To-Do Tuesday – April 22, 2014 – Earth Day wishes

Earth Day

First of all : Happy Earth Day everyone! Here is to wishing that today is not just a singular event in your life, but the continuation (or the start) of a happier, more Earth conscious life.

Red's Needles & Threads

This week was a truly productive week. I haven’t felt so accomplished in a long time. Most of my goals were achieved : Gardens were dug up and seeds were even planted! We didn’t get around to the cold frames because honestly, we have no were to put them on account of the extreme mass of snow still every where. But we did locate materials to start our potato cage. We should be planting potatoes at some point this week. I finished my little babes’ Teddies in time for Easter and even got around to sewing a little Easter gift basket to put their treats in. (Thank you Kim for the link and fun project!)  Now, although I didn’t actually get to start transcribing my Tao notes, I did find all my papers and have started arranging them chronologically (that alone being a huge undertaking) and finally, I got my sewing corner back up and running. My husband even found the time to put on the new table legs, leaving the drop in the only thing left to do! I even have my pallette shelf all filled with my latest magazines and books I always keep on hand.

Easter Crafts

Sewing corner 1

Sewing corner 2

Needless to say, I’m a little giddy this morning to start my To-Do list because it is the first time in a LONG time that I get to write all new stuff!

So here we go for this week…

Home - This week is about food. We are out of “stock” Usually, our freezer is full of ready things like spaghetti sauce, chili, stews and soups. We have run out. This time of year leaves me very uninspired food wise. I get to a place where the imported grocery items look horrid to me. I’m planting seeds, dreaming of the fresh veggies I’ll be harvesting soon. We end up doing a lot of scrambled eggs and toast for dinner. LOL! So I’m getting myself in gear and making the following this week :

  • Granola bars
  • Muffins
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Chili
  • 2 new types of puree to freeze for the little man (tofu with beets and baby greens / white bean and roasted red bell peppers)

Heart - This week is ALL about my Vice Versa BOM April block. I haven’t even cut the fabric for it yet. Yikes! So all sewing time (as little as it is these days) will most likely be towards that. Wish me luck!

Mind - Sometimes, exercising the mind means letting it rest for a few days. *grins* I have a guilty pleasure book I’ve been lagging at finishing. I’m on the last installment of the “Matched” trilogy by Ally Condie and I just really want to finish it. So I want to try to carve out a few hours to finish the last remaining 100 or so pages. This might seem like very little to many, but 100 pages in a week after kiddos, house work, gardening, sewing, etc. is a lot to me!

Soul - Since my Tao notes will be an ongoing project, I will try to find a second goal for myself. So this week, I want to start meditating again. I was really good about it once, but not so much any more. Being able to calm and center ones self in all situation is a skill I’ve been trying to develop ever since I started cultivating Tao. We are taught that you should not need a special place or a quiet environment to do so. Yes, it helps in the practice, but is impractical because in real life, moments where we need to catch ourselves and calm ourselves do not usually come with a special spot. They are all around. But, I’ve found that taking the time to find a calm place and reflect on my Buddha Heart feels good. I’m not attached to the special when/where/how, but I do enjoy the silence and peacefulness of it. So I’m setting as my goal to find 10 minutes everyday to practice solitary and silent mindful meditation.

What do you have on your list this week? 

If you want to participate and share your projects, feel free to share in the comments below. I’d love to know what you are up to. If you want to join our little group,  please visit Red’s Needles & Threads for the button and rules. I hope you’ll join us.

Posted in Family Life, Quilting, Reading, Sewing, To-Do Tuesday, Vice Versa Block of the Month (BOM) 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Sundried Tomato Pesto (Vegan, Garlic and onion free)

Happy Monday to all of you! I hope you had a wonderful week-end, we sure did.

There is very little that beats a holiday week-end. Especially when daddy gets time off and little miss is home from preschool, making us a whole family for fun and play. But add in visit from far away, and you get one of the best week-ends ever.

One of my favorite things to do for my friends is cook. Luckily, I’m surrounded by people who, although they are not vegetarian (or vegan), are always up for whatever food I put in front of them. So I was given free range and the fun began.

Now, there was a restaurant that we used to frequent that had the best burgers in town! They had a whole section of the menu dedicated to veggie burgers, but they could also substitute the meat in any of their burgers with tofu which made our choices endless. Unfortunately, when we stopped eating everything out of the Allium family, our outings there became a thing of the past.

So, since we’ve been in a mood for veggie burgers lately, I decided to try my hand at recreating one of their signature burgers : The Mountaineer. The toppings are wild greens, rosemary mayonnaise, fresh organic soft goat cheese and sundried tomato pesto.

The pesto being traditionally made with garlic and even sometimes Parmesan cheese, I decided to try my hand at a vegan and Allium free one. (I do realize that the burger toppings themselves are not vegan, but I still love making as much vegan food as I can!)

The experiment turned out really good, so I thought I would share!

Sundried tomato poesto

Sundried Tomato Pesto

  • 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes, soaked in warm water for about 2 hours, then drained. *
  • Juice of 1 small lemon (about 1 to 1 1/2 TBSP)
  • Half a cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP of fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (use more if too thick)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

* I don’t use the tomatoes packed in oil because they contain seasonings that include garlic powder. Also, I find them too salty and fatty. I’d rather add my own organic oil.

Just put everything into a food processor or blender and pulse until you get a creamy but still chunky texture. You can double the recipe and freeze some as it freezes very well. I never keep mine in the fridge more than 1 week. But that is my rule of thumb for everything!

Bon appétit!


Posted in Garlic and Onion free cooking, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Morning, Noon and Night

Morning, noon and night…three little peeks into my day.

Morning 20-4-2014

Morning – Around 9 am

Noon 20-4-2014

Noon – Around 11  h 30 am

Night 20-4-2014

Night – Around 7 h 30 pm

Joining Kim over at Mothering with Mindfulness

If you feel like sharing glimpses of your day, please leave your link in the comments for all to see!

Posted in Family Life, Morning noon night | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Making spring happen – The beginning of gardening season

Making spring happen IMG_6597 IMG_6598 IMG_6599 IMG_6594

So I don’t know how many of you thought I was exaggerating when I spoke of the amount of snow we had left in our yard. Although we have been getting lovely sun and warmer days, most nights, the temperatures dip back down below freezing and we end up with ice where snow melt laid in puddles, which makes spring and sun and warmth have to work that much harder the next day. But, for the next few weeks, they are forecasting average if not higher than average temperatures, so as I mentioned  in my Tuesday To-Do list, we were taking to the shovels and we were finding our gardens!

And that we did. After sometimes over 2 feet of layers of snow and ice, we had 256 sq.ft free, tarps were laid to help warm the soil, hoop frames were installed and in a few days, when the sun and rain will have thawed the now free dirt, we will put up the plastics, hoping to get enough “work-ability” in the soil to plant our cold crops in the first days of May.

I few other bright notes : Our backyard balcony is finally clear which means warm afternoon in our Southern exposed space, playing, reading, drinking tea and watching little ones nap in the fresh air. Also, some of our hellebore survived the intense snow as evergreens it seems… No! Those are not new growths, those are last years leaves!

Have a great day everyone and enjoy your week-end.

Posted in Family Life, Gardening | Tagged , , , , , | 27 Comments

{ 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.

 If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by SouleMama.

Cat in a bowl


Posted in Family Life, { This moment } | Tagged , , , , , | 30 Comments

From smooth to rough – his little journey

Breeze blowing wind chimes, the feel of sun on your face,  all quietly – Be. May you find tranquility in all the little moments of your day.

~ Buddhist Quote

Lotion time

I’ve always enjoyed lotion time after giving my babies baths, this is why…

When I was pregnant with my daughter 4 years ago, I registered for a baby massage class so I could partake as soon as she was born. These classes were fairly new to our area and they were filling up fast. Luckily, I got a spot and by the time Little Miss was 2 months old, we were on our way.

Well, one of the first lessons they thought us was that a baby should always be awake, conscious and receptive to massage. So the rule was that is your baby fell asleep, you had to stop. Our classes were 75 minutes long and my daughter took to sleeping 60 of those 75 minutes for all 8 weeks of the course. Needless to say, there was a lot of watching other moms in action on my part.

When Little Man was born, I was tempted to take the class again. Hoping this time that it wouldn’t be so “theoretical” and that I would get to practice a bit more. In the end, I opted to pull out my notes and do it from home. Boy, was I happy I did because the second lesson to baby massage is that you should never restrain your baby. If he/she doesn’t want to mellow out to receive the massage, then they should be let free to move around. Well, I would have been watching my boy run around the room over there because from the time he could wiggle, he has been a mover an a shaker. He has little time for thins like massages, he’s got messes to make and toes to grab!

So in the end, baby massage wasn’t really for my kids : that is, unless it was right after a bath. So I took (and my husband took) to taking the opportunity to apply a few of our massage techniques to rubbing in their lotion.

There is a lot you can learn about your baby when applying lotion : You can feel the development of their muscles, find out where they are ticklish. You can discover their first beauty marks, notice their little body hairs darkening. You can count their pudgy little folds and with time, watch them disappear as they grow longer and leaner. But most of all, you can touch with your hands the growing journey into life.


By the texture of their skin. When it happened with my daughter, I think I was too much of a “new mom” to notice until it was done. But with my son, having a calmer, more natural approach with him, I’m feeling it slowly happen. At first it was his face : his little cheeks needing a bit more moisture because he could now bring things up to his face to explore. Rubbing them on his cheeks to discover textures. Then it was his chin, raw from the drool created by his first teeth coming in. Soon it was his hands, where little scratches and marks would appear from exploring his world more in dept, even if it meant going too far sometimes. And now finally his knees. Once little dimpled balls of silky skin, raw from crawling over wood and rugs, toys and mats. Raw from scrapping against the inside of his pants and pajamas.

Skin to me is a wonderful thing : it protects us, it brings our emotions out, it makes us unique, it makes us shine… but for my heart, my “mother’s heart”, it marks time.

Take every moment to see the little things. The little things are what you will remember in the end. And that my friends, makes life the most wonderful of journeys!

Have a peaceful day!

Posted in Family Life, Cultivation, Buddha, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

To-Do Tuesday – April 15, 2014

Red's Needles & Threads


I’m back! The past few weeks have been heavy ones : sickness, sleepless nights, obligations and just all around life craziness. Sometimes, you just have to take a step back.

So what is on my plate this week? All new stuff! Snow has been melting quickly and our spring time activities have been tumbling down around us making current unfinished projects things to be put on the back burner to make room for much-needed projects, more adapted to the season!

Home - It is Easter time and in the spirit of my resolution to make all presents and gifts this year, I’m in the process of making my babes cute little cuddly bears to find waiting for them at the end of their egg hunt. Now, I will admit to having bought chocolate. I have no experience in making my own chocolates, neither am I equipped to make any properly and funds for materials and supplies just weren’t there.  But, I found the cutest little tutorial on Craft Schmaft for a little plush bear called Mr. Ted! The pattern was just too simple. I couldn’t resist. I’m half way done. Here is a glimpse…


Heart - I have been finding it hard to motivate myself to reorganize my sewing corner knowing that my table is still unfinished. Many of my projects need quilting and I’ve been waiting in order to be able to quilt with my machine. But since, as I’ve mentioned before, my husband and I has been very much occupied with getting our gardening season underway, I’ve left my sewing fall away. So this week, I want to kick my butt in gear and get my sewing space out of boxes and back up. Who knows, maybe we’ll even find some time to finish my table! *fingers crossed*

Mind - This section should be called “Mind & Body” today because after the plans we have for Easter week-end, our bodies will be feeling it. This week is about getting our gardens out of the snow. We’ve calculated that we have a little over 6-8 inches left on top of our beds and we are not waiting for them anymore. So on Good Friday, we have recruited our favorite little neighborhood babysitter to come and entertain the kids while my hubby and I take to the shovels and liberate our plots! Hoop tunnels and warming tarps will be laid down, new plots will be dug out and more importantly, construction of new cold frames will be started as we are determined this year to extend our growing season and cultivate far into late fall and even the early winter months.


Soul - Going through my first Tao cultivation notes and journals a few weeks ago while preparing for class made me realize just how much I need to transcribe and record all these precious moments of learning. I yearn to have my spiritual texts and notes in one document, making my writings easier to read through, reference to and treasure. One day, I would love to give my kids my collection of thoughts and perceptions as I’m traveling this path. So, without giving myself a fixed deadline, I’m setting a goal for myself to start this wonderful project : A record of my road to the cultivation of Tao.


What do you have on your list this week? 

If you want to participate and share your projects, feel free to share in the comments below. I’d love to know what you are up to. If you want to join our little group,  please visit Red’s Needles & Threads for the button and rules. I hope you’ll join us.

Posted in Crafting, Cultivation, Family Life, Gardening, Outdoors, Sewing, To-Do Tuesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments