Kitchen / Garden / Sanctuary - Urban Homesteading to Nourish Body + Spirit

Month: January 2012 (Page 1 of 4)

A Warm Winter Day Walk

Look what I saw yesterday! Snowdrops! Spring is coming. The birds know it, the plants know it!

It was a beautiful, warm day yesterday. Admittedly, I was more in the mood for a snow day so that I could stay in and get indoor things done. This is the season of hibernation and hunkering down, and sometimes I don’t want to feel lured out by the sunshine and warmth. In wintertime, I want winter. Buuuuut…you gotta strike when the iron is hot — so I let myself be lured out anyway, and I enjoyed it so much!

I was craving Ethiopian, my favorite type of ethnic food, so I got take-out and took it to a nice nature spot, took off my shoes, rolled up my sleeves, and ate in the sunshine. Then I took a short, leisurely walk. It felt so good to be outdoors in the warm air.


Free Shipping at Tropical Traditions (Today only, Monday January 30)!

Just wanted to alert you that Tropical Traditions, one of my favorite companies, is having a Free Shipping Day today! Free shipping will save about $10-15 off your order, so it’s a good time to stock up, or try them out if you haven’t before. I really love this company’s products, and use them daily. Now through Midnight EST on Monday January 30th, they’re offering free ground-only shipping when you enter coupon code 123001 at checkout.


You can see a list of all my favorite Tropical Traditions products here.


And if you’re a new customer and have never bought from them before, you can also get this Virgin Coconut Oil book, with information  & recipes, for free (any time, not just today) by entering my User ID, which is 6032410. When you’re going through the checkout process and you’ve added your shipping address and phone number, you will see the question “How did you hear of us?” Just choose “Referred by a friend” and then a new “User ID” field will appear below that where you can enter my User ID. (See screen shot below.)


Gratitude Sunday * January 29, 2012

~ I’m once again joining Taryn over at Wooly Moss Roots in her Gratitude Sunday tradition. ~

Gratitude Sunday is a time to slow down and remember those thankful moments that graced our week. One reason I love keeping a daily gratitude journal is because it helps keep things in perspective for me. Each Sunday, I open my journal and share some of those moments with you here. If you’d like to join in, just leave a comment!

Gratitude is powerful energy. I love hearing others’ gratitudes!


– A wonderful visit and walk with my mom on Monday afternoon. We have both liberated ourselves from our jobs, and one of the many benefits is that we can do stuff together in the middle of a weekday! I cannot tell you how freeing that feels… how good that feels for my spirit, after years upon years of feeling like a trapped animal at either school or work.

– Not carrying the stress of my former job that would follow me around like Pigpen’s cloud of dirt, whether I was at the job or not. Putting my precious energy into my own things now. For me, not feeling trapped in any way is essential to my happiness. It feels good to honor that fact instead of fighting against it and attempting to stuff myself into the conventional box of “a 9-5 worker.”

– Consciously doing whatever is needed in the moment to raise the energy & mood of my day from bad to good.

– Using the last of the garden tomatoes (!) to make a delicious rainbow salsa.

– Working from home again. There was a 2-month break which was great, where I could concentrate on my own things rather than just on my moneymaking work. I was grateful for that break, and now I’m grateful to be working again. The work is challenging which I like, and those every-2-week paychecks through the mail are A-OK too!!

– Not needing to go anywhere on a snowy day this week.

– More purging and giving away of things not needed anymore. I love the feeling of paring down.

– Slowly regaining my taste for tea. I totally lost my taste for any and all tea for a couple months there, and I feared it was permanent! Thankfully not! I do love tea, the comfort and taste and ritual of it.

– Roasted veggies. I’m on a roasted veggie kick; they are so delicious, I can’t believe I’d forgotten about them for so long.

– A dream one night of being at an enormous incredible buffet, and filling my plate with all these wonderful things that looked delicious to me, and not having to think at all about how they would settle in my stomach! My tummy is still very finicky and I’m getting awfully weary of that. Being ever so careful about what I put into it, and the amounts… I’m so over it. The dream was so telling! No hidden symbolism there… haha!

– Eating a whole tin of smoked oysters one day, and keeping them down. Yay! I appreciate when my body accepts the nourishing foods that I like to eat. (It doesn’t always.)

– Clear streets and warm weather on a day I needed to run lots of errands on my bike. It made that day flow so much more smoothly.

– Watching such a fun movie last night, Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery. I sure needed that — what fun!

– Hearing the sweet little birds singing outside the window as I write this. That’s a spring sound! I’m not quite ready for winter to end, but I know when spring comes, I’ll be ready. Time to begin planning the garden!! Maybe today or tomorrow…


What gratitudes have graced your week?



Cranberry-Pumpkin Muffins

I had a recipe request for these muffins after their photo appeared in a post a few days ago. When I made them I was going off two separate recipes, but I do remember what I did, so I wrote it out and am posting it here. Normally my rule is to make a recipe at least twice before posting it here, but I’m throwing caution to the wind today. It’s a pretty basic muffin recipe and hopefully there’s not much that could go wrong! Let me know how you go with it!

Also, the above photo shows these muffins with homemade cranberry sauce on the tops, which is not in the recipe. (With the sauce, they were maybe a little too cranberry — but feel free to add it!)

Cranberry-Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup sugar (I like rapadura)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 – 1/2 tsp allspice

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 eggs

1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted

1 cup whole cranberries (fresh or frozen)


Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Mix all the wet ingredients together in another bowl, except for the cranberries. (If you’re using coconut oil it helps to have the rest of the wet stuff at room temperature so that the melted coconut oil won’t solidify when it comes into contact with the other stuff.)

Combine dry and wet, taking care not to over-mix. Then when they’re incorporated, mix in the cranberries.

Fill muffin cups nearly all the way to the top.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes OR until a toothpick stuck into the center of a muffin comes out clean.


I Spy…

My mom & I had a sweet little leisurely walk together in the sunshine and long shadows of this quiet Monday afternoon, along with a café stop afterward for hot chocolate with whipped cream! We both loved it so much. I was totally exhausted again today, but felt that I really wanted to get out of the house into the outdoors. I had to practically peel myself up off the living room carpet to do it, but I’m so glad I did.

Medicine for the soul is very important.


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