Thursday, February 11, 2016

Two recipes, a sweet 23 month old and a kindergarten project

Please excuse my hiatus! 
Life comes fast and furious with three children sometimes. My two boys are in a great school this year. They are busy learning everything set in front of them, but with kindergarten and 2nd grade that means my afternoons are spent looking at phonograms, reading books, and checking math problems. 
You would think I'd get more sleep now and have more energy. 
Not with that said, I decided to give Whole30 a try. 
I had tried to start jogging when Madeleine was a baby, but my feet quickly gave me problems. 
I thought it was medication, not stretching etc., so I stopped. 
A friend of mine started Whole30 in January and I quickly thought I really need to try something. My clothes are tight, my mood is yucky, I don't feel well, and my feet hurt.
I'm on week 3 and can I just say, AMAZING!!!!! The knot in the arch of my foot is gone. The pain is gone! I'm sleeping better, my energy level is better, and my clothes are loose!!!
With Whole30, you take out a lot of foods--foods that cause pain, inflammation, stomach illness, etc. So, I stopped eating nitrates, sugar, dairy, wheat, grains, and more. I took my favorite recipes and tweaked them to be compatible with Whole30. Our meals are full of protein, vegetables, and fruits. I can still eat many of the foods I always ate, just a healthier version of it. And pretty much anything looks great on Polish Pottery. My mom gave me a couple of these plates for Christmas. I keep adding to my collection as my pants get looser:)  It's a great incentive to keep doing things right.
So here are two recipes...
Squash Fritters

Let me first say, these were soooo good. I loved fried squash when I lived in Romania...dredged in flour and milk and I decided to semi recreate it to satisfy my taste, but limit the wheat and dairy. You could do just yellow squash or just zucchini. The yellow squash does give the fritter a beautiful natural sweetness. I didn't miss the flour or milk at all!!

1 yellow squash, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
3-4 eggs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp parsley
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, whisk your eggs. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. In a large saute pan,  heat up some olive oil. Spoon in each fritter. Fry on one side til golden, then flip. These are a bit messy and can tear apart easily. Make sure the fritter is done before you flip it. 
Here is my sweet miracle girl. She will be 2 next month and I can hardly believe it...or catch my breath for that matter. Her favorites things are playing with chalk on the sidewalk, eating dinner with her daddy,  and playing with her brothers. She loves church, monkey (Curious George), and her babus (brothers). She is a bundle of joy and energy and one of the main reasons I decided to start my Whole30 journey. I need to be able to keep up with her!!! 
  Did I already tell you how much I LOVE my sons' school? Friday is their Literary Read-a-thon. They can wear a costume portraying a character in a book they have read. 
The books must be classical, on their reading lists, or the supplementary lists or just a classic that their teachers said is ok. No pop culture. 
So my sweet Andrew, who is in kindergarten, chose to be the letter A in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We enjoyed cutting, painting, and gluing his costume for Friday! My second grader has read a book of Fables and is portraying the Poor Old Dog, who wears a furry green coat and found a lost gold ring. 
Chicken Salad
2 chicken breasts cooked
1 bunch of green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2-3 stalks of celery, sliced on the diagonal
1 granny smith apple, chopped
1 handful of pecans
1 handful of sunflower seeds
1 cup (give or take) of homemade mayonnaise
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic powder 
1 tsp parsley

To make homemade mayo (no dairy, no sugar), in a small bowl, put in a squeeze of yellow mustard and an egg yolk. Start mixing with a whisk. Add a stream of olive oil and stir until you like the amount. You want it to emulsify, so keep stirring. Add salt and pepper  to taste.
For the salad, combine all the ingredients and keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat. I served my salad with avocado and half a grapefruit. You could put it on top of salad greens too. Enjoy. The mayo lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator.

As I continue my journey, I hope to post many more tweaked recipes. Recipes I love and hope you will love and enjoy too.

I'm joining in...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy October!!!

I feel like we've been on a whirl wind since we got back from the coast. My oldest turned 8!!! 
And he got into the school we'd been waiting for on his birthday...the Friday before school started. So he and little brother got to see a movie with their Ludee while Mommy filled out papers, turned in papers, bought uniforms, labeled supplies and got ready for his swim party the next day. 
First day of school together...
Andrew is his new kindergarten class...
With that sad, little brother started one school on Tuesday and then got into the school we'd been waiting for and started there on Wednesday. Both boys are very happy and challenged by their new school setting. We love our teachers and staff and couldn't be happier with our choice. 
Go Great Hearts Monte Vista Lions!!!

 Little Miss Madeleine is growing like a weed! She's a sassy, sweet, sophisticated little lady. She loves Curious George, water bottles, Shaun the Sheep, and her daddy:)
She is thrilled with excitement when the teacher opens the car door and she gets to see her brothers again. 
 Sitting pretty in September...

Reading books in August...

At the beach in July...

Some other lunches I've made...
And for the adults... homemade fig jams and flatbread pizzas
Some items used in our lunches...

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


 My oldest told me yesterday that we were half way through summer. I couldn't believe it. I blinked and June was over. We participated in two weeks of VBS, starting taking piano lessons, visited the new children's museum in our area, went to the water park, the zoo, and much more. 
I try to keep my boys reading through the summer by getting books I know they'll read. My mom (pictured above with my 3 children) read to me all the time growing up. All. the. time. Perhaps that's one of the reasons I became an English teacher and loved teaching others about literature.
Here are some of our favorites. (affiliate links included)

We are often on the go and with an almost 16 month old and two growing boys, I need to have something in my bag for them to eat!! These have to be my favorite containers right now. They don't leak, the lids stay closed, and it's the perfect portion to hold off hunger til meal time!
We also have plates and sippy cups!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Madeleine's 1st birthday!!!

 It's hard to believe my baby is ONE...and that was two months ago. We had a small gathering at our house with family and a few friends. Madeleine's favorite foods right now are cucumbers, cheese, and blueberries. She loves when the boys share bites of their crackers or granola bars with her.
She is a sweet, happy girl. She loves cruising around the coffee table and along the couch. She gets so happy when she hears the alarm say "garage door" around 6 o'clock, because she knows that means Daddy is home!
Happy Birthday, sweet Madeleine LaRue!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Stay tuned...

Life has been, well like life with 3 being a 14 month old on the move!
I hope to have a few new posts up soon...
Madeleine's 1st birthday
Books we love to read
Recipes for the family

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mediterranean Chickpea salad, 2 byntos, and a sweet almost 6 month old!

 First off, I'll be completely honest. My boys would not touch this salad with a 10 foot poll! I made this for me. My husband and I ate this with pasta added to it, while the boys ate homemade mac and cheese. I tend to make a box of pasta and then two sauces, so this salad was our sauce.
I don't love chickpeas, but this salad disguises them really well.
It's packed with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onion, mozzarella cheese (I didn't have feta), and chickpeas (rinsed and drained). I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, Z'ataar seasoning, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was really tasty!
 Here is sweet Madeleine. She will be 6 months old on September 10! I can't believe it. She is showing off the dress her Ludee made. I'm determined to learn to sew. I'm also determined to start running and lose nursing weight. Yes, I lose baby weight, then gain nursing weight. It's so frustrating and stresses me out, so I'm hoping to run when the big boys are in school and perhaps Saturday mornings too. Wish me luck!
 My big first grader gets the more civilized lunch:) He has an English muffin ham and cheese cut in half to accommodate the little dipper filled with craisins. We watched a movie Sunday night and had veggie straws mixed with potato chips. He has some from that bowl. The bottom container is filled with cut peaches and a lion pick.
My crazy sweet handful of a middle child Drew starts tomorrow. 
He will be 5 in October, so he is still with Mrs. Elliott in her pre-k class. 
I hope you have your best year yet. He is excited about learning to read. 
His box is filled with carrot sticks, ham and cheese skewers, goldfish (in a Star Wars cup) with an ABC pick, a Darth Vader Easter egg filled with craisins, and grapes with a light saber pick.

Happy 2nd week of school, Adrian!
Happy 1st week of school, Drew!
Happy quiet week, Madeleine!
I hope and pray you all have a great week with your kids too!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Swimming Snack and How to make Lego picks

 Today, my boys have swim lessons after Adrian gets home from school. I packed small snacks in their Goodbyn small meal boxes to hold them over til dinner. They each have an Organic Z bar, craisins in the little dipper, veggie straws and a clementine. I used frog cups I found years ago at my local grocery and  green pick...which is actually a bunny, but I like all the green:)

This is yesterday's lunch for Andrew. He starts pre-k next week, but really liked his brother's Star Wars lunch, so we made one for him to eat at home. This child rarely eats bread, so it's a ham roll up tucked in an Angry Bird ring, cut up cheese stars and moons. In the top, he has a clementine with a light saber pick and carrot sticks in his little dipper.
Today, I packed a Lego lunch for Adrian to take to school. It was just a simple pb&j cut in a rectangle with two circles of cheese on top to look like a Lego brick. I can't remember which blog I saw these on, but I was ready to create these Lego picks for his lunch.
These picks were originally hearts from Dollar Tree. They came in a pack of 100, so I had plenty to use.
I just simply broke off the heart and hot glued the pick into the Lego. Easy Peasy!! 

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