31.8.16

Thoughts on cribs


With Babies and a small, simple lifestyle, there are no one-size fits all approach. 

Everyone's space is different, and so are their needs and ideas of living smaller. What works for us may not work for you, but just in case you are wondering, here is a little strategy of what has happened over here in the past almost four years. Mental insert - my how fast they grow, wasn't I just pregnant with e!?!


Moving on, thank you very much, and focusing back on our sleep. Or rather, sleeping spaces and patterns. 

Bebe number one - knock on wood - slept ... well ... like a Baby as an infant. Not sure how this happened, if we had her in our room long enough or short enough or just right enough. At five months old, after being more used to each other and used to our swing of things, I learned that our little baby would sleep better on her own mattress in her own room. Thus, we transitioned her over to her very own bed in her very own room. 

But before we got to this point, like most new parents, I did my research on cribs both in stores and online. For me, as with most first time parents, there was a lot to consider. The square footage available, the style, personal preferences and finances, waiting time if purchased in a store, shipping costs if online, toxicity level, etcetera. I knew if I bought a new crib, I wanted a model without toxic paint or varnish with a feel of "home" {read:  feel of Europe}. My top choice was Ikea's Sniglar - I'm a lover of most things Ikea and this was a no-brainer choice for me. 
Its design is straightforward and simple, with clean lines all around and lots of breathing room on all four sides of the crib. To say I was slightly concerned about SIDS after reading oodles and oodles of posts on it is an understatement. I was worried, to say the least. So breathing room really was huge for me. Also, this crib converts into a toddler bed, which technically gives you more bang for the buck, but more on that in a different post. So, after lots of reading and considering . . . 


. . . we finally settled on this hand-me-down from my in-Loves. It was not a clean and simple design I had been looking for and it does not convert to a toddler bed either. Its vintage and detailed design, however, together with its price ($0 to us) was very appealing. That being said, I'm not sure where it stands on green-liness, but it is made of solid wood (stained, unfortunately) and it looks like it has existed for a few years - or rather decades - before my babies came along and by now all the bad stuff has hopefully had a chance to evaporate. I'm not claiming it is the best choice out there, but all things considered, this was the best choice for us at the time and so far I'm pretty convinced this has been a safe spot for both e and j to drift off into the land of nod. 


And how this bebe is sleeping like this is beyond me. Just sayin' . . . What are your thought's on cribs?


26.8.16

Simple Moments


This shot of my son . . .
. . . because you know, a Baby on the fireplace. Also his cute little face.

This bowl of watermelon . . .
 . . . because it may just be the last watermelon of the season [not]

This cup of tea . . .
. . . because my kids were playing together and I had a moment to enjoy it.

25.8.16

Cabin Fever: Bryson City



It has been a great summer here at the house, with lots of long days playing outside in the sun. But last night, I was going through our pictures from our trip to the mountains in July, and I began thinking back to our stay in the old Inn as well as the train ride. We spent two wonderful days in the neighboring town to Bryson City up in the mountains. I have spend a little bit of time in the mountains, mainly when my in-Loves lived up in the Virginia Mountains or during short camping trips with my family growing up. 

The mountains have a way about them, their crisp early morning mountain air, with the way the sun comes up behind the mountains, warming up the day slowly. The colors seem brighter in the mountains, the sky bluer and the trees greener. Even now looking back, I can hardly describe the vibrant and lively colors of the mountainous nature. 


The Inn:

We stayed at the Jarrett House, which is so full of history! This home was originally built in 1884 to accommodate traveling railway passengers and was known then as it is now, for its comfortable rooms and home-cooked meals.  On each of the triple-tiered porches of this charming three-story home, you can find Rocker chairs to sit and relax in anytime of the day. And by any, I mean anytime of the day, as I have sat on the bottom porch at five o'clock in the morning, consoling my screaming baby boy. 



The town

Staying at the Inn and sitting on the front porch watching traffic go by would have probably sufficed for entertainment the two nights we stayed, but downtown Dillsboro was such an adorable little town we just had to walk around and explore it. Restaurants, gift shops and at least one church were all within walking distance of the Jarrett House. A cute little town, surrounded by the Mountains.

Eating out

The Inn serves a home-cooked breakfast for its guests, which was delicious to say the least. Friday night, however, after walking around for a little bit, the kids were hungry and so we found this little spot with its bright front porch lights. Apparently it is one of two locations.

Riding the Train

My wonderful Mother-in-Love had made reservations for us with the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad. We spent pretty much all day Saturday doing just that, riding the train, with a picnic lunch at noon. It was such a special time, especially for the kids. I highly recommend taking a day and experiencing the historic train (and museum) - and I'm not just saying this because we received free drinks all day. But it was a nice plus to have. 
All in all, it was a great experience and my daughter still talks about it. 

















23.8.16

Simple Food: Sourdough Bread





I purchased some Sourdough Bread from the store two weeks ago and I'll admit I fell in love all over again.

The loaf of bread didn't last too long - no bread does in our house as we are bread and butter fans over here.

So being stranded at home with the {hashtag hippie} van down, I found this recipe, got into the kitchen and began baking some bread. A hand kneading, muscle toning, mind calming sourdough bread.




Sourdough Bread

2 loaves

1 1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 cups sourdough starter
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBS kosher salt




Instructions:

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water for a few minutes.
Stir in sourdough starter.

Add 4 cups of flour and salt. 
With the dough attachment of your stand mixer, knead dough about 8 minutes until it comes together to a smooth ball.

Lightly oil a clean bowl, and place dough in it. Turn to cover with oil from all sides. 
Cover with a clean towel and let rest 1.5 hours at room temperature or until double in size.

After it has risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in two.
Shape each half into a ball, let rest for 20 minutes. (I covered mine with the towel again to keep them from drying out). 

While they are resting, grease two loaf pans.



Now, shape each half into a loaf and place into the pans. 
Cover loosely and let rise until they are about to puff over the rim of the pans, about 1.5 hours

As they begin to reach the rim of the pans, preheat oven to 450 degrees (my prehistoric oven takes forever, just sayin') 

When done preheating the oven, slash the top of the loaves with a knife and place them into the oven promptly. 
Bake 10 Minutes, then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until they are a deep golden brown.

Remove loaves from their pans and let cool completely.




21.8.16

Simple Moments


My daughter chasing bubbles... 

... in the backyard of her great-grandmother's.

This simple wooden game I picked up at a consignment sale this week...
... because it's not only made of wood and other recycled materials, but mainly because my daughter and I can play together with it.

This piece of cake...
... because it is left over from a family gathering yesterday.