tis the night before school starts…

Tis the night before school starts and all through the house, backpacks are ready and kids are tucked in.  Nestled with their covers pulled up to their chins.

All the supplies have been bought that cost a mere fortune, I’m just thankful I’m able to provide them for certain.  There are many who can’t and that makes me sad, sad that not all children will go to school in the morning feeling loved and so glad.

And as for me, there’s a wave of nostalgia tonight, just like all parents we want to be sure we are doing this right.  There is no handbook or lessons for life’s biggest job, simply guided by love, blind faith they call it, with help from above.

As they sleep all nestled in their beds, I remember the grades from years before, it seems like kindergarten was just at yesterday’s door.  You always hear it goes by so fast, until one day it is you wanting to make these times last.

Regret not, and remember “growing them up” is part of our job.  They are ours to love while we have them, so love them hard.





to juice or to blend…

(photo by google images)

To juice or to blend?  That is the question I was asking myself a few weeks ago.  After looking into several brands and different options on both, I chose the blending route and we have been enjoying fabulous fruit smoothies since!  What is best for you really depends on your goal, and this difference was as fuzzy as a peach before I looked into it.  I hope sharing what I learned can make this process simpler for you, whether you are interested in it or just reading for fun.

In a nutshell, pun intended, juicing takes a whole fruit or vegetable and separates the skins and pulp and leaves a concentrated juice.  It is great for detox type cleanses and yields pure and natural unsweetened juice.  Blending produces things like fruit smoothies by processing the whole fruit or vegetable.  In blending the skins are retained, so you’re able to consume more vitamins and minerals.   Juicing yields a smoother juice, and blending yields a thicker product but can be thinned to your liking with water or adding other juices in the process.  After looking into many different makers both on line and in stores, I chose the Ninja Professional 1500 and I have been one pleased customer.  While this post is not an advertisement for Ninja, I will elaborate that I like the options it provides of economical, powerful blending with your choice of a single serve portion, a full blender, and it has a totally separate food processor system- a lot of bang for the buck.


(photo above of my Ninja with it’s parts)

So enough about Ninja, and onto the fun stuff.  There are as many combinations as you’d like to make and it is fun picking our smoothie flavors.  I think our favorite household combination has been some sort of pineapple-banana-strawberry, but I feel like I am leaving out so many others.  We have made green smoothies with kiwi and mint…we have added cucumbers and kale and spinach and my kids even liked it.  Other days we have gone tropical with mango, and sitting on my counter right now is a whole coconut we are going to bust open to use the fresh coconut water and pulp in some smoothie combination.  True, I am a food dork with things like this coconut, but it is fun, different and great for kids to know a coconut doesn’t always come shredded out of a plastic package.  I always think fresh is best, but I can’t leave out the fact that a lot of people buy frozen, already cut fruit and whip up fresh great smoothies.  If that is your style, do what works for you.  We have made what I called “Blueberry Bucks” which uses Buck O’Hairen’s Legendary Sunshine, a ginger berry flavored energy drink made right here in Winston Salem.  I blended it with blueberries and banana, and the “Rising Sun” was another Sunshine energy smoothie with fresh oranges, pineapple and apple- both great day starters when I didn’t have time for coffee or breakfast!  Whatever flavor concoction you come up with, I have found it is easy to make smoothies when I have the fruit already prepared and sliced or cut for the easy use.  Then it is like you have a fruit buffet to easily make fun smoothies for snack, breakfast or anytime in between.

So, as I was researching fruits, smoothies and so forth I ran into some quotes about fruit that I just can’t end without sharing.  I hope you enjoy the fruits of my labor as you blend or juice away!

“Avoid fruits and nuts, after all you are what you eat.”  Garfield

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is not a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in your fruit salad.” Miles Kington

 “Women are like fruits.  Every one has its unique color, shape, aroma and taste.  The problem is with men.  They like fruit salad.”



swearin’ at the air…

I’ve got a bad case of this.  I’m not even sure the last time I had it so bad, and it’s driving me crazy.  I could pull my hair out every time I see one.  Drosophila, aka, fruit flies!

Summer time is here and the living is good, especially if you’re a fruit fly in my house.  It’s like they think I have set up a buffet for them.  “Should we take the summer tomatoes, peaches, or that banana today?” they are saying to each other.  I personally am hoping they will choose the pineapple I have left out in a saran covered glass dotted with holes, a ‘fly trap’.  Oh yes, I have tried many other remedies in the past week.  So if you’re thinking I should put vinegar in a glass overnight, check that off.  Sugar water?  Check.  Bottle of wine with an inch I grudgingly left in the bottom, well so far that has caught the most victims.

fruit fllies

How do they do it?  They seem to multiply right in front of my eyes.  If you are reading this laughing because you’re in the same fruit boat I am, google it and you will not feel so alone.  All throughout the house, probably even the neighborhood, you can hear me clapping.  I’m really not clapping, only attempting to slap the beasts between my hands and trying to body slam them against the window pane.  How can they do this to me?  I am one of those people who loves animals, and I do think everything has a purpose no matter how pesky it might be.  These little bugs have me swearing at the air.  So good luck to you and yours if you have them, and congratulations to anyone who doesn’t.  If you find the “cure all” please do everyone a favor and comment here!