mama scout lab e-course

Thursday, January 31, 2013

{wellness challenge} :: clutter control

I had so much fun with last month's wellness challenge, I wanted to try another this month. The mission  for February, if you are brave, it to do some serious clutter control.

Excess stuff dominates and steals energy like nothing else, so let's clean it out. And let's make it fun and do it together!

As much as I am seduced by extreme minimalism, tiny houses, and getting down to only 100 items - that is not where my family is right now. We are 5 people who are home many days, have many interests and projects happening at all times. But, we certainly can do a sweep through the house to clear out the things we do not need anymore.

How it works::

This challenge runs in a Facebook Group. You can ask to join here. I will post a mini challenge each day this month. Ideally, these little jobs can be done in 15 minutes tops. You choose to do them or not, of course, but the real fun is when people (that is you) share your progress. Before and after photos of your space and project are completely welcome!

We can all share inspirational links, books,  and resources too. And if you are getting rid of something, you might even find a new home through our group.

So, are you in? Let's see how much stuff we can get out of our homes in the shortest month of the year!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

on the road :: day 1 :: leaving Florida

Heading north. Writing the blog with the iPhone and thumb this week.

Stopping for lunch at a favorite place in St. Augustine. Coffee in a 1780's blacksmith shop.

Georgia's zealous highway patrol and the sour smell of paper mills.

Snacking on heads of romaine we brought from home.

Keeping occupied with early Bill Cosby (kids love it!), Winnie the Pooh by Judi Dench, Liberty's Kids and iPad games.

Slow scenery changes, anticipating ice and snow tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

10 things about me

I am taking an online blogging course with Susannah Conway and one of our assignments this week is to write and post a list of 10 things our readers might not know about us.

So, here it goes....

1. I once travelled to NYC for New Year's Eve on a whim. Just jumped on a plane with no hotel or arrangements. Stumbled around, trying to stay in 24 hour diners eating mashed potatoes, until finally giving in and finding what must have been the last (and nastiest) hotel room in the city.

2. All my (huge) children were born via c-section, while most of my friends had midwife or home births. And I am okay with that.

3. I watched the police shoot over 50 rounds into an apartment across from my backyard, killing a young man. I then had to go give a statement in which the police tried to get me to corroborate with the story they were creating to protect themselves.

4. I can easily and gleefully eat an entire container of sprinkles.

5.  I wrote and taught a class in Paris for my university's art department. It was a dream come true. (The subject was American expatriate artists in Paris)

6. I climbed Chichen Itza (which apparently you can not do anymore).

7. I hitchhiked in the French countryside trying to find this sculpture by Tinguely. I found it. It was amazing.

8. For several years, I ran a subscription produce business with my children.

9. I used to work in a historic movie theatre. I had to hang off the marquee to change the movie titles each week and had to turn on the ghost light before scurrying out to lock up (both completely scared the crap out of me).

10. My husband and I fell in love at an underground, music venue he ran. (The kind where the beer is free but you have to buy a cup for $5.)

What is something interesting about you? Share in the comments!

Monday, January 21, 2013

homeschooling is....

homeschooling is....

forays and explorations into canned fish products and picnics at the sidewalk on the go cart you built yourself.

(I would love to hear the weird things that your unschooly, autodidactic lifestyle has brought to you - please share in the comments). 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

string painting with olders

sometimes i forget about simple, open ended art projects that we did when the kids were younger. 

i might think, oh, we already did that. but that is the beauty of open ended projects - they can be done many times with different results. 

we looked at patterns, and variables, and talked about string theory and worm holes and star births.

what art invitations would you like to revisit?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

a howl worthy birthday gift

We had a birthday here this weekend and one of the funnest gifts from a great uncle was this very cool shirt of three wolves howling at the moon. What makes it so fun is the over two thousand comments on Amazon about it magical powers. If you have not wasted your time reading these (there are also ones for a banana slicer, a gallon of milk and others), and you have a similar weird sense of humor as my family, you are missing out :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

{writing prompt} hope alchemy

What are you hoping for now? 

Write the one thing, or the laundry list of things that you are hoping for in your journal. 

Then...if you have access to feathers (or leaves) .... stamp or write those wishes and release them back into the world

Sunday, January 13, 2013

an e-Lab for mamas

Things might be a bit slow around here for the next week or so as I prepare for the first Mama Lab :: A Book About Me.

I am putting the final touches on it and so loving the prompts and explorations. I am all about process, so this is truly a lab. Participants will not leave with a pretty, scrapbook project. That is not my style. If you join us, by the end of the month, you will have a messy, packed book full of memories, lists, letters, maps, ideas, photos, and projects. These bits and ramblings will contain so much seed inspiration for you to invest back into your life as you get on track and create the life you want.

I can not wait! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

best toy ever :: an old mattress

Best toy ever. 

An old mattress. 

Used for jumping, napping, cuddling chickens and reading comics. 

Soon, it will be dissected to peer into its mysterious innards. 

Finally, spring jumping shoes are on the design board.  

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

panko baked green tomatoes

Do you love fried green tomatoes? I do. But I hate the labor of pan frying, so my husband tried a new way. Not only were they a million times easier, they were better too!

Here is what you do:

Slice up green tomatoes.

Dredge in flour, then dip in a beaten egg, and finally coat with seasoned panko (we use plain and add our own salt and pepper). 

Bake on a lightly oiled, parchment-lined cookie sheet for about 20 minutes at 425 (until they are golden brown). 

Eat warm with Chrystal hot sauce!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Season's Eating {guest post + GIVEAWAY!}

Today I have a guest post from the fabulous Leah Cherry from Skill It. I have taken several of her Season's Eatings courses and love them! She offers yummy recipes each week, but even better - creative ways to cook and introduce the food to your children (starting with fun and easy hunts at the grocery store and farmer's market). 

If you are looking to spice up your cooking and get your kids involved, this is the perfect class for that. 

And.... I am giving away a spot in the Winter session which starts February 4th. 

Read to the bottom to enter and get a free recipe printable. 


Do you dream of a dinnertime with delicious food, smiling faces and fantastic conversations?

Isn’t it easy to lose the joy in preparing our food and bringing everyone together for family dinnertime?

Season’s Eatings is an online course that helps bring back the joy, fun, and connection around food and family dinnertime.  For the month of February, Leah Cherry of Skill It is leading the Winter session of this delicious and delightful experience.

At the heart of Season’s Eatings is delicious food. Each week you get recipes for two family dinners with step-by-step instructions and suggestions for which part your little chefs can help. In addition to the recipes, there are printable grocery shopping lists, table-setting tips, and family dinner table conversation starters. 

More than just a class, it is community that celebrates the beauty of cooking together as a family. Participants in Season’s Eatings gather and connect in a private Facebook group to ask questions, share successes, and post photos of their finished dishes. And each week you’ll hear from a featured writer who shares their thoughts and unique perspective on the joys and pleasures of the family dinner.

From wherever we happen to be, we gather at one big table, laughing, talking, and celebrating over bowls of steaming soup and plates of roasted vegetables. Bringing joy to our families, one dish, and one day, at a time.

Season’sEatings – the Winter Session – takes place from February 4th – 25th, 2013.

Leah Cherry teaches children and their families how to cook, sew, make and grow – traditional talents that remain essential for living well today. Her business, Skill It, is founded on the belief that working with your hands nourishes your spirit and connects you to family and community. Her signature online class, Season’s Eatings, is offered four times a year to create joy, fun, and connection around food and family dinner time.


What about a recipe for Nicoise Pasta Salad to get you started? 
Click here to download a taste of what's to come! 

Want to win a spot? 

Congratulations to Kristen! You are a winner!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling what your favorite family dinner is.

And if you would, click over and like Skill It on Facebook too. Tell Leah hi!

I will pick a random winner on Friday. Good luck!

Monday, January 7, 2013

how to find time & space to write

As a mom it is very hard to find time to write (or create). You have to become a master of finding the nuggets of time throughout the day and be ready to take full advantage of them. Here is a list of the ways I am able to get a little bit done here and there through out the day.

Please share your tips in the comments!

  1. The minute you wake up. Grab your journal and write for 5 minutes.

  2. Use the bathroom. Head in for a bath, turn on the fan to block out the noise and relax, write in your mind and then scribble down your idea fragments before you get out. 

 (alternatively, announce that you need to go to the bathroom because you are not feeling well. Voila! You have gained 29 minutes of writing time.)

 3. Write in the car line.
 4. Volunteer to go to the grocery store on your own. Write in the parking lot for 15 minutes, then do your shopping quickly.
 5. While waiting for kids in classes. Do not socialize - use the time to work.
 6. While waiting at the doctors, DMV, etc. Train kids that when you are waiting, you are reading, writing, doing hand work - not always being entertained by mom or the iPhone nanny.

 7. Institute a pre-bedtime writing period. My kids will be calm and write once they are in bed, if I offer an extra 15 minutes to journal. Then I write too.

 8. Set up dates on the calendar and take them. Even and hour or two at the library can be refreshing. Make it a priority - no one else can do that for you.

 9. Write in bed instead of watching TV - knowing that by that time of day you will probably only be writing in fragments. But in a decade, you will cherish those scrambled bits as if they were the finest writing ever.
 10. Use your smart phone to email yourself ideas and jot notes if you do not carry a journal with you.

 11. Write as your kids fall asleep.

 12. Learn to write all day in little snatches. Record ideas, impressions, scents, scenes all day long.


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