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April 30, 2012


I hear ya on the preschool front. I just realized Sabrina has 8 more classes. That is just not enough. Summer, you are coming too fast.

$55 for a month of hour long swim lessons? How do I get in on that action? Everything I've found is over $100 for 8 half hour sessions. You found the mother lode.

I, too, am confounded by the smoothie business. I wouldn't mind having a fancy blender (have you seen those Vitamix demos at Costco?) if someone else gave it to me, but I don't foresee that happening anytime soon. This one I do have has an attitude and doesn't seem to want to blend anything unless I force it into submission. The idea of kale chunks in a smoothie makes me queasy. Maybe I should just take my occasional smoothie cravings to Smoothie King and be done with it.

But it would be nice to have a machine that could produce the perfect frozen margarita.

Have you read The Giver? That might fit the bill.

GREAT post! we are getting out of preschool for the summer too and have a different theme week (i.e. wild animals week with lion king as the zoo, make bear masks and go to the zoo). kinda works but lots of park time too.

blenders totally suck.

i didnt sentence check and meant "with lion king as the MOVIE and then going to the zoo". i forgot to type like half the sentence. thats normal.

Two thoughts on item #6:

1. I have a blender, it's a pain in the ass to clean and the little plastic bit on the bottom of the jug keeps cracking. I vote no on blenders. I'm throwing mine out when it starts leaking (very soon).
However! I vote yes on hand blenders! Like the stick with a cuppy thing on the bottom. The thing is you have to buy a really expensive strong regular blender to actually have it be able to blend up a bunch of stuff. Usually the bottom stuff is instantly blended and the top stuff is just sitting there completely intact not blending at all. Then you get temped to take the lid off and shove a spoon down into twirling blades and yeah, it's just bad design.
Hand/wand blenders are more work, but you KNOW what it being blended and not. Plus, they take up no space and are easier to clean.

2. Kale smoothies sound vile. Those people are fooling themselves. Kale is a savory food only good baked into chips with cheesy/nacho dustings or sauteed with salt and garlic. Kale smoothie, my ass.

You are going to think I am insane but I actually do make kale and spinach smoothies for my kids a few times a week (not all the time) and they love them. I do it because they refuse to eat green things in any other form (or, at least the 2.5 year old does, the baby is a vaccum cleaner who will eat anything). I got the blender back when we were Dual Income No Kids, it is really just a basic Black & Decker that cost about $100 but I totally lucked out because it is super easy to clean and very reliable. I got my original smoothie recipe for the kale smoothie from Real Simple here. Then I started branching out and adding berries and flax seed and yogurt, and now I make pretty decent smoothies most of the time. It all started because we joined a co-op where we got way too much kale.

That thing removed my link to the smoothie: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/kale-apple-smoothie-00000000050666/index.html

I want a good blender for my birthday. I have a blender that I got as a wedding present and the thing doesn't really blend, so I might as well not have a blender. I am actually considering getting Matt to see if his work sells them so that I could have an industrial strength blender at employee pricing. And then I shall freeze all the peaches and the strawberries and it shall be a glorious land of winter smoothies and popsicles.

At one point, I took address labels to doctor visits because at least I didn't have to write my address six times on the form.

For the summer, I try to plan a lot of indoor playdates. Air conditioning, yo.

I'm so jealous that swimming lessons are so CHEAP for you. Ours are $75 for seven 30 minute sessions.

One day medical records will be easily accessible and we won't have to fill out the same forms over and over.

We just have a basic blender for smoothies (I think it was $20 from wal*mart or something several years ago). We do smoothies a lot, but don't really do the kale thing. I think it tastes funny in smoothies, and my kids won't drink it with kale in it, so no kale for us. Maybe we need a better blender to make it smoother or something. There is this green powder stuff that I put in them sometimes, that doesn't really change the taste (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00112ILZM/ref=rcxsubs_mys2_product_title)

No idea what we are doing this summer. Hopefully seeing our friends a little more, since right now we are on opposite preschool schedules. Possibly a music class thing. Our local music people do this thing where you can sign up for one session and can go as many times a week as you want! So win!

Easy solution: make the kale (or spinach) smoothies with your immersion blender (I do). I have this one:
And that bigger-than-a-cup-don't-know-what-to-call-it thing to the right works perfectly for making smoothies. I just mix up the fruit/yogurt first, then add spinach last so it really liquifies. Presto! A green smoothie. I'm not sure how kale works, but I can't taste the spinach at all, it still tastes just like a fruit smoothie to me.

I use my Cuisinart stick blender and a big jar. It's only good with the fresh kale from my garden, the bagged stuff is too crispy and its gross in a smoothie, but any old spinach is good. I love spinach though. If you don't like the green to start with I do not know that you'd like it in a smoothie.

Our preschool goes all summer. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I highly recommend a blender. It IS a giant clunky pain and all that, but so is a KitchenAid but necessary, right? You learn how to deal. I just think it's a pain to make smoothies without one, and they are SO DAMN GOOD when it's hot. Like there are nights we have smoothies for dinner in the summer because the thought of eating when it is 900 degrees outside is gross.

Anyway, I bought a Ninja at Costco recently, it was $100 and it blends AND juices, which is pretty sweet. As for green smoothies -- I'd start with spinach if you really are curious. Kale -- I don't know, that's hard core to start with, I think and if you don't make a good one at first can be a real turn off.

Whatever you do, don't waste your time with some crappy $40 blender from Target. NOT WORTH IT. They just never last long, they crack, they don't crush ice properly, etc. It's annoying. Go big or go home, I say. The Ninja rocks! (And it's only $50 more). It does almost everything a Vitamix does (except make *hot* soup, big whoop) for a quarter of the price.

Or you know, just eat salad. No law says you've gotta drink your food :)

I have a VitaMix. Pricey, but it kicks my Cuisinart's ass. I put spinach in my smoothie and I would swear up and down I can not taste it. Kale is more bitter, so I don't really believe that it can't be tasted. I tried romaine once and it tasted like drinking grass. No fruit could disguise that taste.

The VitaMix is it's own dishwasher! You fill it halfway with water, add a drop of soap, blend for 30 seconds and rinse.

Oh, and my dentist's office DOES have you fill out all forms online ahead of time. It's dreamy.

One of my favorite things to do with my kids in the summer is take them to the free movies that play at the local theaters around the area. If we don't have VBS or swim lessons or something else going on, we check out which free kids movies are playing and head to the theater.

Fun and free, my two favorite things!

next day follow up:
I got so scoffy about kale smoothies, I bought some kale (I was gonna make kale chips anyway) that I tried the recipe Jenny B posted in the comments and DAMMIT, it's totally tasty. F'n kale smoothies don't apply to laws of science I guess.

I don't do veggies in a smoothie, but a stick blender is WHERE.ITS.AT. Just rinse off the blade end and done.

I have long said that I'd much rather eat a spinach salad than drink a spinach smoothie. I know, I am so CRAZY, wanting to EAT my greens.

(Can you tell I'm not on trend with this business either?)

For you! http://www.epbot.com/2012/05/recommended-reading-after-hunger-games.html

Also, don't know if you like fae and all that but Tithe by Holly Black is one I enjoyed.

First, I'm dreading the end of preschool too! Ours offers a camp for the summer and I was going to sign her up for all 12 weeks but got sticker shock. Plus it's not school, just fun stuff and I can do fun stuff for free. So she's in camp about every other week for 2 days because realistically I know I won't plan fun stuff all the time. I'm thinking of doing something like our advent calendar to plan out activities and force myself to do them.

A great big hells yeah to the immersion blender! Use mine all the time. Real blender?? Getting demoted to the basement next weekend. The immersion blender makes smoothies sooooo easy. Stick everything in the cup and stick the blender in. Plus Sophie can make hers herself. Which is very important.

And lastly, try kale chips. Delish!! I've never put it in a smoothie but we do a spinach, yogurt, and oj smoothie that they both love

Agree with Holly on the VitaMix. I've only had mine for 10 days but have used it 2 -3 times per day since then. I add spinach to every smoothie and you caanot taste it. Super easy to clean too. I havn't tried it yet, but the demo showed that you could make soup in it. The blade goes so fast that it heats it up. Looking forward to trying that. It is quite spendy but we've been eyeing one for a while and made the investment to eat better. They come with a 10 year full warranty too.

Yes! Yes! To number 5!! Let's have a universal new patient packet!!!

I am suspicious of kale.

Also, since I have been pureeing the bejesus out of foods for Iris, I have come to respect my Kitchenaid blender. It tears stuff up pretty good. Beef stew even. So yeah.

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