Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

 snowy rotten apples

Elise in snow


 cordelia in snow

Cordelia in snow

snow on tree

Elise in snow

Sisters in snow

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Vegan Recipe: Potato and Leek Soup with Basil Oil

I love soup! Do you? Of course you do, you're not crazy. I don't mean to brag, but this soup is really good. Pair it with some crusty bread and a light salad...or do whatever you want. I'm not the boss of you.

Potato and Leek Soup :
My family really loves this soup. There are no chunks so the texture-fearing children in your life will probably find this acceptable as well.

2 T vegan margarine
3 stalks chopped leeks, soaked in water, loosely separated and drained
4-6 cloves finely chopped on pressed garlic
3 T dry white wine (omit for gluten free version)
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 c vegetable stock
1/4 tsp fine grind sea salt
* Basil oil for garnish (1/2 c cleaned basil, large stems removed + 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil. Whirl in blender until fully incorporated.)

Potato and Leek Soup :

1. In a medium soup pot over medium high heat melt the vegan margarine. Add the leaks, olive oil, and garlic. Sweat it out for a about 7 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
2. Add the white wine and cook for another minute.
3. Add the potatoes, broth, and salt. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Let it go for half an hour or until the potatoes are tender.
4. Pull out your blender and blend all of the soup, in batches (remember to cover and not to overfill the blender or you will burn yourself), until all of the soup is creamy and smooth.
5. Return to pot and let it warm back up. Serve hot with a little swirl of the basil oil. Enjoy!

Potato and Leek Soup :

Serves 4-6

~Maria Rose

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


These sisters are something else; what I always imagined sisters should be to each other. They are loving and kind and thoughtful. Each girl gives regular affirmation to the other, telling her sister that she is smart or funny or kind or beautiful...all without our parental prompting.  Their joys are shared joys. Their pain is shared pain. It is a thing of beauty and I feel so honored to be able to watch this relationship develop.

Cordelia and Elise

Cordelia and Elise

Cordelia was the age Elise is now while I was pregnant with Elise. Eric and I dreamed about sisters who would have a beautiful friendship, but this is already far better than we had imagined.

Cordelia and Elise

Monday, November 24, 2014

Project: Five Minute Plant Hanger

 project plant hanger

I love our kitten...wait is she a cat now? Catten? She is great and hilarious; the other day she took a plastic spider and put it in her litter box. It made poop scooping like a treasure hunt. The only real issue that she and I have is that she absolutely destroys my plants. So all of our plants have migrated to one room in our home with a south facing window. It's like a greenhouse in there, but the problem is that we have to keep the door closed at all times or she goes in there like Freddy Krueger and attacks the plants.

Incidentally the previous owner left a ton of plant hooks in the ceiling that we have been too lazy to remove. So we have decided to put them to use in an attempt to save my much loved flora. I went to a thrift store to find a super cool vintage macrame plant dice, only weird 80s things. So I decided that I should probably make my own. I came up with something super simple and pretty cool looking.

To make your very own you will need cording or thick string and scissors.

 project plant hanger
First you will take the string and make four strips that are double the length that you want the plant hanger.

project plant hanger
Fold it in half and tie a knot in the middle leaving a little loop for the hook. A standard knot will work here.

Next you go down about two three quarters of the way to the bottom and tie a couple of secure knots, add glue if you aren't confident in your knot making.

 project plant hanger

Hang the loop from a ceiling hook. Trim off any excess, but be sure to leave a bit of a tail, don't cut too close to the knot. Remember to choose a place with a good light source, like a south facing window.

project plant hanger

Carefully insert your planter, any small to medium size kind will work as long as it isn't too heavy. you will need to spread the strings evenly around the base of the planter and then you are done.

project plant hanger

*Don't forget to keep the string away from your cat.
project plant hanger

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Quote: Source of Joy

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

~Thich Nat Hanh

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Before we even dive in I just want to warn you that unless there is a preexisting condition I don't know about you are probably not: drunk, suffering from vertigo, just off of a tilt-a-whirl, suffering from some sort of vision condition. Instead you are looking at the blurry and grainy photos of a four year old (taken before she was five). Long ago we gave Cordelia a camera made for young kids. The photo quality was very poor and we have since upgraded her to a better quality cheap camera, but I wanted to share a few of the hundreds of photos she took. Many of the photos are pretty hard to decipher or at very best unclear. I think the takeaway from this is just the focus...her life and her perspective. I am also omitting all of the photos she took of my art, she went through the whole house and took pics of any paintings she found by me.

Cordelia's photos
Our stove

Cordelia's photos
Light above the couch in the living room

Cordelia's photos
Eric at the window

Cordelia's photos
School art from last year

Cordelia's photos
Eric kissing Elise

Cordelia's photos


Cordelia's photos
One of us took a photo of Cordelia

Cordelia's photos
Toys tucked in for a nap.

Cordelia's photos
Me putting on a record while Bumblebee sleeps.

Cordelia's photos
Sparkling lights on a walk caught her eye.

Cordelia's photos
Street view, such a low is easy to forget how small children are.

Cordelia's photos
Me x 2

Cordelia's photos
Elise's feet

Cordelia's photos
View from our front window.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Phone Photo Friday

Hello! How are you on this fine Friday? What's new?

We had a good week. Beyond the normal there were lows (pink eye), lowest of lows (administering eye drops), highs (cast removal), and lovely family moments. Life continues on as usual.

My best dog friend.

I have this sweet fondue pot calling to me. What shall I make?

Been working in my sketchbook a lot lately.

The girls received coloring books as a surprise gift in the mail from longtime blog friend, Stacy, and have been working on them every day since! 

Elise with her coloring book.

Cold days = hot tea.

Sleeping Lucy.

Cordelia got her new school photos and I lined up the last three years.

An afternoon mess.

Listening to records with the girls.

I woke up with awesome hair one day his week. Just thought you should know.

Lucy tucks herself in under the blankets. It is pretty much totally adorable.

Antelope on the hillside.

Eric and Cordelia waiting at the doctor's office.

Elise having her cast sawed off. After a month of full protection it was time to see what was going in under there. The saw was super loud, hence the ear protection. The vibration made her shift a bit, but mostly she was perfectly still. She was super brave!

Inspecting the free limb, the skin was incredibly sensitive and she held the arm close for much of the day, but now she is using it a lot more. She will probably be back to normal mobolility in a day or two, pretty close already!

Her arm free, being held by Eric.

The temporary tattoo we put on the day that her arm was broken, before the break obviously, was perfectly preserved! New world record for temporary tattoos?

They sawed through the painting which saved me the trouble of feeling like I had to keep it.

Have a lovely day!

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