{this moment}

{this moment} – Joining in the end of the week ritual inspired by SouleMama. Sharing 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.

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{this moment}

{this moment} – Joining in the end of the week ritual inspired by SouleMama. Sharing 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.

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes: a recipe

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We have a Sunday tradition in our house that involves making and eating pancakes or waffles with maple syrup. I’m not even sure when it started, but at least 6 years ago, I think. Probably longer, since I remember eating one or the other when I was a kid on Sunday mornings. The waffles were special because it was one of the few meals that my father made. His cooking responsibilities were limited to the barbeque, carving the turkey on Thanksgiving and making waffles on Sunday mornings. I’m sure he is well-able to make more than those things, but those are the ones that stick in my memory.

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The pancakes we had growing up were invariably made using a pre-made pancake and baking mix, just adding milk, oil and eggs. We did always have real maple syrup to go with them (and real butter – my dad never bought into the “fake” stuff) and if we were lucky, it was local syrup to boot. When I moved to Amsterdam, this pre-mix was no longer an option, so I perused my cookbooks and found a basic recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens “New Cook Book”. As I tend to do, I tweaked it to my taste. I can remember very vividly the first time I made them for my father when he and my mother came to visit, which must have been well over 10 years ago. He tasted my blueberry pancakes and said to me: “Daughter, I think your maple syrup must have gone off. These pancakes taste funny.” Frantic, I tested the syrup and the pancake only to discover that they tasted the same as they always did. Why did he think my syrup wasn’t good? Well, my mother guessed the answer – my pancakes were made from scratch and tasted different than our traditional pre-mix pancakes. I think (and hope) that his taste buds have rebounded from the experience because he seems to enjoy them these days, even eating them when I make them from scratch instead of using the mix during my visits to the States. It is also one of the few things I can count on my kids to eat more of than we do!

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Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c spelt flour (or brown rice flour for gluten-free)
  • 2/3 c buckwheat flour
  • 1 T polenta
  • 1 T cornmeal
  • 2 T oat bran (optional)
  • 2 T wheat germ (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¾ c buttermilk
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 c frozen (or fresh) blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Heat the cast-iron griddle. I find I have better results if I start it first and warm it slow and steady on a medium to low heat.
  2. Put the spelt flour, buckwheat flour, polenta, cornmeal, oat bran, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves into a large mixing bowl. Mix well, incorporating plenty of air into the mixture.
  3. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg, adding the buttermilk and oil.
  4. Place the frozen blueberries in a shallow bowl . Sprinkle a tablespoon of the dry flour mixture over the blueberries and gentle roll them around until coated with the flour. This helps prevent them from sticking together. If you are using fresh blueberries, you can skip this step.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing until just moist. Don’t over mix. There will be a few small lumps.
  6. Fold the blueberries gently through the batter.
  7. Bake the pancakes until bubbles form, then flip them and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately.
    Makes about 18 pancakes.
    Enjoy!

{this moment}

{this moment} – Joining in the end of the week ritual inspired by SouleMama. Sharing 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.

 

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“We had fun making the garlands”

In an ideal world, I would spend time every afternoon playing creatively with my kids after school. We would paint, draw, stamp, punch, make collages, have lessons in knitting, sewing and cooking and spend time exploring the woods in the nearby park. Unfortunately, even though an afternoon may start in this way, reality often manages to get in the way of this perfect playtime. Every now and then, however, an afternoon proceeds as hoped and intended and the kids and I manage to spend an enjoyable hour or two making something great as a family. We recently had one of those afternoons and it was glorious.

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Though we have plenty of art supplies in our home, I really like the idea of being resourceful, using what we have on hand. I find it difficult to convince the kids to use the backs of “used” paper for their drawings and art. I guess there is something about a truly blank canvas and I respect their wishes and don’t push the issue. However, when I read about the recently published book The Paper Playhouse by Katrina Rodabaugh, it sounded like it would provide a better approach (you can buy it here, here or here). I pre-ordered it as a Christmas gift for the kids and when it arrived last week, my daughter was so excited that she didn’t want to go to sleep without doing a project right away. While we eventually got her to drift off, head full of creative promise, we couldn’t wait long to get started. Although her first love was the lemonade stand, I convinced her that something more simple might be a better way to start. We picked the first project, the Pretty Paper Garlands.

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Amsterdam has a pretty good recycling program, but it’s always cool to recycle something in a more immediate way…especially one that is pretty! We fished out a few papers from our recycling bin, but mostly we used paper from a pile of magazines I had kept for a project just like this one (though I didn’t know it at the time). Armed with a punch from my studio as well as some kitchen twine and a glue stick, we went to work. The kids enjoyed selecting paper, using the punch (and relearning how to take turns), coloring on the papers with markers and applying glue liberally. The project was simple enough that both kids could participate to their abilities, we all enjoyed the time we spent together and we made a lovely little garland. The trifecta! When I told my daughter that I planned to write something about our afternoon on my blog, she wanted to contribute and did her best to find the letters on the keyboard to type: “We had fun making the garlands!” Great stuff we will definitely be repeating soon!

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{this moment}

{this moment} – Joining in the end of the week ritual inspired by SouleMama. Sharing 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.

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{this moment}

{this moment} – Joining in the end of the week ritual inspired by SouleMama. Sharing 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.

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Positivity, Patience, Light and Happiness for 2015

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I hope that you all had warm and wonderful holidays, filled with love, laughter and plenty of delicious food. We enjoyed visiting family in Ireland and having a few opportunities to walk on the beach. I think one my favorite moments was when my two-year old looked at the ocean waves crashing into the rocky outcrops and said full of incredulity, “Mommy, look at all of that water!” So beautiful to witness one of his “firsts” and actually recognize and savor it. (These moments can sometimes get lost in all the distractions when there are siblings, can’t they?)

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I’ve been struggling with what to write about the New Year and my resolutions for 2015. While I want to stop and think about what I’d like to accomplish in the coming year, I feel that the idea of a resolution doesn’t quite fit. I’d prefer something a bit more gentle, maybe I’ll call it a guideline, though I like Soulemama’s term intention, too.

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Here are my guidelines for 2015:

  • “go with the flow” when it comes to practical tasks, not letting them get me stressed or overwhelmed, but just doing them (albeit more mindfully)
  • “create more balance in my life” by tweaking my daily routine to include regular creative time with my children, more time outside, a regular yoga practice (daily would be lovely, though I’d be happy with consistent), and planned quality time with my husband
  • “move towards increased health” by incorporating a regular detox into my seasonal rhythm (inspired by my yoga instructor who does a detox for a month every spring/fall and a week every winter/summer), by including more raw and fermented food in our diet, by making some more natural body care products and by getting more sleep

My hope is that by embracing gentle guidelines instead of rigid resolutions, I will be mindful of and more focused on the benefits of my positive behaviors, encouraging more positivity and bringing more patience, light and happiness to my year.

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{this moment}

{this moment} – Joining in the end of the week ritual inspired by SouleMama. Sharing 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.

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