Hungry Hungry Hippie

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Surviving solo

Surviving is what I did a year ago…I’m much more on top of it now.  Thriving!  Solo!  We miss Kyle a lot while he’s gone, but I haven’t missed a workout, shower, or blow dry even though it’s just me. I haven’t been cooking up fancy dinners, but I’ve been eating exactly what I want.

Thanks to my prep, our breakfasts were taken care of for several days.  The kids were also super sick so they didn’t have appetites, which made the pancakes last even longer.

As far as managing a work out schedule, here’s how it went down:

On Monday I woke up at 6 and worked out until P woke up at 6:30.  As I think I’ve mentioned, he has an “Okay to Wake!” clock that is set for 6:30.  When it turns green, he knows it’s okay to get out of bed.  We got it because the darkness confused him in the winter and he was getting up at 4 am thinking it was time to start the day! Not quite buddy.  He is usually awake long before 6:30 but thanks to the clock we at least get until then.  So.  On Monday I set my alarm (ew) and dragged myself to the garage at 6 to get a T25 workout in and was back upstairs when the clock struck 6:30 to receive him with open arms as he raced into my room. V was up shortly after, so I got them dressed and showered and got ready and we went downstairs to eat.  We were done with breakfast by 7:30 and then spent 3 hours reading (no, seriously) until meeting friends at the zoo.




Let me tell you about the chuao bar…it wasn’t what I was expecting, but was good nonetheless. I wish the pretzels had been crumbled as chunks or something instead of whole twists added in on top. The toffee inside was great.  It was sweet enough to prevent me from eating the whole bar at once (I split it in half).  It’s too $$$$ to buy without a major sale, but if you are wondering if it’s good, it is.

Anyway, Monday was probably the most rocky of all the days, but that’s only because plans for the am fell through and I had to think on my feet.

Here they are picking up ladybugs from the door (they sneak in).

My mini chef.

And finally at the zoo!

Which is where…

Boom. Womp womp. It sounded hideous as he hit the concrete, but he bounced back way better than I expected!  And he even tolerated icing it!  I guess having friends and animals to distract him was helpful.

That evening he was a champ in his (new) four year old class.

Heart melting.

Same breakfast sitch the next day.

The workout front was way different though because moonie (the name of his alarm clock) went off at 4:30!  What the what!?!  It has never malfunctioned before so imagine my confusion when he jumped into the bed with me in the wee early hours of the morning. He told me moonie turned green and I was groggily like “whaaaaa??”  Sure enough, I went in his room a bit later to find a yellow (what setting is that??) clock!  Seriously, what?!  I let him stay in bed with me but it became pretty clear that he was not going back to sleep so I quickly ran my options through my head…(1) do I take them on a run with me? could we make it back and ready in time for school?  is it too cold?  too dark?  (2) do I attempt to work out in the garage with him?  should I put him back to sleep? is he going to crash if he stays up from now until nap time?

In the end I decided to ask him.  He said he wanted to read while I worked out in the garage so I changed into exercise clothes, grabbed the monitor, and told him I’d be back in a bit.  I watched them both on the monitor as I put in 25 minutes of my own made up routine with weights and cardio intervals, and when I returned upstairs and asked him how many books he read he said two.  He was in the same spot as when I left him and had clearly poured over the pages of two books very intensely…honestly, he’s the sweetest thing ever.  V ended up sleeping in until 7:30 so P and I read a bunch more books before, during, and after my showering and our both getting dressed.

Just after V got up, we facetimed with Kyle to wish him a happy Valentine’s Day. He surprised me and the kids with hidden presents, including this hat for V.

Is she not the cutest little pink thing you’ve ever seen?  He also got stickers and pens for the wee ones.  And since we were all up so dang early, we had time to do arts and crafts both before AND after breakfast before loading up to drop P off at school.

OMG he was thrilled to no end with the Valentine’s card opening.  She was too since he told her she could have the candy that wasn’t safe for him.  Isn’t he a gem?

He wanted to go through them as soon as he got home, but I made him eat lunch first because I knew it would make him eat faster that way.  He told me to look up which things are safe for him and let him know.  I’m sure he has already forgotten about it (same thing happens with the candy he gets from other holidays/treats) but I maintained that I’d check into everything nonetheless.  I know dum dums are safe and I saw a few of those in there so at least he can have those. BTW, P got into the OIT allergy trial at the Columbia Asthma and Allergy clinic in Fremont and starts in March!! For all the new allergy parents who keep finding my site and wanting more backstory, here is a link to every allergy post on my blog.

Kid lunch

Mama lunch

Their smoothies had spinach, tofu, berries, and almond milk.  I have resisted getting the frozen organic mixed berries from Costco every time I go because the bag is so big, it’s annoying how much space in the freezer it takes up.  But lately I’ve been eating out of the freezer so much that we have more room and it’s more organized so I decided to go for it.  Combined with the massie amount of organic tofu I got, I’d say we are good on smoothie ingreds for a few months. 😉

My lunch was a comb of greens (kale and purple cabbage) with miso dressing, avocado, and tamari almonds.

Itsey bitsey spider.

For dinner I made Angela’s portobello mushroom salad with balsamic dressing.  I omitted the red onions.  I think the recipe is meant for more than one person but I ate it all myself, including the 3/4 cup of dressing.  To be fair, I marinated the mushrooms in half of it, and then cooked them in it, like the recipe says.  I have been eyeing this recipe, but Kyle doesn’t like portobello mushrooms, so I knew I had to make it while he was out of town.  Rather than grill them, I sliced them and sautéed them, until they were super tender.

The kids had leftover tacos, which they devoured after having NO afternoon snack.  Something has been up with their appetites during this cold.  They even refused their vitamin, which they both LOVE.  Currently enjoying this one, but I have no real preference so long as it isn’t filled with nasty stuff and has vitamin D in it.  We previously used this one (which is slightly cheaper and sugar free), but ran out before I could reorder from amazon.  The Honest Co. ones we found at Target.  I’m going off on way too many tangents.

Dinner was fab, dessert was better.

Look at this V day love <3  You know I went to town on this day of all days.  I broke my rule (again, oops!) and went back for more.  You guys have to hold me accountable.

The chocolate on the left is from my bestie (aka sister wife) who knows my sweet tooth ways, obviously, and had never tried this brand before.  I’d never even heard of it either.  I love new sweets.  Anyone tried Perugina??  I popped open the goodies from my husband first. 😉

Ohhh buddy.  As a Lindt newbie this was most exciting.


The truffle was sooo rich so I got some candied ginger to eat with them.  BEST COMBO!  I will now be eating them like that forevermore.  I haven’t done the candied ginger/dark chocolate dance in a long time, now that I think about it.  Glad this reminded me of that former fave.

At least Wednesday morning didn’t start at 4:30 am, but I did wake up to both kids coughing long before my alarm went off to work out (booo).  I tried to quickly squeeze in some core work in the garage but P got tangled in his blanket and was calling for me after only 15 minutes, so I gave up. In the back of my mind I knew I had another shot at exercise because we stopped doing swimming with Valley girl which leaves my Wednesdays open after dropping P off at school.  My friend has been trying to get me to come to stroller strides with her, but I have a hard time justifying paying money to workout.  The other thing that prevents me from working out after his drop off is that I really don’t like exercising after eating.  Waiting til 9 am to eat breakfast is obviously not an option, I’d keel over by then, but because of my gut issues, I really have a hard time doing anything strenuous within a couple of hours of eating.  Our afternoon tennis sessions are the closest I can push it (provided I don’t snack after lunch at all).  So those are some of the main reasons I just like to wake up and get it done.   It’s also so nice to start the day off getting sweaty and helps keep me on the healthy path all day.  No matter what goes down with the kids or with life, I’ve gotten my “me” time in. SO ANYWAY.  Mentally I counted my morning stuff as half a workout and figured I could at least muster up another half in the form of a run later that morning, even if my stomach wasn’t 100%.  So I got us all dressed and all that jazz and we went downstairs for breakfast and the day was so gloomy.

I almost scrapped my plan seeing the gray sky, but I stuck it out.  Dropped P off at school and drove to North Davis, parked the car, got V loaded in the BOB stroller and set off on a run.  It started drizzling just as I was parking (seriously?) so I was about to call it off, but it was only a 2 minute long sprinkle.  I forgot headphones so I made V listen to NPR with me, which I’m sure she was thrilled about. It was a quick 20 minute jog, but I was happy to get anything in.  The start was blah thanks to my banana breakfast sitting like a brick in my stomach, but I wasn’t pushing myself to go too fast, so it was alright.  Whatever.  A workout is a workout!

Lunch salad like yesterday’s, but with mac nuts instead.

I used the Simple Mills pizza crust mix for dinner and it was SO FREAKIN AMAZING.  I will be buying these in bulk from now on and eating pizza once a week until the end of time.  Not even joking, you guys, get this asap.

Each box makes two 8″ crusts.

Mr. pacman has read plenty of books about/referring to pizza but I don’t think he’s had it more than one or two times in his life, so this was an exciting meal for him.  It was V’s first pizza altogether and my tomato loving gal was all in.

The instructions were super easy – I made it during naps and pre-baked it per the instructions before adding the toppings.  I used this soup as a sauce because it’s basically pizza flavored soup anyway.

Look!  They have it on Thrive Market too!  Here’s a link for 15% off when you join.  I haven’t ordered as much recently, but now that WF has closed I will be returning to my monthly orders for sure.

I have NO idea how they made those few ingredients fluffy and bread like.  I really and honestly an baffled.  The flavor was so fantastic.  It’s easily the best gluten free vegan (and grain free!) crust I have ever had (like by a landslide).  I could gush over it all night.

Look!!  I mean YUMMMMM.

I added vegan mozz and applegate turkey pepperoni to theirs. I only used four pepperoni total because I didn’t know if they’d like it, but they WAY did.  I froze half for a different time, but now have a bunch to use up soon, so that may mean pizza night becomes a regular thing.


Chocolove orange peel is great FYI and I had 4 more candied ginger pieces than shown but at least I didn’t go back for more of the dark stuff.  That, my friends, is what you call progress.


I still have a few more days without Kyle, but at least you now have the gist of what my week has been like…minus some park dates and kid activities and whatnot.

What I Ate

This is another oldie (from last week). I only know that because it has four dinner servings.  I promise it’s more interesting than the things we’ve been eating this week.  Well, maybe.  I like eating salads on repeat, but it doesn’t make for great blog fodder.  I would prefer to share stuff that you may want to make.

Like this grain free bread.  Totally worth the cookbook purchase. Polished off the heel of the loaf with some Earth Balance. Melty butter is so amaze.

So was this salad.  It was in a serving bowl because it had leftover cole slaw underneath all that other stuffs.

I had kettle salt and pepper chips and kombucha in the afternoon. Between running around doing fun stuff with the babes.

This was a good one guys! The ultimate hippie meal for sure.

I massaged the kale, thawed the edamame, and made the sesame sriracha vinaigrette during nap time.

And then right before la cena, I did some last minute chopping (cucumber, avo and tofu) and assembled the bowls.

It’s hard to see, but there was forbidden rice under all that veg.

I used the premarinated tofu from TJs…the organic savory one.

It looks less glam after I attacked it with a knife.

This one was pretty good, but I have the same complaint I usually have with bars that have names that include toffee and nuts…not enough of the “stuff” (toffee and nuts).  I’d buy it again, but now that I know it isn’t packed with those things, I will treat it accordingly.

I had some toffee covered chocolate with it.

Sabra spreads

This isn’t a sponsored post..we are loving these Sabra spreads.  The cracked pepper and sea salt is my favorite.  The only problem is that the last 1/3 of the tube is hard to get out.  So I’ve been making salad dressings in the bottle with that portion.  Win win.

I also make Kyle breakfast bakes with them all the time.  Here’s a quinoa casserole type thing.

I finally used up the last of our garden’s tomatoes.  In DECEMBER!  So insane.  Since it was all for Kyle I used the garlic hummus and parmesan.

To make it portable, you could bake them in muffin cups.

Used as a dip for sausages (above) or salad dressing (below).

Well done Sabra.  Maybe they should get in the salad dressing business next?

On this day of love

I’m going to write about my little BIG guy’s birthday, which was this past Sunday, because my husband is out of town and so we aren’t doing anything.

OMG he is FOUR!  What the what!?

We did a few special things to celebrate, but nothing was too extravagant.  I’ll start with Saturday.

We had a leisurely morning at home and made our way to farmer’s market after breakfast. I made a massive version of this banana oat bake because I wanted to set myself up with breakfasts for the whole week since Kyle was out of town.  Even when he is here he’s gone by our breakfast time, but it just feels less chaotic when I have my ducks in a row with regard to food first thing.

They played on both parks and sampled some produce and then we got P a balloon from the clown as a “birthday treat”.  This was the first time he has gotten one, and he was so thrilled.  The kids before and after him asked for spiderman but he asked for a tuba.  Because of course. It’s so him.

Serenading us the whole ride home…

Lunch plate.  His is the pink one with larger carrots and cucumber chunks.

Salad ingreds for success…all the greens + miso dressing + WF organic tamari almonds (RIP) + avocado.

I had soooo many carrots on the side.  Like 50.  Not exaggerating. Carrot love forever.

During their naps I was SO productive.  I cut Kyle’s hair and ripped out all the gross dead plants from our summer garden.  Then I pruned the heck out of everything.  Our yard looks 8 million times better now.  Thank goodness for this stretch of nice weather because I was starting to go crazy over how nasty and overgrown it all looked.  Once P woke up I gave him a hair cut too, and then V joined the party and we all payed in the backyard until evening.  It is finally starting to stay light out!  That combined with the 60 degree weather was literally the vitamin D shot we all needed.

We attempted a park trip before dinner, but it was super windy and they weren’t into it.  We came home and did art instead – including making Valentine’s for P’s whole class.

We had no dinner plans because I hadn’t gotten that far in menu planning and had spent the entire day before sorting out my WF purchases, so I grabbed things out of the pantry and made it work.

I came up with a millet dish with roasted tricolor carrots, roasted walnuts and herbs with a citrus vinaigrette.  It was good, but not amazing (at least in my opinion).

Kyle and the kids gobbled it up though so whatever.  I left the parsley and mint off of the kids’ portions because I know they don’t like them.

The citrus vinaigrette used oranges from my parents’ tree that they had dropped off earlier.  I need an orange squeezer.  Recs?  I keep trying to make do with a lemon/lime squeezer and/or my hands but it turns out I am juicing oranges more than I thought I would be so it could be time to just get one. Kitchen gadgets are my drug of choice.  After chocolate.

Firsts and seconds because I couldn’t stop eating the roasted walnuts.  MMmmm..favorite part for sure.

Chocolate and the OJ trial show (finally released on Netflix) for our down time.  I feel so bad for Marcia Clark knowing what I know and watching it now.  It’s like a car crash that you can’t turn away from.  P was kinda up all night that night because he has (had) a really nasty cold.  It’s been going around and he finally got it and like other parents told me – it sucks.  We stopped the show several times to go in and calm him down and tuck him back into bed.  It was sad but also kinda sweet when he fell asleep on me like he used to when he was a baby.  Luckily he got a few decent stretches of sleep in so the next day wasn’t too too terrible.  I mean, I was still a zombie, but I had the high of birthday fun to get me through.  And from there on the nights were progressively better and better.  I think he only woke up three times the next night with coughing fits/freak outs. And then once the next night.

He woke up like a cheerful little thing though!  We sang him happy birthday right away and once V was up (a whole 5 minutes later) we let him open his “presents.”

Full disclosure, Kyle and I wanted to do no presents for his birthday, but then he asked us if he would get to open presents on his birthday (the day before!) and so we realized maybe we should get him something to unwrap at least.  So there was a 5 minute diversion on the way to the park the day before to get something for him to open.

One thing from us and one thing from V – a sweater “for church” and this cup.  He has used that cup exclusively ever since.  And he wore the sweater that day to church, so I’d say we did well.

Birthday pancakes!  (No different than every other day pancakes but shhhh)  I made a ton for the same reason I made myself a ton.  Prep! Check!

It’s a just add cashew butter situation.  🙂  After a quick turn in the microwave I dug in right where I left off the day before.

Kyle and V went to swimming while P and I went to church and then we all met back up for lunch. This is the door game we play back at the car…he is such a giggle ball.

Pasta with olive oil (prepped for the week), assorted veggies, roasted chickpeas, and mandarin cuties.

And water in the new cup.

I had another super productive nap time – this time tackling the front yard. Our garbage and compost bins are stuffed to the max so I had to stop.

After naps we went to Jamba Juice and then the park…soaking up the gorgeous weather which felt like HEAVEN after weeks straight of storms.

T-shirt weather!  It’s supposed to rain again in a few days but this recharged me for a bit.

P’s birthday dinner request was….TACOS!

Spaz face had two but would have had more had I not reminded him to save room for his birthday cupcake.

V didn’t get the shell concept at all, so hers ended up as chips and fillings.  I had two and stopped, although I really wanted 100.

Total mom fail – I didn’t have any birthday candles!!  But he didn’t care once I pulled out the Thomas candle from last year.

We sang to him again and then the kids had mini chocolate cupcakes.

Kyle had time for one show and dessert before heading to the airport, so I soaked up every last second with him until the weekend.

These guys are good Valentine’s too.  🙂

WWA (again)

Can I just start using the WWA abbrev for “what we ate”?  Seems an easy swap.  Continuing the catch up posts…

I sliced up a few pieces of this grain free bread with Earth Balance for breakfast time.

More pancakes for my minis.

They ate sooooo slowly, I baked chocolate mini muffins for P’s classmates while they finished up.

There are 18 in his class, but I made a bunch of extras to freeze and have on hand for future birthday parties.  He picked out chocolate cupcakes for his birthday treat, but blueberry cake for his party (which is next weekend).

So this was the first of many birthday celebrations.


I guess I forgot to take a pic of their lunch eats.  Oh well.

During their naps I ate my own lunch and then prepped dinner.

I made General Tso flavored cauliflower loosely following this recipe for the sauce, but instead of frying them in oil, I baked them in the oven first.  I coated them in an egg/corn starch mixture and set them on parchment paper to get a nice surface for the sauce to stick to later. Speaking of the sauce…

I made this while the cauliflower was in the oven.  I let it reduce for what seemed like an eternity, but the end product was a SUPER potent and umami packed sauce.  Yowza.

Snack time for V!

We played inside for the rest of the pm because it was rainy.  I am so. sick. of. this. rain.  The kids don’t see to mind, so that’s great, but I’m feeling so trapped as these cold dreary days continue on and on and on.  A glimmer of sun would be such a nice break. At least Kyle got home early.  After missing the kids entirely the day before he got home to spend some extra time with them while I finished up dinner.

I realize this looks like a pile of mess, but it was SOOOO good. Once the sauce got into every nook and cranny of the cauli and it had all warmed back up it was totally transformed into a sticky yummy heap of veg that I wish I had made three times the amount of.

I seared scallops too, which the kids wound up loving (very unexpected, but then not really since they’re expensive and that seems to be my kids wheel house for food preferences).  So I ended up making a few more really quickly to fill them up even more. They weren’t as into the cauliflower, but they still ate it.  I think they couldn’t decide if they liked the sauce or not.

Hello chocolate plate. You guys are giving me SUCH good recs after my chocolate post last week!  I can’t wait to try some of your faves…although that may not happen very soon because I just went crazy as @#^$ at WF in the chocolate aisle.  The above is a mix of dark chocolate almonds (TJs), dark and milk chocolate covered toffee chips (TJs), chocolate almond chai bar (TJs) and a few squares of the firecracker bar (TJs).  Soooo a Trader Joe’s smorgasbord if you will.  😉

Made an egg potato mushroom cheese strata thing for Kyle’s breakfasts on the late night.