Carrot Raisin Muffins

Someone asked for this recipe, and here it is. It’s from Vegan with a Vengeance, which is one of my favorite cookbooks, and this is one of my favorite muffin recipes.

Carrot Raisin Muffins 

1/2 cup of raisins (you can soak them while you are getting everything else ready, but I never do)

1.5 cups of flour (I use regular whole wheat flour.)

2 tsp. of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup sugar (I just leave this out, and they are fine. I’m not used to sweet muffins, so I don’t miss it.)
1 cup milk (I use soy or almond.)
1/4 cup canola oil (I sub all but a tablespoon of this for applesauce.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrot
Mix all the dry stuff with all the wet stuff, and then fold in the carrots and raisins. Put them into a well greased muffin pan. Bake them at 400 degrees (though I usually do them at 350 or 375) until they are done (15-20 minutes).
And now I’m really hungry.
Yesterdays Rundown:
Breakfast: green smoothie with 4 bananas, about a half cup of black berries, a small amount of raspberries, and more than a half a cup of mango with about 3 big stalks of kale and a bit of pomegranate juice.
Lunch: One large head of romaine lettuce chopped up with black beans and guacamole and diced jalapeno peppers
Snack after workout-a pink lady apple (which was really good) and 3 dates
Dinner-leftover split pea soup, big salad with fruit, and a whole wheat pita (from the ones I made yesterday) with a half tablespoon of earth balance butter
Workout-ran outside for a half an hour and did crunches, pushups, and squats
Work done-sanded those airplanes, well, most of them, I’ll finish them up today
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When you feel like giving up

I am a horrible business owner. Literally I’m the last person who you would have thought would run a business. I’m disorganized. I’m forgetful. I suck at not making mistakes. The busier my business gets the more mistakes I seem to make.

I’ve been doing better double-checking myself this spring, but the past couple of weeks I have made 2 incredibly costly mistakes, and I had one piece break that I had to refund (which I don’t count as a mistake, but it’s still incredibly disheartening and costly).

And it’s painful! It’s embarrassing! It’s upsetting. If I didn’t absolutely HAVE to make money, I’d probably feel like quitting. Since that’s not an option, I have to pull myself up, strategize ways to keep myself from shooting myself in the foot, and keep selling my toys and myself, even though I am ashamed of me right now.

Since I don’t have a choice to quit my business (and honestly, of course, I wouldn’t want to even if I could), I have to fight through the depressed-“what’s the point when I screw everything up?!?!?”-feeling, and just keep working until it goes away.

And that’s a good way to keep going with anything that you feel like giving up on. You could give up on eating healthfully, when you have a weekend of excess, but if you force yourself to eat healthy food again, even if you feel like eating junk, you’ll get back to preferring the healthy fare to the junk.

Becoming depressed has many causes, but when you are depressed, you stop engaging in healthy habits. You stop socializing, often you eat sporadically and of the wrong foods. You stop doing the things you love; the things that could pull you out of a (minor) depression.

Many people when trying to start a business give up too soon, especially if it’s a side job or an etsy/ebay type business. They get down on themselves and go back to their old job, and maybe conclude they just aren’t cut out to run a business.

Presumably most people give up when trying to change unhealthy eating habits (that’s why there are so many unhealthy people out there). They determine that it’s too hard. That they just don’t like vegetables, and they give up.

The same thing happens when people try to exercise. That’s why exercise is such a New Year’s cliche. Exercise is hard (that’s sort of the point), and at some point, you won’t feel like it. You could give up, or you could force yourself to just do 15 minutes, instead of your usual 30 minutes. Or 10 minutes or 5 minutes. Even though it seems awful and abhorrent to move and sweat, if you start doing it, you’ll realize that it’s not that bad.

This morning, when I got a message about the broken toy, I just wanted to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up and go back to sleep. Or zone out in front of a good TV series so I wouldn’t have to hear myself think. But I pulled up my boots, plugged in my headphones, and went out to work. I said I’d just do 15 minutes, and then come in for breakfast. But once I was out there, I finished up what I wanted to do, and it wasn’t so bad.

Writing this blog is like that too. I have to overcome the voice in my head that says I have nothing worthwhile to say, no one is listening, and if they are listening they are incredulous that I acutally bother to get out of bed in the morning. But then I write, and post, and I feel like I’ve accomplished something (even if it is just thumbing my nose at that mean, old bitch in my head).

Now I’m going to play Dutch Blitz and try to forget how much money I’ve cost myself this month.

Daily Rundown

Breakfast-green smoothie

Lunch-6 inch veggie sub sandwich – no cheese on a wheat roll and pineapple and banana and dates

Dinner-spinach curry with rice (I remembered!) and whole wheat homemade pita bread

Workout-ran for 25 minutes while the curry was cooking

Work done-cut and dremeled 10 airplane teethers, sanded 5 teethers, and I’ll probably do another 5 before bed

 

Pros and Cons of Craft Shows

Before my Etsy shop got going, I did craft shows. There was really only one season of craft showing. After that, Christmas orders started coming in, and then after Christmas was when I moved into my van and went to Florida. I had fully intended to do shows there, but it never worked out. My stock was so limited then, it wouldn’t have really been worth it anyway.

I did one craft show the summer after I got back from Florida, and it was a super hot day. I barely made my spot back. Since then I’ve only done one show, the Western Pennsylvania La Leche League Conference. And I’ll be there again this year, since I sold a lot of toys there.

But I was thinking about getting back into doing shows regularly again. My thoughts on the matter go like this:

Maybe I should start doing shows again. You can make a lot of money in one day at a good show. Plus it would be a nice change of pace. I could meet new people, get ideas, get out of the house…Yeah, right, a nice change of pace, because sitting out in the hot sun with a little kid getting more and more bored and crabby and impatient is NICE. Because rushing out the door early in the morning and setting up all my stuff BY MYSELF is NICE. …but Caleb is getting older now, all I have to do is bring some legos, and he’ll be set for the day (although that may not be a good product endorsement). Maybe he could even help me set up. HA! And you can spend all day at a place and barely make the 100 bucks that you had to put up to get a spot in an all handmade show (the only ones worth showing up at). 

There was a reason, several of them, why I decided to stop doing shows, but there were a few shows that I really cleaned up at. It’s hard to resist the pull of making that much money in one day in the middle of the summer or early fall.

Plus shows are fun, despite dealing with a bored kid. It’s nice to meet new people, and get instant feedback from people. And to see the surprised looks on people’s faces that I make these all MYSELF (as a woman). Plus it’s sort of fun to set up a booth and be a salesman/woman.

So if you live in Pittsburgh, you may see me sometime at a show trying to make sales and entertain a cranky child. We’ll see. 🙂

Daily Rundown:

Breakfast-Green Smoothie

Lunch-Vegetable Soup and a piece of baguette from Panera, and some strawberries and dates at home

Dinner-salad with fruit and green smoothie

Snack-biscuit with jelly

Workout-ran outside for more than 30 minutes

Work Done-Cut and dremeled 20 airplane teethers, sanded and finished 10 of them

TV-none

 

Garden Planning 2013

I’m a pretty serious gardener. Or at least, I am pretty serious about gardening. I’m not a great gardener, and I generally take a vacation in July that seriously hampers my growing potential. But I really want to grow as much food as I possibly can on my very small lot.

In my two previous years gardening, I have had good success only with greens. Tomatoes are always moderately successful. Last year was a good year for peppers-nice and HOT and relatively dry, but my cantaloupe never even fruited. Potatoes did well. Celery started out nicely, but wilted in the summer heat (and then got mowed down by the groundhog). My lettuce was Beautiful, but then I went on vacation in June, and it all bolted.

My goals this year include lots of greens: kale, collards, chard, and spinach (though that is my least successful green), lots of lettuce and pick it when it’s small to avoid last year’s mishap, and lots of onions. I want to grow a large variety of things, but focus on the things I eat the most, and the things that are the best fresh picked.

My faults in previous years include vacations that left my garden to fend for itself, lack of support for my tomato plants, and most glaringly a lack of protection from 4-legged mammals: including deer, groundhogs, and even cats, who stomp all over my newly planted seeds.

The Fixes:

1. Limit vacations to one week at a time and pay someone to keep an eye on things.

2. Cage my tomatoes when I plant them so I don’t leave it until it’s too late.

3. Erect fences, cages, nets, put out japanese beetle traps on the cherry tree. I’m also going to take the suggestion of one of my reader’s and put thorns over newly planted beds to hopefully deter the cats. I’ll let you know if it works.

I also had a slug problem, so I’ll have to work on that too. Plant protection is my focus this year.

I plan to spend a half an hour every single day managing things in the garden. I figure I’ll spend 5 minutes weeding, and then the rest of the time watering, fertilizing, staking, fencing, etc. I mulch everything so weeds are one problem that I haven’t had. I haven’t decided when the best time to schedule my garden work is.

As soon as I wake up is when I spent time in the garden last year. It’s fun to step out and see what grew overnight, and check for animal damage, which is not so fun if you find some.

When I get back home, I’m going to start planting spring crops and building fences and digging up some new sections of the back yard. Since I am doing a local food experiment this coming growing season, it’s even more important that I stay on top of the gardening work.

I’ll keep you up to date on my progress with pictures once things get growing. What are you doing in your garden this year?

Daily Rundown:

I had a couple of cookies last night after I posted, but they’re all gone now, so I won’t have anymore.

Breakfast-Green Smoothie

Lunch-Broccoli with hummus

Dinner-large salad, 2 bowls of split pea and fresh (frozen) pea soup, and 2 and a half biscuits with strawberry jelly (fruit juice sweetened)

Workout-none AGAIN, I’ve been going all day and I missed it, I may try to do something while Caleb is taking a bath.

Work Done-cut, sanded, oiled, and wood burned 3 large tree plaques and sanded around 25 other small things and finished them and wood burned them

 

 

Spring Check-In

The only way New Year’s Resolutions will be successful is if you keep yourself on track throughout the year. There isn’t anything magical about New Year’s Day or picking any day in particular to begin doing or not doing something. The only resolution that matters is the one you keep up with.

Every month, I try to make a time to check up on myself, and make sure that I am where I want to be. I decided I would do a more thorough (and public) check-in at the beginning of every season. This also helps with maintaining seasonal goals. Like making sure to plan time every week to go to the lake during the summer, or to maintain the lawn and garden during the spring, summer, and fall.

I have 5 main areas that I focus on.

Work-How am I doing building my inventory?

Grade: Fair

I have built up a decent amount of the most popular things. I even have 2 Little Kitchens in stock. I’ve done the best building up a stock of keys and chunky keys, which are the 2 things that I make sure to do almost every week. I’ve also made my quota from last year of the family cars, carpet vroomers, minis, and sports cars.

Things to improve: I need to stick to my work schedule better, and make sure I get the minimum done each week. I also want to try working on the bigger items (kitchens, towns, dollhouses) for 15 minutes every day, so they are less intimidating of a project.

Home Organization-How well am I maintaining order in the house?

Grade-Fair (most of the time)

I’m doing better keeping on top of the dishes, laundry, and the living room. I’ve been slipping a little bit and watching TV in the evenings instead of setting the house to rights every night. I have a better organization of work supplies, but my desk still tends to be covered in toys and paper.

Things to improve-clear off the desk every day after printing labels and packaging. Get back to vacuuming and sweeping daily in the foyer, kitchen, and living room. Also need to do more actual cleaning of the low traffic areas. Plus: The basement needs a major overhaul.

Physical Activity-Am I doing vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day?

Grade-Good

I’m running almost every single day, and on the days when I don’t run, I’ve been trying to walk for a while.

Things to Improve-I want to add weight lifting to my routine and make sure I’m doing abdominal exercises. Abs are one area I really let go. I need to build up the muscles on my stomach and strengthen my back and shoulders.

Learning New Things-Yearly Focus: Spanish-How am I doing learning Spanish?

Grade-Fair to Poor

I’ve really gotten out of the habit of doing Spanish every day or even every other day. Heck, I think I let 2 weeks go by without ever logging in to Rosetta Stone. However I have learned and remembered a lot in what I have done so far which has been quite a bit.

Things to Improve-CONSISTENCY. Doing some Spanish every day keeps me thinking about the language and helps me retain more.

Home Improvement-What have I done to fix up my 100 year old house?

Grade-Poor

I haven’t done diddly-squat. I need to break up projects into tiny little sections so I can do little bits when I have the time. I’m a woodworker, but I find home improvement intimidating, annoying, and can think of about 500 things that are more pressing than painting and measuring and trying to get trim up on the doors straight with no gaps. So I guess I need to work on my attitude towards home improvement. My current attitude is very defeatist.

Things to Improve-Put up trim on the doorways and windows in the kitchen and living room. Paint the foyer. Fix the crumbling plaster in the upstairs hallway. Well, I could go on, but that’s a start.

Spring Focus-Yard Work

Make a plan for yard and garden work. I think I’ll do a post on this one tomorrow.

OVERALL-I am pleased with the progress that I have made this winter. I have laid down routines that can now be enhanced to better meet my needs. There definitely needs to be decline in the amount of television watched and an increase in the work done before Caleb awakens. But on the whole, I think I’ve made a good start.

The really test will be my Summer Check-in in June. The spring and fall are my most productive times of the year. The basement is a comfortable temperature. I can send and walk outside. We can go to the park and later in the spring to the creek regularly and I sand there too. I can use my palm sander and dremel outside, which is much more pleasant than being shut away in the cellar.

I’m hoping to have every item in stock by the time Summer arrives. That way I can start working on wholesale stock. I would also like to do some craft shows this summer.

Daily Rundown-

(for the past couple of days I have eaten healthy food, but also chips and salsa, chocolate chip cookies and lasagna (not vegan, vegetarian spinach lasagna). Last night, if I had gone to bed on time I probably could have saved myself 600+ calories of junk food, and a headache in the morning.)

Breakfast-Green Smoothie

Lunch-4 pieces of store bought wheat bread with garlic herb butter

Dinner-Mashed Potatoes and About 4 cups of steamed Kale with a biscuit (homemade of course)

Workout-um, none, I would have done some walking, but it was snowing all day and very wet and slushy

Work done-sanding and applying finishes and wood burning

TV-none

 

When TO Procrastinate

Procrastination is generally a bad idea, but there are times when procrastination can be a very effective tool to get the results you desire.

1. When you are trying to eat more healthfully. 

I use this tactic all the time. You feel like eating some chips or cookies or crackers, but you know you shouldn’t to feel your best. So just put off eating them until later. Find something else to do, have a different snack, and before you know it, it’s bedtime, and you never made time for that unhealthy snack.

Another way to use this is, “If I still want X in the morning, I’ll have it for breakfast.”

Because I don’t know about you, but the idea that I would NEVER have chips again would send me straight to the bottom of a bag of Tostitos. But by the time breakfast comes around, I certainly am not still interested in eating chips.

There are loads more unhealthy options at my parent’s house (not that they eat them, they buy them for us kids), so I’ve been procrastinating about eating them. If I can put off eating them until closer to the time when I leave, I’m bound to eat less of them.

You can also use this to get your kids to eat healthier, just put off getting them unhealthy snacks when they ask for them, and maybe they’ll forget about it.

2. When you feel like watching something.

Tell yourself you just do 5 minutes of cleaning up and 5 minutes of work, or just do a quick blog post or one section of Rosetta Stone Spanish. And before you know it, your son is awake or tired of playing by himself or out of the bathtub, and you missed your chance to watch something.

3. Buying stuff.

I’m not talking about buying stuff you NEED. That you do not want to put off, because if you do, you will certainly break a bandsaw blade while you are finishing up a wholesale order and have to order new blades and wait a week for them to arrive (just happened to me). OR you will be just about to make muffins when you realize you are all out of cooking spray and they stick horribly without it.

I’m talking about extra pairs of shoes that you don’t really need. The new dress, the kitchen gadget, etc, etc. Just put it off until later, and you might find you don’t really want it as much as you thought you did.

Can you think of any other times when procrastination pays off? Because I’ve gotta end this post and read my son a story now that he’s out of the tub.

In other news, for those of you in the know, Caleb won his first game of 3 man Acquire, beating me and my dad. This is a game of a fair amount of skill and strategy.

Daily Rundown

Breakfast-green smoothie

Lunch-salad with black beans and guacamole

Dinner-green smoothie (that was actually a beautiful reddish-purple), and salad with fruit

Snack-strawberries and dates

Workout-ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill

Work done-None, I’m sort of on vacation.

TV watched-some college basketball

How to Take Your Craft Business on the Road

Well, I haven’t been posting, because I’ve been on the road visiting my hometown. Until I moved to West Virginia, I lived in the same place my whole life. I was actually born in the house that I lived in. Almost all of my extended family lives here, and most of my brothers and most of my friends. Needless to say, I try to get back to visit often.

Running my own business means I can take off whenever I feel like it, but it also means that I have to find a way to keep the shop running while I am not at home.

One way I keep things moving is to bring the most popular toys with me. More than half of my large suitcase was full of toys this time. This way I can ship them right away. Ideally I’d have at least one of every item I sell here, so I could travel stress-free.

The other way, which only works when I travel here, is to keep a second workshop. My parents have one of those pre-fab barns that they keep tools and bikes in, and I keep extra tools in there. I have a scroll saw, belt sander, miter saw (which is actually my brother’s), and a drill press. And a really junky bandsaw. And of course a dremel and palm sander. All I’m missing is a table saw. The tools I have here are not the best quality (with the exception of the scroll saw), but they can get the job done.

With tools, I can take my time and visit, and I’m not sacrificing production completely. And if someone wants a custom order, or something that I don’t have in stock here, I don’t have to panic that I’m missing out on money.

If I travelled by car instead of by bus, taking the business on the road would be easier. I’d just stuff the car with toys, and bring some tools with me. That’s what I did when we lived in our van for 6 months. I couldn’t take custom orders (except when we were staying and working at the farm, because there I had plugs for my tools), but my expenses were almost non-existant.

In other news, I had a birthday, so I’m now 29 years old. And I almost feel like a grown-up. I had a whole wheat, no refined sugar applesauce cake for the birthday. We smother it in applesauce for the icing.

Yesterdays’ Rundown:

Breakfast-Green Smoothie-bananas, blackberries, spinach, pineapple, and pomegranate juice

Snack-a piece of applesauce cake

Lunch-Spring Mix Salad with chili on top

Dinner-Green Smoothie and salad with fruit (at my parents house we often have raw dinners)

Workout-ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill, and about 20 on a recumbent exercise bike

 

Fruit and Vegetable Challenge Update

fresh-fruits-vegetables-2419

Just a quick post today to let you know how our fruit and vegetable challenge is going. For those of you that haven’t been following, I challenged my son to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables every day during lent (and beyond if he wants to keep going). For each day that he does, he gets a sticker on the calendar worth 50 cents, at the end of the challenge he can cash in his stickers for a lego of his choice.

Yes, I’m paying him to eat healthy food, which I definitely had qualms about. But my idea was that we prefer the foods we eat on a regular basis, and we prefer as adults the foods that we ate when we were kids. So if I give him the incentive to improve his eating habits now, hopefully they will stick with him for the rest of his life.

I got the idea for the challenge from constantly reading that the USDA food pyramid guidelines for fruits and vegetables are too low, but even at those low amounts, almost no one (especially children) eat the recommended amounts anyway! And when I looked at my son’s diet, I realized that was true, and that I wanted it to change. Whole wheat bread is better than white bread, but it has nothing on fresh fruits and vegetables.

We’re about a month into it so far, and he’s only missed one day. And for the past week, he has been exceeding the required amount every day. Yesterday for instance, he had a cup of raw carrots at lunch, then a cup of raw broccoli with hummus with his carrot soup for dinner. He ate 1/2 cup of strawberries with breakfast, an apple at the gym, and a grapefruit and a banana and a date for his bedtime snack.

I am very excited about his progress. He cleared up his runny nose which has been totally dry since the first week, and has otherwise been healthy (which is normal). So far, I have to declare the challenge a success. We’ll see how it goes, but I am willing to keep it going as long as he wants. We are definitely going through the produce though!

Daily Rundown (yesterday)-

Breakfast-Whole wheat cornmeal pancakes with maple syrup and 1/2 poundish of strawberries

Lunch-Green smoothie with spinach, peaches, and blackberries, and bananas of course, always bananas

Snack at the gym-4 dates and an apple

Dinner-Leftover carrot soup, broccoli with hummus, and 2 carrot raisin muffins (homemade, whole wheat, from the freezer), and an apple and 2 or 3 dates for dessert

Workout-ran for 36 minutes, I felt really good, and definitely would have gone longer, but Caleb was getting antsy, did some leg exercises on the weight machines, and some situps on the inclined bench, plus treading water and some swimming in the pool

 

Never Gain Weight, except when you are pregnant

That’s my motto as far as body size goes. And of course that means weight from fat not muscle. If you pay attention to your body, you know when you gain weight, which should be the cue for you to stop eating processed foods and start exercising again or more often or more vigorously. My goal is to never go up a jeans size.

As I was thinking about that while I was running today, I got to thinking of the times when that wouldn’t be possible. Since I’m a woman, the first thing that I thought of was pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you can’t even wear jeans, you put on weight, and you have to. So I was thinking about ways to minimize the harm that pregnancy can do to our waistlines and subsequently to our health.

And harm it does. Thinking about the times when women gain the most weight, I came up with after they get married and after they have kids. Obviously there are other times that people gain weight, single women are not uniformly slender. But today I want to focus on the weight gained when we have kids.

Weight gain when you are pregnant is unavoidable. And cutting back on calories can be harmful to your baby’s health and your own. BUT this does not give pregnant women the license tover I wanted! And honestly, although I cleaned up my diet a lot when I got pregnant, I also indulged quite a bit along with all the fruits and vegetables.

Even my midwife of all people, told me to drink milkshakes: lots of protein and fat and calcium was her rationale. Are you kidding me?? Even though I thought her advice was ridiculous, I also used it as an excuse to indulge in milkshakes (which have always been a favorite of mine).  eat whatever we want. I can’t count how many times people said to me when I was pregnant that now was my chance to eat whate

Pregnancy should be a time to eat more food yes, but more healthy food. It’s not an excuse to eat anything. Packing on the pounds when you are pregnant is just as bad as when you aren’t pregnant. Eat healthy food until you are full, just like before. I gained almost 60 pounds when I was pregnant, and I wasn’t having twins.

Putting on extra weight when you are pregnant just makes it harder to lose when you have the baby. Losing weight after giving birth takes time. And it’s harder than before, because you can’t just go for a run; you have a baby to take care of.

My objective in writing this post is to make an attempt to eradicate this myth that pregnant women should eat whatever and how much ever of what they want. Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean that ice cream is not bad for you anymore.

And as long as we are trying to stamp out harmful myths about pregnancy, do the rest of us a favor and don’t use pregnancy as an excuse to be a bitch. If I see this stereotype on one more sitcom, I’m gonna scream. Everyone has reasons to be mean sometimes, but we need to rise above these base urges especially as we are preparing for motherhood.

Exercise is also important when you are pregnant. For the first 3 months of my pregnancy, I didn’t really exercise at all. Running was uncomfortable, and I had just graduated from college, so I no longer had my gym there. When I joined a gym at 3 months, it was the best thing I ever did.

I had horrible congestion while I was pregnant, but when I was moving and for some time afterwards, I could breath! All the reasons there are to exercise when you aren’t pregnant are even more important when you are pregnant. Regular exercise helps you remain healthy when you are pregnant. It puts you in a better mood. It might help with delivery even and those swollen ankles and aching back.

Despite all the weight I gained, I was shooting baskets (albeit awkwardly) on my due date. Pregnancy is not an excuse to sit on your butt and order your husband around. That is not healthy.

Okay, I’ve had my say, now for the daily rundown:

Breakfast-pineapple and bananas, with a snack of walnuts and raisins around noon

Lunch-about 2 cups of raw broccoli with my homemade hummus, and then a big bowl of red grapes and some medjool dates

Post-workout-3 clementines and 2 dates

Dinner-Homemade chili, homemade corn tortillas, guac, shredded carrots

Workout-walked for 45 minutes in the morning and ran for 30 at the gym and I treaded water and swam in the pool

Get in Bed Earlier…Even if you Don’t want to go to sleep yet

This is my revelation. I am trying to get Caleb and I into bed at bedtime-like the time I want to be going to sleep. Which is fine for me, but Caleb needs time to wind down. He’s a bouncy child, and tempers can flare around this time of night.

I just need to get us into bed with our story well in advance of when I want to fall asleep. That way he has time to look at books before I turn out the light, and I’m not too tired for Tickle Time after our story. I decided that 45 minutes should do the trick: 15 minutes for story, 15 minutes for goofiness and tickling, and 15 minutes for quit reading, then lights out.

Of course, tonight we went to the library movie night on the spur of the moment after we went to the gym, so we didn’t get home until almost 8 pm. Fortunately, dinner was a quick recipe, so I was able to have it on the table in about 20 minutes. Still, I don’t like finishing dinner that late, because of course now we aren’t getting in bed earlier.

How much earlier do you get in bed before you want to go to sleep (or get your children in bed)?

Oh yeah, I ran out of spinach last week and started using kale for my smoothies. It was totally fine, not bitter at all. So kale and spinach both work great. I’ll alternate between them now.

Daily Rundown-

Breakfast-Green Smoothie with blackberries and pineapple with a splash of pomegranate juice (it was on sale).

I had a snack of walnuts and raisins around 12, because I was hungry.

Lunch-Red Leaf Lettuce with strawberries and grapes and raisins; leftover carrot soup with a carrot raisin muffin (from the freezer)

Snacks while I watched the movie at the library-3 clementines, an apple, 2 dates, and a banana. Caleb had popcorn-which fortunately the guy forgot to dump the fake popcorn butter-oil-chemical concoction on, so it was actually a healthy snack (unlike the soda that they also had out there to feed to children!)

Dinner-Green Leafy Morrocan Medley with about half a cup of cous-cous and 2 carrot raisin muffins. The leafy medley was a morrocan spiced dish with onions, garlic, red pepper, mushrooms, and 8 cups of so of kale and mustard greens. It was surprisingly tasty. Caleb even decided he liked it, and ate a whole cup full of it. Of course there are lots of leftovers, so I’m going to see how some of it freezes.

Workout-ran for 30 minutes at the gym-I felt good, fresh. I could have gone longer, but we were cutting our gym time short to make the movie night. I hardly did anything the past 2 days, so it was nice to get moving. I’m dying for some spring like weather, but the forecast is is grim.

TV- just the movie at the library, but I was reading a book too, so I don’t think that should count. 🙂