Spring Weekends in the CLE Burbs

Spring is definitely here in CLE! We had a beautiful weekend in the ‘burbs, filled with good food and pretty good weather. Friday night, B made us pizza. It had been forever since we had homemade pizza, and I was looking forward to it all week. I got to pick my toppings for my slices, too — it was pepperoni, eggplant, peppers and mushrooms. I love pizza with tons of veggies and also pepperoni on it!

After the kids went to bed, B and I stayed up somewhat late and watched Always Be My Maybe. It was just what I was looking for in my Friday night – a cute, funny romcom. I recommend it, especially if you already love Ali Wong.

Saturday morning FW got up early – like 5 something in the morning – so it was a long day. After breakfast, B went to Home Depot to get some stuff (it’s his second home these days) and then we went to our first event – a playdate with some friends who also have kids. FW had a blast playing on his favorite playground with LM and of course Celia, Maura and Maddie.

After the playground we headed home for lunch. B and FW hit up Home Depot (yes, again – 2x in one day!) while LM napped.. When he got back, it was time for our next adventure – Ruby’s birthday party! It was a party at a local ice cream shop, so I’m sure FW and LM had a good time. (we did too 🙂 )

After ice cream, we were going to try to watch soccer, but all the bars and restaurants nearby were overflowing and LOUD (aka not as kid-friendly as usual), so we just went home.

FW skinned his knees on our jog to the car, so he needed some extra care and wanted a special seat on the couch before dinner. Toddlers are a ton of work but tons of fun sometimes!

After FW and LM had dinner, it was off to bed semi-early and B and I had to figure out what we wanted. We had planned on going out after ice cream, but since it was too crowded, ended up not sure what to do for food. B was craving buffalo wings, so we ended up doing some takeout. I got a kids’ meal, which meant it came with a side (salad!) AND a drink.

Sunday morning, I got in a nice run – 6.3 solo miles. I had planned on taking out the jogging stroller, but B andFW and LM had breakfast and I got out semi-early (at least for a weekend). It was nice to still be out a little later than usual.

The day was somewhat productive. We did some meal prep, some cleaning, some playing, and some walking. It ended up being a nice day outside so B also got some outdoor chores in.

We ended the day with a jog around the block. FW ran pretty much the whole way!

And that was it. HAPPY PRIDE MONTH!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you like pistachio ice cream?
  • Was the weather nice near you?

LM Turns One

This weekend is brought to you by the letter F. F is for First birthday, Friends, Family and Food — all wonderful things and well, I’m still smiling over what an amazingly wonderful weekend it was.

Friday was LM’s first birthday. That’s right, LM turned one over the weekend and I can’t believe it! While I’m still emotionally recovering, we had a blast celebrating. Friday celebrations started off early – I took the afternoon off and we were able to get the kids early from daycare to spend some time at the playground. Both LM and FW loved the swings.

And then we took LM to get her first ice cream. No photos of her, but FW loved his 🙂

Friday night, B and I actually got in a date night. My parents came into town, so B and I snuck out to grab drinks.

And then we had tickets to see the Indians – they won!

We even made it out for an after dinner drink on East 4th.

Saturday came early (especially after staying out late Friday), but was filled with celebrations — it was LM’s party! She enjoyed her first cake.

B’s mom made the cake and cupcakes – isn’t she amazing?!

LM thought so. She got frosting in her nose 🙂

The weather was PERFECT and FW enjoyed playing with his friends, cousins and of course, me.

After Saturday’s perfect weather, Sunday turned out stormy. We managed to catch a break in the rain and made it to the Zoo with my parents.

LM is still a little too young to enjoy it, but FW had such a blast. His favorite animals are the giraffes and elephants, and he got in some quality time with both.

Monday morning my parents left, and we hit up the local Memorial Day parade. It starts about 2 miles from our house, so B rode with the kids on the bike and I ran over.

Post-parade included some hot dogs at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, followed by a run home.

Aftet naptime, it was time for bbq #2, this time at B’s uncle’s house.

FW had some more fun and food with his cousins and LM did some assisted walking.

And that was the end of our perfect three-day weekend. Cheers to the unofficial start of summer!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you watch a Memorial Day parade?
  • Did you get outside this weekend?

How I’m Learning to Deal with Picky Eaters

I have a confession to make. Last week alone, I fed my kid “chik’n” nuggets, grilled cheese and quesadillas … and I’m okay with it.

I never intended to buy frozen food, heat it up and serve it on a regular basis. I know my mom never did that (did you, mom? Because the only thing I’m pretty sure you bought frozen was tortellini, but you made it with your homemade sauce so that doesn’t count, right?) … and before kids, our dinners consisted of grilled meats and fishes, healthy grains, homemade sauces and dressings, salads and even homemade bread. So what happened?

how to deal with a picky eater toddler

I have a picky eater. My (almost) 3-year-old doesn’t like vegetables. Not even the so-called “kid-friendly” vegetables like broccoli or carrots (yes, people have told me that these are the veggies kids like). He doesn’t even really like pizza!

So how are we surviving? Here’s how I’ve learned to live with it:

  • Stop comparing and beating myself up. Before having kids, I’d heard people say that if you feed kids what you eat then they’ll have to eat it. Let’s just say that that’s not the case. That’s what we’ve tried to do, but my son is perfectly happy not eating dinner. If we’re eating something he doesn’t like, he’s happy going to bed without eating and then waking up at 3 a.m. starving. For his well-being (and attempt not to wake up at 3 a.m.), I prefer that not be the case.
  • Never give up. Just because he doesn’t like something the first time (or the 5th time), doesn’t mean he always won’t like it. And, the more he sees us eating different foods, the more likely he is to try them. You can imagine my astonishment when one day he reached for a drumstick off my husband’s plate and took a bite. And now “chicken on the bone” (as he calls it) is something he loves.
  • Find a food your kid loves and sneak the good stuff in it. My son loves muffins. We call him the muffin man. So you’d better bet that we’ve made spinach muffins, lentil muffins, zucchini cauliflower muffins, etc. Is he eating spinach or lentils or zucchini on a regular basis? Not by itself, but definitely in a muffin. And, after he’s eaten the muffins, I do tell him what is in there. His favorite muffin is a banana, zucchini, lentil, chocolate chip muffin.
  • Make mealtime fun. The last thing I want is to make dinner stressful. So maybe we’ll put the peas on his plate in the shape of a letter C. Or maybe the roasted carrots will be standing up. OR, maybe I’ll hide a gummy fruit snack under a few pieces of vegetables for him to find. And if he doesn’t eat them, he doesn’t eat them – but at least they make him smile.

Do you have any tips for fellow moms of picky eaters?

Note: This post originally appeared on my page on Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine’s website. I blog for them on occasion- see what else I have to say there!

Partying the Weekend Away (Family-Friendly Style)

We had a jam packed, fun weekend in CLE. The weather finally turned nice (on one day), and it included a birthday party, Indians game, some running, some working on the house and a Derby party. Man, I think I need another weekend just to recover from our fun – I’m feeling pooped!

Friday started with a LONG run – I got up at 4 a.m. and got in 11.23 mi before the kids woke up and it was time to get ready for school and work. Cleveland half marathon race day is just two weeks away!

Work flew by Friday. It was a busy day and I got pulled last minute into a 2 hour meeting, which made my morning fly by. And my coworker brought her dog in – look how cute he is!

 

We ended the day with BBQ for dinner – I forgot to take a pic of the food, but we all (even LM) got in on the fun 🙂

Saturday was by far our busiest day. It included some indoor playtime while it rained in the morning.

And an Indians game – they won!

Also, a birthday party for our neighbor – they now have a 1 year old! Their baby is actually in LM’s class at school, too.

And a Kentucky Derby party. This hat stayed on for about 30 seconds.

Sunday included some work around the house – we got a delivery of dirt so we can finally start our garden soon!

And a stroller run with FW. I got in 5+ miles, which I think ism longest stroller run ever. He fell asleep around 3-4 miles in, so I was able to go a little longer than usual.

FW and I also made some spinach zucchini banana muffins. They’re not as sweet as the muffins I’ve been making, but I hope they’ll get him to eat some more veggies!

We ended the day with a Cinco De Mayo themed dinner … that i forgot to get a picture of. Oh well – I assure you it was delicious 🙂 And instead I’ll leave you with a picture of a taco I had on Thursday.

  • How was your weekend?
  • Did you do anything for Cinco de Mayo?

March Comes Out Like a Snowy, Fluffy Lamb

HAPPY APRIL! Though looking at the weather we had this weekend, you wouldn’t know it was April. That’s because we got SNOW (a few inches!) on Saturday night into Sunday. It may have looked pretty, but I’m ready for spring already!

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Here’s a little bit about the whole weekend.

Friday started off with my long run. I typically do long runs on Saturdays, but opted instead to wake up at the crack of dawn Friday and run in the rain before anyone was up. No idea why, but it felt good to have my 8 miles done with before my day started!

Friday evening included a haircut … finally! I was planning on donating my hair and had to chop it all off to do so.

During the process I snapped a pic

And here’s the after shot! And I’m holding my hair … wow!

We spent some time indoors this weekend because it was rainy on Saturday. That meant lots of book reading!

And then it stopped raining, so I was able to get out for a stroller run with FW. I had done my long run early Friday, so only had to do 3 miles. It had been so long since we had gone out with the stroller, and it wasn’t easy!

And we ended the day with some pasta making!

The finished product. Chicken scallopini!

Sunday we woke up to snow! The 50 degrees from Saturday was gone. We were back to sweater weather.

The rest of the day included some bagels (unpictured) with B’s sister  and brother-in-law, naps, more indoor play and dinner with B’s family. All unpictured. I was a bad blogger at the end of the weekend and captured NOTHING on camera. Whoops!

Thank goodness the weather is looking up for this week – as pretty as it is, I’m done with this snow.

Some questions for you:

  • Did it snow near you this weekend?
  • Have you ever donated your hair?

 

Meatless Monday: Curried Lentil Soup featuring Gardein Beefless Ground

I recently was given a chance to try out some of Gardein’s meatless specialties, and once again, I love them. Even FW is a fan – he loves their 7 Grain Tenders. All their foods are easy to make and I love the variety of products they have. Plus, it’s vegan and kosher AND some are also gluten free!

With my care package, I was challenged to put together a recipe using Gardein goodies, featuring some Spring/Summer produce items. 

Spring and summer in Northeast Ohio bring abundant carrots, zucchini, herbs, etc. All of which are perfect to go in a soup! This easy crock pot soup is perfect for those rainy spring days where all you want is something comforting. Pair with some warm, crusty bread, and you’ve got the ultimate comfort food!

Curried Lentil Soup with Gardein Meatless Ground - vegetarian

Curried Lentil Soup (featuring Gardein Beefless Ground)

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 large sweet potato, cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large russet potato, cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cup green lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoons tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 cups Gardein beefless ground
  • shaved Parmesan, optional

Here’s what you do:

  1. Add all ingredients, minus the Gardein beefless ground to the crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. After cooked, remove about 3 cups of the soup and add to your blender. Blend it until it’s smooth and creamy. Add back to the slow cooker.
  3. Add in the 2 cups Gardein beefless ground. Stir well and cook on low for another 30 minutes.
  4. Top with shaved Parmesan if desired and serve with fresh bread.

Bonus: while my toddler didn’t quite like it (he’s a picky eater), my 10-month-old daughter love it! LM couldn’t get enough!

Screenshot 2019-04-01 11.52.16.png

Nutrition info calculated via MyFitnessPal – I take no credit or blame if it’s incorrect:)

Disclosure: I was given samples of Gardein’s meatless entrees to try out. All reviews and views are my own.

Linking up with Meatless Monday.

Pancakes, Pizza and Running

Some weekends are busy. Jam packed, with tons of fun activities, but barely any time to sit back and relax.

Other weekends are uneventful – not much planned, but plenty of time to hang out with family, friends, and get stuff done.

Last weekend was the former – but this weekend? This weekend was the latter. Not too much planned, so we filled it with good fun, running and some fun activities.

The good food started Friday night. We go meatless on Fridays during Lent, and this Friday B made jackfruit tacos al pastor. They were SO good and definitely brought me back to our days in Mexico City!

Saturday morning, after breakfast, I got in my long run for the week. I’m training for the Cleveland half marathon and had 7 miles on the schedule.

Afterwards, FW and I baked some muffins.

And we did our grocery shopping for the week:)

We continued the good food theme with homemade pizza for dinner.

And at night, B and I watched “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Sunday morning started with a new tradition we started last year- visiting the Burton, Ohio fire department for an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with local maple syrup.

This year was fun, as both kids got to enjoy pancakes.

We finished the weekend at B’s parents’ house for dinner. LM started feeling unwell, so hopefully she is better again soon. She has been sick on and off since January, and I don’t know how much more I can take! Can we just build a bubble to keep our kids safe and healthy?

Questions for you

  • Have you been sick lately?
  • What kind of pancakes do you like?