Happy St. Patty’s…Celebrate With a Shamrock Shake!

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It’s been all about rainbows and the color GREEN these past few weeks in K’s toddler co op…

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mixing primary colors and making new ones,

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dot-painting rainbows with cotton balls and clothespins,

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making rainbows while zooming cars across the page,

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gluing rainbow beads on an arch,

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planting a rainbow in a large bin of beans,

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and reading GREEN, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

Today we’re going to celebrate St. Patty’s as we learn the story of the Leprechaun, decorate our green pots that we’ll be planting seeds in next week, painting more rainbows, finding gold coins and making (then enjoying) healthy green Shamrock Shakes!

K’s been enjoying her Shamrock Shakes since last year and she cannot wait to make them in our Vitamix with her friends in class tomorrow! Here’s last year’s post including the easy recipe to make these perfect St. Patty’s Day green drinks. Enjoy!

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Birth Days

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A lot has been going since K’s second birthday…our lives have been filled with starting a toddler group co op which I’ve been running since September, the exciting holidays spent with family and friends, welcoming K’s first baby cousin into the world, and now nesting for our second little one this July!

If I can sum up the last six months or so in a few words, I’d say…”Birth Days.”

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Toddler Group – Since last year at this time, a few mom friends of mine and I started talking about preschools. While it’s more than a fortune to send a little one to school or daycare out here in Santa Monica, our hope was to give our littles a preschool experience but with parent involvement and without the high cost. I did some research about how I could start a preschool once K turned two and just knew with the little time we had, it would be nearly impossible to find a space, get licensed, enroll and then open. But then I came across the idea of starting a cooperative (co-op) and learned that parents could get involved and share their time, resources and any costs into running the school.  I fell in love with the idea and after sharing this vision with others, a group of 8 moms who have littles around K’s age decided to join in and we birthed the toddler group co op the week after K turned two. It’s been the biggest blessing for our family. We’ve been able to watch K grow in so many ways along with her close group of friends, I’ve learned so much from the other moms and have been able to rely on their support, and I’ve had the opportunity to do what I love most (or second best to being a mom & wife)…teach and work with little ones!

Holidays – From Thanksgiving and Christmas to Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day, our holidays were full of fun and laughter, yet were a little bittersweet knowing that it would be our last holidays with K as our only child. We enjoyed some of our family traditions and birthed some new ones too!

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Making Thanksgiving Turkey Hats

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Making Almond Flour Christmas Cookies

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 Gingerbread House Decorating

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Enjoying a New Year’s Shabu Shabu Lunch With Family

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Making & Breaking a Valentine’s Day Piñata With Friends

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Making & Drinking Shamrock Shakes (tomorrow for St. Patty’s)

Baby Cousin’s Birthday – About a month ago, K’s first baby cousin was born into the world. “Donald Duck is born,” she told us (K referred to him as Donald for the past 6 months…and yes, that was around the time of her first Disney trip where she met the real Donald Duck). K anticipated Baby coming out for months and FINALLY he arrived. She was in awe of her cousin and could not help but giggle with joy every time she touched his head or his teeny tiny hands. And ever since then, she has told us that she has a special Baby Daisy Duck in her belly that will come out one day.

Anticipating One More Birth – Last September we found out we were expecting our second baby and Scott and I were beyond thrilled! Well, October and November rolled around and unlike my first pregnancy with K, I experienced what most moms go through…morning sickness. Ugh! I guess I had it really good the first time around because this morning sickness thing was no joke. From the moment I woke til the second I fell asleep at night, all I felt was nausea and everything I ate made me sick. Moving made me dizzy and the heat didn’t do me any good either. Thankfully it only lasted a few months and gratefully that was the worst of it. K definitely kept me positive and helped me get through it as she sang songs to Baby everyday, rubbed my rapidly growing belly and talked to Baby.

Last month we found out baby’s gender and K had the chance to watch Baby move during the ultrasound as she sang the “ABC’s” with her lips up to my belly. Excited to find out if she were going to have a sister or brother, she waited patiently, watching the screen. “You’re having a boy!” the doctor told us. K smiled and told us, “I’m having a brother!” The joy on her face emulated the room and all Scott and I could do was take it all in.

We couldn’t wait to share with our family so I decided I would whip something up in the kitchen to share the news. I tried a new recipe (Chocolate Pots De Creme by LA Fuji Mama) and they were a hit! I hid blueberries under the fresh whipped cream and then had the family top theirs with either a raspberry or blueberry with their guess. And to their surprise (apparently K tricked them and said she was having a sister a few hours before), they found blueberries in their dessert confirming she would be having a brother!

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I’m excited to be back blogging again…well, at least for the next few months until Baby Boy arrives. Hope to share some of our favorite co op art projects and activities, what’s been going on in our kitchen, all the new seedlings we’ve planted in the garden and some of our new go-to places here in Santa Monica!

Earthquake + St. Patrick’s Day = Shamrock Shake

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This St. Patrick’s Day brought us a top o’ the mornin’ to ya with a 4.4 earthquake around 6:30am. Not so much luck ‘o the Irish here in L.A. I guess. Thankfully, I don’t think baby K felt much of a quake with her bouncing up and down in her crib waiting for us to come and get her. I’m glad I didn’t have to come up with a giant leprechauns were bouncing on the rooftops searching for the pot o’ gold story and hope that she would buy it. 

Shaken up from this morning, we decided to take it easy today.
We went for a stroll and playtime at Tongva Park

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read a stack of K’s favorite picture books…

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and I made some golumpki’s (Polish stuffed cabbage rolls) as K took a long afternoon nap.

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When she woke up, I thought we surprise my husband with an afternoon treat once he came home from work.

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Every St. Patrick’s Day over the last several years, he pays his once-a-year visit to Mc Donald’s for a Shamrock Shake, a minty green milkshake topped with whipped cream and a cherry. I’ve never been fond of them…I’ve taken a sip or two and really hoped I would like ’em but didn’t. And now after reading about what they’re made of (tons of sugar, additives, etc.), I’m so glad I hadn’t! So this year, I thought I would end this tradition and researched how I could make my own version of a Shamrock Shake. Surprisingly (and thankfully) there were many copy-cat versions out there. I was able to mix and match ingredients in recipes and come up with my own. And this is one I’ll be using on days in addition to March 17th because it not only tastes better than what Mc Donald’s has to offer but it’s a healthy refreshing treat my whole family (including me) loves!

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Homemade Shamrock Shake

This recipe takes about 3 minutes and makes 2 1/2 servings (perfect for two parents and a tot!).

What You Need:
Ingredients (listed below)
blender
a few cups & straws

Ingredients:
1 medium sized ripe organic avocado
1 large ripe organic banana
1 1/2 C raw milk (or any desired milk)
3 heaping teaspoons of raw honey
1 tsp pure peppermint extract
1 C ice
1 handful of spinach or dark leafy green (optional for coloring)

Directions:
1. Place ingredients in a blender (ice on top) and blend until combined and smooth.
2. Pour into cups and enjoy with a straw. Top with homemade whipped cream and a real cherry if you’d like!