Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sweet Potato + Spinach Hash {Breakfast for Dinner}

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Today's recipe was born out of a desperate need for groceries.  I hadn't shopped, the house was a disaster of baby toys and I was too tired to deal with going to the market for anything.  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?  I had a single sweet potato, a couple handfuls of spinach leftover from making baked spaghetti, and a few eggs.  I thought to myself, this will either be awesome or a total flop. 

Guys.  It's awesome.  First off, there's nothing better than a runny egg yolk, and when in doubt, put an egg on it!  The first time I made this I didn't have any lemon and it was still delicious.  However, the second time I made it, I squeezed a lemon over the top of the hash before adding the egg and it was over-the-top amazing.  The lemon juice and the egg yolk combine and make an incredible sauce, and the tartness of the lemon gives the dish a nice bright note.  I'm starting to sound like I watch too much Chopped (I do.) so I'll shut my yap and get to it.

Run, don't walk.  Make this.  Now.

Sweet Potato + Spinach Hash with Egg
| Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 15 mins. | Serves: 2 |
1 sweet potato, peeled + diced
A few handfuls of fresh spinash
2 eggs
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Pinch of nutmeg

Heat 2 tsp of coconut oil in a medium skillet.  Peel and dice the sweet potato.  When the oil is hot, add in the sweet potato, sprinkle with salt and a pinch of nutmeg.  Saute, stirring occasionally, until beginning to caramelize, about 5 mins.  Add in 1/2 c water and continue to cook until water has evaporated and potatoes are soft, about 3-5 mins.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.  Add the spinach to the same pan, sprinkle with salt and garlic powder and steam until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a non-stick pan and cook the eggs to desired temperature.  While the eggs finish up, add the sweet potato back to the skilled and combine with spinach.  Squeeze lemon juice over the combination, serve it up and enjoy!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekend Recap {Just Keep Swimming}

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We had a fun family weekend.  Usually weekends are reserved for Target runs or errands or house stuff - with the occasional date night (although we are definitely in need of more!), so it was nice to not have a long to-do list and have our time free for play.

Hubby worked for a few hours on Friday evening, so Ayden and I went on a FroYo date since it was 80+ degrees out.  Ayden loved the treat and had a wicked sticky goatee afterward.  We felt bad indulging without Daddy, so we went again on Saturday.  FroYo two days in a row?  Yes, please.

After our family ice cream date we walked over to the pet store to check out some of the fish.  Ayden was fascinated by the colorful little dudes wiggling around in the tanks.  Maybe one of these days we'll be those crazy people that buy their one year old a fish.

Sunday we took Ayden swimming for the first time (yes, first time ever!)  I have no idea how and why we waited so long to take him to the pool.  My little water baby was a natural and had zero fear!  After a few minutes he was even pushing off of me with his arms outstretched like he totally knew what he was doing and was ready to swim some laps.  Crazy kid!  I'm pretty sure he would've stayed in the water all day if we had let him.

That's all for now - have a great week!  That recipe I told you about is coming up shortly.  I know, I'm such a tease.  It will totally worth the wait, pinky swears.  XO


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

First Weekend of Spring!

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WOW, thank you all so much for your kind words about my last post.  I've received so many sweet comments on Instagram and Facebook, it's overwhelming!  Thank you for being so sweet to me.  I appreciate my readers so much!  Muah!

We got around to our Target + HomeGoods run this weekend and it felt so good to get out in the fresh air after being sicky last weekend.  The boys are feeling tons better, thankfully.  I, on the other hand, drew the short stick and ended up with bronchitis.  Yay me!

The closest HomeGoods is in Thousand Oaks which is about 45 mins away.  We also hit up the Camarillo Outlets on the way and got Ayden some super cute t-shirts for spring/summer.  He is allllll boy and it's so fun to find little graphic tees and cargo shorts for him.  He's such a Daddy's mini-me!

Hubby found an awesome park in Moorpark so we had a little layover after HomeGoods so Ayden could get out some wiggles.  He had a blast on the teeter-totter with Daddy!  (Who says playgrounds are just for kids??)

So y'know how I told you Ayden hates grass?  As it turns out, he hates grass tickling his legs.  He cruised all over the grass at the park with long pants covering his leg chunk.  Woohoo!  He was gorilla crawling around like a wild man and scooted up to make a new friend on the playground.

Sup, Bro.

Daddy needed to play in his favorite store, REI, so Mommy and Ayden had some selfie fun while he browsed.

Mom, you're sooo embarrassing.

Have a great week!  I have a super yummy and easy recipe coming up soon.  Stay tuned! XO


Friday, March 20, 2015

{off topic} Body Shaming

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I hope you'll forgive the seemingly random subject matter of today's post, however, I feel compelled to speak up about this.

"I just want to take you out and feed you!"
"Are you anorexic?"
"Do you do that thing where you eat and then throw up?"
"You need a cheeseburger!!"

Those are actual comments/questions I've gotten.  In fact, all of those were said to/asked of me in elementary school.

That photo above was going to be part of this post, but I didn't include it.  No, not because it's out of focus and I'm not wearing makeup.  Can you guess why?  My collar bones.  I'm laughing in this photo, so the angle of my jawline makes my collar bones more pronounced, but I knew, just knew, that it would beg for comments about my weight

For the record, no, I am not/have never been anorexic and I don't "do that thing where you eat and then throw up."  And I love me a good cheeseburger, especially if it includes avocado.

All my life I have been very thin.  I naturally have a very fast metabolism and, try as I might, can rarely maintain a weight above 103 pounds on my 5'5" frame even though I eat a ton.  When I was pregnant I gained 33 pounds and shed most of it within 4 weeks of Ayden's birth just by breastfeeding.  Many women struggle with losing baby weight and I've found myself experiencing a feeling not unlike guilt about losing my baby weight so quickly.

Today's society is so focused on appearance.  Every other day there's a new diet fad that promises to make the weight melt off.   Celebrities, athletes, TV personalities, etc., jump on the endorsement bandwagon and America falls for it and spends millions of their hard-earned dollars on pills and potions all in the name of being thin.  People are criticized for not being size 0 and it is international news when a "plus-size" model signs a modeling contract.  How sad is that??

Recently a British journalist came under fire for making nasty comments about Kelly Clarkson, tweeting, "Did she eat all of her backup singers?  Happily I have widescreen."  How anyone could think that making statements like that is appropriate is beyond my comprehension.

Conversely, people also have mean things to say about people who are thin.  Just today on Instagram someone left a comment on a photo of Giuliana Rancic saying "EAT."  Many times I have seen people commenting on that same celebrity account things like "You look sickly,"  "You are a skeleton!" and "I can see your ribs through your dress."

The above-mentioned comments are hurtful, ignorant and just as inappropriate as the comment about Kelly Clarkson.  For some reason people think that telling someone they are "too skinny" doesn't constitute bullying/shaming.   In the same breath, one will whisper to their companion "That person is fat," yet will not hesitate to loudly tell someone like me "You need a cheeseburger!!"  Why is "thin-shaming" not viewed the same as "fat-shaming"?  Body shaming is just that, regardless of the angle of attack.  Its purpose is to point out a perceived flaw in someone, something that very likely drives their insecurity.  While the shamer may think their comment is just that, a comment, to the shamee it is a permanent rock in their shoe.  The shamee will think on that remark for the rest of the day, week, month...  Each time they pass a mirror or a reflective window they will notice their appearance and pray that they could change it all so that they fit today's standard of "perfect."

Now, I know what you're thinking.  "Oh, poor little skinny girl".  I get it.  Skinny folks are certainly not discriminated against like people who are overweight, and I know I am very fortunate to have the genes that I do.  The purpose of this post isn't to rant or complain, but rather to start a conversation about something that many don't take the time to really think about.  Body-shaming is never okay and my hope is that you will be inclined to speak up the next time you see it happening.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go grab a burger.

UPDATE 04/01/2015:  Giuliana Rancic explains the reason for her thin frame: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/giuliana-rancic-explains-shes-thin/story?id=30045093

It breaks my heart to read her words, knowing how hurtful those remarks are.  I truly hope that this post and the statement above will drive home the fact that people need to think before they speak and make snap judgements.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Weekend Recap {sniffles and coughs}

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Happy Monday!  That weekend sure flew by, didn't it?  The three of us have been fighting some sort of a germ the past few days.  Ayden's dry cough from a week ago has turned into a nasty smoker's cough that garners lovely looks from old ladies in the grocery store.  Poor guy.  Thankfully he is still his energetic, spunky self, so the nurses at his ped office don't think it's anything too serious.  Hopefully this bug is out of our lives soon!

We had planned to make a Target + HomeGoods run this weekend, but the yucks changed those plans.  We decided to keep it local and lay low instead.  It was outrageously hot this weekend - 85 on Saturday - so we spent a good amount of time at the park on the bluffs above the beach trying to stay cool.  Lots of spa water got us through the days.  Ayden loves going to the playground, but does NOT like the grass.  Every time we sit him down he holds his chubby little legs up off the ground and scrunches up his little face at us.  Ha!

The view from the playground really sucks ;)

These two! <3
(how cute is Ginger Elsa in the background??)

There's an indoor trampoline park about ten minutes from our house, and after hearing such great things about it we went to check it out for ourselves yesterday.  It looks so fun!  Hubby and I didn't do any jumping but Ayden got to play in the kids' area and he was beside himself with excitement.  That kid was breaking a sweat from crawling around climbing on everything in sight (which made for some outstanding blurry pics...)  The minute we got in the car he was fighting sleep.  :)

Billy Ray Cyrus approved mullet.
Where has my tiny baby gone?!

Blurry iPhone pics for the win!

Hope everyone has a great week! XO


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spa Water {dehydrated nation}

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Spring is arriving early here in Southern California.  At farmer's markets and stores everywhere there are beautiful blooms of tulips, daffodils and lilies just begging me to take them home.  These beauties were on sale at Whole Foods on Friday and I walked out with a basket full of them.  Aren't they gorgeous??

Did you know that studies show that 75% of the American population is chronically dehydrated?  3 out of 4 of us is walking around completely parched {raises hand}.  Dehydration is not only detrimental to our physical health but our mental performance, as well.  The brain is over 80% water so it makes perfect sense that dehydration would lead to mental sluggishness. {raises hand...}

Do you find yourself suffering from difficulty focusing?  Do you feel fatigued and/or dizzy a lot?  Do you suffer from frequent headaches or muscle cramps?  If this sounds like you, you may very well be dehydrated.  Adults should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day, ideally.  This of course will vary from person to person depending on things like activity level and climate.  Pregnant and breastfeeding moms will attest to seemingly unquenchable thirst {hand still raised.....}

I personally struggle with drinking enough water.  With our busy lifestyles it's so easy to forget to drink water, especially when we're out running errands, juggling ten things at once at the office, getting kids to school/sports/doctor appointments, or any of the other 500 things on our ever evolving to-do lists.  I am working hard to replace iced coffees with iced water and challenge you to do the same.  Hopefully today's post will help inspire you to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

In some salons and most spas you will find yourself greeted with a glass of "spa water."  This simple combination of water and sliced fruit somehow feels so indulgent, yet is so easy to do.  While I often float a slice of lemon in my water it never occurred to me to go a step further and add even more to it.  By tossing together some spa water this weekend I found that I was drinking loads more and felt amazing.  Ayden enjoyed sipping some out of Momma's travel mason jar cup (a gift from my sweet Hubby.  You can find them here.)  Always choose fruits that are in season for the best flavor, and definitely go for organic since we aren't peeling the fruit.

Spa Water
1 gal filtered water (or sparkling water if you're feeling extra fancy)
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 orange, sliced
handful of strawberries, sliced

Combine all ingredients and stir, roughing up the fruit a bit to release some of the flavor.  Sip and enjoy!