Category Archives: life

New Name – New Location

I’m shakin’ things up around here and have decided to re-name my little blog and change its web address.  Don’t worry, all the content on here will be on the new blog.  In fact, it’s already there!

I figured I should have a blog name that better reflects what I write about — and one that avoids the creepy people who are searching for something other than gardening and cooking when googling for “Our Peep Show” if you know what I mean.

This will be the last post on this site, so come on over and visit me at my new home at

Yard to Fork

www.yardtofork.wordpress.com

I even have a snazzy new set of my favorite links up and a new bio under “About Me.”    Come take a look!

Valentine’s Fun

Oh my goodness, these Valentine’s Day treats were so easy, and they are so stinkin cute!

I decided to go very low tech and make chocolate dipped marshmallow pops in a kind of ode to the amazing Bakerella and her cake pops  (tell me you’ve seen these, they are AMAZING) and also to Amy Atlas and her ridiculously gorgeous candy bar table displays

These were so easy.   Seriously!

First I prepared my stand — just a gold box I had.  I cut floral foam to fit in the bottom.

Wrapped the foam in pink tissue paper and placed it in the bottom of the box.

Up next was prepping the marshmallow pops.  I took mini candy mold/cupcake wrappers and stuck a lollipop stick (you can get these at Michaels or any candy supply store) in the bottom of it.  Next, I just stuck a store bought marshmallow on top.  It’s best to prepare all the ones you’ll use in advance.

Next, you just melt white chocolate, add some food coloring and dip the marshmallow in the chocolate and then into the sprinkles.  

Stick the finished pop into the foam in your prepared box, cover with M&Ms and you get super easy and super cute Valentine’s treats!

Farm Tour – Abundant Life Farm

I’m still giddy from our little afternoon adventure to visit the farm and family who produces the meat we buy.   Jason and I decided to drive down to Dallas, which is just west of Salem, to visit the Jondle family and get a little tour of their gorgeous 210 acre Abundant Life Farm

We’re part of their “buying club” and get to select the cuts and quantities of meat we want each month, and they bring it up to a drop off location just a few minutes from our house.  It’s really the coolest thing ever.

Even just driving up and seeing their sign and house in the background, we knew this was going to be a fun and special afternoon.

Marilyn was kind enough to take a break from the farm duties to show us around — and was so patient in answering all my many, many, many silly “city girl” questions.

It was so fun to find out they moved up from the Bay Area ten years ago, leaving behind the software engineer gig Scott had, and hear their story about how they studied under the amazing Joel Salatin (you know, the awesome farmer in the documentary Food Inc.) before settling into their routine in Oregon.

They showed us their chicken coop — a little bigger than ours, eh?

And their sweet calf that they use for milk.

And the 80 cows they are raising for meat. 

Marilyn explained that this time of year they stay in the big barn we visited and munch on hay but come spring, summer and fall they move them around their property and let them graze on grass and clover.  No corn fed antibiotic pumped up cows here!

But by far, my favorite part was visiting the pigs!   They have seven right now, and at first they were pretty scared of us and wanted to stay huddled in their little cave (aka a camper top).

But pretty soon they came out to see who we were and what we were all about. 

They have such funny personalities — they were cracking me up!

It was fun to see how they do things on their farm and get to know the farmers who provide our meat to us. It costs a little more, for sure, but the quality of the meat and the way the animals are raised makes it all worth it. 

And now our freezer is all stocked up on farm fresh meat that is from just down the road!

Peek-a-boo

The middle of January always feels like no man’s land.  The hoopla of the holidays are over, rain is here to stay, and summer feels so far off. 

So that’s why seeing this today was super sweet.

Remember when I planted 100 tulip bulbs all around my yard this fall?  Well this is evidence that spring is indeed coming.  A little tulip sprout peeking out to see how winter is going!

Oh and this makes January a little more fun too — cuddling with Cliff as he lounges in his new dog bed.  Mr. Cliff is so cute, isn’t he?

Gratitude – 2009 Style

As 2009 is coming to an end, I’ve been thinking about all the things I am thankful for that have happened this year.  It’s been a wonderful year of learning new things, discovering new parts of myself, and slowing down to really appreciate what’s in my life.

So in no particular order, here are a few of the things I’m most thankful for from 2009.

First up, I can’t imagine my life without my little love bugs.

Or my favorite gluten-free take-out places — Bellagio’s Pizza and Chipotle.

And who knew how much I would love my backyard garden.

And its amazing bounty.

Or the crazy chickens who came to live in our backyard in August.

Giving us lots and lots and lots of yummy farm fresh eggs.

Not to mention, that living in this beautiful state where you can go on hikes that look like this really never gets old.

I also love all the amazing berries you can pick all summer long just down the road.

And I can’t forget about my new job where I get to work in the most beautiful office ever.

With super fun and smart colleagues, who are also friends.

And as cliche as it sounds, I’m so grateful for being healthy this year and am pumped about my re-found love for working out.  I’d forgotten how awesome sweating is.

By far my favorite workout partner for 2009 is Lady Gaga.
Her music + the gym = happiness.

And last, but certainly not least, I’m most grateful for all the wonderful friends and family I have in my life — with the top of the list being this guy.  I don’t really know how I got lucky enough to be his wife, but I’ll take it.

Happy end of 2009!  I can’t wait to see what 2010 brings. It’s gonna be good.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

Seasons are changing, or really, have changed around here in the last two weeks — and in more ways than one.  Not only is fall officially and undeniably upon us, but I’ve gone back to work having accepted my full-time dream job.  So lots of readjusting of schedules, packing of lunches, and buzzing of alarm clocks going on around these parts. 

I thought it might be kinda fun to share a few photos of some of my favorite things right now.  You know, just for fun.

First up, I love my crockpot.  I actually have two big ones and one small one and suppose I should call them by their newfangled name “slow cookers” but whatever one calls them, I’m convinced they are a working girl’s best friend.

crockpot

Partner to the crockpot, ahem, slow cooker is my beloved white board.  I fill it with my menu plan every week and it just keeps me on track and makes my life so much easier. Love it!

whiteboard

And all the effort that goes into filling that slow cooker and planning meals means I get to show up for work at the most gorgeous place ever.  I mean, really, don’t you think the building my office is in is just amazing.  

waller-hall

And back at the home front, I’m in love with my rain boots.  They make me happy every time I pull them on to go check on the chickens or see how my vegetables are coming along. 

boots

Last but not least, I put together my fall table centerpiece last weekend — inspired by one I saw in the Pottery Barn catalog.  It’s so festive and was so fun to do! 

centerpiece

Happy Fall, everyone!

Olympic Peninsula Adventure

To celebrate the final days of summer, we took off on a little five day adventure to the Olympic Peninsula and rented a house in the quaint little town of Sequim.  We tooled around town, hopped a ferry to Victoria Canada, and did lots of hiking in Olympic National Park.    We saw gorgeous scenery and enjoyed getting away from it all. A few highlights from our trip included …  

… gorgeous hiking in Olympic National Park

rainforest

rainforest2

 … rowing on Lake Crescent

row

… and the amazing view out the window of the house we rented

view

And if you’re up for seeing more, just click below and I’ve put some of our favorite photos to music so turn your sound on and enjoy!
 

Coincidentally while we were in Olympic National Park, the long awaited documentary Ken Burns created on our national parks premiered on PBS. I can’t wait to see it. Our national parks truly are one of our national treasures.