Thursday Tangents.

Hello, hello!!  It’s sunny and freezing cold here, and I’m enjoying an early lunch at my desk while the kids are at school.  Today is a work day and yesterday was a run around and get things done day.  And I literally RAN AROUND – ran a very cold 3 miles around our frozen lake.

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It was my first time running outside in a few months (!), and it actually felt really great.  I had no idea if all my sprints and inclines on the treadmills at Orangetheory would actually make a difference in my outdoor running, but so far so good!  It also felt amazing to be back to running outside, and it got me really excited for spring running!

Like the rest of you, we are very much in “January mode” in our house.  Our big task for this month (and coming year) is a major budget overhaul. Not that we were frivolous spenders before, but we are looking to be very mindful of our spending each and every day going forward. It is so easy to grab things that are just a few dollars here and there, and it all adds up so quickly!

We went through all our bank and credit card statements and unsubscribed from all the things we didn’t need or weren’t using – it felt good to clean house. And another area where we are really trying to cut back our spending – FOOD!  The goal is to eat only home-cooked meals all month, and to cut out excess spending on takeout and restaurant meals.

I’m also trying to be more mindful at the grocery store, of both what we are buying and focusing on sale items and good deals.  I’m trying to buy less and use up what we have – I feel like (especially with kids!) food is wasted way too easily.  Here is a bit of what we’ve been cooking recently!

Last week I had some potatoes and carrots I wanted to use up, so I made homemade veggie burgers and fries.  It was a loose spin on my black bean burger recipe, and was a hit with the whole family.  The kids went nuts for the fries (which were simply potatoes cut into fry shapes and roasted).

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I also made a version of my favorite enchilada bake, but this time with tons of yummy maitake mushrooms, baby kale, and roasted sweet corn.  We have been eating this for several days!  The maitakes and kale were a great deal at Costco (which I’m trying to go to more often for things like produce because of better prices!).

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I think I told you guys that I got a new crockpot for Christmas – my first one!  I’ve been experimenting with various soups and stews during this chilly winter season.  I threw together this homemade lentil and rice stew that we made with warm mini naan breads (with butter).  SO tasty!

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Last night we had three rotting bananas hanging out, so banana bread was a MUST.  We used the blueberry banana bread recipe but swapped in some fresh raspberries that were also on their last leg.  Also didn’t have any Greek yogurt so we subbed in applesauce, and it turned out delish!

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And now that Christmas break is over I’m back to packing lunches, which means I need a good variety of options so the kids don’t get bored!  Love the guacamole cups from Costco – such an easy thing to grab and pack!  My kids also loved chopped up Field Roast, which is a nice way to get some veggie protein in mid-day. Btw, all pictures are from my Daily Garnish Instagram account <—a separate Instagram feed for all our family food photos.  Follow along if you aren’t already!

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Outside of cooking we’ve just been hibernating at home a lot.  I’ve been taking advantage of finally having slightly older kids who (gasp) actually go off and play together for extended period of time.  It’s amazing and sort of mind blowing.  The other day the kids were playing really well together and I decided to curl up on the couch in a sunny spot and crack open this book I borrowed from my friend, Lacey.

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I ended up reading the ENTIRE thing!  It was the best book I’ve read in a long time, and obviously I love that it’s written by a fellow blogger, and about opening a restaurant here in Seattle.  So much of their adventures in opening Delancey reminded me of what it’s been like for me and Casey to start our business.  Such a good read!

Speaking of business things, an update in the kombucha world – we are MOVING!  We have reached capacity at our current brewing space, which is really exciting.  So we are moving to a new production facility right across the bridge in Ballard, and we will have a big new space with much bigger capacity, an on-site office, and tons of storage (which we desperately need!).  So that is a big thing and a ton of work, but also really exciting.

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Our home delivery business is growing really well, and we have three employees now (in addition to the two of us).  It’s so much hard work but it’s also really fun to do it together, and it never gets old seeing it on shelves around the city.

Last but not least – big plans for the weekend include moving the boys back into the same room.  We put them in bunk beds over the summer, but then had to move them apart when Cullen stopped napping and their sleep schedules were too off (read:  Graham never sleeps, and Cullen needs a lot of sleep).  But now it sort of feels like no one is sleeping (or at least sleeping in strange places), and I know Graham will be happier sharing a room with someone (and it’s not going to be ME!).

A few recent places I have found the kids sleeping when I’ve gone to bed – Cullen, wrapped up like a body bag on his floor…

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And Graham, passed out next to a stack of books in our bed (this is the case almost every night).

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So that should be a fun project for this weekend, and then I can finally show you guys pictures of their adorable room once it’s all set up again.

That’s all for today – hope your week is going well!