All posts tagged inspiration

Inspiration … spring clouds + cloud art and science with kids

It’s hard not to get inspired by the clouds when they are as stunning as this. Yesterday our sky offered some gorgeous formations that made me think of science and art experiments for the kids. I have probably posted about Lisa Grossman before but she has some amazing cloud paintings here to take a look at and I have also posted about the beautiful skies of the Flint Hills here that might offer more inspiration.

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Journey on a Cloud by Veronique Massenot and Little Cloud by Eric Carle

Here are a couple of cloud books to check out from your local library that might inspire some artwork from your children. The Journey On A Cloud is inspired by the artwork of Marc Chagall and the Eric Carle books are always great inspiration for tissue paper paintings. In fact, here is the exact technique Eric Carle uses, which is very cool and great for older kids to experiment with. For younger children, torn pieces of colored tissue can be glued to paper and then apply wet water with a paint brush to the surface for a very simple and fun technique.

Here are some great experiments we’re anxious to try out. I’m starting to collect ideas for summer projects and the boys are really enjoying science these days.

how to make a cloud in a jar by Kidspot and this rain cloud experiment by Learn Create Love

Julie

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NOURISH … inspiration from muir woods and sonoma valley + a creamy cauliflower kale recipe

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Here’s a glimpse of a recent trip to California enjoying some treasured time with my husband and great friends. I hesitated to post these gorgeous green beauties because is it really fair that the California trees and flowers are this lush and beautiful when all is still dead here in the midwest?? It was so invigorating to hike through the majestic redwoods of Muir Woods and see new growth on the grapevines in the Russian River Valley, even if a bit depressing to come back to all of our dead winter trees. This just makes me even more excited about springtime and all of our baby seedlings in the basement waiting to soak up the sunshine.

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These were some great vegetable gardens at the Lynmar Estate Vineyards.  So Envious of all the kale, chard, cabbages & onions  they have growing right now! 

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With a restaurant that costs $400+ per person I was happy just to stand in the French Laundry garden coveting all of their spring lettuces, flowers, chickens, and all the garden beds ready to be filled.

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Inspired by the culinary mecca of California I immediately came home eager to cook something new and this was the perfect addition to our St. Patrick’s Day dinner + the kale made it the perfect shade of green. On a side note …I’m also inspired to grow some of these in our house. A chef gave us a few leaves to bring home and they smell so amazing and would be great with some thai recipes.

Mashed  Creamy Cauliflower w/ Kale

1 head of cauliflower chopped

4-5 large leaves of kale coarsely chopped with ribs removed

2 cloves of garlic chopped

3 T. butter

1/4 c.  freshly grated parmesan cheese

sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes

sea salt and pepper

Optional garnish | chopped parsley or chives

Directions

Steam or bake the cauliflower until tender. Add hot cauliflower to a large pot with the chopped kale, garlic and butter. Cook for a few minutes and then add parmesan and red pepper flakes. Stir until parmesan is melted.

Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Place the puree into a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a little flat leaf parsley or chive.

Enjoy!

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NEST + NOURISH … steeped in italian inspiration

So very blessed to have recently taken a trip to Italy with my husband and some very dear friends. I am steeped in inspiration from the incredible awe-inspiring beauty, the intricate detail and holiness of the churches, the wonderful fellowship shared with dear friends, the lifestyle of italians, the artisans, and of course the FOOD and spectacular wines. God is good!  Here are a few photos that capture some highlights of the trip. I plan to elaborate on the incredible food and hiking in Cinque Terre in future posts, but for now some views of the italian countryside, a sampling of the many churches, and some of the amazing food.

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View from Pienza overlooking the Val d’ Orcia

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View of The tuscan countryside


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Archways in Assisi

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The Romanesque church of San Frediano in Lucca with its golden mosaic.

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Amazing food … more to come (in a later post) about the food adventures! p.s. I was able to eat pasta, pizza and breads with no gluten sensitivity at all. This clearly tells you how processed our food really is here in the States. Very disheartening!

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The olives just on the verge of harvest.

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Sunset antipasto looking over the coast of Cinque Terre

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Roman pizza! Prosciutto and black truffle

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Church of St. John the Baptist in Monterosso al Mare | Cinque Terre | facade 1307

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My fellow travellers on a foggy day in Orvieto | My dear husband and amazing friends, Jonathan and Erin

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Foggy sunrise over the Umbrian countryside

I am savoring the details of this spectacular trip and will share more with you soon.

Enjoy the day!

Julie

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