big salad

Birthday weekend for mom

I realize it’s pretty late to be recapping last weekend but I’m going to do it anyway because (a) these are my favorite posts to read and write and (b) my sister loves feeling in the loop with the family goings-on.  So.  This past weekend we went to visit my parents to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  I thought we were going to have to cancel because P got a GI bug last week that was annihilating him but he turned a corner on Saturday.  Thank goodness.  Poor baby was trying his best to be happy but it wasn’t pretty.  In true “when it rains it pours” fashion, he also took a big spill and got a goose egg unlike any other I’ve seen on his head.  Sometimes life is a doozy packman.  Might as well learn it when you’re young.


Annnyway, we made it to their place in time for lunch, so I threw their fridge contents in a bowl. Spinach, strawberries, avocado, and fried eggs.  Topped in EVOO and TJ’s balsamic glaze.

P grubbed too.


Blueberry goatee.

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We were supposed to head into the city (SF) for dinner on Saturday night but I cancelled the reservations on Friday because (at the time) P was still ailing.  He had 3 am wake-ups the two nights prior and lots of blow outs that required full baths so I wasn’t really in the mood to make a big fuss for a date night.  Still, we took advantage of my parents staying home to watch him and went out for a bite at Roam (it’s minutes from my parents’ house).  We’ve gotten take-out from this place before but it’s more fun being in the scene.


In addition to the sweet potato fries I got a bison burger with a fried egg on a GF bun.  I also got extra herb mayo on the side.


Kyle got the “French & Fried” which has fries IN the burger!

It was an early night for us though, and I’m glad it was because P woke up (again) in the middle of the night.  As much as I’d love to have a nice full night of rest, I really and truly love snuggling with him in the dark.  He’s such a love bug and it melts my heart that I get to share those precious moments with him.

Per our Sunday tradition, we went for a family run around the neighborhood.

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After everyone else got up and I fed P his breakfast, we all walked to La Boulange for breakfast.

I got an egg scramble and fried potatoes with a decaf soy cafe au lait.


Pattycakes ate a second breakfast (making up for lost time after that GI bug!) and swiped much of the fruit on the table.


The fountain outside was a big hit for the water baby.

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Think he gets enough love and attention?


After his morning nap my parents worked on the yard and the rest of us supervised.  My mom showed P her garden which is a way more massive version of ours and not long after it was

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Eventually we lunched.


And then dipped in the pool!

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The pool was 78 degrees!! It took patty-cakes some time to warm to the situation but he was into it once he started splashing.

Just a nice lazy Sunday.

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Little man boycotted his afternoon nap so he and Kyle played with the dogs while I made my mom’s birthday brownies.

I used coconut oil and 2 eggs, but when I poured it into the pan it didn’t seem like very much batter.  Hmmm…

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Afternoon apps!

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My dad BBQ-ed for dinner.  The dogs helped.

Then we sang happy birthday!

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And about those brownies…

Ummmm…”crunchy” is how I’d describe them.  It was impossible to cut and serve out of the pan (without a chainsaw that would ruin the pan), but after I pried the first bit out, I was able to grab the entire thing in one piece.  The edges were hard (but still edible), while the middles were soft.  I don’t think I’d make glutino brownies again, but we all went back for seconds so that says something, right?

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Breakfast: a man with a hat (aka eggs with spinach and Canyon Bakehouse toast with avo)

Lunch: salad with leftovers

My sister stopped by to play with her ‘phew for a bit before his nap so she got to see his walking skills in person.  I spent the afternoon running very important errands (See’s candy and WF) and shopping (Old Navy).

Kyle was away for a business dinner and my dad was spending the night at the vineyard (my grandpa just got out of the hospital) so it was just the girls for dinner.


Melon is soooo summer.

P devoured 1/4 of the melon in 3 seconds flat before doing a complete 180 and shunning it like I was trying to poison him.  Such a bizarre thing to watch.  But it left the rest for our salad.


Yup, it’s the butter lettuce, avocado, cantaloupe salad with poppyseed dressing.


With chicken to call it a meal.  My sister joined us after she got off work and we all had a nice relaxing time chatting over fresh summer fare.  Mmmm…

I waited til Kyle got back to dig into the brownies for dessert.  Naturally we finished them all off.

Tuesday morning we hit the road early (P woke up at 4 am anyway) and it was back to the grind.

But now it’s already another weekend and we have big plans to soak up this 100 degree weather.  🙂

My highlights: weeks 11 & 12

We finally have internet (FOURTH Comcast visit since moving…sooo…third time is not the charm).  Meaning this post is semi-current!  [Depeding on how long it takes me to write and publish]

Where to begin!  It has certainly been a crazy April.  But I have to back up to the end of March first.  When we said goodbye to our (rental) house and moved 2 minutes south.

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We moved here when P was a mere 3 months old and now look at him!  Almost walking and ready to take the world by storm.


I was in a salad for lunch phase – the above has kale, goat cheese, avo and strawberries and the below has spinach, dried cranz, carrots, avo, and goat cheese.


I had several others very similar to these always with a snacky carb on the side, like chips, crackers, or rice cakes.


No such thing as moderation when it comes to Costco bags of tortilla chips.  They are freakin’ addicting as all hell.  Damn you salt.  Why you gotta taste so good!


Despite appearances, he is NOT stuck in this photo.  He enjoys crawling over the non-door side of his car so much that he stops half way over and plays with the balls that go in the holes.  Upside down.  NBD.

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I went home for a day to honor my favorite teacher (turned vice principal) who won the Citizen of the Year award in my hometown.  I can think of NOBODY more deserving.  She is truly the essence of everything good and she radiates love and warmth while keeping rambunctious kids in line.  She left such a huge impression on me that I have stayed in touch with her long since middle school.  I chose her as my sponsor for my Confirmation and she attended my wedding.  I love her and was so happy to attend the ceremony.  It was also a monumental night because it was the first time neither Kyle nor I did Patty-cake’s bedtime routine!  We’d been doing the bottle for a week (started after returning from Oz) and it was going so so.  Luckily, my sister is a pro.  P loves her like crazy and I knew she’d be the perfect one for the job.  And it went great!  He cried a bit but not much and then slept through the night while I wined and dined with my mom at the event.  I had a million different emotions as I left that evening.  Bittersweet for sure.  Baby steps for us both. 

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The next day I drove back to Davis and went to town packing up our house.  Kyle was away for the weekend so it was on me to TCB.  I treated myself to sushi, chocolate and Roscato (the trifecta of my dreams).

By the way, packing with a 13 month old is no easy task!  I had to do it in short bursts while he was occupied or napping and then store everything out of reach.  The first pic is all the contents of our pantry (JUST the pantry!). 

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We decided to got the DIY route with this move (we’ve done so many I feel like a pro), so aside from large furniture we did it mostly on our own. 

I took tons of trips like this.  Car packed, baby in tow.  Thank goodness the houses were close to each other!  It took a lot longer than it should, but not as long as I thought.  Obviously we were not super efficient because I was working around P’s nap and food schedule (as well as my ability to load and unload the car). 


I did the toy room first in the hopes that he’d be self sufficient there so I could get things done, but he found the stairs to be way more entertaining.

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Fabulous.  Baby gate from amazon on the way!


[Empty] home sweet home.

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My last breakfast in the old place – thank goodness for frozen quick breads!

My mom came and helped me on Sunday and we did a TON, including the whole kitchen and mega cleaning.

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Kyle returned on Monday and that’s when sh!t got real.  We spent the first night in our new place and stayed up way too late making towers with empty boxes.


So worth it.  Progress pics…

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Just pinch me. 


Breakfast for the wee one.


Breakfast for mama.

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Then back to unpacking.  That’s pretty much how the past weeks have gone.

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The weather was poopy for a while, but then it decided to be spring for reals and it has been gorgeous ever since.


On the plus side P and I got to rock our raincoats that we bought for Australia but never wore.


Sandal weather.  I love it.


I transplanted my chard from the old place and it seems to be doing okay.  Only time will tell… In the meantime I have sunflowers and tomatoes going strong.


Too many meals were from the WF/Co-op/Nugget prepared foods section and I was just ITCHING to get back to cooking.  Which I have!  And I love!  But can we talk about the fact that the Davis Whole Foods has paleo labeled items?

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Vita unpacked!!!


Looky looky!  The return of tempeh!

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I made this mustard tempeh salad which I plopped on greens.  Then added P’s leftover peas because why not?


It was a totally random dinner but it was quick and easy and that’s all that I cared about since I had a date with the garage shelving unit on the agenda.

The reason I’m back on the tempeh train is because I am no longer nursing P.  🙁


It was a sad day but I have LOTS of breastmilk stored up still so that’s a small comfort – even though I really miss the special one on one time that nursing gave us.

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I gave P some hemp seeds in his oats a while ago and he didn’t have a reaction so I made hemp milk and added it to some other eats of his to see if he liked it (he did).  Then he drank it plain.  So now I’m making it and giving him 50/50 breastmilk/hemp milk in the morning and at bedtime.

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Ordinarily, I wouldn’t go through the hassle of straining it, but the seed particles get stuck in the nipple of the bottle so I use a cheesecloth in a strainer and that makes it all silky smooth. 


He sucks it down like a champ.  


And now I’m in a hemp phase.   I sprinkle some on avocado rice cakes with a bit of nooch…mmmmmm…fave breakfast of the moment.

Australia: Bondi and back

Sunday was our last (full) day in Sydney 🙁


We slept in a bit and after feeding P, drove over to Bronte for brunch. 


Bogey Hole was one of several cute looking cafes on the main street along the beach front.  They were all pretty packed but after a short wait we were able to snag a spot outside that fit us all, including a very fussy P in his stroller.

Kyle got a banana smoothie and toast with jam.  I think we were all feeling a bit blah from the previous night.


Laura and I got the same thing – toast with poached eggs (only she added goat cheese and smoked salmon to hers and I added a side of avo to mine).  They didn’t have GF bread, so I just got sourdough (I tolerate it fine, but am still avoiding allergens as best I can while I nurse P).  We are both lactose intolerant though, so when it came with butter on the toast, my sister asked for a new slice.  I probably would have just eaten it to be honest, but they took mine away before I could stop them.  And then they ran out of sourdough.  So I got the only bread option left which had sesame seeds on one side.  Doh!  Their service wasn’t that great and it was really busy which made it hard to flag someone down without being insane.  So rather than be super obnoxious Americans, I just ate the bread.  It was the last day so I just said f^&% it.  I tried my best the whole trip and this one meal wasn’t going to end the world.  Silver lining – the bread I got was way bigger than the sourdough slices. 

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Chris’ breakfast sando on the left, Laura’s toast and eggs on the right.


Despite his beach-y getup, P was sooo ready for his morning nap by the time we finished eating.  Sadly for him, we weren’t going home.  In an effort to live on the edge (and not follow his finely tuned schedule), we went for a long walk.

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The Bondi to Bronte walk is gorgeous!  I felt like every moment was a photo op and then when I looked at all the pics they looked fake they were so pretty.


Almost as soon as we got to Bondi it started raining.  There were still surfers aplenty.  I had been to Bondi with Laura for our sister date, but that was at night and Kyle hadn’t been at all yet.  So we popped in to Iceberg’s overlooking the water, just to wait out the rain and enjoy the views.

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P was really into the coasters (whatever works!).


Auntie Laura fed him puffs one by one, which kept him occupied for quite a while, but the rain didn’t seem to be breaking, so the boys cabbed it back to the car (in Bronte) to come back and get us (in Bondi).


It was kinda an in between meal time when we got home, so we just decided to make sandwiches.  Grilled cheeses for the non-lactose intolerant boys, and goat cheese versions for the girls.

I actually ended up doing on open faced thing with strawberry jam as well.  And used some extra GF crackers to polish off the rest of the goat cheese.


I can’t recall when we did while P napped, but I think it was playing catch up on mid-week episodes of “the Block” since the new room reveal was that night.

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Catching up on the latest in Australian Law…

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For dinner we BBQ-ed shrimp and salmon, and paired it with a big salad.  Chris was in charge of the seafood, and we loved the shrimp he made earlier in the week so much that he repeated that.  The salmon was cooked in foil with lemon and herbs. 

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We ate out in the front yard so we could enjoy the scenic views of Double Bay.  P was already asleep, so we just tiptoed back and listened in the window a few times to be sure he wasn’t making a peep.


The last supper.  🙁


The next day was mainly packing and travel. 

I went on a quick jog to get some last photos implanted in my memory.


Would you ever move back to the States if you lived here? 


Laura was nice enough to come home on her lunch break to drive us to the airport.  It was seriously sad saying goodbye to her.  I’m even sad just writing about it again.  We all miss her so much.

I packed as much food for P as I could.  We were out of pouches but found more at the local stores (organic, gluten, dairy, and nut free).  I also made a porridge out of leftover quinoa, carrot puree, bananas, canned pears, and cinnamon.  Basically all the mushy baby stuff that was left.  Fortunately, we still had puffs, so paired with bananas and the pouches we were pretty well supplied.  For him. 

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The flight home was long.  Duh.  And the melon chunks I saved from the flight for P were confiscated by LAX customs.  It was an honest mistake but they treated us like hostile criminals and Kyle is convinced his passport is now flagged for all future travel.  Fruit smuggler!  We also had to switch terminals and therefore go back through security (unlike our first flight which had an inter-terminal shuttle so we didn’t have to re-do the fun that is security with a baby).  In the end, the staff was nice and we had plenty of time between flights so it wasn’t a big deal.  Then we found delicious food in the terminal to perk us up even more.


Lemonade!  I went crazy with all the yummy options.  Plus the tags list every allergen and the staff knew what was in each dish (sesame seeds aren’t yet listed as allergens, but I suspect that will soon change since they are “the new peanut allergy”).  It’s hard to tell what all the yumminess is above, but the Brussels sprout slaw and tomato and avocado salads were my faves.  I was so full and happy, I didn’t even care that our second flight got delayed.  I took P on some laps around the terminal until he fell asleep in the ergo.  Then I sat down and fell asleep myself!  Finally it was time to board.  Once again the crew was awesome about the peanut thing.  We made friends with our neighbors across the aisle, who were insanely impressed that P was so well behaved.  Then once they found out we were on the last leg of a 20 something hour journey from Sydney they were even more amazed.  We have a great kid, I tell ya.

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I practically dove into this green smoothie the second we got home.  Okay, not really, I’m type-A so of course I unpacked and put everything away and started laundry first.  But then I made the smoothie. 

And that was our trip!!! 

A day of food


We ran out of eggs before the end of the week but I refuse to ruin the budget by going to the store.  I gave P the last two, scrambled with spinach, just like he likes them.  Luckily I had one hard boiled egg left for me.  I layered the slices atop avocado toast.  We both had blueberries on the side.


P had an entire zucchini muffin (cut into small bite sized pieces) with his eggs and blueberries.

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I used the same recipe as I did here only I bumped up the coconut aminos to 2 tbsp and decreased the olive oil to 3 tbsp.  I taste tested one to make sure it was edible (it was!) and so they are both hippie and hippie junior approved.


For lunch I made a massive salad which completely hit the spot.  The sweet potato I had cooked the day before was perfectly soft which mashed so well into the salad.  It almost acted like a thickener, coating the spinach along with the nooch and avocado.  And it was awesome.  Nutritional yeast and Bragg’s aminos are the best duo when it comes to salads anything.

P and I were meant to split the avocado, but he ended up eating nearly 2/3 of it himself.  His portion combined with my breakfast and lunch portions…we split three whole avocados in under four hours.  I wish I could say that’s an anomaly but the reality is, like mother like son, we both enjoy the ‘cado.  Good thing Costco sells them in bulk.


My afternoon snack was a green smoothie.  Standard.


Dinner was a Bon Appétit recipe I bookmarked from the Food Lover’s Cleansechicken, mango, and black rice salad.

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The sesame miso dressing is a keeper.  I could slurp it plain.  Kyle said the dish would be perfect for a potluck – summer or winter – and I agree!  Crowd pleaser, fasho.

I used frozen mango but I wish I’d gotten fresh ones (I’d already done the weekly grocery shopping when I saw that fresh ones were on sale at WF – 3/$5 – oh well).  We had zero leftovers.  You’d think I’d learn by now that Bon Appétit recipes that “serve 4” really only serve 2 (when the 2 are me and Kyle).  [For the record, I omitted the sesame seeds on my serving in order to avoid P’s allergens]

For dessert I had several squares of TJ’s pound plus chocolate and some candied ginger.  It’s the same dessert I have pretty much every night.  Along with decaf chai tea with coconut milk.  I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have chocolate after dinner.  I basically refuse to skip dessert.

My highlights: week 7


Mama’s little helper.


The addition of shoes to the wardrobe has transformed him into a little boy.  He’s non-stop exploring.  Still not walking, but he’s perfected his cruising skills, so it’s only a matter if time (days).

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Green toys.  And now the word tractor is a part of his vocab.  Davis appropriate.


Inspired by Vintage Mixer’s kale coconut & chicken salad I made this guy for lunch.  I have been struuuuuggling with lunches lately.  I don’t know what to eat without soy or nuts or hummus.  I’ve been trying to limit meat to dinners only, but I have to get better about prepping things for myself.  I don’t know why I don’t!?  I plan and make everyone else’s food in advance.  From now on, I’ll include my lunches in the weekly meal planning.  We only have dinner leftovers 13% of the time so I should really give myself more nourishing and thought out eats. 


A non-smoothie afternoon snack.  I actually had 4 cookies.  The photo lies.


Coffee date with P’s girlfriend. 


While he ate lasagna, I ate this.  Kale, carrots, brown rice, and salmon topped in tamari.  Kale is all I want lately! 


Even though he’s teething, he’s still a happy boy.


Here’s that aforementioned lasagna.  He requests it every week.  You’d think it would get old. 


But I guess you could say the same about smoothies for me.  I had, like, five hundred this week (ok, maybe six).  Frozen spinach is the best ingredient.


Our delayed Valentine’s dinner.  Tamari mustard salmon.  Kale salad with pomegranate arils and candied walnuts and pepitas.


I tossed the pepitas and walnuts in olive oil and maple syrup, then roasted them at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes.

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Meanwhile I massaged the crap outta the lacinato kale (olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice & zest, salt & pepper).


We popped bubbles too.

We agreed that our presents to each other would be chocolate, so I picked out his (below right) and vice versa.

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theo and Vosges.  He knows me so well. :)  Guess how much is left?  None! Duh.


Me and my monkeys went to the zoo.  We got a membership for patty-cakes’ birthday.


Dairy free gluten free waffles.  I made them for me and my (ex) coworker.  We usually do our breakfast dates at restaurants, but I had her over instead.  She had just come off a string of four nights in a row.  Brutal. 

Gluten and dairy free waffles [nut free, soy free, dairy free, gluten/wheat free]


  • 1 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals tagatose
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sweetener, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon) together.

In a separate bowl whip the eggs, then add in the milk and vanilla and stir all the wet ingredients together with the dry ones.

Scoop/pour onto greased waffle iron in batches. 

Makes ~10 waffle squares.

If your appliance can control how dark your waffles end up, these are better on the shorter end of the spectrum.  At least in my opinion.  I like soft fluffy waffles.  My first batch was dark and slightly crispy on the outside (more cooked than I’d like).  I adjusted the setting to shorten the cooking time, so second batch was perrrfect.  Doughy and delicious. 

Feel free to cook as long or as short as you want.  They’ll taste good either way.


P liked the waffles too.  At least the ones that were fresh off the iron.  The leftovers weren’t soft enough for him, so I ate his scraps instead (topped in sunbutter).  With his leftover berries and eggs.


Little pom lover.  Whodda thunk?