this little squirrel...


…along with a friendly hedgehog and a pair of the cutest little red booties ever will be making their way to a sweet little one soon. I wish I could meet this colorful little lady, but will just have to trust that she’s amazingly adorable (and really, I have no doubt about that).


These woodland friends also complete February’s quota for Craft Book Challenge (just in time!). Although I veered from the original project ever-so-slightly, the embroidered onesies are from Alicia Paulson’s Stitched in Time. I had the pleasure of meeting lovely Alicia at a book signing recently and seeing many of the beautiful creations from the book firsthand, so I’ve been itching to get going on this project.


The embroidery patterns are Sublime Stitching’s Forest Friends (extra credit for using an embroidery pattern?). And the little booties + pouch are from Tiny House (her shop is freshly stocked with LOTS of cute new stuffs – check it out!)

And now, onto March!


birthdays & such


Saturday was Holden’s fifth birthday. If you told me five years ago that my sweet little newborn with his punchy little arms and kicky little legs would someday be five, I would not have believed you. I probably wouldn’t have understood you anyway due to sleep deprivation.


Sunday was Esme’s third birthday. Ditto on the disbelief that my sweet, sleepy newborn would be three someday. In the three days that she’s been three, she’s already had a lifetime’s worth of tantrums and nuclear meltdowns. I remember this when Holdden turned three, too. What is it about turning three that makes people insane (but incredibly cute)?


The top hit birthday gifts this year were: 1. a thriftstore-bought kid-sized sewing machine that doesn’t work quite right 2. a set of thriftstore-bought screwdrivers to take apart said sewing machine (when the novelty of trying to make it work wears off) and 3. brian’s old legos, complete with already-constructed-by-childhood-bri spacecars and other lego-y contraptions.


Random: there’s a spider living in the dashboard of our car. I’ll get a funny feeling like someone’s staring at me while I’m driving and I’ll look down to find Herman staring up at me. I named him to reduce the creepy factor.

Thank you for all the kind birthday wishes! Now that birthdays are out of the way, I'm shifting back to craft and cooking mode and can't wait to peruse my two new bday gifts. And I haven't forgotten about Craft Book Challenge. Nosiree. I have Feb's project done and a post all thunk up in my head, just gotta get them out the door. It's a race to the end of the month!


a short list


1. today's my bday



2. we just returned from a 3-day getaway at the coast



3. if you ask holden about it, he'll tell you about the sharks at the oregon coast aquarium and the dead bird on the beach



4. if you ask esme about it, she'll tell you that she slept in a bunk bed and threw up all Saturday night (but feels better now)



5. aside from a slight debacle involving our mini van and a tree, it was an amazing weekend



6. if you ask me about it, I’ll tell you that we need to get out of town more often.



Feb Soup Swap


Poor blog. You are so bottom-of-the-list these days. I promise to return to you as soon as the to-do list starts containing less life changing items. But for now, bear with me as we're rearranging our life plan yet again (we do this every few years, no worries).

But soup! Soup shall always remain up there with the most important things in life (filed under 'soul sustenance').

So, to participate in Jessica's Soup Swap, and to assure everyone that we're still alive and well, I shall share a family favorite: Mushroom barley soup (I have this annoying suspicion that I've already shared this recipe but am too lazy to search through my blog archives) adapted from my beloved go-to-first Moosewood Cookbook.

Mushroom Barley Soup

1/2 cup raw pearled barley
6 1/2 cups chicken stock (I use handmade or better than bouillon)
3-4 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
3 tbsp butter
1 clove minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
handful of kale (optional)
1 plop of pesto (optional)

Cook the barley in 1 1/2 cups of the stock right in the soup kettle (love that term 'soup kettle!') until tender.
Add remaining stock and tamari.

Meanwhile, saute onions until translucent in butter (about 8-10 minutes). Add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Add mushrooms. When they're tender and have released some of their liquid, add to barley, being sure to include the liquid from the pan. Simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Add greens and pesto and simmer for 5 more minutes or until greens are wilted to your liking.

Salt to taste.

Enjoy, and be sure to check out the other yummy-sounding participants over on Turkey Cookies!