I posted a video of Esme Patterson a couple weeks back but this duet she did with Shakey Graves is so on point, I had to post it, too. Happy Tuesday, party people. And Happy Birthday to absolutely everyone I know. September is serious about birthdays. Probably because December is the sexiest?

214. Dearly Departed by: Shakey Graves ft. Esme Patterson


And while we're at it, here's this which is just SOsoso good. 

Bully's Lament by: Shakey Graves 


Divisive Devices

This Last week on Mom.me, I wrote about tech and sausage factories:

(Airplanes don't count, btw. We survived our flight thanks to movies and headphones on laptops and Hal's iPad and will be utilizing these modern day gadgets, once again, two days from now, when we fly home.)
But other than that... sorry kids. You're going to have to sit at the dinner table and learn how to behave without a device in your hands. Because if not now, when? 

Oh, HI!

So, we're in Hawaii right now which is insane. I didn't actually think this was happening in real life, which is why I didn't mention it until now because while I have been invited on exciting adventure-trips before, I have never been invited to bring my family. And this whole time I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop and it didn't.

And then suddenly it was Wednesday night and I realized I still had to pack for six people and then I freaked out a little bit and then yesterday, the six of us got on a plane c/o Toyota and flew to the big island of Hawaii, where I am currently surrounded by four children who want to go to the beach right now but it's 5:30am Hawaii time so maybe we should wait a little. (Although, maybe we shouldn't. Dawn patrol sounds pretty sweet.)
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Before I post some photos of what went down our first day, I just want to thank Toyota for an opportunity our children will remember for life. We went to Hawaii as a family when I was 16 and I always hoped to come back with my family someday and here we are and we're all reeling and pinching each other. (The flight from LA to Kona was a first in our family history that went off drama free. The kids were amazing and Hal and I kept nudging each other, like, can you even?)
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I'll be checking out/test driving the new Toyota Sienna while I'm here and my family and I will be partaking in various activities around the island, and then, when the Toyota event ends, the six of us will be spending an extra couple of days exploring the island on our own. (I couldn't NOT extend the trip, right? I mean WE'RE HERE!)
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Here are some photos from yesterday/last night and I'll continue to update on Instagram as well as GGC when I have the time and bandwidth to do so.
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In the meantime, thanks again to Toyota, and thank YOU all for making this trip possible. I recognize that your readership is the reason that opportunities like this exist for our family and I'm so grateful. We all are.
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Mahalo to all... oh. 


Eat Well: Basic Tips for Healthy Family Eating

The following post was written by my sister-in-law, Alyssa. Alyssa is a registered dietitian who specializes in food reform and public health initiatives for families. She also happens to be an incredible person and brilliant resource for all things food + family. I asked her to write this post after several of you requested more posts with accessible tips for healthy family eating. Take it away, Alyssa!
Hello! I’m Alyssa. Rebecca’s (new) sister-in-law and she asked me to write a post on nutrition. I work in public health nutrition and am a registered dietitian. So let me start by saying that if you have specific questions about your child’s health or diet, I recommend asking your pediatrician for a referral to a registered dietitian that can do a thorough assessment and help create a tailored plan. However, there are some simple healthy changes that I find can be very helpful for kids AND their parents to establish healthy eating habits.
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1. Eat Fruits and Vegetables! Make fruits and vegetables the go-to snack. Apple or pear slices, clementines, bananas, berries, sliced bell peppers and cucumbers... the list goes on. Anyone who’s been inside a grocery store knows that the aisle labeled “Snacks” is not filled with fresh produce. We are a snacking culture and American children get about a quarter of their total calories from snacks. Of course, including fruits and vegetables during meals is important too, but snack time is an often overlooked opportunity when kids may be at their hungriest (and more likely to eat foods they might refuse otherwise). Snacking on fruits and vegetables will make sure they get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber they need to stay healthy.
photo 2 (89) frozen berries= perfect snack on a hot day
photo 1 (86) fresh ones, too!

 • Tips: If you shop at a farmer’s market or store that stocks local produce, go for things that are in-season as they will taste better and likely be cheaper. Kids are more likely to eat cut up fruits and vegetables, so that extra effort could make a big difference. If they’re still hungry, consider adding something with protein – like hummus, string cheese, low-sugar yogurt or nuts.

2. Drink Water! Make water the #1 drink. Sugary beverages like sodas, “fruit” drinks (think CapriSun), sports drinks, and iced teas have zero nutritional value. If you can eliminate them from your children’s vocabularies save the rare occasion, you’ll have eliminated the leading source of added sugar in American’s diets. Awesome, that’s huge.

 • Tips: Add sliced citrus (oranges, lemons, limes) or cucumber to a pitcher of water and keep it in the fridge. Call it “spa water” and make it feel like a special treat. Unsweetened seltzer water is also something to try if your kids aren’t stoked with plain water from the tap. I’d steer clear of artificially sweetened or diet beverages.
photo 3  sliced cucumbers + lemon = spa water

3.  Kids in the kitchen! Involving your children in the cooking process is SO important and ChopChop Magazine is my favorite resource to help families do just that. The magazine is written in a “for kids, by kids” fashion, with healthy and delicious recipes like their “Zucchini Pancakes” recipe below. You can check out a sample issue here that includes a “Cooking Methods” tutorial for kids to prepare broccoli four ways. Children may need to try a new food 10 – 20 times before they decide they like it (or not), and offering vegetables prepared in different ways can increase the chances they will.
4.  Establish manageable rules! If getting your child to eat is a constant battle, check out the Ellyn Satter Institute’s website on division of responsibility in child feeding. It provides guidelines to give children the control they need to learn their own hunger cues and parents the freedom to not turn into short-order cooks. Cliff notes version: Parents are responsible for what, when and where food is served, and the child is responsible for how much and whether they choose to eat. Working toward these defined roles with your children means everyone knows the rules of the game.
What works for your family? Do you find it helpful to bring your kids grocery shopping to get them excited about cooking or have you had too many meltdowns in the cereal aisle? How do you get your children to try new foods? Please share! 

 Zucchini Pancakes 
(from ChopChop Magazine) 


3 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium-sized zucchini)
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2⁄3 cups whole-wheat flour
3⁄4 cups crumbled feta cheese
4 scallions, greens and whites, chopped
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil


1. Put the shredded zucchini in the colander and sprinkle with the salt. Set the colander in the bowl.

2. Using your hand, press down on the zucchini so that as much liquid as possible drains out into the bowl. Stir the zucchini and repeat. Throw away the liquid.

3. Put the zucchini in the bowl and add the eggs, flour, cheese, and scallions. Mix well.

4. Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When the skillet is hot (flick some water on—it should dance and evaporate immediately), add the oil.

5. Using the tablespoon, scoop blobs of the zucchini mixture from the bowl and spread it into a round, flat nest on the skillet: it should make a circle that's about 2 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Repeat to fill the skillet.

6. Cook until the bottoms are deeply golden, about 5 minutes, then turn the pancakes over and cook 5 more minutes. Repeat with the remaining mixture. - See more, here.



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First of all, thank you for the lovely birthday wishes. Here are a few photos I snapped of our weekend which ended up being a two day affair of family and balloons and bouncies and dancing over and over to "It Takes Two" because it really does take two to:

A. Make the thing go right and

B. Make it out of sight.
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Balloons are my kids' favorite things in the world (ED: for those of you in Los Angeles, the bouncer we rented this past weekend was SIXTY EIGHT DOLLARS including insurance! Tip is not included, however, and these guys deserve a fat tip, especially when it's 102 degrees outside. Yikes. Also, whoa, cheapest bounce house ever o'clock and this one even came with a full-on obstacle course and basketball hoop inside. Sweet!)
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Anyway, the weekend ruled. My parents were here and my grandparents and Nana and my grandma's triplet sister and her husband, my great uncle, and it was extremely hot and sweaty so we had a wet t-shirt contest and my grandma won.
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My mom won!


Nana won.

(JK, Hal won.)

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And here's a short montage of some of what went down later. #TwinLyf

(rocking out in the background credit: Hal)

214. It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ Eazy Rock

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