One young Catholic family on a Journey towards Intentional and Communal Sustainability. One Artist, one full time Mama and two babies, we'll tell you about all our successes, and failures, as we try to make it in our overly Consumeristic society on just the bare necessities.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Call for Entries: Words

As (I think) we've mentioned before, Britt and I have been participating in an ongoing monthly exhibition of Catholic art and Culture with a few local Catholic artists.

Thus far we have primarily relied on visual arts. Painters such as Gwyneth Holston, Justin Jensen and Mark Thomason have contributed gorgeous paintings of various styles and themes. Stunning photographs from Britt and Nichole Thomason have joined them on the walls.

In addition to images Erik Feltes has been showing some incredibly well crafted briar wood pipes, Clayton Deyapp has shown some of his hand-made jewelry and of course I have exhibited some of my ceramics as well.

We have even been blessed to have some live music including a marimba!

However, the goal is to continue to expand every month, and as such, February will be dedicated to including authors, artists and artisans of words in addition to those of us who create physical images and objects.

That being said we are putting forth a call for entries for any Catholic wordsmiths out there who would like to show with us. You need not be a resident of Denver or anywhere near we just need copies of your work.

You are invited to join us!  We will provide a venue for readings and book/manuscript signings and both are encouraged but not required. Content need not be Catholic but may not be offensive. Please contact us through this blog or Mark and Nichole Thomason at no later than January 31st, 2012 for more details. 

For those of you who are not ready to show with us, please come on by and support local Catholic Arts and Culture by attending the event.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pizza Biscuit Lunch

Hey Guy!  I guess you're probably wondering where we've been. Well, here's the answer.

Joey and I are part of a Catholic Artist's Group that puts a Art and Cultural event on once a month called Aggorniomento (look it up! It's Latin).  We had a show the first weekend of January, and then had a group meeting last weekend.  From that, we're going big time.  Here's the Blog I just started for us.  Come check us out in February if you live in the Denver Metro area.

Next, because a new semester has begun, I've been working hard to get Joey's website up and running for new students.  Here's the link, which you can also now find on our sidebar.  It's still in the works, but the main stuff is up. If you or someone you know is interested in art lessons, we'd love to hear from you!

So with all that crazy website/blog creation going on, I've neglected you!  My poor little blog.  But don't worry, I have cute pictures and a easy lunch recipe for you today.  (I knew you wouldn't worry!)

We had our Artist's meeting here at our house on Saturday, and I made sausage patties, bacon, and biscuits while one of the other artist's brought fruit and a delicious egg bake.  It was quite the spread!  But we had so much food that we had a lot more biscuits leftover than I expected.  I put them in a gallon Ziploc baggie, but by the time Monday rolled around, they were pretty stale.  Not bad, just... not biscuity anymore.  So, rather than composting them, or turning them into breadcrumbs (because I'm bursting at the seams with bread crumbs since I forgot to put any sweetener in my honey bread one day!) I made lunch instead.  Here's my Pizza Biscuit recipe.  It's incredibly kid safe- Charlotte LOVED having individual, toddler sized pizza.  And she's learning her shapes, so having circles for lunch was a fun surprise (usually it's square sandwiches or triangle quesadilla- or eggs, which have no shape!  we don't have a lot of variety in lunch around here).  Also, it happens to be delicious.  I love the way the stale biscuits made a flakey crust, but they didn't fall apart like fresh biscuits probably would.  Although I bet you could make them with leftover's from breakfast if you just cut them in half and let them sit on the counter for an hour or so.

Pizza Biscuits
as many leftover biscuits as you have.  I use this recipe from Lisa Leake's blog.  She has some great stuff there!
olive oil
1 small jar of homemade tomato sauce you canned last summer. :)  or store bought if you didn't
Italian seasoning mix with basil
salt and pepper
mozzarella cheese
(if it were summer and/or my window basil plants were doing better I would have added fresh basil instead of dried.  that would have been awesome!)

Split your biscuits in half through the middle (like you're going to spread butter on the inside) and leave them on the counter for a few hours if they aren't stale already.  They don't need to be rock hard, just no longer soft.

Spread them out on a cookie sheet
Drizzle a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over each biscuit. Olive Oil is a good friend with tomatoes nutrient wise, I've learned.
Dab a little spot of tomato sauce
Sprinkle some spices
Add a pinch of shredded mozzerlla on top

Place in a preheated oven at 350 for 6 minutes,
Then switch it on to broil for 2 minutes. 
and enjoy!

OH, and by the way, we're also potty training. Yeah.  So in the middle of writing this post I was interrupted at least 4 times to go visit the "froggie potty". 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Deja Vue September

Back in September we experimented with making no purchases for a month.  We did ok, we could have done better, as you can see here.  But the other day I found a resource that if we had known about I think we could have really scored. is a free auction website where you earn points and use those points to "purchase" things that other members have listed in an ebay style auction.  I signed up through another blogger's link and that gave her extra points as well as giving me some to start out with.  I haven't made any purchases yet because I'm saving up points for an Amazon gift card so I can get Amazon Prime (Amazon Mom is currently closed to enrollment.  Big bummer!).  But I'm encouraging you frugalistas to give it a try.  If you do so through the link below I get a little kick back and you get some free points as well.  List a few auctions (something I'm going to work on today) and you'll be off and rolling towards whatever the free thing of your dreams is.  I'm going to work for gift cards, which are a high ticket item, and sewing supplies.  What will you be going for?

Auctions for free stuff at

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year, New You, New Digs for Me!

This is my New Year's post- about 4 days late, but hey!  I'm here!  And I have an excuse, I promise!

My Sister-in-law was gracious enough to give us her old computer that she couldn't figure out how to donate.  So for the past week or so I've been trying to figure out how to create my own work space and get it all set up for me down in the family/play room.  It's done!  At least for now.  I think I'll need a different desk in the future, and good thing they opened a new IKEA near me, because I found one in their online store that fits my dimensions for only $20!  So yeah, I'm pretty excited.  If I were to be writing this in the office upstairs at the old computer, the girls would practically be on top of me.  Actually, no, most definitely they would both be in my lap trying to type.  Or else I'd have to have a show on the tv to keep Charlotte distracted for a few minutes, but then still Beatrice would be at the desk.  See, our office is just not kid friendly right now.  It's also my sewing room and the TV room. There's too much going on, but more on that in a minute.  For now, let me tell you, as I type this Charlotte is practicing putting her shoes on and off while cuddled with books on the couch, and Beatrice happily playing with blocks at my feet. I have a working space that's both Kid and Mom approved!

Back to the New Year's thing, I want to add that Joey and I are making this blog, and his future artist's website, a major priority for the coming year.  I don't believe in the New Year's hype (Why on earth is midnight on the 31st fireworks worthy?  Especially wake up the babies fireworks worthy?  just doesn't make sense, right?)  But I know when to jump on the bandwagon when I see a good one. And January 1st (or 5th) is as good a day as any.  So you'll probably start seeing some big changes and a lot more little ones around here.  We're working on some new challenges for ourselves, and most importantly, we're praying about what direction God wants to take our little family (and of course, when we know, we'll tell you first!).  But just an idea of what we're looking at, here's the list of books that Joey recieved as Christmas presents this year:

"You Can Farm" by Joel Salatin
"Composting: In and Out" by Stephanie Davies
"Mini Farming- Self Sufficiency on 1/4 acre" by Brett L Markham
"Farm Anatomy" by Julia Rothman (This was actually a present from my cousin and his wife to our daughters, and I'm sure they're really going to enjoy it- AFTER Joey and I are done reading it ourselves!  It's beautifully illustrated and very informative... a kind of introduction to farm life with pictures)
A Kindle book guide from 1904 on growing your own mushrooms
"The Self Sufficient Home" by Christopher Nyerges
And there are a few more that I couldn't find to give you the specifics on.  I'm sure Joey's off somewhere with a stack reading his heart out.  I honestly have never seen him read so much!  Not even during college!

And also, we've signed up and are reading a lot of articles over here at Farm Dreams.

We're also both working on our health.  Joey's in the process of some elimination diets to try and determine if he has an allergy/intolerance for some different foods.  This isn't a blog about health or special diets, so I won't go into details now.  If he wants to, he can later.  My goal is to get my body back in shape after 2 back to back pregnancies.  Our specific goals are 1) Less sugar and NO HFCS (we're already pretty limited here, but we could be better), 2) More family walks/swims (I will be teaching swimming lessons again to some friend's children, and maybe I'll be able to get some laps in as well) 3) Better Planning.  This last one is actually our biggest set back.  Joey and I are very much "Fly by the seat of your pants" kind of people, and not being able to just pick up and go when a roast is defrosting, and it's equally as frustrating to get back from a day of wandering to realize it's 4:30 and I have no dinner plans whatsoever.

Also, we're working on debt.  More specifically, we're working on keeping our very tight budget in line.  Remember, Joey's still technically unemployed, although his Studio business is finally picking up!

That being said, we're also working on the Studios.  Joey has monthly Art show's downtown with several other artists.  The 3rd show will be this weekend, January 6-8.  We'd love to see you there if you're in the Denver Metro area!

And remember when I rearranged my dining room and made it into a prayer room?  Well, we have made the decision to do something equally as drastic upstairs. I'm going to take pictures of my incredibly unorganized rooms and then HOPEFULLY pictures of beautifully organized afters to share with you our budget makeover.  We're going to buy paint, maybe, and that's it.  But I think it'll make the biggest difference of our lives.

Other than finally getting rid of the carpet in the family room over Thanksgiving- just in time for potty training!

Our Life, and Our Live Active Culture are moving forward in a beautiful direction.  I hope yours is too!

What are your Plans for 2012?  What did you do in 2011 that you want to do better in the New Year?