Monthly Archives: February 2010

dig this sponsor: Mama Loves Oils

I am excited to announce this month’s sponsor: Mama Loves Oils. Local mom and business owner, Erika Hickey, is passionate about Young Living Essential Oils and the profound effect they have had on her sweet family. I love promoting this product because it is amazing and, also, I adore Erika! We met many years ago, way before marriage and kids, in a feminist ethics class at The University of Montana. She’s since married who she calls a gem of a dude, had two boys, Simon and August (and oh how I love their names), and dug into some pretty neat business ventures right here in our little western Montana town. Erika’s excitement about essential oils is contagious and her knowledge of their use is impressive. I’ve long been a believer in the power of oils extracted from plants. And I am learning more and more that the quality and potency of essential oils greatly influence the results. These oils rock. They are therapeutic grade and very concentrated requiring only a small amount to have big impact on everything from teething babes to winter coughs to stomach aches to mama stress to general immune support…And holy holy the smells will win you over immediately. I have the everyday oil starter kit which includes lavender, pan away, purification, lemon, peace and calming, thieves, valor and frankincense and am finding daily reasons to use the oils on my family. A wee chat with Erika: How and when did you discover Young Living Oils? A friend brought me a sample when I had some sick kiddos. Simon used to get this wicked cough every winter and it was impossible to rid his poor little body of it. It would hang on for at least two months. Now he starts off the same way – with a little seal cough – and we are able to nip it with oils in just a few days. It made me a believer. After using the oils for a bit, we went through an entire winter of nobody in the whole family throwing up (which I was super excited about since we own a toy store – and Simon was in preschool). What inspired you to become a consultant? I was constantly talking about the oils and how they were helping my family. I’d literally chased off colds a handful of times (from my body) simply by applying Thieves to my feet on a regular basis. I’d seen them work time and time again with my kids and even my husband had seen them work, and he’s pretty skeptical of everything, so I knew they were super powerful and it was such an empowering feeling to be able to be proactive when it came to the health needs of my family.How have the oils changed your approach to your family’s health? With the oils I always have something in my toolkit to heal. I love being able to look in my reference guide and find a list of oils that might help with whatever ails you. These essential oils are pure and the fact that essential oils were humankind’s first medicine is very reassuring to me. Why wouldn’t I treat myself and my family with something so tried and trusted? What are three oils you can’t live without in your home? Hmm, that’s a toughy. I think we probably use Thieves, Peace & Calming and Lavender the most in the winter. In the summer we are using Peppermint like crazy, Purification as a bug repellent and Lavender…Ooh but I really love Lemon – we drink that almost everyday. So how about six oils? ***Erika is offering a free copy of Reference Guide for Essential Oils ($27 value) to all who order the starter kit!*** To place orders, click here or email erika at walkingsticktoys dot com. Thank you Mama Loves Oils! Read more on dig this sponsor: Mama Loves Oils…
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Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Stride

Well, right now I am driving, heading west, over two mountain passes in my Subaru. The rocket box is packed and the girls buckled in their car seats. As you read this, Margot and I are probably singing to Jack Johnson’s Reduce Reuse Recycle while my right arm is stretched to the back seat helping Ruby find her pacifier. Just the three of us on a little road trip to hook up with my niece and sister-in-law. We are meeting half way between our homes for a few days of hanging out, coffee, walks, watching our kids love each other. I imagine there will also be a lot of staying up too late and sore bellies from laughter. So, no nuggets on Wednesday. In the meantime, you can read about my clumsy, kinda funny and uniquely rewarding running efforts with my daughters in this week’s mama digs. :: :: :: I have been running with my two kids. Oofta it is hard but I enjoy this challenge that looks a lot like my overarching challenge as a mama of two: it’s all about a sliver of time, an alignment of stars and getting on it, putting one foot in front of another, before it passes. Sometimes the opportunity isn’t convenient but when the opportunity is there, it is only right then. Get on it. And then soak up the subsequent empowerment that it, whatever it is, can be done. Going for a run is not organic and whimsical like it used to be. It requires the skilled precision, practice and focus of, say, a sniper or an Olympic athlete…click here to read the rest of this essay ay mamalode.com. Read more on Ain’t Nothin’ Gonna Break My Stride…
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just add peanut butter

One of my great joys is making a masterful meal out of nothing obvious. I love the challenge of staring into my fridge and freezer looking for an ingredient that will inspire a pairing that will end in a triumph. It doesn’t always work. But sometimes, it does. A few nights ago I started with carrots, celery and onions at the bottom of a big pot. It seemed like it was headed toward a soup. I added water and ginger and more ginger and tomato paste and then it wasn’t a soup at all. I pureed the mess and grabbed the peanut butter and started heaping spoonfuls in. A bit of soy sauce, a can of tomato paste, garlic, thyme and cayenne and it was dang good over rice. I think I was needing protein. When Andy saw my wild eyes with the peanut butter all he said was huh. that’s interesting babe. Also, I left the cayenne out of some and Margot loved it. It didn’t photograph very well. It disturbingly resembles Ruby’s poop. So I was funneling the leftovers into some mason jars and I am not quite sure what happened but in hind sight I am pretty sure the carrot peanut butter stew lept from the jar, all on its own, to decorate my neck, shirt and shoes. It doesn’t look like I was that covered, but I promise I was. I think I am severely accident prone in the kitchen. Like when I sliced the tip of my finger clean off last month while making cauliflower curry. Oh it was dreadful and very bloody. The first thing Andy asked was um where’s the sliced off part? And so we looked and there it was, the tip of my finger, icy white, finger print in tact, just lying on the knife. Anyway. Peanut Butter Carrot StewThis recipe is guessed at because I was just madly hopping around the kitchen throwing ingredients in a pot, two-handed, over-the-shoulder while singing bippity boppity boo. SO I recommend tasting as you go and altering amounts as needed. olive oil1 onion6 carrots, chopped2 celery sticks, chopped1 can tomato paste1/3 cup peanut butter2 teaspoons dried ginger (fresh would be even better)5 garlic cloves. minced1/2 teaspoon cayenne1 teaspoon dried thymesoy sauce to taste…perhaps a few tablespoonscrushed peanutsbasmati or jasmine rice Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil in a large pot. Add about 1 cup of water and tomato paste. Cook over medium heat until veggies are soft. May need to add more water…going for a thick applesauce-like consistency. Puree mixture with immersion blender or food processor. Stir in peanut butter, garlic, cayenne, ginger, thyme, soy sauce. Serve over rice and top with crushed peanuts. Read more on just add peanut butter…
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hump day nuggets: bloom

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and words about the last week A sweet dig reader sent a gift of four amaryllis bulbs when Ruby was born. She assigned each bulb the name of a person in my family. I opened each package to plant the bulbs and realized one bulb had come without its growing medium so I planted three in their separate pots and the other sat on our kitchen counter, waiting to dig its roots in and grow. It really bothered me to think of three family members safe and snug in the soil with promise of life while one lingered, languished alone and hopeless. I actually didn’t sleep well thinking of the metaphor. We had just come home from the hospital. So the next morning, before my coffee (and that’s sayin’ something) I put on my winter boots and stomped through a snowy backyard to my garage to find some soil, some way to plant that bulb. Ruby needed her home. I found a large pot and knew the answer. I dug up the other three bulbs and placed them with the fourth together. The three who had food and shelter would naturally share with the fourth. It’s what families do. I emailed Ann, the gift-giver, and told her the story to which she replied, I think you can force an amaryllis bulb in gravel and water…Ruby doesn’t need soil. And she was right. That bulb shot straight up with a flower that week. No leaves. Just a flower. The other three leafed out first. In fact, the other three still haven’t flowered and that bulb is in full bloom with its second flower. Ruby Jane. :: A friend made Margot some play dough for her big sister present and it is dreamy. Smooth and pliable, bright and long-lasting. And bug can’t get enough of making dog bones. So we made some for her cousin Charlotte who turned three last week. It’s super fun to knead dough that looks like the Incredible Hulk’s bread (Ruby on my chest, Margot napping). And, of course, doubled the batch so we could have some too. For making all those dog bones. epic play dough 1 cup white flour1/4 cup salt2 teaspoons cream of tartar1 cup water1 tablespoon vegetable oil1-2 teaspoons food coloring Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a pot. Add water, oil and food coloring. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring. When mixture forms a ball in the pot, turn out and knead on a slightly floured surface. Store in airtight container or plastic bag. Margot has something she’d like to share:;;’k,”k]k]k]]jjk]kk[[[[[k]k[[[[==== =yyyyki kkkouy0—y0-0y—0p:?l;.>;/ :: I was in the kitchen while Margot was unloading bricks or riding a hippo or something in our bedroom when suddenly it was silent. So, of course, I went to check and found this. She had put Ruby’s vibrating chair on our bed, turned it on, found one of Ruby’s pacifiers and fallen asleep. :: A sweet little trip to Lolo Hot Springs on Valentine’s Day with my valentines. According to facebook and twitter, it appears I am the only person who enjoys Valentine’s Day. I don’t care if Hallmark invented it. Any excuse for a day full of kissing on the people I love and eating chocolate is fabulous. And oh my our fearless little water bug. And sweet Rubes just slept in the warm water. :: We always love a trip to our friend’s store downtown (same creative friend who made the play dough). :: Here is me sounding like a moron talking to my kids. But I took this video of Ruby and when I played it back remembered I had a similar movie of Margot. They are looking a little different, no? Read more on hump day nuggets: bloom…
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Good Stuff

When my husband and I decided to have a family, I was nervous about all the STUFF that seemed to unavoidably come with kids. I feared a yard peppered with plastic toys and a living room where exersaucers replaced end tables. I dreaded a diaper bag that necessitated I do the hokey pokey to fit through a doorway. It’s because I like space between objects in my home and it’s because I didn’t want to quadruple my annual consumption of fossil fuels. It’s also because I didn’t think we needed all that snaz. I am by no means a minimalist but I do like to live simply. I thought to myself and eventually said out loud that my kids would be perfectly happy with yogurt lids, wooden spoons and hand-me-downs. I never imagined I’d make a special trip to Target to get my two year-old a brand new, shiny pink laptop that talks. But that is exactly what happened last week. And I was so excited to do it…click here to read the rest of this essay at mamalode.com. Read more on Good Stuff…
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