Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Blog Name- check it out!

Two different Sara(h)s contributed in this name! (I've got two new hats added to my list!)
First the word "chronicles" was mentioned which is just a great word and then today I was reminded of what Ella started calling me a few months back, Miss Mermaid.
So there you have it, welcome to The Miss Mermaid Chronicles.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Picture Post

We are having a fantastic time with our family in Arizona!!

Woody & Strawberry Shortcake
Apple Dumpling

a book before bed
NAU Homecoming Parade
The girls' Halloween costumes were made by the extremely talented Sarakenobi!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This blog needs a new name... WIN A CUSTOM FUNKAKNITS HAT!

While I still plan to post updates on my sister and brother in laws afghan, this blog seems to have taken on a life of it's own. Post your blog name change suggestions in the comments and the winner will receive a custom made Funkaknits hat.

Deal on Organic Alergen Free Halloween Candy

It's not too late to order this for Halloween (or just to have for special occasions). I love that these lollipops are colored with vegetables!

How to:
Click the photo/link to the left.
Sign up through Subscribe and Save.

Enter code: SEPYUMMY at checkout for an additional 20% off
Your final price should be $17.50 with free 2 day shipping.

To order through subscribe and save, choose your quantity and any delivery schedule, then click “Subscribe now!” When you sign up for Subscribe and Save you are under no obligation and can cancel at anytime. To cancel your Subscribe and Save items, just click on “my account” and then “subscriptions” and with the click of a button you can cancel (I often do this directly from the order confirmation page, which has a link to manage your subscriptions). The order you just put in will still go through, but no others will.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Violet's Friday Food Post- Sweet VS Savory

My Divvies' Bakery Cookbook came last week and I got busy making sweet treats I wouldn't ordinarily make for a 19 month old!

The first recipe we chose (Ella insisted) was Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing (both vegan). I even managed to score some cupcake sprinkles made with real vegetable dye instead of yucky red 40, yellow 5 (which V breaks out into hives from) etc.
The Divvies Chocolate Cupcake and Vanilla Frosting

Next time I make these I plan to make a "cream cheese"/powdered sugar frosting as opposed to this "butter cream" recipe. The girls loved them (squeals of "good! good!") and even Chris (a hard sell) said he enjoyed them.

Next from the Divvies Cookbook, Mini Marshmallow Chocolate Clusters, showed up as result of one of my late night cravings for chocolate.
I wish I could post these recipes but just don't feel right about it, especially since this is such a new book. I will say these were absolutely delicious and I will be making these again and again for parties or when I need something sweet in a pinch. The entire make time took about 5 minutes and I had all the ingredients already in my pantry. I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, added about a teaspoon of canola oil (not in the recipe) and Dandies Marshmallows (vegan!). The ultimate test- I had to stop Chris from eating these out of the fridge so I could photograph them the next morning!
chocolate cooling/hardening

look how pretty! so easy and delicious!

Salmon Burgers with Vegan Avocado Dip
The girls were not home at the same time to eat these and loved them so much they each wanted the others serving. Ella tried to convince me that Violet could have bananas for dinner instead!

(egg free variation on Weelicious Salmon Burgers)
1 Lb. Fresh Salmon, skinned
1ener-G "egg"
1 Tsp Dried Dill
1/2 Tsp Salt

Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until just combined (you should still see tiny pieces of salmon).
2. Form into patties and place on a sheet tray lined with foil or plastic wrap (mixture will be sticky. Using wet hands will make forming the patties much easier).
3. Cover and refrigerate the salmon patties for 1 hour.
4. Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large skillet.
5. Cook the patties for 3 minutes on each side.

Vegan Avocado Dip 
in a bowl combine with a fork (I like mine chunky but you could food process this mixture for a smoother texture):
2 tablespoons of Grape Seed Oil Vegenaise
1 avocado 
pinch of salt

Summer Rolls
I've come to realize recently these could be filled with just about anything including fruit or meat.
This week my rolls were filled with any combo of avocado (a must for me), carrots, beansprouts, cucumber, plum sauce and Better Than Cream Cheese (didn't much care for it in my rolls).
These were not a kid favorite (yet) but I loved them so much I made them almost every day for my lunch.

Monday, October 11, 2010

deal on Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 15-Ounce Tubs (Pack of 2)

How to:
Click here
Sign up through Subscribe and Save.
Your final price should be $11.68 with free shipping.

To order through subscribe and save, choose your quantity and any delivery schedule, then click “Subscribe now!” When you sign up for Subscribe and Save you are under no obligation and can cancel at anytime. To cancel your Subscribe and Save items, just click on “my account” and then “subscriptions” and with the click of a button you can cancel (I often do this directly from the order confirmation page, which has a link to manage your subscriptions). The order you just put in will still go through, but no others will.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

agave nectar on the cheap

For those of you who use Agave, this is an awesome price!

How to:
Click the link above.
Sign up through Subscribe and Save.
Your final price should be $16.15 with free shipping.

To order through subscribe and save, choose your quantity and any delivery schedule, then click “Subscribe now!” When you sign up for Subscribe and Save you are under no obligation and can cancel at anytime. To cancel your Subscribe and Save items, just click on “my account” and then “subscriptions” and with the click of a button you can cancel (I often do this directly from the order confirmation page, which has a link to manage your subscriptions). The order you just put in will still go through, but no others will.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Wednesday for us was a beautiful Florida day at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens.

ready to go!
little girls

E in the bananas

Violet's Friday Food Post

This was kind of a crazy week so I didn't get many food photos. I did get to take some of the girls playing at beautiful Kanapaha Gardens (stay tuned for the next post coming up).

Monday nights, meal:

Wilted Kale with Mustard & Organic Beef Hot Dogs 

In my head I head whoever is reading this laughing in disbelief...allow me to explain. Every Monday we go for our local organic produce coop pick up. This particular Monday, I happened to have ordered a few packs of hot dogs from the coop as well. The whole ride home both girls had been snacking on raw kale in the back seat and while I had planned to make them hot dogs for dinner, they were enjoying the Kale so much that for some reason it all sounded good mixed together. So that was dinner. And it was really really good (we promise!).

Another meat item we had this week is something Ella calls Pig Roll-Ups
No photo, but it's a quick and easy snack!

a few slices of ham (Make sure your deli meat is Casein free!)
Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (Garlic & Herb)

spread each slice of ham with a light layer of the Tofutti, roll it up and slice into bite sized pieces

Last on our Friday Food Post is a recipe we'll be making quite a bit from now on. While the original recipe comes from Weelicious,  if my friend m├śmmacat hadn't blogged about it recently I never would have seen it!


We used Publix brand Organic Vanilla soy Milk and they came out AWESOME.
Violet took her first sip, looked up at me and said, "GOOD!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

late night poetry

Nancy A Henry

Art Appreciation

It was Mrs. Selly’s kindergarten
the first chilly day
Julie Wilcox, at naptime
on her mat by the radiator
intoxicated by the scent
of freshly painted iron
heating up
the magic smell of crayon
that janitorial odor of floor
was not napping. So she
reached into the box
of fat fist-sized crayons
broken and slipped from
their paper tubes
discovered how nicely
they melted on the
 hot groaning metal
 how they mashed
into vivid splotches
under her Mary Janes
on the old beige linoleum
and then
we were all off our mats
quietly doing the twist
on this spreading blob
of melted wax
making a kaleidoscope
making a new beautiful floor
for teacher and wherever
Mrs. Selly went at naptime
she came back from
and we were the worst
class of kindergarteners
she ever had and that night
our mothers had to iron crayon
off the bottoms of our new shoes
onto white rags
and my mother showed me
how that was beautiful

The daughter of an old friend of mine, I was introduced to her poetry right before I had Ella. I remember skipping back and forth in the two books of hers I'd been given, unable to tear my eyes away.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Violet's Friday Food Post

First up this week is Monday's dinner:
I sauteed some fresh cauliflower in garlic, sea salt, Earth Balance and a little bit of water. In the background you can see 12 lbs of beets from our weekly produce order.

This is a meal the girls and I eat for either lunch or dinner every day:
It's just a light saute of Cut 'n Clean Greens (one of my new favorite things!), broccoli and mushrooms with Braggs, olive oil, garlic, sea salt and a bit of water. They devour their bowls and ask for more!

Last up is Vegan French Toast.. This is no "vegan substitute recipe"- it's far better than any "real" French Toast I've ever tried!

I started with a loaf of white bread baked the night before (I wasn't sure how this would be with whole wheat but after trying the recipe I think it would work and will make it that way next time):

The recipe I used

2 cups vanilla soy milk
4-5 tablespoons flour
3 teaspoons sugar
dash cinnamon
bread slices (your choice)
sugar to taste

Mix flour, soy milk, vegan sugar and cinnamon to form a batter. Dip bread and fry in lightly greased pan until golden brown. Sprinkle with vegan powdered sugar (we also used Earth Balance).

Makes: 4 servings, Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes

 I made this a second time this week and made E & V thick french toast sticks.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

learning to slow down

Recently Ella has shown a lot of interest in learning how to write so I took a trip with one very excited 3 year old to our local teacher supply store. Together we picked out a lined dry erase board and a rubber finger grip to teach her how to hold the marker. I think we both had visions of her writing novels by Thanksgiving!

Almost every day during Vi Baby's nap, we sit down and have "school". Very excited, Ella would get her board and tell me which letters she wanted to learn. I'd write one for her and then it was her turn to trace mine and every.single.time. she would throw her arms up and cry out "SEE, I CAN'T DO IT!"... and there was no convincing her otherwise. It didn't take long for me to realize this was not going to work for her.

So, I talked with a few friends and one idea really stood out..."try letting her draw the letters in sand with her fingers".

And so we did....

                    out homemade writing sand box!


this is one serious 'A'!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Violet's Friday Food Post

Since her allergy testing a month ago we've changed the way things are made in our kitchen. We are an egg, dairy/casein, oat, peanut and tree nut free home. Friday Food Posts will demonstrate that food can still be awesome with a few changes.

I set the bread machine last night so in the morning we woke up to this:
Rosemary Bread
Shamefully...the loaf made it about 12 hours in our home. It is even more decadently delicious with a bit of Earth Balance Spread.

Muffins I made earlier in the week:

vegan banana bran muffins with cranberries

I used a box of Hodgson Mill Bran Muffin Mix (using Ener-G egg replacer and soy milk) and added in a mashed banana and 1/2 cup of cranberries.

 Fresh Juice:


Today's organic juice was 4 beets, 1 Pink Lady Apple, one pear and a lime. The girls and I shared our drink and then brought the pulp out to the chickens who were very excited to see all the pink beet pulp. I use a Juiceman II that I bought back in 1997 when I was in college. I was up late one night, no cable and an infomercial came on...and for the first time in my life I was sold. I picked up the phone and called and 13 years later, I'm juicing with that same machine for my daughters.

Friday, September 24, 2010


life, our universe and everything...

I'll go ahead and apologize now if you've landed on this blog because you were looking for something on the GAAA. There have been so many custom orders through Funkaknits (a really great thing!) I haven't had time to pick my first square back up since my last post here. I've made so many Pumpkin Hats I suspect it's only a matter of time before they start growing out of my ears! I've also been working on a super secret birthday project for my sister that I'll post photos of after her birthday in a couple of weeks.

The girls and I have been baking loaf after loaf of amazing bread...vegan cinnamon rolls were even attempted the other day and they turned out really well (put some up in the freezer for later).

banana bread and a little helper

 E started a new session of dance classes which she adores. Parents are asked to wait in the hall during the 30 minute class and the entire time Violet is pleading for a glance at her big sister dancing.

I love the way she looks at E

I've been running the Couch to 5K program. Slowly but surely I'm becoming the runner I always wanted to be. There hasn't been much sleep happening in our home this month of September due to one very teething baby, but making the time to run every other day makes those days somehow doable. My runs are especially lovely since I discovered a private and shaded unpaved road right by the front of my neighborhood.

Lastly, we decided today I'll be making a trip with E and V to see our Arizona family. We arrive a few days before Halloween so the girls will get to experience trick-or-treating with their cousins. So far Ella's costume suggestions are:
1) the color pink
2) Strawberry Shortcake
3) Matilda

The very talented Sarakenobi is brainstorming with me on the SS costume aaaaand an Apple Dumpling costume for Vi Baby.
I'm excited for cooler weather...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Special thanks to Little Speckled Frog  for including one of my Pumpkin Hats in her etsy treasury, Baby's 1st Halloween. Oh, and a couple of chicken and baby photos just because.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We've been busy...

The afghan yarn arrived last week in all its glory and I finally decided on a first square, the one by Barbara McIntire (below in white).

My progress so far:

I've decided I really like cable knitting quite a bit. Don't get me wrong, nothing is more relaxing than an easy "knitting in the round" project but with cables it is so cool to see the cable pattern start to pop.

The Sugar Snap Peas are already about an inch tall!
In other news, we finished planting our fall garden and my eldest is insisting her name is now "Garden", correcting me every time! I've added a box to the right that lists what we are currently growing (beets, carrots, sugar snap peas, kale, broccoli and brussel sprouts). I'm really excited to have fresh beets and carrots to use in our juicer through the winter! The rest of it pretty much gets picked over by the girls as they snack throughout the day and never actually makes it to our kitchen.

Meet Roxanne, Billie Jean and Penny Lane. They're about 4 months old and finally have a place to sleep at night that is NOT a box in our bathroom.

Our chickens now have a proper home.
Notice the wheels!
I am so grateful to have friends who can (and are willing to) design and build a chicken tractor!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"what was I thinking??"

I was looking through the GAAA book earlier today trying to decide on a first square so I am ready when the yarn arrives (hopefully on Monday). I was thinking to myself, what have I DONE? These patterns are really hard and I have only just learned cable knitting.

A few hours later I got on my computer and came across one of my very favorite quotes. It helped a lot:

"Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising to one's favor all manner of unforeseen accidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The only way I will not succeed is if I don't begin- or give up somewhere along the way. So there. I'm truly committed. 

(experienced cable/chart knitters, get ready for a slew of questions!!!)

quick one

Started a Twitter account today for Funkaknits, oh and the afghan yarn has been shipped!

one of my favorites:


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Commitment Made

So the book arrived this afternoon and after a bit of reading I figured out how much yarn would be needed.


Yes, you did in fact read that right. I just placed an order for 60 balls of yarn, or 6600 yards for a single project. Yes, I am freaking out a little. This afghan (will be bedspread by the time it's all over) is a huge commitment!

What it boils down to is 30 12" squares.
The book has 24 squares so I'm going to have to find patterns for 6 more squares that are equally as awesome. If anyone has a suggestion of afghan squares you just LOVE please feel free to post them!

What I've been working on this week:

These hats have been so relaxing to make while hanging out in the evenings , watching a movie with my husband. Both of my girls just love them although I guess they look a little silly wearing Pumpkin hats 2 months before Halloween. It's got me thinking about what other fruit and veggie hats I can knit!

On the family front, both of my girls were allergy tested yesterday. The eldest was diagnosed with a mild cat allergy- totally doable. While our youngest, well here is the list:

house dust
eggs (yolk and white)

There are still more tests to be done in the future.
Yesterday we came home with an epipen and four pages of foods V can't eat. Feeling very overwhelmed I got on Amazon and found a few cookbooks that looked promising. I'll probably order this one first and go from there. I'd love to hear other experiences of having children with allergies. Please forward my blog on to anyone you think might have advice or experiences to share!