Friday, October 28th, 2016
Here we go! Homeschool fun out and about.
I’ve recently dubbed my daughter and myself, The Go Girls, as we have been just getting up and going for all kinds of activities lately.
Most of you know that we homeschool though I’d kind of lump us into the unschool category, which I prefer to call FUNschool. Our lives are about learning through fun activities. And you know what? It works.
She is learning to read, spell, and write by texting on her iPod and playing Words with Friends. We read books as well but there’s no pulling teeth with all of these fun alternatives. We learn math with cooking, board games, and simply talking about numbers out loud so she can see how to manipulate them to get the answers to questions.
When we have longer car rides to activities, it’s a ripe time for conversing about everything from zombies to politics (maybe that was the same conversation).
Kamea is full of questions every single day. Being able to answer them all in the moment, or help her find the information when I don’t know the answer, is a blessing.
Time to go global.
I want to take learning to a global level in the near future.
I was recently inspired by the book Global Student, which has my brain’s gears thinking about living abroad for extended periods of time to immerse ourselves in other cultures, learn language and show Kamea the world. (This book is not just for homeschoolers.)
From Amazon.com about the book
In 2005, Maya Frost and her husband sold everything and left their suburban American lifestyle behind in order to have an adventure abroad. The tricky part: they had to shepherd their four teenage daughters through high school and into college. This hilarious and conspiratorial how-to handbook describes the affordable, accessible, and stunningly advantageous options they stumbled upon that any American student can leverage to get an outrageously relevant global education.
Ready to ditch the drama of the traditional hypercompetitive SAT/AP/GPA path? Meet the bold American students who are catapulting into the global economy at twenty with a red-hot college diploma, sizzling 21st-century skills, a blazing sense of direction–and no debt.
• the one thing preventing your student from blasting forward
• why Advanced Placement isn’t so advanced
• why international programs fail to provide a truly global education
• the most critical time for your student to study abroad
• the best exchange program in the world ($3,000 or less per year)
• the strategic way to fast-forward through high school
• how to maximize a family sabbatical
• how to live the life of your dreams abroad–and save thousands for college
I always knew we’d travel, in some way, someday, to other parts of the world.
Upon completion of Global Student, it easily clicked as to how we would actually do it.
In 2018, we’ll sell some stuff, put the rest in storage, pack some suitcases and take off. I’m only in the very beginning of researching this but we’re considering south of France (and other parts of Europe), the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, and/or Costa Rica. Probably all of them eventually.
For now… here’s our world in Arizona. These are some things we’ve been doing to have fun and learn at the same time.
The various parks offer homeschool classes and family activities that are loaded with hands-on learning.
Kamea is feeding a sweet and hungry tortoise some prickly pear.
Watch your fingers – feeding a tortoise.
I’ve always thought snakes were cool and witnessing this king snake eat a dead rat was fascinating.
Rat was dead prior to feeding.
We also saw a rattlesnake have her lunch, too, which was epic.
We like jumping at an indoor trampoline park. Great exercise and ridiculously fun.
Time to jump!
Kamea is enjoying a Lego Engineering class where she built a battery-operated car.
Kamea in Lego Engineering class.
We celebrated Dia de los Muertos in Phoenix which was quite the event. Now that I’ve had a taste of this locally, I can’t wait to visit Oaxaca to witness it there someday.
Dancing along with the others. #Diadelosmuertos
I’m grateful Kamea can experience some culture like this in Arizona. She sat at a table filled with Spanish-speaking kids, learning and having fun.
Art with other kids at Dia de los Muertos.
We visited a pumpkin patch which was filled with activities and fun including a train ride, hay ride, games, animals, and horse rides.
Hmmmm which one?
Even though I’ve been in Arizona over a decade, I’m still not used to some holidays here. Seeing the cactus in the backdrop is
Horse riding time
Kamea wanted to ride the horse so badly! When I got to the part where I could choose the non-mandatory helmet, I was struck with protecting my child’s brain in the event of a fall or saving her from potentially getting lice with this community-helmet (ewww). Obviously we went with the helmet but next time I’m bringing her own.
Monday, November 9th, 2015
Salt pipe, Bulletproof coffee, essential oils. What more could you want? #Travel
When I was little I used to love riding in airplanes.
Not so much anymore. Either it’s because I’m getting bigger or the planes are getting smaller… or it’s just an age thing.
The days of getting excited for airplane travel are behind me. So, I try to make it as enjoyable as possible and bring a few comforts from home.
Obviously, there’s a smart phone or device of some sort for reading kindle books.
Obviously, there are healthy snacks like dark chocolate, avocado, sea salt, my favorite collagen bars, and anything else that I fancy like an organic apple, flax crackers, red bell pepper (just eat it like an apple), and… Bulletproof Coffee.
Wait, how do I drink Bulletproof Coffee when I’m on a plane?
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Monday, November 2nd, 2015
Na Pali Coast Kauai. Breathtaking.
We went to Kauai this year for an amazing vacation. I can still remember the fish tacos from Al Pastor Taco Truck… oh and the cold-pressed green juice… oh and the Art Cafe Hemingway breakfast I had almost daily, and so much more. The lush verdant island is haunting me to go back.
Best fish tacos in the world. Al Pastor. Kauai.
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Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
As a mom who doesn’t give her kid candy unless it’s dark chocolate, Halloween is a tricky situation (pun intended)… until now.
To tell you the truth, we have a lot of things we do to celebrate Halloween and all without the traditional trick-or-treating.
For starters, we begin the celebrating with decorations at the beginning of October. This includes wall clings, scary music, carving jack-o-lanters, hanging skeletons from the ceiling, and more. This starts at the beginning of October to ensure a healthy dose of Halloween-ness.
Halloween is a whole month celebration for us.
Kamea painting a small pumpkin for decoration.
When the actual day of Halloween arrives, we have a Halloween Hunt where we hide dark chocolates and little trinkets, toys, stickers, etc around the house (or where ever we are).
Another thing we often do is travel during this time to make it extra special… with costumes, of course.
Travel to Flagstaff, AZ. A spooky town.
What kid wouldn’t want to go to DISNEYLAND for Halloween?
16 months old, as a fairy while traveling to Sedona, AZ for Halloween.
WEAR COSTUMES MANY TIMES!
We don our costumes many times(!) during the weeks before Halloween. Myself included.
I wear this costume pretty much every year.
Halloween Headbands are awesome.
We check out the crazy Halloween stores that pop up every year. Sometimes we go more than once. #FieldTrip
Trying on a witch hat. “I’ll get you my pretty…”
We go to Halloween parties… like this one at her Karate Dojo.
Halloween Party with a light show and dancing.
MONEY FOR CANDY!
I remember growing up, my mom gave us money for the candy we collected trick-or-treating, which we always preferred over eating the candy. That’s another idea.
A walk down memory lane with Kamea’s first Halloween.
This was Kamea’s first Halloween costume. She was a Chipotle Burrito.
4 months old Kamea as a burrito: Halloween
We swaddled her in an organic blanket, first, and you can see the rest. Foil. Organic lettuce. I actually thought she’d hate it because she’s not big on the swaddle thing, but she was a real trooper in her costume as Greg took photos.
Halloween as a SCIENCE EXPERIMENT! From Mothering.com…
I loved candy when I was a kid, but when I became a mother, I worried about my kids eating too much of the stuff. Still, I’ve never banned it from our home. Now, when my children come home on Halloween night, examine their candy, and go to bed without asking to eat a single piece, it’s not because I’ve forbidden it. It’s because they have better ideas about what
to do with it.
It began with a simple question three years ago, when I was overwhelmed by our collection of Halloween candy. An afternoon with too-generous coworkers, a church Trunk-or-Treat (i.e., collecting candy at every car in a full parking lot), and a subsequent trick-or-treating expedition up our street had provided my four-year-old princess and two-year-old cowboy with mountains of candy. But since the candies had been the gifts of kind friends, and of elderly neighbors on fixed incomes, I didn’t want to throw them all away. Instead, I decided to dole them out one piece at a time. Handing out pieces after lunch was painful—the bowl loomed enormous atop my fridge, and I knew that at this rate we’d be eating candy for months.
Then, as my daughter Katherine poured out a box of Nerds, she asked the life-changing question:
“What would happen if I put these in water?”
I almost missed the moment. I was cleaning up the lunch dishes, and didn’t want to get out another one. Besides, the experiment sounded messy and wasteful (even though I’d just been agonizing about how to get rid of the stuff). I brushed her question aside, hoping she’d forget it. Instead, she asked again. I got her a white, unspillable mug, filled it with water, and set it down in front of her. She poured in her strawberry Nerds, examined them, stirred them into something the color of raspberry lemonade, and examined the cup again. Then I dumped
it down the sink.
That was our first candy experiment.
Now, that’s a good idea for candy.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN SEASON!
Sunday, September 13th, 2015
My favorite breakfast: In Our Time
We went to Art Cafe Hemingway for breakfast every day of our vacation (that they were open) on the verdant island, Kauai.
The food was that good.
Adorbable cafe in Kauai – the best coffee.
The attention to detail and the flavors in their food were such that I savored every bite. Truly. Each forkful kept me mindful effortlessly.
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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015
Kristen Suzanne in antioxidants
, Bulletproof Coffee
, gluten free
, MCT oil
Bulletproof -style Matcha – afternoon energy time
I know I know.
I make a lot of beverages in the style of Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof goodness. Guilty. When something is good and works, why wouldn’t I? The Bulletproof -style drinks I make add more energy to my day, fuel my brain and body, are quickly made, and they get me through the early part of my morning.
Today, I’m sharing an organic matcha tea that is created Bulletproof -style. Matcha tea is green tea, where the leaves are ground and consumed whole. It’s a beautiful drink, and the lush color reminds me of my recent trip to Kauai (more on that another day).
verdant Kauai, Hawaii
Tea is liquid wisdom.
Matcha is the Japanese tea ceremony beverage. I’ve been drawn to organic matcha for many months now, and I did a lot of research before selecting the brand I chose. I felt the highest quality would be from Yuuki-Cha because of their standards and my ability to pinpoint from exactly what region of Japan I wanted my organic matcha. This company addressed potential issues of Fukushima Daichi radiation and shared a helpful map to assist my selection. I trust them as a result.
Helpful Japanese Tea Region Map
I selected two kinds: Organic Yame Matcha (from Fukuoka region) and Organic Kirishima Matcha (from Kagoshima) because of their harvest locations and review of tastes on Yuuki-cha’s website.
When I bought my matcha I ordered small sizes and chose two (each hailing from a different place in Japan). I opted not to get the whisk or special drinking bowl because, honestly, I didn’t know if I’d like it so why invest in all of that. Matcha has a reputation where sometimes it’s grassy in flavor, which I’m not craving.
Quality organic matcha: Yame and Kirishima
I was elated with the result of the Organic Yame Matcha. My first sip I knew I’d be drinking matcha for the rest of my life, and I didn’t even make it the classic way with the bamboo whisk since I didn’t buy those (yet). Instead, I heated my spring water on my induction hot plate, used an instant read thermometer to achieve 175 degrees F, poured the hot water into my blender, added the Organic Yame Matcha, and blended it. I’m eager to try the whisk, being all proper about it, as I yearn to experience “the froth of green jade.”
I haven’t tried my Kirishima matcha yet, but have confidence it’ll be bliss. UPDATE: I just tried the Organic Kirishima Matcha and it’s fabulous. I heated my spring water to 175 degrees F and then blended the hot water with 1/2 teaspoon of the matcha powder. AWESOME.
I chose to start basic by drinking the matcha plain, as in hot water and matcha to see if I liked the flavor. As noted above, it was wonderful. That said, I knew there were plenty of options for making matcha tasty in the event of grassiness. For example, I knew I could soften the matcha by making it Bulletproof with grass-fed butter and Brain Octane MCT oil. I also have some wonderful stevia extract in my arsenal. And, I knew I could always add it to my green smoothie in the event that drinking it as a tea wasn’t awesome.
Oh, and drinking matcha green tea iced can help make it more refreshing and less grass-like. I simply blended my spring water (175 degrees F) with 1 teaspoon organic green matcha tea. Then, I poured it over ice.
Iced Matcha Green Tea
Iced organic matcha green tea. Feeeeeel good drink.
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Wednesday, August 5th, 2015
Kristen Suzanne in carrots
, gluten free
, raw recipes
, raw travel
Carrot Ginger Blended Soup. Almost Raw-Vegan.
I love soup. They’re (usually) easy to make, easy to digest, and fairly portable. I can carry my lunch around the house in a mug, while I get everything done. Multi-tasker extraordinaire here. (Though we really should be more mindful when we eat – relaxing, noticing the flavors and textures with each bite and swallow. Sigh, a girl can dream.)
Speaking of portability, you could make this soup on the road while traveling, if you travel with your blender and a cooler full of food like I do. :)
So, you might be wondering why I’d post a warm soup recipe like this in the summer, when it would clearly be awesome for the fall and winter. Well, besides calling me a planner so I’m already experimenting with fall-flavored soups, I knew I’d be drinking it again in spite of the hot weather. I plan on putting it in my travel coffee cup and
sneaking it taking it into the theater so I can keep cozy and warm in the blasting air conditioned theater.
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Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Pumpkin Chili with Four Sigma Foods Instant Medicinal Mushrooms added
I’m drawn to things that have been used by people for hundreds of years, and thousands in some instances. I mean, if people have been using something since time immemorial, then there must be something to it.
Enter: Medicinal Mushrooms
Medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs, most notably from Asia, are reputed to have healing benefits of all kinds and have been used for thousands of years for healing… some of the more common ones being ginseng, reishi, and perhaps chaga. There’s good reason, too. They can work.
I first became interested in them a few years ago. I immersed myself, as I’m well known to do, and I started buying and trying all sorts of them… too many to count and name. At the time I was interested in energy, fertility, longevity, happiness, relaxation, and immune health. Within each of those categories there were many options and I couldn’t help myself. I felt like a kid in a candy store (or a health food nut in a new health food store).
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Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
True Food Kitchen – a pretty darn decent place for a quality meal. #RealFood
Going to restaurants requires some creativity and planning on my part if I’m to be satisfied.
Obviously, for starters, I pick restaurants with (at least) mostly quality food, when possible. One of the places we visit in Scottsdale, AZ is True Food Kitchen because they offer grass fed beef options as well as organic vegetables and dairy (I think the dairy is all organic there – not sure if it’s grass-fed).
The next challenge is making sure I pack necessary items to complete my meal or to make it healthier than it would otherwise be. For example, I’ve been known to bring my own grass-fed butter and MCT oil to restaurants along with the usual things I already carry in my purse like sea salt and organic turmeric powder. I’ve written about how I mod my Chipotle bowl here with a variety of ingredients – check it out.
Still, just going somewhere that has some good ingredients doesn’t mean I’ll want anything on the menu. Luckily, True Food Kitchen likes to satisfy their
picky customers, like me, when I take various components from the menu and make my own meal. (They even have a coffee drink called Paleo Coffee which is similar to Bulletproof Coffee in that it’s organic coffee blended with coconut oil and butter.)
Here’s what I do when I eat at True Food Kitchen.
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Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
Kristen Suzanne in books
, food journal
, grass fed beef
, hemp seeds
, Kristen Suzanne
, MAC knife
, pastured eggs
, raw eggs
A mini-van almost packed to the gills, ready to roll.
We are a family who loves to travel, and our most recent epic road trip took us to Michigan. But, travel can wreak havoc on anyone’s best attempts to eat healthy. Not always. Check out my post below where I show how we traveled across the country while (almost exclusively) staying on our Real Food Foodie Lifestyle (i.e., we ate really healthy in spite of being on the road). It meant extra work, which isn’t always the thing you want to do after a day of being in the car, but I’m simply not willing to eat crap food which is most often what’s served in restaurants.
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