Today we went to the birthday party of one of Lucy’s closest friends. It was a very special bunny birthday, and all the kids got to spend some one on one time with a bunch of rabbits. What could possibly be better?
Last week I sewed up this little dress that Lucy is wearing, as well as a matching one for her friend Holly. It is a pattern I have sewn many times before (the pattern is Citronille, Suzanne, seen here and here and here), and there is so much comfort in making it, I think I only looked at the instructions once or twice while I was working on the dresses. Upon finishing, I used some scraps to sew up matching dresses for both girl’s dolls (using the Citronille Suzanne doll pattern here), I wish I had gotten a picture!
Lucy stamped the wrapping paper for Holly’s dress (and her doll Tazzy’s dress) using the end of some expired celery that had been sitting in our fridge. Thank you pinterest for another great idea!
Thank you all for the kind words and many congratulations. We are so overjoyed to finally have June with us, it is truly amazing how in no time at all she has become a vital piece of our family we can’t imagine ever living without.
Of course, it will be a while before we are fully adjusted to life as a family of four. Slowly we are settling into a new normal–and I love it. We had our first fun outing today, to pick out some pumpkins for carving and to enjoy some sunshine and iced tea. June slept the entire visit, mama got to relax in a lawn chair for a good portion of it, and Lucy ran and danced around like the wild little thing that she is. After what feels like weeks indoors due to heat and late pregnancies aches and pains, I am so much looking forward to filling our weekends with activities, big and small.
Maybe it is the crisp night air (the days are still quite warm, if not hot), but knitting is back in full force. I have made so many things for June (have I mentioned that knitting for babies is my absolute favorite?), that I thought I better get something special made up for Lucy. Tonight I am casting on for the super sweet Little Buds sweater, in pink of course.
The week ahead excites me. So far this little baby has been very go-with-the-flow, and though I know it could change at any time, she really is just as content and happy as can be (when well fed and rested of course!).
It would be nice if I could say I had planned a special solstice picnic, but the truth is, I actually forgot that summer had not officially begun (around here, our summers start early and end late). Our morning was filled with errands and the busy day to day goings on that far too often take precedence over outings and family fun.
With all we had to do, I was able to pull together a few simple things to pack in a basket and bring to the park. A simple black bean and tomato salad accompanied by some sourdough bread with goat cheese, as well as a variety of olives, made for a delicious and incredibly simple picnic supper.
Lucy played out doors for a few hours, Russ and I relaxed and enjoyed the mild early summer weather, and I made a decision to do this as much as possible this summer. I don’t think there is anything I enjoy more than eating outdoors in nature.
Maybe it is my ever growing belly and the fact that sleep has been harder and harder to come by, but I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Before I got sucked too far down that hole, I threw together some grilled sandwiches and packed some finger foods into our lunch basket.
We ate our sandwiches (grilled mozzarella with basil and roasted red peppers), then spent the next few hours walking around, talking about chickens and where eggs come from (Lucy thought that chickens ate eggs), and sitting in the grass enjoying the breeze.
When we got home, Lucy played quietly and I enjoyed a little downtime reading this great article about How to Ditch the City and Start a Farm. It was such a nice read, as we are in exactly the same situation, though in the very early stages. The inner battle I have been feeling is the same as this family’s, leaving where all our family and friends are is very scary. I am constantly playing over scenarios on how we could fulfill our dreams here, but it just never adds up living in a city. In these coming weeks my goal is to set into motion our plans for the future, our homestead, our life, our short term and long term goals. Having a plan will surely put my anxious little heart to rest a bit.
We are back from a short vacation in Palm Springs. It was a relaxing weekend, a little cooking in the condo (owned by a family member, who is gracious enough to let us use it on occasion), some dining out, and lots of time in the pool. I took out my camera very little, but perhaps that is the true sign of a good vacation.
Lucy seems to have gotten over her fear of swimming pools, though is still quite timid to partake in the fun. She likes to feel secure in our arms in the water, only once or twice letting us put her on the inflatable raft. Chasing after the beach ball after it vacates the pool is more her style, then throwing it haphazardly into the direction of mama or daddy. It felt so nice to spend a few hours in the water under the hundred degree heat.
I have for years been dreaming of having a small family or hobby farm. I don’t need a lot of space, but I do need a little more than our condo can offer. Living in such a high cost area these dreams often begin to feel very farfetched, but I know they will come to fruition with a little more patience and hard work. Until then though, we fill our days with trips to local farms and places where we can see a little flora and fauna.
This afternoon Lucy and I visited City Farmers Nursery, nestled in the heart of San Diego. It is like a tiny oasis in the middle of a busy area, surrounded by freeways and apartment buildings. I have been wanting to visit for some time, but it is not really my neck of the woods. Today we made the journey, and I was so pleased to finally see all that they had to offer. Not only is it an incredible nursery (with an incredible selection of fruit trees!), but there is a playground, tons of animals (a horse, goats, chickens, ducks, a rabbit, turtles, a tortoise, turkey, and more) and the most fantastic little shop–well stocked with all the canning supplies one could need, books on homesteading, beekeeping supplies, and anything else you could possibly need on the homestead. It is probably a good thing that Lucy had no interest in the shop, otherwise I may have brought home a stack of books from their incredible collection.
It was a fun day and we will definitely be back in the near future–if only to stock up on canning supplies for an upcoming pickling party I am hosting and maybe a few pushes on the swing.
We spent our Sunday morning picking organic blueberries at Fairfield Farm. This is the first season they have offered U-Pick, and I was so happy to spend mother’s day stuffing myself full of delicious berries.
When were kids growing up in Washington, picking blueberries was something we did often and I have very fond memories of bringing old peanut butter buckets (because everyone bought their peanut butter by the bucket, right?) rigged up with strings for easy kid carrying, and buying blueberries by the pound. I actually hadn’t picked blueberries since I was a little girl and have been looking every year on PickYourOwn.org to see if there were any farms offering this service, and this year we finally got lucky.
It was an hour drive from our house up to the farm, but definitely worth it. We had such a great time and came home with six pints (though between Lucy and I, we probably consumed two pints at the farm!). I am considering going once more before they close at the end of the month, to fill the freezer.
The first trimester of this pregnancy was not as kind to me as it was last pregnancy. We spent an embarrassing amount of time with the TV on and mama propped on the couch in comfort. Now that I have my energy back and my stomach is once again at ease, I am trying to undo the damage. A little TV here and there doesn’t bother me, but lately my little one is requesting movies the entire day, which is why we are keeping it off during daytime hours for the whole week (mama and daddy still get to watch some in the evenings!).
We have only had a few struggles (meltdowns) about not turning the television on, the rest of the week has been wonderful, and very productive. We have been spending more time outdoors and seeing friends almost every day. I hope to continue this no TV trend as long as possible!
It was another hot one today, reaching up into the high 90s. Like yesterday, Lucy and I had a nice picnic lunch. Today though, we spent a bit more time making our food than yesterday. We decided to go visit one of our favorite places in San Diego county, Summers Past Farms.
For lunch we made these delicious spiced chickpea and feta sandwiches. They are one of my favorite foods to take on a picnic because they take little time to prepare, they pack well, and in my opinion they get better after sitting for a while. Years ago I pulled the recipe from one of those free magazines you pick up at the health food store, and it has become a summer time staple in our house. (Recipe at the end of post)
The farm was beautiful on this warm day. The sweet peas were in bloom (and many were on there way out, the weather is getting too hot for those delicate flowers!), and the sunflowers were towering over our head, a few must have been eight feet tall! We sipped mango iced tea from their coffee cart and ran around looking at chickens and fairy gardens.
It was a beautiful day, and when it came time to leave Lucy was not a happy camper.
Spiced Chickpea and Feta Sandwiches
Makes 4-6 sandwiches
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 2 tomatoes
- bread (I used marbled rye)
- Combine chickpeas, paprika, cumin, coriander, caraway, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse a few times until chickpeas are coarsely chopped and slightly pasty, but not smooth.
- In a large bowl mix the chickpea mixture, feta, grated carrot, and salt and pepper to taste.
- On sliced bread top with chickpea mixture, sliced tomatoes. Enjoy!
I love the beach, I do. I am just not a beach person. Perhaps it is my Irish/Scottish roots shining through, but the thought of sitting out in the bright sun for any length of time is not really my idea of a good time. Now, give me a lounge chair, an umbrella (or the safety of some trees!), and a fruity cocktail, and that is a totally different story.
Needless to say, we don’t make it to the beach nearly as often as we should, given our close proximity, and I am trying to change that this summer. This morning with the heat rising into the high 80s before 11, I made a quick decision to go down to the bay to play. I hadn’t planned anything out, so we stopped by the store to grab some food and bring a picnic lunch with us.
Lucy splashed in the water, played on the play structure, watched jellyfish go by (which she was quite scared of, she would run screaming from the water each time she saw one!), and we enjoyed a very tasty lunch. More beach days are definitely in order.