I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for February, 2010

February 9, 2010

wolf and willow

Cute name, no?

Melbourne-based esty seller that makes really cute vintage inspired kiddie clothes. For girls. If I do not have a girl I’m afraid I will miss out on much of the magic of etsy kids. Their clothes are just more fun to make. I get it, I get it.

Wolf and Willow on Etsy.

February 8, 2010

this february weekend

Winter is subtle in California… at least at the southern end. We have cold clear days mixed in with a warm weekend or a massive rainstorm. But things still shift and we enjoy our seasons just the same. This weekend brought

Winter flowers:

I am ever enamored with Magnolias. Our neighborhood is full of the slender pink buds right now. (and Camellias too).

Winter foods:

citrus citrus citruscitruscitrus. I cannot get enough. At least 3 oranges per day must be consumed. And the Cara Caras are in season right now. Run to the farmer’s market and find them if you can.

Winter projects:

Or should we say mega nesting? I went on a roman shade kick this weekend and turned mini blinds for 4 windows into roman shades. Tutorial here on Little Green Notebook. SO easy and, no they’re not the most polished looking window coverings, but they are sooooooo much better than old mini blinds.

And winter babies:

My dear friend Jessica who I’ve been on the pregnancy journey with for the last 9+ months had her little girl on Saturday. She was due 3 days before me. I think because we’ve been so close through this whole process, the arrival of little Yvette (Friday night not here, Saturday morning HERE), so quickly has made the end of the journey feel very real and very unpredictable. And truly like a little poof of magic. I talked to Jessica on Friday night about normal boring household stuff, she wondered if she was ever going to go into real labor (she’d been having random contractions and a number of other “signs” for a week), and we pondered what it would be like to insert a newborn into our lives and our homes. Couldn’t imagine it, really. And then an hour later she was in labor. And by noon the next day I had a surprise email from her husband with this photo. Completely amazing.

And now, as it goes… I’m next. Though it could be another 3 or 4 weeks I suppose. Trying to prepare myself for however and whenever this baby wants to come. I realized after seeing little tiny perfect Yvette, that I can plan all I want for my perfect birth but when it comes down to it, I don’t care how he or she gets here as long as (s)he’s here and healthy and home.

February 5, 2010

wintery vegetable soup

One little project I have on the list for the next few weeks is to stockpile dinners in our freezer. You know, for when the baby is here and we’re too overwhelmed to even consider what to eat, let alone how to feed ourselves. This was my mom’s idea. Such a good mom. So far I have two things… sooo yeah, not going AS WELL as planned. But the intention is there. In theory it works pretty well though. I make something large, we have it for dinner for a few nights and the other half goes in the freezer.

Dinner number two: Wintery Vegetable soup, inspired by the cover of the January Martha. I ended up just throwing in a bunch of things I found at the farmer’s market (like chanterelles and baby kale), so inspired is the key word here. But it did turn out pretty delicious and I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Winter vegetable soup

Since this recipe is so light, it’s really all about the stock. I would highly recommend making your own since it’s so easy and so much more delicious. And the best thing about stock is that you can literally add whatever vegetables and herbs you have on hand to the pot. Provided they’re in harmony with the flavor of the soup you’re planning to make. I should do a stock post, I love it so.

This is a rather large recipe… good for a week of dinners or a big soup party.

2 T olive oil

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Make sure you wash them well!

1 bunch green garlic (couldn’t resist adding this since it’s just coming into season), treated the same as the leeks, but cut into smaller pieces

1/2 – 1 lb chanterelle mushrooms, depending on preference. If chanterelles aren’t readily available at the farmer’s market they can be rather expensive, so you can always leave these out. But they are amazing.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 celery stalks, cut on the bias into 1/2 in thick pieces

3 medium carrots, cubed

1 small fennel bulb, cut into small thin pieces

2 pinches of red pepper flakes

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

6-8 cups homemade vegetable stock (or if you must, store bought)

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (you can throw the peels and seeds and trimmings into your stock pot!)

10 small heirloom potatoes, cut into quarters or bite-size pieces

1 small head of cauliflower broken into bite-size flowerets

1 big bag of baby kale (mine came from the farmer’s market so I’m not sure about weight), or a few bunches of greens chopped into big pieces

2 cans chickpeas (I poured in the bean juice too, but you don’t have to)

Juice of 1 lemon

A few pieces of lemon rind

chopped fresh mint

Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a large stock or soup pot. Add leeks, green garlic and garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt, and saute until soft (~5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes more until they are coated and starting to soften. Add carrots, celery, fennel, and red pepper flakes and cook for a few more minutes until a nice aromatic mixture has developed. You might consider adding a bit more sea salt and a few grinds of pepper at this point. Your veggies should taste good on their own.

Add the squash, potatoes, and cauliflower and mix so everything is coated. Then add the stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until the squash and potatoes are soft enough, about 15 minutes. Dump in the chickpeas and kale and mix until the kale has wilted. Taste and evaluate for liquid. You might need to add a cup or so of water (or more stock) depending on how soupy you’d like it.

Add the fresh lemon juice, the lemon rind and the mint leaves.

And you’re done! Serve with a few grates of parmesan cheese and a bit of minced mint.

You could easily make a lighter version of this soup by leaving out the mushrooms, 1 can of chickpeas, and substituting some of the stock for water. But today is rainy so it seems like a good day to go the more hearty route.

February 3, 2010

project runway… love

Just catching up on a few episodes of PR. The burlap challenge was soooo good. I love this show. It’s like the only reality TV that actually showcases legitimate, inspiring talent.

faves from burlap land:

images from NY Mag

The way she dyed the edges of the flouncy skirt is so neat. And I’m always up for a perfect mini. Will I ever wear one again? That’s the big question I have at the moment.

Sometimes it seems like this is normal and that I will have a huge abdomen forever and people will stare at me and it will just be my life. But hopefully I will get a baby instead.

February 2, 2010

Nurture Shock

Has anyone read it? SOOOOOOOOOOO fascinating.

I cannot recommend it enough for parents and soon to be parents. My dad has been hounding me for six months to read it and I’m so glad I finally am. In fact he buys it for everyone who fits into the parents/stb parents category.

It’s like Freakanomics for parenting. Which means I find myself nerdily talking about it to anyone who will listen, but I will spare you all and just encourage you to buy yourself a copy now now now.

February 1, 2010

weekend that blurs into the weeks ahead

Because I officially finished my last day of work (at the office) on Friday. Sooooo exciting. I’ve got a few more weeks (hopefully) to finish up some lingering freelance projects and then I’m taking a break to learn to be a mommy. Neat.

There are lots of things happening around the house as we frantically prepare for baby. Our diapers have been washed, the rocking chair is on the way, mobile hung… but of course there are still like 37 more things I NEED to have finished. Instead of doing them, this weekend was spent running errands and then doing a really fun project for 100 Layer Cake in Los Olivos. Fun? yes. Last 6 hour day in the car? YES.

It was so incredibly gorgeous though… worth the long day for sure.

Danielle, working her magic on the grey wood deck around the farmhouse.

Amanda’s awesome pink nails and golden iPhone case.

And me, 37 weeks. Doesn’t my belly look fake? Geez. It doesn’t FEEL that huge when I’m carrying it around. Officially full term. So it could be any time then?

(Do no pay attention to my crazy outfit. It was way colder than it looks so I had to ditch the flops for backup Uggs).