Posts Tagged ‘What I’ve Been Into’

1st June
written by Michelle


Hi! It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of the posts and I had so much fun putting this one together. Some good stuff for summer and traveling with little ones and some of my favorite links around the web. Plus, a few healthy recipes for the kitchen and some of my other favorite things:

On The Road: Traveling with a Toddler

We spent most of April traveling with a toddler. I mean we spent hours in the car and stayed in different people’s homes every few nights. We attempted eating at restaurants and waited in airports for flight delays. It was wonderful, and really exhausting.

Best kid-friendly iPad caseMy mom got us this traveling kid-friendly iPad case which velcros to the back of your seat for the perfect movie watching set-up. And older kiddos can hold on to easily because of the “grips” on the back for playing games or with apps. Obviously, you know, that we primarily used it to watch Frozen 17 times a day. Thank you, Disney for brainwashing my almost 2 year old.

Invisible coloring book + Marker: When Elena wasn’t watching Frozen, she was coloring. My sister, who is a preschool teacher, is always thinking of the most thoughtful gifts. The best thing about this is that 1) no markers stains on their hands, the rental car or you! and 2) little ones who are still learning how to hold a maker can actually do it because the “colors” just appear when you scribble. Win all around, Elena got the Frozen one but they have lots of other options, Nemo, Thomas the Train and Doc McStuffins. I wish we had more because this is seriously the easiest thing to pull out while waiting at restaurants.

Smallest, cheapest bath time entertainment: I had to google these because I don’t really know what they’re called. I remember playing with them has a kid though. I call them, “sponge animals” I think amazon calls them grow capsules. Either way best $5.50 you can spend for your next trip. They’re super tiny and so easy to pack, but kids find them mesmerizing. Perfect bathtub entertainment especially because we were in different people’s homes every night and i was not about to bring any bath toys. We plopped one of these little guys in the tub and Elena watched it “open.” We still bring some of the ones who made back with us into the bath every night.

No-Spill Bubbles: I’ve mentioned these before, but they are seriously the best bubbles we’ve found, because little hands can do it all. by. themselves. which we all know is so much more fun than us holding the precious bubble container or worse, them holding it and us saying “now be careful, be careful, don’t spill the bubbles” on repeat. Ahhh. NO more. Seriously, these are amazing. And you can refill it anytime.

In the Kitchen

My parents had the Coolest garlic peel remover and my mom sent me home with one! No more stinky garlicky fingers.

Green Soup: I posted this pic on instagram and got lots of questions about this green soup. My friend Laura posted the recipe for Broccoli-Cheese Spinach Soup, but in our house we just call it green soup. What I love is you can really add ANY vegetable in there, cause it all gets blended up. And you add as much or little cheese as you want - depending on your preferred level of cheesy-ness.

These zucchini muffins + mini chocolate chips. You guys know me I totally altered this a bit and used what we had on hand and threw in some shredded carrots, too. Do you see my cooking strategy…throw in extra veggies or chocolate chips when in doubt?! :)

I still make this Spinach-Basil Pesto almost weekly because its the only way Elena eats broccoli and Gerber and I love it too.

Have you heard of Chia seeds?! Here they’re called “chan” (rhymes with shaun”) and Elena likes to poor them her our smoothies. They get blended up and you can’t even see or taste them, especially if you make any kind of berry smoothie. They are loaded with omega-3s and protein and all those good minerals like magnesium and iron. I get ours at the local mercado, but if I could I would order these. I always feel good that when Elena only eats pasta and Cheerios the rest of the day, at least we’ve got some healthy stuff in her system from our morning smoothie!

On the web

This post from The Toast is one of the most beautiful and poignant pieces on bicultural identity. Of course it makes me think of my little girl and I try to imagine if she writes an essay in 20 years, what will she say?

Have you ever wondered how to explain privilege: These comics do an excellent job.

The is one of the best posts’ by my friend Anna, about debunking the motherhood myth that you can have it all.

I also loved this post by my friend Ashlee because I am SUPER interested in trying a capsule wardrobe. Although we don’t really have seasons in Guatemala so I think I’d have to make some adjustments.

In this post, Do Kids See Color? Cara shares how she is “not passionate about racial equality because [she] married a black man [but she is] passionate about racial equality because [she is ] passionate about human beings.”

Along the same lines, this was a super interesting (and very long) piece from the nymag about racism, education, and asking if racism be stopped by third grade? 

The founder of The Root Collective, Bethany Tran, makes me want to be a more conscious consumer with her piece, Where It Was Made MattersYou know how much it cost you, but do you know how much it cost the person who made it?” 

Also, I loved this video about how cities are making us sick. For anyone who cares about city planning and development and health this is a must watch.

On The Kindle

First, did you now most library have an online check out site? My expat and international friends you will love this. I go to my local Santa Barbara library website and type in my library card # (you have to already have a library card) and then I can search the available titles, and “check them out” for 3 weeks electrically. Then book appears in my kindle, just like magic. The only bad thing it also disappears in 3 weeks like magic even if I’m not done with it.

For book club, All the Light That Was Not Lost

For me, Raising your Spirited Child

Making my way though, Jesus Feminist and Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes

I really miss reading real books, like holding it in my hand underlining with a pen, folding corners, etc. Reading is interactive for me…but I won’t complain, the ease and convenience of being able to download any book, anytime is not lost on me. I can’t imagine living overseas away from book stores and internet even 10 years ago.

On Netflix 

Parenthood: ok we’re only on season two and it’s just taken us a while to get into it. Does it get better? Gerber describes it as emotionally overwhelming. I just smile, and am like welcome, to white-upper-middle-class American life.

We watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and loved it. Just funny, cute and easy to watch.

We watched Wild. Didn’t love it…or hate it. But I bet the book is better.

We are making our way through movies that got nominated for Oscars. We’re like a year behind. But, still. We watched Imitation Game on the plane. Two thumbs up. Next up on our list is, Selma and American Sniper.

On My Wishlist

Do you ever keep a personal wish list? Since we try to keep a budget and only buy things that fall more into the  the needs list than wants, sometimes I make a virtual wish list. It’s kinda like fantasy football, but only fantasy shopping. I click and save and imagine how well all the players…I mean, pieces would look together :)

One of these Made by Mary gold bar necklaces. I think I would get the word amor. What about you?

Cup of Jo posted about this nail polish and I love that it seems simple, versatile and one coat is enough!

I’m in love with these SonnetJames dresses.  This one and this one are my favorite and I have heard wonderful reviews of these sandals. So cute and comfy for summer, right?

I’ve been in the market for some kind of brown leather purse/bag that is big enough to hold my laptop when I go to work, and can also just be a cute purse with a few toddler essentials thrown in. Any ideas? We’ve been done with the diaper bag for while now, but somehow I have ended-up just carrying around Elena’s monkey backpack all.the.time. Not anymore. Mama wants a real purse. Maybe I can gift myself one for her birthday? You know like my 2-year becoming a mother anniversary gift? Is that a thing??? I may just start it.

What have you been into recently? And favorites I should know about? Do share!

Linking up with the lovely Leigh Kramer.

*Affilante Link Disclosure: When you click on some of the links and buy something, it means I get a teensy tiny percentage that supports my coffee fund or maybe even a wishlist purchase.*


2nd July
written by Michelle

This really could be titled, What I’ve Been Into…oh, March, April, May aaaaannd June. But for the sake of brevity we’ll just call it June.

I love seeing what other friends around the blosphere are into. Here’s  some great tips from Lesley & Sarah and we’re all linking up with the wonderful, Leigh Kramer’s What I’ve Been Into.


I’ve been loving my Mother’s Day gift to myself Earrings from Noon Day Designs & these simple, gold, Target sandals from our recent trip to the states.

Speaking of shoes, Elena has gotten tons of compliments on these shoes from Me In Mind (seriously cute baby shoes, that stay on!) And have you ever heard of, it’s like Zappos’ outlet. Yesss! My brother’s sweet girlfriend found a pair of shoes that I had been searching for after I posted this picture on instagrm picture. She found them on this site for HALF of what I paid at Nordstrom Rack. #winwin #freeshipping

Also, in June my iphone went for a swim (again!) in the toilet. When we got my new phone Gerber made me promise to get one of those bulky, un-cute waterproof cases. I wanted this one, but it was back-ordered. So I ordered the next best one, which was half-the price as the Lifeproof and so far it’s been great!

For the Little One:

Well, most of you know Elena’s main thing this month is she now sleeps on the floor, but we have also been loving these No-Spill Bubbles. Basically, they are every a independent toddler’s (and mama’s) dream. I would even consider buying this mini pack for the next time we fly. Also, I started rubbing coconut oil all over her each night. I wanted something to rub on her body and hands that I don’t mind if she also ends up “eating.” And she loves that instead of me saying, no, no don’t touch that, no, don’t put it in your mouth… I let her stick her little fingers right in the plastic tub of coconut oil.


Well, besides lots and lots of World Cup Games, we’ve been making our way through Baby Einstein.  (it’s the only way dinner gets made). My two current favorite yourtube videos are #likeagirl and this one, which tells women to stop apologizing so much. Notice a trend????


Most of my reading these days are 500 word or less posts. I loved this NY Times piece about Raising a Moral Child and What 16 people Couldn’t Believe About America until They Moved Here! I laughed really hard while reading why Jaime Worries for the Mommy Bloggers and and this: If Black People Said the Stuff White People Say.

We tried out airbnb for the first time while in Chicago and would most definitely use it again. This post makes me want to take a year off and just travel. And this post on marriage makes me want to practice being kinder and more generous with my spouse. For anyone who has ever considered sending their kids to a Spanish immersion school, this post by Bronwyn Lea makes a wonderful case for it!

I am slowly making my way through two {non internet} books: Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, recommended by my friend Sarah and for book club this month, Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel.

I’m also super excited about new collective blog called Coffee + Crumbs started by Ashlee, a friend and writer and mother. Go check it out.

In the Kitchen:

Usually my normal mantra is cook once, eat twice. (amen, for leftovers, eh?!). But when my husband is gone for 5 days at a time, it goes something like this: cook once, eat 4 times.

So I made Kale and White Bean Soup last week and lots and lots of salads. Speaking of salads, do you ever use your Kitchen Shears to “cut” your lettuce? No, try it. Just drop your lettuce into a deep bowl and start snip, snipin. Easiest way to get small, bit size lettuce strips. I also use them to chop off a few bits of cilantro or basil. And they have come in handy when I am trying to one handedly cut Elena’s carrots and zucchini into bite size pieces. No need for a knife. Just bring out the scissors.

For Elena’s birthday I used Robin’s vegan raw frosting recipe for her cupcake. I thought it was great, but Elena seemed to prefer the store-bought frosting that we used at her “early” birthday party at my parents house. Of course. 

I’ve been making water keifer for over a week now and just got my first scoby for kombucha. My husband thinks I may have officially crossed over into crunchy, hippie land. I said not worry. I will still shaves my legs.

And for my Local, Guatemala, Friends:

Bread at the Bodegona! I know you’re not going to believe me that anything blog-worthy can come from the Bodegona…but just trust me. The new bread “station” by the milk and yogurt corner now has this sesame covered, thick, hearty sourdough loaf for Q11. I mean it’s not Epicure, but it’s really good.


P.S. Just in case you haven’t seen this #likeagirl video. Here is it (I maybe not-so-secretly wish every teacher, coach, parent, brother, mentor, & neighbor could watch this)