kids are funny: nicolai.

the other night when reading counting books and counting our own toes, nicolai looked up at me and said, "let's count mama's penis." 
a moment to talk about our differences, eh?
oh the things we're in store for.


recent read.

how to eat a small country, by amy finley, has landed me back on the food memoir kick i tend to wander through regularly.
imagine france, food, and (at times) complicated family dynamics...i've been glued to it.


the little things: curb appeal.

for my birthday back in february, i asked for a decorative garage door kit and we installed it this past weekend.
(before...shadow! i know.)
it was a super easy change requiring only a pencil to mark the points for holes, a measuring tape just to be certain, and a drill to create the holes and fasten the screws.
we're happy with the change.

(we got the kit through lowe's it was made by wayne-dalton)


our basic meal planning: groceries stocked.

 (warning: there is nothing pretty about these pictures...just keeping it real.)
(fully stocked after a grocery run)
        i've had some friends ask about our meal planning lately, so i've started a little series on the topic.
we keep bulk items on hand and try to load up when they're on sale: brown rice, couscous, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, black beans, quinoa, popcorn, oats, peanut butter, honey, and sea salt. 
occasionally we'll try a different bean or grain but these are the constants.
we buy a lot of produce for meals, snacks, and green juice.
some produce we always have on hand: scallions, italian parsley, cilantro, cucumbers, sale fruit, lemons, limes, broccoli, carrots, romaine, celery, garlic and onions.
lately we're keeping cabbage on hand for these black bean tacos we can't get enough of, thanks to a college bestie's recommendation.
of course the refrigerator door and cupboard above the stove contain our condiments, hot sauces, oils, vinegars, soy sauce, golden mountain sauce, capers, pesto, etc.
d drinks milk which is delivered to the house once a week by a local dairy.
nicolai and i drink non-dairy milk which is purchased during the weekly grocery run along with other dairy items if we want them that week: sour cream, yogurt, and tofu (i know not dairy, but in that part of the store).
we have an overflowing spice shelf hanging on the wall and as soon as one type runs out it's put on the grocery list.
in this way, the lesser used items are dispersed throughout the shopping trips in a month/year and fit into the budget more easily.
thought is given to the spice rack when there are big spice sales around the holiday times...if it's getting low and i know we'll use it, i might restock a bit early.
same goes for baking ingredients, we always have sugars, flours, baking soda, baking powder, butter, molasses, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and extracts.
i find that keeping a minimally stocked kitchen
1. keeps us on budget ($60/week for grocery store run)
2. ensures we aren't wasting much food because we can easily see what is there and eat it while it's fresh
3. keeps down the wasteful packaging that many foods (we don't buy) come in (i still have major growth in this area...to be like her).


around the garden.

we removed the terrible "hedge" that grew below our front window, adding very little to our home's feel.
now we have a bed prepped for the new plan: tall grasses in back up against the house, "prettier" veggies that we can pick as the season goes (jalepenos, eggplant, etc), and flowers in the front nearest the lawn.
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