February 9, 2015
Wondering what the number one song was on the day your were born?
Well just check in with billboard and they will even play it for you
January 11, 2015
This year Lula has been very interested in painting and drawing and generally creating (best news ever) I can’t pretend that I wasn’t hoping that she would love to make and do so much. I didn’t want to push her in one direction or another and never forced her to go one direction or another. I am so excited that she is so interested in creating, it gives me an opportunity to play like a kid. I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep track of how Lu wants to explore the person that she is becoming this year. We have done comic books and weekly photos. I LOVED the comic book but didn’t push it once she didn’t want to make them anymore. The weekly photos were really up to us as parents since she couldn’t talk or move for the most part. This year I want Lu to have more say and influence in how we document her life. I want to encourage her to explore who she is in her own way.
The past month or so Lu has become very interested in taking pictures of things, not people or herself but things around her. Today I decided to just let her roam around the kitchen and take pictures of whatever she liked. It was a moment I didn’t think of too much or think would amount to anything. I was cooking and putting things away and she was a little bit in the way. It gave me a few minutes to get things organized so I could actually pay 100% attention to her. A funny thing happened once I showed her how to use the camera, she was so intentional in what she took pictures of. She didn’t just walk up to anything and point the camera at it, she walked around everything and looked for the right angle and the right place to take each photo. I stopped what I was doing just to watch her. Sometimes I am so in awe of the amazing little person she is becoming.
This year Lu is going to document herself. I’m going to give her a camera once or twice a month, maybe more maybe less, and let her do whatever she wants. Maybe we will go on a trip to the beach or a museum or a garden or maybe it will just be hanging out at the house. I’m going to let her take the lead and show me how she sees things and how she wants to remember this year. Introducing Lula’s first photographs untouched and handpicked by her.
Things Lula Likes
The Kitchen Series
January 7, 2015
Canning and Pressure Canning
This goal was a huge success we ended up with a fairly decent canned food pantry. I have gotten pressure canning under my belt and we make and can our own chicken stock every few weeks. We canned just about everything that we could from our local farms and farmers market. We also have been coming up with a plan to keep track of everything we made and how much we used. in 2013 we only made 6 pints of salsa, we ran out in about 3 months so this year we made 12 pints of 2 types of salsa. Hopefully this will be enough for the year!
Project Life Photo Albums.
I had planned to continue doing our project life for the year, but lost interest about 2 months in and never really picked it back up again. I still love it as a way to keep track of our lives but it got so that I was making myself feel guilty when I didn’t get a chance to work on it and then never wanted to work on it because I was so far behind. Eventually I just decided to let it go for the year and see what would happen.
More Day Trips in the Area
This was one of our more challenging ideas for the year. My varied schedule and only having one weekend off each month (sometimes not even one weekend off a month) made it hard to complete this challenge and we did not accomplish our goal of spending more time in the Richmond and Charlottesville area. We still plan to try and do a bit more traveling this year but just like this year we aren’t caught up in the idea of completing our challenges so much as thinking about them and enjoying the opportunities to take them on.
May 3, 2014
This year we have made a lot of changes in the garden as well as a few new additions. I have a personal goal to grow wonderful tomatoes this year and am following the same tomato pruning and sucker reducing plan as Elise at Elisejoy.com. ( Thanks for the great pruning ideas) Last year we had so much rain that it was almost impossible to get into the garden unless you got out the rowboat, everything got way too much water to survive. Our solution was to dig out the grassy patch and fill it with rocks to raise the path a little bit. We have had a lot or rain lately so we have been able to test out our theory and eventually had to add a few more bags to level things out. We have finally gotten it to the right height and even after 2 days of heavy rain we can get into the garden without boots or a boat. I switched up the mix in the garden this year too. We only had one flower in our garden last year. This year we are trying some natural pest deterrents and companion planting to increase our crop this year.
We are still using the square foot gardening mindset and trying to maximize our small space for the best return. I learned a few things last year from some major failures. We have tried to grow tomatillos, either transplanted or grown from seed, the past 3 years. The seedlings never survived and last year we found some starts at our local nursery and tried one of those…. it grew beautifully. We had a very vigorous healthy plant with tons of blooms and strong branches, but we never saw any fruit forming. In July I started to get a bit nervous and started researching, turns out you really need 2 plants so that they can cross pollinate each other. So we know we can care for and grow the plants we just need more than one. We also had an epic battle with cutworms last year and lost almost all my seedlings and starts in the first month of our growing season last year. This winter we did a lot of prep work in the dirt to try to eliminate any little creatures that might be growing in there. We also saved as many toilet paper and paper towel rolls as we could so that we could try putting those around our little starter plants to protect them in the beginning.
We added a fun little spot of Lula to play this year and tried a sweet pea and sugar snap pea tee-pee for her. She picked out the seeds for the flowers and helped me plant them. She is very excited about putting ribbons on the top in the summer and I am thinking about weaving some scrap material through the bamboo stakes to help the vines climb and make it a little more cheerful. kind of like this little weaving how-to for kids from Acorn Pies. I’m also planning on some ladybug habitats like these.
April 27, 2014
Waste a little time today I promise it will be worth it.
I’m wondering if this shelf system would work for all our canning this summer.
This is the tomato growing guide I am using this summer.
April 22, 2014
I joined the 100 Happy Days challenge in March. So far I am a quarter of the way into the challenge and love it. It’s simple, inspiring and has been a lot of fun. Most days I have a hard time picking out which picture I want to use. The best part ahs been the reminder that there are so many happy things that happen even on your worst day. A lot of people have asked me about the challenge and don’t seem to understand the idea or why I would want to do it.
Honestly I am not doing this challenge for anyone but me. Yes, I am, posting the images for anyone to see but the reason behind them is completely selfish, I don’t care who likes them or how many people look at them. At the end of the day I feel better about how my day went and remember to think about the little happy things the next day.
April 20, 2014
Waste a little time today, I promise it’ll be worth it.
These bubble gum cupcakes from Sprinkle Bakes look like so much fun.
What foods make you feel better and really are better for you when you are sick.
New idea for your Easter eggs next year.
Great idea for a perennial herb basket or window box.
This Ellen clip about Naked and Afraid made my week.
April 13, 2014
Waste a little time today. I promise it’s worth it!
These beautiful and very familiar photographs made my week.
I want to live my life as a Daymaker.
How to DIY your own sparkly gold star plates.
I want to make this and eat it as soon as possible.
Are you a giver a matcher or a taker? interesting book about 3 types of workers and who is the best for your business.
19 stupid posts…. number 13 and 16 made me laugh our load more than once.
January 19, 2014
Last year we made a wish list of what we thought would be great to can. We mostly looked through cookbooks and magazines to see what was actually able to be canned then just wrote down which recipe we wanted to try. We have kept track of what we used to most of and what we need to make more of this year and we still have a few jars that we just never really got around to trying. There were some things that sounded great but we either haven’t gotten around to eating or can’t figure out how to use yet. We kept this list in a tiny little notebook and I added notes as we tried things or if we needed to make more.
This year we are talking a slightly different approach and we made a list that includes things that we know we love to use and definitely need to make more of as well as things we found we bought a lot of and want to try canning at home and things that we just want to try out. Some things are just a type of food like kumquats or stock, others are new techniques like pressure canning or marmalade. I also started a new journal that is a bit more substantial than a little 3x4 notebook tucked in our canning cabinet. I am hoping to use it to expand on things we have already canned so that once we try them I can add little ideas. Like that our peach pie filling was delicious and smelled like summer when we opened it but maybe next year we should increase the ginger or add crystalized ginger before it goes in the oven to get some extra bite.
I want to try to focus on something new every month this year. Either a type of food like citrus or maybe a technique like pickling for the whole month and see what we can come up with. Join in if you are interested, or let me know if you have any ideas. I’ll try just about anything. Our canning wish list for 2014 is here.