Friday, October 3, 2014

Making for Ms. Naya

Such a sweetie! Ms. Naya turned 6 last week. Hudson and she have been friends for so long and we love celebrating here birth and life.

This year I made a puffy vest and a dress. Oh how I love making girl things!!! Don't get me wrong, I love to make for my boys, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE the girlie dresses. Maybe it's a good thing I had two boys ;-)

Here are a few pics!
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Happy Birthday Naya!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Lucky One

I get to spend every day with this little guy. He amazes me so much. With his infectious laughter and twinkling toes. A boy who rarely has a bad day. I spend every day admiring his ability to live freely. A pure joy to talk to. To cuddle with. To just be with. These are the days when life seems just right. When just a blink of time in his life, I am the lucky one. I get to witness him grow each day.

Oh, to capture these moments. Tiny little details into who this child is. Such warmth, light and love!

With a WHOLE lot of silly!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Not everything always works in my baking endeavors. Fail! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Lunch Preview

Our garden is officially overflowing with zucchini, swiss chard and basil! I am going to attempt to find great ways to integrate all of these ingredients into this week's menu plan! Here we go.... 

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Zucchini Oatmeal Muffins
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  • 1 1/2 cups of gluten free all purpose flour
  •  1 cup of gluten free oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
Mix all dry ingredients together, set aside. Mix all wet ingredients together in a separate bowl, fold in zucchini. Make a well in your dry bowl and pour the wet into the dry. Fold the wet into the dry until incorporated. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Quinoa protein bars
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Ingredients (I omitted a few things and added cranberries vs chocolate chips)
  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 large banana, peeled
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
In a food processor, add peanut butter, banana, dates, cocoa powder and honey. Mix until smooth.
In a medium bowl add the cooked quinoa and peanut butter mixture together. Add chia seeds and cranberries and mix well. Line a 8×8 baking dish with plastic wrap and pour mixture into dish or you can roll into balls. Spread until evenly distributed Freeze until firm, about 2 hours
Then remove from the dish and cut into squares.

Egg Muffins 
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  • 6 eggs
  • veggies of your choice
  • cheese
Pour beaten eggs into greased muffin pan – fill 1/2 way. Add toppings directly into eggs. Bake for 375-degrees for 30 minutes


 Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas with Swiss Chard Pesto
Recipe Found here: Yummy Quesadillas 
I precooked the sweet potato and will add the black bean hummus to the tortilla.  

  • 1 10 inch tortilla (or whatever kind you have) 
  • 1/2 cup cheddar
  • 1/4 cup of sweet potatoes (roasted) and 1/4 cup of black beans
  • 1 T of swiss chard pesto
Place the tortilla in the pan, sprinkle half of the cheese over half of the tortilla, then top with the roasted sweet potatoes and black beans, swiss chard pesto and the remaining cheese. Fold the tortilla in half covering the filling and cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.

This is also enough to make a pasta dish for dinner! Bonus!!
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  • 3 cups green Swiss chard leaves (stems and center ribs removed), torn into large pieces.
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, and juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • Handful of cilantro
  • 2/3 cup olive oil, plus extra, if needed
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
 In a food processor, combine the Swiss chard, garlic, lemon zest, a big splash of lemon juice, 2 large pinches of salt, and some pepper. Pulse a few times to combine, pushing down the chard as needed. Add the sunflower seeds and cilantro and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow stream and process until incorporated. Add a little more oil, if needed. Transfer the pesto to a medium bowl, stir in the cheese, then check the seasonings.

Gluten free tortillas
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  • 4 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the butter with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. 

Black Bean Hummus with raw veggies
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  • 2 15 ounce cans of black beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of tahini
  • 4 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
 Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

Tuna salad with zucchini chips

Zucchini chips recipe ingredients:
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  • zucchini sliced super thin
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
Cut zucchini very thin. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste. Line rimmed pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Home Schooling

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I started my home schooling program with my youngest today. He is just 3 1/2 and we are following a varied waldorf preschool curriculum. There have been many reasons for my want to home school him, but it really comes down to the beauty of getting to be engaged with him on such a wonderful level. For these little ones are only little once.

Why did we choose Waldorf as our guide?

My older son attends a Waldorf school and is in the first grade. Our family adopted a "waldorf-based" lifestyle about 6 years ago. This summer I spent a lot of time scouring through books and Pinterest to figure out the best way to bring a valuable form of education and "Schooling" to my son. A big part of our day is through following a rhythm. I like to keep things calm, organic, peaceful.

We start our day with a two person circle ;-) We sing a morning song to greet the day. We thank dear mother Earth for the beauty that she bestows upon us. Then I will do a verse or two with hand gestures to engage our bodies.

After our singing and verses we do yoga. We stretch to our toes, and to our nose. We find ways to exert energy in a positive way. Today after our stretching we acted like animals. At times we were cats, then bears, then fish... my son thought it was hilarious to watch me act like all these animals. It was so light and free at that moment.

The next part of our day was story. Today we read three books (all waldorf in nature). We laid a blanket on to the floor and that's where we sat for story time. It was nice to take our time. He asked many questions and felt nice to know that we weren't rushed to finish. After the stories we worked together on folding the blanket. These are the things that develop my son's brain so much but may seem so little on a larger scale. The ability to learn life lessons, along with things such as ABCs and math, are equally important.

My son's favorite thing is our washing basin. We added 3 drops of lavender to our jar and sang our hand washing song. He loved loved loved this.
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After hand washing then it was time for snack. We had two tea cups and a carafe that were his size. He poured our water and then I served our strawberry muffins from yesterday. We sang a blessing and lit a candle to start our snack.
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The second part of our schooling was at our neighborhood pond where we ate our lunch. We also had a sewing craft. The night before I cut us both two pieces of felt and we worked on our sewing. I was teaching him blanket stitch, but it was more about learning not to poke himself with the needle, and paying attention to the task at hand. He was so proud of what he made and we wanted to make certain that the heart I was making was going to be for his big brother.

Being that we were at the pond, we even had a visitor. Nolan said to me "I wish I were a frog so I could swim in this icky water and find all the treasures that are buried underneath."
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We used our heart pouches to then walk around the pond and collect treasures.. leaves, sticks, pinecones and the like.

Our day ended with a couple of songs and a good-bye songs.

My son was so happy about his day. I could tell because he had so much to tell my husband at dinner. He really enjoyed our one on one time and my undivided attention. It felt so good to be in that space and place with him. As much as I was trying to teach him, he was equally teaching me. I was learning about the calm of the day, the beauty of our surroundings and just how wonderful of a person this little being is. I am so honored to be his mama and get the opportunity to help teach him things! What a gift.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekly Lunch Menu Preview

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Well we made it through our first week of first grade! Granted it was only 3 days, but survived we did! My son was elated with his experience. His only complaints were "it was too short" and "we didn't do a lot of learning yet" By the third day he was doing handwork and attending his Mandarin class, so he was a little more pleased ;-) It's so fun to see him so eager to learn!

I found the pre planning for food really made the week a whole lot less stressful for me. I was able to quickly prep his snacks and lunch and never found myself wondering what I was going to pack. It was also good for us in our breakfast and dinner preparations. This week I begin home schooling my 3 1/2 year old. We will be having a baking day in our week and I'm excited for our rhythm to begin.

Today I prepped the beginning of our week. The whole process took an hour and a half. So, what's our plan for the week? Here you go:


Strawberry Oat Muffins: 

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(make sure you use silicone wrappers for these. They are a little sticky and pretty hard to remove the disposable wrappers. trust me! )
recipe found here: Strawberry Shortcake Muffins

  • 2 1/2 cups oats (we use gluten free oats)       
  • 1 C greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 C strawberries ( I used blueberries because we had a lot)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners.
Place all of the ingredients (except the strawberries) in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. Pour mixture into a medium sized bowl, and stir in strawberries. Divide remaining 1/2 cup diced strawberries over the top of each muffin. (This step is optional, but it really makes the strawberries burst with color and flavor on top of each muffin!)

Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


Garlic Parmesan Roasted Garbanzo Beans

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Found here: Garlic Parmesan Roasted Garbanzo Beans
These are a delicious snack!!!! Oh yummy!

  • 1 Can of Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans). I soak our beans, this is roughly 1 1/2 cups of beans.
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt


Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Drain and rinse your beans in a colander.  Let them dry on paper towels until most of the excess moisture is absorbed. Spread the chickpeas out on a cookie greased cookie sheet. Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 45 minutes or until the beans are crunchy throughout. Remove from the oven and immediately toss with olive oil, garlic salt, Kosher salt and parmesan cheese. These will last for a couple of days in an airtight container.

Kale Chips

My kids love kale chips and we have a ton bursting at the seams in the garden. Kale chips are very easy to make. Just take your kale, clean, line a sided pan with aluminum foil and bake at 325 for 30 minutes or until crispy.  We add sea salt to ours. You can try other versions too.  I have sprinkled with garlic powder and that was super yummy, yet a little spicy for the kiddos.

We still have bread leftover from last week. I will add those to snacks in the beginning of the week, or just have a nice snack when my son returns home from school.

And since I had the strawberries out, I decided to make some homemade ice cream for dessert. Tonight we had chocolate chip, raspberry and strawberry ice cream. The boys were so excited!
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Lunch this week:

I will add carrots and other veggies to his lunch like last week. I find it to make things so much easier if everything is cut and ready to go for the week. Submerge in water and it's so easy to just take out slices for lunch prep. That said, I found out my husband likes his carrots whole "I like to eat my carrots whole" Who knew he had an opinion on his carrot size ;-)

This week I really wanted to find a good salad recipe that was packed full of items in our garden. We have tons of zuchini, kale and swiss chard. I wanted it to translate for all of us.

Wild and Brown Rice Salad (8-10 servings)

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For the Dressing

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

For the Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice and 3 cups cooked brown rice 
  • 1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • a handful of swiss chard
  • 2 stalks celery cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 saueeted zuchinis 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • we are adding spinach because we have a lot of it 
in a small bowl make the dressing. In a separate bowl add the cooked rice and add the ingredients. Serve warm or cold.  add cheese if you'd like.  

Leftover Quiche

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An easy way to pack some good veggies and protein into a school lunch is having leftover dinner. We will make a quiche this week and use this as a lunch option. I always make two quiche in order to eat one and freeze the other.

2  pie crusts
whatever vegetables you have on hand. This is one of those recipes where you can clear out your fridge and add it into a couple of meals.

We have spinach, zucchini, beets, green beans and mushrooms (yep, we sneak them into the quiche ;-) 10 eggs (this is the pricey part of the meal). mozzarella cheese.

preheat oven to 325 degrees. add crusts to oven for 5 minutes to cook a little before adding the ingredients. Add your vegetables to the frying pan and saute until vegetables are soft. Add eggs, vegetables and cheese and cook for 30 minutes.

Homemade pesto. 

My sons will use this to dip veggies in and I will use to make pasta for their lunches or in a wrap.
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  • 3 cups of basil
  • 2 cups of almonds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic
  • 1/2 cup of parmasean cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

blend all ingredients in the food processor. I added water to get the desired consistency.

This is our plan for the week thus far. I am sure we will add items here and there. I will be sure to share with you.

Please add in the comments some of your favorite recipes for school lunches. Sharing is caring :) I would love to hear your thoughts on if you try any of these recipes!