Notes

Typical bench behavior. #memorialday #afterlight  (at Kezar Stadium)

Typical bench behavior. #memorialday #afterlight (at Kezar Stadium)

1 Notes

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Once upon a time we had a baby in Brazil.

As we prepared for the arrival of our little dual citizen we decided we wanted to give him a Brazilian name. Especially after having a daughter with such an impossible name to say there, we definitely wanted our son to have it easy. No long explanations or spellings, just a classic Brazilian name!

Of course, it would have to transfer over to the US as well, so João and Guilherme were definitely off the table. We started looking through lists and talking with friends in Brazil. Unlike the US, in Brazil, at least São Paulo, people generally stick to a list of a few dozen names. Everyone is Marcelo or Rodrigo or Fabio or Roberto. So our list was short from the beginning. Most of our Brazilian friends suggested names like David, Daniel and Lucas- essentially global names that were neither Brazilian nor American, but super common in both countries. But we wanted something distinctly Brazilian. Not Mexican or Italian. Something unique enough to tie him back to the country he was born in. To be a possible topic of conversation. But not so different that it would be a headache when we moved back home.

As I perused basically the only list I could find online a name jumped out at me: Leandro (pronounced lay-ahn-dro)
Meaning: lion man.

"That’s a solid name." I thought. Unique, but not weird. Manly. Brazilian. Surely no one would mispronounce it! (Spoiler alert: they would) And it could easily be shortened to Leo for easy American-repatriation.

I suggested it to McKay. He made the “hey, that’s not half bad” face and, with no knowledge of my previous train of thought, said “and we call him Leo?”

It seemed we had a real option. Leo, {pronounced leh-oh in Brazil}, is a very common nickname. As an August 1st baby his astrological sign would be… Leo. AND the name for the sign “Leo” in Portuguese is Leão, which means Lion. Pretty perfect!

And so the months passed and that became our nearly-certain choice.

However, there was a flaw in our plan. As we began discussing our name selection with our Brazilian friends, this happened.

"So what will the name be?"
“We think we’ll name him Leandro, and call him Leo.”
Confusion/blank stares.
“You mean Leonardo?” They’d reply

Turns out Leo is a nickname for Leonardo. And only Leonardo.

At first it wasn’t a big deal, but the more it happened the more unsure we became! Weren’t we naming him a Brazilian name to make things easier on the Brazilians? And to be authentic? Could we really just make up our own rules and call him Leo if his name was Leandro? Something that a real live Brazilian would never do?

So we were out walking one night close to my due date (hoping to induce labor) and we had a serious talk. What were we going to name our son?! Stick with our plan? Should we just name him Leonardo so we could call him Leo? I hated it. And it felt more Italian than Brazilian to me. What about scrapping it all together and choosing a new name? How about Rafael? Wait, were we having a ninja turtle? Leonardo? Rafael? Besides, the Portuguese pronunciation of Rafael is so much cooler than the American. No, it didn’t feel right. Maybe we just choose a non-Brazilian name that we liked. Max was our top choice if Harper would had been a boy. But were we really going to abandon our plan? He’d likely be our only child born abroad. It had to be Brazilian! Maybe just Leo? Not short for anything. But that didn’t meet our “distinctly Brazilian, possible conversation starter” stipulation.

We didn’t have the answer.
And then he was born.

"Well, should we just name him Leandro? Maybe we just don’t shorten it yet and we’ll see what happens."

So that’s what we did.

Leandro Montana Thomas.

We had a close Brazilian friend who had told us before he was born that the nickname for Leandro in Brazil was, in fact, Le. Pronounced in a beautiful Portuguese tongue somewhere between “leh” and “lay”. But that wasn’t a real name. So we for sure wouldn’t be calling him “Le”.

Famous last words.

For the first little while we called him Leandro. Now and then we’d call him Leo (sometimes Lee-oh, sometimes Lay-oh). But the more we didn’t call him Leo, the weirder it felt when we did.

Fast forward a few months and we were all calling him Le. And pronouncing it like the Americans we were: Lay. But it worked! The Brazilians loved him and he had a perfectly Brazilian name. Harper called him Le Le and it fit.

When we moved back to the US a little sooner than we had anticipated we had to decide for real what we were going to call him. Both when we went back to Utah and when we moved to San Francisco we decided it was time for him to be Leo. New people. Clean slate. The problem was we would introduce him as Leo but then keep calling him Le. So nobody really knew what to call him.

Between family and friends on two continents we had people calling him Lee-oh, Lay-oh, Lee-an-dro, Lay-ahn-dro, just Lee. And who could blame them?! Who knows how to pronounce “Le” if they see it written? Who knows how to spell it when they hear it?

And while Le Le is adorable for a baby, he’s going to be not-a-baby for much more of his life, and we want him to have a name that will work for all of it. So, we decided, once and for all, that if we were going to start calling him Leo (Lee-oh) it had to happen right away. It’s not too late! As soon as I got back from a trip back east a few weeks ago I started calling him Leo. It was weird at first, because I’ve never called him that, but it is slowly sticking. And I’m committed to it! No more long explanations or introductions required.

This is my son, Leo.

2 Notes

RAW CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CUPS

These are awesome!!!! Credit is due to this blog (you should go read all the cool benefits to the ingredients).

It’s easy to tweak- like adding peanut butter or nuts- and all the ingredient list is super short. Here’s how I’ve been doing it:

I prefer these in mini muffin tins… For portion control :)

INGREDIENTS

1C coconut oil
1/2 C maple syrup
3/4 C cocoa

Dates (8-10, soaked for 20 minutes or more)
Puffed quinoa or brown rice cereal*
Nuts and/or peanut butter (optional)

*do this yourself by toasting some quinoa on the stovetop, buy the puffed cereal, use nuts instead or just skip this if you don’t care about crunch in your cups

DIRECTIONS

Melt coconut oil and then whisk together cocoa and syrup.

Put a couple teaspoons of chocolate in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Sprinkle some crispy quinoa on top and stick these in the freezer to harden.

Meanwhile, put your dates in the blender or food processor to make a nice paste- your caramel!

When the bottom layer is frozen, add a dollop of caramel on top, using wet fingers to press it into place. Then pour the rest of the chocolate over the tops, pop them in the freezer and you are minutes away from a perfect treat.

I have done this with peanut butter instead of the caramel, and with added nuts. But I think the tastiest option is to just add peanut butter to your dates and have a PB caramel. Best of both worlds!

Enjoy!!

1 Notes

Great day in the bay with @mchestnut! #vscocam #sanfrancisco

Great day in the bay with @mchestnut! #vscocam #sanfrancisco

1 Notes

First soba noodle bowl inspired by @nourishandevolve (& @thechalkboardmag). #vscocam #thingsfoodly

|| Soba noodles, roasted asparagus & yellow squash, avocado. Tossed in a tahini, sriracha & rice wine vinegar sauce. Squeeze of lemon, dash of salt. || 

simple, fast and yummy!  (at Thomas Abode)

First soba noodle bowl inspired by @nourishandevolve (& @thechalkboardmag). #vscocam #thingsfoodly

|| Soba noodles, roasted asparagus & yellow squash, avocado. Tossed in a tahini, sriracha & rice wine vinegar sauce. Squeeze of lemon, dash of salt. ||

simple, fast and yummy! (at Thomas Abode)

Notes

Enjoyed a gorgeous day with this wild, head-strong, spirited girl. We’ve had some days lately that have left me completely perplexed as to how to properly nurture the good and redirect the not-so-good. I see so many qualities in her that will serve her well throughout her life! But in a 3-year-old body they can sure make for some mind-melting days. Grateful for perspective, inspiration and sunshine to get us through. (at Marin Headlands)

Enjoyed a gorgeous day with this wild, head-strong, spirited girl. We’ve had some days lately that have left me completely perplexed as to how to properly nurture the good and redirect the not-so-good. I see so many qualities in her that will serve her well throughout her life! But in a 3-year-old body they can sure make for some mind-melting days. Grateful for perspective, inspiration and sunshine to get us through. (at Marin Headlands)

1 Notes

sfgreengals:

3-GRAIN PORRIDGE 
So remember Malt-o-meal? Here’s a little homemade version that I got the idea from while lost in a hyperlinking vortex of instagramers with names like livegreenhealthy76 and mynourishingkitchen.
For this version I put equal parts cornmeal, oats and oat bran {because I’ve had a bag of it in my kitchen for months and months and have been trying to use it up} in my BlendTec and blitzed it into a fine powder.
Then I added 2 cups of water to 1 cup of my newly created dry mix and whisked it up on the stove until it thickened to my liking!
If i hadn’t just run out of almond milk I probably would have made it with that instead of water, for ultra creaminess. So instead I put a scoop of cashew cream that I really needed to use up, as well as a scoop of almond pulp that I saved from the last batch of almond milk. That gave it that added creaminess and protein {…also, fat. yum!}.
From there you have endless possibilities of add-ins {such as cinnamon vanilla pears, raisins, blueberries, pecans and a drizzle of honey, as pictured above}. Yum. Good winter breakfast {or dinner!}.

sfgreengals:

3-GRAIN PORRIDGE 

So remember Malt-o-meal? Here’s a little homemade version that I got the idea from while lost in a hyperlinking vortex of instagramers with names like livegreenhealthy76 and mynourishingkitchen.

For this version I put equal parts cornmeal, oats and oat bran {because I’ve had a bag of it in my kitchen for months and months and have been trying to use it up} in my BlendTec and blitzed it into a fine powder.

Then I added 2 cups of water to 1 cup of my newly created dry mix and whisked it up on the stove until it thickened to my liking!

If i hadn’t just run out of almond milk I probably would have made it with that instead of water, for ultra creaminess. So instead I put a scoop of cashew cream that I really needed to use up, as well as a scoop of almond pulp that I saved from the last batch of almond milk. That gave it that added creaminess and protein {…also, fat. yum!}.

From there you have endless possibilities of add-ins {such as cinnamon vanilla pears, raisins, blueberries, pecans and a drizzle of honey, as pictured above}. Yum. Good winter breakfast {or dinner!}.

1 Notes

So! One of our recent interests as of late has been clean cooking and eating. Back in October McKay and I decided to make some changes in our eating habits and have lost around 45 lbs between us.  

Near the end of our stay in Brazil I watched this documentary that really got me thinking about how I view food in general. I used to be a lot more dismissive and even juvenile in my approach to nutrition. I’ll eat what I want because I want to. But that film, along with the changes we’d made living in a country with much much less processed food {and the recent addition of our BlendTec to the family} got me started on a path.

And I was honestly a little scared at first. It was one of those things that I felt really inspired by, but I was worried that it would be a passing fad that wouldn’t really stick. I remember talking to McKay over the phone about some of my thoughts and him proposing some agreement about giving up bacon if I wouldn’t have so many sweets lying around the house! 

In the past year we’ve definitely still eaten our share of bacon and sweets, but our lifestyle has changed and it’s been really exciting and gratifying to see — and feel — the difference.

Living in San Francisco is kind of the perfect storm of a super hippie, grass-fed, granola, local farmers, dino-kale-loving atmosphere meets haute-cuisine, gourmet burgers, bacon and bi-rite and bakeries, oh my! So there’s all the specialty whole foods you could dream of, available for purchase around the corner, along with some of the best ice cream and pork belly on the planet. But, we’re figuring out how to strike a balance.

And, I’ll be running my first half marathon next Saturday. 

PS- I’m blogging some favorite new recipes with some friends over at sfgreengals.tumblr.com. I’ll probs reblog some of them here, too. Saude!  

Notes

A pre-schooler is a lot like a kite. Full of fun and energy and potential. Longing to soar free, but by necessity, tethered to someone more experienced. someone who ultimately makes that flight possible. Together, they share moments of exhilaration and discovery, quickly followed by plunging nose-dives and careful, tedious string-winding. Lots of hard work and patience for those moments of flight. Grateful for fellow kite-fliers to share the journey with! @billejanette  (at Crissy Field)

A pre-schooler is a lot like a kite. Full of fun and energy and potential. Longing to soar free, but by necessity, tethered to someone more experienced. someone who ultimately makes that flight possible. Together, they share moments of exhilaration and discovery, quickly followed by plunging nose-dives and careful, tedious string-winding. Lots of hard work and patience for those moments of flight. Grateful for fellow kite-fliers to share the journey with! @billejanette (at Crissy Field)

Notes

FAVORITES LATELY…

-Playgrounds! San Francisco has so many amazing parks and playgrounds that we’ve been exploring. Gloomy weather and coughs have put us in kind of a park rut, but we did go to newly renovated Lafayette park last week which we loved!
-The Ice Cream Bar. Still obsessed with this old-timey ice cream shop. The vintage soda fountain, house-brewed concoctions, and daily-made ice cream have captured our hearts and make living a block away a pleasure (and a health/financial hazard as well…)!
-Beautiful views of that SF bridge! Still taking routine drives around the city while the babes nap in the car. I’ve fallen for the Marin Headlands and love taking in the view on sunny afternoons.
-The carousel at Golden Gate Park. We recently discovered this new favorite attraction which serves as a good bribery tool, as well as a good time.
-Burgermeister. So it turns out that some of SF’s best burgers, fries and shakes are all under one roof that is about 50 yards from our house. More hazards.

In other news, I feel so conflicted and directionless with this blog right now. Something about living in Brazil made me a really consistent blogger. And even though we’re living in one of the coolest cities anywhere, I’m just not feeling the writing juices flowing. I think it has a little to do with so many articles floating around various social media in recent months (how we choose to filter and present ourselves online). I LOVE Instagram. And I love my blog (which is my journal/scrapbook) but I’m kind of in the middle of figuring out my direction with this little platform. You know?

Stay tuned

And keep up with our daily happenings on Instagram! {@thingsdaily}