SugarHouse Mama

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Hey look!  I WON!

I even won the T-Shirt!  {which I have been totally pining over for weeks and weeks!}

I'm so excited!

I will be spending Wednesday and Saturday immersed in Chicken Week happenings - don't worry, I'll post pictures, etc.  I know you are all just dying to hear more about urban chickening :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What Do Your Color Preferences Say About You?

I took this fun quiz today.  You select the colors you like and don't like, and then all kinds of fun {and maybe even useful} info about your personality will be revealed.

Probably more than the average joe wants to know about me, but here are my results:

Your Profile :

You are able to listen to others, you show a good emotional intelligence, you know how to bring your support to others.  You are also strong-willed and active, your actions are determined by your own will, by the goals you settled for yourself, and by your need to act and to move forward.  Finally you are creative, you always have new ideas, and your inspiration comes from the inside.

Your understanding of your environment :

At first, at 38%, you are focused on the facts and on the reality, and your decisions are determined by your perception of facts.

Then, at a ratio of 36%, you are attached to moral values and feelings, and you have an emotional relation with the environment.

Finally, at 25%, you are centered on your thoughts and your actions are determined by your knowledge and your experience.

How you assert yourself :

In your relations with others, your actions and behaviour are determined by your sensibility and that of your partner at a ratio of 51%. Then you are driven at 48% by own will and personal goals.

Also, your inspiration and your creativity, your artistic or spiritual impulse have an influence of 51%.  Your family and personal ties interfere at 48%.

Finally, your point of view and your decision-making are motivated by your inner conviction at 52%. Dialogue and exchange of views with others are taken into account at 47%.

The qualities that characterize your personality at this time :

Your thinking at 20%. You are attuned to others and you show a good emotional intelligence, which allow you to give support to people.

Your emotional intelligence at 20%. You are thoughtful and capable of listening to others, you take into account the needs of others before setting up the defined objectives.

Your energy at 19%. You are strong-willed and active, your actions are determined by your own will, by the goals you settled to yourself, and by your need to act and move ahead.

Your creativity at 19%. You are creative, you know how to see beauty, you are intuitive and your inspiration comes from the inside.

Your insights at 19%. You are thoughtful and deep, you think before getting into action and you know how to communicate your knowledge.

Finally, you are a manager and a structured person, you know how to take into account the needs of each person while leading them to the fixed goals, you are a creative person, with always new ideas, and you know how to apply them.

If it's on the internets, it must be true.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Even a 3 Year Old can Appreciate a Good Bubble Bath

Adjoa has been having a rough day. She is tired and missing Nana. I decided to have her take a nice warm bubble bath this afternoon. I filled the tub with toasty-warm water and put my yummy smelling bubbles in the tub for her.

As she eased herself into the tub she sighed, "oooh. This is nice."

She's a girl after my own heart!

Orange Banana Bread

Orange Banana Bread

I love this banana bread.  I've been tweaking the recipe for 2 years now, and I think I finally have something I will stick with.  The orange gives the banana bread a unique taste, without overpowering the banana; it also makes the bread really moist.

Over the years I've also added extras like walnuts, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, etc. and they have all been yummy.  Anyway, I made it last night and Robert said it was the best yet.  Here's what I did:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 medium ripe bananas, halved
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons cinnamon, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour, optional

In a bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, and eggs; mix well.  Stir in orange juice concentrate, orange juice, and banana halves.  Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk; add to banana mixture, beating just until moistened.  Mixture will be lumpy and you will have chinks of banana.  Do Not over beat mixture.  Flour will get overworked if you mix it too long and the bread will be tough and dense.

Stir in any optional ingredients: walnuts, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, etc.

In a small bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, and flour together.  Grease 2  8x4 loaf pans, sprinkle Cinnamon Sugar mixture in pans; evenly coat bottom and sides of pans.  Pour banana mixture into pans.

Bake at 325* for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans and place on wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fairy Garden

So this nursery near our house is one of my favorite places this season.  About once a month they have these really fun kids activities. Last week Adjoa and I went to learn how to construct a Fairy Garden.  It was fun, and the different gardens were so cute.

As we were walking to the car, Adjoa says, "Mommy. I have a good idea."
Me: What's that, Adjoa?
Adjoa: When we go to the ail-port to pick up Nana I will say, Nana, do you want to make a Fairy Larden with me? And Nana will say, Of course I do, Sweetie!

And then she went on to detail about how they would go to the store to get some plants and they would find some sticks and some "pen-cones" and they would make a Fairy Garden.  Daddy was then commissioned to construct a house for the Fairies.  Because, you know, they do need a house so the squirrels cannot get them.  She talked about how the Fairies could scold the pestering squirrels and then go inside their house and shut the door.

It was hysterical.

Adjoa talked about the Fairy Garden constantly.  The day Nana was coming into town, we called so Adjoa could share her plan.

Being the great nana that Nana is, she followed Adjoa's pre-scripted conversation nearly perfectly.

We went to the nursery to get a few plants the first morning we could.  Nana and Adjoa went on a walk around the neighborhood looking for sticks, rocks, bark, and any other treasure a fairy may need.  They totally scored bug and found a couple walnuts.

We stayed up late the other night putting it all together - we even found a cute little fairy to add.

Adjoa is quite proud of her Fairy Garden.  We put the finishing touches on it today and she was so eager to show Daddy as soon as he got home from work.

My only regret is that we weren't able to finish it in time to do the Fairy Walk at the nursery on Saturday.  Everyone got to display their fairy gardens and the kids could dress up and do some fun activities. Oh well.  The opportunity to make it with Nana was compensation enough for Adjoa!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Garden Love

I snapped some pictures of my garden today. The veggies are coming along nicely - and we have peas this year! {last year the peas succumbed to a late frost and promptly shriveled up. Our harvest was a meager 7 pods! I tossed them into a salad. They were yummy, but the overall result was disappointing} I'm trying a few new things this year: watermelon, cantaloupe, and eggplant. I also found a purple bell pepper that I am excited to try.

See those beautiful, full peas - with loads of blossoms?!? I'm super excited.

Hey, look! Peas!

I think overall, the garden is doing better this year. Maybe I just feel a little more confident, or maybe it's my super awesome compost. Really, though. I am proud of my compost. And I think secretly Robert is too. He thought it was going to be a disaster.

I was happy with last years results {and my veggies seem to be happy too}, but I decided to move the composters to a different location this year. They should still get plenty of sun, but they will be closer to the garden, the chicken coop, and I will have easier access from the back door. Last year I had a kitchen bowl that I would throw scraps in throughout the day. Then I would transport them to a bucket out the back door. When that got either full or gross looking, I would take it over to the composter and dump it out.

This year, the composter is just outside the back door - so I can walk the scraps directly from the kitchen, out the door, and throw them over the balcony into the composter. So far I like it. We never really use that back door, so I'm not concerned about possible smell or flies. We'll see how the compost does, but I have my fingers crossed because it's a much more convenient system for me.

I also made a trip to 4 neighborhood Starbucks' and asked them for their coffee grounds. {Thanks Shelley!} I ended up with just over 5 bags of coffee grounds and mixed them in with my existing compost. I think any time the compost starts to smell, I'm going to do this. The area around the composters smelled heavenly for days! But I guess that only works if you like the smell of coffee.....

We put in a rose bed last fall when the roses were half off. It's right next to the brick house, facing south. They seem to love it there. One large rose bush existed when I bought the house, but it didn't produce very many blooms and was pretty sad looking.

After 3 years of pruning and fertilizing, it's in full glory this year. I'm so glad I kept it! The bush is over 8' tall. You just can't buy a rose bush like that. With so many changes to the house, it's fun to have something that was original. This rose bush and the huge pine tree will probably be the only survivors when I've had my way with the yard!

One of the new rose bushes. I love the soft yellow against the green leave and dark bark. We debated over bark color for a while, and settled on this charcoal black. I think the plants look fantastic against it, and it complements all the stonework Robert did last summer.

This is the first bloom for this rose bush. I like the variety of colors in this single bud. We have Red, pink, yellow and orange roses and this one blends them all together.

This white rose bush is growing profusely. None of the rose tickets specified how large they would get, and I think this one is going to be a doosie. I am probably going to have to transplant it this year so it has more space. I'm already praying I can move it successfully. I love it - the contrast between the pure white and the dark, glossy leaves is stunning. I want to give it space so it can be seen better - and so I can allow it to grow larger.

I took this picture before I removed all the spent blooms. The buds start out a vibrant orange, change to pink and they open and enlarge, and then fade to a soft pink - almost white. I'm about to wax poetic here, sorry. I just had to take this picture because I thought it was such a beautiful, natural representation of life. The vibrant young bud, the full and mature blossom, and the fading, spent bloom. It stuck a cord in me, I guess. Even though this is not a perfectly beautiful picture, I thought the beauty was in the truth of it.

Gardening is turning me into a nut. I love it, though!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Learn to Play Baseball

We signed Adjoa up for some local rec classes for little kids. They learn to play baseball and soccer. Adjoa loved the soccer classes, but was a little apprehensive with baseball. After 2 basic skills classes where they practiced stopping grounders, throwing the ball, and swinging the bat, they got to play a game.

Here's some highlights.

Adjoa's 'get ready' stance.

Running Home.


I was so proud she was swinging the bat and hitting the ball. The first day she didn't even really want to swing the bat. She's a pretty good little hitter, if I do say so myself!