Monday, August 31, 2015

Tony's Birthday

Tony celebrated both his birthday, and starting a new job, during the same week. We were not able to have a date night, no sitter at the moment. So, he went out to see Straight Outta Compton with some pals while I watched the kids. We also celebrated with a family meal. I made my Tex-Mex loving  husband some tasty enchiladas with cashew cheeze, black olives, and red Hatch chile sauce.

The kids and I also made the Boston Cream Pie Cake from Vegan Pie in the Sky. Jackson and Olivia looked through the whole cookbook together and that was the one they chose. Good pick!

We are so proud of Tony as he starts his new director job, which he has been after for awhile. It is going to be a great year for him.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Gymnastics and Thai

Olivia has been doing gymnastics for about seven months. She enjoys it, but she would rather play soccer this fall, like Jackson does.  She is finishing her last few gymnastics classes this month. Her last class included a parent showcase. The girls performed a little dance routine, and then everyone was called up to receive a medal. Olivia was very excited because it was her first time getting a sports medal.

After the awards were given out, she was allowed to show us around the gym and show off her moves.

Her balance and confidence have really improved. When she started the class, she would not walk across the balance beam without holding her teacher's hand.

Tony took an extended lunch to come see Olivia's performance. Afterwards he took us out to eat at Thai Cuisine. We helped ourselves to the free appetizer/dessert bar while we waited for our entrees. I had fried broccoli and spring rolls with peanut sauce.

My meal was the tofu ka prow, with spicy basil sauce. So good. And plenty of leftovers.

The kids got a kick out of the day's dessert, an alien green tapioca pudding with coconut milk.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Maoz and Bowling

We ate out a lot this month. As it gets hotter outside, I feel less and less like turning on the stove. One day I had a craving for Maoz. Especially their fried broccoli. I can never get enough of that green goodness. 

Olivia and her chipmunk cheeks full of broccoli agree with me.

After lunch we walked over to the nearby playground, but after ten minutes we were all sweaty and miserable. August is definitely time for indoor activities. So we went bowling.

Jackson and Olivia are very competitive with their bowling. They are pretty evenly matched, so there is usually no clear winner until the last frame. That doesn't stop them from asking who is in the lead after every single frame.

But, their enthusiasm is nice. Whether he knocks down one pin or ten, this is Jackson's reaction.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

First Day of School

Today was Jackson's first day of 1st grade, and Olivia's first day of kindergarten! Jackson is kind of jaded already; once he found out his best bud was in his class again this year, he was fine with going back and didn't have much to say on the subject. Olivia, on the other hand, has been super excited all summer. 

After dropping them off, I went home and creepily hugged on Monster for awhile. ("You're still my baby! You'll never grow up!") The house felt so quiet. I walked on the treadmill and did yoga, then I had to get out and run some errands. I stopped by Trader Joe's, mostly just to pass some time. Of course I found a few things.

I also stopped by the Asian market to stock up on noodles.

It was hard not to buy this tray. I mean, it has some flowers on it.

For lunch I fixed myself a nice salad, blending up the Caesar dressing from Plant-Powered Families and tossing it with romaine lettuce and homemade garlic croutons.

At pickup, Olivia reported that her first day was "AWESOME!" and Jackson said his day was pretty good as well. Also, he lost a tooth in the cafeteria! It has been wiggly for a month and of course it comes out on the first day of school!

After an exciting day, a simple dinner of rotini with marinara, and lots of fresh basil.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fairies and Beards

Jackson is growing up so fast.

Olivia is slightly obsessed with the Tinkerbell fairies.

Breakfast...Pumpkin Snackles from Plant-Powered Families. Cooking with pumpkin in August, sure, why not? It doesn't only have to be a fall thing. These went quickly.

Summertime lunch...smoked paprika hummus, veggies and crackers. Come and get it.

Dinner...Lasagna Verde from Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen, with tons of fresh basil from the garden. I omitted the vegan shredded cheese, and it was fine without. Great in fact. The sauteed tofu plus the cashew ricotta make such a rich filling, and of course, I always love pesto.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fizzy Paint

We love our neighborhood library. I have started working there a little bit. Just one day a week. Maybe more in the future but for now it is summer and I have both kids at home with me most of the time. Before I was a stay at home mom, I worked in libraries for years. I love to read and be around other people who love to read. So it is nice to be back in that environment.

We love art classes at the library, for sure. Every week, a different theme. This week it was fizzy paint. The teacher added some baking soda to paint. The kids finger painted their designs.

Then she sprayed their paintings with vinegar, and they fizzed up.

An experiment, but also art. Fun fun.

Mighty Miso Soup from American Vegan Kitchen. Orzo in miso soup, why not? I also added wakame because I love it and it's so good for you. Reading about the history of New Orleans and reminiscing about our vacation.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scarlet Rabbit

When I heard that there was an Alice in Wonderland-themed restaurant nearby, I knew I had to take Jackson and Olivia to check it out. We had lunch there one afternoon while Tony was at work.

The decor is just too cute.

The walls are covered in silhouettes of Alice and her friends, as well as quotes from the book.

The kids thought it was pretty sweet and selected a table under the Red Queen.

There are cute little touches everywhere. The menu was decorated with tiny keys and other trinkets.

I had the roasted veggie poboy with fries. The food is carefully made with interesting little touches as well, like sprinkling the fries with parmesan and thyme.

Fortunately we left the restaurant the same size as when we entered. Now we will have to return and bring Tony!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How Fashion Designers Dress

Baked potato for lunch. Sometimes I just really like a good baked potato.

Plant-Powered Families Creamy Fettucine for dinner. If you guys don't have this cookbook I highly suggest purchasing it. I love all Dreena Burton's cookbooks and this one is just blowing me away with these quick, easy family dinner recipes. We all devoured this one, best vegan alfredo sauce I've ever had. I threw in a cup of frozen peas too.

For dessert we had blueberry lavender ice cream. The recipe is from Ripe From Around Here.  I love both of Jae Steele's cookbooks as well. 

This handsome guy.

"This is how I dress when I'm a fashion designer," she said while tying a fruit rollup wrapper around her head. Seems about right.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Indoor Soccer

For breakfast I made Pumpkin Pie Smoothies from Plant-Powered Families. Pumpkin pie in August, why not? Topped with homemade granola because I must chew.

As if I did not love our hood enough already, Jackson and Olivia have been given free indoor soccer lessons for the rest of the summer just for being members of the neighborhood soccer association. These lessons are normally out of our price range, so this is a wonderful perk as well as a great way for them to get their exercise without having to be out in the blazing sun.

Jackson already has a few seasons of soccer under his belt, but Olivia is playing for the first time this fall. She is super excited to be taking lessons in preparation.

A little soccer humor on the wall at the practice center.

For dinner I made a couple of different dishes I came across on Pinterest. Forbidden Rice Salad with sweet potato, pecans, and dried cranberries was too starchy for my taste, but Tony enjoyed it.

Speedy Sriracha-Peanut Soba Noodles with Spicy Maple Chickpeas was speedy indeed, and also very spicy even though I cut down on the spice amounts. Too hot for the kids, but Tony and I ate it up.

I also roasted some asparagus, which Jackson and Olivia ate up before Tony even got home from work! Soccer works up an appetite.