Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Muffin tin dinners

Since we're on the topic of food for kids, I just thought I'd share this idea I saw on another blog (sorry, can't remember where) - muffin tin dinners.

They are really handy for enjoying impromptu backyard picnics :o) and they are also great for those nights where you just don't feel like cooking.

The one pictured here features strawberries, cereal, slivers of peanut butter toast, broccoli, raisins, and carrot sticks. You can also use one of the spots for a dip, like salsa or hummus.

Happy summer!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to get kids to eat spinach

OK, so I guess it wasn't just the photo issue that was causing my blog-posting procrastination :o)

Today I just wanted to share one little tip that has been working for us lately.

I have been really trying to "up" my vegetable intake over the past several months. Particularly greens, since science is showing just how important these are for keeping us healthy and preventing major diseases.  This effort has included venturing in to the world of green smoothies.

I noticed lots of references to kids enjoying them too, so I thought I would give it a try. Well, Kate was not universally impressed. She would drink them sometimes, but not reliably and certainly not a whole glass. BUT - what she will eat any day of the week is a green popsicle (a green smoothie poured into popsicle molds). Seriously, she eats one of these almost every day. She feels like she is getting a treat and I know she is getting her greens. And I don't have to restrict them in any way like I do for other treats - I would let her eat them multiple times a day if she asked.

There are a TON of green smoothies recipes out there if you care to search, but my go-to formula is simply one whole piece of fruit - usually an apple or pear - blended with two handfuls of spinach and enough water to get the consistency you want. (For freezing it doesn't really matter if it is a bit thick, but if I'm making it for myself to drink I prefer it on the thin side - more like juice.) Sometimes I add other things, if I'm feeling creative, but usually I just keep it simple.

In terms of blenders, I'm no expert, but I'm very happy with my new Magic Bullet. Mostly because it's SO MUCH EASIER TO CLEAN than a regular blender. That was one of the main reasons I rarely used my old one - I couldn't face the thought of hauling it out and then having to clean it. The Magic Bullet has just two pieces that you can quickly rinse under the tap. It also takes up much less counter space than a standard blender. I don't miss the larger size of the standard blender either because if I'm blending a large batch of, say, soup, I have a stick blender to do that right in the pot.

So that's my pearl of mommy wisdom for today - I'd love to hear if green popsicles work in your house!

Sent from my iPod

Monday, April 23, 2012

Easter etc

How was everyone's Easter weekend? (OK, I know that was a while ago, but not THAT long...)

We had a nice trip to visit Patrick's family (we're enjoying the innovation of breaking the trip into two parts, leaving after work the day before and staying in a hotel half way). Kate really likes seeing her cousins.

The weather was perfect for a Saturday hike (I recommend the trails at Recré-eau des Quinzes, particularly the Sentier l'explorateur, if you are ever in the area- not that I expect any of you would be!)
Kate also enjoyed the Easter egg hunt at the local library. Her efforts were captured on the local newspaper's website here.

Back at home on the holiday Monday we had my parents over for an Easter lunch. The Easter Bunny decided that Kate had not done enough hunting and so left another stash of treats in our backyard, of course.

Aside from Easter we have been enjoying the early departure of snow (today's unexpected precipitation notwithstanding), spending as much time outside as possible. Dad has kindly constructed my square-foot raised beds - all they need now is some fresh soil and seeds!

Patrick has been accepted to grad school for September - his first step in making a (hopeful!) transition from researcher who uses the Archives to archivist who shows researchers how to use the Archives. So that will be a big but exciting change for us next year.

We are also preparing for Kate to move on from day care to pre-school in September. The waiting lists are long around here, and it is a tough to choose amongst the different options. We have been offered a spot at the local French pre-school (she has had no instruction in French as yet) but are still on the waiting list at the English school. So we'll see what happens there.

We are also starting to look ahead to summer holidays and have plans to return to Washington, this time with Patrick's brother and his family along for the ride. Another great chance for Kate to have some fun with her cousins!

Sent from my iPod

Thursday, March 8, 2012

:: right now ::

Ha - so I bet you were all expecting a big long post after that last one. Well, I haven't been able to get on Blogger for a whole week - some silly redirect loop. So I am stuck doing another email post from my iPod.

I'm going to do a "Right Now" post, à la Soulemama (I'd make that a live link if I wasn't doing this via email! - look it up yourself if you are curious) Blogger issues resolved :o)

So, Right Now I am:

:: LOVING the warm weather

:: starting to make plans for a Square Foot vegetable garden (again, I wanted to make that a live link, but you're on your own...)

:: admiring Kate's creativity in bedtime excuses - the other day she told me she couldn't sleep because her eyebrows hurt

:: really enjoying being in my new choir, despite (or perhaps because of) the grueling rehearsals (We're recording an album! Check out our site or blog)

:: smiling at the lime green car that is always parked outside my office window in a sea of drab grey and brown cars - don't know whose it is, but it always makes me smile

:: disappointed that the second season of Downtown Abbey has ended just as we were getting hooked on the series

:: grateful that Vision TV is replaying the first season so we can catch up!

That's about it for me. What are you doing right now?

Sent from my iPod

Monday, February 27, 2012

aaaaand, we're back! (sans photos)

So I guess it's been a while since I was here. The truth is, I've been procrastinating because of PHOTOS.

I always felt that there was no point in posting if I didn't have any photos to share. And since photos tend to stay on our camera for months before getting downloaded, this meant that I've been spending a lot of time feeling guilty and thinking "I really HAVE to download those photos!".

But, you know what? I really don't like taking photos - having to remember the camera, having to remember to take photos during an event, feeling disappointed when the photos don't turn out (which is most of the time), remembering to download the photos (that I'm not really happy with), feeling guilty that once the photos are on the computer they are neither organized nor backed up - see what I mean? A veritable mine field of guilt and frustration.

So I'm done. No more worrying about photos. The point of this site was to share news with friends and family, and I can do that without photos. It's less pretty, but I can do it. If I have some pics to share, of course I will do that, but mostly it'll just be me. Consider this the radio news rather than the TV news.

So now that I've sufficiently lowered your expectations :o) what have we been up to? Stay tuned...

Sent from my iPod