Funny Things My Kid Says

Funny Things My Kid Says

The vocabulary blender that is my daughter.

Every kid has their own way of speaking as they acquire language. Proper grammar and pronunciation is a learning process. J is your typical four year old and has difficulty pronouncing the “y” sound so “yellow” is “lellow”. She also has a hard time with the “th” sound so she says “teef” (teeth) and “froat” (throat). But she has also put some words in her vocabulary blender, and here is the result. I am hesitant to correct her because some of them are super funny and I know as she gets older she will figure it out.

What she says What she means
Cantaloupe Antelope
Head Brain Forehead
The day after this day Tomorrow
Splinter Blister
Bones and Arrow Bows and Arrows
Eenie eenie eyenie oh,
catch a tiger in your toe
Eenie meenie minie mo,
catch a tiger by the toe
Bounce back to me Ricochet
Racoon Cocoon
Golf course Obstacle course

And my all time favorite “Lightning the Queen”, which would be Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars. After all, he is a race car, so drag…racing isn’t that far fetched. :D :D :D

What are some funny things your kid says?

 

Chef V’s 3-Day Cleanse + 55% Off Discount Code

UPDATE 01/25/2016: Today I was contacted by Chef V and given a 55% off discount code for the readers of this article. It is AWLN. The information contained in my post below was written long before I was contacted and is an unbiased review of her cleanse! For more information or to order, visit Chef V’s web site.
Chef V - 3 Day Cleanse

Chef V’s cleanse arrived early in the morning as promised.

This is my first cleanse and I’m excited and slightly petrified. My goal is to detox my system and maybe shed a few pounds in the process. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about her cleanse because it’s all described on her web site. The reason I chose this cleanse is that it’s organic and she’s a local company here in North San Diego County.

Each day of the cleanse you consume roughly 700 calories. I will tell you that going without food is my worst nightmare! I wouldn’t last a day on Survivor because of the lack of food. You also drink a crap ton of water plus the green drinks and protein shakes. On paper this is about 10 times more liquid than I normally drink so I’m apprehensive that I won’t be able to drink it all. I am definitely challenging myself by doing this but I am also curious to see if I CAN do it.

Pre-Cleanse

Chef V advises you to pre-cleanse for at least two days. This means eating off of her list of approved foods (there are a lot) but basically you’re cutting out dairy, wheat, sugar, salt, alcohol and caffeine. Wait, what??? Caffeine!!!! If you’ve read my post on cold brew, you’ll know I love me a good cup  ‘o joe (or 3). I didn’t follow her pre-cleanse instructions very closely, however I did wean myself off of coffee because I wanted to avoid the dreaded caffeine headache. I Googled caffeine withdrawal symptoms and found articles claiming caffeine withdrawal is a mental disorder and those saying withdrawal symptoms don’t exist! Talk about confusing! I’m happy to say that I was able to stop drinking coffee within 3 days of decreasing my intake and I didn’t suffer any headaches or other negative effects. I will start drinking coffee once the cleanse is over!

Day 1 – Morning

Chef V - 3 Day Organic Cleanse

Included in the organic cleanse are three bottles of green drink (one bottle per day contains four servings), six packets of protein powder (two shakes per day), three soups (one per night), detox tea (one cup each morning), a shaker bottle, and a detailed of schedule of when to drink each item – very important!

As promised, my cleanse showed up on my doorstep early Monday morning. By 7am I had unpacked the bag and refrigerated everything as needed. The cleanse comes with specific directions about the order in  which you drink water, the green drink and protein shakes. It even comes with a timeline schedule to keep your intake evenly spaced out.

At 8am I had my first taste of the green drink. It’s pretty good!! I’ve had a few other green drinks lately. Jamba Juice’s Apple n Greens is quite good but also packed full of sugar. Suja’s Mighty Greens is organic and also tastes good. It did take me a few glasses to really like the flavor but even at a first go it’s not offensive. However, it also has a lot of sugar compared to Chef V’s drink (19g of sugar compared to 3g per 8 oz serving). So after being used to sugary green drinks I wasn’t sure how I’d like Chef V’s but it went down easily.

It’s hard to describe how something tastes, since it’s subjective. For me, the primary flavors are kale, apple and a little parsley. The kale is subtle, though. It’s not like a kale salad. I have a hard time with those salads and this green drink is much more palatable. There is some chunkiness to the green drink so I swirl it around before drinking. The last few gulps of drink are chewier than the first.

I drank more water, then had the protein shake. I made it with the shaker cup included in my cleanse (the plastic bottle is BPA free). Again, not bad! It was a little gritty, but I found by the end some of the grit had absorbed water so it wasn’t as rough. Next time I drink it I’m going to let it sit for a few minutes to see if it has a better consistency. I made it with ice and cold water.

I could taste the vanilla and the stevia in the protein shake. It was better at the end than at the beginning. It reminded me of almond or soy milk which is weird since those ingredients aren’t in the shake.

It is now almost noon and time for my next green drink. I’ve peed four times since 7 am and I can see that this will be my reality for the next two and a half days. Must flush out the toxins, right? And they were full bladder pees. I know, TMI.

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Day 1 – Evening

So I made it through the rest of the day and I am typing this at 8:30pm. I’m feeling satiated and sipping my last bottle of water before bed time. Chef V recommends drinking another 24oz of water between the time you finish the soup for dinner and go to bed. I’m not going to drink this much because I don’t want to be up all night peeing! Anyway, here’s how the rest of my afternoon and evening went.

I had my green drink at noon and another at 2pm. I drank a lot of water in between. I felt mildly hungry during this time but it was manageable. At 2:30pm I had a protein shake and I was fine until the next green drink three hours later. I drank at least 16 oz of water during this time. I thought for sure that I’d be ravenous, especially since I had to feed J during this time and make dinner for Curt. Even the smell of chicken in the oven didn’t make my stomach growl! Who am I??!!

Have I mentioned that you get to eat a delicious soup for dinner? It’s a sweet potato-y carrot-y bowl of yumminess. After drinking ice cold water / green drinks / shakes all day, it was great to sit down to a hot bowl of soup.

I’m really surprised that I didn’t feel super hungry all day and that I was able to consume all of the liquid. I was intimidated by this, but I figured I’d try it…and I’m happy I did. I maintained a normal amount of energy throughout the day too. I even managed to get all of my Fitbit steps in for the day (yes, I’m standing at my computer stepping from side to side). We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Day 2

All I do is pee. Really, like every 45 minutes. It makes sense considering how much liquid I’m consuming, but it’s a bit much. At least my number two was regular, not a number three. TMI again? I think it’s important to mention it since I am doing an all liquid cleanse! I’ll repeat, no hershey squirts!

I woke up with my normal amount of energy, which was neat considering my low caloric intake the previous day and my lack of coffee. I felt hungry around noon like I did yesterday, but it may have been my environment. I stuck to my normal routine of taking J to swim class and then having lunch at Panera. I was bombarded by the smells of the restaurant and inches away from J’s chicken noodle soup since I had to blow on it because of its temperature. Parents of small children will know that any food warmer than 85 degrees will immediately prompt said child to lament “it’s too hot!!” But I overcame the urge for solid food, drank my green drink and reveled in my martyrdom – kidding, of course. I did tell myself that I was half way done. I wanted to stick to the commitment I made to myself to complete the cleanse so I didn’t cheat.

The rest of the afternoon and evening were smooth sailing. I don’t think I described the soup properly yesterday (or four paragraphs up) . There is a hint of Thai flavor due to coconut milk and curry. It’s a mild flavor, though, and I definitely wouldn’t say this is curry soup.

As I wrap up day 2 I’m starting to think ahead to what I’ll eat after day 3. Being so “clean” I don’t want to bombard my system with my usual eating habits. Chef V recommends a two day post-cleanse diet which is the same as her pre-cleanse. I intend on eating from this list, with the exception of eggs and cheese because I really love them. I am digging the low amount of sugar that I’ve consumed. One day of Chef V’s cleanse has 36g of sugar. Now when I think of the kale apple smoothie at Jamba Juice with its 19g of sugar, I get a little nauseated. Before the cleanse I was eating Chobani’s Greek Yogurts but they have a lot of sugar in them too. I’m going to switch to plain Greek yogurt with fresh organic fruit. Strawberries are on Chef V’s list of excluded foods and I’m not sure why.

OK, I took a break and Googled “why are strawberries excluded from a cleanse”. The first result is from something called “Clean Program”. The wording in Chef V’s include/exclude food list is exactly the same as this 21-day cleansing program. Their explanation about strawberries says they are a common allergen and contain high amounts of pesticides, even organic strawberries. Hmmm…I’m not so sure about that and I’m going to continue eating organic strawberries!

Day 3 – Morning

I am a masochist. It’s noon and I’m hungry. I decided to prep for tomorrow’s clean eating so I cooked quinoa and a brown rice blend – two separate pots. The wonderful aroma of quinoa has infiltrated my nostrils and I’m borderline ravenous. Don’t think quinoa smells good? Try not eating solid food for two and a half days and you’ll be all over that grain like Kobayashi at the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. Instead of eating, I’m drinking my green drink right on schedule and hoping it will satiate me.

Aside from this mid-day hiccup, I feel great! I have my normal amount of energy as I just spent two hours cleaning my house. I am still peeing hourly and am happy to report another normal number two this morning!

Last night I was a bit hungry before bed but I just ignored it and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning I wasn’t hungry feeling anymore. I drank a cup of Chef V’s detox tea before drinking any water. It was ok. I’m not a tea person, though. It was drinkable but not a substitute for coffee (and I know it’s not supposed to be).

As I’m typing this, my hunger is dissipating. Yay for green drink! I’m expecting the rest of the day and night to go smoothly.

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Day 3 – Evening

I did it!!! All done and no cheating. So this evening wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. My stomach was really growling a lot. I drank water and the grumbles went away, then came back. It’s almost bedtime and I’m not hungry, so after the soup I’ve been feeling great!

The interesting thing is that I haven’t felt any blood sugar crashes. Even when I was feeling like I wanted to chew on my left arm, I didn’t experience any of the light headedness or fading away feelings that I normally get when I’m starving. I was able to power through the hunger and I’m so glad that I did!

My stomach has rumbled a bit each evening after eating the soup. Not crampy but just a little gurgle-y. I’m carefully planning my first meal of solids so I don’t undo all of the work from the past three days as well as end up with cramps or painful digestive issues.

I’ll be reporting my weight loss tomorrow so keep reading just a little longer!

Post-Cleanse

Chef V - Post-cleanse Meal

My first post-cleanse meal consisted of quinoa, egg, avocado, and salsa – all organic. The egg is not included in her clean eating list…damn, I’m a rebel.

I chewed food – woo hoo! I tried making a meal mostly off of Chef V’s clean eating list. I feel great this morning and I’m going to continue to drink a lot of water today – and hopefully everyday. And number two was normal again. Whew! I must say that I am curious to see how a 5-day cleanse would go. This morning I wasn’t starving and I could have done the cleanse today.

I lost 4.2 lbs and a half inch off my waist and an inch off of my hips. I’m sure I will gain some of the weight back once I eat more solid foods and that’s ok. My biggest take away is that I need to eat less sugar to avoid the shakey feeling I sometimes get when I’m hungry.

Have you tried Chef V’s cleanse or another cleanse? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. And thanks for reading this super long post!

Use code AWLN when you order your cleanse from Chef V to receive 55% off!

Sheriff Callie Sugar Cookies and Birthday Madness

Disney Junior's Sheriff Callie decorated sugar cookie - Sparky Horse

Disney Junior’s Sheriff Callie inspired these cookies – Callie’s trusty horse Sparky.


J celebrated her 4th birthday last week and along with it came the annual birthday bash. The past few years we had her party at our house which was fun as well as a ton of work. My child’s small birthday parties typically include 50 to 60 guests (adults and children).

So, in an effort to regain some my sanity, we outsourced her party to a local play gym. It was tons of fun for the kids and a lot less work for Curt and I. Of course, I still went overboard and made a photo collage, Sheriff Callie themed banner, centerpieces, and favors  which included a decorated sugar cookie that looked somewhat like Callie’s horse Sparky.

 
Sheriff-Callie-Party-Favor

I put the Sparky Cookie in a plastic cup shaped like a cowboy boot. I pinned a sheriff badge with each child’s name to the boot.

If you’ve read any of my other recipe posts, I always include a reminder to use organic ingredients wherever possible. I do this with my cookies, except for the meringue powder and food color. This is the dichotomy of my cookies – organic cookie with tons of artificial food dye. Well, I don’t eat these everyday (and you shouldn’t either) so I have a clear conscious using Red Dye #40 (although there is no red in these cookies). You get my point.

Here are steps I took to make this cookie.

1. I made a batch of Sweetapolita’s Sugar Cookies. I have to make the batch in two parts because the entire recipe makes my stand mixer jump and sound like a steam engine. Then I cut the halves in half to make it easier to roll the dough. One full recipe gives me 4 discs of dough. I used three of these discs and froze one for later. Here is her recipe and steps for making the cookie pops. This time I actually made pops because I thought it was cute to have a “stick horse” for a cowgirl party. I alter her method slightly, so please check out my DIY Sugar Cookies post for my changes.

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Baked

My stick horses – get it?! Until they were decorated they looked like dogs to me…I’m glad they ended up looked like horses.

2. While the cookies baked and cooled, I mixed up a batch of Bake at 350’s royal icing. I had lots of extra icing with her recipe, but I mixed most of it blue so I couldn’t save it. For these cookies, you will need a little white, a little brown, a lot of blue and a little black plus blue sanding sugar. I cheat and use premade black icing because it’s a lot easier. You need an obscene amount of black food color to make truly black icing. I baked the cookies and mixed the icing one evening after J went to bed and decorated the next two evenings.

3. Time to decorate! After you mix the blue, put some in a piping bag for the horse outline and thin the rest for flooding. I like to outline a few cookies at a time and then flood. I made roughly 24 cookies and left them overnight to dry.

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Partial-Outline

I outlined each cookie in two sections. It was easiest to decorate with the cookie upside down because of the stick.

 

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Outlined

All outlined and ready for flooding. You can see I biffed the outline on one of the tails (lower right). Just wipe off the icing and start over. The flood covers up the mistake!

 

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Flood-Fill

New to flooding? Fill the center of the cookie and then use a toothpick to spread the icing until it touches the outline.

 

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Flooded

I wish royal icing dried shiny. I’ve experimented with other icing, but overall I like royal icing best.

4. Once the cookies are dry it’s time for the details. I piped Sparky’s bridle with a #2 round tip but skipped his saddle. I also skipped making his hooves. It would have been easy to do, but required a darker blue color. I was lazy and didn’t want to pipe and flood such a tiny amount of color. After the bridle I made the white part of his eye with a #6 round tip. Use a slightly wet finger to push down on the white icing to flatten it out.

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Bridle-White-Eye

Zombie horses! I use lollipop sticks instead of cookie sticks. They are slightly smaller in diameter and easier to use.

5. After the bridle and eye detail, I added blue sanding sugar to the mane and tail. The bridle and eye on the first cookie you decorated should be dry enough that the sugar won’t stick to those areas. I used a mixture of equal parts meringue powder and water to mix the “glue” for the sanding sugar. Use a small paint brush and wet the mane and tail area. I use Bake at 350’s anal retentive technique for sanding — sprinkle sanding sugar onto the cookie while holding it over a coffee filter (clean, of course). Use the filter as a funnel to pour unused sugar back into your sprinkling container. Use a toothpick to remove any stray pieces of sugar.

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Sanding-Sugar

Down the homestretch, just need to add pupils. (Bad horse racing pun totally intended.)

6. After the mane and tail have been sparkled, add the black pupil to the eye. I used my #2 tip again to make a tiny dot on the white icing. I flattened it with a slightly wet finger.

Cookie-Sheriff-Callie-Finished

Time to bag and tag!

7. Let dry a few hours or overnight again before bagging. Since the cookies have a nice layer of icing on top of them, they won’t dry out, even with being uncovered for two consecutive evenings.


 

Fitbit Follies – How to Get 10K Steps a Day

If you take a step without your Fitbit did you even move?I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, so the fact that I bought a Fitbit in mid-January has nothing to do with the new year. Well, perhaps just a smidge because I do have a big birthday coming up this summer.

I’ve always been into exercise. I danced in high school and college and moved on to yoga when I was in my late 20s. I’ve never been a runner but I do enjoy a good long walk — it can even be at a fast pace! The last 4 years I’ve been on hiatus from any regular exercise. I could blame my daughter, but really it’s my fault. I haven’t made it a priority.

So, I’m sucking it up and getting back into exercise. For me, a fancy gadget was the kick I needed to get my butt moving. I love my Fitbit One. I’ve committed to walking several times a week, usually several miles at a time. I even motivated three of my friends and they bought Fitbits too. Hey, where’s my kickback?! :D (Note: If you click on the Fitbit links on my web site and end up buying one, I will get a small kickback. Unfortunately for me, this post didn’t exist when my friends bought theirs.)

However, on those days when I don’t purposefully take a walk, my steps are in the 5,000 – 7,000 range. Not even the recommended 10,000 steps. Ack! What’s a girl (or guy) to do? Try squeezing steps into your daily activities like I’ve listed below. No, they’re not going to help you train for a marathon, but they will get you in the habit of moving. You’ll also be aware of those sedentary times when you’re just vegging out. Then you’ll get up and move it!

Here is my list of places where you can get your steps…

Nap time – no, this is not when you get a nap! When your kid is asleep, take a walk. Do laps around the garage and driveway if your kid is sleeping in the car. I can vouch from personal experience that you can get a lot of steps this way.

Cooking – do some laps around the kitchen while you’re cooking. How many times have you caught yourself staring at a pot of water, waiting for it to boil? You know the old adage. Turn your head away and take a walk!

Washing Dishes – aside from looking like a freak, you really can move around while rinsing and drying your dishes.

Bathroom – walk around while brushing your teeth or applying lotion (doesn’t work when you need to moisturize your legs). Applying makeup and curling/straightening your hair can also be done while in motion. It just takes a little practice.

Laundry – not coordinated enough to fold laundry and walk? Then step in place or do side to side knee lifts.

Rocking a baby – nope, don’t have a baby. But my friends rock and sway their babies to sleep AND get their steps. How’s that for mommy multi-tasking?

Cleaning – there is the obvious steps needed when you’re vacuuming or sweeping. I got almost 5,000 steps the other day while dancing and bopping about while cleaning my house. Turn on your favorite music and you’re good to go!

Watching TV – yes, this is the least obscure tip but I’m mentioning it anyway. Instead of sitting on your couch, stand up and move!

Computer / Phone – While you’re turning your brain to mush playing Candy Crush, at least get up and walk around your house or step in place. I’ve discovered that when my laptop is on our breakfast bar in the kitchen, it’s the perfect height for me to stand and type. I am doing knee lifts as I type this. Go me.

Have you found any other ways of getting more steps? I’d love to hear them!

Fitbit Aria

Cold Brew Coffee – Ice, Ice, Baby

You can't buy happiness but you can buy coffee and that's pretty close.I love coffee. Regular coffee, latte, mocha, iced coffee, coffee ice cream, coffee cake – ok, not really coffee, but you get the idea. I try to make it at home as much as possible since that’s most cost efficient. Although, you could put up a good argument that my five different coffee / espresso making devices will take a lifetime to dollar cost average for each cup. Whatevs.

Cold Brew Chameleon

If I see this on sale I’m stocking up, even though I can make my own! It’s so tasty.

My latest obsession is cold brew coffee. After buying a bottle of Chameleon Cold Brew “on sale” for $7 at Whole Foods, I decided that it would be cheaper and more convenient to make it at home. The nearest Whole Foods is about a half hour away from my house (thank freakin’ god or I’d be poor). As mentioned, I love iced coffee. I can drink this cold out of the refrigerator without having to dilute hot coffee (or espresso) with ice.

After a hasty search online for cold brew coffee maker reviews, I decided to buy the Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffee Pot. I paid roughly $30 at Amazon and got free Prime shipping. I waited a very anxious two days to receive my new baby and was stupid excited when it finally arrived!

Cold Brew - Full Pot

Looking at this picture has me jonesing for coffee.

I’ve made a few batches of coffee and I’m still refining my technique. Of course, a lot of the flavor will come from the type of coffee beans used. Right now I’m using a bag of organic coffee bought at Costco (High Desert Roasters Medium Blend). Definitely not high end stuff but it’s decent.

Making the cold brew only takes a few minutes. Yes, you have to wait a day for it to steep in the refrigerator, but the active time to make it is quick.

Here’s what I’ve been doing.

First I grind my coffee beans. I grind extra and put it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I know you coffee aficionados are cringing. I’m super lazy and don’t want to haul out my burr grinder every couple days. It takes approximately 13 heaping tablespoons of coffee (80 grams) to fill the reusable filter with my beans. If you grind yours more or less coarsely, your spoon count will vary. I would recommend weighing out the coffee to get an accurate number of spoons the first time you do this.

Cold Brew - Fill carafe with Coffee Grounds

I fill the pot with room temperature water to the 800ml line, according to the English instructions I found online. The user manual is in Japanese only, and while it does come with illustrations, I wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly. I drop the filter into the pot and stir the coffee grounds with a chopstick. You could use a skewer or a knife, but just make sure you don’t poke a hole in the filter! Then I pour in more water to top it off.

Cold Brew - Add Water

I put on the lid and set it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Cold Brew 24 Hour Steep

24 hours in the refrigerator transforms the water into coffee infused deliciousness.

When it’s ready, remove the filter and rinse it. The bottom of the filter unscrews so it’s really easy to wash. Then you can put the filter back into the carafe with the lid, or pour your coffee into another air tight bottle. I find the lid to the pot doesn’t fit snugly without the filter inside.

Cold Brew Clean Filter

Unscrew the filter’s bottom to thoroughly clean it of coffee grounds. I store my coffee with the filter inside the carafe for a better fit.

Cold Brew Sediment

Sediment at the bottom of my carafe. I haven’t needed to chew my cold brew coffee yet, so I’m not bothered by it.

There is some sediment in the bottom of my carafe. I’m not sure if this is normal or if my coffee isn’t coarse enough. The sediment doesn’t pour into my coffee cup, so I’m not bothered by it.

This makes enough for me to enjoy two big servings of cold brew coffee. Told ya I like coffee.

*Side note: I have a Kitchenaid A9 Burr Grinder. I’ve had it for about 10 years and I don’t think they sell it anymore. I love it and highly recommend it. The only burr grinder Kitchenaid sells now is $400. Ummm, no thanks!




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