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Monday, July 30, 2012

Quinoa and Lentil Cutlets {Recipe} & Our Weekend

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Knock another recipe off my Pinterest to-cook list. I made these Saturday night and let me tell you, they are definitely going on my make-it-again meal list. They are so good! They are also vegan and gluten-free. Or at least they're gluten-free the way I made them. The recipe calls for vital wheat gluten, but since I cook gluten-free for Andrew, I altered the recipe to fit our eating style.

Recipe for Quinoa and Lentil Cutlets can be found here.
Recipe for Impromptu Mushroom Gravy can be found here. - Its the third recipe down.

Both recipes from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. I'm going to be trying a lot more of her recipes in the very near future.

As for how I modified the cutlet recipe, since I figured the vital wheat gluten was needed as a binder to keep the patties together, I replaced it with flax seed meal mixed with water. The exact measurements are 1 tbsp of flax to 3 tbsp of water. I use this as an egg replacer all the time. Works great. However, this time my flax meal concoction didn't get to an egg like consistency like it usually does before I put it in. When I added it to the quinoa/lentil mixture it made it very watery. So next time I'm going to add a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up.

I also used regular (?) lentils since I didn't have red ones. I don't think I've ever had red lentils so I don't know if it made a difference.

Also, let me just rave about the gravy for a second. Best.gravy.ever. And again its vegan! Simply amazing! I'm going to make it and put it on everything now. Well maybe not ice cream...

I also altered the gravy recipe a bit, leaving out the sherry, and substituting mushroom broth for the vegetable broth (I didn't have vegetable broth and the mushroom made sense since it is a mushroom gravy) and whatever gluten-free kind I had on hand, brown rice flour in this case, for the unbleached flour.

The best thing about this recipe? I found something that everyone will eat. Yup. Its husband and toddler approved as well!

Lily's been pretty picky food wise this weekend. Eh, who am I kidding? She's picky a lot. But she ate this and even asked for more. Of course she didn't touch her broccoli, but what else is new?

Its a daily struggle to get her to eat anything. I'm always having to remind myself that she needs a lot less food than I do and that she'll eat when she's hungry. The nice thing about having a toddler is that she can tell me when she's hungry. So at least I know I'm not starving her. That's a small comfort.

One of the reasons why she may have been so fussy this weekend is she came down with a low grade fever last night before bed. I think some of her fussiness got transferred to Reuben as well. While Lily went to bed early and promptly fell asleep, Reuben kept us up till at least 11pm...crying most of the time. I had no idea what was wrong with him. I nursed him, burped him, changed his diaper, swaddled him, rocked him...and he still screamed at the top of his lungs. I alternated between setting him down on the couch and walking away for a minute and holding him close and crying with him. It was not pretty. Finally I took him to bed with me and nursed him to sleep just in time for Lily to wake up about 12:45 crying out for me. Her fever had spiked and she felt like she was burning up. So I gave her some Tylenol and she went back to sleep. She woke up once more before the night was out. Luckily Reuben only woke up once or twice so I managed to get some sleep.

I say all this, not to complain about how terrible my life is and to gain sympathy, because it is far from terrible, but because I don't want someone thinking that I have it all together. Because, as those who know me personally know, I do NOT have it all together. There are good days, great days in fact, and there are...not so good days. Like this weekend.

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But in the end, something so small as a sweet "I love you Mommy" from Lily or a quick, open-mouthed grin from Reuben makes it (almost) all better.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Favorite Things Friday

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No this isn't a new blog series, its just a few things that I've been liking recently. I wanted to share them with you.

1. Watermelon

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Source: flikr

Watermelon. That quintessential summer fruit of sweetness and crunchiness.

We eat it by the slice but I've been digging some of these recipes recently. Who knew you could do more with it than just shove it in your face by the (many) slice(s)?

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Grilled Watermelon with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto - hold the prosciutto

Beef-and-Watermelon Stir-fry

Watermelon Sorbet

Watermelon Strawberry Pops - these are going to happen very soon

2. Yoga Pants

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Source: flikr

I have no idea why I didn't discover yoga pants after I gave birth to Lily 2 years ago. These things are amazing! They're all I wear right now since my maternity pants are too big (plus who wants to wear them anymore after spending 6+ months in them?) and my regular pants are still a bit snug. Ok.....very snug.

I don't know if I'm going to want to stop wearing these once I fit into my regular pants. Maybe I'll become one of those stay-at-home-moms who live in yoga pants every single day. I can see the appeal. Plus Andrew wouldn't mind. He apparently likes how my butt looks in them. ;)

So far I have purchased these ones here and here.

3. Spotify


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Source: flikr

So I got on the bandwagon. Call me a traitor but my old standby Pandora just wasn't cutting it anymore. Sometimes its nice having a random song selected for you radio style and sometimes you want to listen to a specific artist and song. Especially when you have a 2-year-old screaming "WANT WHEELS ON THE BUS!!!" for the umpteenth time that day.

But we had a good run. Pandora saw me through all night study sessions in college, long work days when all you want to do is fall asleep at your desk at 3pm, dance sessions in the living room with my daughter, and many happy holidays.

I've moved on and I couldn't be happier...well except for the incessant ads. That seems to be the worst thing about Spotify. Unless I want to pay $4.99 a month. There's always a catch...

So what are you favorite things recently? Leave a comment! I'd love to read all about it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What a Difference A Month Makes

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12 lbs. 12 oz.
23" long
Wears 3 month size clothes
Enjoys kisses and nibbles on the chin
Loves staring and smiling at Mommy
.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Scenes From This Weekend

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Fudgsicle recipe can be found here.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookie recipe can be found here.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Happy Weekend!

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Reuben smiled for the first time this week. On Tuesday to be exact. Because I'm nothing if not exact. :)

Hope you have lots of smiles in store for you this weekend!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Date Night

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Last night we dropped Lily off at a friend's house and took Reuben with us to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. It was nice not having to cook but it was even nicer being able to sit, eat and chat with minimal distractions - just the occasional nursing session. We didn't talk about anything serious, just commented on the people around us and discussed day to day stuff. There aren't enough hours in an evening for things like this, not when the husband has to be in bed by 10 to get up at 5. We focused on enjoying every minute of it.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Morning at the Playground

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Yesterday morning I decided we needed to get out of the house for a change of scenery, and since Lily has been mentioning the park nearly every single day recently, that's where we went. We got there early in the morning to beat the heat. No one wants to burn their buns sliding down sizzling hot slides.

Reuben loves being outside. It puts him right to sleep.

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Please excuse the words written on the slide. I don't remember exactly what it said but I'm glad my child can't read yet.

And for those of you who are going to expand the photo to see what's written, I still couldn't make out much. I guess you'd have to be there. ;)

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I invited one of my sisters-in-law to come. Lily was super excited to see her Aunt Marie and cousin Seth and ran as fast as her little legs could to great them, squealing the whole way. Marie had the little girl she watches during the week with her so Lily had a playmate for the morning.

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I attempted to get a picture of all of the kids sitting together on the bench smiling for the camera. Trust me, this was the best shot.

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Tiny baby toes!

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Lily's fake laugh. :)

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Lily's Aunt Charlene also stopped by and it was a lot of fun for us three sisters-in-law to hang out and chat while the kids played. Of course all that chatting was often interrupted by helping kids up stairs, down slides and getting them more water in their cups.

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Right before we left the park we started an impromptu photo shoot by sticking the kids in a tree and while Marie entertained them, I clicked away. I'm always up for nice shots of my Lily Bean to frame for the wall.

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We were there for two hours and honestly I could have stayed longer. I don't know if it was getting out of the house after a few of weeks of hibernation, socializing with other (adult) people or enjoying the great outdoors, but I had a very relaxing time. I have a feeling it was a little bit of all three.

I'm thinking of making this a weekly, or at least a bi-weekly, event. I need it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Conversations With My Daughter: His and Hers

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While getting ready to nurse Lily the other night before bed we had an interesting conversation.

Lily (pointing to my right side): That's Reuben's side.
Me (flipping her over to the left side): O...k...You can nurse on this side.
Lily (with a big smile on her face): That's Lily's side!

Since this conversation happened side ownership changes depending on which side her brother nursed on last. She likes a full boob to nurse on apparently. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Pacifier

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No judging.

I think we may have a pacifier baby in the making.

Saturday night was a rough night for Reuben which translates into a rough night for Daddy and Mommy as well.

Reuben was soooooo tired but was having such a tough time falling asleep. He was cranky, he was fussy, we were exhausted. All he wanted to do was nurse and nurse and nurse. He'd been nursing off and on for several hours and still wasn't asleep. I finally decided to lay down in bed with him to hopefully get him to go to sleep. Even that didn't work and I was missing visiting with family members who were over.

Not only was I missing hanging out with family but I was very quickly losing my cool. You do that when you have a clingy, fussy baby who only wants to use you as a pacifier for hours on end. The boy is already very attached to his mama. Mostly literally. Which I usually don't mind at all. Its just that this particular night was very trying on me.

Let me say right here, thank the Lord for a good husband (and father) who kept coming into the bedroom to check up on me, and when he saw that I was about to lose it, took Reuben so I could have a few cool down minutes...alone.

Knowing full well that he only wanted to comfort nurse (he does this thing where he'll be nursing away, pull off suddenly and very dramatically, then settle down with his cheek against my breast to go to sleep- its the sweetest thing ever) I got out the dreaded paci to see if it might work.

After a few attempts at getting it to stay in his mouth, it finally stayed put and he wonderfully went right to sleep.

By this time it was already past the adults bedtime but we didn't feel that we got to spend any time together, just him and I, so we ended up staying up way too late watching World's Toughest Fixes on Netflix. Great show by the way.

In the end, whether he ends up needing the pacifier on a regular basis or not, it saved my sanity for one night. Thank you Nuk.

It wouldn't surprise me if he did end up with one permanently since his mommy had two pacifiers, one she carried in her hand and one in her mouth, till she was 4 years old.

I still remember the day my mom took them away from me. Scarred me for life Mom. ;)

Linking up today with:

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Pinterest Challenge - In The Bag

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For my Pinterest challenge project I decided I wanted to make something that was easy and not too time consuming because I knew at any moment Little Man could start crying for his breakfast/lunch/dinner and unless I did it when Lily was in bed, I would have a tiny girl wanting to "help" me every step of the way.

Another criteria was that it needed to be something I've had on my to-do list for a while. I mean, that's the whole point of this challenge right? To get off our pinning butts and for-goodness-sake make it already?!

I've had this t-shirt bag from Martha Stewart pinned for a while now.

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And I had the perfect t-shirt for it. We took a trip out west two years ago when Lily was just a few weeks old (call us crazy - I know) and when we were in Hollywood I picked up this shirt.

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It was a bit too big for me (and honestly..besides as sleep or workout wear...its not really my style) but I knew it would be perfect for a bag!

Seriously, this project took me like 15 minutes from start to finish. I followed the directions except for a few minor alterations. I rounded the corners a bit on the bottom because I didn't like how they stuck out in the picture. Also, after I cut the sleeves off, I stitched down the edges so that they wouldn't come unraveled. Just 4 small back and forth lines, 2 on each side.

And here it is as modeled by Lily. :)

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I figure it will be perfect for throwing stuff in when we go to the beach...or anywhere for that matter. Its amazing the amount of extra stuff you have to take with you when you have an another child.

Today I'm linking up with these girls and I couldn't be more excited about what they dreamed up for this challenge.


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I especially love what Michelle created. You have to go check it out! I'm obsessed and want to make one of my own now!

This challenge was a lot of fun and I'm so glad to have another project ticked off my Pinterest to-do list.

Next project - pretty, designy to-do lists! ;)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

4th of July Fireworks...That Didn't Happen

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Last night we packed up the kids, the stroller, the camera and a blanket and headed over to the lake where they do the fireworks every year. Last year, despite being up way past her bedtime, Lily really enjoyed the fireworks and so I'd been hyping her up to see them again this year.

Only something went wrong.

Here we are last year:
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Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here's this year:
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Yeah, big difference.

Everything was fine until that first firecracker went off and she lost it. She was begging to go home and at first we kept trying to put her off but we quickly realized that she was really upset. No amount of "its just loud noises" and "look at the pretty colors" was working.

Reuben did great, cozily sleeping in his stroller until about a minute before we left when he chimed in on the crying too. So I started nursing him but had to cut mealtime short so we could take Lily home. He did NOT like that at all.

So we left early with two crying screaming children.

What a 4th.

Here are a few pictures we managed to get in our short time there.

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