Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Scoop

It seems like just yesterday Cassidy was a baby. She's so spunky. At church she is super vocal and makes friends with everyone, especially the older boys. The teachers tell me she often hugs them in passing between classes.

Last week one of her teachers said that she was teaching a lesson on missionary work. Cassidy was quick to chime in that she wouldn't be going on a mission. Her teacher expected that Cass might say it was because she was girl, to which she was prepared to respond that she herself had been on a mission. Cass said, "I can't go on a mission because I'm going to be an ice cream man." She has also recently said this career choice would mean she wouldn't be going to college either.

We all got a kick out of it. She cracks me up. Sometimes she even has nightmares about not being good at anything. Girls and self-esteem. Whoa. And then there's Boston who, in typically manly form, will often vocalize how good he is at things. And if I tell him he probably shouldn't do something, he explains how he'll try anyway and figure it out. Sneaky and persistent like dad.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Running: Por 'K'?

I'm in an GPT (group personal training) class. Basically it's 10 girls and one awesome trainer. Most of the girls keep food logs and submit exercise/food journals weekly (I find myself skipping that most of the time!).

Our trainer is a fabulous, pregnant freak of nature. I love her! She recently ran a marathon and, when her new socks got too irritating, she finally removed her socks and shoes and ran the last 3 miles barefoot. Whoa. She used to be a cardio junky, but now keeps it well-rounded with some hard core weight lifting.

I love weight lifting, I must say. I love the burn, the challenge, and the hilarious moans from classmates when Annie (awesome trainer) says to hold, do 10 more small lifts, then hold again. It's pretty classic.

I appreciate runners. To be honest, my opinion is that I find long-distance running much like natural childbirth. I have such respect for both, and I think I probably could if I worked hard and had the drive, but...nah.

The class wanted to do a local 5k because one of our Xtreme GPT girls was organizing one for her son's school. It was really fun to be part of the excitement, but both my mind and my bladder were further convinced it isn't my true passion in life (you can always count on me to keep it real aka provide too much information!).

Alas, it was fun and inspiring because we all ran back to meet up with one of our girls who has been working so hard to achieve major weight loss. She puts forth more than most of us each class and I'm in awe at her determination. Her transformation is already taking flight. Way to go, Julie!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Best Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I'm making these right now, and they are dddeeeelicious. The recipe is courtesy of one of my awesome neighbors. Love her. And I've never met a kid who didn't like these yummers.

They contain no sweeteners, butter, eggs, or wheat, so eat up, I say!
I use the dry blade to blend the oats and almonds, but a magic bullet or food processor can also do the trick. I pulverize the oats and almonds into dust!

2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1/4 cup oil (I'm going to use coconut!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
optional 3/4 cup raisins, carob, or mini chocolate chips

Adjust baking racks evenly in oven. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. Grind oats and almonds. Pour them into large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl (or in the blender/food processor) beat together bananas, oil, and vanilla until creamy. Add banana mixture and raisins or chips to oat mixture. Mix well.

Drop cookie dough by tablespoons on both cookie sheets. Bake both sheets at once, rotating halfway through baking. Bake 10-13 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I'm SO not pregnant, but nesting so badly. I think it's the culmination of our house being in upheaval for a while with the flood/remodel. It also must be that I'm mentally trying to feel settled and create an atmosphere at home that feels complete, polished, and my own personal retreat. Of course fighting through the clutter and debris of 3 little hurricanes offers a bit of challenge, but I'm excited about design for the first time in a long time. I'm always texting/calling Charlotte and Julyssa for advice on where to put stuff and what colors to channel.

Loving this pillow from West Elm...

I think it'll look great with the beautiful colors in the print I bought in Hawaii!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hella-Long Aloha, or Aloha Oi Vey

I had been considering a trip to LA by myself over the 24th of July and got a text from Nikki telling me she had that weekend off. We had debated possibly going somewhere new to change things up (not that going to SoCal ever gets old for me!). Apparently Oahu is Nikki's retreat, and I was so thrilled she wanted to share some of that paradise with me!

Naturally, I had one main hesitation. After high school, it finally dawned on me that Nikki is an introvert (duh, Chels) and I'm, well, pretty much the most extroverted person on the planet. Would I drive her nuts with my incessant conversation and probing to get to the inner workings of one my oldest and dearest buddies? I told her I'd try to not annoy her. I'm sure other moms can understand that--due to lack of adult interaction--sometimes we become chatterboxes and a little obnoxious when we have some 'time off' from bum-wiping, constant meal-preparation, and endless cleaning. My main goal was to relax and capture some of that aloha spirit.
{Are my snuggly poses one of the reasons someone asked if we were on a 'romantic' vacation?}
{The view from our room!}

Can I just say that this trip FAR-EXCEEDED my expectations?! Nikki was a true angel. She is methodical and determined (determined as in making sure we made the 3 mile roundtrip walk to Zippy's for fried chicken, shave ice and malasadas!), but more importantly accomodating and kind. She always made sure I had what I needed and took care of me, knowing I'm there a lot less often than she is! I loved doing crossword puzzles together (apparently my college degree did not help that part of my brain!) and visiting the hotel's VIP lounge at least 3 times daily for breakfasts, afternoon snacks (jars of cookies/trailmix), hors d'oevres (spears of veggies/hummus) and desserts (somewhat dry cake). The VIP lounge workers knew us well and by the second day, they would bring me my cocktail of choice before I even sat down (Sierra Mist and cranberry juice with a lime!).

The quirkiness factor that I can't stop smiling about can be seen in Nikki's urging for us to take the stairs instead of the elevator to our room (16th floor) and her cute perfectionism. Even in looking for a t-shirt for sister Jenny, she'd contemplate the colors, the sizes, and whether or not it was the best option.

I loved hiking Diamondhead where she glistened with sweat and I rained, though actually I love sweating...strange, I know. We rented a beach umbrella one day and just sat back and read and worked on our crosswords. So fun. The best thing, however, must've been when we paddle-surfed. I haven't gotten the water-proof camera pix developed, but man, I'm praying they turn out! It took a while for me to grasp the concept, but I loved being out on the water. I was just following the pro (Dr. Nikki!) and we soon realized there weren't many other surfers around us anymore. I was hopping back on my board and saw 3 dolphins dipping in and out of the calm surf. I started screaming and couldn't get back on my board because I was so excited. Well, let's just say, we were both so excited that we may have wet our pants on this excursion! There were dolphins everywhere. Some were flipping up in the air. It was so amazing, and magical, although at moments we were nervous, knowing we were basically helpless in the middle of the ocean. With bits of trepidation, we couldn't help but follow the small herds around. It was ridiculously cool. I couldn't stop saying, "Oh wow." "Oh my gosh." "Oh man." "Oh my goodness!" Nikki was making fun of me the whole trip for it. Suddenly every meal I ate and everything I did and saw received the same reaction. I told her to be grateful that I'm so easily pleased!

We both fell in love with a local artist, Heather Brown. I love the bright colors in her simple ocean paintings. And I love that even though Nikki's a stinkin' brainiac, she's also so artistic and went home to try her hand at some colorful canvas art. I bought a print to remember this fantastic trip.

{Our lounge buddies. We'd pretend we didn't know them, and they'd pretend they hadn't already seen us multiple times each day. They even packed a bag of Nikki's favorite cookies for our flight home.}
{side shot because blogger taking too long to re-upload. Nikki playing Scrabble and sorting her trail mix.}
{Mmmm. Local omelet (spam, chinese sausage, eggs, and rice) at Bogart's}
{Stairs heading up Diamondhead.}

Before departing for Hawaii, I had an entire day to spend with my beautiful mom in LA. So wonderful. And I even got to stop in and see Christy's new bundle of joy, Rhys. I'll post those pictures/details next. I'm sure I've already lost my 2 regular readers in this lengthy rambling!