Sunday, July 31, 2011

birthday weekends

this weekend has been full of fun, celebrating loved ones' birthdays. last night we rode our bikes over to our friend kolin's house for his party. it was a lovely evening with great company, delicious drinks and the most inspired tofu pizza i have ever tasted. kolin has generously offered to make the pizza again next weekend for adam's birthday, can't wait!

this morning we celebrated my mom, and had a sunday morning brunch at our house. we made blueberry lemon poppyseed muffins, adam's famous tofu scramble, coffee, and farmer's market blueberries and cherries. we gave my mom the new heidi swanson cookbook, super natural everyday, and some farmer's market tokens. heidi writes a food blog i like to read, and i'm smitten by her beautiful photography. her recipes are not all vegan, but some of them are and a lot of them can be vegan if altered. 

kolin and koji picture taken by emily amelie from one of my favorite flickr pages.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

little campers

last summer we went on a month long camping trip with 8 month old suki. while preparing for the trip we did not find much information on camping with babies, so since we just returned home from another fun camping trip with toddler suki, i thought i would put together a post to help any of you who might be camping with babies and toddlers in the future. 

we have only done car camping in state and national parks, since it is the most practical with young children. not only do the little ones add weight but the extra things you need really add up as well- a portable high chair and the potty chair are probably the biggest of the extras needed. 

we brought along two kinds of carriers- a kelty kids carrier for longer day hikes and an ergo for hanging out by the fire. we did not end up using the ergo this year but last summer it was a necessity. we did not feel comfortable leaving suki to sleep alone in the tent so i would have her fall asleep in the ergo then transfer her to the tent when we were ready to sleep. we also brought a peapod hoping she would take naps in it, but she never did. we ended up using the peapod in addition to a waterproof blanket as a play space so it was still nice to have. we also utilized the air pad that comes with the peapod for sleeping. suki sleeps on that with a regular youth sized sleeping bag. they do make toddler sleeping bags but all of the ones we found were not designed to withstand cold temperatures so it was not ideal for high altitudes. we stuff an old sleeping bag in the bottom to fill up the extra space and to keep it nice and toasty for her. babies sleep very well outdoors. last summer on our trip was the best suki has slept thus far, better than in her own bed. this year was not as good, because she was waking herself up itching her bug bites. poor thing!

last year, before suki was walking, it was easy to set everything up while she entertained herself with her toys on a blanket. it was nice not to worry that she would run off somewhere. this year was completely different, much more work but a lot more fun in return. adam wore her in the kelty carrier while we were unpacking and setting up and that worked well. we were camping with some family friends who have a toddler, and it was great to have  a companion for her. they had a blast running around and playing together, marveling at the plethora of bugs and creatures all around. they got to see a frog, which was a very exciting moment. it is a good idea to bring along extra snacks, juice boxes and a filtered water bottle as well as some durable toys, books, and a few art supplies. water toys and a washable doll are nice entertainers when need be. suki has a subscription to babybug, and those are great for camping because they are a nice size for packing and are durable. 

when packing your child's clothes, it is always better to be over prepared, especially since their clothes are so small. you will want one pair of waterproof multi purpose shoes and a pair of cosy slippers. it is best to use a layering system since it can go from being very hot during the day and cold at night. even in michigan it gets cold at night in the summer, so be prepared! bring a base layer, sweatshirt, jacket, socks and a hat to be sure your little one is toasty even on the coolest nights. it's a good idea to camp near a river in order to bathe the little one- the cold water is so refreshing after days of playing in the dirt.

happy trails!


happy camping, kids!

Monday, July 25, 2011

blueberry picking

today we went blueberry picking at post farm in rockford, michigan-the closest place we could find that does not spray their crops. they also have raspberries and gooseberries right now. 

blueberry picking was a favorite childhood summer activity of mine. every year my mom and i would spend one day at the blueberry farm picking berries and enjoying a picnic afterward. i was excited for suki to start this tradition with her friends from church. today was the second outing of the summer camp at church. only three kids were able to make it, but they had a fun, memorable day and left with not many berries in their buckets but tummies filled to the max.

thankfully they had some extra helpers, and we all went home with over flowing buckets. they can now enjoy the berries picked today throughout the winter, while eating many delicious blueberry filled treats. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

visitors from another world

it was lovely to spend time with joe and brooke last week while they were visiting michigan. being in their presence makes me so happy- they have the best outlook on life. suki poured her mellon punch on brooke's lap, and they both loved it! i think they are going to be long time friends. brooke taught me to sew some years ago and continues to be one of the most inspiring people i know. she and joe live in nyc where joe is in school and brooke works making patterns and writing a beautiful fashion blog called 

and now we have more visitors from nyc staying with us. we are so happy to be with them! natalie and karis moved to nyc about one year ago, and grand rapids is not the same with out them. thankfully natalie has a wonderful food blog, the veganette, that helps us stay connected. i read it and pick up on little bits of what N & K are up to. it feels like we are still able to interact when we make the recipes natalie writes. i am looking forward to the guest post karis is getting ready for. 

we hope to visit nyc next spring to see our friends in their spaces. for now i am thankful for the bits of their lives shared through the blogs they write. 
keep up the great work ladies! 
i love you!

bartertown diner

BARTERTOWN, the new vegan/raw/vegetarian restaurant in town, is now open for business. we have already enjoyed many delicious meals there. the menu rotates seasonally; there is an exclusive farmer's market menu on saturdays, and there are always daily specials, so there are different things to try each time you visit. some of our favorite items to be on the look out for have been the roasted cauliflower sandwich, tempeh sliders, fava bean burger, tofu bites, chickpea melt, and the RAW PIES. we are excited to try their sunday brunch menu next. get down to 6 Jefferson as soon as you can, and be prepared to be wowed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

new at rowster

the sweets menu at rowster now includes vegan vanilla cardamom affogato, matzo bark (matzo toffee topped with sea salt and pistachios), chocolate orange biscotti, and raw granola. try the raw granola topped with soy milk and blueberries- a perfect breakfast paired with the best cup of coffee in town. 

be on the look out for spiced windmill cookies coming soon!

midnight is paris - a must see

adam and i beat the heat today by going to a movie in the afternoon. we saw midnight in paris and loved it! owen wilson makes a great woody allen. we laughed the whole way through- so great.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

[four letter word]

today i was having a conversation with my friends kathy, keri, and angel about how while doing our best to protect our children, sad and painful things still can happen and often do. thankfully children are surprisingly tough and very forgiving. talking to then reminded me of suki's recent bath fear.

a few months ago adam and i used our bathtub to clean my backpack with a special soap designed for the material. around that time, suki suddenly developed a fear of the bath. she would shriek and cry and refuse to sit down. prior to this, she loved the bath; it was one of her favorite activities. so it seemed strange, but children change so often that we thought it was just a phase. we did not make the connection to the cleaner until adam decided to take a bath to show her that it was okay. after he got out, his skin was red and it burned with pain. we remembered washing the bag, and realized some of the tech cleaner must have still been in the tub. we felt horrible, of course, and cleaned the tub multiple times with suki friendly cleaner, but it still took her weeks before she was not afraid to sit down. now, thankfully, she is back to having fun in the bath, and she still loves us. it may take me a little longer to recover from feelings of guilt, however.

 feel free to share any horror stories. sometimes, hearing what other people have made it through gives some perspective and helps you feel better, being not the only one to accidentally drop or misplace or stab or burn or poison your infant child.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

eating outdoors

last week i made my first craigslist purchase. 

we had been trying to find a patio table and chair set for a while. eventually, we decided we would just make a table because we have a lot of herman miller shell chairs that make for nice outdoor seating. then, adam found a table on craigslist that was the perfect height for the chairs, and it did not look horrible. you would not believe the outdoor furniture being made these days: so ugly and expensive! we paid only $50 for this one, and now we can enjoy eating in the fresh air with a view of our massive weed garden of a back yard. we have had such a nice time eating outside, but it does make me a little stressed and overwhelmed looking at all the yard work we need to do. someday... 

savory cornmeal waffles with greens

csa salad and carrot top soup

here's to summer!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

dog treat WINNER!


preparing for halloween 2011

the beedle and suki got together today to practice some of their super hero moves. this year for halloween, beedle is going as batman, and suki will be robin. dynamic duo! 

matt and susan have a friend who designs costumes for broadway, and she just sent over a box of costumes. both of these were from that box. i am going to use the superman costume as a guide for making the robin suit. even though i am a little nervous, i am so glad to have this to look at. her work is so detailed. i love it!


kickstart heartside

only 10 days left to help willie jones and sarah s. scott make it to london, where the museum of everything will feature work by heartside artists, willie jones and mark wilson. sponsor them and receive a rad gift for yourself. a double winner! let's make it happen, people!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

an early birthday celebration for suki

as if suki was not spoiled enough by all of the attention she received with debby and dorrey here. they decided to give her all of her birthday gifts early so that they could watch her open them. they always find such great things!


the birthday treasures debby and dorrey found for suki.

for the dogs GIVEAWAY

we just finished our second batch of sweet potato dog chews and would like to share a few. if you know a dog who might enjoy these fun treats, leave a comment including the dog's name. please, no more than two dogs per reader. all entries must be submitted before tuesday july 12, 2011, and the winner will be selected on that day. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011


last summer, our friends juan and laura made a grilled pizza that blew my mind! so when adam received a grill for father's day from my mom, the first thing i thought of was that pizza from last summer. we have already made it twice. we use the simple pizza dough recipe from vegan with a vengeance and divide the dough into four pieces, they are easier to flip when small. our favorite toppings are cashew sundried tomato "cheese", fresh herbs and grilled veggies- mushrooms, onions and garlic scapes. if you have a grill and have not yet made this, i suggest you add it to your meal plan soon. i hope to feature these little pizzas at a party we will be having for some good friends visiting from nyc this month.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

lake michigan

the beach was busy as expected on a holiday weekend, but we still found a nice spot for some digging and relaxing.

debby and dorrey commented on how they found it unusual to walk through woods to get to the beach. since i grew up in this state i never thought about that before. it is good to be reminded not to take surroundings for granted, and to notice the beauty of home.

on our way back home, we made a couple stops to pick up blueberries. this place had the best ones- a family had blueberries from their yard for sale in a road side refrigerator. suki ate most of the first container within minutes and did not leave many for the rest of us. we wised up and hid the second container so that we could enjoy some as well.