CROOK

A bit of sewing...

We got this little mini sewing machine from my dear friend Carin. 

My daughter got a bit spooked by the needle, so she "sews" without one!  This isn't one of those plastic pink one's from the local craft store.  It's an honest to goodness sewing machine...just in mini-form.  She found it at a thrift store and used it to teach her own daughter's how to sew.

F made some burp cloths and baby blankets for C, of course.

I love how she wants to be involved with whatever I'm doing.  After a while F usually gets tired of pretending to use the machine and she'll go back to hand-sewing. Today she made a sleeping bag for her wooden dolly.





Little E takes on the role of entertainer.
She usually dances while we sew, but today she decided to eat huge cabbage leaves...


Tiny C snoozes away close by...


What am I sewing you say?
Well, my still unfinished FairyLand/Farmyard of course!

I'm not a super talented machine sewer.  I usually just sew by feel...anyone else do that?  Patterns freak me out, so simple stuff is usually what I make.  Anyone want to take bets on how long it will take me to actually finish this knitted farmyard?  Soon me thinks...soon...where's Carin when I need her?

Speaking of sewing:
  • My friend Andrea over at Four Flights of Fancy just opened her Etsy shop...yay Andrea!
  • I always get inspired to actually learn how to sew from a pattern when I see what Amy is making at Angry Chicken.
  • The sewing ideas, resources and tips at SewMamaSew are endless!
  • I just got a bunch of beautiful vintage sheets that need to made into something other than a simple twirl skirt for the girls...any ideas?!?

Where I've been...

Well, in an effort to "stop time", I stopped blogging too! 

I tried really hard last week to just be present and enjoy the moment with our brand new little girl...with all my girls!

I think I did a pretty good job.  Aside from one crazy day where we had gone about 5 places before noon...oh and the other crazy day where I had to drop my car at the body shop (slight accident my first trip out with all 3 girls-not my fault though!) and install 3 carseats into a slightly smaller rental car.  Yeah. Aside from those days...pure baby bliss.

I just really wanted to try to slow my pace down for a bit.  I missed blogging though...didn't think I would since I just started a couple months ago.  I guess I like being able to get my thoughts/feelings/creations out there.  There were so many things we made, ate and did that I wanted to share.  Funny...

How about you fellow bloggers?  How often do you take a "bloggy break" and for what reasons?

Be back soon...and there's sure to be more cute baby pictures!

Stopping time...

Can we?
Can we please stop time?
My little C is 1 week old already.
*sigh*
I know...I know...papa laughed too when I said this, but come on!  Time goes by so fast.  I need to cherish and remember these moments...every moment.

C in her Grandma's cashmere baby outfit from 1953!!  I love how it is roomy enough for the cloth diapers since that's all they had back then!

I was asked today if I ever get the "Baby Blues" after my children are born.  No.  I am always ecstatic...high on life and the ability to give life! 

I do get a bit melancholic though.  I look at my newborn and then I look at my other 2 girls and I just can't believe how much they've grown.  I know they were once this small too, but where did the time go?

Of course I want them to grow and become their own person, but at the same time I wish they would all stay tiny and helpless.  I really do...

Then I think of my Mom.
Mom, how do you feel now that your little bunny is all grown up with children of her own?
Now that is a head trip!  One day my babies will have babies!

F is 5 and full of wonder and questions.  This morning she got to pick fresh parsley from the garden for our green smoothies.

*Stop time...please?*

E is 2 and is a cheery little one who loves to talk talk talk about everyone and everything.  Today she carried this little owl around all day and gave birth to it a million times.

*Stop time...please?*

C is 1 week old and is experiencing something new every second.  I hate to do it...but she's got to go in the carseat at some point, right?  It obviously didn't bug her too much.

*Stop time...please?

Oh how I love you my little girls...

Pictures for C! Guest Blogger - F

I drew these for my baby sister on the day she was born.

This one is the three suns, one for each of us.

This one is me and C being Faeries.

This one is baby C by the chilly sun and deep sky.

This one is baby C by a rainbow pond all day long.

Good bye.
Love,
F

Dandelion Vinegar!


Remember our dandelion day?  Well our vinegar is ready!

It set for 3 weeks and could have gone a little longer, but I wanted a dandy dressing for my salad this afternoon, so there!

You don't really need the cheesecloth for this one since I didn't macerate the leaves, but I like nice clean vinegar so I used one.

Remember to squeeze out all the goodness...

and it's ready!

For my dressing I threw together the following:

Dandy Dressing

2 Tbs Flax oil
4 Tbs Dandy vinegar
1 tsp agave
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Simple, yummy and herbal!

Yes, those are kumquats in my salad...and the flecks are hempseeds.

And, since we're a still deep in our BabyMoon...here's a cute picture of F playing Dr. with a 4 day old baby C.  The stethescope belonged to the girls' great Grandma who was a nurse!

Our New Shining Star...




Baby C has arrived!
She was born Sunday, May 16th at 12:45am in the peace and quiet of our own home.

Here is our birth story:

I called Susan, my midwife, at 4:30pm to give her a head's up that labor had "hopefully" started.  The contractions were 3 minutes apart and regular, but not painful...just like Braxton Hicks.  I ran around putting laundry away, packing up the raw granola and cereal that were in the dehydrator, set up a Faerie Tea Party for my sweet little girls, went on a long walk on the beach with papa and the dog, and put the girls to bed at 7:30.  By this time the contractions were still about 2-3 min apart but had increased in intensity and I started to have to do what I call "the stop and rock".  We called Susan again and she came right over.  Little C had decided to stay cozy in my belly for 2 weeks past her due date, so part of me was just in shock that she was actually ready to join us!

By 9pm the birthing tub had been filled and was ready.  I got in and labored the whole time in the tub.  I labor silently and kind of go into a hypnotic zone during a contraction.  I am active though.  Susan said she was afraid of a tidal wave!  Ha!

I must mention that in all the excitement little F was unable to wind down and fall asleep. She wanted so very badly to be there at the birth. She rubbed my shoulders, drew her new baby sister many pictures, told me special "secrets" and was truly a help and inspiration during labor. Thank you, thank you my sweet little F.  You helped Mama so very much!!! 


The poor little thing finally fell asleep at 11pm. She passed out on our bed and although we tried to wake her for the birth, she simply could not be woken up!

When I was ready to bring little C into the world it only took a couple pushes for the head and a couple more for the body and then she was in my arms.  My mom got to cut the cord!
With Grandma and E, only 1 hour old.

E woke up about 30 min after the birth and got to have some special time with the new baby. She was very excited!


She weighed in at a healthy 8lbs 5oz and 21 1/2 in long.

She is beautiful.

She is perfect.

She is loved.


I simply couldn't ask for a better birthing experience (well, labor can always be shorter, right?).  Oh and the minor fainting episode after birth wasn't very fun, however it was very interesting!

Thank you to my midwife, Susan, and her assistant, Cheryl who were there for me all through my pregnancy and gave both me and C excellent care.
Thank you to Suesan who attended the birth to help my midwife and took photos.
Thank you to my Mom who was there for me and a huge help in every way any one could think of!
Thank you to my children who were there for me and inspired me throughout my labor and birth.
Thank you to my amazing husband who was there for me (even when I dug my nails into him!).  As with everything in life, I couldn't have done it without you...what an amazing Anniversary present, huh?
Thank you to my new little C who has chosen us as her guides in this life.  We will do our best!

Raw Rose Chocolate Ice Cream Treats

Ever since I took Julie's Green Wisdom class on Red Roses, I've been hooked.  I just love them.
I make a Rose Glycerite that is heavenly. I make a Rose Salve that helps with, under eye stress, cuts and scrapes, exzema etc.
I get so happy when my huge bag of organic Red Roses comes in!

A few weeks ago I made Diana's Raw Chocolate Mint Bars for F's birthday.  I have been craving them ever since.  When my roses came in yesterday I thought....yum!  I could make a Rose version of this, oh yes I could!

I always have Rose water and Orange Blossom water around the house. 

A splash added to sparkling water is nice, or I use them in baked goods for flavoring.

I'm not sure how "Raw" it is.  I looked a bit online and it seems it's really just a fresh extraction, but some sources say it's heated to kill bacteria...anyways, the rest of the recipe is still raw, so that's what I'm going with.

These turned out incredible!  I was a little worried about over doing the rose flavor, so I took it slow and tasted as I went along (poor me!).  I thought the rose petals would create a slight pink hue...but no such luck.  I considered fresh beet juice (too earthy) or strawberries (would over power the rose).  Any ideas to tinge it slightly pink for effect?

I keep the dish in the freezer and we eat them more like little ice cream sandwiches.  These would be perfect for a Faerie Tea Party...don't you think?

So here are my changes to Diana's original recipe:
  • Leave out the tsp of mint extract and replace it with 1 tsp Rose Glycerite.
  • Leave out the Spinach (I know...no greens in this one) and replace it with 3/4 cup dried rose petals soaked at least 4 hours.
  • Add 1 Tbs rose water
  • I poured the whole filling in and let it set (not half).
  • Crust
    Filling
    Cacao topping
  • Then I made a simple chocolate sauce that's a bit more crunchy to top it with.  I used Susan's (Rawmazing) chocolate sauce, which happens to be my fave!

Oh, yes these are a special treat indeed.

Next time I make these, I am going to use the Orange Blossom water and add Orange Zest...how do ya like that?  Oh-oh!  Or I could use my Lavender Glycerite and make a lavender version....the fun never ends!

I know I keep saying this, but soon all the herbal goodies I mentioned in the post (Rose Glycerite, Lavender Glycerite, Rose Salve) will be available in my Etsy shop.  Just got to get packaging and pictures taken care of.  Oh and I have to give birth to a baby who is extremely comfy in my belly...

**Make sure when you're cooking with flowers (or anything really) that you try to get top quality organic ingredients.  Especially roses as they are heavily sprayed.**

Strawberries and Oranges as dressings!

I always like to make my own salad dressings....it's rather simple and relatively forgiving.  You can always adjust and taste as you go, so ruining one is pretty hard.

Here are the basic ingredients:
Oil
Vinegar
Salt
Pepper
and all sorts of extras!

One of my favorites lately has been a strawberry vinaigrette that I threw together one day.

We had some strawberries from our CSA box that somehow managed to last longer than 24 hours and my dear friend Isa was over making food for an event that night and needed a light spring dressing for her salad.



Here's the easy recipe:
Crooked Strawberry Vinaigrette
2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (white if you can find it...)
1 garlic clove
pinch of sea salt
a few cracks of fresh black pepper

Throw it all into a blender and let it whirl.  This dressing is best fresh, but will last a day or two in the fridge.

I love it with a simple salad of dark greens, red onions,  chopped fresh basil and pumpkin seeds.  The fresh basil and tangy strawberries pair well together.

This is the dressing I made for the salad at the May Faire by the way (for those of you who were asking!).  Another friend of mine used this dressing in a salad made with baby greens, fresh tomatoes and chamomile flowers.  It was such a lovely salad with the pretty white chamomile flowers and the pink dressing!  I couldn't find any fresh chamomile tonight though...but I did find this beautiful picture of Chamomile here.

I love eating flowers!  The girls think it's simply magical.  Although we often have to discuss that's it's very important to know exactly which flowers you can and cannot eat.
I so wish I had violets in my yard so I could make this yummy violet syrup I saw here.
How do you eat your flowers?

We get tons of Oranges in our biweekly Fruit CSA box.  I usually juice them or slice them up for snacks, but when we find ourselves overflowing in citrus we make fresh squeezed OJ ice cubes.  I add them to a glass of water for the girls on hot days, or they go into our green smoothies.  I'll also use up abundant citrus by making an orange based salad dressing:

Crooked Orange Miso Dressing

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 Tbs white miso
1 Tbs raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup flax oil (or olive oil)
dash of ground cumin

Just whisk everything together and pour over some yummy greens.  I also use this as a marinade for tofu.  Simply pour over cubed fresh tofu and let it sit in thr fridge overnight.  Yum!

Do you make your own salad dressing?  If so...do share!

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