Six trips in eight months with an infant pt. 1

When you have a child, everyone warns you how much your life is going to change. And it does. Not in the ways they explain it per say, but in ways you couldn’t have planned for or dreamed up. Basically, the day Atlas turned twelve weeks old, we planned a road trip down to Houston for a sip n’ see my mother-in-law wanted to host for us. We thought it was smart to get him use to travel as soon as we can, so we did what we figured would be the most complicated thing, a 3,200 mile road trip with stops in a town we were thinking about moving to each way. As a chronic, obsessive, planner – I got to learn to laugh at myself that trip. When you have a baby this small and so in need of you – you stop basically every hour. Every moment you think he didn’t breathe right, it’s an emergency pull over. It’s backseat diaper changes (we didn’t figure out the trunk until about three months later!), and caving in to weird hotels in towns that smell like dogfood (what’s up Byran, Mississippi?) for the betterment of the little one. Needless to say, we weren’t subscribing to the my-life-needs-to-change-because-I-had-a-baby rants. We are travel people, and it’s going to stay that way.

i believe in nashville

Houston was great, but we quickly learned to double our estimated travel time when the bebe was with us. We later drove to Richmond, VA twice, Nashville, TN (the place we stopped both to and from Houston), and St. Louis knowing what we were in for, and gladly accepting. Atlas even went on a plane to Florida with out a single moment of crying during take off or landing in both directions. We credit the crazy long road trips as good practice for a few hour flight. I on the other hand just about had a panic attack figuring out the stroller situation for the first time.

We had planned our holiday last year after being super preggo and working super hard at hosting Christmas at our house. I figure I was due a nice and relaxing no-fuss situation with my boys. Surprise to us, we sold our house very quickly, and needed to make a decision about where to move next. It’s been a discussion for years at this point: Richmond vs. Nashville. I finally told Joey to pick because we have been walking circles so lone, and he picked Nashville, naturally.

house hunting

Our Christmas designation was a cute cabin (by the name of Buck Naked, no joke) in the Great Smokies, and it was absolutely perfect. But we didn’t get there before some serious house hunting in Nashville, and my word, our heads are still spinning from that.

Nashville is in the middle of crazy development, and developers are going wild. Homes don’t even get on to Zillow before they sell. It’s crazy! We were viewing a house and two other appointments showed up. It’s pure chaos. The land hunt, quickly turned into a house hunt, so sans building right away for us. Right now we are in progress on a cute tudor we fell in love with, and if all goes well, we will have another renovation under our belts to deal with. We are SO excited to share what’s been going on during this seemingly quiet time.

One important thing, was to explore our new town. We fell in love with the 12 South area. Nashville is broken into teeny tiny areas connected by homes. Everyone seems to be gravitating towards East Nashville, which reminds us of Williamsburg, Brooklyn 5 or 6 years ago. Very cool restaurants popping up, and a hipper crowd is moving in. We liked it to hang out, but fell in love with the tudors around 12 South. I rounded my top five picks, trust there is A LOT more goodness. I am sure Joey would have put Burger Up and The Pharmacy in the mix.

the pharmacy nashville

Nashville Vegetarian Wins!

1. Sunflower Cafe

We were a little scared to go here because we thought it was a serve-your-self buffet, and being germ-nerds, we avoided it. I am glad I finally caved and went, because it’s totally clean and super cute! It wound up being my favorite place to eat. You pick an offering of how many items you want on your plate, and it’s all behind glass and served by the staff. There is plenty of seating and a ramp for strollers to easy in-and-out. I think it’s all vegan. Everything was fresh and flavorful. I see it being a go-to spot in my future.

2. Wild Cow

We didn’t get to stop here this trip because we were focusing on new finds, but this 100% vegetarian joint reminded me of a Brooklyn place, and that’s good in my book. They had really great fresh food, and it’s in a small strip where you can hang for a moment or get ice cream and Jeni.I am not a fan of ice ream, but I tried the peach and biscuit one, and oh-my-lawwwd. AMAZING/DANGEROUS!

3. Mas Tacos Por Favor

Once a taco truck, and now a counter-order restaurant, this place reminds me of a good Miami spot I would go before shows. The fried avocado taco is TO-DIE-FOR!.They serve it Monday – Thursday, and then do a fish Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There are other veggie options available, but that one was perfection. They make their own drinks, and the elote is solid. We went twice, and I have craved it 10X since being home.

nashville-6

4. Taco Mamacita

Ask for the vegan menu, and you will be set up good. I love the vegan soup and taco with plantains in it. It’s on a cute strip, and has the best baby shop ever close by, Tweed.

5. Josephine

We happened upon this place when we showed up to Mafiaoza’s and they were closed. Josephine had just been open a week, and it was perfection. Total date night place, with really delicious vegetarian options. Get the Brussels sprouts, then email me and let’s talk about them for a week straight, because I am sure Joey is sick me me drooling over how good their food is.

nashville park

 

na

Beyond the food, we found very cute shops, very kind people, very cool parks, and a lot of hard work ahead of us on the house hunting front. Also, the cafe culture in Nashville is pretty awesome. We fell in love with Barista Parlor, which, I swear, makes us feel like we are in Williamsburg again, in our 20′s. Just this time, with a baby, and a mortgage.

Barista Parlor

So, we left Nashville with a boatload more information, and a house we are thinking about putting an offer on, one an engineer addresses our concerns. It’s still mind blowing how quickly things can change, and plans can become fiction. We happened upon a husband-wife realtor team in a weak moment of peeking at a non-reno-neede open house. Talk about fate. These two have been so great with us, and are fun and adorable. I am so grateful we found them and how well they have been helping us with so very much. Atlas even loves them! Please email me if you need a realtor in the Nashville/Frankin area!

nashville-7

This wraps part one of our two week trip, which was suppose to be a one week trip to the mountains. Planning has become no good for us! Happy New Year friends! Don’t plan too much, we learned it kills the magic of life! See ya next year!!

Let’s Eat/ 6

I recently started incorporating chia seeds into my food instead of just my drinks, and I love it! This recipe is great for people who like rice pudding or tapioca, but are into trying a pudding with a healthy twist. Also it’s vegan, and gluten-free. Not to mention, delish! Enjoy!

vegan pudding, chia pudding, coconut pudding

Vegan Coconut Chia Pudding
Recipe type: dessert or snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tbs chia seeds
  • 8oz can of coconut milk
  • 4oz of soy milk
  • 1 tbs of real vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. mix all ingredient together in a mixing bowl and chill over night
  2. mix well
  3. chia seeds will have formed a “gel” around them and will have thickened the batch. if it’s watery, add more chia seeds until you get the desired consistency.
  4. pour into individual serving containers the next day
  5. eat as is or top with fresh fruit or fruit syrup

 

vegan pudding, chia pudding, chia recipe, chia dessert

This is no bake, no heat, totally easy and not scary. You can get chia seeds at your local health food store most likely. We get this kind, and they have been working out great. I use ball jars to store it in for the week. You can also top with a preserve, or mix in berries like I do. How do you use chia seeds? Let us know, I am into trying more stuff.

For those of you wondering what a chia seeds is or does, here is what I read on wikipedia:

Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25–30% extractable oil, including ?-linolenic acid (ALA). Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of about 1 mm (0.039 in). They are mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white. According to the USDA, a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. The seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% ,  similar in nutrient content to other edible seeds such as flax or sesame. Although preliminary research indicates potential for dietary health benefits, this work remains sparse and inconclusive. Chia seed consumption has been reported in the public media and is purportedly used by athletes.

 

Like healthy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free stuff? Check out more recipes in our Let’s Eat! column!

Let’s Eat / 5

Seems crazy to mix olives with cherries, but trust me, this is good. It’s ridiculously good. Make as a snack or appetizer and top crusty bread or crostini. If you want to incorporate it into a meal, bake in with a protein like grilled tofu or mock chicken.
cherry olive
Let’s Eat / 5
Recipe type: Snack or Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
The easiest, yummiest, crowd pleaser!
Ingredients
  • 12 oz bag of frozen cherries pitted
  • ½ cup of packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups of kalamata olives pitted
Instructions
  1. You can make this two ways:
  2. Crockpot
  3. Dump all ingredients into the crockpot
  4. Set to high for four hours
  5. Drain liquid
  6. Enjoy!
  7. Oven
  8. Dump all ingredients into an oven safe bowl and cover
  9. Place in a 400 degree oven, covered, for one hour
  10. Remove cover and cook for another 20 minutes or until liquid begins to reduce
  11. Drain liquid
  12. Enjoy!

 

Let’s Eat / 4

As I itch for sunshine, I am playing with some Spring and Summer dishes and I scored one that’s perfect for picnics and BBQ’s! It’s vegan if you are OK with honey, and not vegan if your are not, but I bet using agave as a replacement would work just fine. I had to make this a few times to get it just right.

wheatberry salad, vegan side dish, vegetarian

Here are some tips to check out before reading the recipe.

  • let your wheatberry’s soak for an hour or so before you boil them – it will take WAY less time to cook.

wheatberries, wheatberry, soaked wheatberries

  • rince the wheatberries in cool water and pat try before mixing in with other ingredient. I didn’t the first two times and it turned out too watery.
  • chopping everything about the same size somehow makes this taste better.

wheatberry salad

  • bounce the lime on your counter to get more juice out of it!
Wheatberry Salad
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Perfect for a group, picnic, BBQ, or light meal!
Ingredients
  • ½ of juicy lime
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or agave
  • 2 oz of cooked and dried wheatberries
  • 1 cup of sliced red and green grapes
  • ½ of green apple, sliced into small cubes
  • 3 chives, chopped finely
  • I box of raisins
  • 3 celery stalks, cleaned and sliced into small cubes
Instructions
  1. add apple, grapes, chives, raisins, and celery into a serving bowl.
  2. mix in lime juice and honey.
  3. fold in wheatberries.
  4. chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
  5. serve and enjoy!

 

wheatberry salad, healthy sie dish

Let’s Eat / 4

Happy Wednesday! Joey and I discuss what we are going to eat every day for at least 20 minutes before we make a decision. I am not going to lie. It’s hard sometimes with me being a super strict vegetarian and him loving his burgers and dogs. I do have a trick p my sleeve sometimes. Want to know how to make a carnivore happy? Vegan. Pulled. Pork. Yes! This is one of Joey and my favorite meals. The Texan eats my vegan pulled pork with a smile. Let us know what you think!

vegan pulled pork recipe

Vegan Pulled Pork
Recipe type: Sandwich
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups of ketchup
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp of molasses
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (or more if you like a kick!)
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt
  • 3 heaping tbsp of brown sugar
  • 6 vegan chicken legs from this place: http://www.maywahnyc.com/
  • vegetable oil for rubbing on vegan chicken legs
  • 4 small ciabatta loafs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the first six ingredients and stir well.
  3. Set stovetop heat to medium and allow to simmer, while occasionally stirring for 20 minutes. If sauce is too thin, continue to simmer, if it’s too thick, you can add a bit of water to thin out.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, take the 6 vegan chicken legs and rub each with vegetable oil. Place in a shallow pan and put in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes, then flip and heat for another 10 minutes. The goal is to get a slightly browned vegan chicken leg.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool. Pat each leg down to remove any oil left behind. Once cool, use two forks to shred the “pork”. You will find a wooden stick inside each vegan chicken leg, make sure to remove and dispose of them.
  6. Remove sauce from heat and mix a few tablespoons in with the shredded vegan chicken legs.
  7. Fill up a cibatta loaf with the mixture and add additional sauce to sandwich as necessary.
  8. Enjoy!

 Like yummy vegetarian stuff? Check out all the Let’s Eat posts

Like us?! You are so sweet! Let us know by leaving us a comment or dropping us a line so we know what you are into! xxoo

Let’s Eat / 3

Are we instafriends? If not, lets be – especially if you are into food posts. Look us up, makingahouseahome is our name. I usually pop up a photo of what I am cooking to gauge interest before deciding if I should do a post.

This is a pretty quick and tasty meal, and perfect for a chilly night. Enjoy!

vegetarian quick meal, polenta and chard, wild mushroom and polenta

Let’s Eat / 3
Author: 
Recipe type: Quick Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard cleaned with stems cut
  • 2 handfulls of while mushrooms (brush off dirt, don’t wet), chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup of polenta
  • ½ cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook polenta according to instructions.
  2. While polenta is cooking boil the chard until tender when poked with a fork, about 15 minutes.
  3. Drain, squeeze dry and pat with paper towel. Chop coarsely and set aside.
  4. Dry fry mushrooms until they sweat and add 1 tablespoon of oregano and sprinkle with salt.
  5. Add chard to the mushroom frying pan and continue to fry for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  6. When polenta is complete, remove from heat. Add cheese, butter, and the rest of oregano and thyme. Mix well. Set aside.
  7. Scoop polenta into serving bowl and top with mushroom and chard mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  9. Enjoy!

 

chard, wild mushrooms, vegetarian recipes

swiss chard polenta mushrooms

 

This recipe was adapted from William Sonoma.

Let’s Eat / 2

I have gained 20 lbs. T-W-E-N-T-Y whole pounds. I do have the pregnancy thing going on, but still. That’s 20 lbs that weren’t there before. I am kind of freaked out. I am not getting any younger, and my metabolism wasn’t what it was when I was playing soccer every day. I needed to find some better alternatives to my hyper-sweet tooth during pregnancy. I actually don’t like ice cream, and don’t think I ever have even had  a milkshake in my life, but this recipe defies all reason. Trust me. It’s addictivly good, and creamy, and actually GOOD FOR YOU. Not, better than the bad stuff, but GOOD for you.

healthy chocolate, healthy smoothie

The ingredients are super simple and clean. While making this, I realized how much I like dates. They are seriously good. How come I didn’t know this before?

Recipe type: Drink/Liquid Meal
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2
 
The absolute best completely healthy drink I have ever had, hands down.
Ingredients
  • 1 Avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons of pure cocoa
  • 4 Dates, pitted and chopped
  • ¾ cup soy or nut milk
  • Agave to taste
  • Small handful of ice
Instructions
  1. Start by scooping the avocado into a blender and then add everything but the milk and blend.
  2. Slowly add the milk bit by bit until you get a less of a pudding consistency, and more of something you can drink through a straw.
Notes
The recipe was adapted from a guilt-free drink I got at a juice place in Florida.

 

healthy chocolate smoothie

See how rich and creamy it looks? It’s sooooooooo good! I am addicted and so happy to make a smoothie without peanutbutter in it just because it has a chocolate base!

vegetarian meal replacement, pregnancy food

It looks thick, and it is, but it’s smooth enough to use a straw! Enjoy!

Like yummy food? Then check out more let’s eat posts!

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