A super simple, EASY, dinner

Ah summertime. Sometimes I love summertime, sometimes I hate it. Somedays is lazy and others it’s crazy. Today, was a crazy. Not sure why exactly, but we seemed to be go go go. On these days I can not express how much I love the crock pot. If you haven’t been using the crock pot during the summer, your crazy. (okay I said it) It’s not just for winter meals people.

Case in point. Black beans. A staple in our world. Some kind of bean every week. I make them early in the week and we eat them for dinner once and then lunch for a few days. This recipe is fantastic. It’s crazy easy and it gives me a little hint of my favorite South of the boarder food during this time when I can’t eat it.

Oh have I told you about this one? Sneaky B, has seriously nasty reactions to 5 major foods, even if I eat them (she is a nursing baby). Those foods, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and apples. Yep… it’s been trying to say the least. Can you imagine not eating those foods? I can handle not eating wheat and dairy, but the corn and soy- that’s another story. First off soy is in everything! Why I don’t know, but if you start looking, it is everywhere. And corn, I love corn. Most gluten free foods are based on corn too…. wait… way off on subject here- we will discuss this another time. Back to the beans!
blackbeans.jpgAbove is my recipe for basic black beans. They are so yummy; and it can’t get much easier than this. The most “difficult” part is remembering to soak the beans the night before. I always forget. Always. So I toss them in a pot on the stove with a bunch of water, filled almost to the top, bring to a boil and let them boil for 2 to 5 minutes. Turn off stove, cover and wait an hour. Then you can toss everything in the crock pot, turn it on low and forget about it.

Half way through the day, your kitchen will start to have a yummy smell. It’s hard to place, but it’s the secret to these beans yum… it’s the cloves. Why or why three little cloves make a huge difference, I have no idea, but I am not going to question it. It works and that’s all there is to it.

blackbeansfinished.jpgTonight we had the beans with lettuce, avocado, green onions and bell pepper. Kiddo ate three bowls full. So good.

If you try them, please let me know what you think- Enjoy!signature

 

 

 

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Sleep…please

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So, if you have ever had a baby you know this is the one time in your life you obsess about sleep. “How many minutes was that nap?” “How many hours is a 9 month old supposed to sleep?” “What!? Awake already!” “I know you are tired but I had 3 hours of interrupt sleep!” Lately, this past week especially, Im over it. Over the getting up & being up with Sneaky B from 330am to 5am every night plus 2 nightly nursings. Over rocking (I know- bad to some of you) her for an hour to fall asleep just for a 30 minute “nap”. (I used quotes here because I was told that its not considered a nap if its not at least 45 minutes… yet another obsession). Over it all!

So today we start… sleep training.  Something we didn’t do with Kiddo, probably should have, but thats another day. For the past few days, in my non existent sleep stupor, I have been reading everything I could find on sleep training.  Wow there are a ton of theories out there on how to sleep train. Let them cry, dont you dare let them cry, just except the lack of sleep (not!), it goes on and on and on.

What is our plan..a little of it all. Nap time will now begin with a quick rocking, I just can’t not do this, with Bun bun (the stuffed bunny), then into the crib. Then I sit next to her crib with my hand inside so she knows I am here but I stay quite and let her cry and fall asleep.  Then as this works and the time of crying shortens (please let this be a short amount of days) I will sit farther away, and then out of the room. This is the plan as of now. We will see

arm.pngAnd while I type one handed on my phone (love the wordpress app) this that’s what I’m doing; sitting on the floor in complete silence next to her crib with my hand through the slats of her crib.

So far Sneaky B is crying, but not nearly as forceful as usual when in her crib awake. (She is usually panicky…crying…screaming, I can’t handle hearing this at all.) She is reaching for my hand, aww, and I can tell she is starting to drift to sleep.

We will see if this works. Will I stay strong and let her cry and fall asleep by herself? I have too, I dont want to but I have to.  The goal is to get her to fall asleep within 15 minutes all by herself.  As in “Its time for naps” put her into bed and goodnight. Dreamy!!

Wait! Hold on a minute. ..holy hell its been 20 minutes and she is sound asleep! My hand is sound asleep too but so is Sneaky B!!! Okay don’t get to excited and contain the happy dance for when I get out of the nursery… I can’t even believe it, neither can Hubby or Kiddo!

While Sneaky B slept, we actually got to do some fun things around here. I started two projects that have been on the list for months, I will show you later. And Kiddo and Hubby got sneakily creative… later Kiddo said giggling “I can’t tell you what daddy and I where doing until tomorrow, but do you have anymore paint?” Must be a mother’s day something. After which they did this…

nails.pngCan I just give a big shout out to my hubby… you are an awesome dad!

The other nap and bedtime went just the same, 20 minutes of crying and then sound asleep. I am hoping this isn’t a fluke, and that it’s the start of a great sleeping child that I have always longed for. Only time will tell. signature

 

 

 

Pink Floor Studios!

PF_card1So it’s been a week and I have been busy. In the past few months I have mentioned that I was starting a new business with my mama and last night we launched Pink Floor Studio! Happy day!

As you know, I like to hit up the thrift stores and garage sales. Let me tell you I am a novice when it comes to thrifting- my mama is the master. The collections are massive, although organized.

a tiny tiny bit of the collections
a tiny tiny bit of the collections

I know I have mentioned that I just go shopping in the studio (and many of you want too also) and now is your chance. That’s what Pink Floor Studio is all about, creative vintage crafting supplies. Off to a tag sale (on a thursday! awesome)

And if you are up for it, there is a blog too- shocking rightsignature

Sprinklings: I’m slightly obsessed

So are you a “pinner”? I sure am. For those of you not in the know… I am talking about Pinterest. I have been thinking of writing about pinterest for awhile now, wasn’t really sure I was going to write because what can I say other than it is a time suck that I do enjoy. And I have been wanting to challenge you all to a Pinterest Challenge (more on that in a bit).

Today I realized I have 91 boards and 3,419 pins. I think Electronic hoarder is a better title for me. The good here is that I do reference my “vegan for life” board for recipes all the time. And the “to do one day” board- well I actually have done about 20% of them. “Boo” has given me a lot of ideas for this Halloween and I am looking forward to this Christmas to try some of the new ideas I have pinned there. (Sorry for the mention of Christmas- won’t happen again till after Thanksgiving…my personal rule).

The not so good…there are so many other things I want to try. I’m sure I am not alone here right? For me, lately, the only way to get anything done is to challenge myself and tell everyone I’m going to do it…nothing like a little peer pressure. So I challenge you to…if your game.
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The challenge is pick 3 pins from 3 separate boards and complete them by December 20, 2013. Are you game?
Here is what I chose, this wasn’t easy by the way- but I am happy with my choices:

3CollageTo find links to these awesome projects, you can go to my VP 3 Challenge Board.

So if you are game, let me know. Send me pic’s of your projects and I will post your completed projects. Maybe you would like to write a guest post, I am game for that too. signature

sprinklingSprinklings of my reality read them all

Sprinklings: the “tunnel”

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So we have a tunnel in our home. Of course it’s not a real tunnel, but Kiddo has always called it her tunnel. It’s the space between the wall and the back of the sofa that was created when we added a sofa table using floating shelves.

When Kiddo was little she would crawl through the tunnel and we would chase her in and out of the tunnel. Now days she likes to go into her tunnel to have a quite moment, when she is sad or she is hiding because she is in trouble. She spends a little bit of time in her tunnel every day.

A few days ago, I decided it was time to vacuum under the sofa, so I moved it and was SHOCKED! HOLY HELL LOOK WHAT SHE DID!

tunnel3

Was she channeling the Lascaux cave painters or something?  I am not even sure what to do about this. And so you don’t think I am totally oblivious to what is going on in my own home, this is what it looks like when sitting on the floor facing the tunnel

tunnel2You can’t see the drawings at all, they start about 3 feet into the “tunnel” and cover the entire back!

What do I do? I talked to her about it. Mainly asking why on earth she would do something like this and her answer: “Because I needed to make it beautiful” After explaining to her, that I do appreciate her need to make things beautiful (like me) but she couldn’t draw of the sofa. It’s unacceptable.

Today, I keep thinking of this moment, was this a moment that shows us her future self? Is she going to grow up to be an artist? Maybe a muralist? I can’t help be a little proud of her (DON’T TELL HER). She knows she wants to be surround by things that make her comfortable and beautiful, how can I be mad about that?

I am still p.o’ed about the back of the sofa. Does anyone have any sofa cleaning tips? I am pretty sure we (Kiddo included) are in for a long day of scrubbing. signature

sprinklingSprinklings of my reality is a 31 days of October challenge…only 4 more to go

Sprinklings: making dollars, for real

First up, I actually intended to post this yesterday, I thought i did. So this morning when I saw that no one had read or commented I was shocked and saddened.  Then I realized I didn’t publish it…mommy brain- yes. Then maybe it was not mommy brain but the stomach flu that I discover I had two hours later while praying to the porcelain god. Being sick sucks. You know what sucks even more, trying not to barf on your 10 week old baby while you are nursing and realize you have to run to the loo. Pure awesome.

So here you have it, yesterdays post which is now todays…triple checking I pushed publish this time.

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Yep it was time kiddo has some chores around here. So two weeks ago we sat down and made a list of simple chores she needs to do daily to earn two dollars every week. Money motivation- YES! Plus we sweetened the deal. There are extra chores to earn more money.

eleendollar
Never ones to actually have cash on hand I made these dollars (yes I guess we can add counterfeiter to my list of projects) that she can turn in when she earns enough for what ever item is important at the moment.  Pretty ingenious I think. Plus cute!

chores_blogI made a cute chat to print up once a week.  Kiddo is not a fan of sitting at the dining table to have dinner. And honestly we haven’t been doing it much lately, and I don’t like that. But with Hubby at school many nights and Sneaky B, it’s just fallen off the radar. So it’s time to bring it back. We decided that Friday nights are family movie night so “being American” is a must and that makes Kiddo happy. Now she can earn one more night of eating while watching a show with a random chore. So far- we haven’t “been American” on an extra night.

And you know what so far so good, she has earned her four dollars for the two weeks plus an extra dollar.  Who knew the girl likes to wash windows (aka the glass slider).

The plan is once she has done this for a bit, unacceptable behavior will cost her, literally.  Maybe sassing will be fifty cents, whining a quarter and drawing on the furniture (yes we have this issue- I will share another day) will cost her a dollar.

Now that the plan is in place I need to follow through. Those that know me know this is a weak point, but I need to change to stay sane. (OH that sounds like a future post). signature

sprinklingSprinklings of my reality is a 31 day challenge…read them all

Sprinklings: 4 1/2 years apart ~ identical twins?

2months_girlsCollageI might have been delusional for the past two months; everyone was telling me that Kiddo and Sneaky B looked exactly the same. I didn’t see it. Not a bit. Until today, almost.

sleepingCollage
My mom is visiting (we are working on a new business-Pink Floor Studio) and she was insisting the girls look the same. So I pulled out the pics and Holy hell are they the same or what? Maybe not perfectly identical, but really close. What do you think?

greatgrandparentsCollage
Looking at more pictures both girls look like Hubby’s dads baby picture too. Strong genes…I think yes! By the way- check out this picture. WOW Hubby’s great grandma was a serious chick huh? The great grandparents immigrated to San Francisco from Kars, Russia (now part of Turkey) in the early 1920’s. We have been learning a lot about their journey and life lately, maybe I’ll share more one day.

sistersCollage

Genes are funny, you never do know what you’re going to get. It is pretty amazing how similar our girls are, so far. We can already tell some of their differences, the biggest one being sleep. Kiddo has never been a good sleeper (like me) and Sneaky B is sleeping nine to ten hours straight at night already (like Hubby).

sisters2CollageNot really sure the point of this post other than I love these girls like crazy! Whether they are four and a half years apart twins or just very similar sisters, I am so very grateful they chose us to be their parents. signature

sprinklingSprinklings of my reality is a 31 day annual challenge, read them all

Sprinklings: breakfast

Breakfast used to be my favorite meal of the day…and then I started eating a vegan diet. Plus I am gluten free. So finding something super yummy isn’t always easy and quite frankly I am done with hot oatmeal with berries. So when I found this recipe on Pinterest by The Joy of Everyday Cooking I was super excited! Peanut butter oatmeal bars- YUM!

I have been making them twice a week for weeks now, but yesterday I had a slight panic…not enough honey!

Okay side note- many vegans do not eat honey, harms the bees or something like that. This is not us- we still eat honey, we are vegans for health reasons and I believe the bees enjoy making honey.

Back to the bars…I had to adjust the recipe to what I had in the pantry and they came out divine. So here you go!

barsI hope you try them outsignature

sprinklingSprinklings of my reality is part of a 31 day challenge- read them all

Sprinklings: failed experiment

Five days ago I started a little experiment. I didn’t let anyone know, but I was curious as to what would happen. I am not really surprised with the outcome, but still disappointed.

What was my big experiment? I put “Pumpkin” (the new stuffy kitty) on the floor in the way to the bathroom, to see if anyone, besides me, would pick it up.

pumpkinkittyCollageDay one and two Pumpkin sat there while the family walked right over her.

Day three someone kicked her while walking to the bathroom but didn’t pick her up.  (At this point I wanted to toss in the towel, pick up Pumpkin and toss her into Kiddos room, but I didn’t. I needed to know how long it would take).

Day four Pumpkin was kicked over a bit more but still there forgotten.

Day five was my limit. Couldn’t take it anymore. Not sure if it’s because I was focusing on poor Pumpkin for being left and walked over. Or if it showed the reality here…I pretty much pick up everything that is out of place. Yes Kiddo is picking up her room without asking and Hubby does help out quit a bit with certain things. But why do I have to ask Kiddo and Hubby to pick something up?

This doesn’t seem right. When I asked them both about poor Pumpkin, Kiddo shrugged her shoulders and went to find her, now tossed thrown into her room. And Hubby said “Really? I didn’t notice.” I guess I have another project on my hands… training the family to pick up anything that is out of place and put it away, even if it’s not theirs.

Am I the only one? Please tell me someone out there is dealing with this too, because that straight-jacket only comes in white and we all know how quickly white gets dirty. I don’t really need to do any extra laundry. signature

sprinklingPart of a 31 day series, Sprinklings of my reality. Read them all