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Saturday, April 19, 2014

When You Wake Up You'll Be Four

Sweet dreams little one.  I love that you still fall asleep snuggled in my arms on this eve of your fourth birthday.  Every age you have been has been my favorite one, so even though I'm preparing to celebrate the beginning of a new year tomorrow, I'm mourning the end of this one.  What a year it has been.  From potty training to snow skiing to freediving.  I'm in awe of you, and have been since the first time I felt you move inside my body.

Our four years together have not been without challenges, but watching you grow and learn, and develop character and opinions, has been nothing short of amazing to me.  We've been joined at the hip for so long that it is really hard for me to give you the space and freedom you need to grow as an individual, but I do.  I'm so very proud of the girl you have become.  Your confidence and strength astonish me, your compassion and kindness make everyone around you happy.  Your beautiful smile melts my heart, and making you laugh is on my to do list every day.

My promise to you is that I will continue to do my very best for you.  I don't think of caring for you as a job or a duty, though it is, I consider it an honor and a blessing.

Four years ago, you made me a mama and a better human being.  I love you my precious girl.

Musgo Salad - Roasted Veggies, Quinoa, & Feta

Whenever we have a bunch of things in the fridge that "must go", we either make Musgo Soup, or Musgo Salad.  After a visit to the La Quinta Olive Oil Company in Old Town, we had some amazing flavors to add to our salad.  I say we because my parents have a house full of relatives at the moment so we've been cooking together most evenings.

This is not a sponsored post, and my Mom paid full price for the product, but we were all so excited by the amazing flavors that I feel compelled to support this local business in hope that they stay for a long, long time.  Forget about taking a bottle of wine as a hostess gift, pick up an oil or vinegar and blow your friend's mind.

We tossed the following vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them for about 45 minutes at 450:
diced potatoes
diced sweet potatoes
whole asparagus
sliced red and orange and yellow peppers
sliced onion
carrot sticks
large diced zucchini
quartered mushrooms
cauliflower florets

The potatoes took the longest, so we kept checking until they were tender.

While the vegetables were in the oven, I made some quinoa tricolore that I got at Trader Joe's, with vegetable stock from Sprouts.

We let everyone serve themselves, and I wish I had photographed this masterpiece, but we were all too busy driving it into our mouths.  A base of the quinoa, then a layer of roasted vegetables, sprinkled with feta cheese, and drizzled with habaƱero olive oil and chocolate raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Buen Provecho!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Muffins

When we visit the farmer's market, I need to go armed with a delicious gluten free muffin because Ebi used to love to get a blueberry muffin from the bakery stand.  I could tell she was getting a little bored with the banana muffins I have been making.  This morning I realized that our lemons were looking a little sad, and figured it was time to do something with them.  There was a lemon blueberry bread recipe in my facebook newsfeed recently so I adapted it to make it gluten free.  The muffins turned out great.  Ebi and her cousins gobbled them up.


1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar 
5 tablespoons lemon juice 
2 eggs 
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour

1/2 cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 for a loaf or 400 for muffins.

In a mixing bowl, beat together coconut oil, sour cream, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in lemon zest, and blueberries. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 60 to 70 minutes.  Or bake in muffin tins at 400 for 30 minutes.  This made 12 muffins.

Optional glaze:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 cup confectioners sugar

Combine all ingredients mix well. Drizzle over bread.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - I Want A Mango Tree

Cute little baby mangos in a friends' backyard.  I hope they're ready to harvest before we leave town!  Why didn't someone think to plant a mango tree in my yard 10 years before I moved in?

Friday, April 11, 2014

InstaFriday - First Time Riding To Preschool

life rearranged

Ebi started preschool last month, just on Fridays for 3 hours in the morning.  I suffered acute separation anxiety.  After we signed in, she immediately got engaged in some activity, and I was encouraged by the teacher to slip out.  I paced outside the building for about 10 minutes until another mother/daughter arrived late.  When the Mom exited after dropping her daughter off, I pounced on her to ask if anyone was crying inside the classroom.  She laughed and said no.  I was relieved, but also devastated.  So, I walked home and tried to get some things done.  I felt sick the entire time though.  I worried that she might fall and scrape her knee and need ME.  I mean, how could she get by without me for 3 hours?  When I finally got to pick her up she was jolly and full of stories about school - her new favorite thing.  

Now we're a month into it, and I really can get some things done while she's at school.  I have already switched over from separation anxiety to pangs of guilt because I'm actually looking forward to getting her into the 4 mornings a week program.

I'm torn because she is about to turn 4, and these have been the fastest 4 years of my life.  I haven't left her with babysitters so I could continue with my life, she has been my life.  Being with her pretty much 24/7 has been exactly what I wanted to do, and I feel blessed and grateful that I have been able to.  

Starting preschool isn't just her milestone, it's mine too.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 Ultimate Blog Party Post

Ultimate Blog Party 2014In high school my Dad always called me, "Last Minute Liz."  So, here I am, at the last minute writing a blog post that was due 45 minutes ago.  I'm not done procrastinating either.  I'm going to go fix myself a Mojito.  I have to find the scissors and a flashlight so I can harvest some fresh mint.

That took longer than expected because the recipe had to be modified when I realized I was out of limes.  I grabbed a grapefruit from the neighbor's tree and invented a new mojito with grapefruit juice.  Yummy.  Now I'm ready.  Wait, where are my fuzzy writing socks?

I'm really excited to be participating in the 5 Minutes for Mom Blog Party again this year.  I'm relatively new to blogging, but I do understand that the idea is to reach people and build a community.  I spend a lot of time reading blog posts, so I'm looking forward to clicking a lot of links in the next week.

My blog is mostly about my current life as a single work at home mom to a 3 year old girl.  We're snowbirds, so we spend summers in Beautiful British Columbia, and the rest of the year in Southern California.  How we got here is a long story that I am going to share at some point.

I'm also converting most of our favorite dishes to gluten free, so you'll find some yummy GF recipes here.  My little one was suffering from inflammation in her joints, and eliminating gluten from her diet seems to have made it go away.  As an added bonus I stopped getting migraines, and I was having a 3 day migraine nearly every month.  Coincidence?  Perhaps, but do I want to start eating gluten again just to see if I can trigger a migraine?  Uh, nope.

If you're going to click any links on this post, I hope it will be this one:  What Drowning Really Looks Like.  We are already in the pool every day and I want to make sure parents are aware of how quickly things can go pear shaped in the water.