Do you know the Muffin Man?

Do you know the muffin man

I happen to know him. He doesn’t live on Drury Lane, like the song says. He lives with me.

I know the muffin man

He’s a little boy, actually. It’s my son. He’s the muffin boy. Well, on Friday, anyways. This past week in school, Bigs’ class read If You Give a Moose a Muffin. I love that series. I still have the mouse one from when I was a little girl.

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The kids made moosey muffin boxes. How cute is that?! So on Friday, we made those yummy little Jiffy muffins. I let Bigs do all the work.

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He poured the mix into the bowl, poured the milk (that I measured) into the bowl and whisked those together with the egg that I cracked. He used my scoop to put the mix into a mini muffin tin. He did great!

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Here’s his “thumbs” up (it’s his pointer finger). Cuteness.

So what if I overcooked the muffins. He’ll never really know.

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We ate them for snack and read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie since we don’t have the moose book at home. It was a fun activity and Bigs was proud he made the muffins on his own. And I was proud too!

It was a yummy food day, that day, since I also made those healthy Snickerdoodle Pancakes again! I gave them to Smalls one at a time to hold and eat at his leisure.

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And for lunch (for Hubs and I), I finally made that tropical(ish) cous cous salad I’d been wanting to try.

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It was SO good! I couldn’t stop eating it and that was okay, since it was so healthy!

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Would it have been better with fresh cilantro (versus dried)? Yes. Would it have been better with a super ripe and fleshy, golden mango? Yes. But we work with what we have, people! Well, I do. Because I never have all the ingredients on hand. Ooops.

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It was REALLY tasty. Chock full of good grains, beans and mango.

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I loosely based it on the recipe from here:

http://greenlitebites.com/2010/09/03/mango-black-bean-couscous-salad/

Like I said, I didn’t have fresh cilantro, my mango had almost seen better days and I didn’t even have chives or a hot pepper. I cubed my mango and tossed it in a teeny bit of brown sugar, just to macerate it a little bit. I think it helped it taste more ripe. I made enough cous cous for 3 servings (according to the box). While that was absorbing the water, I drained and rinsed the black beans and made the sauce. I used about 5 tablespoons of olive oil and some really good squirts of lemon juice (would love to have used a real fresh lemon, but you already know what I’m going to say…). I added salt and pepper, a little bit of garlic powder and I had a Weber’s Mango & Lime grill seasoning for fish that I put in there. It really lightened up the flavors. I then added quite a bit of dried cilantro. I whisked away and once the cous cous was ready, I mixed it all up together. I added cayenne pepper to mine. It was great!

And my husband only eats hot things (mostly) and this salad can be served warm, although it is abundantly better cold, in my very humble opinion.

I hope you try it!

By the way, thank you to those of you who have prayed for my baby son. We had to take him to the doctor’s office two more times since I’ve written and also today, we took him to the hospital for chest x-rays. They were looking for pneumonia, which they did not find. God is good! I just need my little spicy baby to get better and back to his spunky little self.

Keep praying?

Thank you!

In Christ,

Kristin

More [brie] cheese with my whine? Please?

Well. I had a different post ready to be shared, but you know how life is. It do what it wants. I mentioned in my last blog post that my baby son Smalls (okay, he’s 17 months, but will always be the baby of the family, plus he’s really tiny, so extra babyish…anywayssss) wasn’t feeling well. That puny feeling, unfortunately, continued for him through the night and weekend. We ended up having to take him into an after hours pediatric urgent care. His little fever turned into a respiratory thing that caused wheezing, shortness of breath and low oxygen levels, and continued higher fevers. After some nebulizing treatments, we went home with our tired, little, sick baby. The next morning he woke with what I knew was pink eye. Poor thing. We took him to his regular pediatrician and got him some medication for that and a steroid to help with his breathing. His horrible fevers seemed to give him a break tonight, for the first time in three days. We still have to give him breathing treatments at home (we have a nebulizer from when Bigs was little), but God is good. I know he’ll take care of our little sweetie.

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So, sadly, that’s been the end of the week and the weekend (having to skip church tomorrow, but we can watch it online!). Keep my Smalls in your prayers?

Thank you.

In an effort to relax (and also reward myself for my SIX DAYS OF NO DESSERT!! <–why on Earth did I feel that deserved, not one, but TWO exclamation points? It’s so sad!) Anyways, after putting my boys in bed, I made what I currently believe is Life’s Perfect Food: Baked Brie Bites.

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You may (or may not) recall that I had them at a Christmas party thrown by my friends. They are just divine.

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Something about brie always calls my name. I could eat a whole wheel of it. The big size. There is something about the oozey, gooey way it melts, taking hostage everything in its path, like hot lava.

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Something about the crunchy, delicate richness of the phyllo dough. Something about the tart dried cranberries.

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Something about the crunchy, earthy walnuts. And then put that all together with a bit of brown sugar. Something MAGICAL happens. I’m NOT KIDDING!

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Look at that bubbly, gooey, brown sugary cheeeeeese. Those crunchy walnuts!

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I meaaannnn. Look at those now caramelized cranberries. I can’t even.

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I plopped four (for the sake of my photo shoot – I really ate about 11) on my husband’s Grams’ china and had them with my finest bottle of Sav Blanc (HAHA my finest is Trader Joe’s).

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This was a lovely reward to a long week.

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Here is the recipe, if you need it. It’s SO simple and honestly, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

http://www.plainchicken.com/2011/09/ile-de-france-cheese-baked-brie-bites.html

Enjoy and thank you for your prayers!

Kristin

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Nutrients

Schedule All the Things

Ahhh, I just love a schedule! I mean, I thrive in an organized, scheduled situation. I love knowing what to expect (I was never a girl that needed surprises…I used to open my Christmas gifts and then re-wrap them, for crying out loud!). Knowing what’s coming gives me peace and time to prepare (thereby reducing any current or impending anxieties…boo-ya – my psychology degree comes in handy once again!).

Willy Wonka Schedule

Yes, SO excited!

So, now, two days back into our old (school) routine, I am successfully existing once again. I LOVE normalcy.

My lunchbox for Bigs, however, was a bit lackluster.

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I made a “school(ish)” themed lunch. I did a gold star (gold food spray) shaped PB&J, with “A+” written on it with my Food Writers, some pretzel sticks, an apple, a cinnamon applesauce squeezy fruit and a gummy worm for dessert.

For dinner tonight, I made Chinese black rice and ground chicken. Sounds appetizing. HA! It was better than it sounds. Or looks, for that matter.

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I love black rice. It’s delicious and nutty and has a bite (chew) to it. I made it and then added garlic and sesame oil.

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I paired it with ground chicken that I browned (does it ever really get brown per se? Not really.) with wasabi powder and Chinese five spice. I added soy sauce to my own portion since my Crohn’s Husband (that’s his new title) can’t eat the non-GF version we have. This was a delicious and quite healthy dinner.

I would say that the kids did not enjoy it. They are becoming pickier and pickier as the days go on. I’m sure (I hope) it’s a phase.

I also made one of those little frozen packets of broccoli, cheese, and rice since Bigs has been wanting so desperately (bless his little heart) to like broccoli. I thought that gooey cheese sauce would be a game changer, but it was not. Oddly enough, Smalls (he who eats almost nothing except about one PB&J a day) devoured (relatively speaking) it.

PB and J

I make a lot of these. I am really glad both boys love peanut butter. For them, it is an essential source of protein. And plus, it’s amazing. I love PB in ANY form and with ANY spread of ANY sort. I’m easy like that. And daring.

I even love PB and pickles. And PB and olives. Give each of those a try if you are feeling it. They are delish.

Anyways. Last night, a couple of girlfriends and I got together for a little wine and snackies.

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You can’t go wrong with wine.

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Or snackies.

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Luckily, and let me tell you how hard it is to apply that word to this, there were no sweets. Eeeek. That was hard.

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If there were, I’d have been forced to eat them, thereby breaking my new diet.

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Today is the fourth day I’ve gone without any sort of sweet during the day. I am proud and miserable.

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I had a great time with my girls and honestly, when there is some sort of bread involved (Cuban, French, who cares!), I feel a little less sad about the dessert.

But only a little.

And also wine helps.

Here’s hoping tomorrow brings lots of good things. My little buddy, Smalls, started feeling crummy tonight so I am hoping he’ll snap out of it by tomorrow. I’ll go ahead and make those pancakes just to make him feel better. Just as a precautionary measure. You know.

Despite feeling puny, Smalls had loads of fun spinning with Big Brother after bath. They get such a kick out of that (until one of them falls into a wall or something hurty). I love his little strong spirit! (I also love matching jammies and matching clothes.)

Spinny Spinny Boys

Have a lovely night!

Kristin

Busy as a Bzzzzz!

Busy as a bee

We have been so busy. School is back in (yesssss! I love having BOTH my boys around, but when Bigs is in school for a few hours a week, I am really able to find time to get stuff done.) and sometimes getting back to an old schedule takes a little adjusting. Sure my kids never slept in during winter break, but we still had to move a little more quickly to get places.

For Bigs’ first day back at school yesterday, I did a transportation themed lunch.

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Mind you, I’m a bit rusty from not doing any special school lunches since December 12th. I made a choo-choo and race car shaped PB&J, I put some dried fruit, nut and raisin mix in there with some orange yogurt raisins, some pretzel sticks and an applesauce squeezy fruit. He said he really enjoyed the train sandwich!

And dinner was even mostly successful.

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I roasted zucchini and squash (in a tian fashion, without the cheese or breading).

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I cut the up the veggies and tossed them in olive oil and Montreal steak seasoning and baked them for about 40 minutes.

I served them with sun-dried tomato, garlic and herb chicken sausage and green bell pepper tossed in a homemade tomato sauce.

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Everyone (all the adults – we had a friend over for dinner) ate it and there were no leftovers.

Did I mention that I am on a self-imposed diet? I am. It’s a dessert on weekends only diet. AUGH! I am three days into it and have stuck with it so far. It’s going to be hard when I start baking again.

Well, since today is Wednesday and there is no school, I decided to TRY to start a new tradition – Special Breakfast Wednesday. During the school days, we just don’t have enough time to MAKE a breakfast (that isn’t cereal, toast, etc.). So this morning I made pancakes from scratch. Snickerdoodle Pancakes. And they were HEALTHY. And let me tell you, they were some of the best pancakes I’ve eaten in my whole life. Bigs ate 10 small ones. Smalls ate about 4. And that’s a lot for him.

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I used a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie. She does healthy desserts and breakfasts. I’ve made her Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip before and it was wonderful. These particular pancakes have a very small amount of sugar and no fat at all (or eggs)!!

They browned up quickly and beautifully.

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Like every other time I make pancakes, I get better at making them as I go through batches. The last batch is always the best. Works out for me since I always give the first batches of pancakes to the boys and my husband first. 😉

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There, that’s better. Golden brown.

Anyways, they were DIVINE. I am not exaggerating. They were so wonderful. I still smell the cinnamon in my house. I will be making these again and again. And I can easily make them gluten and dairy free. They were made even better with real maple syrup.

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Real maple syrup can make anything better.

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These are a great “work-around” to my no dessert during the week diet!

Here is the recipe:

http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/12/snickerdoodle-pancakes/

TRY THEM!!!

Anyways, off to ready the house for my bestie! She is up from where she now lives, four hours away from me (waaaaaaah) and we are going to spend some time together this morning with our kids.

Have a blessed day!

Kristin

Orange you glad?

So, how has your New Year been treating you so far? I’ve discovered (via friend and styling medias), dry shampoo. It’s sort of the answer to some of my dreams. The dreams of sprucing up this under-showered Mommy.

And we’ve been busy. I’ve been terribly busy today catching up on emails (they get dreadfully behind so easily…not that I am that popular, but it does take some catching up) and I had two weeks’ worth of laundry. Yuck. I can’t stand laundry. I started it at 6:30am and as I sit here writing this, at night, I still have huge (clean), folded piles sitting on the dining room table. Mocking me. I am already over it. The house was in complete disarray today, every single toy out. The boys were pink-cheeked from running around the house so much. Suffice it to say, I was certifiably insane by nap time. And maybe refreshed a little afterwards, but still insane.

The boys started off the day very peacefully. I made them breakfast and they, adorably, played with cars while eating.

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Bigs and his dump truck. And his cereal.

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Smalls and his dump truck digger pusher thing IN his cereal.

It was a very, very cold morning and day. The sort where you love staying inside and wearing your jammies and slippers all day. Which we did.

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Smalls

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The boys, still peaceful, played cars and trains for what seemed like forever.

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I enjoyed a cup of coffee (or three) in my new mug from a friend (the sunflower thing on the top is this neat little suction thing that keeps your drink warm – from my Mom-in-law and I love it).

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Smalls enjoyed catching up on books from his reading list.

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Both boys drew pictures and made squeaky noises with their fingers on the condensation-covered front window (Bigs standing on a chair and Smalls standing in my dog’s toy basket).

Life seemed peaceful. All was right in the world. We were in our warm, little cocoon safe from the world’s troubles and frigidity.

But…

I don’t know if Santa didn’t bring them enough things to do, or they read every book (they seemingly have hundreds) they own, but cabin fever set in for them by lunchtime, which incidentally, that was about the time where every toy in life that these boys have were pulled out and scattered all over the house, as if a toy and book store exploded and I was pulling out my hair.

<<Whiny voice>> It’s just so haaaaaaard, waaaaaah!

Okay. Snit over.

I made a pretend ambrosia salad. I’d have preferred a real one, but naturally, did not have all the necessary ingredients. I had also planned on a tropical cous cous salad for lunch, but also lacked ingredients for that as well. Sigh. Tomorrow’s a new day.

I love ambrosia salad (the kind with marshmallows in it). I love how the sour cream and the acid from the pineapple mix together to break down the sugars in the marshmallows, making a creamy sort of sauce.

Well, I didn’t have pineapple. Not fresh, not frozen, not canned.

So. I used both fresh clementines segments and canned mandarin oranges. It was quite…orangey. I also used sour cream, shredded coconut and marshmallows. I didn’t follow any directions or measurements. Should have (lol).

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Desserts and sides I can do (usually). But lately, I’ve been in a real pickle with cooking dinners. I have the occasional good ones, but with my husband’s newly gluten-free and dairy-free diet (due to his Crohn’s), I’ve been a little overwhelmed. I never know if I should switch us all over to GF & DF (which for some things, I’m not okay giving up completely and also our grocery bill will go significantly up) or if I should cook two different meals or if I should have him sort of pick what he wants and have a go himself. Tonight, despite having a lack of energy, I sort of made two meals. I made a ham and pea pasta and used GF pasta for my husband.

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I cubed some ham (from a previous meal) and browned it in a pan with olive oil and fresh garlic. I added some peas and cooking wine and reduced. I put some in with his GF pasta and then the rest in ours. The bottom picture is the steamy ham and pea mixture.

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It was decent. I added tumeric to Hubs’. It’s a spice that is known to alleviate internal inflammation (a side effect of Crohn’s).

I’d rather have eaten this vegetarian salad from a new local eatery that I enjoyed yesterday. It was really good. It was greens with falafel and a lot of other Mediterranean salads on top. I had it with a yogurt sauce, garlic sauce and tahini. And topped with a cilantro sauce.  I want more. It was really heavenly. It is such a shame I am stuck with my own cooking.

Falafel Salad

Anyways, while we ate, Smalls ran around (he only will stay in his high chair for 2 minutes MAX and then scream like a banshee and worm his way out of the straps, soooooo what’s the point of torturing all of us? I’ve found he eats more when not trapped.), standing on my feet (had my legs crossed).

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He balanced on my crossed foot and got all up on the table. This kid is nuts.

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He also played peekaboo. Has anyone seen Smalls?? Such a goofball. 🙂 I love how he “hides”.

And Bigs ate all his noodles because he was promised that ambrosial dessert if he did. I am all for negotiations if needed. Sue me. At least dessert was half fruit.

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Look at these little wonders.

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They were…um…a little less than decent. The marshmallows were able to break down a little, but the pineapple flavor was clearly missing (in my opinion) and for some reason the coconut was hard. Not quite the ambrosial effect I was hoping for.

Sigh.

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Whatever. It still looked pretty. I might pick out all the marshmallows and then I won’t have to chalk it up to a complete loss.

Because he had marshmallows, Bigs went a little berserk. Coo-coo bananas running all over the house. Sigh.

The night ended with the boys doing downward dogs (my poor pup safely out of the way).

Downward Dog Boys

I hope your day was more/less exciting than mine and definitely less chaotic.

Off to put laundry away. Waaaaaaaah.

Kristin

Happy New Year 2014!!

Happy New Year

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
– Alfred Tennyson

Sparklers

May your next year be filled with peace, love and happiness, and enough faith and strength to get through the times that don’t necessarily call for those other lovely emotions.Auld Lang SyneHappy New Year 2014!!!

Kristin

End Piece of Bread

Cat Bread Ends

You know those end pieces of bread flanking the good, soft stuff in the middle of the loaf? Do you eat those? I always feel sorry for them. Sometimes I feed them to Smalls because he doesn’t notice, save for a few extra chews. I feel like the last day of the year is sort of like those extra little pieces of bread. It’s easy to forget, but the last day of the year counts, just like you can make something amazing from those sad little end pieces (French toast, bread pudding, bread crumbs, etc.).

ROMRO (right on, man, right on – we say that a lot in my house for some reason).

Today could be a day to finish out your resolutions from the past year, if you so desire, or think about what’s important to you in the next year. Like I’ve said, I always think about how I can do things differently, up coming. And I get all nostalgic about how much my sons have grown. It doesn’t take much for me to get all mushy about them.

It’s also a day to celebrate and close a chapter.

Or to party.

Or to set an alarm for 11:55p, like I do. Whatevs.

Bear End Breads

Okay, so I don’t LIKE them, but I don’t MIND them. I wouldn’t seek to eat them over the soft, yeasty bread slices, but I won’t turn those end pieces down if they were slathered liberally with any sort of peanut (or other nut) butter. I’ll eat just about anything as a vehicle for that. Or a jelly. Or most any type of spread. I’m a spread and condiment sort of gal. Staaahp Kris.

I [sort of] digress.

I can’t seem to stop likening stuff in life to food. It just comes naturally to me.

Sorrrry!

Anyways, I always try to make something special of the last day of the year. Nothing big or expensive or fancy. Just something slightly out of the ordinary so we can remember it. And it always includes a dinner at Perkin’s. And that might be the only special thing we do that day. And I’m okay with that.

It always takes some extra gumption to go out to eat alone with them. But since it was NYE, we did it.

I took lots of backup.

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I stocked my purse with books, airplanes, cars and small child-friendly electronic thingies. There might even be a dino or two in there from a previous outing.

We played tic tac toe (Bigs ALWAYS won, clever boy!), and drew with our crayons and played with our cars and planes. We talked about New Years.

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And we ate until we were content. Bigs ALWAYS gets sprinkle pancakes there. Smalls also had pancakes and breakfast potatoes. I got steak tips, salad and veggies. And I ate whatever my kids didn’t.

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I ordered a piece of double chocolate fudge cake to go. I’ve already had one bite, but I had to eat it in hiding, hence the crummy quality pictures. I know I’m on a diet, but still. Special occasion, and all.

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And at least 8 elderly people (that’s the typical demographic of this restaurant and I love it) came by to say hello to my boys and say how lovely Bigs’ blue eyes and Smalls’ golden curls were.

And I took pictures of Smalls’ hands. Don’t you love little baby hands?

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And earlier, I made a chicken soup chock full of veggies. It’s been very rainy and gray and blustery here and it just called for a big stock pot full of soup.

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I put in a carton of no-salt chicken stock and the same carton full of water. I cut up and added a package each of carrots and celery and about 1/4 cup of onion. Once those were soft enough, I added all the chicken (that I cut off and sort of cubed from a rotisserie) and let it simmer until whenever.

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I added salt to mine. I leave it out for my husband. I think it needs it. It was good, hearty and almost as importantly, easy. And it would be good with rice or noodles. Or toasted end pieces of bread.

Oh and also, I learned that baby gates mean nothing to Smalls. He can pull them off, undo them and unlock them.

Just an aside.

I hope next year is more organized than this post is.

Be safe tonight – lots of crazies out there!

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

Kristin

Rearview Mirror

Be Happy Next Year

That’s a great goal, isn’t it? Just to be happy.

The stockings are put away, the gifts organized in their rightful spots (which they all have, obvi), the tree and its ornaments are all put away, the tinsel has been swept up. Christmas is over. As lovely as it was, I just love a fresh start. There is something so wonderful, so renewing about a New Year. I always get introspective around this time of year. I think back to how things have turned out, what I could have done differently, how I’ve grown as a person, how I can grow more.

Create in Me

We’ve been so busy since Christmas ended (us? busy? not us!!!). Bigs has been doing great on his “Woody Buzz” bike from Santa. It’s his first experience with a bike bike and he can ride it in a straight line with no deviation that doesn’t involve any steering or turning around all by himself (lol). Seriously though, I am very proud. It’s terribly cute!

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It’s made even more cute with his Toy Story accessories and ever-present “Woody Buzz” boots.

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And Smalls has been enjoying Bigs’ hand-me-down trike, riding it like a boss.

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And I followed him around, “collecting” pictures of his glorious, golden, flouncy curls. I know those will be gone someday (probably the second I cut them, any chance of curl regrowth will be zero), so I am savoring and documenting those sweet, little, twirly coils.

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Obsessed? Sure.

So….

We know what’s coming next. Those dreadful resolutions. I’ve mostly not stuck with the ones I’ve set out for myself. Like ever. Except MOSTLY I’ve made my bed every day. I think it makes the room look more put together. But sometimes I don’t even have time for that. As for other resolutions, I’ve even changed my tactic and changed the goals so that I don’t keep breaking the ones I know I’ll break. It seemed like that would work. But I’ve learned I’m just not cut out for resolution-keeping. At least I know myself.

With that said, here are my 2014 Resolutions (LOL):

1. To eat less of my own product and to share more. They must go hand in hand.

2. To be less stressed (Philippians 4:6-7).

3. To focus on the positive.

If it Keeps you from God

4. To get back to working out. <— I’ve seen that before!

5. To push myself to try new things (a new recipe [but, see #1], go somewhere new, take my kids to new experiences, thereby taking me out of my comfort zone, etc.)

6. To grow in my relationship with God and to continue to help foster that same relationship in my kids’ walk with Him.

7. To continue with my Daily Devotionals and referring to the Bible, which will be much easier with this adorbs Bible my husband got me for Christmas…Sprinkles on my Bible!

Sprinkles on my Bible

8. To always trust in God. For He alone has my path set out.

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less

So. Good luck to me. And you. If you’re doing resolutions, of course. And if you aren’t, may you find great success with your old ways. That must mean they are working.

New Years Subway Art

Do you have any New Year’s Eve or Day traditions?

As a kid growing up, my Mom would always make black eyed peas and greens (with ham hock) on New Year’s Day. She still does! It’s good luck, you know. Maybe this year, she’ll make extra and I can have some…Mom? Yes? 😉

Before kids, my husband and I were up until well past midnight. And after kids we were up until 12:00:01. And in recent years, I’ve had to be woken up to see the ball dropping. That will probably happen this year. I just can’t rally that late. And on NYE, Hubs and I always had a tradition to go to Perkin’s for dinner (I know I know… but don’t knock it until you try it though!!), but my husband’s job has required him to work until after our kids are in bed on NYE these past few years. So, now just me and the boys go to Perkin’s. And I love it. It’s a great way to end the year.

Maybe I’ll indulge in some Asti once they boys are sleeping. It’s my right.

Champs

Here’s to a very blessed, wonderful New Year!

Happy New Year 2

Blessings,

Kristin

Tinsel’s in a Tangle

Happy Christmas and Merry Food Coma

My body is in a coma…the food sort. My fridge looks like it’s in a coma too. Not an inch to spare (it IS a rather small fridge, though) with all the leftovers.

Let’s rewind a few days. We took our boys to visit Santa. We stood in line for over an hour to see a really wonderful looking Santa.

Boys in line for Santa

Smalls was delightful the whole time waiting (as was Bigs), but the second he was plopped on Ol’ St. Nick’s lap, he screamed like he was being pinched. Poor thing. Not a fan. So Bigs was smiling really sweetly (and told Santa he wanted a bouncy carrot) and Smalls was screaming with tears pouring out of his eyes…50%, not bad. We also went to Christmas Eve service at church, which was beautiful.

We set out some cookies (some GF and LF) and almond milk for Santa (to accommodate Mr. Claus’ Crohn’s diet!). We also left a carrot for the reindeer.

Santa Cookies and Milk

We actually had to wake the boys up on Christmas morning. They NEVER sleep in. Ever. They are usually up way before 7:00a. They were very excited about everything and Bigs was shocked Santa brought him a bouncy carrot.

Bouncy Carrot

Since they slept in so late, I was able to finish prep on their special breakfast. I reheated the gluten and lactose free pancakes I’d made earlier in the week. I cut up some fruit and finished the Grinch kebabs, and put together the pancake toppings bar (bananas, strawberries, Christmas sprinkles, chocolate chips, and marshmallows). We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and began eating.

Christmas Morning Breakfast

Bigs gobbled it all up. Smalls ate next to nothing, which is typical. I also made hot chocolate (my Mom made the mix from scratch) with whipped cream Christmas trees (that I made with a silicon mold the day before). I wasn’t sure the molds would work, but they did! They were so fun. I gave Bigs another hot chocolate today with another whipped cream tree…all of which he accidentally knocked on the floor. Sigh.

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While they were basking in the glow of new toys, I put together two casseroles.

Bread Pud and Hash

A Cranberry White Chocolate Bread Pudding and a Cracker Barrel-inspired Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole. They were both DELICIOUS.

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While cheesy potatoes are always a good dish to me, the bread pud was TO DIE FOR. Geesh, that’s morbid. Let’s say it was a must try. It was divine. Seriously. I will be making this again and again and again.

Hash Brown recipe:

http://choosingsimplicity.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/easy-1-bowl-cheesy-hash-brown-casserole/

Bread Pudding recipe:

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/11/cranberry-white-chocolate-bread-pudding-recipe.html

We ate those two dishes with some others that came with my Husband’s side of the family (some vegan and GF dishes, bagels with cream cheese and lox, fruit salad).

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And then after naps, we went to my parents’ house, where we enjoyed another meal! We had roast beef with au jus and horseradish sauce, roasted vegetables, rolls, fruit salad, and a lovely cheese platter.

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And my Mom made a fruitcake…a FRUITCAKE! I love fruitcake. I might be one of two people (My Dad and I) that eat it. My husband jokes that there is only one fruitcake in the whole world. I think that’s the only fruitcake joke. Whatever. More for me (and Dad).

I hope that you had a lovely holiday.

As for me, I’m ready to cleanse my home, take down the decorations, prepare for the new year, and make my resolutions. And eat less (maybe).

Kristin

*Sorry for all the collages versus whole pictures – it was just much easier and less time-consuming with so many!