May is full – we come to life when spring is here. We’re back full-swing into baseball (see what I did there?) and we were kept on our toes for our first dance recital (haha, I can’t stop!).
In the kitchen, I was obsessed with these taco beans and they’ll be on repeat for sure.
I made a dairy-free lasagna because I’ve somehow become the go-to person for recipes accommodating dietary restrictions for my volunteerism at Lasagna Love and this option is so cheap and easy without unfamiliar ingredients.
Again with the beans, what can I say…these Greek Beans were a fun dish and good alternative to a lettuce-based salad.
I have been thrilled to have comfortable weather and get outside more. Work has been very busy with reunion. We got to see Thomas’ art at the school art show. I wish some of these cool school events fell in March or April too. There’s a culture night, fun run, parent-teacher conferences, a book fair, and so many end of the year festivities. I’m off for a girls weekend and cannot wait. June will bring a special birthday burger!
The big kid: He had a field trip (and did not get carsick…winning!), and several more birthday parties, and baseball. He took an after school class for building with all different materials. He’s thoroughly into Plants versus Zombies. He followed along with NBA playoffs and it really makes me love the juxtaposition of imaginary play seeming so cute and little with a mature knowledge of pro basketball player names.
The little one: Her dance recital was so cute! She loved the rehearsal and did so great. Then the recital night came and she was so worried – tears! – and I was shocked. We watched the video clips I had from the night before, talked about what it would be like, and made a plan that we’d get ready and go but if she decided not to do it, we’d just clap for her class. She was all set when we got there. They were very long nights, but she loved it and wears the ballet costume regularly. The tap one was tight and harder to get on so we haven’t played in that one.
Goals: Year of workwear! I got a 3/4 length sleeve shirt which helps bridge the spring workwear gap. Working all weekend for Reunion at work was a good reminder of what other clothes I’m looking for! Salads or side-dishes: Greek bean salad! prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: I made some savory waffles and they’re one of my fav on-the-go breakfasts. During a busy week at work I had quiche ready which was so helpful. Monthly dates: We didn’t really make this happen. Declutter/cleaning: I bagged up lots of tiny 18 month shorts and 2T swimsuits. Workouts as a routine: Yes! I did a Sweat & Sculpt series that has been great. What I’m reading: I read Coronation Year which was only ok, especially after how amazing I thought her book ‘The Gown’ was. I enjoyed a memoir Fatty Fatty Boom Boom by Rabia Chaudry. The best one I read was The Measure by Nikki Erlick.
I took our love for beans, especially pizza beans, and gave them a taco twist. They were such a hit – especially with our littlest eater. The toppings and customization make it easy for a win.
Taco Beans: Ingredients: (serves 4) 2, 15-oz cans of seasoned black beans (or see alternative below) 1 cup corn 1/2 chicken breast (optional) 1 avocado cilantro cheese pickled onions any condiments: salsa, hot sauce, salsa con queso, sour cream chips
Directions: Warm the beans through, over low heat for ~10 minutes. (Alternative if using plain canned beans: drain, rinse, and add to a pot with 1/2 cup veggie broth and a sprinkle of cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste). While beans are cooking, slice the avocado, chop cilantro, and prepare all the toppings Assemble bowls with beans and any toppings, as you wish. Enjoy!
Mr. J and I went with almost all the toppings, but the kids loved their beans with cheese, avocado, sour cream, and salsa.
These sesame noodle bowls get all the toppings to take it from a side of noodles to a balanced and customizable meal. We have peanut sesame noodles with dumplings or edamame but these bowls were a slight variation with a … Continue reading →
April was such a whirlwind. We had the upstairs floors refinished then we got reset and back to normal and the main floor is happening this very minute. It is like moving! School vacation was fun and we are so glad for more outside time. Baseball started back up and Easter was a very nice day.
In the kitchen, I did a month of Chicken, Bacon, Ranch!
It started with a pickle & ranch salad. I had it loaded with pickle flavor inspired by a salad kit, but the kids were happy for salad and ranch, minus pickles.
May will bring a dance recital, reunion weekend at work, and some fun stuff – maybe ask me again when the floor-refinishing is done. I’m envisioning some quick or packable meals for the baseball sidelines.
The big kid: So many birthday parties – almost all at the trampoline place. He loved the school vacation break with some fun days and other days to just be home. Baseball started back up and they’re more coordinated than last year. He’s been less bothered by a meal that isn’t something he’d vote for which has been my goal all along but if it were up to him, it’d be pasta every night. I think he’s just usually hungry at the moment so maybe that makes him more flexible than in the winter.
The little one: She had some fear-of-missing-out when it came time on Sunday mornings to get ready for dance class. We re-strategized and it went much more smoothly. I’m seeing her take on some spice – she knew that one of the cheese-of-the-month was spicy (it was sriracha gouda) and she kept eating it on multiple occasions. She’s too funny. She loved gnocchi and was more into hot-dogs than I remember from last year.
Goals: Year of workwear! I tried some dresses but think they’re both going back. Salads or side-dishes: Pickle salad! prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: being out of our space and normal routines has meant some regular occurrences and some spontaneity Monthly dates: With all the sleepovers during floor refinishing and us each having a doozy of a cold, we didn’t add it anything else. Declutter/cleaning: As we move all the stuff off the floors, we’ve cleaned, gotten rid of a good amount. Workouts as a routine: Ehh. I did a few quick runs but got derailed with a cold that went through most of us. What I’m reading: I read a lot! I muscled through this memoir – (it might be better as audio) Unfollow: A Journey from Hatred to Hope. Then I read The House in the Cerulean Sea, which was from a blind-book-swap with bookclub. I never read fantasy and ended up being really into it. I always love Taylor Jenkins Reid and I breezed through Carrie Soto is Back. Rock, Paper, Scissors was a quick suspense one I liked but absolutely don’t endorse being a movie/mini-series.
Salad kits are so fun, though rarely enough for a family meal so I made our own. I love love love pickles so seeing the pickle inspired ones are close to my heart. Pickle Ranch SaladIngredients: 1 packet “Restaurant Style” … Continue reading →
I made tortellini in honey garlic sauce and thought the pairing of ham and honey was spot-on. We love that sauce on pizza, turkey sandwiches, burgers, on broccoli, or anything!
We shook up the smoothie game with a redo of Creamsicle Smoothie. We, as in, the little girl and I are the only consistent smoothie drinkers here. The key is to add some other fruit beyond just oranges – it neeeeds frozen peaches or frozen mango.
Then I made a Cheeseburger Burrito and it was perfect. I loved the crumbled burger with a little rice and all the burger fixings. I loved it an plan to whip up a few for a night that needs dinner in-advance or on the go. It seems fitting for a baseball night this season. I wouldn’t freeze these but they could be assembled and popped into the toaster oven or to a pan when it was time.
The big kid: It is prime birthday party time for his school-friends. We are seeing ohh-so-many, almost all are at the trampoline park. He loves going and I’m enjoying it for him, especially for this time of the whole class, or all the boys, etc. My strategy is a go-to present we give everyone unless he has an idea and they’re super close. He’s into Mario Kart and always legos. Baseball starts soon!
The little one: One afternoon when big-brother was at a birthday party, we found our own excitement with a teddy bear tea party at the library and it was adorable. They had gold-rimmed paper plates and paper cups with handles and matching saucers and tiny spoons. It was very fancy and she loved it. She’s still always coloring and very into magnatiles.
Next month will feel full with Easter, school vacation, we’re getting our floors refinished (which means totally cleared off and a few days before we can walk on them again!), and of course some birthday parties. I’ve planned a few fun foods for April!
Goals: Year of workwear! I tried a new brand for some short-sleeves which might be a tiny bit premature season-wise, but I have them. Salads or side-dishes: not really. prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: I haven’t been great about this – I need to get back to it. Monthly dates: we didn’t. booo. I had to reschedule one and couldn’t get another Saturday until May! Declutter/cleaning: This is prime time to clear some stuff out before we get our floors refinished. I handed over a few baby-ish toys and expect to really get some stuff out. Workouts as a routine: I’ve gone on a few runs and am doing one a mix of weight days with yoga days – though I’m at a solid 2 out of the 3 yoga ones they think I’ll be doing per week. What I’m reading: My bookclub read And Then There Were None as our classic – it was pretty ok. I read The People We Keep and found it to be the best coming-of-age story I’ve read in awhile. I read It Ends With Us and sort of got the hype, but wasn’t blown away. I can’t quite picture the next one. I also read The Personal Librarian and hadn’t had a historical fiction in awhile.