1 >> pretty hangers from Ferm. maybe these would inspire me to makeover my closet??
2 >> how cute is this raccoon costume tutorial?
3>> milk jug
4 >> tgif
5 >> perfect pot holder


bacon and kale potato salad

This is a variation of a potato salad which I created this summer for a friend who doesn't like mustard or mayo. It has since become my favorite.  Yesterday we were trying to decide how to use up some potatoes, when I remembered we had extra kale and bacon.  Perfect fall flavors. Tasty potato salad.  This dish would be great for a potluck, or any gloomy fall day. Enjoy!                                                                                                                                                                

Bacon and Kale Potato Salad
  • 5-6 small potatoes, enough for 4 cups cooked
  • 4 hard boiled eggs 
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vineger
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped *for a veggie alternative, add 2 tablespoons rinsed capers
  • 2 cups kale, chopped

Cut potatoes in half (skins on) and place in large sauce pan.  Cover with cool water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until potatoes are fork tender and the potato skin peels away easily.
Meanwhile, add enough oil to cover a saute pan.  Add kale and cook over medium high heat.  Season with salt (lightly) and cook until bright green and wilted.
After potatoes are finished cooking drain, and peel.  Cut them into bite size pieces and place them in large bowl.  Add egg, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt and mix until well combined.  Next, add kale and bacon. Mix well.  Enjoy now or refrigerate for later. 


Woolgathering // Make a man out of you.

 I was inspired by an article I read about a Dad that was willing to do anything for his son to make sure he grew up being self assured. He has done a great deal for his little boy at a seemingly great expense to his own personal comforts. This was the part that really struck me. To accept the repercussions of your child's curiosity, knowing from the start, that the end result will not be popular. To me, this is what it means to be a Dad. Present and engaged. Whatever that should mean.

It made me happy to know that there are people who appreciate that kids are individuals. They are not our property. They should be guided, not steered. Now, don't get me wrong, I do think there are plenty of things little people should learn how to do. Like being able to fix a flat tire, or build a campfire. These things are tangible and non-negotiable. However, to force kids into other peoples idea of normal is ludicrous. 

Kids should never be stifled by their parents. Period. The idea that we are protecting them from the world is probably one of most selfish notions I can think of. How can anyone expect them to learn and grow if they are constantly taught to be afraid of the reactions of their peers when they present something new. I for one, will be the example.

Everyday I will make my own choices, and I will live with the consequences. I will never burden my brood with stories of "Well, I wish I would never have...." or "The way I did it was...". Because my way is not the best way for anybody but me.

  Orders. Vows. Proclamations. Mantras. Affirmations. Promises. It's all bullshit. Action is how kids learn.

 This where I've been.



best days.

This weekend was fast paced.  In fact, it was almost a blur.  Friday and Saturday were spent in the kitchen baking 10 dozen cupcakes and a mini wedding cake for Phil and Christy, who are probably the sweetest couple I have ever met.  It was a pleasure to work for them!

Our blog also got a new look this weekend!  We worked with our favorite photographer, John Hartman again for the header, and had Mr. Gray Blue do the layout and design.  We love how it turned out!

Sunday was spent at J's bike race, getting tacos with the boys, a trip to Lego Brickworld, and ended with snacks and a movie on the fold out bed in the living room.  It was nice to slow down before the start of a new week! 

1 >> wedding cake.
2 >>  J before his race.
3 >> J and I after the race.
4 >> post race tacos.
5 >> guacamole and hibiscus tea.
6 >> a recent addition to our throw pillow.


1 >> cutest alphabet shadow box tutorial.
2 >> bird feeder from Perch.
3>> beautiful mobile from Puka Puka.
4>> I made some pretty cupcake stands this week.
5>> fig cocktail.

Woolgathering // Now what will we do.

 It finally got to that point. It got cold enough for me to finally accept that our Summer fun has come to an end. And the colder it gets, the less we are going to want to venture out into the night. So, what to do? I don't know about you ,but this time of year I finally get into the mood to watch movies. Especially classics. Ones from my childhood. Ones I can share with the boys. Well, at least a few of them.

High adventure. Blowin' shit up. Swords. Magic. Friends. Comedy. Ya know, the good stuff.
Holed up, slippers on, face full of popcorn, totally focused on awesomeness. This is where I've been.


roasted garden tomato sauce + white bean balls

Bridging the gap between all of our preferred dinner choices can sometimes be a difficult task. Even though we all like just about everything, there are distinct differences in what we want and when we want them. One thing we can always agree on is pasta. Especially when it is covered with tomatoes straight from the garden. Last night, that was exactly what was on the menu. As per usual, the boys suggested meatballs. There was a discussion. Then there was a denial. Substitutions were suggested. A compromise was reached. A recipe was born. A very tasty recipe.

Roasted Garden Tomato Sauce

*This recipe is definitely simple and adaptable.  You may use whatever tomatoes you like.  If using large tomatoes, just half them and remove and discard the skins after roasting.  We have a million yellow pear tomatoes, so I chopped our larger tomatoes to approximately the same size and didn't worry about trying to remove the skins. 

preheat oven to 450.
Tomatoes-as many  or as few as you would like. // kosher salt //freshly ground pepper // olive oil // sherry vinegar // 1-2 garlic cloves // basil for garnish

Place tomatoes and garlic cloves in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, and sherry vinegar.  ( You want to coat them but not drown them).  Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.  Place in the oven and roast until they are starting to caramelize and you can break them apart easily with a wooden spoon.  This took about 25 minutes for me, but if you are using larger tomatoes it can take up to an hour.  Remove from oven and set aside until pan is cool enough to handle.
Pour tomato mixture into a food processor and process until smooth.
Place in pan to reheat before serving.  If you sauce is on the thick side, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until desired thickness is reached.  Adjust salt and pepper if necessary.

White Bean Balls

2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed // 3/4 cup bread crumbs // 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese // 1 egg //
1 tablespoon olive oil + more for pan frying // 1 teaspoon salt // 1 teaspoon paprika // 1 garlic clove, minced // handful of chopped parsley // 1/2 teaspoon oregano // pepper to taste

Place beans and garlic into food processor and pulse until beans are broken apart but not smooth.  Remove from processor and place in large bowl.  Add bread crumbs, Parmesan, olive oil, salt, paprika, parsley and pepper.  Mix with hands until just combined.
In a large heavy bottom sauce pan, place about an inch of oil. Over medium heat, bring the oil up to 350 degrees.  Using a tablespoon, scoop bean mixture, round it into balls and place them in the pan.  Make sure the balls have plenty of space (hehe).  Take care to turn them and brown on each side.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and repeat, working in batches.

After you are finished, you may return the balls to the sauce (this is what I did, but they did lose some of their crispiness) or you can place them on the pasta and top with sauce and basil leaves, which is probably what I will do next time.  Enjoy!


Best Days

This weekend was easy.  No major obligations, just a good mix of productivity and spending time together. We all did chores, worked in the garden, celebrated a friend's birthday, read and finished it all up with a movie and popcorn. 

Fall is quickly approaching which means our favorite holiday isn't too far away.  We have all finally chosen our costumes, so I need to set to work asap.  I think this year is going to be a good one!
Do you have costumes worked out? 

1 >> rainy morning breakfast.
2 >> garden harvest for lunch.
3>> F made his first batch of pumpkin cupcakes.
4>> dad + F roasting marshmallows.
5>> Sunday smoothie.
6>> working out ideas for a wedding cake.
7>> okra.
8>> movie watchers.
9>> fall soup.


1 // I think this spoon rest was made for our kitchen.
2// I need to find room for this amazing tray!
3// check out this tutorial from Little Bit Funky 
4// For all you fall drink lovers, this pumpkin syrup from Savvy Eats seems like an easy way to make them at home.
5// homemade peanut crunch.  also known as crack.

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