Monday, June 30, 2014

Springform Pan Alternative for No Bake Cakes

A while ago I found Emily von Euw and her amazing vegan blog This Rawsome Vegan Life. She has amazing vegan recipes. My favorite of her dessert recipes is her Carrot Cake (the recipe is also in her book shown above). She uses a springform pan to make her cakes. I don't have one. I almost got one, but decided "Hey, I can make one of these". This only works for non bake items, but it's simple and works rather well. 
I started with a butter tub.
Next I cut the bottom off of the tub, 
slit the side and then covered it with tape,
cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the lid,
and but the lid back on the tub.
Then I filled the springform tub with cake mix.
When it was ready I took the lid off the bottom....
Peeled off the tape,
and took the tub off from around the cake.
Easy Peasy!
Time to frost and decorate.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Letter to My Son

Dear Son,
This past week we have been practically living outdoors. Never loose your love of nature, your wonder, your readiness to explore. On the same note, never loose your caution, but don't become so cautious that it silences your inspiration and spirit. You prefer to be outdoors and in quiet places. Jungle gyms and heavily trafficked areas are something you shy away from, and that is okay. That is where your Poppy and I like to be as well. It is a good place. Recently you have started pointing at everything and asking in your own sweet way, "What is this? What is that?". You have a thirst for learning. That would be another thing to never let go of. Often I find myself holding you and thinking that I want you to stay this way forever, but then finding joy in each and every new thing you learn and do. Watching you grow is such a blessing and privilege. My clever little boy. Now I need to end this letter so we can take advantage of the cool of this morning and go explore! I love you. Shine on.
Love, Mum~ 

Friday, June 27, 2014

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Around Our Garden

Well, the gardens are in place and thriving. This is one of the three major projects that has been taking up our time these past few months. Last week I shared our Gnome Hollow garden, that was another. And soon I will post my son's bike-seat/rickshaw, which is our third project. Joining up with SouleMama here is a tour 'Around Our Gardens'. Welcome!
 This is our herb garden. We have mint, chives, and yarrow growing elsewhere in the yard (I think I'm forgetting something..). In our herb bed we have onions, Oregano, Basil, Lavender, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (hmm, I think those last 4 are song lyrics, hehehe)
 We have two beds of tomatoes and peppers. 
 We have one bed of zucchini (it is exploding with produce right now), and one bed of Yellow Squash (trying to outdo the zucchini I think).
Seriously, The squash and zucchini are enormous! 
 Over in another corner we have our Snap T-Pea (hehe, sorry, could not help the pun), our Milkweed forest, mint patch, and beans. Mmmm, I'm making wild capers today from the Milkweed buds. Oh how I love capers. 
 Our peas don't seem to be thriving as well as I would like, but we are getting a few handfuls of sweet snap peas every few days. Most of them don't make it into the house.
And last of all is our strawberry bed. This is located in Gnome Hollow (I love that name). Strawberry season is slowing down around here but we harvested about 10 lbs worth of strawberries from our patch this year, and that's not bad! The last 2 lbs I took to the park yesterday to share with neighborhood children. That was a hoot! We also have an apple tree that we planted last year for our son. I'm quite excited about it. I counted 15 tiny apples the other day and have my fingers crossed that a few of them make it to Autumn.
Thank you for joining me on this walk through. Our yard might be small, but I'm happy with what we've done with our space. Now to convince City Hall to let us have chickens.... But that is another post.
Be well and Shine on! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Secret Garden Project Reveal

Welcome to Gnome Hollow. We have completed our Secret Garden Project. I've been wanting to make a fairy garden for my son since before he was born, but he would try to eat acorn cap tea cups and tiny fairy cottages; so we made him a Gnome home that he can actually play in instead. It sits in the middle of our strawberry bed... I'm not sure if that was the best spot, but Panda seems to be enjoying it. All items in the making of this Hollow have been made from pre-owned or thrifted items (with the exception of paint). 
A Day in the Life of a Gnome
Every Morning the sun rises on Gnome Hollow. (Little plastic house found at garage sale, silk flowers on roof are left over from our wedding stored these past 5 years).
The Gnome stokes the fire for breakfast. 
When the fire is hot the Gnome makes Yummy acorn pancakes with Pine sap syrup. (Yummy for a Gnome that is).
Then he steps out of the house to begin his day. (The gnome hat is from last year's garden Gnome Halloween costume..)
He lives at 123 1/2 Gnome Hollow Drive. (tiny red mailbox found at thrift store for $0.99)
 No mail today for Gnome.
He checks the robin nest on his roof. Look, two eggs have been laid. (The nest is made of grapevines rescued from my parents yard, the eggs are a foot ball cut in half).   
Next the Gnome goes to the pond to get water for the flowers. The fish are happy to see him. (Hand Painted rocks we gathered from the shore of Lake Superior). 
The Butterflies are visiting the pond too. (made from water jugs)
It looks like it has been a full day for Gnome. (Giant mushrooms made from a broken birdbath, birch logs, and wooden bowls).
Thank you for visiting Gnome Hollow. Please come again.
Be well and Shine on! (left over Halloween decorations for cauldron and cinnamon broom trimmed down to size)
If you like Gnome Hollow, check out several other magical fairy gardens in the 2014 Magic Onions Fairy Garden Contest. Click on the image for link.

Friday, June 20, 2014

These Moments

I'm cheating today and sharing a few sweet moments from our garden from this week because I could not pick just one.
 Panda discovered the strawberry patch.
So he started to munch..
and munch...
and munch some more!
He picked and ate 20 strawberries that we know of and likely more!!!
Stained cheeks and a Very full belly. This was an evening I never want to forget. A little twist on our Friday Moment. Have a wonderful weekend. Be well and shine on!
"A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". "

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Almost Done!

Dear Son,
Oh my, what a whirl wind these past few weeks have been, Today my letter to you simply has this one message. When you are grown, don't bite off more than you can chew!
We are on the finishing end of three HUGE projects that we undertook a few months ago. It feels good to be so close to being done, but boy are we tired. 
There was the major landscaping project and new raised beds. That project is almost done, just a few tweaks and dividing the day lilies and it will be done.
Then there is our secret garden project. I made a self imposed deadline that I am trying to make on that one. Soooo close.
And last is your bike seat/rickshaw. I am so happy to say that the final finishing paint touches will be done today! We took you out on a maiden voyage the other day and you were so happy to take in all the sites. 
But! As wonderful as all these projects are, and as good as it feels to know that we have done these all ourselves.... It will be good to rest; to sit back and enjoy the finished products. No more big projects like this for the rest of the year. It was a mouthful, but we made it through. So take heed; if you don't want to burn up all your energy, don't bite off more than you can chew. 
I love, Shine on,
Love, Mum~

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Chasing Rainbows

Dear Son,
If last week was all rain, than this week has been all rainbows. It usually works out that way. Sure there have been a few down moments, but we keep pushing forward. I wish I knew why you were so clingy right now. Up until now you have been fearless and bold, but lately you do not seem so sure of yourself and cry whenever I am not around. I think this is a phase. I hope this is a phase. It's ok and good to need me and you are so very young. Some people have mentioned that it is bad for you to be "Shy". Don't listen to them. One, you are not "Shy", you are introspective. You study everything before you make a move.
Two, "Shy" is a silly label. You don't need labels.. Especially at this age.
Three... Do I really need a three? 
You are who you are, and I love you just the way you are.. 
Chase your rainbows my son; however you see fit.
I love you. Shine on, 
Love, Mum~

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

It Can't Rain All the Time

My Dear Son,
It's late and I am very tired, but this is the first chance I've been able to sit down and to write to you. I hope this makes sense when I read it again in the morning...
It can't rain all the time. This seems to be our mantra this past week, and I'm not just talking about the weather. (Though this has been one of the rainiest springs on record). No, I'm talking more about the things that keep raining in our lives. My strange illnesses are not helping. It seems every week something else decides to go kaput. Hopefully that part is over. And you my sweet, three molars and two teeth popped through this week. At this rate you will have all your baby teeth by the end of the month! My goodness,what are we up to now? 9 teeth and 3 molars? That's a lot of teeth for a 13 month old. Understandably, you have been a tad grumpy. Then there are the growing spurts. Spurt, indicates a short burst, but you never seem to stop growing. 13 months and you are already outgrowing size 2 toddler clothes! We never got to enjoy the itty bitty phase, you grew to fast. All the growing pains have made sleeping (or attempting to get anything done, for that matter) a nightmare around here.
Things have not been all rocky though. You as always astound us with how fast you are learning. You've started scribbling with crayons, bring me what ever book I ask for, pull grass when we are weeding, and run to bring your frog towel when one of us says we are going to take a shower. You understand so much. I wish more people understood how much babies understand. 
Today we had to rearrange the furniture so you wont climb over the couch and launch yourself over the half wall and down the stairs. (You are a great climber). Muse (our dog) was moping because this meant moving her favorite chair. You, being the sweet soul that you are, sought her out to give her a big hug and kiss.
So let it rain. Rain is part of life.We will get through whatever the weather throws at us with little sweet moments like these. It can't rain all the time.... And even if it does rain a lot, it just means more rainbows for us. I love you. Remember, you can't make rainbows without rain. Shine on.
Love, Mum~