Making it to July always feels like such a win. Just surviving June having my end of the fiscal year, all. the. elementary school festivities., and everything else is definitely survival mode. July 1 is so so close! We wisened up and chose this week for camp – I couldn’t have the busiest week of work and be useful in decisions for where/when/what he’d do otherwise.
I kicked off the month with a girls weekend that was everything I needed. It was perfect to set up this full month. We celebrated Mr J’s birthday and father’s day and fit in lots of very spring-feeling things.
I also made a cocktail – Pineapple Mojitos with mint, pineapple simple syrup and rum.
We had peach pecan waffles which were so so good. It was too early for fresh peaches but the canned peaches also give you that flavorful syrup to go into the waffle mix. You can thank me later.
The big kid: He (and Mr J) wrapped up a fun baseball season. Nobody is more bipartisan than the parents at a playoff game who are happy to watch but also happy for the opposing team to keep having more games. He loved the end of year family picnic, field day, all the theme days, and our last day of school party. We had 35 kiddos, 20 parents, and had a great time. He loves a routine which is less of a norm in the summer, but camps are repeats this year so that’ll be good. I cannot believe 2nd grade is done. His teacher was so impressive and I love the friendships he developed.
https://sieterevueltas.net/5yi4j5cezn The little one: She’s about to start swim lessons and she seems excited! We’re ready for more sunny weekends! She had a daycare “graduation” which was adorable but also she’ll keep going all summer so it could have just been a party for the sake of a party. She seems so big now. There are more and more things she does independently and she cannot wait for kindergarten.
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!
https://www.prehistoricsoul.com/fzjhh1bh0l 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.
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.
https://space1026.com/2024/01/ff15b0wxf 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.
https://gungrove.com/di66oqiof6c 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.
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!
https://masterfacilitator.com/wbwcsyczsi 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!
February was full with school vacation, C started dance classes, some new things like the guys getting to see the cousins play basketball, superbowl snacks and (finally) snow.
I made a black bean soup that is so easy, and so filling. I was into it and think the toppings make it really fun. The kids were so-so. Serve with quesadillas for something for everyone. It reheats well which reminds me I should make it again and pack it for my work lunches.
These Chicken & Broccoli Lasagna Rolls were a test which turned out great! They use very little chicken and very little broccoli so they’re a good one to have in mind for leftover uses.
Cute little Cheeseburger Hash Brown Cups were a Superbowl snack. They didn’t stay together perfectly, but I think with a little more care in the cup formation (or a more traditional size cup) would help with that.
I put chicken INTO waffles and loved it. Add some arugula for a fresh bite and a drizzle of maple aioli and you’ll be in love too.
March brings my birthday! I have a few old posts I hope to re-do sometime and I’m imagining we’ll fit in some more wintry foods. We did a little getaway to Providence during school vacation and it was so so fun. The kids did great and it is so much easier now that they can sit at restaurants and don’t need strollers/pack & plays/etc. They had never stayed at a hotel before.
Buy Yellow Xanax Online The big kid: I love his friendships. It is very heartwarming to see other parents glad to see him. I took him to my work to see Fencing and he was as enthralled with the swards as I imagined. He was glad for snow and loves sledding. He had some fun days for vacation with the grandparents and getting time for a few movie nights.
https://modaypadel.com/tbexjg0ols8 The little one: She is so psyched for dance. Her fav game is using the stairs to pretend she’s getting on the school bus. It is fun for her but she wants to play all. the. time. so it feels repetitive for me. I can’t wait to see her actually go to kindergarten.
We had fun going to the pool and ice skating and we definitely are awaiting real snow. We are outside less and wishing for more daylight. I’m very over the colds we seem to pass along. I love the snacks of the superbowl ahead and maybe we’ll create some pink Valentine’s day dessert.
The Little Girl: She’s still in her Elsa dress daily. She builds magnatiles and colors non-stop. We are very into the books that read-aloud themselves from the library. I’m so impressed with how well she can use scissors. She cannot wait for kindergarten and riding the bus.
The Big Guy: His birthday was so fun. We had a family dinner party and he had some friends meet him at the trampoline park. I love seeing his friendships blossom. Of course we had pasta and caesar salad. He is very into How to Train your Dragon and transformers. He’s taking an Animals around the World class after school and he’ll play baseball in the spring. He’s interested in the football playoffs and superbowl.
Goals: Year ofworkwear! I got a few shells for under blazers or cardigans Salads or side-dishes: Hmm. prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: this makes getting to the office so much easier. I made some chickpea/tomato/cucumber/feta bowls with hummus and pita. Monthly dates: We didn’t make this happen, but will. Declutter/cleaning: I passed along all the pjs that the big guy is always be too hot for! Workouts as a routine: ehh. Too many days of colds meant this didn’t happen regularly. What I’m reading: I read The Nineties which was interesting but felt like I’d already read it. Bookclub read The Ten Thousand Doors of January which wasn’t for me.
November was a bit of a blur. It wasn’t a busy month in the kitchen. One week was a doozy and we just needed some space, time, and grace with ourselves. We said goodbye to our beloved dog and it was hard. Thus, here we are.
My blog turned 12! Wow. It is a tween! I like to set some new goals/intentions and decide my fav kitchen moments from the past year.
December is coming right up- wow. The Christmas season for us is really fun so I’m trying to soak it all up and love the parts were in. It is very much time to switch gears in my brain. Bring on the hot chocolate and we’ll see what cooking looks like this month. I’m guessing we’ll host Christmas Eve for appetizers (partly because we like those, and partly because kids don’t have to sit as long).
The little girl: She totally gets cold so I’m curious how much she’ll love winter this year. I love how how much wonder she has for all the Halloween candy – even opening a tootsie roll has her astounded for what comes out. She loves playing hot or cold for where she is in relation to something. Both kids ate so well at a restaurant for breakfast and it was her first time! She and I are going to see a Nutcracker performance and I cannot wait.
The big guy: He is very into drawing and coloring right now. I love it. He likes coloring pages we print that are very ‘of the moment’ for a character or theme we’ve just read/watched/etc. The games the two of them come up with very much amuse me – there was something with sliding figurines and hitting them away like hockey that happened the other night and seemed mutually agreed upon. Soccer wrapped up and we love the flexibility and unscheduled weekends.
Goals: Year ofworkwear! I got a sweater-ish/tunic-ish/mock-turtle top in a dark cranberry color Salads or side-dishes: I made a cold buffalo chicken pasta salad with shredded chicken this time, for a very pack-able lunch. prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays: The strata! Monthly dates: We had Mexican at El Centro Declutter/cleaning: I have a big drop of donations to make – let’s see if it rides around with me in Nov or hitting Dec. Both kids went through their art and were done with a good chunk of it. Workouts as a routine: I’m a bit more routinely doing some dance & weight workouts. What I’m reading: I read Why Didn’t You Tell Me which was an interesting look at identity/race/lineage/birth order/gender. Bookclub did a YA this time with You Should See Me in a Crown which was so cute and fresh – esp for those of us very far from highschool. I read Killers of a Certain Age which was Italian Job meets Golden Girls and was very fun, not the best ever but amusing.
This hobby continues to hold a spot in my heart and I’m grateful for this outlet. Thanks for following along and telling me what you’ve made! On this occasion each year, I award some superlatives and set out some goals for the year to come.
So, how’d the goals go: Year of nail polish! Choosing some new ones inspired me to dump a few I’ve had since college cough:pre-2006:cough. More international food: went ok, it’s a good area to expand More soups/salads: I don’t recall many new soups – I should stay on that More apps: Apps for dinner is such a fun way to make a special and beloved dinner More fun drinks: I went pretty hard on tea and made more cocktails! Updating photos: I did a few and will keep this on my radar. What I’m reading: I read 42 books this year!
What’s ahead: Year of the _____: it’s going to be workwear! My new job is dressier and I’m in the office 3x a week so I know I need to update and cycle out some old things I don’t love. Salads or side-dishes prep ahead bfasts or lunches for weekdays Monthly dates Back to some routine of workouts
October is such a fun month of really enjoying the fall. We had soccer games, apple picking, a long weekend, a trip away, and school parties.
We’ve eaten about 1,000 apples and in all forms – starting with this caramel apple dip that was definitely a highlight. I thought for sure our cheese-loving little girl would be all about it but it was the little boy who ate the most and asked to make it again when it was gone!
I went sweet just for a second at breakfast time for baked apple oatmeal. This format is great for texture if you don’t love the softness of instant or stovetop oatmeal.
Lastly I did some egg roll bowls that were fun. They have a bed of sticky white rice, then a ground pork mixture and a cooked cabbage mixture and topped off with crispy wontons and duck sauce. So fun and faster than takeout!
November should have fewer commitments. I welcome the wrap up of soccer to give more free time. My volunteer role expanded the region so it’s taken a bit more time.
The Little Girl: She loved us all getting to go to her school for a family night. We met a friend of hers and she felt like it was just like big brother’s open house. She’s gotten into scrambled eggs with cheese and back on the quesadilla train. Thank goodness – those are two fast lunches or dinners we tend to have ingredients for! She’s being Elsa for Halloween.
The Big Guy: School and aftercare and soccer are going well and October meant the start of homework…in second grade! His teacher really prepped them well and it has gone really smoothly. We got a sweet note from the PE teacher about good work in class so that made our day. He loved a playground tour extravaganza they had when I was away. October was also the book fair which is a very special time. He’s being a scary dragon for Halloween.
Goals: Year of nail polish! I got GOLD and that wraps it up! More international food inspiration:egg roll bowl! More soups/salads: we had salad bar, shocking. More apps: After apple picking we had apps for dinner with the caramel apple cheeseball, deviled eggs, and ranch chicken bites. More fun drinks: I’m back to nightly hot tea time, and have a cinnamon apple tea Updating photos: nope What I’m reading: I read The Rose Code which was so so good and long. Then I read This Time Tomorrow which was better than the description. I just finished The Hotel Nantucket and miss it already. What I’m watching: Amazing race What I’m listening to: no new ones to binge