5 Places to See around Lake Winnipesaukee

This weekend Adam and I traveled to Wolfeboro, NH - and like the trapped parents we are... we used it as a mini-vaca touristing it up wherever we could!  Sure we had fun partying the night before the wedding and at the wedding - but we were up each morning - ready to sight see!  After all - when do we get an opportunity to drink hot coffee, on a lake, uninterrupted.  I wouldn't miss it for a hangover - that's for sure!!  We actually both discussed Tuesday night after the kids were in bed how we missed each other all day - because we had 3 whole days of mama/dadda time <3 it was awesome.











Here are a few places to check out if you're in the area! 

1. For breakfast: the Downtown Grille and Cafe - YUM!  Stand in line while someone in your group holds a table - place your order and a server will deliver it when it's ready - it was FANTASTIC! For Dinner: The Restaurant.  Charming, local food, fab servers, all around awesome.

2. Take a spin around the lake in the Winnipesauke Bell! It was pouring and freezing and still was a blast! 


3. Buy stuff at a farm!  There are MANY farms, in all directions, all around the lake.  Find one, chat it up with a farmer, buy some fresh stuff :)


4. Check out the Mill Falls Marketplace in Meredith.  Lots of shopping, eating and beautiful sights - right across the street from the lake.  SO pretty.


5. Hike/walk/stroll.  The towns are cute, the trails are plentiful, we strolled lakeside whenever we could :)




BONUS: If you're passing anywhere close to Portsmouth, NH - stop by the Red Hook Brewery.  Take the tour.  Eat the food.  You won't regret it :)

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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

Tantrums & Going Gluten Free


Essential oils.

Cloth diapers.

Wild caught fish.

Farmer's markets.

Alternate uses for breastmilk.

Now this.

Yup.  D is going gluten free.  

Yup.  His behavior has totally changed.

Yup. I am back to square one trying to recreate over processed food with ingredients I don't know how to work with.

Yup.  I know what teff flour is.

So... when D turned two... or maybe it was three... we started a period that didn't end until about 3 weeks ago.  A period of screaming, yelling, violent tantrums.

I know what you're thinking.

Suck it up mama.  All three year olds have tantrums.

Suck it up mama.  He'll grow out of it.

Suck it up mama.  Everyone goes through phases where their kid throws a scale at them down the stairs followed by every book on the book shelf and a couple of box fans.

No?

Well... I figured nothing could be lost by trying it.  I didn't really have any basis in trying it other than the fact that we already don't eat artificial food dye (which is something other mamas feel helps behavior)... and I had read this blog post: The Gluten Made Her Do It.  

After three weeks I have an initial report (and I will continue to follow it up...)

Let me tell you... the pasta sucks - quinoa, corn, rice... anything that's not semolina is crummy.  The bread sucks.  Rice bread, potato starch, tapioca, teff... all of it.

But... D is different.

Not a quiet, compliant, and obedient robotron kinda different - but a happy kid, with his happy funny personality, chatting about why he does or doesn't agree with me... without hitting me or throwing something at me.  Without shoving his brother onto the floor while looking at me.

Could it be this easy?  (and by easy I don't mean delicious).

As you can see - I am missing gluten - but quite honestly - I don't think he has noticed.  I like baking bread, making pasta from scratch (*real pasta), making batter that I recognize for muffins and pancakes.  

Now I am in a new world of processed foods... is it processed if it is 5 different kinds of flour?  What the hell is xanthan gum anyway?  Can you find it organically?  Did I for real just by bread from a freezer - with the last ingredient - CORN SYRUP SOLIDS?! 

I am lost.

But I found D.  I found the real D.  The happy D.  And I want to keep him around... 



But I repeat.  I.am.lost. in this new world of food I don't know.  Help me!!

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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

Toppah's Sensory Table

Toppah's back!

If you don't know Toppah - check him out here: One Organic Toppah & Entertaining with Toppah.

Today - I am bring you Toppah's Sensory Table.



As I have talked about before, I am part of an amazing organization, Kai's Village.  Last weekend we organized a Road Race to benefit our many, wonderful, families.  The road race included lots of fun activities for the kids of the runners.  My dad wanted to contribute and make something for the race, but to also make something that was going to be with us for a while, and that we could use in our office.  

There are lots of benefits for sensory tables and activities.  Children can explore things of different sizes, shapes, textures, and smells.  They can count, divide, sort, measure, pour, throw... - lots of possibilities!  We plan on having this table in the office for our village kiddos to use.

My kids had lots of fun trying it out in the driveway the day before the race.  We filled the 4 bins with the following:

Coffee beans and fabric flowers (I got the idea here!)


Lentils (dried -- they are now sprouting all over my driveway haha)




















And smooth rocks of different sizes:





















This table was built from scratch.  I am sure there are plenty of refurbished sensory tables out there - we are lucky that my dad hand makes items for his grandsons any time we ask - check out some of the other things he has made (toybox, play kitchen fridge/freezer, 2 red wagons, step stool with storage):


Toppah has said he would never build these things to sell... they are priceless <3 and made with love for his boys <3

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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3


Gluten Free {banana, chocolate chip} Pancakes

Confession.

Before I type everything up and make my pictures look all pretty - this is what my recipes look like:

Don't worry I made it look pretty.

In any case - these were yummy, they had more taste than regular pancakes AND they rose and were nice and fluffy!  Enjoy!

Gluten Free {banana, chocolate chip} Pancakes
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
1 1/2 cups of oat flour
1/4 cup of teff flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini)
salt

2 eggs
1 cup of milk
2 tbs coconut oil
1 mashed ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla

Butter on griddle


Preheat griddle to 350.

Mix dry ingredients with a whisk.

Mix wet ingredients with mashed banana.

Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk well until smooth. 

Butter griddle.

Put small scoops on griddle, when bubbles start to form flip!

Enjoy!


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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3



Happy Mother's Day



Hey mamas.

Today's about you... us... and our mamas... and their mamas <3

Remember when you talk to other mamas, when you think of other mamas, when you see them online and in person, we all have our own battles, really really hard ones.

We are all doing our best.  

We are a village of women doing what we can.

Let's lift one another up, help one another, and support each other.  

Let's celebrate our successes together and support our one another in our struggles.  

We all want the same thing for our kids <3

All I have for you today are some of my favorite mama posts.

Enjoy your day mamas. 

Dear New Mamas, Happy Mother's Day.

 Mean Girls and Mean Moms, The Mommy Wars

 Know it Alls & the Mommy Wars

My Non-Negotiables - What You REALLY Need to Know

From time to time I have been asked by my friends... or more accurately my parents' friends - what are the absolute things they need to do to eat healthy.  

Like a top 10.

Honestly.  I don't know.

I am not a professional.

I am just a mom.  Trying to do what's best for my kiddos without being a lunatic.

I would say I am successful about 50% of the time :)

Anyways... here is my "list"...



Do
Don’t
Have high standards for your food at home –NO GMOs, no artificial coloring, organic if you can

Get to know some farmers – if you’re in an area where there are farms - introduce yourself, check out their farm, get some local sustainable food from them!

Your research!!  There are some great people out there reporting on all things food –100DaysofRealFood and FoodBabe 
are two of my favorites.

Cook from scratch!  Getting back to basics (especially using organic ingredients) makes sure no nasty food additives, preservatives, or anything unnecessary are in your food.

Make as much of your diet, whole, real foods.

Buy minimally processed foods.

Make your own your own non-toxic cleaning supplies!  HINT - vinegar and water... good for pretty much everything :)

Use cloth diapers if you can!

Get into essential oils.

Cut yourself a break.  Just reading about these things are more than the average consumer does!  You’re doing great just finding out what’s out there!

Try doing things naturally first.  All things.
Obsess about things you can’t control (like food eaten outside your house) – I know my kids will eat more food from my house than anywhere else – if they have a red dye filled ice pop at a friend’s house every now and then – it’s ok.

Eat at fast food restaurants – it’s no good, all fried in GMO soy, just stay away from it.

Buy things in packages that don’t need to be in packages (ie: individually wrapped apples and potatoes).

Forget to read the label – it is easy to think that you’re getting something fantastic from some of the deceptive advertising that’s out there!

Believe that “natural” or “all natural” means anything!  It doesn’t.  Either – talk to who made it and find out about their sources OR look for the USDA Organic stamp

Use Johnson and Johnson, just don’t.


Buy anything with an ingredient you can’t pronounce or don’t recognize

Do a lot of soy.  Once you start reading ingredients - it is in EVERYTHING processed and most (95%) is GMO.  It also messes with hormones... yikes!  The 90s told us soy was a perfect protein and we should all be eating it all the time and drinking it up as babies in formula. Not my style.  Read the link for 170 reasons why you should cut it out of your diet.

Reject science.  Lots of times, in lots of cases – medicine is the answer.  Don’t ignore it because sometimes its not!

Like I said, nothing here is hard and fast - it is a slow transition - and even then... aim for 50%  :)  








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High Five for Friday!


What a fab week we have had!  So so many blessings <3  Here are our top five!

One: The Kai's Village Road Race was a HUGE success (no thanks to me!).  We had more than 300 runners, lots of family walkers and tons of kids partying it up at our craft and play area!  If you want to check out the pictures and the details about what Kai's Village is and who we help - check out of FB page <3 we would love to have you in our village.

Two:  If you have been reading me - you know we play in the mud... a lot.  True this week too!

Three: We have been going for at least 1 walk (but two most days) everyday.  It's been fantastic.  When we get to the school down our street... the kids like to "run everywhere in the grass."

Four: Good playground fun.

Five: I am SO stoked to be hosting the Weekend Blog Block Party here!  Come back Friday at 10 (or anytime this weekend) - FIVE blogs are hosting - tons of ways to link up - lots of ways to meet new people or find a sweet blog to follow!  Can't wait!!


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Photobucket

I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

Paradise Bites

I don't like coconut.

Or dried fruit.

Or Lara Bars.

But let's face it... kids do - and it is good for them!  But dang.  Those things are expensive!  E made one disappear in 5 minutes.  So... I had to make one... or a substitute anyway :) 



Paradise Bites
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
1 1/2 cups of dried dates
1 cup of dried pineapple
1 cup of dried mango
1/2 cup of dried (not chips) bananas
1/2 cup of apricots

1 cup of coconut
1/2 cup of walnuts


Remove the pits from the dates.  Chop them up.  Calling them sticky would be an understatement. 

A little bit at a time – put some of the dried fruit into the food processor.  When it is sticking together – dump it out.  When all the fruit is processed into little bits, put the coconut and the walnuts in and process them.  Add all the fruit back in and process together.

Roll into small 1 inch balls (you could form them into bars- but it is hard to press them enough to make them stay together – and they are SO sweet – you don’t need honey!).

Makes 21.
Enjoy!


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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3



{trying to} Prevent Pests Naturally


Disclaimer!  I don't know if any of these work!!  So if you're pinteresting - I am TRYING these things - I promise I will do an update at the end of the summer <3


I used to work at a greenhouse - so an excuse to add flowers to my veggie garden makes me smile!  I loved my greenhouse time... it was always warm, smelled good, and I got to get the coolest farmer tan every summer :)

I have done a bit of research (in between two potty emergencies - not mine - breakfast, drinking cold coffee, teaching basic addition to my 4 year old, and putting E down for a nap...) and here is what I have decided to try this year:



Marigolds: This comes from my mama.  Marigolds are supposed to prevent deer, little animals, and apparently some bugs from your garden.  Too bad they are so ugly.








Dahlias: Seem to prevent some bugs and attract others... I'm going to roll the dice because I hate marigolds so much.  Dahlias also are really pretty to cut and bring inside... so that may be why I am attached to planting them :)









Nasturtium: Deter white flies and aphids (one of the grossest bugs I have seen - gives me the heebie jeebies just typing it)








Petunias: Thank goodness these reportedly do something because I love petunias!  They are supposed to deter a few kinds of beetles and horn worms (that attack tomatoes).









Lavender: We already have some lavender and I love it - so I am happy to plant some more!  It is supposed to repel fleas, moths, and white flies.  Ick.







Sunflowers: D started some sunflowers at farm school - they are pretty tall already - they can't wait to get outside!  They attract the good bugs to your garden.






Oregano and Mint: Because they are so stinky <read fragrant> they apparently help repel some animals.  BE CAREFUL - both of these can take over pretty quickly - I still have mint in my freezer from last year when it took over half of my raised bed. 







OK.  Off to the garden center!  I wish I lived closer to the one I used to work at!  I promise to 1. take my own pictures of my garden and my attempted pest control and 2. let you know how it works out!  

What do you do for natural pest control?  Sprays? Corn cobs soaked in vinegar (I tried this last year... it smelllllled)?



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I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3

Gluten Free Multigrain Bread


There were a few months I was on an elimination diet in the early breastfeeding days of baby E.  While on the diet, I tried some gluten free rice bread.  Um. Gross. 

In any case, in an attempt to lower the wheat in our diet I am doing some experimenting with bread.

Now.  This is not the same as the bread you're used to.  It is dense (look at the pictures).  This tasted pretty good, was yummy enough, and it was delicious with almond butter and honey (D was a big fan!).


It's not over... I WILL be continuing to experiment... especially because I am accumulating quite a variety of flours!

Gluten Free Multigrain Bread
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients
For the bread:
2 eggs
3 tbs of melted butter
3/4 cup of milk
2 tbs of honey
1 cup of oat flour
1 cup of corn flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of teff flour
3 tsp of yeast
3tsp xanthan gum

For the topping:
1 egg beaten
2 tbs oatmeal
2 tbs pepita seeds
2 tsp sunflower seeds
Sprinkle of sea salt
Add bread ingredients to bread maker according to instructions and set to basic bread.

Just before it starts baking, take it out of the machine.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Knead the dough and shape into loaf.  Let rise for at least 30 minutes.

Top with egg wash and toppings. 

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


Enjoy!


___________________________________________________________

I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3





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