raw! raw! raw!

Raw1three cheers for raw food!

hubby and i have embarked upon a three weeks raw eats challenge.  that’s right.  all raw food.  only raw food.  for three weeks.  raw! raw! raw! aaaaand…we are also pairing this challenge with 21 days of yoga.  every. single. day.

we are now 5 days in.  and i must say that this is a really interesting challenge for us.  it is taking us out of our comfort zone, for sure.  and i am learning all kinds of new “cooking” methods.  kind of cool.  more juicing.  more smoothies.  more shredded veg.  sprouting.  soaking.  getting creative.  beneficial things that we can continue to incorporate into our life even after the challenge is through.  as i have said before, i am not a fan of diet labeling.  i don’t like restriction.  but i am always up for a good challenge!  and if anything, doing this will give us a broader appreciation for different foods and preparations.  it will add even MORE to our diet.  have you had soaked, sprouted oats?  i mean, they are the best.

there are things about every diet which appeal to me.  macrobiotic.  raw.  paleo.  vegetarian.  plant-based.  mediterranean.  yada yada.  and learning about each of these ways of life only reinforces the fact that it is about balance.  for each diet that is anti-carb, there are five diets that sing the praises of oats and grains and legumes.  one well-respected doctor says eat lots of animal proteins and another touts vegetable proteins.  one is pro-raw and another says that legumes and fats are the best.   you get my drift.   balance.

overall, i think that it is beneficial to educate yourself about food.  plus, it is fun and oh-so-interesting.  God has built-in some incredible nutrition for us.  from kale to eggs.  soup to nuts.  and so, for the next little while, we are going to be exploring the nutritional goodness of living foods in their raw state.

okay, who’s in?  the more the merrier!  if you are an instagrammer, make sure to follow us and post pictures of your three weeks raw eats, we would love to see what you are eating and doing during the raw challenge.  just slap a hashtag on it!  #swankyanddappergorawrawraw

isn’t it better to do things together?  i think so.  jump in and do as much or as little as you would like.  but make sure to SHARE.  we want to see what you are up to.  let’s encourage each other.  plus, i am looking forward to featuring some of your concoctions, ideas, and inspirations on the blog!  maybe even some of your feel-good testimonials or before and afters… you can email your pics and stories as well swankyanddapper@gmail.com

and for those of you who are interested…here’s is a quick list of some staples of our raw diet: 

a rainbow of raw veggies + juicing + green smoothies + chia + maca + hemp + bee pollen + fresh fruits + RAW nuts + sprouted seeds + cacao + wheatgrass + superfoods + spirulina + blue-green algae + avocado + raw nut butters + cold pressed oils + raw coconut water + aloe + kombucha + water, water, water! {with lemon to help alkalize the body}

wahoo!  let’s do this.

some pics of our favorite things so far…


{raw breakfast}

apples + cinnamon + maca + chia + hemp + homemade peanut butter + ginger granola


{raw breakfast for dinner}

sprouted oats soaked in fresh orange juice + vanilla bean + cinnamon + chia + sprouted pumpkin seeds + raspberries + figs


{green juice}

kale + celery + cucumber + broccoli + apple + lemon + ginger


dating my hubby


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last week during staycation, hubby and i got out on the town, just the two of us.  and you know what, it was amazing.  as you have noticed, we are suckers for family dates.  we sure do love our little girl.  and she is a doll.  BUUUUT…we really like each other.  he is my best bud and we enjoy our time together.  we NEED our time together.  time when we can shut off the mama and papa brains and just connect.  you, know.  as us.  talk.  flirt.  be silly.  dream.  and THAT is precisely what we did.

we dropped off miss elinor for a fun evening away from us {which she loves, by the way.  she has quite the independent streak, that baby girl of ours} and we took off for dinner out.  local bistro was calling our name.  carb-a-palooza.  we sipped some delicious red.  we ate flatbread with the yummiest dips.  calamari… and then tagliatelle with creamy white wine and truffle mushroom sauce.  yes.

it was delightful.  just all around delightful.  me and my man.  and piles of scrumptiousness.  i sure do love dating my hubby.

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baby who brunches



last weekend was pretty swell.  saturday mornings are always my favorites; but this one was extra nice.  i have started joining some of the gals in my family for a saturday morning sweat session.  it is a lovely treat to get out of the house for a couple of hours and just really savor some workout time.  i am getting back into my yoga practice and getting in more time with the ladies in my life.  no complaints there.

this also gives papa some special time with his little girl.  he gets to wake her and feed her and play with her.  bona fide bonding time…without mama there to act as a distraction.  i am glad they have these moments…and i am grateful for a bit of time to shut off my brain and do something different.  thanks hubby.

but, back to brunch.

after i returned from my morning, we braved the summer sun and took a drive to chelsea’s kitchen for some brunch.  eeep!  so good.  the restaurant is so cozy and it was a hodge-podge of fancy ladies giggling over bottomless mimosas, elaborately coiffed hipster couples, post hike outdoorsy folks, and effusive young families.  the perfect scene.  we set up shop and plopped elinor down in the corner of the booth.  she had her toys, she had a room to explore, she was all set.  and while we waited for our food to arrive, she made friends with the 18 month old girl next door.  a sweet little face that was covered in a thick layer of some mystery glop.  and she swiveled with glee while waving her arms at miss elinor.  it was a fine mess of the cutest kind.

my man sipped his bloody mary and we chatted while elinor played and socialized.  and then, the food.  ben ordered the short rib hash and i got the crab cake benedict.  both were winners in their own right.  eggs benedict is one of my very favorites and this was the ultimate.  freshly baked english muffins topped with jumbo lump crab, braised spinach, and bright hollandaise.  with a side of mint fruit.  meanwhile, ben looked like he had just won the lottery.  a pile of meat with a golden, runny egg yolk on top and a toasted english muffin for sopping up all the residual goodness.  happy man.

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elinor started flapping her arms as soon as the plates hit the table.  someone was really excited for brunch.  she sat on papa’s knee and nibbled on beef bits before being transferred to my lap for some egg {and a bit of crab.  oops!  sometimes i forget about all that potential food allergy business…but, she gobbled it up and there wasn’t a hive in sight.  phew…} it was glorious.  we took our time and enjoyed a leisurely brunch as our little family of three. i love our sweet little foodie fam.


happy hour


a few days back, our little family took a little trip to st. francis for happy hour.  and it was happy, indeed.  for miss elinor, the afternoon started on a very smiley note which is always a sign of pleasantness to come.  she was a doll.  she sang to us on the ride over and squealed with joy as we made our way inside.

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we were seated upstairs so we had a primo view of the restaurant and the brightest mural on the wall behind us.  i am fairly certain that the colors could have kept elinor amused for the duration of the meal.  her head would swivel over and she would oooohh and point.  so much to see!  but, then, the bread hit the table.


ahhh, the bread.  we decided to be nice parents and share this crusty deliciousness with our child.  up to this point, elinor has been sans bread.  we don’t eat a ton of it, usually.  but this stuff is kind of a local celebrity so we couldn’t resist.  and oh my.  you know that moment when you taste something that is so close to perfect that you want to extract every ounce of flavor…and then you close your eyes and try to ingrain that taste into your being…and you hope that if you take long enough, it will last forever and somehow enmesh itself into your tastebuds so you will never be without it again?  yes.  that moment.  we found ourselves nodding.  not speaking a word but saying it all.  yes.  this.  is.  bread.  meanwhile, elinor had furrowed her brow and gave us one of those uuuummm, hello?  what about me, guys? looks.  and so, we broke bread with our baby girl.  sharing is caring.  i tore off a tiny bite and soaked it in some olive oil.  and let me tell you, it had the same effect on elinor.  her eyes widened.  she pursed her lips.  and she let out the most sincere mmmmmm sound that i have ever heard.  and then, she took her time sucking every last drop of flavor out of that little bite before enthusiastically going back for more.  that’s our girl.


and then, there was nothing left but a smearing of oil and crumbs.  but not to worry, the entrees arrived shortly thereafter and all was happy again.  the prettiest bowl of local veggies on a bed of forbidden rice.  elinor and i split the dish.  and she also received a few nibbles of papa’s meatballs.


elinor was obsessed with the beets.  thrilled by them.  and you know what?  her mama liked them too.  although, i did not look nearly as cute eating them as she did.  i like that shade on you, baby girl.


our little fishy


oh, what fun we had at the pool with our splishy splashy girl!

elinor has  always loved her bath.  she makes the funniest faces and smacks her hands against the water.  she likes to stay in there good and long.  until her toesies are all pruny.  so we had high hopes for the pool.  and we were not disappointed.

she waded in and started in on the gentle duck-like kicks.  smiling and squinting in the sun.  and then, smack!  her hands greeted the top of the water and it was on.  splashing everywhere.  water on mama’s sunglasses.  water in the eyes.  water in the mouth.  up the nose.  you name it.  she was so amused with herself.  and this “splash, splash, splash” continued for a good hour.  and yes, we were cheering her on, all the way.

we will applaud this raucous splashing behavior in the same way that we encourage the topless swimming…for now.  for the time being, it is the cutest.  and we are going to eat it up.  because we know that there will come a day when splashing is prohibited by conspicuously posted signage. and swimming topless?  well…in spite of our affinity for all things european, that is one activity that is better left across the pond.  pretty sure papa would prefer that you wear a mumu at all times, little girl.

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elinor outtakes

we have taken so many snaps of elinor in the past few weeks.  mostly, because it takes seventeen shots to capture one where she isn’t a blur of baby.  and believe it or not, i don’t always share all the images. alas, tis true.  and so, while conducting a routine clean up of the old iPhone, i found a few snaps that have been omitted from the blog.  but gosh darn it, they are just too cute to keep to myself!

and so, i share them with you.  enjoy.

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