Wednesday, May 25, 2011

sidewalk chalker

 suki has been spending a lot of time outdoors with neighbors and friends, riding bikes, playing with her dog, drawing with sidewalk chalk and collecting blades of grass. the organic cotton dresses from winter water factory makes the perfect play dresses for warm spring days. we won this one from smaller!


from all over the globe!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

simply in season

when i asked for cookbook recommendations last month, brooke recommended the cookbook simply in season. a few weeks later, we were having lunch with the friends from the art department, and lisa made the delicious nova scotia hodgepodge recipe from the same book. i am currently borrowing the book from lisa, and the first thing i made was the same soup. i already want to make it again but i should try some of the other recipes first. most of the recipes are not vegan but can be easily adjusted. all fresh, simple and with few ingredients! 


2 tablespoons of earth balance melted in a soup pot
1 onion and a handful of green onions sauteed until soft
2 cups of veggie broth
1 cup of green beans
10-12 fingerling potatoes
4-6 medium carrots or a handful of carrot thinnings
simmer veggies until tender
add half cup of peas and cook until bright
add 2 cups of soy or almond milk and cook until warm
add salt, pepper and herbs to taste 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


every wednesday morning adam takes suki to the library for toddler time. they often stop by their favorite spot in town to finish off their morning of fun: ROWSTER new american coffee. they are there at least once a week, sometimes just the two of them, and sometimes they meet up with good friends. 

suki drinks bubbles (aka sparkling water) while adam enjoys the best cup of coffee in town. it makes me happy that they have these consistent weekly activities. i feel like i too often fill my alone time with suki doing house work and errand running. i would like to be more intentional about making a day of fun with her every week. it seems that often dads are "the fun ones", but i need to make sure i stay fun too!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

paikat kotoa

WINNER of the may giveaway

all of the names shuffle through one full rotation and the winner is announced on the second rotation. thank you to everyone who participated this month.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

first day with koji

adam picked koji up from muskegon this morning and brought him home. we surprised suki when she woke up from her nap. her reaction was the priceless! it was, perhaps, one of the best moments of her life- and mine too. i am so impressed by this little dog. he listens very well, and he caught on to his new name right away. plus, he minds his manners. our little neighbor dog was barking at him like crazy when they first met and he didn't say a peep. he has only let out one little bark, and it was because billy, our cat, swiped at his face. we all took a family walk and he met our friends at marie catrib's and global infusions. adam took him for a second walk as i was putting agnes to bed. now he is tired out and resting. it's too cute.

we are so happy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

up in the tree

we found this book for greta on her birthday. we fell in love with it, so we ordered one for suki. it's called up in the tree by margaret atwood. it reminded me of this post on at last, effort. the drawings are the cutest and it is a fun book to read. it's about two little friends who are happy living in their tree until someone comes along and steals their ladder. suddenly, they do not like living in the tree and want to be on the ground. lucky for them, they find a friend in the tree who helps them down. then of course, they miss their home in the tree so they build stairs and live happily ever after. the book comes with a cd of margaret atwood reading the story. a fun follow along activity for older children. i do wish the cd came in a separate envelope. the book is such a beautiful object and unfortunately the cd case glued on to the back cover is a bit of an eyesore. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

kitchen weather

today was a perfect cold and rainy sunday. adam made coffee and coconut pancakes for breakfast, followed by a fire in the fireplace! after breakfast i was able to spend the entire morning in the kitchen making soup and cupcakes for church while listening to the fred thomas pandora station.

 i made a lentil soup with cumin and swiss chard from the deborah madison vegetarian soup book. it was fairly simple to make which was nice since the cupcakes were a little more involved. all of the recipes we have made from this book have been excellent. 

i was most excited to use the babycakes cookbook. it was a gift from adam over a year ago, but i have not used it until now. the recipes call for a lot of ingredients we do not usually use, and i think that was holding me back. a few of the children at church eat a gluten free diet so that gave me the little extra motivation i needed. now, i am in love! this is one of the most beautiful cookbooks i own and i can't wait to see every one of the recipes come to life. i hope my friends are hungry for some gluten-free and sugar-free treats.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


we are giving away one jar of MICHIGAN BLACK WALNUT INK to one lucky reader.
if you would like to enter the drawing you can:
1. become a follower of this blog
2. if you already follow leave a comment indicating wether or not you can draw a straight line
3. post the giveaway on your twitter and mention @KOTOAmade

image from specks and keepings shop taken by MLY

enter before tuesday may 17th

sleeping is the only love

games and toys

 we try not to buy plastic toys for suki, but sometimes she receives them as gifts, and they are fun. we hope they will be enjoyed for a long time and shared with other generations like the fisher price sesame street adam and all of his cousins used and suki now plays with. the fisher price music box record player is a remake of the original. suki is so happy that she can play and change the records all by herself! 

we have tea parties everyday, it's one of our favorite activities. the tea set we use is made by green toys. it is cute, but i wist the sugar and creamer dish were a different color. 

 fraggles are often invited to tea and games. our friends juan and laura gave suki this maple landmark wooden card set and it's endless fun. the cards have animals on one side and foods on the other. we have used them to create many different games which help suki learn.

Friday, May 13, 2011

learning to balance

suki just got her first bicycle! its a strider two wheeler. these bikes are great! they teach toddlers to balance on two wheels so they never need training wheels. watch the video on the strider website, the little kids have some serious moves.

Monday, May 9, 2011

little yogi

when i was pregnant, i took a prenatal yoga class. it helped me prepare for suki's birth, and it also made me feel much more connected to my body and to my baby. when suki was an infant, our friend lisa let us borrow a book called itsy bitsy yoga. we practiced every night as part of her bedtime routine and during the day before naps. as soon as she started crawling, she became too squiggly and we stopped practicing yoga with her for a while. it was around this time that she started to not sleep as well, and i believe there is a connection.

a few months ago, suki started taking dance lessons from a woman in town named marlee. she was learning simple things like reaching her hands up high over her head and touching her toes. i could see she was excited to learn and explore the different things her body can do. after her dance class ended, we got a few new illustrated picture books about yoga and started practicing with them at home. she loved it; yoga was even one of her first words. she pronounces it [yo - ya]. suki recently started taking a yoga class with other toddlers, and it has been fun to watch her learn. sometimes during the class it seems like she is not participating 100%, but when we are at home she surprises me with the things she has remembered from class. in addition to this practice being good for developing minds, bodies and souls, it is also great for parents. for example, she has taken a three hour nap after every class! 



Sunday, May 8, 2011

a happy mother's day

i had a fun day with my sweet girl and loving man. the day could not have started any better. suki and adam delivered me the most delicious cup of rowster coffee in a new moomin mug! after relaxing with my cup and coffee, suki and i went for a nice walk with my mom. adam had a yummy savory crepe brunch waiting for us when we returned. after some naps we road our bikes to church. a perfect day!

this photo is a bit out of focus, but i had to share the look on her face and my cute mug. 

money where your mouth is

help BARTERTOWN DINER and ROC'S CUPCAKE'S become a reality. checkout matt's post on extraVEGANza and the bartertown kickstarter page for details. GRAND RAPIDS make it happen! even if you do not live in town this is a wonderful opportunity to support a unique alternative business.

Monday, May 2, 2011

possible addition to the family

today we went on a little road trip to meet a dog that might become a part of our family. he is a shiba inu and looks very similar to the dog in this photo. we are already in love with the little guy. our main hesitation is the fact that we already have two cats. will it be too wild in the house? he is a very mellow dog but we are still a bit concerned. how many animal friends is too many for a family of three with a medium sized house?