James’ and Paulina’s Olympic Fundraiser

These two are raising money for their school. On April 28th James and Paulina will be participating in Olympic Day where everyone competes in 10 sporting events. Please consider sponsoring them so that they can participate and help their school!
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Special perks from the Vogelaar family: If you are in San Francisco, for a $10 donation you get a fresh loaf of bread, upgrade to $25 and get a pie or some other unhealthy choice! Support our kids and their school’s wonderful athletic program!

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Thank you, dear friends! Your generosity is humbling. We are so lucky to have you in our lives. The kids are looking forward to writing all the “Thank you” notes! 

All your donations are tax-deductible. Please let me know if you would like a receipt from our school.



Things To Do With Kids – Traveling

Last month my children landed in Moscow wearing a perfect shade of San Francisco Pale on their skins. These city kids were raised where outside requires constant adult supervision, they had only minor encounters with nice weather, and were yet to experience a water or electricity outage.

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In 3 weeks they were completely transformed into tan Russian-speaking sun-loving kids who had a bite of freedom and lots of bites of freshly grown produce right outside of their great- grandmother’s house!

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Their only swimming experience up till now was in a heated pool. I don’t quite get it, but apparently swimming in a river with cousins, fish, ducks and frogs is much more fun!

 

Grandma’s garden was an endless source of entertainment and nourishment. Apples, cherries, currant, strawberries – and that’s just the begging of the list. The kids had a blast playing in all this lusciousness!

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They even found it cool to be washed outside with water heated up by sun.

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Though, you should have seen my son’s excitement when he got back home and went to the bathroom: “Есть вода!” (The water is on)! Hmmmm….

 

Here are some Instagram favorites from the trip. Enjoy!

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This report has been brought to you from a special place where we had no internet, only 2 and a half TV channels, intermediate phone service, and issues with water pressure… Yet, the 3 weeks we spent there are beating all the awesomeness charts!  In June I gulped a can of courage pills, loaded my 4 and 2 year-olds on an airplane, waved bye bye to the husband, and took the kids on a 30-something hour trip to my homeland!

So, here are some shots and recipes from our visit to Russia, where my children were running in my grandmother’s garden, in the house where my mother was born, where I spent so many happy days, and where you don’t need special photo props to give recipes a hint of old country.

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My son met my babushka, godmother, and two aunts. All these ladies were introduced to him as babas. One evening I asked him, “Who do you love?”

“Mommy, daddy, Pea, baba… [silence] … baba …. Baba…. Baba… baba…. Baba…. “

 

 

 

Things To Do With Kids – Gardening

It surely wasn’t San Francisco weather, it was the calendar, that reminded me of all the amazing months we spent at babushka’s every year: playing in her beautiful garden; eating cherries, apples, and pears fresh off the trees; picking the sweetest strawberries EVER… and slaving, slaving, slaving in the vegetable garden.

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Ohm.. Our hose was useless since the water pressure was so low. We filled huge buckets with water over night, and irrigated the whole plantation manually. And if that was not enough – there were also disgusting tasks – like picking up bugs from the potato leaves, or tortures tasks like pruning. So, you can imagine my love for growing all things green – there isn’t any!

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Once in a while I would buy a huge plant at The Home Depot and put the black plastic container it comes with into a nice ceramic one.That’s been my idea of gardening for years.

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During my mom’s visits here, such plants would be watered on regular basis and somewhat loved (by mom). Then she would leave. The plant would survive (miraculously or because of whatever drugs The Home Depot stuffs it with) for a few months, and then I’d have to replace it with a new one.

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The food blogging community touched some strings in me, that I thought didn’t exist. So, this year, the kids and I planted some herbs and flowers.  This time, I controlled the amount of stuff we are going to grow (or kill).

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Luckily, our San Francisco yards are tiny. Strangely enough, the kids love to water the new greens. Don’t ask me why. Silly things! They also keep looking for pixie dust, and leave cookies and milk for ferries before going to bed. Sorry, Santa.

 

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Skinny Parade

I’m so excited to present the beautiful entries of all the amazing food bloggers that decided to participate in our parade!  If you are anything like me (a pathological baker and a dessert addict), you would appreciate these guilt-free showpieces! Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Truffles by Shift Ctrl ART

 

I recently found Katja’s blog and I’m infatuated! Her recipes are wonderful. She is also a very talented artist, a terrific photographer; and I think her home-improvement projects are simply brilliant.

Alcoholic Pears and Chocolate Sauce by The Healthy Epicurean

Fiona’s page is also one of my most recent discoveries.  I was blown away by her gorgeous photographs,  healthy approach to eating, and nutritious recipes. Check out her blog and get inspired! 

Turkish Coffee Meringues by Butter, Sugar, Flowers

Moriah’s love for crafts results in charming desserts and a beautiful blog. She also has her own jewelry shop!

Yogurt and Granola Parfait by de la casa

I asked Christina to display one of her posts, because I’m a huge fan.  I actually abuse her blog as my own cookbook – her recipes are so simple and delicious!   Coincidentally, this one is the only chocolate-less delight today!

Profiteroles by Diane’s Kitchen Table

Diane has been my virtual friend for a very long time (in blog years).  She is an excellent cook and a brilliant story teller.  Read one of my favorites and you’ll know why I love her blog so much.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Brownies by In Pursuit Of More

If you are looking for healthy vegetarian recipes, you don’t need to go far – just visit Shira’s blog.  Delicious looking photos and moving stories are awaiting!

 Thank you, ladies!

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Amazing win!

Super cute! Playful! Dazzling! Well, and the model is pretty good looking too!  That’s right, it’s not me, and I didn’t take this photo.  But I do have the bag!  It’s not just a bag – it’s a camera bag for ladies!  If you cannot tell – I’m absolutely in love with it! 

Cool bloggers (like Savory Simple) get cool sponsors (like Jo Totes) and throw amazing giveaways.  Some other bloggers (like ME!) get very-very lucky!  I started following Jennifer pretty much as soon as I discovered the world of blogging, and I have always been inspired by her recipes and photography.  Hope you check out her blog as well, I’m sure you will love it as much as I do! 

Well, this Russian mom is out to show off her new accessory!  Till next recipe!

Ta-ta!

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