Monday, September 30, 2013

a grandpa tells it like it is

*My in-laws spent Saturday night with us. It was a quick 24 hours but fun to have them:

I think Cameron must have spent almost 2 hours total in helping map out his grandparents' itinerary (they are traveling to several states). Googlemaps is my son's best friend. :)

*We have a loooong road ahead of us!! :)

(There was a marathon on last week so now we don't have to watch it on the laptop!)

*Reading time...

*Last week when the guys went to Disneyland, Cam finally mastered Tower of Terror. My dad had been bugging him about going for a long time and finally (with the assistance of a bribe of $2), he went on it. :)

*Not sure why this commercial struck me like it did, but I was laughing out loud all by myself as I watched it. :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

park your cart

*Pet peeve: when people take their entire cart into the food court line at Costco. They take up so much space in an already super crowded area. It's pretty easy to park your cart nearby and keep an eye on it the whole time. :)

*This morning the speaker at our moms' group talked about how you want your kids to feel comfortable coming to you with anything. She said that one of the ways we can foster this is to always listen to our kids even when they are talking about something we have no interest in. :) I had to keep this in mind today as Cam asked question after question after question such as:

"Mom, how long would it take to get to L.A. on the 91 from the 57?"
"Mom, did you know the 395 goes to Reno but then also goes all the way to Canada?"
"Mom, what is above the Northwest Territory in Canada?"

*The past couple of times I've taken the elderly man I help to the doctor, Kendall has reached up and taken his hand. It is SO sweet because I think it just makes his day :)

*I read a fact in a health magazine about hormones in dairy I had never heard before. The hormones (the supposedly bad hormones) tend to stick to fat, so buying fat free dairy products will lessen the amount you ingest. Interesting...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

kale brownies?

Yep! I read this recipe too and even while I was making them I was thinking there was no way they would turn out well nor fly with the kids. But they are super yummy! The only questionable part is that you can actually see little specks of green. So I'm calling them "energy brownies", telling the kids that they are a treat, but they also give them a little energy (which is partially true with having something like kale in them, right?) :)

Sidenote: Next time I'm going to try them with less oil. The recipe called for what seemed like a lot. I also was able to cut back on the sugar and only do the 1/2 cup.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

nut paste

*I've picked up one regular "client" with my Errandgirl business. He's kept me quite busy with his doc appointments he needs rides to. I try and work it so that Kendall doesn't have to come with me. However this past week she has had to go with me more than I would prefer. I try to make it a little fun (like packing a blanket and popcorn and having a "picnic reading time" outside the office on the grass while we wait). However who wants to go to appointments all the time?

She has been so good and cheerful about it and I'm just incredibly in awe of her lately. Anyway, yesterday was a guys only (Chris, Cam, and my dad) afternoon to Disneyland, so I treated Kendall to "breakfast for dinner" at Bob's Big Boys. She was talking about it ALL DAY. :)

1. Chris doesn't like natural peanut butter at all
2. The brand I buy for some reason is more runny than non-natural brands

Yesterday morning Cam announced he was hungry as he and Chris were leaving for school. Wanting to give him something with a little protein, I smeared some PB on his leftover waffle. Well, it ended up dripping on his shorts and Chris had to turn around shortly after they left. Here are our texts later that morning :)

Me: Sorry again about peanut butter. He upset?
Chris: He was a little but some Disneyland talk got him out of it. No worries. Just in a rush.
Me: Good. It's nice that he tells me he's hungry as he's walking out the door. :) Next time I'll know, no peanut butter :)
Chris: Normal peanut butter that humans eat is sticky and would be fine. The nut paste he had is a bit messy!

Hehehe... :)

*I never watch award shows and am content to just browse the pictures the following day to see all the dresses. Here are my two favorites from Sunday's Emmy's:

(I LOVE the color block look and think this is sooo beautiful!)

*Chris and I are doing Netflix's free 1 month trial to squeeze as much Breaking Bad in as possible since we started the series so late. I do want to say, after watching several of the original episodes, that there are a few pretty graphic scenes that we skip over. The currant season hasn't had any so I naively thought the whole show had been like that. Bummer. :(

Sidenote: I know Netflix is super cheap, it just isn't worth it to us since we have to use the laptop to watch shows. Our TV is old enough to not be able to stream it.

Friday, September 20, 2013


*I will go to great lengths to avoid throwing away leftovers. It has to be really yucky in order to do so. I was not willing to give up on the sweet potato + coconut milk "ice cream" I made the other night. So today I let it thaw (to pudding consistency) and mixed it with plain yogurt. Cam still didn't like it, but Kendall loved it. :)

*Why did we not start watching Breaking Bad at season 1??? It's soooo good!!!

*I HATE the fact that I had to put on a sweater this morning. Go away fall weather.

*My friend sent me a Pin the other day for Death By Chocolate Poke Cake, which looks fabulous. This same friend also has claimed to have another recipe that she thinks will make me recall my "there is no such thing as a too rich/chocolaty dessert" comment. I still think she is full of it because one doesn't exist. :)

*Today another friend told me about a dress she found that, "just looked like Kelly". It brought me back to the days in college when your wardrobe was your friend's wardrobe and you shopped together so much that you just knew what the other would like or not like. I miss those days... :)

*Chris just got a jury summons. Guess what date it is? His birthday :(

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

kitchen utensils

The other day as I was using my food processor to attempt sweet potato and coconut milk "ice cream" (gonna be wasn't a huge hit), I started thinking about the things in my kitchen that I use ALL the time...

*I use my mini food processor several times a week to ground oats (for flour), puree veggies for the kids baked goods, blend the dough for Cheez-it's, etc. I love that it is so small and holds just the amount I need.

In this picture I was chopping cilantro for a pasta sauce, which I ended up throwing out because it tasted terrible! :(

 *I love this little pot and use it every single day for making eggs (which Chris has most breakfasts) and brown rice (which is also a staple for his lunches).

*I use my pizza cutter a lot for cutting brownies, granola bars, Cheez-it dough, etc. It's so much quicker and cleaner than a knife.

*My MIL bought this for me years ago (I think from William and Sonoma?). It's a tomato knife and you wouldn't think it would be THAT different than just a plain old serrated knife, but it cuts sooo nicely into things that are easily squishable. :)

*Chris introduced this little contraption to me when we were first married. I had never used one but I love how it makes nice slices of apple. It's nice because it's always the same equal number for when I'm splitting one for the kids.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

if brown rice took a dump...

*Yesterday morning I went for a run. I only run maybe once every two weeks. I think it's good to mix one in instead of my normal Jillian workouts. However maybe I should do them a little more often because it was a little rough. :)

*I've started cleaning the bootcamp class Chris attends. I go twice a week and I have to say that I don't really mind it. It's an hour that I can zone out and listen to a podcast. Plus it's bringing in a little extra money. :)

*I found the best tortillas at Costco. They only have 80 calories, have 12 grams of fiber, and Chris likes them!! :)

*Neither of my kids like almonds or almond butter. However they are so good for you that I've wanted to find a way to sneak them into their food. I made a batch of chocolate muffins yesterday and used 1/3 whole wheat flour, 1/3 ground oats, and 1/3 ground almonds. They loved them! I used my dark chocolate cocoa which adds rich chocolate taste, making me able to lessen the sugar called for.

*I was NEVER a Star Trek fan when it was on TV. However Chris and I have really enjoyed the recent new remakes. We rented the latest one this weekend and really liked it. :)

*Last night we dropped the kids off at my parents and went to dinner. We went to CPK. We had a gift card because otherwise I'm not sure that would be our first choice (we've had blah experiences there). Chris was so-so in his review of his Tai Chicken Pizza. I actually really liked my salad which included red onion, feta, asparagus, pine nuts, and quinoa. Chris has an interesting take on quinoa. In his words, "If brown rice took a dump, you would get quinoa." You can tell he's not a big fan. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


*One of Kendall's "chores" is to help me gather the trash each week. This was a small mistake considering we have clear trash bags and she'll often find things of her's I threw away (crafts that she played with once and forgot about, Sunday school sheets, etc.). Suddenly she HAS to have them back as they are SOOO precious to her. :)

*Yesterday afternoon I took the kids to a Robot themed story time at our library. They even got to use Legos afterward to build robots as well as other crafts. It was super fun and I'm excited they have several more different themed afternoons coming up. :)

*One of the most time consuming parts of making homemade Cheez-it's is the rolling out of the dough. I found a very easy way to do it which makes the whole process much less daunting. I use my tortilla press to make a bunch of pancake sized circles. I can then run my pizza cutter across them and put them on the cookie sheet! :)

*Chris and I recently joined the Breaking Bad bandwagon. We are so bummed we didn't start this show from the beginning because it is very good. I have a low tolerance for unrealistic, cheesy dramas (I found The Mentalist and shows like it to be way too cheesy and far out to enjoy). This one makes me excited to see next week's episode. :)

*This picture was taken while waiting for Cam to get out of school. The cutest part about it is that she was actually asleep. :)

Monday, September 9, 2013


On Saturday we celebrated Cam's birthday with my parents. For his birthday dessert, I made a big chocolate chip cookie, which I think he would say is his favorite dessert. :)

In addition to a Lego set (not sure any holiday can go without that for a while!), they got him Battleship. He loves it! I knew the numbers/coordinates thing would reel him in, and it really did. :)

The other week we bought a Groupon for A.J. Bariles. We took the kids last night and thought it was really, really good pizza. :)

Today is Cam's teacher's birthday.  I couldn't spend $20 on a giftcard (she doesn't like coffee and Starbucks is really the only place you can get away with a $5 or $10) and I knew she would get loads of baked goodies. So I decided to have Cam write her a card with...

"You are now enrolled in Cam's cookie of the month club. On the first day of each month, you will receive a plate of a new kind of homemade cookie made by me!! "

Hoping she likes it... :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

three ingredients

I had loads of ripe bananas and was trying to find a recipe for a healthy dessert for the kids. I came across these and they really turned out great!!

We've been experimenting with eating "strategies" (not sure what else to call it) for Chris. He's dedicated with a capital "D" to working out like crazy. He just hasn't been seeing the results he feels like he should be seeing. Anyway, I came across a recipe for breakfast since eggs and oatmeal can get rather old day after day. He said they tasted pretty good and I think will now be entered into the breakfast rotation. :)

Protein Pancakes (serves 1)

1 egg
1 tbls. peanut butter
1 mashed banana

Mix together and grill just like regular pancakes. I drizzle a tiny amount of honey on top to give them a little sweetness. :)

I was pretty surprised at the number/size of pancakes the recipe yielded. :)

p.s. In an effort to save on our electric bill, we signed up for a program with Edison in which they can shut off our air for a period of time occasionally (on really hot days). Usually it hasn't been too big of a deal. However this summer there have been a few days when it's been pretty rough. Yesterday they shut it off for 3 1/2 hours and it reached 86 degrees in the house. So we had a picnic dinner together in our bedroom, since we have a wall unit in there. It was actually kind of fun. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013


*Chris saw on article on his FB page and emailed it to me. It is excellent. Teaser: a family who sits down with their kids weekly to go through their FB pages. So well written. Read :)

*Kendall's enthusiasm for practicing her letters is quite minimal...unless there are a few chocolate chips involved. :)

*Yesterday I took the kids to Disneyland with my parents. In the chaos of getting everything out of the car when my dad dropped us off, Kendall somehow made it out with my make-up case she had brought from home. At first I was a tad frustrated that we would be lugging this thing around the park all afternoon. But then I just had to laugh at her walking around with a make up case filled with what?? A Sharpie pen, 15 straws, and a small notebook. :)

*I've never tried a portobello mushroom sandwich. I've always wanted to but never wanted to order one at a restaurant in case I didn't like it. And I guess I have never bothered to make one at home because I KNOW I would be the only one to try it. :)

*Don't mind one bit that Christmas decorations are out in a few stores. Not one bit. :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

birthday weekend

We had a great weekend up north. Really, really fun :)

The kids got to swim Saturday afternoon, which they adored (like always). :)

After swim, we headed to Chris' grandmother's house for the birthday celebration. I had made a Lego cake the night before that came out pretty well. :)

I think the highlight of the weekend for all of us was Cam getting his present from grandma and grandpa...the much anticipated Lego Volkswagen.

Cameron started the set at 11:00 on Sunday. He didn't finish until 8:30 that night (it was an age 16+, so you can imagine how many pieces it had!). What a trooper! In hindsight, I think I would have made him split it up into two days, but I'm not even sure he would have allowed that. :) He loved every single minute of it. :)

Chris and my gift to him was a rocket. We took it to a nearby field and had fun launching it hundreds of feet into the air. :)

We could have stayed longer, but work and school beckoned us home. :)

p.s. I was also excited because during playtime in grandma's dress up box, we found Kendall's Halloween costume for this year...a flapper girl! :)