Friday, August 26, 2011

Kid's Clothes

I've been secretly looking at the cute fall clothes for little kiddos lately. My daugther is 20 months but seems to still be fitting in her 12 month size pants. I have to admit, I'm a little disappointed because I'm looking for an excuse to get her some cute new clothes for fall. We've been lucky to get lots of great hand-me downs and have two great grandmas that like to buy clothes (mostly the really cute sets from Carter's). There's also a great kids consignment shop nearby where I've gotten really lucky finding cute outfits (sometimes with the original tags still on)!

These are few of outfits that I've been checking out. The only things I really seem to need for her right now are socks though--bummer!

Gymboree outfits--
Miss Mouse
Layered in Style
Happy Panda

Old Navy 

2-Piece Tunic Set2-Piece Pants Set
Big Appliqué T-shirt (French Blue/Bird)Knee Patch Trousers (French Blue)Pretty Lined Baggies (Dusty Purple Cord)Baby Cardigan (Dusty Aqua)3 Pack Baby Tights (French Blue Pack)

What are you loving for your kids for fall?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Goals and logistics

I'm working on living a more intentional life which I believe will help me achieve my personal and professional goals. As part of this I've been thinking a lot about where I want to be in ten years, bucket lists, and life goals. Identifying and naming the goals and plans is a great way to give voice to your desires. It often seems that by simply naming the goals, something is triggered in our subconscious selves that quietly drives our energy and focus. I like to think of the goals and plans as an outline for life--you may not know all the details but you know the direction you want to go. You may not even know how you are going to achieve the goals but having them identified and named is critical.

Once you've worked to identify your goals, plans or passions it's natural to think about where they will take you in life. It is not critical to know or define the details and logistics of how you will achieve those goals or what will happen when you achieve those goals. I tend to get mired in the details--how will the schedule work? When will I get any time to run? How will we afford daycare? What about insurance? And on and on and on. Here's the thing---no one knows, and that's okay. It's best to create the framework and not worry about filling in the details until something actually happens. I am notoriously bad at this--it makes my husband crazy.

When I catch myself heading down the road of details related to long-term plans/goals, I try to stop and realize I'm not there yet. Life, plans and schedules will likely be totally different by the time the goal actually happens so I don't need to worry or obsess about it. Sometime it works, not always. I've used a few different strategies to try and break out of this pattern:
  • I try to remind myself that the details usually work themselves out. It's not always easy or what you planned but one way or another it will work. 
  • We don't know what the future holds--remember, even the best laid plans go awry
  • Often everything works out just as it is supposed, regardless of the amount of my planning or worrying
  • Realizing that the worrying and obsessing just causes stress and doesn't actually accomplish anything. It actually detracts from my overall goals because my energy is sapped from the worry and can deflate my enthusiasm for my big life plans.  
What are your goals and life plans? How are you working to accomplish them? Am I the only one that gets way too caught up in the details?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Staying Present

I live in the mountains, summer comes late and fall gets here early. It was 32 yesterday when I got up at 6:30 am to go for a run. I have a hard time staying in the present day/moment/time. I think about all the things we have going on the rest of August and it makes me feel like summer is already over--not good! Honestly, when I look at the calendar and look at the schedule I get tense and feel like I haven't gotten to do all things I wanted to do.

Soooo, I'm trying to work on staying present. Rather than getting ahead of myself and being sad that summer is coming to an end I'm trying to keep in mind that it's actually STILL SUMMER. Rather than being sad about the things I haven't done I think I'd like to make a short list of the things I want to do this month. Here's my list:
  • Have a fire in our backyard firepit and roast marshmallows
  • Have another backyard BBQ with friends
  • Do a few more mountain bike rides in the high country
  • Take my daughter hiking at the beaver ponds where she can throw rocks in the water to her heart's delight!
  • Go camping one more time
So it's a short list, which I think is important--it seems more achievable this way.

When I get too far ahead of myself and obsess over the calendar, what we have to do and what we're missing because time is going so fast, well, then I really miss out. I miss out because I'm ignoring the present moment--the beautful evening outside, the great run that I had this morning (even if it was chilly), my daughter's hysterical laughter when I make funny faces at her.

How do stay present and enjoy the moment we're in, instead of worrying about the future?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dreaming of a future house

Sometime in the future we hope to build a new house. It might be next year or in three years. We haven't made any firm plans but I do love to surf the web for house ideas and floor plans. Here's a few photos of things that I love. I don't have good links because I've saved them on my computer for awhile--if they're yours let me know and I'll credit appropriately!

Above two are from HGTV Dream House. I love the old photos in the mudroom--I'd love to do that.

The above two floor plans are from Sarah Susanka of the "Not So Big House"

What are you looking for in a home? What do you dream of having? I long for a big mudroom to corral all of the gear, coats, etc.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Canning and Freezing

As summer begins to wane I’ve started planning what fruits and vegetables I want to can or freeze. We have a small garden in our backyard and have a few things that I’ll be able put up for winter including peas, zucchini and carrots. I live in a climate with an extremely short growing season (~40 days) and so getting much produce is a challenge. This year my broccoli went to seed immediately without any viable fruit produced. My spinach went to seed and the arugula barely sprouted—ugh! Gardening seems to be a wild and varying experiment every year.

I plan to freeze the following vegetables, usually I quickly blanch them and let them dry and then put them in freezer.
  • Corn, approximately one box will last my family of 3 all winter. We use it in tacos, stir fries, green chile.
  • Green beans, I’ll buy as many as I can stand to snap the ends off of—one of my least favorite tasks.
  • Basil, I use close to a pound of basil and make pesto. I freeze the pesto in small jars or ice cube trays for serving.
For canning I use a pressure canner. I live at 7,700 feet above sea level and it’s the only way to safely can (and it doesn’t take nearly as long). I plan to can the following:
  • Tomatoes, approximately one box (20 or so pounds) will get me through the winter. I usually make soup, spaghetti sauce and chili. I haven’t tried making salsa before but this may be the year!
  • Applesauce, one box of applesauce will make enough applesauce to last us about 6 months. It’s great in yogurt and in pancakes too.
  • Peaches and pears, one box of each would last me quite a long time. I haven’t tried canning fruit before because I’m a little wary of the sugary syrup that usually goes along with it. I think it’s possible to do a light (read: less sugar) syrup so I may give it a try. I usually freeze some peaches also—they’re good for adding to quick breads, pancakes and for baby food if you have a little one.
  • Pinto beans. I’m considering beans this year—I hear they’re delicious and really easy to can. We’re not big bean eaters in our family so this will just depend on time.
I love canning and freezing local and homegrown fruits and vegetables. I know exactly where they come from and I don’t have to worry about any BPA’s or nasty chemicals associated with aluminum cans. Honestly, I also feel a pretty big sense of accomplishment and pride that I’m continuing the tradition on canning and freezing that I remember my grandmother doing.

Do you can or freeze? What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable? Check out the Ball website for great information and tips.