Gluten Free Fail

In November Shane and I took a nutrition course taught by our now good friend Julia that inspired us to start eating a lot more whole foods, healthy fats, and vegetables.  We followed the program and were feeling great for almost 2 months and then… Christmas!  We decided to keep everything we learned in mind and try to make the best choices we could while still allowing for occasional (ok, multiple!) indulgences.  On Wednesday, after 2 whole weeks of treats, we cut out sugar and gluten again and it was rough!

By Friday night all I could think about was sugar!  I tried a handful of dark chocolate nibs which had been so satisfying to past non-sugar eating self but now just tasted bitter and dry.  Maybe it’s because it was a Friday, or maybe it’s because I truly am addicted to sugar, but I decided that the best thing I could do for those nibs would be to bake them into some cookies!

I loosely followed the first recipe that came up on google because I forgot that baking is chemistry-  a class that I never could pass no matter how hard I flirted with the TA.   I started making substitutions: a little extra butter (healthy fat!), a little less sugar (no problem there), and oh, hey, how about instead of regular flour I use almond meal (gluten free).

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I guess I should just look up a recipe that actually calls for almond meal next time.

I just sliced this up with  pizza cutter and it still tastes good.  So we don’t feel so bad eating them at every meal I’ve started calling them “granola bars” which is kind of true because they have nuts in them.

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Nothing good ever happens after 10pm

During a full night of catching up with friends from grad school and after several mugs of buttered rum the conversation turned to what we all might like to be doing with our over-educated selves.  One friend said she was finally going to open her etsy store, which encouraged me to blurt out I’d like to resurrect the blog.

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I was feeling especially confident and up to task because I had just rejoined twitter.  And then yesterday Joyce Carol Oates (who I’ve always admired without ever having read) tweeted: “Writing fiction like enticing a part-feral cat to approach you. No matter if you plead, she will not come; but if you turn away, she may.”  And I retweeted. Because I have cats. And because maybe people will think I write fiction, and maybe I could.

Or maybe I could update this blog sometimes.

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New Photo

I somehow came across this Gregarious Peach blog a few days ago and was thrilled to read all about several 365 Projects and the impact that it’s had on people’s lives and how much everyone loves it.  I’ve started and stopped 2 different 365 projects (and one 30 day challenge, actually…) and I don’t want to set any ridiculously lofty goals for myself except to say this: I like taking pictures and I would like to take more of them.  I’d also like to learn how to use my camera. So there.

I had this idea of a picture of the post office all morning, but then when I got there I was all embarrassed so I quick snapped this one after getting the mail and ran out the door.  Anyway, it’s a start.

Looks like I’m back on the horse!

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B in a Box

Whenever a box comes into our lives I usually leave it on the floor for a few days so the cats can play in it before I break it down for recycling.  This box has been around since Valentine’s Day, which embarrassingly means it’s been in this corner of the apartment for over a month!

There is a reason for keeping this box that extends beyond our own laziness, and even beyond how cute Rutherford B. Hayes is sleeping here.

In the middle of the afternoon Doc starts to cry and cry for me to play with him.  He is so loud and so persistent that I can’t make phone calls when he’s awake!

I put Doc in this box in one corner of the room and I gather up the ridiculous amount of cat toys and stand in the opposite corner.  One by one, I throw the cat toys at to him in the box.  He tries to catch them out of the air and bats them all around the box.  By the time I’m out of cat toys Doc has found something else to keep his attention for a few minutes so I can go back to work.

I can’t help but think that having a deaf cat is preparing me for having a toddler someday!  By the looks of things, Doc and I will have to kick RBH out of his new bed next time we want to play.

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feta makes it betta!

One of our planned meals last week was burgers with all the fixings.  I bough a jar of green olives because I love a good olive burger, and then as Shane was cooking I remembered I had some leftover feta and kalamatas.

I went ahead and added some avocado slices as well because if you’re going to have all the fixin’s, you might as well have ALL the fixin’s!

As per usual, as soon as I pulled out my camera Doc tried to get in the way!

Although he might have just been trying to get at that turkey burger!

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Cat Pictures

I told Tracie that was very quickly turning into a CatBlog, which I guess I’m okay with.  Write(photograph?) what you know, right?

I seem to remember it snowing on St. Patrick’s Days past, so it’s still a little strange to have such warm weather and so many flowers already.  I try never to complain about the weather, but I just hope this isn’t an indication of how hot the summer will be!

Doc manages to sneak his way into most of the pictures I take, especially if they’re of food!  But this time it’s all Hattie and RBH, and this last shot features the living room as well.

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Goodbye Winter?

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Yesterday was the last day of Winter and all the tree branches were covered in white… except it was blossoms instead of snow!  In his book Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (which I never finished), Tom Robbins writes that weather ought to be either celebrated or ignored.  I’m certainly celebrating, although I am a bit concerned about what this might mean for our summer…

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Reunion

After all the commotion on Friday night with Peyton’s birthday, I headed out again on Saturday for a reunion with some of the women I used to volunteer with.  It had been years since we were all together and I was really looking forward to catching up with everyone.  I made this Greek hummus dip to take along, and made a small dish for Shane to have too.

It’s a layer of hummus topped with cucumbers, feta cheese, and kalamata olives.  Pita bread for dipping or for slathering into a wrap.

The dip was delicious, but the real of the evening was spending some much needed quality time with some of the women who have helped shape my life over the years.

And the cherry on top, of course, was snuggling other people’s babies!

We all agreed not to let 4 years go by until we have another reunion.  I hope we can stick to seeing each other more often!

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Peyton Turns 10!

Ehrika and Peyton came to Grand Rapids Friday night to celebrate Peyton’s tenth birthday at the Matt Nathanson concert.  They got here early int he afternoon so we had plenty of time to hang out before the concert.  We walked down to my favorite coffee shop and sat in front of the windows to catch up.  We talked about the day Peyton was born and what we remembered.  Ehrika remembered her little legs being curled all the way up her chest so that she looked like a little frog, and I remember the first time I met her and I rubber her arm and said, “It’s your Aunt Heather and I love you so much.”  She stopped crying and turned her head to look right at me.  And now here she is, ten years old, beautiful as the day is long, drinking a latte and explaining to me what she doesn’t like about the book Hatchet– which was one of my favorites when I was her age!

She is brilliant and strong and I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years have in store for her!

We changed our clothes, put on makeup and did our hair before heading out to dinner and drinks before the concert at Hopcat, a local favorite.  Aside from having an outstanding beer selection their specially seasoned french fries are called Crack Fries because they are so addicting!

After dinner we walked over to the concert and were surprised to find an incredibly long line snaking down the block!  We met up with some of Ehrika’s old friends at dinner so we at least had people to talk to and huddle up with while we waited to get inside.

Shortly after this the battery on my phone died so I don’t have any pictures of us inside the concert.  We elbowed our way up the the 3rd row and then invoked the sympathy of people around us for how short Peyton is.  She ended up in the front row, right underneath a spotlight, the perfect spot to get noticed.  Matt Nathanson looked right at her and asked her how old she was while he was introducing one of his more…. adult… songs.  This gave me the perfect opportunity to scream at him that it was her birthday and he told her Happy Birthday a few times!  She just melted, she was so happy!!  Satisfied with the recognition, Peyton decided that her feet hurt too much to keep standing in the front row and we finished out the concert on barstools in the back.  The perfect ending, if you ask me! But the birthday celebration did not end there…

While we were at the concert, Shane sneakily bought an ice cream cake and candles to surprise Peyton when we walked in the door!

Even Doc Holliday helped sing and celebrate.

Peyton is already looking up all the upcoming concerts in Grand Rapids and Brennan has started asking what concert we’re going to for his birthday.  Hopefully this is a new tradition!

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SO close!

 

Remember when we went to the Home & Garden Show and I entered to win about 14 iPads?  Well today I got an email in my inbox with the subject line “Congratulations! You’re been selected!”  The sender? Better Homes & Gardens!

I jumped up out of my chair and then sat right back down to open it as soon as I could chanting “i-pad!i-pad!i-pd!”

….

Well, if you didn’t already catch it, the email was from Better Homes Gardens, the magazine. Not the Home & Garden Show.  And what had I been selected for? To receive their magazine at the low low price of $15.99.  Bummer!   Not only did I not win an ipad, but that isn’t even that good of a deal on magazines!

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