Wednesday, September 29, 2010

our favorite way to travel.......

We have been loving the bike riding to and from school these days! Look at my two little school kiddos.....on Wednesdays they get out of school at the same time and I pick them both up together.

Unfortunately my bike has a flat tire at the moment, so we've missed riding this last week. Driving back and forth in the car is not nearly the same. Instead of being all about the journey up to the school, it's just a rushed herding of everyone into and out of the car. And of course it's rushed because we don't have to plan for the long ride, we can just head out at the last minute. I definitely appreciate having a car to get us places quickly and easily, but I realize that I need to be more mindful of our outings and make them meaningful with slower paced walks and bike rides. It's much more fun that way!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Almond Banana Pancakes (grain & sugar free!)

This is my new favorite weekend breakfast treat! It's full of lots of healthy fats, a bit of protein, and some fruits to balance it out. Definitely a sensible splurge! (Check out the Mark'sDailyApple version of the recipe as well.)

Almond Banana Pancakes

2 T almond butter

1 egg

1 mashed banana

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t vanilla

dash of salt

coconut oil

-Whisk together the almond butter and egg. (Feel free to sub a nut butter of your choice.)

-Add mashed banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt.

-Heat coconut oil in your pan on medium low. (These pancakes brown easily so not too hot.)

-Drop about 1/4 cup onto hot pan and cook until top is bubbly.
-Flip to see the golden yumminess. These are tender little pancakes so flip gently!

I top mine with butter and a dollop of unsweetened applesauce.......mmmmmmm! Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Happy Harvest Moon!

Did you know the Harvest Moon is the full moon that falls closest to the Autumn Equinox? (I did not, I just looked it up!) So it's actually going to be on September 23rd, Thursday. But our little town had a festival this weekend about a block from our house called the Harvest Moon fun! The kids had fun at the craft tent and posing for crazy photos. We celebrated with some yummy milkshakes and ice cream cones, and the evening ended with a great outdoor favorite performer being Cherie Call, she was awesome!

And speaking of harvest, I finally did a little canning Saturday morning. Kate's wonderful mother-in-law has a plum tree and we were given a whole box of perfectly ripe plums. I got right to work and made plum-blueberry jam and spiced plum butter. And to go along with my sugar-free September, one of the batches of plum-blueberry is sweetened with honey! It was delicious on spoonfuls coming out of the pot, hopefully it sets up well and tastes yummy all winter. And if you peek into the background of that photo, you'll see a little jar of butter! I'd finished all the jam and still had two little jars that were hot and ready, so I was looking around the the kitchen thinking, "what can I can?" I've seen this a few different places online and it seemed so easy, I thought I'd give it a try. It would be nice in an emergency to have butter on hand, at least then we could make some cookies! So we'll see how it tastes after awhile.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Peach Clafouti recipe.......

This is soooooo yummy! I've been experimenting with some different healthy treats on the weekends to keep me sticking to my sugar free September. I usually use a bit of honey and/or stevia drops. This recipe is from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, and I altered it a bit. I found these great local peaches at the farmer's market, and the dessert was so yummy, I had it for breakfast the next morning.

Peach Clafouti

4-5 fresh peaches

4 tablespoons honey

2 cups coconut milk (not light)

4 eggs

1/4 cup ground almonds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Peel and slice the peaches and lay in a baking dish. Blend the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the peaches. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating, (if you can resist that long!). I had quite a bit of batter left over after I poured it over my peaches, so I did a pan of sliced pears and WOW! Almost even better! So you could probably half the batter recipe if you only want a fairly small amount. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Day of Preschool....

Here's our little man ready for school! He started Preschool last week and is loving being a big boy who goes to school like everyone else. He's going two days a week in the afternoon, and then one day a week he and I go together to a speech preschool. We're excited about the prospect of being able to understand him a bit better after this year.

So far he loves his teachers and is very confident about going into class by himself. Last night he led us all through a rendition of "We're going on a bear hunt!" It seems to be his favorite thing about school so far, he loves singing it over and over!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

summer highlights :: The Wedding!

That's my beautiful new sister Tamanna and her two sisters from India and her two best friends. Carter and Tamanna's wedding was so much fun and I've been meaning to share all these great pictures with you! It's always so fun to get together with everyone, I especially loved seeing Teresa, Dad's sister.......
My handsome little man got his very first tie for the wedding, he loves it soooooo much! (and it's so cool, it zips up!)
It was great to have Mom and Dad here for so long, and doesn't Carter looks wonderful?
The two little cousins had matching dresses! (E loved her Indian Princess dress more though!)
Of course it's always wonderful to be together with my sisters!

Congrats you two!!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hiking to the Grotto.......

On the weekend we took a fun family day up to a beautiful, tucked-away grotto in the mountains. It was a perfect little hike for us, not too long or steep for the kids. We packed lunches and swimming suits and had a fun afternoon.

The kids especially loved these little plank bridges to cross.......
It was very picturesque up there, but what the pictures don't show you are the 4 or 5 other families with all their kids and dogs there at the same time! Too bad such a beautiful peaceful place is also quite the family destination!
We climbed around and enjoyed the falls, and then hiked back down and found a quieter little picnic spot for our lunch. It was a great adventure and now we're excited to discover more beautiful hide-aways to visit in the mountains around us.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Primal Challenge!

To go along with my sugar-free September, I've decided to join in with the 30-day Primal Challenge over at Mark's Daily Apple! I've been following this site for about a year now, and even though I don't always eat according to his guidelines, when I do, I feel soooooo much better! I think it's intuitively the way my body likes to eat, at least at this point in my life.

To sum up what "primal" eating is.........
-Eat vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, meats, and good fats
-Avoid grains and sugar
-Dairy products (full-fat of course) are good in moderation (if you tolerate them)

There's of course lots more to it than that so if you're curious, check out the blog I linked to, there's tons of articles. When I first was learning about it I read through everything on this 101 page.

Back in June I started eating this way pretty regularly, but in July when Derick and I started P90X I changed my diet a bit to go along more with the P90X nutrition guide. Now that I'm two months into that, I really rethinking what I'm eating and I'm going to finish the rest of the program eating more primally. P90X advocates eating more carbs than my gut likes, and they're also all about low fat! I totally need my fats! I feel so much better cutting out the carbs and adding back in coconut oil, butter, and full-fat dairy. (I'll have to tell you more about P90X later, we're loving it! We workout every night after the kids go to bed and I have to admit, I look forward to it......even though sometimes I feel like I'm gonna die!)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

summer highlights :: Traditional Indian gowns.......

Well, the event of the summer for our family was my brother Carter marrying a beautiful girl we all love......Tamanna! He met her in India last summer and was of course happy to know she actually was going to school here at BYU, so the rest is history. Her whole family and quite a few extended family members travelled from India to be here for the wedding in SLC, and it was so fun to get to know them all. They generously brought us all the most beautiful clothes, all traditional silks and beading, they were sooooooo fun to wear! I can't wait for my next big dress-up affair, I know what I'll be wearing. I loved mine, the colour is one of my favorites, and it has tiny little pearls all over with gold stitching. We were all sad that we forgot our little forehead jewel stickers back at the hotel, so we'll have to have another event to wear those!
All of us siblings with our new sister.......
We only wore the Indian clothes for the big family dinner the night before the wedding, so we had to have as much fun with them as we could. The dinner was held at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in SLC, and it was delicious. A big, fun party!
Here I am with the celebrity of the evening, Tamanna! She's wearing a traditional bridal red for her dress, isn't she beautiful?
You can see E's sweet little pink dress, she loved it so much! She wore it to the reception the next night as well, and I think she'd wear it to school if I'd let her. It was the most beautiful dress she'd ever seen!
And of course our beautiful Grandma Vi, I wish we'd had you in Indian clothes too, Grandma, what fun that would have been. (I hope I look like you when I'm a grandma!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

summer highlights :: visits from family!

One of the best things about having a family wedding is getting see so many people we love again! This was such a great summer for visiting. We got to have Jesie twice, lucky us! I miss her!

Dad and mom came twice as well, we did so many fun things together, and made a lot of memories!
Aunt Teresa came too, and I hadn't seen her for waaaaaay too long! She's one of the most fun and creative people I know!
Grandm Vi and Grandpa Gordon were there, and it had been way too long since I'd seen them as well! I love you guys, so goad you came!
Lots of fun and crazy memories for the kids with Grandma Lynne and Grandpa Doug! (Gotta love Krispy kreme doughnuts! We had no idea how fun their shop is to visit!)
And here we all are in our new Anthropologie aprons, courtesy of Teresa! I'm actually wearing mine right now, I just finished doing dishes and I love it so much I sometimes just leave it on!
Here we are cheering on the Children's Parade that E and G got to ride in, so fun to have Grandma and Grandpa there! Thanks for coming you guys, we love you all!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sugar Free September!

Okay, I've got to get this sugar monkey off my back! Seriously, I've had such a fun August, lots of family celebrating and good times, but my brain is getting hard-wired to expect sugar every hour of the day I think! I find myself thinking about what my next treat will be, and looking through the cupboards for anything sweet and yummy! So, I really have to just quit!

I feel like I do this every few months. It seems like I get off sugar and I eat really healthy, lots of good fats and proteins, but then I let it sneak in and before I know, it's taking over! My gut will be happiest with me if I also cut out grains for the most part, so that's the plan. I really like to eat along the lines of the Primal Blueprint, so we'll see how it goes. I'll try to post in here once in awhile to let you all know how it's going. Anyone want to join me? ;)