Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A little bird told me : )

I tried making wire jewelry for the first time last night! Ry (who is an amazing artist) made wire sculptures in college so he was able to help me get started. I love the way this necklace came out! I listed it in my Etsy shop, but honestly I would gladly keep it!

Mama Nest Necklace
Etsy is so much fun : ) Honestly, my favorite part is packing the jewelry up and sending it off- I love trying to imagine the person that purchased it trying it on and wearing it around!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Seedlings in the Sun

This is defiantly the first organized gardening attempt I have ever undertaken- I'm so excited! This year we have quite a bit more ground to work with! So I've decided to try and start some of our seedlings inside and then transplant them into our (yet to be built) raised beds. So far I've started tomatoes, squash, peas, pumpkins, cucumbers, various different herbs, and giant sunflowers (for our wedding in September!!!) We've also started composting in hopes of having some ready to fertilize the soil later in the summer.

Some of my plant babies

It has been so beautiful outside that I have been able to bring the seedlings out during the day to soak in some sun. My other seedling, Green, and I have also been able to spend some time outside. We took a trip to the park with some friends earlier in the week to swing on the swings. I can't believe that he is going to be a year old at the end of next month! He is really starting to develop his own little personality- he amazes me every day.

Green loving the swing (notice the bare feet, it was so warm out!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Snack Bag Giveaway : )

So you could probably guess that I am completely and totally in love with all things reusable : ) Check out this awesome organic reusable snack bag giveaway by Designs By Vanessa! I am really hoping I win them... but if not I will probably visit the Bebelooshmini Etsy store and nab a few there!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Natural Maple Wood Teether Giveaway!

Our little Green Tree is going to be turning a year old next month! I can't believe how quickly this last year has flown by! We've watched him grow from a grain of sand, to a seed, to bean and finally to the little crawling, giggling, wiggling sprout he is today!

To celebrate Green's birthday (and the birth of Gorgeous Green Mama!), we are going to give away one of our completely natural, handmade teething rings! I am so excited about these- Ry makes them from locally sourced, chemical free maple wood. They are sanded by hand, so they have a satin, silky smooth finish.

If you want to grab a teether right now, stop on over to our Etsy shop Gorgeous Green Mama and you can snag one!!!

So here are the rules:
-To enter you have to become a follower of Gorgeous Green Mama's blog (which is super easy, just click "Follow" on the right hand side of the screen)
-In the comments portion of this post your e mail address where I can reach you if you are a winner- if you are more comfortable, you can e mail me your address at

Good Luck! We'll have the drawing on Green's Birthday, April 30th!!! I'll notify the winner via e mail, so keep an eye on your inbox!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Natural Teethers for Natural Babies

I probably spend too much time cruising the internet- I like to think that most of it is research based... but I also totally dig internet shopping. And I love getting mail, which is a dangerous combination. During my internet travels, I stumbled upon several different types of nursing necklaces. A nursing necklace is worn by the Mama (or Papa!) and is used to entertain and refocus distractible babies during nursing, bottle nursing, diaper changes, baby wearing etc... Some were made of silicone, some beaded, some wooden. I ended up purchasing a wooden one because (and this might be the Lorax in me) I honestly feel really good about wood- things that grow from the ground can do no wrong! I like the fact that it is natural, chemical free, sustainable and ascetically pleasing. Rowan is a huge fan- he loves tugging on it, chewing it, and playing with it while he nurses. It's nice because when he starts to pull my hair/pinch/bite me, I can redirect him to the necklace.

I tend to have a chronic case of "I could totally make that!!!" when I see something completely awesome . I have become such a huge fan of this necklace that we decided to try our hand at making our own- with great success! We decided to use maple wood because it has a nice feel to it. I was able to get some locally sourced maple at Hammond Lumber. We've made a few tiny ones for nursing necklaces and are going to make some larger rings that would just serve as teethers. This is my first woodworking project and I love it! I love the smell of the wood as it is being cut and sanded. Sanding with an electric sander is also very cool- it's time consuming but the hum of the sander and the turning of the teether as I sand it kind of creates a meditative atmosphere.

I've also learned that beeswax makes an excellent natural protectant/sealer so I might give that a go. I am thinking about adding them to our Etsy line up soon : ) I'm also thinking about making some beaded nursing necklaces too (these are NOT for teething, just for playing with while Mama or Papa wears it). I want to get some locally made glass beads- I'm going to approach some glass artists that we know but if you are reading this and know someone let me know : )

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Family Hike/Archeological Dig

Ry, Green, Burton (our Jack Russell Terrier) and I went for a hike through the woods. We live at the very end of a (minimally traveled) dead end road which borders a state owned wildlife/tree preserve. My family has lived on this road for 5 generations now. I moved away for college and (through a series of extraordinary coincidences!!!) am living here again. Different house, same road. At times it's bizarre to walk with Green down the same trails that I once played on with my sister when we were small. I saw the remnants of an old fort we had once built and it was completely surreal. Not that I didn't love growing up here but (like like most 18-20somthings) I really thought I was done with this place and moving to Alaska (insert faraway destination of your own personal yearning here). The universe works in mysterious ways!

A few days ago Green and I were walking with Burton and discovered a couple of old glass bottles in the dirt. I was pretty stoked seeing as though Ry and I have been cutting up quite a few bottles lately So I picked them up and started back home. A few days later we were out for another walk when I discovered an entire mound of castoffs from another time- sweet vintage glass bottles!!! And some rusty old cars, creepy doll pieces and a moss covered shoe. What a find!!! So I hiked back home and got Ry (and a bucket) to gather up some of the glass.
Here is Green riding happily in the ergo

Our archaeological find

Mossy shoe

Papas sculpture- a baby doll head very artfully stuck onto the top of a bottle... so creepy I haven't been able to sleep since

So while it was defiantly cool to stumble upon all of this cool junk in the woods, it is defiantly a a reminder just where 'away' is when we throw something away- it's on the ground. Or in the ground. Most of the stuff looks like it was from the 50s or 60s (maybe even earlier?), and although I am sure some decomposition has taken place, it is defiantly a reminder of how long things take to break down, if ever. I think as a society we are defiantly more mindful in terms of reusing and recycling materials, and fixing our possessions rather than tossing them and buying new things.
I really wish Hatch Hill dump in Augusta would start recycling mixed paper (cereal box type cardboard) as I can't bring myself to throw it out! Until I can find time to bring them to Farmington, our garage is becoming full of broken down boxes. I've started to try and figure out a way to make my own packing boxes for my Etsy sales, so I can use some of them. Maybe if more people start calling and asking when they planning on taking it/why don't they things might change faster?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beautiful Bread

I don't know how this bread baking seed planted itself in my head, but, as I nurture it, there it happily continues to live and grow! I've tried several different methods, with the goal being a soft loaf of sandwich-able wheat bread. I'll share my no fail method, which is a combo of like 4 different recipes, but it yields beautiful bread every time. One loaf usually lasts us the entire week.

Baking Beautiful Whole Wheat Bread

2 cups of King Arthur bread flour
2 cups of King Arthur whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dried milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup molasses (honey works too, but is more expensive to use if you make it frequently)
2 1/2 teaspoons instant active yeast
pinch of sea salt
*sometimes I add sun dried tomatoes and basil, flax seeds, or oatmeal*
1 1/4 cup warm water

1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together
2. Add dried milk, olive oil, molasses
3. Add water
4. Stir until dough starts to form a ball in the bowl
5. Tip onto a floured surface and kneed for 10-15 minutes (the best part!)
6. Put ball of dough into a clean oiled bowl, cover and
allow to rise until it is almost poofed over the bowl
*my kitchen is pretty cold, so to better facilitate rising, I boil some water (make a cup of tea) and pour the rest of the water into another bowl. I then
place a wire rack on top of it and put the bread
bowl on top of the rack.

7. After the bread has risen, beat it back down, roll it into a loaf-ish shape and put it into an oiled loaf pan.
8. Cover and allow it to rise (*repeat boiling water/ wire rack if your kitchen is chilly) until it poofs out of the pan by an inch or 2

9. Bake at 350 for 4 minutes
10. Tip out of pan and let it cool

I really enjoy knowing what is going into my body and prepare most of out food from scratch- this is not to say that we have fully attained foodstuff enlightenment. I have been known to snack on some less than healthy stuff now and then (box of Cheddar Bunny, anyone? No. Ok how about an entire sleeve of Newman O's. Or a carton of Ben and Jerry's). I do try and avoid chemical additives/anything created in a lab.

Moderation is so important- if your baseline diet (and when I say diet I mean what you eat, and not some crazy fad diet) is healthy, you are good to go and a slight (or even major) deviation now and then is really no big deal! I read that mindful eaters work on expanding their diet, not restricting it. I like this idea.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mama Was A Mossy Stone

Mama was a mossy stone (this is my alternate blog name... I use Gorgeous Green Mama for a bunch of other web based things so I feel like it might be a good idea to keep using the same name... but there is a good chance I might change it...we will see)... until today! Lurking in the wings of the blogosphere no more... Now I am here and I would like to say... hi! I'm hoping to share my adventures in natural family living, crafting, adventuring and living the beautiful, messy life that I call my own : )