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30 October 2014

Birthday Bash.

Like all of parents of children who have birthdays, I can't believe it but Sebastian is three. He holds up five fingers to proudly show off that he knows how old he is ... "free." Indeed.

I thought all little boys were as mischievous as Sebastian until Theo came along and just didn't have the same penchant for getting into everything messy and sticky and oily and shampoo-y and makeup-y all the time. If Sebastian is awake and he is quiet for more than 1.3 minutes I know, without a doubt, that we are going to be cleaning some sort of catastrophic afternoon ruining mess up together. He always justifies his mischief by claiming that he just wanted, "to party" which bodes very well for his teenage future.

Yes, Sebastian might be a special breed of trouble but he has the sweetest temperament. We were out running errands, just the two of us, this weekend and even though he is in the refuses-to-hold-moms-hand stage of his life he was sure to rush to open the driver's side door for me as we approached the van in every parking lot stop. He always slyly kisses my hand goodbye at school because he hasn't outgrown public displays of parental affection completely but he doesn't like to be showy about it. And he's always so eager to help Julia when she is in the throes of a meltdown and can be snapped out of almost any bad mood if he catches Phoebe smiling in his direction.

We celebrated his birthday this weekend with my brothers. Train cake and all ...

He had picked out many train shaped cakes that he Googled (with my help) and was not so interested in a cake with toy trains on top with Kit Kat tracks but in the moment he seemed pleased ...

thank goodness.

And tonight we will celebrate with some mini red velvet cupcakes a la grocery store.

We like, we like to party.

Happy Birthday, sweet Sebastian! I'm so excited to embark on the final chapter of your potty training adventure together, it's going to be good. I know it. ;)

living room facelift

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29 October 2014

One of my many life skill deficits is having a totally blind eye for interior decor; or any decor but most especially the interior variety. I'm mostly totally okay and comfortable with my God given not-talent but when we spend so much time sitting/playing/reading in the living room I've often thought it would be nice not to feel less than warm and tingly feelings about its appearance. My brother and I painted it last Thanksgiving which most certainly helped a ton but with the help of Lulu & Georgia (spoiler alert: quickly scroll down for an awesome giveaway or stay here and listen to me) I was able to freshen things up a bit. And now the feelings are all kinds of hot and happy. Inappropriate feelings about a living space? Why not?!

Our awesome wedding photographer (well, his awesome wife) sent this wedding canvas to us because 5.3 years in and we have yet to print any wedding photos to hang. And Simon's grandpa sold his house and is slowly getting rid of furniture and so we lucked out with this 8,000 pound mirror that I adore. Lulu & Georgia sent this gorgeous Lullaby Rocking Chair that is awesome because you can just wipe it clean and it's totally Bash-proof as he has already done his best to destroy it. Love this corner.

It's tough to strike the "have to live here but don't want a massive mess" balance with kids and their toys although we are mean parents and relegate two baskets of toys and a few books for the upstairs (the rest goes in the basement but is slowly being donated before we move .... sshhhh) but I thought this Lulu & Georgia Ronan Bookshelf would help solve that conundrum ...

Simon doesn't trust the kids around our nice books (rightly so) so he's already packed some of them away but I saved a few for the top of the shelf ....

... and if you were wanting to compliment me on my faux greenery creations, you may. And if you were thinking they look hideous and terrible, they were totally Simon's idea.

And here we have another mirror snag from Simon's grandpa's attic. And my fearless prop in Phoebe'e circus ...

I've had that Ikea couch since long before I met Simon and we'll probably have it for many years to come because it's so easy to clean with baby wipes but I don't love it.

I do love these Lulu & Georgia LiLou Pillows that spruce it up a bit ...

... and Prop #2 does too, obviously.

Lulu & Georgia has tons of amazing inventory like this and this and THIS. Each page is better than the next and manages to walk the "not so trendy that this will look weird in five years" line very well. I was so flattered that they wanted to collaborate because our house is the furthest thing from stylish but it was a ton of fun to help it along. When we go down to look for houses in Florida I know I'll just be envisioning where I can put my new grown up furniture and not worrying about bedroom logistics or if the backyard is fenced in for my runners. 

So there's a $250 Lulu & Georgia credit up for grabs today! Theo has generously volunteered his affection to all the losers (ahem, non-winners) ...

... so how can you go wrong? (Phoebe says, "you can.")

Follow the Rafflecopter to victory and thanks for reading and playing!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bash Chats

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28 October 2014

shirt & vest - thredUP
shoes - Vans via eBay
hair product - watermelon juice

As we were driving by the Arch recently ...
Bash: WOW!!!!
Julia: what?
Bash: Look at that mountain!!

In an effort to avoid bedtime the other night ...
Grace: okay, time for bed!
Bash: no
Grace: it's time, Bash
Bash: did you know you're looking so pretty, Mama?

After he told me that he read a book about a witch at school:
Grace: what was the witch doing in the book?
Bash: oh, just sleeping around
Grace: sweeping around?
Bash: yeah, sleeping around

Despite my 99 requests that he please, "stay close to me!" at the grocery store Sebastian bolted to the toy truck aisle and gave me a 1.5 minute heart attack before I found him  ...
Bash: No, there YOU are!
Bash: I told you, "stay close to me, Mom!!"

While playing with Phoebe's face and touching her monster pumpkin cheeks ...
Bash: You're face is so big and so cheeky, Beebee!!
Bash: turns to tap the back pockets of my jeans and your bottom is so big and so cheeky too, Mommy!! 
After he got in trouble for biting Julia and he was protesting a timeout ...
Bash: but Mom!
Grace: please go sit
Bash: but MOM!!!
Grace: please go sit down
Bash: but moMMY!!
Grace: please go sit down, Sebastian
Bash: but GRACE, no I won't go!

After he heard Phoebe loudly filling her diaper ...
Bash: God bless you, beebee

While looking at a photo of himself petting a camel at a petting zoo ...
Bash oh, I loved that polar bear!!!

meet me in Indiana

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27 October 2014

You will all be so disappointed to read that I'm pretty confident this is the last conference trip Simon is taking within driving distance of St. Louis and therefore the last conference trip in which we can tag along and blog about. So disappointed, I know.

But, savor this last one full of crisp cell phone snaps and precious memories.

Let's begin by stating, for the record, that Simon kept assuring me that the drive to Indianapolis was, "an easy three hours away" but in reality, it was actually a grueling 5.5 hours full of traffic and angry children. It was fine. In the moment those drives are so full of hair pully hours and resolves to never ever ever travel again but once we get there, all is usually forgiven.

I have to admit that I was a tiny bit apprehensive about marching into the very nice hotel lobby with the ragamuffins. It would be totally understandable if the hotel staff bristled. Simon says rental houses should require that tenants put down a child deposit rather than a pet deposit because kids are far more destructive then animals and so ... a slight bristle was almost expected.

we're not that innocent

But instead of giving us the up/down and asking the pointed, "and how many people will be staying in your room?" questions they were so gracious and warm. It was awesome. They let the kids pick little toys out of a basket (HEAVEN for the older three, Phoebebadger did not care - like always), and kept smiling in our direction. At one point Theo decided he didn't want to stand with Simon who was checking in but wanted to come back to the fold with Mom and the gang. So he ran across the lobby and dropped his blankie in the process. The concierge picked it up and wrapped it around his shoulders like a cape ...

... Theo says no words but was so thrilled and I have to admit that I was taken aback by his kindness.

Chugging along. Let's move beyond check-in, Speedy Gonzpatton.


The room!

Here we have the big kids up at some ungodly hour and totally and completely mesmerized by the free ice from the row of ice machines on the second floor.

The bathroom was big enough to fit a portacrib. Praise the LORD. It made all the difference getting Theo down for his (mucho necessario) afternoon naps and getting him to bed for his (also necessary) early bedtime. The trip would've probably gone down 89 quality points if he had had to sleep out with the commoners in the actual sleeping area.

The more you know.

One of the nights we walked over to the mall for a little food court dining. There was also some sort of christian women's conference going on at the neighboring conference center so when we saw that the mall was hosting ...

... complete with booming top 40 beats spun by a deejay and a fashion show featuring one of the Real Housewives of New York (I didn't see/hear which one because Phoebe was having a leedle bit of a meltdown so I had to mallwalk with her for a few and I'll never forgive myself) I knew we were in for a treat.

Let's just say the dance routine (that Julia still talks about, terrible parents!) that was performed to some bumping Beyonce was maybe not totally appreciated by all of our fellow food court patrons. The awkward permeated the air.

Part of Girl's Night Out was a table full of Cinnabon samples and Theo took full advantage of the situation ...

by the end of the night the Cinnabon gals were bringing him new sugar whenever they noticed he was out. He was a smitten sugar rushed little kitten.

I promise we did more than just go out to eat but Simon had a little window of free time during one of the days so we decided to try to find some food outside of the hotel Starbucks/attached mall downtown. At one point we pulled over to Google, "family friendly restaurants in downtown Indianapolis" and it turns out we were parked right in front of the first placed listed. Fortuity for the vin.

Outside said establishment ...

It was 57 degrees. Julia GRACE Patton for a reason.

One of the most exciting 90 minutes of the entire trip was when all the kids magically fell asleep at the same time. God bless sound machines.

forever and ever ...

... Amen.

worth noting:

+ We met up with my cousins, Jimmy and Bryan, who are 2/3 of a set of triplets for dinner one night. They are in their first year of dental school and I went the entire meal unable to tell them apart.  After about seven minutes of enjoying our company one of them (I think it was Jimmy) commented, "it's like kids are a full time job!!" ....

... indeed.

+ I took the kids to Target to buy Simon a black belt because he forgot his. It was about as exciting as it sounds.

+ So many people suggested we hit up the children's museum and I was a total lame-o and didn't heed their advice. Mostly because I can barely make it through a grocery trip with some of them contained so I can't really imagine a museum situation (Bash is a runner and does not care if I'm out of sight for an eternity) and the last (and only) time we went to the St. Louis children's museum a few years ago the kids proceeded to get more sick than they have ever been. Three weeks of super sick and super hell that left me with a bad case of children's museum PTSD. And yes, I'm obviously totally fine with taking the kids to the hospital on a weekly basis, my logic knows NO bounds. This was not worth noting. I'm sorry.

+ And while I wasn't there to see Simon give his presentation I'm positive that he did a phenomenal job, Target black belt and all.

The End.
We'll most certainly miss our conference trips but I know you'll miss them more. 

cauliflower rice

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26 October 2014

... hear me out. We all know that I'm not nor will I ever be a food blogger so when I do decide to punish you with a recipe, I promise it's good. To me, the furthest thing from a foodie. Ever.

I remember going home to visit my family several years ago and my younger siblings were laughing about dinner a few nights prior because my mom tried to trick my dad into eating mashed caulifower and passing it off as mashed potatoes. He was not having it. And if you don't know my mom, you should. Her name is Bettina and she's the best kind of character. The kind that unsuccessfully tricks her husband.

Anyway, I am a lover of cauliflower but was repulsed by the idea of mashed cauliflower. Fast forward a few years and I found myself attempting to make cauliflower rice. The results were not great and mushy because the recipe called for the cauliflower to be steamed beforehand. Fast forward another year and I found myself revisiting the idea of cauliflower rice because as I trumpeted on Thursday, Simon and are doing the Whole30 and I needed a bit of a filler for dinners.

Enter better ...

... really!

While it's not any sort of dead taste ringer for fried rice (that I love) Simon and my brothers either over compensated with compliments for how much they hated it or they really liked it.

Here's my method ...

whole head of cauliflower (makes several batches to store for the week)
1/2 of an onion, chopped
3-4 teaspoons of minced garlic
3-4 tablespoons of ghee (use whatever fat you'd like, coconut oil was good too for my test run!)
any seasoning of choice (I just used a dash of sea salt)

and it is kind of a process, but worth it! I just used our blender (not a Vitamix , one day!) and put about a 1/2 cup of cauliflower trees (chunks?) in the blender and used the chop option, dumped the newly chopped and repeated until the whole head was done. The blender couldn't handle more than 1/2 a cup at a time but Theo was transfixed by the process so it wasn't a total waste of time.  

Melt your oil of choice in a frying pan over medium heat and add 1/5 of your onions. Stir until onions are translucent then add garlic and your faux rice. Add seasonings and stir around and around until the cauliflower has reached your desired level of softness (I reheat ours back in the pan so it's okay if it's not perfectly soft the first time). Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower crop.

And obviously you can add whatever you'd like. Veggies, meat, sauce, etc. I've been adding some avocado slices and Phoebe may or may not have the happiest bebe heart attack when I let her share my portion.

I know I'm terrible at giving culinary direction so ... questions? tell me. I think it's pretty straight forward though.

And because you are dying to know! We are on day 6 and doing okay! We are both feeling less sluggish and Simon had a headache that only comes and goes now. We made it through Sebastian's birthday celebration (cake! with Kit Kat train tracks!) just fine. Simon confessed that he felt like he was on his period because the first few days he was in a bad mood (understandably) but I think he's out of those hormonal woods, for now. I do need to get better about not taking 89 hours to make one meal which will hopefully come with time. I don't feel like "the magic" has kicked in yet but I've read that could come around day 7? But I don't feel like I would sell one of the kids for a Reeses or anything, quite yet. Your comments were super helpful on Thursday's post, thank you so much!!

the Whole 2.5

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23 October 2014

After I asked Simon if he'd like to embark on a Whole 30 journey with me and he read the basic gist of the program he said, "so what I'm reading is that you can either do the Whole 30 or you can have fun."


And 2.2 days in he is still asking things like, "so, would organic mac and cheese be okay?" and, "I guess I don't get how a whole wheat bun is any less healthy than torture" so it's been really great to have a support system through my hours of sugary NEED.

And yes, I realize I am the last of the blogging world to do the Whole 30 and blog about it. Simon asked if I was going to blog about it and I said, "no, definitely not."

And here we are.

After reading Sarah's account of her experience so far (heart her honesty, so much!) and then a little insta-push from Jolie and yet another night of the insomnia that's plagued me since high school that I'm fairly positive could potentially be helped (cured!) by a little change in diet .... I decided to hop on the 290821391839018309182309138th bandwagon of my life. You'll just have to wait for my capsule wardrobe post next week.

Okay, but really. I did Atkins in college (with my bff+e and will still talk about those glory days) and I've done the 21(ish) day sugar detox so I'm not totally unfamiliar with nixing sugar. I don't eat a ton of starch but I do enjoy my unfair share of dairy so that might be the most difficult part. Simon's "modified" version of his Whole 30 includes Greek yogurt ... fair enough. And we haven't bought any Halloween candy yet so I'm not tempted by Satan in the pantry minute after minute, hour after hour for the time being which is nice.

I will admit that I'm sort of going through semi-sweet withdrawal. I don't think I realized how often I'd grab a handful from the Costco bag of goodness. I think it was probably every time a child cried or whined. So ... not that much. At all.

I've been scouring Instagram accounts (loving this one) and pinning a few things here but I know you fine people have some great resources to share, or that is my hope.

This grocery haul got me through two meals.
Not pictured: 89 dozen more eggs and some super thrifty grass fed beef.

Just kidding.

Since I decided to start the program with nary a stitch of planning (so unlike me, laugh) I had to make up for lost time with a huge trip to the newish-to-us huge grocery store yesterday with the kids in tow. Of course after four minutes of throwing pounds of vegetables in my cart Julia announced that she, "riddy needed the restroom!!!" and so, we went to find it.

After almost circling the entire premise in search of an employee ... we found one. I asked where the restrooms were and he said he'd be happy to walk us over, "they're in produce" (weird, and also across the store, where we just were). So .... we hiked back to produce where he stopped and presented us with .... the mushrooms.

wompity womp womp.

Anyway, have you done it? (Britt's on day 23! amazing!) Do you think I'm an idiot? (answer that in your head) Any tips?

I have to say that I might get stoned but I'm not entirely on board with the whole, "going against the spirit of the Whole 30" thing. I made a quiche with sweet potato crust last night that was really good (Simon agreed, or he lied) and I'm fairly certain making substitutes like that are frowned upon but ... I'm not a rockstar. The spirit just might have to be broken, on occasion.

And don't worry, I'm only going to blog about it every time I eat.

(and if Whole 30 isn't your thing, might I interest you in a whole lot of baby carrier opinions, over here? I'm pretty sure the Tula won, by a commentslide but I'm tempted to do a trial run of the beco first .... decisions!)

everything but the baby Britax giveaway

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21 October 2014

I must confess ... it's killing me now. I just want to fast forward to next week and see who the winner IS.

Back the truck up Britney, I know. 

Let me tell you all about the Britax Affinity first.

It goes without saying that I'm not a stroller expert but we've gone through our fair share of strollers and the Affinity is golden. And before you start telling me we have no use for a single stroller, I will tell you that when we go on walks ... we might look a little ridiculous but Simon pushes the triple and I push lucky single child in this fine piece of baby gear. And we like to keep a stroller in the trunk of the van for hospital trips and um, hospital trips. It rides very smoothly on the uneven terrain that is our entire neighborhood (not pictured) and you can turn the baby/toddler to face out or toward you (Phoebe prefers to gaze lovingly at her mother, she can't be blamed - while Theo likes to look around at squirrels and Halloween lawn ornaments, he can't be blamed either!) and the seat tilts back and forward super easily (does that make sense?). 

The brake is easily accessible and stays in brake mode (this has been a problem with other strollers, unfortunately). It's a snap to fold up and unfold and the sunshade is armed and ready for any ray situation ... however strong they might be. And finally, Britax sells a variety of car seat adapters so you can snap an infant seat in which is super convenient in those early days.

So, my question is ... want one?

Well, someone is going to win one (not including Phoebe, which is fortunate if you value sleep between the hours of 3am and 6am) along with a whole grip of other loot ...

I know.

Let me break it down for you ...

1. the Britax Affinity - obviously, so awesome.

2. Caroline in Brandy from Lily Jade Designer Diaper Bags. You know how much I adore Lily Jade and even if you don't tote diapers around ... you will heart eye emoji this bag so hard. You will.

3. $50 credit to Wrenn Jewelry. It's all gorgeous. You'll spend an eternity hemming and hawing over what to pick.

4. $50 credit to Little Adi + Co. - Every single time Phoebe wears this onesie ... so many people ask where we got it. They have loads of other equally adorable kid and mom gear. Go look!

5. $50 credit to Nickel and Suede. I've been going through a huge clothing/jewelry purge but I don't think I'll ever ever tire of these earrings. They are so lightweight and a super easy way to dress up any (formerly frumpy?) outfit!

6. $50 credit to Loved by Hannah and Eli - This trendy shop is full of super fun apparel for the whole family. The material they use is far superior to your average t-shirt, too!

7. Mug + Tee from Happy Mommy Box. I love this bistro mug because it's a little bigger than ye old mug and the shirt is that nice stretchy fitted material that is tough to find sometimes. You'll love both!

8. $25 credit to She Does Justice - Another super fun shop full of sweet jewelry, head wraps, and scarves (the one pictured is actually a dedicated nursing scarf!)

9. Mustela Newborn Set - (not pictured) and a little gift from me to you as the tiniest token of my appreciation because I love you and want to say thank you for putting up with me. You're a good bunch. (Or if you'd rather a different brand of baby lotion/shampoo etc ... fine by me!! :))

Okay, that's it!

Rafflecopter is ripe for the picking with nearly a million different entry options. Have fun and good luck!!

if it says your comment "published" then it did :) when there are more than 200 comments - you have to "load more and more and more and more" sorry about that!! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


20 October 2014

You are in LUCK.

I was totally going to throw loads of grainy photos complete with captions about our Indianapolis trip (another day! very soon! much exciting for you!!) today but then my dear friend Blythe swooped in to save you and texted that she put up a little q+a post. She asked the questions and I provided the answers. Or you can totally skip my 'view and comb Blythe's archives (love story! the best!) if you want. I'll never know!

Happy Monday.

back of Costco receipt illustration ... drawn to scale.

now and then

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19 October 2014

I used to have a problem and its name was Photobooth.

February 2013
(of course Simon's face went unscathed)

And during intern year I od'd big time with Julia. We were totally spoiled Simon's 4th year of med school with him being home so much that when he started residency I was hit with a shockingly fat vat of alone-ish time.

So, naturally.

(present day Julia just walked by and asked, "who is that little boy?")
I don't even think baby J loved it that much. But stage mom ... pressed on.

I have very few Photobooth snaps with the boys and zero with Phoebe because I love them less and I've found other ways to fill the hours (hello, Lorelai and Rory and a super messy house that is in perpetual need of cleaning maintenance).

But! Simon was working overnight this weekend and the three younger kids were asleep and Julia and I found ourselves back in the saddle again.

Like riding a bike.

And I looked at a few of the time stamps from the older booths with baby Julia and realized that it's been exactly-ish three years since I took the majority of the solo booths as it was right before Sebastian was born and he's about to turn three. Crazy.

It's hard for me to even type about these past few years in St. Louis without getting emotional because they've been really difficult. I know that's the boring and recurring theme of the blog and I know I love to beat a dead horse but it was kind of painful to look at those photos because I was so clueless about the coming loneliness. I thought it would get better or I would learn to cope but it didn't and I still haven't. However! This post does not have a sad + pathetic ending, I promise. It was also so comforting to look back because those nights with Julia feel like they truly were just yesterday. I know the remainder of residency is going to (relatively) zip right on by and these years will be long gone and in the rear view mirror. I know it's unhealthy to wish time away and Simon keeps saying what a cute age Phoebe is right now (I agree but ... parents) so on the days that time stands still, it's not all bad. Plus! Simon has Thanksgiving and Christmas day off this year (¿say que?) so things are most definitely going to end on a high note ...

... without a doubt.

it's all about the instagram(s)

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17 October 2014

... I promise.

Also, do you ever say to yourself, "that Grace really should've gone into graphic design!!" ?? Yes, me too.

So, Instagram. I mostly love and adore it and sometimes kind of hate it. The hate only stems from human nature's (or maybe just my) tendency to bust out the comparison guns when we (I) see a flitting pretty second of someone else's life neat and tidy in a little square e-box. But! I really do mostly love it and am usually able to be whip myself into being a lot more circumspect when I let the jealousy fairies tempt me.

Occasionally I'll highlight some accounts over on Instagram (#campfaves) but I thought I'd go old skool and blog about some funions.

And I'll probably do it again. Hate me if you must.

Here we go.

(if you just click on the graphics - you'll be whisked away to the appropriate feed - Camp Fancy.)

@frandorsey (blog here) - if you don't love Fran, I'm just going to have to blankly stare and blink in your general direction because ... she funny. And thoughtful and kind and has a great eye for the gram. She makes me laugh and think and want to copy her life verbatim and move out to the country and start a farm and name one of my beloved chickens, "Bonus." She's just lucky I didn't steal her lady baby's name (Elsa Bennett - the best).

@jennawilber (blog here) - I love Jenna's feed because she does an incredible job of capturing really beautiful moments during her everyday life as a stay at home mom to three little kids. Everything always looks so tranquil without being obnoxious and saccharine and when I grow up I want my house to look exactly like hers. Even though I think she is like 14 years younger than I am. Old lady emoji.

@thealisonshow (blog here) - A recent find of mine (thank you Jolie!). Alison posts the most amazing and hilarious dance videos that will instantly snap you out of the darkest mood. I swear. Girlfriend just does not care and it is SO refreshing. She's someone that probably has a line out the door of bff+e applicants because she looks so fun. I may or may not frequent/stalk her feed when Simon has to stay late and the kids are over me, over life, and over IT.

@girlpolish (blog here) If I ever move to a frigid climate it will be because Rachael makes it look so fun. And bearable! Fine, maybe Boston isn't necessarily considered frigid but she does such an outstanding job of making city life with small children look so doable and appealing. She's quick and smart and if I had a bucket list, "have a drink or four with Rachael" would be very near the top.

@ameliamarthelia (blog here) - Amelia's feed reminds me a lot of Jenna's. Ordinary life, gorgeous home, relaxed and super sweet e-temperament. There's something so uniquely moving about her posts that makes me happy every time I see a new snap from her. Plus her son, Ralph, is one of the cutest kids out there in gramland.

And that's all she posted.

Any I should stalk and add to the next batch? Let me know! Please!

ALSO, If anyone has any tutorials or knows of any cessation classes for help with gramming too many photos of one's progeny ... I'd be much-o obliged-o.

See you on the flip side.
I don't know - it felt right. I take it back.

Have a mediocre weekend.

roasted acorn squash soup

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15 October 2014

I'll type it again.

with an appetizing graphic and all.

I bought an acorn squash (singular) the other week and I wasn't sure how many more days (hours?) it had until I'd pick it up and it would be all mushy and begging to be tossed so I took action and made some soup. I looked up several squash soup recipes and they all called for ingredients we didn't have in our possession so I had to get creative and the result was not as repulsive as I expected. Simon hates cooked vegetables, especially squash in pureed form, but he gobbled this up and swore he wasn't lying when he said he liked it. I'm still suspicious (only because he asked, "do you hate me?!" when I served it room temperature instead of piping hot, I'm sorry).

Okay, here we go.

Serves two, but I'm sure you could double or triple it and freeze it. Or something. Grace + having the foresight to freeze meals = not friends, yet.

Also, I don't think it's possible to screw this up. Truly.

Okay, here we really go!

1 acorn squash
1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
1/2 cup water
1/2 of an onion, chopped
3/4 cup vegetable(s) - I used chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup protein - I used tiny {formerly frozen} shrimp
spices of your choosing (ginger, basil, sea salt, and cinnamon were my poison)
a literal drop of honey, for fun
olive oil

1. preheat oven to 350
2. cut squash in half and scoop out seeds/goop
3. drizzle (or drench like I accidentally did) insides of squash with olive oil
4. place squash halves insides down on a cookie sheet and set timer for 30 minutes
5. remove squash from oven (if it feels like I'm typing like a robot would talk, I am) and make sure the skin can easily be peeled off. If not - keep roast/baking in five minute increments until it comes off. Our oven is new and blazing
6. set aside squash flesh (?) for however long you need (it was hours in my case), it will be fine in the fridge
7. sauté onions in olive oil until super soft, add squash in chunks, stir - stir - stir, turn heat to super low and then slowly add almond milk and water and spices and honey
8. if you're fancy and have an immersion blender, use that to blend soup into delicious mush
9. if you're normal like I am, pour soup into blender and blend into mush, pour back into pot
10. add vegetables and protein and stir
11. keep a lid on it until you're ready to serve
12. I supplemented the meal with frozen pizza. Feel free to do the same.

and ENJOY.


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