day 3

Day three of 2015, is far from perfect.  I’m tired.  My legs are burning because of the mis-treatment I give to them and I had a fairly large breakfast out this morning.  But let’s not freak out too much  about all that or the fact that Pablo and Simon seem to think the rug I put back under the dining table is a big pee “grass” for their peeing pleasures and let us not get too excited about the clutter that surrounds me that I’m almost exclusively responsible for.

Instead let us focus on the very lovely dinner I attended last night. (pictures below)  I few years ago I went on a glamping trip with my Aunt and cousin and I was introduced to some new friends.  My Aunt is so sweet to share her friends with me and so I gained a few new really wonderful friends.  Rhonda is one of them.  She tells the BEST stories, like on the edge of your seat sort of stories and she has the most quaint cottage you have seen, it reminds me of a darling bed and breakfast.  The sort of place that you would say “oh that’s so darling, I would love one of those” or “oh goodness, this is just like living in a fairy tale dream”  Rhonda has many gifts and being a caterer is just one of them.  Which means she cooks up all these amazing beautiful dishes.  And she shares them with her friends, but not just shares, she serves them and makes them feel extra special.   She is gracious and she shares her gifts abundantly.  She is giving like the giving tree, she just keeps giving when you think there is no more possible give to give, she gives more.  A great example of Christs LOVE.


do you see those dark things in the middle?  They are baby walnuts and you eat them whole shell and all.  Very soft, very yummy and paired perfectly with the goat cheese.  More info here on the walnuts


Back to work and real life


Vacation is all over.  I wonder why they go by so very fast.  We did have a wonderful time though.  We wrapped it up with our Sunday at Balboa where the kids went parasailing.  We couldn’t go on the boat with them so I only have the shot of them pulling away from the dock.  All three went at once with Abbie in the middle and they all came back smiling big and said it was lots of fun.  Abbie actually wished the ride could have been longer.

the boatThere they go.  Abbie has a smile.

tail gateafter the sail, we ate dinner off the back of the truck.

Yesterday back to the grind.  I got up early met my pals for our morning workout.  I had proclaimed Monday as meatless a few weeks ago so yesterday my oldest, his girl and I went shopping for our dinner.  They thought a nice meatless Mexican themed meal would be perfect.  Maddy made the salsa homemade and it was full of flavor and if you like spicy, it was for sure spicy and so very good.  I made the cowboy caviar or as Joyce calls it Texas caviar (either way…it’s amazing)  we used Maddy’s mom’s recipe because this is something they eat on a regular basis and I had no idea in fact I had the hardest time even locating black-eyed peas, I finally asked at the third market where I was told it was a canned vegetable.  I was looking in the beans…. I guess I should have known better? They look like a bean to me even though they are called peas.  But I suppose they really are peas?  I still have no idea.  I should though considering my mom sort of raised us on them and also I like to cook up a batch on New Year’s but I start from dry bean…. Or is it dried pea? My pictures were taken in a rush and with my iPhone so I’m a little disappointed in that part but the meal itself was very good.  Just good old bean burritos with lots of fresh toppings, lettuce, the homemade salsa, no cheese for the vegans but Dylan and Dad couldn’t have a burrito without it.  No meat.  Yes! No cheese. No.  Don’t mess with their cheese.   Austin made homemade guacamole; we had olives and chips to dip into the salsa or the cowboy caviar.  I could eat that stuff by the spoonfuls and it’s all pretty good stuff for you.

cowboy caviar

 the cowboy caviar that I will for sure make again and again, thanks Joyce for the suggestion

Maddy's salsaMaddy’s homemade salsa

cooking the beansAustin tending to the beans

meatless mondaythe meal

I’m disappointed in my progress with my healthy lifestyle journey but remember I have a problem with this instant result kind of world.  I expect my body to do the same.  Patience and persistence.  My two big P words to focus on this month.  Not giving up.  Nope I’m not.  My good friends keep reminding me of it being a lifestyle.  I have made much better choices with water over soda and sometimes salads with oil and vinegar type dressings but I did eat those fried cookie dough balls at the fair and I have dabbled in some not so righteous food here or there.  If I can get healthy and still dabble than it’s not all that bad. Cause I’m not giving up sweets.  I’m NOT.  I’m just a little stubborn.

photoThe support I have in my health, it’s really big.   I like getting up early because of the common goals we share and the fun we have.

summer baking obsession and a little hope in the day


I’m obsessed with summer baking.  This will be the third week in a row I have cranked my oven and made some home-baked goods on a warm summers day, two of which include zucchini from the garden.  Today was “chewy” zucchini brownies.  It passed the kid test.  Abbie said “Mom is there even zucchini in here?”  and Dylan just flat-out loved them.  I’ll put the recipe on my recipe page tomorrow when I have more time.  If you are interested come back and check.  I used a recipe found on the internet but always tweak them just a bit.


Also today I made time to play in the sprinkler.  A photo friend of mine had a dream about our legs and running through the sprinklers in shorts without a care in the world.  Her dream inspired me to say the least so I first tried to photograph with my timer but that was way HARD, so then I recruited Dylan who did a nice job.  This picture was taken by him as we both laughed pretty hard.  He kept saying “mom! jump higher, your barely getting off the ground!”  This picture was exactly how it was photographed, his crop with my 50mm.


Finally for today I leave you with HOPE, as my brownies baked I walked around the table and up and down my stairs and kept passing the roses whose petals were falling off and next to the vase of red roses was Abbie’s key necklace that reads hope.  There is always hope, no matter what.  As I walked and thought of my health and how although things are not happening very fast, they are happening from the inside out and I began to think of my gratitude and how I actually can walk, I also began to realize what a homebody I am and how I just love being in my own home, with food cooking and children’s voices.  I’m completely content right here, almost boringly so, I don’t need to get out much, so much I find right here inside these walls and in the boundaries of our own yard.  In fact I found a heart in the hardwood today as I walked for 25 minutes up and down those stairs. It’s a loose heart, blur your eyes and you will see it, I saw it each time I walked up the landing.



Blueberry Mint Smoothie YUM


My mom loaned me her Vitamix, mixer.  This happened because we visited Rich’s friend Jim who   is very passionate about its awesome-ness and mad abilities. He shared some recipe ideas when we had our visit.  My wheels were spinning, I knew my mom had one of these, she is always so kind to loan out her stuff to me, so I asked.  She said yes!   I have a great mixer but I just wanted to take it out on loan and see what the rave was all about.  It does a very quick job of the mixing and grinding up of things, little quicker than our Ninja.  I’m very interested in making my own humus.

photo (1)

I forgot to mention another magazine I happen to love.  It’s called Whole Living and I had forgotten because my subscription ran out.  But I keep a lot of my old issues.  The January/February 2013 issue has a few smoothie and juice recipes I was interested in trying.  Today I tried the Blueberry Mint Smoothie.


I have a tiny little suburban garden, I grow mint in a pot.  I know it can grow crazy out of control so I keep it contained.


I like this picture with my feet blurred out, I also took one all in focus but it wasn’t nearly as interesting.

The recipe calls for 1 cup frozen blueberries, these are from Trader Joes, no pesticides and stuff, probably why they are so tiny.


1/2 Avocado, 1/2 cup fresh mint, 1 tsp lemon juice, I prefer freshly squeezed lemon and 1/2 cup water


1/4 cup orange juice, I suppose you could juice this too but I used a store-bought with pulp


This particular recipe doesn’t call for ice, but I like things icey, so I added a cup.


I’m an ice snob and I buy bagged ice, it’s clear and prettier


This is how it looks in the mixer


I love the pretty dark color it turned.  I also love the way it tasted.  Austin gave it a thumbs up but Dylan said it was too minty.  I suppose if you don’t like mint, you could skip this part.