Photography: Erin Lizardo / Model: Leandra McNeal / Dress: Lost Boys + Lovers
though i grow older each year and summer vacation is not what it was when i was in school, it still holds for me the promise of magic and bliss. in summer, we find so many things that we have lost along the way (oh, hi, boundless joy. oh there you are, carelessness). it seems that summer is a journey into the brightest part of our own center; it is the golden honey hidden in the cupboard of seasons, it is the warm light through the window in the morning, it is the crisp, sweet wetness of the watermelon's heart.
summer is the lover that inspires poetry, even in solitude. it is heartbreaking by nature: the long days, the warm nights, the dreams that glitter between river and sun, the ripeness of everything, the richness, the colors.
in summer we chase the water. each moment is orchestrated around the next time that we can be in the water. where? with whom? how long can we be there? how far must we drive? who can carry the food to the shore so that we can stay until we tire?
i think it is this closeness to the metaphor that is so freeing for us in this season - that we can be in the rivers and creeks is a relief; no more trying to let go and be in the flow, we just are. finally it is june: the elements have aligned and we can simply walk into the middle of the river and stay there.
I found this dress the other day for the shop, but as soon as I tried it on, i knew i'd have to keep it for a while. few things are as wonderful as a stretchy, comfy, cute cotton dress - in all seasons, really - but most especially in the summer time. i love dresses because they are an instant outfit - no deciding what else to wear with what, etc.
You know my boots that I wear every day and talk about a lot? Well I found two more pairs of them. Yep, I did. For those of you who don't know, I bought these vintage boots in Portland when Asher was 1. Now they are incredibly broken in, have been re-heeled once, and the leather is losing its color. but they are the most comfortable boots in the world. they can be worn with everything. I can walk far in them, i can dance in them, they are molded completely and utterly to me. i love them. if you ever find a pair of boots like this, you should get them.
I will be listing one of the pairs in my shop soon (size 8 ish), but the other pair is my size, so i'm going to save them for when these babies truly retire.
This post is about a bit more than muffins, but the muffins are the most delicious part. I couldn't even fit all their awesomeness into the post title, as I felt awkward putting "coconut" in there three times. But aside from the shredded coconut and the coconut sugar, they also have coconut oil. COCONUT CRAZE.
First of all, as you probably remember, I'm on my whole foods cleanse, and so these muffins were a heartaching experiment that came out very well and were delivered, batch in full, to my very excited child. I did have a small taste, but I have been constantly impressing myself with my commitment to my 30 days. Today is day 20. I will admit, I'm starting to feel ready for it to end - but I'm going to save that topic (i.e., my cleanse and its challenges) for a separate post.
I think I mentioned in my last post that I've been getting more creative with the food in my kitchen, thanks to my 30-day challenge that demands such creativity. Mostly, i feel able to use everything i buy, in terms of food. if it's in my fridge, i'll figure out a way to cook it. Maybe so these muffins came to fruition because i had a batch of blueberries from the farmers market that were okay, but not great. many of them were soft, and i could tell they had been harvested past their peak. Farewell, beloved season of blueberries....
So I decided to make muffins. I also froze about half of the berries to use in smoothies, pancakes, etc. I found a recipe online and adapted it with my own ingredients, because i wanted to use both coconut sugar and coconut oil. these muffins are neither gluten free nor vegan, but they are, as i mentioned delicious.
Homemade muffins are great because they make awesome car snacks. I should also probably write an entire post on car snacks - an essential and challenging aspect of every mother's reality. We cannot really leave the house without snacks. Snacks should, for the happiness of all, be on hand at all times. Muffins are also great for breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and home snacks. (ha).
I am always slightly experimental with recipes, but I recorded this one the best I could. The muffins are very moist and squishy (read: texture perfection); and, if you haven't cooked with coconut sugar before, please note that it's very sweet. This is only the second time I've cooked with it. I'm not sure what the download is on coconut sugar right now in the nutritional world, and while I am often skeptical of "new" sweeteners, it's always worth a try. I personally favor cane sugar and honey - tried and true classics. Does anyone know the "benefits" of coconut sugar? I'll look it up, but I want to hear what you have to say, also.
One of my personal beliefs is that if you make it from scratch with love and care, it is, ultimately, nourishing for your children. Truly. I have so many things that I try to stick to (gluten-free, low sugar, etc., etc.), but I also believe that we must be flexible in our practices. And so that's my bottom line: is it homemade? Is it from scratch? Did you transform it in you kitchen, with your hands, to feed to your babies? If so, then you are doing a great job.
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- dash of cinnamon
- a few handfuls of fresh blueberries
- 2 (or so) cups of mashed bananas
First, mix the sugar and the coconut oil in a large bowl until they are blended. Then add the eggs and the mashed bananas and mix it all together. (I had frozen overripe bananas in my freezer). In a separate bowl, combine the flour, coconut, baking soda, and salt - then add a bit of cinnamon to your liking. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly and mix. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter and pour into the batter; mix well. Finally, fold in the fresh blueberries - as many as you'd like. Pour into muffin cups (and then I like to sprinkle the top with cinnamon/sugar) and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. You know the drill - a toothpick or butter knife will come out clean when they are ready. Enjoy! Feed them to your ravenous children and men!
While I was transferring some files from my old computer, I found these sweet photos of me and Sophie (who I mention in my 30 Days post). These were taken by Annie of Friendly Fox, back when she was pregnant with Jacob and still blogged as Little Ocean Annie. A whole different era.
I will be in Portland again this summer around the end of July and beginning of August. if any bloggers want to have tea, let's do it!!
ooookay. first of all, thanks for all the comments on my post about comments. i changed my settings (to "embedded") which means that now i can, in fact, embed a reply comment below a comment that you leave. so, this means that if you comment, and if i reply, and if you come back to check, then boom! we're all taken care of. ha. seems like we will just have to mostly throw that one to the wind, and trust that conversations flow as they need.
second, i mentioned briefly in my post before that that i'm doing a whole foods program this month. for 30 days. i started on June 1.
i have been on a long journey of adrenal repair since last October. i feel almost all the way better. thanks to lots of things - including adressing various stressors, herbal treatment, nutrition, etc. but i haven't yet felt back to my full, 100% capacity. and my 100% is really awesome. i can do a lot of rad shit when i'm fully functioning. i've been wanting to do a longer cleanse for a while, and so with the help of my friend Sophie, a nutritional therapy practitioner in Portland, i am finally doing it.
for me, i wanted help. having someone else create a system with me makes it easier for me to stick with it. although i hate to admit it, being accountable to someone else makes me more committed for the long haul. if i had constructed the cleanse myself, my rules might be more flexible, more easily broken. weird but true, and i'm sure many of you can relate. so! after a thorough nutrition evaluation, sophie helped me devise a plan for 30 days. THEN, she sent me a sh*tload of documents to support my process: i have a checklist, a shopping list, a snack list, lots of recipes, a general outline about what to eat, etc. i love these documents. this is exactly what i needed that i wouldn't have had on my own.
a primary goal for me was to take a break from my sugar addiction. this 30 days includes no sugar OR sweeteners; fruit is my only sweetness. why yes, i did say no honey (!). i eat so much honey in my daily life, it's amazing. another focus (that i wasn't aware of, thank you, Sophie) - is that i need more calories. i don't eat enough calories and i eat too much sugar and that, my friends, is a recipe for weakness and exhaustion - especially for us mamas. this means i'm eating protein and fat with every meal, and loading my tea and my meals with coconut oil, ghee, and butter.
i'm glad i'm writing about it now, actually. i've been keeping a really general track sheet of my days and how i feel, but i haven't really gotten into it.
here are some benefits that i feel most strongly so far:
- more energy. i cannot really convey how much this means to me. i feel stronger, and more able to complete a "day in the life"
- more farmer's market. for optimum health, i've been going to the marked once to twice weekly and sourcing the majority of my food there. it feels good to support the locals and to really, really connect in with what's seasonal.
- better food for Asher. yep. keeping myself healthy means that i'm making my kid healthier, too.
- more creativity in the kitchen. eating only meat and vegetables makes me way more creative with what i make (i.e. toast is not a meal, even with avocado on it). i also notice i'm being better at using everything i have in the fridge. that feeling of "there's nothing to eat" has nearly vanished, and i see now how that sense is kind of tied into a mode of laziness around food.
- more m e l l o w. the short-temperedness/impatience that i am familiar with has lessened. a lot. and when i do start to feel it, it seems softer, less overpowering. i can meet it in the middle now and look at it and take action, rather than completely collapsing in its presence. this is invaluable - you know how it goes with the kiddos. i hate being snappy, it's the worst.
as you can tell, it's pretty awesome so far. i haven't even really suffered from major sugar cravings, except for two days when it was gray and cloudy. of course, i often think about what i'll do after my 30 days - like eat some brownies. this whole program also has me thinking about ways to really shift my health and nutrition so i can live better. i want to feel strong and energetic all the time. always. i have this capacity. i'm not one for obsessive diets, but i do trust myself to maintain a balanced approach to support my body and what it needs.
with all that being said, i'm proud of myself for making it to the halfway mark and i'm very very excited to go the whole 30 days. i've never done anything like this before.
i will post about this again soon - there are many other things i could discuss, such as: bone broth, fermented foods, cellulite, dry brushing, fruits, and sleep. oh yeah, and exercise.
if you have any questions or if there is any specific aspect of this you'd like for me to discuss, by all means, please let me know!
p.s. you can see in the photos that i have indeed had some coffee. caffeine is allowed in moderation, and i'm keeping it very minimal. i've been putting a lot of butter and coconut oil (or ghee) in it, plus coconut milk. can i just say, wowwww. also, the last photo is some GF tempura sushi that i made for Asher.
Edit/Update: If you would like to get in touch with Sophie to schedule a nutritional consultation, you can email her at smellbitetaste [at] gmail [dot] com
Edit/Update: If you would like to get in touch with Sophie to schedule a nutritional consultation, you can email her at smellbitetaste [at] gmail [dot] com
Fellow blogger babes and dear readers:
What is the best way to "reply" to comments? As readers, do you go back to the post and see if your comment has been replied to?
I really want to reply to people, but I know that when i comment, I often forget to return to the original post to see the reply.
Bloggers - what do you do? also - for example, on Milla's blog, she is able to "reply" as a subpost to someone's comment. why can't i do that? how do i do it? i feel like i looked in my settings to no avail. Sigh.
Please - drink your coffee and ponder this question. any answers are very much appreciated. I really love reading everyone's comments.
image source unknown. please link if you know!
like many of you, i cannot believe we are well on our way to the middle of June. Asher's last day of school is on friday, and so i must frantically gather last-minute pieces for costume, and plan large plates of food for potlucks. and then begins the glorious summer vacation - a land where time transforms and delight hides in our very fingertips.
last weekend we had an epic heat wave, broken by an epic thunderstorm. the thunder yesterday was so loud and large that it shook my little house. not as much as the earthquake last month, but enough to hear a few glasses rattle. needless to say, an alarm clock was not needed yesterday morning. the thunder was our wake up call.
around here, things have been really nice. i know that's a bit of a trite way to put it, but it's true. there have been berries and cherries, rivers and naps, books at the park, and hibiscus popsicles.
and of course, vintage dresses:
roses in the garden, blooming late with the deepest red:
this is what happens after all day at the river:
my alien calendula plant that grew flower tentacles off of its dying flower! has this ever happened to any of you? i've been growing calendula for ages and have never seen anything like it. i think it's awesome:
there are other things i should mention, and will in another post. like the fact that today is day 11 of my 30-day whole foods cleanse! very excited about this and i've had a lot more energy thanks to a big increase in calories and a decrease in sugar. but let me tell you how much i miss sugar: SO MUCH SO BIG A LOT. sugar is my favorite lover, the sweetest comfort, my beloved companion of all time. it's a hard one to get over. maybe at the end of the 30 days i will miss it less? who knows.
other things worth mentioning in other posts include, but are not limited to: summer plans, swimsuits, best swimming spots, more vintage dresses, tea with friends, farmers markets, and lofty dreams.
hope you are well and that you, too, are enjoying the fruits of summer.
Some gems from the world wide web of digital wonders:
dudes. it is getting HOT here. in the valley this weekend it is supposed to peak at 113 degrees on saturday. whaaaaat. luckily my little hilltop will be cooler, topping out at a mere 100 or 101. we're going camping on friday/saturday with Asher's school, so the river will be in full effect on the hottest days. essential. how is the weather where you are? do you have your summer bathing suit picked out yet??? (i know one doesn't need to buy a new one each summer, but for some reason it just feels so good to do so).
Labels: eye candy
I've been thinking that I should do outfit posts. it's such a fun part of the blogosphere - one that i really actually enjoy. I love seeing pictures of all you ladies in cute clothes, you know? So anyway, i've been thinking about that. I used to do outfit posts occasionally, but it's been a while.
And the truth be told, usually my outfits are reaallly really simple. not necessarily blog-worthy. generally, when i'm getting dressed in the morning, i ask myself two questions: one, is it stretchy? and two, does it need a bra?
Ah yes, the life and times of sadie-style. this is not to say i don't get cute or dressed up sometimes. of course i do. i just also wear a lot of spandex and tank tops in all the times between then. nonetheless, i will try to show my face (and maybe some outfits) around here more. here i am the other day in very stretchy jeans and a tank top...about to carry a big load of stuff to the car for afternoon errands. you know how that goes!
Summer around here is awesome because it is so hot that one can wear practically nothing. the wearing of nothing-ness in summer is one of my favorite things, since i was tiny. of course, if one leaves the house, one must wear some things.
there is so much to be said for comfort and flexibility in clothing. there is also so much to be said for really rocking it out with some cute/crazy digs. like most things in my life, my own personal styles come in waves; the inspiration and creation ebbs and flows. i have found that as a mother, i must be able to bend, carry, climb, and run at almost any moment in whatever i decide to wear. this is why my uniform of leggings + boots has been with me for soooo long. what about you? what's your mom steez? do you love taking your jeans off at the end of the day, or could you live in them? or are you part of the radical i-don't-own-jeans club??