Friday, September 30, 2011

this and that

photo from last fall
aaaaahhhhhh, the never gets old, does it? 

here's a little from our week:
Eating: SOUP! I love soup. It is sooooooo NOT soup weather yet, we all dripped sweat into our bowls as we ate our supper in the 85° weather. But, it's fall, and therefore, we eat soup.
Still fantasizing about: I had a Hatch Family Chocolates frozen hot chocolate last weekend.....mmmmmmm.....
Running: or trying that is. Extra time is hard to come by these days, but this race is coming up in just a few short weeks....I need to get on it!
Seeing: Each morning on our drive to school we see more signs of fall all around us. The mountains are about to explode with color!
Smelling: Woodsmoke at night. I love it.
Feeling: cold. cold. SO HOT. Sweaty. Cold. Fall weather is confusing.
Watching: Up All Night. I really really love Will Arnett, and think this new show is going to be a keeper.
Wishing: We could go camping. Right. This. Second. The air is so perfectly crisp and I wish to fall asleep under a colorful canopy of aspens. 
Quoting: Jim Henson (see more of my favorite quotes here)
they remember what you are
photo by me, from this trip.

Photographing: For our cookbook shoot this week I shot a whole cooked fish. With eyes. And teeth. I swear it winked at me. This weekend I'll be shooting a gorgeous bride....that is about as opposite as you can get, my friends.
Anticipating: I have a big Dr appointment (darn lyme) on Monday. It's always a mix of excitement/nerves/sweaty armpits/gassy-thoughts-of-what-will-he-say, fluttering around in my stomach.....gulp.
Loving: Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk from last weekend. Please, please, if you have a couple extra minutes go read it. Here is just one of my favorite parts--he is talking about the story "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", when Willy Wonka hides the coveted Golden Ticket in five of his candy bars. 
Pres. Uchtdorf says:
"In this classic children’s story, people all  over the world desperately yearn to find a golden ticket. Some feel that their entire 
future happiness depends on whether or not a golden ticket falls into their hands. In their anxiousness, people begin to forget the simple joy they used to find in a candy bar. The candy bar itself becomes an utter disappointment if it does not contain a golden ticket."
point being, let's all try to enjoy the little things a bit more......and eat more chocolate:)
You can go HERE to read the rest (I promise you'll like it!)

Have a fun weekend!! 
I'll be back in a few days, after I've sweat nervously all over the Dr's office. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

beyond pb&j

School lunch. 

The second hardest part of sending the boy to school each day (the first being that we MISS him!!), is the fact that I am not there when he eats lunch--I feel like I am sloooooowly loosing control.

At home I know exactly what my kids are eating, and call me a control freak, but I like it that way.

I have had a hard time trying to come up with new ideas for lunches each day.....we use lunch time at home to eat up a lot of dinner leftovers, most of which are hard to send in a lunch box.

My goal is to keep the boy's school lunch healthy, filling, with some "cool" stuff in there too, 
so he's only 85% weird:)

Here are a few of the things that we have tried out so far:

-pb&j of course! Unless your school is one of the few that can't have peanut butter.....I would die. 
We love pb over here, but there's also the option of almond butter.
-turkey/ham/tuna sandwich 
-turkey+cheese+spinach+ranch/hummus rolled up in a tortilla
-yesterday's tabouleh recipe
-cold pizza
-tortellini (or any kind of pasta)+tomatoes+mozzarella cheese+spinach+zucchini+a little bit of your favorite vinaigrette

-peas/carrots/cherry tomatoes + hummus
-cheese + crackers
-fruit.....whatever we have around
-hard boiled egg
-veggie chips

-fruit leather
-dried fruit
-a cookie! (when I make cookies I keep the extras in the freezer so I can send them away with my family instead of eating them all)
-yogurt. or "Gogurt" if I'm feeling like a cool mom. I have found organic options that are just regular yogurt in a tube, rather than crazy dyed and syrup laden slop.
-clif Z bars 

I mostly send milk money-- he gets to have chocolate milk on Fridays, and some days he gets a 100% juice, juice box.

I would LOVE to hear what you are packing in your lunches.....we would like to increase our options!

What are YOU eating?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's for Lunch: Tabouleh!

Think back to when you were just a wee little tyke in elementary school. 

Did you
a) eat hot lunch
b) eat a "cool" cold lunch (packed with lunchables, twinkies, fruit by the foot, and gushers)
or c) eat a "not cool" cold lunch with a sandwich, normal uncool fruit, and juice in a Rainbow Bright thermos? 
(I'm raising my hand on option c)

I am fully aware each morning, that I am making my kid very uncool lunches for school 
(seriously what IS in a Gusher? He will never, ever know)

We had this for dinner the other night, and I half heartedly asked him if he would want some of the left over salad in his lunch box the next day. 
Was his simple answer. 

(which it really isn't anything close to what traditional Tabouleh is, but that is easier then calling it 
Bulgur Wheat Salad with Tomatoes and Peppers and Other Stuff.....)
The beauty of this is that you can add whatever veggies you have on hand--cucumbers, spinach, squash.....anything goes.

1/2 cup dry bulgur 
(to prepare bulgur, add to 1 1/2 cup boiling water and let sit for about an hour, until all the water has been absorbed)

then mix in:
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1-2 large tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, shredded
large handful of fresh parsley, chopped
few TBS of chopped fresh mint
juice of one lemon
a few drizzles of olive oil
salt to taste

We ate ours in warm whole wheat naan with hummus.

And the boy took his to school the next day in a little jar, with a fork.

I think that's pretty cool.....


***Some of you asked last week about posting about school lunch ideas. This is in the works and I can't WAIT to hear what you all are packing!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

advertise with the little red house!

ads. I love ads. one little blip can say so much.
Screen shot 2011-09-26 at 9.02.41 PMScreen shot 2011-09-26 at 8.55.55 PMScreen shot 2011-09-26 at 8.57.13 PMScreen shot 2011-09-26 at 9.01.39 PMScreen shot 2011-09-26 at 9.09.02 PM

I would love to have your ad on The Little Red House!

If you have something you'd like to advertise, 
The Little Red House
would love to help promote you!
Artists, bloggers, makers-of-awesome things, designers, photographers, shop owners, writers, entrepreneurs....whatever you may be, we'd love to have you!

Please email me sheenajibson at gmail for (super duper low) rates for the Holiday Season, sponsorship info, or any questions you may have, like, "where can I get myself one of those vitamin donuts, followed by clothes for chubbies"?

Also. I have had a small handful of people ask if I would ever offer a calendar for sale, with photos from the blog. Is this something that anyone besides my mother and grandmother would be interested in?
 Let me know......thanks!

Monday, September 26, 2011

hello, fall

If you look closely, you can see it.
Tiny bits of color sneaking up on to the edges of even the greenest of leaves. 
Creeping down from the canyon, and spreading out across the valley.

If you are still, and you listen, you can hear it.
The birds are quieting, the garden is tired of growing and bending over to reach the ground.
There is a quiet breeze winding its way out of the sky.

If you step outside, you can feel it.
The crispness in the air, the sting of cold in the early morning.
The sun is getting lazier, stretching our shadows out across the grass.

If you close your eyes and inhale, you can smell it.
and smell it.
and smell it again.
A hint of leaves and woodsmoke in the air.
My favorite.

And as if these things weren't all good enough.......
...there is the taste of fall as well.
crisp apples
baked squash
and hot cocoa.

We drove up the canyon to officially welcome the fall that is quickly making it's way down.
I can't wait for the color to spread....
and spread
and spread
and spread.
drive1 copydrive3 copydrive2 copy

the end.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

so long, farewell

big ocean instaxlake instax

Dear summer,

The time has come again--it comes every year. The time you decide to leave us--quietly slipping out the door. 

I usually get mad at you--angry that you could leave me after all we've been through. 
But I decided, rather than kicking and screaming in an end-of-summer tantrum, I'd just say thank you.

Thank you for the warm nights where we ate ice cream in the grass until the sun went down. 

Thank you for your starry skies that blinked down on us as we sat by a fire, high on top of a mountain. 

Thank you for the heat. OH! Dry summer heat that grabbed us by the hands and drug us to the pool, day after day.

Thank you for the s'mores. All 700 of them that I'm pretty sure I ate. 

Thank you for no bedtimes, no schedules, no shoes, and no responsibilities, whatsoever.

Thank you for the opportunity we had to drive and drive and drive to see the the world's tallest trees, and to chase the waves in and out of the ocean. 

Thank you for your warmth and rain that made the earth sprout and grow tall, so we could eat delicious food, straight from the ground.

Thank you for new freckles, sun kissed skin, and pink and fiery sunsets every night. 

Thank you for your powerful thunderstorms that light up the house and shake the walls, reminding us that we are small. 

Thank you for fireworks, rodeos and burgers on the grill. 

Thank you summer, for being you. Don't forget to come back soon.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011


radiator charlies, my favorite

Since the beginning of the year, I have been posting about tiny steps we can all take day by day become just a little bit healthier. I've loved writing the posts--but even more, I've loved all the comments I've got on the subject. You people are SMART! I have learned so much and got so many great ideas from you all, thank you!

Here are the topics we've covered, starting with my super awkward 6th grade self:

I would like to continue our "discussions", but thought I'd ask what YOU would like to talk more about? 
My family and I have come along way in living a healthier lifestyle over the past few years, but I know there is always room for improvement. I love sharing what we've learned, and hearing from all of you. 

So tell me, 
what are some more healthy living topics you'd like to talk about? 
If you have a question I feel like I can answer, I'll post about it! 
If you boggle my mind, I'll turn it over to my super smart facebook friends to help you out!

let me know what you think....I can't wait to hear it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

jars full of summertime

I love making jam. 
I don't know why......
maybe because it's a way to keep summer in our house when the winter months are cold and colorless.
maybe because it makes me feel old fashioned and housewifey.
or maybe it's just because it tastes, really good.

I just know it makes it a little easier to say goodbye to summer, knowing that I'll have a bit of it stashed away for months to come.
and makes me want to make some bread to go with it......right now.
peach jampeach jampeach jampeach jampeach jampeach jam
I highly recommend this song to go along with this post.
haha watch out for peach ninjas.
more jam posts here and here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

sunset on summer

The Beach House.
This is our ninth end-of-summer here. 
It is a real. true. vacation. 
Salty air you can taste.
Running from the waves (and then chasing them back into the ocean) 
Digging for sand crabs (and bringing them home in the laundry.....whoops)
Reading and lounging and sleeping in the sunshine. 
Ten crazy little boys and three just-as-crazy little girls who go-go-go from sun up to sun down.
Late nights eating the junkiest of junk food and laughing until we cry.
Then waking up the next morning and doing it all again.  
bh13 copybh5 copybh15 copybh16 copybh2 copybh14 copybh3 copybh11 copybh9 copybh7 copybh6 copybh4 copybh17 copybh18 copybh19 copy
As hard as it is to say goodbye to summer, this is the best way to do it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

tying her shoes

I have 10,000 beach photos to go through, but excuse me as I take a moment and stand up on my tiny little box in my tiny little house, and preach for a minute.
stop reading here, and just enjoy the adorable ballerina, if you don't like being preached to.

My camera is always on the counter/table/dresser--loaded and ready to go. 
(bonus of having a tiny house--the camera is always close)
I keep it out so I can quickly grab a photo without the kids even knowing, and photo taking then won't get in the way of day-to-day activities.

I HATE posed pictures. 

You know, the kind where kids are wearing uncomfortable matchy matchy clothes, standing/sitting/lying in an awkward position, and holding a prop that makes no sense for them to be holding. 
(and don't even get me started on putting babies in/on things they don't belong in/on)

This is my girl on her first day of ballet.
She was "tying" her shoes. 
It was adorable. 
I couldn't resist it, and had to act fast--this one is all full of cheesy smiles and princess head tilts when the camera comes out.

"Technically" speaking, there are most likely 107 things wrong with this photo. 
But I have never been one for technicalities, and throw them into the hot September wind 
(along with props and uncomfortable clothing.)
All I cared about was a quick shot of a little girl getting ready for her first day of dance. 

And I think I got that.
It's little moments like this that I want to remember most. 
Moments in our little lives that we will some day look back on as our favorites.