Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spicing up Seattle


I love living in Seattle especially on days like today. The sun sparkles as it hits all the bodies of water surrounding this great city. The smell of sand, salt and food is almost always in the air. That's the best part, the food. This city is packed full of fantastic restaurants, great food writers and photographers. This is a city where you can really enjoy a good meal.

Octopus Potato

I follow a lot of Seattle Food Bloggers and know where they get their inspiration from. This city just provides tons of it from the Pike Place Market to all the fantastic farms within a short drive. Of course this means I have a ton of recipes that I'm dying to make but no good place to collect them. I was excited to recently learn about Kitchenbug which is a smart recipe collector that shows dietary and nutritional information on any recipe from any website. The other awesome thing about Kitchenbug is that you can adjust the size of your recipes. This is great for me since I have two adults, one toddler and one sometimes I eat food baby eater. I don't need a dinner that makes enough for 6 people. I like to adjust my meals so we have the right amount of food.

This was from the kid's menu! It was delicious but so much food. We helped Molly finish it.

I've been hard at work collecting some of my favorite Seattle recipes on Kitchenbug in a collection box named, "Spicing Up Seattle". I have a few favorites and a few recipes I'm dying to try in there. Come check it out and tell me, what are your favorite Seattle recipes? 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pumping the Race

8:42 am I wash my pump parts and bottles. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

Exclusively pumping is like running a marathon. You start out with the best of intentions and goals. You'll pump as long as this child needs you to pump! You pump 8-10 times a day. It is mind-numbling boring and sometimes a bit painful. The amount of time you spend pumping each day never seems to decrease. Sometimes you'll ask for advice on how to get more efficient and people will tell you to throw in another pump session to boost your output. You pump in the strangest of places because while you may travel away from home, your boobs can't leave the pump behind. You'll waver. You'll stop at the water station and think, I'm not going to finish this race. I'm ready to throw in the pump.


And if the pumping marathon finish line is one year, I'm getting ready to quit the race halfway through. I've been sprinting for the last 13.1 miles and I'm done. My training partner keeps trying to trip me up. She doesn't like waiting for the milk to be produced but won't drink from the tap. She's getting more wiggly and doesn't want to sit while I pump. Her cohort sister is either a great supporter (MORE PUMP, MAMA!) or a great hinderance (NO PUMP, MAMA!). And my body keeps rebelling. I've had mastitis three times, three painful times. My output has decreased with each instance and Maggie is thriving on a mix of breast milk, formula and solid food. I've made it this far and I'm done. This is the end of my breastfeeding career and I can say it was a wild one. 

9:58 am Pumping while Maggie naps and Molly is distracted with the iPad. #adayinthelifephotochallenge

All in all though, I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished with breastfeeding it certainly didn't go the way I expected but little in life does. In some ways, it was easier than I expected and in other ways, it was WAY more difficult than I thought it would be. I fed both my babies with some breast milk for some period of time which is great. Now I get to reclaim hours of my day back. I won't have to rush home to pump. I'm a bit giddy at the freedom, I see within my grasp. I'm also excited to really start exercising again. Each time I've tried while pumping, I've gotten sick. 

I do have some guilt at weaning from the pump. Logically, I know this is worthless guilt as I've done everything to help Maggie breast feed and in the end get breast milk but emotionally, I feel a bit like I'm letting Maggie down. The heart and the head don't always meet in a logical place. The thing is at some point I am going to wean from the pump. I may be doing it a few months earlier and I really can't continue with the status quo. Three bouts with mastitis just does a person in! I have started the pump weaning process and I plan to take it slow so that I don't get sick again. I've been pumping 4x a day and shortening the amount of time that I pump. I was pumping 30 minutes each time. Now I pump 25 minutes each time and I'll be dropping that down to 22 minutes after a few days. I'll continue dropping down the minutes I pump until I'm down to 5 minutes when I'll start dropping pumps. It's a long, slow process but one I'm trying to be careful with. 


All in all, this little face made all the pumping worth it. Her cubby little thighs are proof of my efforts which is a reward in itself. Now we're moving on to a new stage in her food adventure and I can't wait to continue to introduce her to all the yummy food out there. She's already a huge fan of sweet potatoes, apples and bananas. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fresh and Fruity Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles

blueberry popsicles3

It's been a scorcher of a weekend around here. Seattle has been in the 90s which for us is HOT! HOT! HOT! We've been spending a lot of time in the water which helps us to keep our cool. Another great way we've been keeping our cool was with these fresh and fruity Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles. Making popsicles was also on our Summer Bucket List so we've knocked another fun thing off our list!

blueberry popsicles

I used these popsicle molds and found them to be awesome! Pro Tip: Running the frozen popsicles under a bit of warm water helps release the yummy frozen treat. 

blueberry popsicles4

My popsicle taste tester heartily approved of these treats and even requested one for breakfast. I gave in. It was already in the 80s and heck, these have fruit in them so they are practically healthy. 


Blueberry Lime Yogurt Popsicles
by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (Makes 6 popsicles)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest + 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 12 oz blueberries (fresh or frozen; thaw if frozen)
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup greek yogurt
1. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and corn starch.
2. Slowly stir in the lime juice, lime zest and water.
3. Bring to a boil before adding the blueberries. Cook the blueberries until they start to pop. Set aside and allow mixture to cool.
4. Whip the honey, greek yogurt and lime zest together in a small bowl.
5. Spoon soon of the blueberry mixture into the molds and then add the yogurt. Alternate for a nice swirled look.
6. Insert the sticks and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours.
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blueberry popsicles3

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Twenty Nine Weeks with Chicken Nugget

Maggie 29 weeks

It's been a scorcher of a week around here! Luckily we've managed to stay cool through most of it but I think I may have used an entire bottle of sunscreen on Maggie and Molly. We started out the week with our monthly trip to Costco. It was the first time that Maggie was able to ride in the cart with Molly. As you can see they were 'thrilled'.


On Monday, Molly started swim lessons and Maggie slept right through them. I decided to walk up to the nearby wading pool that afternoon to cool both kids off. It's straight up a hill and pushing a Double Bob with 60+ lbs of weight was quite the workout for me. Maggie thought the water was awesome and giggled so much which made the hike up the hill totally worth it. 


It was super sunny so I wrapped Maggie up in her swaddling blanket. I took this picture to send to Scott because it made me laugh. Molly wouldn't look at the camera because a fire truck was going by and that was way more awesome than I'll ever be. Luckily Maggie still finds me to be more interesting than a truck. 


Maggie spent most of the week working on her water skills and angry backward crawling. She keeps getting stuck under tables, the couch and the media center. Her angry look cracks all of us up! I figure one day she'll figure out how to get out of reverse and start crawling forward. We walked to Molly's swim lessons one day which was awesome. Maggie and Molly both enjoy riding in the stroller and I enjoyed the walk. Hopefully we'll be able to do the same next week. 


We ate most of our meals outside which I love because it means less clean-up inside. Maggie is at the especially messy stage of eating where food is everywhere. She is loving solid food though and eats a lot of spinach, sweet potatoes, apples and pears. 


We ended the week with a trip to the Greenlake Wading Pool where Maggie got to really experience a wading pool, swim diaper and all. Like her sister, Maggie is looking like she'll be a water baby. I think I have lots of time sitting by the pool in my future. It's a good thing that I love swimming!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Oatmeal Granola Cookies


Molly has been resisting naps lately which means our afternoons can feel long. Earlier this week, I decided we needed a diversion from our no-nap afternoon and since Molly loves baking, I thought it would be fun to make cookies with her.


Oatmeal cookies are a favorite around here because we like to pretend that they have some nutritional value. I also had some granola leftover from my granola-fest in May that needed to be used up before it went bad. I decided to mix in the granola along with some dried fruit to my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe. The end result was delicious! My recipe tester couldn't keep her hands off them. 


Oatmeal Granola Cookies

by Rebecca Mongrain
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients (makes 2 dozen)
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup granola
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Cream the butter, oil and sugar together until fluffy and smooth. Slowly add in milk and vanilla extract and mix together.
3. Sift together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add the rolled oats and granola to the dry mixture.
4. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined.
5. Stir in the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and dried fruit.
6. Place the dough by the tablespoon on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
7. Cool for 5 minutes before enjoying.
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