Hungry Hungry Hippie

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Muir Woods

Our mother’s day tradition was delayed because we were in Nashville for that weekend in May (did I ever blog about that?) but we fit it in a couple of weeks later.

In truth, it was a joint father’s day and mother’s day celebration because Kyle will be out of town next week, so we combined our special holidays into one big awesome day of fun.

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Firs thing after waking was hop in the car and drive to Mill Valley for brunch.

I did some yelp work and decided on Lighthouse Cafe, which was a diner style place with bar stool seating in front of the kitchen and five booth tables.  There was a line out the door when we arrived, which surprised me since it was pretty early (for a weekend), but it went really fast and we were seated and ordering by 9ish.

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I brought food for both kids, but V swooped on some of our eats.

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Kyle and I both got the exact. same. order.

Ladies and gents, may I present to you the “ultimate breakfast” which (for a mere $14.50) gets you two eggs (FRIED SUNNY SIDE UP), bacon or sausage (BACON), a fruit pancake (BLUEBERRIES), home fries or hash browns (HASH BROWNS) & toast (SOURDOUGH).

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I said my entire order and Kyle just said ditto.  He has good taste, you know.

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Everything about the meal was great, except for the fact that they only had two high chairs and both were in use so V was on Kyle’s lap for the whole meal.  That’s a challenge, for sure, and more proof that he’s an amazing dad.  Oh, and he shared his bacon with her, so now you KNOW he loves her.

IMG_7362So cute.  We ate an aggressive amount of food, but ended up packing up a lot to take home.

My sister and her husband (that’s fun to say!) now live down the street so we went to see their new place for a bit, and then we pressed on to enjoy the beauty that is Muir Woods.

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The huge redwoods were as impressive as ever.  P liked crawling into the gaping trunk caves and “fishing” in the stream, but was the most pleased about being the leader of our foursome.

Both kids snacked on bars which gave us an extra 20 minutes of walking time, but in the end it wasn’t a very long trip.  Like last year, we got sidetracked by so many random things in nature that before we knew it, it was noon and we were, like, 20 feet from the entrance.  I’m exaggerating of course, but who cares, it was still a fun trip.

She was in the ergo for half the time, but once her feet hit the ground there was no turning back.  Miss independent thinks she is 3 years old too.

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We grabbed lunch at Whole Foods after and then hit major traffic on the way home…which didn’t totally matter because they both took the most unbelievable naps in the history of all the car rides.

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Each year just keeps getting better and better.

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Oh and I have nothing but good things to say about this Kite Hill soft ripened cheese.

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I tried a different one before (soft fresh vs soft ripened) and was so-so on it (the texture was weird) but this one was good and I’d buy it again for a fun splurge.

Special dates

We have recently come to the realization that we need special one on one time within our family unit.  In all the permutations.

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He requested a picnic date with me, so even though it had rained that morning and the grass was still wet we picnicked it up.  We had just gone to his friend’s dance recital (OMG THE CUTENESS!) so he was non-stop chatter about the ballerinas and music and now I’m pretty sure he wants to start classes soon.  Anyway, I packed up food for him so after the dance show we hung out together.  Just the two of us having uninterrupted conversation and it was so great.

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Post dinner line-up…I brought these bad boys home for post-bedtime enjoyment.  Favorite was the far left (TCHO toffee and sea salt for the winnnnnn).  I actually think I need to try all of TCHO chocolate flavors but it’s $$$$ so we will see.

Kyle’s special time with P involved playing basketball and reading something like 300 books at a local park.  So cute, right?  We’ve been trying to do weekly dates, but you know how that goes…monthly is how it’s shaking out.

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And that’s my post for the day.

Tofu tacos

Dragons love tacos.  That’s fact, per Adam Rubin.  And P is 100% on board with it.

Tacos are basically a weekly staple (at least when we are home and meal planning, which is finally returning).

This week’s tacos were made with tofu because it’s something the whole family loves and I always have it on hand.

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Another ingredient worth noting, is the spice blend I used.

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I just got this in the mail from Casa de Sante, a new company that I wanted to support.

They have a few spice blends (BBQ, Indian, Italian, Mexican) that don’t use garlic or onion, making them a FODMAP free option for those with GI issues who still want the shortcut and flavor that pre-made seasoning blends offer.  Insert photo of me with both my hands in the air.

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As you’d expect it was a winner of a meal.  Those were the first tomatoes of the season for us (from a CSA box I sampled by farmbox direct)…but our garden’s plants are thriving so I don’t think it’ll be too long until we are picking our own!  Ah summer…

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Until then, you can find us splashing in the yard or crushing our library summer reading.

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Sorry for my spotty blog attendance.  Sometimes I have the urge to write and sometimes I just give every ounce of my being to the family and don’t have any reserves for this space.

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Mark it with a “g”

Lots of good things happening with my family right now – my sisters are killing it in the adult-ing category of life.  I’m just plugging away at mom stuff, but the long weekend was nice for visiting with everyone in the East Bay.

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P and I made a cake.

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It was his idea…and because he is the clever thoughtful boy that he is, he decided that we should “mark it with a ‘G’ for grandma”.

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It was her birthday, after all.

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This was his first time eating candy.  I’ve blogged about Gimbal’s before (they are allergy free and don’t use nasty dyes), and have used them in various Halloween and Valentine’s baking projects, but P has never really cared about trying them so I just ate them myself.  🙂

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Well now he knows what sugar tastes like.

My sheltered hippie boy.  Ha.  Until this point, his only real exposure to candy was at the Stanford clinical trial (he was rewarded with a lollipop after all his scratch testing and blood draws) and then Halloween (I swapped all his trick or treat candy out with allergy free lollipops that he completely forgot about).  And because I use bananas and applesauce to sweeten the things I bake/cook for him, I think this was a shock to his palate.

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I could practically see his taste buds blow up.

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Anyway.  He helped with every single part of this baking project – from the shopping for ingredients, to the egg cracking, to the frosting.  He did it all.  I helped, naturally, but I was very hands off once I set him up…only polishing up the details.

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I think he has a future in the field.

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I thought we were done here, but then he wanted sprinkles…soooo…

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He had decent aim, but there were so many on the floor…so I just let him find them and eat them (easier than cleaning, right?).

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And then he licked off the icing spatula.

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And then he didn’t nap.

Whoops!

And they say sugar isn’t a drug?  My kid doesn’t skip naps.  This was something else.  After a few hours we gave up and threw him in the car to drive to my parents’ house.  He fell asleep in the car, of course, so that worked out decently.

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Looking as cute as ever.

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My dad grilled for dinner and we all enjoyed the nice sunshine.  The pool was cold but the kids seemed content to splash around on the steps regardless.

After dinner it was cake time 🙂

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We stayed up well past our bedtimes.  All for the birthday lady.

Kyle and my dad played golf in the morning, so my sister and mom and I went to Bed Bath and Beyond.

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Breakfast first. That’s a dinner plate, so the size of sunbutter on top is not for the faint of heart appetite.  The “pancake” I made had two eggs and one ripe banana pulsed in a blender.  It was okay, but was basically just a vessel for sun butter.

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I found a million and one things I “needed” from BB&B but made it out without buying one single thing.  Miracle of miracles.

My mom and I went to a nearby park with the kids just so they could play for a bit before going home (I felt bad for trapping V in the stroller all morning).  She is obsessed with slides at the moment.  And then park we went to (Pleasant Hill park) was great!  It was my first time there and I will def be taking the kids back again.

Once Kyle got home and the babes woke up from naps we packed up and shipped out.  Back to Davis!  And thanks to the holiday, we still had basically a full weekend ahead of us. 🙂

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It’s ice cream maker season!

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Coconut milk, cacao, sugar.  P requested I make it warm next time because this ice cream was too cold for his mouth.  My big boy is getting sugar exposure left and right…only this one he wasn’t that into.  More for me!  🙂  🙂  🙂

Maui-ed 13 + 14

Last I left off I was up earlaaaay with the pequeña niña, so obviously the kiddos ate breakfast before the sun was even up.

I went to the gym (small but it had a bike with bravo so naturally I was down) after feeding them and then decided it was treat time for moi! Thanks to the encouragement excessive force of my husband, I left the beach house to go and get myself a smoothie bowl from Choice Health Bar, a vegan place I’d found in my foodie vacation research.

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They have acai bowls, raw items galore, and everything you could dream about juicing…and I couldn’t contain my excitement.

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I ordered the macawow as a bowl (which means they amp up the smoothie quantity and add fruit and granola on top).  I got the paleo-nola (grain free and raw) and strawberries and bananas on top.

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Oh my word.

There’s some kind of magic that happens when bananas and dates and nut milks merge in an icy frosty way.  It was the best thing I had all vacay long.

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I saved some of the granola for my yogurt the next day.

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And because I brought it home before digging in, this love fest was my view while eating.  All the heart emojis couldn’t touch what I feel for these two.  And boy are they smitten with each other.

We passed the morning hours going back and forth between the pool and the beach.  Status quo for the week.

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We also ran to Safeway because we ran out of chocolate.  And so we replenished our stash as well as extras to bring home (some presents for others, some presents for us)…macadamias in all the flavors.  Sadly the pineapple had to stay (we ate SO MUCH while there and still had two leftover).  Along with 598730459687 beers (all from the wedding week activities earlier).

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Leftover kalua pork and a Caesar salad for lunch.  V took the macaroni salad to the face but I got the rest.

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For dinner we went back to the fish market so Kyle could get fish and chips.  Of course as soon as I saw his meal I had food envy and announced that I’d be getting those for lunch the following day.

For my own dinner I hit up Choice Health Bar for the second time that day to get the plate of the day.  It was a kale salad and when I asked if it was big they assured me it was entree sized but then I saw it and knew it wouldn’t be enough at all.  So while we were at the fish market to get Kyle’s meal I grabbed a crab cake and seaweed salad for myself.

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Go big or go home.  Yay!

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The salad was pretty random but worked.  Raw food is hit and miss to me (with not much of an in between), but this defied those rules and was just okay.  I have nothing bad to say about it, other than the seemingly incoherent focus of the dish, but it wasn’t bad at all.  From what I could tell, the kale was massaged in a nut/nooch based dressing.  The rest of the toppings included, but were not limited to, tamari mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, red onions, zucchini and who knows what else.  It was good enough to satisfy my kale cravings so mission accomplished, I suppose.

The crab cake was pretty giant so I definitely had enough food.  Still ate my weight in chocolate that night though. 🙂

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The next day was our last, but we didn’t really do anything differently.

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Still the same beach and pool relaxation thing.  Why fight what’s working?

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Beach babies.

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After the pool/beach thing, the kids napped and we read.  Kyle went snorkeling and then grabbed us lunch on his way back from dropping off the rental gear.

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Oh and I popped some bubbles.  It’s almost as if we were the ones honeymooning.  V a c a t i o n   m o d e ….

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As planned I got the fish and chips that Kyle ordered the night before.  They were as amazing as they look.  The freshest flakiest fish and the most beautifully crispy breading.  Man, was that a great dish.  I definitely finished off every last bite.

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Kyle got the fish tacos (also from the fish market).  That place gets four thumbs up from us!

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Our afternoon stroll up north lead us to the Westin’s pirate ship and play ground, which the kids obviously couldn’t pass without collecting $100.  So we played in the shade and let them burn off some steam.

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We didn’t get far after that…Kyle got take out from Duke’s but I kept it local and ordered the Island Cobb from the poolside bar at the Westin.  This dish holds a special place in my heart because the last time we were in Maui we stayed at the Westin and I got this salad almost every single day for lunch (along with a side of fries).  The papaya dressing is unique and who doesn’t love bacon, avo and goat feta??

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The second I saw it I was flooded with memories of that amazing vacation.  I never blogged about being preggo with V until I was a few weeks from my due date, but it was the day after we returned home from that Hawaii trip that I discovered that my little Valley-girl was growing in me. It definitely made sense of the lethargy and french fry cravings…anyway…back to this trip.

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Kyle ordered the seafood risotto and then we walked back to our rental condo with our take out eats and put the kids down to enjoy one last meal together in paradise.

The next day we had to be up super early so we set our alarm, but then V made a mockery of our situation and woke us up hours before that.  Figures.  Either way we were the first ones at the airport – including any employees – and by the time we boarded the kids had eaten about a day’s worth of food.  Good thing I packed every single item left in our fridge!!

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What a trip 🙂