Wednesday, February 27, 2013

snow on snow on snow

i can't even begin to tell you the amount of snow that has been consumed by little mouths in the past week... 

stay warm.  xoxo.

Monday, February 25, 2013

two minute smoothies

this is reason #595 of why we love trader joe's and their all-natural, preservative-free approach to food. we have already professed our love on a number of occasions, and today we'll add one more reason to the list:  the two-minute all-natural smoothie.

we love smoothies but we know they can be a total time-consuming pain in the butt - but here is our quick solution for smoothies that you can make every single day.  this has become our go-to after school snack and even a super quick breakfast when we're running late because we've hit snooze three times after we stayed up too late watching GIRLS and The Mindy Project.  don't judge.

anyway the point is, we can hide all sorts of healthy stuff in these and make delicious snacks in 2 minutes flat.

step one:  get the green plant juice

there is not a single instance in life where we could convince alex to eat barley grass, broccoli or spinach, so these delicious treats get hidden in a ridiculously tasty trader joes jug.  100% juice.
no artificial colors or flavors - just pure healthy goodness.  thank you for always going au natural tjs.

step two:  greek yogurt

apparently yogurt isn't edible in our house unless it comes frozen and gets decorated with gummy bears, nutella and berries, so this is another little treat we hide inside - a tablespoon or two will do.

step three:  don't mess with fresh fruit

grab a few of these frozen bags of fruit from tjs and making smoothies just got super simple.  no washing.  no cutting.  no spoiling due to lack of use (not that you ever throw away produce because you wanted to eat really healthy and had the best intentions but opted for chocolate or pringles instead).  us neither.

step four is optional: 

we like to add a little scoop of trader joe's vanilla flavored whey protein - but you don't have to.

step five: get super sneaky

shh.... the kids don't have to know.  a little handful of these and you're almost done.

step six:  add it altogether

you don't have time for measuring so don't bother.  fill your cup up and make sure there is enough juice to partially cover your frozen fruit.

step seven:  you need a magic bullet 

we got this little sucker as a wedding gift and weren't really sure what to do with it.  why do we need a single serving blender with individual portion cups?  because we do and because it's awesome.  everyone likes a little something different and because the container doubles as the serving cup - we can customize each smoothie and clean up is a breeze!

step eight, nine & ten: blend, serve & enjoy

two minutes to a delicious and super healthy snack, and nobody has to know what's inside.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

a tribute to jj's

if you live in kansas city, by now you know about the tragic fire that leveled a city landmark last night.  jj's on the country club plaza was a cornerstone of the historic shopping and dining district, it had been in business for almost 28 years.  the wine list was unmatched - over 1800 bottles - the servers, so incredibly knowledgeable and the atmosphere was perfect for meeting coworkers after work, dining with your sweetie or grabbing a nightcap with your girlfriends like i had the pleasure of doing just recently.

several people in our neighborhood reported hearing and even feeling the blast.  and although we weren't among them, we could certainly see the effects in the sky just above our home.  (you can actually see the explosion as it happened here.)

i was just about to do one of our monthly features on the local kansas city establishment, but today it is more of a tribute to the neighborhood gem.  a true loss of what wine spectator called "one of the best wine lists in the world" and what friends and neighbors called simply "the best."

so this one is for jj's, a memorable piece of kansas city history, and one that will not soon be forgotten.


please feel free to share your favorite memories of jj's in the comment section below.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

forever young

my dad is 60 years old today.  the year of the 60 year old parents, this one has become.  and my dad, who has been playing music for nearly all of his 60 years, just get's better with time.

something interesting happens when you become a parent, something that doesn't seem so obvious in the years leading up to that occurrence.  you suddenly start to see your own parents as people who were teenagers once, playing in garage bands, dancing at proms, falling in love and yes, even becoming first time parents themselves.  of course, it is something that you always knew, but the level unto which you now see it, understand it and begin to explore it, becomes deeper with time.  now, as our parents nearly all reach the age of 60, twice as old as we are, we long to have a better understanding of who they were, who they are and how much like them we will end up becoming.

i played the flute in middle school for 9.5 days.  the guitar in college for just shy of two weeks.  i did rock a pretty impressive solo performance of yellow submarine on the recorder, in the third grade spring-fling musical, but my musical talents tapped out there.  it has always disappointed me that i never took to music the way my dad always has.  though something about these photos, and this milestone, make we want to give it another, and more serious try.

for now though, i'll leave it to the professional on his big day.  happy birthday dad - here's to 60 more years of rockin' out and continuing to get better with time.

dad - we will toast to you with the same toast you gave us on our wedding day:

May God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young. 

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