Cooling Off

The weather here has been 90° F and up the past few days. Since our air-conditioner doesn’t seem to be working right now (first world problem, I know…) we set up a sprinkler to help Monster cool off a bit. He liked putting his hands and feet in it, but wasn’t keen on getting his face wet. Maybe he’ll warm up to it more as the summer progresses…

Yay! Water!

Dad first…

 

All in

 

Advertisements

CSA Adventures – Week 4

This week I’m linking up to the “What’s In the Box” party over at inherchucks.com again. You seriously need to stop over and check it out – so much delicious food and tantalizing recipes!

First things first – sorry for the lack of pictures. I accidentally left my camera outside this evening during a rainstorm and it’s currently drying out now. I’m not going to turn it on for at least 24 hours, in the hopes it will dry out. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of this week’s share before this incidence. 😦 Assuming my camera will be up and working later this weekend I’ll try to get some pictures of anything we haven’t eaten yet. 🙂

Ok, now down to business. Here’s a list of this week’s bounty:

  • 0.7 lbs of braising greens
  • 1 pint of sugar snap peas
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 2 lbs of broccoli
  • 1.5 lbs of heirloom turnips
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 summer squash
  • 1 (huge) bunch of kale
  • 1 bag of basil

;

Some of the zucchini will be made into zucchini muffins – I’ll probably make half with chocolate chips and half with walnuts, since P detests chocolate and I adore it. The rest of the zucchini will be grilled, now that we’ve got our grill fixed (just in time too, since we’re experiencing a heat wave and our air conditioner is broken now, lol).

As always, the sugar snap peas will be eaten raw, either on their own or in a salad. The braising greens will go into a stir fry – typically we just wing it when it comes to stir fry. Add a little sesame oil or soy sauce and you can’t go wrong.

This weekend we’re going to make kale chips. Monster sort of loves chips (oops – my bad), so I’m hoping he’ll love the kale chips. Then I can feel better about introducing that unhealthy habit at such a tender young age.

Last week we sautéed the summer squash and Monster just gobbled it up. So that will be the fate for a least one of the squash this week. The other will likely be grilled. (Did I mention that we’re kind of obsessed with grilling? Because we totally are.)

Our farmstress shared a recipe for cider glazed turnips. Assuming I can pick-up some cider at the grocery store, I’ll give that recipe a whirl. If it’s successful I’ll share the recipe later this week.

Not really sure yet what I’m going to do with the broccoli. I know it’s a super food and everything, but it’s not really one of my favorite veggies. Probably steam some of it, grill some of it, and stir fry some of it. Nothing fancy, just our trusted standbys.

Finally, the prized item of the week – basil! Definitely going to make some pesto with it. The rest will be used on sandwiches, in whatever we’re cooking this week, eaten raw…we love basil!! So excited to get some! 🙂

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a great weekend! 😀

The Joys of Home Ownership

The Monster household recently purchased our very first house! While we’re very excited, we’ve quickly learned that the old adage about there never being a lack of work to do around the house is so true.

The previous owner’s attempts at lack of home maintenance has meant that there’s a plethora of home improvement projects for us to work on. P has been great and has done a TON of work already.

 In the less than a month that we’ve been here, P has already cut down multiple trees, dug a trench, and begun drafting designs for a raised garden bed for next year. Our yard has a drainage problem (hence the trench), so P has been busy devising a plan to fix-it. He’s still working it out, but we’ll be leveling out and re-grading the yard later this summer, in addition to removing some more trees to fix the drainage problem. More to come on this topic as this project progresses. 🙂

This unsightly tree is no longer, thanks to P

Monster loves the trench

Seriously. He would play in it all day if I let him.

Since P has already volunteered to take care of all the heavy-lifting projects for the yard (much to my relief!), I’ve taken on the task of improving the aesthetic appeal of our yard. Sadly Luckily, no matter what I do, I can’t make it worse – it can only get better from here!

My first goal for the summer is to remove all the small trees that have been growing in the “flower bed” areas for the past several years. Next up is to prune all the dead branches off the trees and bushes as well as remove the “shooters” from the bottom of what I believe is some kind of apple tree. We’re also going to plant some pumpkins, watermelon, and hot peppers in the flower bed next to the sidewalk, just need to pick up a bag of topsoil. I realize I’m not planting any of these items at the appropriate growing time, but we figured it couldn’t hurt to try.

There are at least 4 small trees just in this tiny patch!!

Anyone know what kind of tree this is?

Looks like we have lots of weeds…

I’ll then spend the rest of the summer plotting and planning what to plant in all the flower beds in the fall. Since I won’t have lots of time for planting and weeding anytime soon (especially since we’re planning on planting a vegetable garden next year), I’m going to plant a lot of perennial plants. My mom has a ton of irises in her yard – and I absolutely adore those flowers, so she’s agreed to give me some of her iris tubers this fall. While I’m at it, I’m also going to take some of her mint – it’s supposed to be a “natural deterrent” for ants, so that will get planted by both the front and back done. Now that Monster is mobile and curious about everything, I’ve had to throw away all our ant traps, because I didn’t want those toxic chemicals anywhere near him. And if the mint doesn’t work we’ll at least have plenty of mint of readily available next summer for mojito’s . 😉

 I’ve also got a clipping of a P’s mom’s lilac bush. Assuming I can keep it alive through the winter, that will get planted outside next spring as well. 🙂

There is a HUGE patch of tiger lilies already in our flower beds. I’m planning on digging those up this fall and spreading them throughout the beds.

The rest of the perennial plants will be most likely be determined by what’s on sale/clearance this fall. Need to do some research on what will grow best in our combination of sun and shade.

What are some of your favorite perennials?

I Have an Overactive Imagination

…And I’m only slightly not ashamed to admit it.

Since I can remember, I’ve always had an overactive imagination. When I was about 5 or 6, my mom started reading me The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis as a bedtime story. She had to stop part way through the second book, because I told her it “gave me exciting dreams” which she interpreted to mean nightmares.

I’ve found that lack of sleep only enhances this trait. Last week, P and I watched an episode of “Doctor Who” on Netflix before bed. Without giving too much away (in case you’re thinking of watching the show), in the episode we watched it turned out one of the characters who had been moving and talking had actually been dead for most of the scene. The episode summed it up as “there are some things that can’t be explained”.

As I lay in bed trying to fall asleep that night – I just couldn’t shake that scene. It creeped me out. So even though I was exhausted, I couldn’t fall asleep. Now, for those unfamiliar with the show – let’s just say its British acting and horrible props/visual effects – so the fact that this show was able to keep me up at night is pretty pathetic, on my part. In the light of the day the next morning I was able to laugh it off, but I lost a couple of hours of sleep that night that I’ll never get back thanks to this overactive imagination of mine (insert embarrassed face).

And let’s not even talk about last night. Monster was waking up almost every hour (at least it felt like it). He kept kicking his blankets off and I think he was waking up because he was cold. Anyway, after the first couple hours, I started having bizarre dreams in which Monster turned into a spinach space alien child (right before going to bed last night I made a salad for dinner tonight). So the rest of my night’s sleep was probably as restless as Monster’s. Do you know how confusing it is to have your child constantly morph between normal looking toddler and a spinach space alien all night, haha. *Sigh*

So pretty please Monster, don’t inherit your momma’s overactive imagination! I don’t think I can handle more than one.

Spinach or Swiss Chard Space Alien?

No Pants Party

It’s been noted by several people that Monster doesn’t ever seem to wear pants.

It’s true.

The only time I put pants on Monster is if we’re going out. And the only reason I do that is because I don’t want to be slowed down while we’re running errands by well-meaning strangers asking why he’s not wearing pants. Monster does a great job of slowing me down while we’re out and about – he definitely doesn’t need any help with that.

In my defense, Monster is a  very feisty, rambunctious boy. Most days, changing his diaper feels like an Olympic sport, so I’m not interested in holding him down longer just to put some pants on him. And anyway, his diapers are so cute – who needs pants on when you’re wearing one of those? 😉

And so, since I seem to post a disproportionate amount photos of Monster sans pants – here are some photos of Monster actually wearing pants.

Pants…but no shirt

Monster and his beloved firetruck

Helping to pack

You’re going to let me drive – right, Mom?

CSA Adventures – Week 3

This week I’m linking up to the What’s In the Box? CSA party over at inherchucks.com. So when you get a chance, stop by and leave some love. 🙂

Here’s the yummy goodness we got this week:

  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 1 pint of sugar snap peas
  • 0.3 lbs of pea tendrils
  • 0.6 lbs of OWF salad mix
  • 0.8 lbs of spinach
  • 1 bunch of  beets
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
  • 1 summer squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 kohlarobi

 

Last week was our first experience with chioggia beets, and they were delish! Last week I chopped the leaves off and discarded them…only to find out this week that you should eat those too. Oops! We’ve definitely been eating our weight in greens the past couple weeks – looks like I may need to get creative this week and cook up some of the greens instead of always eating them raw.

The sugar snap peas will be eaten raw (yum – my favorite!), the swiss chard will most likely be tossed in with pasta salad, and the kohlarobi was given away as a gift. Still trying to figure out what I’ll do with the squash/zucchini. Our grill is currently on the fritz, otherwise I’d grill these babies up! Maybe fixing the grill will be my weekend project – you know, when Monster is napping. 😉

Chioggia Beets

Summer Squash and Zucchini

Beautiful Swiss Chard

Monster rearranging my photo shoot

Two Years!

This week, P and I celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary. It’s insane to me that it’s been two years already – what a whirlwind it’s been! My head is spinning just thinking about everything we’ve done in the past two years. Between starting back to school part-time, having a baby, quitting a job, and buying a house – I can’t imagine life getting any crazier, but I’m sure it will. One thing is for certain though – there’s no one else I’d rather share this crazy roller-coaster of a ride called life with than P. Here’s to many more incredible, loving years together!

15 Months Old!

This past Sunday, Monster turned 15 months. Here are his latest stats from his 15 month check-up earlier this week:

  • Weight: 22 lbs, 3 oz (down slightly from his 1 year check-up)
  • Height: 31.5″ (he’s almost half my height now – yikes!)
  • Head Circumference: 48 cm (I think, I never really pay attention to this stat…)

Monster is growing and learning every day – it’s amazing to see! He can say close to 2 dozen words, although only P and I can probably understand some of them (does it still count as a word then?). He’s also very mechanical, although he gets frustrated quickly when his little fingers and hands can’t quite do what he wants them to. But his fine motor skills are improving. The other day he figured out how to put an allen wrench correctly into the socket of a bolt. He was thrilled!

He also seems to understand a ton of what we’re saying (guess that means we need to be careful what we say!). At lunch I gave him a banana. He likes to carry them around and snack on them. About a half an hour later we were playing in his room and I realized I hadn’t seen the banana in a while. I decided to go look for it, as I wasn’t too excited at the prospect of finding it decomposing in a day or two. Lately, Monster has taken to “putting things away” – which means he likes to store his toys in whatever drawers and cabinets he can open. After scanning the kitchen, dining room, and living room without seeing any signs of the banana, I asked Monster where he put his banana. I wasn’t actually expecting him to respond in any way, but he came out of his room, walked into the kitchen, opened a drawer, removed the banana and handed it to me. How cool is that? I was floored.

On the flip side, Monster has been cutting molars for several months now and it looks like his fourth molar is on its way in. Which means sleeping this week (for all of us) has been poor. On top of that the weather has been pretty hot – so between that, his molars, and lack of sleep, Monster has been pretty cranky this week. Basically, every other time Monster is told “no” he dissolve into a crying/screaming fit – because he’s tired and his gums hurt. Those are the breaks, though. 😉 Here’s hoping the molar cuts through soon so we can all get back to sleep.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Hope if you’ve got hot weather this week you’re staying cool!

Monster in a Box

CSA Adventures – Week 2

Has it really been a week already? This summer is flying by!

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list of this week’s share:

  • 1 pint of sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 lb of spinach
  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 0.6 lb of braising mix
  • 1 bunch of easter egg radishes
  • 1 bunch of chioggia beets
  • 1 bunch of kale

So excited to get more kale (geez –  I feel like the veggies are brainwashing me already – seriously who gets excited for kale??)!  Now we can try some of the delicious recipes you all shared with me last week. Yay! 😀

We’ve never had chioggia beets before, but based on my internet searches, they are beautiful on the inside! Can’t wait to slice one open.

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy the weather this weekend. 🙂