Tag Archives: upstate ny

Baked Egg in an Avocado

Baked Eggs and Avocado with a tomato, oregano, onion topping

I have always been partial to eggs, some years I can eat them and other years not. At the moment I can eat eggs, but only if I get them close-by our weekend house from Sepascot Home Farm upstate NY in Rhinebeck. The eggs from the Farm are true-to-life produced by the happiest chickens, who are not caged and are free to roam the property during the day eating naturally. They are very happy little chickens! Personally, I can only eat eggs if they are baked or hard-boiled. Weird I know. I cannot do fried eggs and the smell of a cooking omelette can near make me sick.

Free-Range chickens produce eggs that have half the cholesterol of Battery-Caged eggs (from chickens who are kept in hideous conditions and live in a life of hell).

Free-Range chickens also produce eggs that are 6 times higher in beta carotene and 4 times higher in omega-3′s fatty acids.

Beta Carotene is needed by the body for good eye-sight and vision, to maintain a healthy immune system and healthy skin. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are needed by the body to control blood clotting and to build cell membranes in the brain, as the body does not produce Omega 3′s we must get them from food.

The taste is way better of Free-Range eggs, with Battery-Caged eggs having no taste in comparison. Sure, they are usually more expensive but for me I just cannot do conventionally farmed eggs at all.

I also love avocados, which are high in close to 20 nutrients including potassium, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins and vitamin C. Not to mention high in fiber. So, I started thinking, how would a baked avocado go with a baked egg – can I combine the 2?

Feeling motivated, after an insane workout at the gym, I tried it out this morning and the combination turned out amazing. It is definitely something that my family is going to be eating in the future…. often.


  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Half a tomato finely diced
  • Quarter of a small onion finely diced
  • Oregano chopped in small pieces
  • Half a teaspoon of sea-salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Organic Avocados and Free-Range Cage-Free produced eggs are the main ingredients


  • Pre-Heat oven to 350 F
  • Cut avocado in half and pit
  • Scoop out approximately half of the avocado flesh of each half of avocado
  • Crack one egg into each half of avocado

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Raw Dark Chocolate Unpasteurized Goat Milk Ice-Cream

Ice-Cream, Ice-Cream we all scream for Ice-Cream

With Summer fast approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, that can only mean one thing – it’s time for children to eat a busload of ice-cream! However, concerns come to hand in my family with this realization as my Son cannot consume cow milk products. This is because he breaks out in an eczema like skin rash. The rash does not appear when he has goat milk products so this is what we give him instead.

Thankfully, upstate NY where we spend each weekend, we live near Sepascot Home Farm which offers raw goat milk (straight from the goat into a bottle) and as a double bonus my Son LOVES goat milk. I am not a fan of pasteurized (or homogenized) milk. I see no point in heating up milk so much that it becomes sterile and loses most of its natural nutritional content, and further more, then the milk companies add synthetic additives in to replace them? Makes no sense to me. I just like to know that my Son is having milk pure and simple as nature intended.

Goat milk is very similar to human milk in comparison and has less lactose than cow’s milk making it a great alternative for people who are sensitive. Goat’s milk is also digested by the human body in around 20 minutes, whereas if you drink cow’s milk it can take up to 24 hours to digest.

This was my husband and my first time making goat milk ice-cream, and it was a huge HIT. Personally, I do not drink animal milk at all, but I did have a taste of this and it was very flavorable. With 5 simple ingredients how can you go wrong.

A very simple 5 item ingredient list – Raw Goat Milk, Raw Honey, Organic Dark Chocolate, 5 egg yolks from cage-free chickens and organic vanilla extract


  • 3 cups of raw goat milk (We picked some up at Sepascot Home Farm upstate NY)
  • 3.5 oz good quality dark chocolate niblets
  • 5 egg yolks (We used yolks from cage-free chickens from Sepascot Home Farm upstate NY)
  • 1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract (We used Simply Organic brand)
  • 1/3 of a cup of raw honey (We used Ray Tousey brand)
  • Sea Salt to taste (We used 1 teaspoon)

Read More Willy B Mum

Let’s make a Pine Cone Peanut Butter Bird Feeder

With our Pine-Cone Peanut-Butter Bird Feeders

During the cold winter months upstate NY, where I spend weekends with my family, when the land is covered in snow it can be extremely difficult for ground birds to find food. If the snow lasts a long time, birds can die. Also, insect abundance decreases during the winter so birds that rely on this as a source of food may also struggle.

As most of you know, I am very mindful of the Earth and OUR Animals and it saddens be deeply to know that any living creature may be suffering. This is a great way to help the little birdies to keep flying in your yard, and for them to have nourishment through the colder months. After all, the sounds of birds chirping is a beautiful thing!

Last year, at one of Miles Storm’s story time and craft groups at the Rhinebeck Starr Library, the activity was how to make a pine-one peanut-butter bird feeder. I had never heard of such a thing, which is apparently a very popular nature craft in these parts. They are very simple to make, very messy (I suggest making them outdoors), and a lot of fun for little ones.


  • Peanut Butter
  • String
  • Pine Cone
  • Bird Seed


  • Gather some pine cones that have fallen from the trees
  • Spoon peanut butter into the crevices of the pine cone until completely covered
  • Roll generously in bird seed
  • Tie string to top of pine cone
  • Hang in tree, preferably near a window so you and your Little One can watch the birds when they come to feed

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From a Blizzard to Surf Beach in a New York Minute.

Today, the 28th of December we left our Country House upstate in NY in Rhinebeck in the middle of a snowstorm, where around 8 inches of snow had fallen. Being the first major downpour for this season, Miles Storm loved being in the cold. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of the cold, and I default that back to my Australian roots. Most Australians do not experience the snow often, and we are more-so brought up spending a lot of time outdoors in the sun and on the beach. However, my husband, is a native New Yorker and was more than happy to show Miles Storm the ropes and help him build his first snowman. Grateful for that!

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Pumpkin Picking at Kesicke Farm

Did you know that the North American native Pumpkin is the largest fruit in the world, and close to 1.5 billion pounds are produced in the United States each year! That is a whole lot of Pumpkin.

The fabulous fat orange Pumpkin is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium (Love That). As well, as being an ample source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium and Phosphorus. By eating pumpkins you also take in Vitamin A & C, Potassium, Copper and Manganese (among other benefits)  This may sound like Chinese to some, if so, just be assured that eating pumpkins are good for you.

One of my best-loved Annual Autumn activities is Pumpkin Picking, and it is definitely something that is way more fun now that Miles Storm is around.

This year, our favorite local Lobotsky Farm did not produce any pumpkins due to environmental restraints, which is a hard blow for them and many in the immediate area who love visiting their land every year to pick pumpkins.

Having no choice but to find another place to pick pumpkins we stumbled across Kesicke Farm which is in the neighboring town of Red Hook, close to where we spend every weekend Upstate NY.
And, what a find it was (as the photos show)!

There was so much to do, including;
- Pick Your Own Pumpkins
- Corn Maze
- Wagon Rides through the corn (which Miles & Mohawk loved, Daddy not so much)
- Hay Rides
- Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
- Corn Pit (Just like a sand pit but yellow)
- Pumpkin Painting with Arts & Crafts
- Mini Hay Maze for little ones
- Petting Zoo
- Fresh Farm Produce

We spent about 3 hours at the Farm, but we could have easily spent the whole day if we were prepared. It is a great family outing, with plenty on site to keep Little Ones busy.

P.S – Dogs are welcome!

**All of these photos were taken on a IPhone 4S, being lightened and sharpened with the Snapseed Application and then finished with a filter with the Photo Toaster Application.

Last day of Summer – Let’s go apple picking

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away. Well that is what I was always told by my parents when I was a little girl. I did not really understand what it meant back then, but I still tried to eat an Apple A Day because I did not really like going to the Doctor so much. Funny right.

You cannot go wrong eating apples (so eat them as much as you can) – they are free of fat, sodium & cholesterol, low in calories and full of fiber. It is always preferable to eat apples untouched with the skin on as it is chock-a-block of disease-fighting antioxidants. Not to mention, apples are the perfect carry-anywhere snack food, perfect for little hands & big hands alike.

This weekend, with my mother-in-law and my 2-year-old Son we decided to spend the last day of Summer (sigh) at our local Upstate NY Cedar Heights Orchard picking apples. Cedar Heights Orchard has been family owned for 150 years and is the only pick-your-own in the Rhinebeck area. It is a beautiful spot, with the orchard being on top of a Hill giving a great view of the historic Hudson Valley. A perfect place to spend some quality time with friends and family.

I had never been apple picking before, which seems weird being that I am all about nature and eating healthy foods, but yes it is a true story. It was also Miles Storm’s first day picking apples and I have to say, he really enjoyed himself.  He had a marvelous time running among the trees helping us to pick apples, then putting them in the cart to take home. Who knew picking apples could be so much fun? We are definitely going to go back again this season, and I am adding it to the list of family seasonal activities.


  • Place apples gently into your cart, do not throw them in as they can bruise
  • To prevent spoilage, wash apples right before you are about to use them
  • Keeping apples out of hot temperatures helps conserve longevity, store in dry cool basement or in the fridge
  • Try to pick apples with the stem still attached to also help with longevity
  • Apples fall naturally from trees & it is okay to take them as long as they are not bruised, half-eaten or have wasps lurking inside
  • The color of apples is the best way to tell if they are ripe, as well as feeling that they are firm and crisp looking
  • It helps to have a stick to knock the branches so the apples fall, or even better an apple-picking tool with a grabber basket on the end (the orchard we visited had these available for customers to use)

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A Farmers Markets is a wealth of knowledge for Little Ones

My family really enjoy our Sunday trips to the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, upstate NY, where we spend every weekend. Miles Storm especially loves the experience, having visited the market with us since he was born, it is something he gets very excited about.  This past weekend he particularly enjoyed tasting some of the produce. First he tried zucchini, then he tried apples and lastly he tried carrots. It was hilarious to watch, people were in stitches laughing at his antics.

Children can learn a lot from a Farmers Market, it is abound with endless knowledge, it is also a super-fun outing and a wonderful learning opportunity. Here’s why.

Identifying Different Foods

Attending a fun outdoor market and pointing out different foods to your children can lead to further discussion about all kinds of wonderful things like what meals you can make with that food, what color the food is, how to spell the name of the food, what time of the year the food grows, the health benefits of eating the food etc. Knowledge is power, and a child being familiar with the natural foods around them can only encourage healthy eating habits.

Different Seasons Produce Different Foods

Tomatoes in April, Blueberries in November – I do not think so. Different seasons and weather patterns produce different foods, and a Farmers Market is an exact reflection of this. Children who make regular visits will learn about the natural availability of foods, compared to what is purchasable in the supermarket all year around. Learning about this at a young age can help to establish the important practice of buying local seasonal food when possible, thus ensuring that there will continue to be farms in our communities providing future generations with nourishing, flavorful, and abundant goods.

Meet Your Local Farmer Read More Willy B Mum

Finding my animal spirit with a Shamanic Healer

I go to therapy once a week in New York City to, you know, work through issues that us Mummies have. Lately though, I am not so sure I am really getting what I want from it. I feel at ends as to whether it is worth continuing? I have a hard time traveling to midtown NYC (Grand Central Station area) to sit in a fluorescent lit office for an hour, especially being such a nature-tree-grass kind of girl. With that said, I love my therapist in NYC, she is amazing and did wonders for me and my husband while we were in couple therapy when Miles Storm was first born – I do not think we would have made it without her. Thank-You Heidi! However, at this stage in my life I feel I need answers and not questions, does that make sense? I feel traditional therapy is all about asking questions.

Somehow this all came together the other night when my girlfriend Diana told me about how she went to the Shamanic Healer, Frauke Rotwein, who has consulted with people looking for spiritual guidance at The Omega Institute of Holistic Studies for 7 years. The Omega Institute is thankfully located 6 miles from our weekend house in Rhinebeck upstate NY. I just know I am going to spend a lot of time there over the next few years. What a gorgeous space it is and what enlightening classes they have – anything from Chinese Watercolor Painting to Flying Trapeze to the 7 day SILENCE retreat (yes, meaning nobody talks AT ALL for 7 days). And, what an AMAZING experience I had crossing over to a new realm and meeting my animal spirit for the first time consciously.

So what happened…..Frauke’s private session with me was broken down into 3 areas.

To start, I sat down with Frauke while she burned some of the cleansing herb Sage and asked me what was going on in my life. Which, not to bore you, but I told her a few of my biggest issues at the moment. She then went into her thing which broke down as follows:

  • SHAMANIC COUNSELING. This allowed me to experience the ancient method of the shamanic journey. Aided by the heartbeat of Frauke’s drumming around me, I feel I did slip willingly into a deeper state of mind. I was also surrounded by trees and birds outside which let me access a deeper awareness of nature. Being in tune with our Earth in its rawest form is a loving and supportive universe which encourages healing. But, you have to get there, you have to feel the vibe to reap the rewards.
  • SOUL RETRIEVAL. This is a technique for restoring wholeness and balance to the spirit. My Shamic Healer, Frauke, channeled with my spirits and met with a few “Lost Libby’s” politely asking them to come back to me because I need them to be whole. Areas of our soul leave us through trauma or disease etc. In all seriousness, Frauke found part of me in a tree-house in Australia, and I did not tell her till the end but she described my tree-house that I built when I was 14 to the finer details. I think I was actually in shock and it took me a good 15 minutes before I could say to her “That was my tree”. I especially loved that when she was retrieving my Soul at the tree-house she was on the ground looking up at me and asked if I would come down & I responded “No, you come up here”. Wow, for the people who know me this is so spot on.
  • SPIRIT ANIMAL DISCOVERY It is known that everybody has a spirit animal and our spirit animal chooses us, not the other way around. Spirit animals help in restoring power and balance in one’s life. I was put into a trance of sorts by Frauke and she told me if an animal comes before me I must ask them “Are you my power animal and do you have a message for me”? What happened was, after 20 minutes of a intense drumming session I did see something that was running really fast… some kind of land animal? However, uit was going so fast I was not sure what I was seeing?
    It ends up my spirit animal is a Black Panther, he is a gleaming cat that sits near me always purring and loves me unconditionally. LOVE THAT.
    Now that I know my panther is there, if I ever shut my eyes, concentrate and ask for help he will strike out and do all he can do to help me… which being a black panther, I am sure, is a lot. Funnily enough before I first went to Omega I told my husband (out of all the animals in the world) that his spirit animal was a black sleek panther. I was close, just I was describing my animal spirit not his.

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The rewards of being barefoot in a beautiful garden

If you are looking for a beautiful outdoor activity to connect your Little One with a better understanding of nature, look no further than some dirt and seeds. Yes, it is that easy!

Gardening is a wonderful messy way to involve children in a healthy and enlightening hobby. Starting with the excitement of choosing the plants you will grow together – veggies, flowers, herbs and flowers. Next up, preparing the earth for planting, and before long you will be harvesting your woes while enjoying a special meal together……… which is one of the most rewarding family experiences ever!!!

A Family that Eats Together Stays Together.

Besides being a lot of fun, gardening helps teach valuable lessons about patience through waiting for the plants to sprout and grow – Patience is a Virtue (they say)!  It also encourages responsibility, as if a garden is not cared and nurtured for (by weeding and watering) nothing will grow.

Unfortunately all living things die, and being in the garden also highlights loss when the plants pass away at the end of the season. On top of all of this, gardening keeps children active while giving knowledge by learning to name plants.

These days unless you buy organic plants, all foods are sprayed with all kinds of harmful toxins. Growing your own Garden is the way to avoid this. It’s really quite simple & So Rewarding while being a beautiful way to spend time.

It is really important to me that my Son knows where his food comes from. I was shocked by Jamie Oliver’s visit to the Unhealthiest City in America – Huntington (West Virginia) – where children were unable to identify the simplest raw-food like tomatoes? My Son, at 21 months, is easily able to point out kale and rosemary!

I love plants, I like feeling green all around me, somehow it puts me at ease much the same way the sound of the Ocean does. My Grandmother was a big gardening, and as well as her teaching me how to knit, I am grateful to her for exposing me to her love at a very young age. I still remember making mud-pies in the garden, and being fascinated to see food being pulled from the ground. I am very lucky to be able to carry this on to my beautiful little boy and for him to walk barefoot and feel the dirt beneath his feet.

Miles Storm in our Veggie garden upstate NY in Rhinebeck!. Such a beautiful vibe.

Gorgeous Day upstate NY today

My family is fortunate that we divide our time between living upstate NY in Rhinebeck on the weekends, and during the week in the city in Williamsburg Brooklyn. We have been doing this for 6 years now. Every Friday, we head upstate, and Monday we return to the bustling city. It is a lot of time commuting, however it is definitely worth it.

It is a wonderful contrast for Miles Storm, being exposed to city living and country living.  I love that he is already able to identify many animals that he constantly sees when we are out and about-  from turtles to turkeys and geese to snakes. He also gets to spend time helping his Dad in the garden, swimming in the pool, horse-riding, and petting the many animals at the near-by Sepascot Home Farm.

Rhinebeck is a beautiful little town nestled in the historic northern Dutchess County on the Hudson River. It is actually one of the oldest settled towns in America having recently celebrated it 400 year anniversary. George Washington used to drink at the Oldest Inn in America in town called “The Beekman Arms” – isn’t that crazy to think about!

This Saturday we went to the “Rhinecliff Family Water Day” which was so much fun. Miles had a great time. It was a quaint turn-out with clowns, a bouncing castle, and a water installation for the children to play with. Later that afternoon, we drove up to Hunter Mountain to watch Ben Folds perform at the Mountain Jam music festival. It was a beautiful day which I wish could have lasted forever.

There is much to do upstate, all year round and never enough time in the day.

I sometimes wonder if I could live to Rhinebeck full-time, I love it upstate but Williamsburg is a pretty cool place to spend time too. I think that it is great, for now, just the way it is.

Me and Miles Storm on the Hudson River in Rhinecliff, upstate NY!