Cauliflower Mash with Kale and Salmon

Cauliflower Mash with Greens and Salmon

I like things less complicated. If you look at my instagram feed you’ll see simple movement through yoga with some other random workouts. If you look at my kitchen, I love clean counters and swept floors, simple cleaning keeps my head clear. If you look at my children, they wear simple clothing that I try to keep up with their growing legs but suitable for hard play. If you look at my friendships, they are simple because I don’t demand much and try to give simply what I can.

What’s simple for you? Knowing that not everything is for me…or that even the above mentioned always look so put together…where do you make things uncomplicated?

Hopefully dinner is simple…sometimes. This night it can be. … 

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Vegan Hawaiian Haystacks

Hawaiian Haystacks

How long does it take you to make dinner?

This dinner takes me until the rice is done cooking. Fast. It’s easy to throw together last minute…bonus points that everyone feels like they get to own what they make, personalizing their topping choices. I love mixing different flavors and textures together, so this is pretty close to the best dish. It’s not fancy, but it’s colorful.

More color = More healthy

(Last night one of my kids said, “Then it can have candies all over it, because they’re colorful, and it would be healthy!!” No. They would try to get away with saying that.)

If you’re new to hawaiian haystacks, the key topping ingredient is pineapple.

If you’re already familiar with them please consider changing up your options! Seriously, take out the meats and cheese (vegan!) and explore a little. I think you’ll be surprised at how tasty it can be. Consider this as a meatless Monday option!… 

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Red Lentil Stew with Spaghetti Squash

Red Lentil Stew with Spaghetti Squash

When I grew up, my grandparents lived just down the road from me. I remember bike riding on a dirt road for a mile to get to their house. I felt old and big and super responsible. I could ride all that way by my myself. When I was visiting them, I’d inevitably raid the candy jar and be offered multiple cookies. The tupperware that they have used to hold cookies in, whether store-bought milanos, chocolate covered graham crackers, or homemade peanut butter cookies is forever in my mind. I love that when we visited them this past summer, the same tupperware came out and my children were then the recipients of way too many cookies before dinner…. 

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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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