Reach for the stars, baby.

While getting ready for the day this morning I grabbed a bottle of tinted moisturizer (my go to staple during the summer) and Jackson asked me, in his adorable 2-year-old manner, "Whatcha got, Mommy?" to which I replied "Mommy's got makeup". He thought for a second and said "I want makeup, Mommy!".

And here's where it gets comical and difficult and honest.

My first thought was to tell him that, no, boys don't wear makeup and dismiss his even asking. But then I thought to my self, self, what if you are hindering his possible love for makeup and being an exceptional drag queen. Someday, in his tell all biography he will devote an entire chapter to how his mother, at a young age, didn't support his love of all things makeup-y.

I wouldn't really give my young, extremely messy child makeup to put on. He does get chapstick on occasion but I attribute that to wanting nice soft lips so he can plant a big smakaroo on his momma's cheek. But I'm very serious about supporting him, even it involves wearing gobs of Nars lip gloss and Chanel shimmer powder (to die for, by the way).

I always had that support from my parents and I want to pass that along to my children even it's something I don't agree with or think is sort of different. I know when I choose to be a vegan that my mother was skeptical but ultimately has become one of my biggest supporters, often researching things for me even though she doesn't do the same as me. I am eternally grateful.

So, Jackson, if you choose to be a drag queen (hopefully world famous if that's the case) or a firefighter or whatever you want, I'll support you and do the best I can to give you tools necessary.

But you'll have to buy your own Chanel shimmer powder, though.


A few new changes

I am the worst housekeeper in the history of the universe. I love having a clean house but I don't like to clean it. I get this gene from my mother (hi mom!). I'm quite lazy in the cleaning department and laundry department and doing the dishes department. I notice that when my house is messy I become more disorganized and scatter brained because I have to try extra hard to do things. If I need to cook I have to hand wash dishes that I need. When the morning rolls around and I have to get ready for work it can take me 15 minutes to find the right bra that may or may not be clean and if it is clean it may or may not be in a random pile waiting to be put away. When people come over I feel like I have to run around like a crazy person to clean for them, but really I'm cleaning for me because I don't want people to think I'm a lazy-non-cleaning person. But I am. There, I said it.

So! I'm making a few changes.

A few years ago I discovered Fly Lady and it really got me in the habit of cleaning my house everyday. Before I knew it, every single room was clean and orderly and it was pleasant to come home and spend time there. If you've never heard of Fly Lady it's basically a program that helps you get your home in order a little at a time. It's not about taking hours out of your day or tearing a room apart to make it perfect. It's baby steps. It all starts with a clean, shiny kitchen sink. I did my Flying fairly religiously until who knows what happened and it fell by the wayside.

Last week I started back up again. I went to bed last week with a shiny sink and not a single dish sitting around. I confess that earlier this week with my knee that I went to bed twice with a dirty sink and it bugged me as soon as I walked into the kitchen in the morning. I couldn't stand having even a bowl sitting there when it just needed to be moved to the dishwasher. My next step was to pick a room in the house and spend 15 minutes each day cleaning and decluttering. It's amazing how much you can get done in 15 minutes each day. Just a few minutes ago I spent my 15 minutes in my bedroom and tackled a pile of clothes that had been sitting on my dresser for, I kid you not, months. My dresser is clean now, the clothes are put away where they belong and I found some shoes I was missing. (Obviously it was a large pile.)

The other change I made was because I watched an episode of Oprah where she challenged families to pick 10 things a day for a week to donate. As of yesterday I've picked my 10 things and have them piled up ready to go to Goodwill. It's hard to find 10 things a DAY when you accumulate stuff that you don't need but you might need it someday. I can't even tell you how many times I've kept something thinking I may need it someday and rarely do I need it. A can of Aqua Net hairspray from 1986? I might have a hair emergency, even though I haven't used hairspray in YEARS. That button from that coat I wore once 10 years ago? It might come in handy someday! How annoying. I'll have 70 things to donate by the end of the week and I cannot express how exciting that it to me. Things I chose tonight were a few shirts I haven't worn in years, a couple of cheap picture frames and a sweater I've been hanging on to for a year even though it shrunk in the dryer.

I've got to stop letting my stuff control me and I need to control it. I don't need all this junk and I don't want it anymore. I want spacious, clean, welcoming and comfortable. I don't want dusty, cluttered, old and cramped anymore. It's so easy to do, it's just a matter of doing it even it's only 15 minutes at a time.


Highlights, an obsession and pictures

I haven't written much of anything lately because, well, frankly, I lead a fairly boring life. Lately it's been filled with working, being at home, working out, yoga (my newest thing!) and the occasional dinner out with friends. Also, my garden (squee!).

Speaking of my garden I have baby plants! That I grew from baby seeds! See the blurry picture below. That eventually will be a big, juicy cucumber. I can't even believe that I stuck some seeds in the ground and they are growing as if that's what they were always meant to do. Also, my leeks, sugar snap peas, tomatoes and Swiss chard are growing like, well, like they are supposed to. I planted a few more things recently like summer squash, cilantro, cinnamon basil and red bell peppers. Those haven't done anything yet, but I imagine any day now.

Eventually I'll have all these home grown! veggies so I can put to use all the massive amounts of spices I have. See photo below. I ADORE Central Market and the bulk section of spices, herbs and salts. It's a growing obsession. (I keep hoping I'll meet me future husband over a plastic tub of Pink Peruvian Salt or Coconut Curry powder.) I love going there and seeing what spices I don't have and replenishing the ones I do have. I don't profess to know how to use spices in the "right" way, but I enjoy playing around. I'm not very fancy with them because I keep them mostly in the plastic bags. I need to invest in more spice jars.

Speaking of playing around. Parents, please invest in this toy for your children. It will entertain them for HOURS. My child loves his spray bottle*. He sprays the grass, the dog (much to her irritation) and himself. Sometimes he even sprays his mother in the butt and laughs hysterically.

One of the perks of it getting warmer outside is that I can hang my laundry outside to dry. 5 years ago you wouldn't have caught me doing this. In fact I probably would have laughed at someone who did. But then I woke up to the possibility of getting a little vitamin D in the purest form, some light exercise, a chance to save a few cents on my electric bill and the opportunity to save the environment one load at a time. Please excuse the half dead grass. Also, see my garden box?! And the bonus power drill. I love my power drill

So, basically that's all I have to write today. It's not much, but it's better than nothing I suppose.


*This is some random spray bottle that I cleaned really well and filled with regular old tap water.


Meal planning

When I meal plan I look at any bookmarked recipes that I've saved for later, peruse my dog eared cookbooks and make a note to make something I've made before. I just made my meal plan for the rest of the week and it's HEAVY on the cilantro and garlic. I hadn't noticed until I kept seeing those two ingredients repeatedly. Chances are my child won't eat this stuff, but I intend on giving it to him to throw on the floor in dismay. I love my kid. (P.S. He has started calling himself Jack. CUTE!)

If my house were cleaner than it is now I'd invite you people over for some yummy food! Isn't that awful that I don't invite people over because I don't think my house is clean enough? That's for another post.

On to the food!

Tuesday (tonight) - Plantain Salad. I bought some plantains last week on a whim and they keep staring at me with their beady little stems so I thought I might come up with something to eat them with. I'm sure I've had plantains before but I just can't remember so I'm going to give this recipe a shot. I love RecipeZaar so much. With this I'll be making my standard fresh spinach salad with a tasty raw orange miso dressing that I made the other day.

Wednesday - Sweet Potato Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas. I LOVE LOVE LOVE curry and spinach and sweet potatoes. I also love RecipeZaar, have I mentioned that? I'll add some brown rice to this and call it a day.

Thursday - Asian Noodle Salad. I adore the Pioneer Woman and even though she's not remotely close to being even vegetarian, sometimes she posts some recipes that are accidentally vegan or vegetarian or even recipes I can adapt to my way of eating. This recipe is (if you get egg free pasta) is vegan, 100%, plus it's so colorful and way healthy. I'll be getting whole wheat pasta and probably eating this for days on end. I'm super excited to try this. I know my Jack (teehee!) will love the pasta and maybe a bell pepper or some cabbage might accidentally make it's way into his mouth. Maybe.

Friday - Red Kidney Bean Curry. Oh, Mrs. Smitten Kitchen, how I love thee. The scenario is the same as above. She's not vegan or vegetarian but I've adapted many of her recipes but this one is 100% vegan. And it's TO DIE FOR. I made it a few months ago and every time I see the word curry I'm taken back to this dish. It's perfect with brown rice and a ton of cilantro on top. It's so so so so so good. Please make this. You'll be glad you did. I swear.

Saturday - Sweet Corn Chowder. This recipe is actually a raw recipe and I've made it before and it was really good. I'm really into Ani Phyo and her raw recipes, I even posted about buying her book here. This corn chowder is SO tasty and so simple. It's super healthy with good fats and good calories and it's a really light dish for the impending heat I anticipate.

Don't let me fool you here, I don't normally cook all this stuff in a row like this. In fact, I'll probably have a pb&j one night and shift one of these meals to another day. And also, I'll probably eat the same meal two or three times in a row for dinner if it's tasty enough (hello Red Kidney Bean Curry!). But I do love having all my ingredients on hand and a plan for what I'm going to make.

Tonight I'm going to my yoga class and then to the closest farmer's market to stock up. I love cooking!

P.S. I need a food processor. Tell me what you have, please!



I'm done with my 21 day cleanse. Actually I was done last week, but I have been to busy stuffing my face with food ever since. Counter-productive I know.

I weighed myself around the 17 day mark and I had lost about 3 pounds, then I promptly gained it all back this past weekend. For this I am so mad at myself. I did so excellent, eating my raw fruits and veggies and spicing things up with different types of salts and homemade sauces and then I go and ruin it all.

In my head I knew that my cleanse was over and I wasn't accountable to my friend I did it with anymore. I became accountable only to myself and I totally let myself down. But! I learned a few things along about myself and about the world of whole foods.

I learned:
  • I, myself, get an awful dizziness if I go too many days without either a larger amount of protein or whole grains. I'm not sure which one it was but when I added more protein and grains the dizziness went away. If I do this cleanse again I'll make sure I up the protein powder and make sure I get in some whole grains.
  • Eating whole foods take some effort, but it's worth it. There's nothing better than filling your belly with fresh strawberries. No sugar or anything, just fresh strawberries. I did best when I bought a ton of fruit and veggies and prepped everything in advance. Then when I got hungry I could go straight to the fridge and there would always be something ready for me.
  • I learned that I have the willpower to not snack at night on stuff that's not good for me. It's just mind over body.
  • It was so awesome that I felt so virtuous, light and healthy when I ate whole, natural foods that weren't vacuum sealed, processed or unrecognizable.

In an effort to keep this going (after my wreck of a weekend) I bought a cookbook I've actually been thinking about buying for a long time. It's really and uncookbook. Nothing is heated above 104 degrees. I have most of the tools I need to make all the recipes in this book and I now I know that I just feel better when I eat whole foods.

I became more in touch with how food comes to my grocery store and how far it travels. I researched why organic is best, even if it is more expensive. I decided I don't mind spending a bit more on good, quality, pesticide free food because really I'm investing in my health and isn't that a prized possession? I watched an excellent documentary called The Future of Food and I was surprised and shocked and it fueled my fire to plant my own garden. If you have some spare time (about 1.5 hours) please watch this film. It's so interesting.

I'm not even close to be a perfect eater. I doubt many people are. I still plan on having a package of Twizzlers at the movie theatre on occasion and I'm sure I'll make (another) batch of brownies sometime soon that are full of sugar. But I gave myself a gift of knowledge and the awareness of what's best for me and I think that's the important thing. Especially when I intend on using that knowledge to make life better.

Recently a few people I know have begun to make small changes in their diets such as eating less meats, cheeses and other things that I believe are just not good for your bodies and I'm so impressed. One family member is even transitioning to being a vegan! Once we all take a step back and really look at how we care for our only body I think the world will be a better place. People will be healthier, happier and more able to give of themselves on a large scale. Changing the way we've done things for generations is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and to our children. We just have to have the knowledge and the want to change.

On a side note: I discovered that I don't mind raw broccoli like I thought I did. But, I still hate beets.



I planted my first plants in my new raised garden bed yesterday! Jackson "helped" also. He's got his own little watering can and he loves dirt so I'm having a blast watching him throw dirt in the air only to land in my mouth. Memories, right?
My Dad was a great help at making the raised garden box. He even worked in the pouring rain. It's a good thing he came to help because who know what I would have made. Probably a garden disaster.

I chose a raised bed because my yard is full of large rocks and whatever else the construction workers threw in there to level the ground. (I've found plastic utensils, bottle, condom wrappers (eeeeew!) and other miscellaneous items.)

I'm the first to admit I have no clue whatsoever about gardening. I can grow some container herbs which I do almost every year. But growing things like tomatoes and lettuce? NO IDEA. I'm going into this with the hope that Mother Nature will be kind and forgive my ignorance.

For instance. The Roma tomato plants you see below? I had no idea I needed to stake them. I puffed my chest out and got all excited and showed this picture to my Dad and he's all aren't they planted too close? and where are the stakes? And I was all huh? See, I told you! I know nothing! So I'm going to move one of the plants farther away from the other and get a stake, whatever that means.

Also, those rocks? Are my fancy way of marking where I have things planted. I hadn't though about that until after I was all ready to plant things. I planted cucumbers (for the boys because I'm not a fan) and two kinds of Swiss chard. I read the directions on the seed package and I'm tracking everything in a notebook so I know when to prune, harvest and thin out. Not in that order of course. I'm still waiting for other seeds to arrive such as onions, broccoli and a few others. I'm sure I'll place them to closely and over water them. But it's all about the learning curve. Or in my case, a brand new way to do things.

If all else fails I'll just throw a bunch of magic beans in there and hope for a miracle.


DAY 17, gardening and slip ups.

It's the start of day 17 of my cleanse. Only 4 more days to go.

Let's cut to the chase. I sucked this weekend. Friday I drank a margarita (it was really only a few sips but still, also, I think I just don't like drinking it tastes awful (I know some of you are gasping at the thought of hating alcohol). Then I ate an entire bag of Twizzlers at a movie. I won't even tell you how awful I felt, physically. Saturday I actually did awesome but then yesterday came.

I have a TON of carrots that I bought and I do enjoy a crunchy carrot here and there and I've had my fair share of grated carrot over my many spinach salads but I felt they aspired to do more. They did more by becoming carrot cake muffins. Those carrot cake muffins? Flew into my mouth. I swear. Granted they were made with whole wheat flour, hardly any oil, no egg and were only like 150 calories each which isn't bad, but when you eat somewhere around 974 of them, those 150 calories each turn into a year's supplies of calories. I know myself and I should have known better than to make them without a plan to give them all away shortly after baking. This morning I took a few to my SIL and brother's house. There are only a few left, thank goodness.

Today, I aspire to do better. To treat this body better. I brought my usual ENORMOUS spinach salad with grape tomatoes, bell peppers and grated carrot. I also have a millet and veggie stuffed green pepper to up the veggie count. As a snack I brought a container of blackberries (I'm so glad the price is back down) and a small container of edamame. I haven't quite thought ahead to dinner but I do have some purple asparagus that's been waiting for me. I won't let the bad choices stamp out the good choices I plan to make today, tomorrow and forever.

In other news: In an effort to reduce my dependency of my grocery stores and save a few bucks in the long run I've built a raised garden bed. Actually, my Dad helped me build it. I need to get a few more bags of soil and then I'm totally going to call myself Farmer Kristie. I need to research what vegetables I want, space planning and buying of the actual plants. I also need to look into when I should plant certain plants. I'm a bit late in the game already this season, but I'm excited to see what I can come up with. I'm considering greens like kale and chard, bell peppers, herbs of course, sweet potatoes, maybe a blackberry bush, tomatoes, squash and a few other things. I think this will help teach my children where food comes from and that it doesn't just show up on the shelves and in cans. If all goes well, my friends might be inundated by fresh, organic whole foods. I can't wait!

Any organic gardening sites that you guys know about? Information is power, as they say.