29 Oct 2014

Pumpkin Spread :: Dżem z Dyni

photo: mój ogrodek

Last week a friend of mine served this pumpkin spread with me. To be honest I was a little hesitant at first - pumpkin jam?! Really? But it was SO tasty that i asked her for the recipe! I made my first batch today. It's great on toast or Polish sweet bread (chałka). It's super easy to make! What a great way to add some fall pumpkin to your table!

Pumpkin Citrus Spread:

2kg pumpkin (i used hokkaido and roasted it in the oven and blended it with the skin on!)
350-450 g sugar
1 lemon
2 oranges
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla

In pot place cut pumpkin, orange and lemon. Add sugar and cinnamon.
Cook until soft. Mix into a cream. Put in jars (that have been boiled and
wipe rims & lids with alcohol. Close and set upside down until cool.

Here is a picture of the pumpkin i used to make it (not to be confused with the fall decorations beside the spread in the above 2 pictures ;)

hokkaido pumpkin

 *original recipe from mój ogrodek

27 Oct 2014

DIY Spice Jars {for almost nothing!}

reduce. reuse. recycle.


I'm a fan of recycling (though it doesn't quite exist yet in Poland)... or upcycling as it may turn out, using what we'd otherwise have to throw away for a new purpose. So when it comes to organizing my pantry this is a perfect solution for me.

Here's what i do:

1. Collect jars we use all the time anyways ~ I like for the jars to match in size and shape. This makes them easier to organize, and i think they look nicer than a bunch of mix matched ones.

2. Clean them and put them away in a cupboard ~ until i have enough to start organizing foods/spices. I have chosen jars that the labels come off easily... i'm not too into spending an hour getting goo off!

3. Spray paint all the lids black & use a white out pen to write the name of the contents (mine are part English, part Polish... it's kinda how we talk around here!)

* I spray paint them outside and let them dry for several days before putting food in them. And i try to only get the spray paint on the outside of the lid!

4. Fill them up with the contents and put them in the cupboard!

This is what my spice jars look like:

I also love making mixed spices. My favourites are:
1. roast chicken
2. pumpkin spice
3. breakfast sausage seasoning
4. salt & pepper gourmet mix (i'll have to add this one later)

and i've been wanting to make pizza seasoning for A LONG time!

I make them in larger quantities then it makes the process SO much quicker when i'm actually making dinner/dessert!

I'm never quite done with organizing, which is another reason i LOVE this method. I can just collect more, spray paint and label more and we're good to go! If one breaks, no big deal, i just replace it! 

This was the post on Pinterest where i got inspired. But i couldn't find blackboard paint, and it's more expensive than black spray paint. The white out marker doesn't rub off... which is also good with little ones around! 

21 Oct 2014

Pumpkin Time with my Little Guy

When the little boys went down for naptime the other day, BIG boy couldn't wait to carve our pumpkin! He's been watching the Curious George halloween special on netflix and kept on asking to wear the pumkpin on his head. So here he is as happy as can be. It made my heart smile! He didn't like the pumpkin goo too much... he took one grab, then was upset about his dirty hand so mommy finished the dirty work. We put a candle in it and he loves watching it at dinner time. It's the perfect size and brings some more fall festive feeling to our home. Enjoy ~

20 Oct 2014

On Motherhood :: Photographing Your Kids Lives

So about a year ago i joined Clickin Moms and i have loved it! It is intriguing to me that so many moms are into photography but it makes so much sense. It is wonderful to see the world through the eyes of children... it's awe inspiring, innocent, adventurous. And as a mom i have 3 little models around me all the time! I just have to look for opportunity to capture what they are already doing, or love. Deuteronomy 4:9 says, "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." This was written to the Israelites that God had brought out of slavery. He indeed had done AMAZING things for them. And he commanded them do not forget. He instructed them to teach their children... and their children's children! It is a beautiful thing to me that God cares about making memories, and remembering His goodness for the sake of His name! I also believe that God wants us to remind our children of His goodness to us. And photography is one way we can do that.

I'm so glad that in this day of age we have the gift of digital photography to capture the lives of our kids! We started making family albums the year we got married and i'm so thankful we have these moments of our life journey captured. I really want to be a better photographer, for myself and for our kids.

A photographer friend told me about Clickin Moms last year and it was exactly what i needed to be inspired to learn and grow and go deeper in my photography journey. They have online forums where you can share photos, ask questions, read tutorials and get some really great advice. The also offer online classes where you can learn how to Master Manual mode in your camera, work with Natural Light, and so many more! I've only taken one so far, but am looking forward to taking more. I've made some great friends and found some really great photographers that inspire me to be creative, artistic and to master the art of photography!

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If you sign up by the end of the month you can save 20% on a membership with the code CAPTURELIFE! Feel free to ask any questions. My husband gave it to me as an early Christmas present last year and it was a GREAT gift!

* there are affiliate links in this post, which means that if you sign up they give me a bonus, but i am sharing this with you because i really love this community of photographer moms!

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17 Oct 2014

All Things Hedgehog :: Activities For Toddlers

Yes. We have a pet hedgehog. Her name is Sofia. We think she's pretty cute.

So it's just natural our boys think anything that is hedgehog is pretty fun! Here are 3 hedgehog activities for toddlers:

1. Paper Plate Hedgehog
    This was a great activity! It helps kids practise using scissors, which is totally on target with our 3 1/2 year old! I helped him, but he did a really good job pretty much on his own and he's just started learning to use scissors. Our 2 year old was happy with just the paper plate folded in half, with a cut out and drawn on face :) The paper plate makes the perfect shape for a hedgie!

2. Snack Hedgehog (grapes & a pear)
    This was really easy to make. I found the picture in a grocery store advertisement. I already had toothpick and cloves at home. The only thing i recommend is buying short fat pears as opposed to longer, skinny ones. I think they look cuter (than the ones i saw on pinterest) It only took me about 5 minutes to make and they really liked eating it! And even shared well without fighting. Bonus!

3. Hedgehog Colouring Sheets
    I'm planning to use these this weekend:

Our Week in Photos

Little man is still recovering from round #2 of pneumonia. So we spent a good part of the week driving back and forth from the clinic/hospital to get his shots. Not so fun. Other than that we've laid low, haven't gotten out of the house much with the rainy weather.

Oh how he loves to eat! And drink and he's just happy. Even when he's sick.

He's into building forts and imaginary play. I think this was his hedgehog home... for himself. Enough said.

He still likes to eat too. Especially breakfast. Sometimes i think he's a hobbit... he always eats second breakfast, sometimes third.

I found these SUPER BIG apples at the store for just $0.30/kilo! They're seriously the biggest apples i've ever seen.

 I got a little "pinteresty" and made the snack hedgehog for the boys. I actually found my inspiration in a local grocery store flyer (biedronka). The boys love him.

Sofia thought he was nice too. Just a little static.

The boys enjoyed playing with their new pet. They still love to hold her, even though they get pricked from time to time.

Lucas is learning to pick her up and they love watching her eat in her new cage.

And he's standing up EVERYWHERE. I wouldn't mind if he didn't start walking for another few months, not sure i'll have that luxury. He can get into everything already anyways...

12 Oct 2014

Meet Sofia...

So we decided to get a pet... my husband found a hedgehog in our yard and wanted to keep him as a pet. We kept him for a night in our bathtub. The boys liked him. Seemed like a good idea for, about an hour, then i came to my senses... wild animal + little kids = not a good idea. 

I had dabbled with the idea of getting a pet hedgehog in university but never made the leap. So we made a deal, he let the wild one go and we could find a pet one from a breeder (if you're looking for one in the Wrocław area check out Atelerix)! 

All 3 boys love her! The older boys hold her and pet her, our youngest (10mths) likes to crawl after her. We're learning about having a pet hedgehog here & here and i even started a hedgehog board on Pinterest! Here's a little info about her...

Name: Sofia
Gender: female (yes! another girl at home)
Age: 2 months
Nationality: Polish
Breed: African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris)

           - playing at night
           - running in her wheel
           - being held
           - hiding in housecoats
           - pricking people
           - cat food, apples & worms
           - loud noises & being startled
           - bright light
           - being cold
So far she's been a great pet! The boys love her and often ask to play with Sofia... the hedgehog. Lucas wants to take her to preschool to show his friends! We'll see if the teachers will let her visit. Many of our Polish friends are surprised we have a pet hedgehog... guess they are not common here. So it should be fun to introduce her to people!


After playing with the hedgehog th boys got a little crazy on the slide... Lucas is a little crazy and went down head first after his dump truck. Fun was had by all... and no broken bones!