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Monthly Archives: October 2014


“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” – Euripides

I feel like the concept of balance is easy to talk about, but hard to achieve. Depending on the day, I’m either a really good mom/wife/daughter, or a really good employee.

It seems a rarity that I’m both on the same day.

And these days, the best way for me to achieve balance is simply more of everything.

More carrot juice



More coffee


More vegetables



More hot tamales


And definitely more super heroes


This article was helpful to me. Especially this:

Myth: You must be in control.
Truth: Real balance means being in flux.

And this:

Myth: A balanced person is good at everything.
Truth: Balance requires prioritizing

Also, Matty B, I think I need a roomba…

And, while you’re at it, more coffee please…


(See? Inspirational!)


Thursday Thoughts, XIX

1. I tried my hand at some Halloween treats.



Not a Pinterest fail, per se, but a little wonky to say the least. Oh well, still tasted good!

2. My mom and I signed up to take a Hanukkah cooking class! I’m more thrilled about the rugelach than the salmon, but either way, I’m so excited to learn some new recipes!


Also, Brussels sprouts! Love them!

For reals.

3. Yet, while I’m excited for my holiday cooking class, this was a little disturbing…


Salted caramel lentil snacks?

No thanks.

4. Confession: this was my lunch today.


I’m not even exaggerating.

I was super busy at work and was trying to get a ton of stuff done so I could leave early to drive for J Man’s farm field trip. I ended up losing track of time and bolting out the door without lunch. A coworker passed me in the parking lot with a tray of cupcakes and…

Lunch. I’m ashamed. Yet. So good.

5. Farm field trip.



I want a farm. And, I guess, a farmer to farm it since I don’t know anything about farming.

6. Further proof of the statement above?


We got what I think is fennel in this week’s CSA box. What in the world am I supposed to do with this?

Don’t say “eat it for lunch.” I’m on a chocolate cupcake meal plan.

3 Supers, an Afro-nerd, Quasimodo, and a Lumberjack

How’s that for a title, huh?

So, in a stroke of genius, Matty B and I are escaping for the weekend to celebrate his birthday/fall/we-haven’t-died-from-exhaustion life and it just so happens that we’ll miss trick or treating with the munchkins who will be with Papa and Grandma.

So I decided that this pro-Christian/pro-any holiday family needed a Halloween party.

The following text went out:


The plan was fresh-pressed apple cider, quesadillas and ice cream sundaes (have I mentioned that I’m struggling with the “vegan” part of my life? Yeah, we need to catch up…soon).


I knew that superman and super girl would be making an appearance, but I assumed that Unk C’s “costume” would be a sombrero and Papa might wear two different colored socks for his participation points.

When I got gone from work I put on pajamas (because I use whatever excuse I can find to wear them) and a tiara (because I had to follow my own costume rule). I was Princess Slumber Party…


…who was apparently sent from heaven (note the angelic halo affect I have going on).

Matty B was a good sport (who might have the flu) and still dressed up as a lumberjack (his secret dream job).

So imagine my surprise when the doorbell rang and in walked Afro-nerd, Quasimodo and Super Woman.



They truly put Princess Slumber Party to shame.


I have the best craziest family.

Cinnamon Play doh

There’s a reason that it (usually) takes both a man and a woman to create a baby.

These reasons include:

1) Hopefully at least one person has done laundry.
2) Trading off sleeping in.
3) Who else can you exchange concerned glances with when your five year old starts rattling off names of kids in his kindergarten class, followed by “hot!” or “cold!” (Don’t worry- as it turns out, this was in reference to what kind of lunch J Man imagined his classmates to be getting the next day…phew!)


4) Typically, both mom and dad have different “go-to” activities that they do with their kids. Children=balanced.

Matty B is hands-down the “outdoor dad.” His default for an afternoon with the kids always involves a playground, a hike, or a rousing round of “tackle Daddy” on the trampoline.


I like playing outside too, but I’m a big pansy when it comes to weather. I don’t like it too cold, too hot, too wet, or too windy. Or too snowy. Or icy. I basically like it to be exactly 79 degrees with no precipitation.

Therefore, my mode of operation typically falls of the indoor vein, usually something artsy or having to do with cooking.


Saturday afternoon weather wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t 79 degrees.

Enter: Cinnamon Play doh!

Cinnamon, because Fall!
Play doh, because obviously.


I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this entertained Miss Rae for two hours straight. And while we had a bunch of cookie cutters, etc. her favorite part was poking her mound of play doh with chopsticks over and over again.


J was entertained long enough to create this “melt mommy’s (plural?) heart” moment, and then he headed outside with Matty B.

Reason #5?

Divide and conquer.

Cinnamon Play doh


2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 TBS cinnamon
2 TBS cream of tartar
1 cup water
2 TBS vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and knead until thoroughly combined. We’ve kept ours in the fridge for 3-4 days and it’s been fine so far.

Fight Like A Girl

I ran a 5k this morning. I’ve come to that place where I’m not nervous before most races. I know I can do it. I’ve already proven it to myself.

Today, however, was the first race that I truly ran in honor of someone.


I sure miss this lady. I really wish she could see me. See my beautiful babies (she would love them:), see how happy we are living in her house, see that I’m a mostly good person, who really tries to follow the amazing example she set.

For whatever reason, that sticker on my chest really kept me thinking about Grandma V as I was climbing the hills (only a few) and passing other runners (only a few;).


I “pinked it up” as best I could and got to the starting line with minutes to spare.

There was enough time, however, for a picture with some colleagues. Renee, don’t be mad at me for sharing this photo…


And we were off! I didn’t have a PR, but I was happy with my pace and, of course, happy to cross the finish line, especially with my kiddos and Matty B there to cheer me on.



And I’ve done all of these things…


And I know Grandma V would be proud.

Also, I didn’t break my ankle like last year so that’s a bonus…

She & Him, 43/52



A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014

She: Jumping on the trampoline in the rain. No big deal.

Him: Beyond excited to open a Happy Halloween card from Sha-Sha and Grandad.

Maple Pumpkin Waffle Topping

Stickers are the new thing.

My kiddos tend to go through phases of entertainment that have ranged from bowling to the countries of Africa.

These days, it’s stickers.

I’m the mom who feels guilty about business trips and thus tries to buy her children’s love and forgiveness with trinkets and candy. Interestingly enough, this tactic works well with Matty B, too.

So, in addition to Trader Joes treats (let’s be real- these were for me) and a couple of pillow pets, I also brought home some stickers.

Specifically for my little princess, a booklet that allows you to accessorize other princesses.

Naturally, Miss Rae went to town. Please allow me to introduce you to some princesses that you might not know exist…


Princess I’m Scared And Maybe It’s Because My Eyelashes Are On The Insides Of My Eyes


Princess I’ve Got A Wad Of Skoal In My Cheek


And my personal favorite, Princess Heterochromia Who Happens To Be Growing A Bejeweled Goatee

Of course, J Man had to join the party and beautify his own princess…


You can never have too many jewels.

I’m not much of a jewelry fan myself, but I feel the exact same way about pumpkin.


You can never have too much pumpkin.

Dinner tonight was TJ’s Pumpkin Waffle mix, veggie sausages and apple slices. When J Man heard me telling Matty B what the menu was, he cheered!

I guess I didn’t need to waste my money on pillow pets- all he wants is pumpkin waffles!


The waffles were good. Anything from TJ’s is.

But my topping was the best part.

2 TBS pumpkin purée
1 TBS almond butter
1 TBS real maple syrup
1 TBS almond milk
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Whisk together and microwave about 90 seconds, stirring in 30 second increments.


Topped with this yummy combination and a handful of chopped apple, this dinner kept my mouth full.

Not full of Skoal, full of waffle.

Just to be clear.