10-minute Chocolate Macadamia Coconut Brownie Balls

As I was putting my baby to sleep, I started craving chocolate brownies. But I wasn’t in the mood to bake anything or spend more than 10 minutes standing, really. So as soon as I slipped downstairs, I opened my pantry, poured some ingredients I had handy into my mini food processor, balled it up, and voila!

Chocolate Macadamia Coconut Brownie Balls



Put all of the ingredients except the coconut into your food processor and pulse until creamy but not too smooth, so the are nuts still visible, crunchy when you eat the balls. Spoon out and roll in a little bowl with the coconut. I made 10 small balls.

Again, if you know me, you know I don’t really measure as I make so repeat at your own risk. But I don’t know how you can mess these up. Add more if you want to make more. You can make them all raw or vegan with maple syrup or coconut palm sugar if you’d like, but I just used what I had. I know my girls will love these and I won’t feel bad at all giving them one in the morning. Protein, right?

What’s your favorite fast chocolate recipe?

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Burlington Coat Factory employees harassed breastfeeding mom and child in Colorado

Burlington Coat Factory employees harassed a breastfeeding mom and child in Littleton, Colorado. This is Aislynn Major’s story, which she shared on a breastfeeding support group on Facebook.

What’s the law?

Colorado Rev. Stat. § 25-6-301 and § 25-6-302 (2004) recognize the benefits of breastfeeding and encourage mothers to breastfeed.  The law also allows a mother to breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.  (SB 88)

Send Burlington a message to let them know, respectfully, that their employees broke the law, an apology is necessary, and training needs to happen. Yelling at a mother for feeding her baby, following the law, is unacceptable.

Offending location:
8055 W Bowles Ave #1A, Littleton, CO 80123
Call (303) 948-6330

Tweet @Burlington
Write on their Facebook page wall
Call 888-223-2628, press 2
Message corporate on their website

If you’re local, please attend the nurse-in scheduled in Littleton, Monday October 13th at 4:30. Join the Facebook event page for more details.

Have you ever breastfed while shopping? How about in a Burlingtons? How should they respond?

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Breastfeeding accommodations for Memphis moms on jury duty found unacceptable

Memphis, Tennessee: The Shelby County Jury Commission Room offered breastfeeding moms this bathroom, a tiny stall with a toilet with no lid, nothing at all for them to set their things down on or sit on. A breastfeeding mother who went there for jury duty snapped these photos and they went viral.

[Screen shot from WMC Action News]

Shelby County government spokesperson Steve Shular was interviewed saying that they didn’t realize their chosen location, this bathroom, was not up to par until they were called out on social media. Shular said they’d have that changed by Monday.

What’s the law?

Tenn. Code Ann. § 68-58-101 et seq. (2006, 2011) permits a mother to breastfeed in any location, public or private, that the mother is authorized to be, and prohibits local governments from criminalizing or restricting breastfeeding.  Specifies that the act of breastfeeding shall not be considered public indecency as defined by § 39-13-511; or nudity, obscene, or sexual conduct as defined in § 39-17-901.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-1-305 (1999) requires employers to provide daily unpaid break time for a mother to express breast milk for her infant child. Employers are also required to make a reasonable effort to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the workplace for this activity. (1999 Tenn. Law, Chap. 161; SB 1856)

My thoughts

Time and time again, I am shocked that people actually think a bathroom is the proper place for a mother to pump or feed her baby. I am saddened to hear it took a little public backlash for them to realize their error. They are a place that should know the laws. One five-second Google search produces the laws on what is and is not an acceptable place for a breastfeeding mother to pump. And call me grumpy, I’m not sure why it’d take a half a week or more to move those laughable printed and taped up paper signs to the new place, a former break lounge, so mothers can breastfeed or pump while not sitting on a toilet, but I’m glad they’re moving in the right direction now.

If you would like to contact someone to let them know how their turn-around makes you feel, contact Clyde Carson, Jury Coordinator. Office phone: (901) 222-1650, 157 Poplar Avenue, Rm. 136, Memphis, TN  38103.

Keep everyone honest, ladies. If something doesn’t seem right, it’s probably not. Breastfeed and pump with pride. Don’t settle for breastfeeding or pumping on a toilet!

Have you ever pumped while on jury duty? What would you do if you saw these accommodations as a place to feed or pump for your child?

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Happy 8 Months, Quint!

Happy 8 months, Quint!

What can I say about my little ham this month? Quint now weights 20 pounds now and is 28 inches tall. He’s still healthy and happy as a clam, though he did have his first real snotty nose that he picked up from some other boogery kid who stuck their fingers in his mouth and eyes and all of that. MMmm swapping germs! He recovered just fine though and I hope the snot doesn’t return until next year. One can hope, right?

He spends most of his time zooming around, crawling as fast as he can on his hands and feet. He has two speeds. Slow and super fast. He made it all the way across a room at the Bay Area Discovery Museum last week in less than 30 seconds. That’s just a guess of course. I didn’t time him. But he was nearly out the door! I’ve got to keep my eye on this boy. Thankfully, my two girls are all about letting me know what he’s up to and stopping him from climbing the stairs or hurting his fingers, etc. He still gets to do so much fun stuff though. He’s a pretty free-range baby. He gets to roam around mostly in just his diaper, or even no diaper depending on where we are, eat sand and dirt and inspect most of the things he finds without me taking it all away. (And no, I have not given up on cloth but it’s been mostly a compostable diaper or EC month.)

This last weekend I noticed that he listens to music, pauses to watch live musicians until they’re finished playing, and then when they’re finished, he crawls off. It’s like he’s in a little trance and I appreciate that he’s noticing music and taking it in.

And the chickens. He can watch them all day.

He’s also all about watching his sisters, trying to slobber on their food, covering them in his drool, and following them around. If they sit down to go potty, he rushes over and stands with them. They all stand at the window and look out in the morning. It’s adorable. He’s tried standing unassisted a couple times. He hasn’t gotten a tooth yet. He sits in high chairs at restaurant sometimes now, too. My big boy.

OH! And he’s now saying “Mama” and I’m tickled pink. My husband says he’s just mispronouncing “Papa.” Ha!

Here’s the video:

In the morning, he wakes up and comes over to drool on my face. I’m saying he gives me kisses. I can’t think of what else is going on with him this month but I’ll add more later when I think of it. Oh! And yes, of course he’s still breastfeeding. My adorable little milk vampire!

What was your little one up to at 8 months? What was their first word?

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Out & About with Kids: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival 2014

What a day! We went to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival today for a solid seven (!!!) hours today and it was a success! Since I’m comparing it to our trip last year, I’m happy to say we didn’t have any major meltdowns by my three kids under five or myself and we all had fun. (Yes, they each got upset about something at least once but it was smoothed over fairly quickly and no one lost their cool enough to make everyone ultra stressed. You know how that is, right?)

We lucked out and got another close parking spot, just three blocks from the Golden Gate entrance at 30th & Fulton. We walked strolled in just before 11am, much earlier than last year, in an attempt to see MC Hammer. We missed him, unfortunately, but we got to listen to a little Aquabats before heading over to another stage to listen to some bluegrass. In case you were wondering, I took our double stroller last year but this time I made the girls walk while I carried my hefty Quint in my Ergo. I was not pushing any extra weight. Sure, I felt like a pack mule hauling two bags of food and water and my 20 pound 8-month-old baby but I was nice not deal with the stroller, have to wait for a good shady spot that was big enough for me, my crew, AND my stroller, or have to skip the fun spots we hung out in this year because it wouldn’t have been stroller friendly.

We hung out under the trees in a hill for the last three hours or so and it was perfect. The girls climbed around, I did a little climbing as well and it felt wonderful to feel the bark under my feet. Quint slobbered on leaves and drooled on whatever he wanted to. The first few hours were spent with some friends and their two kiddos and my husband, since he took a few hours off work to hang out and listen to music with us. My favorite artist of the day was Sharon Van Etten.

Here are a few of our photos.

[With my eldest child, and sleep nursing my youngest for his nap.]

Breastfeeding in public in my carrier in front of the masses at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival today. There were so many babies, kids, people letting it all hang out, no one batted an eye at a mother nourishing her baby. Or my middle child a few times when she asked. My little hummingbird nursling.

[My kids getting some nature time in while listening to music.]

In case you were wondering, no, I didn’t EC Quint at this event because I didn’t want to have him pee or poop everywhere or on me today. So he’s wearing the compostable diapers we use when we’re out and about. The girls didn’t use our mini potty this year because I wasn’t carrying it around but they did pretty well in the porta potties. My middle child, a fresh three year old, held my leg while peeing and didn’t touch the walls or toilet. Whew. She only barely touched the floor once. It was a panic moment for me, as I draw the line at touching everything in bathrooms, especially the floors, but we washed her hands really well when we were finished. And my eldest does it all by herself. I felt really lucky!

I’m overdue for bedtime now so maybe I’ll write more later but all in all, I just love this festival and look forward to returning again next year. Only on Friday though. It is still going on all weekend but I don’t want to deal with the crowds. One day is enough.

Have you been to this festival? What are your tips to making an afternoon out enjoyable for everyone? Where did you NIP today?

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Out and About: Mount Diablo’s Travel Through Time Trail – this time with three kids!

We wrapped up September with a fantastic hike around the Wind Caves on the Travel Through Time trail on Mount Diablo today. It seems like yesterday that my girls were scrambling up these rocks and into these really neat little caves as little toddlers and babies. Now it was Quint’s turn to visit the caves and eat dirt there for the first time. Well, actually, he was there when he was in my belly about a month from his birthday but that doesn’t quite count. See, here he is in my belly (December 2013).

Don’t judge my hugely pregnant while camping in the middle of winter fashion, okay?

But I digress. Back to this afternoon. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. The weather was warm with a cool breeze. We had great company – a friend with two matching aged kids came along, and every single person in our group had a good time, decompressing and relaxing, exploring and appreciating nature. No one got hurt and no one covered me in poison oak. (That’s a real fear of mine!) I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

Getting to the Wind Caves is really easy. They’re about 200 feet from the parking lot (Rock City, parking lot marked for the Sentinel) up a slight incline, rocky, dirt trail. It’s not stroller friendly, at all, if you’re interested in doing it yourself with a little baby. Just wear your baby and you’re good to go. The real hike is getting to the Sentinel from the Wind Caves. It takes about 15 minutes with small children and I’d be sure to take walking children that know how to use their bodes to scoot, crawl, and climb. Otherwise, they need to be strapped to you in a carrier and you need to be confident in your skills as to not fall on them. A few parts are super easy, with carved steps like this section.

Here are my girls enjoying some of the caves on the walk to Sentinel Peak.

My eldest will be 5 in less than 2 months and my middle child is a freshly minted 3-year-old. My little Quint is 7 months old, standing in the photo below on the left and playing in the dirt and drooling on food scraps on the right. He’s turning 8 months old in just two days!
We stopped a couple times for water and food breaks, of course. What would an excursion be without a breastfeeding photo, right? Here I am, breastfeeding my son in the Ergo while at the top of Sentinel Peak, a look out point we climbed up.

[With my three kids on Sentinel Peak, Mt. Diablo. Thanks for the photo, Liz!]

I find it interesting when people judge mothers for when and where their children breastfeed, as if there are inappropriate places to meet their needs because they expect children to always eat at home or in a bathroom. In my family, my children have always nursed for nourishment and comfort when and where they need to.

But anyway, back to our day. The panoramic view from Sentinel Peak is beautiful. Getting up there may look daunting but there are steps carved into the sandstone and iron railings for safety while climbing to the top and back down.

On the way back, we slowed down and took a few more breaks. Here is my eldest perched on the top of a rock she climbed. Seeing her climbing, feeling confident in her body and her skills, reminds me of my childhood and how wonderful it felt to just explore and push limits. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could spend every day climbing around and enjoying nature like this?

What’s your favorite place to relax and unwind outside?

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Vegan Pumpkin Waffles with sweet pumpkin topping

It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? We bought a couple cans* of pumpkin and have already made a few pumpkin items over the last week. This was what we made this morning with less than a whole can.

Now, if you’re new to my page, you might not know that I hardly follow recipes or write down exactly what I put in my concoctions. So, really, this is just my eye ball recollection of what I put in my waffles this morning. If it doesn’t look right to you, add a little more of this or that, okay? But waffles are hard to mess up so don’t worry about it.

Vegan Pumpkin Waffles

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs baking powder (aluminum free)
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I use pink Himalayan sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup of water (add more if the batter isn’t thin enough)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour into your waffle maker. Pull out when they’re ready and top with whatever you’d like or maybe some more pumpkin! My simple pumpkin topping is just mixing some pumpkin puree with some maple syrup and spooning it on top of my waffles. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for Paleo version, this one looks pretty good. I personally, am trying to minimize my family’s animal product consumption these days so we’re avoiding the butter, milk, bacon that used to go with our waffles. We still eat some eggs from our backyard chickens but waffles don’t really require eggs.

*Be sure to buy organic pumpkin in BPA-free cans, though fresh or in glass is better because BPA-free doesn’t mean toxin free. Apparently, Trader Joe’s organic pumpkin is BPA-free as well.

What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?

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