Mmmmmmonday! ~ Refrigerator Oatmeal Recipe

refrigerator oatmeal

I am by no means a morning person.  Any effort to make or put food in my mouth before 10:00 AM is far too much effort.  My plan is to make easy, healthy breakfast foods that can be consumed with little effort and prepared ahead of time so that I have no reason to not eat in the morning.

First up, is refrigerator oatmeal.  There are a million recipes for this online, and here is mine.


Refrigerator Oatmeal

1/3 cup oats

1 TBS Chia Seeds

1/2 cup milk of your choice

1/2 cup  Greek yogurt Plain

1/2 cup frozen or fresh fruit

1 TBS unsweetened coconut flakes

1 TBS chopped nuts

2 TBS Maple syrup


Put all ingredients in a pint jar and shake or stir to combine.   Put in refrigerator overnight.  Grab jar on your way out the door.  Breakfast is already made!

You can make two batches in one evening as this will keep for two days in the fridge.

Happy Mmmmmonday!

~Monika xoxo

In the Middle of Winter


Today I’ll be preparing for my first class in over a year of classes.  I’m both delighted and honestly, a bit nervous to start my journey.   Being certain that I’m on the right path is soothing my nerves.  I’ll definitely be tapping into my own invincible summer as I walk through the doors tonight.

For the first time in over a decade I’ll be a student and I’m very much looking forward to where my education takes me.

Any guesses as to what I’ll be studying before I make the big reveal tomorrow?

~Monika xoxo

WIP (work in progress) Wednesday

Wednesday WIP

Here’s a little sneak peek of a project I’m working on.  Inspired by Alabama Chanin’s amazing work, I set out to make a piece that is hand stenciled, stitched and beaded.  This project was started Thanksgiving week and if I give it a good push, should be finished this weekend.

Hopefully next week, it’ll be ready for its big reveal.

Happy crafting!

~Monika xoxo

The Year of the Dogs


Java for some reason does not like the camera. It took a lot of bribing to get this picture. Blanca, on the other hand, seems to love everything.

On New Years Eve our family was blessed with the addition of two darling dogs.  Java and Blanca are six-year-old sibling Lab mixes.  Their owners are friends of ours that were moving out-of-state.   Unfortunately for our friends they were unable to find a home to rent in their new state that would allow them to have dogs.

We weren’t dog ready when we decided to take the dogs.  In a matter of two weeks we were able to get a fence in place to keep them safe.  Done over the Holidays, and mostly in the rain.  Luckily, I had all of the shopping done and we had already planned on having a low-key at home celebration (little did we know it would include digging post holes and such).

In the last week we’ve gotten to know them and are learning their individual personalities.  Admittedly, I’m a cat person through and through so adjusting to dogs has been a bit challenging for me.  I’m not used to all of the attention that dogs bestow on their owners.    They have so much love to give.

What we’ve learned from being dog owners for one week:

  • The sofa is the most desired spot to sit in the yurt.
  • A bowl of kibble can disappear in seconds.
  • Kisses are always available to us, even if we’ve just received a bunch.
  • An hour-long grooming session is not long enough, if you ask these two.
  • Food is not safe unless it’s high up.
  • Chickens are not safe, even if they are on the other side of the fence.
  • Bringing home dogs that are house trained is the best idea EVER!

The entire family is over the moon about our new family members.  The boys make sure to play with them outside when they get home from school and Bodhi includes them in her plastic pony adventures.  Frank has buddies to roam around the farm with.  He’s been wanting a donkey to follow him everywhere, but I think that the dogs might work until he gets one.  I’ve got some good friends that help me keep an eye on things here.  I’m surprised at the peace of mind that they have afforded me.  I dare say that I might be becoming a dog person, even!

It’s been all dog all the time at our place lately.  I love it.

~Monika xoxo

A funny thing happened.


I set my intention for my new year and had a pretty solid plan to go with it.

1.  Get back to school.

2. Get to my goal weight.

It seemed simple enough.  Goals with a plan on how to get there.  I’d picked my school and was set to start this summer.  I’d figured out how I was going to reach my weight goal and had planned blog posts for the next week about working towards that goal.

Have you ever had all your ducks in a row, know exactly how you are going to accomplish something and then have all your well-intentioned plans derailed by a greater plan?  The ‘powers that be’ threw this at me in a big way this week.

I’m surprised and delighted by the change, but also a little unnerved.  You see, I had planned to start school in July.  You know, seven months from now.

Then a fortunate google search landed me at a school that had a better program, is closer to my home *and* the learning path starts in ….. JANUARY 2013.

Right.  One class starts next week and there is a workshop two weeks from now.  I’ll end up finishing school later as this program takes it’s time getting to the finish line and I think that will be for my betterment as well.

So there you go.  All of my blog posts have been derailed and my schedule has been changed drastically.  I’m excited beyond words and nervous too.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve been in school, or the work place for that matter.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

~ Woody Allen

I’m learning this lesson loud and clear.  This weekend I’ll be getting things in order for starting my education next week.   This also means that I’ll be sharing my vocational much sooner than I had anticipated.  So much is going on.  I’ve heard so many people declare that 2013 will be a year of transformation and growth.  I declared it myself, I just wasn’t expecting so much growth all at once.

I’m enjoying the ride, hoping you are as well!

~Monika xoxox

A new year, a blank slate.

I cannot believe that we are starting a New Year.  I swear just last month it was August, and just last week was Thanksgiving.  Where does all of that time go?

I’m not one to let a brand spanking new blank slate go by with out making some serious plans for it.  Every year starting at my birthday in early November, I start taking stock.  Looking at what I’ve accomplished, and where I am.  Looking at what I want to accomplish and what it will take to get there.  This goes on until the New Year.  By that time, I usually have a good idea of what it is that I’d like to accomplish in the coming year.

Things are no different this time around.

I’ve made to goals for the new year.  Some people call them resolutions and I think that’s a good word.  I resolve to do them.  I am resolute in accomplishing these goals.

Resolute is exactly how I’m feeling.

In the year 2013, I vow to accomplish these two things.

1.  Go back to school.  It’s taken me a very long time, and nearly half a lifetime to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  I’m ready to begin training for my new career, but not quiet ready to say what it is.  It’s a big step for me, one of the biggest I’ve ever made.  I’ve been a stay at home mom for nearly TWELVE YEARS, this is such a huge change for me.   I have the support of my family and a strong desire to get there.  I’ll share what I’m working towards when the time is right.  School starts mid July.

2.  I’ve also decied this is the year to get down into the Healthy BMI range.  Currently, I’m at a BMI of 29.4 which is just shy of being Obese by this calculator.  I’m happy to be where I am, as over the last few years I’ve lost 40 pounds.  It’s a big deal to lose that kind of weight, and I’m thrilled to have done it.  Looking forward to losing 27 pounds more.  The 27 pounds will just eek me into a healthy weight range, but I’ll take it.  Typically, I’m not someone that lives by charts and numbers but I remember weighing less.   I remember how amazing I felt.  Looking forward to getting back there.

Making the goal is the first step.  Setting your path and deciding to go for it is such an important part of a journey, but it won’t get you there.  I can’t tell you how many times this last week I’ve heard people say that they don’t make resolutions because they ‘don’t work’.

You know what?  They are right.  A resolution doesn’t work. Deciding to change yourself for the better will not change you.  Only daily work towards your change will change you.  Putting in effort and time, keeping your eyes on the prize and knowing that above all you deserve the outcome.  That does work.

You can make changes without making a resolution or a goal, but I think it’s harder.  There is something to proclaiming to the world (or at least to those that will listen) that you are moving on to bigger and better things.

Accountability is terribly important.  Having people know you are working towards something keeps you working.  It gives you that extra umph when you start to feel like wavering.

So there you have it.  My goals and aspirations for the year.  For all to see.  You know where I’m headed, and I’m sure I’ll be blogging about it a lot in the months to come.

What are you plans for your blank slate?  Any resolution makers out there want to fess up to what they are working towards?

Happy New Year to you.  May you enjoy great blessings throughout the year.


~Monika xoxo

Marathon Day

At the starting line.

We spent the last weekend in Port Angeles, Washington for Kevin’s first marathon.  He ran an incredible race and met his goal time.  He’s already planning on running the Vancouver B.C. marathon next May, and planning to be much faster!  Way to go Kevin!

Those boys are proud of their dad!

Ever single guy at the front was poised with their fingers on their Garmin watches.

This biker rode the marathon course ahead of his wife leaving her love notes. ::melt::

Flower girl waiting for her Uncle “Kennin” to run by.

Mile 21, looking good!

Crossed the finish line at 2:55:30. He achieved the time he trained for AND got third place!

Chatting with the #2 marathoner.

Kevin’s first marathon hardware. Second in his age division. Way to go!


I’ll be taking the next week off to finish up a few projects and get ready for my oldest son’s birthday.

I plan to be back on  June 5th with tales of  bee hives and marathons and Big boys turning 11 and hopefully some major progress to share on my floor.

Have a great week!


This Moment ~ Her First Kite

Joining in with Soulemama.

{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.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.




Stinging Nettle ~ Urtica Dioica

We are thick with Stinging nettles right now.  Any place on our property that has a bit of shade, has a patch of nettles growing nearby.  Nearly everyone I know has a nettle story that involves the prickly plant and stings somewhere unpleasant.  I have one or two of my own.  It’s generally not a big deal, and the stings go away within a day or so.

Not everyone is aware of this, but Nettle is edible and incredibly good for you.  So you can spend your weekends trying to rid of this little plant or you can use it to feed your family and help keep them well.

Some of the health benefits of Stinging Nettle include:

  • anti-allergy and hay fever
  • anti inflammatory
  • helps eczema
  • arthritis
  •  helps with respiratory aliments
  • helps with dandruff and makes hair shiny

The plan for today was to have a nettle recipe tried and reviewed for you, but sick kids and getting ready for Frank’s parents has taken priority so I’ll leave you with a few recipes.

Nettle Pesto

Stinging Nettle Soup

Nettle Aloo

Obviously you’ll want to wear gloves when picking and preparing your nettles.  The hairs on the plant is what causes the sting.  Once the plant has either been pulverized or cooked, the hairs are no long a problem.

Take care to avoid nettles if you are on blood thinners, beta blockers or a couple of other medications as it causes some interference.

The smallest and newest leaves are the most tasty.  The older ones are a bit tough.

I hope you take some time to eat your weeds this week.  I plan on making the pesto, and perhaps the soup.

Have you ever cooked with nettles?


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