Hermione’s Summer Reading List

I love these socks.  A lot.  So much that I went outside in 93 degree weather (did I mention it was 8:30 at night) to take these pictures.



I even put them on.

They are absolutely delicious and it breaks my heart that they’ll sit unused until September at the earliest, but I have a feeling they’ll be used enough to make up for the missed time.

 The pattern is the Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern from the lovely Dreams in Fiber.  I apologize for the wonky color, I couldn’t adjust the pictures to get the true hue without distorting the rest of the picture.  I used Cascade Heritage Paints number 9770 and even the website doesn’t show how dark and lovely it is properly.

Like Hermione I’ve got a big summer reading list planned.  I just cracked open Coop and am hoping to get my hands on Barnheart and Radical Homemaking sometime soon.  I’m finishing up Unconditional Parenting, but to be honest I can take it or leave it – there are somethings she brings up that I don’t agree with 100% and most of her “unconditional parenting” approaches seem to be a rehash of most attachment parenting techniques, just applied to old kids so it’s nothing too new.  Win some, lose some.

I also have my next big craft project started, which came in the mail the day after I finished Hermione

 (managed to score a larger needlework frame at the consignment shop today, so bye-bye embroidery hoop!)

I’ve got a long ways to go and have a September deadline for this one!

Shared @ Frontier Dreams, Small Things and CrunchyCatholicMama

Anything Goes {Pizza}

In my {slowly} expanding repertoire of family meals are a number of basics that I can put just about anything into and still have it turn out great.

One of these is my “Anything Goes” Pizza.  There’s really not much to it and I cheat a little – the crust is store bought, pre-made and so is the sauce just because I haven’t found the perfect recipes for these yet, but it’s whats on top that counts and that’s where the “anything” part comes in – it really is just what ever is pizza worthy in the fridge.  A few weeks ago AG  Pizza included bacon, green onion, garlic scapes and a liberal helping of Colby jack cheese and a regular favorite is “Pepperonioni” Pizza – onions, peppers and pepperoni.

Crust, Olive Oil, Tomato/Pizza Sauce, Veggies, Cheese, Pepperoni/Meat, a Little More Cheese.

I’ve found that this is the order it has to be in for me.  As a holdover from my extremely picky eating youth sometimes too many visible veggies can make me regress in my ways (please roll your eyes now, it’s entirely appropriate) so I use the greatest mommy trick ever -Smaller pieces, sauteed soft and hidden to insure that I am always ready to chow down.

I was the kid who firmly believed that pizza and veggies did not mix; in fact I was leery of anything other than pepperoni and cheese for years, but now I find myself devouring pizza topped with onions, peppers, and even tonight’s CSA addition – Bok Choy!  It seems silly for someone edging closer to 30, but for me it’s such an accomplishment.

If you ever stop by the house and need a bite to eat, I highly recommend the “Anything Goes” Pizza.

{please be warned that for the next few weeks all AGPizza will include liberal amounts of bok choy and the proprietors take no responsibility for the bok choy that finds it way into your purse or carry-on}

Shared @  SortaCrunchy (and friends!)
Frugally Sustainable

Paulie and Hermione

I often wonder what “normal” folk do during their summers and hope that I’m not terribly odd for my penchant of knitting things like wool sweaters and knit socks during a drought (or near drought, please start praying for rain if you get a chance).

I’ve found that sock knitting is just the ticket to keep my hands busy on my bus ride and during family movie nights so I’m thinking my Hermione’s should be done this week which is just in time for my next project to arrive; a cross-stitch for my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary this September.
Add to that list the quilt I want to complete for Henry’s second birthday, his winter hats and sweater for Henry,  my husbands new {Trigger} Gloves (he’s worn holes in the pair I made him three years ago) and hopefully some hand-mades for Henry’s cousins (including my recently announce Godson!) I think my hands will be busy thru next spring.
Other than the knitting we’ve been trying to keep cool here.  Biweekly swimming lessons are helping, along with long trips to the library at least once a week and future trips to the splash pad are in order.
Check out {here} to see some of the new books we’ve checked out and a few that are still on our list.
“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.”
~Russel Baker

Inspired: A Simple Living Booklist for Children

I can trace my love and interest in a simpler way of life back to one fateful episode of Reading Rainbow.  On that day they showcased the book “The Oxcart Man” and I was smitten.  Fully engrossed in the idea that things were once, and still could be, done by hand – that there was more to life than having most video games or the biggest car.  That book fully ingrained in my head that Spring and Summer were for being out side and watching the world grow and that Fall and Winter were for staying indoors and creating, preferably sitting comfortably between a spinning wheel and a crackling fireplace.

I’ve got the fireplace and the promise of a spinning wheel.

Books stay with you longer than you might realize – one day you might crack open an old classic and realize that what you do and how you live started with those exact pages 20 or 30 years ago.

These are a list of personal favorites and high recommended books that have inspired myself and others in the various facets of simple living during childhood.  They range from books about colonial and pioneer days to simple lessons about sharing and giving back and everything in between.

Everyone’s Simple Living journey is different – one person might plant a garden and another might buy a CSA.  Another might try to do with out as much as possible and her neighbor might stay up long nights in order to choose the best companies and products on which to spend his money.  It is as much about becoming aware of how our lives affect others as it is about remembering to sit on the porch and listen to the cicadas at night.

I encourage every parent, educator, aunt, uncle and babysitter who opens a child’s world with these books to be encouraging in the ideas that may creep into their minds.  Show them how to make a loaf of bread, knit a scarf, take a walk or ride a bike, visit historical museums or talk to those who may still remember “the good ol’ days”.

My Personal Favorites:

Anne of Green Gables

The Little House Collection

The Borrowers

Ox-Cart Man

Blueberries for Sal

The Little House

The Year At Maple Hill Farm

Little Women

The Giving Tree

Additional Reading – A few more personal favorites and some amazing recommendations from friends –
Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm by Alice and Martin Provensen

A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich

Heidiby Johanna Spyri

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

The Redwall Seriesby Brian Jacques

The Giver by Lois Lowery

Charlotte’s Webby E.B. White
All in a Dayby Nikki McClure
and so many more!!!
Keep an eye on my “Simple Living Books for Kids Pinterest Board” for more ideas!
What are you favorite books from childhood that kindled an interested a simpler way of life?  
Anything counts from books about the old’n days to  the book that made you want to start recycling, learn a new craft or just remember to stop and enjoy the world around you!
*I’d love to add some titles for older children about consumer/financial awareness and social justice in addition to anything else you might think of*

Shared and Featured over at 
Your Green Resource via LivedRenewed.com and SortaCrunchy.com 

and Little House in the Suburbs

Shared on

Natural Mother’s Network Seasonal Celebrations

Homestead Revival’s BarnHop

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The Summer Bucket List

Oh summer!  I haven’t missed you for years, seeing as I’m a fall/winter homebody.  However, this year, with a toddling little boy who’s really starting to discover the world around him the summer is glorious once again and I can’t wait to take advantage of all it has to offer. 

Here’s a sampling of our family (and mainly kiddo related) plans for the summer:

  • Trips to the pool + Swim lessons (starting on Tuesday!)
  • Backyard cook out with family
  • Awesome{fest}continues
  • Summer Reading Program for Adults and Kids!
  • Family Hikes at the Coralville Reservoir or The Palisades State Park
  • Fireworks for the 4th
  • Visit the Children’s Museum
  • Roadtrips!
  • Clothesline Tent
  • Run thru the Sprinklers
  • Try a “toddler” craft project – perhaps chalk paint
  • Homemade Popsicles
  • Play in the Rain
  • Make a Painting w/ kiddo
  • Feed the Ducks at the pond
  • Make a Sensory Tub
  • Play with a big cardboard box
  • Ice Cream Place Dates

Check out my Pinterest Board “Summer Bucket List” for the inspiration of our Summer B.List and more!