Saturday, May 21, 2011


So I have been totally cheating on my vegan diet while visiting my mom and brother in St. Louis (I am marinating jerk chicken as we speak) and let me tell you, I feel like CRAP. Crap that has been dipped in crud then rolled over a waterfall in a barrel. Okay, maybe that's a bit extreme, but I definitely don't feel good.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Big Girls' Room Preview

In all honestly, the big girls' room has been finished for weeks now, but because they are "big" girls, it is quite difficult to get a picture of a clean room. So I figured I would share the one picture I have of their little writing/work table. I really will share more pictures as soon as I can get the room clean for more than 30 seconds because it really is cute.

My favorite part of this little area is the turquoise typewriter. It's in perfect condition (they occasionally type little notes for me). I spruced up the cork board with a stencil of Shingai Shoniwa of the Noisettes (the girls favorite band right now). The red drop leaf table was mentioned in one of my very first blog posts, here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Kids' Garden

We had our first attempt at a garden last spring and the girls could not wait to start their garden again as soon as the weather warmed up. This year their garden contains potatoes, onions, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes. We planted spinach, but I don't think it gets enough sun, so the plants sprouted and then stopped growing. Last year, we got a good amount of basil and rosemary, but just a few tomatoes. Hopefully we will have a more bountiful harvest this year. The girls love being able to eat food that they've grown.

Oh yeah, we also accidentally "planted" some black beans. Bijou and Zion were playing with a big bowl of dried back beans in the backyard and dumped a bunch in a pot of dirt. A few weeks later, we had a pot of little bean plants.

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Quick and Easy Kid's Gift

A friend of mine has a son who turned six over the weekend and she decided to throw him a little impromptu party at the playground. I, having had four daughters, have absolutely no idea what to get a six year old boy for his birthday. So, I figured I could probably whip something up on the fly before the party. Here's what I came up with.

It was super simple (and free) to make. I just used a Sharpie pen to draw the heads, noses and mouths onto white card stock. I laminated them with some clear contact paper that I had in the craft room. I also cut some mustaches from black craft foam. Then I stuck some magnets (the kind with adhesive on them) to the back of each facial feature (notice the big googly eyes, too). And Voila! Funny face refrigerator magnets! Just tape to head to the fridge and make as many silly faces as you want. Apparently he (and his brothers) are having a grand time making silly faces at home.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Vegan Eating: Week 2

So this is the post where I am supposed to share my menu for the week, but I have yet to create said menu. I did go to the grocery store today and will be forced to create a menu for the week based on what I bought today. Instead of sharing the menu that I failed to create, I will share my shopping list. That way I will still feel like I got to share.

Vegan Shopping List (week 2)
red, yellow, orange peppers
Brussels sprouts
white, shitaki, portabello (How DO you spell this?) mushrooms
whole wheat tortillas
applesauce (no sugar added)
graham crackers
canned tomatoes
black beans
chic peas
olive oil
sugar (raw)
orange juice
soy, rice, almond milk
brown rice

We already had some staples here in the house, so this plus the stuff we already have is what I have to work with this week.

While I am discussing food, I should share that I did cheat on my vegan diet during the week. BUT, in my defense, I was celebrating my fifth anniversary with my hubs in Memphis. We went to our absolute FAVORITE restaurant, Flight. This place makes me want to be access to large amounts of money on a regular basis so that we can eat there more than once a year! I should explain that a "flight" is three small (they're not that small actually) portions of dishes grouped together and paired with three small glasses of wine (I am not a wine drinker so i usually forgo this). This year, for starters I had the seafood flight, which consisted of a portion of tempura Caribbean lobster, two ginormous shrimp with mango/ginger salsa, and four lump crab fritters. YUM! My entree was a flight I created myself. They have the most insanely delicious duck, so I had dick confit over a "hash" of butternut squash and duck. I also had quail stuffed with shrimp and grits, and Maine lobster over shrimp risotto. We were SO stuffed, but I had to get dessert (so we took it to go). I had a mini chocolate cake, vanilla bean creme brulee, and cheesecake with vanilla syrup soak strawberries. I swear, I have never been so happy to eat numerous members of the animal kingdom. I should admit that my stomach was not as happy about the onslaught of meat, cream and sugar as my taste buds were. But if I had to cheat, I am glad that I cheated there. I'll be dreaming of our sixth anniversary dinner for the next year.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kale Chips

Well, those are two words that I never thought I'd put together. And I never thought I would follow those two words with these words "Oh my god, SO delicious and addicting!" So, yeah, the lady clan and I made kale chips this week. I'd seen them mentioned a few times on vegan blogs and had been curious. I guess my curiosity got the better of me. The girls and I could not stop eating them. I'm sure we've consumed at least five bunches of kale this week alone. "How in the heck do you make a kale chip?" you may be asking yourself. Well they're super simple.

One bunch of kale (or two or three depending on how many you want to make)
a little olive oil
a little red wine vinegar
salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne (and/or any other seasoning you like)
nutritional yeast (because I love it).

Pull the kale from the stems and break the leaves into 2 - 3 inch pieces. Toss in olive oil and vinegar. Arrange on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and seasonings of your choice. Bake at 275 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they are crisp.

That's it. Oh, make sure to put them in an airtight container or zip lock back to store them or they'll get chewy. Not that my kids cared, they ate the chewy ones too.