Monday, June 27

This deserves a post of it's own.

We ventured into the Germany city this time, to see the 40th Eurofolk Festival in a town called Ingelheim. We had an incredible time, surrounded by probably every hippie in Germany. I have never seen so many dreadlocks, haha! 

It was held in a really cool sort of church compound in the vineyards right on the edge of town.

Everything was a-freakin-dorable. Hand painted signs and buses, barefoot children, happy wandering dogs, in other words, pretty much everything I want in my life.

The kids were the best part, I loved all of their little hand-made clothes and carefree attitudes.
This little one was getting his face painted.

There was really good Afghani food. I have nothing to compare it to, but it was GOOD!

Fruit wine! I sampled elderberry, rhubarb, and another I don't recall, but they were all delicious.

We saw a new band, Black Diamond Express Train to Hell! (great article here.) Loved, loved, loved them :) Melissa didn't stop dancing and, surprisingly, neither did most of the other people there. I've honestly never seen a German actually dance at a concert, and I've been to a few here. They had great energy and we will be going again to see them on Sunday.


And this is my favorite photo of the evening:

I'm having a problem writing blog posts to share with you. I want to share, and I love everyday here and everything we do, but it all makes me think "This may be the last time I do this"... The last time I see these flowers bloom, the last time we go to this festival, eat at this restaurant, visit this person. It's hard to have our time winding down here but I will try my best to share it all!! At least I'll be able to look back and remember it all better then :)

I made something.

I'm always making something, but not usually for myself ;) I managed to make myself a dress, and it only took three evenings! I used to try and get it all done in one night, and then forget about it if it took longer than that, but with my new-improved and organized sewing skills I can actually take my time and stick with something until it's finished, finally!
The pattern I used was this:

Now, be prepared for the worst dress photos you've ever seen (meaning, I only have this tiny mirror and poor light, I like the dress!):

I love the back detail, that part is cut from an OLD flannel shirt of my dad's. I was wearing that shirt the very first time I 'seriously' painted when I was like 7 or 8. Ever since then, it was my art shirt. It was hard to find two places large enough that didn't have paint on them (yes, even on the back.)

The rest of the dress is cut from some cotton fabric my grandma gave me a few years ago. It's not what was recommended by the pattern, so it doesn't drape like it 'should' but I'm really indifferent to that and want to make another one a little more drape-y anyway. It's fully lined so it can be made out of pretty much anything, even if it's a little see-through. I was thinking a bright sari fabric would be divine.

And, most importantly, it has pockets!! Although, they are REALLY low, I can hardly keep my hands in them, that model in the picture is considerably taller than me (duh).

I love, love all the little pleats in various places. I hand pleated and basted each one before sewing it up. 

It's pretty much the most comfortable thing I own now. It's quite a bit less spectacular than the original, but that's too fancy for everyday wear anyway!

Sunday, June 19

My really amazing, awesome, stupendous eggplant parmesan.

I don't have a photo because we ate it too fast! But it's good enough that Johnny was mauwin' down on some baked eggplant before I assembled the dish. He never... ever... eats vegetables!

I love this because it reminds me of lasagna, just without the noodles, and we don't fry the eggplant because I hate it greasy!

This is enough for Chris and I, you can obviously double or triple it as needed. We use fresh, organic ingredients, but use whatever you want!

Kari's really amazing, awesome, stupendous eggplant parmesan.

1 large eggplant
3-4 medium brown mushrooms
1/2 large zucchini
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (plus a little extra for topping)
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce (Newman's Own marinara is great!)
1/2 - 1 cup finely grated mozzarella cheese (depending on how cheesy you want it)

Turn oven to 400 degrees F.

Thinly slice eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms, about 1/8-1/4 inch thick. I usually slice the eggplant first then do the rest while it's baking.
In one bowl whisk together egg and milk, in another bowl mix together bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.

Spray a large baking sheet with cooking oil.

Dredge one slice of eggplant at a time, first in the egg mix and then in the bread crumb mix, lay flat on baking sheet. Do this with all pieces of eggplant, lightly spray tops with cooking spray then place in oven and bake until brown, about 10-15 minutes (Maybe a little longer, depending on how brown you want them. This also depends on how thinly you sliced them, they need more time if they are on the thick side.)

In a medium glass baking dish, a pie plate works well, spoon in a little sauce and spread around the bottom of the dish. Layer one layer of eggplant (should be about half of your eggplant). On top of that layer your zucchini on. Spoon on more sauce and spread around as best as you can. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Next, add the rest of your eggplant, then mushrooms, then the last of your cheese. Sprinkle top with parmesan. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until brown and bubbly. Serve with crusty garlic bread or spaghetti!

Yum and double yum.
This zucchini might be a little big for this dish! Haha! Love you mom!

Monday, June 6

Catching up.

These boys are so cute (when they aren't trying to bite each other, and even then it's debatable.) 

They had a BALL at PrĂ¼m's Reihnland-Pfalz Tag. It's a cultural festival representing different areas of the state we live in. 
We missed the fireworks, unfortunately, but I love that we live in a place that looks like Disney World on a normal day!

(Stole this photo from here.) 


There was a craft fair this weekend and The Cupcake Barn was there representing all that is sweet bliss in the world. Can you believe I didn't take a single photo?! Oly this pre-sale one, of the difference between Brenda's frosting bowl and mine. These pretty much accurately depict our lives in general, her's being much more clean and orderly.


We've also been working hard to get the house ready for summer. The sun can be killer in our courtyard so Chris set up this sweet shade tent this weekend. I pretty much will never eat inside again. The curtains actually draw shut during sunset so that no one is blinded, and they thwart the rain pretty well also. We've been doing a lot of relaxing out there already even though it's been kind of stormy.

That being said, it was kind of a sad day here today, once we realized that our landlord is cutting down all of our trees. They are huge ash trees and line our entire yard. This is what the front ones look like (for now):

This is what the back ones now look like:

That is our hammock still hanging there, and the far right tree is our last clothes-line tree, there are two more further into the yard that haven't been cut yet. We are going to ask him to please leave the rest alone until we leave (just until next summer). Hopefully he agrees, otherwise I'm not sure what we can do, but we all really do love these trees. 


The super sunny spring we've had (sunniest and driest since 1893 or something like that!) prompted me to make a sun hat for Johnny using this tutorial over at Clean.  It's adorable, and reversible! The other side is bright golden yellow :)

 As he was riding this shuttle I thought of a future conversation we may have....
"Mom, what kind of plane is this?"
"It's a space shuttle."
"What's a space shuttle?"

It'll be a sad day when our kids can't dream about being astronauts.