Wednesday, November 30, 2011

our family transition: vegetarianism to meat-eating

From conception until my son was 3 and daughter was just over 1, my children were raised as pescatarians while I was a strict vegetarian. In October 2011 we made a slow and very conscientious decision to include some meat into our family diet. 

You can read about why we made this transition and the rules we've made to ensure we still eat as ethically as possible here as well as scroll through to the end of these archives to find information about how we raised our children vegetarian for their first few years of life.

We still eat a largely vegetarian diet (about 80% vegan, 10% vegetarian and 10% meats) so be sure to check out the recipe section to your right, the majority of those are vegetarian and vegan.

Please feel free to email me with any questions you may have. 

On the Third day of Giveaways Echo Life gave to you...

Echo Life provides health and beauty products the natural way. They passionately believe in nourishing the skin and the body using only the purest natural ingredients with no compromises. They have a huge range of products and supplements that support natural beauty on the inside and out. 
On the ecoMILF family wish-list from Echo Life:
Nature’s Goodness Propolis Facial Balm. I have long heard about the benefits of proplis on the skin. I would love to give it a try and see for myself. 
Tisserand De-stress Aromatherapy Roller Ball. A soothing, rebalancing and nurturing essential oil remedy containing organic patchouli and orange and ethically harvested rose. I mean, what mother wouldn’t love this! 
Melrose Organic Orange Castille Soap. I am a long-time fan of this soap brand.The plant oils used in Melrose Organic Castile Soap cleanse gently, and do not strip the skin of its natural protective barrier.
Coway Hepa Airpurifier with Multi-Care Filter. A girl can dream can’t she!? This looks like the answer to so many of our (Indi’s!) allergy problems. This thing removes dust, hair, pollutants, allergens, gases, dustmites, mildew and even germs and viruses.
Today Echo Life is offering 3 Baby Bee Getting Started Kits including shampoo, soap, oil, lotion and ointment gentle enough for the tiniest one’s skin. 
To enter: Simply leave a comment below. For an additional entry like Echo Life on facebook. For a third entry visit Echo Life and share one of your personal favourite products here. Make sure to leave an additional comment for each entry. Australian residents only.
Winners will be drawn and posted on Monday, December 12th. 
Thanks so much to Sabine from Echo Life for her generous gift.
Stay tuned for another 9 days of giveaways. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On the Second day of Giveaways Dragonfly Toys gave to you...

Dragonfly Toys offers beautiful toys that inspire creative, open ended, imaginative play. Dragonfly Toys is the love and effort of Linda and Tracie who have six children between them. They believe children are often bombarded with ‘toys’ that overwhelm the senses and stunt creativity. It is their aim to provide toys that are beautiful and enchanting, strong and safe, environmentally friendly and fairly traded. 
On the ecoMILF family wish-list from Dragonfly Toys:
 Jinta Fair Trade Soccer Balls- I love that some of the funds are used to help develop community projects in Third World countries and sports programs for Aboriginal children in Australia.

I have pined over the book, Feltcraft, for a long time. Inside you’ll find detailed step-by-sep instructions for a range of lively and creative toys such as small dolls, finger puppets, animals, gifts and tapestries. 

The Papoose Little Red Ridinghood finger puppet set would be a great addition to our oral storytime routine. 
The Stockmar Crayons and block crayons are a huge hit in this house. They are made with beeswax and produce a beautiful brilliant, pure and translucent colour. 
The Gluckskafer Castle looks like great fun. North is really into playing the brave Knight at the moment so I am sure he would find a lot of creative inspiration in this 22 piece set. 
Today Dragonfly Toys is offering a beautiful Travelling Artist Tote complete with 12 beautiful Lyra coloured pencils, a sharpener and a pair of scissors
To enter: Simply leave a comment below. For an additional entry like Dragonfly Toys on facebook For a third entry visit Dragonfly Toys and share one of your personal favourite products here. Make sure to leave an additional comment for each entry. Australian residents only.
Winners will be drawn and posted on Monday, December 12th. 
Thanks so much to Tracie and Linda for their generous gift.
Stay tuned for another 10 days of giveaways. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

On the First Day of Giveaways Sustainababy gave to you...

Sustainababy is a one-stop eco parenting stop and information resource headed by Laura, an environmental professional. When pregnant with her first child, Laura was frustrated by the lack of eco-friendly, sustainable baby clothing and products on offer in one convenient online location and as a result Sustainababy was born. Laura is passionate about helping parents lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and writes researched and informative blog posts to guide parents in their journey to be green. Be sure to subscribe to Sustainababy to receive your FREE Eco Parenting Guide.
On the ecoMILF family wish-list from Sustainababy:
Any of the Merino Kids products- this brand is just beautiful and keeps the children warm and cozy through the winter months. 
The Plan Toys Tea Set looks like hours of fun for everyone. 
Santa Claus is Green: How to have an eco-friendly Christmas. This cute book looks like fun for the kids and adults. 
Cushie Tushies Cloth Nappy Wipes: OK, I admit I still haven’t gotten around to making enough homemade cloth wipes. But we’re not using disposable wipes which is a step forward. I adore these wipes. They are so soft I also keep a clean one stuffed in my pocket to wipe runny noses without any irritation (or waste). I can happily report Indi hasn’t had a nappy rash since we made the switch to cloth wipes. 
Today Laura is offering a $50 voucher to Sustainababy. What would you pick for your little loved one?
To enter: Simply leave a comment below. For an additional entry (and to receive Sustainababy’s daily eco parenting tips) like Sustainababy on facebook. For a third entry visit Sustainababy and share one of your personal favourite products here. Make sure to leave an additional comment for each entry.  Open Internationally but we kindly ask you pay for postage if you live outside of Australia.
Winners will be drawn and posted on Monday, December 12th. 
Thanks so much to Laura for the generous offer.
Stay tuned for another 11 days of giveaways...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

{piqued picks}

Piqued picks- a weekend meme. Links to articles, tutorials, recipes, videos, music... that have piqued my interest this week and made my heart go pitter patter. Feel free to share anything you found inspiring or noteworthy this week in the comments section or link to your own blog's piqued picks.
***

Immunise or Lose Benefits, parent told. This article has me highly concerned. Who is the bigwig lobbying for this? The chickenpox vaccine mandatory?! MMR vaccine at 18 months! I plan to vaccinate my children, but I think parents have a right to make an informed decision about what, when and where.


I've been looking into the 100 Mile Diet this week. After a few years of transition I can honestly say that about 90% of our food is organic, but some of it still comes from far away. I'd like to get more of our food from local farmers if I can...


This recipe for a Vanilla Pear Cardamom Cocktail looks like a delicious holiday treat.


My favourite singer of all time is Joni Mitchell. I. Just. Love. Her. This rendition of River is breathtaking.



And with that inspiring song I'll float away and begin my blogging holiday. Enjoy the 12 Days of Giveaways- I wish you all the best of luck in the draw. Thank you for all of the love and support. I hope you all have a calm and peaceful lead up to the holiday season. I'll be back soon with lots to share and hopefully a fresh outlook. 


xx m.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

our advent activity calendar

I had the greatest intentions this year to sew up a beautiful advent calendar like this one. But my sewing machine had another idea in mind- breaking just as I finished cutting out the last of the fabric for homemade Christmas presents. The machine is now in for repair, but in the meantime this paperchain advent calendar is a simpler yet lovely replacement and might actually be a better choice for my little three-year-old. Ever since the first of the Christmas decorations was put up around town (late October!) North's been asking when it will be Christmas. This is a very difficult answer to give to a three-year-old. Time is still a very abstract concept for him and "in many, many sleeps" is not the answer he is looking for.

Enter our paperchain calendar. Made with silver cardboard that I got years ago from Reverse Garbage each ring represents the days before Christmas and each morning North can rip one off of this hanging chain and watch the days melt away. I hope this will be the much needed and satisfying reassurance that Christmas is indeed on its way.

Inside each ring I have written a Christmas activity for us to do together as a family. Below is our list.(In the future I'd like to get more involved with community service but it's difficult to do venture too far without a car and with Indigo as young as she is.)

Nov 27: collect pinecones, holly and greens to make a Christmas wreath
28: make a Christmas wreath
29: see a Christmas Show at the Opera House
30: play Mary and Joseph and reenact their long journey
Dec 1: sing Christmas carols together
2: make cards and a photo album for Grandparents
3: listen to a story about Saint Nicholas
4: make and bake saltdough ornaments
5: paint and string saltdough ornaments
6: celebrate Saint Nicholas Day
7: make gingerbread cookies to share with friends
8: make Eliza (our once a week babysitter) a beaded necklace
9: go to the post office and send presents and Christmas cards
10: visit the Christmas tree farm
11: decorate the Christmas tree
12: take Christmas books out from the library
13: make a 'watch' for for Dada
14: make a felted ball necklace for Indigo
15: make Great Grandma a card with some seeds for her garden
16: make gingerbread house walls and roof
17: construct and decorate the gingerbread house
18: make paper snowflakes to decorate the house
19: string popcorn and cranberries for the tree
20: make homemade eggnog, enjoy and listen to Christmas carols
21: make cousins painted clay animals
22: make homemade cookies for our neighbours (and Santa!)
23: fly to Melbourne for Christmas and pack our Christmas things
24: AM: write Santa a note, get his cookies ready and a carrot for the reindeer PM: light candles, give thanks, tell the story of Jesus' birth and sing Christmas carols

During advent I will also be lighting a candle in the evenings and telling North the biblical Christmas Story about Mary and Joseph's journey and the birth of Jesus but I'll talk more about this in another post.

What are your plans for advent? Are you keeping it simple, including activities, giving gifts or planning a much more casual countdown until Christmas?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

split pea soup for a cold and rainy day

King Winter seems to be gripping on as long as he can this Spring. The weather reminds me a lot of April in Canada- wet and cold with a warm teasing kind of day now and then. But I'm not complaining- I do not cope well in 40˚ heat.

My favourite part about this kind of weather is the amount of cooking and baking I can do in comfort! There's nothing easier and more satisfying than a bowl of hearty soup filled with legumes and vegetables. Perfect after a morning of puddle jumping and baking mudcakes.

Ingredients
2 cups split peas
8 cups vegetable stock (or homemade organic chicken stock)
2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 bay leaves
olive oil and/or butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 pieces celery, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 tsp herbs de provence (or just some nice Italian/French fresh or dried herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil or sage)

Directions
Saute the last 5 ingredients (celery, herbs and garlic) for a few minutes until fragrant.
Add remaining ingredients and cook in a large stone or enamel pot for 3-4 hours until the peas are soft. You may blend in a food processor at the end of you like a smoother consistency but the soup will already be quite soft.
Remove bay leaves and garnish with fresh mint or a dollop of dijon mustard.
Serve with warm bread.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

extended breastfeeding the second time around

I have written about 'extended breastfeeding' many times throughout this blog. In reality I think the amount of time I spent feeding North (until he was around 19 months old) was not all that 'extended' compared to a lot of wonderful and dedicated Mothers who feed well into the preschool years and beyond. 

My first post on the subject highlighted the social inconvenience of feeding past the age of one, and sure enough as soon as Indigo began to walk I started to sense, feel and sometimes even hear the Tut Tuts all around me as she pulled at my shirt and signed 'milk' in a public space. 

Indigo is far less discreet than North ever was. When she wants milk she wants it NOW and if she can't have it she'll kick up a real fuss until I think it's really much easier to give her the comfort she needs than to try (and fail) to distract her. The combination of her allergies and eczema are extra motives to continue this nourishing relationship for as long as possible (and don't worry, her diet is my diet, I am aware of the co-relation). 

I've already had three strangers on separate occasions tell me that babies don't need milk after the age of one and that I am 'spoiling her' too much. Doesn't anyone take the World Health Organisations recommendations seriously? How is it that so many Mothers fret about whether to start solids at 4 months or 6 months but when the question is when to wean from breast to formula, 6 months or younger is an accepted norm?

I admit it's not always easy feeding for an extended period, which is why I have such respect and admiration for women who feed for many years. As much as I love and cherish the bond we have I can also feel drained, emotionally and physically depleted and very much tied down to house and home. Sometimes I feel like the only one of my kind. Did you know that the normal thing to do nowadays when your child is between 6 and 15 months is to go away for a weekend with your husband or friends and leave the baby with grandparents or trusted carers? I hate to generalise, but it really feels like everyone I know with a baby has done this. The mere thought baffles my mind. Indigo is 15 months old, has never taken a bottle and has NOT ONCE slept through the night (she wakes up on average twice a night)!! 

And with that admission comes even more judgement. Grandparents bashfully suggest 'sleep school'; well-meaning friends and mothers advise "crying it out"..."just for a few days", even health professionals encourage me not to feed her when she wakes because "she doesn't need the nutrition". 

But I am so much more aware this second time around, how quickly the time will pass and how soon it will be before she is sleeping through the night and these precious moments together will be tucked away into her subconscious. That taste of freedom I hear about and crave will oh so quickly be mine to relish. I'll spend nights away, I'll sleep until noon, I'll stay up late without worrying about when I'll have to rise. And then one day, I'll wake up after a long and restful nights sleep and sigh, "How I long for my dear baby girl to feed and to nourish with love!"



Sunday, November 20, 2011

weekending

I've been a busy little gnome this weekend- organising a very exciting line-up of giveaways starting next week (more on this Friday). But in between the intense computer time were moments spent in a much more relaxing and carefree setting...







Wishing you all a very happy end to your weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

{piqued picks}

Loving The Allergy Menu- a free recipe website that provides recipes based on your intolerances and sensitivities- perfect for the change in diet we are going through right now.

OK, I admit we're not even close to finished with the baby cot yet, but this DIY cot to kids desk idea is fabulous. Doesn't it just look amazing!?!

This tutorial on how to make your own produce bags is awesome- all you need is some thread, a needle and some old t-shirts! I think they look quite stylish.

Thinking about DIY Christmas presents. About 60% of the presents we give this year will be made by me and another 38% are handmade by another. These bath fizzies look simple enough to make and a wonderful present for any hard-working Mum in need of a time-out.

Love this video- such a good reminder! Born to Learn: Is a fun, thought-provoking series of animated films that illustrate ground-breaking new discoveries about how humans learn. Here is a sample of one from the series.
 

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.-


Thursday, November 17, 2011

down

My immunity system is down for the count.

Classic symptoms of a stay-at-home mum, who still feeds through the night and who may try to put a little too much on her plate at times...

Off to an appointment this evening for both Indi and I to try and get things sorted naturally. That's the goal you see. I know the quick-fix approach would be some steroid cream for the Little Miss and a prescription for anti-biotics for me. But, 'quick-fixes' just aren't my style. I like to dig deep and get to the bottom of things.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'll still be popping in for {this moment} and {piqued picks}.

Wishing you love, health and happiness on this cloudy Sydney day.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

natural whitener for your laundry

I must admit, our whites don't remain very white for long when they're in the hands of two grubby explorers who prefer hands to utensils.

Exhibit A: The status of a white dress at 9:22am.
I'm not too precious about everyday clothing, but if there's something that needs a bit more help returning to it's original colour, you'd be surprised how effective lemon juice, salt and sun can be at removing even the most stubborn of stains on white.

Exhibit B: Nappies inserts after a lemon juice soak, wash and dry.
Directions
For spot removal around necklines, underarms and other places: pour lemon juice (fresh or store bought- whatever you have on hand) over the stains, rub table salt into them and leave to dry in full sun for up to 7 hours. Then wash as normal.
Of course nothing is as powerful as bleach. But that's what makes it so disgustingly toxic, for us and the planet. Do yourself a favour and try this natural approach to stain removal before you buy your next bottle of poison.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

reading...

...a bit here and a bit there. Not quite sticking to one book at the moment.
Presently enjoying the following stacked by my bedside table. 

I’m not sure when I’ll get my hands on a good piece of fiction again (suggestions welcome!). I seem to be overwhelmed by the desire to cure, learn and create. Which isn’t all so bad, is it? 

Monday, November 14, 2011

finding meaningful work for little hands

Sometimes I catch myself trying to "get it all done" while the little ones are napping and then stop and question myself- why rush through it all? Take time. Breathe In. Take care. Breathe Out. If I treat these duties like a race I will quickly grow tired of it all for we all know laundry, and growing lawns and dishes are never really finished.

Instead, let us share these tasks together and rediscover the joy and rhythm in them. The children naturally follow me as I go from task to task. Sometimes they are looking for something to do so I create a job to keep their hands busy, other times they are happy to just be close to me immersed in their own imaginative games and play.

Here is a list of some examples of 'meaningful work' for toddlers and young children anywhere between the ages of 1 and 7 (and beyond).

In the garden
Raking the leaves
Mowing the lawn (we got the lawnmower at a garage sale)
Planting seeds
Picking vegetables
Watering the garden
Weeding

Housework
Play ironing
Folding doll clothes
Sweeping and mopping
Using the dustpan
Putting rubbish in the bin
Passing the pegs to you to hang the clothes
Taking turns with the vacuum
Sprinkling bi-carb and the bathtub and giving it a scrub (a favourite around here)
Waxing wooden furniture and toys
Spraying and wiping windows and mirrors (white vinegar and water spray bottle)
In the Kitchen
Setting the table
Washing the dishes
Cutting soft vegetables and fruits with a dull knife
Spinning salad
Making muffins
Kneading dough
Rolling out pizza dough
Putting pizza toppings on the dough
Grating cheese
Husking corn
Shelling peas
Peeling and/or grating carrots
Peeling potatoes

They take such pride in this work. So often children feel small and ill-equipped to help themselves to do the things that they desire. These little tasks give them a sense of being helpful and useful. They find joy in the rhythm of doing and they remind me to find joy in these little moments also.

Please do leave any other suggestions in the comments section if you have them!




Sunday, November 13, 2011

soaking beans and grains


We have always soaked our beans over night before cooking the next day but we have only recently started soaking our grains too. We've also started adding 1-2 tablespoons of whey in the soaking water for both grains and beans. The acid in the whey helps to neutralise the enzyme inhibitors or phytates which makes the them more digestible.

If you don't have whey you can also use apple cider vinegar or yoghurt.

We soak chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, millet, oats and rice amongst other things.

I've definitely noticed less of a bloat and/or heavy feeling since consciously soaking our beans and grains.

What about you? Do you cook your beans from scratch? Have you tried soaking your grains? Have you noticed any difference?


Saturday, November 12, 2011

{piqued picks}

Piqued picks- a Saturday meme. Links to articles, tutorials, recipes, videos, music... that have piqued my interest this week and made my heart go pitter patter. Feel free to share anything you found inspiring or noteworthy this week in the comments section or link to your own blog's piqued picks.
***

How cute are these framed hankies as wall art?

This video trailer sent shivers down my spine. Would love to see this: There Once Was an Island: Te Henua e Nnoho.

Having worked a small stunt at lululemon athletica myself I found this article really interesting. Although I took some good things from the experience I knew very quickly the company just wasn't for me, and questioned the disconnect between their values and ethics.

How have I not heard of James Vincent McMorrow before? His voice is breathtaking and his songs are beautiful. Thanks to my darling Brad for introducing me to this gorgeous music.

Friday, November 11, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.-


May we remember and lest we forget. Peace and Gratitude to those who have served us in the past and to those who serve us now. Let there be Peace on Earth and may we all learn to greet each other with compassion. Hari OM. Shanti Shanti Shanti. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

first out from the spring urban garden- green and purple beans

Planted from seed straight into the gardenbed. I feel like such a proud green mama when I tend to these dear plants.

Of course they didn't even make it inside the house. They were all nibbled up in about one minute flat. But if the garden is fostering a love for raw veggies, how can I complain?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

pause

Taking today to absorb and be thankful for your unbelievable kindness and loving comments after yesterday's post. I started this blog just over two years ago and it never ceases to amaze me how generous and supportive you all are. It was a relief to feel so understood and you really did lift a weight off of my shoulders. I want to take the time to visit each one of you who shared the love yesterday so that is just what I'll do tonight.


In the meantime I'm off to catch a bus with the little ones. Oh, how something so simple can turn into such an event!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

the omnivorous family- a somber confession

This is probably one of the hardest and heaviest posts I have ever written simply because it is so personal. When I started this blog over two years ago one of my first posts was about raising vegetarian (technically pescatarian) children and why I was so certain I wanted to raise my children with the same food ethics I I held. 
Our little family thrived on vegetarian meals with fish once or twice a week to boost iron, Omega-3s and easily digestable proteins. I am sure we could have gone on like that forever not thinking or knowing any differently. But everything changed the day Indi was officially diagnosed with a severe fish allergy. Suddenly my children were vegetarian in the truest sense of the word. ‘OK’, I thought, ‘I can handle this- eggs, hummus, nut spreads, dairy, soy...’ Manageable. But Indi did not improve. Her eczema got worse and she often breaks out in red, itchy, blotches on her cheeks after eating eggs and sesame seeds (she doesn’t have them now). She has been diagnosed with multiple allergies and sensitivities and as a result cannot eat egg, cheese, milk, hummus, sesame and we are still cautious around nuts. 
I never intended to and never wanted to raise a vegan child. I just can’t do it. I’m not a huge fan of too much processed soy, I don’t like the idea of my child getting most of their nutrients from a vitamin or supplement and to be honest I think a strictly vegan diet just cannot give you everything you need to be healthy. TO ADD: Unless very carefully planned, monitored and constantly re-assessed and re-evaluated. Especially when you’re growing and developing at a rapid rate. I respect, honour and look up to those who choose the righteous vegan path. But in the end I do believe even they are choosing ethics over health. TO ADD: It is not an easy feat to plan well-balanced, wholesome and nutritious meals, even for omnivores and even more time, energy and effort is put into a very carefully planed vegan diet. 
For the sake of my littlies, after months of mental gymnastics, nutritional research, ethical questions, even abattoir clips and videos... for our family and given the host of allergies and sensitivities we are addressing I have chosen health over my ethics. 
Of course we are doing our best to make the most responsible and ethical decisions when it comes to meat consumption. Brad and I have agreed upon a strict set of family rules:
  • We eat vegetarian, often vegan meals 6 days a week- about 80% vegan, 10% vegetarian and 10% meat. 
  • We only eat ‘meat’  once a week on the weekend, consuming any left-overs the following day.
  • We will only eat meat (chicken, lamb, beef and game) that is ‘free-range’, ‘pasture-fed’, and ’organic’. I have called the farms of every brand we have bought and talked directly to the farmers themselves to get information about their entire operations from the animals birth to death and everything in between.
  • We don’t eat meat at restaurants, people’s houses or at parties unless we are certain of the source and know that is it free-range, pasture-fed and organic. 
  • We don’t eat pork.
  • We try to buy cuts that can have multi-purposes and try to use all of the parts (for example, bones for broths). We do our very best to minimize any waste. 
  • Before we eat we give thanks. We say a prayer for the animal. We take our time and try to stay mindful when eating.
  • We are honest about what we are eating to the children. We don’t cover anything up and we respect whether they choose to eat it or not.
  • We all eat the same foods as a family and we all abstain from eating animals we think weren’t raised with as much dignity and integrity as is possible.
 This decision was not made lightly. I also want to stress how deeply personal a decision is was. As for me personally, I didn’t like the idea of eating differently than my young children. I wanted them to feel supported and I wanted our family values to be strong and uniform. On top of that, I just haven’t been feeling 100% and my cravings for just a touch of red-meat have increased a lot over the past year. A plant-based diet is unbelievably healthy, but my body was craving something else. Not much, but something. 
I have had to mentally accept the fact that an animal’s death, no matter how ‘organically’ they were raised is not nice, cannot be filled with compassion and will never be peaceful. Raising animals for food will never be as environmentally friendly as being a vegetarian. And it’s a lot harder to embody a value like ‘world peace’ when you’re supporting an industry very far from this ideal. I am trying to forgive myself, and accept that this is the best choice I can make right now based on life’s circumstances. I would like to think that this change in our lives is a part of our, my dharma. Time will only tell if it sticks, who will remain an omnivore, and who might switch back to being vegetarian.
For those that are vegetarian or vegan and/or are raising your families that way, you have my deepest respect. You sacrifice so much more than your palette for the animals. Bless you and may we all be inspired by your example.
I hope that you will all continue to support our family and withhold as much judgement as you can, although I am open to your questions or comments. I hope our news has not disappointed or offended you in any way and hope that if you cannot find peace in this decision you can at least find peace in my honesty. 
With love and kindess,
Meagan.

Monday, November 7, 2011

a spring song for circle time

These little birdy finger puppets were a breeze to sew up and have provided lots of Springtime fun.
After our morning song and an oral story we take these birds out and sing/chant this verse:
I can see a mama bird flying to her nest
Feeding all her little ones then they take a rest
She spreads her wings to keep them warm,
And to guard them from all harm
Wings to shelter from the sun
Even the wriggly littlest one!
Wings to dry them from the rain
Yes, little birds. it's Spring again!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

in the kitchen...

It's bustling around here. Replacing old snacks with new gluten-free versions and trying to keep a little bit of dairy in our diets by switching to raw, fermented dairy products like kefir and cultured butter.

Here's a look at our busy little kitchen today:

Kefir, sitting for 48 hours before strained and chilled for drinking
Fermented carrot and ginger for a bit of a sour side dish. Delicious on top of veggie burgers, salads or rice bowls.
Vegetarian sushi rolls with wild rice, golden tofu, raw asparagus and carrot and an almond butter dipping sauce
Gluten-free cookies made with brown rice, rolled quinoa, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, dried currants, honey and almonds.
Gluten-free brown rice, millet and sesame crackers.
Experimenting with making our own dairy-free chocolate. Made from cacao butter, cocoa powder, agave nectar and a few other things.
I want to make a fermented apricot butter but I've run out of whey! Will have to make up a batch of yoghurt. So satisfying have a pantry filled with healthy homemade treats and snacks!

What's been cooking in your kitchen this weekend?