Why you should make green smoothies?

IMG_0440Not just for yourself, but also for your loved ones.  Especially your toddlers.  Probably the biggest and best reason for this is because they are delicious.  A close second is they are super healthy.  And coming in right behind that, it’s an easy way to teach kids they like spinach!

My recipe is super easy.  And super duper delicious.  And SweetPea asks for it, on a regular basis.  And if I try to make some just for me, she won’t stand for it.  And who am I to say no when my kid asks for some of my vegetable yumminess?

If you haven’t already jumped on the green smoothie band wagon, now’s the time!

Green Smoothie Recipe

1 cup orange juice
2 bananas
2-3 handfuls of spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Put the orange juice and spinach in a blender, blend until smooth.  Add bananas.  Blend.  Add chia seeds.  Blend.  Serve and enjoy.

The most important thing when making a green smoothie is blend the liquid (juice, water, milk, whatever you choose) and the greens BEFORE adding anything else.  Or you end up with confetti in your mouth.  Now this may sound like a party, but it’s not.  It’s actually awful.  However if you blend the greens before adding in banana or fruit or ice it will turn out smooth, amazing, and oh-so-good.

The second most important thing is to make enough to share.  Or you won’t get enough.  You will, however, have a kid with a pretty awesome green smoothie mustache.  Which is pretty awesome.

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Who doesn’t love exploding art?

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Not me.  I love exploding art.  I didn’t know I loved it until a couple days ago.

But then I tried it and realized that hey, if it explodes it’s probably fun.  Also, SweetPea liked it.  So that means we’ll get to do more exploding art.  Which is kind of awesome.

I might be a wee bit addicted to pinterest…but in my defense I actually use a lot of the recipes and kid activities I pin.  So I justify my time on pinterest.  It enhances my life.  And my kids’ lives.  And it’s amazing.  Hold up, I need to pin something…

Anyway, I found this activity for erupting apple sidewalk chalk paint and thought it was amazing.  So naturally I had to try it out.  Fortunately it was very easy to set up.  And it was super fun.  For both kid and Mom.

I would highly recommend you try it.  I might even go so far as to suggest that those of you with kids should definitely try it, everyone else should do it just for themselves.  Because it’s paint.  And it explodes.  And that’s kind of awesome.

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First Birthday!!

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This post is a little late going up.  But last month we celebrated our Bub’s first birthday.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve been busy.  So getting pictures up took a little longer than I would have liked.

But on to the show!

There were presents.  And Bub loved them, so did his sister, SweetPea 🙂 .  But even better than presents were chocolate cupcakes.  With pink frosting, of course.  And yes, SweetPea did pick out both the flavor of the cupcakes AND the color of the frosting.  Bub can pick those things next year, you know, when he’s talking.
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This next picture proves that Bub is my child.  I make that same face every time I eat chocolate.  Every single time.  It’s just so dang good.IMG_0401

This next picture proves that Bub is related to my husband.  He does the same thing whenever he eats chocolate.  Or spaghetti for that matter.  That’s actually not true, he’s a bit of freak about getting food on his hands and face.

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But this face is why we love him so!

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Also this face.

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Happy Birthday Bub!  We’re so lucky to have two wonderful kids.  And here’s to lots more crazy, messy, wonderful adventures. I hope you all are enjoying your families and your chocolate as much as I am.

Wanna Be Like Dad

Apparently my kids want to be like their dad.  I can’t say I blame them.  I mean, I think he’s pretty awesome.

SweetPea trying on Dad's shoes

SweetPea trying on Dad’s shoes

I have to say, I particularly love this next photo.  Dan captured a similar photo of SweetPea and me sleeping in identical positions when she was only a few months old too.  It’s kind of precious.  So I was really excited when I saw the boys sleeping like this.  I had to, just had to take a picture.

Bub imitates Dad even while sleeping

Bub imitates Dad even while sleeping

 

Spicy Sausage, Potato, and Kale Soup

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Oh man.  Not that this soup is souper spicy (see what I did there?) or anything but it does have a little more heat than my 2-year-old typically eats.  However, I put a small serving (I wasn’t planning on wasting a single drop of this deliciousness) in front of her; she took one bite and started saying how good the soup was and then continued to plow through her bowl like a champ.

Toddler approved spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Toddler approved spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

I need to remember that whenever I give her something that has a little spice in it, as long as I don’t say, “Oh, this might be too spicy for SweetPea,” there’s a good chance she’ll give it a shot and maybe like it.

Unfortunately for me, she liked this soup…which means I had fewer leftovers…which means I got to eat less of the soup…which kind of sucked because this soup is really good.  However, it’s also really easy to make, so I might just have to make it again in the near future.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound spicy chorizo sausage
2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil, but butter is delicious)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I used closer to 1/4 tsp to keep the heat down)
1 large bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped (about 2 very large handfuls)
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite size bits
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk or cream (I used 2%)

Directions:

Heat large pot over medium high heat.  Add chorizo and brown it.  Once chorizo is browned, remove it from pot and set aside.
Lower heat to medium, add butter and let it melt.  Then add the onions and let them cook 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Cook another 5-10 minutes.
Add chopped kale in smallish batches (I did mine in 4 batches).  Let each batch wilt before adding the next.  Add the nutmeg and stir.  Cook another 2-3 minutes to allow the kale to fully wilt.
Add potatoes, cooked sausage, and chicken broth.  Bring to boil.
Lower heat and let simmer an hour or more (the longer it simmers the better the flavors).
Stir in the milk (or cream).

Serve and enjoy!

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

Spicy sausage, potato, and kale soup

New Haircut

Somebody got her locks chopped.

Toddler Haircut for Girls

New Haircut

I can’t decide if I love it or if I hate it.  She’s officially a big girl.  And I love it!  Except a small part of me (ok, maybe not too small of a part) hates it.

I will definitely miss her baby mullet blowing behind her as she runs.

Toddler Haircut for Girls

New Haircut

Family Fun Time

I love the fall.  I love the colors of fall (even though I don’t live on the east coast).  Around here we get aspen and larch turning gold.  And maybe it’s just because I grew up with those particular views, but there’s nothing better than going for a drive and seeing a hillside speckled with gold from all the larch.  It’s a good sight.

However, the larch needles…not so fun to rake up and jump in.

That might be why I like that we have big maples in front of our place.  Because that means we get a big ole pile of leaves.  Which is prime for jumping.

fall, jumping in leaves

Don’t worry, she didn’t jump with the sucker in hand.  In fact, she didn’t jump in the leaves AT ALL this outing.  It took a few more times before she started having fun in leaves.  But we got there.

And then, when we come inside we still have fun.

Tummy Time!

Tummy Time!

I might use the term “we” loosely, because, as evidenced from the picture, somebody isn’t having much fun.  Well, I guess tummy time isn’t so fun when you can barely lift your giant noggin off the floor.