a very fine, slightly liquid paste- you want as little date chunks as possible, try to get a paste-like consistency.  you may have to scrape down the sides a few times.

in a large bowl combine the date/syrup paste to the rest of the ingredients.  mix well to coat the apples evenly.  spoon into a crust lined pie pan.  top with second crust, seal edges, and cut slits in several places of the top crusts.

bake at 425 degrees F for about 40 minutes- the apples should be tender and the crust golden brown.

enjoy!

processed sugar-free apple pie

taste testing results- everyone in my house loved it.  even my date-hating, super picky eater husband (oops, i failed to disclose my experimental ingredients with him!).  in fact he warned me, as he finished off his second piece, that i may wake up to find the entire pie gone in the morning.   i found it to taste just like the classic apple pies i've grown to love- experiment successful!