Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Merritt's first haircut (and Momma's too!)

Annoyed that our new hairstylist wants to charge $32.00 for Merritt's "first haircut", I took his little mohawk into my own hands.

We have a new vacuum with a very tasty cord
My first ever attempt at cutting hair wasn't quite as smooth and easy as I had envisioned (what could be so hard about snipping a little bit of baby hair?), but I'm happy with the result.  He turned 10 months old on the 18th and his new 'do let's me visualize an older, less baby-like version of our littlest guy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Homemade marshmallows

This post is from December of last year, but I'm gearing up this weekend to make a few batches and wanted to remind you that you should too!! Happy 'mallow making. The recipe can be found here. I'm curious, if you're a candy maker are there any reasonable substitutions for corn syrup?   

Hot cocoa with marshmallows is a quiet pleasure these days. With so many artisan options I've long ago given up on the classic Jet Puffed. When the Fall chill arrives I crave the gooey goodness of a melted marshmallow and this year, instead of searching high and low for a fix, I decided it was time to learn to make them myself. Years ago (before a stand mixer graced my counter top) I attempted a recipe that produced a slimy, wet, and weak little batch of marshmallows too icky to enjoy.

I'm happy to share that with my latest attempt at these heavenly confections (I made cinnamon vanilla), my confidence has been rebuilt and I will be making homemade marshmallows from now until forever.

oh yum

spread it out

liberally sprinkle with powdered sugar and let sit for 8 hours

TAH DAH! Share, and enjoy!

—--it's really more like drinking chocolate, so you don't need a lot, and topped with either sweet whipped cream or a marshmallow it's perfect any time (or all the time).

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 oz. milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a medium bowl, combine the bittersweet chocolate with the milk chocolate. Add the boiling water and let it stand for 1 minute. Whisk the chocolate mixture until it is smooth.

In a small saucepan, bring the milk and heavy cream just to a simmer. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk over moderate heat until hot. Pour into small mugs and garnish as you like!

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A wreath for every door

Every day at nap time I take a walk to lull Merritt and Roscoe to sleep, but if that doesn't work out we end up cruising in the car instead. Either way I look forward to the time because it guarantees at least an hour to obsess over the amazing Christmas decorations that trim the houses here.  They are quite over the top.

My favorite trend is the magnificent wreaths adorning the front doors. Each one is meticulously detailed and emulates the spirit of each home. They are color coordinated, of course. I snapped pictures of these as we walked on Monday, and this isn't even all of them!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Feeding the birds (and the squirrels too)

You know the classic pine cone bird feeder, made by coating a pine cone with a slather of peanut butter and a generous coating of bird seed?  We couldn't find any decent sized pine cones in our yard so we decided to use twigs and sticks instead.

We started out using our hands to spread the peanut butter but it was a little too messy so we switched to a small spatula, which did the job well. 

Roscoe lost interest in the spreading once he tasted the peanut butter, so he ate while I finished up the base coats.  He was happy then to add the seeds.

We then pushed our little bird feeders into the dirt and admired them.

Later in the afternoon a family of seven crowded our feeder with their squirrley antics while we spectated from inside.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Animal encounters

Our favorite part of yesterday was making some new friends at the local zoo.

Have you ever seen a giraffe up close?  We really enjoyed it.  There is something mythic about their size and the way that their towering necks sway and bob to keep pace with their skinny legs as they walk about.  And the flock of parakeets were really fun too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Thriving on Winter's Bounty

Winter Squash Lasagna
It's wintertime even though this second week of warm and breezy weather might have me believing otherwise.  But, it's definitely December and while eating seasonally in the Spring and Summer was easy peasy, and the Fall wasn't too bad either, learning how to cook (and eat) the leaves and roots of winter is not quite as joyful. At least not at first glance.  What to do with all of the spinach, beets, carrots, parsnips, winter squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes!

I have an extensive collection of cookbooks, but lately I've been relying on two in particular.  The Winter Harvest Cookbook has shown me that the winter dinner table can still be diverse and satisfying--exciting even!  Tonight we ate a traditional farmer's skillet supper of bacon, potatoes, and kale--we added eggs to the mix for a hearty, warm, and filling meal.

Last night I baked a winter squash lasagna with crimini mushrooms, butternut squash, and romano and mozzarella cheeses.  Red wine, garlic, tomato sauce and a from scratch bechamel sauce made for a complex flavor combination.  Roscoe finished his plate clean and Merritt was close behind him.  I was pleasantly surprised, and happy to cook squash beyond my old standby of caramelizing it. (Note: if you've never made Ina Garten's recipe for roasted butternut squash, you mustit's fantastic. But wow, it's possible to use butternut squash in other ways too!)

The recipe for Winter Squash Lasagna can be found online here. Gingered beets and brussels sprouts, cabbage with coconut, and chestnut risotto are just a few of the recipes that are going to save me this winteri just know it!

The other book that I keep returning to is called Simply in Season.  What I love most about this book is the way that it's organized. Corresponding to the four seasons, there are four sections and within each section is a list of the seasonal produce that you might expect to find at that time of year.  Every page offers a new recipe and the seasonal ingredients used in each one are highlighted from the larger list found in the margin, which means you can search by ingredient with a quick flip through the pages.  It has a great reference section in the front too. Root vegetable crumble (with cashews!), stuffed beets, and golden carrot salad are up next.

I also want to check out the kid version, Simply in Season for Children.

If you eat seasonally, how do you cope with the limitations of winter's bounty?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Counting down to the 25th

In addition to a more traditional chocolate and treats advent calendar, we decided this year to do an activity advent to build excitement for the season and to savor the joy that lies in every day that leads up to Christmas day.

I first read about the idea in the online magazine House of Fifty, which I am new to and love! We compiled a list of 25 things to do in the month of December and I wrote them out in one big long colorful list. (It proved to be a relaxing after-the-kids-go-to-sleep activity and it made me feel like a kid again to get creative with a box of crayons.) Then we hung it in a hallway that gets plenty of foot traffic so it is handy to reference and because it is fun to look at.

On our list we included events like the local christmas parade and a train show that's coming to town next weekend.  We also chose activities and crafts that we can enjoy doing together like making a bird feeder and decorating a gingerbread house. Some items are about us, and some are about others like baking a treat for a neighbor and contributing to a local cause that directly impacts children in our area.

On Thursday we decorated the kids' rooms with lights and a miniature christmas tree.  Last night we crossed two activities off our list when we attended the Grand Illumination, which counts down to the annual lighting of the city skyline, and then joined the masses after dark to check out the tacky lights tour.

Tonight, we're building our first fire of the season and reading bedtime stories fireside.

How do you count down to Christmas?
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