Friday, March 3, 2017

etta mae is ten months old

happy spring everyone,  i mean no its not technically spring, but this recent weather is just doing springy things for our hearts and souls over here.  and the other thing that makes us feel like its spring all year around is this smiley joyful ten month old.  
as of this week she is both crawling AND teething.  two little teeth popped through on the bottom, and she finally connected one movement to another and made crawling happen. and just like that she seems alot older.  especially since eden did not get teeth until so late in life, the teeth really make her big in my mind.  
on having a baby with teeth; its not actually that great.  i had never experienced breastfeeding a baby with teeth before and you know what, i could have done without.  
etta continues to be the sweetest and most content thing i ever did see.  she smiles so hard that you think her face might burst.  and her whole face lights up.  she talks all these adorable sweet words and she is really satisfied with herself.  it looks like her first work is shaping up to be 'eden', which would be just perfect in my book.  she also does this adorable clucking/clicking thing with her tongue that just tickles me to pieces.  uggg to love a child so much.
last night there was a little window of time, after dinner and before bed, where the girls went off down the hallway and played together for a few minutes.  robert and i were not close enough to see exactly what was happening, but we heard the girls laughing in chorus over and over again.  it was an exquisite little moment, a glimpse into the future of what i hope is a life long friendship between sweet eden and etta mae.  
she is learning alot, as children do.  they are born persons right?  capable of learning at a pace that adults could never keep up with in our own attempts at acquiring new skills and new knowledge.  she has learned to sign 'more', 'all done', and 'thank you' when i prompt her in either english or kinyarwanda.  i am really determined to speak to her in as much kinyarwanda as i am able.  the way she signs is so adorable, as i am sure it is with all kids. i have allllll the heart eyes when it comes to this child.  

creeping up on a year now, which is just ridiculous.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Charleston 2017, A VIDEO

ok last post about our trip i promise.  but i have to say i am so proud of the way i documented this time.  i frequently take tons of photos and video clips from trips but then fail to actually take the time to put them into organized posts or make video summaries. this one is really short but captured the sweetness of our quick trip south.

Monday, February 27, 2017

In search of the perfect meal to prepare...the perfect meal 

i cook five, sometimes six, nights a week and im not going to lie, its a struggle.  finding quick and cheap food is easy, but its that clean part that snags me up time and again.  and finding clean recipes is also easy, but clean AND quick?  nearly impossible.  and of course whatever i end up with needs to actually TASTE good.  so im left feeling frustrated alot.

lately i have been taking notes when i find a meal that gets high marks in each of these categories and i thought i would share a few of my recent favorites.  

1.  this is a dairy free cream of broccoli soup.  and let me tell you, its just amazing.  i use turkey bacon instead of real bacon and i add a bit more salt that what it calls for.  but i can throw it together in 30 min or less and its really good left over (which is definitely not true of everything).  it does have white potatoes in it but its only two for the whole batch so it still rings clean in my book.
photo from 

2.  the next one on the list is also a soup, a dairy free white chicken chili.  i was unsure about this one when i heard it but let me tell you its ridiculously good.  every time i make it everyone goes back for seconds and there are never any leftovers.  

-saute an onion and 2 garlic cloves in a large pan in avocado oil or coconut oil 
-add 1-2 zuchinni diced 
- when zuchinni and onions are soft, add a large can of organic diced tomatoes
-Add salt and 1-2 tbs of cumin
-Add 1 can of white beans, black beans, and jar of green verde salsa
- Stir and then add cooked chicken
-Pour in one container chicken stock (homemade is best)
- Finish with a can of coconut cream

Garnish with avocados, lime, and cilantro! 

3.  amish one-pan ground beef and cabbage skillet.  this one was a big surprise.  one of the easiest and most ridiculously delicious meals i have done in a long time.  i was also glad to remember how tasty and filling cabbage is.  we ate this one for several days after and each time i was expecting to taste it and be underwhelmed.  but each time i was like 'hi, you are still my favorite'.
photo from

4. another great beef and cabbage recipe, egg roll in a bowl.  i found this one after i had tried the above recipe and was into the idea of a different twist on the beef and cabbage combination.  i made it when we had a guest over and everyone was a fan.  again, really really easy to make (especially if you buy the small shredded carrots) and really tasty.
 photo from

5. i will also throw sweet potato black bean burger in here because its really really good.  its not quite as quick unless you prep the quinoa ahead of time, but i leave out the bun and top the burgers with avo and eggs and man, its a real treat.

anyone have go to meals that get a high score in every category?  please, do tell.  


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