Safety First

Living in a city with a child has some challenges.  Transportation becomes a little bit trickier than hopping on a bus or subway and walking where you need to go.  Several times when we go somewhere I have decided to ditch the stroller and have Munchkie walk.  I have learned how to have a firm grasp on her for safety.  For when we're getting on and off the subway at rush hour, when she's not paying attention to the uneven brick sidewalk, when we're in the aquarium during field trip day, when she tries to pull away or getting on and off a bus with my other arm full of things.  There are many time when I have been so thankful to be holding on so firmly, we could easily have been separated or she could have fallen.

The trick is in the pinky.  I wrap my pinky around her wrist creating a very secure grip.  This way I can hold on to her hand even if she lets go.  There's no slipping out of my grasp and it makes me feel a lot more comfortable with adventuring out with an active little girl.

I highly recommend getting this grip down and using it in crowded situations.  It can help you have a little piece of mind while you are searching for other dangerous situations your child could get into.


How Does Your Garden Grow?

Today we finally planted our "garden" and Munchkie was thrilled.  I was going to plant seeds, because I sometimes am just not smart.  I thought that my black thumb would suddenly turn green and something would actually grow.  But then the marigolds that we planted from seeds shriveled up and slumped over, and I saw her friends'  marigolds all flourishing.   So forget that seed idea, we're going for plants.  Bypassing seedlings and going straight for the plants.

It was a great idea and a lot of fun to pot the plants.  Very rewarding to see the plants in the pots already, not just pots with plain brown dirt.  Maybe with any luck we might actually be able to eat something from our potted plants.  Hopefully the three year old who seriously never forgets anything will remember to water them.
 Filling up our pots- she was such a good helper!
 She planted her lettuce seeds and got to choose where ever she wanted to put her pot.

Then we had to water all of the plants once they were planted.
 She had a lot of watering to do and gave each plant an equal amount.
 She said "now that all of the plants got water to drink I need some water to drink!  I'm thiiiiirsty!"
And this was her face.
 I told Munchkie that she could pick any flower that she wanted, but when I showed her what the snapdragon could do, she wouldn't look at any other plant. I told her how my Grammy used to call me her snap dragon and would plant them in her garden.  I also told her how Mimi planted them too.

 She picked out what colors she wanted the snap dragons to be.
This was one of my very pretty Easter basket flowers.
Munchkie is going to try to grow some strawberries, I think we may end up dropping some strawberries into the pot and saying that they grew.  I don't have high hopes for this.
 I heart basil.
And cilantro!  My mouth just waters thinking of fresh tomato salsa.
Hopefully this will produce some tomatoes to make that fresh tomato salsa.


The Incredible Edible Flaxseed?

I have no problem with eggs, in fact I really like eggs, as long as they are scrambled or in an omelet.  However, I'm always looking to find ways to make recipes healthier.  Munchkie's Daddy says that the world would end if I ever followed a recipe exactly.  I've had a huge overabundance of bananas in our house the last few months.  Not only ones left over from Munchkie's bday, but also we continued to get a few pounds in our weekly produce box.  And what else do you make with bananas besides banana bread?

I had heard that you could use ground flax seed in place of eggs in recipes, but wasn't quite sure how to go about doing this.  Well, thank you Pinterest for yet another helpful tip.  It's actually really easy.

For every egg you need combine 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water.  Let sit.

How easy is that?  Pretty easy.  The water and ground flax forms a gel of sorts and that works as the egg in recipes.  Obviously you can't make an omelet out of it, but if you're baking banana bread it works great.  A friend had passed along this nutella banana bread that you make in a crock pot.  I kind of decided that the only point of the crock pot was to not heat your house up and because it was a crock pot blog.  So I just turned my oven on and baked it the normal way.  I also made quite a few substitutions.  If you are not interested in low fat or low sugar without chemical replacements, then try out the crockpot nutella banana bread because it looks really good!

2 cups gluten free flour mix (can use all purpose flour)

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup applesauce (I used this free babyfood
we got at stories and snacks last week)
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or your natural sweetener of choice, honey, raw sugar, etc)

tablespoons ground flax in 6 tablespoons water, allowed to sit and gel together
1 1/4 cups
healthy banana "ice cream"
1/3 cup
almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 heaping cup no sugar no salt peanut butter

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan.
  2. Mix together flour salt and baking soda in a bowl
  3. Mix together apple sauce and sugar in another bowl
  4. Add the flax seed mixture and mix some more
  5. Mix in the banana, milk and vanilla and then the flour mixture
  6. In a microwave safe bowl microwave the peanut butter until very soft/runny
  7. Pull one cup of the batter out and mix together with the peanut butter and cocoa powder, it doesn't have to be completely mixed up.
  8. Put the plain batter in the bottom of the bread pan.
  9. Cover with the peanut butter mixture.
  10. Bake for 45-60minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  It will not look completely done because it is so moist.
  11. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack in the pan.
  12. Remove from pan and allow to completely cool.

Three Years and Gone

My three year relationship is now over.  Some days it was love, some days it was hate, and most days it was work.  Goodbye long hair.  I doubt you will be missed all that much.  I am loving my new freedom.  My scalp almost immediately started feeling better, it could actually breath for the first time in years.  The bathtub drain has made it through several showers and the water is still draining, this hasn't happened in a long time.  It takes me just minutes to do my hair.  AND I can still put my hair in a pony tail, a stubby one, but still, a pony tail.

The lesson that I have learned in the last week is that if you are feeling lonely and like no one in your world notices you, do something drastic to your appearance.  If you do so, people who you didn't even think knew you existed feel the need to say something. 

Remember this picture?
Munchkie took this for me, I think it's the last real picture of how long my hair was.

Then I saw this picture on Hair Romance
Photo from Hair Romance
on a Short Cut Saturday post about the new bob.  I fell in love and decided that this was the low maintenance hairstyle that I've wanted and searched for without even knowing it.

So Munchkie and I trotted 2 1/2 hours away to my favorite hair girl ever, she's cut my hair for 3 1/2 years and I wasn't going to trust anyone else to create such a look for me.
Munchkie was happy to take yet another picture of me, to show off my last few minutes with long hair.  We had a hard time getting a picture with me actually in it, or at least all of my head in it.  So the fact that this one is out of focus kind of had to be overlooked.
I know that to some this may seem like nothing, but this was a huge feat for my ridiculously thick and "naturally nasty" (not curly, not straight just frizzy and annoying) hair to accomplish.  Growing this long hair took a lot of effort.  Even on this day, a rainy, humid an dreary day my hair could not be contained into a nice straight 'do.

So I put my hair into the very capable and talented hands of my trusted hairstylist and she yet again delivered amazing results.

Since I was going for such a drastic change, she initially did the cut straight and smooth to ensure that everything was even, adequately thinned and overall perfect.  I was happy with this result, before I even attempted to make it look like the picture.

While I watched her select and separate sections of my hair I began to notice the increasing amount of gray hairs covering my head.  They were especially noticeable due to the home dye job I did a few months ago that was horribly grown out.  I was freaking out with each section she pulled up, exposing my roots.  So I had to come home and dig out the remaining bogo box of hair dye that I had stored away and cover those signs of premature aging.  This also gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the wavy look of the inspiration hairstyle.

I would say that for trying out a wavy style for the first time in quite a few months, my hair cooperated pretty well.  Not quite the exact look of the picture, but I still liked it a lot.
I think that it so much more manageable now.  I can have a decent hairstyle with only a few minutes of effort and look good enough to go out on a date with my love.  This makes all of us happy.  Even if Munchkie's Daddy did have a few moments of mourning the night before the big chop.  He may not love this new look like I do, but he has to love the decreased amount of time that it takes for me to get out the door.

I still need to work on the soft, natural looking waves of my inspiration picture, but with my frizzy hair, I need frizz controlling products, which don't always create soft and natural waves.  I will keep working on this and see what I can do.