goodbye hello

Well, dear blogging friends, to make this totally dramatic: this is the end and it is the beginning.

I will (most likely) not be blogging here any longer.

I will definitely be keeping this blog since I use it often as my personal recipe rolodex, plus it contains so much history that I don't have recorded anywhere else. I may make it private eventually. Not sure.

BUT, the good news: I have started a new blog with a dear old friend (she's not old, but we have been friends for a long time). Her name is Katie and she is a new mom and she lives in Canada and I am really excited about our new blog together.

Check it out:

Thanks for reading. I hope to see you at the new blog spot.



checkin' in

Oh, Hi! Remember me? I am currently seated on the couch next to a passed-out little dude covered in layers of blankets with Tiggy and Mickey on his lap. Poor guy has the stomach flu. As in, the same illness that Elle was inflicted with only last week.

Thus, the blogging has been non-existent. However, there are exciting new projects brewing up in BlogWorld that I cannot wait to share with you. Hopefully I will have more news soon, but, until then, I will leave you with some photos taken by a guest photographer while at the Zoo, long before the Stomach Bug of 2013 came to live with us...

Our feet, and a clue as to who the mystery photographer could be...

The Zoo is already getting ready for Zoo Lights! (Note lights on tree above) I'm SO excited!

Eleanor's bum

He put a bird in this shot to try to make it artsy... what a little Portlander.

... if you haven't guessed yet, it's this guy:


... anyway, Happy Sunday everyone! Have a great week!

(Pictures of James and me with kiddos taken by my good friend, Elissa.)


happy weekend

Happy weekend and Go Beavs!!

photo credit: Shirley Lockhart (from about a month ago)

It has been another crazy week with Lane out of town, family in town, and plenty of outdoor soak-up-the-sunshine time.

James got new shoes, a fedora, and went on a Grandma date to a dress rehersal of the OCT's "A Night in New Orleans." Needless to say, it's been a big week.

This afternoon we are off to the pumpkin patch and then getting cozy with the laptop and some Undead Porter to watch another Beavs victory! (we hope)

Have a fabulous fall weekend!

PS I'm on Instagram and obsessed with it!



Can you spy James?

The kids and I have been so strangely inactive this week, and yet such busy bodies. I'll explain what I mean with some simple stats from the week:

Number of times left front door of house: 5
Number of those times we went more than one mile from our house: 2

Destinations more than one mile from our house: play date and library
Destinations within one mile radius where we were headed the other 3 times: park and woods trail
Number of (official) crafts done: 2

I won't divulge whose pumpkin is whose; but I will say that only one of us had the creative intuition to put a mustache and freckles on their pumpkin.

Number of baking projects that James helped with: 2

almonds, oats, flax, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, honey,

Number of home runs James has scored from basement baseball: 41

Number of obscenely large forts built: 3

Number of days we stayed in PJ's until 10 am: I'll never tell

Oh, and number of blog posts attempting to make up for not blogging since last Friday: 1

I caught a glimpse of myself in the office mirror and just had to take a picture. My stay-at-home uniform: nursing tank top, leggings, droopy sweater, messy braid...sadly, this picture doesn't show the tasteful wool socks that I am also rocking. 

This weekend we are continuing to stick around the house. We will be doing our usual farmer's market, Beaver football cheering, and general joyful-life-living... 

Have a wonderful weekend!


happy weekend

 Happy weekend, everyone!

It is such an amazingly beautiful fall day! We have already been to the park once today and are fully intending to return later this afternoon.

James woke up requesting waffles, so I revisited an old recipe that has been getting quite a lot of attention on Pinterest, funny enough.

They were awfully delicious, but took a little longer than average waffles when we made them in our Belgium waffle-maker (probably due to the high liquid content).

This afternoon my mom and her boyfriend are coming over to help finish painting the basement (finally). My mom and I have been planning on cooking an epic dinner, so we will see how that goes while we paint a large room and entertain a baby and three year old boy.

Tomorrow, the farmer's market again, and then soaking up more sunshine!

Have a wonderful weekend.


Eleanor Grace is ten months old

 Eleanor (pictured here at OMSI yesterday) is ten months old today.

I know that I am supposed to say that I can't believe it. But truthfully, it has felt like ten months. At least.

She is such a joyful, giggly, beautiful baby. She is a light to our lives. But she doesn't really like to sleep. Like, at all. She does like to nurse. Like, all the time.

I know that she will start to sleep eventually (heck, James does now, and I never believed that would happen), and I would not trade the last ten months for anything, even if I won't remember them too clearly.

Here are some quick stats of things I want to remember. Then I'm going to bed:

weight: 22 lbs at 9 months (big girl, note thighs in the last picture)
favorite foods: refuses purees; loves chicken, string cheese, oatmeal, and fruit of all kinds
loves: dogs, dancing, Sophie the giraffe, the Tupperware drawer, fabric play tunnels, big brother, flushing toilets and pulling down toilet paper, eating
ticklish: everywhere, especially armpits and neck
sounds that have meaning: "Mama"; meaning: unknown (possibly "breast milk, now!")
movement: pulling up and shuffling around on everything; extremely fast crawler

That's all I can think of for now.. maybe will update this post when I have had more sleep (5 to 10 years from now)...

Anyway, I love that girl so much it hurts. In a good, exhausting sort of way.


happy weekend

Happy weekend!
In the greater-Portland area we are switching out our beautiful sunshine for rain, beginning this evening.

Luckily, we took full advantage of the sunshine this week with bike rides, park trips, and even swimming yesterday.

One day it was so warm that Elle had to take her pants off at the park.

But, Autumn begins tomorrow. I am celebrating by making soup tonight.

Tomorrow we are going to the Farmer's Market and having some friends over for dinner. I hope it's rainy and cozy.

Happy Autumn Eve everyone!


cotija, black bean, and mango casserole

Lately I have been analyzing- probably over-analyzing- why it is that I blog.

One reason is to document, in words and photos, our life while the kids are young. Since I average about five hours of sleep per night, it will be nice to have reminders of the days I can't remember.
Another reason is the community. I love learning about other people's lives through their blogs, and sharing my life through my own.

Yet another reason I come back to blogging over and over is that this blog serves as a recipe index for me. Just in the past few weeks I have come back to several recipes, including: Vietnamese baguettes, dutch baby pancakes, granola bars and these quesadillas. In fact, I have been craving the quesadillas, but I needed a more family-friendly version.

Quesadillas are not so "family-friendly" because in the midst of filling sippy cups, tearing food into tiny pieces, setting the table, stuffing one large baby into a high chair, making sure little boy hands are washed, and hollering at Lane that dinner is ready, I don't really have time to stand over a stove and cook four individual quesadillas.

With this casserole, all I have to do is assemble the ingredients and let the oven do its magic.

Cotija, black bean, and mango casserole

1 mango, peeled and chopped
1 cup crumbled cotija + another 1/2 more for top
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
9 corn tortillas
lime wedges
cilantro, for topping
cooking spray

Combine the mango, red onion, sour cream, and 1 cup of the cotija in a bowl. Set aside.
Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange two tortillas side by side on the bottom of the dish, and cut up a third tortilla to fit in the gaps. Spread half the mango mix evenly over the tortillas, then top with another layer of three tortillas. Repeat with the remaining mango mixture and the last three tortillas. Crumble the remainig 1/2 cup cotija over the top layer of tortillas.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, or until cotija is beginning to brown over the top. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve with lime wedges. Enjoy.


happy weekend

Happy weekend, friends.

We are heading to Corvallis for a family photo shoot tomorrow. I bought the kids long-sleeve shirts to wear, but we may be switching that up since it is supposed to be above ninety degrees tomorrow...

... and then rainy on Sunday, of course.

What is everyone else up to?


summer polenta with bacon

I have never mentioned this, because this is used to be a food blog, but I have some, err, well, undiagnosed stomach... issues...

Anyway, the only reason I have brought this up is because I am experimenting with various elimination diets to attempt to eliminate the issues. Currently, sadly, I am gluten free.

I am trying to be optimistic and looking at this as a new culinary challenge and adventure. I get to experiment with barley, oats, corn products, buckwheat (which, apparently, isn't actually wheat at all), and spelt. (Well, maybe spelt. There is something weird about spelt. Any advice on it is much appreciated.)

All this gluten-free business better help my G.I., because I am sure as heck not giving up cheese.

Summer Polenta with Bacon
polenta recipe from Giada

tsp salt
1 3/4 cups polenta
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 zuchinni, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
5 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped up
1 1/2 cups grated pecorino romano
torn pieces of fresh basil

Bring 6 cups water to a boil. Add salt and polenta. Cook until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in butter.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large, oven-proof skillet. Add zucchini until beginning to soften up. Add tomatoes and let simmer until veggies are tender and juices are thickened. Add garlic and sautee until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add bacon crumbles and polenta. Stir until all veggies are mixed in thoruoughly. Top with grated cheese.
Bake 350 (I did 300 in convection oven) for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browning.
Top with fresh basil. Serve hot. Enjoy.