As we prepared to board our plane back to Mexico City this New Years Eve, I realize what a wonderful time we have had in Florida over the last 19 days. 

We got to spend great quality time with family and a few friends. The children have enjoyed staying in a neighborhood at Abu and Papi’s meeting new friends across the street and running around the farm: playing in the new pond that Papa dug in his front yard, doing horse chores, enjoying bonfires, sleepovers at the cabin, dinners to Panera and DairyQueen, and of course, McDonalds! 

We had a wonderful Christmas as we enjoyed a beautiful midnight mass at the Abbey at St Leo University and woke up dark and early at 5am to Oliver announcing all the presents Santa brought for him, slowly followed by Luca and Paisley. 

  

 The day was more relaxed and low-key than past Christmas’ and we loved it! It was a beautiful Christmas at the cabin even though the temperature was a record high(heat index was 90°!) 

   
    
    
    Paisley loves playdoh, so this My Little Pony toy was a hit! 
 Meet Gracie, Paisley’s newest doll.

 

Oliver was in Pokemon and Transformer heaven!   This kid… so grown up!! Luca got his first Skateboard! 

  Uncle Mat showing Luca skills!
  Paisley with Gaga and Papa during downtime. 

  Paisley loves her Gaga and Beetle Bailey! 

  

 We had a visit from my friend Rachel (we go way back to our high school cross country days) and her girls! I love that children of our friends can grow up and enjoy spending time with our children! I can see these two girls running along side each other just as their mama’s ran together in high school😉

  The boys splashing in the pond! 
We took advantage of the unusual but beautiful Florida weather this December. We got the opportunity to go out in Aunt Lacey’s boyfriend Ryans’s boat. It was a beautiful afternoon on the water. 

   
    
    
    
   
   

 We want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year! We are excited to see what 2016 will bring! 

Love and warm wishes to all!

L
 
  

After 5 1/2 months of living in Mexico City, we finally took the leap and enjoyed a day at the children’s museum. It is very similar to Tampa’s Glazer museum; chaotic for parents but kids have a blast! 

  Paisley organizing playhouse furniture. 
   
    
 
Building a house and gardening

  Blowing oversized bubbles
   
 Grocery shopping

  Playhouse 
 
The kids had a great day and I look forward to returning with them in the summer when all the new exhibits will open up! 

L

We decided to take the kiddos on the bus and metro to El Centro this morning! 

 Luca and Mama on the bus

  Daddy with O & P

After departing the metro, We happened to walk  by the Museo de Arte Popular. These brightly painted paper sculptures lined the streets and entrance to the museum. The kids loved looking at them so we decided to go into the museum- museums in Mexico City are free on Sunday’s 😃   
    
    
   
 
    
   
    
 
The museum had an alter set up for Dia de Los Muertos:  

     

 
  

Luca, at 7 years old, really enjoyed museums and kept saying “Mama, Mira!” at the things that he liked. (He is catching on to some Spanish) Here are a few things we liked enough to photograph:
   
    
    
    
    tree of life displays
 Tree of life: Nativity

While walking towards Zocalo, I finally got an up close view of Bellas Artes, Mexico City’s fine arts museum. It is the most stunning building and my favorite. My husband is a lucky duck- he can see this museum from his office window while he works. 

   
One day, M and I plan to visit this on a day date in the future. There is a beautiful park “Alameda” beside Bellas Artes that is filled with Jacaranda trees, statues, and newly installed hammocks. 

We stopped at a juice bar before reaching Zocalo and my husband snapped this photo of me with the children. Not bad, love!  

 
The juice bar was caddy-cornered from the National Cathedral that overlooks Zocalo. The bells ring all day in Sunday and the children enjoyed hearing and watching the bells while sipping their juices.  

   
I told my husband, they have to make the bells loud to drown out the noise of the city and people. 

  These statutes had the insides carved out and had been drilled with thousands of holes so when you climbed inside them they looked like a starry night sky. The children enjoyed the shade and climbing. 
  A few more metro trains later, we arrived in another part of the city and enjoyed lunch at California Pizza Kitchen before catching a taxi home. 
At lunch I checked my watch:  

 The kids were great sports today- especially the boys who walked all 4.5 miles! I am guessing they got in 20,000 steps. Do they make pedometers for kids?! 

Another day walking the city in the books!

Well, only one month and 11 days until we fly back to Florida, with Lola, for the holidays- almost time for the kids to make link chains to count down the days🤔 

Happy November to everyone! 

L

Butternut squash soup

Since my husband spotted butternut squash (calabaza mantequilla) at a fruit stand in Polanco Saturday morning, Oliver has been begging for his favorite soup:Butternut squash! 

This soup is definitely the easiest soup minus the tedious peeling of the butternut squash. 

One butternut squash, one potato and one onion. I only use half an onion and half a potato for a small squash which is the case this time around- otherwise the soup tastes a little too oniony. 

  
After the market I cubed the squash and tossed it in the freezer to make it easier to make mid-week. I greased the pan with coconut oil and then tossed the halved onion, halved potato and cubed and peeled butternut squash. Bake it for 45 minutes at 375-400°F or until veggies are tender. 

Once tender, remove pan from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Pour veggies into a blender with salt and pepper (a few cranks of grinding each)and use broth of your choice or water to help blend. I use water because the veggies have such a great flavor no broth can compete. Thin slowly with liquid only if the blender needs it to help purée. 

  
If you are three years old, cover your ears to the obnoxious blender noise 😉: 

  
 

Once puréed thin with heavy cream, half and half or milk of your choice. I have loved it with cow and almond milk, as well as, half and half all of which taste amazing. 

I hope you will try this simple and easy cold weather, comfort food! 

Butternut squash soup

  • One butternut squash
  • One onion(half)
  • One potato(half)
  • Coconut oil to grease glass 9X 13″ pan
  • Water or broth of choice
  • Milk/ half and half to serve

  1. Peel and cube butternut squash and place greased pan.
  2. Cut onion in half and toss into the pan
  3. Cut potato into quarters and toss into pan.
  4. Bake 375-400° for 45 minutes or until tender.
  5. Let sit for 10 minutes and then toss veggies into a blender.
  6. Blend veggies adding water Penrith as needed to purée smoothly. 
  7. Thin with cream or milk of your choice and enjoy!

Oliver, my 6 year old, enjoys this soup with a grilled cheese and turkey sandwich! He says it is his favorite meal and that brings a smile to this mama’s face😀 

I hope you give this soup a try! 

Have a great day! 

L 

Blender banana almond butter muffins

A quick mid-week hello! I wanted to share a recipe that is easy, quick and the result is a healthy snack or breakfast for you and your kiddos!

Two weeks ago, I made homemade almonds in my ninja blender- quite honestly, making almond butter is too tedious for me. Blending almonds for 30+ minutes stopping every few to push down the sides was too much for me on a Sunday afternoon. The worst thing was, my kiddos turned their noses up at the homemade almond butter… 

So I decided today to look up a recipe for almond butter and bananas as I have a few ripening on the counter. 

I came upon a similar recipe on Pinterest and changed it up a little- to see the original check this out. It called for peanut butter. 

Here is the recipe adapted for me in high altitude but it would probably be just fine to use at sea level as no flour is required. 

Almond butter, Banana blender muffins

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 medium sized ripe bananas
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking powder 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 TB honey 
  • Add in: chocolate chips for topping

Preheat oven to 400°F/208°C.

Place the above ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth scraping down the sides if necessary. 

Pour batter into a greased muffin pan. 

  

  
Top the muffins with chocolate chips or the topping of your choice. 

Bake muffins for nine minutes(regular 22 count muffin pan) or eight minutes(24 count mini muffin pan). 


  

Test muffins with a toothpick to make sure they are cooked through. You can also push them down to make sure they spring back if a toothpick is not available. 

   

 

I hope you will try this simple blender recipe that your children can help with!

Here is Miss P topping the prevailed muffins with chocolate chips!  

   
Enjoy! 

L


Pumpkin spice waffles! 

Pumpkin everything this time of year…so I bought two pie pumpkins a few weeks back and when I returned to the store for more I only saw large pumpkins😕 so I tuned a large pumpkin into 18 cups of pumpkin purée! Needless to say, everyother baked item coming from my oven is pumpkin something! I am glad it only took me a week to understand how to adjust recipes for our high altitude here in Mexico City! Wanna know how I learned? Check out King Arthur Flours high altitude baking guide here

I jotted down my high altitude notes on a post-it and stuck it to the front of my cookbook. 😉

  
It is hard to find high-altitude recipes for 7,400 feet above sea level like we are here in MX, so I just do it on my own as I go! The good thing is all my old recipes are for sea level as we previously lived in Florida! 😉 so adjusting isn’t too difficult. 

Once a week, I make breakfast for dinner! My children love it and who doesn’t love a waffle for dinner?!

With that being said, tonight’s menu: 

  

In case you have difficulty reading my sloppy, write-as-I-bake handwriting here is the recipe typed! 

Pumkin Spiced Waffles

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of sugar or honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1  3/4 cups of milk
  • 4 TB coconut oil(or butter) melted

Mix flour ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix eggs and sugar/honey until congruent. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. 

Add flour in to wet ingredients until just mixed. 

Heat a waffle iron and follow instructions per your waffle iron. 

  
Should make 4 round or 6 square waffles! 

Here is my finished product! 

   
 
Let me know if you try this! 

L

Two Saturday’s ago, we decided to take L,O &P to the anthropology museum. The museum opened in 1964 and opened its’ doors to over 2 million visitors per year, according to Wikipedia. The museum covers almost 20 acres of land which is an incredible amount of space in the most populated city in North America.  

Sadly, the central courtyard umbrella, a well known photographed water spectacular was being maintained, so it’s photograph is not as iconic as you can find if you google it😉 

   
 
Normally water falls from the ceiling creating a fantastic fountain. We will definitely return as we only covered 4 out of 23 rooms. 

  The entrance to the museum displayed in Mexican flag as the Independence Day of Mexico was on Sept 16th.
 The ticket line. 64 MX pesos per adult, children 13 and under are free. So in dollars admittance is a mere $3.76 per adult! 

I brought along our old iPhones 📱 for the boys to take photos with. Let me say, Luca inherited the Newton Photography gene📷! 

  
  

  Luca taking a photo of an Aztec carving.

  Oliver taking a photo of a frog ‘rana’ carved out of stone.

We have been reading Susan Wise Bauer’s history series: “The Story of the World”after a fellow homeschool mother and friend,Lisa, recommended it. The boys beg me to read Book 1, covering Ancient Times at lunch and dinner each day. I greatly suggest this book for normal read aloud time for the younger children and a reading series for children who can handle it on their own, homeschool or not. It is a great source of  classical history that children are no longer taught. 

So back to the anthropology museum, the boys loved finding artifacts that we have learned about reading of the ancient times.  They were able to see tools and skulls from Neanderthal times. 

   
  A Neanderthal boy skull. 

  Skeletons of The differences in Homo Sapiens Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens Sapiens. 
 Tools   
 Cooking tools

  
The museum also had a remake of the pelota court used in Aztec times. M & I got to see one in person during our honeymoon at Chichinetza. 

   The “hoop” for the ball to go through. 
   
Here is an original throwbacks of M outside the court of Chichinetza and a shot of the two of us in front of Chichinetza pyramid: 

   
 My how young and innocent we looked! Lol

The last thing we stopped by to see at the museum was the original Mayan calendar: 

  
I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! I am resting up after a trip to the ER on Friday. No worries-  All is well now and I am thankfully on the mend. 

I hope to begin writing more frequently so please stay tuned! 

L