Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yarning Along

Happy almost-Halloween Yarn Along! Joining with Ginny of Small Things today....

I am currently knitting a plain tunic that I started last week using yarn I got at Flock and Fiber. I am loving how the colors look, even though the yarn isn't super soft.

I borrowed a copy of Sometimes A Great Notion from my good friend Heidi, so now I can start back up reading it (I had borrowed and kept renewing a copy from the library, but it finally had to go back). So after a week break from reading it, I am heading back for more. It's slow going, but good.

What are you reading? What are you knitting? Pin It Now!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Finn's Halloween Party

A couple of months ago, Finn decided he wanted to have a Halloween party. Since we are not having a big birthday party for him this year, I agreed, and we got to work. He planned the guest list, thought of activities, and helped to make decorations and plan the food. Really, this was all his imagination. I just put in the money and the labor.
The party was today, and it went off without a hitch. The house was decorated with spider webs galore, there was a pumpkin painting station, a caramel apple bar, and Halloween inspired treats (including orange margaritas with black Hawaiin salt to dust the rim...for the adults, of course! I love margaritas and couldn't pass up the chance to make Halloween themed ones!). The kids had cherry lemonade (gut juice) with spider ice cubes, bones, dirt and worms, and pumpkin oranges.
The weather was wonderful and we spent most of the day outside. Lovely day for a lovely little party!

The bones and the pumpkin-oranges were ideas I found online. The gummy-worm brownies were an idea I came up with and they were very cute, but a disaster otherwise. I first tried to make them the night before the party and put worms in immediately after taking them out of the oven. The worms melted and stuck to the pan, which I then had to throw away (the melted worms solidified into a rock-like substance.... ewww). So, I made a new batch the morning of the party and they seemed fine, but when kids went to eat them, most of the brownie was stuck to the cupcake liners because the worms had gummed everything up. If I did this again, I think I would just cook the brownies in a pan and put the worms on top after it had cooled completely.Oh well. Live and learn, right? Pin It Now!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Spirit

Finn is throwing a Halloween party on Saturday. It was his idea, he came up with the guest list, and he provided a lot of input for food, activities and decorations. I (obviously) have had to do a lot of the actual planning, but this party was 100% inspired by Mister Finn.
Anyways, we have been hanging skeletons and spider webs to make the house spooky, but we decided to add a little more hand-made flare. Most of these ideas came from pinterest (I love pinterest, yet I also feel like it squashed some of my creativity as there are too many cute ideas to replicate!).

Footprint ghosts (inspiration here). Note: Finn and I have really high arches and our print did not make anything that really resembled a ghost. Flat-footed Phoebe's came out pretty good though!

Alien leaf bugs, inspired by this.

An eyeball tree. This idea was actually my own. I bought styrofoam balls and used glitter glue to paint eyeballs on them. Then i used thin wire to make loops. I gathered some branches and spray painted them black with a glitter final coating, and arranged the whole thing in a vase.

Our Halloween wreath. I bought the actual wreath, spray-painted it black and glittery, and used hot glue and jewelry wire to add store bough spiders and Halloween bells.

Jack-o-lantern stained glass. We have done these before, but was reminded of them here.

What have you been crafting for Halloween?? Pin It Now!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Yarn Along! Joining with Ginny of Small Things today....

Finally got a good photo of Phoebe sportin' her new scrap yarn poncho. And with it, the new Raevyn slouchy hat I finsihed up last week. Phoebe picked out the yarn and buttons herself. Pink cats. Too cute!

I am currently working on finishing up Phoebe's costume, as well as a plain tunic that I started last week using yarn I got at Flock and Fiber.

I am still reading Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey. I have been reading it for ages- it is hard to get into as the narrator changes from paragraph to paragraph and you switch the point of view without any forewarning. Not to mention that past and present tenses are mixed in together. But, so is the writing of Kesey, I guess. I am almost halfway through and finally feel like I am in the groove and motivated to read... and I am REALLT enjoying the fact that it takes place in Oregon. Unfortunately, I have to bring it back to the library, with almost 400 pages left to read, as it is on hold. I vow to finish it someday!

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Our Weekend

This weekend was a bit less hectic than the last couple, but we still managed to enjoy lots of sunshine. Friday after school the kids and I headed to the apple tasting festival at the local nursery and then the kids had friends over while I went to pub knitting and had some ladies time. Saturday we did some much needed work around the yard, went to the park, and then the kids and I headed to Sauvie's Island for the Corn Cabaret at a local farm. It was pretty rad. We had to make our way through a corn maze (in the dark) to get to a circus tent. There were bonfires, music, fire dancers, and food. I wish we could have stayed longer, but Phoebe was exhausted and I had to ward off a potential meltdown. How was your weekend?

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Friday, October 18, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Lucky October

Here in Oregon, we have been having lovely weather this October. I feel so very lucky to be spending so much time outside, soaking in the sun, enjoying the fall colors. We all know it is just a matter of time before the winter rains begin, and we likely won't see a stretch of sun like this until July. Depressing, right? So for now, I am on an outdoor mission.
On Monday, the kids and I headed out for an after-school adventure to a state park on the Columbia River. We stopped at a beautiful overlook along the way to see the view of the Columbia River gorge with the beauty of the autumn leaves. When we got to the park, we took a short hike through the woods and found ourselves on the banks of the Columbia. Funny enough, we apparently (unknowingly) picked a trail to a nude beach. Right before we popped out of the woods, there was a sign saying that we were entering a "clothing optional area". I don't mind nude beaches, so it wouldn't bother me anyways, but thought to myself that no one in their right mind would be naked on a windy 58-degree day, even if it was sunny. Boy, was I wrong. Three out of the four people that we saw on the beach were naked. All I could think was burr!!!
We played in a the sand, and Phoebe was fascinated with the close up view of all of the kite surfers (who were not naked, by the way). I think she would have stood there all day watching if she could have (and the next day she asked me if she could have a water-kite!). One day, Phoebe, one day.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

A Day in Hood River

We had a fantastic long weekend. Friday we headed to an amazing farm to pick out pumpkins, and Friday night we took the kids to the LegoFest event that was in Portland. I don't think I have ever seen Finn as excited before- legos, legos, everywhere!
Saturday we spent the day in Hood River. We went on a hike (although not the one we had planned on, as the access to our planned hike was through a Forest Service campground-- thanks congress...). We then headed to a brewery for lunch, and ended the day with a drive around the fruit loop and a quick stop to pick some apples. The weather was cloudy and rainy, which meant we didn't get to see the magnificence of Mt. Hood, but it was still gorgeous and wonderful to get out of the city for the day.
Sunday we got to enjoy some sunshine and Todd and I had date night to see the Timbers soccer match. The sunny weather is supposed to last throughout the week, so I am planning on soaking up as much as we can. How was your weekend?

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday, Finn didn't have school, so the kids and I decided to head to the pumpkin patch. And this year, we tried somewhere new... Roloff Farms! The Roloffs are the dwarf family from Little People, Big World (the infamous TLC reality show). My entire life I have been fascinated dwarfism, and I have always loved books and documentaries that revolve around them. So anyways, when I found out that their farm was only a half an hour away, AND that they were open to the public for pumpkin season, I couldn't pass up the chance.
The farm is amazing! There are so many structures: an old western town replica, a castle, a pirate ship, a tree house, a paintball field, a wedding barn, a mini-grand canyon, and so much more. It would be an amazing place to grow up. We splurged and got the 30-minute wagon tour of the property, and our tour guide was none other than Matt Roloff (the dad). I was so excited I made Phoebe pose for a picture with him (Finn refused to get in, and neither of the kids could use my camera, otherwise I would have been in that picture!).
There was a huge adventure-land for the kids with a petting zoo, mini golf, racing bikes, a bouncy house, teepees, a corn maze, and hay pyramid, a sand pit, a spooky trail, and a bunch of other activities. We were at the farm for over 3 hours, but we probably could have spent all day.
And of course, we couldn't leave without pumpkins!
My only complaint was that it was a bit pricey, but it was worth it. The kids had so much fun there, and they already said that is where they want to go next year.

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