Photo Friday – Not A First I Was Anticipating

I can cross ‘first serious playground injury’ off the baby book.

We went to a rather innocent looking park this week and, as I was looking down at my book, I heard The Cry. The one that any mom knows – the one that means ‘I am honestly really hurt.’ I run over to see my little guy sitting at the base of a small (maybe 3 foot) climbing wall holding his head. I initially calmed down, as I didn’t see any broken bones or blood. I picked him up and put my hand on the back of his head to help him calm down. As I pulled away my hand I saw the blood. The blood covering my hand, blood coming from the back of his head. He saw my bloody hand and his cries became even more frantic and he started thrashing around, causing more blood to drip down the back of his head.

I had nothing with me except my phone, keys and book, so I took of his shirt to try to stop the blood. He was still frantic and didn’t want me touching his head. It was awful.

He finally calmed down a bit and we walked to the car, as I wanted to get him away from the playground. An angel mom came over with a clean dish towel she keeps in her car for emergencies (why, oh why hadn’t I thought of that?) and gave me some ice from her water cup. Another mom came over, announced she was a nurse and tried her best to check out his head. Unfortunately, upon hearing the word ‘nurse,’ my little guy immediately conjured up his doctor visit from 2 weeks ago where the nurse gave him 4 shots. Ugh.

He started screaming ‘no, not a nurse, don’t give me any shots.’ Despite her best efforts, he wouldn’t let her near his head. She recommended we get to urgent care, so off we went. I almost ran off the road trying to watch him in the backseat and check that he wasn’t falling asleep, fearing a concussion.

Urgent Care got us in quickly and I got to further raise both of our blood pressures as I restrained him with all my might (that kid is strong!) as the nurse cleaned the wound and then the doctor stapled the wound together. It was awful.

After getting to choose his bandage color (red – his favorite) and picking a toy from the treasure box, he was fine and even a bit proud of his ‘ouch.’ I was queasy from the whole experience.


He’s healed nicely and proudly shows anyone he can find his staples in his head, recounting the story and telling of all the ‘bwood.’


I put a clean towel and bottle of water in my trunk that night. While drinking a glass of wine.

Motherhood is never dull.

That night I happened to glance at the lid of the tea I was drinking at the park.  I almost spit up my wine while laughing:


True that.

What I Ate, but mostly drank, Wednesday

Wednesday means it’s time again for the What I Ate Wednesday blog party hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

I took pictures of my food on Tuesday and it turned out to be a more beverage heavy day than I planned.  I woke up feeling a little queasy and didn’t have much of an appetite for the whole day.  I regularly have bottomless pit hungry days, so I don’t worry too much when non-hungry days come along.Morning Tea:


grainy photo taken by my girl before we headed to kindergarten.

 Side note: I always put on a shirt or hoodie over my sleeping cami just in case we hit unexpected traffic and I have to walk her into school due to tardiness.  I’m pretty sure the one day I drive her in just my pjs will be the day I’ll have to make the mom walk of shame into the school, so I keep wearing presentable clothing to drop off.  Not attractive clothing, mind you, but presentable.

For breakfast I had some fresh juice and tackled Mt. Saint Laundry.


Juice: beets, celery, lemon, apple, carrots, kale

And, yes, that is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirt on top of the pile.  It’s my little guy’s very favorite pj shirt.  It makes me sing the ‘heroes in the half shell, turtle power’ refrain every time I see him in it.  Did anyone else see the original live-action TMNT movie in the theater like me?

By lunchtime I still wasn’t too hungry, so I made a smoothie.  I took a picture in front of the now empty laundry spot, just to prove that I did indeed conquer Mt. Saint Laundry for today.


Smoothie – Whole bunch of kale leaves (I save the stalks for juicing), 1 tsp maca powder, 1 scoop of Vega Vanilla Chai powder, 1 frozen banana and half an apple.

After picking up the munchkins from their respective schools, I came home and had a glass of ginger kombucha (home brew).


If you let your daughter play with your phone, you just might find a picture of yourself drinking your kombucha:


Early in the evening the kids and I went to the gym.  They like to go to the Kids in the Kitchen activity on Tuesday early evening, so I put on my gym gear even though I wasn’t feeling it.  I ended up having a pretty good workout and am really glad I went.


1 packet Crystal Light Pure Lemonade – I pour half into my water bottle.  I ended up drinking two water bottles worth of water (hello sweat) so I used the whole thing.

By dinner time I was feeling a bit more normal and thought I should have some actual food that requires chewing.


We had sauteed veggies (onion, garlic, squash, zucchini and carrots) + black beans + avocado over brown rice.  I added a dash of salsa.

It was really good.  I’m thoroughly enjoying cooking veggies in the big cast iron skillet I got for Christmas; it gives the vegetables a nice char and smoky, caramelized flavor.  The kids ate rice and beans and some raw veggies on the side.

I went outside to water the plants after dinner and enjoyed a nice glass of red wine.


A fitting final beverage of the day.

Quinoa Crunch Salad

I know you are all shocked that I am posting a quinoa recipe, seeing as how every 5th post on this blog seems to be a quinoa dish.  I am nothing if not frugal and practical, and you just can not beat the cost of quinoa and the short cook time.  Plus, it tastes good.

I am also nothing if not way behind on laundry and housekeeping, but that’s for another post.  (while ‘then get off the computer and clean your house woman’ would be good advice, I’m not listening.  {fingers in ear, chanting ‘la la la la’}).

I make this salad a couple of times a month.  It keeps well for 3-4 days in the fridge, although it usually only lasts a couple of days in our (messy) house, since the husband and I both like it.

Quinoa Crunch Salad

A salad with lots of natural crunch and a tangy dressing.  It’s strangely addicting – try to eat only one bit.


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey (or other sweetener)
1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Let cool.
2. Combine quinoa – parsley in a large bowl and stir.
3. Mix the dressing ingredients (lime juice – honey) in a small lidded jar and shake well.
4. Pour dressing over salad and mix well.
5.  Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours for flavors to blend.  Keeps well for 3-4 days.

New to quinoa?  Here’s my Quinoa – Ingredient Spotlight post.

Want more Quinoa recipes?  How about….

River Weekend

On Friday we loaded half our house into the car,


and drove from San Antonio to the Frio River in Concan, TX.


We even got to drive over the river,


which delighted the kids (and me).

At dusk fireflies showed up and very graciously let the kids catch them.


It was kinda magical.

The kids were sent to procure wood for the fire

and no one got hurt.  Also kinda magical.

We ended the night with some smores and campfire conversation.

(the kids had only smores, the parents had wine + smores)

Saturday we woke to a perfect weather day.


The girl caught a grasshopper,


some butterflies,


a tadpole,


and a fish (really her dad caught it, and we released him back to the river).

There was nature exploring,

and fishing.

There was (cold, cold) swimming,


there was climbing.

The little guy bonded with some friend’s sweet pup.


We had more smores. And more wine.


We laughed.  A lot.


Sunday morning came too soon and after some final nature exploring, we headed back to real life.

It was a wonderful weekend and I’m still smiling in my heart about it today. And doing 17 loads of laundry (while picking rocks out of pockets). And putting away the half the house that was packed up.

Totally worth it.

What I Ate Wednesday – A Series of Unphotogenic Events

Every Wednesday* I link up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons and her What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) blog party.

*I skipped last Wednesday and kinda missed it. But I’ve posted just about every other Wednesday for the last year.

For this week’s WIAW post, I photographed my eats on Monday. As I perused the photos, I noticed a theme. They didn’t look so good. First off, the are all iPhone pictures, taken on the go, so lighting isn’t the greatest. And, honestly, most of the foods don’t look all that appetizing*. See what you think:

*You can’t judge a food’s taste by it’s photogenicity.  That’s not really a word, but it should be.  How about photogenic-ness?  



Green Juice and Green Tea – my green squared beverage duo

Breakfast 2:


Double Chocolate Protein Bite (pre-yoga)

Breakfast 3:


Another protein bite, a Cocoa Cookie Dough Ball (from Let Them Eat Vegan) and a coconut flour tropical muffin (recipe coming soon) and some water



Carrots + a quinoa/chickpea/sprouted bean concoction mixed with Mmm Sauce and Cilantro.  Tasted so much better than it looks (and sounds)

Afternoon Drink 1:


Green Tea Lemonade (in the school pick up line)

After School Baking:


PB & B Blender Cookies

After School Drink 2:


Ginger Kombucha (yes, it looks like pond water)



Kids: black bean nachos and fruits and veggies


Grown Ups: Salsa Quinoa with Black Beans atop lettuce, topped with avocados and tortilla chips

(in honor of the ‘add an extra cup of veggies’ challenge, I added an extra cup of romaine)



Coconut Milk Ice Cream Sandwich

So – clearly these photos aren’t winning any awards.  Between the brown protein bites, the gray brown lunch combo and the pond water kombucha, I’m not making my eats look too appetizing.  Rest assured they were all quite tasty.  I may eat ugly food, but I do not eat bad tasting food.  A lady must have her standards.

What’s the most unphotogenic thing you’ve eaten lately?

Green Tea Lemonade

This is my new afternoon beverage.  As in I have had this drink everyday for the last two weeks.  I anticipate it being a staple in the summer, which in Texas, means ‘drink your body weight in fluids to compensate for the ridiculous amount of sweating that occurs when you live on what feels like the face of the sun for 3 months.’

Green Tea Lemonade

It’s got a really long ingredient list.  Ready?

  1.  Green Tea (green tea bag + water)
  2. Lemon
  3. Sweetener (I use stevia)
  4. Ice

And a really complicated recipe.

1. Make green tea. Let it cool.  (I boil enough water in the morning to make my morning green jasmine tea and my  ‘lemonade’ tea.  I make both cups at the same time and just let the plain green tea sit on the counter {remove tea bag after about 5 minutes of brewing to minimize bitterness} until the afternoon when I’m ready to make my green tea lemonade)

2. Add the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, depending on how tart you want your drink.

3. Sweeten to taste.

4. Serve over ice.

It’s refreshing and a perfect afternoon pick me up.  Plus green tea is all kinds of good for you so you get bonus nutritional benefits.

The addition of lemon, while adding a nice tartness, may also make this drink even more nutritious. Shout out to the food scientists at Purdue University that determined that adding citrus juice (or straight ascorbic acid) to green tea allows the beneficial antioxidants in green tea to survive the digestion process.

(I.came.this.close to getting my food science Master’s degree at Purdue, but my research would have been on black-eyed peas, not green tea)  (I chose North Carolina State instead)  (And did research on processed cheese)  (oh yes I did)

What is your ideal afternoon beverage?

Menu Plan Monday

Guess who got her act together last night and planned out her whole week?  Me!  Which means something is going to hit today – maybe sickness or perhaps the oven will stop working – and derail it all.  Who me, pessimistic?  Nah.  Well, maybe a little.  I prefer to think of it as cynical, which somehow sounds better than pessimistic.

I did some blog planning too and have a couple of good recipes slated to post this week.  Thanks for your patience with my last couple of blog-light weeks.

Here is what I have planned for dinners, barring any week-altering events.

Monday Quinoa with Salsa and Black Beans over salad

TuesdayBuddha Bowls with brown rice and whatever veggies we have in the fridge

Wednesday – Chickpea Pumpkin Seed Burgers from Let Them Eat Vegan

Thursday – Grilled Cheese with bread machine bread and salad

Friday – out to eat

Also planning to make the following:

Classic Texas Caviar Dip

White Sangria (for a special event, not just for me, in case you were worried)

Fresh Orange Cake from Let Them Eat Vegan

PB & B Blender Cookie

Pumpkin Muffins

Linking up with Menu Plan Monday at I’m An Organizing Junkie

Photo Friday – good reads

Books my kids are loving:

Chalk by Bill Thomson – amazing, amazing hand drawn illustrations. There are no words in the book, just a very clever story in pictures.


The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man (with Moskowitz the Awesome Dog) by Michael Chabon. Love this story! I’ve read it at least 18 times to my boy. And I think if we get a dog, we’ll seriously consider naming it Moskowitz.20120413-081114.jpg

Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along book and CD – I have to refrain from busting out into Stay, but we’ve listened to this CD all week on repeat. Very cute and catchy and not annoying like many kid’s CDs. There is a song called Fried Ham that we’ve been singing non-stop, although I did cheer when, after singing it a few times, my boy asked “mom, what’s bologna?”


I read Divergent this week. It didn’t captivate me like Hunger Games and took me way longer to get into, but it was a good read and I stayed up too late to finish it. Looking forward to the next one.


Some good reads on the worldwide web:

Is An Egg For Breakfast Worth This? (NY Times) – we do eat eggs, but I try to make sure they all come from the Farmer’s Markets or other local sources. Even if you don’t care about the chicken’s welfare, you have got to think that the eggs produced by chickens who are surrounded by ammonia and decaying carcasses can not be healthy. Cheap eggs aren’t good. Good eggs aren’t cheap. I would love to raise our own chickens, but our neighborhood association prohibits it.

In The Wake Of Drought: What Remains (Beth Moore) – Preach it Beth!

Random Hula Hoop Picture:


And a gem from my Daughter’s take-home folder this morning:


(my elephant can be weird and my elephant can play dead) – not sure what to make of that

Any books you recommend for me or my kids????

Vegan Carrot Raisin Pineapple Salad


It’s hard to do the mom circuit in the Texas suburbs without ending up at Chick Fil A at least once.  The chain is kid friendly, clean and has top-notch customer service.  And play areas (complete with hand sanitizer).  Actually, the husband I had our first meal together (a year and half before we actually started dating) at Chick-Fil-A about 15 years ago, so I’m a little partial to the chain.  Plus I ate many a chicken-biscuits for breakfast in high school before dance team practice.  Breakfast of champions, don’t you know?  {insert sarcasm font}

It’s not remotely a vegetarian restaurant, so I am usually stuck with sides for a meal these days.  I tend to order a side salad and a small carrot-raisin-salad.  And maybe fries if I’m feeling naughty – they do have delicious waffle fries.  The side salad is standard, but the carrot raisin salad is really good.  The carrot juice/dressing liquid that forms at the bottom of the bowl is a nasty bugger potent stain to get out of your clothes if you happen to spill the container (which I do far too often, sometimes my kid’s fault, usually mine), but the salad is refreshing and tasty.

Last week I decided to re-create the carrot raisin salad and, after googling a few versions of the Chick-Fil-A recipe and learning it contained mayo, veganizing it.  It worked!

Vegan Carrot Raisin Pineapple Salad

This salad is sweet, crunchy and refreshing.  It comes together quickly and keeps really well for 3-4 days in the fridge.

  • 2 c shredded carrots (the finer the better – I used my food processor)
  • 1/3 c raisins
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp vegan mayo – I like the soy-free veganaise.  Could also use regular non-vegan mayo
  • 3/4 c diced pineapple
  • 2 Tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt


1. Add all ingredients and mix until well combined.  Let sit in the fridge for a couple of hours for flavors to meld.