7 days of green smoothies


If you follow me on instragram you might have seen my #7daysofgreensmoothies I shared a little while back.  Well in honor of the first day of spring today (!!) I’m sharing all the green smoothies I made for those 7 days.

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My original plan was to make 7 different smoothies for 7 consecutive days, but a couple days into it I wanted one and the kids were napping and there was just no way I was going to risk a loud blender running when it could wake up sleeping children.  So then I decided to make smoothies when it was convenient… when the kids were awake.  Here are 7 different smoothie combos I shared on IG – but now you can see them all together and more easily find different combos to try.  I’ve listed the ingredients, not so much recipes.  I usually wing it when making smoothies and taste/adjust as I go.  If you are looking for specific measurements, check out the end of the post where I link up to a few other green smoothie recipes I have.  Happy spring and smoothie making!

Spinach + banana + frozen strawberries + plain yogurt + ice


Frozen marionberry + spinach + banana + plain yogurt + water + vanilla extract + ice


Spinach + avocado + banana + natural peanut butter + plain yogurt + vanilla extract + water + ice


Spinach + banana + natural peanut butter + cocoa powder + plain yogurt + vanilla extract + ice


Pear + spinach + almond butter + milk + cinnamon + ice


Kale + spinach + swiss chard + pear + banana + almond butter + milk + ice


Kale + pear + sunflower seeds + almond butter + milk + ice + maple butter nut granola

IMG_5036If you are looking for recipes with measurements, check out these three green smoothie recipes.  All are delicious!

What are your favorite greens to add to smoothies?  I love spinach most, then swiss chard and kale. 


levana video monitor review + giveaway


In my almost three years of being a mom I have lived without a video monitor for the kids.  We barely use our regular sound only monitors because our house is small enough that we can hear the kids making noise no matter if we’re on a different floor.  But things have changed now.  We are total video monitor converts!


Let me take a quick step back.  Through Levana and FitFluential I was selected to participate in the Do More Knowing Your Baby Is Safe campaign.  They sent me the Sophia video baby monitor to try out and the moment it arrived we put it to good use.  Here are some details about the Sophia monitor:

Get more done knowing your baby is safe and sound with the Sophia monitor at your side. This baby video monitor has been designed with parent-friendly controls and features in mind, including 48 hour battery life in power saving PEEP mode, temperature monitoring, 15ft night vision, and 500ft ClearVu® digital signal. Babies love the Talk to Baby two-way communication, invisible night vision LEDs and soothing night light. Stay in tune with your baby from the next room and beyond thanks to the insight of your Sophia baby video monitor.

Most people probably would have set the monitor up on their littlest child.  Not us.  Zoe is over 1 year now and stays nicely in her crib.  She is great at falling asleep without a problem and quite loud when she wakes, so I pretty much know what’s going on with her.  I don’t have much fear or worry about her when she’s sleeping.  But Hunter though… oh that boy.  Since he’s no longer in a crib he can easily get out of his bed.  Which he does all-the-time.  The kids share a room and I can easily hear when they’re awake, laughing and having a good time being silly together when they should really be sleeping.  Things get quieter when Zoe falls asleep so a lot of the time I think he’s asleep.  Well, now I really know he’s causing some mischief!


I tend to clean up from lunch at nap time then work on dinner dishes and house pick up after they’re in bed for the night.  I’ve been having the wireless monitor set up on the counter so now I can actually see what Hunter does when he’s falling asleep.  Or working towards sleep.  The boy is a riot!  I’ve watched him air guitar and rock out singing a made up song, jump around all over his bed, jump in and out of bed, take everything off of his bed, then put it back on and so much more.  I’ve also seen him get out of his bed so I come down to see what he is doing (when normally I wouldn’t bother since he was being quiet) to find him tapping Zoe because he wanted her to wake up.  That kid.


I can honestly say we have been loving the Sophia monitor.  It has a feature for two way communication, so I can talk to Hunter without being there.  At first I thought it would scare him, so I didn’t want to try it.  Then I did anyways and now pretty much anytime I use it he laughs at me, so it’s more of a fun feature for us.  The sound that comes through the monitor is super crisp and clear with no static problems at all.  It works way better than our sound only monitors that we have.  The video images are easy to see and great quality.  I love that it works in a dark room as well.


I really like Levana’s tagline Do More Knowing Your Baby Is Safe.  I am much more at ease when I know Hunter is actually asleep and staying in his bed.  I can work on getting things done around the house, take an uninterrupted shower, or even just hang out on the couch for a minute and relax.  I am completely hooked on this!

And then he wakes and all the snuggles begin again. :)


Three lucky winners will get the opportunity to win their very own Sophia video baby monitor!  Enter through Rafflecopter below.  The giveaway runs across 10 different blogs in this campaign, so between all 10 blogs there will be 3 winners.  The winners will be selected by Levana and contacted when the giveaway ends.  Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Moms, join the conversation below and share what you wish you could do more of!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Levana. The opinions and text are all mine.

what we ate: mar 1-14, 2015


I have two weeks of dinner inspiration for you this morning!  Which is exactly what I need to take a look at too.  I’m a total slacker with meal planning this week and pretty much am just planning to figure it out the day of.  I totally blame it on the rain this weekend.  All the awesome sunshine and warm days we had made me so inspired and productive and it just makes my brain spin a little quicker.  Then the rain comes (which is 100% the norm here in Washington) and I just want to sit on the couch and hang with my family.  Which is sometimes what rainy days just call you to do.

So here are TWO weeks worth of dinner inspiration for you (and me). As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.

March 1-7

Sunday – baked salmon + roasted carrots/sweet potatoes/red potatoes + roasted broccoli + crusty dutch oven bread


Monday – spaghetti with beefy tomato sauce + corn + salad (dinner at my folks)

Tuesday – tuna melts + kale salad

Wednesday * – steak + compound butter + pasta caesar salad


Thursday * – crockpot hawaiian beef + steam broccoli + jasmine rice

Friday – beef empanadas + chimichurri sauce


Saturday – spaghetti with beefy sauce + salad + bread (dinner at some friend’s house)

March 8-14

Sunday – bratwurst + leftover jasmine rice + tomato/cucumber/avocado/cheddar salad


Monday * – leftover hawaiian beef + jasmine rice/barley + steamed broccoli + cheddar sauce


Tuesday – creamy chicken enchiladas + guacamole + sauted black beans and corn + snap peas

Wednesday – almond crusted halibut + roasted broccoli + mashed red potatoes + cucumber slices

Thursday – BFD blueberry pancakes


Friday * – sausage + 4 different cheeses + crusty dutch oven bread (date night in! – the kids had quessadillas + avocado + pickles)


Saturday * – taco salad (taco beef + lettuce + tomato + cheddar + black beans + guac + jalapeno ranch) + leftover crusty bread


My favorite two kitchen helpers being distracted with cucumber slices and each other.  They add so much extra fun to my life. :)


What do you love to do on rainy days?  Either inside or outside.


Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

February 22-28, 2015

what’s in my costco cart + food budget talk


Yesterday I made a quick stop in at Costco.  And only quick because it was kid free.  Although I missed having them there, I love the big carts and that they can both sit at the front of the cart… like this cuteness from back in October…


Anyways, I hadn’t gone grocery yet for the week so it’s more than I would normally pick up there.  Even though buying bigger sized items can and sometimes does save money in the long run, when it’s all added up at the register it’s definitely a shock sometimes!  Let’s see what I filled my cart with.


  • 2 dozen organic eggs – 2x ($6.99 – better price than most grocery stores)
  • 3 lb organic coffee ($12.59 – sale price)
  • clementines ($5.99)
  • broccoli ($4.59)
  • organic frozen blueberries ($9.79)
  • snap peas ($5.79)
  • string cheese ($6.69)
  • sabra hummus ($5.99)
  • 3lb almonds (16.99)
  • organic pears ($7.49)
  • organic bananas – 2x ($1.99)

TOTAL: $96.87

If you’ve been a reader for sometime now you may remember the posts about feeding my family for anywhere between $50-100 a week.  While I do think I could do that if I wanted to, I’d sacrifice quality.  Right now quality is more important to me than saving a couple of extra dollars.

What quality is important to me?  Organic/grass fed meats, organic dairy products (including milk, yogurt, butter… normally not cheese), organic eggs and sometimes organic produce.  Produce is only sometimes… I’ve got to draw the line somewhere because I do have a budget to follow and if I’m making a choice on what to buy organic I’ll choose items higher up in the food chain.  If the price between an organic option and conventional option isn’t that great, I’ll choose the organic.  However, sometimes it’s a huge difference – like right now organic cucumbers are close to $2-3 each whereas I can get english cucumbers for $0.70-1.00.  I have a tough time making that organic choice because I just love eating cucumbers and I’d much rather eat MORE veggies that are conventional than limit my veggie intake because I only wanted to buy organic.  It’s a personal choice I make.

What is my food budget right now?  It’s a bit flexible in that each week we set aside $150 for food and gas, so the less I spend on gas the more I can spend on food. Yay for that!  Some weeks I get $100 for food, other weeks I may get closer to $125.  The food budget also includes household products and toiletries, so it’s not just for food.

Do you shop at Costco or another store like that?  What items do you pick up there?  What is your current food budget spending like now?


cardamom pannekoeken


I love breakfast on the weekends.  Usually I make something more labor intensive that I think everyone in the house will enjoy.  Kind of a special treat.  Omelets, crepes and waffles are some that come to mind.  Other times I like to try new recipes.  I’m so thankful when my Secret Recipe Club assignment comes around and I have a new blog to explore and cook from.  This month I had the honor of being assigned my group host Camilla’s blog Culinary Adventures with Cam.  Camilla has a full fun life with her husband and as a mom.  I love what she says her parenting goals are: ‘grow conscientious, creative kids with fearless palates!’  She has tons of recipes that are full of fun and unique flavors I have no doubt her kiddos will enjoy flavors from around the world.

I actually cooked two recipes up from her blog.  The first was empanadas.  I was so excited about them, and I really enjoyed them, but the hubs wasn’t a big fan so instead of posting those (still check em out, I loved them!), I made a second – the cardamom pannekoeken.


Pennekoeken is the Dutch word for pancakes.  Other names include Dutch baby and oven pancake.  I am always a fan of anything Dutch since I was born there and lived there for a while as a kid.  These puffy baked large pancakes turned out delicious with freshly cut strawberries.  I loved that I could quickly whisk the batter together and get it into the oven before anyone was awake.  When I pulled it out of the oven Hunter was just waking up so he helped me cut up the strawberries.  The boy loves to help me around in the kitchen whenever he gets the chance.  Pannekoeken may look like a lot of work but it is actually a super simple breakfast to make with little hands on cooking time.


I would highly recommend adding some freshly whipped heavy whipping cream to go along with the strawberries.  Wishing I would have had some on hand!


Cardamom Pannekoeken

Recipe from here


  • 1-1/3 cup whole milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1-1/3 cup white whole wheat flour


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Butter two baking dishes (I used a cast iron skillet and large round polish pottery dish).  Whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter and ground cardamom in a large bowl.  Add the flour and baking powder and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
  2. Pour the batter into your dishes and bake until the Pannekoeken is puffy and golden.  Mine took 25 minutes, but I would check at 20.

If you are a dutch baby fan, check out this chocolate dutch baby.  Another delicious but slightly sweeter one!

We have been spending as much time outside as we can soaking up this amazing weather.  I wore shorts today and it was awesome!  The kids have been loving it so much too.  And because they are just so cute, I have to share a few pictures from our weekend.


What do you call this type of pancake?  Pannekoeken, dutch baby, oven pancake or something else?  What would you top your Pannekoeken with?


zoe’s smash cake


Unlike Hunter’s first birthday (read about his vintage newspaper theme here), Zoe’s first birthday was pretty mellow. Instead of having lots of friends and family over we kept it super simple and just invited to grandparents over for dinner and cake. Before we ate Zoe opened a few presents. She is a master at standing still for a long stretch of time and had a ball taking the tissue out of bags.


Next we ate dinner (thai zucchini beef meatballs + whole wheat pasta + steamed broccoli), then had cake!


I went with the fabulous smash cake recipe I used for Hunter’s birthday. It’s a no sugar added banana cake. It’s incredibly moist, sweet from the bananas and delicious. Instead of making the cream cheese frosting, I just whipped up heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract. Before adding a touch of sugar for the adults, I removed what I needed for Zoe’s cake, then finished preparing it. She did not mind one bit that it wasn’t sweetened.


I ended up making 2 banana cakes since the batter made 6 mini tarts with each cake stacked 3 high (I filled them fuller than I did for hunters cake). I also made a coconut flour lemon pound cake with lemon curd, whipped cream and strawberries. It turned out tart in my opinion so I know everyone else thought it was way more tart, even though they were nice and said it was good. Enough about the cakes, onto cute Zoe eating her birthday cake!

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First she just ate all the blueberries, then ate some whipping cream, and then got into the actual cake. She probably ate about 1/4 of the cake with layers ending up on the floor too. The girl loved it! Hunter was definitely jealous and kept wanting her cake, but kind of happily watched her eat.

For the best smash cake (or an anytime snack cake) check out the recipe for no sugar banana cake!

What would you choose, cream cheese frosting or whipped cream?


what we ate: feb 22-28


Hey! Thanks for all the sweet comments on Zoe’s 1 year letter here, on Facebook and in person. I didn’t really have much intention of writing it, it just naturally happened and I’m so glad it was shared with you all. :)

We celebrated a family filled fun day on Saturday at the Oregon Zoo!  We all had so much fun and the sunshine was perfect.  Just a little cool but sunny, I love it! It couldn’t have been better.


Now let’s see what we ate for dinners last week!  As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.


Sunday – crockpot coconut curry lamb + jasmine rice + steamed broccoli

Monday – whole wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce + beefalo meatballs + spaghetti squash + roasted asparagus


Tuesday – sausage and brussel sprout quiche + salad


Wednesday – fish tacos + feta coleslaw + steamed carrots and cauliflower

Thursday – flank steak + cheesy pasta and cauliflower bake + shredded sautéd brussel sprouts

Friday – cheeses + sausage + crusty bread (date night in!)

Saturday – thai zucchini beef meatballs + whole wheat pasta + steamed broccoli

Our bake element died a couple months ago (someone named heather maaaay have caught it on fire a little) so I had been living with a half working oven for quite some time, but Saturday we got it fixed! It was a true team effort – my mom helped me find the model number, I picked up the new element then Jacob installed it. Baking in a fully working oven is nothing to take for granted, so glad to have it working once again!

What is your favorite way to cook/eat lamb, if you eat it?  I absolutely love it, but normally more from restaurants.  I need a good lamb recipe.  Please share if you have one!


Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015

February 15-21, 2015

dear zoe {year one}


Happy birthday Zoe! One year ago today at 6:09am you swam into our world. You were full of beautiful dark hair and the cutest wrinkly body. You started loud and continue to be very vocal (a nice way to say you are one LOUD chica).



1 month


2 months


3 months


4 months

5 months


6 months

IMG_7330-768x1024-17 months


8 months


9 months


10 months


11 months


12 months


You have many favorites in your life and food is one of them. I like to call you little miss piggy at the dinner table because you shove food in your mouth by the fistful. It is so fun to watch you enjoy so many different foods, but your first food that got you hooked on chowing down – ground beef – is still your go to favorite. You love pretty much everything though. I think you’re going to take after me and have a deep love for food (and eating).


I’m not surprised that you still have no teeth (your brother was the same way). A lack of teeth sure doesn’t hold you back from eating!

We still share our special nursing sessions in the morning and before bed. And also when you wake me in the middle of the night. Okay, and sometimes in the afternoon when you wake up really sad from your nap.  I’m a softie when you’re sad and know it’ll comfort you.  You just love nursing and cutting out your mid morning and afternoon ones were much tougher than it was with your brother.

Even though you are now a big one year old your nighttime wakes still randomly happen. Although the random seems to be more often than not, especially this week.  I still love you even when I sleep less.


You have been sharing a room with your brother consistently for a few months now. You two have so much fun playing, laughing and talking together when you’re supposed to be sleeping. I only see that fun growing as you two become older.  Speaking of talking, your first word (other than the normal dada, mama and bye) was taggie (sounded like aggie). You love your taggie blanket. Anytime you see it in your crib or downstairs from the top of the stairs you cry until you get it. Then your thumb promptly goes into your mouth and all is good again in your world.

Just this week we made the switch to one nap a day. Your afternoon naps were getting shorter and not that great so now you’re going down closer to 12:30/1pm and napping for 2-3 hours. If we are in the car between 8-9am you tend to take a short 5-20 minute nap, but then you still take an awesome afternoon nap.


Hunter is your number one bud. He makes you laugh, let’s you attack him, shares sweetly and if you are upset he gives you toys to make you feel better. I know you two will have such a great bond growing up together.


If Hunter is your number one bud, daddy is your main dude. You get the biggest smile and squirm around when he walks into the room. Your best snuggles and cuddles are with him. He loves you like crazy and you have him wrapped around your little finger.


You are so close to walking! You’ve taken two half steps and then even one full step without falling right away. Any day now and you’ll be off! Some of your favorite toys are stacking bowls and cars, and a favorite game is tossing anything and everything out of baskets.


Zoe, you bring so many smiles to my life. You are such a sweet, happy, funny and joyful girl. This past year has flown by. It feels like just yesterday I was roaming the hospital halls with you in my belly. Now you are growing up right before my eyes and I just want it to slow down. You are so loved baby girl.


what we ate feb 15-21, 2015


Hi!  How’s your Monday going?  I started out with this delicious plate of strawberry whole wheat yogurt pancakes, apple chicken sausage and extra strawberries plus some raisins on the way to teach.  On Mondays I teach Body Pump and fitness yoga.  The perfect combo to start out my week!


Here’s a look at what we ate for dinners last week.  As always, when there is a recipe to link to, you’ll see it.  The asterisk next to a day is to help me remember when Jacob loved a meal or wanted me to write it down.  Good wifey right here. ;)

Sunday * – herb-crusted tri-tip roast + roasted potatoes, zucchini and asparagus + skillet kale chips

Monday – asian chop salad + cashew crusted pork + steamed broccoli


Tuesday – beefalo tomato veggie sauce + spiralized sauted garlic zucchini + whole wheat penne mixed with cheese and sour cream + roasted cauliflower


Wednesday * –  baked lemon pepper salmon + jasmine rice + skillet kale chips + steamed broccoli + sriracha mayo

Thursday – leftovers

Friday * – herb-crusted tenderloin steaks + cheesy cauliflower and quinoa bake + green salad

Saturday – baked chicken thighs + roasted curry sweet potatoes, sweet chili caulifower and beets

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here lately.  I spent most of Saturday outside doing yard work and we made sure to get out on a family walk + a trip to the play ground later in the day yesterday.  The sun and blue skies are deceiving though, there’s still a chill in the air, but I’ll take it over rain and clouds.  The PNW is the best. I just love being outside and soaking it all in!


Did you get outside over the weekend?  Have you ever heard of/tried beefalo?  It’s a crossbred mix of a cow and buffalo and is absolutely delicious grass-fed meat.


Previous what we ate posts:

January 18-24, 2015

January 25-31, 2015

February 1-14, 2015


8 ways to have a toddler help in the kitchen


One of my favorite ways Hunter and I spend time together is in the kitchen.  We started young normally doing some kind of baking (these bean ball treats were a big favorite).  He would sit on the counter by the food processor and we’d prep away.  I’d let him pour whatever I measured out into the bowl and we’d bake together.  Remember this little guy at 19 months?  More of his baking cuteness from this post.


Now that he’s getting closer to 3 (in May!) he can do so much more.  Pretty much anytime he sees me working on something in the kitchen (which is often, do sure do love to cook) he starts pulling a chair in to help me prep.  I just love it.  Here are 8 of of my favorite ways Hunter helps me in the kitchen.


chopping soft foods

He’ll use his kid table knife and dice up whatever I give him.  Whatever is semi-soft makes it much more fun for him since he can actually dice it (tofu, bananas, melons, pear, avocado, etc).  He’s also designated the small wood cutting boards as his – they’re just mini versions of the ones I use.

IMG_4873measuring ingredients

This one is usually messy, but the more kiddos practice the better their precision for scooping and pouring gets. 

mixing ingredients

It goes along with measuring – once the ingredients are together you’ve gotta mix them.  And just like with measuring, mixing skills and not being super crazy with it get better with practice.

rolling out dough

It may look like a mini rolling pin, but it’s actually a wood muddler for mojito making.  Perfect for little hands.

IMG_4962pressing out dough

We made crackers and after rolling the dough out, Hunter worked on making nice smooth sides along it.


flipping pancakes (with help!)

This one is new – we’re working on getting the whole quick flip with the wrist but he’s getting better!

spiralizing veggies

I recently pulled my spiralizer out of the attic and boy did Hunter love helping with this one.  He cranked it while I added a little pressure so that the zucchini would continue to push through.  Since the spiralizer has sharp blades it’s one to be used with caution!


washing dishes

When you make a mess, it must be cleaned up, right?!  We were on an Ikea run and he really wanted to pick something out so I let his choose his own scrubbing brush for himself.  He went with blue.  Good choice since we didn’t have that color at home yet.  He’s actually pretty great at scrubbing dishes clean.


Sometimes I’m in a rush or cooking something that needs my full attention so I can’t have him help.  In those cases if he still really wants to be involved I’ll have him watch, but normally he understands that the stove/oven is hot and he’ll get an opportunity the next time.  I love the excitement he gets to be in the kitchen with me.  Start em young and foster a love for cooking!

Do your kids cook with you?  How do they love to help in the kitchen?