Baby chicks

Baby chicks

The Fitch Family is upto something new!

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Raw Sunflower Sesame Bread – Gluten-free!

Okay, I never got photos of the Chocolate Chia Pudding but it looked like this: rawchocchiapudding

The photo will click through to Get Well Grounded’s recipe. I didn’t use that one exactly but it looks perfect and I will next time.  Coco didn’t like my pudding- I think it was a texture thing. Stephane gobbled it up, though, and I loved non chocolate version.

So last night I decided to try my new dehydrator.  No, I didn’t get the Excalibur 9 tray “god of dehydrators.”  I wish.  I bought myself the $60 Nesco which had good reviews on Amazon but is definitely not sexy.  I mean, if a dehydrator could ever be sexy…

Anyway it was a good thing I got the cheapy because the next day my food processor died.  Now THAT was a disaster. I used the food processor a LOT. So yesterday I had the opportunity to play with both my new toys.  And I learned a lesson.  Tell you later.

The recipe for Sunflower Sesame Bread comes from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen which I bought on Amazon years ago, the first time I flirted with Raw Veganism.

Her recipe called for black sesames and both ground and whole flax seeds.  I only had ground flax so I substituted whole chia seeds.  I only had tan sesame seeds so I used those.  I still have no idea why I have two huge containers of sesame seeds…

The bread turned out fantastic.  It looks like this:

The photo links back to another blog with the full recipe.  I hate reinventing the wheel and Crystal did a fab job of describing how it all comes together. She’s got loads of yummy recipes so check her out.

I’m not hungry right now. I had a huge salad for lunch but for dinner I plan to make a sandwich EXACTLY like the photo above.  It’s so pretty and healthy looking, isn’t it?!!

Oh yeah, lessons… So for a lifestyle that eschews cooking, raw cuisine can be really time consuming. For anything not simply a salad, something has to be soaked and/or dehydrated.  Both take time. You see where this is going, right? I started making the bread after Coco went to bed and three hours later realized that I had two hours to go on the dehydrator and I was falling asleep on my feet. My cheapy machine doesn’t have a timer.

On the bright side, sitting out all night didn’t seem to bother it all.  I think the chia seeds needed more time than the flax anyway. I probably gave it three more hours in the dryer today and the bread tasted awesome.  I had a little with the sun dried tomato “cheese” I made a few days ago.  The cheese was really cashews and other yumminess. The cashews had to be soaked overnight, of course.  I suppose it’s a good thing. It’s hard to pig out when I have to anticipate my cravings 24 hours in advance…

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Raw Chocolate Chia Pudding

I just made the most gorgeous tasting raw chia pudding with raw cocoa powder, cinnamon and a little stevia, using fresh cashew milk I made earlier today.

It’s not for me. I’m not that into chocolate. Coco is the chocoholic in the family. I’ve been making her “chocolate juice”  for breakfast for a few months now and I love knowing that even before she gets to school she’s had a full serving of spinach, carrots, hemp or flax seeds, blueberries, fresh coconut water and banana.  If a little raw cocoa helps all that go down with a smile, than I’ll take it!

I made myself some pudding, too.  Instead of chocolate I added a bit of vanilla extract (technically not raw), stevia and cinnamon.  I’m having a very hard time leaving it in the fridge until morning.  Thankfully I have some semi frozen banana pieces to munch on tonight.  I’m still kinda in pain from watching Stephane scarf down the gorgeous corn zucchini lime (vegetarian but not vegan) pizza I made him tonight.  Oh feta how I miss thee.

See how pretty the pizza is?  Feel my pain?  Click here to get the recipe. I’ll take photos of the pudding tomorrow.

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Coco’s Tom Sawyer Summer

The city girl gets down and dirty all summer long.  I think she will remember this as her best summer ever… And it’s not over yet!


Downtown Mill Valley

Famous last words “I won’t get wet Mama!”

Stinson Beach, CA

Learning to surf with her Daddy

With her Nana & Yaya

Mill Valley Mountain Play presents The Music Man

With her Grandma & Grandpa in San Francisco

Celebrating Father’s Day at Fisherman’s Wharf

Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, CA

Who knew this place existed?

Wild Waves Amusement Park, WA

Sophie and Coco at the biggest water park I’ve ever seen

Coco and the girls in the wave pool

Coco and her cousin Benjamin

Maple Valley

Grandmama teaching Coco to pedal

Lake Sawyer

Stephane and Soleil take out the kayak

Coco: Look, Mama! No Life Vest!
Me: Aaaaaack!!!!

July 4 Party in the hot tub!

Sparklers were involved, of course

Captain Swanson takes us out for the show

Amazing fireworks and a full moon!

Speed tubing!


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Time is FLYING!

It’s already May 15 today.  We are moving out of our home in less than a month!

I’d like to say I’m busy packing, packing, packing but while I’ve done a little, there’s an entire household left to do.  I have been busy though.

Stephane and I finally identified a project I could do (apparently well) for our business. So I’ve been editing the hell out of a portion of his book.  It really helped him out with his deadline and it was fun to be working so closely together.  I guess it’s a preview of this fall when Coco is in school fulltime and I will take on more responsibilities as Director of Social Media for our biz. I have only a vague idea of what that will entail but I love projects so I know I will dive right in. I’m really looking forward to it.

We also had a few weeks of insanity around here while we were showing our condo to prospective tenants.  We had to keep the place immaculate for showings which is no easy feat when you have a four year old child, a dog and a cat (not to mention a husband) who all like to make a mess when they play. Then my housekeeper decided those two weeks were a great time to visit her mother in Guatemala.  IEEE!

But we did it! We found what looks to be an awesome tenant who we hope will stick around for a few years so we don’t have to go through this again anytime soon.

Seriously, apart from about two hours once a week after the housekeeper leaves, Chez Fitch is NEVER neat.  It might be clean (maybe) but it’s always a mess.  Want to see the pretty pictures from Craigslist?

It’s nice to have pretty photos of the home we’ve living in for almost five years.  It’s the only home Coco has ever known and we have made so many wonderful friends here.  Only time will tell who stays in contact but fortunately for us, I’ve taken a LOT of photos over the years so at least we’ll have lovely memories.

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Broccoli Pear Juice

Hello again.  Hi.  How are you?  Long time not see.  Umm, sorry I haven’t called.  I’ve been busy living and stuff. But I’m back.  I think.  I’m pretty sure. I’ve missed you.

Soooo, I keep trying to figure out how to reintroduce myself to my blog. It’s been so long since I’ve posted and so much has happened that I feel like I need to recap the entire last year. But let’s face it, no one who doesn’t know me really cares and all my friends and family already know.  Plus, the thought of thinking about the last year, let alone writing about it, is so overwhelming that I keep not doing it and then more times goes by, and more happens and I get further behind.  Ugh.

I’ve decided to jump right in.  Here goes.

Steph and I have completed a seven day juice fast today.  We weren’t 100% strict. Saturday night was date night and we splurged on a few cocktails (Captains and Diet Coke for me, Oberon beer for him) before seeing the Hunger Games (oh the irony.) Afterwards we went big and had a hummus plate with vegetables at the Daily Grill in Lincoln Square.  No pita, just cukes, celery, carrots and delicious, freshly made hummus.

I’ve lost about 6 lbs and I feel great, although I admit my temper has been short. I think I’ve been making our juices with too much fruit and I’m doing a lot of crashing throughout the day.  To fix that, we’re decided to do more veggie only drinks, or just with apple for sweetener.

Except that we should be done today, right? So who cares?

Well, no.  You see, a few nights ago we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. It’s about how juice fasting helped save the lives of a few people who really needed to lose weight and get healthy. We were already on day five of our own juice fast so I can’t say the film was life changing for us. But it was inspiring and we’re taking a good look at the foods we consume in this family.  Also, it inspired us to juice for a few days longer.  I need to lose four more pounds and inevitably I’ll put a few back on so we’re going to keep going until Friday.

All that build up just to tell you about a fabulous new juice I made tonight!

Your Daily Juice:  Broccoli & Pear

One big head of broccoli
Two pears
One apple
Four stalks of celery
One quarter avocado

Juice everything but the avocado, add that in the blender with ice.  Serves two.  Tell me what you think!!

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I’m Writing My Novel!

November is National Novel Writing Month: More than 250,000 people around the world will try to write 50,000 words in just 30 days.

See you on the other side!

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Favorite Moment From Our Vacation

Coco & Soleil at Lake Sawyer, Washington

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Random Thoughts of a Not So Super Mama

(Sorry for the way too personal bummer rant but I need to get this out there so I can get busy getting busy!)

That is a play on the title of another blog out there and it makes me jealous.  Not the title, really, but the super mom thing.  I came across another blog yesterday (my kid is sick, sue me for surfing) where the super crafty mom sews and crochets, keeps a busy blog  up to date AND has a few kids, teaches LAW at the university and trains for Triathalons.  I’m not kidding.

I have one kid, one puppy and one very busy husband who are my full time gig.  That’s it.  Sure, we keep busy.  We take a lot of classes through the park district.  We have daily play dates which we host, a LOT.  But come on!  I hardly ever go to the gym.  I have a weekly housekeeper!  And I still have no energy.  What is going on with me?

When I compare myself to my husband, I despair.  He started his own business this year.  He could be working 24 hours a day, he’s that busy, but he finds time to go to the climbing gym five days a week, gives our child a bath, gets her teeth brushed and reads her stories almost every night. He makes me coffee in the morning. And he STILL manages to clean the kitchen sometimes. Oh yes, and he folds the laundry.

So clearly, I’m a loser.

I want to be the mom who:

Makes fresh juice for the family every morning (sometimes I manage this for months in a row, then I just get sick of cleaning the juicer and stop.)

Helps her husband with his business – filing, taking care of bills and the billing, meeting clients out to help sell.

Reads to her daughter a LOT more.  Teaches her how to read and do basic math.

Goes to the gym five days a week.  This can include twice a week climbing with husband because that makes him so happy!

Writes her awesome zombie novel that is already partially outlined.

Trains her puppy to be the lovely companion /therapy dog she’s meant to be.

Sews beautiful things for house and home.

Crafts often with our child.

Cooks super healthy meals they love.

Okay, I don’t know if that’s all doable on a daily basis but that would make me a Super Mama and that would make me HAPPY.

So what’s the strategy?  How do I fit it all in when all I really want to do is read other people’s awesome zombie novels and surf all the awesome crafty mama blogs that others work so hard on.  It’s so much easier to live in my imagination but my husband, daughter and dog to not get the fun end of that stick.

What’s the secret?  I suspect organization, scheduling and discipline.  Not my strong suits.  Have to think on this. I’m open to suggestions.

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The Cuban Puppy Crisis

A Puppy Mill

What an eye opener. Those gorgeous little puppies I showed you yesterday?  They almost certainly have come from puppy mills.  The “breeder” of cute little Fifi is also the owner of a pet store that was being protested against in Wisconsin this weekend.  The puppy industry is all so sordid and confusing, not to mention depressing, that I had to stop and rethink.  It was either back to the shelters or on to professional breeders with solid references who show their dogs and only have a few litters or less a year.

Stephane and I discussed it and due to our particular need for a patient, child friendly, of a predictable small size, sturdy, non yappy and hypoallergenic-ish dog who will truly be an addition to our family, we’re going for a pure breed from a professional breeder.  And yes, we know it’s going to cost us.

The Havanese

Enter the National Dog of Cuba, the Havanese.  Here’s what Wiki has to say:

The Havanese is small in size and sturdy in structure with a tail carried up over its back and ears that drop and fold. The coat is abundant, long, and silky and comes in all colors. The Havanese has a spirited personality and a curious disposition, and is notable for its springy gait, a characteristic that distinguishes the breed from all others. The Havanese is considered an ideal family pet and a true companion dog. They are highly adaptable to almost any environment, and their only desire is to be with their human companions.

The Havanese is a very people-oriented dog, often following their human companions around the house. They are not overly possessive and do not suffer aggression or jealousy towards other dogs, pets, or humans.

Unlike most toy dogs, who are too delicate, nervous, or aggressive to tolerate the often clumsy play of children, the Havanese is a cheerful companion to even younger children.  This is a highly trainable dog and can learn tricks quickly and easily.

These are natural companion dogs: gentle and responsive. They become very attached to their owners. Affectionate, playful and intelligent, they are very sociable, easy to obedience train and get along well with other dogs. Havanese have a long reputation as circus dogs because they learn quickly and enjoy doing things for people.

So yesterday afternoon I filled out several adoption applications for local breeders in the mid west.  The applications, while not as stressful as applying for preschool, were involved and some required near essay-style answers.  But the process helps breeders to analyze which pup will be best for which family, or if a Havanese is even the right dog at all for someone.

I sent off the forms and then began a very impatient wait – the kind where I’m bouncing off the walls. Will we be be accepted?  What will the puppies look like?  Will there be any left?  Will they be right for us? HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST?  Believe it or not, many breeders won’t tell you jack until you fill our their application.  None of them specified cost until I was approved.

In the meantime, because Coco was sick and insisted that I lay in bed with her for the third day in a row, and because I couldn’t stomach watching Barbie in the Nutcracker ONE.MORE.TIME, I did more research on my laptop.  Lots more.  How to crate train. How to groom.  How to potty train. I looked at all the Havanese Clubs of name your city and got to know the important breeders and the names of champion lines. It became apparent that if you really want a Havanese, you should be prepared to wait up to TWO YEARS to get your puppy.   TWO YEARS.  Did I mention that I want a puppy right now?

I have it all worked out.  We get back from LA on June 14. Pick up puppy right away and spend next two weeks at parks and beach with Coco. Then Coco starts summer school and I’ll have five weeks to take the pup to classes and spend lots of one one one time with her.  Then we go to Maine for August and that’s puppy heaven. Round that off with two more months of good weather in September and October and I should have a fully potty trained pup before the first snow falls. That’s the plan.

Well last night I heard back from Diane at Windfall Havanese.  She breeds champs and I’d seen her name quite a lot in my research.  She just happens to have a nine week old girl she had been planning to keep because both her parents are champions and three of her sisters from earlier litters are are champions.  But she thought about it and decided that we could come up and meet Sunshine (and I’m sure Diane wanted to check us out, too.)  Then came the price tag.  HOLY.COW.

Sunshine Supernova

I cost WHAT?

I wrote and thanked her profusely and asked if the price was negotiable.  And then the real wait began. First thing this morning I checked for an email. Nothing.  All morning, I raised “bouncing off the walls” to a new art form.  In the meantime we were approved for another pup, quite a bit older, for the same original price as Sunshine. This one was another show pony but apparently is developing an underbite so her competition days are over. I don’t care at all about that but at the same price, I still really wanted Sunshine.  Then another approval came through and this one was tiny, would probably be only eight weeks old when we get back from LA, and was even more expensive!

I loved that Diane really listened to what we were looking for and explained the ways Sunshine would fit with our family.  I love that with all of her pups, if ever the buyer can’t keep theirs, she’ll take them back no questions asked.  For all kinds of reasons, I couldn’t face the possibility of her saying no to us.  So I wrote her back and told her never mind, we’ll pay full price.

Then around midday Diane wrote to say that Sunshine is ours.  YAY!  I know I’m probably an idiot and should have waited but I couldn’t.  I simply couldn’t.

And so the crisis is over, at least until the bill comes.

Posted in Choosing a puppy, Havanese | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments