Guilt-Free Tropical Popcorn

Double Coconut Corn

Double Coconut Corn


My oldest and I were in the mood for a ‘zert tonight (That’s Bean-speak for dessert) and I, of course, want to avoid refined sugar….what to do? What to do? Enter Coconut-corn!

3 Heaping Tbls Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Organic Popcorn Kernels
1/4 Cup Xyla
1/4 Organic Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 tsp Sea Salt

In A large pot with a lid heat the oil on medium. Add popcorn kernels – cook till popped, shaking the pot regularly as to not burn the popcorn. Once the corn is popped remove pot from stove and add remaining ingredients. Stir well.

This is a lightly sweet kettle-corn-like dessert with tropical notes from the shredded coconut and the oil. Super yummy!

Advertisements

Juicing in January

Refreshing Juice Blend

Refreshing Juice Blend

Its a freezing but beautifully clear January day here in the Rogue Valley. The Bean & I thought we’d share one of our more mild tasting, refreshing juice blends. Using a cucumber and an apple as a base we add a handful of carrots, several stalks of celery, small bunches of both cilantro & parsley, several large kale leaves and a few beet stalks & greens.
The Bean helping juice

The Bean helping juice


I use an oldie-but-goodie- ACME juicer I bought used last year off of craigslist. We love it. I’m pretty sure it cost me $30. There always seems to be just a ton of reasonably priced used juicers on craigslist. – I love craigslist (if you haven’t already noticed) –
Beans loves “helping” with the juicing process. His participation usually guarantees that he will drink a glass of juice (no matter how tart or bitter) because he feels an ownership of the juicing process. I’ll throw an extra apple or half beet in the mix if the juice is just too potent for the kiddo.
So grab some veggies and get to juicing. Its a real pick-me-up in these winter months…
Give your body what it needs

Give your body what it needs

Our Herdshare – Raw Goat’s Milk

Raw Goat's Milk...Mmm

Raw Goat’s Milk…Mmm

This year I decided to treat the family to a raw goat’s milk herdshare. Essentially, for about thirty bucks a month (no pun intended) my family receives 1/100th of the milk produced by ten Alpine dairy goats at the Willow-Witt Ranch of Ashland, Oregon. That translates to an average of a half gallon a week. Buying into a herdshare gets around the ridiculous red tape of purchasing raw milk.
The ranch brings the milk to central location in Medford once a week for pick up. It’s super convenient.
I have loved goat’s milk and goat’s cheese since I was a kid and it looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in regards to Bean’s affinity for the stuff. I had originally planned to turn the majority of our weekly milk into yogurt but we just keep drinking through it too fast – we may have to buy another share to meet our yogurt and cheese needs!
Raw goat’s milk is a wonderfully alive and nutrient dense food. Natural news published a great to-the-point article on beneficial properties of the milk. And if you live in the Southern Oregon area and are interested in raw goat’s milk, please check out Willow-Witt Ranch!

The Birth Pool

La Bassine

La Bassine

My 2nd son is due in thirty-some-odd days. We are planning a home birth with an amazing ND as my midwife. I wanted the option of a birth pool – both for laboring and delivery. I scored this La Bassine birth pool off of craigslist unopened for $75. It came with a liner, though I ended up ordering a custom one. Seeing as how my little Sprout could show up at any time I thought it would be prudent to set the pool up, check it out and inspect it for leaks. After my pregnant self struggled to unflold the deflated pool, I used an electric air pump to blow it up – it took less than three minutes. She-zam! What an awesome pool. It’s deep enough that when I sit in it the top of the pool reaches above my shoulders and I can lean my head back on the edge. Whether I end up delivering this little guy in the pool or not, I know that I’ll be thankful to have it to labor in. I found SO much pain relief in the birthing pool of Ashland Community Hospital where my firstborn was delivered! Anyways, La Bassine was in perfect shape with no obvious leaks so I just rolled it into the nursery where it will hang out till we need it next month…I believe that was the last thing on my “Prepare for Home Birth” checklist!! Whoo Hoo!

Decorating the nursery PART 1

vinyl decals in nursery

vinyl decals in nursery

So, the Sprout should arrive next month and I have been sorely procrastinating putting his nursery together. We moved into this house in November and that was quickly followed by a nasty bout of flu, the holidays, multiple birthdays (including The Bean’s) and general end-of-pregnancy-zombie-like fatigue. We are planning a home birth, so making sure everything is in order for the actual *BIRTH* took precedent over making Sprout’s nursery all cutesy-cutesy. My experience with Beans was that these kids could really care less what going on inside their bedrooms till they’re at least 18 months old. That being said, Sprout will being moved into Beans’ bedroom when he’s a few years old and the nursery will become the School Room. So my goal was to create a cool nursery that would segue into a learning area for the boys later on. I really wanted to get more exciting with the color palette but, just like a wino returns to their Midnight Train, I went back to my favorite foundation color of green. I’ve really been admiring these vinyl wall decals I’ve been seeing all over the place. So after a lot of shopping around on Amazon and Ebay I purchased several sets – One was a giant tree, another a couple of branches and doves and the third being Jeremiah 1:5. I washed and dried the nursery walls and got to work applying these decals yesterday at 1pm. What a pain in the ass. Seriously, if you have even the smallest iota of artistry in your blood it is easier to PAINT than to apply these decals. It took me about an hour and a half to junk the recommended application recommendations and come up with my own system that worked better. I found that cutting off small sections of the decal, peeling the paper backing off and applying it like a sticker worked a heck of a lot better than taping the 2’x4′ sections to the wall with masking tape and pressing them of a half sheet at a time. By 9pm I was done applying these ridiculous decals. The final result looks great, but doggone…I really should have just painted it for all the effort it took. Sorry the photos at the top of the page aren’t the highest quality – I took them with my phone as my camera couldn’t zoom out enough to get the pics….
vinyl decal detail

vinyl decal detail

The Big Boy Bed question

So Beans here will be tuning 3 at the very beginning of January and his little brother, The Sprout, is due to make his entrance sometime next month. The Bean has slept in a crib his entire life and it is time he was upgraded to a big boy bed. Obviously, we need the crib for the Sprout. So, what do we get him? A toddler bed? A twin? A bunk bed? I’ll be honest, at first I was really tempted by those totally awesome toddler beds. My son isn’t allowed to watch anything but Thomas the Train or Mr Rogers (he gets to pick out maybe and hour of those shows – commercial free – a week. He just adores Thomas and we read from the Railway Series every night. So, that being said, I really wanted to buy him one of those amazing Thomas the Train toddler beds that are shaped like an actual Thomas train. They run about $400 new but I had seen a handful of them on Craigslist for $200-$250. I knew he would just be beside himself to get to “sleep in Thomas”. However, after much deliberation and consulting been-there-done-that parents, Husby and I decided it would be more sensible if we bought the Bean a twin-sized bunk bed. That way he could sleep on the bottom bunk for now and once his little brother is older they can share the bunk bed. So, I started looking for a bunk bed. The ones that were quality and adjustable designs were super pricy. I didn’t want to buy some piece of particle board crap from China, but I also didn’t want to spend a grand on a solid wood, American-made bed. Eventually I found a local manufacturer: The Bunk Bed Factory of Southern Oregon. For $350 the built me a fully convertible, solid Douglas Fir bunk bed. They brought it over last night and assembled it. I could not be more happy with the quality of the bed – Not to mention, our son LOVES it! The top bunk is rated for 400lbs, so Beans is super excited about inviting his Uncle Cub over to spend the night on the top bunk. My mom, whom the Bean calls “Ema” has bought our son some Thomas the Train bedding for a birthday gift and, likewise, Husby and I have purchased some additional Thomas decor for a present as well. Cant wait till Beans gets to open it all! bunkbed1rm