Archive for April, 2010

Remember those awesome coloring books that helped every youngster look like a junior Monet simply by painting by numbers?


As long as you were equipped with a wide range of colors,  could stay in the lines and tell the difference between 24 and 42, you too were capable of creating a masterpiece.


When trying to make your eating into a nutritional masterpiece, follow the same theory and eat by colors. The most nutrient dense foods are those with the brightest colors. No mixing the paint pots here, that means fruits and vegetables.


Mixing up bright, vibrant, fresh ingredients will give your system a vitamin bang and keep you full for longer.

Why not start your morning with a dense omelette, loaded with fresh veggies?

Red peppers, spinach, mushrooms, vegetarian “ham,” and eggs. Wheat toast with strawberry jam.

If you’re running late and have no time to cook, simply do your best at getting as many different colors on your plate as possible.

Beans in tomato sauce, sweet potato, sautéed spinach with garlic and lemon juice

And don’t worry, if all this eating by colors starts to shake up your system a bit, there’s always paint by number toilet paper to pass the time as you pass your business.


This special number was saved just for you, dad. Happy Birthday! I love you!

For those of you who do not know my father, this was saved just for him due to his sense of humor, not because my father deserves a dedication ending in a dirty deed for his birthday.


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Die Moderne Hausfrau is a mail-order catalog selling a wide range of products used by The Modern House Wife.

For the past 3 hours, I’ve felt like that hausfrau. I’m really lucky because Sebastian usually takes full responsibility for the house work, but on the off chance that I plug in the vacuum, I go to town. After meeting Sebastian in Bonn to reorder a broken blender piece and enjoy a bagel sandwich, we parted ways; Sebastian went to watch football with his friends, and I came home and kicked the little dust bunnie’s bottoms.

I do believe the hard work deserves a reward, so as I write, I’m sipping a light White Russian.

  • 1 part kahlua
  • 3 parts skim milk
  • ice

Let’s go back to breakfast though, shall we?

Hot Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1-2 Tbsp. raisins
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • brown sugar or maple syrup to taste

Mix and heat all ingredients in the microwave until hot. Enjoy!

I ate a pear during morning fruit break but didn’t get to snap a photo of it.

I did, however, photograph lunch.

Quinoa Tabouli and a smoked tofu veggie burger sprinkled with feta cheese.

Before meeting Sebatian, I came home and juiced 4 carrots, 1 apple, 1 orange, and a nub of ginger.

Yum, juice!

Have a good night, this hausefrau needs her white Russian.

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This Monday morning started like most others, with a moan of “Monday can’t be here already,” followed by the recognition that I have a great job in an amazing country and wonderful learning experiences planned. My personal planning started with breakfast.

Oatmeal with banana, almond butter, flax, hemp, chia seeds, and cinnamon

School was wonderful. I moved the kids around and rearranged the class a bit, so everything seems new and exciting. This week we are doing one of my favorite literacy units on multicultural books. Each child starts the week with a different multicultural book and throughout the week, they get to go on “mind journeys”- little trips to the country where their book takes place. Their mind journeys are recorded in graphic  organizers which I’ve designed to look like a big suitcase. They are already really enjoying the unit too.


The fun of learning was interrupted with the fun of eating at noon.

Leftover veggie stir fry from last night- accompanied by a pear.

Rice, frozen wok mix vegetables, vegetarian “chicken” breast, raisins, soy sauce and agave.

The day continued with digital photography club, assembly, and PE.

On Friday, the parents received a letter about which teacher their kids will go to next year. The little girl I tutor is coming into my class next year. When she came to me today to begin tutoring, she busted in screaming, “Yippie, my wish came true! You will be my teacher next year!!” This made me feel good. Two of my current students were in my class at the time packing up their bags to go home. Upon hearing her excitement, they informed me that they were both sad when they found out they were coming to my class last year. They wanted to be with the other Year 4 teacher. This made me feel bad. They then told the little girl that being in my class was better than they imagined and now they are really glad to be with me. One child even said that she used to hate reading and hate literacy all through school until she came to me. Now, literacy is her favorite subject, even better than art. This made me feel good again.

Another thing that made me feel good, an after-school Green Monster… or two.

1-ish cups milk, 1 frozen banana, 2 handfuls of fresh spinach, ½ scoop Sunwarior protein powder, 1 heaping Tbsp. almond butter

All fuelled up, I made my weekly run to the grocery store to stock up on lunch fixings for the week.

Each week, I try to prepare salad  fixings to keep on hand at school. I wash, tear, and store ¾ of a head of lettuce, then chop up carrots, peppers, celery, and whatever else I have on hand.

Having everything chopped up makes lunches so simple. I simply put it all together and toss on any additional ingredients I’m hungry for.

The other ¼ of lettuce stays at home for future use.

This week, I also prepared one of my favorite recipes, quinoa tabouli. I didn’t get it all mixer up before leaving for dinner so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for a finished shot.

Quinoa Tabouli


  • 2 cups quinoa prepared per box instructions and cooled
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, (8) sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped mint
  • 2 cups fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)


  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper and salt to taste


  1. Combine the salad ingredients, including quinoa, in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together and stir into the salad mixture.
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

After chopping veggies and cooking quinoa, I headed out to dinner with the Aussies and Lisa. Sadly, Lisa must return to England tomorrow morning. She couldn’t leave without having Sex on the Beach from her favorite Brazilian restaurant though! Dinner was delicious and the company was superb. I’ll miss her once she goes again.

Spending time enjoying good food and good friends- this made me feel good.

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Congratulations to all who completed the Bonn Marathon today!

Marathon day is very exciting whether you are racing or watching.

Today started bright and early with a bowl of almond butter and jam oatmeal.

I met several friends to stand along the racecourse and cheer with.

Our eyes were peeled, looking for:


Claire and Ines (my room mum)


and Lisa

Lisa worked at the school for 8 year, running many half-marathons. Although she moved back to England last year, she returned to Bonn to run her favorite marathon.

All finished the race- beating prior times. Way to go!!!

The runners freshened up and we went out to lunch to celebrate.

I ordered arugula pizza. I’m on a real arugula kick lately.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day here in Bonn! A little hot to be running, but perfect spectator weather.

After lunch, I came home, cuddled up with the kitties and took a nap, followed by the gym.

Sebastian is working today, so dinner was an independent affair. I didn’t make it to the farmer’s market yesterday, so dug through the fridge and freezer to scrounge up something balanced.

Stir fry made with frozen wok vegetables, leftover basmati rice, vegetarian “chicken” breast, raisins, sesame seeds, and a drizzle of agave and soy sauce.

Dinner was enjoyed on the balcony, surrounded by the beautiful new shelving Sebastian and I put together after the IKEA trip yesterday.

I ran my first (and only) half-marathon last October with Will and Rachel. I didn’t enjoy the training at all and vowed never to commit to such a torturous event again. I loved race day, but was miserable throughout the many, many hours of training. I knew that seeing them today would be a little hard and that I would probably feel a pang of self-disappointment, but totally underestimated how sad I’d feel watching them run by. I am so proud of each of the runners, but wish I would have pushed myself to do it once again. Who knows, maybe I’ll sign up for the Cologne half-marathon again this year. I still have not come close to the feeling of accomplishment and pride of crossing over the finish line.

If you are in the US and are looking for a volunteer opportunity, check out this blog.

Now for something cultural.

Happy Anzac Day!

Anzac day is the national remembrance day in Australia and New Zealand. Rachel was representing during the race today.

Last but not least!

Happy birthday to my little brother, Patrick!

Have a great birthday! I wish I could buy you a drink and toast to the wonderful person you are! May your 22 year be the best yet! I love ya!

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Welcome back! Today we’re moving out to the balcony to learn some simple tricks to create a healthy balcony vegetable garden. Using scraps from the kitchen, you can give your veggies the extra nutrients they crave without sacrificing your organic standards.

Before beginning a balcony garden, observe your balcony’s sunlight. My balcony faces west allowing some areas to have full sun while other areas only receive partial sunlight. Research which plants will grow best on your balcony. Plan where to place your containers taking into consideration the sunlight and space needed for growth.

When planning my garden last year, I found it helpful to organize all the information I found about sprouting, growing, and harvesting my vegetables in one place. I created a document which included the name, genus and species, best potting methods, sunlight, water, days to germination, days from seed to harvest, and other tips or tricks.

I also found a helpful chart online.

When germinating seeds, I find it best to begin in a small, damp, well-lit space. Paper egg cartons and bread bags make the perfect mini greenhouses.

The moisture is then trapped and recirculated in the bag. You won’t even need to water the seeds until after they’ve germinated. After about a week… you will begin to find this:

Once the plants are about this big, they are ready for their new home. Be sure that it is warm enough for your plants to survive outdoors at night before planting. Most seed packets will say the minimum temperature requirements. Carefully scoop out the tiny egg forms with a kitchen spoon and gently place the sprouts in the soil.

Again, check back to your original planning to see how many plants can fit in each container. Make sure the container is the right size and placed in the proper sunlight. Keep watering and watch your garden grow!

Now,  a green tip for cleaning used containers.

When reusing old pots, be sure to clean out any crusty mineral deposits and fungus.

  • 1 part bleach
  • 10 parts water
  1. Mix the bleach and water in a container big enough to cover the dirty pot. You may need to use your bathtub for large pots.
  2. Vacuum out any solid debris. Place the pots in the tub and allow them to soak for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove sterilized pots, rinse again with clean water and set to dry in the sunlight.

A few more easy tips!

When planting tomatoes, add crushed egg shells to the soil.

For acid-loving plants, mix in a little used coffee grounds.

Now, on to some of today’s eats!


Frozen banana, frozen strawberries, rice milk, chocolate protein powder, maca powder and chia seeds.


Rucula, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese, soy “nuggets,” balsamic glaze

After-school Snack

Apple, carrot, beet, celery, and ginger juice.

After an exhausting day of school, I refueled with the juice then took off with Sebastian for a walk through the forest and a trip to the garden center. We didn’t buy any plants, just walked around looking at everything. We then went to our favorite Arabic restaurant for falafel and the fixins. Dinner was followed by ice cream and another walk through the park. The plan for tonight is to watch a movie and hopefully get to bed early. I have big plans for an IKEA trip tomorrow!

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Thank you for joining me today for…

Spring Green Cleaning Part 2!

Today I’ll share how I unclog drains with simple household items.

Step 1: Collect Supplies

  • Rubber gloves
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • plastic wrap and something heavy
  • 1 kettle boiling water

Step 2: Remove Visible Junk

(I’ll spare you on the disgusting photo of what I pulled from my bathtub drain.)

Take off the drain cap and pull out any visible drain junk. If you’re cleaning your tub drain, expect to find hair.

Step 3: Pack the Drain

Pack the drain with the baking soda then pour vinegar over top. The combination will begin to bubble like a science fair experiment.

Step 4: Cover and Wait

Cover the drain with plastic wrap and place something heavy over top for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Burn, Baby, Burn

Remove the plastic wrap and pour the boiling water into the drain. Congrats, you now have smooth pipes!

On to the last few days’ food!

Since I’ve been so neglectful lately, I’ll do this in a per meal installment, beginning with my favorite meal of the day…



Beat, carrot, apple, celery, ginger, orange, and lemon juice alongside a reflected egg sandwich.


Wheat puff cereal, rice mild, strawberries, and coffee.


Bagel, almond butter, cinnamon, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.


Tuesday and Wednesday were left-overs so I didn’t bother with another photo.


Arugula salad with mushrooms, black olives, red pepper, tomatoes, feta cheese, balsamic glaze, and Hearby Wheat pizza dough bread.



Coconut kefir strawberry smoothie

1 frozen banana

3/4 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup plain kefir

1 Tbsp. chocolate protein powder

1 tsp. coconut powder

1/2 tsp. maca powder


1 chocolate birthday cupcake


Wednesday pizza party

Since coming back to school after the Easter holiday, I haven’t spent much time with my friends and colleagues so I invited them over for dinner.

It was simple to prepare and fun to do. I chopped up veggies and even bought meat!

Arugula, pineapple, tomatoes, black olives, red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, red onions and meats.

Made a simple pizza sauce.

Set out a variety of fresh cheese.

Parmesan, goat, gouda, fresh mozzarella, feta, and not so fresh pizza cheese and shredded mozzarella.

Made two batches of pizza dough– one plain white and one Hearby Wheat.

As simple as that, everyone was then able to make their own pizza as they wished!

While everyone’s pizzas were baking, I grilled another batch of Marinated Italian Eggplant as an appetizer. Although it was out of this world on Monday, I wanted to try to tweak my recipe even more. This time, I marinated the eggplant over night and topped the grilled eggplant with fresh goat’s cheese. Holy Yum! I wasn’t sure if the recipe could get any  better, but the longer marinate and salty cheese just made the dish melt in my mouth. Everyone loved it!

Post- marinade, pre-grill.

I also had warm brownies with freshly whipped cream, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries for dessert.

Between the 6 of us, we also shared 2.5 bottles of wine, tons of laughs, and a really enjoyable night. I’m so glad everyone was able to come!


Using up the left-over veggies from last night. Pasta with mushrooms, garlic, red peppers, olive oil, vegetarian “chicken strips” and Parmesan cheese. The lovely flowers were a gift from Kate.

If you’ve followed along this far, you deserve a funny story.

In school, my students are learning about the local habitat. Right now, they are doing a wildflower survey which will eventually be made into a branching database in which the students must classify the flowers based on the leaf shape, flower shape, size, color, growing patterns, stems, and textures. Yesterday, I took them out for their first opportunity to collect data. We went across the street from the school to an empty lot behind a large apartment building. The lot is practically a wildflower garden… perfect for collecting details about a large variety of flowers.

The kids identified many flowers, such as the following.

Well, all the flowers they found were either yellow, white, blue or purple. Suddenly, one kid noticed a red flower across the lot. He yelled out excitedly, “I spotted a red one, I’m going to be the first to write about it!” At that moment, he and the rest of the class raced to the red flower to be the first!

This is what they found….














They had a hard time understanding how someone could lose their underpants and not notice.

A mystery yet to be solved.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I waited until none of the kids were looking before taking this photo.

Have a great Friday!

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MIA for now

Hi all, thanks for checking in. It’s ll:3, I have tons of dishes to do and still need to prepare for tomorrow as well as get a bit of sleep. So, that being said, I promise to return to blogging as normal again tomorrow! I’ve spent the last two days enjoying the company of great friends. I was lucky enough to have 5 of those friends over for dinner tonight. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!

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