Saturday, March 28, 2015

March Madness at our Home

March has been fun.
It included some fun cousin time, and Aunt Janel time too. I watched the little ones while their mommas worked on a bathroom makeover at my in-laws house, and it was such fun to have these three together one day. It's like having all the fun of twin 16 month olds, but they go home to their own respective mothers at night. How about that. Did I say "fun" enough for ya?

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I took advantage of our inter-library loan system and read a few books I've had on my list for quite awhile. The best one so far, "The Lost Art of Dress" by Linda Prybyszewski. I'm amazed at that last name every time I see it. Anyway, it was very inspiring to dress respectfully when out and about, and even take a little more care in the home. We needn't look like slobs all the time, even if yoga pants are comfy. One of my many favorite quotes was at the conclusion of the book:

"We all know that growing older usually makes you less of an idiot. But there's little sense today that age might endow you with sophistication, dignity, grace, stateliness, and wisdom. Or that we might aspire to dress in a way that expresses all these qualities."

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And, we gained a new reader in the house. There are officially now three of us reading. Here is the youngest, working through, "Green Eggs and Ham".

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I still do a lot of reading aloud to her, and this was a recent gem I found. The cover was rather perplexing to Natasha, but the book was a delight to read. I think my favorite part were the short, stubby grandparent crayons, "Silver" and "Gray".

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Daniel had a birthday and we celebrated with German currywurst, Panamanian patacones, American roasted broccoli and cranberry salad (lovingly prepared by his mom), Flourless Apple Cake, and fruit salad. I did half the cake recipe since I didn't feel like using an entire pound of almond flour for one cake, even if it was for a 30th birthday meal. It still made a substantial amount of cake that easily fed 8 people. (One slice each, of course...we didn't go overboard with seconds.) Of course, I have no picture. It was eaten too fast.

And I do need to share my currywurst recipe one of these days. I'm amazed every time I serve it that everyone raves over it and I've already given the recipe out twice. Maybe you'd like it as well?

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Natasha thought the gifts needed a special cart for transportation.


What was your March like? Our fun really isn't over yet since Natasha gets to be part the children's group waving palm branches for our church's Palm Sunday celebration this weekend. Easter is just around the corner too...and maybe spring? Really looking forward to warm weather.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

7 Practically Perfect Years

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Daniel and I celebrated our 7th anniversary last month. I never expected that in the past 7 years we would have ever done as much as we have together, but it's been grand. Simply grand. Not completely perfect, because hey, we live on earth. We aren't sinless, but together with God, we have had the best 7 years I could have asked for. And I'm so thankful I have spent them with this guy. We shared vows during our wedding saying, "I do." and I'm proud to say, "I still do."

To celebrate this year, Daniel planned a little trip to Puerto Rico for a few days, just the two of us. We basically spent our time as follows:

Reading in the shade with the ocean waves below us and our backs to an ancient fort:16-071

Exploring the fore-mentioned fort grounds:13-040

Walking the streets of Old San Juan:18-075

Eating plantains, sweet yellow ones and fried green ones:IMG_3366

Admiring the blue sky, and that fort again:
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Trying out stripes with polka-dots:
At some point of this particular day, I realized I was wearing a completely homemade outfit. 
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And thinking we were living a real-life postcard.
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Friday, February 20, 2015

I'm Loving White

Which is a very good thing right now because it's very white outside. Good thing I don't mind much.
However, it does mean we're inside...a lot. So I drink tea, read books (to the little one in the house, and myself) and admire the beauty of fresh, clean snow. The bright snow makes the whole house seem nice and bright too. Our bedroom isn't usually featured here much, but...it was fairy tidy the other day and so here it is.

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Photo by a certain short person in our house.

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Since my love for whites hasn't been diminishing recently, I dug down in the crawlspace for our white down comforter that was a wedding gift. We haven't used it much because it's SO warm. However, I brought it up at just the right time because it hasn't reached 15* for days now. The nights are even colder, and I'm loving the coziness that I forgot a feather comforter offers.

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I printed this cute little printable several months ago and cut it to size for my little frame.

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I think I should wash that globe...

Oooo let me show off my new print! For my birthday we headed to Ikea and although we didn't come away with what I really, really want (a new couch) I did make a somewhat impulse purchase with this LONDON print. It came with two others: PARIS and NEW YORK, and since I've been to two of the three, it seemed fitting as a birthday gift for myself. It was marked down as well so that might have had something to do with the sudden urge to have it as my own. London was the first to go on the wall since Downton Abbey is still our show of choice at the moment. I still haven't taken down the greenery that I draped over the window frame back in December, but it still seems wintery and makes our bedroom seem more like a cabin deep in a forest somewhere. If we use our imaginations.

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Saturday, January 31, 2015

These Winter Days

Everyone might at some point in their life learn to hand stitch in a swimming suit ("Mommy, I'm wearing a long sleeve shirt to make it look like a leotard"), with 6 clips in one's hair so absolutely no hair will fall into your eyes.

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Meanwhile, your Mommy might sort your Great-Grandma's cross stitch thread and think to herself, "Grandma sure had a lot of stuff...but she was certainly organized."

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's Me




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Hello 2015! The Christmas tree is outdoors, the manger scene and ornaments are packed away, the wreaths have been brought in, and things are looking much less "red and green" once again. The New Year's calender has been hung and the annual tidying up has begun again. It's a good feeling to begin anew.

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All of December was full of merry-making; decking the halls,

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To steal my cousin's comment, "Thanks Pinterest" for wrapping ideas. Couldn't have done it without ya. 

 baking up dozens of cookies,


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A gluten-free roll-out cookie recipe that didn't make me want to say bad words when rolling the dough out. It was that amazing to work with. Tasted just like my Grandma's cookie dough recipe too. I can't stop raving over it.

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She knows where the food coloring is stored. 
Top shelf.



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My Grandma's spritz cookie maker in action. Used this recipe

 sending out of Christmas cards,

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Not always so cheerful at facing 30 some cards that need signing.

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I must have had New Zealand's sheep on my mind, since they all appeared on on Christmas cards.

making memories,

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 They haven't fallen down yet, although my jolly-rancher stained glass window has a hole since the lights inside were a wee too hot and melted it. :)

 and so on and so forth.

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Watching a Christmas movie in the living room, then sleeping under the tree.

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Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas morning breakfast

 It was a lot of fun, but I feel...tired. Completely wore out and ready to face a proper January with no official celebrations. I want to curl up in a couch (which we don't have) and knit, read and eat chocolate chip cookies. 'Cause lets face it: Iced sugar cookies, spritz cookies, thumbprint cookies and all those traditional Christmas desserts are grand, but they usually don't include enough chocolate.

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We decorated these cookies after Christmas with my sister-in-law's expert instruction. 

One of my favorite bloggers mentioned that this is the time of year when we all hunker down for a long winter. And, just as my husband said would happen, the beginning of January brought us winter. Snow and c-o-l-d temperatures. Now I don't mind winter in general, but the single degree temperatures make me absolutely and completely a homebody. I don't feel like going anywhere. Staying warm inside practicing my handstands is enough movement for me and I'll just look out at the lovely snow for entertainment.

Downton Abbey started up again, and we are watching it online to stay updated. Only one episode in, and I'm already planning afternoon tea time with real teacups and saucers. That show has a way of making me do things like that. So please excuse me while I go dig out my Grandma's teacups and have afternoon tea. Perhaps while I do so, I will contemplate how so many of the bloggers I follow can blog and live life at the same time. I seem to be able to only do one or the other. Ha!

Happy New Year everyone!

Post Script: As very close readers might notice, a few of the recipes I linked to have rice flour in them. Rice is a grain, and generally we ARE grain-free. However, white rice is the one exception and we've started to incorporate more of it in our diet. Not only cooked rice on the menu, but rice flour in baking. We haven't noticed any negative affects of this particular grain and especially for baking this holiday season, it made my life incredibly easy with those recipes. I'm singing the praises of the gluten-free baking with tapioca flour, potato starch, rice flour and xantham gum.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Back Home, What I Wore

We have been back in the States for exactly 2 weeks today, and I must admit, it was hard to come back. I can't quite describe it, but maybe it's because we don't *love* where we live to begin with that makes it more challenging to really embrace being home. I honestly only missed my own vegetable peeler and my crock pot. (Aside from family and friends, of course.)

However, we are here. This is where we are for this time in life, and so it is. And, after two weeks in our own home, it is feeling cozy and comfortable. I am excited about the newest Cosco opening near us, Thanksgiving coming soon (Kiwis don't have that!), getting back to my sewing machine, and settling in for a long winter's nap. (Hmm...not really, but it sounded appropriate.)

Fall lasted about a week and a half after our arrival, and now it. is. winter. As in, the ground is white, it's snowing now and there's more snow coming approximately every day this week. I'm usually fine with winter and don't mind it till March, but last year kind of wore me out. So I'm trying to brace myself.

Anyway, the first Sunday back, we went to our own church which was nice and I wore this:

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Dress // Made by me, shown more here
Cardigan // Target
Scarf // Bought in Germany last year
Boots // Ugg

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Haircut in NZ and A Masked Parade

Last Friday was a perfect day for a haircut. I had several inches of length taken off, and now I feel very much refreshed. It's such fun getting one's hair cut in another country. I did it in Germany about a year ago, and now Down Under. It's simply a fun experience. :)

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Marie was my hairstylist this time, and she said she's been doing hair for about 30 years. She took a break to try something else, but turns out she didn't love working at a bank for those two years even though she did well at it. She returned to cutting hair and loves doing it.

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Thanks to Maria for being my photographer. She was with us for part of our trip to Europe last year and now she AND her brother Logan have joined us for the latter part of our New Zealand trip. Daniel and I met on their family's farm, so we all kind of go back a long ways. Um...I guess I don't even have a picture of Maria in this post. Oops. 

That evening was the Masked Parade as part of the Nelson Arts Festival, which is going on right now, and it was another fun little outing we all had. We walked downtown for the event, and when the school groups started coming by, Natasha perched on Daniel's shoulders to see.

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Afterwards, we got a picture with one of the taller masked creatures. :)

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