Monday, July 29, 2013

New England Adventure Part 2: Portland, ME

On Wednesday, we awoke to another cool, misty day and ventured to Monument Square to check out the Portland Farmers' Market local food scene...



I'm completely smitten with Portland with its mom and pop feel, working port, foodie-ness, and not to mention fiber stores galore to feed my felting addiction hobby...




  
 After some taste testing (yum, kohlrabi) and purchasing produce to pack for our day trips, we walked to the Public Market House...

Upstairs, the girls sipped on smoothies while Lane and I enjoyed burritos for lunch. At that point, the girls expressed their exhaustion and longing for a nap, so we decided to nix the rest of the day's plans and headed back to the Bradstreets' for a mellow afternoon.

The evening brought the smell of freshly baked bread wafting from Amy's kitchen, a table full of fresh foods and lovely conversation for dinner.
New England Adventure Part 1: Arriving in Maine
New England Adventure Part 3

New England Adventure Part 1: Arriving in Maine

 On July 8th, our car packed to the gills, we left Cleveland for a New England adventure. We got on the road several hours later than planned, which left us nodding off in the late, late hours with a three year old crying out in discomfort every 15 minutes or so. With 2.5 hours until our Maine destination, we decided to get a restful night's sleep in a MA hotel and then meander our way up the scenic route 1 the following morning. I must say, I was glad we were able to arrive in Maine during daylight hours. The views from the car window were breathtaking!

While traveling along route 1, we stopped in Cape Neddick to explore the Nubble Light Sohier Park area...


And this is where I teared up. It was that beautiful.

Aelyn was thrilled to be free of the car seat and immediately took to jumping and climbing the large rocks.

We continued our way up the Maine coast and eventually arrived at the Bradstreet family home, our wonderful hosts for the next week.

The guest room was bright, airy and cozy, and Aelyn immediately made herself at home...

The bedside table was thoughtfully stacked with books for the girls to enjoy, and guides, flyers and magazines for the coastal area were waiting our perusal...

After a tour of the house and gorgeous backyard gardens, we were treated to dinner at Becky's Diner in Portland, ME.
New England Adventure Part 2: Portland, ME

Friday, July 26, 2013

Celebrating Four

 Happy Birthday, sweet Aelyn!

She requested chocolate chip waffles for her Birthday breakfast...

and helped to crack, mix, and slurp...
A relaxing afternoon at the lake...

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting decorated by both girls for a little chocolate lover...


Glamma joined us at the park to celebrate...

Mermaids...


A ride on a driftwood branch...

  Silhouettes adventuring on the rocks...




Examining a feather with Glamma...
And as we all snuggled in bed she said, "I love chocolate cake. I love the beach. I love my Birthday."

Saturday, June 15, 2013

All Year Round Blog Carnival: Summer

sunnydaytodaymama

Simple Whimsy is excited to join as a co-host along with
 for the All Year Round Blog Carnival hosted by Sunnydaytodaymama.  All Year Round is a quarterly link collection of spring, summer, autumn and winter posts sharing seasonal thoughts, pictures, activities, crafts, recipes, books, art, nature study, projects, celebrations and more.


THE ALL YEAR ROUND BLOG CARNIVAL: SUMMER is now open and will remain open for new links until September.

Feel free to grab a button and link your old or new winter themed posts throughout the summer carnival (maximum 5 posts a day per blog). The summer theme is very flexible! Please be sure to link to the post URL rather than your home page. Your link will automatically post to all the co-hosting blog sites.
sunnydaytodaymama

Friday, May 3, 2013

Homemade Violet Syrup


The girls and I collected wild violets to try our hand at making violet syrup. 

We followed the instructions for syrup #1 here.


 Delicious! The syrup was used like any other- a topping for homemade waffles, biscuits and scones...

We also made a wild violet cake topped with violet glaze. I used the recipe for a basic 9x13 vanilla cake, reducing the vanilla extract to 1T and adding 6T of the violet syrup.
The glaze:
1 C. confectioners sugar
2T violet syrup
1T water

So tasty!

Friday, April 19, 2013

This Moment: Boing!

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. For more moments visit SouleMama.

Family Adventuring

While Lane was off work on Monday, we went on a family goecaching adventure. First stop was the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation.
Cache number one...

We came across and identified many different animal prints in the sticky spring mud.
Dog, squirrel and raccoon prints...

As the person usually taking the pictures, I'm trying to remember to hop in front of the lens occasionally. 
Proof that I exist, cache number two, and hubby adventuring...

Spring in bloom...

We came across a sea of walnut remnants that the girls figured came from a squirrel family feast.
Mother Nature's beauty...

On our way back to the car, we came across a large pile of shale...

Lane showed the girls how shale is constructed of layers and how easy it is to break apart...

After leaving the metroparks, our next stop was Emerald Corporate Park. We searched and searched but didn't find the third cache on our list.
Teasels, Layla leading the way, and playing "rescue from the island"...

 Field of Teasels...

We moved on to cache number four as the sun was beginning to set.
Aelyn climbing, stream crossing, a home for a gnome, and cache number four...

and we were treated to the captivating song of spring peepers...

We stumbled upon more animal tracks. 
Deer prints...

We found one more cache before heading home from a glorious day of family adventuring. As we were leaving the woods, I captured this sweet moment of Layla singing and dancing her way down the path...



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