vegetable soup

It’s been cozy here. Meaning chilly and feeling like winter is around the corner. Plus, our house has been fighting sickness which means no school. Boo. So what could be better than a hot bowl of soup?! Am I right?!

This would be great with meat thrown in for added protein. :) Just a super simple recipe with simple ingredients.

Vegetable Soup

5 potatoes

2 large carrots

2 yellow onions

1 can of diced tomatoes in water

6C beef broth (guessing with the amount, you can choose depending on your love for broth)

16oz peas

Instructions: Mix together cut veggies and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours. Just remember to have all the vegetables cut the same size.

 

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I actually made these with the hope that the girls will wake up in the morning, eat these and will watch Netflix together giving me an extra 30 min-1hr extra so I can ‘sleep in’ to 7:30am. I wonder how ridiculous that hope is…we’ll see.

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This is another recipe that I thought I could make in advance, girls would like it and I could make it as healthy as I want. Perfect. Turns out I didn’t have any bananas so I just winged my own recipe, making up the measurements as I went. And surprisingly they turned out great. Not dense, a bit more cake like and not too sweet which is nice.

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I was lazy and just wrote down the measurements and took a picture. :)

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10325509_10152511235252379_5709341501811487799_nEating food has become super stressful for me. Or at least I’ve allowed it to become that. I have so many friends that swear by their special food plans. Paleo, no carb, eating clean, raw diet, lactose free, corn free, sugar free, nut free and countless others. Plus I’m nursing, so my food has to include certain elements to  maintain and boost my milk supply. Sigh. It’s not the eating plans themselves that stress me out but the ‘you have to eat this way or you’re killing your body’ mentality. They can’t ALL be right. Right? So I talked with Jesus to see what my answer should be. Because it’s mainly just His advice that matters. And in the end I came to the conclusion that we all have different bodies that can’t handle different things. Yes, be smart in eating. Not a lot of sugars (have them come mostly from fruit), I’m nursing so whole grains are OK. Milk in moderation. And no processed foods. But the main breakthrough was the fear factor. So many plans use fear as they give you information. And I, personally, was allowing that fear to take root. So after dealing and uprooting those things, I chose rethink what we eat.

And it’s not a huge change. We eat mostly clean with a sweet treat to end the day with. However, breakfasts have been mostly sweet carbs. Cereal, pancakes or toast. See, we have only 20 minutes max for us to eat in the mornings. Couple that with two super slow eaters and a time consuming healthy breakfast is way out the window. I went to Pinterest and saw many great ideas. This being the first: Fritatas. I made it a couple days ago and all I have to do is heat it up! We’ve been eating it for breakfast or lunch for days and it’s great. It allows me to have something healthy for myself and eventually for the girls that’s fast for school mornings. That’s the kill zone I was aiming for. Plus it’s made breakfast different, and different is good.

This fritata in particular is a ham and cheese, along with bell peppers, red onion and fresh basil. It turned out so great!!! Travis and I loved LOVED it however the girls wouldn’t eat it because so much of it was green- a mindset we’re fighting these days. At least they tried it. Baby steps. But I’m happy to make a broccoli and ham/cheese which the girls should be able to choke down. :/

I didn’t follow any recipe but threw it together so this recipe will be totally based off me guessing the amounts. So if you like more cheese, no milk or whatever-please feel free to tweak it to your liking, it’s a forgiving recipe.

Ham & Cheese Fritatas

8 eggs

1 small package of pre-shredded cheese (or about 1C. I used mozzarella cause that’s just what I had)

1 med. red bell pepper

1 med. green pepper

1 small red onion (I used it for color but a yellow would work great too. Adds the sweetness)

2-3 cloves of garlic ( I actually used garlic powder but real cloves would be way better)

dash of pepper and salt

1/3 C milk

Handful of fresh basil leaves cut julienne style

Ham ( I used ham sliced by our ‘behind the meat counter person’ and used 4-5 slices. Cut julienne style)

Greased pan ( I used coconut oil but Olive oil would work great too)

Instructions: Stir fry onion and garlic until soft. Cut meat and vegetables to similar sizes. Put onion and garlic in large bowl and mix all ingredients together. Poor mixture in greased pan. Cook at 155’C for about 20-30 min or until top is cooked and slightly browned. Hope you enjoy this! It’s fast, crazy easy and healthy. Perfect! 

 

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I have a confession to tell you, reader. It’s a silly lighthearted confession but still, it’s important none the less. OK…here it goes…

 

 

I’m a goop fan.

 

 

As in Gweneth Paltrow’s goop. I sorta have a fan crush on her. Well, one of a handful. If you’ve never heard of it google it. They have different subjects they write articles on. Crazy healthy recipes, pretty girly, crazy expensive items you could buy, crazy ideas of things to do in large cities, etc. You get the picture. But it’s mostly just fun reading. Looking at things I would never ever spend that much money on. Look at her creative recipes and wow, the pictures are amazing. And pretty.

 

So that’s it. Goop. Look it up and judge how ridiculous I am. :)

1932448_10152468040422379_7605824272549885818_nRight now he’s my little man. He’ll grow up much too fast and soon will be running around exploring the world. Right now, I’m happy to be snuggling with him, listening to him snort and taking embarrassing pictures. :)

Being an American here in Krakow my craving for an American pie was, I thought, cruel and pointless. However, I soon found out (thank you Google) that there was a cafe that had just opened specializing in American pies! What?! And just in time for my birthday!!! I must start off by admitting I’m a picky dessert eater. No chocolate, no candy bars, Not a big fan of cheesecake, no cake, no cupcakes or cake pops. No poppy seed (popular here), no chewy dried fruit that will get stuck in my teeth, no candy, no ice cream and no frosting. Please. I know, pretty crazy. But before you freak out I must convince you I do actually have a sweet tooth. I love pies! And lemon things, doughnuts, fruit cobblers/crisps, caramel, peanut butter things, pumpkin anything and milkshakes. See…sheesh.

And looking at Massolit’s Facebook page made me very excited to visit. Beautiful pictures with huge windows and a hip trendy vibe. I talked with the owner who sounded like he might be American. Super nice. Thankfully they also serve HOMEMADE bagels, incredible quiches, cakes and soup. Seriously, look at their Facebook page because they have better pictures than the one below. I’ll update it when I go again. :)

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When we went, they didn’t have a cherry pie made. My favorite- bummer. But they did have strawberry rhubarb. Yeah- aaaamazing. So we ordered a whole cherry pie for my birthday dessert and each of us had a slice of the rhubarb warmed up. (above picture) It wasn’t too sweet or tart. Just the way I Iove it. I will say though that once we got the cherry pie, it was incredibly sweet. As in too sweet for me to eat. I had a couple slices but probably won’t order it again. I am however excited to try out their pumpkin. (remember, all handmade without canned cherry filling or canned pumpkin. All pitted by hand or roasted in their ovens)

I will also say that I tried their broccoli quiche and it blew my socks off. Down to the crust. Oh man. So yeah, go and try them out. You’ll be happy you did. (below is their apple)

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1471168_10152176043122379_2261805520531282423_nEurope has better coffee than you. We just do. Neener neener.

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Living in a foreign country has it’s perks and it’s negative aspects. Going into a hospital and not understanding what they’re saying to you about your newborn is scary for sure. I promise. But I’ve found that a survival skill is being able to smile and be flexible in the midst of those circumstances. I had a friend who moved to Russia a few months before we moved to Krakow, and she quickly became aware of how vital a positive attitude is.

I know I take myself too seriously and analyze what I said, how I said it and how should I have said it better. Just frustrating myself more and more. Can you relate? So based on her wise advice, I’ve learned to laugh at myself. Laughing and how I totally screwed up that sentence or how I mixed Polish and German together. Whoops. Having my 6yr old laugh and correct my pronunciation. Awesome.

OK, it’s not awesome all the time and can be quite annoying actually. But it’s a learning curve. And all in all, an adventure. And that’s what we signed up for. That’ what we, as people, are drawn to. I’m reminded of the Lord of the Rings. Just pick a character and you’ll see the transformation from the beginning of the story to the end. (my favorite is Sam- the hero of the movie!) We love character development in our shows, movies and if we’re honest, in ourselves. I just don’t think we like to experience it. And yes, it’s hard. But that’s the point. To overcome and grow in the midst of troubles and the unknown.

So far it’s not that dramatic or epic, lol, but we have had a couple experiences where we feel lost, overwhelmed and confused at the way things work here. I’ve had moments where I wish I could be back in Seattle at my moms house looking at her Christmas lights or snuggling with my daddy and feeling how warm he is. But fortunately those feelings come and go. Moments of overcoming comes. Being able to order a meal all in their language, going to the grocery store and finding a familiar product or having a random old person ask you a question and being able to reply and have them understand you. That’s winning. And that’s when I write them down and tell myself that I have a whole lot more winning in my future.

Life is an Adventure. And I’m glad I’m not coasting through it.

We had some friends who were in Paris and we made our way to see them- thanks to some savings we already had. :)

10525365_10152308710527379_7711768110099006847_nWe made a family trip to Disneyland Paris. So great and special seeing the park through their eyes. But not as much fun being 8 months pregnant at Disneyland. No rides, frequent stops to sit and do nothing and oh the stares… but I would do it again in a heartbeat. They had a blast and it made me so happy just watching them.

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Sleeping Beauty’s castle. I liked how interactive it was inside. Even with a dragon in the dungeon!

10552564_10152308709032379_800711848112366570_nAh yes. Cinderella’s carriage. We weren’t able to see any princesses during the day (they were booked for the entire day by 9am!) but thankfully we had made reservations for a special princess dinner with the princesses. And Cinderella was the main attraction. They even did a little dancing! Thank you Eric, for the dress. She got random compliments from strangers amazed at how beautiful her dress was. :)
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(I liked Emma’s dress better than Cinderella. But that’s just me)

10580908_10152308706917379_2259175122995539409_oWe were there for a long weekend so made our way to some famous places. :)

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This post has been rolling in my head for a couple months now and I’m finally writing it. I admit I’m nervous because it touches on a sensitive subject and I’m nervous of the response, which probably won’t be anything, but I have to write this in the hope that it might make some rethink or question how they’re speaking. Just in case you aren’t aware of our living situation- we live in Poland. And love it. Many people have asked us if we’re going to go through the process of changing citizenship and the solid answer is always no. As much as we love it here and the Polish people, we’ll always be Americans. It’s who we are, where we were brought up and where God placed us for a reason- plus we just love America too. Here comes the rub. Being an ocean away, we have relied on Facebook to keep us connected with those we love back in the USA. And, to speak frankly it is so maddening to hear people speak so disrespectfully of the leaders of our country. And now I have to read people hate on the law enforcement?! Are you kidding me?! Are they just some form of subhuman where we teach our children to respect adults in general…just not our leaders or those who swear to protect us? I must clarify that I am a Christian who believes in praying for our leaders. Why?  Because I believe God ultimately is in charge of polls and allows certain people to be in leadership. Now I could go the route of, if we are bashing and stabbing our leaders with our words what does that mean about our trust level with God…He doesn’t ask us but commands us to pray and lift up our leaders. Instead I’m going to go personal about how my and your voice impacts those younger than us. I’ve had to answer countless questions from my daughter because she’s heard people being hateful towards the police, the president, and/or others in leadership. Guys, it starts in the home, when our children learn to either respect and pray for those in leadership-regardless if we agree with their choices- or disrespect and hate on those elected into positions. There comes a time, hopefully, when we ask ourselves, ‘what kind of example are we giving our children/grandchildren by how we talk about those around us?’ Including the grocery attendant, the slow person in the Starbucks line ordering 100 drinks, our President, their school teacher or your neighbor. I don’t pretend to know or have all the answers but I beg of you to please take a moment and reevaluate the links you are posting or status’s your writing. I know there will be some who will just say to ‘unfriend’ them, but you know what? I know that a person is more than the posts they write or the links they share. It’s a relationship I am choosing not to let go of- a friend who I’m choosing to still be friends with. This is simply my response to those posts. What are you showing those children who are in your lives (or friends kids) and hear what you say about those in politics, civil leadership or about the law enforcement? Yes, it’s an opportunity to teach them but please don’t complain/post mean links and then be shocked at how the younger generation is reacting to those in leadership. How can we make it better, not just complain with the decisions we disagree with? Be proactive, not reactive.   OK, done with my rant and rave. Thanks.