Big, Beautiful Spring

comments: 138
















The weather has been unbelievably gorgeous. This is perfect weather: Sunny, smooth, in the seventies, a bit of a breeze but only in lovely, dress-fluttering way. Mellow-yellow days. This has been the best spring weather I can ever remember. We haven't really had time to clean up the yard, even. And already the hydrangea (that's climbing hydrangea, on my fountain wall) has fully leafed out, and everything else looks fat and lush and happy. I think I actually have to water some of my wine-barrel hydrangeas already. That's unprecedented!

We've had kind of a quiet week, with sore throats and runny noses moving from one of us to the next. I'm last. I've been cooking and knitting generally laying low. Walking around the neighborhood a lot, especially in the mornings and the late afternoons. This morning Amelia and I saw a woman walking a baby (pygmy?) goat on a leash. Down a very busy street. Awesome. Everyone's yard is gushing greens. Everything smells so nice. The scent of cut grass is in the air. Lilac. Roses are starting to bloom already. This little pearly pink one sits on our woodshed. The bush that has probably been here eighty years. I put up a rosebud hair clip tutorial on my web site. Good for using up your extra felt scraps!

I made myself a dinner bowl last night of jasmine rice cooked in chicken stock and coconut water, black beans from this recipe, corn salad (I just used frozen corn) from this recipe, and a whole avocado. I would've added some shrimp but we didn't have any. It was pretty good, not great. Fresh corn would've been a major improvement. I like the concept of a dinner bowl. I think I'm going to start looking for recipes that go in a bowl. (Especially since I just bought myself a really pretty Japanese bowl with a lid on it this morning. Inspiration.) Rice, quinoa, noodles. Those are fast and good. I need a plan . . . that happens in bowls. And is not soup. Do you have any favorite bowl-food recipes?

There's always ice-cream bowl. In a pinch. I've done that.


popcorn goes in a bowl too. xo

I love the hoodie sweater! When can we buy patterns? Mimi is growing up before my eyes. We're having the best Spring weather EVER here in Corbett, too. Yesterday we had a re-dedication at Portland Women's Forum park.. we had to tie my hat down as it tried to blow away. I like the idea of bowl meals.. a cookbook, maybe? Enjoy this weather perfection.

I love quinoa with black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. I'm sure avocado would be a welcome addition : )I also love throwing brown rice, cooked chicken or fish, and random veggies in a bowl with some homemade Teriyaki sauce. I am definitely with you on the dinner in a bowl concept!

i love donna hay's bowl recipes, one of my favorites is butter beans, chorizo sausage and spicy tomato sauce. great served with toast. over rice would be good too, i imagine :-)
she has some other really easy bowl recipes that you can whip up in a whim!

Hillary says: May 03, 2013 at 02:01 PM

Oh great tutorial! Love how you use two colors of felt, so pretty. I have an addendum, which is that if your baby has fine, slippery hair like mine do, using a ribbon with pile, like velvet or chenille, will help the clip be more grippy.


Cute, cute, cute! Amelia is the cutest little doll! Thank you for the rosebud hairclip tutorial!

Do you get Penzey Spices catalogs? There's a recipe in the current issue for Taco Rice but you don't really need a recipe. Substitute rice on the bottom instead of a tortilla shell and top with all the fav yummy taco toppings. The recipe uses ground turkey. Looks yummy! And you can use your new bowl!

How old is too old to wear a rose hair clip? I want one.

maureen m. says: May 03, 2013 at 02:21 PM

My daughter got us eating a "burrito" version of the bowl: couscous and quinoa blend, next layer-bell pepper, onion, zucchini, corn and black beans (sauteed together with garlic and seasoned with chili powder and cumin). Then topped like a burrito: salsa or pico, cheese, sour cream and avocado! We love it!

Thank you so much for the rose clip tutorial! Amelia looks so sweet and happy :) And that dinner looks pretty yummy to me~
Spring here has turned really cold which is a bit insane, here in Oklahoma. We went from the 80s to literally freezing. Glad its nice some where! :D

Back when your sister was blogging, she blogged about Yumm Sauce. Fill a bowl with equal parts brown rice and black beans, top with cheese, salsa, avocado, and Yumm Sauce. We don't have Cafe Yumm where I live, so I found a recipe online to make a homemade version of Yumm Sauce. My children LOVE this meal. I have to make it a lot. And it's super easy.

I like to cook my favorite rice with cilantro and lime, top it with stir fried vegs (green,red,yellow peppers and vidalia onion)then top that with stir fry shrimp and veggie sausage links ( season with your fav seasoning). Really good with a crusty dinner roll! I usually add a fruit cup for desert!
Miss Amelia is growing so fast and is very adorable!

Beautiful weather here in Spokane too. Only in Portland would you see a goat being walked on a leash!!!! My beautiful granddaughter is the same age as Amelia, and I'm enjoying watching the two of them grow. I remember being in Portland after she was born and reading your post about Amelia's arrival. :-) Piper loves her homemade sweet potatoes too and her cereal from New Seasons. So sweet. Enjoy the sunshine.

We are reveling in this fantastic weather over in Boring, OR, as well!!! I went for a hike around our ponds and have some photos I need to post of the little brook in the back of the ponds where my daughter showed me a purple Trillium.

As for bowl meals I like to start with a bed of raw spinach then add some sort of fruit like strawberries, a little green onion, whatever meat is leftover, and dice up a little cooked sweet potato, avocado, and then put a dash of an oil and vinegar dressing on it.

My little grands and their parents have overcome their colds and are out at Blue Lake riding bikes and swinging. Miss Maggie looks all set to enjoy frolicking outside in her new hooded sweater in this PERFECT SPRING! Wishing you well, Alicia. Thanks for posting :-)

Alicia, I just wanted to let you know each day I can't wait to see if you have a new blog up - thanks for shining into our lives! I love reading your journey with your little princess, I have three children, but we are about to have a stork arrive with our first bundle from someone elses womb - I am so excited! Blessings to you xx

Brown rice or pasta with roasted veggies and drizzled with flavor-infused olive oil...sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese....delicious dinner in a bowl!

You're putting rouge on that child! (ha ha - just kidding) :D We're also having loveliness in the weather department - I feel so sorry for Minnesota, et al.

if you want awesome bowl of food, try Heidi also has two books with awesome recipes... I always go there for additional inspiration when I just run out of cooking steam.

Mimi is getting so big ! Thanks for the tutorial on the barrettes.......
I have just made Nigel Slater s Spring Soup out of the Guardian newspaper ; we have many bowl suppers, great for leftovers and scratch dinners
In winter I like to start off with some mashed potatoes and then a cup of chili over or a cup of braised oxtail and some soured cream to top it off.
Curly pasta with roasted veggies and green goddess dressing, strange but good.

Thank you for the sweet (and easy!) tutorial! My little girl just turned 9 months (how is it going so fast!?!?) and I can't wait until she has enough hair for a little clip. Sadly, she's quit a bit behind your darling Amelia. The weather here in Oregon has been utterly delightful. We're in Eugene and the Rhodies and lilacs just burst through with so much enthusiasm. There really has never been anything better than springtime with a baby. xoxo

Colleen says: May 03, 2013 at 03:25 PM

Oh my goodness! Her crossed legs! How do you get so much done with her looking at you all day with that face????

I love a good old-fashioned barley, beef and root vegetable casserole. Letting it slow cook in the oven for hours gives a delicious gelatinous sauce that is divine. Miss Sweet Pea could probably eat a small amount of the sauce with some finely mashed vegies. Thanks for the felt flower tutorial. I've been waiting for it.

Enjoy your weekend. xx

Kathy, FRANCE says: May 03, 2013 at 03:35 PM

We have had some lovely weather here in France too - did a bit of crochet in the garden today and then the garden looked back at me and said 'tidy me up instead of sitting there hooking' - so my hubby and I moved all the pots, potted up some more lovely flowers and herbs and cleaned the patio - so much better now - I'll be able to crochet without guilt tomorrow! Felt as though we'd earned our lovely dinner of pheasant in mustard cream sauce with Puy lentils from this recipe:-
by Valentine Warner!!

it was lovely! you could easily use chicken instead of pheasant but the sauce is to die for with the lentils!!
Talking of one dish meals I like to cook quinoa or millet with coral lentils - they cook in the same time and then top it with crispy bacon and cheese sauce and pop it under the grill - yum!

Hope your good weather continues so you can continue your walks and gardeny things with the lovely Miss A - what a sweetheart!!

Bowl food, family recipe: Hot Volcano Rice. Far from sophisticated, bu yummy and filling...and cheap, hence how my parents (or their parents?) invented it...or they say they did. Anyway, rice topped with cooked ground beef (I like to add onions once the beef is mostly cooked through)topped with shredded cheddar cheese, then you pour hot tomato soup over, just enough to moisten everything and melt the cheese.

Great pictures!

Goats on a leash!
Alicia, any time you want to see goats on a leash,
we've got that! Our _vegetarian dogs_ turn heads
every time we take them out in our dog walking neighborhood.
Your spring sounds enchanted... makes me happy for you... like
nature is celebrating your baby year! More flowers! More walks!
More ice cream bowls. Enjoy.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.