i like this...

part of a great post, from one of my favorite blogs:

"One quick note on the cost of pastured meat: yes, it is more expensive than conventional factory farmed product. This is because it reflects the real cost of food — what it truly takes to hand-raise an animal. It’s not like organic or pastured farmers are rolling in cash. Quite the opposite. This is ridiculously hard work we tend to know nothing about. I won’t eat the industrialized alternative and am happy to pay extra if it means a living wage for the farmers, for the laborers, for the small slaughterhouse guys. Like I said, I don’t buy much. When readers ask me how to afford pastured meat, I say eat less and spend the saved cash only on the good stuff. Use it like a condiment. Work it in to sauces, casseroles, and soups. Buy cheaper cuts. These are often very flavorful, especially if you ask and learn how to cook them. And if you happen to get something with a bone it in, stretch it and your dollar by using it to make stock. The simple act of boiling a bone in water equals a broth that adds great flavor — plus protein — to grains, sauces, and more. Our grandparents knew this trick. Now you do, too."

my sentiments, exactly.


seeing red...

garage sale-ing and thrifting are always a fun time, but sometimes luck hits right and the finds (and deals) are amazing. this past weekend was one of those times. my mom and i dragged the kids here, there and everywhere--they had a good time too, i promise. just picture lucy and her bestest bud knee deep in a pile of vintage toys and dolls--yep, the thrifting bug can bite even the littlest of us!

here are some of the take-home treasures:

vintage pinking shears. super-sharp. 50 cents. plus a trio of metal bowls ($1 for the set) and a ring of measuring spoons for lucy's play kitchen (10 cents).

a child's sewing machine. it WORKS and came in a box with all parts. amazing. $5. my budding seamstress is begging to use it, but i'm making her wait until she's three--after all, it has a real needle!

5 enamelware pots & bowls. 50 cents each. the plan was to pot them up with herbs and small flowers, but hudson had such a blast banging around with them, i think i'll leave them empty for awhile.

1950's pin the tail on the donkey game. in box, with all 24 tails. unused but for one little pinhole--must have been a sad party? $5--quite a markup from the original price of 29 cents. it'll surely get some love at our birthday bashes though!

vintage child's life vest. $1. everyone thought i was crazy for buying it, but for $1 i just couldn't leave it on the table. seriously--i tried. twice. not sure i'll actually use it to make my kiddos floaty (though it goes to 50 lbs), but it will look darling hanging up in hudson's room. now to find a hook that's worthy of the jacket!

did you notice all the red? i must have had an eye for it this weekend, no? i did, of course, buy a few other things that didn't fit the palette. along with the usual books and impossibly cheap clothes, there were vintage ball canning jars (a steal at $1 each, though missing their original zinc lids--no worries because i intend to use them as vases), a vintage block ($1) and lucy's favorite, a fisher price pocket radio (1970's) that plays it's a small world ($1). it made us all nostalgic for our favorite disneyland ride!

what were your fantastic finds this weekend?


while they were napping...

a recent synchronized nap allowed me a bit of time to work on a project that i'd been dying to get to-- another crib bumper floor mat. i scored this adorable pottery barn bumper at a garage sale a few weeks back. i think it cost me $5. and i couldn't wait to get home and hack it up. when the planets aligned and i actually had time, of course.

and over the course of several naptimes, i did manage to complete the task of turning the bumper into a nice, padded playmat for hudson. a mat such as this is great for a baby learning to sit--and though hudson has mastered sitting, this kid needs a padded mat like you wouldn't believe. in his world, you never know when someone might decide to hug (a.k.a. dive bomb) you from across the room. um, ouch?

our pup maizy has also taken a liking to hudson's new mat. i'll be hitting the thrift store for another cheap bumper to make her a mat of her own soon, as she's been in need of a new bed for awhile. the project itself is really straightforward--cut the bumper into 4 equal pieces, stitch them together with right sides facing (a denim needle is helpful) and then bind. for lucy's mat, i bound the entire way around. for hudson's, i only bound the two sides that had raw edges. we refer to this as "second-baby syndrome" around these parts. sigh.

happy upcycling!


my flower girl...

little lucy had the honor of being one of the flower girls in her uncle's wedding yesterday. i went back and forth on what to put her in (the bride being 100% obliging to whatever i wanted) and finally settled on a sweet little vintage dress that she already had hanging in her closet.

i wish i could show you photos of the handmade shoes and matching hair clip i purchased to go with her outfit, but alas, they arrived in my mailbox a few hours after the wedding. so (again, with thanks to my new & super-accommodating sister-in-law) in the end, lucy got to walk down the aisle footloose and fancy free. literally.

there's nothing fancy about those little piggies! but they sure are cute anyway, don't you think?

i had the pleasure of throwing together a quick pair of bouquets for the flower girls. i was able to pick up the flowers from the farmers market, then bound them with a few 2" sections of white linen. i ripped the fabric instead of cutting for an unrefined feel--perfect for matching those bare feet--and tied it off with more fabric instead of pinning.
hudson didn't have a role in the wedding, but i couldn't resist dressing him in a little vintage sailor suit i scored off of etsy awhile back. he was a charmer, for sure!

i even joined the kids in rocking a secondhand outfit--i ventured out to one of my favorite consignment stores to get myself a new dress. being that i was behind the camera for much of the day, there aren't any good pictures of it, but let it be known that buying used does not apply only to the kiddos!
lucy surprised everyone by walking down the aisle not once, not twice but three times! she never ceases to shock and amaze this mama with just how brave she's learning to be. is this shy little chickadee on her way to becoming a social butterfly? only time will tell!



i keep browsing my favorite blogs and coming across divine-looking recipes, recipes of which i seem to have no willpower against making myself. lucy is an enabler of the best sort--do you think we should bake today, lucy? to which she always says--yes, mama. i pinch the salt?

today we were torn between blueberry cake and lemon bars. lemon bars won out, mainly because lucy herself ate the remaining third of a quart of blueberries that we had in the fridge. this was after she ate a full breakfast. she later went on to raid the strawberry patch. growth spurt or simple summer craving--who knows?


the recipe called for a can of sweetened condensed milk, which we miraculously happened to have on hand. it also called for 4 egg yolks. after a quick run to the chicken coop with fingers crossed for 3 eggs to be there in the nesting boxes, (thanks, chickies!) we were ready to go. lucy measured, i counted. powdered sugar went flying about the room, while lucy licked it off of every surface available--dat good flour, mama! in the end, we had ourselves some very tasty lemon bars. the best i have ever made from scratch, that's for sure. try them and see for yourself!


if you've been reading this blog for awhile, you might recall that i dream of having a vintage, claw-footed bathtub. i actually want two--one in my house, and one in my yard. for hot days such as the days we've been having. but they're pricey and hard to come by, so--in fairness to my babies--i might actually try to score a used (plast-tastic) kiddie pool on craigslist this summer. you know, to adequately provide them with the summer sweetness of splashing around in a pool filled with ice-cold hose water. until then, however, a cookie sheet will have to do. don't laugh--they loved every second of it!

good times, no?


farm to table...

tonight's meal was made entirely from farmers market ingredients. simple, seasonal, scrumptious. inspired by the first "magic 8 ball" squash to appear at the market this year (the squash were $2/pound--i bought 3.5 pounds). what was inside? pasture-raised pork sausage ($7/pound), an organic heirloom tomato ($1), feta cheese made from the milk of pastured goats (we used half of a $6 brick) and 2 cloves of garlic (10 cents?). plus a bit of salt and pepper from the pantry.

sometimes it's hard to swallow the cost of pasture-raised, hormone-free meat & dairy. i often come home from the market with my head spinning over just how much money i've spent. when we use what we buy in this way, though--as an accompaniment instead of as a main attraction--the overall cost really comes down. i estimate that this batch of food comes in at around $3 a serving. not too ridiculous, especially for good, healthy food that hasn't traveled the globe. what do you think?

on an semi-related note, flowers have appeared on our many squash plants! it's taking all my willpower not to pick them for frying but to let them produce actual squash instead. patience can be difficult!

fifty cents...

in the real world, fifty cents often doesn't go very far--a small bunch of cilantro at the farmers market. a dixie cup's worth of lemonade at a lemonade stand. 10 minutes at a san francisco parking meter. you get the idea. but in the garage sale world, fifty cents can sometimes net a very sweet little item. take, for instance, the never-worn, hand knitted baby sweater pictured below. it's making more and more sense why i prefer to hang out in the garage sale world, instead of the real world, you know what i mean?

"mama! get me out of this thing--it's 90 degrees outside!"
(good thing it's cut to fit for awhile.)