Sunday, April 24, 2011


Last weekend we traveled as a family down to New Orleans, Louisiana while Running Man participated in his first Ironman event - the Ochsner 70.3 (a half Ironman - 1.2 mile open water swim, 56 mile bike ride, 13.1 mile run).  We started our trip down on Thursday afternoon and got back late this past Tuesday night.  I had big plans - also known as good intentions - to write posts ahead of time and schedule them to be published while we were traveling.  Clearly, with the exception of one day, this did not happen.  Nor have I posted at all since we returned home.  So although I've been absent from this space for longer than I had anticipated, I'm excited to be back and I'll share more about our trip in the coming week.

This afternoon - while Running Man was out on a 100 mile (!) bike ride - the kids and I enjoyed the glorious weather outside in our backyard.  I haven't actually planted a vegetable garden for several years and my raised boxes were full of weeds.  With assistance from the girls (Enthusiastic Explorer Boy was slow to come outside because he really didn't want me to put sunblock on him), we literally dug in and started pulling weeds.  Although it meant leaving more roots behind than I would have liked, I'm so glad that I chose to settle for "good enough" and include my kids in preparing the garden.  Their attention was spotty, but while they were focused on the task at hand it was tremendous fun to have them by my side.

Miss Intrepid and Princess Wonder were my gardening helpers - they especially enjoyed using the kid-sized gardening tools.

Spring in Virginia means temperatures that are all over the place (and pollen...lots and lots of pollen).  Friday was rainy with a high temperature in the 50s and today was sunny with a high in the 80s.  Needless to say, it was hot around here and in preparation for an afternoon of gardening I was sure to have something cool in the refrigerator to drink.  Last year Running Man surprised me one weekday morning by arranging for me to have a manicure, pedicure and a massage at a local spa while he stayed at home with Miss Intrepid.  It was a wonderful gift - for no particular occasion, which made it all the sweeter - and one of the things that I picked up on during my morning at the spa was this drink.  It couldn't be simpler - a pitcher of cold water with a few slices of cucumber (I tend to use the ends that I would normally slice and then toss).  On a hot day it is hard to beat the cool, refreshing taste of water with a hint of cucumber.

I love this vintage Pyrex pitcher...I can't pour from it without spilling all over the place, but it looks cute, right?

I recently discovered Foodgawker and I've been lurking there for inspiration in the kitchen.  When it comes to choosing new recipes to try, I am very visual so this website is perfect for me.  Just yesterday I came across this recipe for a Berry-Cado Avocado Smoothie and I knew that I wanted to blend up one of my own.  I doubled the recipe to make enough for a cool treat for the kids and I as a mid-afternoon treat and still have enough left over to store in the refrigerator for later.  A little lesson I learned while making this - if I expect to use frozen bananas as recommended in the recipe, then I need to peel the bananas before I freeze them.  It is common sense, I know, but apparently it was one of things that I needed to learn by doing.  Something the kids learned while drinking them is that if they set their smoothies down on the deck, then the dog will drink them (apparently she likes them, too).

The kids spied the swizzle sticks (thrifted, of course) the minute I walked out the door with these smooties and came running.

While I finished weeding and planting in the vegetable garden, the kids got down to the time honored childhood tradition of making, and then joyfully playing in, mud.  And really - is there a better way to pass a Sunday afternoon?

I hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful Easter and a beautiful weekend in your neck of the woods.

"There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud."  ~Carl Sandburg


  1. Playing in mud! A true gift of childhood. Thanks for introducing me to foodgawker. Oh my! So nice to meet you!

  2. If it helps, I wouldn't have known to peel the bananas first either. :-)