at home acai bowls

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A few years ago on a trip to Hawaii we discovered Acai Bowls. Yogurt like bowls of fruit puree topped with everything from mango to almonds. We would stop at a little local hole in the wall juice bar, collect our bowl of frozen goodness and continue on to the beach. Since then, they’ve exploded all over the internet and are even served in some restaurants around Seattle. The major draw is probably the health benefits but for me, it’s more about the flavorful fruits that make a bowl.

A few days ago, a friend posted a photo of their delicious, overflowing Acai Bowl on Insta. (Just to tease me. I’m sure of it.)I could.not stop thinking about it and was determined to make one for myself. It took a little longer then I expected because I couldn’t find frozen Acai packets but we improvised by throwing a bottle of Acai juice into a Tupperware and freezing it overnight. It worked perfectly! If the packets also elude you, I found the juice at Safeway.

What You Need || 

acai: frozen packet or previously frozen juice

1 frozen banana

1 avocado

coconut milk

1 mango, chopped

strawberries, sliced

chai seeds

granola

What You Do ||

Blend the frozen Acai with the banana, avocado and 1/4 cup coconut milk. Keep adding milk and pureeing until you get a frozen yogurt type consistency.

Divide acai puree into bowls

Top with mango, strawberries, granola and chai seeds

The great thing about Acai Bowls is that there is no strict recipe. I’ve ordered them with scary sounding ingredients like peanut butter and pineapple and have never been disappointed. I don’t even think it would be too crazy to throw some leafy greens in with the puree. Play around with the ingredients and see what you like best. Enjoy!

moving without the movers

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By no means was I the most organized mover. I have moved out of many apartments, college housing and short term living situations but the amount of stuff we had accumulated over our five year stint in our last house was truly amazing. I thought I had boxed, labeled and organized a very tidy move weeks in advance. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. When it came to crunch time things were flying around, family was tossing in every grocery sack and reusable tote they had to help and my new garage was bulging with items I needed to sort though before finding it a new home. Needless to say, I learned a few things and plan to attack any future moves very differently.

1. Start early

Lesson learned. Packing takes about 10x longer then you plan for. Every single.tiny.thing in your house has to make it out somehow. Either that’s into a moving truck, trash bin or finding it a new home. No matter where it’s going, plan for somewhere around three solid days of packing per room in your house. I wish I had followed this rule. After getting the ‘big stuff’ squared away, I laid off the packing and when it came down to it, I was throwing small items in boxes and bags hours before closing.

2. Purge and declutter 

New space means you need new things. Sorry guys. I know the men in your life don’t want to hear this. You’ll need to measure and plan out your new space before deciding what to get rid of. It might be through a garage sale, Craigslist listings (we did A LOT of this), GoodWill donations or gifting to your neighbors. Either way, if it doesn’t work for your new home, just don’t bring it. Have a plan as far in advance as you can and rid yourself of the rest. Decision making, sorting and selling take time.

3. Hire a sitter 

Sorry kids!

4. Box it up

I totally underestimated the number of boxes we would need to pack up our home. Boxes can add up if you buy them new but you’ll be surprised how many you can find if you ask around. I have seen friends receive an entire move worth of boxes just by asking on Facebook. Again, this is a lesson I learned. I had boxed everything that I thought needed a box and at the last minute was staring down a mound of miscellaneous items. (see Start Early)  They ended up tossed in tote bags and paper sacks. Now, my garage is full of these bags. If I had purchased more boxes, I could have properly labeled these and sorted better. My garage would thank me.

5. Enlist a crew 

I felt bad asking for any help from friends or family as obviously there is a whole industry of folks dedicated to making moving easier. But before I knew it, our family had descended on us like moving angels. They helped Kyle carry the heavy items, worked the Tetris game of truck loading like pros and hauled car loads of our junk around. Without them, I am positive we would still be moving. I know the point of choosing a DIY move over movers is to save money but compensate any help as well as you can. It would be fun to host them all for a dinner in your new home once everything is put away or take them out to a ‘thank goodness it’s over’ drink.

 

what’s up

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A week turned into a few months and when all is said and done, it’s been almost six months. This little blogging absence was both ‘oops!’ and ‘ahhhhh!’ all at once. I never meant to step away for so long but once I was away, it just hurt so good. Slowly though, little by little, it didn’t feel so great any more and the itch to put my fingers to keyboard started to come back to me.

Truth is, I really love this space. I love the comments and the freedom to use my own my mind to create and craft and it shouldn’t be as hard as I was making it out to be. So, anyway, I think a simple what the heck I’ve been doing lately (because we all know it hasn’t been blogging) is in order…..

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^^ First things first. Most of my time has been spent with THIS! I finally stopped crying like a baby and ponied up to selling our house. I won’t bore you with the crusty details but we bought in a totally different area then we were originally looking and fell in love with this total fixer. We’ve spent our time demoing walls, creating new walls, ripping out that wonderful 1970’s wood burning stove, pulling up and replacing all the flooring, creating an entirely new kitchen, painting like crazy and decorating where the budget allows. We aren’t completly done (and I don’t imagine we will be for a few years) but we aren’t having ‘picnics’ on the floor any more and the wires dangling from the celing have been tucked away. #remodelsarenojoke

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^^ In October, we left the house in a mid-reno mess and went to Disney with Kyle’s entire family. For the second year in a row, we partied at Mickey’s Halloween shin-dig and, as only Disney can do, it was magical. Little Mady wore a bee costume and when she met Minnie Mouse, my heart just about melted all over that pristine Disney sidewalk. She got all red and nervous but couldn’t hold back from throwing her arms around the tiniest Minnie I’ve ever seen.

I imagine I would act in a similar style if Oprah appeared on the streets offering hugs.

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^^Oh you know, just fall and about 29 different pumpkin patch visits happened.

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^^ I think I’ve had somewhere around 218 cups of coffee since my last post. (Riveting stuff right….)

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^^ I also took a solo trip to Florida to be in the wedding of one of my longest friends (friends since the 4th grade!). I can’t remember the last time I stayed in a hotel room alone or flew without someone to chat with. It was a mix of strange and wonderful all wrapped into one.

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^^ Practically right off the plane from Florida, I hopped on another (this time with my trusty companions) to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Kauai.

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^^ And just like that, it was Christmas. This was our holiday card photo this year. We intended to all be in it but Kyle and I are just not as photogenic as this little peanut. She nailed the whole day of cookie making and perfect photo location scouting so a solo card was well deserved.

Six months summed up in a few photos hardly does it justice but I think that’s the big stuff. To really catch up, find me on Instagram — @prettywednesday.

Enjoy!

26/52 || lessons from the garden

DSC_2319“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

Finally! We are seeing some fruits of our labor (hehe!) in our backyard. The vegetable garden  is growing nicely but our potted strawberry plant is the real champ so far. Every year the garden is real labor of love. We don’t expect much out of it but we faithfully weed and water daily hoping that the five little plants we placed in the ground produce something. That’s why it’s SO EXCITING to walk out each morning and find there is a small tidbit you can dig your teeth into. M has been very good about waiting until each berry is ‘wed’ before plucking it off the branches and eating it. It’s a slow process, one little berry at a time but it’s been so gratifying for both her and I to be able to check our plant each day and see the tiny red fruit ready to become our afternoon treat. This one little pot has become such a good teacher in patience and tenderness.

I’m just thrilled!

Enjoy! Melissa

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the many ways to drink a coconut || from kauai, hi

PicMonkey Collage.pngHi, from Kauai! I feel like I survived a boxing match or maybe even a fight to the death to get here on a night time flight. I mistakenly thought M would sleep on a late flight. No such luck. But you know what, I made it. We survived and we’ve made it to my parents humble abode for a short visit. So far, we’ve been to the beach, rented beach cruisers and cracked some coconuts open for fresh water. We are totally missing Ky at home but he’s working on a long list of honey-do items while we are gone. I’m guessing my yard will be magazine ready when I see it next.

Also, I’m posting away on Instagram while we are here so check it out if you have a trip to Hawaii in your sights.

Enjoy! Melissa

feed me || cafe rio

DSC_1745It’s always funny when I go to a new restaurant, love it, want to rave it about it….then realize it’s a chain. It’s everywhere and most likely, I’m last in line to have learned of the greatness. That’s the case with Cafe Rio. They just opened a location near my house and I thought it was a local restaurant until a friend from Salt Lake raved about it. Think Chipotle, except more options and maybe a bit more flavorful. Anyway, the line is out the door at any meal time but it moves fast so we’ve snuck in a few times recently. Yesterday, I couldn’t leave without the biggest mint limeade there ever was. What was I thinking with this thing that was bigger then my head? Commence embarrassing photo….

Enjoy! Melissa

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april showers

DSC_1408Every year, I tell myself that I need to remember to go on vacation next April. There is just something about this month in western Washington. It kind of makes you want to run away. Move. Never return. Escape. Ahhh! The weather is just so finicky. One day it’s sunny and the perfect 75, we are outside in short sleeves, getting a little bit of a tan and splashing around in water. The next, it’s raining, the wind is picking up a bit and my winter coat is once again gracing my body. Or actually, this isn’t true. It’s not day to day. I’m lying to you. It’s hour by hour. All of these things can happen in one day. I’m not kidding. I probably shouldn’t complain, I know some of you east coasters have been hit with much worse weather and even experience the same bi-polar days as we do. But, I get all moody about it and use the excuse that we need to be ‘warm and cozy’ to watch movies under blankets a little too often. Then, we have days like Saturday where you get to see what all that rain does for the area. We drove about an hour out of town to go check out the Tulip Festival. Thank goodness my sister tagged along to help wrangle M. She was more into the puddles then the flowers but, whatever, those were pretty great too. Plus, the burst of color was flat out good for the soul. We jumped in every puddle, bought some fresh cut tulips to brighten up the house and took about 3,472 pictures. A pretty great April day. Go pacific northwest. I’ll stay!

Enjoy! Melissa

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16/52 || coconut sugar chocolate chip cookies

DSC_1325“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

Any time M can help cook, she’s ecstatic (even though she looks pretty darn serious about it in this picture). Her favorite part of helping is the  ‘stir, stir, stirring’. Plain flour, nothing mixed yet. Whatever. Stir, Stir, Stir . Anyway, it’s about the cutest, messiest and slow moving thing you can think of. A dash of patience is always required on my part when she’s helping but she loves it so much, you just can’t refuse her.

One of the easiest things to let her add a little magic to is cookies. After watching an episode of Dr. Oz a few months ago, we switched to making our chocolate chip cookies with coconut sugar. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the good doctor but I don’t always take my cooking tips from him. I don’t know why, something about this whole coconut sugar thing just made sense. Well that, and the fact that the day after watching this episode, I stumbled on the coconut sugar display at Trader Joes. As far as I can tell, the biggest difference with the sugar switch is the color of the cookies. They turn out a bit darker due to the deep brown color of the sugar. But, let’s be honest, who cares about that. Right?

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What You Need || 

2/14 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1 cup butter softened, 3/4 cup coconut sugar, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 2 eggs, 2 cups chocolate chips

What You Do || 

Preheat oven to 375, combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside. Add butter, coconut sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in your mixer and beat until creamy. Add your dry ingredient mix. Beat again until fully mixed. (I add about 6 spoonfuls of dough to my cookie sheet for M at this point. No chocolate chips for her!) Add chocolate chips.

Place mix on cookie sheets by the spoonful.

Bake for 9-11 min.

Enjoy!

Melissa

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15/52

DSC_1212“M, once a week, every week, in 2014″

A few weeks ago I casually told my friend Daniella a little story about M calling every sport hockey. It doesn’t matter what ball it’s played with, on a field or off and with a racket or not, it’s hockey. The confusion or obsession (I’m not sure which it is) started after we watched the US team play during the Olympics together. Anyway, being the greatest listener and an awesome friend, Dani invited us to her rec league hockey game over the weekend.

We snagged M from bed early on Saturday, made a quick stop for coffee and donuts and headed to our first ice hockey game. Not only was M thrilled but both Ky and I were so impressed with our friend and her badass spare time activity. She freikin’ had pads and a uniform and just the whole bit. Simply put, I’m just not as cool as those women on the ice and it was so fun to watch.

Maybe I’m a weirdo (entirely possible) or maybe I’m no different then most parents but sometimes I daydream that M will be some sort of athlete. I always think volleyball, maybe basketball if she gets her dad’s height or even swimming. Now though, I’m pretty sure ice hockey is on her mind. I better keep the winter coats out.

Enjoy! Melissa

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toddler tricks

DSC_1106Right when I think I’m about to lose it lately, M comes through with one of her standard tricks to make me laugh.

Her go-to move when she knows she’s doing something wrong is to break into song and dance. ***Standing in the bath tub. Dance Dance Sing.

Other times, she just says something that I can’t help but smirk at. ***Wake up from her nap. Me: Hiiiii! Her: Elmo Bath

And, the last trick up her sleeve is just to flat our pretend to be sleeping. ***Me: M, get off that table. Her: Nigh, Nigh Mama. Nigh, Nigh. Puts head on table and closes her eyes. Moves her finger up to her lips. Shhhhhh. Mama.

I have a feeling I’ll be sharing similar stories through her childhood and into tween and teenagerdom. She’s a spunky little thing.

Enjoy! Melissa