Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Babies + Green Smoothies

This happened in our little condo today. Jesse and Lily stopped by for a bit, and we happened to have some really green smoothie leftover from dinner. Hannah and Abi just ate that thing up, straight out of the only plastic cup we had in the house.

Babies + green smoothies = awesome

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Chris coming home from work is always the highlight of Jack's day.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wedding Crasher

This little guy wandered into the middle of Taylor and Buck's ceremony yesterday, and I mean literally in the middle of it. They were standing up in front of everyone when this little guy waltzed in and stole the show. I was seriously contemplating how I could store him in my car for the rest of the day and take him home with us! Jack and Sawyer would totally love a new little brother, right?

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The other day, when I was trying to grow plants from food (that's a whole different post), I decided I had a lot of food that needed to be used up. Spinach, cilantro, some shredded chicken, and lots of celery. And since I love just throwing things into my crockpot and seeing what happens, I thought I'd give 10-bean soup a whirl. I was feeling good about it, despite my 30% success rate with making soups. (But those 30% are good, let me tell you. Another 30% is good according to Chris, but not to my picky taste, and the last 40% is just not.)

If I may say so, this one came out in the 30% success pool. And it's filling and good for you to boot.

1) Assemble the main characters: In this case it was chicken broth and dried 10-bean soup from Sprouts. (Isn't it pretty in a mason jar? My new dry goods storage system.)

2) Still chicken broth, but I wanted to point out, as this is the first time I've used this particular broth, that this brand comes out dark yellow and really smells like delightful chicken broth right out of the carton. Seriously, my soup smelled and looked like soup immediately thanks to this broth. I think it came from Sprouts along with the above Sprouts branded one.

3) All right, lets start chucking things in there. First, some beans. I used about a third of my jar, which I think was way too much in retrospect. I forgot that dried beans soak up liquid, whoops!

4) I had lentils, too, so in they went for extra dose of protein. You know, along with those ten different kinds of beans.

5) Shredded chicken.

6) Chopped carrots. Why are they in a square? I don't know how it happened. It just did.

7) Lots of chopped celery.

8) I've never used dried garbanzo beans until this soup. They're thick, so I was a little worried that they wouldn't soften enough during the cooking time without soaking overnight, but they were nice and squishy by the end!

9) I love cilantro in soup.

10) Nosy cat. (Not part of the ingredients.)

11) Spinach goes in everything, by the way.

12) Not the greatest picture at all, but it shows the final mess. Not appealing looking, I know.

13) Forgot, I had to use up this dill, too. In it went!

14) And while my back was turned to the crockpot, this little stinker found his favorite spot, despite the ominous water bottle waiting to squirt his cat butt off the counter. 

The verdict?

My take: After pulling it out of the freezer for a quick and easy meal tonight, it's still holding strong. I think I'll add some more spice to it next time, maybe cumin seed or red pepper flakes. I like my soups best when they make me cry, and this one's about a 2 on the spicy scale. Still delicious, still healthy, still filling. 

Chris says, "Mmmmm.... good," and then returns to playing his Star Wars computer game. Sigh. I need to feed him when he's not concentrating so hard on his screen.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Green Lunch

Here's a secret: I'm trying to eat healthier, but I fail a lot.

I feel like I eat okay for the most part. I don't go through the drive-thru everyday for a cheeseburger and fries, but I do go through quite often for that 69 cent coke. I eat lots of different fruits and veggies in my green smoothies, but past that I find it difficult to incorporate them into the rest of my day. I'm an emotional eater, I've discovered. I like to snack when I'm working on projects, and my life is one big project right now. My favorite comfort food is canned chili, 600 calories a pop. I could go on, but now I'm getting depressed.

The point is, when I do spend some time making something healthy, I'm pretty proud of it. And I take pictures of it. (Okay, I'll take pictures of anything, regardless, but I do like to document my good food choices.) 

There's a sandwich recipe that I pinned a few weeks back that I've been eager to try, only four ingredients, but it seems I'm almost one short. Spinach, avocado, pesto, and mozarella. We never have mozarella, and I may be new to cooking, but I know enough now that you can't just substitute cheeses whenever you feel like it. So I adapted a little: I took the spinach, avocado, and pesto and made a sandwich with some leftover shredded chicken. 

That would have been the end of this little experimental meal, but while the bread was toasting, I was clearing out the fridge of older food and realized my day old mustard greens were already wilting. Day old! Sheesh. So I looked up a quick recipe for cooking those babies up, too.

Now, I've never been a big fan of cooked greens (neither has Chris), but I figure I need to learn to like it to continue my healthfulness and get my greens more often in the day than just smoothie time. I was surprised how easy the recipe was, and the greens really weren't that bad cooked. (We both agreed on this.) However, mustard greens are pretty distinct tasting, so I don't think I'll be cooking those ones again. They're fine in smoothies (as long as you really counteract the bitter taste with a lot of fruit), but it was a little too much as its own side dish. Looks pretty though, doesn't it? Such a lovely green lunch. :)

And of course Jack's there too, taking advantage of me not watching that side of the kitchen. My focus on the fridge clearing and bread toasting apparently gave him time to sneak up and camp out to watch the countertop happenings from his favorite vantage point. He most definitely got squirted in the face after this picture was snapped.

Where did my week off go?

I had such plans for this week off. This is our "summer break" right now, a week off over the Fourth of July week. Working at a year-round school ain't all it's cracked up to be sometimes.

What was I going to do this week? Well, I had a great list:

1. Organize our whole house
2. Organize the photos on my phone and laptop and update our backup drive
3. Scrapbook
4. Finish editing Melody and Chris Holz' baby gender reveal photos
5. Finish populating a book for Glen's company
6. Get my work pants hemmed.
7. Watch lots of NCIS. 

And somehow it's Friday, and I really can't say I could scratch more than watching NCIS off this list. And that's only because I finally found a great website to watch episodes for free (one that actually works consistently). I did a bang up job getting started on the house cleaning on Monday, but that fizzled out as soon as the house heated up. I did do an iphone dump of photos that hopefully I'll be sharing soon (and should have been sharing over the week). Did not scrapbook. Not even digitally. Though I've worked on both the Holz photos and Glen's book, neither is as far along as I'd hoped. 

I did drop off my pants at the tailor's. Score one for me, though I still haven't technically completed the task and picked them up yet.

So what did I do all week long? I have been asking myself this same question. With the exception of Wednesday, when we went up to Matt and Donna's party in Ramona, I've pretty much been home all day by myself. I even woke up and started my day when Chris got up for work a couple times (though more often I slept in for a couple more hours). I couldn't fathom where all my time has gone. Yes, I've run errands that took about half the day. Yes, I did start a massive filing cabinet re-organization project which took awhile. But seriously? What have I been doing with myself? 

Well, let me tell you. I've been researching up to wazoo all the things I need to know before starting my first year as a new teacher. Yep, it looks like I'll have my very own teaching position soon. Not at the school where I work currently, which is a big bummer for me (I hate leaving people!), but at the school where Chris Holz has taught for the past few years. It's not official yet, but it's in the works. I've been getting emails from the eighth grade lead, meaning I'll be working at the middle school-- very exciting because I love that age group. So that's where all my time has gone. Researching online gradebooks and management systems like Schoology and Edmodo, reading tips for new teachers, trying to figure out the school's curriculum, going through old lesson plans I've used before and seeing what can transfer over. I have almost no details to go off as to what I'll be teaching, so I'm trying to just learn as much general stuff as possible. It's fun and exciting and super duper scary.

So that's why I didn't get to organize the house or scrapbook or finish editing projects or even update my blog. Not a terrible reason, I suppose. :)


In other news, just before my break started, I also finished my final Master's course. The Capstone was hell. Let me tell you, I earned that A. I don't always put a lot of effort into earning those A's, but this one was deserved. So happy to be finished. For a yeah-you-finished-your-masters! present, Chris bought us tickets for Les Miserables in September. Good seats, too, not our normal back-of-the-theater $30 tickets. We're in the loge, baby!