This week was actually really challenging for me, despite all of the fun stuff we had going on. I had a ton to get done, and felt really overwhelmed right up until this morning, when I finally started to feel like I was catching up. Tuesday night I met with my writers’ workshop, which I needed desperately. We didn’t even get much done in the way of workshopping, but it was great to just sit around, take a look at what we’ve all been up to in our writing lives, and laugh- oh god, how we laughed. My abs hurt.
Wednesday I had class allllll day, and I came home totally wiped, but Thursday I was up and ready to go with the kids and classes and everything else. There was a vegan meetup at a smoothie place that just opened in town, and Naomi called and asked if I wanted to go (of course)! Although they opened about two months ago, I hadn’t ever been in to check them out- I assumed they were like a Jamba Juice, full of gross sugar-packed junk. Serves me right for assuming, it turns out this place is INCREDIBLE!
I brought Jack to the meetup with me, but Carolyn had missed her nap and was totally exhausted, so she stayed home with Luis. Jack and I each got a smoothie. Bonus- they have kids sizes, so you don’t have to pay for a smoothie that is too big for them to drink! Jack got the Leo’s Favorite: almond milk, apple juice, banana, peanut butter, strawberries, raspberries, greens, and ice. I got the Turn Back the Clock: chocolate almond milk, green tea, banana, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, chia, and ice. I also added maca and spirulina, and I got a wheatgrass shot to go along with it. Everything was so good, it was just like the smoothies I make at home, but without the prep and cleanup, and with a better selection!
It feels really good to know that there is a place in Newtown that offers fresh smoothies and juice. Businesses like this are beginning to pop up all over the place here, and it’s making me fall even more in love with this area. Now all I need is my dream apartment in town- which, by the way, is for rent AND totally not affordable, but it’s good to dream 🙂 I used to think I wanted to go back to New York if I could find a job that would support it, but now I’m not so sure. Our life here has become so full of fun and magic, I’m not sure that New York would offer us the same- no matter what our situation. I’m trying not to focus too much on the things that might be, and instead maintain focus on what is going on right now: Jack and Carolyn, school, the art studio, my incredible, wonderful friends, the writing community that I am so thrilled to be a part of, my own work, and the promises of summer. Life is really something to be savored right now, and I’m trying very hard to do just that- to capture it and hold it very, very close.
After smoothies, I dropped Jack off at home and sped up to New Hope for First Thursday at Farley’s Bookshop. Every first Thursday of the month, they host a poet who reads his or her work, with a Q&A and open mic afterward. There is also free wine. Score! This month it was Lara Adams Gaydos, a poet from our workshop and the current Bucks County Poet Laureate. She was wonderful, and I was glad to be there 🙂
Now, on to grocery shopping, my favorite thing! 😀 The kids and I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday. The last time we went to the store, I bought enough for about a week’s worth of meals. Then I got busy and lazy, and I managed to stretch our pantry for an extra week, but yesterday it was looking a little desperate, so we set out to restock.
Please ignore the disaster in my trunk. We ended up hauling home three overflowing bags and one comfortably packed bag, plus a case of mangoes (I’ll explain in a minute).
By the way, please meet: pine cone. Pine cone is Jack’s new favorite thing, after puzzles and sticks. Pine cone is not allowed in the house because his (her?) seeds are slowly beginning to flake off, and I don’t want to have to run around the house sweeping them up. So pine cone lives in the trunk, and comes everywhere with us.
If you had told me five years ago that a pine cone would be living in my trunk, and that I’d dedicate some of my time to ensuring its presence and safety, I probably would have laughed in your face. And now I love it. Oh, life.
But really, what else can I do? 🙂 The kids are so much fun to shop with (most of the time), they deserve to be indulged.
Helpers! So, here’s the haul:
Veggies: asparagus, organic arugula, mache (new favorite thing!), two bags of organic spinach, a bag of kaleidoscope chard, two bags of organic broccoli florets, organic avocados, organic sweet onions, haricots verts, organic carrots, zucchini, shitake mushrooms, and sliced frozen leeks. Produce is taking up a huge chunk of our food bill right now, so I’m really looking forward to the start of the CSA.
Carolyn was very helpful throughout the entire process. Now, who actually believed that? 🙂
Fruit! Not much variety here, because last week I ran by the Grapevine for apples and oranges, and Luis has been bringing home plenty of bananas from work, so we were pretty well stocked. Although, I couldn’t say no to a ridiculously cheap crate of champagne mangoes! $7 for 18- a steal! Also, two bags of frozen organic mango, two bags of frozen raspberries, and a bag of wild blueberries.
Canned stuff! In my dreams, I soak my own beans. In reality, this happens about once a month. The rest of the time, it’s canned organic. I have to draw the line somewhere, and apparently that line is here. Organic vegetarian chili (GAH, delicious!), a garlic noodle bowl for busy afternoons, canned organic chickpeas, cannellini beans, 2 cans of organic black beans, organic pinto beans, 2 cans of coconut milk, coconut oil, plum tomatoes, and organic kidney beans.
Carolyn had definite ideas on how these should be set up.
Nuts, seeds, and grains: organic chia, organic quinoa pasta, organic brown jasmine rice, organic red quinoa, small green lentils, raw sunflower seeds, raw almonds, and roasted unsalted pistachio pieces.
The refrigerated section: 2 blocks of organic tofu, steamed lentils, 3 packs of organic tempeh, a bag of herb-y pizza dough, and organic humus. Let it be a testament to my busy week that I did not make my own hummus. Again, drawing a line to save my sanity…
A few misc. items: shredded sweetened coconut (for baking), sun butter, Method dish soap, and two packets of green superfood powder for quick breakfast smoothies.
Aw, and wine and daffodils 🙂 I love Green Fin for its ease and simplicity (also, it’s organic and vegan), and though I rarely drink at home, I try to keep a bottle on hand for Oishi dinners and other BYOB situations. It’s only $3.99! Steal.
So that was our shopping trip! Not bad- excluding the Method soap and superfood packs ($5, altogether), the whole thing came to $127.
That is actually quite a bit more than I usually want to spend, but considering we had worked our way through almost every edible thing in the fridge and pantry, we needed the restock. I don’t think it was too bad, especially since most everything is organic.
Confession: I never used to buy organic anything. I couldn’t justify paying more for something that was often right across the isle at a lower price. But I have to remind myself that they’re not the same thing, that they don’t do the same things when I put them into my body. Having Jack and Carolyn really got me thinking about what we eat, every nit picky detail, because it matters (to me, at least). I still have to swallow around the higher price, but I know I’m doing right by myself, my children, the environment, and the people that grow the food by voting organic with my dollars, even if it means we have to stretch a little. Again, really looking forward to the CSA….
Anyhoo, that’s all I’ve got for now. The kids are at a friend’s house, and I have to swing over and pick them up before they start looking like this…
I love her.
I’m sure I’ll be back sometime this week to check in and share more of our adventures. Philly tomorrow, which will be fun, and later today my Mum and I are checking out an ice cream shop that uses REAL ingredients, sources them from local farms (milk, too!), and promises a healthier, more ethical treat. We don’t eat ice cream, but I’m willing to go with my Mum to see what she thinks of it, and to see if maybe they have any vegan options? I’ll report back. Until next time!