28 April 2010

adventure by rail


i have decided to play make-believe. we are not going on a 26 hour ride to mourn with family, & say goodbye to my mother. instead my menfolk & i are getting ready for tomorrow's fantastical adventure by rail !! yep. that is what i decided.
see you on platform 9 3/4!

24 April 2010

sneaky peek

we are getting ready for our trip to oregon. amidst the planning & eating vast quantities of ice cream packing, i have been working on a hush-hush project. i'm not yet ready to share what's in the works, but i can give you a peek. check out sid:

doesn't he look cute in his travelling gear?

& what do you think of these damask tiaras? i think some of chicago's littlest inhabitants are going to look quite royal indeed.

my to-do list for today boggles the mind, so i can't stay & chat. have a lovely day! wait! before you do: enter to win a trio of my eco gnomes (& other wonderful things) over at soulemama's :)

21 April 2010

keeping busy


thank you for your lovely comments & emails about my mother's passing. i've said it before, & i'll say it again; i have the best readers in all of blogland. truly.
to those who've asked; as is expected, i am slowly falling to pieces. fortunately i have an amazing support system (including you), & manlyman walks behind me, picking up my pieces as they fall. it also helps that i have my sweet boys to focus on.
we'll be heading to oregon late next week to be with my father, & my brother (& his beautiful womenfolk). until then i'm trying to keep busy. i want to finish & ship a consignment order (more about that later), & ship my recent sales before heading out. i am sure none would mind a delay, but the work is helping take my mind off of the ache in my heart.
speaking of sales: when i told my fellow natural kids about my mother, i also asked for fund-raising ideas (for our train fare to oregon). instead of ideas, they sent donations, & bought items from my esty shop! i'm still trying to wrap my head around being on the receiving end of such kindness & generosity. please help me thank them by visiting their shops - click on the natural kids button over there ----->
have a lovely one, do.

19 April 2010

to my mother...


may the air carry your spirit gently.
may the fire release your soul.
may the water cleanse you.
may the earth receive you.
may the wheel turn again and bring you to rebirth.
19 dec 1942 ~ 18 apr 2010

16 April 2010

fauxtato salad


doesn't that look like potato salad?? well it is not. that, my one & only reader, is yuca salad! what the heck is that, you ask? here is what wiki has to say.

i was introduced to yuca by my dear friend tinker. she brought my family cuban food when we were in our babymoon. it was all so scrumptious, but the fried yuca was my favorite. later, when i was off nightshades, we had it again. this time i realized that the yuca was similar in taste & texture to potato.

it took me awhile to get courageous enough to prepare yuca on my own, but i finally did. i bought mine at whole foods, but i imagine i can find it (for less money) at a hispanic market. here, in los angeles, there are many. look for specialty markets in your area first, because wf charged a pretty penny.

preparing the yuca is simple. shave the skin with a sharp knife, or peeler. you then cut the yuca into thick slices, & drop them carefully into a pot of boiling water. keep an eye on the pot; as you would with potatoes; & drain when fork-tender.

at this point i cut the slices into cubes, & stuck the majority into the fridge. the remainder i fried in olive oil, to eat right then, with salt & pepper mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

the next day i tossed the chilled yucca with the ingredients of my mother's potato salad, & voilá! fauxtato salad for those allergic/sensitive to nightshades.

notes: yuca has a hint of sweetness to it. the salad was delicious, but it needed to be tweaked for balance. next time i'd swap the sweet onions for scallions, perhaps add some chopped olives, or a bit of horseradish?? definitely some crushed garlic. great, now i'm hungry. if you prefer a sweet potato salad, like my mil's, then you could just do a straight yuca-for-tater swap.

what is your favorite cuban treat? fried yuca? fried plantains? do tell!

15 April 2010

thursday things - eco finds


photo :: eco gnome "man of your dreams"

this week i thought i'd share eco-friendly things from etsy. that little guy is one of my eco gnomes. his hat is made from a real california oak acorn, & his outfit is a bit torn from a used magazine. it reads "man of your dreams", which amuses me to no end.
on to my finds!
* reusable sandwich bags are a must if you pack lunches. the amount of waste from plastic baggies is mind-blowing.
* produce bags can be eco-friendly. though so many have made the switch to reusable market totes, most people still take their fruits & veg home in plastic.
* market totes are the only way to go. in my imaginary world i carry my groceries in an old basket; strolling slowly through my tiny village in france...
* coffee cup sleeves can be kept in your purse/backpack. use one when you've forgotten to bring your reusable mug to the coffee joint. you'll still be wasting the to-go cup, but at least you can say no thanks to the cardboard sleeve. this is assuming you are not drinking it there. right?
* apple jackets not only look adorable, they keep your apple from getting bruised. i know someone who wraps her kids' apples in paper towels to keep them padded. i should send her a few of these.
i found much more, but the wee little man just woke from a too-short nap. i'm off to stare into beautiful, sleepy eyes - you go check out eco finds on etsy. don't forget to search "naturalkids team earth day", to find out what sales & special my cohorts & i have going on! (i'm giving an eco gnome with every purchase over $20)

10 April 2010

thursday things - saturday edition


photo :: unrelated close-up of newest inhaler pouch
(here is where we pretend today is a thursday) welcome to another installment of thursday things! i'm glad you're here :)
what with the earth day promotion going on, & the actual earth day nearly here, i've had gaia on my mind more than usual. we try to live a life pleasing to mother nature, but there is always more we can do. & more we can not do. it is these things that i have been pondering.
i don't mean to say that i'm wondering what there is to be done, rather what my family is willing to do. there's the rub. after so many years of baby-step changes, all that's left are the biggies. well, biggies for us: i do love my hair dye, & manlyman cannot fathom life without tomatoes year-round. oh, there's plenty more, but you get the idea.
that is what i stress when people ask me for advice on living more green: just do what you can do. it is the rare person who can set out to live a completely eco life, & succeed. strive to do the best that you can, & be proud of your bit. remember; a single raindrop raises the sea.
here are some links that could help you on your journey to more greener pastures:
* roots & shoots jane goodall's global youth organisation. we've been a part of this org for a handful of years, & cannot recommend them enough. start your own group if there isn't one in your area. (great for homeschoolers!)
* reusable bags a favorite of mine. they are a great place for stainless bottles & lunch kits. for all of april they're having a huge sale in honor of earth day's 40th anniversary.
* the green guide for kids i only just found this blog, but it looks to be a great resource.

* imperfectly natural baby and toddler i've written about this book before. just get it already.

* path to freedom this family inspires me! i want to arrange a field trip to their urban farm.

* netflix has some great documentaries: this one was fun to watch.

i could go on & on, but i shan't. today, that is ;)

leave a comment, telling me an eco-change you'll be making this year - then go off & have a lovely day.


07 April 2010

hummus sans legumes


it is freakyhard to be a vegetarian, & be unable to eat legumes. i sincerely hope elfling outgrows his legume-intolerance, & soon.

well, you can imagine my glee when i came across recipes for hummus without legumes! they were more or less the same, so i chose one & set about making it. i was surprised at how much it tasted like hummus! it wasn't perfect though - here is my tweaked version:

zucchini hummus
4 medium zukes, peeled & diced
1 cup tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt (add more if needed)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
tsp dried parsley
1) purée all ingredients. 2) make some more for me.
notes: add olives or artichoke hearts before you purée. or heat it with crumbled feta, mmmm.

i hope you give this a try - if you do, let me know how it turns out.


06 April 2010

asthma sucks


i cannot recall if i babbled about thehobbit's inhaler pouch. i'm fairly certain i did, but i'm too sleepy to look in the archives. anyway...
i've finally begun sewing inhaler pouches for theshop. this is the first of many - i hope you like it!

an apology in cuteness

what is it with me & forgetting to post thursday things? i mean, i know i have swiss cheese brain of the utmost kind, but sheesh! i apologize to any who have been enjoying this feature. to ensure you accept my apology, & love me madly again, i offer you this bit of cuteness:

if that isn't the cutest face of yuckosity (real word), i don't know what is. this was my elfling's reaction to his first taste of food. he did not like it in the least. i thought for sure he would love the sweetness of banana mixed with mama's milk, but apparently not. after the first bite he evaded the spoon no matter how fun we tried to make it. ditto the next night. we've given up for now. no need to force food if he isn't ready.

to my new readers: elfling has food intolerances galore, so we delayed introducing solids. no need to worry that we were just lazy getting around to starting.

so is all forgiven? i promise a fabulous thursday things this week. ok? ok.

oh! did everyone enjoy the various holidays last week? what did you do?
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