March 31, 2012

the super salve company and a giveaway

comfrey leaf lotion...i use it as my facial moisturizer, too.

I am not one of those girls that goes crazy for beauty products. Ask my mom. She says things like.... "Oh Ivey, you could be attractive if you'd wear a little make-up." My beauty regime, if it even merits that name, is quite simple. I brush my teeth, moisturize, sunscreen, and pull my mop back into a ponytail. If I'm going to a meeting I might put on mascara. That's it. 

I don't like to think about it too often, but the wild west does a number on your skin. High Altitude, a mega dry climate, and being outdoors constantly, is a bad combination, and we gals out here are aging faster than you girls back east. (Just our skin, OK, don't go getting all cocky.) :)

But I have a solution and I am clinging to it.

Say Hello to the Super Salve Co.

Never in my life, have I contacted a company to say hi and thank you and bless your soul,  not until the other day. I figured that while I was at it, I'd throw the sponsor idea out there, and within the day, Denise, the owner of the company had written back. 

Denise is the herbal goddess behind the amazing product line...Super Salve. Everything she makes is  pure love. You read the ingredients and they are an inspired concoction of total goodness. The list starts off with 'purified mountain rain water' and only gets better.  See?

 Her sunscreen is a must have. There are lots of natural sunscreens out there, but this one is the real McCoy! It's spf 30 and I have no problem with it on my face all day, everyday and it's the only thing I put on my kids. It lives in fridge (as she recommends for many of her products) and is a cool treat for the skin and the senses.

And here is the deal clincher for me. The Oh My Goodness. I do NOT like scents. Not one bit, and especially on the face.  But stop the car, girlfriend. Denise is genius. 
Never in my life, have I been more in love with a smell. Part of it is knowing that it is mother earth's blessed alchemy, not some chemical formula, and part is olfactory induced euphoria. This could go rated R, but to say that Matt likes it is an understatement. Pure Heaven.

Right this minute, order some sunscreen for you and the kids and some Comfrey Leaf lotion for you and the significant other.  And look at all her amazing product lines...they're extensive and well conceived.

{If you live in Durango, you can buy her products at Durango Natural Foods or Nature's Oasis.}

From the girl who's not into product, but is certainly into anti-aging, and only the best on your skin, east and west, north and south, let me say that you deserve this. You do know the woes of traditional cosmetics, I'm assuming. To learn more go here, here, or here. She also makes make-up for those who want a natural alternative.

And Denise wants to pamper you with a wonderful give away.

She is offering a mini-kit from her Body Nourish Spa line...17 products for face and body.

(CONTAINS (1) EACH: Cleansing Facial Foam, Hydrating Facial Toner, Intensive Vitamin C Treatment, Sunshine Filter, Hydrating Eye Cream, VitaNutrient Face Cream, Hydrating Facial Mist, Facial Steam, Green Clay Refinishing Facial Mask, Daily Renewal Peel, Jelly Mask, Silk Finish Salt Scrub, Cocoa Butter Misting Oil, Comfrey Lotion, Foot Treatment, Coconut Sugar Scrub, and Hair & Scalp Treament.)

It's a fandango, folks. There will be two winners! Leave a comment and tell me what you look for in a cosmetic product and you are entered. I will pick a random winner next Friday.
Spread the word.

congrats to heather and anna!

March 30, 2012

this moment...{the ginja ninja does a project}

The Ginja Ninja finished this poster yesterday, for school. 

Now that's a book. 

You've read it, right? Must, must, must!

I'm not going to tell you how the end effected my sweet boy. It has a humdinger of an ending. 

I will say that I heard noises coming from his room, and they were not very ninja-like. 
But, oh, I have a sensitive ninja.

Hope your weekend is a flying side kick to the very soul of Saturday!

March 29, 2012

thrifty thursday

 I am excited to be joining Lady Cordelia again for Thrifty Thursday, where we lovingly showcase our thrifted junk! Proving, one Thursday at a time, that true style can found in the dumpster nearest you.

Above you will favorite tray, my favorite salt and pepper shakers, and my favorite sugar bowl. They all came from the thrift store for peanuts. Smashing, aren't they. I actually sort of styled that photo, which I usually don't do.

In the spirit of full disclosure, here is the reality.

The tray sits beside my stove and holds a jumble of odds and ends that I use almost constantly.

Lemons. I use at least two lemons a day. There is always a cut lemon on the counter. Lemon makes everything better. Salad dressings, soup, meat, beer. Everything. Write it down.

Butter. We use way too much butter. Even the cat likes butter. If there is a textured trench in the stick o' butter, guess what? Puss has been on the counter. Don't tell Matt. 

The rest is the usual stuff...garlic, s and p, ginger, olive oil, a jalapeno, osha tincture, a water buffalo, porcini salt, and Della's cinnamon sugar.

I think the porcini salt balances the lick trench nicely.

Be thrifty and prosper.

(what sits beside your stove?)

March 27, 2012

one week of vegetarian meals

the lowly beet just might be my favorite vegetable
We are going vegetarian for the week. I decided this on Sunday in a very nonchalant fashion. I wish I could say that there was some raging conviction around it, but then I'd be lying, and I don't like to lie to you guys. I like meat. Let's rephrase that. I like GOOD meat. I like meat that I know to be raised and processed properly and not shot up with drugs or slimed. I'm not going to go on and on about that, because I think you all know what I mean. Meat of questionable lineage gives me the shivs. Quality meat is expensive and I'm frugal, but mostly I believe that it's healthy to change things up. For adults and kids.

It's a good idea to shift perspectives, and raise your awareness around things that you do everyday. I believe, deep down, that it keeps you young and fresh and feisty to knock your habits on their ear every now and again. I told the young'uns that we weren't eating meat this week, and their only concern was that Ben and Jerry's is vegetarian. Max and Matt did consider their Friday night pizza, but I think that both of them can bear this cross for one Friday of their meager lives.

Just to be fickle, the husband stated that he could eat meat when I wasn't around, because I'm not his mother.(But apparently, he'll be too lazy if I am around?!)
Below you will find what I have mapped out for the week. Like Matt, you can eat whatever you like, but a week is a very short period of time and change is good, so feel free to join in. We often eat meatless meals, but I'd like to do it more, perhaps half of the time, so this is a step in that direction. 

sauteed veggies (carmelized onions, green onions, red peppers, japs, and swiss chard) on black bean and cheese quesadillas with salsa and cilantro sour cream
oranges and scratch brownies

breakfast: cheese grits (a staple around here)
kid's lunch: egg salad sandwich, red peppers and blackberries, corn chips and luna bars
mango lassi

breakfast: toast with cherry preserves and boiled eggs and green drink
kid's school lunch: pbj, oranges, celery, corn chips and greek yogurt
thai butternut squash red curry with cashews and greens
brown basmati rice and cucumber salad

breakfast: granola with berries and a green drink
kid's school lunch: avocado chickpea salad sandwich and beets in balsamic vinegar
a Southern vegetable plate
mac and cheese, collards, black eyed peas
cornbread and honey

breakfast: crockpot oatmeal
kid's lunch: cream cheese and olive sandwiches with lots of lettuce, strawberries, popcorn and seaweed
falafel 'burgers' with quinoa tabbouleh, tahini, and avocado
red cabbage slaw

breakfast: we always get bagels at Doughworks on Friday...everything with garlic and herb, and a chocolate donut
kid's lunch: leftover mac and cheese and what ever is available
Friday night is a family treat! Homeslice Pizza! (sans pepperoni this week!)
let's try...the pesto sauce with tomatoes and mozzarella

We grab a movie from the library, and then hunker down for the night.
(and our old friends, Ben and Jerry, might drop by after the kids are asleep)
I hope this gets you thinking!
Would your family give it a whirl or would they rebel?
Happy eating and I am always open to your ideas!

March 26, 2012

monday love

a picture
 a repost.....from the  DM archives
an idea for dinner


{from the archives}
Sharon and Karen spent the weekend together. Oi vey!
Read about these testy little girls right here and then the sequel is here.

carrot salad with harissa, feta and mint
mango lassi

(we are going vegetarian all this week)

March 23, 2012

this moment...{swelling and shrinking}

I snapped a secret photo. A picture does paint a thousand words.

I had a moment the other day. 

A Whoa This Is All Going Sorta As Planned moment. 

Max and a sweet neighbor friend had been outside, playing and jumping on the trampoline.

Max busted in the back door. (He never just comes in anymore. It's as if he has been expelled by Mother Nature, with a shush of wind and energy, back into the house)

In one long and excited and loud exclamation he was saying this....

"I have to read you this passage! It's insane and so funny and I can't stop laughing and it's this book about a boy and then this guy brings a present over and hold on, let me find this part, you have to hear it. I 'll read it to you.............  

Now that's really all it takes for me. This one thing, this one bit of excitement bursting from my 12 year old son feels like the whole universe nodding yes.

But it gets better. What book, what passage was he so excited by?

He grabs the book from a stack by his bed and Reed sits beside him, and he's thumbing through and searching and he finds it, and starts laughing and reading and laughing and....

I smiled at the full circle of it all.

Unbidden, with tears of laughter, he reads my favorite passage from my favorite book, that he has found and fallen for, all by himself.

Do you know the armadillo scene in A Prayer for Owen Meany?

Let us recommend it to you. 

And then a few hours later.......

We are all sitting around the table eating dinner. Della is talking about her day at school. She is talking about a Show and Tell that drug on way too long. She is talking about a small incident.

What happened, baby? I asked. 

"I yelled out." she said.

What'd you say? We were all curious.

"It wasn't bad, I told her to 'just spit it out'."

That's so me. Get to the point, people!

And there you have it. In the space of an afternoon I see the full spectrum of our influence. 

From a literary gold star to heckling a first grader, we are raising these people, best we can, nowhere near perfect, but damn sure unique, and it pays well, with lots of love, and the energy and power they leave in their wake. To get up and do it again....for tomorrow holds another adventure, another mystery, another blessing.

And certainly another laugh.

And my dear readers, thank you for reading. For letting me write.
I appreciate you everyday and love our community.

March 22, 2012

thrifty thursday

I am so excited to be joining Lady Cordelia for thrifty Thursday

When Cordelia talks about the glories of thrifting, she is singing to the choir here. The honest to goodness truth, for me, is this. I like the element of chance, I like the gamble. Anybody can walk into Anthropology and come out with a treasure (albeit mass produced). It takes a bit of swagger to rock a thrift store. Check Cordelia out and see what I mean. 

At the present moment, I am on a thrifting hiatus. I am trying to donate, not purchase, in the spirit of spring cleaning and yin and yang and such.

So I am featuring some favorites from around the house.

The furball is totally thrifted. Our humane society is also, literally, a thrift store...genius!

I painted the cat portrait, but the frame is, yes, a thrift score.

The antique Pendleton blanket was in a $5 box of goodies. 

The muted paisley quilt is soft and thick. $2

The rainbow walls are my solution to anything that ails you.

The cross stitch 'viva mexico' pillow is perhaps my all time fave. 
{anthropology is ripping it off as. we. speak.}

 more next week!

Do you thrift?

March 20, 2012

how not to discipline your children

Hello folks! I got a question the other day from a reader about our philosophy around discipline. My first thought was, 'Eee gad! I'm not mature enough to have developed a philosophy!' and my second thought was 'I'll make Matt do it.' He got off track and proposed (yes, we are already married) instead, but he also churned out a few words on discipline. 

So, here is Matt again, on the subject of discipline, or lack thereof, as the case may be.

One of Ivey's readers asked what our philosophy was around disciplining our kids and I quickly responded that it's ninety percent love and ten percent yelling. She then said that I could be a 'guest blogger' and talk about discipline. I asked her when she started doing the "guest blogger thing" and she said I was the inaugural guest. Feeling privileged and special, I began to ruminate on discipline. 

Hmmm, discipline? 

My first thought was, "You get to write about art and food and travel and laughter and friends and family, and I get to write about discipline?" Something seems wrong with this picture. I am not even sure what she meant by "discipline."

So I looked it up.  The dictionary defines discipline as " training to act in accordance with the rules" or "punishment inflicted by way of correction and training."  So, it is both the regimen we put in place in our kid's lives, and the pain we inflict upon them when they fail to conform to the program. The 'means' and 'the end' (get it?).  Like I said, can I write about my favorite Sponge Bob episode instead?

What do I really know about discipline?  Not much, even after practicing full-on attachment parenting for the past thirteen years, and devoting some serious clinical energy (I work as a family counselor) to a number of folks that struggle to keep the wheels greased at home. And then there was my own childhood, which offered countless lessons in "How Not to Discipline." (I was once angrily spanked for cutting off all of my little sister's long golden locks, even though I was actually in the bathtub when the offense occurred.)

Discipline is a strong word… connotes what one needs when they want to lose 50 pounds, or run a marathon, or whip a battalion into shape for some bloody conflict. Instead, I like to think of our family program as "Harmony Management". That has a better ring to it, doesn't it? 

Harmony is both the program of training, and the goal. It's...

"We all love each other very much, so let's learn to live together peacefully and happily, and if we struggle with that, for whatever reason, let's do what we have to do to come back around to what is important, which is moving forward, having fun, and staying connected. And, oh, by the way, I'm in charge."

It's maintaining peace by showing and expecting respect.

So, here is my humble attempt to help you reduce stress and stay connected to your kids as you hold down the fort. I graciously offer you the 7 steps of (home) Harmony Management.

1) Respect the Process. Getting and keeping everyone on the same page can be challenging, arduous, tenuous, and fleeting. Be patient, stay fit, and have faith. Communicate honestly and kindly with these little people, the ones you claim are the best thing you've ever done.

2)  Enjoy your Kids.They're not robots, soldiers, or Chinese factory workers. They are creative energy incarnate...wrap your head around it, embrace it. Laugh and love, first and mostly.

3) Learn to Love Noise. Really.

3) Meet 'em where they are.Try to remember what it feels like to be a kid. Give them responsibility, but don't overdo it. Don't spoil the magic.

4) No Bullying.

5) Lead Boldly. They want and need leadership. (pretty much for the rest of your lives together)

6) Spend Time. Most families could radically transform their lives by taking 25% of their TV time, 25% of the internet/smart phoning time, and applying it to their family. Just for fun, add those hours up, and decide if they could be better spent. Hi Dad. This means you, too.

7) Trust Yourself. Most folks already have the answers to the tough parenting questions, they simply won't trust themselves to accept them. Hint hint....if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

These might not be the techniques and tactics you were expecting, but if you follow these suggestions I guarantee the need for "discipline" will diminish. Which makes doling it out, whatever your method, much easier and more effective.

Good Luck!

March 18, 2012

monday love

a picture
a song
an idea for dinner

via poppytalk
Bright Lights Bigger City by Cee Lo Green on Grooveshark

chicken and dumplings

March 16, 2012

spring in the air

Dare I say it? The minute I do, we'll get an arctic blast, and have to shovel out the grill again. Spring in Durango means mud, wind, blizzards, and more mud.

At our house, in our narrow little valley, the  situation is unique. While my garden is still under three feet of snow in the back yard, I can look out the front window and see green grass, yucca and cactus. It's the 'sunny side of the street' effect and it's a bit of a psyche for us. But Della and I crossed the road the other day and, dodging pointy plants, hiked up to our favorite cave for a little picnic.

This girl is ready for spring. "What the hell, Mom? Look at our house!" It's the one in the far rear, almost buried in snow drifts.

 I'm not complaining, we walk two hundred yards and get a whole new climate. I should be thankful, and I am.

On an unrelated note, do you mess with your children? Do you know what I mean? Freak 'em out a little? Keep them guessing, play practical jokes, that sort of thing? I do. It's my nature. They are used to it and are now getting to an age where they don't fall for my shenanigans, but I can still get them going. (the neighbor kids are an easy target, too, but even they are onto me!)

Max is the most gullible.
Here he is with his friend Berr. I took the picture at school and added an eerie, evil, haunted 'boy' in the background. He's not too hip to photoshop. 

"OMG, Max, this is SO not cool!" I said in utter seriousness and shock.
He fainted dead on the floor. He 'came to' and called Berr. I let him tell the whole school that the place was possessed. It's my duty, I feel, to create a little urban legend and drama in the everyday boringness that is middle school.

He bugged me till I confessed.

Then he smiled.

'Mom, you are so weird.'
Hope you all have a lovely!

March 12, 2012

whole wheat biscuits

In college, I worked at an amazing vegetarian restaurant in Athens, Georgia. It was the place to be, really. Fred, from the B-52’s worked (and sang and danced) there years before me, and most everyday I waited on one, or another of these guys. It was a rockin’ place to work.

Everyone came there for the same reason. 

Bluebird Whole Wheat Biscuits.

They were special. Huge and a little grainy and always hot out of the oven, it seemed. I’d come into work for the breakfast shift, and head straight to biscuit tray. 
I’d wait till Carol, the ornery cook, looked away and I’d grab two. 
lots of butter
even more apple butter

Pure heaven. Just ask Michael Stipe. 
I have not replicated them, but these aren’t too bad. 

Whole Wheat Biscuits
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s white whole wheat organic flour)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk (any kind)
In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix well with whisk or fork. Cut the ½ stick butter into little pea sized pieces and then mix the pieces into the flour mixture. Using a fork, try to mash the butter pieces as you mix it together with the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. (This can also be done in your mixer.) It’s okay if the outcome just looks like the same pea sized pieces of butter covered with flour. Then pour in the milk and mix it all together. Knead the dough with your hands 8 to 10 times and then turn out onto a counter or cutting board. Pat it out flat with your hands until the dough is a somewhat even ¾-inch thickness (sprinkle with a little flour if necessary). Turn a drinking glass upside down and cut out biscuit rounds. I have also used shaped cookie cutters (like a heart or star) if you have little ones helping you! Then put them on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
recipe via here

March 10, 2012

Twist and Twine Yarn Winner

It’s always exciting drawing a winner around here. After tallying things up and putting fun little slips of paper in a jar, Della did the honors!

And the winner of the lovely yarn from Twist and Twine is.....

A longtime reader with a very snazzy new blog.....Domestic Doozy! Do go and check her out!

Send me your address, dear, and it will be coming your way soon!

Thanks to everyone who left comments and remember to check back with Camilla for all of your yarn yearnings!

March 9, 2012

kona and granola

I got a package in the mail the other day from my friend, Kim. Among the assorted Hawaiian sweets was a bag of gold.  Pure Kona from Maui. Mornings are supreme, my friends.

I thought I’d whoop up some granola to go with it.

I looked at my recipe and made some tweaks and changes, if only because I like to use what I have on hand.
I did not have any high oleic oils hanging around, so I used ghee and raw coconut butter.
I added millet and smatterings of almost empty nut jars....almond, pecan, cashew, flax, sesame, and walnuts. Not much of any of these, mind you. Just the dregs.

It was/is yummy. I got caught up in the moment and made about 3 tons of the stuff, enough to get us through the apocalypse.

Just head over to my house when you run out of provisions.

The world will be in chaos, looting and pillaging, but we’ll be eating granola, tucked under a mountain.

I’ll even save you some java.

My parents gave me the platter for Christmas. It’s an original, by my friend Rebecca
Back before the kids, I made pottery with her, and a wonderful group of women in a funky old warehouse in Athens, GA.

She believes in ‘beauty everyday’.

You too? Yeah, I thought so.

Why not, right?

Have a beautiful day!

And, Geez Louise, scroll down and hit up my give away for some beauty in a ball!

March 8, 2012

Twist and Twine Yarns

If I knit, I would knit a sweater for a snake. But that’s me, and as my sister likes to say, 'I’m touched’.

You guys are quite capable of knitting real garments for real people, so you need to win the yarn on the give away from Twist and Twine Yarns. Because my week ran away from me, I am extending the give away till Saturday.
You have another chance to win. You could make a snake sweater.

Here’s how.

Go to the Twist and Twine Etsy Shop and add it to your ‘favorites’! 

Tell me you did it down in the comments, and you’re halfway to victory.

That’s all you gotta do.

{We love this funny old book around here. We are fiends for books, you know.}

March 7, 2012

lunch date

I took this boy out on a lunch date recently. I signed him out from school and took him to a fancy restaurant. We chatted. We sipped exotic Italian drinks. We had briny appetizers from a far away ocean and soaked up the juices with lots of bread. We ordered two gelatos and shared. Lemon and dark chocolate.

He’s a gem, folks. You might want to think about an arrangement, if you know what I mean.

This boy admires the opposite sex. Not just ‘likes', but admires. He thinks girls are smart and funny and wonderful. He’s transparent and open about this. He often talks of his future wife with a clarity that is unusual to me. He knows that a good woman is a big part of his happy future. Oh he’s witty, too. So quick, and his grin is no small thing, either.

I took this picture and laughed. One day he’ll be out on a date of his own. He’ll be rocking a cool pose and nonchalance that is innate. This guy will be ‘deep’. He’ll be drawing funny pictures on the table cloth and making some sweet girl feel like a million dollars. Like the center of the universe. He’ll mean it, too.

I have a feeling he’ll want a smooch.

I kissed him afterwards. I couldn’t help it.

He’s got that little something about him.

But, it wasn’t our first date, was it?

And isn’t the magic of mothering being able to speculate on the future? To laugh and say, ‘Yes, this is so much fun and it just keeps getting better.' Every step of the way has been an overwhelming joy.

{I apologize for getting maudlin on you, but what the hell, you’re reading a mommy blog.}

I  highly recommend dates with your kids.

Over and out.

The give away, folks! The give away!

March 2, 2012

Twist and Twine Yarns

I am so happy to introduce you to Camilla, my new sponsor, of Twist and Twine.

I am not a knitter. It is probably a built-in Darwinian mechanism for survival for my offspring. I fear that if I knit, I would fall down the rabbit hole of soft, fuzzy, cozy, warm, and lovely....never to return. My children would starve as I wallowed in rainbows of wool. That’s an exaggeration, but my plan is to start knitting for the grandchildren, as they won’t be under my direct care (I hope).

Just look at this.

and this

Beautiful yarn triggers something primal, I think.... a connection to our past and to nurturing and protecting.

Everything about it feels right.

So you can’t imagine how excited I was to get an email from Camilla, of Twist and Twine, the other day. Her photos are dizzying, her passion is palpable, and I feel like a kindred spirit is up in Montana splashing beautiful colors all over her kitchen for the greater good. You saw her clothesline from the other day, right? What a job!

Camilla is originally from Scandinavia and now resides in the Montana mountains with her four darling children and husband. She loves all things nature and first started making natural dyes as a child with her grandfather from birch and blueberries. She’s been knitting since age six and you might remember her from Magnolia Handspun where she has been creating magic (see below) up until very recently.

A hand injury and a very obvious love of color led her to dyeing and aren’t we all glad?!

She says she ‘lives to dye’ and jokes that she has fiber running through her blood. I say, that it is obvious when a person finds their passion and it shows in their work. Camilla’s yarn speaks for itself!

 Camilla writes about family, her heart, her new horse and her free range life at her blog, Free Range Chick. I am putting the blog in my sidebar, too, as her writing is so heartfelt and lovely. 
When you get a moment, I would love for you to read this post about her oldest son. A mother's love for that first boy is hard to describe, but she nails this unnameable feeling. 

But before you run off and do that, she has a little something for you.  

Do you want this ball of goodness?
It could be yours.
Even the name is is the official lowdown!

" Floral & Fern "
4 ply Fingering weight
75% Superwash Merino
25% Nylon
437 yards/3.5 oz
Needle: US 1-3

You have two chances to win and it couldn’t be easier. Leave a comment below for your first chance, and for two chances, mention this give away on your blog or your facebook page. Report back.
I’ll announce the winner on Thursday!