Autumn Beginnings 2017

So it’s been a while but that’s because our darling baby girl came! Our Cornelia Joy was born September 3rd and we are so in love, but who isn’t 😉

Today is the first day of Fall so I thought it was appropriate to come back with a beginnings post! You can read my last one here! Autumn is my all time favorite season! I love the doom and gloom that we get here in the valley it just makes everything so cozy and I love that. Also it’s holiday season which makes it even better, everything up till Christmas is just my fave haha.

DSC_0032

At the beginning of a new season I always reflect on the past season and set new goals for myself in the coming couple months. I’m not always as successful as I want to be with goals but then I carry them over to the next season. Doing this helps me grow better with more short term goals, because if I give myself more time, chances are I’ll forget or give up.

As for the goals I had set for myself I think I really did okay, I had told myself to take it easy and sure at times I got pretty stressed out but overall I found ways to keep calm and I worked hard to trust in God and know that he’ll provide.

I had also spent the summer prepping for our new addition and a cut in our income and I think it helped that by the end of the summer I felt ready and had the basic necessities for a baby.

white rock

In this season of Fall I don’t really have any specific goals, more just areas of life that I want to improve on.

I’m just learning what this new stage of life is. Figuring out our family of three, what does it look like being a mom. I’m so excited for it, watching our little girly grow. We are so blessed.

IMG_3483

One thing I’m going to be focusing on is a more conscious lifestyle for us in our home. When Cornelia is a bit bigger she’ll fit the cloth diapers that I had bought second hand, right now we are able to use cloth wipes for her. In the kitchen I’m already using washable ziplock bags and beeswax wraps. And I’ve started to work on a more conscious wardrobe for myself like by being more aware of the fabrics and the makers of my clothing. All of which I’ll be writing on in the next couple months so stay tuned for those exciting posts!

Another thing I want to try is a bullet journal. Generally I’m pretty organized, or at least I’d like to think so haha. I make lots of lists, I love lists. I live for lists, seriously. But I need to keep those lists a little more organized so I think a bullet journal is a good solution for that!

DSC_0036

Do you have anything you want to try this Autumn? Oh! and if you’ve got any bullet journal tips let me know by leaving me a comment!

dawn

Advertisements

Summer Beginnings

Starting the end of August I’ll be on maternity leave, and it’s not going to be easy. My income will be cut in half and so we won’t have a whole lot of disposable income.

Preparing for this baby has me feeling like I’m preparing for the coming long winter like our great great grandparents had done. There’s so much I need to get ready and plan for. I need to stockpile food and make sure I have things for the baby and for ourselves so we stay sane.

DSC_0018

I know we’ll be okay because I have faith that God will provide for us because he really truly has so far.  But I also need to be diligent in my preparation; I believe he provides but he doesn’t just give hand outs to those who just sit around asking for hand outs.

Don’t get me wrong, I am so beyond excited to be able to spend that time with my baby and I will learn so many sufficiency skills but let’s be honest. I am STRESSED. Preparing for this is hard, and I might have a hint of understanding how my great grandparents had felt when preparing for their own winter.

Okay moving on!

dsc_0116

Okay so at the beginning of every season I always sit myself down, and make some goals for myself. It helps me get through a year without going crazy because it gives me a short term goal to focus on so I can actually achieve things that I want to do. It gives me a time frame in which to learn a skill or mark something off my “to-do list”. Sometimes I don’t always attain a goal (like I’ve been trying to cook at home 3 nights a week for seriously, the whole last year) but that’s where I give myself grace and keep it on the list and each season I get better 🙂 See my very first post with my goals HERE.

Looking back at what goals I had set for myself in Spring Beginnings, I can say I managed to do 2 out of my 3 goals. Sorta haha

  • I can honestly say I’ve cooked from scratch way more then I have in our almost two year marriage, can’t promise it was at least 3 times a week consistently.
  • I can also say that I minimized what was in my home, but I’m also still slowly working on that one. No rush on this one but as long as its done before the baby comes I’m happy. I’ve got a big pile of things that need to go to the thrift store and I’ve been slowly adding stuff to that pile.
  • I have not had the energy to really work on developing my waste management. I do try to reuse ziploc bags where I can and obviously continuing to recycle, but I really wanted to work on using less plastic so that’s something I will revisit in the fall, with research during the next couple months.

This summer I’m not really going to give myself any goals other then, take it easy.

dsc_0113

I want to relax this summer. Growing a human is hard so I need to be taking extra self care. I have this tendency to over stress about the future sometimes so my goal is to not do that. Ultimately, trust in God and let him carry us through this year.

Often times when I get stressed like this I’m always go, go, go. I’ve got all this stuff on a list that I need to finish as soon as I possibly can, but this summer I’m going to be more relaxed about that.

Like the baby’s room, I’m the type that needs it set up NOW. We’re taking our guest/storage room and we’ll be making it into the nursery. So before my parents came in March, I swear you couldn’t even get into this room it was just so full, I cleaned it up enough that they could sleep there. And then it took me until this week to finally get it empty enough that I was satisfied and that we could actually start setting up the nursery.

summer beginnings

This is just very unlike me but I’ve been impressed with my relaxed attitude and patience that I hope it carries out for the summer. I still have that list but I’m going to take my time with it and RELAX.

One other thing is that recently I’ve been doing a lot of looking into zero-waste lifestyles and sustainably shopping. I’ve looked into all sorts of things like eco-friendly laundry detergents, where to buy sustainable clothing, and going plastic free. Part of this is because in the coming fall, I might not find as much value in plastic wrap over meat or milk. So I’m learning ways on how can I make my stuff last longer and not feel so awful about throwing away a ziploc bag that I paid for (money going in the garbage). Another part is knowing that we’re doing at least a little damage to our earth, you can’t deny that, by polluting it with garbage that doesn’t break down for hundreds of years. I’m not trying to be a hippie or crunchy, but as a Christian I think we need to be stewards of the earth as well as good neighbors. 

So this Summer I am preparing, and relaxing, and researching. Winter is coming.

(sorry I really really really needed to sneak that in, we’re GOT fans)

 

Do you have any goals or plans for the summer? Let me know, by leaving me a comment!

If you want to read about my garden go HERE

dawn

Lemon Pepper Veggie Dip

It has been a sad rainy week here in the Fraser Valley, although I don’t mind 😉 It means I don’t have to water my garden and maybe the promise of a not too hot summer for my pregnant body? Anyone else feel the same? Probably not. Haha

lemon pepper dip recipe

Okay I promised in one of my last posts to share a veggie dip so here it is today! I’ve made this dip for other foods (mostly perogies, to be honest) and it was actually a perogie dip recipe that I’ve adapted. Originally it was based with sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and other spices but I made it a little simpler and quicker to make.  So I’m just gonna jump right in!

lemon pepper dip2

 

Here’s what you’ll need…

lemon pepper veggie dip recipe

I use Olympic brand of Greek yogurt because they locally source the milk from BC and they also have really big tubs, also make sure it’s plain so you don’t get any conflicting flavours. And then I use Trader Joe’s Lemon Pepper in a grinder and really I just guess and say it’s about a tablespoon amount.

lemon pepper dip6

Now, just mix everything together in a bowl and it’s ready to serve! I’m serving this fresh cut veggies, even radishes from my garden!

lemon pepper dip4

This dip goes really well with other foods like perogies, of course, but also BBQ chicken or steak, and roasted potatoes. It’s a great summer recipe because of the freshness the lemon adds. Also, by using Greek yogurt you have a little added protein to your plate.

lemon pepper dip3

I love that it’s made from scratch, and it’s so simple and easy (If you regularly read my blog then you know I LOVE simple and easy).

This dip is healthier then using ranch dressing or any other type of store bought dip which can have hidden gross stuff, which isn’t good for healing your gut. The Greek yogurt and lemon juice have healthy tummy promoting bacteria! Just like a traditional diet should 🙂

lemon pepper dip1

Give it a try and tell me what you think by leaving me a comment!

dawn

Simple Garden Update #1!

So I started my garden the end of March (with my parents help). We have been fortunate to be given a little area to garden by our landlords and I gotta say, I’m absolutely loving it! You can see how it started HERE!

As a kid, I always had to help my mom weed and pick beans or spinach and I hated it. I thought it was so boring and weeding was literally the worst thing ever. My parents had a huge garden and we always had home grown food.

Now I love going out to my little patch to water and weed. I don’t even mind the weeding anymore haha. Maybe it’s because this growth is mostly my own efforts; yeah sure I’ve had questions and difficulties so I’ve called my mom but it’s still all me doing the work. I love learning new skills and it’s so calming to just sit with my hands in the dirt, which I never thought I would ever say or even think! I appreciate this opportunity that I have to mini homestead in my little area.

This is it now…

garden update1

So far I’ve had to deal with some nasty weeds (horsetail) and a terrible mole uprooting a couple onions and beans! FYI solution for moles, (this was a tip from my parents) find the hole and shove some blackberry branches in there, haven’t had an issue since I did that! But I still don’t have a solution for horsetail so if you do let me know! If I don’t pull them weeds everyday they’ll take over my garden!

Here’s how my blackberry branches look shoved in the mole hole.mole remover

We also went away for a week and it didn’t rain much so they didn’t have a whole lot of water and when I got back they were looking pretty sad. But with a little plant food and regular watering they sprung back up. I’ve also got a stockpile of coffee grounds to sprinkle with that I’ll do later this week for a waste-free fertilizer.

I’ve already been able to harvest some beautiful radishes and will probably plant another row before July!

IMG_2843

Also, up until today I didn’t have proper garden markers so I made some real quick with Popsicle sticks that I had stashed away.

simple garden markers

And that’s the garden so far! I’ve been so happy with it’s progress and that I’m really learning self-sufficiency skills!

I’m going to be posting a veggie dip recipe soon, so watch for that. You can see that recipe HERE now!

If you have any thoughts (or tips for horsetail) leave me a comment!

dawn

 

Any Season Corn and Potato Soup

Man, it feels like summer has finally hit us. I feel like we just got back from our trip to the cabin and Alberta even though we got back already a week ago. My house is a disaster because we had left in such a hurry and our landlords wanted to some painting and repairs while we were gone, so we finally put our couch back today. I’ve been living in chaos for the last week and I can totally see how it affects me. Someone please come clean my house? Then I can have some sanity return!

Heading into warmer weather I notice a change in eating habits; I crave fresh colourful foods. Which is probably the only way I get vitamins from food all year haha. I swear all I’ve eaten this week is strawberries and I’ve been dreaming of Okanagan peaches and Chilliwack corn. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?!

This recipe I’m sharing today is great because it’s so universal for any season, in the winter it’s great for feeling warm and cozy but then in the summer it doesn’t take a lot of cooking time so it’s great for the heat, and it’s done in the crock pot so that won’t turn your house into a sauna!

corn and potato soup1

It’s sweet soup with corn and yams (or sweet potatoes if you prefer) with a delicious broth, best served with fresh bread and butter!

corn and potato recipe

Basically, all you have to do is peel and cut up your potatoes and onions and then thrown everything in the crock pot together and cook from 6-8 hours!

corn and potato soup2

I use yams over sweet potatoes because they’re generally cheaper in our area and I don’t have a taste preference. For meat I always use shredded chicken, and I will use about half of a whole chicken. It’s nice because you can use whatever you have on hand and would like, I personally wouldn’t use ground beef but cut up sausage or ham or bacon would be good to thrown in!

corn and potato soup3

This is one of our absolute favorite recipes all year, its so yummy! For a bread recipe to go with this go hereDSC_0015

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

dawn

Simple Garden

One of my things I wanted to achieve this year was a mini garden; last year my parents had planted some veggies in pots for me and let’s just say the crop was not overly fruitful. This year we have been generously been given an area to garden by our landlords. Clearly, I’m no expert so I’m not going to be giving any advice but over the summer if there’s anything I learn, I’m hoping to share it here.

My parents however, are avid gardeners. I don’t ever remember growing up where we didn’t have a garden, I was helping washing fresh spinach and tipping beans since I was old enough to help! So while my parents were here a few weeks ago, we picked up the supplies (seeds and dirt) and on a good morning they showed me how to plant my seeds because I always skipped out on that part 😛

Because this is my first year I wanted to start with something easy and won’t take up too much space. So we planted…

  • potatoes
  • beans
  • onions
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • radishes

Here’s what it looks like now, not pretty but it will grow, hopefully hahah

IMG_2690

It’s not much but it’s a start to learning a new skill and hopefully it flourishes.

dawn

Spring Beginnings

Okay so I’m going to be honest, the last four months have kicked my butt. I have had zero energy to do anything, my winter goals were to cook and read but I feel all I’ve done is work and sleep. I really can’t say I’ve even cooked once a week for the past four months because growing a human is exhausting.

Thankfully, I have my energy back (mostly), and over the past month or so I’ve really missed it here. Hibernating gave me a chance to refocus on what I really want to achieve with this blog. It will keep me motivated to learn what simple slow living looks for Evan and I, and to really embrace it in our lives.

DSC_0370

So with it being Spring (first day of Spring is tomorrow!!), I am “wiping my slate clean”, and starting fresh. My winter goals were to home cooked food, read often, and embrace slow living; which I feel, I achieved none. So I am again going to attempt these goals but in a different way.

This Spring I want to…

  • Cook from scratch at least 3 times a week
  • Minimize what’s in my home
  • Sustainable waste management

Cooking from scratch shouldn’t be such a problem but for people my age it’s a foreign concept because there is so much convenience food around that baking a loaf of bread is terrifying. I’m hoping to be able to master some delicious and easy recipes because I like easy and fast but I don’t want to have to pay for it anymore. We’ve recently received a small freezer as a generous gift from my parents and I’m hoping to fill it with freezer meals which will make cooking from scratch much easier.

I feel that clutter has a huge impact on slow intentional living, clutter not only fills our homes but our minds too. I know for myself when my house is messy and there’s papers everywhere, and just stuff everywhere, I feel stressed and anxious. Also, with a baby on the way I need to make space, especially since we’re in a basement suite there’s not a lot of room. I’ve already started to go through my clothes and a few other spaces but I found a “10-week” organizing plan on Pinterest that I’m going to use as a loose base model for my decluttering.

Over the last year, I’ve become aware of the waste that my household produces. It’s a little upsetting actually. Did you know that glass is 100% recyclable, it can be reused over and over again and never lose it’s integrity? Where as plastic which we use every day, and throw away every day is not 100% recyclable, and it sits in landfills or our oceans causing problems. This is where I have to start small, I’ve already switched to reusable produce bags (I bought them at a local grocer) and once I’m done my fancy bottle of foaming hand soap we’re going to use bars of soap because that’s completely zero waste.

DSC_0365

I love what comes with new seasons, that freshness and the ability to hit a “reset button”. Setting these goals for myself give me an opportunity to embrace an intentional lifestyle, but also to reflect on my past seasons. I’ve had some successes but mostly failures, but its a part of learning. And that’s what this blog is for.

Let me know what you think by leaving me a message in the comments section!

dawn