White Bean and Kale Quesadillas

White Bean & Kale Quesadilla

Sometimes easiest is best.

My husband’s main contribution to taking care of the house this past week has been helping with the dishes – easy. Means one less thing for me.

We talked to our oldest son about the truth of Santa (mentioned here) – it happened right before bed this past weekend. We didn’t make a fuss, I held in my tears, but it went over easy and matter-of-fact. We talked about Santa being part of the Spirit of Christmas and recruited him to help us keep that for the other two kids.

I ordered boots online so I don’t have to search for my size in-store – easy, but since all of them didn’t work, today I was on return duty. I think I’m giving up on my brown riding boot search for the year. I think it might be easier to accept that I won’t find any that fit my wide 11 feet.

I really enjoy waking up 45 minutes before the kids need to get up – easy…maybe not always, but worth it. I love the morning silence and although it’s a sleep sacrifice, the tone it sets to my morning creates ease…. 

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Healthy Chowder

Healthy Chowder - Dairy Free, Clams Optional

I feel so inspired.

I feel like we have a great opportunity to choose who supports us and who we reach out to. We have a choice to be lifted by the words, actions, art, service, and lives of so many around us. There are always surprise people that say kind things and reach out unexpectedly. For me, this happens in and out of social media. Granted some of our families might not be our #1 cheerleaders at all times (or ever for some) and we’ll have moments of really hard truth with close friends, I think we can find peace. I have a fighting heart that likes to feel and love and be loved. I think you do too.

I’ve had my share of hard truth sharing with friends. I mess up.

Several years ago, I was not as patient as I should have been, didn’t say things as gently as I could, and didn’t keep unhelpful thoughts to myself. I was a new mom, figuring out my place, my new life, and my new way of interacting with friends. I was called out on it. It was tough, and whether I thought I was totally wrong or right, I took the opportunity to change. It was hard because two friends came to me, they took me out for hot chocolate, then told me what a bad friend I was. They coated the message with desires to work through it…maybe. It was hard to take…. 

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Build Your Own Wild Rice Salad

Wild Rice Salad

Things are changing around here, I can feel it.

I’m paying more attention to the things I say yes to, knowing that when I say yes, I say no to something else. (Thanks to my friend Kristin for teaching me that.)

I’m listening to my heart and filling my day with the things that fill me up. I’m running, lifting, and doing yoga. I’m also helping in the school, organizing, and cooking. I’m trying to watch out for my literal & figurative neighbors and I’m connecting with new people. I’m taking time to think and feel and discover my center – that part of you can’t really touch. And I’m constantly trying to spend good amounts of time with my children, making sure every day they know how much I love them and want to listen to them.

Our home gym is getting a makeover – which I’ll be revealing here on Carrot Bowl this week.

Soups are starting to take over the weekly menu, thanks to the changing seasons.

Wild Rice Salad

Tyler and I are gearing up to have the “no Santa” talk with our oldest. He has brought it up several times now, but with the other kids around, and he says that no one else believes it (to which I’m assuming his friends) and “how can their really be magic reindeer, anyway.” A part of my heart feels like it has a hole ripped out even considering this. It seems like we just got to this magical time with all the kids and then it was over so fast! This isn’t fair! But at the same time, I’m trying to think of the positive, how he can help with the magic for his siblings. He’s a good boy and he will be excited about “helping,” but even so, I’m trying not to feel sad…. 

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Southwestern Patties for a Quick Dinner

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I love summer for it’s spontaneity. We can go anywhere anytime.

We are entering our last week of summer here in Portland and I have a pretty good schedule laid out for the week. I’ve decided to go out with a bang – I’m going to be a really fun mom this week; at least I’m going to try. Maybe I should be boring so they actually want to go back to school. I have one that is excited to go and one who is not. I don’t think there’s any way around that. It’s also going to be a new adventure this year because I’ll have my 3-year-old with me all day without the entertainment help of another child.

What I’ll miss: easy mornings, continuous kid crafting, not having a busy night schedule, mid-day adventures, forts all over the house

What I’m excited for: time for some hobbies, watching my kids grow, going grocery shopping with only one child, not hearing arguing throughout the day

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I also love summer for it’s fresh produce. I am seriously going to miss melons in a couple months. I think I just ate the best honeydew a couple days ago! But then honey crisp apples are coming back in, so that gives me a good reason to look forward to fall…and soups…and pumpkin flavored everything…and how my boots died the end of winter so I’ll be on the hunt for new ones.

Regardless of summer, end of summer, or new boots, I love quick meals. Meals are the best that I can make with simple prep, that are customizable, but combine lots of different flavors. This meals is one of our favorites…. 

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Simple Salsa with Tomatillos

Simple Salsa

Homemade salsa is one of the things I crave. After I make it, I wonder why I didn’t make it sooner. Especially since it’s gone within two day of making it. This is a super simple salsa that will win you major crowd points and you’ll want to find excuses to put it on anything and everything.

I eat it straight up with chips (my favorite are the multigrain ones from costco), on enchiladas, vegan nachos, mixed into vegan posole or black bean stew, or combined with simple hummus for an amazing dip. You’re covered with options to choose from.

This recipe is inspired from Tyler’s Grandma Eveyln. We were lucky enough to live by his grandparents when we were ungrad students at BYU. They were the first family I met when Tyler and I were dating and we visited often to play games, eat some good food, and enjoy their cozy home. It was nice having them close to us and I’ll treasure that time I got to know them. Go cougars!!… 

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How to Make Healthier Pizza

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Pizza is not a common thing around our house, but sometimes it shows up. And although this looks dowsed in cheese, it’s not. This is how to make a healthier pizza. The cheese is only sprinkled on the very top – think of cheese as a spice rather than a main food. That will help with proportioning it right. And if you’re not ready to give up cheese, it will allow you to have it, but changing the way you think about cheese will change the way you use it (refrain from slicing the dubliner sharp white cheddar to snack on…that was my favorite cheese).

Pizza is crunchy and soft all at the same time. It has flexible ingredients and can be made to order. It can be heavy or taste healthy. There really are some benefits for our tastebuds here! That said, this is a sometimes food and should be made as healthy as possible.

Pizza is full of carbs, typically covered in cheese, and often has greasy components added to it.

I’m out to fight some of this.

I don’t think food needs to be greasy and thick and stick-to-your-ribs to enjoy it. Actually, the reverse is true. With food, as with a lot of things in life, less really is more; more of you feeling good. If we really think about every single thing we eat, we’ll probably get the figure we desire more easily and be a lot healthier physically. … 

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