"Let's have a merry journey, and shout about how light is good and dark is not. What we should do is not future ourselves so much. We should now ourselves. "NOW thyself" is more important than "Know thyself." Reason is what tells us to ignore the present and live in the future. So all we do is make plans. We think that somewhere there are going to be green pastures. It's crazy. Heaven is nothing but a grand, monumental instance of future. Listen, now is good. Now is wonderful." ~ Mel Brooks

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Family Style


Click here to join us on Facebook

It's a Simple Life has opened up a group on Facebook to discuss all things family. For those raising up a small family or a large one, we'd love to hear from you. We want to know how you get your kids to do their chores, how you handle those meltdown moments (yours or theirs), fast, easy, and healthful meal ideas and recipes, great books on the theme, favorite family vacation spots, what's the best and worst part of parenting (because we all know they both exist!) and everything in between.

Come on and join the fun! We'd love for you to be a part of our "family" xoxo

Monday, July 16, 2012

A bite of Reality

So, the reality is, and I've said it before, simple doesn't always mean easy! Focusing our attention and devotion to living simply, accepting simplicity as a lifestyle, and knowing in our hearts that it's the very small things in our everyday life that makes it grand is the color I choose to paint with......mostly......on a good day! :)

Today, like so many other days these past 6 weeks, I woke up tired! I love my new baby more than words could ever express however she's winning in the sleep war while I'm waving my white flag of surrender. I couldn't be more exhausted and weary........so today, I rolled out of bed after having tried to "sleep in" (ie: wide awake babe lying next to the Mama who's trying to sneak an extra hour or so of "sleep" while the baby kicks, cries, spits up, poops, and fusses leaving the Mama with just another hour or so of broken minutes of "sleep" just like the other 5 hours before!) walked down the hallway to find a sink full of dishes, a couch still covered in crumbs from last night, shoes and toys scattered around the living room, among a myriad of other cluttered messes that have been there for much longer but got under my skin and irritated me more today than any other day! So, my unsuspecting husband  (who had gotten up extra early to begin a bid for a potential job, was most likely in a good mood before I walked in) witnessed a "New Mama Meltdown" as I cried (and reached temper tantrum levels of hysteria) over my lack of sleep, my wish for just an hour or two of unbroken sleep, the wish that the house cleaning gnomes would make a stop at our house to pick up after everyone while I'm sleeping, the laundry would be started and the laundry that was folded from the last washing day would be put away, the floors would be swept, and a nice hot cup of coffee would be waiting for me upon my waking! A tall order, I know, but it's days like this one where I would daydream about having a someone to do all those things for me, where simple meant easy, lazy, no stress, no worries.

The best part about all of this reality stuff is that now that I've released it (and having made myself a great cup of coffee and completed all the chores I listed above) I'm not wishing for that someone, because I am that someone. I am the creator of my own life, I can choose who I want to be (thanks for reminding me DH) and I choose to create a life that is simple, even when it's not easy, my life bring me so many wonderful joys, deep, deep happiness, strength and learning, and unconditional love......even when I'm having a tantrum akin to that of our two year old!

Life has been very real.......it's not always a fairytale (in the moment) but the lessons to be learned and the life to be had is a glorious one, and I wouldn't trade it for the best Maid in town!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekly Gratitude

Welcome to Gratitude! If you feel called to join along please link up in the comments section below with any post that expresses your gratitude and reverence for the "little things" in your life. Share on your blog, spread the word on Facebook or any other social outlet. Let's slow it down and enjoy our time and remember to be thankful for all the moments that make life worth while! 

This week I am grateful for so much.
I'll let some photos do the talking this week.....

Our own fresh blackberries

New friends and playing dress-up

A beautiful man and his baby

Sharing a meal with dear friends, old and new

A sweet little KiKi, who after weeks of trials and tribulations, still has her groove
A glorious baby sneaking peeks while drifting off to play with her angel friends

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Playdate with KiKi

Today, Charlotte got to have her first play date (without Mama or Papa). This would then be KiKi's first time without her daily companion. It wasn't easy for KiKi to understand why she couldn't tag along so I did my best to distract her and planned a special activity just for her.

KiKi loves to paint and be messy. What two year old doesn't?! With that in mind we decided that painting the porch would be a fun activity. We made up some paint (sidewalk chalk paint) grabbed some brushes and headed outdoors to "color our porch"!

For Kiks, the idea of painting on the porch was fun and made her giggle! Unfortunately, the color didn't stick; when the paint dried it turned white again, but, it was fun for her, nonetheless.

To make the paint you mix together:: 2 tbsp. of cornstarch, 2 tbsp. of water, a few drops of food coloring (we used our left over Easter egg dye that we save to use throughout the year). Stir it up and there you have it. You might have to kinda play with the consistency a bit and the paint doesn't work all that great on wood (our porch is wood) but it does work well on stone or concrete!

Kinda blurry,sorry! I like the way the colors swirl!
What are some of  your favorite activities to do with your littles when you are afforded quality one on one time?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Back to Basics

The Waldorf inspired rhythm we had created prior to our babe's arrival has fallen to the wayside for the time being as any rhythm or "schedule" would. Being at the mercy of a newborn takes precedence over following any rhythm and really.....our rhythm is being redeveloped again anyway!

Sleeping in increments of 1 1/2 -2 hours at a time and then not falling asleep right away makes most days and nights a bit of a blur. Then add into the mix: trying to maintain the laundry of 7 people because God forbid that gets out of hand........it's a nightmare trying to catch up and having had no rain for a couple of weeks, we'd be out of water in no time PLUS keeping up on the dishes because we run out of cups, bowls and spoons frequently, AND cooking! Not to mention the fillers in a day, diapers, nursing, boo boos that need kisses, a tantrum or two or three, snuggles and hugs, random baths just to keep the littles occupied......I'm sure you get the picture. I've been spared some of these tasks for the last month or so as we traveled through our rough patch but this marks the second full week of being on my own with all of these tasks! Sometimes it's A LOT! Sometimes it's OK! Sometimes I handle things fine and other times I don't.........all part of being a new(ish) Mom, with three littles  and two big kids with each one going in a different direction!!!!

Phew! It's been a marathon of weeks and days and today, although I knew it was a bit crazy to think I could actually BAKE something, I went ahead and tried anyway! Thankfully it was a success! It only took me about an hour to complete the batter as Seraphina was up and sleep and then up again and then asleep again; nursing, crying, snuggling, and nursing some more. The littles were preoccupied for the moment and then distracted and then preoccupied again. Somehow I managed to make a perfect batch of muffins which as we speak are just about gone! A dream come true!!!

So to celebrate our successful baking day, I'm sharing with you our beloved muffin recipe! It makes scrumptious, moist, delicate muffins that can be adapted to carry any fruit, flavor, and flour!

Blueberry Banana Almond Muffins
makes 18-24 muffins

1 cup of almond flour (meal)
2 cups of flour (we used King Arthur's AP flour)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
1 tbsp. of baking powder
1 tsp.  salt
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 mashed up bananas
3 beaten eggs
1 1/3 cup of buttermilk
(I never have buttermilk when I want it so to supplement
I use the right amount of milk with a healthy splash of raw apple cider vinegar!)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 cup of blueberries

For the topping

1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tbsp. of cinnamon
2 tbsp. of oil or melted butter

Whisk together the flours
Whisk in the baking soda, baking powder, sugar (not the brown sugar, the other one!), and salt

NOW, whisk in the brown sugar!

This is where I got pulled away from my batter making, so I don't have photos for the wet mixture.
Mash your bananas and beat your eggs. Mix them together and add the buttermilk. When the wet mixture
comes together add that to your dry ingredients. The trick here is NOT TO OVER MIX! Stir together the batter ever so gently, just a handful of times, leaving a rainbow of dry ingredients throughout. Add about 1/2 of your
blueberries and stir again, gently, and only about 3 or 4 times, still leaving some dry ingredients visible.

Scoop your batter into your muffin tins, either lined with paper cups or generously greased. Split the rest of the blueberries and top each of your muffins. Mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and oil/butter. Split that among each muffin top and then bake for about 25-30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Here is our Charlotte. Her sister caught a shot of her enjoying her muffin after having given herself a "makeover" with markers her Dad had given her! Oh, and she also is showing off her first hair cut ever, in all of her 4 1/2 years. She's got bangs!!!! It's amazing how a little cut can change ones appearance so drastically! She looks totally different! And she loves them!

I hope where ever you are you have fresh picked blueberries and great bangs! Cheers xoxo

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekly Gratitude

Welcome to Gratitude! If you feel called to join along please link up in the comments section below with any post that expresses your gratitude and reverence for the "little things" in your life. Share on your blog, spread the word on Facebook or any other social outlet. Let's slow it down and enjoy our time and remember to be thankful for all the moments that make life worth while! 

This past month of intense living has reminded me of a LOT of things. Mostly, it has reminded me to continue to deeply practice mindful, meaningful, present living. I've noticed my wish to be completely free from the drama that I see so many I love living with, the sadness, the fear. All of those things that suck away the good moments or make them less meaningful. My awareness has peaked to a level that I am now able to realize the life that lies ahead, in all it's glory and wonder but also the realness that exists simply by being human. I'm no longer living in a bubble where our lives will remain untouched. I am now striving to live free from any forms, with no borders or boundaries. I wake up in the morning, tired and weary but know deep in my heart, and even if I'm unable to show it, that living here with the people I am blessed to call my family and friends is the most perfect life I could have ever dreamed of. Things go wrong and things fall apart.......but I have much trust and faith that even in those moments love is present and we will be alright.

So today (and everyday), I am grateful for the love and faith in my heart, my most amazing husband and beautiful children, and our many loving and wonderful friends and family as their lives are what make mine whole!

Saturday, July 7, 2012


"Now everyday the Summer sun
Climbs higher in the sky;
The farmer's fields are stacked with hay
In June and July.
Long holidays are here again,
Blue sea and sandy beaches.
The time of sun-ripe fruit has come,
Of pears and golden peaches."

~ From the Waldorf Book of Poetry

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sometimes all you need is MAGIC!

It was wonderfully sweet to come home, finally, after three weeks away. I've been home for one full week and it's been exciting, new, exhausting, frustrating, full of hugs and snuggles, tears, and continued lack of sleep.......it may have been one of the longest weeks on record! But, I wouldn't have changed anything as being with my family is worth every second; good, bad, pretty or ugly!

On another note, the littles have entered their "recovery" phase of whooping cough. They've been so brave and have truly come through this without so much as a whine or complaint. Truth be told, Charlotte, our 4 year old, has had the hardest time even though her cough was nothing in comparison to Kiki's. Charlotte is much more in control and less willing to resign to the coughing where as Kiki is quite a bit more willing to let her body do what it needs to and has full trust in those who are with her to hold her and help her through. It's been scary and unpredictable but through it all we've had an amazing support system including friends and family and wonderful doctors, three in fact, who have helped us come up with a plan to bring greater health, strength and vitality to our little girls as well as create a protective barrier around our infant. We're extremely fortunate that our baby Seraphina has maintained her health and continues to thrive.......we're also so grateful that Kiki and Charlotte have managed to avoid any secondary infections and are healing quickly and well.

One of the biggest sorrows I felt during this past month was being unable to care for my sick babies while I was away. I had to allow for God's grace to be with my husband 24 hours a day to follow his instincts and ask for help when he needed it. My husband has an amazing heart and a wild dedication to our family. He dove head first into caring for all four of our children, all day and all night. He was home from work for the entirety of the month of June; keeping house, caring for two very sick littles, following the big kids around and maintaining the last few weeks of school, two weeks of performances that Bella was taking part in at our local summer stock theatre, grocery shopping, and sneaking in visits to me. My husband is my hero!

While I was away, one of the ways my husband was able to comfort the littles and keep their minds off of all the fear that surrounded their coughing fits was through stories of faeries. He would take them outside in search of the evening faeries that would come visit our garden. They would play hide and seek with them, listen for them, tell stories about them and of course attempt to catch them! The photo below is of the littles having fallen asleep, finally, after a terrible evening of fitful coughs. My love told them a few stories of faeries and Charlotte had decided she would stay awake until she saw a faerie and capture one........as you can see, she didn't stay awake!

Sometimes, all you need is MAGIC to make everything alright! How do you bring magic into your life with your littles? We would love to hear your stories :o)

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