Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Edited by Carleen Madigan
With just a quarter acre of land, you can feed a family of four with fresh, organic food year-round. This comprehensive guide to self-sufficiency gives you all the information you need to grow and preserve a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, and grains; raise chickens for eggs and meat; raise cows, sheep, and goats for meat or milk; raise pigs and rabbits; and keep honey bees. Simple instructions make it easy to enjoy canned, frozen, dried, and pickled produce all winter; use your own grains to make bread, pasta, and beer; turn fresh milk into delicious homemade yogurt, butter, and cheese; make your own wine, cordials, and herbal teas; and much, much more. It truly is possible to eat entirely from your backyard.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
These magnetic shapes are great for all aspiring engineers and architects--check out Maziar's impressive design!
TAG is a great toy company, with lots of hands-on educational wood toys. Pull the lever on the number toy below, and the pegs roll out the bottom (like a register, almost). The rainbow gear puzzle is re-arrangeable and stack-able, with a removable lever that turns all the gears on the puzzle.
We didn't get to test this one out at Maz and Ava's house, but it looks fun: kids can trace each letter with its attached moving knob thing-y.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
actual strawberries (three berries, to be exact)--it's not exactly picking season for us, yet. But, the U-pick strawberry patch in Carlsbad is open to the public as of last week, and it provides a perfect alternative for impatient little gardeners who are eager to harvest their crops.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Being that I'm a stay-at-home-mom, it would seem that I have tons of time on my hands and should be ready and willing to take on all domestic responsibilities. BUT....if I could take one thing off my daily "To Do" list, it would be laundry. It's time consuming and never ending, and maybe if the clocks were turned back to the fifties and clotheslines were still relied upon (and if we had a sprawling lawn with lots of trees like the above sunshine-y picture), laundry wouldn't be so bad. Or, maybe I'm just a tad lazy and should face the facts: laundry is the bane of my existence and it is not going to go away!
Now, of course there are more worldly concerns than this mommy's laundry woes: our weak economy... water shortages... global warming... BUT, lets just say I could spoil myself every now and then... here's what I would do (hint, hint): hire this local home laundry service to pick up our family's laundry any time I felt a break was in order, or if, say, Mother's Day was approaching. Said service picks up your laundry, inspects each individual garment for stains, cleans it with Eco-friendly detergents and softeners, professionally folds it, then delivers it all to your door step within 24 hours of pick up (click here for pricing, which is pretty good, if you ask me). So, doesn't it make sense for all interested parties to unite and support our local businesses, conserve water (sort of), and go green by hiring this local home laundry service?
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
terrarium habitat and photos found on Etsy
Monday, April 6, 2009
We celebrated Rigel's 4th birthday this last weekend, and as usual went a bit overboard on all the details... our kids aren't going to stay little for long, and pretty soon they'll be dictating how best to plan their birthdays. Until then, I love coordinating all the fun. This year, we picnic'ed at the Train Park. There was a pinata, rides on a locomotive steam engine, and...wait--no cake and ice cream?
In the morning rush to get the car loaded up with party supplies and kiddos, I forgot the train cupcakes at home... all 35 of them. Four batches of coating the cake pan's teeny grooves and crevices with a paintbrush dipped in shortening, dusting the pan with Wondra flour, filling up each well with just the right amount of batter, then praying the cakes would release from the pan intact before cooling on the rack, and then rewashing the pan (and starting this process over again three more times). This was supposed to be Rigel's "main event," the details of which he had been checking in with me on for over a week. He had a steam engine and a tender reserved to decorate at the party with icing, cookie wheels, and pretzels for tracks.
Luckily, there's a restaurant at the park that serves mini ice cream sundaes, so we all sang "happy birthday" to him before digging in to heaping tablespoon-sized desserts. Though Rigel is never one to turn down an ice cream, he couldn't forget his train cakes. As we were leaving the park, he asked, "Mommy, is the park closing?" I told him that yep, everyone is going home. He then replied, "but we didn't decorate the train cakes yet!"