September 2021 Recap

I love September though this one was a bit of a rollercoaster! There were some real highs: our 10th wedding anniversary! T started 1st grade! The lows were all the Covid cases in first grade and quarantining…2x and going remote and postponing other fun things. We’re wrapping up the month quarantined – again. This time the entire class was sent home. Are we done yet???! I’m psyched for October and Halloween!

This month was a good one in the kitchen! I love love loved this French Onion Soup Burger. All that melty cheese in the middle and on top!

The Three Bite Rule - French Onion Soup Burger

I am also ready for fall so I whipped up a pasta with some fall flavors into a pasta – it has sausage, butternut squash, smoked gouda, sage, and a light brothy sauce.

The Three Bite Rule - Sausage & Squash Fall Pasta

I took flavors we love: pesto chicken, tomato, fresh mozzarella and turned them into a sandwich. This was delicious – especially since the kids love pesto on pasta so I like them seeing it in other ways.

The Three Bite Rule - Pulled Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Oct will have some fun ones. Wait till you see this pizza coming up! I have an old post to give a face-lift and some fun ones. Work is full force – especially for September and October.

The Little Girl
She loves being back to daycare and having grandparent days! Her favorite things to do are playing outside and playing games that her big brother makes up for them! Her fav foods are pb and cheese. I get a kick out of giving her something, like an egg, when she resists, then eats it and says “Ohh I loooove eggs”. She likes tasting all the ingredients.

The Big Guy:
School started well and he loved the bus. I wish we heard more from him. It is hard to tell how he feels about anything. I try not to pepper questions and lately have had some luck with: what surprised you today? what do you wish didn’t happen today? what made you laugh today? what was delicious today? what felt hard today? etc. only asking a few. He’s playing soccer and despite having to miss some, so far so good! He loves school lunch, hard boiled eggs, and all the pasta.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! I thanked the teacher & principal for a little preview we got from the playground to ease the first day.
More breakfasts: ehh. not really
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance: Having the standby of turkey/cheese/arugula is helpful!
I’d like to get the house a bit neater:
Bullet journal – yup, keeping a meals list.
What I’m reading: I read Malibu Rising and worried since it was so hyped but I loved it (though the author’s Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is still the best)! For bookclub, we read This is How it Always is and it might be the best one I read all year. Next was Dear White Peacemakers and really appreciated it. Then I read Share Your Stuff, I’ll Go First – it was ok.
What I’m Watching: I got all caught up on Million Little Things awaiting the return. We watched a few movies with the kids: Toy Story 2 & Rio 2 & Jungle Book.

August 2021 Recap

Howwwww is summer ending? Wayy back in the late spring, we cobbled together a mix of summer camps for when Kindergarten let out and got a schedule together of grandparent care for the little one. Now we’re getting ready for back to school! We did all the summer things – as I post from our beach vacay.

Summer was hard with changes at work, some good camps – another not-so-good. The pup has consistently not been 100% and I just ordered more masks because somehow we’re still going through this. August was a good month in the kitchen though!

I made these lemonade pancakes with strawberry and LOVED them! Blueberry would be good too!

The Three Bite Rule - Lemonade Pancakes

Then we made a Crab Rangoon Pizza that was fantastic but was hit or miss with you all! Crab filling, a cream cheese sauce, crispy wontons and duck sauce! What’s not to love?

The Three Bite Rule - Crab Rangoon Pizza

For a super quick dinner we made crispy chicken sandwiches with peach topping. The chicken tender makes it decadant and a crowd pleaser, the fresh arugula is quite optional, and the peach topping? relish? compote? whatever you want to call it, is delicious. It is only a tiny bit sweet from the peach – the oil/vinegar, the tomatoes, and the onions keep it really on the savory side. The kiddos ate it just like this too.

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Peach

I’m not sure what September has in store – our refrigerator is at a questionably working state. We’re awaiting a part because we don’t love the replacement options. It is annoying.

The Little Girl
She started back to daycare a few days a week and loves it! We are so proud of how grown up she is getting! She loves corn on the cob and ice cream. We are seriously impressed by her coloring. Her birthday was fun! We swam, had a cake decorated like crayons, and grilled. She loved it!

The Big Guy:
He is really into the Magic Treehouse Books and will listen endlessly. It is so fun to see what he chooses at the library- a lot of Lego ones, all the super heros, and non-fiction. I’m so glad to be done with camps – the last one wasn’t a fit and it is heartbreaking to feel unsure how it is going. He doesn’t complain which doesn’t make it better – we don’t get much from him so it is hard to support him. We think he must be growing! We are psyched for first grade though it is a new school, the bus, and a new routine.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! I think I missed it in Aug.
More breakfasts: Lemonade Pancakes!
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance: I need to get back on it.
I’d like to get the house a bit neater: 
Bullet journal – still keeping a meals list.
What I’m reading: I read the Firekeeper’s Daughter thought it was page turning and so well crafted then I read Crying in H Mart which was an interesting perspective I don’t know relate to and then I read People We Meet on Vacation which wasn’t great for me – another title I’ve read of hers was much more my vibe and Delicious! was a fun one – especially as a work of fiction from a usual restaurant critic.
What I’m Watching: Back to a few after Olympics took over our lives.

July 2021 Recap

Summer is buzzing by. It feels like quite a mix of rainy days and super hot days. Work-life was turned upside down with the break up of my department, colleagues leaving, and now I’m trying to figure out what’s ahead.

July in the kitchen included some extra take-outs nights and extra “anything goes” nights after pool afternoons or when it was just too hot.

I made a great BBQ Chicken Rice Bowl with grilled zucchini, tomato salad, and a honey bbq drizzle.

The Three Bite Rule - BBQ Chicken Rice Bowl

Chicken Piccata became a pizza! It was so good, quite flavorful, and we will definitely repeat – majorly lemon flavor with juicy chicken and fresh parsley. I skipped the capers but go for it if you love them!

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Piccata Pizza

Lastly, I put together a bunch of dinner ideas for vacation: think minimal ingredients, not lots of leftovers, and easy to execute in a vacation rental kitchen! There are adaptations for each as well as ideas for sides. If you’re prepping for vacay, divvying meals for a family trip or planning a friends trip, these should help add some variety to your menu!
Crispy Fish (or shredded chicken) tacos with lemonade slaw
Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls with Kielbasa/Chicken/Pulled Pork or as kebabs
– easy Mediterranean night with naan flatbreads & Greek salad or Greek Pasta Salad
– top your own pasta bar
– Sesame noodles & dumplings & edemame

August brings our beach vacation, Claire back to daycare a few days a week, and Claire turns 3! To make the most of the summer it feels like we need more beach time, more ice cream cones, and maybe some more days off. I have a breakfast blog post coming and some ideas for summer produce.

The Little Girl:
She loooves cruising around the neighborhood on her balance bike. She is more into the big pool now. For awhile she mostly splashed on the stairs and got in and out. Now she likes to “swim” to the swimout seat and then across to climb the ladder. It is so fun to see her with books she’s memorized. She started watching TV a bit more and is into Daniel Tiger. She always says when she’s big she’ll go to camp. She goes back to daycare in a few weeks!

The Big Guy:
He has been SO brave going to his day camps and each week being “new”. We hadn’t ever done camps before so we pieces together a few once we were ready to plan – I think we have favorites. They are so so so good for him to go do stuff away from home. I’m proud since new things feels hard for him but he’s been the picture of adaptability! Packing nut-free lunches is a re-learning curve for us- snacky lunch is the most successful. Swim lessons have been wonderful and he’s such a fish. I’ll never get over what he comes up with to make out of legos.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! Sadly another coworker is leaving so I sent a card.
More breakfasts: One needed more work so it is bumped to August.
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance: a lot of breakfasts for lunch or all the random leftovers (like Soft Cornbread).
I’d like to get the house a bit neater: ehh.
Bullet journal – still keeping a meals list.
What I’m reading: I read Circe for bookclub though it was mostly in June – it was the most scholastic book I’ve read in a while. Beach Read was quite cute and a nice brain-vacay. Of Women and Salt was just ok, but I don’t overwhelmingly recommend. We Run the Tides was one of the most accurate depictions I’ve seen of a teenage mind’s rebellion/naivety/independence/questions. I heard an interview with Elin Hildebrand and she said Blue Bistro was her fav of her books – I could see why! High-end Restaurant life is a world of its own and Nantucket is so idyllic. Carnegie’s Maid is captivating for historical fiction about the Carnegie family and early philanthropy from a fictitious perspective of a fictitious immigrant lady’s maid- so well written.
What I’m Watching: All Olympics, all the time.


Vacation Menu Ideas

So….you’re going on vacation! Let’s chat menu ideas! Maybe you’ve got a group of friends or a few families or in a rental with minimal tools, and lots of mouths to feed, and everyone is hungry! I’ll guess you’ve got take out and some fun dinners out and some basic grilling nights covered.

Aim for some balance, anything customizable is good for a crowd, and don’t go crazy serving too many things. These meals don’t have to feel like Thanksgiving! Hit the grocery store salad bar/hot bar if you just need a little of an ingredient and don’t want leftovers – or for great side options without the stress! Here’s some starting points when it is your turn:

Crispy Fish Tacos with Lemonade Slaw

The Three Bite Rule - Lemonade Slaw

Sides: Grab a can of seasoned black beans, chips & guac to go with the tacos and you’re set! A few cheese quesadillas and avocados might help fill any gaps or please more palates. Street corn is one of my favs.
Alternatives: Offer shredded rotisserie chicken as a filling option then everything else could stay the same.
Hack: throw a lemonade drink mix packet into your bag and add to deli cole slaw- Poof, quick lemonade slaw! The fish is from the freezer section.

I loooove fish tacos and this are so so easy, have minimal clean up, and not lots of fish smell for anyone not eating it. Even our not-into-fish eater likes them and the kids do too. I “glue” the fish into the kids’ tacos with some shredded cheese and they most often eat the slaw on the side.

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Sesame Noodles & Edamame

Sides: serve with some edamame (freezer section of the grocery store) or some Trader Joe’s Potstickers could go alongside too. Broccoli is good on the side (just roast in the oven with olive oil) or steam some green beans.
Alternatives: enjoy warm warm, room temp or cold. Teriyaki chicken/beef/shrimp on the grill would be good if the crowd wants a protein.
Hack: I’ve mixed up the sauce at home and brought it in a cooler and then just cooked pasta and mixed it when serving.

The kids crack up popping edamame out of the pods. This one is great variety to lots of grilled dinners and easily the fastest meal (also great for a vegetarian/meatless meal).
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Chicken/Pork/Kielbasa with Coconut Rice & Pineapple

Sides: cucumber salad goes well on the side or the pineapple could be on the side.
Alternatives: Kielbasa and Pineapple can go on kebobs to grill for a really summery format of the same dish.
Hack: Grab a microwave packet of coconut rice! Done! Sometimes there’s pulled pork already cooked at Trader Joe’s or in the regular grocery store. I would bring the pulled pork versus cooking a pork shoulder in a crockpot while away but go for whatever works for you!

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Peach, Mozzarella, Cucumber Salad with Grilled Chicken

The Three Bite Rule - Peach & Mozzarella Salad

Sides: Serve this salad with few other cold salads, some grilled chicken and some corn would be a fun meal!
Alternatives: Add some bake-at-home rolls or a tube of biscuits if you’re fulfill a starch need for some of your eaters too.
Hack: A bottle of balsamic reduction lasts forever and might be useful for a caprese salad another night!

The kids were super into peaches and loved this one. We do tomato/mozz salad often so this wasn’t a reach for us. Or if some of the crowd would be into this a tomato/mozz/basil one alongside it would fit in well.

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Mediterranean Night Naan flatbreads, a chopped Greek Salad or Greek Pasta Salad and some dips

The Three Bite Rule - Greek Hummus Flatbreads

Sides: chopped greek salad or veggies with hummus & tzatziki to dip
Alternatives: The flatbreads can be topped with anything – these have hummus (or jarred tapenade) and cheese, some feta, some chicken sausage or grilled eggplant/zucchini. Maybe make half the flatbreads chicken sausage, half vegetarian. Serve everything separate with some orzo or rice to be a bowl for a custom option!
Hack: Chicken sausages are fully cooked (plan on ~1/2 or 1/3 link per flatbread) and you’re not messing with dough so these can go in the oven or the grill just to melt the cheese and warm through! Sticking to 1 kind of hummus and not all the same veggies in the salad AND on top of the flatbreads will make them seem different.

Unused flatbreads can dip into any leftover hummus for your next snack!

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Top Your Own Pasta Bar

The Three Bite Rule - Kale Pesto

Sides: a tossed salad plus the pasta “toppings” might fit well for a lighter meal if anyone opts for no pasta
Alternatives: 1 pasta, 2 sauce options – tomato & a pesto/alfredo/brown butter?, some add ins like grilled veggies (bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, etc) and capers or olives or parmesan.
Hack: Go for jarred sauce when on vacay and meatballs from the freezer section! Any un-grilled veggies can be veggies & dip another time!

This would be such a hit with my crowd. Also easy for any one to put together. Again – don’t go crazy. The possibilities are endless but plan on a few!

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Snacky Dinner might help if people are coming & going and you have dessert planned. Kids love unusual dinners like these. Serve a few dips, crackers & cheese, and some salads and call it a meal. Then go for ice cream. 🙂

The Three Bite Rule - Watermelon Mint Relish

Plan on hitting a few categories: vegetarian, a cooked one, a cold one, one they can build/customize, and span a few food groups. This is also helpful if there’s a day of a big lunch or late lunch! Some could be a picnic on the beach, by a playground, on a boat – however you vacation!

Watermelon & Cuke “salsa” is delicious and can be out awhile
Cheeseburger Potato Skins could warm on the grill
Meatball Sliders could be assembled by the eater
Deviled Eggs get swooped up at parties- though they can’t sit out a long time so serve in smaller quantities and refill
Wings on the grill are good
Soft pretzels from the freezer are a treat for us – bake/toast oven bake for 4 minutes and are for lunch sometimes too.

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A pre-dinner snack helps if the group is eating later than some are used to (kids!) – just don’t make it better than dinner or don’t let it take too long to then delay dinner! Veggies & salad dressing dip or a string cheese or a deviled egg or some trail mix right after a day at the beach helped tide us over to make it to dinner time while we took turns showering and getting ready and somebody cooking.

Our 3ish families typically plan a few dinners at the rental, takeout, and a few dinners out when we’re away for a week. We bring some things or ingredients we definitely need, then get remaining groceries once we’re there- based on our meal plan (also since we’re not flying to the beach). Covid messed with us a bit but we liked takeout the night we got there so we didn’t HAVE to grocery shop upon arrival.

Have fun!

June 2021 Recap

June is such a blur – the end of the school year, last tee-ball game, warm weather, and the end of the fiscal year at work all to really start summer. I’m looking forward to more pool days and many many more ice cream trips.

I made rolled tacos as such a fun lunch in the airfryer with some leftovers. There’s pulled pork, black beans, cheese and are topped with a lime crema. The toastiness all the way through makes them special.

The Three Bite Rule - Rolled Tacos

This Lemonade Blueberry Smoothie screams SUMMER!! I love the tartness of the lemonade with the blueberries.

The Three Bite Rule - Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie

It was Birthday burger time – this time was a Waffle Breakfast Burger! The patty had sausage mixed into it and we had them on a waffle with a hot maple aoli.

The Three Bite Rule - Waffle Breakfast Burger

Also, these Italian Deviled Eggs are so packed with flavors. The herbs and parmesan, and balsmic drizzle are so good together. All my fav variations of deviled eggs are there too.

Italian Deviled Eggs - The Three Bite Rule

The Little Girl:
She was so happy her big bro is done with school (him not so much). They’ve had lots of play time and then some solo-time with the grandparents. Pink is her fav these days. We love when she says something she’s eating is “very. very. good.” in a deep voice.

The Big Guy:
He was sad for kindergarten to end. His teacher was so wonderful and the year included all the fun you’d expect for elementary school – field day, popsicles, water balloons. Transitions are tough. He’s around for a few weeks before day-camp starts so we fit some fun things and had some chill time. The libraries being open is thrilling! We’ve borrowed so many fun books. He’s doing swim lessons and it is so fun to see.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! My coworker is leaving so I sent a card.
More breakfasts: Not really this month
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance: Mostly sandwiches or leftovers, the rolled tacos became lunch.
I’d like to get the house a bit neater: ehh. I dropped a few boxes at Savers.
Bullet journal – still keeping a meals list.
What I’m reading: I finally got my hands on Vanishing Half which was captivating and had great perspectives. Only after I finished The Astonishing Color of After did I realize it is a YA one- who knew? I flew through The Last Thing He Told Me which was pretty good and a welcomed variety. With the Fire on High wasn’t amazing, her other was unbelievable so my standards are high here.
What I’m Watching: I’m suuuper late but catching up on Million Little Things. We loved Farmhouse Fixer and AGT started.

May 2021 Recap

This month has given us a peek at some light at the end of the tunnel! We have had both doses now and waiting out the timing. Tee-ball started and has been great. I love the time home to get outside and to work outside! I’m becoming a plant person from the buy-nothing group.

I made a Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad that was super fun! It was a lunch for me a few times and is a great chance for flavors I love but the rest of the fam doesn’t care about. I loaded it with arugula and some good flavor.

The Three Bite Rule - Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

For breakfast, we had some Banana Pancakes with Nutella Whipped Cream. It was such a fantastic pairing. For some shocking unknown reason, the kids were anti-banana pancakes. I still don’t get it. The nutella whipped cream is delightful and is delicious even by itself.

The Three Bite Rule - Banana Pancakes with Nutella Whipped Cream

Crispy Fish with Poppyseed Slaw came from wanting to turn the crispy fish we like into something besides tacos! The slaw is sooo simple – take that tip to make your summer sides easier.

The Three Bite Rule - Crispy Fish with Poppyseed Slaw

June will be bananas at work- the end of the fiscal year is always a lot. We made some summer plans so that has me feeling hopeful. I’m not sure what’s ahead for meals – likely a lot of grilling!

The Little Girl:
She is zooming on the balance bike. The other side of the street got new sidewalk and she loves riding on it. She turns this little deep voice during meals to say “it is very very good”. She’s been eating pretty well and her weight check was great. A unicorn book from the library has been a recent fav.

The Big Guy:
We read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and he loved it. Seeing his eyes open wide and his excitement warmed my heart. He jumped right into playing and now is chatting with kids and has embraced it. Gosh, they just love the dirt. He’s still 24/7 on the granola/fig bars for breakfast.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! I mailed a quick thank you note to the sweet teacher who welcomes C during the outside music class. I also sent along a birthday card to a blogger I follow who is adopting a teen – this gal hasn’t ever lived anywhere that should really get mail except through a social worker and the blogger’s followers FLOODED her with cards. It was fun to be part of!
More breakfasts: Banana Pancakes with Nutella Whipped Cream!
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance: I’ve been into bfast for lunch (like eggs!) and Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad
I’d like to get the house a bit neater: ehh. I’m not sure I did much here
Bullet journal – still keeping a meals list.
What I’m reading: I finished My Year Abroad– mostly in April but finished in May and didn’t care much about it. I read The Four Winds and absolutely loved it. Since it is the same timing, at bookclub we re-read Grapes of Wrath and it isn’t great. I zipped through You Too? and it was really great. This Close to Okay was a captivating one. Wow, that’s a lot!
What I’m Watching: We tried out Farmhouse Fixer and it is so fun! We’re also into $50K 3 Ways.

April 2021 Recap

April has been lovely! We’ve turned the corner in my brain not needing to juggle nearly as much. T is at school full-time now and I think/hope that the multitasking nature of our own schedules with a kindergarten zoom schedule wrapping up means I less often feel like I’m just treading water.

This month, I loooved these Cuban Rice Bowls – maybe the most in my fam. It has great flavors and really diversifies pulled pork.

The Three Bite Rule - Cuban Rice Bowls

These Chicken & Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps were my quest for exciting lunches (while using all the leftovers). The balance was spot-on.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps

I made Breakfast Totchos, like nachos but with tots as the base with breakfast goodies like bacon, eggs, cheese, beans, green onions. I added a spicy maple drizzle. Delicious!

The Three Bite Rule - Totchos

April was a good chance to intro some summery things while getting those last chances for wintery foods! We grilled and also ate lasagna. April to me is that reminder from Mother Nature of ‘did you want to wear a sweater one more time?’

The Little Girl:
She suddenly wants to walk out of the stroller more often. The pace is slow but she listens well to hold hands or to get back in so I’m OK with it. For about a week straight we watched the diggers building sidewalks up the street. So fun. It is a-dor-able to hear her say “I’m so happy for chocolate/daffodils/swinging”. She occasionally wants “some lots” for desserts and also asks why things have the name they do- why is that called the deck? She’s so cute.

The Big Guy:
School 5 days a week has been great. He loves it- though finds it tiring. He is into school lunch and I love giving him the 2 choices and guessing what he’ll pick. I have 99% accuracy. The convenience factor of not prepping or cleaning up from lunch is greatly appreciated and his astonishment that chocolate milk exists is comical. He’s starting tee-ball and I’m psyched he’s being brave and doing it. We just finished reading aloud Mouse and the Motorcycle.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! I sent off a birthday treat and also sent cards for the very best college friends as we’ve dubbed our apt number to be a holiday on that number-turned-into-a-date.
More breakfasts: Totchos!
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance: it’s all leftovers or these Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Warm Wraps
I’d like to get the house a bit neater: I’ve been going to town with a magic eraser.
Bullet journal – I’ve been keeping a meals list.
What I’m reading: I read Eight Hundred Grapes which was light and moderately entertaining and The Only Woman in the Room which was stellar and I couldn’t put it down.
What I’m Watching: the Food Network Tournament of Champions is hands down, the best competition out there – they’re judging blindly! We did a few movies during school vacation: The Lands Before Time and Cars 2.

March 2021 Recap

March felt so much brighter than February. I’m so glad people I know and love are getting vaccinated and I’m awaiting my turn. March had birthdays and spring weather both which make me so happy. February felt heavy and repetitive.

My fav thing to come out of the kitchen this month was this loaded Cobb Salad Turned Panini. So fun. I’ve not confirmed the difference between a cobb salad and a chef’s salad!

The Three Bite Rule - Cobb Salad Panini

I made some Churro French Toast Sticks which were fun, but I still prefer some baked french toast recipes I’ve made and like even better (like this Nutella Croissant Baked French Toast and this Fluffernutter Baked French Toast.)

The Three Bite Rule - Churro French Toast Sticks

To keep lunches interesting, here’s an English Muffin Turkey Melt with apples and arugula & sriracha aoli.

The Three Bite Rule - English Muffin Turkey Melts

These Chocolate Mint Energy Bites are good to not alwaysss be pb focused.

The Three Bite Rule - Chocolate Mint Energy Bites

I’m excited for Easter brunch and treats. April will also mean full-time at-school kindergarten for Thomas! I cannot wait to eat outside and I love the daylight! I got matched once for Lasagna Love and I packed up a few things for some new mommies.

The Little Girl:
She loves stickers and coloring. It was so exciting to get sandals out! She’s got sooo many stuffed friends in her bed- it is like flavor-of-the-week for preferences. She’s totally being 2.5 yrs old with some clapping her hands down and saying “but I got hurt” when she doesn’t want to hear or do something. We’re onto you little one. She is so happy to play in the sandbox again.

The Big Guy:
I love to see the creations he crafts. Often it is an animal or something he’s just seen or heard about. He’ll draw snakes/hawks/eagles then color them, and carefully cut out. He’s about to start 5 days a week to school. He will love it. We love love love seeing how much he can read. We just finished Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! I dropped a note to T’s fantastic kindergarten teacher.
More breakfasts: Churro French Toast Sticks!
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance – Ehh. Not really.
I’d like to get the house a bit neater: I think I nudged some small spots – like the wet bar in the kitchen and my dresser top.
Bullet journal – I’ve been keeping a meals list.
What I’m reading: I read I know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Text Me When You Get Home and Bel Canto.
What I’m Watching: We loved Stanley Tucci’s series Searching for Italy! We watched Dark Waters and it was so impressive but disheartening.

February 2021 Recap

I’m reallllly feeling 2021. The prospect of a new year, fresh slate doesn’t seem inspiring or fitting. I think some melted sidewalks is what I’m looking forward to the most right now. I’m the most home-body of anyone I know and even I want to go places. I had a few fun foods in February, mixed amongst the staples of easy-to-execute/crowd pleasers.

I made a BLT Chicken Salad that has great flexibility for any time of year…including this part of the year with lack-luster tomatoes!

The Three Bite Rule - BLT Chicken Salad

For Valentine’s Day we made a Raspberry White Chocolate Muddy Buddies. It is a great sweet treat, with only the M&Ms being holiday-specific.

The Three Bite Rule - Raspberry Muddy Buddy

The standout meal of the month for me was Pineapple Coconut Rice bowls. I love a rice bowl and this added some greatly appreciated variety and inspiring a different place.

The Three Bite Rule - Pineapple Coconut Rice Bowls

I’m not sure what’s coming up for March yet. I feel a bit of a slump so maybe some fun foods will revive me – or birthday cake?

The Little Girl:
She just always wants to go places- there’s just nowhere for her to go. I love hearing her tell stories from books she knows well as she flips through them. We’re so lucky she’s easy going. I’m amused by her intense instruction when she’s playing pretend- for the play kitchen she’s forever telling me in a deep voice, “no, that’s for lunch and it is hot”. PB & fluff is her fav lunch and she’d eat maple oatmeal daily.

The Big Guy:
The start of Feb vacation had him sad not to have school, then sad to go back. The break was good – he got some time home to just play, time with all the grandparents, and he was thrilled to have so much snow. It was also good for us as the time-managers. He loves sledding and is never cold. His current fav food is fig bars – like these and he’s been into helping make dinner. He watched the movie Turbo and loved it. We’re reading Charlotte’s Web.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! We sent a few Valentines around and a little something as encouragement.
More breakfasts: nothing new, but I did make a special doughnut run.
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance – Umm. Leftovers became some breakfast burritos which are fun to pull out of the freezer now and then. I’ve been having some veggie burgers too.
I’d like to get the house a bit neater: ehh. I didn’t have any particular emphasis on this- but should
Bullet journal – I’ve kept a meals list going which I like as reminders of the every-day/not blogged ones.
What I’m reading: I read Panther Baby and The Giver of Stars which I loooved and The Henna Artist.
What I’m Watching: We caught up on some movies – ‘Knives Out’ which I absolutely loved and ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ was was OK to me.

January Recap 2021

January was a roller-coaster for sure. The highs were T’s 6th birthday and the inauguration which made me hopeful. The attacks on the capitol was such a disappointing low moment for the US.

I don’t feel post-holiday lows I hear some folks have, though I think winter/snowman books and decor helps the fresh-start feelings still being festive. I wish we had more snow. Now I keep us looking towards the snack holiday (aka, the Superbowl) and making Valentines.

In the kitchen, I am so enthusiastic for the cutest Football Cheeseball ever. Make in any amount while you don’t have a crowd this year!

The Three Bite Rule - Football Cheeseball

Breakfast is one of my favorites and I’m missing going out for breakfast. I put together some McGriddles that were so good.

The Three Bite Rule - McGriddles

Winter doesn’t have me craving smoothies when it is cold, but this Chocolate Almond one was a great way to have some variety.

The Three Bite Rule - Chocolate Almond Smoothie

The Little Girl:
She reached a milestone of reaching the growth chart! She’s into the first percentile with our emphasis of nutrient-dence foods and focus to eat as much as possible. Coloring is her favorite activity 24/7 and she is playing a lot more of what big brother wants the “game”/play to be.

The Big Guy:
He’s 6! His birthday was fun and he had a countdown until the day. He is lucky to have gracious gifts of legos, puzzles, outside toys, and craft supplies. He chose pasta for dinner and Grandma made a lego cake! He is writing a ton and the note cards he delivers to us are so adorable.

Goals:
Year of the fun mail! I didn’t send anything fun in January, but have ideas for February!
More breakfasts: yes! McGriddles!
Lunches coordinated or prepped in advance – Somehow there were more leftovers around lately for lunches. Taco/burrito/quesadilla/salad make ideal leftovers.
I’d like to get the house a bit neater. I was highly motivated to declutter and pass along stuff we weren’t using.
Bullet journal – I started with a meals list- that’s pretty much what my blog is but the everyday seemed good to journal.
What I’m reading: I read so so so much in Dec and that took a nosedive in Jan. I read Nothing to See Here for bookclub and Watch Me Disappear. Both were OK, not fantastic.
What I’m watching: We finished Man Hunt season 2 about the Georgia bombings. I’ve caught up on A Million Little Things. I think I’m off the Bachelorette/Bachelor train. I never finished the Clare/Tayshia season and didn’t start the Matt season either.