Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Beach Fun…

Living close to one of the greatest beaches in East Coast was finally a dream come true to us. I have to admit it was a huge accomplishment for me. I LOVE the beach since I was a little girl. Best memories are built and made by the sea at least for me. Beach is something that has been incorporated for me to visit my grandmother when I was growing up. She was a wonderful person who has touched m heart very deeply in my life and I miss her very much.

Well my story here is we have not yet build up any routines to appreciate the beach we have. And we are still much unorganized visiting the beach. So I am working on this I know with all the crazy things going in my life. I am looking forward to do some creative activities at the beach. I would love to say right now we appreciate the beach as it is.

Little Nicolette loves the water and to hang out with her big brother. Niegel was always a water baby his love for the beach I don’t think I can put to words. For both of them it is a very special trip/treat going to the beach. We were at the gooseberry beach in RI. We have been there twice this year. Not yet our beach we are still exploring but we love this spot so far…
Love the ambiance around this beach and the town.

This time I was able to walk in the town and got a treat for myself as well. I love the art shops in this town. We have to make few more trips to the beach…

Quote of the day “cultivate an awareness of your surroundings”


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Storm watch…

We had a lot of winds during the storm we were in the border of Taunton, MA which received wind 58 miles. We were glad that hurricane Irene mellow down to tropical storm. My older one had not watch a tropical storm before so there were so many questions about weather and we were glued to the TV. What do you when you are out of electricity well a lot of game boards and trying to sleep through the storm is not a good idea?

One good thing we did before the storm was cutting down one of the older maple tree was a blessing. If we were to have that in our property we had to incur a lot of damages.
We still have few more maples to cut down. There were more than 61,000 cases of tree damages in the state of Rhode Island. We were there on Sunday they were getting ready for the hurricane Irene. We enjoy going to the gooseberry beach in RI.

There were few branches on our yard we end up chopping and bagging to haul to the recycle center. Everyone was hauling branches and I had to stay in line to park the car unload my bags finally with two trips yard is somewhat cleaned. We just started to grow grass. We are eager to see how the seeds are holding up after Irene.

Quote of the day “learn to deal with discomfort”


Monday, August 22, 2011

Topponcino Covers with Designer Fabric…

Yes. I recently did a designer fabric topponcino from Merimekko fabric line and it was a lot of fun. I had so much fun creating this topponcino for a client in Japan. I know Crate and Barrel does a wonderful job in creating beautiful pieces with this lovely print which I have come to love recently.

Here are some of the custom made topponcino covers that I made. I wish I had an opportunity to work with all the three prints I meant to say sizes of the print. I would love to see how this is going to work in a fabric ball.

I also found out that this fabric so expensive in Japan comparing to states. Matter of fact I had few more customers request me to make more designer fabric topponcinos…. I personally think it is a great way add some character to your new ones nursery.

Quote of the day “go the extra mile”


Friday, August 19, 2011

Homemade Chinese for Dinner

My kids love Chinese food… Yes, they crave for it… I am O.K. with it but Panduka loves it. My son was gone for summer camping. I wanted to cook something special for his homecoming after 1 week of summer camp. They do real camping and he was meeting his requirements for boy’s scout camping.
I was able to go to the farm stand after school I have been visiting this place mainly to cool off with an ice cream since it was super hot past couple of days. I meant to take the kids but I didn’t have much luck this summer. Last visit I got some patty pan squash, zucchini from my neighbor, and had some store bought snow peas. So I decided to make my own Chinese with the vegetables I had I wanted to keep it simple, healthy, major factor did not want to go to the grocery store at all.

So here is my version of Chinese chicken with vegetables.

2 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs dark soy sauce
3 tbs oyster sauce
1 tsp Chinese soy base chili paste
1 tbs Hoisin sauce
1 tsp corn starch mixed in with all the above sauces together and set a side
3 tbs Chinese rice wine
I white onion
3 garlic cloves minced
1 thin slice of ginger minced
2 lbs chicken deboned thigh or breast cut into stripes
1 medium sized zucchini, thinly sliced
2 small patty pan squash, quartered and thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas
½ tsp of baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tbs cooking oil
1 tsp sesame oil

Add baking soda, salt, and pepper to the chicken and leave it aside for about 20 minutes. Add I tbs spoon of cooking oil to your pan and bring it to medium high heat. Add the garlic and ginger if you don’t like them use a slotted spoon to discard them. Now add chicken and cook it for about 13 – 13 minutes until golden brown take it and leave it a side. Now add the snow peas and cook them for a while 2-3 minutes until they turn bright green take them out of the pan leave it a side. Bring the heat up to high and add squash and zucchini toss them vigorously continue to fry for about 1-2 minutes.
Take them off the pan and leave it a side with the others. Now add the cubed white onion and sauté it until golden brown at this point if you don’t have any oil in the pan its ok. Now pour the rice wine along the side of the pan while scarping the residue from frying to make a sauce.
Now add your chicken, vegetables and the sauce and mix in well until the sauce is incorporated fully. Finally drizzle some of the sesame oil over your cooked dish. Serve it with white rice or steam rice and enjoy while it is hot.

One thing I like about this recipe is you get to control your oils more or less. My kids eat the vegetables this is an awesome way to introduce them into new vegetables.

Quote of the day “serve dinner with artistry”


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Outline the house with flower beds…

We all have been working extra hard to fix the yard. Which includes cleaning old underbrush, making beds, trimming bushes, adding compost, planting, and mulching this was a lot of work. It is not done yet still a work in progress. I have to admit our new old house keep us very busy but we love every aspect of it. I initially thought that I am not going to garden thins have changes or got escalated. I am done with summer school which gives me exactly 4 weeks of heaven. No research, papers to write, no assignments, no power points, no gallery visits and no summarizing. That’s a lot but I definitely had a ton of fun taking summer courses.

The fun part was I never thought I will squeeze in gardening to this busy schedule but I did since we had so many projects to accomplish. I have added two gardens to the house, one to the east side of the house and the other to the front side of the house. I am getting some hosta’s and hydrangeas this fall. Yes, I cannot wait to plant them and see how they are going to bloom coming summer. We still have plenty of work in our yard which includes cutting down and grinding an old maple stump. I have been digging in information on Victorian Style gardens lately. I would love to create something fun.

Getting back to my garden I have created a drought tolerant and a shade garden. I am not planning to water this garden once it is established. However this New England weather you cannot predict. We have been having so much rain I am very much motivated to create a rainwater garden.
What I needed from my drought tolerant garden was flowers; butterflies feel a safe heaven, variation with texture, four seasons, and some ornaments to add some character (which will be phase 2 to take off in spring 2012).

What I wanted from my shade garden was vibrant color, character, flowers, shaded coloring, pinks, whites, and greens.

What do you think? Do you think I have accomplished that goal? I would love to photograph this after 3 years and see the impact. Please feel free to share your thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and critiques…

Quote of the day “produce original work”


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Feeding duck, enjoying water, and blowing bubbles…

 I took little Nicolette to the pond the other day… we had a great time… I know I am in school but I didn’t want to waist away the beautiful morning and before it gets yucky. It is a quiet a nice walk from our house to the pond but totally worth it because Nicolette loves it.

She holds my hand most of the time through the walk but once in a while she loves to be alone and run along the side walk. I do let her run along the side walk as soon as we get to the safer side of the road. But the funny thing is she will run but not very far she will stop and wait for me or will run back to me which I enjoy very much because she always have a hug for me.

We had so much fun at the pond feeding the ducks… but the ducks are very friendly towards us I guess so use to people feeding them. I had some left over hotdog buns that we are not going to use so the duck were happy to gulp it down. I saw the mother duck with the baby duck they were adorable. After feeding the ducks we took a walk towards the pond with the water feature. It was so beautiful with the sunlight touching the ground through the tall tree branches. So here are some pictures of our trip to pond…

What do you do with your children… to enjoy the bounty of natural beauty during summer… I would love to hear…

Quote of the day “spend a lot of times with your kids”


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Repurposing Older Brother’s Bed for a Little Sister…

We bought this bed way about may be 5-6 years back for my son… the reason behind was him to be an independent sleeper. I didn’t have much luck with that he use to sleep with us for the longest time. Yes, I was in the weird parent club, non Montessori club, wacko club… I cannot think of anything else because I let him sleep with us.

Finally it all changed when he decided to sleep by himself… He was ready. I hope Niegel won’t be mad at me when he decided to read this post one day. I was a young mother, I didn’t had many friends new to the country, job, married life, and raising a family without the support of my family members. I sure had some trick up in my sleeve it was determination, determination, and determination. So I did the best I can…

May be this is a strong impulse for me to sell topponcino’s for infant online… ha… ha… to encourage independence at a young age I wish I took my A to I training when I was young but it was not in my agenda…

Let’s get back to my repurposing I decided to paint the whole bed in white with a short time period I was able to achieve this task with. I sanded it re painted it looks gorgeous in her room… Nicolette is not sleeping on the crib mattress on the floor any more. She is in a big girl bed and she does a awesome job by sleeping all by herself very independent cannot ask for any more…

I am happy the old bed found a new place in our nest… I worked hard to add some depth to the bed by sanding and revealing the wood tones to keep it country looking… Currently I am looking ideas to give a makeover for her sheets… if you have any thoughts please add to your comments…

Quote of the day “Look for the best in new ideas”


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Topponcino with Many Layers

I had the opportunity to make some custom orders very recently. I was asked to make the topponcino into a certain weight. I made the topponcino to 300g and it worked It was challenging to get the all the layers together. Fun thing is I did it and now I have add that as a new item for those who are looking for extra layers.

Why do you need extra layers if you are in colder climates this is ideal, If you want to give that extra cushion this is great, and if you want your newborn to be cuddly this is GREAT!

You might want to know waht goes in here same all natural un- bleached cotton batting. Only difference is this topponcino has many layers. Cover material is the same un-bleach muslin.

If you are looking for a Montessori Gift, this is a perfect baby shower gift...

Quote of the day “teach intelligent decision making”


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Camping in Seneca, NY…

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Yes, with all the craziness going around we decided to go camping. This was well thought out and planned with friends. We booked the site without calculating how far the campsite was… Yes, but it’s all worth the effort… we decided to camp at the Sampson State Park in NY, I wanted to get away from over scheduling myself. Niegel was looking forward to camp since that is his expertise. Actually he has become an expert in camping.

I am pretty sure down the lane he kept his interest same way he could hold an incredible surviving camping show on discovery channel. Our heartfelt thanks’ goes to the Boys Scout of America for changing him for who he is.
Niegel and dad decided to cross the lake and finally understood that it was a task that needed more commitment and change their mind after crossing 2/3 rds of the lake. The temperate was so high I bet it felt good to be at the water.

Little Nicolette on the other hand had a blast with our friends little ones… At last someone at her age that runs… and can look right into her eyes makes a huge difference. We celebrated a wonderful B’day party at the camp. Little Nicolette decided to asks for “Happy Cake” every single day after camp. So we bought a cake from the local grocery store and had some candles “Just for her”

Seneca County in NY had a lot to offer… I wish I took the camera to capture some fun moments of wine tasting… Little Nicolette enjoyed organic cold grape juice which was insanely sweet. We took a long walk by the waterfall –gauge walk, immerse our feet in the cold water to cool the heat, and enjoyed the evening with more wine, bread, cheese, and much more… Kids had a great time running around… Unfortunately I had to do some chapter reading for school everyone else enjoyed the gorgeous weather… We enjoyed Sri Lankan food, tea, and milk toffee from our friends…

Beautiful Seneca County is nestled between Seneca and Cayuga lakes; the very center is called the Finger Lakes region. This beautiful county house lakes, beautiful landscape, to wine and in between.

Quote of the Day “see with your inner eye ,hear with your inner ear”


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Topponcino covers made with prints…

I meant to blog on this for a while however with the work load an everything else this project got buried. However I did not want to forget about this wonderful addition that I made to my online store. Those who are into Montessori and new to Montessori way of life would love to have a little bit of color in their nurseries. After few requests I decided to introduce printed topponcino colors.

I do love and adore the original white topponcino cover which is always in high demand but I also like to see some new prints once in a while to see beautiful designs and new colors…

This is a new addition already some of you come to love. I am working on adding more covers during these coming weeks… So if you are looking to add a little bit of color please do visit often to see what’s new in the store…

Quote of the day “let change feel good”


Monday, August 1, 2011

Aththamma Visits… from Sri Lanka…


We were very excited to have Aththamma from Sri Lanka to celebrate Niegel’s Birthday… and to enjoy a little bit of Sri Lanka food, dry fish, and most importantly Sri Lankan tea.

Being away from Sri Lanka for a long time and not having my own family living in Sri Lanka it is really hard to have some Sri Lanka goodies. Also this was a great opportunity for to practice my religion which is to let go some of holdings… may be in other word likings… enjoy what I have… I have been practicing this concept lately a lot… I guess sometime we all need reminders on that subject.

However Aththamma got us some tea we enjoy every day… The other day in my class presentation one of the girls gave a presentation about an artist’s/photographer who worked in East Asia capturing the beauty of nature few decades back and she was trying to pronounce Ceylon… with the help of the professor she finally did and I was just happy to hear that my professor knew so much about Sri Lanka… specially the beaches… you cannot find anywhere else… I do miss it may be that could be a reason I want to make my home close to the Cape…

I did share my precious tea with my new neighbors… they all appreciated it very much…

Quote of the day “it is not our preferences that cause problems, but our attachments to them”