Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Whoa. My last post was super popular. Either there are other sleep deprived parents searching for baby cat nap answers (hallelujah! We are not alone!) or you guys really have a thing for stir fry...

O- to the -M- to the- G. You guys, I haven't been getting your emails. A friend recently told me that she had written me and email through my "contact" tab here on the blog. Odd, I thought, never got it. And then BAM! I remembered several other people had told me the same thing. You see, I'm not getting those emails. If you've written me and I didn't get back to you, know that I'm not ignoring you! I do get my comments but I'm needing to fix the email issue. For now if you need to get a hold of me you can drop me a line at

Other than this revelation we have been preparing for winter up in these parts. Winter here means cold and snow and soup and stew. We've had a few snowstorms already, most recently one that dropped 12" of snow in 24 hours. It was wet snow. Perfect for snowman building, which a huge Carhart overalls, a santa hat and nothing October.

That would be my husband and it might be why I love him.
Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

And this would be the snowman (snow giant?) that was built
Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Halloween is this week and almost as if on cue another snowstorm is due. It always snows on Halloween here. It's like a rule or something. The newest soup on the menu for such a time as this is vegetarian posole. I love it. My mom and step-dad used to make this growing up. My step dad is Mexican so he knows how to make a good pot of posole. Only thing is, it's supposed to be made with pork or chicken which is delicious but not gonna fly in my house all the time. My mother reminded me though that the star of posole is in fact, the posole (or hominy) and the toppings add all the charm- crunchy, fresh shredded cabbage, cilantro, radish, and a squirt of lemon all add brightness to the hot soup. I questioned my mom on the lemon. Didn't she mean lime? She balked. No. Lemon it is. The soup is awesome on its own but the toppings bring it to life. The cabbage wilts ever so slightly upon hitting the hot soup and the lime and cilantro tie in perfectly to the cumin scented tomato broth. The key here is to use frozen hominy, not the canned stuff. It's just not the same. The frozen variety comes raw and you cook it into the broth and it becomes something more in the pot than just another ingredient. Also, the texture can't even be compared. I love to bite down on my hominy and feel that satisfying chew, like an al dente pasta. That's why you need to go the extra mile and find the frozen hominy. It's actually a common ingredient in grocery stores. It's usually kept in the Mexican section of the freezer aisle. Look for where the frozen burritos are and you'll be close.

It looks like this: Posole and "Duck Sauce"

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

Another ingredient you may not be familiar with is something we refer to as "duck sauce" because it has a picture of a duck on the can...not sure why... (?) but it's actually just Mexican tomato sauce and again, I promise you it's an easy to find ingredient in the Mexican section of the grocery stores where the dried chili's are and such. This product right here is what defines your broth. It gives it a little spicy edge, and flavors everything with tomato and chile. If you really can't find it, my mom says to add jalapeño to the onions in the soup. But really, don't let it come to that. Just find the sauce.

Vegetarian Mexican Posole Soup

You can make this in a crockpot too, if you'd rather- double points! And, it's sure to warm you through on a snowy night. Think of us on Halloween while those of you in warmer climates are running around in sleeveless glory, my kids will be layering. At least snow fairies can have long sleeves, Spiderman already has long sleeves, bumblebees can have black cardigans, and Rosie the Riveter can wear a jean jacket instead of shirt. Pic's in the next post.

Mom and Dave's Mexican Posole Soup
serves 4-6

*Use frozen posole for this soup, not the canned stuff. See note above.

*You can make this with chicken or pork as well. Cook it seperately, then add it in. Use shredded boiled chicken, like you would for chicken and dumplings.

1  large yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 (28-oz) can of diced tomatoes
1/2-1 can of  El Pato brand "duck sauce" or "Mexican tomato sauce"
8 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/2 a bag of frozen hominy (about 3 cups)
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 head of cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
Kosher salt
black pepper
Shredded green cabbage, for topping
Lemon wedges, for serving
Slivered radishes, for serving

In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for five minutes or until onion is translucent. Add the can of tomatoes, chicken stock, zucchini, frozen hominy (I just put the whole frozen chunk in the pot and let it break apart as the broth heats) half the cilantro (reserve the other half for topping), cumin, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/2-1 can of the duck sauce. I use a whole can. A 1/2 can is fine if you don't like a little kick. It's not very spicy-it's just right in my opinion. Bring soup to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the hominy is tender. Taste for salt and adjust seasonings. Serve soup with the cabbage, lemon, reserved cilantro and radishes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce and How To Beat The Baby Cat Nap

All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

Disclaimer: If you don't have a baby and could care less about naps/sleep issues, just scroll to the bottom for the recipe. However if you are interested, I'm going to tell you how we got our three month old successfully napping in her own bed...for longer than 40 minutes! This is some exciting stuff for sleep deprived parents, lemme tell ya. And Maya Angelou says when you learn, you should teach. I don't know about teaching, but I'm all about sharing.

A note to consider: I have what The Baby Whisperer classifies as a "touchy baby" which means she's extra sensitive and needs more help in certain areas, like sleeping on her own and staying asleep. Not sure which type of baby you have? Take the test here and find out. 

Dudes! And ladies. I was gonna blog here and be all THE BABY DOESN'T NAP LONGER THAN 40 MINUTES EVER blahblahblahblahblah losingmyfreakingmind blahblah nosleep blahblahblah blah.

But today I'm here to tell you that after some hard work we have come out on the other end finally victorious in various areas, namely conquering the cat nap!

What is a cat nap? a short nap that last anywhere from 20-45 minutes. This is sometimes called "the 40 minute intruder" because it does just that- It intrudes on a nap. It's rude, really.

Why it's a problem-  because babies need more sleep than 30-40 minutes at a given time. They should get at least an hour to an hour-and-a-half to be sufficiently rested so they are happy upon waking and not cranky until their next nap time.

Some babies need their parents help teach them the skill of going and staying asleep. When babies  wake early from naps, they get tired again a short time later so instead of the optimal wake/eat/sleep cycle, it looks more like wake/eat/sleep/wake/cranky/sleep (but not too long because, surprise! It's already time to eat again!) In other words, they are chronically tired and it affects EVERYTHING from mood, to nighttime sleep to feeds. Basically, if you want to conquer this beast I'm told you need a consistent schedule. A good place to start is to wake your baby up at the same time each day and put them to bed at the same time every night.

But the problem is that my baby wakes up at different times each morning regardless of the bedtime, so it's hard to get the same routine happening at the same time every day. Sometimes she'll wake up at 5:00am and be up for the day. Like, happy and babbling even. As in, definitely not going back to sleep. Boo! I was NOT about to set a 5:00am wake-up time. We were in a vicious cycle. Something had to change, especially since she is still waking up three times a night to eat. After thinking through it multiple times, I decided if I could get her napping figured out and get her the day rest she needs, it would help the rest fall into place. I always hear good sleep begets good sleep.

A plan. She won't go to sleep without me!- Usually, we would walk Ellie around the house to get her to fall asleep. This worked for a while, until she got too heavy and needed to be walked for longer stretches of time before settling down. You could not sit. Walking only. Another problem was the walking wasn't working all that well anymore. She'd get overtired and fussy and would take forever to nod off. Then, you'd have to hold her for her entire nap or else she'd wake up early. Now I have her successfully going down for every nap in her crib upstairs.

The only way she would sleep! Holding her...Do you see how big she is?!
All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

What I did-  I started small since there were a few issues to deal with, which were getting to sleep without my help, AND staying asleep without my help. So, I started placing her in her swing when I saw she was getting tired (eye rubbing, yawns) when I'd usually start walking her. She fussed at first since she was used to the walking. Some times she would straight up cry when I put her in. But since I was in the living room with her, I just kept talking to her and telling her it was okay and to go to sleep. I would also play classical music on Pandora softly and run a box fan for white noise, but I didn't pick her up. She would fall asleep after 10 minutes or so. Victory! But even then she kept waking after 40 minutes. So I'd let her fuss/cry for a few minutes and see if she'd self soothe back to sleep. The first few times, she didn't. She just got revved up and mad, so I'd pick her up and let her be up a while, then hold her to sleep when she got tired again before the next feed. I figured the sleep was more important than how she was getting there at this point. I only focused on getting her to fall asleep without me, which was working. Then, each time she woke up early I'd let her fuss just to see if she'd self soothe back to sleep. I always gave her the chance. After 4-5 days of this, she did it. She woke up after 35 minutes, fussed for five minutes (which seems like 30 minutes- but it's not-look at the clock. You'll always think it's longer than it has been) and the FELL BACK TO SLEEP FOR ANOTHER 40 minutes!

So, this is what we did for another week. For every nap. Consistency is key I've been told.

After a week of consistent swing naps she got so used to it that the second I placed her in, she would close her eyes and immediately nap. Sometimes she'd fuss for 30 seconds or so but that was it. So, I decided since she didn't need parental contact to help get her to sleep anymore (all the walking), I'd start setting her in the crib upstairs instead of the swing with a mobile that played SOOTHING, quiet classical music since that what she was used to downstairs already, and a box fan for noise. I hoped she'd make a sleep association to it. All the sleep books will tell you to put your baby in their bed sleepy but awake so they learn to fall asleep on their own. This was crucial. But this was not working for us...yet. She cried like mad and wouldn't calm down even though I was standing in the room with her, reassuring her. She just wasn't tired or calm enough.

So, I stretched out her awake time from 1 1/2 hours, to 2 hours (she is three months old, so this is appropriate) so she was good and tired when I set her down. I figured she needed to be tired enough to get her past that 40 minute mark and get back to sleep. This is supposed to be a no-no. Overtired babies are harder to settle. I agree, mine will melt down when overtired, but I kept her up past the fussy overtired faze and I waited until she was really, really sleepy before setting her down. I got the idea from this blog and it made sense to me and our situation. Guess what? IT WORKED! I also extended the period in which we get ready for sleep with a longer routine (more settling). After she was really, really, tired we would go upstairs, turn on her fan, and I'd get her into her Merlin's magic sleep suit, gently, (more on that below) then pick her up and walk her silently and slowly for 2 minutes around the room. Then I whispered that it was nap time, set her in the crib and turned on the mobile. After watching the mobile for 30 seconds she started to cry, but within 20 seconds it turned more into a fuss, so I waited and let her work it out. Guys. Five minutes later she was asleep! She woke up again 40 minutes later and fussed/cried but I waited to go in until I heard distressed crying. I never heard it. Again, five minutes later she had put herself back to sleep! The very first time! HOLLA!

I don't think it would have worked prior to the three-month old mark. And some babies won't be ready for this until 5-6 months. It just depends on how good their self soothing skills are. Sometimes you have to wait it out.

*The Merlin's Magic Sleep Suit is a swaddle transitioner and even though the babies look like they are in ridiculous giant marshmallow space suits, I'll be damned if it didn't do just the trick. She could move her hands about, but it muffled any jerky reflexes she had and made her feel secure and snug. She much prefers it to the swaddle. I know this because she sleeps better and longer in the sleep suit. I was skeptical but like I said, you never know unless you try. It's scary trying new things, but so worth it when it works! 

What changed- Because I stretched Ellie's awake time to two hours, and she'd nap for 1 1/2 hours (sometimes only one hour, and sometimes 2 hours), it bumped our schedule from a 3 hour routine to a 3 1/2 hour (and sometimes 4 hour) routine which worked better for my baby. I wouldn't have guessed it, but it did work better. I guess you don't know until you try. She was hungrier for her feeds and ate more, which sustained her for longer periods of time, and helped with the napping. It all works together, you see. It also helped get us on a three nap a day schedule instead of 5-6 cat naps. One thing though- I ALWAYS WAKE HER UP if she is still sleeping at the two hour mark. And, I don't let her sleep longer than a two hour nap once a day. I wake her to keep her on the schedule so she doesn't skip a feed. I've also read that if a baby sleeps longer than a two hour stretch during the day, it'll rob them of night sleep.  She usually sleeps 1 1/2 hours for her morning nap, 1 1/2-2 hours for afternoon nap, and 1 hour for her early evening nap. Now her bedtime is earlier (between 8pm and 8:30pm) and I swear it's helped her sleep better at night! So strange how it all works.

How good naps have changed night sleep- I wake her up before I go to bed around 9:30pm or 10:00pm to give her a dream feed. Sometimes she wakes up for this on her own, sometimes not. Either way, she eats and goes right back to sleep. She still wakes up every three hours to eat throughout the night, BUT she goes back to sleep easier and now if she fusses when I set her back in her bed, she puts herself back to sleep after a few minutes since she's used to it during the day. I used to pick her back up and hold or nurse her again until she was in deep sleep, or I'd hold her in bed with me and let her sleep there. I was exhausted! It is leaps and bounds better this way!

I should say, this might not work for you. I'm just sharing what my experience was and what worked for me. And honestly, I don't have it all figured out. This kid leaves us guessing daily. But this napping in the crib for longer than 40 minutes thing is huge. Huge, I tell you. If the Momma's are anything like me out there, they are googling all sorts of things and reading about all the ways they can get some much needed rest without neglecting the needs of your littles. I get it. I so get it. I read and re-read and took what I felt in my gut might work and what made the most sense to me and our situation.

* Update- This post has been so popular that I decided to share more information and update. First off, an excellent source for baby sleep drama is Troublesome Tots. She goes over everything from when and how to do cry-it-out, to helping you figure out exactly what in your routine is tripping you up and not leading you down the road to blissful sleep. Check out "Why Sleep Training Didn't Work" and "Baby sleep, what is normal?" to get started. 

As for us, we are still napping great in this house! She now is almost 4 months and gets 3 long naps a day (morning, early afternoon and late afternoon) plus a catnap (20-30 minutes) before bed. Bedtime is between 7pm and 8pm each night depending on when her last nap was. I try and keep her up two hours before bedtime and manage naps to hit bedtime around 7:30pm each night. I still watch her sleepy cues instead of the clock though, which is why it varies from night to night. She had five night stretch recently where she'd wake up every hour or so and cry at night and I'd go to her. I was getting super frusterated until I learned about a common 4 month sleep regression. I think that's what it was because she is back to her normal pattern of sleeping and waking every three hours to eat, then right back to sleep. We also learned that since our baby is so sensitive she really needed MORE soothing before and AT bedtime to get her to settle down for a long stretch and not wake up an hour after going to bed. So now we do a 30 minutes routine every single night that consists of kids in the other room (to make it quiet), feeding session, then bath, jammies, sleep suit, and the same routine upstairs I mentioned above except without the mobile being on. I found she falls asleep with it on, then gets mad when she wakes up and it's off. So I just stopped turning it on. She still likes to look at it. 

Phew! Onto the food!

All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

I have been successful in other areas besides nap time. I have conquered Chinese food! Can I just be honest for a second and say I'm not that good at Chinese food? Because I'm not. I have had a couple dishes turn out really well for me, but mostly I just eat Chinese when I'm out. Stir fry is one of those things people make on busy week nights. I don't quite get this because chopping all the vegetables takes some time, not to mention making a good sauce to go with it. Then I realized most people don't make a sauce, which is why I have thought homemade stir fry pretty much sucks for most of my life. My mom used to make stir fry. It was nothing more than some veggies sautéed in garlic with some soy sauce. I tried this once, but I added the soy sauce to the vegetables in the hot pan and it burned. Burned soy sauce is disgusting. I decided stir fry was just something better left to the experts and restauranteurs. But then I saw this recipe for basic brown garlic stir fry sauce and it got me thinking...every time you order Chinese food it comes drenched in a sauce. Beef and broccoli is slick with a brown glaze. Sweet and sour chicken has a tangy sweet sauce coating. Shanghai eggplant comes with a sweet and smokey hoisen style sauce. I never thought about it before, but the sauce is what makes it good. Duh.

All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

If I made a proper stir fry sauce and added it to my vegetables at the end, I would have a delicious satisfying meal; one plain soy sauce just can't touch. I jumped in, and I'm so glad I did. Guys, this sauce is amazing. It's basic and would go with any Chinese vegetable stir fry combination you can think of. Add chicken or beef if you want and it'll be amazing. This is a basic brown garlic sauce with a hint of ginger. Thick and delicious, it coats all stir fried vegetables just so. It isn't too heavy nor too thin. It's right on the money.

Some vegetables and protein to consider using in any combination with this sauce are:

sliced bok choy
snow peas
Shiitake mushrooms
bamboo shoots
water chesnuts
baby corn

Who's ready for some good Chinese food at home?

All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce

All Purpose Brown Garlic Stir Fry Sauce
adapted from Chinese Cooking For Dummies By Martin Yan
makes enough for 2 woks full of vegetables, serves 8

*note: This is a larger batch recipe. You can half the recipe to serve 4. That's what I did.

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup rice wine (mirin)
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger (I used a scant tablespoon)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water (for cornstarch)

In a bowl, combine soy sauce, broth, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil, 1/3 cup water and white pepper. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup water. 

Heat a pan over medium-high heat; add the cooking oil, swirling to coat; add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 minute. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens. 

Set sauce aside at room temperature until ready to use. Add the sauce to your cooked vegetables and allow to heat through. Serve immediately.

The key for stir fry: Cook vegetables in a hot wok (or skillet) in a bit of oil. The key is to have the skillet hot and to keep stirring and flipping the vegetables around so they don't burn. Cook the heartier vegetables first, such as broccoli and carrots and add the rest in stages based on how long they'll take to cook (if using meat, cook that first, then add the broccoli and carrots). I'll add a few tablespoons of chicken stock to the skillet with the vegetables every now and then to help cook them further with the help of the steam. Cooking all the vegetables shouldn't take longer than 5-7 minutes, start to finish.

Add stir fry sauce when vegetables have finished cooking and allow to just heat through. Serve immediately over rice.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Balsamic-Lime Bean and Veggie Stew

Balsamic-Lime Bean and veggie stew

I am slowly emerging from my newborn baby centered world back into real life. Some days I am already there and others I struggle for any kind of normalcy. Had one of those two days ago. They are the worst! Making dinner has been a central part of feeling normal for me. Every day the kids get off the bus at 4pm and I sit with my Jeremiah and help him do his first grade homework. I like this, mostly because I can understand first grade math. I listen to him read me a book about what sort of jobs dogs can have or something like that and then we do a math sheet. Isabella never needs homework help. I like that since I mostly DO NOT understand sixth grade math -wipe that there smirk off yer face- After, I set the baby down, tidy up the kitchen and start my dinner prep. Its methodical and calming most nights provided I'm not rushed. I hate being rushed. Red wine helps too. I've decided I'm cool with a glass of red wine most nights, considering I usually only have more than that if people are over. Oh, and we're having  people over again! Slowly, but surely. Real life has made it's re-entrance and It's sweet. I even got a little 10 min hot tub "date" with Jeremy a few nights ago. Ten minutes is about all my hubby can last in a pool of hot water. His stomach starts to hurt. He's weird. I've gotten used to it.

Along with real life, I've been enjoying comforting, simple pleasures. I'm starting to care about what I'm putting into my body again. Not that I ever stop caring, but you know...

Balsamic Beans is what my sister-in-law calls this dish. Actually, I think Isabella dubbed it that, but since the lime is so prevalent, I changed the name. Also, there's a fair share of vegetables up in this pot, so I couldn't let beans get all the glory. This is a goulash of sorts, but stew sounds tastier so lets go with that, hmmm? It's simple, satisfying, and versatile since you can throw most any vegetables you have on hand into this thing. My favorite combination is the red or yellow bell peppers, roasted sweet potatoes and spinach so that's what I'm sharing. I've had it with carrots and no spinach, and one time she forgot the sweet potatoes and it was still awesome. Although, the sweet potatoes are a must in my book. Don't ask why. I just love them here. This dish definitely fits the bill for my simple but comforting meals lately.

See? I'm paying more attention! I'm actually eating breakfast this morning within an hour of rising! And look at how balanced it is! Ezekiel sprouted english muffins with avocado, garlic flakes and sea salt on one side, and coconut oil and raw honey on the other. Minerals and good fats galore. Black tea with a smidge of raw milk and strawberries. I ate more than three. Bonus points. Oh, and I also had a green juice FOR THE WIN!


This stew is more saucy than it looks in these pictures since you don't drain the beans before adding them. The juice from the cans thickens everything up and carries the flavors over to the other vegetables. We eat these with sweet potato chips, but beanito's (black bean chips) work too. We mostly eat eat bite with chips, like a chips and dip, but obviously you can eat it with a spoon too.

Balsamic Bean and Veggie Stew

Balsamic-Lime Beans and Veggie Stew
serves 4

1 medium sweet potato, not peeled and cubed into bite sized pieces
2 cans black beans (or any beans for that matter) undrained
1 can of kidney beans, undrained
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 5oz. container of baby spinach
olive oil
Sea Salt
1 teaspoon dried garlic flakes (spice aisle- or substitute with 3 cloves fresh garlic and sauté with the vegetables)
2-4 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar (the quality you use makes a difference in taste)
1 lime, cut in half
sweet potato chips, beanitos or corn chips, for serving

Preheat your oven to 375.

Toss sweet potato chunks in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.

In a large soup pot, saute the bell peppers until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beans with all their juice and spinach and wait for it to wilt down (it will all but disappear!) about 5 more minutes. Add the garlic flakes and salt (you need quite a bit of salt. Start with a teaspoon and go from there). Add the roasted sweet potato into the pot, then add the balsamic vinegar. I use close to four tablespoons of vinegar, you may need less or more depending on the quality. Just taste and add more if desired. Simmer everything together for 5 minutes, stirring. Taste for salt and add more if need. Add half on the lime juice to the pot and stir. Serve in shallow bowls with the chips for dipping, and more lime on the side for squeezing. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

London Fog Tea

London Fog Tea

I seem to only be managing one post a week here lately. I was feeling like a slacker until I had a pep talk with myself. I wondered why it's been so hard to get new material on here when I love writing and cooking and blogging. Blogging is my number two hobby (behind cooking). It's my 'me' time.  So why then, for the love, has it been so hard? I mean, it's not like I have a newborn BABY or anything. It's not like I haven't slept through the night in three months, or been able to actually put the baby down in a crib for naps. It's not like I hold her 75% of my life or anything. It's not like she just got vaccinations yesterday or anything...or that choosing to get those vaccinations kept me up even more at night because I actually read about side effects and educate myself about links to autism and Guillian Barre Syndrome and Intussusception. It's not like I don't freak myself out that they want to put all that aluminum into her little body with each injection, even if it does happen to protect her from also dying of pertussis. It's not like I've been trying to sleep-train the baby or get her on a schedule or anything. It's also not like I have three other little kids who need me, or the sweetest little handicapped daughter who has decided she will no longer nap, but instead has made it her mission in life to yell and wake her baby sister ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY. It's not like the family actually depends on me to make dinner at night or keep the laundry going. It's not like Eleanor just had a two-day hospital stay, or that the day we got home I had to take the damn dog to the vet for an ear infection. Nope. Not here, ya'll. I wonder why it's been so dang HARD?

London Fog Tea

Namaste. I wish I did yoga. I think it would help relax me.

Don't ask me why after revealing my recent time-suck "hardships" I thought to say "the divine light in me recognizes the divine light in you"---because if you didn't already know, that's totally what namaste means.

I've been reading a lot of Glennon's stuff while I hold the baby. It's been good. That's her book on the arm of the chair. The pretty rainbow one. The other stuff is Baby Whisperer, vaccine info, and Brene Browns book "Daring Greatly" because a girl needs a little variety.

London Fog Tea

I've also been drinking lots of black tea with raw honey and raw milk and a smidge of vanilla because, well, why wouldn't I? No one needs yoga with that stuff around.

London Fog Tea
adapted from From Scratch, by Shaye Elliott

1 Earl Grey or Black English Breakfast Tea Bag
1 teaspoon raw honey or maple syrup (sometimes I use a little less)
4 tablespoons raw milk, or unsweetened nut milk (or more if desired)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
boiling water

Place tea bag, honey, milk, and vanilla extract in the bottom of a mug. Pour hot water over. Stir, and wait a few minutes for the tea to brew into a delicious sweet tea nectar.