May 31, 2012

{countdown to hearing}





iprobably wont be posting much in the next several days. i'm catching up on some picture taking & daniel & isaac get to spend some quality boy time together. monday this little dude should be getting his hearing aids! we're possibly getting some help paying for them, so depending if that goes thru, the date may be pushed back another week. i am beyond excited. we've had a few little instances where we've watched isaac hear things. mostly thru my ipod & it is beautiful & sweet. next time you see us someone will have a navy sweatband semi-permanently fixed to his forehead! & it won't be me ;)

May 29, 2012

{an american girls guide to sushi making}




last friday isaac & i drove to the asian market with friends & both LOVED it.i've been to a smaller one before, but this was ginormous & beautiful & we loaded up on rice, wasabi, veggies, ginger, nori & rice noodles.so sunday afternoon i decided to test out some of my new ingredients & make our own version of sushi. daniel isn't sold on the raw fish yet. & i'm not totally sure how i feel about doing that at home, either, so we used canned salmon. some of you will probably shudder at the very thought of ruining sushi that way. but they were actually still really delicious.the ingredients for sushi rolls are simple & interchangeable if you can only find them. they are probably in most supermarkets, just more expensive. if you have an international supermarket in your area that is seriously the best & by far the cheapest place to get them! i've been working on making yummy sushi like this at home for a really long time now, & adding the rice vinegar to the sushi rice {its gotta be sushi rice, too, guys} & wasabi paste are important to have!
ingredients:-nori {comes in packages kind of like this & there are about a hundred different brands…smaller packages are better to me for freshness sake}-sushi rice-rice vinegar-meat & veggie filling {i used canned salmon, carrot, avocado,  mixed greens, sugar snap peas - all thinly sliced}-wasabi paste or powder-braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce-a  rolling mat or wax or parchment paper


no.1 rinse sushi rice thoroughly & drain. cook 1:2 with water & a tablespoon of rice vinegar.

no.2 once rice is cooked, pull out your mat or paper. set one sheet of nori on top & spread a very thin layer of rice all over the sheet. add a small amount of veggies to one side the sheet {long ways} as pictured above.

no. 3 begin to roll slowly. start by folding over just enough to cover your veggies & give your roll a little squeeze to make the ingredients & rice bind together. continue to end of roll & cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

no. 4 add a pea sized drop of wasabi paste to a small dish & add soy sauce & mix. just a personal preference. that way seems to be moderately tangy, but not really spicy.

this is best eaten fresh, too. i tried it the next day for lunch & the rice was hard & the nori had lost its crunch. it is a perfectly delicious lunch. & very nice after all of the heavy foods that go along with celebrating memorial day.


i hope i explained that okay. any questions?

May 25, 2012

{peppermint soda with lemon & chia seeds + why stevia should be your friend}

okay, here is a drink recipe for all of you going soda-less for june!

this is actually really yummy & bubbly & energy-boosting {even though you can't tell from the picture. all of the good stuff always floats up to the top} all measurements are really 'to taste' but i'll give you numbers just so i can say i did.

you will need:
-6-8 mint leaves
-1 tsp of chia seeds {remember these awesome guys?}
-a glassful of seltzer water
-lemon slices or juice of half a lemon
-3 to 4 drops of stevia

mix together in a glass. you can either refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to let the mint seep & the chia seeds jelly or just drink it as it is!

especially nice with a straw, for whatever its worth. we're just out of them right now...

------------------------

i also wanted to take just a few minutes to talk about stevia.

there are a few common misconceptions around it & i wanted to hopefully address them, because it will make your no sugar month a heck of a lot easier.


so if you're anything like me, when i say stevia you possibly thought:
ewwww.

but wait, guys! a lot of what i'm learning is that if you use stevia in the right place, it is really great & it lasts FOR-STINKING-EVER!!!

here are a few stevia myths:

-stevia is bitter
it doesn't have to be! & if yours is, then i understand why you don't like it. are you buying stevia powder? the powder is typically much more bitter. liquid stevia is the way to go from my limited experience. you can go with either glycerite or alcohol based. i have personally only tried alcohol based. i just heard thru hear-say that it is a bit less messy, but if you have a dropper, even that problem should be solved…

-stevia is expensive
okay, $18 bucks a bottle may seem a little crazy, but if i could only tell you guys how far this stuff goes. it will literally go farther than any other sweetener in your home. yes. if you broke it down, it would even be cheaper than table sugar. you literally only use 3 drops per glass. i'm projecting that ours will last at least thru the end of the year, & i've been using it since january. a lot.

-stevia tastes like an artificial sweetener
okay...yes. i thought this at first. stevia is an excellent alternative to sugar, but it is NOT sugar, so we shouldn't expect it to taste exactly the same. that being said, it did take me a few days to get used to the taste & even more than the taste, its really just a matter of learning what stevia tastes good in to you, & what you still want to use honey or another sweetener for.
i've found that it is the best to sweeten cold drinks, smoothies, homemade salad dressings, & to sweeten plain coconut or almond milk.

i don't prefer it in my coffee or tea or yogurt. i am still partial to honey in those, personally.

have i convinced you yet?

i personally think that this month would have been so much harder without it {& also more expensive using maple syrup & honey for everything…}



*just a heads up, too, if you all are looking for chia seeds, i have seen them in the bulk food sections at a lot of healthfood stores lately. you can also buy massive amounts of it on amazon. it goes a long long way...

May 23, 2012

{warm & nutty quinoa cereal}

here is a breakfast recipe for you all.

i have to say…as much as i try to love oatmeal, even all dressed up with fruits & things, it will just never be my favorite - maybe some of it has to do with the texture?

so instead of oatmeal, i've opted for quinoa most mornings, lately. its equally filling & you can treat it exactly as you would oatmeal.  quinoa is massively good for you - its contains all 9 essential amino acids, magnesium & is gluten free - all in those tiny little grains!

you will need:
- quinoa, soaked & cooked.
{i make about 2 cups of quinoa at the beginning of the week. sunday night i combine 4 cups of water & 2 cups quinoa in a saucepan & add 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar let soak overnight & cook covered the next morning for about 20 minutes - just check on it. its cooking style is similar to rice. all extras go in a ball jar in our fridge for more breakfasts in the week}
- a splash or two of coconut milk
- frozen berries, banana, kiwi etc…
- walnuts
- maple syrup
- cinnamon

each morning i pull out a small saucepan, add a cup or so of quinoa, coconut milk, frozen fruits - usually raspberries, walnuts & cinnamon. the cinnamon is very important. heat until warmed thru & add banana, kiwi or whatever other fruits you like. it is my new favorite go-to breakfast.

hope you enjoy :)


May 22, 2012

{family days}



we're enjoying more family time this last week.
isaac and i also got a bit of time out of the house for the first time just for fun. not to see a doctor or get groceries - we went to play in a fountain. or watch other kids play. & talk with mommies & let isaac meet other babies. it was nice to be out with him. & he loves being outdoors lately.
he is already a nature lover like his dad.

on a side note, we are also really enjoying watching sherlock after waiting over a year and a half for the second season! the last one of the season was the past sunday - who else watched it? CRAZY!!!! i think we have it figured out ;)


recipes coming up later this week! i just need a few pictures to go along with everything :)

May 15, 2012

{may is no-sugar month}

okay. first of all you guys…
seriously THANK YOU for being so awesome & responding the way you all did to my several posts! at least 9 of you told me that you signed up to be marrow donors & that is super amazing! so thank you on behalf of the people you are going to help someday, too!

today we are moving on from FA {kind of} but onto something that is kind of sort of related.

i'm talking about foods.

but let me just say now: i'm not doing this to make anyone feel guilty about that big mac they just ate for lunch. well…not too much. & not because i have everything figured out. i'm not licensed in anything, but i do manage to research a lot & have learned a lot in the past few years, & thought that maybe it was about time i started sharing some of it for people that want to know.

& if you don't agree, or think that i'm crazy - please don't send me mean emails. you can just not read these posts.

SO…now that i've said all of that:

for the last several months - maybe since january, i've talked about doing a no refined sugar month.

i'm starting small. next month i'm hoping to do the same with refined flours.

what has been crazy is that i thought we really didn't eat a lot of sugary things - especially at home. i thought the bigger deal would be when we go out to eat with friends & family, but i've actually realised that i eat sugar a LOT more than i thought.

& that is half of the reason i wanted to do this in the first place - to be aware of how much sugar i am actually consuming. two - to build up a better recipe base for our family. both with meals & snacks. & three - because since isaac has been born i have had this ginormous sweet tooth. in the morning. & the evening. & sometimes in the middle of the night. we're not big candy & soda pop people, so i was getting my sugar fix thru cupcakes & pies & ice cream. especially cupcakes with all of the birthdays lately…

this has been SO good for me. i'm half way thru & so glad already that i have done it. the first few days weren't awesome - especially when you're the only one not eating sweet treats, but its worth it!

so here are my rules:
-no refined sugars {for me, cane & high fructose corn syrup} in anything. with the exception of breads. i figured a teaspoon per loaf wouldn't hurt too much :P
-no 'sugar free'. we avoid these anyways, but anything like diet sodas or sugar free syrups or whatever else. not allowed.

instead i'll be using things like stevia, raw honey, & maple syrup. to pair with my oatmeal & coffee & tea.

i will say, though... i cheated on mothers day. i had a cookie & a piece of pound cake. & they were yummy, but afterwards i felt kind of icky so it wasn't even really worth it.

so if anyone wants to jump on the bandwagon next month, i'll be sharing some recipes - snacks, drinks & dinners that have helped me thru this month {almost} sugar-free.

there is never ever an ideal time to do this, by the way - there will always be a family get together or birthday that offers you delicious, forbidden goodies, but like i said, i'm glad to be doing it.

but i am also looking forward to celebrating with a piece of pie come june 1st.


sound good?


let the craziness begin!

May 10, 2012

{help save a baby isaac: don't drink a latte!}




okay everyone. here is post number three, & my last one for FA day.

i've already talked about two different ways you can help. both by spreading the word & being a donor. both of which are amazing! this is just one other option if you feel led to donate.

FARF {the fanconi anemia research fund} is hoping to raise 2 million this month. the catch is - they need 1 million people to do it.

$2 per person. 

seriously…thats all.
that is a bag of chips. or a soda. 
or half of a chocolate mocha.

so if you can spare a soda this month - this is a pretty awesome alternative for your mr. washingtons.

there are lots of ways you can get involved & this is just one of them. but its 2 dollars! 
honestly, if it were me reading this, i think a lot of the reason i probably wouldn't do this is because my wallet was in the other room. i know i know…kind of lame.

if this is something you would like to do, just click  here to get to FARF's donation page.

May 7, 2012

{help save a baby isaac: be a donor}

okay. first of all you guys…
seriously THANK YOU for being so awesome & responding the way you all did to my last post!
i don't know why, but when i was writing it, i guess i really didn't think anyone would respond, or that it just didn't make sense, & we ended up overwhelmed by the number of friends {even those of you we don't know. you are friends, too} that reposted & emailed other friends & forwarded info onto their classes. thank you times a million! i never have enough words to say how much we appreciate things like this…

a few people have asked me if we've heard from anyone that is going to use Fanconi as their subject yet & the answer is no. not definitely. but we are super hopeful. we knew this wouldn't be something that would probably call for immediate action, but more wanted to put a bug in people's ears, so that when the time comes, maybe they'll think of us. so we are super excited!

& now...here is part two.
i would like to preface this & not treat it totally lightly.
i'm not totally crazy, guys. i know that this little number two requires a few man hours & probably a little bit of aching for a few days. its a bigger deal than giving blood. & if you're like me, who didn't know anything about being a bone marrow donor - the idea probably really scares you, because you don't know what to expect. but i would like to give you more info on this. it's something that daniel & i are both really passionate about now. currently we aren't in the registry, just because there is a bit of a commitment & we at least want to get a bit more over the hill with stuff with isaac. but this is something that i think i would love to do someday - as scary as it may seem. the payoff, though, is AMAZING! you could be saving a life!

here is basically everything you need to know in this video:

















if you don't want to watch a video, you can go to marrow.org for more info & to register, if you like.

once you are registered, you will receive a packet in the mail with a cotton swab - all they need is your saliva. you follow the instructions & mail it back.

this could possibly be all you ever do. just because you sign up to be a donor doesn't mean you will ever be needed. just that you are willing.

you could also contact them and ask about arranging a drive in your area, or possibly at your workplace! that would be pretty awesome. too :)

& if you want a bit more of an idea of what this looks like for the person your marrow would be going to, personally - meet eli. i seriously have watched this video over a dozen times & just wish i could hug this little boy. he has fanconi anemia & had his bone marrow transplant just over a year ago & it was successful! you can see just the tiniest snippet of their journey through it,

i love seeing all of the photos of him after his transplant. how i would love to be on the other side of that with isaac someday. i can't even imagine how glorious it would feel…
i cry every time i watch it - but seriously, i'm not trying to make you all cry!!! i just think that its really great to see a real story & a real little boy you could be helping if you are looking into doing this!



thanks for bearing with me & for reading through all of this. i know its a bit heavy. & thanks for considering!

May 1, 2012

{help save a baby isaac: calling all med students!}


may 1st is fanconi anemia {FA} day.

so in honor of the occasion, i have a new page up on my blog. {up at the top} it tells a little bit more about isaac, & it also explains a bit more about fanconi - hopefully simply. & also a few different ways that you can get involved in saving lives, like isaac's!

i'm also going to do a mini-series of posts for this, too. i started out with one long one, but it seemed a bit much. & i didn't really think people would end up reading it all. so mini's it is! & here is one way you can help save a baby isaac :)


the FA community is quite small & there isn't massive amounts of research going on - & a LOT of the money going towards research is coming from fundraisers done by FA families.
there is an annual bulletin that we get that has all of the new research & testing they are doing with FA patients. we just got ours in the mail a few days ago, & as we were reading thru it, we realised that a significant number of the advances towards curing fanconi have come from med school students!

which is why we are now shamelessly using this blog to solicit help.
& to pretty much beg you like crazy….

if you - or your friend is, or your brother, or your third cousin, or fiance, or grandson, or ANYONE you know is a med student in need of a research project/thesis/paper…we would be forever grateful if you would consider fanconi anemia as your subject!

there are a lot medical advancements that are starting to seem more in reach for this & not a lot of research being done, so you could seriously contribute to this & save the lives of these kids & adults!

& because fanconi is a blood disease & requires a bone marrow transplant, so much of the research done is also applicable to other blood cancers {including leukemia} & genetic disorders {spina bifeda, sickle cell, tay-saches etc…} which is pretty much amazing!


so if you're interested, here are a few things you can do:

1. go to fanconi.org where you can learn a bit more about FA
2. you can see recent research that has been done here.
3. if you are still interested you can contact the research fund here & they can hook you up with contacts & resources.

you should hear back pretty darn quick, but if for whatever reason you DON'T, please email me & i'll get you what you need or find someone that can.

for all of us non-med type folks you can totally spread the word! you have our permission to use isaac's picture & repost or tell friends or whatever else you want to do!


okay. i'm done for today. thanks for reading!