I Heart Good Days!

>> Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yesterday was a good day. I ♥ it very much. Let me tell you about it:

I love good deals as much as the next guy. Love farmer’s markets (or the equivalent) just as much as the next guy next to him. And gotta love local fresh organic produce too (as much as the next guy next to the next guy next to him sort of thing).

Well…yesterday was major scorage for us (yes, I like to make up words – sometimes they’re more fitting). We made an impromptu stop at a local u-pick blueberry farm. Acres of blueberries!


Those who know me know I do not enjoy blueberries (or “bloobs” as they’re affectionately called by many of you) in the least. In fact, I hate them. I think they’re gross. Before you go ape on me and tell me how weird I am (ha ha! I’m kidding!), I will agree with you that yes, it’s weird and downright lame I don’t like blueberries. I’ve been told more than once in my life of this fact.

However, I recently learned I can actually eat fresh ones. Ones that haven’t been put into anything or blended or whatever. Just fresh plain whole ones. Now, I still eat them cautiously and not with gusto but I don’t cringe or get grossed out when I do. Maybe with time as my taste buds change I’ll like them in different ways. But for now, it’s whole and with caution.

With Caleb, I try to be mature about my dislikes of any kind of good eats because I don’t want to impose my opinions on him without giving it a chance and this includes BLOOBS!

See, now you’ve got me saying that word. Ha ha!

Caleb loves his blueberries though and has since his first introduction a few months back. Yay! This actually makes me very happy. And yesterday (and today) he got to eat lots! I had a few (wink).

It also, made for a super yummy chia pudding (recipe courtesy of Aimee).

cell phone pic can you tell?

Anyway, back to the u-pick farm, we just walked around a bit. The stroller doesn’t really stroll well in the in-between rows so we opted the cheater’s way and bought the already-picked ones. It’s $1.25/pound if you pick it yourself – that’s a lot of picking! So for $3/pint, which is close to a pound each, I say that’s still an awesome deal (vs the market for at least $4-$6/pint).

At the farm, they also have other produce for sale. Kale, onions, cherries, lettuces, corn, and more. Sadly, no one was buying the kale. So I bought two bunches. For $1.50 for a HUGE bunch I couldn’t pass it up. Kales chips will be made today. :)

So here’s what we bought:

     Blueberries – two pints for $6
     Corn – 6 ears for $2
     Kale – 2 bunches for $3
     Walla Walla sweet onions – 2 bunches for $3
          Total: $14

Yeah! Fresh local and organic produce - cheap too! Like I said, major scorage.

So while this isn’t really a farmer’s market, or at least by standard definition, it was still worth the stop for us, plus no crowds.

Okay, I know I just did a garden update but it’s amazing how much can change in a week so I’ll keep it brief just to show some of the highlights.

Pumpkin squash is gigantic! It's going to take over everything!



Artichoke plant 1 ("Artie Sr") is its own beast. I wish you could see it in person to really appreciate its size. Just take my word for it - he's big!


Artichoke plant 2 ("Artie Jr") is just a kid in size in comparison to Sr. but he's got bragging rights on producing first. Obviously, between the two Artie's we know who's focusing their energy where.


And roses, roses and more roses! They are stunning. I love seeing them each visit.

Princess of Monaco ("our" flower)


Tropicana (in honor of some very special people)


Peace


So the day was just beautiful and fun and one to remember.

Until…

...I got pulled over. Ugh. And I knew why. No, I wasn’t speeding. I wasn’t on my cell. I even signaled when I should have. Instead, I got pulled over for expired tabs. Lame.

I didn’t get them when I should have because we were so busy with moving and working that it just slipped my mind. Double lame.

What’s funny is as soon as the cop lady pulled me over and before she got to me, I got out my license, insurance card and registration (although, not current of course) so that when she came to my window to tell me the obvious, I was prepared and handed her my info. She didn't have to ask and she was impressed. She’s like, wow! Look at you! Hee hee! I’m such a good girl (wink).

Anyway, a few minutes later she came back and said she’d let me go with a warning. Phew! Thanks lady! Probably helped too that I didn’t argue or make excuses for my oopsie. Seriously, I was so happy and grateful and it added to the already good day.

Now, I know what’s next on my to-do list. Uh, scratch that. Last Saturday of the month at the DMV is crazy town! Yeah, I could purchase them online but last couple of times we paid them in person it was half the price than the notice they mailed. Don’t know what that’s all about but I’m all for half off if I can.

I think this little guy had a good day too!


We have more adventures in store over the weekend - hope you do too! Enjoy!

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Luck O’ the Irish

>> Monday, July 26, 2010

So I’ve been curious about Irish moss for sometime now but have yet to use it let alone eat it. I plan on using it for raw desserts whenever I get the chance and motivation. Baby steps folks. Hee hee! I should clarify: I have the motivation but it’s usually the lack the time and/or the necessary ingredients.

Anyway…I’ve been spotting it at my local raw vegan store but just never got brave enough to buy it. Well, Sam was placing an order through Mountain Rose Herbs (they’re awesome btw) so I asked him to order some Irish moss while he was at it.


Hmm…this looks different than what I was seeing at the vegan store. Does this look right to you Irish moss users? I’m used it being lighter in color and in more whole pieces (kind of like this). Can I still soak this? I purposely haven’t opened the package in case I need to return it.

Anyway, there’s also a powder which I thought was interesting. According the profile, it’s mainly used for medicinal purposes.

For those not familiar with Irish moss it’s seaweed that’s been dried and when soaked (after it’s been rinsed very well) it provides an odorless and tasteless jelly that can be used in ice creams, desserts, or other dishes where a firm texture or binder is needed.

It’s also sometimes found in skin and hair products. Kelli mentioned to me that she sometimes uses it for homemade facials. I will have to try that.

The moss itself contains almost 10% in protein but is also rich in iodine, sulphur, calcium, selenium, zinc and vitamins A, B, C, and D, just to name a few bennies. Other bonuses include: strengthens connective tissue, helps prevent cholesterol buildup, moisturizes, and helps with eczema, psoriasis, sunburns, and rashes, even effective against varicose veins.

Pretty amazing stuff.

Update: to make myself feel better, I am returning this particular Irish moss and getting a different kind. This just doesn’t seem right to me even though the label tells me it is.

Now, from what I understand on how to use it (thanks Kelli for enlightening me) is you rinse it very very well. Be sure it’s rid of any sand particles and impurities. Then soak it overnight (1/4 c packed Irish moss with 1 c water). After that it’s ready to use.

If you want to learn more about Irish moss here are a few good reads I found: Natural News, Best Superfoods and Bitt's blog.

Of course, I’m open to any tips, uses, and other educational info anyone has about it. It’s a fascinating little thing.

Gojis


From my last garden update (btw, glad you like those baby piggies – I like them too!), some people wondered about growing goji plants in their areas so I checked it out a bit and here’s what I found out: they’re very adaptable, they like lots of sun (prefer hot and dry climates however, they’ll be fine in humid climates too and obviously they’re fine in more mild climates), can be grown indoors, typically begin bearing fruit in third year and once it does start producing fruit berries, harvesting can go for 15 years or more!

So if you can, start growing some gojis. :)

Now, I say it’s time for another HiHoRosie Blog Fave don’t you? Hmmm…who will it be??? So many to choose from!

I award the HHR Blog Fave award to Leslie aka La Mama Naturale of Recycle Your Day blog!

I am a huge fan of hers. She blogs about all kinds of useful and fun topics from eco-friendly tips, to make-it-yourself holistic remedies, to recipes, gardening (including CSA), her rooster Louie, her eco-kiddies (Eco-Tot, her oldest, was born on Earth Day!), and more.

Love her blog, love her and she’s definitely worthy of any award including my humble blog fave award.

Have a good week everyone!

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Ramblings and a Garden Update

>> Friday, July 23, 2010

Hola peeps!

Sorry, but I’ve decided to not apologize anymore for my blogging inconsistencies (again, I’m not quitting my blog. As inconsistent as I am it’s just not in my plans to quit). Ha ha! But I figure it’s just the way it is sometimes. If I get around to it, great; if I don’t, then shoot. I appreciate all the support, patience, understanding, and loyalty from you. You guys are the BEST! Things might change as time marches on or I might have phases but I thought, you know, how annoying it must be to hear “sorry for not blogging more…” all the time (some may not notice or care). I’m always gonna have an excuse so ya know that’s that.

Speaking of blogging, did you hear Green and Crunchy is hanging up her hat? Sniff sniff. I’m so sad. She has an amazing blog if you don’t know already. It’s completely understandable though why blogging takes a backseat many a time – kids do grow up so stinkin fast you don’t want to miss a minute and she has #6 on the way! She’ll be missed for sure. Hopefully, she’ll make an occasional appearance (that’s my selfish side speaking).

Onto happier things…

Hey, I won a couple more giveaways! I really need to play the lottery. I mean really. If I win I'm not telling. ha! Anyway, I won from Julia at Easy Eco to Go, a jar of Tropical Traditions organic coconut oil hair treatment. My hair will be forever grateful! I don’t have dry hair per se but it really likes to be conditioned (a lot!) so this will be awesome and of course, I’ll smell yummy and tropic-y!

Then, I learned that I won a one-year subscription to Purely Delicious magazine for refer-a-friend promotion. How awesome is that?! I’m so excited. Rebecca has been amazing at the helm of PD; I’m so proud of her! Each issue is so beautiful and full of goodies that I’m really looking forward to reading each issue cover to cover.

Thanks Julia and Rebecca for hosting these giveaways!

Now, for a Garden 2010 update.

Please excuse any poor quality shots; once again, I left home without my camera so used my cell phone instead.

Well, as you might guess, I haven’t been much help to Mr. Yardsnacker this gardening season. Figure one of us needs to watch/entertain Yardsnacker Jr. and that might as well be me since I have waaay less of a green thumb than Sam. Not that I’m complaining because I’m not – not when I have this lil guy as my company.

Ack! That pic is so bright!


As you might also know, the weather in the Seattle area this year has been less than delightful. We had an early spring (in Feb or something) we got to brag about, a dreary spring, and a slow start to summer. Then top it off with family time and you’ve got a challenge. But Sam’s been working hard on it when he can and just recently we’re beginning to see some payoff.

Earlier this season we had lupines galore, which meant bees galore too! It was so cool to see these flowers just covered in bees. Mostly bumblebees. Bumblebees love me. hee hee!


Tomatoes I thought weren’t going to do much are now starting to flourish (why I don't have pics I don't know). Well, they’re still smaller than they should be at this point in the season but they’ve come along way so there’s hope they’ll produce something, even if it’s one tomato. Fingers crossed.

At one woman’s garden her tomato plants are almost as tall as trees – okay, slight exaggeration but they’re probably about 5’ tall. Maybe she’ll share when it’s harvesting time. :)

Besides the strawberries Sam planted for me on Mother’s Day, he planted three rose bushes: Peace (just starting to bloom so no pic yet from our garden), Tropicana (not blooming yet but close) and Princess of Monaco (“our” flower – aww!). They smell so lovely.


The strawberries I didn't think would produce much this year. Wrong! They are wonderful - so sweet and tasty! And nothing beats fresh sweet organic strawberries straight from your own garden. Again, no pic - what the...?

Remember my red hands stained from a leaky pen? This time they were stained from strawberry juice so no need to be embarrassed. YS2 sure loves strawberries! Just like his mama. Good boy. ;)


Look at this artichoke plant:


My cell phone pic doesn’t do it justice. It’s massive and it’s just getting started – we have two and the other isn’t as big as this one but it’s doing well. We’ve never grown these before so should be fun when all is said and done. Maybe next year we’ll have artichokes or maybe the following year?? Not sure. They’re cool looking when they’re fully grown though.

Peppers


Gojis (we have two)


Squash – which I think is a petite pumpkin or something. We have another squash plant that was struggling but is now blossoming so yay!


We had blueberries but uh, somebody (stupid crows) has been eating all of them! Niiice.

We have other things growing like potatoes, a couple of rogue onions, carrots, broccoli (slugs enjoyed *hmpf!*), cabbage, raspberries (still young so won’t be producing this year), etc.

So maybe this gardening year is turning out alright after all.

I like taking Caleb around the park to look at other people’s gardens too. Some are so amazing! Below pics are from another gardener's plot. Beautiful.


We have lots of lavender too but not as huge as that (yet)! Another gardener made some lavender salve using our lavender buds. So nice.

Other garden flowers found throughout the park:

As a parting gift: Baby piggies!


How are your gardens? Hopefully, flourishing and abundant.

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WINNER: Raw Health Expo 2010

>> Saturday, July 17, 2010

Thanks to the three of you who entered the free pair of tickets to the Raw Health Expo 2010 giveaway! Woo hoo! Since it involved travel I wasn't expecting many entries however I'm jealous of those who attend. So much going on at the Expo it's going to be awesome - I expect a full report from the winner. :)

Now onto the winner....picked randomly of course...

Winner was entry #1 - BITT!

Congrats girl! Hope you have a great time and look forward to hearing all about the wonderful experience.

***
For others still wanting their chance at winning a pair of tickets, hop on over to Earth Mother's site where she's giving away a pair too. Hurry though, giveaway ends the 18th!

***

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Raw Health Expo 2010 - Free Tickets! (CLOSED)

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On July 31-August 1, 2010 in beautiful Sonoma County, California you will find the the Raw Health Expo 2010 happening. Hey, that's coming up FAST!

How would you like your chance at a pair of free tickets (value: $150)?

Read on if you do...

**********

Second Annual Raw Health Expo - Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1, 2010


In Sonoma County, California (about 1 hour north of San Francisco)

Discover The Secrets To Thriving On A Raw Food Diet
-- At This Mouth-Watering Raw Health Expo:

· You'll meet top raw food chefs and educators - With over two dozen of today's most talented raw food teachers and chefs you are sure to learn important information and time saving tips you will not hear anywhere else.

· You'll learn how to prepare delicious raw food recipes - There will be sixteen raw food recipe demonstrations where you will learn how to create easy-to-prepare, delicious and healthy raw foods.

· You'll discover how to save money by growing your own food - With a half-dozen talks on growing food, from hydroponics, converting your front lawn to edible landscaping, and growing mineral rich produce, you will have the knowledge you need to start growing your own food.

· You'll get to meet and connect with others who enjoy raw foods - Feel the support and comradery of others that live your lifestyle.

· You'll go home with the knowledge and recipes you need to be successful in the long term - From growing, preparing and the reasons for eating raw food, you will be better prepared after attending the Raw Health Expo.

For further information and to purchase tickets visit our web site
http://www.rawhealthexpo.com/


This is the most affordable raw food event anywhere!

At the door, the two day ticket price will be $79.99.

If you purchase your ticket before July 15, YOU WILL SAVE 50% off

If you purchase your ticket after July 15, YOU WILL SAVE 37.5% off

Special Bonus: because you are reading my blog, use the discount code MYBLOG to save an additional 20% off.

**********

Please note: the 2-day tix DO NOT include any other expenses at or related to the Expo (i.e. food, travel, lodging, etc) - these are for tickets only.

Because this is happening so soon and some might need more time than others to make travel arrangements to the Expo, this will be a quick giveaway.

To Enter: tell me why you'd like to win!

That's it.

If you want to do any of extras (tweet, GFC, blog, FB, etc), feel free - just leave a comment for each thing you do.

One winner will be chosen randomly either out of a hat or if there are enough entries via Random.org. The winner will receive two tickets to the Expo via email so be sure to provide a valid email address.

Open to anyone willing to travel. :)

Please - serious entries only. I'd hate for someone to miss out who really wanted to go to someone who didn't.

Giveaway will end Friday, July 16th at Midnight! See told ya it was gonna be quick.

Contest begins now. Good luck!

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Ahhh...Sunshine!

>> Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Finally, we're getting our week of summer here in the great Pacific Northwest! It's been loooonnnnngggg overdue! Our poor widdle garden. ;( But hey, our strawberries should be ripe enough to pick today or tomorrow. So excited! And tomatoes? Well, just maybe we'll get one or two this year. hee hee! It's a wait-n-see sort of thing.

Hopefully, you back-East people haven't all melted yet! And Lauren, hang in there! I can't imagine being pregnant in hot weather. No thanks!

Thanks all for your support and your comments on my last post - my post of I'm-here-but-I'm-not (wink). Glad you all understand that life just takes you in different directions, whether by choice or not, and some things just have to sit on the back burner for awhile such as blogging.

Part of the craziness or much of it was due to the fact we were moving. UGH! I hate moving (almost as much as I hate being cold but that's #1 on my list). And with a one year old that made things a bit more challenging. I didn't mention if before because I was just so stressed with everything - got myself worked up. However, what was different though was I was truly looking forward to this move; this change. Maybe not the move itself but our new home. Now, that it's happened I feel so much more relaxed and happy. Our last place had a lot of potential but for whatever reason it wasn't our potential so we moved on and I feel brighter now. We're almost settled into our new home - just a few more things to unpack/organize here and there - and YS2 (Caleb) has adjusted well and quickly. Sam scored some gym pads from a friend some time ago which we're using in Caleb's room. He LOVES 'em of course! So soft and fun to play on. Plus we don't have to worry about spills so much. :)

Here he is helping mama organize the kitchen. I'd say he's doing a mighty fine job!

And here he is feeding a duck on a recent walk. We have lots of ducks where we live so there's plenty of "duck crossings" on our paths.

I think I mentioned this before but just before I moved, I received my copy of Ani's Raw Food Essentials thanks to Evergreen. As you can see, I was a wee bit excited to get it (snapped the day I got this at work). Now that my kitchen is just about organized I can comfortably delve into this book and whip something up. So many wonderful recipes!

Sorry twitter folks! For some of you these are repeat photos. Mm, lucky you!

And bonus! Today I learned from Kelli (a HHR Blog Fave) that I won Philip's ebook: The Raw Food Salad Bar. Yippee! Thanks Kelli and Philip!

And lastly, but certainly not least, a special shoutout and thanks to my sweet hubby for enduring and helping me through my crazy days these past few weeks/months (other stuff besides moving I'm speaking of here). Without him...ugh, I don't even want to imagine. But he kicked some major booty getting us moved and settled plus helping with YS2 and trying to garden and just have a life. So muah! Much love to you Yardsnacker! I truly ♥ you forever!

This song by Michael Franti is fitting for this post and how I'm feeling these days; other reasons: 1) his songs are happy! 2) it's about sunshine and a great message! and 3) I dedicate it to Sam, my love.

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