Monday, September 29, 2014

Bad News Folks - Kale is Still Good for You (How to Make Super Easy Yummy Kale Chips)

It's unfortunate, but the the latest news is that kale is packed with protein and fiber and stuff.

Even worse - it's still considered healthier than chocolate!  Unless you have a thyroid condition.  Then you may or may not be off the hook.


NPR had this great show on how to make super easy kale chips that you don't even have to pay $6 for a two ounce bag.  So I did my usual sort of semi-following the recipe and came up with this delicious version.

Easy Delicious Microwave Kale Chips


1) Buy the wrong kind of kale.  NPR recommends Lacinato kale, because it's flatter.  But Target only has one kind.

2) Search for where the toddler hid and essential part of the salad spinner.  This gives the cat proper grazing time.


3) Abandon search in favor of watching the cat and child battle it out for the kale.



4) Cat wins.

5) Put kale into a bowl.  Toss with a couple of tablespoons of oil.

6) Accidentally put in double the salt that NPR said.  Because who really looks back at the directions after hearing them once?  

7) Put in whatever seasonings you think would taste good on kale chips.  I used Old Bay Seasoning this past time, because any seasoning that's been around for 70 years probably doesn't cause cancer.

8) Lay on a single layer on a plate.  Microwave 2-3 minutes, or to perfection.  Devour.




8) Cause a small microwave fire making a second batch, by being too distracted by how delicious the first batch is.  #don'tjudgeme #thatwasthefunpart



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Friday, September 26, 2014

Waking News... {Photo Friday}

Child of Momtographer/Blogger wakes with cell phone in her face.  News at eleven.





Why yes...that IS olive oil in her hair. #ItWasAnAccident #WhyYouShouldDefinitelyTakeMyImaginaryParentingClasses





Sunday, September 21, 2014

Stealth Home Improvement: A How (Not) to Guide

I try and time all my home improvement projects just right.  That means, making sure that The-Guy is either asleep or at work and that I don't plan anything more than an hour or two in advance.

It's a delicate balance, but I like to get things done not only before I get distracted but also BEFORE The-Guy catches on to how impractical I'm being.

There are disadvantages to Stealth Home Improvement though, such as the fact that I usually start the project before reading any tutorials or instructions.  Still, I've muddled my way through quite a few of these things, and I thought, "Why not share my best tricks?"



1) Impulsiveness

Make sure and hop on the task at the first feasible moment, preferably before talking to (or waking up) any other family members.  This ensures that none of them will talk you out of it, tell you why it can't be done, or question your ability to do it.

2) The "Before Picture"

Don't take one.

If you had any success whatsoever with point #1, you didn't have time anyway.  Besides, a "during" picture is close enough, right?



3) Your Staff

Make sure you have a toddler helping you the majority of the time.

Sure, it's okay if dad or an older sibling takes care of the toddler for an hour here or there, but if you need frequent breaks from your home improvement project, make sure the baby is along for the ride.

This not only ensures that your hands won't dry out in your work gloves (might as well apply lotion every sixth time you take them off to help the baby with something), but it gives you practice repeating the words, "No, that's BIG OWIE!  BIG OWIE" an indefinite amount of times, and lets you assess how well your child is currently following directions.

Besides, you need *someone* to play "woe-sie" (ring around the roses) with the shoe molding.




4) Your Support

Make sure you visit the LEAST helpful person employed Home Depot while renting any critical equipment.  But only after having asked a similar question of someone at Lowe's and gotten a vaguely insulting response.

Ask plenty of questions, despite getting one word responses and no help.  Don't bother stopping the toddler from toppling all the WD40 off the shelf, since the guy isn't taking three steps out from behind the counter to help anyway.  Feel free to put the WD40 back on the shelf afterward though.



5) Research

Question experts and home improvement store employees alike.  Read as much as you can on the internet.  Then, do whatever you were planning on doing in the first place.  They all disagree anyway, so what's the difference?

6) Methods

Leave the lid to the paint can in a handy place.  You want to be able to step on it whenever possible.


And put your knee in it.


Or, just work barefoot.  You don't want to pass up a chance for battle scars.


Don't bother taking the giant couch out of the room.


You can always paint around it.  Somehow.

Yoga helps.


7) Logistics

Make sure and start destroying another room before finishing this room.  OK!  Make sure and start destroying a FOURTH room before finishing this project!!!!  But only if you count the entry hallway as a "room".


8) Be sure and keep going with it while you still have aches and pains over every inch of your entire body.  If you regain use of your neck, back, or wrists, you might lose your motivation and stamina.


And that's about it for advice from me!  If you really want to make a nice looking floor, you might try...anywhere else but here.  Just kidding!  Here's one that's really nice!


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Friday, September 19, 2014

Breakfast of Champions {Photo Friday}

What can I say?  Photo Friday has become Toddlerfest-Friday.  I can't help it.  She's a convenient and mostly willing model.

Plus she looks cute when having ice cream for breakfast.


We were camping!  We HAD to eat it before we left.  Something about not having any more room and/or ice in the ice chest.


Boy did we EVER pay the price for this little junk food / no nap / no bedtime binge!


She went feral big time.  Plus, her tummy wasn't so happy either.  Luckily she recovered in time for a whole new set of bedtime battles this week.



On a much sadder note, although this lawn chair was sort of a blue-green turquoise, I think it is blue enough to dedicate to this week's post to Blue for China.  Blue for China is an easy and no cost way to help a child whose best friend passed away last week in a pedestrian-car accident (the friend was walking).

Take a photo of yourself with a blue shirt on and tag it #blueforchina on Facebook or Instagram.  It's that easy!

I'm not sure whether or not the official campaign is over, but I know for certain that doing something so very simple has made a positive difference in the life of a child.

You could do it too.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Vegan / Paleo Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie - Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Yet Still Amazingly Edible!

This is the last in my "secret ingredients" series, which is to say ingredients that you think are going to taste all kinds of eeew until the very moment that you blend them together in a smoothie and it tastes so wonderful that you can hardly wait for breakfast each morning.

I mean, I can hardly wait for breakfast ANYWAY, because I just like food that much.  But this is a seriously yummy smoothie.


It comes out all kinds of thick and creamy.

In fact, it's just like Friendly's ice cream except not as cold and it doesn't have any milk.  Or ice.  Or cream.  Or bright food color.  Or whey protein concentrate.  Or mono and diglycerides for that matter.

But aside from that, it's EXACTLY like Friendly's ice cream!

If you haven't made friends with avocados yet, you might want to head back to this vegan / pale Chocolate Mousse Smoothie recipe first.  It's an amazingly delicious way to convince yourself that fruits and vegetables aren't the enemy after all, no matter how healthy they are.

And try this recipe for my Naturally Sweet Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie if, like me, you regularly mistake dates for giant cockroaches.  It turns out that if you grind the daylights out of them in a blender, they actually sweeten things up quite nicely!




But there's a THIRD ingredient lurking in this recipe, and you might notice it in the little striped bowl pictured above.  It's spinach.  Yes, spinach is part of the reason this recipe, unlike Friendly's ice cream, needs no food color at all.

And guess what?  You can't even taste the stuff!!  Seriously, you can throw in way more than what's pictured and still have no idea it's in there.  Just ask my boy.  He never knew until I told him what he was eating.


Of course, you have to get that delicious peppermint flavor somewhere.  I get mine from the Jeannette Kauffman's at Young Living, because Jeannette is a photography buddy of mine.  Young Living brand is completely edible (this is something you want to research if you use a different brand - eating stuff that is not food can be unsafe!).

You seriously only need two drops of this stuff in the smoothie.  And you can even start with just one drop and take a taste.  It's that potent.  Three or four drops will leave you trying to remember whether or not you actually like peppermint.

This is NOT a sponsored post.  Believe me, all of Blogsilvania will know about it if and when I do a sponsored post.  But this is not it.  This is just a recipe and that's all.  Happy weekend everyone!


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Friday, September 05, 2014

Life, the Universe, and Everything {Photo Friday}

Hi!  Here's me pondering life, the universe, and everything.  Don't I look thoughtful?


JUST KIDDING!  I've really just brought my hands down from atop my head in order to mess up my hair and declare this photo session OVER, thankyouverymuch.

Just in case the entire internet hasn't already been notified, Mom took me to the department of motor vehicles yesterday for two and half hours!  That is a whole special category of fun!

I hope everyone else has had as much fun as I have this short week!  Happy weekend everyone!

The Boonga

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

How to be Mean Using Technology: A Tutorial on Making Your Kid Stay on the Same Old Boring App No Matter How Many Foot Selfies She's Already Posted to Facebook and Snapchat:

Some of you may already be aware that The Boonga is quite comfortable with technology. That would probably be because she sent you a foot selfie. Or two. Or twelve...


Although not ALL of them are foot-selfies.  Some of them are quite respectable, as selfies go:


The point is, she sometimes tells me she wants to "pay emmoh" (play on the Elmo App), and I agree, setting the timer for a reasonable 10 or 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, she starts her phone rampage by disabling the timer and follows up with spamming the known universe with pictures of her foot.

Somewhere on the internets I found the secret to only letting her use ONE APP at a time!


It was hard enough to find that I decided to write instructions for when I forget how.  And also in case anyone else wants to know.  Sorry children of readers, but it's pretty easy:

Go to "Settings":



Then press "General":

Then "accessibility":

From there you have to scroll down kind of a long way.  Like, I thought I was on the wrong screen.  But it's there, under the balance for left and right audio volume balance.  Whoever put it that far down the screen was serious about his or her audio and was NOT the proud owner of a technology savvy toddler I'm guessing.


Then you just move the little switch thingy-me-bobber from off to on, let it guide you through entering a password, and then watch your child's utter despair as "Emmoh" refuses to grant access to the many wonders of the virtual world.



I had to turn the "Accessibility Shortcut" on (slide over to green) on the iPad, but not when I did it on my iPhone, so that part may or may not be optional.

For whatever reason, Older Gal took not just one, but TWO videos of The Boonga's anguish as I reacted in equal or greater heartache (It's HEARTBREAKING and DIFFICULT to set limits, but so very worth it):



I'm sure the internet users of the world will be falling all over themselves thanking me for the general reduction in foot-selfies.  Until The Boonga figures out my password, that is.

 Good luck parents (and teachers) of the world!!!!

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