Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oishii: Almost Healthy Cookies

These are my go-to cookies.  The ones my husband is always requesting.  The ones I wrap up to give to friends as a thank you. The ones I let my daughter eat because they are almost healthy. 

Almost Healthy Cookies
3/4 cup butter (preferably organic from grass-fed cows or made from raw milk!)
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
3/4 cup natural cane sugar (rapadura)
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup non-bleached all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl beat together butter and peanut butter.  Add sugars and baking powder and soda, beating til combined well.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Beat in flours until combined, then gently mix in oats, chocolate chips and almonds.
Drop dough by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet and bake for ~10 minutes.  Transfer to wire reack to cool.  Yields ~60 cookies.

Mmmm.  Let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Meditation: Gratitude II

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
~Melody Beattie
One can never have too many reminders about how gratitude enriches life.  I'm hoping to keep this warm feeling of contentment and thankfulness and we move into this busy holiday season...

Today I am grateful for:

the generosity of friends
the kindness of strangers
the support of my family
the wonder and adoration in my daughter's eyes...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

{this moment}

a friday ritual (inspired by soulemama).
a single photo capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment to pause, savor and remember.
if you're inspired to do the same, share a link to your 'moment' in the comments!

wishing you a lovely weekend.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We are so grateful for you -- for those of you who are devoted readers, those of you who are our "real-life" friends, those of you who have taken the time to stop in to visit -- THANK YOU!  Wishing you and yours a wonderful day full of grace, love and thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthday MamaD!

Happy Birthday to our baby sister, MamaD.

Q: She may seem a bit mysterious to you readers, since she seldom makes an appearance here on Wabisabi Mama (we're working on that). But to know her is to love her.  

She is the type of girl to do this one afternoon:

Born on Thanksgiving Day back in 1980-something, she has always been the turkey in the family. And I say that in an entirely affectionate way. Speaking of turkeys, did you know that Ben Franklin held the turkey in such high esteem that he advocated for it to be the national bird instead of the bald eagle?  Imagine...

Back to our sister.

Even MamaD celebrated when she was born.

M: D and I were only a grade apart in school, so we shared many of the same friends and experiences. It was fun to play field hockey together (even though she made captain and I didn't), run track together (even though she made it to States and I rarely placed), and act in school plays together (even though she got the lead and I was a lame-o made-up chorus part). Come to think of it, D has always been better than me at everything!

Q: Besides being uber-accomplished and super-sweet, D also excels at being an outstanding wife and mother.  Unlike M and myself, she is too busy being awesome to actually blog about it...

M: And couponing--did we mention she's good at couponing? I have been the lucky recipient of all sorts of goodies D gets for free with her frugality obsession hobby. The woman has gotten more free maxi pads and body wash than you would believe.

Q: We're trying to convince her to post about her fabulous finds -- you know, share the wealth with everyone.  In fact, maybe you can help us.  Leave a comment and let your request be heard!  Trust me, you want to hear more from our sassy little sister... she is a funny one. 

M: When we were young, D went through a period where she wanted to be a maid. Being the conniving and somewhat brilliant older sister I was, I conned D into training for her future career by cleaning my room. Ah, if she were still so gullible...

Can you believe I took advantage of that cute face?

Maybe this is a little more believable:

As you can see, our mom let us do our own hair when we were young...

Q: And some more photos of our sweet baby sister:

MamaD, we love you and are so happy to have you in our lives.  Have a super-wonderful and happy birthday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Food matters

I recently watched a documentary called Food Matters that talked about what it calls the "sickness industry" rather than the "health industry," as it's more commonly known. It discussed how we eat too much processed, chemical-laden food rather than fresh, whole-grain foods, but it also focused a lot on vitamins and their ability to heal the body.

A lot of the information was rather intuitive--we know the foods we should be eating, we know organically grown food is better than chemically grown food, we know prevention is better than treatment--yet we ignore it and continue poisoning our bodies. The movie made me realize that I have been far too lax in my eating habits. And now that I have a child to feed, I want to make sure she eats the best food that will provide her optimal nutrition.

One excellent point the movie made was about how we don't have our priorities right. We spend lots of money on things like houses, cars and gadgets, but when it comes to what we put into our bodies, many of us are not willing to fork over the money it takes to eat right. And it is expensive! But our health should be a top priority.

I  think it was finally the kick in the pants that I needed and, as such, I have committed to learn more.

I have a lot of research to do, but some of the steps I'm committing to take now include:

1. Drinking water. I know--sounds so simple, but what a difference it can make. I fee like I already drink a lot of water, but this documentary emphasized its importance in helping with digestion and flushing toxins out of the body.

2. Eating more raw food. Many vegetables lose half their nutrients once cooked, on top of the nutrients they've lost by days of transport and sitting on a shelf in a grocery store. Fruits and vegetables are so much more nutritious in their raw state that it seems a waste not to eat more of them this way.

3. Buying organic. There aren't many organic options where I live and I've been content to just buy organic when I can or when the price point is right. But I realized that it makes no sense to try to eat healthy foods when those benefits are negated by the chemicals that the food is covered in. I'm making a commitment to buy more organic food, even if it means driving to the expensive grocery store a few towns over.

As I educate myself, I hope you don't mind if I share some information with you--and if you have any insight, please share as well! I especially hope to learn more about working "superfoods" into my diet and treating colds and other ailments with vitamins rather than drugs.

Some of you might think I sound overzealous. That's how I felt for a long time when Mama Q, my mom or others would proselytize about organic, buying local, yaddah, yaddah. But I'm suddenly realizing how vital my health is. I only have one body and I need to take care of it! And don't get me wrong--I likes me my sugar, treats and MSG just as much as the next person. I'm sure I won't be able to completely eliminate these from my diet, but I think even small, incremental changes can make a huge difference.

If you're interested in learning more, here's the trailer to the documentary. You can also visit the Food Matters website.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Deal of the Day! Robeez for $10.99 Shipped!!

Just couldn't pass up posting this deal. On diapers.com, you can get Robeez shoes starting at $10.99 and the shipping is free!! And they usually arrive in about 2 days. I've ordered diapers from diapers.com before and it was really convenient. And my little one has worn Robeez shoes and they are great (and so, so cute)! They even have a selection of organic shoes that are just a couple dollars more. I'm so tempted to buy some of these even though we don't really need any more shoes...maybe I should get them as a future baby shower gift for someone?

If you haven't ordered from diapers.com before, you can get an additional 10% off your order by using the code GET10PCT or you can get 20% off by using code ANNI6803 (I will get a referral credit if you use this one but please don't feel obligated).

Side Note: If you shop through Ebates, you get 4% cash back on your purchase plus an additional $5.00 sign up bonus if you are new to Ebates. Ebates is just a site that you have to set up an account with and instead of going directly to the diapers.com website (or any retail website for that matter), you enter the website through Ebates and it redirects you. After you've accumulated a certain amount cash back from Ebates, you can claim it. I used Ebates but I haven't claimed any cash back yet because I don't do much online shopping.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pass It On!

By MamaD

I don't post much because as some of you might know, I'm a little addicted to couponing and finding deals. MamaQ recommended that I pass some of those deals onto our awesome readers. These deals are little quickies and slightly random but here they go.

$50 Voucher to Nordstrom Rack for $25 through Groupon!

I'll have to do a more comprehensive post on group buying sites one of these days because there are many but I think that Groupon is my favorite. This is a limited time deal and only lasts through the weekend but may sell out earlier. So I hope that this can satisfy that urge for materialism that some of us suffer from without breaking the bank. Click here for all the details.

$15 off your $15 purchase at the Natural Store!

This is a facebook promotion and it sounds pretty easy. You can check it out on the Natural Store's facebook page on their wall or read about it here. I'm not familiar with the Natural Store but it sounds like it is an an online retailer of natural/organic products. I found this deal on one of the deal blogs that I follow and they usually post pretty legitimate stuff so hopefully, this works.

$15 for a $25 Certificate to Kiva through Groupon!
For those who are trying to escape the materialism that sometimes accompanies the holiday season, this might be a nice gift. I am not familiar with Kiva but it sounds pretty cool. It's an organization that provides micro-loans to businesses around the world. It's also Oprah approved so I am guessing this is definitely legit. Read more about it here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

{this moment}

a friday ritual (inspired by soulemama).
a single photo capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment to pause, savor and remember.
if you're inspired to do the same, share a link to your 'moment' in the comments!

wishing you a lovely weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Recent Find

I love thrifting.
And accidentally coming across an estate sale.
And finding things like this in the basement.

Antique.  Pristine condition.


Why do I need two sewing machines?  In case a friend wants to come over and craft together.  And Mayumi is already into it.  In no time she'll be whipping up little projects as we work side by side.

Hold on, let me wipe away a happy tear...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Meditation: Gratitude I

To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kindness that stands behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for it.
~Albert Schweitzer

Take nothing for granted.  Write thank you notes!  I love receiving them -- and giving them.  It seems thanksgiving would be the perfect time to express gratitude to those who have blessed your life.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankgiving Lapbook

My friend, Eileen, recently introduced me to lapbooks and they have been a fun addition to our family. (Since we opted not to start Mayumi in any kind of pre-school program, we've been experimenting with "home schooling.")  The lapbook idea is about using a file folder to hold various mini-books and materials relating to a particular subject that your child is studying.  This month we, of course, focused on Thanksgiving.  I got a lot of ideas from Squidoo's page on Thanksgiving Lapbooks and then created my own version appropriate for Mayumi's age and abilities.

I made a Memory Matching Card game using clipart from my computer.  When we play it we discuss how each picture relates to Thanksgiving.  The painting is one I found on the web and I don't know much about it, but we discuss some basic art appreciation topics, like who is in the picture, what are they doing, where the light coming from, how it makes us feel, etc.

The Thanksgiving Word Search is from Activity Village.  Mayumi can't actually find the words yet, but she likes to circle all the "M"s or "P"s.  The poems are from various places on the web.  I made the little "I am Thankful" pocket and we filled it with paper scraps with different things we're grateful for.

On the back I created a number match worksheet in MS Word.  If anyone is interested in having it, email me and I'll send it to you.

We also printed out this fun turkey page from Hold That Thought.  It's too big to fit in the lapbook so we hung it on the fridge and every now and then Mayumi stands in front of it with her marker and tried to add on to it.  The conversations usually go something like this:

Mama, are you grateful for bunnies?
Yes, Maya, I am.  I love bunnies.
Me too.  Bunnies.  B...buh...buh... buh...bunnies.  Mama, how do you spell bunnies?
(she begins to write her beautiful squiggly letters on the paper)
Mama, can you help me?

I love being that "Mama."

Friday, November 12, 2010

{this moment}

a friday ritual (inspired by soulemama).
a single photo capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment to pause, savor and remember.
if you're inspired to do the same, share a link to your 'moment' in the comments!

wishing you a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
~William Arthur Ward 

Feeling grateful for color.  Especially autumn colors!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Using the Random Number Generator  the winner of our k.grace gift card is comment #10:

Congratulations NR (please contact us with your mailing address)!  And thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. 
And remember, Kamilah is also offering all Wabisabi Mama readers a 20% discount at her shop until next Sunday, November 14th. Simply use the coupon code WABISABI20 at checkout. Help support young, talented, entrepreneurial mamas who are trying to make a difference in this world and support their families!

Preparing for Christmas

I came across this idea on Plain and Joyful Living blog to pledge to a handmade holiday this year.  In her own words:
To create with our hands using mostly sustainable materials... and when that is not possible, to purchase from small family businesses ~ Giving with love while caring for the earth.
This idea has always been a cornerstone of our holidays.  Growing up, my mother was pretty dedicated to making most of the gifts she gave.  November would find us huddled around a quilt frame, tying quilts even as young children.  She would fill mason jars with fruit she dried in her dehydrator, bake a myriad of pies, and make all manner of Christmas crafts and treats.  Those were the gifts she gave.  There was a time I was super-embarassed about it - when my friends were getting (and giving) designer clothes and high-tech gadgets - but at some point I realized that her gestures of love were far more meaningful (to both giver and receiver) than most store-bought items. 

In my life I've tried to follow suit.  My first Christmas gift to my husband (back when we were highschool sweethearts) was a homemade photo frame with pictures of us.  We still have it!  Last year we made homemade jam and bread to give to most of our friends and neighbors (a successful endeavor that we will probably repeat this year).

Granted, it takes a little more work and thought and preparation, but it is a labor of love, and when you do it together as a family, it becomes a bonding experience as well.  As the weather gets colder and December looms on the horizon, I'm starting to realize it is time to get started!  So, as I complete projects, I'll be posting them here and please, do the same -  I always need inspiration!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reminder: Last Day to Enter Giveaway!

Dear readers, please don't forget to enter the giveaway for the $150 giftcard to k.grace- the deadline is tomorrow night and we want to drum up as much support for Kamilah's new business as we can.  Tell your friends and share the love!  Leave a comment on the original post and we'll announce a winner on Monday morning.  Thank you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

{this moment}

a friday ritual (inspired by soulemama). a single photo capturing a moment from the week. a simple, special, extraordinary moment. a moment to pause, savor and remember. if you're inspired to do the same, share a link to your 'moment' in the comments!

wishing you a lovely weekend.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November Giveaway: K Grace Gift Card

If you love fashion and have any concern about this planet, you have got to check out K Grace.  Launched by my friend and uber-talented designer/seamstress Kamilah Cole earlier this year, K Grace embraces quality, style, and environmental responsibility.  Sure, you could go to a teeny-bopper store and get a cute top for $15.  But you're not a teenager anymore, you are a smart, stylish, conscientious woman who has learned to appreciate the finer things in life.  You want beautiful, well-made, sturdy staples with intricate details. You understand that cheap clothing is bad for the planet because it supports unsustainable growing practices, promotes abusive sweat-shop economies, and doesn't last season after season.

A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Kamilah has interned and worked at various small fashion houses, including Mara Hoffman and LP&P by Catherine Fung. With ambitions to start her own line, but concerns about the waste in the fashion industry she founded a company that intertwines style, quality, and her environmental concerns. And as a new mother, Kamilah can relate to the needs and desires we have - we want to look gorgeous and make a good investment.  So in addition to offering lovely clothes, K Grace ensures that each piece is made at a fair-trade factory with eco-friendly fabrics. Check out some these lovely designs!

And for one lucky Wabisabi Mama reader, Kamilah has offered a $150 gift card to K Grace.  To enter this exciting giveaway, simply visit the K Grace website and leave a comment on this post letting us know which piece you love best.  Comments will close at 8pm EST on November 7th.

In addition to the giveaway, Kamilah is also offering all Wabisabi Mama readers a 20% discount at her shop for the next two weeks.  Simply use the coupon code WABISABI20 at checkout.