Earth Day- Kids Cook Monday

This Wednesday, April 22nd, is Earth Day. I recently saw a post from the website,  about some easy ways to celebrate this special day with little ones. I will admit, I was expecting a list of complicated tasks that inevitably would include a Pinterest-y type project…although I’m not exactly sure how that would help our Earth. Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised to see the list was so do-able, and that we (and probably you too!) love doing many of the ideas mentioned. Here’s some of the ways us Smiths are celebrating Earth Day this week- and most weeks!

1. Go “meatless” once a week. You guys, this is so simple. There are so many yummy meatless meals out there and if we all participated in this, it would make such a difference for our planet. For instance, did you know…?!


2. Shop for local produce and ingredients. We’re so lucky to have lived in places with great access to local, fresh produce whenever we needed it. Our family loves to hit up Farmer’s Markets to see what looks tasty and is in season. We have a really big market that is open year round and you can really find some great deals. Plus, the kids enjoy going and you really cut down on the amount of fuel/costs needed to transport your food to you.


Brady- “I’ll take those carrots. Those right there.”

wpid-20150420_160147.jpg  wpid-20150420_160141.jpg


Our market finds this week.

3. Plant a garden. In Pennsylvania we had produce out the ying yang. There was a peach tree, pear tree, plum tree, tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers and squash in our yard. It was awesome! I’d love to get back into that kind of gardening again, especially now that the kids are at a fun age for helping me with it. For now, we are starting with some potted herbs. I love having fresh herbs on hand for all kinds of recipes. And what better way to teach kiddos about taking care of the Earth, than by showing them how we can grow and care for our own produce.


Brady was smelling the mint!


We’re growing Thyme, Mint, Basil and Flat Leaf Parsley.

4. And finally, my favorite way to celebrate Earth Day is to cook together! You can never underestimate the importance of teaching our kids where their food comes from and how to prepare it. Think of the impact we could make on our planet if the next generation focused on cooking and eating real food and we could reduce the amount of pre-packaged food waste that we create.


Today we used our market Asparagus and made a super simple tasty side dish. (Even Nolan ate some Asparagus!!) All we did was wash and chop our Asparagus, sauté them in some Olive Oil and butter, and then tossed them with some lemon juice and some of the Thyme and Parsley we just planted. Finally we topped it all with some shredded Parmesan cheese. So easy!


Herbed Parmesan Asparagus. This bowl just screams Spring!

Happy Earth Day Y’all! May you find lots of tasty things to grow and eat on our Earth!


1 Year North Carolina-versary

This weekend marks one year since us Smiths moved from Lititz, Pennsylvania to North Carolina. In some ways we still miss our friends and small town that we left behind (heck, we still miss Florida too!) but in most ways, we feel like we’re finally home. This last year has seen our boys reaching new milestones- Nolan learned to walk and talk and Brady has completely blossomed into an independent pre-schooler. Our kids have gotten to experience so many new things since moving to North Carolina. They’ve explored lakes and trails, visited the mountains and beaches, and have been to tons of downtown museums and festivals. Here’s some of my favorite pictures from the last year of getting to know North Carolina.

If the weather was nice, we were at a park. Lots of biking, running, playing, and boating took place this year, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the amount of cool parks to check out.

20140826_191306 20140824_14241420150208_1614292

20140824_140943 20140424_133359_2 20140424_132625

We’ve tried to spend a lot of time enjoying all of the lakes near us as well with picnics, swimming, fishing and boat rides.

20140824_13184620140621_17423220140424_135205 20140722_103802

We’ve celebrated all of our birthdays since moving to North Carolina…Brady turned 3 last summer and Nolan turned 2 this Spring. Side note: This summer Brady will celebrate his 4th birthday in his 4th house. Time to stay put for a while!

6 DSC_0644

We’ve really gotten to enjoy all 4 seasons. In fact, that might be my favorite thing about North Carolina. You get a taste of each season without ever feeling tired of any one type of weather. Just when the Summer heat got annoying, Fall gave us a welcomed break. When Winter got on my last nerve, Spring began to give us some relief. It’s just gorgeous here.









Some of our favorite memories were when we ventured out of Raleigh and checked out what else North Carolina had to offer.


Visiting Boone, Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain.


Checking out UNC Chapel Hill


At Oak Island, NC


Day trip to the NC Zoo

While we know the state of North Carolina has a lot to offer, we’re especially happy that we chose Raleigh as our city. We’ve had so much fun checking out the museums, shops, parks, restaurants, festivals and Farmer’s Markets downtown.

20140818_135256     20140910_140758 20140915_130935  20141221_150321-1 20141231_213115   20140704_135420

It has been a fun year of exploring this area, and now that we have built our forever home, we are really looking forward to seeing what else there is to discover. I’ll always miss seeing Amish buggies in PA, and I’ll never be as close to the beach as I was in FL, but, despite the fact that NC has the worst Spring pollen I’ve ever encountered, it really feels like the perfect fit for our family. We’re looking forward to seeing what else this area has to offer and making lots more memories!