Month: May 2015
arctic life: may
Once the holiday months are over and January creeps in, we all anticipate May. It’s the beginning of summer and it’s one of the most gorgeous months in Alaska.
Our days currently consist of over 18 hours of daylight, and with a few rainy days everything is green, green and green.
One of my favorite parts of summer in Alaska is the ferns. They are abundant and every where you look.
We planted a huge garden this year including a large pumpkin patch, and filled our tiny greenhouse with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers galore.
You don’t notice how green it gets, and how fast, until you either leave town for a couple of weeks or look back at pictures. It’s referred to by some as the “explosion”, since it’s almost overnight that everything gets lush and green.
In less than one month, it went from this…
School gets out the middle of May here so our backyard on a daily basis is filled with a gaggle of little people. Running and yelling, and doing what kids do best in the summer.
The sun and the moon share the sky most days and on a clear day you can get a good sneak peek of the what the night will bring.
For a while this will be our only glimpse of the moon since the sun keeps its glow inside long after we’re asleep.
Most days are sunny and high in the 70’s and absolutely perfect. The summer is just starting and there are adventures to be had, food to be barbecued and water to be played in. But for now there is a popsicle with my name on it and weeds to tend to. I’ll go ahead and let Andy get to the weeds today. There’s always tomorrow for me.
this round’s on me
Everyone loves a delicious drink. Whether it’s alcoholic or not, a really good drink can make your evening. Turn your party into a paaaartay. Or perhaps make your Tuesday night feel like it’s already Friday. Or if your like me, you make yourself a cocktail in order to do the dishes.
freshly squeezed orange margarita: on the rocks
We bought a case of oranges recently, and weren’t eating them fast enough. So turning them into cocktails seemed only logical. I juiced 2 oranges, and zested one of them beforehand. Cut a couple wedges to save for garnishes as well.
Use your orange zest and combine with coarse salt or sugar. I like a combo of both. Be sure to be sparse with your zest or you’ll end up with really wet salt that won’t stick to your glass.
Using one of your orange garnishes, wet the rim of your glass and dip your glass in your orange salt, coating the entire rim.
Now onto the liquor. Any tequila will suffice, because for me, the triple sec makes the drink. I also like to fill my glass with ice and dump in the shaker. Other wise I end up making a drink much bigger than my cup. Which is fine. You just drink the rest from the shaker. I mean…..
In your mixer, you’ll add 2 parts orange juice (2 shots) and 1 part liquor. In this case, half your shot is tequila and the other is triple sec. My golden rule for making cocktails is less is more. You can always add extra liquor if your drink isn’t strong enough. If you add too much to begin with, adding more juice or soda ends up throwing it all off and often your drink just isn’t what you intended.
With the lid on tight, shake. And shake. And shake. Then shake a little more. You’ve shaken enough when the shaker is really cold and now covered in condensation.
Pour in your prepared glass and garnish. Best served with a side of sunshine.
I’m thankful for…
Alaska was the last place I would have ever thought I would move to and start a life. It literally was. I was asked at one point in time if I would ever consider moving there, and I laughed and replied with a big fat NO. I had for some reason a very distinct picture in my mind that Alaska was rugged and cold. Remote and unoccupied. And while it’s all those things to some extent and more, it’s also, breathtakingly beautiful.
I often get asked why I moved here. A boy. Well, THE boy. That’s a whole different story in itself but in a nutshell, I moved here to start a life with the man who would later become my husband. We have a house, and two kids and right out our front door is a sight I’m not sure I could ever get tired of.
It had just rained. The sun was setting, it smelled amazing and the view from our street was without a doubt worth taking a picture.
Looking towards the city center, the sky was soft and blue and looking back towards Anchorage, the storm continued on.
I can give you a list of things that would make me consider leaving Alaska. But those reasons seem pale in comparison when you get to call this view your very own.
scrapbook sunday: four
This precious blue eyed boy is nine months old.
He is more than I could ever imagine a little boy would mean to me. His personality draws me in more and more each day.
He’s selective when he laughs, but when he does, it’s a deep, heartfelt laugh. He has the sweetest and most unconditional love for Hayden. It doesn’t matter what she does, he will follow her anywhere and gets so excited when she comes out in the morning. Some days he even goes looking for her.
He has the sweetest temperament and loves to be wherever people are. He crawls and explores and is fascinated with how things work. Cabinets and doors, drawers and knobs are his favorite and he could care less what’s inside. He will spend his time simply opening and closing them.
He’s fearless. Hardly startled and always pushing the limits. Hayden is my careful one. She’s cautious and takes her time. Reid is all in, all the time. It’s hard to keep him in one place, he has an agenda to explore as much as he can.
He crawls and pulls himself up on everything. His green jeep is a usual mode of transportation and he pushes that little truck all over the place. He gets into a new level of trouble and we have to keep a pretty close eye on him since he really loves to knock over plants and eat dirt…gross. Good luck telling him no. He either giggles at you or gives you this look.
He loves to eat with us and snack on puffs and he might be the messiest eater, ever. Even drinking water is a disaster.
His blue eyes are to die for and he is getting a head full of strawberry blonde hair. He has perfect little chubby hands and toes and is SOLID. It’s like packing a rock around.
Among his favorites are playing with the dishwasher door, getting up early with his daddy, and baths. He knows the sound of the water in the tub and scoots as fast as he can for the bathroom.
He loves pulling books off the bookshelf, looking out the sliding door and still takes a pacifier. Sleep isn’t a priority to him yet and we’re still going strong with mama milk. He is our favorite little man and we’re so very blessed to call him our own.
scrapbook sunday: three
brussels sprout salad
You either love them or hate them. And I LOVE them! But you can only eat steamed or sautéed sprouts before you need a change. So we’re going raw people.
This salad can be prepped ahead of time and holds up great overnight. It’s perfect for a quick lunch or as a side for your next barbecue.
You only need brussels sprouts, tomatoes, chickpeas, feta and a nut blend of your choice. I used this salad topping which was a blueberry almond mix.
As far as measurements go, adjust according to how many you are feeding. Altogether this made approx 2 1/2 cups of salad.
Cut off the stems of the sprouts and slice in halves. Finely slice the halves, making a slaw out of them. I like to take about half of my bag of sprouts and do this. It’s easy to then throw in other salads or use as a topping for sandwiches or wraps. If you have a food processor it makes this step easier. I don’t mind a little chop chop action.
Now onto the dressing. This is one of my favorite salad dressings and like to have it on hand whenever I can. It’s a combo of two different ones. You can choose to make them all together or separate and combine like I did.
In a measuring cup is a mixture of mayo and greek yogurt, sugar, apple cider vinegar and poppy seeds.
Then in a separate bowl make your creamy balsamic which is a simple base of mayo, yogurt, balsamic and oil. Throw in some garlic, mustard and brown sugar and mix in water until it’s nice and creamy.
Pour in your poppy seed dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe will make more than enough for your salad. Pour enough dressing over your chopped sprouts to coat and let them soak it up while you prep your other toppings. You can always cut this recipe in half or store it in the fridge for a later use. I use it on everything so I definitely make a full batch.
Chop your tomatoes and add them along with the chickpeas and stir.
Top your salad with feta and nuts. Choose to share your tasty treat. Or not. I won’t judge.
Poppy seed Dressing:
3/4 c mayo- I did 1/2 yogurt, 1/2 mayo
1/3 c sugar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp poppy seeds
3 tbsp mayo or same 1/2 and 1/2 combo here
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste
Want another fabulous brussels sprout recipe? Make this pizza. It’s better than you would ever imagine.
scrapbook sunday: two
a mother’s moments
Today is Mother’s Day. Growing up, I just remember making crafts at school, picking wild flowers and being super sweet to my mom on that certain Sunday. Now having children of my own, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Being a mother is a job. It has schedules, and paperwork, meals are catered by yours truly and there are days my 2 bosses are real *bleeeeeps*. Other days, operations run real smooth. My management skills come into play, the busy bees do as they are told and I even get to close shop early some nights.
It’s the only job in my life so far that I truly love. I wake up ready and willing to work at it. Well, willing. I say ready loosely. No other job has ever been so rewarding or satisfying. I strive each and every day to be better at it, and make lasting impressions on the tiny humans I’m responsible for. And the retirement package has potential to be fabulous! I mean I’m raising a crew that will one day cater to every one of my old lady needs.
It’s hard work. Sunrise to sunset you have to be on point, on your game and at times you pay dearly when you slack. *cue the unwatched baby to knock over your plant and eat the potting soil and your four year old “accidentally” tips her glass of milk over and it spills over every important piece of mail on the table *
I have days I moan and groan that clothes don’t fit as they did, and I’m irritated that the last bit of baby weight just won’t budge. Then I look at the beautiful children I carried with this body and brought into the world.
I lose my temper with a girl who has attitude for days, and get frustrated with a baby who cries relentlessly every time daddy leaves him behind.
But just remind myself my daughter is becoming her own individual and simply needs guidance to better understand all those tiny emotions she has, and a deep love for his daddy is something both Reid and Andy will cherish together.
Being a mother to me means letting go of little things. Not caring about minor details. Like a boy who snuggles up with his sister’s blankets. Or a girl who always steals her brother’s toys from him.
It’s means filling our home with all our favorite little people and loving them as part of our family.
Being a mother means I’ve created a life that I’m proud of. That I’ve sacrificed and have all my blood, sweat and tears into these little people that make up my amazing family. They are beautiful, unique and spectacular in all their own ways.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you special mamas out there.