Archive for April 2012
We’ve gotten into the fantastic habit of making green smoothies in the morning. They’re a really fantastic way to get lots of nutrients in one delicious cup. Unlike juices, smoothies are whole foods that are blended smooth so you still get all the complete nutrients that are often lost when you juice things. Juicing, as you might imagine, really retains only the juice and all the sugar minus the fiber.
We basically use whatever is available when we make these smoothies. For this particular one, I threw in two bunches of lettuce, one avocado, two large leaves of basil, two cups of raw kale, a cup and a half of frozen blueberries, a cup of strawberries, half a frozen banana, two table spoons of superfood blend, and for the liquid, I used unsweetened cranberry juice.
In making smoothies, we always incorporate these basic elements:
Fat. The good kind. This might be coconut meat (get a whole coconut and use the coconut water as your liquid), generous heaps of almond butter, or avocado (my favorite additive as it adds a lot to the texture).
Greens. This is typically kale, but sometimes its lettuce, spinach or if you’re hardcore, I’ve also had a lambs quarter smoothie which was umm, not as yummy.
Fruit. This is typically to make it sweeter and more palatable, so we use frozen berries as they are low in sugar, full of flavor and antioxidant rich. Frozen (as opposed to fresh) berries are also much cheaper to buy organic, and as texture doesn’t matter much for this, frozen is perfect. Bananas are very high in sugar, but they will add to the texture and add a lot of sweetness with very little banana. When our bananas are overripe, I peel them and stick them in a freezer safe container and save them for smoothies!
Liquid. You need something to help your blender mix it all up. You can use water, almond milk, rice milk, coconut water, aloe juice or like in this one, unsweetened cranberry juice–good for your bladder and adds a yummy tang!
Blend it all up and watch your whole family get into it. I guess our smoothies aren’t green as much as they are brown from the dark antioxidant rich ingredients and powders!
He loves it. Also, please don’t call child services on us for that crazy purple bruise on his forehead; learning to walk is dangerous business.
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Would you ever let your 4 month old baby get his face licked by a wolf? I did. I totally did. I gave my baby to the wolves. Aidan’s brother Palo is involved in an organization called Wolf Connection, which, in a nutshell, seeks to rescue wolves or partial wolves that were domesticated and later abandoned for various reasons and also educate young people about these creatures.
Aidan and I went on a hike with them years ago, but I wanted to take Gabriel to meet them too. They’re such beautiful creatures, majestic, incredibly intelligent and sensitive. They’re unlike regular dogs. They move differently and have different social cues amongst themselves.
The organization, located just outside of Los Angeles, goes on monthly hikes with the wolves. When we went years ago, we got to take the wolves on leashes and hike with them, but today they have handlers who take the leashes, and you just walk alongside them.
I highly encourage you to go and take your little ones with you. It might seem scary, but it is life altering. After you hike with them (it’s an easy hike) they retreat back to their dens and the MOST special thing happens… if you’re lucky… they howl. They all howl together and sing harmoniously.
I’d like to go on the hike in May, so that it won’t be too hot! If you’d like more information about Wolf Connection, or if you’d like to join them on the hike, check them out here.
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Mother’s day is right around the corner. I like to send out cards for all the mommies in my life, but once in awhile, I send something in the mail that is a little bigger than a card. Just something fun for the moms in my life.
1. Bathing Girls Tea Cups. My former intern, Alex, is living in Japan, just posted a picture with these. I was interested in them before, now I’m just obsessed.
2. Blooming Tea Bombs. I bought these flowering tea bombs once upon a time. I saved them for so long because I was waiting for a special occasion. I ended up saving them TOO long and they were brittle and broken once I finally tried one. The moral of the story: every day can be a special occasion. Use your flowering tea bombs.
3. Sweet Paul Magazine. Aidan turned me on to this magazine. It’s so stylish.
4. Shortbread Cookies. I have recently discovered that I love shortbread cookies. I love that they’re not too sweet and perfect for an afternoon snack.
5. Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin. This book had me in buckets of tears, love and appreciation of my little family. Warning, he curses… A lot. I’ve got the mouth of an exceptionally foul-mothed pirate, so I didn’t even really notice.
6. Set of Two Ceramic TV Dinner Trays.We’re always looking for vintage TV dinner tray tables. These would be so fun to have once we finally find the perfect ones!
7. Josie Maran Hydrating Body Butter with Argan Oil. Natural, organic moisturizer!
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This week’s Tuesday Etsy Spotlight is Vitrified Studio. I have to admit, I was just browsing through etsy when I noticed that the etsy featured seller had these beautiful ceramics. I love ceramics, and lately I have really been loving all white rooms and accessories. The starkness is so simple and clean. Shelley, the artist behind these works, lives in Portland, OR and usually does custom orders for her ceramics. You can send her a message and talk to her about your vision and she’ll talk to you about what she can do for it! She has some works that she keeps ready for purchase which are marked “ready made.” I find her work stunning.
She has some other pottery that are glazed with colors, but for this post, I really wanted to highlight the uncolored ceramics. I hope you check her work out!
Happy Tuesday everyone!
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I’m not sure if you gathered this, but Aidan’s family are foodies. The real deal. They’re amazing.. I love them and enjoy eating their meals SO much. They are incredibly intelligent especially when it comes to health and food. Each and every one of them is talented in the kitchen (and in other places too).
His mom’s homecooked meals REALLY, TRULY deserve the statement of “my mom’s ______ is the best in the world.” His dad’s unending knowledge of health in relation to food will astound you. Under his guidance, I was on a strict diet during Gabriel’s first 3 months of life and my little boy’s gassy stomach was never a problem. His eldest brother, Palo, started a beverage company and also created last year’s number one beverage of the year, Zico’s Chocolate Coconut Water. His sister Iona creates the most amazing grain-free, sugar free cakes which will make your mouth water. That really undersells her abilities in the kitchen, because she can whip up the most delicious meals and make it look so simple. Anastasia, another sister, has two young kids for whom she cooks almost every meal for and they just lap it up. I don’t know Tansy that well (she lives far away), but I hear is not unlike her siblings in her abilities in a kitchen. Additionally, Tansy’s and Scott’s (her husband) little girl Stella has some strict dietary needs and their entire family has risen to the occasion and her condition has vastly improved! Aidan, who cooks most of our meals, puts so much mouthwatering love into his dishes and is just so generally talented at cooking (and eating), that he has singlehandedly managed to make me
like love foods that I have convinced myself ALL MY LIFE that I detested. And then there’s Jonathan. Jonathan, who I have always had a sweet spot for, is Aidan’s younger brother, and he is a very talented chef, a real chef, not just someone that you call a chef, but is really a cook. Jonathan’s meals are full of meticulous detail, bursting with flavor and are works of art, to boot.
I’m plugging Jonathan in this post specifically because he has started a business, I believe in him and his talents and I think you will too! Check out his website, Jonny Cooks. He caters (in the bay area), but if you don’t live there, there is good news for you still. He has just begun a weekly subscription of foods that he prepares at home and will ship out to you wherever you live (in the United States, of course). We just recently ordered maple bacon, vanilla extract (so excited to use these two ingredients in baking), and homemade sausages! His prices are very reasonable and he uses the best available ingredients. If you want to join his mailing list (and I urge you to), you can do so here. Every week features a new list of available foods, and sometimes tips and tricks about how to use them!
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I don’t think it is a mystery to anyone who has followed this blog that I don’t like to make a special meal for Gabriel. I’m not always successful, but we always try to have him eat whatever we eat. Michelle will be able to tell you more, but in light of Lucas’s diabetes he has to now eat a special diet. When someone in your family has a special diet, more often than not, the entire family falls into the same or a similar diet.
I think that having everyone on the same diet is really beneficial, for numerous reasons: you don’t have to make a special meal for them; nobody feels left out of something “yummier;” you’re all in it together; and typically, everyone gets healthier meals! It’s win-win! I was talking to my friend about this and she told me about this website, One Family One Meal. It is a fantastic website chock full of yummy recipes that the entire family can eat together! It has weekly recipes, provides you with shopping lists, and best of all, you can specify all your dietary needs in the All Recipes tab!
I’m not a huge fan of substitutions, like gluten free bread or faux vegetarian patties. For the most part, I don’t think they’re as yummy as the real deal, but also more importantly, they’re often filled with excessive ingredients (salt especially) that seek to imitate a flavor or a texture that isn’t naturally found in that food group. I was looking through the recipes and a lot of them are pretty easy and full of ingredients that you can find in a regular grocery store (no obscure ingredients from secret health food stores needed!). I think you might enjoy it, and at the very least, you might find some new inspiring recipes for your entire family to enjoy!
From top to bottom, left to right.
Two Bean Soup with Green Chard. || Black Bean Soup. || Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts. || Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry. || Cream of Tomato Soup with Basil Oil and Parmesan Crisps. || and seriously, how much simpler and yummier can you get? Mixed Berries with Whipped Cream.
Lots of different options and combinations! I hope you give it a browse!
Another special post about food coming right up. Happy Thursday, the weekend is almost upon us!
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Does that even need any introduction?
Yesterday was the most difficult day I’ve had in a REALLY long time. Aidan and I have been trading off mornings with Gabriel and yesterday was my morning. Lucky me, he woke up at 5:30am, two hours earlier than his usual time, lovely. My efforts to convince him to go back to sleep were futile and he and I both ended up frustrated. He was screaming at a frequency JUST below the one only dogs can hear. I may have put my hand over his mouth and told him to shut up and I may have hidden under the sheets and kicked my legs up and down while I screamed…that’s the rumor at least.
I gave him an entire banana–a rare event–just to keep him quiet. It worked for 3 minutes. Then it went on…. Until nap time, I got two hours of solid crochet time. I felt recharged. So we headed to Trader Joes.
Gabriel is usually quite the charmer at the grocery store, and I’ve seen him command the attention of 5 ladies at a time while I’m picking out produce, but NOT yesterday. Yesterday, not a single lady told me he was adorable because he was a screaming pill. Despite this, I decide I’m brave and head to Whole Foods too (we usually do both groceries, sometimes three and on the most ambitious days). So we got to Whole Foods and I can barely think, much less read my shopping list because he is so cranky and just won’t stop screaming. I give him an apple, he takes two bites and throws it on the ground. Everything is a reason to let out a wail. At this point, I was losing my mind. I also begin to get all the symptoms that happen to me right before I faint, the ringing ears, the cold sweat, and the panic.
Here’s where I must digress. When we got to Whole Foods, this fancy schmancy Lamborghini rumbled through the parking lot, set off car alarms and made a little girl cry (Gabriel luckily didn’t even notice since his wails were much louder than any man-made machine). I rolled my eyes and just continued on getting a shopping cart and plopping Gabriel in it. The guy parked in an illegal spot and ran into Whole Foods, cutting me off in the process. Whatever. He was in a rush, I’m sure. Throughout my shopping experience, he was a few steps ahead of me and he was nagging every employee at Whole Foods. He told them that certain products were not where they were last week, he was annoyed at them for not stocking some brand of pickles, etc. But I was too preoccupied with Gabriel to really care, and it was obvious to everyone around that this guy was less than pleasant.
Back to my almost fainting spell. I was just finishing up at the deli, asking for some turkey, and Gabriel was still at it. He was screaming his head off. I had my face in my hands and I was obviously distressed. That’s when Lamborghini guy decided he should give me some advice. “WOW! You really need to get ahold of your son” he said. I, despite my rage at his comment, said, “thanks guy.” At this point, I was beyond done. I made a bee-line to the checkout, when I realized that I had one more thing to grab, some bread. Gabriel was also beyond done. I crouched down to pick out a good loaf, and I finally found one. YAY! I began to back up….directly into a display of meticulously stacked coffee cans. A TRILLION cans came crashing down all over the floor, rolling all over the store, and I’m on my ass and my toddler was way past meltdown stage. I got up, looked up and saw what felt like a MILLION faces staring at me, and I just sobbed.
This is when the story gets to be sweet. THREE employees at Whole Foods came to my rescue. They quickly picked up all the cans of coffee and one woman even said, “hey, don’t worry, it’s ok, you’re totally good.” I was far from good, but it was super sweet. I walked to the check out line with my head down, trying not to make eye contact, but I was still crying and so is Gabriel. Another THREE employees offer several times to help me to my car and one woman even asked if she can get me some water. I kissed Gabriel repeatedly because it’s all I can do (although what I really wanted to do was glue his mouth shut, but I feared child protective services). At the end of the fiasco, this same woman who asked me if I needed water asked me to wait so she can get Gabriel some organic lollipops, she told me that she hopes I have a better day and she gave me a little rub on the back and told me to hang in there. I got in the car and just CRIED. IT. OUT. I told some friends who all responded with helpful words of encouragement and offered to help.
And so, how amazing are these people (with the exception of Lamborghini guy)? I especially feel a special sweet spot for the employees at Whole Foods. I wouldn’t have blamed them if they were all jaded from having to deal with characters like Lamborghini guy constantly, but they came to my rescue.
As for my little monster, I gave him some camilia and it seemed to have helped some. That was only my first line of defense, the second would have been tylenol and the third would have been duct tape.
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I’ve been wanting to document Gabriel’s growth on a growth chart, but I knew I didn’t want to make markings on a doorway because we live in a rental and I want to be able to take it with us if we move. I also wanted it to be like a little artistic so that he would want to still have it in his room when he’s older (theoretically). So I thought of this little project!
7′ wooden dowel (cylindrical rod, like the kind you might use for a closet rod)
Primer or any white paint
1 large paintbrush (at least 2″ wide)
1 acrylic paintbrush (1″ wide should work)
Acrylic paints (in colors of your choice)
A growing kid
So basically, here are the steps:
1. Sand down any rough spots on your wooden dowel.
2. Paint the entire thing in white. This is an important step because wooden dowels tend to warp over time, and sealing it in paint will keep it from doing so. Let it dry overnight, you should do this part outdoors if you can since it’s pretty stinky.
3. Sand down any drips of paint once it has dried well.
4. Measure your kid’s birth length, mark it, and tape it off. Paint with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is water soluble, so if you need more, just mix with a little water. The more water you add, the quicker it dries, but the more transparent the color will be.
5. Once this first color block has dried, measure your kid’s length at 6 months of age, mark it and tape it off with painters tape. Paint the next increment with any color of your choice. And keep repeating until you’ve reached their current height, making sure to let each color dry thoroughly before taping it off.
The possibilities are really endless with this. Color combinations, saturations, patterns, rainbow even, or maybe every block is in different patterns of wallpaper? I chose to do every 6 months so that I would always remember when to do it and so Gabriel will be able to figure out when each height was taken without me writing on it! Hopefully he likes it and hopefully you do too!