Summer is here.

Happy Summer Solstice to you, dear readers. It’s decidedly summer here: 75 and sunny and the bikinis are at the beach. We had a fun beach day yesterday to celebrate Father’s Day and I was very concerned about Wren’s precious skin so she was generously slathered with sunscreen, but I neglected to do the same for my own skin. Result? The season’s first (and hopefully, last) sunburn. Oops. Sigh.

Because I’m a list-maker and my Spring Forward list kept me focused on enjoying Spring’s delights, I will do the same for summer. So here goes…

  • pick lots of strawberries and blueberries to enjoy and put up for a long winter
  • enjoy a huge, fresh sandwich from the Village Cheese Shanty in Leland
  • feel good after running the National Cherry Festival 15K – this is coming up more quickly than I thought so we’ll see how good I feel…
  • I know I said (err, wrote) at some point about how I WAS NOT going to make marshmallows from scratch (so utterly Martha), but with it being s’mores season and all, I’m inspired to make some marshmallows, roast them (a bit burnt is my style), then sandwich them with some really good chocolate between a couple graham cracker pieces. Wondering if I will notice a difference. What do you think?
  • spend lots of evenings on the porch with dear Chris
  • wear a pretty sundress while playing bocce and sipping a fancy cocktail
  • swim, swim, swim, swim. A lot.
  • eat lots of salads and grilled meat. Yes!
  • enjoy my annual corn dog and maybe even an elephant ear or funnel cake… oof.
  • make progress on my Dairy Lodge Diet. I’ve been slacking lately and I need to get back at it!
  • take Wren to her first Northwest Michigan Fair. “Goin’ to the fair, goin’ to the fair, goin’ to the Northwest Michigan Fair!”
  • frequent our local farmer’s markets and art fairs
  • have a big garage sale and get rid of some stuff (err, junk)
  • visit Werner’s vineyard. He makes my favorite local wine: Left Foot Charley’s Pinot Blanc. Lovely!
  • pickle something from my garden
  • make some kind of jam. Strawberry?
  • be overwhelmed with harvesting all the veggies from my garden. This would be a good problem to have. We’ll see… so far, so good.
  • enjoy the summer sunrises as much as the sunsets
  • stay up late to be awed by the Perseid meteor showers in August
  • picnic, picnic, picnic. Doesn’t everything taste better when you’re eating it outside?
  • erect our hammock and enjoy a few lazy moments
  • read a book. The whole book. Wow, what an idea! Got any suggestions?
  • run through the sprinkler
  • chase the ice cream truck
  • be barefoot most of the time
  • make Wren’s play kitchen – similar to this one
  • create bouquets from our zinnias and bells of ireland
  • dance with the little birdie at the Cedar Polka Fest. She is going to LOVE it!
  • get on the water in someone else’s boat… anyone?
  • take Chris out to eat at Siren Hall for a date night
  • take in a few films at the Traverse City Film Festival
  • do a weekend camping trip and eat hot dogs, plain potato chips, a bottle of Faygo rock & rye and german potato salad from a can
  • sleep outside
  • enjoy a campfire and cheesy camp songs

Oh my, I could go on, but I better stop. If I think of more, I’ll add them later… What do you look forward to this summer?

Happy longest day of the year, lovelies! Any fun pagan rituals planned for tonight? Enjoy!

It’s all about me?

It sure is easy to get wrapped up in one’s own little corner of Cyberspace, but it’s even more fun to get lost in someone else’s for a while. Agree?

I get lost in Progressive Pioneer‘s world from time to time and usually enjoy what I find.

It’s always thought-provoking even though I don’t always live on the same plane of existence. For example, I was happy to experience natural childbirth in a hospital setting and had a great experience; I don’t need to be in a birthing tub in my house surrounded by people to feel fulfilled. But I love reading about it through some of the birth stories…

Every day I get lost in Design Mom‘s world, but lately I’ve been turned off by the ads. I keep seeing Dodge, McDonald’s and Red Lobster. Gag. But I go back anyway because she always has beautiful insights on things and experiences in the world. Plus she has six kids so I like to imagine what that’s like. I mean, really, what IS that like?! Her blog is a beautifully filtered, curated version of life. Wonderful place to get lost.

And lately, thanks in part to my green thumb obsession, I’ve been checking out Make Grow Gather more often. Speaking of which, my gardens have just started to take off and I have to thin the seedlings today. Looks like microgreens are back on the menu, lovelies! More on that later…

Because of my penchant for everything orange and love of learning how to do new things, I always enjoy a click on over to How About Orange.

I also so very (very) much look forward to reading my lovely sister-in-law’s blog where poetry and food intersect: Middlewest. Poetry and food. Is there much more to life, really?

Where do you like to get lost in Cyberspace? What blows your skirt up? I would love to know. Happy Monday, lovelies.

Tummy Tub, of course!

I’ve been asked a few times recently for gift ideas for new parents. There are so many great things out there and while handmade items are always trump in my book, the Tummy Tub is a unique, thoughtful, useful gift that we love to rave about. Shortly after we first brought Wren home from the hospital and looked at each other, like “now what?” we bathed her in a traditional tub and she screamed. Oops. Fresh from the womb, exposure like that is not fun. For anyone. But she took right away to her Tummy Tub. And so did we. How cute is a baby in a bucket?

We started using it shortly after she was born. According to the manufacturer (and we agree!), it’s “an easy, stress-free and safe way to bathe and settle your baby. Developed in cooperation with physicians, midwives and nursery nurses, the TummyTub eases the transition from the secure environment of the womb to the new world. The unique womb shape helps your baby to relax and become calm in the familiar fetal position. Surrounded by water, which stays warmer for longer due to the small surface area, your baby feels confident and secure.”

Here are some shots of Wren in her Tummy Tub. So cute and fun!

Wren first started pulling herself in her Tummy Tub and then we really couldn’t be doing dishes at the same time anymore… Damn!

Bonus, dear readers! It’s green. The ultimate green baby bath tub: saves water, energy, space, and is fully recyclable. Designed and produced in Europe with very high quality standards, the TummyTub is completely BPA, PVC, lead, Phthalate, and toxin free. Not to mention it has passed all worldwide safety regulations and testing.

Don’t you love those Europeans and all their great ideas? Cheers!

Sleepy songs.

Although I’m not a huge fan of kids music, I do love singing and listening to lullabies. My favorite collection is one beautifully created by a friend of ours, Gretchen Eichberger-Kudlack. A big shout out to Gretchen for her creativity, beauty and artistry. And to sweet Gwen for being such an inspiration. “The idea was conceived after I gave birth to my daughter Gwendolyn,” said Eichberger-Kudlack. “The first half starts off with playful and happy songs, based around folk music, and it gradually winds down and relaxes, ending with a Bach piano piece.”

I’m clearly not the only one enjoying it… The CD was named an Honors Award Winner in the 2008 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA). You can listen to the CD and purchase it here. Portions of the album’s proceeds will benefit music education programs in northern rural Michigan. Bonus! Why not buy several to have on hand for baby gifts?

Enjoy!

33 things.

Happy Birthday to me!  I am 33 today and would like to shout a big “thank you!” to my dear Mutti who birthed me. I think it took giving birth to my own little birdie to realize what a true gift this whole life thing is. 33 is also a really lovely looking number, isn’t it? Furthermore…, 33 is the largest positive integer that cannot be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers. Whatever the hell that means. Thanks, Wikipedia.

I’ll be celebrating with food and family in our nest. We’ll be ordering in Thai food so I don’t have to cook or clean (much). Yahoo!

So it seems like a good time to make one of those “life lists.” I know these are trite, but also fun so here goes… 33 things I’d like to do before, well, you know.

make a teardrop trailer |  travel to South America |  train travel across India  |  climb a real mountain |  win a race |  bake amazing cakes  |  complete an Ironman-length triathlon | make a film  |  have an encyclopedic knowledge of wildflowers |  play the cello | make cheese | bike across the United States | visit Prince Edward Island  |  have a successful business  |  advance beyond first series Ashtanga yoga  | visit all fifty states  |  raise a strong woman  |  travel across country in an Airstream  | kayak the Outer Banks  |  ice climb  |  design and build our own house  |  live overseas again  |  see the Great Wall of China  |  eat sushi in Japan  |  have a big vegetable garden with enough stuff to give away to all our favorite neighbors  |  grow artichokes  |  go dog sledding  |  Safari in Africa  |  sail the Great Lakes  |  write a book  |  get an advanced degree  |  give  A LOT of money to a charity I love  |  perfect my butterfly stroke  | uh oh! That was 33. I guess I’ll keep going because I hope to live a long, adventurous life… |  replace 90% of the lawn with plants  |  backpack with my husband |  have a dog again | scuba dive | visit hot springs you have to hike in to  | winter camp  | run the entire Pictured Rocks trail  |  have a successful cut-flower garden with lots of Bells of Ireland and big orange and green Zinnias  |  wear an itsy-bitsy teeny tiny polka dot bikini  |  have zero debt to anyone or any institution  |  go to a Craig Ferguson show |  see Madonna live in concert  |  visit Madurodam with Wren  | raise pygmy goats and lots of different varieties of lavender  |  paint regularly  |  have a family meeting like the Cosby Family | celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans  |  floss every day  |  sleep under the stars at Joshua Tree  |  race the Vasa  |  run the Boston Marathon  | swim with dolphins |  have excellent posture  |  have a cottage on a lake somewhere  |  do one scary thing every day  |  make great stuff that people other than family and friends want to buy  |  simplify  |  sew well  |  live in Canada  |  sweat daily  |  waste less food  | live big.

wanting.

I’m truly blessed with so many abundances. I really am. I’m healthy and I have a wonderful husband, a beautiful child with whom I get to spend my every single day, a cozy home, supportive & fun family and friends. I just snuck in a shower and a cup of coffee. And that beautiful child is taking a snooze. The list goes on.

And yet, I find myself in want. Of these:

or maybe these:

sigh.

Will this wanting ever end? It is ridiculous, isn’t it? When we have so much and yet lust after more?  But they really are cute, aren’t they? And the pea green ones are on sale at Zappos. And given my conundrum with my current boots… oof.

Confessions.

  • So that sugar detox didn’t go so well last night. After a delicious dinner, we treated ourselves to peppermint ice cream with Sander’s hot fudge and a cookie. Then later with Bananagrams, we chowed on Good & Plentys. Oy yoy yoy. Time to begin again, Finnegan.
  • Orange is my favorite color today. Yessirreee. You saw those orange boots, right?
  • Mixed in with the Valentine’s Day candy at Meijer was a big box of Cadbury Eggs. WHAT?!

best!