Archive for the 'Consume' Category

Nogurt.

213406_7960Ollie and I went grocery shopping the other day. Just him and me. I told him he could pick out some things. Not “treats” for being good or just because – I wanted him to be part of the process of finding food for the week.

He wanted yogurt. I got him Dannon Oikos, one strawberry pack, one blueberry pack, which have about the fewest sugars of all the options I found (holler at me if you know of a lower one that does not use artificial sweeteners). He’s had a cup with every meal since we got them. He is a fiend. He scrapes the container for the very last bit. You know the milk mustache? I’ve been wiping off a yogurt ‘stach since yesterday. Immediate reaction: This brings my child so much joy and I’m a total jerk for not regularly buying yogurt. It’s JUST YOGURT.

Well, there is a pretty good reason.

I take issue with the marketing of yogurt as a healthy, wholesome  low-fat snack packed with fruit, calcium and probiotics. Talk about a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Your average fruit yogurt has as much if not more sugar in it than a candy bar (I’m talking 30+ grams of sugar – yikes!). I wouldn’t give my kids candy as a midday snack or a side to a meal.  That’s basically what we’re talking about.

Not trying to make yogurt out to be a sort of pariah of the food pyramid. Like candy or ice cream, it’s fine as a once-in-awhile treat or snack. Personally, I buy plain Greek yogurt and use it as a sour cream sub. It is great in dips, on tacos, etc. You can also make your own flavors using plain yogurt and adding in  fresh fruit and spices, and have control over the amount of sweeteners you use.

There is something novel (not to mention convenient), I suppose, about a single-serve, ready-to-eat cup of yogurt, and that’s why it’s so popular – and that’s why my son is obsessed with it. I just hope people will heed  the facts. As for me, for  30+ sugars, I will take a Snickers bar, please.

Last-Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas (if your baby daddy is anything like mine)

Dad wants to smoke meat. It’s primitive, it’s delicious, there’s a technique to it that Dad can constantly hone (keeping him occupied outside for hours, which he likes). It does not have to be super fancy. In fact, although you can make your own (which sounds right up dad’s alley), we found for the cost of materials, you can get a decent one from a place like Menards and you don’t have to built it.

Dad wants beer. Good beer. Check out the unique selection of Pipeworks Brewing Co. (PBC), a new small-batch craft brewery out of Chicago (check out facebook for releases and distribution). If you can’t make it to our beautiful city to buy dad a hoppy IPA or a malty porter from the fine men of PBC, visit your local liquor store and get Dad a craft brew with a rad label.

Dad wants an important-looking bottle opener on his key chain to open his craft beer bottles. Dig this nifty church key-looking one from SuckUK.

 

 

Dad wants a cool shirt. You’ve got your Threadlesses, your Snorgs, your BustedTees. Christ, even Target carries a decent selection of ironic/vintage/meme-y shirts. Those are fine and good, but consider an original, hand-printed shirt from design group Slow Loris out of Guemes Island, Wash. They have some sick new designs out now, but my all-time favorite is the auto engine diagram shirt I got for my husband. Your dad will thank you (especially if he’s broken down and needs to find the ignition wire).

Dad wants to be lazy. In the shade. Being rocked gently by the summer’s breeze. Sound a little corny? Guess what? Dad is also corny. Get him a hammock. In return, he will finish up those “honey-do” and “daddy-do” lists from all the energy he’s restored from lazing around in his human cocoon. Hey, I bet he’d even share it.

Dad wants to survive the apocalypse. He read “The Road,” loves “Walking Dead” and “Survivorman” and now it’s his mission to keep his kinfolk safe not if, but when disaster strikes. “SAS Survival Handbook” will offer him peace of mind as we approach the revelation.

 

Bottom line: Get Dad an ugly tie, he’ll wear it. Buy him the wrong wrench, he’ll find use for it. That’s the beauty of dads. They aren’t picky. Truth is, he’d be happy with a six pack of PBR and hot dogs grillin’ on a Smokey Joe. As long as you’re by his side.

Fun for All, CONSTRUCTOR-Style – Craftaholics, Cupcakes, Tunes and More!

The annual CONSTRUCTOR Craft Fair Saturday promises DIY goodness.

Saturday!!! Saturday!!! Saturday!!! Prepare to get CONSTRUCTOR-ated!

It’s the “bad-ass” 4th Annual CONSTRUCTOR Craft Fair, an all-ages, free admission gathering in beautiful Berwyn, Ill., with something for everyone – homemade goods, grub, music, booze and CUPCAKES!

Organizers Norah Utley,  Fly Bird’s Julia Nash and 45 like-minded crafters gather to share their wears and eats with fellow craftaholics. The first 50 folks who show up receive a free swag bag full of goodies. The event is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at FitzGerald’s Nightclub.

Find jewelry, soap, house wares, clothes and accessories, plushies, earth-friendly creations and baby goods made from crafters nationwide – plus food trucks  stocked with fresh, locally made yums, including everyone’s favorite – CUPCAKES! Check out the vendor list.

No fair is complete without some jams (would you expect any less from Utley, Ms. Shit Sandwich Records herself?). Show goers enjoy performances by Girls Rock! Chicago (GR!C) campers (Woot! Our April Charity of the Month!). Indoors, the grads of GR!C June DJ camp spinning records (on the very same stage graced by Elisabeth Shue in “Adventures in Babysitting,” as a matter of fact). The outdoor stage will feature performances by camper band C4 at 3:30 p.m., and GR!C solo superstar Alex Lund at 4 p.m. GR!C’s booth will be selling posters, drink coozies, tote bags and more! Don’t miss it!

Record Store Day: The Haul

Observing Record Store Day at Rainbow Records in Barrington, Ill., on a rainy and windy April afternoon.

Funny little 45 featuring Grover doing disco. Ollz could use a lesson in proper vinyl handling.

Ollz loved this double vinyl featuring the greatest hits from Motown. I considered it.

The record haul. Rainbow Records only sells second hand, so none of the special Record Store Day new releases I’ve been hearing about online were available. No matter. The vibe in the store was upbeat, everyone gushed over Ollz and the owner approved of my “Good Morning Vietnam” selection. Plus, there wasn’t a line out the door as reported at many Chicago stores.

This Birthday’s Gonna Rock

Brainstorming some ideas for Ollie’s big 2nd birthday par-tay. I suppose we should be doing a Thomas theme or something, but once again we have to be all non-traditional (at least until he starts pitching ideas – when does that happen? Three?).

So for this year’s shindig, we’re gonna rock out. The party store apparently has some cool guitar and vinyl record decor and I’m pretty stoked to outfit Ollie in a western shirt. My cake boss sister is dreaming up a record-themed cake and today found Ollie a vintage portable children’s record player (pictured). He had to have it. HAD TO.

Lunch Punch Packs a Lunchtime Punch

I admit, before I had Ollz, I used to think parents who trimmed the crust from their kids’ PB&Js were a bunch of milquetoasts (pun alert!). Consider me enlightened. Lunch Punch sandwich cutters available at Spoon Sisters make mealtime an adventure (the good kind). The set we have includes shapes of Ollz’s favorite things in life: cars, trucks, trains and planes (natch!). For the little divas, there’s a princess set – fab!

So what did my lil luncher think? Judging by his mouthful of cheese sammy, I’d say he was pretty much lovin’ it. Trains being his favorite, we tried that cutter first, which included an engine and caboose. When he wasn’t chew-chewing, he was “choo-choo”ing (that’s what he’s doing in the bottom left pic, BTW). I haven’t seen him this enthusiastic about mealtime in a long time, so I’d definitely recommend these cutters to not only crust critics, but any parent looking to make noshes a little nicer fun for everyone!

Om Nom Nom Nom: Meal Planning and Stuff

Rules blow and menu planning seems forced. I hate diets because I don’t like being told what/how much to eat. But if I’m honest, my family desperately needed to meal plan, so I made a fun, not-too-strict din-din routine we can live with. So far, this is the first week I remembered Meatless Mondays (after about three fails). I usually have turkey sausage for breakfast and that has been really hard to break on Monday mornings when my head’s still super foggy from the weekend (excuses, excuses!).

Let me just say Taco Tuesday is the bomb, Pizza Friday coming in at a close second. But we really, really need to work on Wild Card Wednesday. That’s our time to be creative and try something new. We’ve kind of been sucking at that. Do you meal plan? What is your favorite foodie night?


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