Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Urban Farming

I've been trying my hand at some... gardening!
Never done it before, super nervous, but determined.
 Inspired by a segment I watched on Kelsey's Essentials about a New York restaurant's roof top farm completely planted in milk crates, I thought I'd try it. 
And LOOK! It's working!
Milk crates are very practical, cheap, usually free, easily moveable and a perfect solution for my small yard. My yard is the perfect size for us, 24' X 24',  small!
Not only that, but half of it is not landscaped and unusable, for now. 
The other half is deck.
So, extra small.
But I was determined.
So, the milk crates happened!
In the t.v. inspiration I watched they looked cool and sleek, all black, neat little rows,
however, these are the ones we had on hand. For the best sun situation, we had to put them on this mangled, sad excuse for a bench, that is a project waiting to happen.

If you'd like a blog post with directions on this, you'll need to comment and let me know.
For now, we are growing lettuces, herbs and tomatoes.
I have procured a few more milk crates and as soon as I have them lined, we'll branch out into squashes,  peppers and berries.
I am beyond excited about this!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Fun

This year is my families Off Year, meaning that my brother's and I miss each other's company but we are all freed up to be with our in-laws. We didn't make the trip to see the in-laws (sad face) due to work obligations as well as TrueLove and Jake's desire to serve with Father's House Vacaville in their Adopt-a-Block program. More on that later. 

So for Easter we shared just the four of us and it ended up being delightful in every way. Since TrueLove and I are on the homestretch of CLEAN it gave me an opportunity to make an entirely healthy holiday meal without offending anybody. No Easter baskets, no chocolate bunnies, no creamy spinach gratin, no traditional carrot cakes. To defend myself and my parenting I will say that I purchased goodies from Sweet Affair to spoil my kids with special treats too, just TrueLove and I abstained. People in my family love their traditions I've learned since I am a variety junky and look at holidays as opportunities to experiment, I have often been overruled in favor of traditions. Well, yesterday I had complete freedom to go way out into Crazyville and make an entirely CLEAN friendly meal.

So, I'll show you what we did and link recipes. I will say that we were all in HEAVEN! We all loved it. We all felt really good afterwards, even too stuffed for the Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Vanilla Frosting afterwards. We all had plenty of energy to jump in the car and go see God's Not Dead, my FAVORITEST part of the day. It seemed very appropriate to see a movie with that title on the day that the world celebrates that He's Alive. So awesome.

clipped from my garden

So here are some pics and links. If you want more info or step by steps then let me know. I'm happy to share but don't want to bore you.   

Minty Lemonade from Clean by Alejandro Junger

Halibut Baked in Parchment with Olives and Thyme also from Clean. 
And AMAZING!!!!! I knew it was good. I had made it for TrueLove when he was on Clean program years ago and loved it. I only add minced garlic and capers to the recipe because, I just have to.

Marinated and Grilled Artichokes from Community Eats and Emirel Lagasse
Brown Rice with Coconut Oil and Chives

 Easter Salad ( I made it up)

Lemon Cashew "Cream Cheese" Dressing. 
The base is the Cashew "Cream Cheese" by Clean and I turned into a dressing.

And Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Vanilla Frosting from Gimme Some Oven
Whoa. What a terrible picture. AND lacking the frosting. Truth is by the time I got around to this I was exhausted and ran out of gas. I promise you a better photo later. And I confess that the frosting required honey which is not permitted on Clean. I allowed myself a healthy, natural indulgence for our special day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter from Olio

Happy Easter! Happy Resurrection Day!

I hope you have had as much fun preparing for the day as I had. My daughter and I spent Friday morning making Empty Tomb Treats with a bunch of darling little chili's, nine kids! Three of my girlfriends scooped their little ones together so we could remember what Jesus did with a fun tasty activity. I loved doing it with my kids but my munchkins are so big now that I asked if I could bring the fun to my friends who still have little guys. So much fun!
If you have little ones please do this with them. Just google Resurrection Rolls and if it includes the marshmallow and crescent rolls, and a devotional, then it's the right one. Easy, fun and way yummy ( I remember how yummy they are because they are not CLEAN treats and I easily resisted).

Today Calli and I had fun at the Farmer's Market grabbing all the ingredients for a CLEAN Easter. Next week I'll share the recipes. I am most excited about trying the Marinated Artichokes that my girlfriends posted on Community Eats. I promise, I don't intend for this to be another food blog, but CLEAN is what is happening to us right now, so I must share. Thankfully everyone seems pretty interested. All I am saying is that I'm planning to just slide over day 21 and keep this thing going. I feel amazing! Fitting back into my size (mmmm let's not share numbers like that out into the universe- especially on a holy weekend), but I'm quite happy with how clothes are fitting. I don't feel hungry and I never even wake up hungry. My face looks like it's original shape, not so puffy. We're noticing the gluten free shrink which I love! And I received a few compliments from my girlfriends that made me blush a little in a good way-the end.

Back to Farmer's Market! Bought some flowers to take to my mom for her Easter table. I had such a blast playing florist and it is "playing" since I find arranging super challenging. I took a class from my genius friend Missy at Twigss once and learned a few tricks, watched an Oprah bit on arranging, but even still I struggle. It wasn't working and I fussed and fussed with it. I decided to clip some of the exciting roses from my front yard, throw in a few lemons and some of the rosemary I grow and now, not too bad. A cheery little mix.

And I had lots of fun playing with some vintage china I just scored at Auction House the other night. I'll post some pics later this week but I am just having way too much fun!

My TrueLove and my son went serving the Vacaville community doing graffiti abatement with The Father's House, a church really transforming a community with love and meeting very practical needs. It was with their Adopt-a-Block program. I wish I had pics but I'll be joining them soon and I'll lug the camera around with me to share. I can not wait!

Anyways, Happy Easter Everyone! Easter reminds us how powerful Love is and how much we have to be grateful for. May your day be filled with Love, Joy, Family and Memory Making!


Monday, April 14, 2014


TrueLove and I are in the middle of the CLEAN program!

"Program sounds so much better than "detox", but that's what we're doing. Several friends of ours have done it with raving testimonials and now it's our turn to embrace it. You can read the book Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger or just pop over to www.cleanprogram.com for more information.

We started the program immediately following a close family members quadruple bypass surgery. This guy had the sensibility to go to the doctor and check things out when things just weren't feeling right. Good thing he did! The next week he was getting all fixed up. IF SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR HEART DOESN'T FEEL RIGHT GET IT CHECKED! 

Taking an inventory of family history and death by heart disease, it propelled me to embrace the Clean Program, written by a cardiologist, it became clear that doing Clean could not wait. Clean addresses two major things that affect our overall well being: Toxicity and Inflammation. I'm in week 3 and not itching to break fast at all. I decided to return to blogging (notice how I glossed over how long it's been since my last post), by the prodding of several people missing the posts. Awe.

The book has some wonderful recipes, but I don't always have everything on hand and must fall back on old fashioned creativity. And Clean Chicken Salad happened! OOH it was good. So. I thought I'd blog about it mainly so I could go back to it and remember how I did it. How fun would it be if someone out there detoxing might like to try it too. I am quite certain that my peeps who are Paleo Foodies can enjoy it too.

Clean Chicken Salad
Now. Know that when you set out to do something routine like just make lunch, you are not always expecting a "wow! this salad changed my life" moment, so you are not measuring and calculating or really even thinking. Just going about the business of satisfying hunger. So bear with me that the measurements are merely what looks right. It made enough for 2 people and I ate them both.

1/2 chicken breast, cubed small 
(mine was leftover, which I recommend)
1/2 carrot, chopped very small
1 green onion
1 stalk of celery, chopped very small
1/2 apple, chopped very small
1/2 avocado, chopped
pumpkin seeds
celtic sea salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
cashew cream cheese with dill and garlic, 1 big scoop

Cashew Cream Cheese with Dill and Garlic
(this is straight out of the book pg 278 and I followed it exact)

2 C cashews soaked for 2 hours
1 C water
2 capsules probiotics
1/2 bunch minced dill
2 garlic cloves pressed
sea salt to taste

1. Blend cashews, water and proviotics in a high-speed blender until smooth and very creamy.
2. Transfer to a bowl and cover with a cheesecloth or a mesh. Let sit for 8-12 hours on a warm area for fermentation. This will be the basic cheese.*
3. Add dill, garlic and salt. Keep some dill to sprinkle on top. You can use other herbs such as chives and rosemary. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

*I always freak out a little bit (a lot) when I'm fermenting ANYTHING and haven't a lot of experience with it either, but I did it anyway. Had a little faith. Trusted the book that says "The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body's Natural Ability to Heal Itself" had my staying aliveness in mind with this recipe. It tasted delicious and I didn't die. And I loved it and will make it even when I'm not detoxing, because it's that good.

Back to the Clean Chicken Salad

Mix it all together and make sure that the avocado gets creamed up with the cream cheese. 

The cream cheese recipe makes a TON, so just use enough to make it as creamy as you like your chicken salad.
This recipe is only quick and easy if you already have made the cream cheese and have leftover chicken, which I did, because when detoxing you need the good stuff right there when you have a snack attack and can only eat the limited list of approved things. 

To finish it off I drizzled some more fresh lemon, sprinkled celtic sea salt and capped it off with some pumpkin seeds.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Save the Stork

Someone forwarded me one of the sweetest email links I've seen in a long time.
It's a story about life!
It's a story about hope!
And it's a story about love!
Please read it and see how young people are moving forward
in a gentle loving way to protect women and life!
check out 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Free Prayer

Free Prayer

How cool is this shirt?
I just went to this site and watched the short video
of a group wearing these shirts in Time Square
and praying for people.
The world needs more good ideas like this.
You can get the shirt too for $17.95.
Very cool!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Gleanings for the Hungry

"I was hungry and you fed me. 
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink."
Matthew 25:35

Here we are at 
Gleanings for the Hungry
with some of our homeschool friends.

What is Gleanings for the Hungry?
Oooh, it's hard to answer that question in a quick clean way
because they are so much more than just
their mission statement.
Simply answered,
they are a YWAM ministry that takes
food that would normally be thrown out from
the California Central Valley farms
and transforms it into food that will feed the nations.
Watch this 10 minute video.

Here's our experience!

This bag when reconstituted with water will feed
100 people.

Measuring spices.

"No Tom. Don't eat it!"

Working together.

Meet Henrice.
Feeding us amazing food.

Tommy and Haden making repairs with Ash.

Burping bags.
Not as easy as it looks.
This is the process of removing all of the air
to prevent bacteria settling.

Everyone can work. 
Gracie filling bags. This is hard work.
She must carefully measure 1 gallon, then lift it and 
pour carefully into the funnel to fill bags.
This work takes back muscle and
Gracie shows us how it's done.

Of course it's lots of fun too!

Lori and I burping.---the bags.

TrueLove discovering that I had stuffed his pocket
with soup mix. I can't remember what he did to deserve it,
but he did.

The older helping the younger.

Calli working the assembly line.

Tommy suiting up.

Callahan Auto Parts plug.
(Gilly's favorite flick)

I love this picture.
The spirit of giving.
Working together to achieve something great.
Below, I see the joy of giving on my friend's face.

"Mmm. Soup is good food."
sorry, couldn't help it.

"I love you Jake!"

"No! We are not scrapbooking!"

That's what the soup plant looks like.

"Patty-cake, Patty-cake,
Baker's Man"

I said, "NO! We are NOT scrapbooking!"

Spare the "ROD", spoil the child.
"Rod" is our dear friend and if Gleanings is the soup of life,
Rod is the spice. He and Colleen are angels and part of the reason
we love Gleanings so much!

Gracie was our MVP, "most valuable packer."

A quick peak in the sewing room finds women
busy making diapers for an orphanage in Haiti.

Sometimes the younger teach the older.
Awesome job boys!

Oh dear.

The look of concentration.
The boys were put to work assembling wedding decorations
for Elianne & Eric's upcoming reception.

Oh dear.

Can't you just see the light in his eyes?

There's no job this duo can't do.

Hannah's Laundry Service.


"It's worse than it looks."

"I mean- really." 
She can do it folks.

Calli holding the ziplocks.

I love you Calli!

"Hey we're out of our bubble now!"

I just love this picture.
It's just two naturally beautiful women working together.

My new friend Jenny is living my dream.
I can't wait to fill you in on how God is using Jenny
to burst my bubble in the best possible way I can imagine.

One of my favorite Jake faces.

Could they be any cuter?

Tommy test driving the fork lift. 
He always wanted his first car to be a practical one.

I think he's going to put in an offer.

She's thinking, "Doesn't my mom know that I'm trying to get some work done here."

They're all thinking, "Doesn't she know we're trying to get work done here?"

It was a loud day in the plant. Calli needed earplugs.

not sure what caption to put on this one

The men working with Ash and supervising Tommy operating 
heavy machinery.

Calli and Hannah got to help set up tables for the Valentine's
Love Fest in which we got to celebrate with the
African Youth Choir.
How can Valentine's Day get better than that?

Oh yeah, this is what I'm talkin' about.

My favorite picture of Rod and I.

Um. Did I mention African Youth Choir?

Um, yeah. Pretty awesome.

I love this picture of them with the nations in the background.
I saw one of the girls looking at the wall and smiling ear-to-ear to see her home, Uganda, up there.

See the Canvas people?

Betty and Sandy.
This is what Gleaning's is about.
Generations and nations.