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Interview with Dina Rudick (plus a giveaway!)

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I am happy to share a recent interview with author and photo-videographer Dina Rudick!  

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak with Dina and to be able to glean some insight about who she is as an individual and what inspired her to write her first book, Barnyard Kids - A Family Guide for Raising Animals.  Given my lifestyle and interests, the book caught my eye.  When I got Dina's book in my hands, I was immediately drawn in by the captivating photography and great content.

After speaking with Dina, learning about her unique story and a little bit about her values, purpose and drive, it was quite apparent that she is a pretty remarkable individual - one that I hope to have the opportunity to meet in person some day.  

I hope you enjoy the interview!

Dina_Rudick_author_2Can you tell us a little bit about yourself ?  

I grew up in the countryside of Northeast Ohio.  During my childhood I grew up around all sorts of animals including goats, chickens, geese and horses.  

My life then transitioned from living in a rural area to life in the city.  I have a career as photojournalist.  I currently work for the Boston Globe.  I live with my husband Erik, who is also a photojournalist and our 2 1/2 year old son, Wendell, who we named after Wendell Berry - who inspired us as a farmer, writer and philosopher. 

After living the big city life, my husband and I were drawn to our spiritual roots - and actual roots - and our dream of running an organic farm.  My husband attended a year at The Farm School - a specific farm that is run by adult student farmers.  There he was taught everything, ranging from organic vegetable farming to raising farm animals.  From that experience we developed our enterprise - Plough and Star Farm - a CSA in Massachusetts.

My interests?  I am longingly interested in yoga.  I just lack the time to commit to my practice the way I could pre-baby and pre-farm! I like walks in the woods and to be outside.  I like to cook, especially cooking for people that I love.  I also enjoy down time with family.

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What inspired you to write Barnyard Kids? 

My husband and I shared a lot of writing and imagery on our blog ploughandstarsproject.com.  We wrote about what is is like to be city-folk photographers who would like to be farmers.  The publishers at Quarry Books reached out to us to write a book.  At first I said no, but they kept asking and I pitched this book as they were looking for great instructional books that were intelligent for older kids.

Can you tell us about the process of writing the book?   

All of the photos in the book come from my husband's year at The Farm School.  When organizing the book I first decided on the structure of the book, then which animals I was going to include, and then I how it would be best to learn the information.  I spent a lot of time researching each animal in succession (chickens, pigs, sheep & goats, cows, horses and rabbits).  I wrote the book not from the perspective of an expert, but that of a researcher and compiler - not just giving my opinion, but offering practical, research grounded information - and from that the structure of each chapter would flow.

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Out of the farm animals that are highlighted in your book, do you have a favorite? Why?

Oh a favorite?  It is hard to choose.  First I would pick chickens, because they are incredibly useful, easy and fun -and sometimes hilarious.  After chickens I would say sheep.  I love whitnessing the process of lambs being born, especially the nuzzle ewes get aroung the time of pregnancy.   Then there are pigs.  I respect pigs.  They are sturdy cylinders of muscle.  Pigs are smart and cunning, they have unique personalities, but are easy to underestimate.  Horses are great, but they are a big investment - and goats, goats are like big dogs.  I guess I really do not have a favorite, but I do know I would really like to get my own flock of sheep.

Anything else?

One of the things that I have learned is that raising animals is a lot like raising kids.  There is always more than one answer to a given situation and a multitude of strategies.  When writing the book I had to be careful of what to say.   I needed to be sensitive, aware and right - but not exclusionary.

Thank you so much Dina for your conversation!   

Now for more fun!

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To enter my giveaway to win your very own copy of Barnyard Kids - A Family Guide for Raising Animalsleave a comment below.

Comments will close by 9am CST on Saturday, December 26th.

Winners will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced in this post shortly after.

comments closed, the winner is:

Heather S.

photo credits in this post:  image 1 & 2 Juliette Lynch/http://juliettehalsey.com/, photo 3, 4, 5 & 6 Dina Rudick and Erik Jacobs 

Congratulations and thanks for participating! 


good mail day!

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My mailbox had some special surprises today.  Two new books to review and enjoy: Barnyard Kids - A Family Guide to Raising Animals by Dina Rudick and an advance reader's copy of The Farmette Cookbook - Recipes and Adventures from My Life on an Irish Farm by Imen McDonnell (which looks amazing!).

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dina Rudick and I will be putting our conversations together in the form of a blog post soon!  

Stay tuned!


Interview with Christine Chitnis (plus a giveaway!)

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I am so happy to have an opportunity to share with you a recent interview with one of my writing mentors, Christine Chitnis!

I first met Christine at a Squam Art Workshop a couple of years ago. Then I became one of her students in an online class that she offered.  In the class Christine was able to give me some practical knowledge and confidence to pitch my writing, which led me to the opportunity to write a monthly School Days column for Minnesota Parent Magazine.

In the November issue of Minnesota Parent I was delighted to see a recipe featured from Christine's most recent book Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid Friendly Snacks.  As it turns out it was a surprise for Christine as well! We were both happy to have made this unique connection in print.  And, I must say, ever since I got my hands on her book, I have had a lot of fun trying out some of the recipes with my own little ones.  Most recently I made the Carmel Apples with Sea Salt & the Broccoli and Cheese Soft Pretzel Knots, both which I highly recommend!

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Yum!  
To add to the fun, I have an interview with Christine to share with you and an opportunity for you to win  a copy of Little Bites!

Enjoy - and good luck!

Christine, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

When I'm not busy writing and photographing, I can be found chasing after my two wild boys or escaping to my studio for a bit of sewing and knitting.  I am an avid home cook, passionate about feeding my family wholesome, delicious, seasonal fare.  I live in Providence, Rhode Island with my family, three chickens and overflowing community garden plot.  You can follow along on my adventures here: @c.chitnis (https://instagram.com/c.chitnis/) or christinechitnis.com.

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What inspired you to write Little Bites?  Can you tell us about your collaboration with co-author Sarah Waldman on the book?

Our goal with Little Bites is to offer recipes for simple, wholesome food made from ingredients that everyone can recognize, and to leave families with the feeling that making their own snacks is easy and enjoyable.  Children think of snacks as fun, tasty, easy-to-eat foods, but we parents know that the very best snacks are all that and more: when done right, snacks give our kids a needed boost of energy and they deliver dense amounts of nutrition in a small package.  

I worked on Little Bites for a year with my co-author, though from the initial idea to publication took over two years!  As Sarah worked on the recipes, I would focus on photographing the seasons and the food, along with helping her test the recipes.  We felt strongly about writing and cooking with the seasons, instead of trying to rush the process.  I also wrote each chapter in season, which really helped me capture the seasonal feelings that I wanted to convey.

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Do you have a favorite recipe in Little Bites?
 
I can honestly say that I love every recipe in the book so it makes it tough to pick favorites.  Since it's fall, I'll highlight a few of my fall favorites: on the savory side I can't get enough of the Roasted Pumpkin Hummus.  We eat a ton of hummus in our house, and I really appreciate this seasonal twist to add a bit of flare to our regular recipe.  When it comes to sweets, the Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies are insanely delicious!  I've had a bumper crop of carrots from my garden this year, and I'm thrilled to be able to turn them into something sweet.
 
Tell us about your upcoming book.
 
My third book will hit shelves in April of 2016.  Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet: 75 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream, Fruit-Forward Ice Pops, Frozen Yogurt, Granitas, Slushies, Shakes and More.  I'm all about healthy eating but I don't like the idea of making certain foods off-limits.  We eat dessert all the time in our family, but I make it from scratch from real, whole foods ingredients.  These frozen treat recipes are all free of refined sugar, instead relying on natural sweeteners and fruit for their flavor.  They are light, delicious desserts that you can feel good about eating, while still satisfying your sweet tooth.  It is a gorgeous book, I have to say: hardcover, luscious matte pages, and full page pictures of each recipe.  I really love Roost, my publisher, for their commitment to producing books that feel and look beautiful.  It is truly an honor to be counted among their roster of authors.
 
Thank you Christine!  
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*photos are from www.christinechitnus.com - except the images of the salted carmel apples and pretzels -
 

To enter my giveaway to win a copy of Little Bites: 100 Healthy, Kid Friendly Snacks, leave a comment below:

Comments will close by 9am CST on Saturday. Winners will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced in this post shortly after.

Comments closed - The winner is:  #8 Kelly with the comment:

Thanks for putting her book on my radar - looks like one I'd like to add to my collection. Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies? Yum.

Congratulations Kelly!- 

 


::Taproot - SONG

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It's here!

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Taproot ::SONG:: has been published and is on stands and in the homes of subscribers now!

I am so happy to be contributing to this issue with my article "Keeping Chickens" with photographs by Amanda Blake Soule.

It is a such wonderful experience to see my very own ideas come to life through print - and to be a part of Taproot, a magazine that I enjoy with a vision and mission that I believe in.

I hope you are able to get your hands on a copy - and maybe even get a little chicken raising guidance and inspiration from my article.


outside and inside

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Minutes of daylight are returning to our northwoods each day.  It seems there is just enough time after school and work to tend to the chickens, light a fire, eat an early supper, then get out back for a little ski or walk before the darkness sets in.  

Lately, our evenings indoors include time spent together, then some time off in our own little corners of our home.  On a typical weeknight we may have three boys wrestling or splashing in a tub, a daughter drawing or singing in her room, the daddy reading a newspaper or book and the mama clicking away at the keyboard or dabbling in one of her handicrafts sipping a cup of tea.

We know as our children get older they will have more and more evening activities drawing them out of our home during these weeknights.  But for now, savoring this time where we are most often all at home, warmed both by the fire and the love that we share.


::February - The Joy of Reading at Home

 

 

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The February issue of Minnesota Parent is on stands and available online now.  

The topic of my School Days column for this issue is focused on ways to share the love of reading at home with your children.

You can find the article through THIS LINK

Be sure to check out all of the other great content in the full issue as well!

Don't forget to check out my February giveaway and mother-daughter book review. I will be picking a winner on February 14th.

American Girl


American Girl -Grace; Girl of the Year 2015 Book Review & Giveaway

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I am happy to share in the excitement of the new American Girl® -Grace™; Girl of the Year® 2015  

My nine-year-old daughter and I recently read the debut book for the Grace Thomas series by Minnesota author, Mary Casanova.

At our house, we are big fans of Mary’s writing!

With every novel, Mary Casanova researches and travels extensively. For Grace, she returned to Paris—this time with her grown daughter, Kate. Casanova reflects, “I’d been to France three times for research and to speak. This time, my research meant simply being a tourist. Because I’m geographically challenged, I invited my daughter, who used to be a band tour manager, to join me. We rented bikes, walked along the Seine, explored parks and famous sites, sipped coffee at outdoor cafes, sampled pastries, and took a baking class in the home of a French chef. Ah, Paris. What a wonderful place to do research!”

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As a mother and daughter team of reviewers,

we thought it would be fun to share some of our insights from reading Grace:

Z:  “I really enjoyed the book.  I could relate to her character because she was nine-years-old like me.  As I read the story I loved making comparisons of our lives.   I always would go to sleep thinking about what I would do if I were her.”

Mama: “I loved the way that Mary Casanova weaves her experience and research from her travels into the storyline.”

Z:  “It was fun to read and learn some French words.  There was a glossary in the back to help with pronunciations. I also enjoyed how Mary Casanova wrote about real places and things that are actually in Paris. ”

Mama:  “Grace has a great can-do attitude that is inspirational for young girls.  In the story she is navigating friendships, problem solving, and acting upon her desire to make her ideas come to life.”

We’re both excited to read the second book in the series, Grace Stirs It Up!

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We have also both been exploring some of the unique activities available online to extend and enrich Grace’s character and story: 

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In celebration of the release of the 2015 Girl of the Year, Grace Thomas,

I have an amazing giveaway!

 American Girl is generously offering one Kids and Eggs reader an

 American Girl® -Grace™; Girl of the Year® and book!

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Yes, that’s right - win your very own American Girl® -Grace™; Girl of the Year® and book!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below (one entry per person, please). Comments will close by 9am CST on Saturday, February 14, 2015. The winner will be chosen by Random Number Generator and announced in this post shortly after.  

This giveaway is open to residents of U.S. & Canada.

Good Luck!

 

…..and the winner is…..

via random.org # 30

Congratulations Kandi!


Note: The views and opinions expressed on this post are my own.