Sunday, February 20, 2011

Finding Comfort

My home...yes my home, even though this is an apartment and a temporary one at that, this is now my home. I think home comes about from the people inside the structure, the warmth, and the smells that fill it. Right now my home is filled with the smell of blooming flowers, bubble bath, clean babes, a burning fireplace, and cinnamon whole wheat bread goodness. Lovely.

Creamy Carrot Tomato Soup, Sauteed Medley of Mushrooms & Zucchini, Valentine's Day Tulips, Vegan Cinnamon Whole Wheat Bread made for kid's school lunches. Enough said.
Hope everyone is enjoying the comforts of their Home.
Peace, Yasmin

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We have physical confirmation people!

We began the gluten free journey just a couple of days ago and my hubby has found intestinal relief suddenly. We don't really visit doctors, so no we have not gotten any exact confirmation, but what is more revealing than a fix to the problem from a slight (actually quite major) diet change. For my family, going gluten free is something that truly needs to be planned, not to say it isn't a major change for others as well. Being a vegan and gluten free is a whole other animal. We have been reading labels like crazy, we always do, and it seems a whole bunch of gluten free items have egg in them. So the conclusion or solution is that I will just have to make our own bread, baked goods, granola, etc. As I have mentioned previously, it is just so important for us to plan ahead or my already skinny husband is going to start losing weight and we really don't need that to happen. I am trying to be as supportive of his lifestyle change by joining him in the gluten free life, not an easy thing to do. We bought our first few, of many, gluten free cookbooks and "gluten free lifestyle for dummies", as well as new types of flours and pasta, to get us prepared for this new lifestyle. My hubby suggested that we get rid of everything with gluten in our house, unfortunately I have quite a few bags of ww flour and other things with gluten, so I suggested that I make things for the kids, because really why do the kids need to cut out gluten right now?
Now on to our day...
So today was a busy, wonderful day. The weather was in the 60s and I have been craving hiking, so we took the kids on the blue ridge and found a hiking trail. This ended up being a 2.8 mile hike to the Folk Art Center, that was very windy and quite steep in some spots. This hike, as wonderfully refreshing as it was, seemed to take forever, especially with the kids complaining after one mile that their feet hurt and some holding of kids following their complaints. So once we got to the Art center, I handed over our water and snacks to the hubby and took off with the dog back to the car, this time walking along the blue ridge parkway. Once I drove the car to the Art Center parking lot, we got to enjoy the center. There were so many beautiful quilts, pottery, wooden figurines, and many other handmade goods. Once we got our fill of art beauty, we went to a pizza joint for some vegan gluten free pizza...not too shabby. After lunch, we hit the bookstore to research all things gluten free and to enjoy some delicious coffee. Once we familiarized ourselves with exactly what giving up gluten meant for us, we went to the grocery store and bought a huge amount of groceries...nothing packaged, except for quinoa/rice pasta. We had a wonderful dinner of quinoa with pinenuts, portabellas, onion, garlic, and sundried tomatoes. I also made cabbage sauteed with garlic. Yummy. Overall, this day was quite wonderful, eventhough we left the cleaning and the laundry for some other time.

My favorite picture is of my very tired little man, ready to fall asleep at the dinner table. Which reminds me, it may be time for me to zonk out as well.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Turning gluten free...Ugh!

So unfortunately, we believe that hubby may be gluten intolerant or it could be soy or it could be simple or not so simple IBS. Yuck. We have decided to eliminate gluten out of his diet first and see how he feels from that. This will definitely be a learning process for all, as I am not completely sure about the whole gluten thing either. Apparently cous cous is not ok, but quinoa is. Why not cous cous, we love Israeli cous cous in this family. On top of all of this, my husband is a lover of all things cereal...he is addicted I tell you. So when I suggested the eliminating and mentioned that cereal for the most part is a no go, he got quite upset and seems to still be moping a bit...5 hours later. So after my b-ball game, I stopped by the store and got him some rice crispies, so he would have something to eat when he got home. This is going to take a lot of planning, as there will need to be snacks on hand all the time, or my very skinny hubby will be losing weight...not a good thing. To be supportive, I am going to try to do the gluten free thing with him and perhaps this will make me feel more energetic as well. So all of the bags of AP and WW flour I have will be used to make goods for the kids and hubby will have to lay off of them. Sorry babe. So for dinner tonight, I made scalloped potatoes, using GF Oat flour, which I luckily had on hand, and veggies in tomato sauce. It was enjoyed by all.

My next adventure will be making gluten free baked goods. Wish me luck.
Peace, Yasmin

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A beautiful life

Some beautiful things in my life right now...


Beautiful Valentine's flowers, beautiful children, beautiful yarn, beautiful cozy fireplace, beautiful storytime with the boy. I hope everyone takes a moment to see the beauty in the everyday life.
Peace, Yasmin

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Shananigans

No I have not dropped off the face of this earth. Work has taken over my life for the past two weeks. I have literally been working 12+ hours a day 6 days a week. We went from wing hell to mashed potato madness...coupons. This past Friday, I worked from 8:30am until 10:30pm, and that is when I decided enough is enough. Yesterday was a very busy day at work, but sometimes you just have to leave at the end of your shifts, or 30 minutes after your scheduled shift in my case. There has to be some kind of work/life balance and promises were made to little ones and so I headed home somewhat at a decent time to get to work on Valentine's stuff. Chocolate covered strawberries, homemade cards, oh my.

 Chocolate covered strawberries were wonderful and enjoyed by everyone, even the sick little man, sorry about the red eyes...couldn't get rid of those for some reason. Ashleigh and I got plain cardstock and watercolored the outside of each one for a unique touch. We decided to get handy with stamps on the inside. Fun Fun.

 Rian decided to participate and painted two cards as well for his teachers. He says it is a dragon spitting fire...can you see it? I love that imaginative boy of mine.

For dinner I made potato scallion cakes and kale sauteed in evoo, garlic, and ginger. Yummy. By this time, Rian was already zonked out from a tiring cold. Today we are just chilling at home until daddy comes home, so that mommy can go to work. Not sure what's going on with Rian, but I have a feeling he is going to feel much better tomorrow. Something about sunshine and warm weather makes everyone feel a whole lot better. For those people that I have not kept in touch with (ahem, Alison!), I do promise that I will call soon.

I hope everyone has a loving valentine's day today.
Peace, Yasmin

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chaotic Life

As I am getting ready to leave for Knoxville for the next two days, I find myself in a frenzy to tie up all loose ends...from a chaotic, crazy busy day at work to a cooking/cleaning whirlwind at home. It is past midnight and I have just finished my work schedule for next week. With almost 30 people to schedule, sometimes this can be difficult, especially when there are requested days off or I have trainees from other stores. I should also mention that my Microsoft Excel's trial period just expired, so I found out after finishing the schedule completely and saving it, it reverted back to the original completely unfinished schedule. Ahhhhhhh!!! I have so much to do in the morning: taking dog out, getting kids to school, finish packing, go to work and see if the finished schedule I sent to my work e-mail came through correctly...this all needs to be done by 8am, because that is when I need to be on the road towards Knoxville. Wasn't one of my resolutions to have less stress in 2011. Hmmmm??? So after I got home from work and picking up rental car/kids at 5:30pm, I had to bake my Vegan choc chip banana bread as well as some vegan avocado choc chip cupcakes. The family needs snacks while I am away.


 My little guy wanted to help mix the cupcake batter, all the while sneaking in licks of the spoon. That boy of mine is too sweet.
The hubby was so kind to take some pressure off of me by making us a lovely dinner of Garlicky kale vegan sausage pasta. yummers. I do feel I wasn't able to accomplish as much as I wanted to. I was hoping to make a lentil soup, so that the family would have an easy dinner to heat while I am away, but with having to go back to work by 7:30pm for a meeting tonight, it just wasn't possible in the 2 hours that I had at home. Have I failed at being a good provider to my family...maybe yes, but unless I start taking Speed or No Doze, things are just going to have to get done when they get done. On that note, I believe I have to get into bed as I will be waking up in 5 hours to get all those morning duties completed. Here is to hoping that I don't get lost on my way to Knoxville.
Peace, Yasmin