This is news to no one. School at home is extra hard—for the students and the teachers (and the parents, too). We’re feeling it over here, oscillating from “this really isn’t so bad” to “this might be the absolute worst,” even with an amazing teacher. One thing that’s helped to make online school a little brighter for Hal is creating a designated space to do school, with an adjustable desk just her size, and a fun calendar we made like the one her teacher has. Because we could all use a little pick-me-up right now, I’m excited to team up with Smith System, a K-12 furniture manufacturer, to giveaway 50 sturdy school desks and fun chairs to create a familiar setup like school at home. Oh, and Hal and I made you a fun printable too. Read more

BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches from the faux martha

I really wanted to like jackfruit, a fruit that can be purchased in a can and stored in the pantry, that has the texture of meat, that takes on the flavor of just about anything. But every time I tried it, it was too acidic and salty, and I like acidic and salty food. And I couldn’t get past the fact that it’s often used as a stand-in for meaty protein, yet it lacks much protein. Or the fact that it wasn’t filling enough. But, if I’m anything, I’m persistent (when it involves solving a recipe or design problem). “I’m going to try those BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches one more time.” “Oh, Mel. No. More. Jackfruit.” Oops, I did it again. And I got it right this time. Kev approves. Read more

Kev's Kale Protein Smoothie from the faux martha

Unlike me, Kev can keep 8 plates spinning at the same time. I’m best with one, maybe two. Unlike me, Kev works out in the mornings in order to fall asleep at night. I can fall asleep anytime, no matter my activity level. And unlike me, Kev prefers to drink his breakfast. I like to chew mine and linger with Savannah and Hoda and Craig and Al. But if I could spin more plates or figure out how to wake up early to work out, I think I’d drink my breakfast too, as long as it tasted like Kev’s Kale Protein Smoothie. Read more

iced maple cardamom latte from the faux martha

Every post lately feels like the how-to paragraph I first learned to write in 2nd grade: how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (or as Hal calls it: a peanut butter jelly and sandwich). First this, then that, next, finally. It’s a mirror to our regimented, first-this-then-that days right now, where every single hour is accounted for. Can you hear it? The 11 am chimes of the pumps are humming now, Hal’s singing the same ole “is it lunchtime yet?” chorus, and Linnie’s legs are bouncing to the beat of it all. Read more

how to prep kale for the week from the faux martha

Prepping kale with a new baby seems like a silly idea. And while you’re doing it—destemming, chopping, cleaning, and drying—it seems like a silly idea. But when a big batch lasts the whole week, at-the-ready in the fridge, like the trusty carrot or the onion, you keep doing it week after week and drop it into everything, like this Quick Chipotle Kale Slaw and these Crispy Kale and Chickpea Bowls and that Thai Mango Kale Salad and Kev’s Kale Protein Smoothie. Here’s my method to the madness for having crispy kale all week long (and only making a big mess prepping it once). Read more

Reusable Food Storage from the faux martha

I’m back with an update on my favorite reusable food storage items. This post was originally published two years ago when I was just beginning to change some of my habits in the kitchen to create less waste, from food storage to food itself. Two years later and I’m still at it, working to keep our trash heap as minimal as possible, composting as much as possible. Because there’s an understood rule of the trail— through the worn path up a mountain and down the driveway on trash night—leave no trace. I know this rule from Kev, who likes to backpack. It’s a rule much easier to follow when you only have a couple things on your back. It’s a rule that looks a little different in a home. Below are my favorite reusable food storage items that make this task more doable. Read more

Crispy Kale and Chickpea Bowls from The Faux Martha

This time around the new motherhood sun, I had plans to help myself succeed, plans I didn’t know to bother with the first time. You know, plans like childcare outside the house for Linnie and summer camp for Hal; plans like washing my face every day and ordering meal kits to make sure we eat at least one satisfying meal a day. Simple plans thwarted by COVID, all of them except ordering meal kits, which saved dinnertime the first two months as a family of 4, which also inspired this post and recipe for Crispy Kale and Chickpea Bowls now on regular rotation over here. (PS—We’re going a little crazy, but I’m so thankful for all this extra time with my girls.)

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