Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's summertime, summertime summertime

My friend Bree took these first two photos. I copied them off of her smug-mug account so I don't think they're as clear as they could be but I love them so. She takes the BEST photos. They're all dreamy...whether my sweet family is in them or not. 

I made Maya that dress out of a Target towel and elastic thread. She loves it and wears it almost daily during one of her many wardrobe changes. I love faux smocking, it's so fun.

Sweetest kid ever, love him.

Maya is all ready for swim class...

@ swim class...

Remember last year when we went to the Rose Garden for the summer concert series? This year we went again with everyone else in PDX on a smoking hot 100 degree day. Totally awesome as usual.

This year we were treated to an "actorbatic" group Do Jump.

Owen loved the dog, Maya cried...too scary.

Owen was extra pumped b/c Jack and Nigel were there too. We stayed well after dark and they ran, and ran, and ran. It was lovely.

Woody and Maya talking to Nigel's dad.

Owen & Nigel horsing around in line for more sno cones (w/ Denise, N's mama).

This has been the summer of little helpers. They love to help clean (I'm weary though..I use natural stuff but I think they're still too little to touch that stuff, right?) and set the table etc...sweet!

Sprinkler fun...

Star got hot too...

Do you ever watch Yo Gabba Gabba? We have a guitar that Maya likes to play over and over and the title of my post today is the song it plays over and over.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

book reviews

So as you know, I'm a non-meat-eating person now (since January) and I'm totally happy as such. I actually don't miss meat at all. And I really liked it before. I feel a zillion times better without all that flesh in my body and I love cooking with veggies and what not so, yay.

Baking without dairy is actually pretty simple too (I made vegan cupcakes for O's birthday party) and those post-punk kitchen girls really know their stuff. 

Anyway, even if you aren't going meat-free (maybe just one day a week with no animal/fish? it would make a huge difference!) those two books up there are awesome to have.

Here's a recent fave from the vegan cookbook that you MUST try:

Quinoa & Sweet Potato Croquettes w/ Black Bean Salsa
(from This Crazy Vegan Life)
black bean salsa
1/2 red onion, cut into small dice
2 plum tomatoes, seeded, cut into small dice
1 jalapeno chili, finely minced
1/4 tsp salt
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 cup cooked black beans (I used a whole can, rinsed)
3 scallions, finely minced
1 T fresh lime juice
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well, cover and set aside for flavors to develop.

quinoa & sweet potato croquettes
2 cups water
1 small sweet potato, peeled, diced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed very well
sea salt
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 scallions, finely minced
4 sprigs parsley, minsed
1 jalapeno chile, seeded, finely minced (leave some seeds for heat)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup pureed silken tofu
3 T grated vegan mozzarella cheese alternative (Follow Your Heart is a good one, or just regular moz.)
avocado oil, for frying
whole wheat bread crumbs (I used whole wheat panko)

Bring water to boil and add sweet potato and quinoa. Add a pinch of salt; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until quinoa has absorbed the water and has opened, about 20 minutes.

While the quinoa cooks, place olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add scallions, parsley, chile, cumin, oregano and garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Mash cooked sweet potato and quinoa together. Fold in scallion mixture, tofu and vegan cheese. Mix very well. For quinoa mixture into 2-inch patties.

Heat 1 T of avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dredge croquettes in crumbs to coat. Fry until each side is golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. 

Serve with 1-2 T black bean salsa on each croquette.

A couple of things:
1. in case you don't already know and need to ask @ the store, you pronounce quinoa (keen-wah)
2. don't hate on quinoa. it's yummy! just make sure you rinse it REALLY well or you will hate it. 
3. Cutting up veggies takes time but so worth it. I whipped up the salsa and the croquette mix, took Maya to the pediatrician right when Woody got home from work, came back home, made the patties and served us dinner before 7ish. Still had plenty of time to bathe them, play a few rounds of UNO (totally addicted), read stories, brush teeth and get them in bed.

I didn't know I liked Jillian Michael's so much but I really do like her so, so much. I had read a random article in an online fitness magazine about her and she had mentioned something about her screwy thyroid. And I'm in the screwy thyroid club so I was intrigued. The book on the right goes into a lot of endocrinology and even if you have a perfectly working thyroid (LUCKY!) it's still packed full of fascinating information.
The book to the left is supposedly going to make me look like her:) We'll see.

This last book, by Louise Hay was recommended by my coworker who is in Naturopathic Medicine School. It's good stuff. I am definitely on board with the idea that the things we tell ourselves inside are reflected physically. Lots of people tend to think negatively and she gives some ideas for re-programming to produce a healthier mind and body. Dig it.

In case you were wondering what I did with all of the pom-pom's from her birthday. I actually dislike OM's bedroom very much. It's too 'mixed-up chameleon' for me...a little of this and a little of that. I really need to neutralize but haven't made the time. It's blue meets pink and it just looks awful. How do you combine the girl boy thing without being too much of one thing yet staying true to their preferences? Working on that...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Saturday afternoon we went to a park in SE Portland for a kickball match of teachers vs. parents of the Grasshoppers (Owen's classroom) from PSU preschool. For weeks there had been a lot of big talk between both groups so everyone was very excited about the big showdown.

I generally do all the correspondence with the teachers, administrators, and other mamas at school but Woody was sending out all the emails and talking to other parents to really get this thing going. 

Owen's peeps: Joseph (in green) and Jack.

 Note Woody's socks. He told me as we were driving over that every time he pulled up his socks when he was at the plate that he was telling me he loved me.:)

All the parents:

The guy in blue short shorts to the far right is teacher Michael (one of Owen's teachers). We LOVE teacher Michael but sadly Friday was his last day. He got accepted into a graduate music program @ Columbia in NYC so this was the last time we got to hang out with him. The week before he had a CD release party @ school that the whole school showed up for (have I ever mentioned how much I love, love, love their school?) to support him and get their groove on. It was lovely.
(And since it was Michael's last day we made him a shirt. It was Owen's creative black spiderman face.  He NEVER makes it easy for me to make these stencils.)

The guy in the yellow shirt is Geoff, Jack's dad (and his older sister Stella) and the guy on the right is Tony, Joseph's dad. 

Geoff just went to Prague last month to play in the world championships of ultimate frisbee on the American team. They won! He owns a gold medal.

Tony is a lawyer and is taking one of his cases to the Supreme Court in D.C. next week.

When Woody and I were driving home, talking about that, I was like,

'oh ya, well I'm going to sell a bike helmet @ work next week.'

and Woody said,

'oh ya, well someone is going to tell me to "f" myself when I tell them their policy didn't cover their accident.'

(tee hee)

The teachers warming up.

My dear spouse @ the plate (note what he's doing...:)

I hung out with the kiddos while the parents played. Eventually all the kids started playing too. 

I'm not really sure who won. I was standing over by the teachers when they came off the field after a couple of innings and they asked me if I knew the score (I didn't). Then one of the teachers said, "ask one of the dad's, they'll know for sure." :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

our little pub

Grandma Ginger & Grandpa Bart drove up for Maya's birthday last weekend. Major love sure do LOVE their grandparents. :)

They got to our house just as we got home from school/work so we walked ourselves over to our neighborhood pub to relax and enjoy the sunshine:

Note: I would like to add here that Grandpa Bart, after spending two days in the car to drive up from California, stayed up past 11 p.m. helping decorate for Maya's party. The beautiful gum drop trees on the table...he did that! He broke all the toothpicks, poked them in the drops and then arranged them on the tree. What a grandpa!!!!!!