Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Everything

Because my last post was close to 10 million years ago, I wanted to post a few bits and pieces of what's been happening.  We've been busy...just like everyone else.  The holidays are always fun but always busy.

This beautiful scene happens almost every morning of my drive into Austin and it never fails that I have to stop and take a picture, even though I have 50. 

We celebrated Bob's birthday in November and per his request I made a chocolate peanut butter cake and wellllll.....I'm sure you can imagine that while it was not the least bit healthy, it was delicious!

Caught in the act

 We found the perfect tree! 

Summer, is that you?  Oh no, it's just a batch of citrus water because it felt like summer the first week of December. 

Bob's contribution to the Thanksgiving meal. 

and my contribution.  A chocolate pecan pie.  WHAT?! 

I made homeade black bean sliders.  I've attempted to make several homeade veggie burgers and have never found one that I really like...until now! It's the easiest and quickest recipe and the best. 

Does this come naturally?? I feel like he had an innate desire to ask me for the paper while he was pooping. 

Looking for the perfect one! 

We made NINJA bread cookies. 

Nana brough Lars a tree for his room and mini decorations. 

Lars has taken up a new painting medium...his feet. 

Hope everyone has a lovely lovely holiday season.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The 'Pee' Poem

So Lars is officially potty trained and I'm so proud of him.  We didn't do any crazy 2 day potty training technique...we just waited till he was ready and we've been working on it for a while now. I tried forcing it months ago and found that was NOT the way to go with Lars.  So we have casually been potty training for months now and we are now diaper free during the day.  In the beginning, Lars was sitting down to pee but now that he's 'grown up' as he tells me, he stands.

BUT, you see, I have this other problem.....PEE.  It's everywhere, so I've written a little poem about it because if I don't laugh about it, I may just cry.

I titled it:

There’s pee everywhere.

There’s pee on the seat
There’s pee on the floor
There’s pee on the walls
There’s pee on the door

The pee’s taking over
It shoots straight out
There’s no containing
This toddler spout

Point it down, I say
As he laughs and wiggles
Then the pee darts out
And then it dribbles

Can’t you teach him,
I yell to Bob
I did, he answers
And then I sob

There’s just no hope
For this powerful pee
I understand…
It’s bigger than me

It’s the most powerful stream
Known to man
You gotta let it be
Just let it land

To my son, Lars
Whom I love a lot
Remember this
When you’re at the pot

I’m so happy
You’re potty trained
But the PEEE, my son…
You must contain

I don’t mind
Cleaning a bit
But, seriously guys
I’m over this shit…or pee however you want to look at it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cooking Every.Single.Night. can be challenging....

Some of my greatest memories are of being in the kitchen with my family...especially when everyone was in town for the holidays and drinking lots and lots of wine.  I remember making homemade ice cream and lemon meringue pie with my Maw Maw and shucking corn with my Grandmaw and making pralines with my Mama.   I’ve always loved to cook and still do.  I guess you could say I come from a family of cooks and they always did it with love.

We cook dinner at home every.single.night. Weekdays, weekends, holidays…we cook.  If I had to guess how often we go out to dinner, I would say maybe once every 2-3 months.  You would actually be more likely to find us grabbing lunch on the weekend after a trip to the zoo or wildflower center.
Going to dinner for us takes more planning than it used to when we lived closer to everything.  We don’t live close to anything really and certainly not close to any restaurants worth the time and effort it takes for to go.  Going to dinner (to a place we like) is a minimum 2 hour ordeal which on a week night makes absolutely no sense.  On the weekends we are generally out and about all day and come dinner time we’re all ready to be home.  So we cook….A LOT!

Lars spends a lot of time sitting at the kitchen island while we cook and although there are definitely nights where not cooking seems glorious,  I would miss the family time and rapid fire questions from Lars.  Like, why is the butternut squash so big, how does it grow, why is it shaped like that, can he eat the seeds, can he play with the knife, can he eat the skin, how long will it take to cook, is it just a funny shaped pumpkin, why is it so hard to cut, why is it orange, are all butternut squash orange, how am I going to cook it…..usually by this point he’s eaten a seed, found a knife, eaten the skin and drawn on the squash with a sharpie.

Cooking every night can be challenging.  Sometimes I find myself stuck in a food rut making the same things over and over again because they are easy and I know exactly how to make them and exactly what I need.  I try to meal plan for the week and find new and easy recipes.  I also try to find things that both Bob and I can make.  Bob’s a great cook, but following some new curried coconut sweet potato soup recipe is not really is forte, so I always try to have a few Bob friendly meals so I don’t feel so overwhelmed.

There is without a doubt nights where we are thankful for peanut butter and honey sandwiches or cheese and spinach quesadillas and chips and salsa because some nights cooking just seems daunting for everyone involved.

Thought I would share a few recipes that I’ve been making lately.  Even though it just recently dropped below 90 here, I’ve been making soups and buying lovely fall vegetables for a while now….as you will see.

Spicy Vegan Peanut Noodles (we makes these into lettuce wraps)

I should also mention that Bob makes pizza once a week and they are always interesting and delicious! 

Here's a glimpse into this past weekend that we spent not leaving our house one time and staying outside until it got dark. 

Once we did come inside and my human baby was sound asleep by cat baby got cozy....

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The First Getaway in 2.5 years

Two and a half years.  That’s how long it had been since Bob and I had been away together for the night.  I know! I know! All you seasoned mom’s out there are yelling at me and thinking I’m crazy.  Let me just say that I was ready for a night away a little while back but someone else needed a little more time.  I won’t name any names but he’s my baby daddy.

So after roughly 895 days he was ready.  It never bothered me that Bob ( you know who I was talking about) didn’t feel ready to leave for the night.  I actually thought it was really sweet.

Now, we have gone on dates (dinner, movie, and brewery) but never away for the night.  So a few months ago when I mentioned it to Bob, I was surprised that he agreed.  When we started making plans we were going to do a little small town getaway but we waited way too late to book a cute little b&b and we thought we were going to have to reschedule.  But we decided that we just needed to go somewhere.  We had my aunt all set to come stay with Lars and we were both excited to get away.  So at the last minute we booked a room in San Antonio.

Neither of us are big fan of San Antonio but it was the best solution for booking stuff literally the night before.  We got a room atreally nice hotel on the riverwalk, we made reservations a swanky little wine bar and bought tickets for a comedy show. 

Bob and I used to travel all the time.  We would be somewhere different every weekend.  So although this was a short trip it was great to have a little fun.  While we had a ball, we both missed Lars very much come Sunday morning.  We had plans to get brunch and hit up a couple of shops but we woke up early after saying over and over again we were going to sleep in and we grabbed coffee and headed back home. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Homemade Elderberry Syrup - Natural Remedy for Cold and Flu

I have used elderberry supplements in the past but never thought about making my own elderberry syrup.  I came across an article that mentioned just how simple it was to make your own.  I was intrigued and hoping to save money.  Buying elderberry syrup in the store can bring about sticker shock…it’s not cheap.

Elderberries have long been praised for their super immune boosting powers.  They contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin which has both anti-oxidant and immune boosting properties.  They are also a great source of vitamins C and B6, beta carotene and iron.  Because of these properties elderberry syrup is used to help prevent colds and flu and/or reduce symptoms and recover quicker.

Here are a few links that provide more information about the benefits of elderberries.


1 cup dried elderberries  (I get mine here)
4 cups water
2 tablespoon ginger (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks (optional)
1 ½ cups honey (I use raw honey to make sure we're getting all the benefits)

  • Add water, elderberries and ginger/cinnamon to a pot and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  • Strain
  • Allow the liquid to come to room temperature
  • Stir in honey
  • Pour into a jar with a lid and store in fridge

I generally give Lars about ½ teaspoon during the fall and winter months a few times a week and Bob and I take 1-2 tablespoons.  If the flu or a cold does strike I give it more often. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Pumpkin Patch That Stepped it Up

We of course had to hit up a pumpkin patch this month and we did it this past weekend.  We generally visit the local small town pumpkin patch and call it a day but I had been hearing about this fall extravaganza in Marble Falls about an hour north of us.  It’s a 'pumpkin patch' at the Sweet Berry Farm and let me just say that I was not prepared for the overload of fun! This place had everything; sand art, face painting, hay rides, corn maze, flower picking, homemade pumpkin ice cream (YES!! Homemade pumpkin ice cream and it was unbelievable), horse rides, goats to feed and pet, train ride, make your own scarecrow, a big in ground jumpy thing…I mean seriously, this was like a pumpkin patch on crack!

I usually will always opt for the more  low key event….in any situation.  I don’t like big crowds, big parking lots or all the other hoop-la to go along but this place was well worth it.  Lars had an absolute blast and so did we.  I couldn't get over all the activities they had to do for the kiddos.  

Checking out his new ink

Out of all the 4 million pumpkins....this is the one we came home with. 

Suggested Reading!