sick boy

This boy has been out of school for three days with a bad cold. He is actually missing a really fun field trip today. He has drunk gallons of tea (thank goodness for Throat Coat), gone through boxes of tissues, and has a very sore little nose. I’m hoping to play a few board games and maybe watch a movie together today to take the sting out of missing the field trip.

14 sickI’m going heavy on the fruits and veggies, trying get him well and keep the rest of us well. There has been a lot of green smoothies.

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Very yummy breakfasts.

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And lots of fruits available for snacking.14 f&v2

Since we are having extreme heat right now, I’m trying to keep the cooking to a minimum. Last night we had do-it-yourself chopped salad for dinner. Fun and easy, everyone got a good helping of veggies and for once got the exact salad they they wanted,14 chopped salad

 

Even with the sick one home, I’ve been trying to fit in at least 15 minutes a day of some kind of crafting. I was able to put in a little time on a new quilt for my dad. Actually it is a re-do of an old, failed quilt, but that’s another story.

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Have a great day!

 

mother’s day

What a lovely day it was! In the morning I was greeted with these handmade cards.

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And this adorable mug.

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And a new, big girl camera! I immediately headed out into the backyard to play around.

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Then we headed out to a local botanical garden (the kids hate these places, which is why we only get to go to them when the parents get to choose). Everyone had a great time with the camera.

12 garden 612 garden12 garden 512 garden 412 garden 312 garden 2I’m so looking forward to getting to know my new camera and have a whole new hobby to get obsessed with! I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

coffee and friends

I am lucky enough to have a lovely, creative neighbor right down the street from me who makes the loveliest art. Here is a tiny example of a card she made me, inviting me over for coffee this morning.

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A latte, and a homemade apple cherry scone were waiting form me when I arrived. All on this adorable handmade tea mat. It was a lovely visit, full of ideas for her sweet little girl’s birthday party tomorrow. I have never had the privilege of having a friend that is also a neighbor. She is also my first in real-life friend who likes to sew and craft, so that is an endless topic of conversation.

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The garden is sadly neglected, but if you look hard enough (and crop closely), there are little pockets of beauty and evidence of spring everywhere.
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We need to get out and plant the vegetable garden, but it is not going to happen this weekend. I hope you are stopping to find beauty wherever you are.

 

hey there

Hello again. I thought I’d dust off the old blog and try to start posting a bit more often 🙂 I often reflect on the title of this blog, yet I am constantly stunned at how fast these kids of mine are growing up. We are in the thick of raising them right now. Three kids busy with plays, sports, scouts, music, church, and (gulp) thinking about college. I love it.

Here is a bit of what we’ve been into lately.

We all got in the kitchen one Sunday and made a traditional Korean dish called Bibimbap.

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It took forever, was a ton of fun, and was absolutely delicious. Korean food seems to be all about having a lot of little, tasty side dishes. That is the part that takes forever, but I sort of loved the idea of giving each ingredient a little individual love.

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You can’t make Bibimbap with out a special ingredient for the sauce called gochujang. When I asked my dear Korean friend where to get it, not only did she send me homemade gochujang, but this is how she packaged it. She does everything with superb attention to detail. More about her and her incredible talent in another post.

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I’ve also been knitting, sewing, and quilting a bit. I’ve got a scrap quilt going right now. It’s nice to have a mindless quilting project. I can just sit down and sew without any planning.

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It’s sort of the same thing as a garter stitch scarf in knitting. Just process, not too much thinking. I’ve got a couple other quilting projects in the works, but I’ll save those for another post.

Yesterday we spent a fun day as a family running some errands and we stopped by Rocket Fizz for a bit of a treat for the kids.

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Before I knew it we had hatched a plan to do a rootbeer taste test at home. One of the boys found an actual rootbeer tasting form on the internet and we lined them up.

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The Husband labeled each bottle and glass and then mixed them up for a blind tasting. It was so much fun! Everyone had a different favorite (which was often someone else’s least favortie). We now have plans to do taste tests for all kinds of things. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

birthday weekend

It was a lovely weekend. Just a few things to share about it. My hubby and I share the same birthday. Weird, I know. But not as uncommon as you would think. People often say, “Really? What are the odds?” And I like to say, “One in 365”.

The weekend got off to a good start with the opening of baseball season on Saturday.

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And our double birthday on Sunday.

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The Girl was sweet enough to make us a chocolate/chocolate birthday cake. It was her first solo cake baking experience (she’s a chocolate chip cookie master). It was delish and you could tell that it was baked with love.

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It was a warm, sunny day that I mostly spent out on the patio reading one of my new birthday books. I’m so sad that Maeve Binchy died, but so glad she finished one last book before she did. I will miss her books terribly.

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In the late afternoon, we all went to see Oz the Great and Powerful (loved it) and had a nice dinner out before coming home to the aforementioned cake. Tonight I can’t wait to try out one of my gifts. My first (and probably only) Le Creuset pot. Isn’t she a beauty?

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As the kids were figuring out how many candles to put on the cake they informed us that our ages add up to 100. Yikes!

it’s been awhile

It’s been awhile. I’m not sure how or why I fell off the blogging bandwagon so completely almost a year ago, but there it is. It seems impossible to backtrack and catch up, so I won’t try. But, as I was looking through photos from just the last couple of months, I found a few things to share about what I’ve been up to.

There have been countless cups of tea and and I’ve discovered a unabashed love for pumpkin oatmeal (topped with sunflower butter- I know what you are thinking- but it’s delish).

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I’ve been in the kitchen making all kinds of yummy things. Still trying to move more and more toward a plant-based diet.

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There was a birthday that now makes me the mother of *two* teenagers! How did this happen?

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Said teenager clearly has his own agenda. This has never appeared on one of my to-do lists, but hey, that’s just me.

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There has been some knitting (the neverending Hufflepuff scarf),

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and quilting (an in-progress bookshelf quilt for my book-loving daughter),

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and a trip to Six Flags where the boys found the weirdest glasses ever.

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I am in the middle of a nutrition/cooking workshop right now and loving it.

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And, finally, the cutest Pinewood Derby car ever! (That’s Finn from Adventure Time, in case you are uninitiated)

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I guess that’s it for now. I am certainly hoping to pop in more frequently from now on. We’ll see if I can make that happen.

whole foods kitchen love

I’ve been having a blast in the kitchen with the Whole Foods Kitchen workshop. Here are some highlights:

almond milk

stirfry with greens

raspberry oat bars

savory wheatberry salad

apple oat cake

I love making the almond milk (so easy) to go with the homemade granola that had come to be a staple in our pantry. If only I could remember to get the almonds soaking the night before! I am really trying to up my intake of vegetables- green smoothies, salads as whole meals and I even dragged out the juicer again. When I realize that I might not make it through all the veggies in the CSA box, I start juicing. Plus I like that there is less sugar than when I make a green smoothie. Both are good, it just depends on the day.

My frustration is the reluctance of my kids to eat some of the recipes. I want to cut down on meat, but beans are a hard-sell around here in the under 14 set. I keep sneaking them into things like pasta dishes and soups, but the kids  just move them around the plate and  avoid them. It’s better than refusing to eat the dish, I realize, but disappointing, nonetheless. That said, they are definitely more open to “mom’s wacky whole food meals” than most kids their age. It’s all progress.

Whether or not the kids will eat them, I am cooking and freezing a lot of beans these days. I love having them ready to go in the freezer, reducing my dependence on canned beans and their BPA problems. I have to admit that I get a kick out of having all my bowls of soaking beans, grains, and almonds set out at night, ready for cooking the next day. It makes me feel so organized and homemakerly. 🙂

The workshop is already about half over, and I’ve really enjoyed it so far. It’s fun to have a whole new nutrition topic to dig into each week, and I love having a bunch of new recipes to try every Monday.

The only downside is that all this cooking leaves the kitchen looking like this. A lot.

whole food kitchen

Heather’s Whole Food Kitchen workshop kicked off a little over a week ago and I have been enjoying it immensely! We were all flat-out sick last week, so it took me a while to start trying the recipes, but every one so far has been a winner.

Last night it was whole food comfort food- Potato, Kale and Portobellos. It doesn’t photograph well, by my oh my, it was delicious. It was so flavorful ,seasoned with soy sauce and chili sauce. I just served some scrambled eggs along side for everyone else, and the kids all ate it (yay!).  We have also had a Chicken and Spinach stirfry that was delish, and on the menu tomorrow is Bean, Kale and Sausage Soup.

The recipes have worked out really well with the veggies that come in our CSA box. I do so love making sure that I use up wonderful organic vegetables that we get each week. Some weeks work out better than others, though. Look at what I got today in the CSA box:

It is called Romanesco cauliflower. Isn’t it awesome? And how lucky am I to live in southern California and have delicious, locally grown strawberries in February?

It is the ultimate Valentine’s Day present for my family- strawberries for dessert. Of course, there will be chocolate too.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

the cake

If you came here thinking you will read something about wholesome, nutritious food, then avert your eyes, because we went the other way for Boy 1’s birthday.

I found this cake on Pinterest one day and after I repinned it, I had something like 30 repins in the next 15 minutes. It is actually just a regular cake with frosting under there, then surrounded by Kit Kat’s and topped with M&M’s. It was a kick to make, and got such a great reaction from the kids- I just had to share.

the happiness project :: 1

I’ve enjoyed diving into Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. It appeals to my need of self-reflection and list making.  Gretchen admits that everyone’s Happiness Project will look a little different, but I am using her’s as a guide. So, January’s resolution is to Boost Energy. To help accomplish this, she lists several mini-resolutions. My take on these mini- resolutions are:

~ Eat right

For me this means eating a mostly plant-based diet with the intention of losing weight, drinking enough water, and taking my vitamins everyday. Sounds easy enough, but I admit that I don’t do all of those things now.

~ Exercise

For me this is just walking most days, with the goal of adding in pilates and yoga, and eventually adding in weights for strength training. But for now, just walking 5 days a week.

~ Declutter 15 minutes a day

This is a challenge to my all-or-nothing personality. It is more in my nature to tear apart the kitchen and clean it top to bottom all in one exhausting day. But then I am burned out and don’t want to do anything for the rest of the month. I started doing this 15 minute a day thing last week, and I am seeing results. I cleaned out my baking cabinet, one shelf a day, and then started in on the pantry, one shelf a day. The pantry is not done yet, but the two clean shelves make me happy everytime I open the pantry. This is something I can do when the kids are doing homework, and it’s only 15 minutes! The hardest part for me is not starting in on another shelf.

~ Tackle nagging tasks

This one is a huge energy booster, I have found. I derive a ridiculous amount of satisfaction by crossing things off of lists. Especially things that have been languishing there for a long time. My list of nagging tasks that I hope to get crossed off include (but are not limited to):

♦ getting the oven fixed
♦ fix the towel hooks in the kid's bathroom
♦ replant the pots on the porch
♦ clean the light fixture in the entry
♦ change banks

I will give you a progress report in a few weeks to let you know how I’m doing on this month’s resolutions. Anyone else interested in sharing their Happiness Project?