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Char Co.

Last year, I interned at Char Photography as a stylist. This year, I’m working for Char Co. as a creative consultant. Quite a lot has changed with Char’s business this past year, and I look forward to seeing how the business grows. Check out the new site and blog and see what you think. 

A huge thanks to Jeffrey and Jen of Tonic Site for their solid work and patience with us as we sifted through all the details of the website and blog revamp.

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I hope you have been enjoying some warmer days with windows open. As I write this, the slight breeze enters our patio window, a rain shower delicately lands upon the ground, and the birds of spring chatter gently with one another. Open windows have always been connected to some of the most vivid moments of my life. Still mornings at my parents’ house nestled in between fields, dirt roads and fruit trees. Midnights in Madrid falling asleep to the accordion music floating through the open balcony doors. Warm mornings in Bangui with the free and easy African laughter speaking more to my heart than to my ears. Muggy evenings in Rome with Italian banter, car horns, and chaos, that gave my six month pregnant body a restless sleep but pure delight in this foreign land shared with Kyle. And yesterday driving around the country roads with Elsa feeling wind on her face in the backseat of a car for the first time in her life, which resulted in one melodious giggle after another. I understand life better with an open window than a closed one.

As spring and fresh air bring some refreshment to your soul, this drink will refresh your body. It’s full of anything good that I could find in our refrigerator.

Apple Parsley Smoothie

  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup water, or more depending on your consistency preference
  • 1” fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 TB ground flax

Mix everything in a blender, and afterwards you will feel quite healthy.

spring flowers

The other Friday, Kyle surprised me and took a vacation day so we could spend the day as a family in Lancaster. We walked around some little shops and went to the market. I love seeing what they sell there and what business ideas people have. At one stand, I created a little bouquet to take home. Even when I was a small girl, flowers in the house brought me quite a bit of joy. My mom would pick some flowers from her garden and put them on the center of the table, or I would find some wild flowers in the meadow and put them in mason jars on our porch. Towards the end of May masses of purple, pink, and white flowers would bloom around the pond, and I would return home from walks with fistfuls of them to place in a jar on each windowsill in my bedroom. 

why I love being her mother

1. Grocery shopping takes twenty minutes longer because she says “hi” to everyone. She will say “hi” until she is acknowledged. She seems to particularly enjoy greeting men about age 60 and over.

2. She has a really happy nature, even when she has a cough and fever.

3. She hates having her hands dirty. If she gets food on them, she holds them out for me to clean them with a paper towel until she resumes eating. Kyle finds this annoying; I find it amusing.

4. Whenever she hears me say, “Daddy’s home!”, she runs to the door and holds out her hands.

5. She likes the jogger stroller.

6. Vacuum cleaners and hairdryers are the silliest objects in the world to her.

7. Instead of pushing her doll in her baby stroller, she has taken a liking to pushing water bottles around the house in the stroller.

8. She makes my heart feel settled at home here with her. 

And it is time well spent in really having a FAMILY life, in making home more fun than any other place, which makes other ‘attractions’ seem boring by contrast.
My good friend Chris told me to read this book. She always knows what I will like. I’ve learned a good bit from Edith Schaeffer in The Hidden Art of Homemaking: Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life. Any wife or mother should read it.

I think this is my favorite baked oatmeal I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. I had two things in my frig that I’ve been wanting to use: leftover coconut milk from a recipe of a previous night’s supper and gobs of frozen strawberries in the freezer dating back to summer when I just couldn’t stop picking. This recipe resulted, and the coconut milk makes the oatmeal incredibly creamy. Do try it this week!

Strawberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal

  • 4 cups oats
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk of your choice
  • 1 cup coconut milk, canned
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 TBS coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced if too large

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9” x 13” pan.

2. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.

3. Add all of the liquid ingredients to the dry ones.

4. Fold in the berries or layer the bottom of the dish with the berries. Pour the mixture into the dish.

5. Bake for 40 min.

Adapted from here.

closet sale!

On Tuesday, March 25th from 5-7 P.M., we will have another closet sale at the studio! We really do appreciate everyone who comes and buys clothing and housewares at our sales. At this sale, I have quite a bit of clothing to sell once again, and I know Grace has a lot of housewares she will be selling since she moved to a new place. Stop by Char Co. and see what you find!

cousin time

Two of Elsa’s cousins spent the night at our house this week. Elsa was so excited when they walked into the house; she put both her hands out and hugged each of them. They make her laugh a lot, as you can see. We ate cookies, stayed up past their bedtime, danced around the family room to music, played hide-and-go-seek and Go Fish, and as always, watched the video from our wedding. They love to see themselves in it!

sign of spring

If we can’t see verdure outside our windows, we will see it inside. 

Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain.
"The Inner Ring" C.S. Lewis