It’s official: CG is now a Soccer mom

Shorty has been playing soccer for about a year.  This year, however, the organization she plays for is trying something new…they’re trying to train up a competitive team for the following year.  So for the next year, several  of the players (who sign up of course) will undergo labor intensive skills/drills training to become the best players they can be.

Sounds great!  I think…

But I had to warn her: to whom much is given, much is required.  Practice days will increase from two to three.  There will be more physical exertion required than on her current rec league. Out the gate, the players will have to run a 5K their first week of practice, and their first game will be played an hour away from home.

So where does that leave me?  In “soccer mom/tiger mom” land?

Who’s bright idea was that?  Oh yeah, I forgot…it was mine.
So now the rat race begins…

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I fully expect this year to be full of long nights of completing homework and extended road trips.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need to lie down…even the thought of the upcoming year is making me tired.

#timetorun
#letuspray

 

Banana muffins: vegan/gluten free

Sunday morning I woke to a very sad sight…ripened bananas.  In my mind I was about to enjoy one of those bad boys slathered in almond butter and chia seeds, (don’t knock it til you try it,) unfortunately mother nature had different plans.

Initially I unpeeled them to freeze for smoothies at a later date, but that did not solve my initial dilemma: what was I gonna eat for breakfast?!

So, I logged into Pinterest, searched banana recipes, and banana bread recipes flooded my front page.  Did I mention I LOVE banana bread?!  But I had to keep searching for a specific recipe.  You see, Tiny has several food allergies including: fish, egg and wheat, and I try to make things friendly for her when I make them from scratch…so the search continued.

As you can imagine I found several recipes for vegan banana bread, and several recipes for gluten free bread, but not many that were both vegan AND gluten free.  Not only that…I found my gluten free pantry stash was getting pretty low, so that meant I had to get a little creative.

By now, I’m hungry AND determined, so I did what any good parent would do…I dug into my cabinets, and started pulling out ingredients…

Here’s what I came up with:

Vegan/Gluten Free Banana Muffins

1tbsp baking powder
1  1/4 c  gluten free flour4 ripened bananas
1/3 c coconut flour
1/4 c chia seed gel
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

This recipe was surprisingly good.  The edges were a little crisp, and the inside was plenty moist.  One thing I might consider changing for future recipes is the amount of sugar.  Because my bananas were fairly ripe, I found the coconut sugar almost made it overwhelmingly sweet…and that is a major no-no when it comes to banana bread!

banana

All in all, I’ll admit this  was a pretty good start for CG’s return to Tiny-friendly baking.  Now, that I’m on a roll, let’s see what else I can scrounge up as CG’s cooking adventures continue.

Until next time…
#HappyBaking

#Day5

 

 

Vegan Sloppy Joes: Day 4

A few weeks ago I made an impulse purchase—and grabbed picked up a pack of green lentil’s at Aldi. Lentils frequently come up in the vegan database when trying to find protein, so I figured, it couldn’t be too bad.

So I took my package home and did what any confused mom looking to feed her brood would do: I went to Google.
The first thing that popped into my search was a vegan chili recipe.  Pinned it, made it and loved it.

vegan chili

Vegan Lentil Chili featuring cilantro & avocado slices

But there’s only so much chili one person can stand.  So the search continued.

That’s when I ran across multiple recipes for Lentil Sloppy Joe’s.  What you say now?!  I LOVE Sloppy Joes!

Growing up, Sloppy Joe’s were a staple.

Everyone has their own way…some prefer Manwich, other slather their meat of choice with BBQ sauce.

I’m a part of the latter camp, so if BBQ sauce isn’t your idea of a good time—stop reading now!

This recipe makes four servings.  You can always double it if you’d like.

1 c of green lentils
1/2 c of brown rice3 1/2 c of water
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 tbsp garlic salt
3 tbsp of any Masterpiece Grilling Seasoning (I’ve made this recipe using to variations thus far, but I prefer the chicken.)

Boil brown rice in 1 1/2 c of water in a separate boiler.
Wait 15-20 minutes and put the remaining ingredients into a separate boiler.  Once tender in both pots combine.  Can be eaten as a side item, if you’d like, but if you came for the main event, add some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (as much as you like) and slap that bad boy on a bun, and call it a night!

While this probably goes without saying, I’ll mention it here:  this recipe is a great meal for lunch or dinner, but if you choose to try this for breakfast one morning (you know, cause you like leftovers, or are really lazy like myself) be warned, the chicken grill masterpiece seasoning has kick, and it could be a bit much for your morning fare.
You’ve been warned.
Now, unfortunately I did not grab any pictures of the finished product this time, I suspect this will become a pretty regular staple, so stay tuned for pics of that.

Until next time!

The truth hurts…DAY 3

When you think of summer you think of fresh fruit, swimming pools and barbeque!

We grilled a little for Memorial: nothing fancy, some hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken wings.  While I enjoyed the meaty fare I started longing for the days of vegan eats and veggie based treats.

Truth be told, I’ve doubled back on this journey multiple times.  I was initially ashamed at my lack of discipline.  I mean, at home I was fine, but I found that as I ventured out, things became a little hairy.  Add that with being on the go, promoting my new photography venture, and it spelled DISASTER.

But then, I ran across other vegan bloggers.  The more I read, the more at peace I became with my wavering. Some promoted going cold turkey.  Others suggest a slow ease into the lifestyle. The common theme that stood out in each of them was to “go at your own pace.”

This is no one’s journey but your own.  Take it however fast or slow as you can handle.  With that being said, I’ve decided to do a little bit of both—by phasing out.  I’ll switch between meat and vegan fare until I phase meat out completely.

The good news is most fruits and vegetables are fairly cheap, especially right now with many of them being in season.
The bad news I’m sorta stuck when it comes to vegan food preparation.  As I mentioned in a previous post, many vegetarian/vegan recipes I find online are fairly complicated, using a million and one ingredients (many of whom are not on the budget friendly list).

So I’ll use this time to find vegan/budget friendly meals you and your whole family can enjoy.

First up on the menu: Meatless sloppy Joe’s

#happycooking

Unconsciously conscious: Day 2

You ever have one of those days where you have this nagging feeling that you’re missing something?

You know the feeling I’m talking about.  It haunts you until you harass yourselves and those around you incessantly for the answer. 

That’s how I felt about today.  I just knew there was something I had forgotten to do.  It was something important, something necessary for me to function. 

Believe it or not, it took me all day to realize what it was.  Now that I know what it was, I feel annoyed, and somewhat perturbed…I needed to take care of me.

Every morning, I awaken to the footsteps of tiny feet, and a soft whisper asking “what’s for breakfast?”  This is typically followed by some request for liquid refreshment and a book.  The day typically continues in a cycle of food requests, activity requests, and cuddle demands.  Add that to the increasing demands of entrepreneurship, and you have one taxed mommy.

So weeks ago I set outo make a point of making time for me.  If only for 30 minutes a day. In that time I do absolutely nothing for anyone. I sit. I relax. Sometimes I daydream. If I’m really lucky, I take time to read.  

Today was a day I forgot to take that time. Up until now, I hadn’t realized how crucial it is for me to function during my day to day activities. 

Tomorrow I vow to take the time, dare I say, make the time to take care of my mental and physical well being. 

And if you don’t take the time, I ask you to join me…trust me, you’re with it.

The first 30 days

Three weeks: 21 days…that’s the magic number scientists once thought it took to create a new habit.  For years I heard people share this age old addage, and think to myself “I must be broken.”  The only thing I seem to be able to accomplish in three weeks is anticipation of when it’s over: don’t judge.

30 days from now, the first half of 2016 will be complete.  Let that sink in for a moment.  By July 1st, 2016 will be barreling toward “Back to school” sales, Halloween costumes, and of course Yuletide joy.

I’ve accomplished alot in the first half.  I quit my job, and started my own business.  I taught Shorty how to swim, with Tiny currently learning.  I bought a new car, and learned how to properly hem pants.  All in all I’m feeling pretty confident about the direction by professional life is taking.

My personal life, on the other hand is a whole other story.

My main New Year’s Resolution was to become a better spouse to Captain.  While I’m not a horrible wife, I most definitely am not a winner winner chicken dinner 100% of the time.  Heck, I’d wager it’s more like 75% and that’s being gracious. (if you’re reading this, sorry Captain)

I also resolved to become a healthier me.  While I have certainly moved a lot more this year (due in part to not having to work overnight and keep odd hours) I most certainly have not secured the spot for being the best me I can be, ya dig?

So, starting today I’m taking some of these bigger resolutions and breaking them down into monthly installments.

I’ll journal my progress here, so get ready.

Month 1 obective: A healthier me
Focus: Nutrition

 

 

When expectations and reality collide

The truth is, when things were going good, they were really, really good.

When things are bad…they’re horrible.

This month has been a roller coaster of sorts.  I told you guys about the death of a precious family member.

I also told you I’ve grown bored with cooking, and food in general.

So here I sit, at a quarter til four on a Sunday afternoon, struggling to calm my spirit. My dishwasher went caput; I’m getting more interest in my photography endeavors; I’ve received more interest from employers, this week, than I have in months.

Sounds like everything is on the up and up, right?  So why am I so antsy?

The truth is, I’m finding some pretty important truths in the following saying…

quote

I’ve spent the past few weeks mulling over the fact that I didn’t have enough “mad money,” so I started applying for part-time/flexible jobs to help infuse some cash into the situation.  But you and I both know, hindsight is 20/20, right?

Background:

I apply for a job at a pretty corporate company and I receive not one but two interviews! Being the awesome person that I am, I rocked them both.  Unfortunately reality quickly brought me back down to earth: child for Tiny, homework duties for Shorty, all parental obligations and responsibilities will all take on different meanings with both parents back in the regular workforce.  It’s a reality we’ve not had to consider for three years.   And my business, well it would simply have to wait…right?

Wrong!

I’ve always done the “appropriate” thing, followed the rules no matter how stupid, remained as conservative as possible, that is, until now.

Corporate America will have to wait.  This may be the one time in my life I can afford to take a risk without rocking the boat.

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With that being said, stay tuned as we set sail on a new type of adventure.  One where CG is in the captain’s seat and a few mates on deck.

Stay tuned

 

Burritos: Vegan Style!

As a mom I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, doing mom things like: helping with homework, cleaning the never ending pile of dishes, and of course, cooking the family dinner.

By choosing to go #vegan, my dinner options have become a little, ahem, mundane.

Most things I prepare for the personally, are often rinsed, chopped and consumed…which is both good, and bad.  Namely because I find myself eating much of the same thing over and over again…despite the growing database of vegan entrees and websites popping up all across the interwebz.

I’ve perused a few of those sites, but honestly I find many of the dishes overwhelming and often require a plethora of ingredients, some of which I do not have on hand.

While I can admit there have been several strikes, there’s at least one dish in rotation right now that I’d like to give a worth an honorable mention: a burrito created by yours truly.

The base of the burrito, is of course the tortilla.

Followed by quinoa (rinsed and cooked in cilantro seasoning).

Add a few black olives, an avocado, top it with some  cilantro sprinkled with a little bit of cumin, and voila…dinner is served!

burrito
I’ve scarfed this down for breakfast, lunch and dinner!  And unlike some of the other things I’ve tried these past few weeks, this burrito  has staying power.

So, let’s hear it…three cheers for CG’s Vegan Burrito!

Hip, hip, horray!!!

A devastating loss

Have you ever cherished something so much you dang near fall apart when it stops working properly?

That’s how I feel about my car…or should I say “felt” about my former car.

For months I’ve noticed him struggling to gain speed.  Then he began idling pretty rough, despite a recent tune up.  I tried to ignore it.  Patch him up in hopes of moving forward.

Then, it all came to a head two weeks ago when I went to pick up Shorty from school.  I was literally puttering along the interstate at speeds at a whopping 55mph.  It was then reality had finally settled in: my baby’s transmission was failing yet again.  (insert sob here)

Follow me here for a second—I bought that car when Shorty was only two weeks old.  Two weeks!  It was economical and very dependable.

It’s gotten us to work and back—preschool to primary school.  It’s taken us on impromptu family vacations, and even served as a shuttle for the soccer team.

Witnessing the demise of my special, metal friend, was a hard and bitter pill to swallow.

It’s been a week and I’m finally accepting the old adage “all good things must come to an end.”

#NewBeginnings
#RandomMusings

 

 

Put up, or shut up!

I love vegetables as much as the next gal, but let me tell you something….when everything you eat involves foods of the “rooted” variety, that love can quickly fade.

I know you’re thinking, CG it’s only been one day!

While I appreciate your observance,  the reality is, I’m finding this to be a bit more difficult, than I originally planned.

It’s not all bad.  In fact, I rather enjoy many of the homemade recipes I’ve found online…

Unfortunately, when it comes to eating on the run, the options narrow, considerably.

Today, Captain and I took Tiny to the zoo.  I pre-packed a few healthy snacks like apples and bananas. (Yay me!)

Unfortunately after a few hours of walking around, I was ready to throw all caution to the wind and  eat everything in sight!

elephant & us1

Gray Manor Photography

Thankfully I did not succumb to my need for instant gratification, and yummy nachos?

We packed up our party, and headed back toward town.  There ee scoured around until we found a local Chinese restaurant, where I ordered a white rice and vegetable meal: crisis averted, at least, for now.

#Day2
#winning

 

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But the reality is, this lifestyle is something I need to research a little more to see how sustainable it will be in the long run.
If you have any tips or tricks, I’m all ears.Just drop a line below.CG