The Best of 2011 in my Lively Kitchen and Lively Life

2011 was a good year for my little family.  So was 2010.  It is very much appreciated, as 2008 and 2009 kicked our tails in a big way.  Not that I enjoy rough times, but I find hard years make you appreciate the less-hard years so much more.   Thank you 2011.  I liked you a lot.

Please indulge me while I look back at each month and highlight my favorite recipe post and share a little about my family’s shenanigans for that month.

January

Favorite Recipe: Cabbage Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Month Highlights: In January we redid our little office/computer room.  I love how it turned out.  I could say that it’s always this clean, but that would be a blatant lie.

While the husband and I were working downstairs on the office, my kids added on a fort to our upstair living area.  I think they used every spare sheet and blanket in the house.

February

Favorite Recipe: Cookie Dough Oatmeal

Month Highlights: It snowed!  In San Antonio!  I really didn’t ever expect to have snow this far south and it was a wonderfully fun day.  Most of the neighborhood was out enjoying the foreign white stuff that almost never falls in this part of Texas.

We also celebrated yet another Valentine’s Day with our traditional day of pink and red foods.  I love this random little tradition we’ve created and I hope it makes Valentine’s Day a holiday the kids will associate with family and fun and not with cheesy romance.

I also had another bloody kitchen accident involving kale, but this one had nothing to do with me sticking my hands in a moving blender.  Thankfully that was the only kale accident of 2011.

March

Favorite Recipe: (Husband Approved) Chickpea Burgers

Month Highlights: We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a day of green foods.  Note to self: your little guy most certainly does not like you making his almost daily staple of cheese + tortillas into cheese + spinach+ tortillas.  Won’t be doing that again.

We had a very fun spring break with some dear friends who came to visit.  I think most of Texas came to San Antonio that week to visit, as the town was a mad house, but I’ll brave the crowds any day with this family.

April

Favorite Recipe: Smoky Chickpea Spread

Month Highlights:  My little guy turned 3.  He got two different birthday cakes as I realized that he didn’t have a cake on his first or second birthday.  Go ahead and take away my nomination for mom of the year.

I ran my first 5k in a lot of years, made all the better because I ran it with my little sister.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the day before my 5k, as my husband and kids went to visit his grandfather and I had a mom’s day off, complete with sangria swirls and a ginormous plate of nachos before noon.

I wrote a short novel about my philosophy on feeding my kids.  It’s one of my favorite posts.

May

Favorite Recipe: Caramelized Onion Quinoa with Toasted Nuts and Seeds

Month Highlights: 

My husband and I took our first trip together since having kids, a cruise celebrating our 9th anniversary.  I loved having 4 days with the best guy I know.  I also loved eating soft serve ice cream three times a day.

I wrote a couple of posts on kids and food again, one on tips for grocery shopping with youngsters and one on snacks.

June

Favorite Recipe: Watermelon Gazpacho

Month Highlights: Started the summer with my munchkins.  We took advantage of the {relatively} cooler month of June to do outside activities like breakfast picnics and dying paper with beet juice.  Yes, I am already budgeting for therapy for my kids.  ‘My mom thought dying paper with beet juice was considered a fun activity.  Of course I’m screwed up.”  


My blog turned one.  We joined a new gym with a fantastic pool and childcare area (for the kids) and a wonderful amount of group fitness classes (for me).  Due to the amount of time we spent at the pool, and thus the number of times I must be in a swim suit, we got our money’s worth from both the pool and gym classes

My friend of 32 years came to visit and we got to watch our kids play together.  That’s good stuff.

July

Favorite Recipe: Double Chocolate Protein Bites

Month Highlights:  We started with the 4th of July and our annual neighborhood parade.  My daughter loves any chance to adorn something with streamers and glitter.

July brought a harrowing day involving me reaching into a full toilet to retrieve my son’s beloved Toy Story figure.  I still shudder at that memory.  Maybe that makes up for no 1st and 2nd birthday cake?

 I got to eat at Spiral Diner in Ft. Worth, a vegan restaurant standing proudly in the middle of Cowtown, with a long time friend.  She also got the job she interviewed for that day and I’d like to think I was her good luck charm.  She is the coolest art teacher I know.

 I wrote about Kombucha at the request of a few readers and started brewing my own.

August

Favorite Recipe: I didn’t post a single recipe in August, unless you count the How to Brew Kombucha post.

Month Highlights:  Busy month for us.  We started the month with an Art Camp for my girl, which meant a week of me and the kids driving downtown for the morning.  My little guy and I enjoyed walking the Riverwalk and playing tourist while the girl was ‘arting’ away.  It was one of my favorite weeks of the summer.

 My girl and I took a girls-only roadtrip to Ft. Worth, TX to attend my sister-in-law’s baby shower, another highlight of the summer.

The big event of the month was the first day of kindergarten.  It was emotional, exciting, sweet and sad.  Sigh…

In an effort to distract me from the reality that my little girl was old enough to start school, I spent some time researching different lunch box options.  Those posts proved more popular than I expected and I started a school lunch series.

ran another 5K and this time shaved off 3 minutes from my time.  It also coincided with a very fun roadtrip to Houston to have a reunion with some college friends and our approximately 132 kids.  We’ve been fruitful.

September

Favorite Recipe: Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

Month Highlights: My new kindergartener turned 6 and had no less than four chances to blow out candles.

I also frosted her cake with beet-colored frosting, thrilling my inner repressed food scientist.

I had a birthday too and turned older than 6.  I enjoyed a night out with my husband and had some nice non-beet-colored Chardonney.

I did a two week cleanse based off the book Clean by A. Junger and detailed all of my meals.  I’ve never eaten so clean, but was a bit underwhelmed with the process.  I need to find a cleanse that allows chips and salsa, as that was what I missed the most.

October

Favorite Recipe: Hatch Green Chile, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Tortilla Bake

Month Highlights: I finished the cleanse and resumed my chips and salsa habit.  I also had my most viewed post of the year with a What I Ate Wednesday post.  Not sure why it was so popular, but I enjoyed the number of page views that day.  We took a trip with some new friends to the Frio River in Concan, Texas and had a fantastic time.

Any time you can vacation with this many people (approximately 168 children) and everyone is still smiling, you know life is good.

My girl had her first school field trip and I had my first chaperone experience.  It went much better than expected.

The kids trick or treated, this year as a spiderman and a queen. They got obscene amounts of candy and we sold it to the dentist on November first for $10.

November

Favorite Recipe: Tie between Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bars

and Maple Cinnamon Granola with Raisins and Cranberries

Month Highlights: November started out quiet and ended up with a big 6 day roadtrip the week of Thanksgiving. The big Thanksgiving trip brought the kids playing on hay bales,

Thanksgiving Day with my brother and sister,

 and some nice time being together.

December

Favorite Recipe: Curried Quinoa with Chickpeas and Apples

Month Highlights: December was epic for our family.  We started the month with a visit to Santa.  Note to self: always go on December 1st, as there was absolutely no line.

We then took our first trip to Disney World.  The trip was a surprise for the kids and they were beyond shocked when we announced that we were heading to the airport to go to Disney World.  We had a great time and are already looking forward to going back.  I am, however, still annoyed by lines and the word ‘magic’ as a result of our trip.

We came back from the trip and jumped into the happy chaos that December brings.  We hosted my brother -in-law for a few days, had my husband’s family Christmas,  did our share of school holiday functions and did a quick 48-hr trip to Dallas/Ft. Worth to see my family.  It was crazy, but wonderful crazy.

These last few days have brought a chance to catch our breath and plan for the new year.  I look forward to sharing 2012 on my little blog and, for those of you who have blogs, to reading about all of your year as well. Thank you blog-friends for your comments, emails and support this year!

7 thoughts on “The Best of 2011 in my Lively Kitchen and Lively Life

  1. I love the 2011 in review post and love even more that we made the cut!!! Seeing you guys twice this year definitely made our top list too and I hope we can have more get-togethers in 2012 to make it an equally great year! Happy 2012!!

  2. Pingback: WIAW- New Years Eats « The Lively Kitchen

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