Fall Is Here

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Baking Day


Wednesday is baking day for Jackson and I.  While Grace is at school, doing some baking of her own, the two of us spend this day in the kitchen as well (something we both really enjoy) making muffins, bread, or whatever the most recent harvest demands. 


Today it was apples.  Applesauce and apple muffins. 


I did make some applesauce last year too but it didn't turn out quite as well.  This year I read over several recipes but in the end decided to come up with my own experiment.  For once I got lucky. 


This is some good applesauce if I do say so myself.


Amy's Applesauce
16 apples (a mix of different kinds is best)
2 tsps of cinnamon
1/2 cup of sugar
3 cups of water

Peel and core apples.  Add all ingredients to a large pot.  Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool a bit and if there is still a lot of extra water drain some of it (a little water is okay).  Then run through a blender.  Freeze or can to preserve.

A New Class


Yesterday I had the excitment of starting my first day of a new class... a class I've been wanting to take for four years.  I'm so excited about it.  It was so inspiring and just what I need to get back on my writing kick. 


So that I was able to go to my class class each week, my mom agreed to watch Jackson in the morning.  And yesterday, she offered to pick Grace up from school and spend the day with the two of them so I was able to run some errands and get a few things done.  I came home to two happy kids and homemade lasagna.  I'm a lucky girl.  And so are my kids.


Someday... (Or Restoration Hardware Love)

I have been walking around with this catalog for the past month- dog earring pages and gathering inspiration...

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First of all, this paint palette is awesome. 

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Second of all, Ryan brought home a barn/hay trolley exactly like this several months ago (from a barn he was working on) and set it aside determined to do something really neat with it, though he wasn't sure what yet.  And then, a few months later, this catalog shows up with a light made from one just like it.  Someday we will have one.

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Thirdly, a kitchen island out of barn wood like this is in my future.

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And lastly, this furniture is my dream living room furniture.  Someday (way, way someday).


The Results

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Well I definitely was not able to remain in a blissful state of mind all day.  Or even most of the day.  But (and this is a good but) as result of setting such an intention for myself, we were all able to have a really, really good rest of the day.  And although I wouldn't exactly call my emotional state blissful (aside from a few moments here or there) I was peaceful, almost all of the day, which is just as wonderful really.  And knowing where my attitude was at the begining of the day, I was pretty proud about being able to make such a leap.

I knew if I was going to turn my day around I needed to make a plan.  So that's just what I did.  I came up with a list of things that had to be done (thankfully there weren't many) and more importantly things that I/we enjoy doing.  Things that make us happy.  Then we did our best to incorporate them all into our day.  Here's what our day turned into...

~ Stove top oatmeal with maple syrup for our second breakfast
~ Nourishing garden soup for lunch (I finally used our beets... yum!!)
~ Warm baths
~ Folded laundry
~ Sewing time, everyone got to pick a project to make
~ Ryan made dinner
~ Early bedtimes
~ Knitting by the fire

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While I was not able to stay "blissful" or even peaceful when certain things came my way, I was also able to keep my patience much better as I kept my goal at the forefront of my mind (as opposed to the morning when I was not so successful).  I think being more intentional about my state of mind just really helped our whole day go much smoother. 

So all, in all, I think my little experiment was a success. 
And I'm trying it out again today.


How Will We Get Through This Day...

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This morning has gotten off to an incredibly rocky start.  Everyone here is sick.  Everyone here is overtired.  And so far, everyone here is crabby. 

Finding myself with just a few minutes alone I decided a cup of tea was in order.  As I went to take my first sip I noticed this little saying attached to the tea bag... 

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Hmmm.  Well that's a challenge isn't it.  I'm wondering if the person who came up with this clever little piece of advice has any children.  It's pretty hard to remain blissful when your five year old is hitting you and saying she hates you (yes, this really happened here today).  Or maybe this person has 17 children and is some sort of expert at bliss (I would think for these types this or going insane would be your only two options).

But, I do like a good challenge I guess.  And really, what else am I going to do with such a day.  So I'm challenging myself to try and maintain an attitude of bliss... no matter what comes my way.  A genuine one too, faking doesn't count.  Not sure how well it will go but I'm going to give it my best effort.  I'll report back soon with the results.


My Bookshelves!

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Well these aren't the best pictures because this room is pretty small and I wasn't able to back far enough away to get them all in.  But I am SO in love with them.  Ryan worked so hard on them and they turned out so beautiful.  And it just feels so good to have all my books in their own special place. 

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And while I'm here, a few more pictures of the art room.  I have recently been on the most intense nesting, cleaning, organizing spree of my life... and feels so good.  This room was one of the first ones I hit, and I got rid of so much.  SO much.  I am finding that with art (as well as with almost all aspects of my life), less is more.  While it is so hard for me to give up art supplies, etc, that I might use someday, the payoff in doing so is well worth it.  There is a sort of creative freedom that opens up when more physical space is available.

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I see it in myself as well as with Grace and Jackson.  I use to feel like I needed to give them a huge variety of art experiences, supplies, and choices.  As a result the art room was often cluttered and messy.  They also didn't always have the best appreciation for their things which I think is a direct result of too many things.

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So when I cleaned out this room, I got rid of most of the supplies I usually have sitting out for them, or I stored them away for a special day.  I have found that they are using this space much more again, and with a greater respect for the space and their things in it.  

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I know over time things will start to build up in here again because it is such a popular spot for all of us.  But I'm going to try my best to continue to keep it clutter free... and instead leave more room for our creativity. 

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