Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haunted House

Ok, I don't think it's really haunted, but it's definitely scary at times!

I don't have a mantle to decorate anymore (tv on top of the fireplace) so I took over the table near our entryway. And we have a great big bay window in the kitchen that we've filled with window clings and things (like sticky fingerprints). And this cool chandelier from the dollar store. It's only paper, but I like it! The fabric garland is from last year.

I also made a garland out of skeletons and fabric scraps and clothes pins and photos. I love taking little bits and pieces of things I have already and making them into something fun.

I think our most favorite thing (so far) is our 'art project'. I've had a few treats and toys lately to provide incentive (bribe) the kids to be more helpful/cooperative. We did the 'art project' in a few steps over a couple of days. It kept their interest and I was able to stretch it out a bit.

I asked Mr. Mittens to cut up some wood. Then the kids each sanded, put on a base coat, painted and picked out pictures to mod podge onto their blocks. Awesome! And again, pretty cheap (I had most of the supplies and got the cute paper cuts on sale at Michaels).
We all had fun! (and yes, my walls are a weird 'dusty plum' color. that's another post)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Newborn Nori

It's wonderful to see your friends become new parents!
(and I totally mean that in a nice way and not a 'welcome to your life with no sleep, haHA' kind of way)
Welcome sweet Baby Nori!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Photo Special

Photos For Christmas?

$150 per session (payable at your session)
Outdoor natural lighting (don't be afraid of the weather!)
15-20 edited images on a dvd to print as you like
Calgary/Bragg Creek area

email: sosmittenphoto (at)

Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have questions!


Sunday, October 17, 2010


I love taking photos with a Halloween theme! Last year I was feeling very Tim Burtonesque, but this year I just grabbed some things we already had in the house and headed out to the backyard. I found a really sweet spot in the trees and that was it. If only getting the kids to cooperate was so simple. Luckily a pouty face often works just fine!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Thankful-Turkey Dinner

The past few years Mr. Mittens and I have worked out a pretty good system for holiday meals. He prepares the big meats and I do the veggie sides. My sister often brings appies/condiments or some other tasty dish. And we buy the pie, preferably pumpkin from SunTerra. Yum! It's not too stressful, always tasty, and has worked really well for us.
This year Mr. Mittens wasn't feeling well and didn't go out and buy the bird. So we just sort of agreed not to have one. I didn't even have to beat him with the vegan stick. I have enjoyed many a turkey in the past, but I like a lot of other things too, so I figured it wouldn't be a huge deal.

So we had:

whole wheat buns (and no, I didn't make those either. I don't have ALL the time in the world)

homemade cranberry sauce (with maple syrup and orange juice instead of the white stuff)

spinach salad with those yummy little oranges and homemade dressing (easy peasy)

pickles and olives (always a crowd pleaser around here, certain small people consider them main dishes)

roasted vegies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, a few turnips and rutabaga, and carrots)

quinoa dish (I 'adapted' the Sensational Stuffing With Nuts recipe from The Vegan Table. I had the notion that I could take the recipe for stuffing and substitute the bread for quinoa. It didn't really taste like stuffing, but it was yummy.
  1. cook quinoa in veggie stock
  2. saute onion, celery, carrot
  3. mix together with a few spices like sage, thyme, rosemary
  4. throw all together with some dried cranberries, walnuts and chopped parsley

Mighty Miso Gravy (From How It All Vegan. A key component to add a meaty/hearty flavor. It's been a hit around here. I've also made this into mushroom soup just by increasing the veggie stock and flour and then adding a big of almond milk at the end. Adjust herbs to taste)

Mighty Miso Gravy

6-10 mushrooms chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 tbsp. Olive oil
2-3 tbsp. Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
Cayenne pepper (to taste)
Dried basil (to taste)
Dried dill (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1/3-1/2 cup of flour
1 1/3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tsp. miso

In a medium saucepan, saute the mushrooms and onions in oil on medium high heat until onions are translucent and mushrooms are tender. Add the Braggs, cayenne, basil, dill and pepper and stir. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the flour, mixing together well. It will become past and dry. Slowly start adding the stock a little at a time until everything becomes well mixed and there is no lumps. Place back into medium heat and simmer until sauce is thickened, stirring often. At the last minute, stir in miso and serve.

And to seal the deal, I also had some Tofurkey deli slices so we could have them in buns with cranberries and gravy. And no, it wasn't the same. And no, Mr. Mittens wasn't having any that.
But the kids like it just fine.

All in all, I think it was fairly successful. I don't think it was completely comparable to a full-on turkey feast, BUT, my stomach and my conscience are happier for it.
We are still blessed with abundance beyond measure. And we are thankful. And so is some crazy gobbling turkey somewhere running around today. HA!

I didn't get any photos of the BIG meal, but this is a bowl of leftovers. Still just as yummy. Maybe even more.
I don't want to give the impression that I'm 100% pure, healthy vegan eating all the time. Some things are pretty easy to avoid but I find myself still making my kids KD when I want a fast meal (with Earth Balance and almond milk) and then wanting to eat the whole pot of cheesy goodness myself.
And do not ask what we had for lunch at the amusement park, ACK!
I just tell myself that every good choice counts!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunshine and Stripes

Sometimes the light is just right and my subject so sweet, I can't resist! Even if it only lasts a few moments...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chillin' Thanksgiving

The kids and I have been to the amusement park several times ourselves, but it's a whole different experience when Daddy comes along! And all decorated up for Halloween. Even though it's Thanksgiving!

In this kind of situation it is wildly clear how different my boys are. I have one daredevil and one, not so daring.
The Bug was so excited to have Daddy go with him on the log ride, and his ultimate The Roller Coaster...and not the kid one, the BIG ONE. My five year old on the BIG ROLLER COASTER. He also likes the big swings and the drop of doom.
He's a lot of fun to go on rides with too, just to listen to him giggle with delight!

Sometimes The Bee doesn't want to be left out, and will agree to go on a ride, but then squeeze his eyes shut tight. I have to give him credit for pushing himself to be brave, when it's clearly not where he's comfortable.
Strangely, The Bee's favorite thing is the haunted house. He loves it.

Any other time we've gone, The Bee has wanted to play the games. And I always say no. I don't like them. Probably because I'm no good at them, and does anyone ever win those things?? Just a waste of time/money.
BUT, we were going all out this time and so we played. The kids tossed a few balls. Then the boys threw a couple of basketballs. The Bee got one in but didn't win anything. And then they tried to knock over some fuzzy monsters with baseballs. A couple of tries and nothing (even Daddy tried). One more game.
And then The Bee hit 3 of those fuzzy dudes, IN A ROW! My five year old won himself a prize! He was so cute. And so proud. He knew he could do it!
(and yes, then we had to buy weird stuffed animals for the other two, so that everyone was happy)

It was so fun to watch them having fun in their very different ways. To see them shine. We had a great day as a family with our favorite Auntie Shishi.
And then we went home and didn't have turkey. But that's another post...

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Poetry Bites

Red Sings From The Treetops

"Red splashes fall trees,
seeps into
every vein
of every five-fingered leaf.
Red swells on branches
bent low.

Red: crisp, juicy


This Is Just To Say

to Bobby

What Girls Want

Girls want a lion with a great shaggy mane.

Girls want a horse fast and sure.

Girls want a coyote that sings with his heart.

Girls want an eagle, soaring through the mountains.

Girls want a breeze that whispers its name.

Girls want a snowfall that makes the world new.

Girls want a dog that wags all over.

Girls want a cat that purrs to the moon.

Girls want a hedgehog that carries its own armor

but doesn't


use it.

Just to let you know.

by Maria

I have a poetry crush on Joyce Sidman!

Luke and Sienna