My life by the seasons

I love the seasons. I love everything about the seasons. I love the idea that time ebbs and flows, back and forth, that not every moment is like every other… that life has a rhythm, a cycle.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.  ~Stanley Horowitz

picture-book.com

picture-book.com

This is what I’ve discovered…

Winter is for contemplation and rest

 In winter, your focus should be on yourself. This is the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. Now is the perfect time to do a self inventory. Find out where you are, where you want to go, and how you want to get there. Love on yourself. Get some much deserved rest and prepare yourself for the year ahead.

 Spring is for new beginnings and creation

 In spring, your focus should be on new challenges. This is the time when your creative juices are their strongest. Take your cue from nature and create something. Take risks, be bold, and go way outside you’re comfort zone. Take all that energy that you stored up in winter and send it out into the world. This is the time of change and new beginnings.

 Summer is for adventure and leisure

 In summer, your focus should be on keeping the momentum going that you started in the spring. Now is the time to “up the ante” so to speak. Nature is exploding with life and energy and you should be too. But summer is also a time to spend time enjoying life. Find something that you love doing and spending time with it everyday. Even better, take your hobby (whatever it is) outdoors. Soak up the sun, breathe the fresh air, and enjoy yourself.

 Autumn is for family and harvest

 In autumn, your focus should be on reaping the bounty that you have sown. Complete the task that you have been working towards all year. Harvest all that you have sown. This is also a time to focus on family. Bring all the energy that has been out in the world working to attain your goal back towards home base. Nothing can be achieved without a strong base. Soak up love, joy, peace and share it with those closest to you.

There is a reason God did not make everyday sunny and 70. There is a need in life for ups and downs, times for creation and times for contemplation. Life is meant to have rain and sunshine. Life is meant to be lived by the seasons.

Love!

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Apples apples apples

I love fall. I mean really love. I mean really really truly absolutely positively love. I grew up in the Midwest where fall meant cooler weather, crunchy leaves, snuggly sweaters and roaring fires. It was magical. Fall also meant the return of baking, warm spices, and a hot oven… oh I’m getting hungry just thinking of it.

Here in the Land of the Sun, it’s officially Autumn but sure doesn’t feel like it. We’ve had our 21st day of over 90° weather this month alone (that’s 21 out of 26 days people, CRAZY!).

But that has never stopped me before, and my Midwest roots are calling!

So here’s to Autumn and homemade applesauce!

I made a batch with Little Miss yesterday and everyone’s been devouring it. In fact we are going to have to make more soon.

Here’s my easy recipe…  and let me just say I’m not one for being super exact so feel free to tweak depending on your taste preferences.

8 apples, washed and cut
A splash of lemon juice
1 cup water (could use apple juice)
Tbsp cinnamon
Tsp clove
1/4 brown sugar (amount is very dependant on the type of apple you use).

Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan, cover (crack lid) and set on medium high. Once contents boil, reduce to low, and wait; stirring as needed. BONUS, your house will smell deliciously like autumn.

Once completely soft and mushy use an immersion blender to blend up apples till all the pulp and skin are well blended. If you want to skip this step or prefer a chunkier apple sauce you will need to peel apples before cooking.

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This recipe is easy to multiply, convert to a slow cooker, and/or use the same process for other fruits such as pears, peaches, plums, strawberries, etc. How great would it be to combine fruits? Yum! I may have to try that soon. 🙂

I love fall! Have I said that already?

Fall prints

So I’ve been wanting to do a fall craft with Baby Miss for a few days now, but she is very adverse to “mess” so it had to be something that would keep her relatively clean (ie nothing sticky, gritty, anything that would goop up her hands, etc). So I thought, why not have her do a print of something. That way her hands never get in the paint.

This is what I did.

I layed out a giant piece of white paper and taped it to the ground. Then I drew in brown crayon the outline of a tree.

I gave Baby Miss a wine cork and bowl with red and yellow paint.
Then I showed her how to stamp the cork in the paint, then on the paper.

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It was easy, generally clean, and turned out great. For slightly older kids, feel free to talk about how red and yellow mix to make orange. You can also paint their forearms and hands to make the tree trunk and branches.

The next fall craft we will try will be apple prints. Ill let you know how that goes. 🙂

Instant oatmeal

So when Mr. Right and I first moved in together, his mother bestowed upon us several boxes of snack sized ziplocs. I’ve always felt guilty about it because I’ve never really had a purpose for them. That is, until today.

Now that the weather is starting to cool down, I’m much more in the mood for a warm hearty breakfast. Enter- oatmeal.

And can I just say I never really appreciated oatmeal until I became an adult. I don’t know why. It can be topped with everything from fruit to nuts to chocolate. It’s filling. It’s creamy and just plain delicious.
But honestly, on a Monday morning I’m really not in the mood to stand over the stove stirring oatmeal.

That is why I was so excited to see a ton of homemade instant oatmeal ideas floating all over pinterest.
So yesterday I finally came up with a use for all those teeny tiny ziplocs- my own instant oatmeal!

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Here’s what I used.
1/2 cup instant oats
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
A good shake of cinnamon
Small handful of craisins (optional)

Other add-in ideas include any other dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, coconut, etc. There really are no limits.

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Several recipes I saw included powdered milk. I decided just to omit that and use milk when I microwave it- it’s turned out just fine, and I feel like it ends up creamier.

To cook, just pour your little baggie in a bowl, add enough milk to soak oats and “nuke” for 2 min. (obviously all microwaves are different, so times can vary).

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Tada! Oatmeal! And its so easy and so delicious.

A great, quick, healthy, whole food breakfast. Love it!

Cheers! xoxo