Monday, July 27, 2015

Meal Planning Mondays: Breakfast Time.

Happy Monday!

We'll begin with the week's top story.

I coordinated with a tree yesterday.

I'm going to let that riveting sense of union with the universe sink in for a moment.

ommmmmmm. namaste.

Moving on....

We watched the documentary Fed Up . Have you seen it? Well, if you haven't you MUST and if you already have it's worth revisiting. This stuff is important. It definitely gave me the shot in the arm I've needed to cut back on the dangerous crap I allow too much of in our diets.  I am drastically reducing the amount of sugar and processed white food in our family's diet. 

They interview Micheal Pollan as a part of the documentary. I've mentioned before that he is my favorite food journalist. I highly, highly recommend every single one of his books. I still haven't purchased his book Cook yet. Excited about that one. I promise you, one read and you'll forever change your relationship with food for the better. Information and education are powerful.

Here is a breakfast my children love, which is an easy replacement to the nutritional void of garbage known as the boxed pancake. 

We call these sun dollars. Why? Because I've found that over the years, when I try to improve my children's diets it's best to not try to sell them a false bill of goods. You can't call your new, healthy version of pancakes, well...pancakes. My kids fork it around, give it a taste, and wisely surmise that the taste and texture of these don't resemble the fluffy mounds of intoxicatingly delicious diabetes they received at IHOP.  They become angry at the lies lies LIES! being told at the breakfast table. Their mistrust extrapolates to our broader lives. Don't listen to Mom. With Mom, blue isn't blue and purple isn't purple and what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong and a pancake isn't even a pancake

 Having learned from experience, I re-name items so that no comparisons are made. These aren't pancakes, girls. They sun dollars! Yes! Yes! Want to try a sun dollar?!

{don't make fun of my names. i had to think quickly. i'd like to see what you come up with under the scrutinous stares of hungry children. }

When I tried this technique with bowls of tri-colored quinoa sweetened with agave, drizzled with cream and topped with chopped pecans, I named it...oh you're gonna love this...

The Three Bears Porridge.

This one, sadly, was a fail. But not because of its name! There are no amount of fairy tales capable of redeeming quinoa as a breakfast item in this house. Consequently, I stole back the title and am reserving it for another future dish. 


Guess what? They absolutely love Sun Dollars.

And I love that their little bodies are packed with quality nutrition, first thing in the morning.

 Sun Dollars

You'll need:

4 eggs
1 overly ripe banana

optional add ins:

1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup almond butter
any fresh berries
2 tbsp chia seeds

1. Mash the banana in a bowl and whisk in the cracked eggs. Mix it together well, although it will still have banana chunks which are yummy.
2. Add in items of your choice. I usually add oatmeal, peanut butter, and chia seeds.
3. Heat a large skillet to medium heat. 
4. Grease the skillet, ladle the mixture onto the hot skillet and cook just like you would pancake.

And, you're done kids! 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Three things.

"I read the internet so much I feel like I'm on the millionth page of the worst book, ever."
-Aziz Ansari {shout-out, Parks & Rec}

it's fridayyy! and i'm off, but not without leaving you with the following items of business...

first, is that not the mostest bestest timeliest you can totally relate-est to quote?! Heard it during this Freakonomics podcast. Freakonomics tends to be a staple podcast round these parts. a quote which leads to....

second, i have re-ignited my desire to devour books recently. because reading a million pages on the internet makes you feel...well, what does it make you feel? for me, i mostly end up confusing myself as the newest authoritative expert on 1) nine foods that could unknowingly be causing you indigestion 2) midwest flood patterns, and 3) scared cat videos.

however! having finished a whopping two books in the past month reminded me of what it once felt like to have a cohesive amount of accomplished literature transferred into my brain. it's amazing! i feel like a genius! i'd especially been craving some Sedaris. currently reading Me Talk Pretty One Day.

a heavy dose of sardonic wit and humor is my jam. not sure that i'm proud of this fact. the reasons for this are two-fold: such an inclination tends to get me in the most trouble in my life (cynicism can be an entirely too comfortable baseline state for me), and even using the word sardonic in a sentence makes one an instantly snobbish a$$hole. but i tell you, i love this author's style. reading this book feels like scratching a good itch. books that make one laugh out loud are always good books, right?

third, emerson.

{ice cream cone face!}

this is the face of a child who knows she's cute. these types are trouble i tell you. you never know what's up their sleeve. or, their topless overall romper. there's a twinkle in that eye. you see it? i pay daily for that twinkle. she walked into our neighbor's home unannounced last week, in nothing but her underwear. rang the doorbell 7 times, didn't bother to wait for anyone to answer, and waltzed through their house at 7:30 am. of course, i wasn't there to witness it. just, know... lying around in my bed reading the internet, when the text came through on my phone. hey, emerson is over here. breakfast? 

oh the stories i could tell with this child. but, i still must stubbornly declare that i'm actually quite excited to see what a kid like her has in store for me as an adult. who knows, maybe she'll be the one to pen my most favorite sardonic comedy someday...

happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

It's time for a new series! With a special ending!

Well, hey you!

With time being so limited, and the guilt-o-meter always running full throttle anytime I'm on a computer (when there are so many other important things to be doing), I have decided to try and post only the sort of content that will have some sort of lasting memory potential for my family, AND still hopefully be somewhat enjoyable for you, dear reader, to peruse and share together with me.

Run-on sentence? A bit much.


Walking has become an enormous blessing in our lives since moving to Redlands. Folks, I just can't stop pinching myself in this town. It's like The Secret combined with all of the power of my childhood prayers, prayers to live in a perpetual historical fantasyland a la 1) Meet Me in Saint Louis,  2) Little house on the Prairie, and 3) Anne of Green Gables. 

 So naturally, landing in a town that appreciates its history on such a grand scale, and works so well to preserve that history, feels like I'm living the fantasy. In real life. BONKERS!!!

The best, best, best part has been meandering around with my family. We take frequent walks. Most everything we need on a daily basis can be reached on foot, and my car's gas tank can attest that we've taken advantage of this fact. Life feels... simpler since moving here. And happier. 

I thought it might be fun to share the details of our new town with you. As such, let the new Rae's Redland's Walking Tour series commence! If you've been a long time reader, you know by now that this is no guarantee of consistency. But the town is too lovely to keep to myself, so I must try anyways, yes? 

I thought it appropriate to kick off with a walking tour of a few of my favorite homes right on our very own street: 

Colors! Oh the colors!

I picked up a history of Redlands book, and it mentioned that clear back in those olden days, everyone - from the wealthy to the working and poor - worked hard to always keep a lovely, well landscaped front lawn. It was believed that a person's front yard was community visual property, a town's art form. Isn't that grand?!

We've walked this street hundreds of times already, and still seem to notice new details and features.

{sweet old farmhouse}

{The owners of this gem are painstakingly hand-painting the exterior. It was quite a mess before, and we love walking by and admiring their stunning progress.}

Each home has its own personality.

{built in bench?! Ta die.}

{The Raspberry House!}

I am especially giddy to see how my girls take notice of all the beautiful things. The landscape, the trees, the colors. They notice and point it out all along the way.

Cute walking pals, I'll say.

{Emerson. Goober.}

Brick! Love brick.

This green house is a monochromatic gem I tell you. Green upon green upon luscious green. All under the umbrella of a massive evergreen tree (which I plum forgot to photograph).  I am such a fan of this minty wonder.

So, funny story about this one:

We almost made an offer on this house, as it was for sale briefly at the time we were searching. Is this house not STRAIGHT OFF of Disneyland's mainstreet USA?!!! Are you kidding me?!! Look up at the little balcony. There is an itty bitty door which leads to an itty bitty patio. Tyler had to slop me up off of the floor as I dribbled my way gaping and squealing over this house. 

But, problem was, it was a little too itty bitty. One look at Tyler on the miniature Victorian staircase and I had no choice but to consider how the handsome husband would inevitably feel like a Jack-in-the-Bean-stalk giant in our little real-life dollhouse. We had to pass. But we still wave and blow kisses when we walk by.

The details on this one! Oh the details. Stained glass windows, that insane turret...stop it. Just. Stop. It.

And people, these houses were built in the 1890's!!! Can you just imagine the people there then?!!! 

{This house is fondly referred to as The Lady In the Tramp house. They even have a black Scottish terrier!!!? A cute little dog who BIT EMERSON. A few stitches later, and now we still love the house, but deliver mad stink eye to that dog when passing.}

A couple more unique lovelies...

After just one street, it is easy to see how Redland's was originally called "The City with Beautiful Homes", isn't it? Just wait till I show you where those olden day wealthy folks lived.

We're almost to the end of our first Redland's walking tour installment. Would you believe there is so much more where this came from? I know, I KNOW.

As a close, I have something exciting to share.

We're going to walk by OUR house. 


Cuz guess what?

The exterior was painted !

Go grab a beverage and take a break, this has been a long post.


Okay, we're back.

You ready?

Remember our love?


Here's what we did with her...








The door had an identity crisis for a time. Let's just say the painters LOVED me. Especially when I came out hyperventilating mid-paint as they applied the THIRD color change to my door, screaming that I was wrong! wrong! wrong in my selection AGAIN!

I landed on a color I never would have suspected. It still looks a little different in these pictures than in person, but I ended up feeling good with a deep, purple-ish eggplant red. Bold, bright colors, which I originally intended, just didn't feel right. At least, not for now. 

I felt like my door merited a smidgen of sophistication. Plus, it will go well with what I have in mind for future landscaping. Wink wink

{Two flags, because we extra love America. Double patriots right here.}

And thus concludes our first tour! Thanks for coming along!

Be sure to stay tuned, as I will soon post about our fourth of July celebration:

How to Host your very own Fourth of July Block Party.

Ta ta for now!



Saturday, July 18, 2015

drip drip drop.

here today, enjoying the sheets of rain that have momentarily quenched a pitifully parched california landscape.

there is nothing like a good storm. 

{sisters and mom here visiting, enjoying the rainstorm views and smells}

{what our master bedroom lacks in size, it overwhelming makes up for with these old windows. i still pinch myself everyday waking up to the trees outside.}

front porch.

and the rains came tumbling down!

praise be!