October 13, 2014

around here in mid-October

around here we are trying to re-teach a certain seven month old how to take naps.

around here I have a pantry stocked with pickles, tomatoes, salsa, jam, and a freezer filled with green beans and chard. The spoils of summer will remain with us for a while.

around here there are 20 pounds of apples waiting to meet their fate. (sauce, sauce, sauce, crisp, sauce)

around here the trees have turned every shade of incredible, and the air has a bite to it more frequently than not.

around here we are gearing up for what I’m sure is going to be a great fin to this years wedding season.

around here we have houses on the brain.

around here we are getting ready to celebrate 3 years of marriage and 6 years as a pair.

aside from this whole nap strike business, October remains my very favorite month.

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August 7, 2014

7 things: summer 2014 faves

What’s this? A new 7 things post? Who’d of thunk? But here I find myself, freshly on the other side of 30. New city. New baby. New blog. With all these new things in my life I thought I’d offer up a list of my tried-and-true summer faves for a little bit of balance.

1. Making cold press coffee with this French Press. And drinking it over ice with a healthy splash of heavy cream.

Summer fave cold press iced coffee

2. Summer dinners composed of fish tacos, caprese salads, and grilled zucchini. Just the best.

3. Little Free Libraries. We loved them in Detroit, and we still love them in Madison. Yesterday I picked up a book on Tai Chi. You know, for all the free time I have when I’m not baby wrangling.

summer fave little free library

4. Wrapping up Cheeks’ diaper in these diaper covers. Recommended by my besti, a mama with plenty of cloth diapering street cred. Bright covers and (almost) never a blow out.

5. Plenty of long summer walks. Because I gotta get my steps in, yo.

6. Podcasts. Okay, I know I’m totally late to the party on this one, but I’m totally digging downloading a couple episodes of a good podcast to my phone and then binge listening while strolling through down with the babe. My current faves are Elise Gets Crafty (creative entrepreneurship)  and Girls Gone Wod (CrossFit). Do you have any favorites to share?

7. Any time we three get to spend together. Especially if it involves outdoor music and the occasional Spotted Cow. The times are fewer now that Husby is knee deep into residency, so we’re cherishing it even more.

three at concert

Look, Cheeks is already a selfie pro!

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July 25, 2014

Introducing Building Earth the website

Yo dudes. I wanted to let you all know that I’m moving my building earth posts over to I plan to continue posting over there twice a week about all things green building and green lifestyle. You should definitely check it out it those topics interest you. I’m still getting some of the previous building earth posts moved over and prettied-up, but I’ll be posting new content there starting Tuesday.

And you should totally like the building earth page on facebook to keep up to date on everything going on over there!

I’ll still be posting here at macnamania, but it’ll probably be back to the kind of erratic once a week or so until I get more of a rhythm worked out. Macnamania will continue/go back to being a blog about everything I’m doing – gardens, knitting, crossfit, triathlons, books, travels. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

Hope you enjoy the shift! </shameless self promotion>

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July 22, 2014

Some food for thought

Just a quick video to spark those creative juices this afternoon.


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July 18, 2014

A midsummer strawberry and kale salad

We’ve been very busy in the macnamania household with family visiting, project working, and just general adjustment to life with a first year resident. At the end of the past few days I think all three of us have been exhausted. But we’re getting by pretty well, and doing our best to enjoy the summer.

We’ve been eating a lot of kale salad. Seriously. All the kale salad. I’m kind of obsessed. And so I thought I’d share our most recent fave. And it’s an easy peasy way to enjoy all that summer produce out there.

strawberry and kale salad

Strawberry and Kale Salad

Serves two people who are serious about their kale salads

1 bunch kale (any kind will do, choose your current fave)
10 -12 strawberries
1-2 oz extra-sharp white cheddar (we do live in WI now, afterall)
a handful (1/4 cup maybe)l of slivered almonds (whole or sliced would work fine too)
strawberry and kale salad

De-stem and chop the kale. I like to chop my kale in thin strips. Chewing raw kale works your jaw muscles, so smaller pieces is a bit easier to manage. Drizzle chopped kale with balsamic vinaigrette (see below) and massage dressing into the kale leaves with your fingers. Yes it’s messy, yes it’s worth it.

Dice the strawberries and add to kale. Grate the cheese, or I like to cut it into 1/4″ cubes and toss it into the bowl. Toast the almonds until they are starting to brown. Let the almonds cool for a couple minutes before adding to the salad. Mix well. Add more balsamic vinaigrette if needed. Eat.

The Only Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe You’ll Ever Need 

makes 1.5 cups of dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of your favorite brown mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed or very very finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
balsamic vinaigrette

Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake well to mix. Taste, if it’s at all “meh” add more salt, mix and taste again. The salt is the key to making all the flavors meld together. It will go from tasting like balsamic vinegar to tasting like salad dressing with the addition of a bit more salt.

Fun fact: the mustard acts as an emulsifier, so it holds the oil and vinegar mixture together.

I keep a jar of this stuff in my fridge pretty much all the time. It keeps well and it’s good on pretty much every salad ever.

Note that olive oil has a pretty high solidification temperature, so it will start to get thick in the refrigerator. Take it out a little bit before you are going to dress a salad so that it can melt back into the dressing. Or swirl the jar under a warm running faucet to melt quicker.

You’re welcome. ;)

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