Appreciation






For me, a good afternoon can be a quiet one at home or a busy, nonstop day out. I like a fair mix, just as I actually enjoy a bit of this crazy warm/cold weather business.

Thankful for:

Birthday parties
Family
Good food
Friends
Daddy's who juggle babes and take conference calls (or any work), just like mamas often do.
Collecting nature for an environmental project where the medium is my choice (yay for thoughtful and "outside the book" professors).
Walks atop high hills and the view of the drop-off by our home.
Open windows and clean surfaces and fresh air blowing in.

Happy weekend. Make it what you want.

Reflections




It has been an exceptionally long month with lots to do. I promised myself that, when times got busier, I'd do everything I could to take a little time to create and enjoy the little things. For me, part of enjoying the little things is found in taking photos. I think of: "I will make everything around me beautiful. That will be my life." When I take photos, I am looking for beauty in every day life: a pile of throw pillows, an unmade bed, a pair of boots tossed aside on the floor.

Look around and find some beauty.
Also, tomorrow is Friday.

Brown sugar body scrub



The last few months for me have felt super creative. It has been some kind of postpartum burst of energy that finally took hold of me and shoved me forward. I just want my hands busy at all times. And, as much as family and life already keep me on my toes, I'm slowly but surely tackling that long DIY wish list. There are so many things that get put off that, by the time you get around to them, you're never sure why you waited so long! So, here's to being productive in the most fun of ways!

Most recently, I made this brown sugar body scrub. I figure, if it's edible, it feels even better slathering it on my skin! The sugar works as an exfoliant, the oils as moisturizers, and the spices, well, they simply smell amazing. So, here goes if you want to give it a try (and, good news, you likely have all these items in your kitchen already!)

Ingredients
1 C brown sugar
1/3-1/2 C olive oil
1 T coconut oil
2 t nutmeg
2 t ginger
2 t cinnamon

I used a six ounce mason jar and had a little leftover that I placed in another jar (my ten-year-old is super excited to try it. Hehe)

-Mix your dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
-Add wet ingredients and stir with a fork until completely combined (start with the lesser olive oil amount and add to find the perfect texture for you).
-Place in jar or container and use in the shower or on your hands at the sink with a quick rinse after.

xo

Lots of love




Valentine's Day is one of my favorites. Why not take a day to remember to spread some love? Make it what you want. And, if that's not expensive flowers and gifts and candy, then that is often even more dear.

This day is extra special when you have little ones. We treat it a bit like Easter over here... a gift or two and some candy for sure! Everything is better when you see your little one's faces light up come morning (often with a giant heart-shaped pile of candy on their floor)! Everyn is on his toes and this will be Elspeth's first Valentine's where she is old enough to get it–a little. We're doing it up right with all the love we can spread (plus, baking heart-shaped cookies covered in sprinkles, candy, toys, and all the heart-everything a girl can take!)

Happy Valentine's Day, friends!
Spread some love.

Pumpkin Spice Scones - a recipe





It's cold as ice outside (or as a foot of snow!) and baking lets the oven warm the house and keeps little fingers busy and tummies full. Although, many have put away their pumpkin and allspice since Thanksgiving, it's a favorite of ours and, I say, keep it going! So, here's a little scone recipe for you (if you've tried Starbucks' and like them, you'll love these! Not too sweet and all that pumpkin!)


Pumpkin Spice Scones:
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C light brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
3/4 t ground ginger
3/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground nutmeg
8 T (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
1/2 C pumpkin puree
1 T molasses
3 T half and half (or milk)
1 large egg
2 t vanilla extract

Glaze:
1 C powdered sugar, sifted or heavily whisked
Approx. 2 T half and half (or milk)

Spiced Glaze:
1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted or heavily whisked
2 t pumpkin puree
1/8 t cloves
1/8 t nutmeg
1/8 t ginger
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T half and half (or milk)

Scones:
Place rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350.
Grease large cookie sheet (or use parchment paper).
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg together until blended.
Cut the butter into small cubes then scatter over the flour mixture. Use two knives or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour (you can also use a food processor. You definitely want little chunks of butter in the dough, so don't over-mix!)
In a separate bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, molasses, half and half or milk, egg and vanilla until blended.
Stir into the flour and butter mixture until a soft dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead just until it comes together (add more flour as needed so it's not too sticky).
Shape into a rectangle and cut into triangle wedges (you can make 8-12 or so, depending on how small you cut the triangles).
Place on baking sheet and bake 10-15 minutes (toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean).

Glaze:
Once the scones have cooled, begin the glaze.
Mix sugar and half and half or milk. Do a little of the liquid at a time, trying to get a thick, but drizzling consistency.
Dip the top of each scone directly into the glaze and place back on the rack to dry.

Pumpkin glaze:
Combine sugar, pumpkin puree, and spices, adding a little half and half or milk at a time–the same as the glaze above. Use a spoon to drizzle a zigzag pattern across each scone and let dry.

Enjoy!