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meet my mom

| bonnie forkner


 
actually, you've met my mom before, but not quite like this. many of you know that she owns a quilt shop, and that all of my creative qualities are directly derived from her- as she's a total creative genius! she's recently started making some quick videos featuring the latest additions to her shop, and i think they are such a good idea (plus i love to see how cute she is). in the video above, you'll get to meet her and see a bit of her shop. if you see anything you like, i know they are always happy to take phone orders (i used to work there!)- just give them a call!

heavenly creatures

| handmade

heavenly animals
 
you know i have an affinity for farm animals, so when i ran across heavenly creatures art this week i was in... well, hog heaven! i love the deep texture of her paintings and the intricate detail of their fur and feathers. her shop is also having a great special right now, just click over to find out the details!

forgotten ingredients: chia seeds

| forgotten ingredients

forgotten ingredients: chia seeds
 
have you ever heard of chia seeds? yes, they are the same seeds that grow on our friendly clay pets, but come to find out they pack immense health benefits! i found my first package while roaming the isles of a local farmers market a few years ago, and after inquiring about their health benefits, decided to give them a try. they have a very mild taste and so are an easy additive to just about any dish. i use them in breads, salads, baked goods, soups and smoothies. you can also use them as a thickening agent (for soups and sauces) by cooking them with a little water for just a few mintues.

*just one note- don't eat the seeds that actually come with a chia pet! instead, head to your local health food store and buy them in bulk.

here are just a few of their power-house benefits:

- omega-3s: chia seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3s, containing more omega-3's than salmon or flax seed.

- fiber: chia seeds are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, as a 25-gram portion contains 7 grams of fiber.

- minerals: chia offers a variety of minerals, including iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, molybdenum and magnesium, and also contain niacin and folic acid.

- protein: chia seeds contain 20% more protein than other grains or seeds (wheat has 14%) and the protein is of higher quality.

do you already use chia? share with us all the ways that you put in your diet!

picture via green-lemonade. resources: livestrong & wikipedia

road trip part 2: arizona wrap up

| bonnie forkner

happy monday, friends! did you have a good weekend? our friday and saturday was filled with good food, friends and lots of sunshine. all day yesterday (16 hours, total) were spent in route to our next destination: texas for a day before we continue homeward-bound! before we moved on, i wanted to wrap up our week in arizona for you with a few more pictures!

arizona road trip
 
arizona road triparizona road trip
 
handstands for arizona!
 
arizona road trip
 
there's just nothing better than waking up to the sunshine and fresh morning air. the weather was near perfect, highs around 80 during the day and lows of about 40 at night. hello, sunshine!

arizona road trip
 
these are the shadows of our life!

and of course, toaster has been with us all along. click over to the dog blog to see his side of the journey!

homemade baby food with ashley pahl

| cooking ideas

homemade baby food

Even the youngest members of the family can eat well, simply. I have two toddler girls, and with the first, we used store-bought purées, but the expense really added up, not to mention all of the single-serving containers it comes in. For my second daughter, I decided to give homemade baby purées a go.

For those worried that the process is too time-consuming for someone with an infant (and I get that), just know that it really only takes about half an hour for a week's worth of baby food. Not only will this save you money, but it will reduce waste, and you'll know exactly what your baby is eating.

you will need:

  • fresh or frozen fruits and veggies
  • a microwave-safe bowl or medium sauce pan
  • a blender (or food processor if your baby is old enough for chunkier purées)
  • ice cube trays
  • freezer bags for storing purée cubes
  • small, air-tight containers for storing food in the fridge that will be eaten in 1-3 days
  • utensils (knives for slicing & chopping; a spatula for scraping the blender)

In this tutorial, I'm making puréed peas and apples.

homemade baby food

Steam or microwave your veggies until they're they're soft. Fruits, such as apples, do not need to be pre-cooked, but it does help to microwave them with a couple of tablespoons of water for a minute or two. Place about 16 ounces of fruits or veggies in a blender or food processor, blending until as smooth as possible.

homemade baby food

Next, scoop the purée into the compartments of an ice cube tray for freezing. When frozen, you can pop the cubes out, and keep in a large freezer bag. Simply remove a couple of cubes from the freezer about 12 hours before the baby's meal, and let thaw in air-tight containers in the fridge; alternatively, you can take a few cubes out right before a meal, and thaw them in the microwave. This allows you to make a large batch of baby food a week or two ahead of time, and not risk the purée going bad.

homemade baby food

There is a great guide to freezing, storing, and thawing baby food on WholesomeBabyFoods.com. They are a great authority on puréeing, freezing, and thawing baby foods, with guidelines such as:

  • Baby food can be stored in the freezer for 3 months, maximum
  • Baby food can be stored in the fridge for 48 hours, although some argue that 72 hours is okay
  • Baby food thaws best in the fridge overnight
  • Some baby foods don't freeze as well as others

They also have lots of baby food recipes, purée guides, and menu planners - highly recommended!

 

ashley paul indie pretty projectOut to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

 

 

a·gree

| simple living

a·gree: [uh-gree], a·greed, a·gree·ing.
–verb (used without object)
1. to have the same views, emotions, etc.; harmonize in opinion or feeling

environment

this week i've been able to catch up on some reading, and one of my favorite books has been eating animlas by jonathan safran foer (recommended to me by beryl- thanks!). though i'm not but half way through it, i know that i can already recommend it to you, as it has taught me so much already. i'm sure i'll cover it in greater detail once i'm finished, but today i wanted to share with you just one part that has engaged in me much thought.

"... most people agree that the environment matters. whether or not you are in favor of offshore oil drilling, whether or not you "believe" in global warming, whether you defend your hummer or live off the grid, you recognize that the air you breathe and the water you drink is important. and that they will be important to your children and grandchildren. even those who continue to deny that the environment is in peril would agree that it would be bad if it were."

to me, this passage gives me hope. a common ground on which all of us agree. a starting point. it makes me feel less hopeless about misunderstandings and under-educations, and more hopeful because we all really do care. we must. it simply looks different on every person, and every person cares in different ways.

what do you think?

i hope each of you have a wonderful weekend full of light and love, and i will look forward to seeing you back here next week. xox! bonnie

{photo by aniatot}

japan relief efforts

| photography

japan fundraiser
 
hello, dear ones! it seems that everywhere i turn i see and hear more and more about the devastation in japan. it saddens me deeply and i think so many of us are trying to find more ways in which we can help. the lovely ez from creature comforts has started a fundraiser and encourages you to open your wallets and consider buying a print or two from her shop to help raise money to support the relief efforts in japan, as every penny of profit will be given to the red cross. i've purchased this one (isn't it pretty?) and hope you'll consider doing the same.