Why we are a CSA kinda family.

We missed the signup for the CSA last year and we were pretty bummed. So when the email came in…I was ON IT! Basically I bought all of our vegetables that we’ll be eating this summer in January. Bizarro, right?

I had my doubts about a CSA at first. It felt slighty elitist is a strange way. Well, not so strange because it’s not cheap. Also, our CSA is located in a very wealthy town. “Going off to Weston to pick up our expensive organic vegetables that someone picked just for us dahling. Ta ta!” is how it felt, at first.

Then the vegetables came in to the house and it was overwhelming. Some I’d never heard of. Others I was sure I didn’t like. I had to wash it all. I had to put it away and organize it so it wouldn’t go to waste. It took some doing.

But then some weird things started happening. My daughter started to ask “When are we going to the farm, mama?” My oldest son would ask “What week will the ‘zipper peas’ be ready to pick?”.  My youngest son, who was always napping the first year would whine “Why don’t IIIIIIIIIIIIII get to go the faaaaaaaaarm?”

They wanted to go. They wanted to pick. They want to play in the fields. They wanted to talk about the farm and the vegetables and the flowers and the animals. So much of what our kids learn doesn’t come from a lesson at school, but experiences outside the classroom. Shared experiences with siblings about weird vegetables and honey bees. Lessons from mom about how she learned to pick cucumbers from Papa when she was little.


My Dad was an organic farmer way before Whole Foods was around. We would eat the beans right off the plant when were kids. That garden was our playground. It wasn’t huge mind you, but the yield was enough for all of us and some of the neighbors. I can’t recreate that in the postage stamp of a yard I have now, but I can take them to a farm every week.

Then, more weird things. All those vegetables that at first I was like “Aw, hell no!” Well now they have a place at our table all summer. I figured it out! The farm helps with tastings at pick up. Those tasting helped the kids to like both cabbage and radishes.

Here’s the thing about a CSA to all those who would say “you can just by those vegetables at the grocery store you know.” Yes, I know.

But I wouldn’t. I really wouldn’t. And neither would you if you’re honest. Would you really walk in to the grocery store and say “Hey – I think I’ll buy some Tatsoi today.” No, no you wouldn’t.

Also I did the math, it works out to be about the same as buying it at the market. But you get so. much. more. Because of my experiences with the Four Hour Body and a Whole Food Detox, we have been trying to eat a more whole food diet in our house. And then there’s pesticides, and Monsanto, and being able to eat LOCAL. A CSA just makes sense, for us.

Now we have not one, but two, spaces planted in our tiny yard. One for vegetables and one for flowers. We may not get anything to put on the table out of them, but the kids couldn’t be happier tending to them. My son won’t eat chicken nuggets, but he will eat cole slaw. So there’s that too.

My youngest finally gets to go the the faaaaaaaaaarm this year. I can’t wait to see what his siblings show him and what he discovers there!


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Joyce Chen Spiral Slicer Zucchasta! Zucchini Pasta

We’re calling it Zucchasta! Yeah we know it’s weird, if it makes them eat it I’ll call it whatever they want.

Since doing the Whole Food Detox I’ve really been adding more and more, well, whole foods into our diet here in the little purple house. My oldest doesn’t love past but loves vegetables. Middles loves pasta, not so much vegetables.The littlest doesn’t like anything. I’m not even kidding.

So I figured two out three isn’t so bad so I took a chance. To try to achieve this culinary coup we’ll be using the Joyce Chen Spiral Slicer.


Turns out …

they liked it. They didn’t love it. But they’ll definitely eat it again. The Joyce Chen spiral Slicer made it easy.

After slicing it all up I put it in a salad spinner to get some of the excess water out. Then I tossed it with some salt and pepper and popped it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. I just wanted to warm it and soften it up a little bit. Topped it with some warm marinara and we were good to go!

Zucchini Pasta
While the spiral slicer is nice, you have to have a certain size and shape zucchini to fit in that thing. It also brings the seeds along with it. You have to pick those out. For the couple of times a month (or more ) I may use this I think it’s a fine little piece of plastic.

Although this might do the job too…and it fits in a drawer ;-)

Disclosure – those are affiliate links up there for the slicers :-)

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My not so resolute New Year’s ideas

Yeah, that’s what I’m calling it. You don’t like it, well how are your resolutions going? Hmmmmm? Still at it? Well I hope you are! Me? I never made it past the first week. I gave them up years ago.

So it’s the first week in January and I have some very definite ideas about what I’d like to accomplish this year. Goals, if you will. I’ll work hard towards them, but I will not name them resolutions. Nuh uh.

I’ve been spending some time with this be-atch the past couple of days…



I’ve also started eating the 4Hour Body way again. Which means my husband is all 4HB again. He’s grouchy ;-) Two years ago I had amazing results from 4HB and I really loved it. I made some modification and kept on with it. Then I started eating chips and bread again, and my tummy is back. Sigh.

I feel stronger already. I have more energy already. Why do I always forget how GOOD eating right and exercising make me feel. WHY?

Being healthier also makes me a more patient mother and wife. And a happier one.

Professionally, I’d like to build the blog more, Hence doing a course called 30 Days to Build a Better Blog. I started in in December but it fizzled out because I had the flu. In case you didn’t notice I was absent over the week around Christmas. Holy Hell was I sick. So I’m starting it again this week. We’re building here people!

I’d also like to do some more video work now that I have a new camera. Wooohoooo!

So there you have it some stuff I’d like to do.
What are you doing with the New Year?

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Blog Better (Boston) or not ever again?

Hmmmmm…Sometimes I think not ever again.

I’ve been so uncommitted to my blog for a while. There are days that I think I should just stop promoting it, take down the 4HB posts (my biggest source of traffic, sadly. I know, I can’t believe it’s not The not so crafty Mama gets her (Father’s Day) tie on either!) and just let it be my family blog.

Blog Better Boston

Yesterday was one of those days, and ironically I was at a blogging conference, Blog Better Boston. You’d think I’d be all gung ho afterwards and come here and post away like I did last year. I sat there, my knock off spanx all pinching my thighs, looking at all these pretty young things thinking “Am I kidding” myself here?

The conference was organized by two very young hip gals. They did a great job, truly. Most of the attendees appeared to be fashion bloggers. I say appeared to be becasue some of the fashion was questionable to my very old tired eyes, but maybe that’s what’s fashionable now. I DON”T KNOW. This is my point.

It seemed like all these PYTs were very focused and jazzed up, and the panelists at least – very accomplished. I know, I know “Comparison is the thief of joy”. I know! But I couldn’t help it. I accomplished getting out of the house without any kid mess on me that morning. That my friends, is an accomplishment in my book.

My reason for this blog is manyfold (is that a word because I like it). In the beginning it was my business blog, then I extracted the personal posts and it became a personal blog. It’s a documentation of my life, a form of self expression through writing, photography, and video. Then it became a small (very small) business writing reviews and doing giveaways. It’s has always been a way for me to keep my skillset sharp and network for the day that will eventually come when my kids are in school and I want a J O B.

My determination to be really good at something that I do, combined with the mental injuries of Cool Dog not doing as well as I hoped, added with my utter exhaustion at the end of the day has left me defeated. I can’t put my all into something again because it isn’t really my all. My all goes to my kids. My blog, and before that my business got my what’s left over. A coming down from latte overload, tired, unshowered version of myself.

Back to the conference.

Monetize your Blog – For me, this was by far the best panel. Lots of good stuff here. The most interesting bit that was revealed (to me) is that I could have another revenue stream by helping others with videos for their blogs. Also creating motion graphics for their vids. Good stuff right? But do I dive back into another business venture? Ugh.

Working with Brands – Mommy Niri. Oh, our good friend Niri. So smart. Know you’re worth something. Don’t pimp yourself out. Figure out what you’re getting from the relationship. Sounds like life, no?

Traffic & Community – I didn’t understand that this panel would be discussing offline community. I wouldn’t have gone. I don’t have time to keep up with my actual community – my friends.  I am not building an offline community, I’m just not. However, I loved these ladies. Smart, funny and yes fashionable. Takeaway – Be authentic. Always. Find what you’re good at and go deep.

It was a good conference in its inaugural year, and next year, I think it will be even better. I wished the panels were a bit longer and breaks a bit shorter. Maybe two food stations to help with the lines. Oh, and bigger cupcakes :-)

life of reilly latte

This post is fragmented and a little bit swirly, but that’s kind of the way I feel right now.

So to recap I like to blog, I’m not very good at it, I like to go to conferences, I’m tired, and my spanx are hurty.

See, now this is the part in the post where I am supposed to ask a question like Why do you blog? or What keeps you blogging? or Do you wear Spanx too? Meh. Also, you’re welcome for the PYT earworm.

Time for more caffeine I think.


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Summer Fun

Sorry I’ve been gone, I’ve been having fun without you, I hope that’s okay, internets. Have you missed my musings?

We’ve been doing a ton of stuff, some fun and some not so fun ;-) With three kids under 5 there is some incredible fun to be had. But most days, honestly, I’m lucky to get through without imploding.

I’ll be writing a lot in the next few days, catching up. (Not necessarily posting, but writing. Gawd, stop expecting so much from me.)

We’ve had visits from the tooth-fairy and visits to the beach. Which will lead to a craft post (gasp) and a sunscreen post.

Crafts are my new thing. It’s a do one thing you’re afraid of every day kinda thing ;-) And speaking of  that I took the kids to a restaurant ALL BY MYSELF!

I’ll finally get to parts 2 & 3 of the kid’s Rainbow Party, and to updating you on my 4HB experiment.

I might even get a little more personal and talk about things a bit deeper. I’ve been struggling a lot with parenting and with finding my own space in the world. I need to get it out. Maybe you, dear internet, can help.

Ciao for now.

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I’ve been absent from my own blog for a while. Haven’t checked comments or even the spam folder. Not one word written, or sad little Wordless Wednesday posted. (Please note that it is Wednesday an I am not taking this opportunity to take the easy way out, thank you very much!)

It’s been almost three weeks since last we met. I was mad at Tim Ferris about my boobs. My anger has softened (just like my boobs ;-) We took a little break from #4HB. Getting back on the wagon soon.

It was yet another season of death around here, like last year. Our dear Uncle Gerry left us suddenly, our friends mom was gone after a long illness. My FIL had surgery on his completely blocked artery and we held our breath. We’ve had (are having) the stomach bug, again. So regular life, and death, has gotten in the way of me sitting down to tell you all about my life.

But I’m back. I might even write again today…

So how have you been??

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