Friday Favs- smoothies and stuff


In the last few weeks I have been so intrigued by Weelicious smoothie project. I watch daily  on Instagram and Facebook to see the creations that her kids come up with in smoothie form. I decided to try it out myself and I am in 💙.  We got a Vitamix a while ago and so I made a stop at Trader Joe’s to get a bunch of frozen fruit and some spinach. I ordered online  the Amazing Grass protein powder that weelicious uses. I am still figuring it all out and have not experimented with the hemp seeds or bee pollen. I did find the coconut oil and chia seeds at Trader Joe’s(TJ’s) so I have been adding that to the smoothies. I was counciled by the cashier at  TJ’s to not add too much chia seed to the smoothie because it doesn’t digest as well so there is that to take into account… I will say though that I really enjoy these as my breakfast. It’s easy to sip one while still keeping an eye on R. 


Ingredients used in various smoothies

  • spinach 
  • TJ’s coconut oil 
  • TJ’s chia seeds
  • Frozen mango
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Frozen pineapple 
  • Frozen blueberries 
  • Fresh apples 
  • Fresh bananas 
  • Fresh clementines 
  • Plain yogurt 
  • 1% milk 
  • Almond milk 
  • Amazon Grass Vanilla Protein powder


When I make lunch for myself at home and am pressed for time (watching R  crawl towards Leo’s water dish,the blinds, cords… I love making quick pitas like the one above.


I tried roasting carnival squash for the first time this week. I cut it in half and then sliced those pieces in half. I rubbed it with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper and put it on a baking sheet. I baked it at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. I chopped up some romaine lettuce and added some feta, dried cranberries, roasted pecans, and a drizzle of balsamic dressing. This will definitely be made again soon. 

Hope your weekend is full of some Halloween fun! 🎃👻

Erica 

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books,books,books


I have been wanting to blog this for a long time and for some reason I have not accomplished it till now… I am embarrassed to admit how many books I have read for myself in the last 16 months (since having R). I used to be an avid reader and am hoping one day to get back it. I love books, love bookstores, and love buying books on Amazon too.  Currently I read children’s books and probably 5-6 a day to R. Justin and I do story time with him each night before bed and will read 1-2 books depending on R’s mood. Here are some of our favorites. 

1. All the varieties of Little Blue Truck. Someone shared how much their kid loved this book when I was pregnant so I bought it before R was born. We probably read one of these books at least once a day. 

2. Books by Andrea Beaty- I heard Iggy Peck Architect while I was teaching preschool. A parent brought it in to read to the class.  I loved the pictures and story line. I am not sure when we purchased this for R but it is definitely read once a week. We recently got Rosie Revere Engineer which I really enjoy. She just released a new book in September called Ada Twist, Scientist  which I have been meaning to get. The books are a little long so we just have to take into account if R is in the mood to listen for a bit or not. 


3. Peek a Who? by Nina Laden is another fav. I really like that it’s a board book because it’s easy for R to hold on his own. When he was 6 months old (left picture) he would eat the book… Now ( right picture) he can turn the pages himself. We don’t have any of her other books but I’m curious if they are as good as this one. 

4.  I posted a couple weeks ago how R loves the book Go, Dog. Go! Well… it is still  a fav. Justin or I read it once a day and R likes to have us reread it 2-3 times depending on how he’s feeling. It’s really fun to watch him enjoy something and want us to keep repeating it 😊. 


5. Last one… not really a picture book  but lets go with it…Since R was born I have been printing pictures and sticking them in these photo albums. I had good intentions of making lots of great photo books online… but in the end I really enjoy sliding the pictures in the sleeves and using various colors of le pens to write in stuff that goes with each photo.  In the last week R has been crawling/scooting over to his book shelf and pointing to his picture on the album sleeve and babbling. Justin or I ends up pulling out the album and letting him flip through pages. We read the comments we wrote next to the picture to him and he just smiles. 

What are your favorite children’s books? 

What are you currently reading? 
Erica 

Friday Favs- getting ready for winter  


It’s starting to get cooler in Minnesota.  I embraced the change by making more soup this week and started to figure out R’s winter wardrobe. Our favs this week will definitely be favs in the coming weeks because they have already started to help us adapt to the change in temperature. 

1. Soups- I posted on Facebook last week and asked for some advice on butternut squash soup. I got tons of suggestions and took a bunch of ideas and combined them with my cousin, Marcy’s recipe. I love how she suggested to roast the butternut squash, onion, and carrots in the oven. That was a great trick which I will definitely do again. Also I liked the addition of curry to the soup. Some people suggest mixing in half and half or heavy cream before serving. We ended up just topping the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche.  While the soup was staying warm on the stove I whipped up a batch of popovers to go with it.  

Last night I made mini matzo ball soup. The goal was to make something for dinner that I could also put in R’s lunchbox the next day. I used Weelicious’s recipe for the matzo balls. It was really easy to make. I ended up using club soda in them and I like how it kept them somewhat soft. I chopped up some carrots, celery, and onions and sautéed them in olive oil. I added a bit of garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, and dill. Then I put in 6 cups of veggie stock and let it simmer for a bit. I was really pleased with the end result. 


2. Winter Wardrobe- I found R a super cute hat at Target this week. I wanted to make sure it fit so I had him try it on. He did not find this amusing. I proceeded to have him wear it on our stroll around the neighborhood. I figured he’s got to get used to it. 



I think he might actually like it now… poor kiddo has no idea that there is much more winter wear to come. 

Hope your weekend is full of some of your fall favs.  

Erica 

Friday Favs- Go! Go! Go!


When I started reflecting  on this past week I thought about a book that R has been loving lately….Go, Dog. Go!  Justin and I hosted the breaking of the Yom Kippur fast on Wednesday night and in preparation (cleaning our house and moving furniture to make room for 30 people) I felt like I was living this book and going at rapid speed for days leading up to Wednesday night… I think what shocked me the most was when it was all over it took us only 45 minutes to clean up and put our house back together… There is something definitely to be said about team work… but anyways the favs this week may appear to be in mish mosh form but I predict that next week it will be filled with lots more homemade meals and what nots 😊
1. After spending two hours at urgent care on Sunday morning I found out I was not having an allergic reaction but instead had my first stye…. I was of course very confused because even after the visit I googled it and noticed that it is most commonly visible… mine was not and was under my eyelid… luckily the doctor saw it and was able to tell me how to take care of it. 


2. Fall Spirit- I’m making it my official lingo.. this week I embraced the pumpkins and so did R. We bought pumpkin bread mix and pumpkin butter at Trader Joe’s. Also we bought mini pumpkins to add some fall ❤️ to our kitchen table. I even convinced R to sit with some pumpkins at Byerlys for a quick photo op. 


One of my goals for next week is to make some fall soups (butternut squash, delicata squash, pumpkin,etc.) 


3. I can’t tell you the last time I bought flowers. I used to buy them more frequently before little guy was around… however now instead of spending time arranging flowers I make towers out of blocks/stacking cups… anyways I am babbling and want to show you pictures of these gorgeous flowers that Justin’s grandmother sent us for our table for the breaking of the fast on Wednesday night. It was a wonderful treat. 



4. I took a couple pictures before heading to synagogue on Wednesday. It’s safe to say that R sure looks like Justin’s mini me… 


Hope your weekend is full of pizazz and pumpkins 🎃 

Erica 

Friday Favs- school edition


Our little guy started school on Wednesday. He will be going 3 mornings a week and I think Justin might be the one who is the most shocked. He will be 16 months next week and in Justin’s mind he is still too young to be in school. I’m elated and amazed at how much I can get done when he is not by my side. The Friday Favs this week  are what have helped us get little guy getting set for school. Here we go: 

1. I posted a picture on Instagram of some carrot zucchini muffins I made for his first lunch at school. These were pretty simple to whip up. 

Ingredients

1 cup all purpose flour 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon baking soda 

3 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled 

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I ❤️ the Trader Joe’s.)

1 large egg, beaten 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I ❤️ Penzeys.) 

1 cup finely grated zucchini (I peeled it before I grated it.) 

1/2 cup finely grated carrot (I peeled this too before grating.) 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. 
  • Combine the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda in a mixing bowl and stir till combined. 
  • In a larger mixing bowl  stir together maple syrup, vanilla, butter, and egg. 
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir just till combined. 
  • Add carrots and zucchini and stir just till combined. 
  • Fill each cup in the mini muffin pan. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes. When they come out of the oven I let them cool on a trivet for a couple minutes and then I took them out of the muffin tin and  transferred them to wax paper to thoroughly cool. (Also I wrapped most of them individually in foil and put them in a bag in the freezer.) 
2. While teaching preschool I was introduced to Mabel’s Labels. I knew from then that when I had a kid I would definitely be using their products. I ordered little guy a set with elephants 🐘 . They are so cute and I love how every single thing I send to school has his name on it (jacket, wipes container, lunchbox, backpack,etc).  (Sorry no picture but trust me, so cute!) 


3. I have posted before about R’s lunchbox but I am reposting because after packing a lunch in it I am even more in 💙 with it. His lunchbox is a Planet Box and to be more specific… his is using the rover. In his first lunch he had: cut up apples, Annie’s whole wheat bunny crackers, cubes of cheddar cheese, and two mini carrot zucchini muffins.His lunchbox has an ice pack on top and is placed in a planet box slim sleeve. When I pulled it out Wednesday afternoon to wash  it I was really happy because it’s a breeze to clean 😀.  I’m going to try to get a picture of R holding his lunchbox in the next few days. 

One last picture of him at school. 

(I blurred out the other kiddos for privacy.)

Erica