what’s for dinner?

This last weekend we haven’t been the most healthful people, in fact I can’t tell you the last time we have eaten so much. It seems that we easily put aside our common sense when given the opportunity to splurge when we have a good excuse like houseguests visiting. I can’t even tell you the last time I cooked with butter, but I assure you I consumed more butter this weekend than in the last month. I also found items like whole milk in the fridge, and that’s not even mentioning the caramel rolls. So in other words, we really need to get back on a healthy bandwagon. Aaron has been doing great with his cholesterol, but I fear that sliding backwards with indulgent weeks like the one we had.

A few weeks ago we decided to have a few vegetarian meals/dinners just to give our bodies a break from the meat, along with the environment that raises, slaughters, and then ships that meat. This week our vegetarian meals were Tuesday and Wednesday night. I sauteed in a little garlic and olive oil veggies we had in the fridge that included kale, bok choy, spinach, carrots, radishes, and celery and then layered it over some noodles that had been splashed in a tamari/sesame oil blend. It was light, delicious, and filling.

For our second veggie night Aaron slow cooked (yes, we were given a new-to-me crockpot, thanks to my mom, since the stitches incident) some lentils and vegetables in a chicken broth (so not 100% meat free, but broth shouldn’t really count right?) and then I served it with fresh clementines and snap peas along with warm biscuits. The lentil soup is one of Sawyer’s favorites and it is hearty, let me tell you. So filling, but in a not gross way,but more of a healthy, that was really tasty way.

I have a feeling this will allow us to try new things and recipes, and maybe even search in our pantry and fridge a little more to clear out the excess. Will you join us in a few vegetarian nights each week? I would love to hear some of your dishes to help inspire me.

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Dylan’s Entrance to the World

I’m skipping Wordless Wednesday, but it will be back next week!

I don’t know where i’ve been, honestly I could’ve sworn I posted about this little boy’s birth, but I think in my late night delirium I only mentioned it. I took Stephanie’s maternity photos awhile back and was thrilled when she called to ask me to photograph the birth of her son. I was on pins and needles and finally got the call to head to the hospital late one Monday night. Unfortunately I arrived as they decided to do a c-section so I stayed with family members until it was time to meet Dylan. She really wanted to document the first time they met their son so she waited until I got to the recovery room and then they handed her her son. Really, there’s nothing more memorable than meeting your child for the first time. And to be able to document it and capture it for them to have for all time is so special to me. I am currently working on their birth video, similar to the one I created when my nephew was born. I have some more photos on my Photo Blog, but here’s a peak.

a little burger adventure

One Sunday we recently introduced the kids to The Counter, a great burger and shake place in Santa Monica. They have other locations as well. We even ate at the counter and the kids were pretty excited. I think this was their first counter dining experience, ahh, the little things when you are young. We all had burgers, except for Greta, she’s more of a grilled cheese girl, and then we shared chocolate milkshakes and root beer floats. No surprise we will be returning in the future no doubt. Photos courtesy of my iphone.

thumbs up fo’ sho’

dressed in our sunday’s best

the dimple kills me

things that make me smile

-intending to just lay down for a second and next thing I know, it’s 15 minutes later and I have drool down my chin

-watching my kids hit a pinata. ok, maybe getting to hit one myself

-the thought of no school drop offs and pick ups

-mid week adult lunch dates

-unexpected surprises

-giving presents

-people who act like they don’t read my blog, but we all know they do

-daydreaming about our hawaiian vacation

-getting to schedule in a weekend getaway when gilt puts a hotel for 1/2 off

-the email notification that I have an e-book ready for checkout from the library

-walking by the boys’ room and seeing it complete

-watching plants grow from seeds in the compost where I never planted a plant

-my boys’ report card

-the kids saving up all their mom bucks and then redeeming them very thoughtfully and with a lot of preparation

-a slice of 10 grain homemade bread with sunflower seed butter first thing in the morning

-a late night trip to target

wow, I guess I’ve been smiling a lot lately. 🙂

snacking

Yeah, food is on my mind a lot lately. What say you? I snapped these photos with my iphone quickly at dropoff one day. The kids were making their own snack kabobs. Have I mentioned I’m inlove with Greta’s preschool? Oh yeah, multiple times. Well, here’s just one more reason. About once a week when I drop her off they are making their own snack. It can be anything from Chinese Chicken Salad, to nachos. The other days it is usually the two workday parents who prepare the daily snack in the kitchen with whatever they have on hand, and then on Fridays they have what is called Special snack. One to two times a year you are assigned a “special snack”. So Fridays are well, special, because a parent brings in the food. We had both of our assignments for the year. It must include a fruit or veggie, a protein, and a carb. Total L.A., no? Carb, protein. 🙂 The first time we did special snack I was so stressed. I’ve never prepared snack for 25 kids, Greta’s class and the class below her eat snack together, so 25 total. How much do they eat? What if they don’t like what I bring? Turns out, kids are kids. They kind of like the same stuff. The first time we made spaghetti tossed in a little olive oil and parmesan cheese and then mixed in edamame. Delish. The kids were all over it. It may sound like a strange combo but the kids loved it. Then we served fresh strawberries with it. The next time it was our turn, I froze gogurts the night before and then when we got to school I had the workday parents just cut them in half so they became little frozen yogurt push pops, we also had pirate booty and grapes.

Enough about food, I’m getting hungry. Good thing we have bread baking and my mother in law is here whipping up some of her caramel rolls.

How cute are the kabobs with the little name tags on them?

 

House Project- Boys Bedroom Redo Complete!!

We have been busy bees over here. Finally we completed the boys’ room redo on Sunday. This was the last time we changed up the boys’ room. And what it looked like last. I believe the kids’ rooms should grow with them and every few years it should get an overhaul. It was time. The boys have grown into guys now, and are no longer little boys anymore. So I really wanted the room to reflect that.

6 months ago we took down the bunk beds and my vision was side by side beds. I wanted it to become a bedroom, less of a playroom since they don’t play in there like they used to. These days they are building legos in the garage, riding bikes outside, or playing in the backyard. Unfortunately the only beds I liked were $700 a piece from Room and Board. Not going to happen, although I have had them in my shopping cart on and off for the past few months. Instead we decided to try and build them. Let me rephrase that, Aaron decided he would build them. I had shown him some photos of beds made from pallets and he agreed that would be perfect. Plus, he didn’t think he had to spend a dime making them. With wood scraps we already had, the bunk bed pieces, we were good to go. And then my little nephew made his appearance the project was stalled. But better late than never! Aaron worked every spare hour he could on finishing them. Gunnar’s bed was complete a few weeks ago, and then it was only Sawyer’s whose was left.

The total cost for the beds? Well, he did spend a little, but on tools. Which he secretly wanted anyways, but total it was still under $130 for the sawzall and the poly finish. He used the slats from the bunk beds and built the headboard and footboard along with the sides of the bed from spare wood. We sanded down all the wood we were going to reuse from the bunk beds. We wanted a rustic/modern edge to the beds and that’s exactly what we got.

I ordered their bedding from Etsy. I envisioned what I wanted the bedding to look like and had a hard time finding it. So instead I had it custom made by this Etsy seller who was fantastic to work with. About a month after placing my custom order guess what popped up on West Elm’s website. Yep, their gray and white striped quilts. Oh well, I love supporting handmade sellers so I wasn’t disappointed.

We also moved out the rug that was in the center of the room, and we added these wall decals, also purchased on Etsy, but their shop doesn’t seem to be there at the moment. But if you search wall decals you will find a ton of options. Since both boys snowboard I thought it was perfect.

Here’s the final product. I haven’t photographed the far right wall where their dresser is since I am hoping to change out their navy one for a mid century modern one eventually.

A closeup of the footboard.

My boys love it and I am so happy to give them a new space to enjoy. It can be hard sharing a room with a sibling so I hope I can always reinvent it and find a happy medium to please them both. Thanks to Aaron to worked really really hard on these!