May 26, 2010

Sidewalk Chalk

It's the little things that make me happy to be a mom. For me sidewalk chalk is a right of passage. Every child should have memories of playing with sidewalk chalk on hot summer day.

So of course I had to take a picture of Ozzie's first adventure with sidewalk chalk. He didn't understand how to press hard enough to actually draw on the sidewalk. His chalk marks are very light, but if you look close enough you can see a little scribble next to my heart.

Looks like Mommy had fun drawing on the sidewalk too.

May 25, 2010

PSA: Sunscreen

A new study by the Environmental Working Group finds that almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives retinol and retinyl palmitate.

Read more HERE and HERE.

With summer (hopefully) around the corner, the results of this study could not have come at a better time.

Is your sunscreen on the list?

Spinach Muffins

My toddler and I are officially at war over vegetables. He hates them and although I secretly hate them too I know we both need to eat our 5 servings everyday. It's funny because I was only grounded a handful of times as a child but you bet one of them was because I would not eat my broccoli. The irony is not lost on me at all.

Unlike his mother, my son has defiantly refused to eat his vegetables at every meal. I have lost endless battle after battle after battle. Of course his pediatrician says meal time should never be a battle and that I should offer  vegetables at every meal but not fuss if he doesn't eat them. The websites say it may take up to seven tries before your child will eventually eat a vegetable. Well Ozzie has been eating solid foods for over a year now and the only vegetables he will willingly eat are cucumbers, zucchini (on occasion) and olives. Hardly a well balanced diet. I don't even know what benefits olives have other than good fat. Extra sodium?

So like many other mothers, I have succumbed to trickery. This blog was suggested to me from another mom in our playgroup. I decided to try the spinach muffins first.

The result?

He liked them! He liked them so much he ate two! He didn't even care about the black/green color. Which honestly threw me off at first. So for all you other moms at war. Here is the recipe.

Spinach Muffins via Cooking for Ten

1 cup oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup protein powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 egg
1/3 cup yogurt of your choice
1 cup blueberries
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 banana

mix sugar and oil together in a large bowl. Add egg and yogurt.
Puree berries, spinach and banana in food processor and add to wet ingredients.
Puree dry ingredients in your food processor and fold into the wet ingredients.
Grease muffin tins and fill to the top with batter (I know, I know, it's REALLY ugly... but it's good!)
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

One battle vegetable at a time!

May 23, 2010

Andy's gr8 Birthday!

My nephew, Andrew, turns 8 tomorrow and I threw him a family birthday party this weekend. I went with the gr8 theme since it was his 8th birthday.

I am sure that I've mentioned my ongoing love and devotion to Andy before. I pretty much love him as if he was my own child and would do just about anything that he asked. So when he asked for a birthday party and I quote, "Like Ozzie's with candy, a banner and a pinata", how could I say no?

Since it was just family, I kept it small and simple but still had fun preparing. I love the little details.


Banner, candy bar and favors table.

The real hit of the party- chocolate chip m&m cookies. Yum!


Made Ina Garten's baked brie with honey after trying it at a friends house. Um try it now! HERE!

I am a bad Auntie and did not get a picture of Andy hitting the pinata. I must've been eating a m&m cookie. I did get a couple of shots of Ozzie and little Megan in her ball gown. She's too cute!

And sweet little Meg. All girl, all day, everyday!
Passing the stick on to the big kids to break the pinata.

One last picture of Ozzie. Here he is complaining that he has to share the stick.

I am really hoping my cousin got some shots of the other kids hitting the pinata. I was responsible enough to get a few pictures of Andy blowing out his candle and opening presents.

I can't believe he's 8! One of my favorite baby memories of Andy was a night that I babysat. I was laying next to him in bed at bedtime and I started to rub his cheek; he reached out and rubbed my cheek back while looking straight into my eyes. He was just about Ozzie's age now. I will never forget that special moment with him.

Opening presents with Sam and Sophie. Arguably his two favorite people in the world- after Pepa of course.

Ozzie wanted to get in on that present opening action too.

Happy Birthday Andrew! I hope you had a gr8 8th birthday and I love you!

From The Garden

We managed to plant our second annual summer vegetable garden last weekend. We were a little late thanks to ongoing colds and Ozzie's surgery but I've already complained about that and will spare you a second pity party. Ozzie recovered perfectly and is a happy, better breathing little boy and that is all that matters.

This year I decided to do things a little different. In the ground I've planted three types of tomatoes (heirloom, cherry and stupice), romaine and green leaf lettuce, spinach and onions. In containers I have lemon verbena and mint that came back from last year (as a novice gardener I'm a little more happy about that than I should be) as well as marjoram, oregano, basil, rosemary, cilantro and flat leaf parsley. Also I am going to try strawberries for the first time this year and am pretty much in love with my apple green strawberry pot.

After our summer crop is harvested I am going to try squash and zucchini for this first time. Admittedly I am also a little more excited about the zucchini that one should be. Who would have thought gardening can be this much fun?

I am most excited to share this summer adventure with Ozzie. Hopefully helping Mommy plant and care for the garden will help to get him to actually eat a vegetable!

Speaking of my little gardener, here he is dumping my flat leaf parsley in the middle of the lawn.

My itty bitty spinach. Will she make it through all this Seattle rain?

May 18, 2010

Homemade Granola

I made some as a healthy snack. It was really good. Now if I could only remember where I found it on the web to share with you. I know it involved rolled oats, unsweetened coconut flakes, raisins, almonds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and agave nectar.

Sorry it has been a rough couple of weeks. Ozzie had a double ear infection. His 5th cold since December which eventually lead to surgery to remove his enlarged adenoids. I caught 3 of those colds and both of us ended up on antibiotics after a solid 3 week battle. Enough said.

Google homemade granola and make it for yourself when you are having a pity party. It really worked for me. *wink*