Friday, April 30, 2010

Love Happens

I watched the movie Love Happens tonight. I had heard absolutely nothing about this movie....which isn't that abnormal since I don't watch tv, and we don't go to the movies and see previews. But, Redbox had it and I figured why not?! Anyway, it turned out to be a really cute movie, I cried.....which isn't abnormal since I'm the pregnant. While watching the movie I thought to myself how great the soundtrack was, I had to think it to myself instead of saying it out loud because there is no one here to listen to me but the dogs.....and frankly, they just don't care. Once the movie ended I hopped on google and found the soundtrack line up and then youtubed the artists. By far my favorite (and also the artist I devoted the most time to) was Priscilla Ahn. Her voice is angelic, her sound reminds me of a female Bob Dylan mixed with a little Eva Cassidy and someone else I can't quite put my finger on.....someone vintage. I could listen to her all day! I am going to throw her CD into my already bulging Amazon shopping cart.....sorry honey! :o) I really need something new to listen to, and I think that Priscilla Ahn is it! Here's a taste.

Food Rules #24

#24 "Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plants] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs, and other mammals]."

This Chinese proverb offers a good summary of traditional wisdom regarding the relative healthfulness of different kinds of food, though it inexplicably leaves out the very healthful and entirely legless fish. -Michael Pollan, Food Rules

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Food Rules #23

#23 Treat meat as a flavoring or a special occasion food.

While it's true that vegetarians are generally healthier than carnivores, that doesn't mean you need to eliminate meat from your diet if you like it. Meat, which humans have been eating and relishing for a very long time, is nourishing food, which is why I suggest "mostly" plants, not "only" plants." It turns out that near vegetarians, or "flexitarians"-people who eat meat a couple of times a week-are just as healthy as vegetarians. But the average American eats meat as part of two or even three meals a day-and there is evidence that the more meat there is in your diet, red meat in particular-the greater your risk of heart disease and cancer. Why? It could be it's saturated fat, or it's specific type of protein, or the simple fact that all that meat is pushing plants off the plate. Consider swapping the traditional portion sizes: Instead of an eight-ounce steak and a four-ounce portion of vegetables, serve four ounces of beef and eight ounces of veggies. Thomas Jefferson was probably onto something when he recommended a mostly plant-based diet that uses meat chiefly as a "flavor principle." -Michael Pollan, Food Rules

Hitting the jackpot

Most of the time when I go thrifting I find junk. Lot's and lot's of other peoples' junk. But every once in a while I hit the jackpot and today was one of those days! Charlotte and I went while Maddie was at preschool and we found this adorable little hard case suitcase. I knew that Maddie would adore it, and at $3.98 who could pass it up? It seriously is in perfect condition and very clean. And I was right.....she does love it! A direct quote from when she first saw it, "Oh Mama look, a suitcase that's just the right size for me!" When we got home I demonstrated how to push down on the locks so the latches pop open. And then we went over it again and again and again, but now she has it down pat! I also scored a wooden serving bowl and 8 wooden salad bowls, a cool vintage metal candle holder and many many glass jars (the kind with metal latches) that I'm going to use to organize my pantry. It was a good thrifting day!

This evening we spent some time packing up the girls' new suitcase with clothes, toothbrushes and a few toys for the weekend. Dan is leaving tomorrow morning for his parents house for the next 3 days so that grandma and papa get some grand baby time, and I get some relaxing and cleaning the house time. This will probably be the last 3 day weekend that we will be able to do this since Dan's work schedule will be changing next month, so I need to make sure to really get the house clean while at the same time making sure to really relax without kids!! I feel up to the challange and will do my best to accomplish both. I think it will be much more successful than the last time when I was still newly pregnant and feeling really sick. On top of basic cleaning I also plan on organizing and boxing up all of the outgrown clothes from newborn - 5T and then labeling boxes and putting them into attic space where they can be easily accessed. And I'd like to reorganize my pantry, but that is at the very bottom of my list. Wish me luck this weekend! I'll be around to at least post the Food Rules, but I'll also try and update on my cleaning/relaxing status. :o)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Food Rules # 22

#22 Eat mostly plants, especially leaves.

Scientists may disagree on what's so good about plants- the antioxidants? the fiber? the omega-3 fatty acids?- but they do agree that they're probably really good for you and certainly can't hurt. There are scores of studies demonstrating that a diet rich in vegetables and fruits reduces the risk of dying from all the Western diseases; in countries where people eat a pound or more of vegetables and fruits a day, the rate of cancer is half what it is in the United States. Also, by eating a diet that is primarily plant based, you'll be consuming far fewer calories, since plant foods-with the exception of seeds, including grains and nuts-are typically less "energy dense" than other things you eat. (And consuming fewer calories protects against many chronic diseases.) Vegetarians are notably healthier than carnivores, and they live longer. -Michael Pollan, Food Rules

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Food Rules #18-21

These next few rules are very short so I figured I'd post them all together. No one wants to read just one sentence! Enjoy.

#18 Don't ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap.

#19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't.

#20 It's not food if it arrived through the window of your car.

#21 It's not food if it's called by the same name in every language. (Think Big Mac, Cheetos, or Pringles.)

-Michael Pollan, Food Rules

Garden bonanza

Things are really coming along in the garden! Dan got all of this years boxes built.....I say this years because we both feel like we're going to need a few more next year, but we've got our hands good and full right now and don't need more building projects. So for now we're done with that! (maybe *snicker*) I actually don't even have much more to plant! Dan is tilling an area for watermelons, I have more corn I'd like to plant, and sweet potatoes will need to be buried around June but other than that I think we might be done. At least until the end of summer when we plant our fall crops! So far I have nothing to harvest which doesn't surprise me because I got a rather late start. My broccoli is starting to bolt (flower) which means that the weather is getting too warm for me to get any broccoli. I'm disappointed that I didn't actually get anything more than a couple small broccoli heads, but that's part of the win, lose or draw of gardening. I'm looking forward to the fall and trying again with my most favorite vegetable. I do have lettuce that I could tear off and eat, but I'd rather wait it out and see how big the heads get before I start trimming. Radishes should be ready pretty case anyone out there wants to start growing vegetables, radishes are an excellent place to start! You plant the seeds directly into your soil, and they grow really fast even in poor conditions. The radish will make you feel like a super gardener! I guess that's it for my garden update......I am really enjoying our time outdoors, learning about growing food and watching my little baby plants grow up.

These are the last 3 garden beds Dan built
And there is my child who as soon as her feet hit our front door is stripping off her clothes. I can not keep clothing on this I've stopped trying! :o)

Gourmet lettuces

Cherokee purple tomato
(my only planted tomato so far)


Red bell pepper & white eggplant in the background

Green bell pepper
We eat a LOT of bell peppers so I have 6 green and 2 red plants

Herbs: basil, rosemary, thyme & cilantro
I LOVE being able to cut fresh herbs for cooking!

(working on trellis ideas)

(we are going to trellis these and our watermelons)

Red leaf lettuce getting nice and big



(I think I might be most excited about this!)

Straight neck yellow squash

More thyme

This tree came with the house but it didn't have any fruit growth and we didn't even know it was a cherry tree! This year we'll have some cherries!! :0)


Monday, April 26, 2010

Food Rules #16 & #17

#16 Boy your snacks at the farmers' market.

You'll find yourself snacking on fresh fruits and nuts-real food-rather than chips and sweets. -Michael Pollan, Food Rules

#17 Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans.

If you're going to let others cook for you, you're much better off if they are other humans, rather than corporations. In general, corporations cook with too much salt, fat, and sugar, as well as with preservatives, colorings, and other biological novelties. They also aim for immortality in their food products. Note: While it is true that professional chefs are generally humans, they often cook with large amounts of salt, fat, and sugar too, so treat restaurant meals as special occasions. -Michael Pollan, Food Rules

Landscapers Challenge

When we used to have cable (it's been over a year and a half!!) I loved watching HGTV. It's really the one thing I miss about not having cable. I always liked the Landscapers Challenge show.....see, I've always been interested in gardening and landscaping! :o) Sometimes I wish that we had a big chunk of money that we could use to apply to one of these landscaping shows and let them completely transform our front and back yard. We don't have a big chunk of money, so we're working on the next best thing.....slowly planting flowers and bushes all by ourselves! Now, I'm absolutely not a professional and I had a difficult time picking plants out at Hudson's the other day, but I feel like I did a decent job. I tried to stay diverse in my coloring, I made sure to pick plants that would work in the different sun exposure areas of our yard and I made sure that I didn't pick anything that would grow to be too huge or overwhelming. I think that in the long run very little of what we plant will be purely aesthetic.....I'm trying to make it so that most of what grows on our property is edible and helps to sustain our family, but the few plants we bought for their looks alone are going to be very beautiful!

Hollyhocks and pretty purple flowers
We have 2 pots, one on each side of the stairs

Front garden bed
Dan dug up the old bushes we had there
We still need to put red wood mulch down
We have hydrangeas, hostas, a Japanese maple and a purple flowering ground covering plant

I seriously think hydrangeas are the most beautiful flowers!
Purple hydrangeas

Pink hydrangeas

Japanese fringe maple

2 blackberry & 2 raspberry bushes
We're going to mulch around these as well

Roundish bed next to our driveway
Dwarf gardenias and rose bushes, some poofy yellow flowering plant and a few white flowering plants

Yellow poofy plant

dwarf roses....they look very old fashioned!

Look what I found Mama! :o)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food Rules #15

#15 Get out of the supermarket whenever you can.

You won't find any high-fructose corn syrup at the farmers' market. You also won't find any elaborately processed food products, any packages with long lists of unpronounceable ingredients or dubious health claims, anything microwaveable, or perhaps best of all, any old foods from far away. What you will find are fresh, whole foods harvested at the peak of their taste and nutritional quality-precisely the kind your great-grandmother, or even your neolithic ancestors, would easily recognize as food. The kind that is alive and eventually will rot. -Michael Pollan, Food Rules


We are going to be having some schedule changes taking place sometime in May. Dan got a position on a new project at work and will be going to a Monday thru Friday schedule. At first I was very anti Mon-Fri because it means giving up our 3 day weekends every other week, and having no days off during the week like we have been used to for the past 3 years. But, Dan's new boss is okay with him making his own hours and as long as he gets his work done, which means that we will have Dan home around 3:30 every day....right about the time the girls are waking up from naps. 12 hours is a really long day, especially now that I'm preggo and tired all the time and I think that having the man home mid afternoon is going to make life a lot easier. Plus, it's not like the whole day is over at 3:30.....we can still get yard work done or run errands, or make Dr. appointments. There are definitely pluses and minuses to changing our life to a Monday thru Friday schedule, but like I told Dan months ago.....we'll adjust, we'll always make it work. What really matters is that he's happy and feels accomplished in his career. The rest is all just a matter of tweaking! Congratulations on your new job honey!!!

P.S. I also told Dan that until we've gotten used to the new schedule and our life finds it's new normal, I'm allowed to complain about the changes. He agreed. :o)

This isn't a great picture of Dan
He probably won't like it
But, it's the most recent picture that I have...
I took it today
Did you know that he grew a beard?
I was previously very anti beard
But I actually like the beard a lot!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Food Rules #14

#14 Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature.

Read the ingredients on a package of Twinkies or Pringles and imagine what those ingredients actually look like raw or in the places where they grow. You can't do it. This rule will keep all sorts of chemicals and foodlike substances out of your diet. -Michael Pollan, Food Rules

Friday, April 23, 2010

Food Rules #13

#13 Eat only foods that will eventually rot.

What does it mean for food to "go bad?" It usually means that the fungi and bacteria and insects and rodents with whom we compete for nutrients and calories have gotten to it before we did. Food processing began as a way to extend the shelf life of food by protecting it from these competitors. This is often accomplished by making food less appealing to them, by removing nutrients from it that attracted competitors, or by removing other nutrients likely to turn rancid, like omega-3 fatty acids. The more processed a food is, the longer the shelf life, and the less nutritious it typically is. Real food is alive-and therefore it should eventually die. (There are a few exceptions to this rule: For example, honey has a shelf life measured in centuries.) Note: Most of the immortal foodlike substances in the supermarket are found in the middle aisles. -Michael Pollan, Food Rules

chocolate and child labor

We limit the amount of sugar the girls get. It's been a lot more strict recently, but we've always tried to keep as much sugar away from them as seriously makes them crazy, and who wants to deal with that? For Easter they each got a small hollow chocolate bunny and a plastic egg with m&ms in it. That's all. I went with chocolate because although it is still a ton of sugar, it seems more natural than other options out there.....maybe that just makes me disillusional. :o)

Anyway, they got to eat half of their bunny on Easter, and I let them eat the other half the other day. We went outside and they consumed more chocolate than they normally get in months. Then I put them to work to try and get the sugar to burn out of their systems. They were still spastic until they went to bed, but at least it was spastic in the great outdoors where they couldn't do much damage to the house or themselves. It's truly amazing how negatively refined sugar affects the system. It's not so obvious in adults, but in children, especially ones who don't get a lot of it normally, it's like their bodies are taken over and they can no longer control themselves. I've found for the safety and sanity of everyone involved, sugar in the form of candy needs to be limited to special occasions! :o) And just in case you were curious.....the m&ms have been hidden and may very well be consumed by the man of the house who has a slight chocolate addiction!

"Ooooh, chocolate is goooood!"

I think her stance looks so grown up here
Like, hmmm.....what am I going to do with this

County McCounterson