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May 2011 - Shivaya Naturals

May 2011

Images of Summers past

Summer is the best time for exploration and adventures, for trying new things and visiting new places. One of my favorite parts of the Memorial Day Weekend is to come together with my family and create our Summer wish list.

The list is our way of sharing what we most want to do while the weather is warm, from tubing down the Poudre River, to enjoying the free summer concert series in our town. Here are just a few of our summer loves.

The Fontenot Family Summer Wish List

Visit the Black Canyon Of Gunnison National Forest
Attend the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival
Summer Challenge :: Hike every open space trail in our county
Visit 5 new towns in Colorado
Plan a camping party
Create an outdoor family theatre
Go fruit picking on the Western Slope
Chase hot air balloons
Rafting on the Colorado river

The list is not supposed to be something that we feel stressed out to accomplish, but rather something that expresses a few things that we really want to try and do. Even if we only did one thing on that list, I would consider that a great summer.

It was a blast to sit down and hear everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and while we had to edit a lot of the boy’s requests (no Jacob, you can not learn to ride a motor dirt bike), they were pretty excited to see a few of their favorites make the cut.

As a new mama, or for that matter just as a mama in general, one of the hardest challenges is coming up with something new and fresh on the spot for the boys to do. This year I decided to try and create a calendar that can be posted at the start of the month, that the boys can enjoy on their own (there are a few exceptions to this) while I am nursing, napping (hey, I can dream), and tending to Landon. I included easy activities like climbing a tree, to more intense projects like creating a puppet show including invitations. Hopefully this will at least be a jumping off point for ideas and a way to ensure that my oh so tired mommy brain does not have to engage in on the spot overuse. I will be posting our calendars for July and August as the months draw near.

You are welcome to use our calendar, or adapt it for your own family. I downloaded a calendar template from Microsoft office, but there are literally thousands of templates on the web that you can use.

Tomorrow is my favorite day of June, because the summer edition of Rhythm of The Home will be out! We hope that you all enjoy it, and please stop over and let us know what you think.

Happy Summer Wishing!

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Summer Weekending

May 28, 2011

It really never seems to matter what season we are in, I love weekends. There is such a calm that happens around 5 pm on a Friday night when mu husband returns home, the house lights up, friends arrive, and food hits the table.

The prospect of a great camping trip, a visit to the farmers market, a BBQ with friends or family, or a quiet weekend spent around the house is part of the fun of the days leading up those cherished 48 hours.

While I  love writing the Sunday Serenity series, I thought it would be more fun through the summer season to share what our weekends look like in the kitchen, the craft room, the garden, and around our town.

In The Kitchen

This weekend the boys and I hit the farmers market early to get a head start on what we needed for a holiday cookout, and I found myself in veggie excitement at all the Kale and Swiss Chard that was overflowing from the stalls. Chard and I are very good friends, much to my family’s dismay (I think that they passionately despise it as much as I love it). If you had known me back when Jacob was a baby, you would have laughed out loud when I attempted to make him his first baby food with a combo of breast milk and rainbow chard. I thought that I was giving the little man his very best start possible, he thought it was the worst thing ever, and proceeded to vomit it up for a good 20 minutes.

While it may not be their favorite food, there is no denying that using kale in place of spinach works pretty well, even for the wee ones. This weekend kale, mushrooms, fresh thyme, and Parmesan came together for a yummy morning omelet.

Kale and Mushroom Omelet

1 bunch of fresh kale
4 oz of sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan

Saute your mushrooms and kale together in the olive oil until tender. Prepare your eggs for an omelet, and once cooked shred your cheese into the center along with your chopped thyme and kale and mushroom mix. Shred more cheese on top and enjoy.

Orange Rainbow Chard

Years ago, I think while living in California, I stumbled upon an orange flavored olive oil. It seemed like a pretty good combination, and I used it mainly to saute my greens for a sweeter flavor. After the bottle was gone I decided that it would be just as easy, and for that matter tastier, to just use orange juice and olive oil. The easiest of recipes was born.

1 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
The juice of one orange
1 bunch of chard or kale

Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a saute pan. Add the garlic and saute on low for 5 minutes. Add the chard/kale and top with orange juice. Cover the pan and allow the greens to wilt fully. Serve immediately 

Weekend Crafting


I take no credit for this one. While I was writing this post, Jacob came in with a Dream Catcher that he had created. A few months back Jake had taken a class on dream journaling, and one of their ideas had been for the kids to create a dream catcher to capture their dreams for them to remember upon waking.

He created his own version using some sticks, a few beads, a feather he found, and some yarn. He put this together by taking two sticks, winding them together with yarn, stringing beads on a longer piece to hang it from, and placing a feather under the wound yarn for decoration.

In the Garden


One thing that continues to boggle my mind is how my husband and Elwood can be eaten alive from mosquitoes, while my oldest and I are almost never bit. I have recently been searching for ways to provide a safe and natural repellent for the whole family, and I came across two interesting tips.

:: Drinking apple cider vinegar can help to keep mosquitoes from biting. Oddly enough, I have been drinking 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar a day for a while now, and I wonder if this is what has been keeping the little creatures at bay.
:: Lemon balm and lavender are natural insect repellents. We have tons of lemon balm growing all over our garden, and so we have begun to burn fresh sprigs of lavender, lemon balm and mints in our nightly camp fire. Besides seeming to keep the bugs away, it smells pretty darn good as well.

In The Journal :: Journal Prompts for Kiddos and Adults


For Children :: What are you most looking forward to do this summer?
For Us :: What one fear/challenge can you take on this summer?

Local Love (A little local Front Range fun)

The Drake farmers market has a great vendor, Peddler’s Choice, who serves fresh, organic smoothies made with no added sugar, syrup preservatives, etc. They taste exactly like what would come out of your home blender, and her combinations are not the run of the mill.

On the corner of Manhattan and Troutman, across the street from Troutman park in Fort Collins, there is a woman who sells the most gorgeous perennial plants from her front yard.

There is a new trail that has opened on the Timnath/Windsor/Fort Collins borders. The trail extends all the way to Greeley, and is a great trail for biking, walking and skating.

Thursday Night Music begins this coming Thursday at 7 pm, and Noontime Notes begins on June 7th. We love to pack a picnic and enjoy the (hopefully) good weather and great community atmosphere.

For those who visit the Boulder Farmers Market, two of my favorites are Adaba Foods, who serves great raw, gluten free treats, and Oxford Gardens, whose greens have the best flavor and tenderness.

A new favorite find is Boulder Granola. They have an amazing GF granola that is filled with flavors that are uncommon and perfect for a morning parfait with fresh fruit and yogurt.

The Western Slope of Colorado is home to a new Lavender Festival that Joel and I are heading to in July. The idea of fresh fields of Lavender, just hours away from us, is a bit too tempting to pass up.

This is a great activity from one of our local naturalists that can be enjoyed in any area.

Happy Holiday Weekend!

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