Baby chick update

The tiny girls have been at ‘Gabi’s coop’ for almost three weeks now and it’s amazing how much thy have grown. Pretty soon I won’t be calling them little!


first day we brought them home.


about 10 days after they came home

Crazy, right? Buffy (the buff Orpington) is the largest right now and she’ll pretty much outweigh the other girls. Chickpea (top right; bearded polish) is starting to turn into a pretty bird. These polish chicks were quite funny looking but with their feathers coming in, it’s like they are a whole new bird. And the coloring is amazing. 

We’ve been leaving them outside in the coop for most of the day as it’s been above 80 here. They still haven’t figured out how to go up their ramp to the second floor but I’m sure they’ll figure it out. Hopefully. For now we place them up there and they seem to really like the darkness and quiet. Funny how such little things have interesting personalities. 

Gabi is still entertained by them and she’s learning to be more gentle with them everyday. It really is sweet seeing the expressions on her face when we go to say good morning to las chicas. 

time to see the chicks, mama!!??!!

I wonder wednesday 

overnight oats.

 I think I’m the only one who has not dived into this new food trend. Scattered throughout Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook you’ll find all these fabulous recipes for overnight oats. And while they LOOK amazing, I’m not completely sold on them. I wonder, shouldn’t your oatmeal be hot to give you that warm fuzzy feeling? 
With being said, I have embarked on the cold oatmeal thing but in a different form. I have finally stopped breastfeeding Gabriela (last Friday was the last time, actually. We made it almost 19 months! My original goal was 6 months so I’m pretty pleased by this) and I needed to figure a way to get breakfast in her quick before we headed out to our run. This child is the slowest eater around and if you’re not paying attention to her then she’ll go even slower. I hear my mother’s voice because I, too, was a slow eater. I’d rather talk than eat. 

Anyway, we’ve been using food pouches for a late afternoon snack (I’m rather partial towards the Plum organics mighty 4 but they are a bit on the pricey side. I figured I make 90% of her food I should be able to make some sort of portable smoothie/pouchy thing. And it just so happens that I had won a 6 pack of these Moshiko reusable pouches. So off I went looking for ‘recipes’. 

I knew I wanted to use oats as they tend to keep one filled up longer but I had no clue how to incorporate that into a smoothie type thingy. I’m not a smoothie person. Pina colada, sure, but smoothie? Not so much. So I basically kept seeing the same thing over and over of just blending the oats with a liquid and then adding in the fruits and veggies till you get the right consistency. So that’s what I tackled this morning. I blended together oats, little bananas, pears, apples, strawberries, and a dash of cinnamon with a vanilla pediasure and damn if it’s not tasty! It still has to go to the ultimate taster, though.

My thought is to fill the pouches I have, freeze, and pull them out the night before. This way I can give her one while we’re getting dressed or in the running jogger and her breakfast is done! At least that’s the plan!

So I wonder– how do you feel about overnight oats? Any awesome recipes? 

Happy Wednesday and a chick update is coming this week! They are too cute!

stylin at walmart

I wonder Wednesday…

ok I know this is pretty random but this seriously happened to me the other day and I am utterly baffled (or as my father said, ‘I think I may have seen it all’.)

My fatter and I are finishing up a project that required a chalkboard. Rather than buy a prefab one I decide to paint one. So off to Walmart we go to pick up some chalkboard spray paint. About two days later I finally get the time to spray the board. I pop open the can and…the bloody nozzle is gone! Who takes a nozzle??!!?? I seriously was just speechless. My dad, the fixer, said no worries; we’ll just use one from a spray can we already have. That’s when I remembered I bought a can of turquoise spray paint a few months for a project (I still haven’t started). So I grab that one and as soon as I get back to the garage I jokingly say to my father, ‘this would suck if the nozzle was missing on this one, too!’ 

Sure enough, the bloody nozzle on the second one was gone! WTF?!??!!

So I wonder…did we miss something at Walmart? Were we supposed to ask to get a nozzle? Is this a common thing? Or better yet, are spray can nozzles in high demand on the island that I’m not aware of?

Needless to say I’ll be checking any spray cans from now on at my friendly Walmart!!

Have a great day, friends! 


sweet girl in pigtails and her mini fjallraven kanken backpack

Ps- chick update coming soon!! 


hey gang. Sorry for my disappearance the last week or so. It’s been crazy up here in the Vizuete and Kaffenberger household with a teething baby (16 are all in. Do I see molars??!!??); changing rooms; shots- as in the needle kind but the other kind are pretty good; and the biggest change….we are chicken owners!!

On Sunday we made the early morning drive out to Hato Rey, which is slightly south on the outskirts of San Juan, to hook up with the Gallinas Urbanas guy to buy our baby chicks. I have a friend who bought her 25 chicks from them and she recommended that we get there early as there is always a line. And was there! He shows normally around 9am. We got there at 8 and there were probably 6 people already there. Yep. 

Unfortunately he was running late but thanks to my father, the little one was entertained by running around the square, waving at people, and hugging trees. Weird. Anyway, the market he sells his chickens is the Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra. There’s maybe about 20-25 tents selling everything from plants to bread to fresh pasta to vegetarian empanadillas and much more. It’s an all organic sorta market. I even scored a much needed mini massage!

We had an idea of what we wanted and after waiting almost 45-60 mins for the 6 in front of us to get finished (some people were buying 20-30 chicks!) our game plan flew out the window! He had pulled out his ‘special’ box and he had some polish chicks. My all-time favorite chicken was the polish frizzle but of course there’d be no way of getting one here. So when I heard polish and big bouffant hair I. Was. Sold! They were sold in pairs so we ended up getting the 2 polish and one each of the buff Orpington, ameraucana, and barred Plymouth Rock. They are really too cute for words. Aside from my polish having very big round heads. 

So that’s what we’ve been doing all week: becoming mama and dada (and big papa) to our new little familia. And I’m so surprised how gentle and careful Gabriela is with them. 

May I introduce you to….(staring from the top right hand corner and going clockwise)

– Chickpea (polish) – Isa (aka Isabela; Ameraucana) – Lulu (polish) – Oreo (barred Plymouth Rock) and – Buffy (buff Orpington)

They are already showing personalities and I can’t wait to watch them grow and having Gabi interact with them!

And be sure to follow me on Instagram where I share lots more pics of our island life!

Have a great day!

I wonder thurswednesday…

maybe I should just rename it that! 

Anyway, today (or rather the last few weeks) I’ve been wondering why I have not been cooking with turmeric. I know, outta left field, right? Besides the gorgeous warm orange-yellowy color that it brings to a dish, it’s actually been a widely used spice in Chinese medicine to help cure/treat inflammation and it’s also a great antioxidant as well as helps combat belly issues. 

Turmeric contains curcumin, which is the powerhouse of the spice. Unfortunately to get the best results you’d have to consume an extract that contains the curcumin. While turmeric has it, it isn’t really that much but every little bit helps, right? 

So I’ve been putting turmeric in everything. Seriously. Marinades. Quinoa. Couscous. Gabi’s homemade chicken nuggets and meatballs. It has such a subtle flavor yet still enhances the flavor all the while giving your dish a beautiful golden hue. 

So give it a try! See where you can add it to your recipes. 

I wonder what other spices I’ve been missing out on…what do you all love to use that is a bit different?!


nothing to do with tumeric but loving her little wispy ponytail.

Ps- a very sad day reading that Alan Rickman has passed away. Loved him in so many movies such as _Dogma_, _Sense and Sensibilty_ (I’m a HUGE Austen Fan), and so so many more. Cancer sucks. RIP. 

Ch ch ch changes…

(my little homage to the passing of David Bowie. What a legend.)

So changes…Gabriela turned 18 months old Sunday and that lil chica is changing day by day. It’s amazing. She’s growing and advancing and turning into a little <gasp> girl. I love it and I hate it. 

Our last beach outing consisted of well over an hours worth of Gabi running around on the sand, tossing sand over back, and jumping the waves (with big papa). Gone are the days of tranquility when she would just hang in her little tent and everyone else would get some sunshine. But ya know what: this is pretty awesome, too! Just seeing her explore and check out the world is pretty darn cool. And entertaining! And, I’m coming to grips with the whole ‘having sand in places you don’t want sand to be!’. It amazes me how sand can get up in places on that little chica! Thank goodness we started bringing a water jug so we can clean her up and there’s even a hose-like thingy at our spot if she gets extra sandy. I’m hoping she’ll eventually figure out face-planting in the sand isn’t a real good idea. 

Along with much more active beach days, we’ve FINALLY moved Gabi into her bedroom yesterday! Being 18 months old we figured it’s time. We’ve always kept her pack n play, and then crib, in our room. It made sense since I was still breastfeeding her and for some reason her weird habit of being wide ass awake at 5am. I’d bring her to bed (I know, I know) and she’d sleep until 7/7.30. Glorious. So there was trepidation moving her so. Far. Away. (About 10 steps to the other room.) but alas we did it and last night sucked! She was up every two hours and by 4am I was exhausted and we both were done. Needless to say she slept until almost 9 all snuggled up on my shoulder. I know, I know. 

But as of right now, sweet girl is taking an awesome nap on her own, in her crib, in her bedroom. Yes! 

Our chicken coop/tractor is finished and I’m thinking we’re heading to San Juan on Sunday to fetch our chicks. If I remember correctly we’ll be doing two buff orpington’s, 2 ameraucana, and 1 Plymouth rocks. Unfortunately we were hoping for an australop but our guy doesn’t have any. Gives us room to grow. Eventually. 

Also hoping to get back on the meal planning kick. I’ve been winging it lately and I’ve noticed that I’ve been using a lot of dairy, cream, buttttteerrrrrrrr, and not really accounting for portion sizes. Needless to say I’ve been feeling a bit on the chunky side. So I need to start planning better. Dinner tonight will be a pork loin. Of course I have no clue yet what to do but I’m sure I’ll think of something. 

Thanks for sticking with me. There will be much more food blogging to come as well as chicken updates and the goings-on with sweet Gabriela. 

Ps- be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pics from the island. 


I wonder Wednesday!

The holidays have come and gone – unless you live in Puerto Rico celebrating Three Kings day today, which is HUGE! – and we’re all trying to settle back into a routine. Or at least I am. 

The last few weeks had us all out of sync with a crazy work schedule for the husband, a teething baby (she has 16 teeth, my friends…16!), and the building of the chicken coop! Needless to say my weekly grocery shopping trips were sporadic, which left us with no veggies for last night’s dinner. And just as an aside: the veggie selection here in PR is scarce and expensive. I haven’t had cauliflower since moving here because it’s almost 7$ a head and it’s the size of a grapefruit. No thank you. And I just can’t do the frozen stuff. The normals sides here on the island are rice and beans, tostones, amarillos, and potatoe and yucca. I’m not complaining; just ever so often I want a zucchini. 

So I wonder why veggies don’t reign supreme here on the island – or even in the upper 50’s? You see countless books/articles/discussions on ‘how to get your kid to eat veggies’ and it really boggles the mind. With our limited supply Gabi hasn’t had the benefit of trying out different things (I do miss Brussels sprouts!) so her palate to veggies is limited. Sucks. But I’m trying. Which is why I started our garden. And last night we had a pleasant surprise…

With our crazy schedule I didn’t make it to the store yesterday to get veggies for dinner and I so didn’t want anymore rice. My solution? I walked to our backyard and picked fresh green beans, zucchini and squash, and Rosemary. After years of trying to grow squash/zucchini I FINALLY had a ‘crop ‘. And can I just say: the difference between store bought and fresh is huge! And Gabi even seemed to like it as well. 

So I also wonder what I’ll be planting in my (hopefully expanding) garden next. Brussels sprouts could be on our horizon! Oh- and an update on the ‘seeded on their own’ tomatoes: they are growing like wildflowers, have flowered but no fruit yet. Crossing my fingers that they’ll be ok! 

What veggies do you like to grow? How did you get your lil toddlers/kids to enjoy their veggies?


 A little day trip to Utuado. This was at the Restaurante Las Tortugas.   


¡Feliz año Nuevo!

it’s December 31st and another year is gone. Just like everyone, I’m sure, my year was filled with ups and downs and it was a crazy roller coaster ride. One I wouldn’t trade in for anything. 

I’m working on a ‘year in review’ to share with you some of our experiences; see what we’ve been up to and where we’re going next. 

I’m very lucky to have our beautiful, healthy and happy little familia, to be living on a tropical island, having my father share in watching Gabriela grow up, and all the love and support from James’ parents, Vicki and Don, as well as all of our dear family and friends. 

So be safe tonight out there and I hope that 2016 will bring many more memories and happy times to all of you. ❤️


Jen, James, and Gabriela



¡Feliz navidad!

i hope everyone had an awesome merry Christmas! Ours was pretty low key with not much happening other than…. Building a chicken coop!

Yes, my friends, you read right! We are constructing our very own chicken coop that will (soon) house 4 chickens. Keeping chickens has been something my husband has wanted to do for years but unfortunately we could never pull the trigger in Dothan because we knew we’d be leaving at anytime. We feel pretty certain we’re here for the long haul so finally he gets his chickens! 

The three of us (but mostly my father) have been tackling this project and being that I know nothing of carpentry, it’s actually been pretty fun. We’re doing this Design and so far so good (knock on wood)!

We’ll be getting chicks so we can raise them ourselves and they will become familiar with us. We’re hoping to purchase the in the next few weeks…once I read up on chick care. I know, what are we getting ourselves into. 😉

The holidays have wreaked havoc on my meal planning and cooking, not to mention a screwy work schedule for the husband so not much to report on the cooking Homefront. We did get to enjoy some zucchini last night that was picked from our garden. It’s amazing how different fresh picked produce vs supermarket produce tastes! The green beans are blooming, tomatoes are growing, herbs are coming in, and hoping for some more zucchini and squash!

So I’ll be posting updates on our progress so check back! We’ll (of course) be naming our little pets so if you have any ideas please feel free to share!


I wonder Wednesday

i can totally blame my lateness on it being Christmas week, right?? Hey, a procrastinator can try!

With that being said, I’m sure there is going to be amazing feasts happening the next few days and lots of layers of flavors and ingredient combinations happening. If you checked my last blog post I mentioned a bit of a mixed review from the pork dish I made. It was quite yummy but my father has a hard time reconciling eating something savory (pork chops and onions) with something sweet (apples). 

Which made me wonder: how do you all feel about combining  savory and sweet?

I love it! Sweet and sour pork/chicken; prosciutto and cantaloupe; spinach salad with cranberries and goat cheese — I could go on… And my all time favorite: fig and prosciutto pizza with buffalo mozzarella and arugula (oh how I miss me some figs). I find the flavor complexities interesting and it adds a little something more to the mix. My father on the hand, not so much. 

And that’s quite ok. He’s never not eaten anything I’ve made (he picks off the figs and gives them to me so that’s a bonus, right??!!), it’s just not his style. 

So what’s your take on this debate?

I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and holiday with your family, loved ones, and friends. Stay safe and be merry and we’ll talk soon!

Never be within doors when you can rightly be without ~ Charlotte Mason

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