Thursday, April 9, 2015

Anique & Maddy - Age 11

Once upon a time, many, many years ago, I decided to coach soccer for Anique. No, I have no idea what I was possibly thinking. The second year of coaching I had the most amazing team ever. The girls were sweet, the parents were awesome. Honestly, it was fantastic. 

Anique and Maddy met that year and it turned out four of the six girls went to the same school. Those four can still be found at each others birthday parties each year. As a person who attended three different elementary schools, it is a blessing to have watched these girls stick together from Kindergarten through 5th grade.

Maddy and Anique are inseparable. They talk everyday before, during I'm sure, and after school. They are growing up together. Arguments happen from time to time but they are fast friends. I look back on photos of them from when they first met and am stunned they are so grown up now. 

They still play and pretend, but boys and fashion are starting to creep into the conversations more often. Oh wow, I'm really not sure I'm ready for this!

If you follow my Facebook page you've seen these, but if not, here's a view of these two now in all their practically grown up...okay I'm exaggerating a bit...glory.

Monday, April 6, 2015

One Bloggers Humble Opinion of Blue Apron

When it comes to domestic skills I am seriously lacking. Actually, it's not so much a lack of skill so much as a lack of desire. I can cook and reasonably well. Don't let the frequency of the smoke detector tell you otherwise. Really, I think it's a flaw in where it's placed. Really.

Ever since switching to a regular 9 am-5 pm work shift I've never found a good time for grocery shopping. Previously, I could shop during the day when it was a little quieter or much later if I was working a late shift. I could avoid lines, crowds. It wasn't so bad.

I then switched over to using and would definitely recommend it but I'm a terrible meal planner.

We joined Blue Apron a two weeks ago. Blue Apron is a fabulous service where they do the meal planning and send you the ingredients. We are signed up for the family meals. We receive 2 meals twice a week.

Everything comes pre-measured out and cleanly packaged. I just unpack it into the fridge and recycle the packaging.

Each meal comes with a recipe and clear, easy instructions with photographs. You just prep the supplied ingredients and cook away. So far, each of our 4 recipes has taken an hour or less to prep and cook.

Brown Butter & Butternut Squash Gnocchi
with Red Leaf Lettuce, Ricotta Salata & Walnut Salad
We are trying food that we would have never eaten or thought to try. The kids have liked each of the meals so far. The best part is that we are sitting down to dinner and eating together for these 4 nights a week. The kids help with the prep work and it's becoming a family activity.

The portions are substantial and we have even had an extra guest on two of the nights and there was plenty. We had been eating out or picking up fast food or deli food most of the nights a week so I feel like the cost for this service is reasonable (less than before) and we are eating real food with fresh ingredients. There's no contract and they give you plenty of notice on what meals are coming up next. You can skip a delivery anytime without penalty as long as you submit the request 6 days before.

I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for something to change up your meal plan. I have four more free deliveries to give away (US only). If you're interested in trying it out for free,  send me a message and I'll send you the invite. This is not a sales gimmick. I don't make commission, I just have been pleased with the service so far and thought I'd share my opinion.

Lamb & Beef Tagine
with Swiss Chard, Date Molasses & Whole Wheat Couscous

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Anique Turns Eleven

My little Anique turns 11 today. She isn't so little anymore. A recent growth spurt has brought her up past my shoulder now. A few more inches and she'll have passed me by.

She is a sweet, tender-hearted, dramatic child. Her emotions play out in real-time. Unguarded and open most always. She can be quick to anger but is also quick to let it go. She is a chatterbox and always has something to tell you, a song to sing, knowledge to share.

She is a smart, beautiful girl. It is a pleasure to watch her grow up. See her quirky personality shine through.

Someday I'll digitize all those baby photos I have of her too but here's the last few years.These aren't maybe the best photos but they show a pretty good glimpse into the goofy child she is.


This is what happens when you leave the camera and remote your were testing up when you leave for work.  

Talent show. She has guts. Wrote her own song and performed it in front of the whole school parents without musical back-up.