Australia: Zoo fun

The weekend arrived and we were finally able to go out with all four of us again.  Saturday started with a nice brunch at Cafe Indigo.  It is clearly THE spot in Double Bay.


Kyle got the blueberry pancakes (above) and I got my sister’s fave, the breakfast bruscetta (below).


My sister got a new (to her) order, which looks very similar to the salmon benedict but has avocado instead of hollandaise.


P fell asleep in the stroller at lunch so I cut out a bit early to go back home and put him down for a proper nap in the pack n play.


Once he woke back up we headed off to take the ferry to the Taronga Zoo.


We bought tickets in advance because then it comes with the gondola ride up to the entrance.  Scenic and lazy fast, yes please.


Pretty good views once you reach the top!  The weather was warm and humid but you could tell a storm was in the works just barely holding off. 

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We saw koalas, komodo dragons, crocodiles, and a few other Aussie specific species, in addition to giraffes and monkeys and more universal zoo creatures.


The seal show was definitely a big hit as P likes all things water and balls.  There had a few California sea lions!


We broke for lunch afterwards, but I wasn’t super hungry.  The meal options were decent, and then I saw roasted pumpkin and it made my day!  My eyes were bigger than my stomach because I got both of these (one with potatoes too) and it was a LOT of fiber to take down at once.


After lunch P fell asleep in the ergo for his PM nap, during which we saw big cats, goats, monkeys, kangaroos, and wallabies.  And a lot of others, but those were the highlights.


Group shot!

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We went back to show P more kangaroos once he woke up because there was a place that let you walk amongst them.  We cut that one short once I saw a wallaby sizing P up.

We stayed around until the very end which meant we missed the gondola ride back.  Instead we took a bus back to the ferry.  Patty-cakes learned SO many transportation words on this trip!  It started pouring the second we docked in Circular Quay, so we huddled behind the ticket counter as best we could while waiting for the next ferry to take us back to Double Bay but man was it coming down!  That said, it only lasted an hou ror so and then was basically gone (maybe a light drizzle continued, but barely).  We were SO lucky it didn’t rain on our parade ruin our zoo plans!  Seriously, talk about good fortune with the weather! 

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The boys went out to a pub to watch (Australian rules) football and rugby, so Laura and I ordered pasta take-out and watched Memoirs of a Geisha.  I read the book so long ago I honestly couldn’t remember anything, which was kinda awesome.  I really liked the movie!  The Brumbies won, but the Swanies lost so it was a bittersweet night for the Aussies among us. 

Quinoa with the works


I made this the other night and it was so good I had to share.  Sorry about the lack of measurements or precise anything, but I’m sure you can figure it out.

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Inspired by this stuffing (I guess I’m still in winter comfort food mode), I roasted butternut squash, brussels, and apples.


Then I tossed them with sage and thyme.


Meanwhile, I had quinoa cooking in the rice cooker (I used vegetable broth instead of water which made a big difference in flavor).

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I added the quinoa to the veggies, then added pepitas and dried cranberries.


I could eat quinoa bowls like this all the live long day, but Kyle isn’t as big of a fan, so I don’t make them very often.

Seriously, though.  SO.  GOOD.


The quinoa cooked in broth was what made it taste so much like stuffing.  Mmmmm. 

I had the leftovers the next day with avocado.  Avocado makes everything better!

Granola-ish Bars [allergen free]

Does granola necessarily mean oats?  Or grains?


I read that buckwheat is a fruit the other day.  Hmmmm…I know it’s not related to wheat and I know it’s not a grass…eh, whatever [too lazy to google].


Ok so I made these bars and I’m not really sure if they count as granola or not, but if you feel like the ingredients list suits you, then go ahead and give them a shot.  And then send me a new recipe name suggestion.  🙂


The recipe is allergy friendly, and has no nuts, eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, or sesame.  It’s no KIND bar, but it’s good in it’s own right.  I mean, hello, they have squash in them!  That’s cool right?


Cranberry Orange Squash Granola Bars [vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free]



Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine chia seeds and water and stir.  After it’s had enough time to gel, mix chia together with the rest of the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Add in dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Press into 8×8 greased baking pan (or lined with parchment paper/tin foil).

Bake for 30 minutes.  Wait for them to cool fully before removing and slicing (it will be hard but seriously, don’t sneak any until they have chilled).  I recommend putting them in fridge so the coconut oil solidifies and they’re easier to cut.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.


You can buy NuNaturals’ products online (discount code BLG0614 will get you 15% off your entire order, also orders over $35 get free shipping in the US).

Tagatose subs just like cane sugar, so it’s a really easy conversion and makes it a super simple ingredient to bake with.


Disclaimer  I’m not an allergy expert!  Consult with a medical professional before trying new foods for the first time. 

My highlights: week 3

I spent last weekend at my parents’ house because Kyle is out of town and I figured it would be more fun to have company while watching the 49ers game (sad outcome). 

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Think he likes the pets??  If his first word isn’t ball, it will probably be dog.  It’s hard to say which he’s more obsessed with. 


This is the only meal I photographed over the weekend.  I could eat roasted vegetables for every meal always.  P doesn’t like Brussels sprouts, but I’m not too bummed because it means more for me.  He can grow to like them later in life, like the rest of the world. 


My mom and I took the dogs on a “hike” (they chased ground squirrels and ran around off leash like psychos). 


P is getting too heavy for the bjorn.  I wish I’d just splurged on the ergo in the beginning.  Oh well. 


This is a devious look.


Oh, now I see what you were eyeing.


Now that he can pull himself up to standing with ease, he’s always a split second from cracking his head open.  It may sound weird, but I try to let him fall on his own (in a calculated safe way) as much as possible so he learns how to save himself.  He has to figure it out sooner or later, so it may as well be sooner.  That said, I have very few (good) photos of him standing because I’m afraid to use the camera while it’s happening for fear I don’t catch him if/when he tumbles in a dangerous way.


My sister put him to sleep in the BOB.  He hasn’t napped while walking in forever!!  I guess after 45 minutes of our sisterly chatting he’d had enough.  :P 

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Capers!  They disgust Kyle, so I made a point to eat all the things he hates while he’s gone this week.  Zucchini and eggplant here I come!

But seriously, this salad dressing is so fantastic.


And doesn’t my lunch bowl look just like the recipe photo??  I added avocado because, duh, it’s avocado.  More is always better.


Sleepy P.  [I was not driving when I took this]


On a walk through the ‘hood. 


How many times until he slams his fingers? 

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Now you see it, now you don’t.  All in a night’s work.  🙂

P.S. Good for the taste buds, bad for the gut.  Meh.  What can ya do?


Early morning jog with mama.


Rewarded with eggs, potatoes, and blueberries.  We almost had matching breakfasts, but he’s not down with potatoes (sweet or white).  Eggs and blueberries are definitely his jam though.  He almost eats as much as I do!


I felt fancy in my apron.  It’s basically a pretty hand rag.  The ones in the kitchen get so wet from all my handwashing that they don’t even serve their purpose of drying.  Hence the apron.  I got it at my bridal shower and have used it only a handful of times, but now that I see how well it works I’m going to be wearing it way more.  Bonus: food splattering is a non issue.


Whatchu lookin’ at?


We have overhead spy pics now thanks to the wall mounted baby cam.


Puppy feet.

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Spiralized zoodles with sunshine sauce and sunflower seeds.  I nixed the garlic (fodmaps) and used tamari instead of coconut aminos.  I also added a touch of sweetener because it was kinda tangy in a one dimensional way.  Otherwise it was awesome and I used the whole batch on my zucchini fried in coconut oil.  The sauce is meant to be more than one serving, but I used a spoon to slurp up the extra as if it were broth.

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P loves touching plants and leaves and flowers.


He took one with us. 


Another batch of pumpkin coconut flour muffins!  This time I doubled the recipe, but kept the amount of maple syrup the same and used molasses for the second portion of sweetener (still tasted plenty sweet to me!).  No blueberries this time since we ran out.  Still very tasty.


FaceTime with dada.


Steamy eggs in the wee early morn.

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The faces!  So silly.


He loves his auntie.


Art project!  First crayon exposure for P.  Pretty sure he’s the next Van Gogh. 

Kyle gets back from Abu Dhabi/Dubai tomorrow (he won’t see this post because he’s already on the flight), hence the camel. 


I’d like this outfit in an adult size, thanks.

What I did Wednesday


Hello sunshine!


First things first, I went on a run with my bundled up babe.  Ok, not first things first.  I nursed him before anything else.  Anyway, it wasn’t that cold out but I still made him super cozy.  As a treat, I hit up Starbucks mid-jog.  Took it home in my travel mug so it was still hot post-shower.


Aside from the decaf joe, we had the same thing for breakfast.  Scrambled eggs with a pumpkin coconut flour muffin.  And blueberries.  Always blueberries for the little man.

After we played around, I put him down for a nap and got to work on crap around the house.  35 minutes later he woke up and so I nursed him.


For lunch I made a beast of a salad, with butter lettuce, carrots, roasted squash, sweet potatoes, avocado, hard boiled eggs, and a home-made mayo based dressing.  Super creamy. 

I had a few cookies for dessert.  Why fight the sweet tooth. 

After I finished lunch, we headed off to do a few errands before my parents arrived in town.  I fed P once we got back (oatmeal sweetened with home-made applesauce and ground beef) and that’s when my parents showed up. 


We walked to the park, where P soaked up his time with grandma and grandpa. 


He was clearly pooped after all the playing so I put him down for his PM nap once we got home. 

He woke up just in time for us to gather our stuff and head off to the US Bicycling Hall of Fame.  It’s in Davis.  🙂


It was pretty cool – seeing the evolution of the bicycle from it’s very first (super uncomfortable looking) model to the current ones that are light as a feather.  One of Greg LeMond’s bikes that he raced (and won) on the Tour de France was there as well.  Pretty neat for cycling nerds like my dad.  🙂

Afterwards, we went out to eat.


I have a new favorite restaurant in Davis. 


Paesanos is great.  Everything from the food to the service and ambiance was ideal.  The casual environment was exactly what we were looking for – there was enough bustle and noise to keep P entertained, but it wasn’t crazy.  And best of all, the menu is awesome!  All the pizzas can be made with gluten free crusts, and all the pastas can be made with gluten free pasta (for no additional charge!!!).  Oh, but here’s the real kicker.  You can also get any of the pasta dishes with spaghetti squash noodles!!!!  Um, that’s so cool! 

Such a win for food people dining out with allergies and sensitivities.

Thanks to some recent amazon purchases I was fully equipped to dine out with my little man.  I got these disposable mats that you stick on the table and these wipes for the highchair/table/hands/face/whatever.  I brought the most portable eats (peas, banana, and puffs) for him, which he happily enjoyed while we ate as well. 


P was popping peas like they’re candy.  All of a sudden he adores them. 


My mom and I got two things to share.  This is the market salad without the chicken and almonds.  It had the BEST tarragon dressing (we actually asked for the recipe). 


This is the spaghetti squash pesto.  So very very yum.  I avoided the pine nuts so we will see how P’s skin looks tomorrow. 

All in all, a successful allergy free meal with very little fuss involved.  I’m getting the hang of it!

Once we got home we said goodbye to my parents and I started P’s bedtime routine.  He was such a trooper staying up past his bedtime without any indication that he was burnt out, but man did he crash once he started nursing.

And then I got the chocolate out – TJ’s dark chocolate covered ginger – mmmm.  Happy Wednesday.