Monday, August 30, 2010

NOT-BACK-TO-SCHOOL-DAY {a delicious start}

ahhhh...NOT-back-to-school-day. everyone should be so lucky...
to start the day with history and...
special treat :: hot chocolate sundaes (caramel, marshmallows, whip, sprinkles...gone before i could get the camera)... 
out in the (COLD!) sunny courtyard & slurped through a straw
marshmallow fishing...
we think it was an all around DELICIOUSLY successful start to this new school year!

* this summers happenings have set our schedule back & we are easing into the "official" start of school transition this week. part of the beauty of homeschooling! we are giving the classroom a late coat of paint & reorganizing. & hope to be ready to fully bust it out next week. stay tuned! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

::Friday Flowers:: bright & cheerful wildflowers

 ::Friday Flowers::
nature is my teacher {bright & cheerful wildflowers)

wild flowers found hiking the Santa Marguerita River Trail

what a day, week, month. summer even. beautiful flowers always brighten the mood. i love how these sweet little flowers are bright, cheerful & boldly continuing to thrive (more like defiantly) in complete contrast to their surroundings. with no matter to how tiny they are mind you. thankfully nature is my teacher. & thankfully i am nature's student.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

our heartache for little miss daisy {one of the hardest post ever}

we miss this sweet girl
{one of the hardest post ever}
this post is HARD as it is fresh & difficult to go thru let alone write about. while the girls & i were away on our last summer trip, a few hard things happened. one being our little poodles were attacked by coyotes on our courtyard. both were injured & traumatized but Daisy could not be saved. thru quick action & selfless kindness of a neighbor, she didn't suffer long & was loved &comforted to her end.
the poodles aka the married couple.
which brings me to consider finding a home for our kitty girls. at least Lovely (grey tabby) because she is not as outdoor savvy as Luna (blk & wht cow print)

{bear with me just a little more}
I'm sticking these pix in to get all the hard stuff over with. our little zoo has had a hard time year.  i had planned to blog about this a while ago, but it was also too difficult. we also had to say goodbye to mama's boy Bamm Bamm a few months ago. another one of the hardest days of our lives. we still love & miss him dearly, but after 3 years of hard work he remained unpredictable & it was not a safe situation for all our family members (human & furry) 
such a big fat love

:: who's left in our little zoo? ::

our dear old lovely girl
Prince Oliver Coco
 i spared the gruesome pix. in the heat of the attack, the neighbor opened the gate to tend to Daisy who needed immediate help, & Oliver ran off after the coyotes. Poor boy was missing for 2 days & of course we feared the worse. I've never seen such a traumatized & exhausted animal before. but with lots of TLC & a little beef liver his joyful personality is coming back & his physical wounds are slowly healing.

we are still praying & accepting prayers for healing, but thankfully we still have a few creatureblessings to love :: Kahlua, Oliver (LUCKY BOY!!!), {not pictured} mama cat Zooey,  bunny boy Carmello, our bearded dragon Zoingo, tree frogs. sounds like enough right? for safety & sake of heartbreak we have decided it is (which also may mean no chickens...or EGGS!!! I'm thinking).
 the country is a wonderful place, but for critter lovers, & admittedly city people like us, it is also a cruel heartbreaking example of the circle of life.
weird thing is i don't have any blame to place. the coyotes need to survive & were doing what they were beautifully & masterfully created to do. we are after all intruders in their original home. presently we are  just trying to heal our little ohana...& gently guide us all forward.

*thanks for letting me get this off my chest here...couldn't move forward without showing respect in honor of Little Miss Daisy's short & sweet 3 yo life. Precious Little Angel.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the girls & i are off on a last minute ROADTRIP to end the summer!!!  back in about a week ~ dtr 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

our "living" kitchen countertop lab

:: among other things GOOD things are always growing in our "living" kitchen countertop lab ::

sprouted sweet potatoes kitchen lab project. going into the garden soil soon.
sprouted beet kitchen lab project for the garden soil soon also.
soaking cranberry beans. headed to the crock pot soon.
3's new friend Crickety lives in the lab in his travel habitat. he's a great travel companion, but a quiet & boring study so far.
dear Mr. Crickety. notice he's missing a leg...that's how she decided he was special enough to spare feeding to her tree frogs.  
a betta...always the "living" kitchen counter lab staple.
this little clipping is from my neighbors plant. it is growing fresh (strong) white roots.   always so exciting when these plant clipping experiments start in our kitchen counter lab, actually grow & flourish as a beautiful new plant.
look hard. can you spot the fresh & exciting new white root?

not shown, among other things, were the dirt-in-a-cup (for some reason) experiment, art projects in progress, the delish fresh veggie Mexican pizza fixings we havent cleaned yet, OR my ever present sorting pile. 
BUT hopefully now you do see that the stuff on our kitchen counter is not ALL just clutter. some are actually  very necessary & important scientific experimentations!!! riiiight!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

what we wore wed & no spend week

i haven't yet done a "What I Wore Wednesday" linky post & wasn't planning to ever. but the girls saw someone elses post this morning & thought since we were dressed to go out it would be fun to share. so maybe just this once. my NO SPEND WEEK update is below. it's getting hard y'all.

i have to state again YES they do dress themselves, YES we go out in public this way & YES im ok with it!




had to get the skirt

mama  *the FAB necklace im wearing was made by 2. shown again below*

i've really been wanting yellow shoes. i LOVE these & luckily i found them days BEFORE NO SPEND WEEK! they need some embellishing i think. hmmm...

 the FAB necklacemade by 2. one of the peices of jewelry she
finger knitted for me. i added the vintage flower pin & wear it any chance i CUTE! she loves making pretty things.

  • we saw one of our faves Hotel For Dogs at the weekly Edward's Cinema Summer Free Movies (FREE)
  • as always we brought our own snacks (FREE)
  • after the movie we went to Barnes & Noble & BROWSED for about a hour & a half. which was actually fun. (although i wrote down some titles & found them cheaper on line...on my shopping list to be purchased AFTER NO SPEND WEEK! still FREE)
  • for lunch we passed up the B&N coffee shop & the Farmer's Market. drove ALL the way home for left over sloppy joes & fresh pot of coffee (FREE)
  • decided id rather a cappucino...yet needed a milk frother. since it's no spend week i couldn't purchase one. tried to froth my own milk in a skillet with a whisk. NO BUENO...added coffee frother to my shopping list. (FREE)
  • for dinner i realized we only have half a gallon of milk & 6 eggs left. we are not close enough to the end of NO SPEND WEEK so i started to ration. wont even tell what we ate,  but oh a neighbor did give us all a FREE slice of watermelon. put eggs & milk on my shopping list. (FREE)
  • the girls are doing fantastic with the challenge surprisingly. mama is the one struggling not to spend. 3 has become quite the NO SPEND WEEK enforcer! & good thing because i need the reminder everytime i say "i NEED..."  & i still have 4 long hard days left. i need to stay strong & focused. game face on. i can do this!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

fresh & easy pasta salad

caprese salad over angel hair pasta

after stomach yucks...yesterday was the first day i felt a little like cooking dinner. and i do mean a little. the girls & had walked over to a neighbors who gave us fresh from the vine tomatoes, cukes & peaches. (score for NO SPEND WEEK)  i remembered this quick dish. caprese salad over angel hair pasta. 1 brought some basil & oregano in from my garden. i added the diced tomatoes, cukes, fresh garlic, etxra olive oil (for the noodles), fresh mozz balls, red pepper flakes, s&p, & a squeeze of lemon juice. so fast & fresh. 

Friday, August 6, 2010


mixed berry & yogurt pops
blood orange & strawberry pops

our BPA free Tovolo molds FINALLY came in the mail. just in time for the warm sun to come out.

Mixed Berry & Yogurt Pops 

we tried mixed berry & yogurt pops sweetened with agave nectar & a dash of vanilla

Blood Orange & Strawberry Pops

we juiced a ton of super ripe blood oranges from our grove. froze some for juice & some we blended with...

strawberries, agave nectar & a dash of vanilla

{just wanted to show off her freckles. i LOVE freckles!}

makes a FAB lipgloss

Friday Flowers :: yellow fennel & red roses

Friday Flowers
yellow fennel & red roses

pretty pretties from my yard.

*sadly i just got started & this is the last Friday Flowers linky post hosted by Renee. but i love pretty i may just keep sharing my own (not linking up though).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

NO SPEND MONTH (ok week), my secret love & summer math

i COMPLETELY forgot i was going to start the NO SPEND MONTH challenge in August. which may i point of is different from NO SHOPPING WEEK.  this means preparing :: no buying gas, groceries, take out, NOTHING! i have no clue why i picked August to try it, it is the worse month for me. this is the month for setting up & organizing our classroom. i have to confess, aside from loving to shop, im a total school supply junkie. i look forward to the month of August's back-school-sales the entire year.
 i love fresh boxes of crayons, new pens & pencils, don't get me started on my love for paper. i cant resist this months deals :: glue 20 cents, crayon boxes 20 cents, yesterday was buy a box of coloring pencils for 50cents get a 24 box of crayons free, folders 10 cents, that's just the start. i also buy extras to donate to teacher friends or the school of our choice.

my secret love & summer math

stash from last year

{i made this quick chart up, had to add another column last minute}
math :: tally

 new stash

math :: tally
1 decided to tally all the info on a bar graph
 (not as much as usual, trying to cut back)

to be realistic, i know myself & i know a whole no spend month would be totally impossible for this mama. i got stocked up on groceries & other thing so im going to try a NO SPEND WEEK next week. still challenging enough.  REMIND ME!!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beverly Hills in our own backyard

we have 2 apple trees in our grove that we've been trying to identify. they blossom beautifully in the spring & produce fruit in summer & early fall. we consider these off season apples a treat since they are ripe when our faves (Honey Crisp & Fuji's) are not. giving us fresh apples year round.
in previous years the ants & birds have gotten to the cute little baby apples before we do & before they grow to size. this year they produced very well & we have been able to enjoy them. i find it such a treat to go out into our own backyard & pick something we've grown ourselves to eat.

we think these sweet & tart beauties are Beverly Hills apples

 i was so excited to happen upon this recipe book a few months ago. even though it isn't Autumn, these recipes are perfect timing for our off season apples

one of our faves :: sauteed apples. we topped english muffins with them & finished with a little whip puff

apples with bee butter (pb & honey) & raisins

we made our own strawberry applesauce w/ agave nectar. FAB!

so far the apples have been  good in sweet potato, apple & walnut muffins, topping pancakes & waffles, apple walnut bread & or just fresh out the basket .we wanted to try more recipes & can fresh batches of the versatile apple sauce, but these delicious apples don't seem to last long enough.