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Chipotle Pineapple Veggie Fajitas

I used to think I didn't like fajitas.  Not really sure why?  I mean, lots of colorful veggies and tortillas and toppings?  Not much to go wrong.  I finally had them again a few months ago when we were in Texas and realized, oh!  They're actually delicious.  And I promptly decided I needed to make my own and followed through on that promptness four months later.  Ahem.

In any case, you should really really make these.  I'm not convinced they're entirely authentic, what with my cupboard-scraping addition of the chipotle pepper roasted pineapple, but I AM convinced they are ridiculously tasty.  And that's good enough for me.



Chipotle Pineapple Veggie Fajitas


1-2 T chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped small (depending on how kicky you like things)
1 can pineapple chunks, drained* (or fresh would be amazing when it's in season)
2 T oil
3 multi-colored bell peppers (I suppose you could use all the same color, but where's the fun in that?)
1 large onion (it is possible I am a chronic parenthetical abuser)

For serving - any or all of the below:
Corn tortillas
Black beans (either a drained can or I just make dried ones in the pressure cooker and add some homemade fajita seasoning or just some salt/cumin/cilantro)
Brown rice
Lettuce
Cotija or feta
Sour cream
Avocado

1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Combine pineapple chunks and chipotle peppers in roasting pan.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, until pineapple has absorbed chipotle flavor.

2. Meanwhile, slice bell peppers and onions.  Heat a nonstick pan over HIGH heat.  Pour in oil, get out splatter screen, and prepare to jump away.  Throw in peppers and onions in batches (enough to cover bottom of pan each time) and immediately cover with splatter screen.  Shake pan a little to move peppers around.  Once it's settled, you can stir a bit to get them evenly charred.  Cook about 3-5 minutes per batch - you want them nicely charred, but still crisp.

3. Serve with any and all toppings.  Eat a million and regret nothing.

*I use the kind in 100% its own juice and like the non-waster that I am, save the juice for smoothies

Good Days & Bad Days

There are some days when I crawl into bed late and annoyed and just wanting a new day to begin.  There are others, though, when I fall into bed exhausted but happy.  I've been mulling over what makes a day good instead of bad lately so I can try to do more of the good and avoid the bad (or at try harder. A for effort?).  Here are some that came to mind (keeping in mind that these are ones over which I have control...so while I love emails from friends and blog comments, I have little say in that):

Bad
  • Sleeping too late, which usually starts with having gone to bed too late
  • Neglecting to sit and actually eat breakfast
  • Being impatient with the kids, especially Nat (this is usually a result of lack of sleep/food...just call me predictagrumpy)
  • Spending too much time on the computer
  • Forgetting to mail a package for the umpteenth time...not sure why this is such a struggle for me but dangit it irks me to see stuff laying around at night when there's nothing I can do about it
  • Not leaving the house (rainy days at home are the worst for all of our moods)
  • Not taking time to pursue a hobby
  • Throwing together a last-minute dinner lacking in vegetable content
  • Not making the bed (this happens so so infrequently, but when it does, oh, how it just makes the rest of the day terrible)
Good
  • Awaking early, ate breakfast while conversing with the kids
  • Reading scriptures to the kids
  • Practicing my violin
  • Pursuing hobbies (read a book, did a craft, etc.)
  • Exercising
  • Going on an outing, and getting enough sunlight.  not kidding.
  • Creating teaching moments with the kids, both academically and spiritually
  • Reading books to and did activities with the kids
  • Completing household chores (washed/folded/put away laundry, dishes, cleaned/tidied)
  • Spending time with friends in good conversation
  • Talking to my mom on the phone
  • Teaching the kids to be gentle and loving to each other and to have fun together
  • Being patient and succeeding in giving options, reasoning, and especially listening to Nat's feelings
  • Creating a planned-ahead and wholesome meal
  • Baking some sort of longer-term food (e.g., making bread or granola as opposed to just making that night's dinner)
  • Reading a book with Dan
  • Carving out special time for my sweet, patient, and sometimes neglected second child
  • Actively playing with the kids (this is hard for me. I'm the type of mom that is good at reading books with her kids, doing activities, talking, etc., but I don't love getting down on the floor and playing with blocks and such.  So I'm probably overly pleased with myself when this actually happens)
  • Doing the budget
  • Creating cute outfits for me and the kids (maybe sad? but true) 
  • Doing a family activity, like riding bikes or going on a walk
  • Doing kind things - sending a card or gift, taking someone a meal, reaching out to an e-friend, etc.
  • Having sturdy nap times
  • Doing something new (e.g., Dan and I are taking a swing dance class)
  • Having something to look forward to (a trip, weekend, or even just dinner out)
Some of these happen more regularly than others.  Reading books to the kids, for instance, happens on a daily (or really, hourly) basis.  Exercise is a little trickier, and I tend to fall victim to the weather more often than I'd like.  This list also reminds me that I'm incredibly task-oriented, so a good day generally involves checking off lots of boxes and lists, even if they are little things.

What makes a good and bad day for you?

Five

 
One Sunday evening a few weeks ago, I looked up from my perch on the couch to see Dan heating up some milk.  I entitled-ly and ungratefully told him that it was well past hot chocolate season and that I would pass, thanks.  He didn't reply and kindly didn't shoot down my all-about-me notions.

He proceeded to blend and chill the milk, then pull it out a little bit later.  I finally stepped outside myself long enough to ask what in the world he was doing.  He finally explained that one of our good friends and neighbors had texted asking if we had any chocolate milk to fulfill his pregnant wife's craving.  We didn't, but Dan had whipped up this elaborate concoction (and delicious, I was told) instead.

In the five years since I married this guy, I've become a little spoiled in seeing him see someone else's interest or desire and figure out a way to fulfill it.  He latches onto anything I like, such as nightly backrubs or hot chocolate every night it gets below 60 degrees, and does it without being asked, and without requiring thanks.  That guy, he's taught me a lot about service and kindness and love.

I'm still nowhere near him, but boy am I thankful to stand by him and learn from him.

Happy five and forever, my special friend.

(Year 3, Year 4)




And now!


Wedding pictures by Anna Page.  Family pictures by Katie Hart.

Weeknight Vegetarian: Hot Corn & Black Bean Dip

We're pretty simple when it comes to dips.  Fresh salsa, guac, done.  But this dip.  THIS DIP!  It is so good.  I made it for Dan's birthday shindig this year and I had at least 4 different people ask for the recipe (I've sent it to exactly zero of them, of course...ahem).  So here it is, friends!  It's all for you.

Also, Memorial Day is one of my very favorite holidays.  Not for any terribly patriotic and poignant reason, no, but just because then it feels like summer is really, truly, officially starting.  Barbeques and swimming and camping and scantily clothed babies, these are a few of my favorite things.  I think this dip would be the perfect addition to any summer-kickoff festivities.

Happy Memorial Day!



Hot Corn & Bean Dip
Adapted from here

2 cups shredded chedder cheese
1-2 T chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced small (depending on how much heat you like...start small and add more as you please)
1-4oz can diced green chilies, undrained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 t garlic powder
1 can of corn, drained
 1 can of black beans, drained & rinsed
2 T cilantro, chopped
2 T green onions, sliced thin
1 small tomato, diced (optional)
Tortilla chips (for serving)



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the cheeses, chiptole peppers, green chilies, mayo, garlic powder, corn, and beans together. Pour into an oven safe dish.

3. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

4. Top with cilantro & green onions.* Serve immediately with tortilla chips.

*And tomatoes, if you please - I love tomatoes, but don't love them on top of dips because of the juices seeping in.

 

Wardrobe Basics: Play Date to Date Night - The Maxi Skirt

I've found that I am rather lazy.  If a recipe is fussy, I won't make it, or will skip steps like they're going out of style.  I wear a skirt/dress all Sunday long not for any spiritual reason, but because I can't be bothered to come up with a second outfit when the first was hard enough.

So when we have those few and blessed out-of-the-house dates and I'm frantically trying to get jammies and dinner and diapers and everything else set out for the minions so the babysitter doesn't have to hunt anything down, the last thing on my mind is coming up with another cute outfit.

I've found there are a few pieces in my wardrobe, and probably yours, that transition really well from day to night, even if the day look just involves reading books on the couch or playing at the park.  Over the next few weeks, I'll show you how with a little forethought the morning of, I can easily get away with one outfit that suits (pun entirely intended) all my needs.

The Maxi Skirt


We'll kick things off with an easy one - the maxi skirt.  Because I'm sure everyone is not sick of hearing about the virtues of maxi skirts.

But really - they're popular for a reason.  I have to say, it took me a while to find a maxi or two that I love.  The uber voluminous ones just don't work on me, but ones with a little slimmer profile are great.  So if you've shied away thus far, consider trying out a slightly different style.

In any case, maxis are great because they provide daytime comfort and coverage, but can still easily be dressed up for night.  This pretty and flowy coral one is perfect for both occasions.

Play Date



Easy, breezy.  Simple tee tied in a fun and easy knot, flowy skirt that provides coverage if you need to crawl around for crumbs, a watch, and simple but cute sandals.  Glasses if you're feeling especially alert and peppy.


Date Night




Throw on some pretty, chunky gold jewelry and wedges, take a few minutes to actually put on some makeup/contacts,  and tame your hair into a slightly-less-messy knot.  Set!

Simple, right?

Outfit details: Tee: Loft (thrifted); Skirt: Target; Both Sandals: Target (old); Necklace/Earrings: Forever 21/old; Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington; Bracelets: India/c/o Yuni Kelley

Grinchy Monday

So this morning I was minding my own lazy business by ignoring the toddler's 5th request to get him out of his crib but then changing his mind when I got there and focusing on important post-vacation things (email) instead.

Of course he took my 2.3 second delay as an opportunity to climb out of his crib (which he's successfully and regularly done for the past several months...justification, I smell?) and injure his wrist.  No swelling and still has range of movement thus far (more from the defense attorney) but it sufficiently freaked us all that the rest of the morning was spent doling out offers of cuddles and brownies and videos of that one muppet we all know and love (bigwink), all with a large dose of guilt.

And then I tripped and almost fell allll the way over.  While holding the baby.

Here's to hoping your Monday has been equally excellent.

Weeknight Vegetarian: Toasted Coconut cream Ice Cream



What, you don't have ice cream for dinner?


This was actually Mother's Day dessert, c/o my husband who knows me all-too-well, but I easily would eat it for dinner.  And it's vegetarian.  And, quite possibly, the best ice cream I've ever eaten.  Counts, right?



Toasted Coconut Cream Ice Cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop, David Lebovitz

1 cup dried, shredded coconut
1 cup whole milk
2 cups coconut cream
3/4 cup sugar
Big pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spread coconut on baking sheet and toast for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until it is golden brown.

2. In a medium saucepan, warm milk, 1 cup of coconut cream, sugar, salt, and toasted coconut.  Using a small knife, scrape vanilla seeds into the warm milk, then add the whole pod.  Cover, remove from heat, and steep at room temperature for 1 hour.

3. Rewarm milk mixture.  Remove the vanilla bean pieces.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.  Slowly pour the warm coconut-milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.  Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom, until the mixture thickens enough to coat a spatula.  Stir the remaining 1 cup of coconut cream into the saucepan.  Mix in vanilla and stir until cool over an ice bath.

4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then churn in your ice cream maker.



  

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PS - It's the last day to enter to win a pretty pair of earrings from Blue Nile!

Wonder & Smiles

My book club recently read a sweet little book called Wonder.  It's about a boy with a facial deformity who has been homeschooled all his life, until now, when he enters middle school.  It delves into his thoughts, the thoughts of his family, and the thoughts of some of his newfound friends.  I loved that it didn't make most of the characters into "good" or "bad," but rather, had a spectrum of gray that provided interesting insight.  It's given me more thought into some of those struggles.

Many of you are probably familiar with Operation Smile, an organization that works to heal cleft lip, cleft palate, and other facial deformities around the world.  They are truly incredible and do so much good and save so many lives (for free!) across the globe.  Campus Book Rentals is working with them to donate over 1,000 life-saving cleft lip surgeries this year, which is really humbling.  I love that their focus is on facilitating education (their new program, RentBack allows students to rent out past textbooks to other students), but they use their resources toward corporate social responsibility, which was a big interest of mine in business school.

If you're a student, definitely check them out, and I definitely recommend Wonder to anyone looking for an inspiring middle-grade book.



Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Campus Book Rentals, but all opinions and recommendations are my own.

Bows & Stripes & Appreciation

Shirt: Old Navy (bows potato stamped by me); Skirt: Old Navy; Sandals: Target (similar); Earrings: c/o Blue Nile; Necklace: Forever XXI

(I loooved how comfy but still cute this outfit was.  And I still want to stamp all the things.  The end.  Except the sapfest ahead.  Proceed with all the risk.)

I know Mother's Day is over and I've already had two posts that referenced it.  But I don't know, I can't seem to get my mind off it this week.  Not the celebration; but just remembering motherhood.  My motherhood.  I mean, I'm a mom!  Of childREN!  Plural!  I'm responsible for their well being and care and knowledge and growth and compassion.  Yipes.

Last week was a rough week, not gonna lie.  I think even the elements were feeling it, what with the rain and drear and more rain.  And then sudden bursts of bright blue sky and sunshine and then more rain and lightning.  And that's basically how I felt the whole week, too.  Rain and drear and outbursts of thunder and a sudden flash of smiles and pep and then back to grumpy mctrix.  I don't know; maybe it was just too many days of STILL not being able to go out without a sweater?  Or too many days of feeling like, YIKES that's a lot of laundry and I still need to vacuum but I can't do that during naptime but I also really need to wash my hair which is far worse than laundry and vacuuming combined and I ALSO can't do that during naptime.

What am I even talking about?  Something with lots of caps, evidently.

I'm not even sure where this rambledom is located, but it was just one of those weeks.  One where I yelled more than I should and got more upset about little things than was necessary and threatened time outs for all kinds of behavior that I always said I wouldn't.  That.  One where I would lie in bed at night and feel guilty for the mean things I said and did and would want to go get my babies from their beds and just squeeze them and let them know I love them, OH, I love them.  And that I don't want to lose their tender trust, ever.  When I wanted to just pick them up and hug them and tell them I was sorry.  (I didn't actually wake them; I was repentant, not crazy.)

A low point was when I, recognizing my emotion and drama and failure, apologized to Nat who gets the brunt of it because he is verbal and understands what I'm telling him.  And I asked him if I should have a time out for not using nice words and he said, "No, it's okay, Mommy.  I forgive you."

Ouch right to the heart of hearts.

And then Saturday happened.  And it was followed by Sunday.  And I felt enormously special and appreciated and realized that I basically could not dream of a better little family, for me.  Not a perfect family, nooo boy, not by a long shot.  Just a darn good one for me.

And it wasn't at all that I hadn't felt appreciated before.  I happen to have a husband who is dang high on the words of affirmation bit on the love languages test so I get told a lot that my work important.  And good.  And right.  But I don't know, there's something about taking time to reflect and remember and be in company and collaboration with all kinds of other WOMEN.  Not just current mothers or hoping mothers, but women, influencers of children and adults and communities.  There's something about reflecting on the importance of mothering, well, that just gave me a little lift.  A little reminder that this work I'm doing, and it is WORK, it is important and good and right.

That these little people with personalities and preferences and humor, oh, funny senses of humor, they matter.  And I matter for them.

And there's something about that, that this week, well, I feel rejuvenated.  And excited.  And tired.  Still tired.  But more glad and more grateful than I've ever been to be right where I am.



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PS - Don't forget to enter to win these same lovely earrings here!

Things That Make Me Happy Monday

 

 
Saturday morning, I slept in and then the kids & Dan took me downstairs where what was waiting for me?  A new bike and kids' bicycle trailer!!  I had a super old bike before that was just reconstructed of parts and didn't have gears and had rotted tires.  So now I have a for realz mountain bike that can go over cracks in the road without tipping and everything!  We hooked the trailer up to D's bike and went for a little ride, and oh!  It was glorious.  How I love this little family of mine, and this is the perfect thing for some amazing summer outings.  We often try to give "experience" gifts, and this is going to make some great experiences, I can feel it.

Sunday involved peaceful church, family time, and a pretty phenomenal meal.  Stuffed poblanos, marinated fajita veggies, guac, fresh salsa and limeade were all involved.  As were homemade ice cream in homemade waffle cones.  Capital S Spoiled over here.

Part of it was exhausting because it was definitely work on D's part, which means there wasn't much relaxing and lounging.  But good gracious, I'm grateful for a husband who loves me enough to do whatever he can to try to make me feel special.

Some of the best parts of the day, though, were the most simple - flowers made by Nat in the church nursery, picking wildflowers as a family, seeing grandmas and great-grandmas on Skype.  Hearing Nat say, out of the blue, "You look so pretty, Mommy!"  Seeing baby c smile and flap her arms in giddy excitement whenever I came into view.  The sweet little $1 hand painted mug.  Seeing Nat so excited to make me happy - being so excited to give me his flowers, making sure I was using my mug, being thrilled to reveal his big secret with Daddy about the bike and the trailer.  Having that dear husband of mine look in my eyes and tell me he loves me not only for caring for our children, but for being me.  That's sure a way to make a lady feel special.  I'm sure feeling pretty darn lucky these days.

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PS - Don't forget to enter to win a lovely pair of Blue Nile earrings here!

Mama

Growing up, there were probably a lot of things I took for granted about my mom.  Moving across the world to a country where she didn't yet have a firm grasp of the language (and then getting the hang of it by watching soap operas :)); studying by streetlight and earning her master's in mathematics; giving up a job outside the home to raise two girls.

But one of the most important things I think I took for granted is that my mom is fearless.  She's strong.  She's willing to work and learn and try, and she's not afraid of any of it.  She learned how to swim after moving to the US and when she was in her 30s.  She was always the one to fiddle with the new VCR players to set them up, even though she'd grown up in a home that only occasionally had electricity and running water.  Just a few years ago, after entering her 60s, developed a love of reading (and not just any books - history and biographies. serious stuff here).

It never occurred to her to be afraid or to think, "I can't do that."  Or maybe it did; but she did it anyway.  Decades of using a second language and not being accustomed to reading full-length books didn't stop her from doing it, and loving it.  Not having ever before even owning a television didn't prevent her from just deciding to figure it out - and succeed.

I love that she's never afraid to try something new, just because it's new.  To her, it's just another adventure, another puzzle to figure out.  She never actually let us in the kitchen growing up; that was her place, and she liked things a certain way (it is not unlikely that she managed to pass this other trait along to her eldest, as well).  I never touched a sewing machine until a couple of years ago because she was too busy encouraging us to do our homework or practice our violins or just chug along as the bookworms we were.

But because she wasn't afraid, I'm not either.  I love to cook, and while she didn't give me recipes, she did give me wholesome meals and a belief that I could create them.  She didn't teach me to thread a needle, but she did instill in me a belief that I can learn anything, create anything, accomplish anything I want.

My mom is a strong woman.  She raised strong girls.  I hope I can be that same kind of mama.

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It just so happens there's another mom in my life, as well.  This mom read scriptures to my husband every day through his youth, and taught him to love the scriptures.  She's quiet, but she has her own strength.  For instance, she's the only daughter in her family who served a mission, and was the only girl in her master's metallurgical engineering program.  She didn't, and doesn't, worry about what's popular, but concerns herself with what is good and right.  She is an excellent listener and encourages her kids.  She adores her grandkids and knows more kids' songs than most children's choristers.  She is generous and kind.  Her children, especially one particular son, adore her and learned from her to be gentle and good.  She provided a listening ear to a shy and scared little boy, and encouraged him in developing skills and following dreams to become the best man I know.  For that, I will be forever grateful.

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In honor of Mother's Day, Blue Nile sent me these gorgeous earrings.  I love that the pattern is delicate but bold, just like my mama.  They graciously sent me another pair to send out to some special lady out there, be she a current or future mama.  Leave a comment before Friday, May 17th if you'd like to win!

(Or use MOMGIFT13 to get 10% off your purchase at Blue Nile!)

Update: Congratulations, Maxine!


 

Weeknight Vegetarian: Brown Rice Bowl with Crispy Baked Tofu, Edamame, and Peanut Sauce

This Week:
Grilled cheese & tomato soup
Pineapple fajita soft tacos
Falafel
Leftovers
Homemade pizza


I adore Thai food.  I love all the spices and freshness and depth of flavor.  I like to say this rice bowl is "Thai-inspired" because I'm sure it's not authentic by any means, but oh, it is delicious.  I also simplified the already-easy sauce from the original because I was once making this before we were heading out the door and the whole thing (sans tofu, which is virtually effortless, but takes some time to cook) was ready in about 10 (rushed) minutes flat.


Also, I'm generally vehemently opposed to meat substitutes.  Having been a vegetarian my whole life, I feel no need to eat things that are trying to pretend they're meat when there are so many other vegetarian options where meat isn't the point (for instance, I'd choose black bean burgers over soy burgers any day).  This is all to say that I don't generally choose tofu, but it is delicious here.  The texture is just perfect with the grains and veggies and bulks it up a little.

Oh, and edamame!  I'd forgotten how delicious and versatile you are!  Commence slew of recipes that will contain you.


(I realized after making this that Janssen has a similar recipe.  I mean, great minds, and all.)

Brown Rice Bowl with Crispy Baked Tofu, Edamame, and Peanut Sauce
adapted from Channeling Contessa

Note: As written, I'd say this fed all of us for dinner without really having leftovers.  I usually double it if we want leftovers for lunch.  And trust me, you will.

Rice Bowl
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 cups water
2 carrots, diced
1 package extra-firm tofu
2 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
2 bell peppers, sliced
1/2 cup edamame, shelled
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Peanut Sauce
1 T peanut butter (I like chunky so there are peanut bits in the dish)
4 T sweet Thai chili sauce
2 T apple cider vinegar
3 T coconut milk (I've also used coconut milk powder with success)
1/2 t Sriracha sauce
2 T brown sugar
1/4 t garlic powder
A good splash of lemon juice

1. About 30 minutes before cooking, drain and rinse your tofu.  Press out excess moisture and wrap it in a clean dish towel.  Set it on a plate and weigh it down with something to really press out the moisture.  Let sit until ready to cook.

2. Preheat oven to 350F.  Dice tofu and combine with soy sauce and oil in a roasting pan.  Bake for about 40 minutes, until slightly crispy, turning every 10-15 to cook evenly.

3. While tofu is baking, combine rice, water, and carrots in a pot.  Cook until rice is tender but has a bit of bite, and the carrots are fork-tender.

4. Meanwhile, combine peanut butter and chili sauce in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 30 seconds.  Stir to mix and combine rest of ingredients for sauce.

5. Combine rice, sauce, tofu, and veggies.  And cilantro.  Always cilantro.




A Yellow Formula


Blazer: H&M; Blouse: Old Navy; Pants/Shoes: Target; Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington; Earrings: c/o Blue Nile

Is the tooting of my own horn too loud if I say I really loved this outfit?  Yes?  Well, let's proceed, then.  There are certain outfit "formulas" that just feel comfortable and easy but put together for me.  I imagine that's different for most people, but for me, colored skinnies, a loose but pretty blouse (in stripes!), a blazer for structure, and some leopard flats seems like a pretty good formula.  (Evidently I really do think so, since I did the neutrals+yellow+leopard thing here, too.)  Anyone have any other good formulas I should use?

Things That Make Me Happy Monday





Cardigan: J.Crew Factory; Skirt: made by me; Necklace: F21; Belt/Shoes: thrifted; Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington

On Friday night, Dan and I went on a for reals date.  Like, with no kids, out of the house, with an after-activity dessert and all.  It was delightful.  We went to see the ballet, and every time, no fail, it gets me like crazy.  The strength!  The beauty!  Amazing.  And then we closed out some night with terrifically large frozen hot chocolate.  So, that was amazing.

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D and I are huge dorks and think all plural things should end with "en."  Like oxen?  So, boyen.  Girlen.  And as D & Nat were headed out the door Saturday morning to get the car fixed, Nat called for all the boyen to come and said the girlen were staying home.  So that understandably made our morning.

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Cinco de Mayo.  The holiday that Mexicans don't care about but that we use as an excuse to eat buckets of guacamole and dip and my favorite enchiladas.  Yes.

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What didn't make my morning was having them gone the whooooole day getting the car fixed and getting new tires to the tune of nearly $700.  Yipes.  But that did mean I had some free time to whip up this little skirt.  And it has contrasting pockets.  And I'm fairly certain that all skirts should have pockets, yes?

So the boyen finally got home and we hopped in the car after some quick and very late naps and drove out in the gorgeous evening and Nat, out of the blue, looked over from his carseat to kina's and said, "I love you, kina.  You're my best friend, kina!"  And then the world was just the rightest of the right.