The summer is slowly coming to an end. It’s still really hot and humid here, but the dudes are back in school full time now so there’s not much time for playing outside. Especially since the big dude and me get eaten alive by mosquitos! But last night it was just so nice outside that I decided to let them have these retro candy necklaces on the front step. I have to say, it makes me feel really old to refer to candy I had as a kid as retro. But it actually said “retro” on the bag… oh well, they liked it 🙂
Rainy days. The snow is gone and we have rainy days. Lots of them. There is no whimsy light to be found, actually, all we have is clouds. And rain. Lots of it. That makes for a whole lot of no excitement in this house. So here is what we did. We had a movie afternoon with popcorn, made dinner and ate it. We also went to jump in the puddles. You should’ve seen the ghetto water casing I made for my camera…really classy.
Please go and check out the wonderful and talented Mindy from Orange Moon Photography and see if they had rain too 🙂
Another month is over and we’re all telling a little story of our daily lives again. We have been busy this month with lots of snow days, then some warm days that we spent outside and one very special birthday. The hubs turned 30. And that’s also the day I chose to document. I have to explain though, he said he wanted a Dora the Explorer party, so that’s what he got. Nothing big, the dudes colored some pages, we made him a crown and he had a Dora cake. But hey, he got what he wished for, right?
Please don’t forget to check out the lovely Renee 🙂
This is something I missed a lot. Farmer’s markets everywhere! Fresh fruit and vegetables without crazy chemicals and all local. But I also missed my favorite french bakery that has a stand at the Silver Spring farmer’s market. I am absolutely in love with their apple rustic.
Anyhow, this is my 300th post! Kinda crazy. To celebrate that, why don’t you go to the market tomorrow and try something new? Like golden beets? Or trout beans?
I have thought about posting about this for quite a while. Then we went out to dinner on the weekend and I saw something in the restaurant that helped me make up my mind. There was a family with two daughters, teenagers. The grandparents came along too. As soon as they sat down the girls took out their cell phones and started texting, facebooking, instagramming or something of that nature. The grandparents were obviously taken aback by this but didn’t say anything, probably because they had before and it was ignored. The parents however didn’t care at all. They addressed the girls here and there, got a short answer, without any eye contact and were satisfied with that. Within 10 minutes the girls got up twice and went to the bathroom together. With their phones and lots of giggles. I watched this family for a good 20 minutes until I had to force myself not to anymore. Then I took a look around. There was a young couple eating together, except he was talking on the phone and she was mesmerized by something on her phone. And they were no exception. Everywhere I looked there were people staring at their phones instead of the people they were sitting at the table with. When did this become normal? When did people start being ok with not having eye contact while talking to each other?
I remember growing up it was considered rude when somebody called your house phone (!) around dinner time. I was raised to ignore the ringing phone and stay seated. There was no TV in the background, there was no getting up until everybody had finished and obviously, there were no cell phones. What was happening were conversations about how our day went, what we wanted to do the next day, when the next test in school would be, how my dad’s day at work went, what was new with the neighbors, who had a game or a tournament on the weekend. What was happening was family time. And dinner time. Every day. We took our time, nothing was wolfed down in 10 minutes so we don’t miss that TV show we wanted to watch. That wasn’t even up for discussion. What was up for discussion was our lives, being a family. Knowing how to carry a conversation over hours (!) without staring at a phone screen or talking calls because it’s so important to be available at all times.
I enforce these rules in my house. Every day. It’s important. You can’t let your children forget who their family is and what’s really important in life. And you teenagers, let me tell you, the latest status update or newest photo of somebody in front of a bathroom mirror is absolutely not important. It can wait. Make the time and get to know your family. Really get to know them. Talk. Look into their eyes. Put the phones away and turn off the TV. Refuse to be available at all times. It will make you and your family more balanced and connected. It will teach everybody some almost forgotten social skills. It will make your children a respectful adult. Can we try to get back to that? Promise?
Now let’s have some dinner!
It’s been a while since I shared a recipe with you guys. But this one, I can’t keep to myself.
We went to IKEA last weekend because let’s face it, summer break is a lot and sometimes a little retail therapy makes everything better. It also doesn’t hurt that they have the one hour daycare in their stores. I am not ashamed to admit, I happily hand my kids over for one hour of peaceful shopping with the hubs.
But first things first. We had to eat. What’s better than a nice plate of Swedish meatballs followed by that delicious apple cake? After watching my dudes devour the cake like cavemen I decided, I need to make this cake. There is no way around it. So after we got home I started searching the net for the recipe. But it looks like the Swedish guard their recipes like bloodhounds. There was nothing. Seriously nothing. A few recipes titled Swedish apple cake, but none of them even looked close to the one at the big furniture store. I finally found one, I liked the dough recipe, but not the filling. So I went to work. Just for you. And I did it. It’s even better than in the restaurant. Probably because you can eat the whole thing and not just one slice 😉
Swedish Apple Cake
(adapted from semiswede)
1 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
zest of one lemon
pinch of salt
5-6 medium-sized Fuji apples
3 kid’s handful raisins (optional)
juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
one shot bourbon (optional)
2 teaspoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
one teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 390F
Stir all the filling ingredients together and set aside
blend all the dough ingredients together in a food processor until it comes together, turn our on a cool surface and quickly knead it until it’s a smooth dough. Cut the dough in thirds. Take a 8″ cake pan, grease it and press 2/3 of the dough on the bottom and up the sides. Pour the filling on the dough. Roll out the last 1/3 of the dough and cover the apples with it.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
Enjoy with vanilla sauce, vanilla ice cream or just warm with a glass of milk.
There are some pretty hard working people here that got together to build a community garden. I’m sure this is not easy at all, especially in the desert. But it’s starting to take more and more shape, it’s looking greener and it’s starting to pay off. Not only for them, but also for me 🙂 I had the chance to go roam around the gardens a little and photograph the life I found. My way. I guess it’s safe to say, I’m loving fine art more and more. It gives me a sense of peace and relaxation, it’s not as hectic and all over the place like photographing my dudes. I can take my time, slowly find the right frame and it kind of centers me. Weird, right? But you should try it. Find the beauty in the little details and enjoy it. And plant something. That you can do with your kids. But plant something. Then eat it. It’s good for you ♥