I am not much of the type of person to make a post of my latest hauls or cheap finds, but I was pretty excited about my recent trip to Home Goods. It is a pretty hit or miss sort of place. Some things are cheaper there, some are not. I mostly like to look at their kitchen and food items. They have some “health foods” for cheap. What I mostly like is that there are some brands that are endorsed by the Food Empowerment Project.
With that said let’s start with CHOCOLATE! I remembered that Navitas is listed under as recommended brands from Food Empowerment Project. I am always in need of bars so I can stash them in my backpack just in case. I noticed the box was in the clearance section, and listed as $11 a box of 12 bars. I figured that is less than $1 bar, which is about the price of clif bars. I later looked online- Amazon is selling them for $20 a box (cheaper for subscription)!
I’m glad I got them because they are really tasty. They remind me of kind bars only not as hard. I never liked how crunchy the nuts made the bars, but these have lots of soft crispiness from rice and quinoa puffs. Oh! I also love how they DON’T have chia seeds. Seems like all companies just toss them into foods and then you get the problem of getting chia seeds stuck in your teeth. I am guessing these were still on the shelf because people were afraid of the cranberry chocolate combo? It was yummy, but not much flavor from the cranberries.
I haven’t done anything yet with the almond meal, in fact I rarely use the stuff. I skip over recipes that use it because the price is too much. But this was $4 so I thought why not. It seemed cheap… and it is. I looked online amazon sells this brand for $12! And it looks like almond meal is around $8-12 for 12-16oz. Nice steal! I remember loving a recipe for raw cookies that use almond meal. Might mix some up this weekend.
I also found this protein powder for $7. It said that it had 14 servings, and each serving had 15 grams of protein. I normally don’t like things that say detox, and I didn’t find the brand listed of FEP’s list, but I thought why not? Got home and stuff sells for $24!? What?! I prepared the smoothie like they suggest on the box and it was pretty good. I will probably add some cocoa to the mix, but I wouldn’t recommend it on principle.
This I’m MOST excited about. I am sucker for packaging, and new products. People know how to market to me. So when I saw this macadamia nut milk I wanted to try it. But it is always priced around $4-5 in stores (and on Amazon) it was just too much for me. Heck- I have been thinking the store brand soy milk is too expensive ($2.80 for a half gallon). This was on sale for $2! Whoo! That’s cheap enough for me to try once. The package was pretty dinged up, and there was only one container so I am thinking hard about how I want to use it.
There were some other goodies there. Like nutripods (which I do use creamer so didn’t get them), beanitos, and orgain.
Any good bargains lately?
Reading: I just finished up American Cakes. Horray! I wish I wasn’t so hot because I would really like to bake a few different cakes. T__T But I guess you’ll see some new recipes in the fall.
I also picked up Strong Female Protaganist. Alexa lent it to me awhile ago but I just started to read it. It is pretty interesting. It tells a story of an early 20s super hero girl who decides to give up crime fighting and go to college.
Watching: Jon wanted to watch the show Paranoid. It was okay. It is a Netflix original and is about a small local police force investigating a murder of a Mother. It ends up exposing a huge cover up of a drug company. It felt a little anti-climatic at the end, and it didn’t feel particularly special. I did really enjoy the Danish police, they were so happy and upbeat. Overall not bad if you enjoy cop dramas.
We finished up the series (or what has been made so far) of Veep. Our library has it and I have to say it is really funny. It is based on the BBC show The Thick of It. I tried watching it in the past, and it was funny but I think the combo of thick accents and foreign governments left me a little too in the dark. Anyways, Selena Meyers is inspiring a potential new hair do…. maybe. I am not sure how much upkeep I would have to do.
Crafting: Well my Mom and I add the grey spacing between the cats, and the glasses so all we need to do is.. you know… make it into a quilt. The summer is almost over but oh well. We can enjoy next summer and the every summer after that.
I also have been working more on the crossstitch for my friend but nothing special to photograph and put on the blog. Maybe next month?
Listening: Gosh- am I even listening to anything worth while? Hmmm… I took out a bunch of Flaming Lips albums from the library but they are sitting on the dining table. Feminist Killjoy PHD playlist became public again so I’ve been listening to that a lot. But that is more or less it.
Garden: Not much is going on right now in my garden. The balloon flowers randomly started to bloom! Yey! But otherwise I think we have hit the end of the variety in my garden. Hopefully I can re-arrange a few things and plan what I want to grow next year.
Podcast: Mosaic Science had a REALLY interesting episode on the safety of city cycling (you can either read or listen the article). They compared the stats and types of biking routes in different cities. I have learned to bike in Philly which promotes the USA style of biking with traffic. You think of yourself like a vehicle and follow all the laws. But we are slowly making bike only lanes and such.
CSA: I have NOT been keeping track of my CSA picks and what I have been making but here is a brief list of what I have been getting:
- green beans, green beans, and oh green beans
- fresh onions and garlic, and some scallions and leeks
- a few green bell peppers
- one eggplant
- “cutting” celery
- zucchini and summer squashes
- spring carrots
- cherry and sungold tomatoes
- and finally nappa and regular ol’ cabbage
Other Eats: Jon and I went to the new Whole Foods location. I will be writing a review because it is actually a pretty cool place. We were planning on eating as Wiz Kid, but they were closed! They literally JUST opened up their new location, making me think they were closed to get as many staff members over for their grand opening. Ugh.
Other Shares: I scanned some old photos recently- like the embarrassing ones. In all my dorky kid glory. I loved taking photos and I was always just testing the waters, so you have my lovely 90’s selfie. There is also the photo of me at the Philadelphia Flower Show in my jean jacket.
And Outside is CRUSHIN IT with their articles! There is a really interesting one that I read this month about eating disorders and sports. I thought it was really interesting since many people assume that if a certain diet is endorsed by an athlete that it MUST be healthy. Heck even my Mom off handedly talked about how marathoners loose their periods as if that was okay.
So what made your month in July?
Holy cow! This month has flown by. It really has me reflecting on how much has changed in the past 6 months. I remember dreading breastfeeding. I am glad I stuck it out, although I don’t love it, it is much cheaper and simpler than formula. I remember feeling such disconnect with little Wolfie when he was a floppy, wrinkly, newborn, and the days when I was so desperate to get out of the house.
Now I am always amazed by how much Wolfie moves around. I love it when he rubs his face into my shoulder, even though that pretty much means he is toast and needs a nap. He smiles so much more, drools less, burps on his own, and most importantly poop a lot less often. He sleeps through the night, naps twice a day, and I get some time to myself. I don’t think I will look back at month one to four with too much nostalgia. But I think I will be thinking of the “good ol’ days” when looking back on these months.
So let’s talk about what the heck Wolfie has been up to. Well, he is becoming a serious foodie. He is getting the whole bite-chew-swallow thing. Before there was a lot of biting off food, then spitting it out for the next bite. Some were swallowed, but I mostly ended up with little bits of kohlrabi and apple all over the high chair. It wasn’t until the one day when Wolfie was eating half a banana and half a pancake that I noticed a shift in his eating. When I cleaned up, I didn’t find a million chunks all over the place. Meaning he ATE MOST OF THE MEAL! Crazy! He hasn’t complained at all with any of the food I’ve given him. Curry, rice, veggies, fruit, pickles, all good. I love how a lot of what he eats depends on what we get from our CSA. It automatically will switch things up for him. Pretty soon we will take him to the orchard and he can start trying out stone fruit. And he can finally find out what Peaches are since I sang that song to him so often as a newborn.
Making it out to our CSA has been something of a challenge. As Wolfie has gotten older he has gotten into the habit of napping at 8 in the morning. Our CSA opens up at 8, which causes us to bring a cranky baby to pick up our produce. Ouch. We would let him nap, but with the summer we like to go as early as we can before it gets hot. Next year should be much easier since he will most likely be taking naps in the afternoon. It’ll be more fun for him then, he’ll be able to “pick” produce, and walk around. Right now he is just carried around by me, or his grandparents. But he sure loves looking at the piggies. I am sure there will be tears in the future about what happens to the pigs.
Last time I didn’t include Wolfie’s stats from the doctor’s visit. Well, he is now 17lbs and 1oz- in the 68th percentile. His head is 43 centimeters, in the 72nd percentile. And finally his height is 2 feet and 3 inches- making his height in the 93rd percentile. So I apparently have a very long and skinny baby. In fact I did some searching to get an idea what size clothing he should be wearing and found that his weight is in the 6-9 month clothing but his height is in the 9-12 month clothing. His feet are just much too long for his footed jammies.
I will have to say everything is starting to feel like those ooey-gooey “he’s growing so fast” moments. He is sitting by himself without my help though I need to prop him up still. He is now itching to start moving around, and I am seeing the end soon to being able to walk away from him and knowing he will “stay put.”
*sigh* But that is why I started to make these monthly posts. I knew everything would be moving fast. So I am glad I trying to stick with this.
Reading: Still reading American Cakes, and I am thinking about revisiting some recipes so I can make another post in here. Some of the most interesting cakes are actually ones that are published in passing like the War Cake, mayonnaise cake, or the original brownies. So I will probably be making some of those as well.
Watching: I’ve been watching lots of Adventure Time. I use to walk Wolfie in the afternoon but moved it to the morning for the summer so I could run/walk before it got too hot. So that means I am bored as heck in the afternoon. So Adventure Time has been something good to watch since it is short, and Wolfie tends to not care about what is going on the TV screen. I’ve also been watching the FIFA Confederation Cup as well. This, unfortunately, Wolfie loves to watch. So I have a feeling he will be a team sports type of guy.
I’ve been also obsessed with Crash Course Mythology Series. I’ve always loved mythology but sometimes it is hard to find (and cheap) sources to that aren’t Eurocentric. But this series talk about lots of different areas, including myths from China, Japan, India, parts of Africa, and the Americas. Heck even Hawaii! I strongly recommend checking it out.
Crafting: Still working on my cat quilt. We finished all the patches! Yey! Now the boring stuff- making it into a quilt. lol. My Mother and I need to make a trip out to Intercourse (yes that’s the name of a town) to get more of the grey fabric. I will be so happy when this is over. Our current blanket it too warm and too small for the summer.
Listening: Charli XCX released her new album so I’ve been listening to that on Spotify. Jon and I have been checking out albums from the library and transferring them to our computer. I found Foo Fighters and now I am suddenly remembering how awesome they are.
Garden: My garden is doing much better than last year! After owning it for 3 years, my amaryllis FINALLY BLOOMED! My Mom got it for me one winter and it bloomed when we got it, then it just didn’t after that. It was pretty exciting to see the red flowers, but we might have to give it to someone else since it is poisonous to children once winter comes. Our succulents bloomed as well! They are spreading quite a lot which was the plan for them. We even had a few lilac blooms as well.
The mystery plant that I got from Lowe’s has been thriving! It is much bigger than what I expected so this fall we will move it someplace different. I think it has been blocking the light for the balloon flower. The gladiolas keep getting nibbled by bunnies. And I think I have watermelon seeds that sprouted. Wut? Which is nice but a bummer since it looks like the hops vine didn’t make it. T_T
Podcasts: Now that Wolfie has been sleeping more through the night I’ve been listening to less podcasts. But when he wakes up on rare occasions at 4 in the morning I’ve been listening to Oh No! Ross And Carrie’s Scientology series. It has been pretty funny. They also have a really funny series featuring their trip to the Ozark UFO Conference. Highlights? The Owl speaker, a penis star map, and a woman who thinks we had our memories wiped away after 1996.
CSA: I tried to keep a log of all of the food I got from my CSA. Yeah that didn’t last too long. Well here is a fairly basic summary-
- half a bag bok choy
- half a bag beet greens + extra beet greens from parents
- 2 bunches of beets with greens + 8 leafless beets
- 2 bunches of collard greens
- 7 heads of lettuce (almost all frozen in fridge)
- 1 pint strawberries
- 1 bunch turnips + greens + 5 solo turnips
- cutting celery
- 3 bunches of scallions
- 7 garlic scapes
- 5 kolhrabi
- 1 1/2 bags of kale
- 3 bunches of parsley
- 1 quart snap peas
- 1 1/2 bags of tatsoi
- 2 heads of nappa cabbage
- 2 heads of cabbage
- 6 zucchini
- 10 or so small carrots
- 2 slicing cucumbers
- 5 pickling cucumbers
- 4 broccoli crowns
CSA Meals: I’ve been going nuts with stir-fries- Pad Kee Mow, Pad Thai, Moo Shu using bok choi, tatsoi, kolhrabi, and summer squashes. I am probably maxing out my sodium intake. Oops.
I’ve been busy making lots of dips and spreads. I tried out a creamy radish dip that was in our CSA newsletter, parsley and cutting celery pesto, and a beet hummus. All of which has been put on toast for Wolfie. He’s been digging some of the produce eating sticks of kolhrabi, golden beets, broccoli, and cucumbers. Hubby’s been eating the snap peas raw with his lunches.
Since the early produce days consistent of mostly greens, I’ve been busy eating salad (whenever the lettuce doesn’t freeze up) mostly taco salads. I used some of the beet greens instead of spinach in a florentine. I’ve made Chana Saag with kale and coconut milk. And pretty much blending extra greens in smoothies whenever I can.
Finally, with the few strawberries that I got I made the chocolate pudding that Jenny got me from our package exchange. It was awesome and easy to make.
Other Eats: Ice cream! Store bought ice cream! I’ve been snacking on little ice cream snacks when possible in stores. And MOM’s Organics have had my favorite Sorbabes on sale- Peanut Banana with chocolate fudge. We’ve also been to VEDGE! I am so excited to write up the review for the blog. And I got some sick photos before I drank too much and it started to get dark. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
What have you guys been digging for the month of June?
I swear everything is moving super fast. Wolfie is on the edge of moving around. He is starting to roll around more- but mostly when I walk out of the room or when he is alone in the crib. My guess is that he knows I’ll hand him some of his toys? But then again he isn’t very good at rolling off his tummy, so there were a few times he woke up in the middle of the night and I had to roll him on his back again.
Wolfie can now sit up by himself (once you prop him up). He loves sitting up while playing. I no longer need to be right behind him – though sometimes he wobbles too much and falls down. Thank goodness for the sitting because he now wants to stand up less. Yey! Less work for me.
The other day we went to a friend’s 30th Birthday Party and there were lots of babies. I was a little surprised how much Wolfie just wanted to hang around the other babies. He was clearly taking notes because the two older babies were crawling. At the party he kept trying to get on all fours but wasn’t sure how to move. In fact he still was trying it at home, and actually keeping his tummy off the floor. So who know, maybe crawling will happen in the near future?
Sleeping is getting better. He still cries when we put him down for the night but it is immediately stops when I leave the room. Maybe I’ll start reading a book before leaving for the night to try and soften the transition. Sadly, we had to do sleep training for naps. I put it off and put it off and kept Wolfie in his small rocker instead of the crib for naps. Then a heatwave hit right as I was trying transition. I didn’t want to use the rocker since it wouldn’t help in the heat. He also wasn’t falling asleep in my arms because he was too hot, not that it mattered because he almost always woke up when I placed him in the crib. It was sooooo terrible. But once the heatwave went away, he fell asleep in the crib by himself. Now he has similar reactions as going to bed- crying when I am in the room, but starts putting himself to sleep when I leave.
And now the sleeping is a LOT more consistent. It has been a sigh of relief for us, since we know he will STAY asleep at night. I remember for the first 2-3 months having to swap baby duty so I could try and get enough sleep. Now if I am getting up in the middle of the night it is at 4 in the morning. And I am not pretty much always getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
Loving solids! I was a little worried about starting him on solids since the recommendations are now to wait until they a six months old, but I figured why not. If it seemed to be a bad idea I would take a step back and wait. So far no digestion issues and he seems eager to eat the purees. I made some awhile ago from produce from last years CSA crops- butternut squash, turnips, and parsnips. All are getting the baby seal of approval.
Then I flip flopped and read Baby Led Weaning. So I ditched the purees and went for “adult” foods. It has been interesting since 95% of the food rarely gets into his mouth. So maybe there will be a what we ate coming up soon.
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May is a busy month for me – having a birthday in May pretty much means you are used to your birthday thunder being stolen. I remember once being invited to two different weddings on my birthday one year (one being my uncle, the other being my grade school teacher.), as well as there being school graduations, Mother’s Day, and copious other birthdays. This year we celebrated Mother’s Day, my birthday, and my 4th wedding anniversary all in the same week. So when Jon told me one Saturday that he was taking me out for a surprise I really didn’t know what to expect. Turns out we were going out for a big birthday dinner with my sister and friends (apparently I am turning 30 this year and that’s a big deal)!
Jon got his parents to watch Wolfie as we got dressed up and got into the car. At this point I didn’t know yet that what was going on. I tried not to speculate since Jon has a poor history of keeping surprises (I’d already found a wrapped gift in the closet). I noticed we were getting off at the exit for the train so I start pulling out my PATCO card… and then we drive right past the station….
“We need to stop by your sister’s house. We split a gift for your birthday and she forgot to bring it into work so we’ll need to pick it up!”
That sounded plausible, so I thought no big deal. She also lives next to a different station so it made sense. As we start pulling to my sister’s house I see a car, one I’ve never seen. So I asked who’s car was that- or rather “Who the fuck did that shitty park job?!” Jon said that it MUST have been a friend of my niece’s – and at this point if I wasn’t sleep deprived I would of gotten suspicious. When we got inside I was surprised by Alexa and both my sisters! That shitty park job was Alexa!!! In her defense there wasn’t much she could of done, it’s just the shape of my sister’s driveway.
So we all got on the train and met up with my friend Justine in the city to eat at Bar Bombon. It is a Puerto Rican/latin tapas restaurant owned by Nicole Marquis. She worked at Vedge, and opened up Charlie Was A Sinner and HipCityVeg. There was a lot of hype when the restaurant opened and much has already changed. The restaurant moved from having a mix of burritos, arepas, and tacos to having more seasonal plates.
If you are thinking about coming to this place YOU MUST make a reservation. My goodness the place was packed! When you come in it is a little awkward as you immediately walk into the bar area. There is barely enough room to walk past the bar to the seating. There is also a few tables outside but it is next to alley, which isn’t terribly charming. But the inside is awesome and very warm.
Alexa’s note: At first glance I noticed that I really liked the decor of this place. I don’t go out into Philly that often unless I’m with Jen, so I just love taking in the scenery of new restaurants and such. It was very crowded, but it was also a Saturday night around peak “let’s go out” hour – I guess I was just surprised because it was also pouring rain (I’ve been out of the city for too long and apparently forget that rain stops almost no one from going out and being away from their apartments).
Overall I really enjoyed the food and drinks, they had an extensive list of cocktails that I did not partake in…unlike Jen I’m wary of liquor as opposed to beer because if I don’t like it, it’s not a pretty sight. This is a place that I would love to come back to and try more off of the menu.
Avocado, green goddess, black bean puree, mirepoix
Alexa: One of the things I miss most as a vegetarian is good barbecue and food slathered in buffalo sauce. I love buffalo cauliflower for this very reason! Let me tell you – this taco DELIVERS. The cauliflower is slightly crisp and not soggy and the buffalo sauce isn’t overpowering. While I would say that everything we ate that night certainly tasted fresh I especially felt that way about everything in this dish.
Blackend chick’n, smoked tempeh, avocado, dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, grain mustard aioli
Jen: This was my favorite of the dinner and it was FILLING. This is one of those confusing tapas how big/small are the plates moments as this sandwich I think was a lot more food than the tacos. The club comes with a side of fries, which makes it pretty much a stand alone meal. The club was amazing! Definetly the chick’n and tempeh make it stand out as a unique sandwich from the original cubano sandwich. The smoked tempeh was tasty, and the pickles and aioli give just enough tang. If I were to go back with hubby, I might get this again with a vegetable plate and probably would have enough to eat (with cocktails too duh)
GUACAMOLE FRESCO & PICANTE
I know it is possible to mess up guacamole, but it happens to rarely. I liked the guac here. They let the avocados speak for themselves. You can pick it “fresco” or “picante.” The picante wasn’t insanely hot, but if you want a more traditional route, get fresco. They give a good amount of guac to chips. I was able to use some of the guac with my yuca fries. The chips were pretty nice too, and clearly fried on location.
Leeks, currants, pickled plantains
I had really high expectations for these empanadas and was a little disappointed. Not to say they tasted bad, I just envisioned something different. The flavor was soft, and the plantains were served on the side. The empanadas were fried to perfection though.
Brussels sprouts, peanut, mango, lemon
Jen: My rushed meals at home mean I don’t eat enough veggies. So this night I was craving vegetables so Jon and I split the brussel sprouts. They were roasted to perfection with crispy leaves. There was a tasty peanut dipping sauce which was amazing. The annoying thing is that I tasted zero mango. I am guessing it was mainly in there as a sweetening agent?
Alexa: I love Brussels sprouts. Jen isn’t exaggerating when she said these were cooked to perfection, I probably could have had that whole plate as a meal for myself! To be fair, I didn’t know there was supposed to be any mango involved in the dish so I wasn’t as let down, but the oil used to cook the sprouts did have a sweetness to it. So maybe she’s not off on the “sweetening agent” idea!
SEITAN “AL PASTEUR”
Guacamole, onion, cilantro, pineapple
Alexa: I enjoyed this taco as well, but it wasn’t my favorite of the two that I tried. I enjoy spicier foods, so the buffalo cauliflower was a huge hit. The seitan was cooked well and had a lot of flavor that was brought out more by the onion and pineapple. I would definitely recommend this if you’re looking for a “meatier” dish.
Roasted peppers and onions, cheese sauce
Jen: My sister seemed to be very concerned about what was in the cheese sauce. The wait staff was very hesitant to give any clue about what it was made of, but if I were to take a guess it was maybe a veggie based sauce? Whatever was in it ended up tasting great. The fries were thin and extra crispy. My only complaint is that it could of had more toppings.
Alexa: My only complaint was that these weren’t bottomless because…
a) potatoes are a gift on this green Earth
b) potatoes cut into thin pieces covered in sauce and veggies are also a gift.
I strongly recommend getting these yuca fries. They are light and fluffy but crispy on the outside. If you like handcut french fries, you will love these. They come with a sauce that made me think of the “special sauce” that my parents would get in Southern Utah. It was just ketchup and mayo, but this sauce tasted like it had a paprika kick.
BETTER & BETTER
aged rum, mezcal blanco, falernum
DUMMY GUIDE: rum, tequila (or something like it), spiced syrup
Hubby got this drink first. I am guessing the mezcal blanco means it is similar to tequila. Mezcal is pretty much an open ended category for drinks made from any type of agave plant. So this ended up being a strong “manly” drink served in a low-ball/old fashioned glass. The drink was very robust and nicely spiced. I question the purpose of the mezcal? I couldn’t particularly pick up on any of it.
tequila blanco, orange liqueur, lime
This is a classic magarita- like a REAL one. No neon colors, no slushie ice, and all fresh ingredients. It was really refreshing and tasty. Personally I like less ice, but is perfect for people who don’t like strong drinks.
tequila blanco, beet, habanero, lime
This is a twist to a margarita. Alexa got this drink and it comes out looking pretty pink-red because of the beet juice in it. It had just enough habanero to give a wee little kick.
NO LOVE LOST
london dry gin, lavender, cucumber, thyme, lime
This was my sister’s favorite drink, so much so she got it twice! I can see why. I found it super refreshing and you could taste all the different components. They worked all so well with each other. I strongly suggest this to anyone, but particularly to people who don’t like strong drinks.
mezcal blanco, white rum, creme de violette, rose water
DUMMY GUIDE: a tequila like liquor, un-aged rum, sweet violet flavor liquor, rose water.
This was my drink of choice! I’ve been wanting to try creme de violette for some time but not many liquor stores sell the stuff. FYI it is creme because the sugar gives a creamy texture. It was really nice. It had nice floral notes but wasn’t over powering. You don’t taste much of the rum and mezcal but I think they helped prevent the drink from tasting too much like perfume.
I love random posts like Friday Favs, Currentlies, Le Love List, The Amazing Five, and RWL so I figured I would make a similar monthly update about me. Especially since I’ve been making monthly updates on the babe, I figured it would be nice to unfold what’s been on my mind this month.
Readings: I just finished Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor. I mainly picked it up because the trailer and DVD cover for the movie adaptation looked cool. I still would like to see the movie, but the book was interesting. Clearly for a book written in the south in the 50s is going to have some questionable aspects on race, so that was something to take note of. But I liked the surreal imagery and writing style overall. I didn’t LOVE it since it was so religiously based, so I think some references went over my head.
I am also trying quickly read Baby Led Weaning and Sleeping Through the Night. I am finding Sleeping Through the Night VERY good. My sister originally suggested Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and I found the author obnoxious. I am not the kind of person to get worried, but dear lord is this book is alarmist. And it takes forever for him to get to the point- I mean it is 688 pages long! Baby Led Weaning has been interesting. I think I am going to take the plunge at 6 months with the concept and see how that goes.
Watching: I wrote a review about The Handmaid’s Tale. I feel like I read it before it got really trendy. First time I’ve been ahead of a trend! Okay I know the book is a classic but whatever. There has been a total resurge of popularity with Pence and Trump in office. The TV series is super creepy and way too relatable. I think seeing actors in modern day clothes (rather than me picturing them in 80-90’s clothes) is unnerving. Plus there is the whole having a child myself idea.
We JUST finished the newest season of Sherlock. The last episode was AMAZING. It stinks that they only have three episodes per season, especially since it seems unlikely that they will be able to make another season.
And we have been watching the new Bill Nye Saves the World show on Netflix. It is okay. Some episodes are better than others but I do have a few problems with the show. It doesn’t feel like Bill Nye is honestly trying to change the opinions of people. Plus I think it would of been better if they filmed and heavily edited it instead of having in front of a live audience. If those two things changed I would of LOVED it.
Oh and Master of None. How did I go so long without watching it?
Crafting: I’ve been working really hard on getting my cat quilt done. I bought the pattern a while ago and I made it much bigger than the original pattern. Instead of 30 cats- we are doing 56. It’s huge. So I’ve been going to my Mother’s house and cutting the fabric and she has been sewing it together. It is looking pretty awesome.
Listening: The other day I saw an article about how jpop queen Ayumi Hamasaki is almost completely deaf. Alexa and I were pretty big fans of her music from 2010 and earlier. After hearing this news I decided to go back and listen to her newer stuff. Which she released A LOT of stuff in the past 7 years. Funny thing is that ALL of her music is on Spotify. Wut?! And Avex finally put full length music videos on their YouTube site (or PV- promotional video for the Japanese). Watching Evolution I wonder why it was my favorite video of hers. For anyone who isn’t a jpop fan, Ayumi Hamasaki is often compared to Madonna. She has evolved over the years and is known for shifting image. Her voice is very nasally so you will either love her or hate her.
Podcasts: I started to listen to The Longest Shortest Time and their most recent episode is part 5 of their Accidental Gay Parents series. So I downloaded the first episode. OMG- so many feels. It is such a heartwarming story and it got me all teary eyed. I strongly suggest you go and download the first episode and listen. I am sure you will immediately downloaded the second.
Eating: For my birthday I got a rice cooker and a slow cooker. This is REALLY nice because my biggest issue with cooking is about being able to turn the stove off if Wolfie wakes up early or feeds for too long. So I made vegan chili, vegan jambalaya, and pearled barley. Now I need to think more about how to work my CSA shares into my meals.
And since it has been getting warmer I’ve been making a LOT of ice cream. There is now space in my freezer for the ice cream maker so I’ve been using it! Mostly I’ve been experimenting with cereal milk ice cream, but I also made cheesecake cookie and cream ice cream that my husband loves.
CSA: We just started our first week at the CSA. Not much, but that is expected in the spring. I think the weird weather isn’t helping either. There has been lots of rain (yey!) but it was really hot then very cool. So all we got right now was two bunches of radishes, one bunch of kale, two heads of lettuce, and a small bag of broccolini. I’ve been eating taco salads with leftover chili, salsa, blue corn chips, and vegan chorizo with the lettuce and radish greens. There was some stir-fried broccolini in a sesame sauce. And I honestly can’t remember what I did with the kale. XD
Naked Lunch at MOM’s Organics
1631 Kings Highway North Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
more locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., & Virginia
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When Alexa came to visit the Little Wolfie I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the house. We went to try out Naked Lunch- a small cafe attached to the food market chain MOM’s Organics. I am here to gush about both places. I know I don’t talk about markets that often, but I am totally digging this one!
I was pretty skeptical at first, MOM’s opened up across from the Whole Foods in town. I thought “who the heck would shop at MOM’s over Whole Foods?” There are definetly pros and cons between the two. The biggest (only?) con about MOM’s is that they don’t have a barista bar. Womp womp! And clearly there are some brands that aren’t available at MOM’s that are at Whole Foods. But on the flip side there are MORE smaller brands and products at MOM’s organics (and actual sales!).
I remember coming into Whole Foods years ago and finding everything so new and amazing. There were so many eco-friendly and exciting new vegan products. But as time went on, it seemed to be not-so-special. I don’t know if it is because I am older, or if they got rid of the more unique items, but coming to MOM’s reminded me of the early days of Whole Foods and being excited about grocery shopping. There is a huge section of bulk foods including pastas, grains, beans, and soaps. They sell tofu by the pound and roast their own coffee beans. They are really interested in reducing their carbon footprint. Don’t want to waste a bag each time you buy beans? They sell glass jars to fill up, and I am sure you can bring your own containers.
There are also lots of products for sale that aren’t food. I almost flipped that they sold cloth diapers- the first store I saw them being sold in! I even bought a reusable coffee filter from there and they do seasonal collections for recycling items. Recently there was a jeans drive. At the exit there is a recycling bin for many different types of non-traditional items – snack bags/plastic bags, brita filters, corks, and shoes.
Any my favorite is that near the registers there are free cups of water- right next to the bottled water. How nice!
As mentioned they have a little cafe named Naked Lunch. Alexa and I ate here. They offer on tap kombucha, which isn’t as tasty as the ones at Whole Foods or Heart Beet Kitchen. It is a smidge too sweet for me, so depending on your preference, you might like it more. But the price is MUCH cheaper than the other two locations, so it is totally worth it. They also have fresh juices, though we didn’t try any of them.
The area for eating is very small, but there appears to be a wifi area on the second floor of the store. I haven’t checked that out yet, so I can’t make any comments on how nice it is. But I would ask the staff about it if you want to take your time eating your lunch.
All food is organic and vegetarian and the options that are vegan are clearly marked. The portions are huge! Alexa and I both had food to bring home, and used it in meals for several more lunches. I can easily say it is worth the $10 (roughly) that we paid for our meals.
I got the Lin Bowl which had tofu, brown rice, carrots, seaweed, zucchini, and kimchi. It was super tasty and reminded me of fried rice. I ate maybe a quarter of it while there, and proceeded to use the rice in wraps for 4 different lunches. I wish it had just a little bit more tofu to rice. But that is my only complaint.
Alexa’s note: I ordered the Jammed Yam: Sweet Potato topped with pineapple-quinoa stuffing, avocado, and garnished with cilantro and jalapeño-lime dressing…
I loved how refreshing this tasted. I don’t think I would ever think to put all of these items together in one dish but it definitely worked.
The only thing that’s tough with vegan dishes for me is that a lot of times the dishes can lean towards being mostly carbs depending on the grains and veggies. I track my food on an almost daily basis (it’s not as grueling as it sounds – I promise!) so this really helped me meet my carb intake with the quinoa and sweet potato. The jalapeño-lime dressing wasn’t too spicy but definitely added a good flavor to the dish that was nice.
Like Jen said, we had plenty to take home, so I used it as a side for almost three meals after we went here!
What a crummy start to this new chapter of Wolfie’s life. The Monday after turning four months there was a gloriously perfect day! Wolfie slept for an hour and half in the morning and in the afternoon, and slept through the night. The next morning I woke up to people working my roof. The guys start from 8 in the morning to 7 at night. It was AWFUL! I was starting to get into a groove with Wolfie, wake up at 7, eat, play, eat, sleep after 2 hours. But it was more like eat, rush around packing things, eat, run to my in-laws, unpack, eat, try to sleep, fail, eat, play, eat, try to sleep, fail, eat, get fed up, go for a ride, well you get the idea. And getting home wasn’t so great. Wolfie wasn’t bothered by the banging, but they were working on the roof while I was rocking him to sleep! They are done and we have a nice new roof so I am happy.
Wolfie celebrated his first Easter. We aren’t very religious and Jon and I have a particular irk about Easter. So we had a low key Easter dinner with his parents. We tried to dress him up a little but he spit up on his clothes right as I took out the camera. haha. It should be interesting how we handle the whole Easter thing next year when he is a little older.
Wolfie’s sleep as always is all over the place. At one point he was falling asleep all by himself at night and IT WAS AWESOME! He was even sleeping through the night. Then he randomly decided he wanted someone to walk him to sleep, and he would wake up in the middle of the night. I eventually told my husband that something had to give. I couldn’t be up at night AND struggle to get him to nap during the day. He also getting better as staying awake in the car and the stroller. Eek!
So we had him cry it out. It sucked the first night. It took an hour and ten minutes of crying before he fell asleep. The only good thing was that unlike most babies, he cried a lot less the second night. Now he mostly does a protest squawk then starts dozing off. We also had to do this since he wasn’t a fan of the crib. We are still working on the transition as we try and get him to sleep in the crib for naps. Ugh.
The worst was the heat waves. His head would sweat while I rocked him to sleep then stick to my arm when I put him in his bed. This caused him to wake up and then get no sleep. AWFUL! Since we are trying to get him to sleep on his own, one night he cried for 45 minute which was odd since he was starting to just sleep without any crying. We had to feed him some cold formula and bring in the BIG fan in his room. Instantly fell asleep after we did that.
And since the heatwave was so bad we started him on solids. Pretty much he didn’t want to breastfeed because it was way too hot to be held. When I would go into cooler rooms he just wanted to look around. It was so frustrating. At that point it JUST hit 5 months so I thought- why the hell not? And you know he really liked it.
In my usual fashion I forgot to keep working on this post as the month went by. Ack! So the past few weeks are much fresher in my memory. The food- the sleep- mother’s day- first CSA visit! So I will let this post be insanely short.
I had already posted a recipe for a pre-made smoothie mix, but I was thinking lately about how expensive protein powders are. I had some on mornings when my husband was able to make my shake before me. It was easy to take a nice mix like Vega and blend it up quickly, but the price tag was too much and I wanted to try to make a protein powder that could just be blended on it’s own without too many other ingredients.
I had a brilliant idea of using freeze dried fruit to add flavor to chalky protein powders and I have to say it works pretty well! I remember the days when you could only get the stuff like freeze dried iced cream from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, but now all sorts of freeze dried things are popular snacks. I got mine from Trader Joe’s for a pretty reasonable price and it is easy to just dump the bag in the food processor to make the mix.
Oh… but wait…. take out that silica gel packet first!
I didn’t and my god did I cry. Sure I am a little sleep deprived, but I was pretty pissed. I used two packages of freeze dried strawberries, two cups of protein powder, and made a smoothie. And it tasted awesome. So I started to pour the powder in a container and noticed a shredded up packet. I had to throw out my smoothie, and all the powder mix. AWFUL!
Well, it gave me motivation to test out a few things a little more. I tried the freeze dried blueberries, which were so-so. The freeze dried mangos were awesome! I tried mixing with just water, just plant milk, or plant milk and ice. I have to say the homemade mix does pretty well with just milk, though I still suggest at least blending with a banana or avocado with ice to make it creamier.
One thing to keep in mind is that since I am not using flavoring agents like most smoothie mixes would use, you need more mix per smoothie. It might feel a little weird at first getting a measuring cup to make a smoothie, but it won’t taste too thick.