November 19, 2016

Friday things (Oops)

Oops! I missed the "Friday things" yesterday and I apologize for that, but here we are. This week has been a productive week. We have been getting little projects done to get ready for family coming in on Thanksgiving day. This will be the first time since we moved here to Oregon that someone has flown from Arkansas to visit us during a holiday. It's going to be exciting! We have a lot planned and the Friday after Thanksgiving I hope to have an update to our week. Meanwhile, we are slowly getting over all of the craziness of the election results and watching CNN every morning while I check emails makes it sink in more and more about how people feel. Of course, the media isn't the best place to learn about things in a calm manner, but watching rioters cause damage to public property and other places, really angers me. According to news outlets, most of the rioters weren't even voters. Being so close to Portland where we live, it bugs us to think people would take something that far when they didn't do anything to stop the outcome of which they are rioting about. Most people call us Liberals here in Oregon, but the ones that really have a voice and want what's important and good for the entire nation actually voted. The Mr. and I got into a discussion with the owner of the record store in Corvallis, Happy Trails Records, on where small business owners are concerned. His views were similar to ours in the aspect of, we will just wait, see what happens, then take action if needed. I do hope the nervousness that everyone feels right now subsides over time and good things are in store, but then again, I am always a half full kind of person. Of course, getting into political talks on a personal blog isn't smiled upon by some, but then again, as Erin from RMTL says, Shift your habits into something good: As in making yourself heard. This doesn't mean throwing bricks and boulders through windows, or spray painting your name on the side of a Starbucks. It simply means, get involved with the real people behind who we vote into office. In the SNS household we are Green Party. The Mr. and I are already deciding ways to get more involved with our local group here in the Willamette Valley. Do the same with your party, state, and affiliation. Don't take to the streets, or voice your opinion of hate and slander. You most certainly won't be heard by the right people. I hope these ideas lead you somewhere and ease your mind just a little.

Here are the things that made this past week great.

1. This road trip

We took a road trip to the William L. Finley Wildlife Refuge in Monroe, Oregon. The refuge was once a homestead of the Fiechter family-circa 1855. It's official name today is John Fiechter House


The carriage house on the property of the Fietcher family. Up the hill is the Cabell house/hunting lodge.

The house above is part of the preservation of the refuge. The primary management goal is to provide wintering habitat for dusky Canada geese. (source)

The burning of the land is the same type of controlled burning the Native Americans did to preserve and manage the land





2. This hike

At times we take hiking trips to McDowell Creek Falls near our home. This hike was a chance to see how much water had been collected in the falls since all of the rain we've been getting in the valley lately.

The Bean standing at the middle falls with PITA.


3. These Hawthorne berries

I have been investigating the Hawthorne tree in front of our house lately to see when the berries are just right for plucking. I determined that they are overripe by this time of year, but possibly will be good around the middle of October. I have been learning ways to use them for a tincture or salves and I am eager to experiment with the berries next year. (Maybe look for something in the shop in the future)

4. These boxes

Some of the subscription boxes I have each month tend to come in on the same weeks at times. This week I received a few back to back. The Honest Beauty box is above and it had the new Truly Restoring Shampoo and Conditioner, the Powder Cleanser, the free sample of the Invisible Blurring Power, and a free sample of the Beyond Hydrated Shampoo and Conditioner. I will say, the Invisible Blurring Power is amazing and The Bean and I really like the Beyond Hydrated Shampoo and the Sea Salt Spray-not pictured. If you haven't tried Honest Beauty, give them a go.

We also received our Honest Company box this past week too. In the box was a surprise for the Halloween season; Their yearly Halloween bag. We have been getting The Honest Company now for two year and this is the second time we've gotten a special gift during this time of year. The Bean used his bag from last year to go trick-or-treating with, but they are good for everyday use as well.

Also, the Walmart Beauty Box for Fall came in this week. This is a seasonal box that comes out four times a year. I have actually canceled this subscription due to the fact that some of the products are starting to repeat and it contains products that I don't really use on a regular bases anymore. It was great to get it for a year though! If these are products that you enjoy you can sign up for this seasonal box here.


5. These lifestyle changes

The Mr. and I have been on a mission to eat better and actually maintain that better lifestyle. I was a vegetarian for about six year when we first moved to Oregon and a lot of the foods I ate came from the local coop. I don't have plans of going back to full vegetarianism, but some of the lessons I learned have carried over to our eating habits now. The Mr. and I have been shopping strictly through our local coop for foods and have even purchased a turkey for Thanksgiving at our local shop. Of course, the photo above is of the Sundance Natural Foods Cooperative in Eugene, Oregon, and we enjoyed lunch there this past week. Their hot bar is amazing! Our local cooperative is First Alternative Coop in Corvallis, Oregon.



Have a great weekend!

By the way, if you're so inclined to get organized before the holidays here's some wonderful advice from Colorado Space Solutions. Anne from CSS has been a lovely person to communicate with lately on organizing and I feel I must pass along their article on "30 Home Organization Bloggers to Follow Right Now." The article is packed full of great bloggers and they give some amazing tips you might not have thought of. I hope it helps you in your organization journey.  Enjoy!

November 11, 2016

Friday things

Hey there. TGIF! Hope the week has been good to you and you are slowly recovering from the election draining excitement disappointment. I've been reading a lot of other bloggers this week and have seen some really upsetting posts about how everyone feels. Nothing too harsh or disturbing, but a lot of the women bloggers are upset that the United States didn't make history with Hillary Clinton. I get it. I completely understand why these women are bummed, but being Green Party in the SNS household, we are on our own disappointment ship with Jill Stein. Having the first woman in office would have been a great step for women in this country, maybe even the world. But we have to swallow hard, move on, and accept what we have been given. I have always told The Bean, "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." What good would it be to pout and cry over the results and let him see The Mr. and I so down in the mouth over it. We are pretty open-minded folks over here and the only thing we can say is, darn it, but let's just see what he can do for us now. Reading Twitter is seems the hashtag of #NotMyPresident is trending. It's a real shame that more people can't swallow their pride and accept what we've been given and hope for the best. But then again, most people can't seem to swallow their own pride and be more humble about much of anything. Here's to moving forward...

Here are the exciting things that made our week interesting.

1. This food adventure

This past Sunday, The Mr., The Bean, and I went to the Fill Your Pantry yearly event in Corvallis, Oregon. We stocked up on yellow onions, red and yellow potatoes, oats, pastry flour, squash, and some random jellies, and berries. This was the first time we've been to this event and it will definitely be something we do next year. We left there with enough food to last us for about six months and we only spent $75.

2. This fog

We've had quite a foggy start to the mornings here this week. It was foggier this morning than it has been the last few days, but once the sun came up and the wind picked up a bit, it rolled on through.

3. This tiny visitor

While cleaning the windows and dusting the sills this week this little guy was looking for a way out. I picked him up and expected him to tuck in his shell and hide from me, but he did quite the opposite. We had a short meet and greet and I placed him in one of my outdoor plants and wished him well.

4. This squash

As per the post above, this spaghetti squash was part of our haul from the Fill Your Pantry event. I have always wanted to try spaghetti squash in place of regular spaghetti noodles and I finally dove in head first. It was easy to bake and even easier to shred. The Mr. and The Bean enjoyed it, so I would say it was a success! 
Recipe:
Slowly and carefully cut squash lengthwise from stem to bottom with a serrated knife.
Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper to your own taste.
Lay face down (cut-side down) on a parchment-lined baking sheet
Bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
Allow to cool for about 30 minutes and shred "noodles" with a fork.

5. This book

This book. It's worth a read and you can find it here.


Have a great weekend!

Side note: I just want to take a quick 
second and say thank you to all of 
those that served, currently serving, 
and those that have lost their lives
giving us what we have today. 
Your sacrifice reminds us that 
freedom comes at a cost. I do hope
that your sacrifice isn't forgotten in
the future with the "changes" 
coming to our country.

November 4, 2016

Friday things

What a week. As with the last four weeks, we've had a lot going on and it's quite exhausting. The start of the seventh grade school year happened, downsizing our clothing collection-still working toward our minimal lifestyle, furniture purchases, new mattress purchase (will share soon), and enduring bouts of rain. We've also been preparing for family visits this Thanksgiving and I couldn't be more excited to have that happen this year. It's been a real productive four weeks. We always look forward to the weekend here in this house and this weekend this welcomed with open arms; No rain! Although we have a lot going on here, I still try to carve out some time to share our week. Last week we were under the weather a bit and I honestly didn't feel like getting out of bed much. Not sure what we had going around, but it knocked the wind out of our sails, that's for sure. The Bean and I are still fighting the last leg of it. We've been defusing tea tree oil and inhaling eucalyptus the last few days and it seems to be helping kick whatever we had-I'm thinking a stuffy head cold. Now we are up and about and feeling back to ourselves more and can share a little update. So here are the things we've been up to lately.

1. This birthday boy

Friday (September 30) we celebrated The Bean's thirteenth birthday and it was a blast! I honestly can't believe it! Thirteen. It's hard to swallow, but The Bean has grown into such a great person and the fantastic little man that he is. I have been having a difficult time accepting that he is actually 13 now, but just like when he was 12, it will sink in soon enough. I wish that time would stand still for just a bit, but the sad part about it is, it never will. Being present is the only way to fulling be content with what is right in front of us. He has made his dad and me so freaking proud and I couldn't see any other way to spend my life than with this great boy and his wonderful ways. Happy birthday still, my wonderful Bean! (Side note: we did a little celebrating for The Mr. back on September 16, too. I have to mention a little something for him since he is the greatest part of our family and the rock that holds steady when the ground is rocky. I do love you so!)




2. Road trips









We've taken a few road trips here and there lately just getting out and about when it isn't raining. We've done a few geocaching runs and I will share those soon.

3.  Sun moment

The sun finally made an appearance here the last few days and The Bean and I couldn't be more excited to see it. Loads of rain is great, but after awhile it really gets to be a bummer.

4. Pumpkins galore

The Valley floor is covered with fields of pumpkins at the moment. It looks like a fall-lovers paradise with all of the orange dots on the ground. Makes me wonder what it looks like from an airplane.

5. Our minimal adventure

We have been on a steady purge session for the last few months. Things are starting to really come to gather and I can see light at the end of the tunnel. It's pretty liberating, to say the least. 

(If you've noticed, I have changed the "Week-end" and "Sparks of Love" posts to "Friday things." I feel Friday is the best day to post the highlights of our week on and just labeling it "Friday things" just seems right.) -TGIF to ya!

Have a great weekend.
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