Pineapple Dreams

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Good morning!  I went to bed dreaming of this pineapple smoothie, so the first thing I did today was stumble into the kitchen and blend it up.


In the blender:


3/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup vanilla soy milk

Splash pomegranate juice

1/4 cup frozen pineapple chucks

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

2 scoops protein powder

1/4 cup raw oats


I know raw oats seems like a weird thing to put in a smoothie, but it gives the drink a gritty texture and makes it much, much more filling.


Reading Material


DadHTP passed on this New York Times article to me, and I thought you might enjoy it, too!  As I’ve written about many times before, I find the commercialization of gender in children’s toys to be absolutely fascinating.


Should the World of Toys Be Gender-Free?

Some interesting facts from the article:


  • Hamley’s (the “London version of F.A.O. Schwarz”) recently got rid of the pink/girls and blue/boys sections in the store and replaced it with a red and white scheme that is organized by interest (i.e. soft toys, outdoor toys), not gender.  
  • Boys raised in ‘equality for the sexes’ homes are more likely to be nurturing to babies.
  • Girls with older brothers have better spatial awareness than boys or girls with older sisters.
  • Children who have opposite-sex friends in their early years have healthier and more stable romantic relationships as teenagers.


Happy reading and HAPPY FRIDAY!



  • Khushboo December 30, 2011, 11:05 am

    I’m imagining this smoothie to taste like an upside down pineapple cake- any luck?

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb December 30, 2011, 11:07 am

    your smoothie looks delicious! unfortunately it has gotten too cold in chicago to even think about that for breakfast!

  • katie @ KatieDid December 30, 2011, 11:12 am

    I have 2 older brothers, not sure how my spatial awareness compares to the norm but interesting points from that article!

  • Sarah December 30, 2011, 11:19 am

    I have an old brother and I became an architect! I’ll have to thank him for my spatial awareness.

    Semi-related side note… Have you or your husband read much about the effect of a strong father-daughter relationship? Studies show that girls with involved dads (who listen to their problems, spend time with them, tell them they are loved, etc) have healthier relationships, lower rates of promiscuity, better self-esteem, etc. Your last bullet point made me think of that. So interesting!

  • Tricia December 30, 2011, 11:23 am

    Wow, I find that very interesting. I have an older brother and had a best friend who was a boy growing up and I think that definitely shaped my interests and thoughts about things. But, then when I was in high school, it seemed that I was more interested in “girl” things. I don’t know if that’s natural or if it was a matter of growing up or not being as close to my old best friend, etc. Interesting! I still consider myself a tomboy although my husband doesn’t.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife December 30, 2011, 12:03 pm

    I love LOVE raw oats in my smoothies–makes it add some extra umphh and staying power 😉

  • Maria December 30, 2011, 12:11 pm

    If you haven’t already seen this, it’s a pretty darn adorable view on the not inherently funny topic being discussed 😉 After all gender is a social construct so what kind of society have we created that doesn’t take into account a full range of human preferences and characteristics? One where people don’t get to ever fully express or even understand themselves. I’m not down with that!

  • Jess December 30, 2011, 12:33 pm

    I miss smoothies! As much as I want to drink them, it’s too cold 🙁

    Also, glad to hear that having older brothers and other male friends helped me out 🙂

  • Grab An Apple December 30, 2011, 12:51 pm

    I’m immensely grateful that my parents raised my younger brother and I in a relatively gender-neutral household. We were equally encouraged to play sports AND be in school plays. The only time they ever treated us “differently’ (based on gender) was when we got to be of driving age; my brother was allowed to drive by himself late at night while I was not (sadly, there had been several high profile murder cases in my area that sowed the seeds of my parents’ fears). Being so close to my brother also made me more comfortable around guys in my adolescence; I wasn’t as boy crazy as some of my peers since the opposite sex held no mystique to me.

    My Mom’s side of the family is a bit of a “good old boys’ club” so I’m very impressed by and grateful for my parents’ ability to value my brother and I equally and hold us to the same standards. I hope to do the same with my hypothetical future spawn. However, as I commented to my BF last night, I draw the line at my daughters participating in pageants. I hate to be a judgey bee-yotch, but I just can’t…

  • mrschelles December 30, 2011, 12:53 pm

    I loved this post for many reasons! I’m glad it’s going to be 70 today in Texas so I can make a pineapple smoothie. My mom made pineapple cupcakes by accident (thought it was white cake mix) over Christmas and I’ve had a taste for pineapple since then.
    I also enjoyed reading the article. I find how our kids come into their gender roles very interesting as well. I was very close to both of my parents growing up, but I was more like my dad than my brother (i.e. loved cars and fast stuff) but loved crafty artsy stuff like my mom too. I see this in my son as well. He enjoys tools and things he can do with his hands, but he loves music and movement too. And since our friends who had kids around the same time we did all had girls, it will be interesting to see how that affects his relationships as a teenager (although I don’t know if I want to think of that just yet).

  • Allie Q (Fit Geek) December 30, 2011, 12:59 pm

    My boyfriend puts raw oats in his smoothies and I love the texture it gives them.

    The spatial thing is interesting. I wonder how having an older brother would help a girl in that regard. The increased chance of playing sports and rough-housing?

    I’m an only child and terrible at anything that requires coordination or some kind of choreography. However I’m excellent with directions. Don’t know if that’s spatial or not, but yeah!

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) December 30, 2011, 1:00 pm

    I must have retyped my comment 3 or 4 times now and I keep deleting it to start over…having a hard time typing it just the way I want…so here goes nothing.

    The Lord God created a woman to be a woman..i.e. ~feminine~. She is the nurturer and main caregiver and if she can swing a hammer without breaking a nail then she rocks!

    The Lord God created man to be man..i.e. *masculine*. He is the provider and protector and if he can change babies behind without gagging and kiss a boo-boo then he rocks!

    But, seriously, gender equality is great but we should be embracing the differences not pretending they don’t exist! Yes, blue can be a girl color and some men can seriously rock out pink but I, honestly, don’t think we need to pretend that gender differences are not there.

    Yes, I encourage my girls to dress frilly, go catch frogs, make an awesome muffin, and know how to change a tire. And my boys will be as comfortable with laundry, diapers, and the kitchen as they are the garage and cars.

    I think we can balance things well without ignoring the differences.

  • Kim December 30, 2011, 1:10 pm
  • Liz A December 30, 2011, 1:12 pm

    wow, the part about the primates really surprised me. I’ve always believed that marketing plays a huge role in the toy industry in regards to gender-specific toys.

  • Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free December 30, 2011, 1:14 pm

    That smoothie sounds delicious! I usually grind my oats into a powder before adding to my smoothie – makes it super thick.

    Interesting facts about gender equality and neutrality. I think the real key is to stop attaching value to things that are masculine or feminine. I think society spends too much time emphasizing the difference between genders. For example, society often encourages boys to do traditionally masculine actives while simultaneously reinforcing the notion that doing traditionally feminine things is bad and make them “less of a man”.

    I love researching and reading about gender. I took several courses on gender theory in grad school and could talk about it all day. So fascinating!

  • Amber K December 30, 2011, 1:41 pm

    Very interesting! I definitely liked Barbies and girly toys when I was younger, but I also was exposed to working outside and on cars too. It just wasn’t my favorite. I always wanted to help my mom inside!

  • Kaitlyn (Running Through My Twenties) December 30, 2011, 2:35 pm

    I actually know a faculty member at my university that was talking to me about boys and girls with spatial awareness. In the frontal lobe of the brain, boys develop a part that makes them more spatially aware while girls develop a part that makes them want to communicate more (hence why girls can sit and talk for hours!). I think it is interesting how girls with older brothers are more spatially aware–but it makes sense!

  • Rebecca December 30, 2011, 3:03 pm

    My one cousin has one boy (the second of the four) and three girls. He is very protective of his sisters. I’m not sure if their house is “gender-neutral” per se, but he’s pretty helpful and nurturing.
    I always wanted a brother, but never got one. I’m really close to my dad, and you would think that would help with boys, but not so much.

  • Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine December 30, 2011, 3:49 pm

    Mmmm pineapple smoothies sound like a perfect dose of tropical for a Friday long weekend 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 30, 2011, 3:49 pm

    oh yum – a pineapple smoothie sounds delish!

  • Tee @ She Writes, Bites, and Window Shops December 30, 2011, 4:15 pm

    Oats are a constant in my smoothies too – it makes them so much more filling!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama December 30, 2011, 6:54 pm

    I was just speaking to my oldest brother on Christmas. He has 2 boys(6 and 1.5 yrs). They received a play kitchen from a family friend as a gift. My brother commented “who gets a play kitchen for boys?” Ummm…why not? We had a big discussion after that! I should send him that article.

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon December 30, 2011, 8:54 pm

    I love raw oats in smoothies! Especially when they’ve been soaked in almond milk overnight!

  • Kristina December 30, 2011, 10:57 pm

    I read that article too – pretty interesting stuff, and I applaud FAO. I have seen a lot on this subject lately – there was a recent uproar about new “girl” legos that are pink. my thought was not so much about the color (well, not as much…) as the fact that the new set is barely a “building and creating” toy as legos are meant to be, seems more of a ‘dumbing down’. or I’m being to sensitive? 😉 I loved legos as a girl.

    this isn’t on toys per se, but it is about gender. if you haven’t yet seen this, it is VERY good:

    bravo to thinking teachers like her! 😀

  • Lorin December 31, 2011, 12:48 am

    That’s pretty interesting. I used to be very tomboy, like I wanted to cut my hair to look like the girl in the motocross movie. I didn’t really have any relationships in high school so I don’t know if that counts as being stable since it was nonexistent. On the other hand though, I wasn’t throwing myself at guys because I was desperate.

  • Emily December 31, 2011, 11:41 am

    Hmm, they say that about Hamley’s, but I was in there a couple of weeks ago and they still had a very pink section full of dolls and toy kitchens and similar…

    I think its inevitable that there will be some gender socialisation for children (I think its pretty impossible not to at least a little bit, just subconsciously and with what is available) but I don’t think its right to impose stuff on kids. My male cousins have always cared for dolls (their babies), played dress up with jewellery etc, and enjoyed the kitchen/cooking type toys there are around. And my female cousins have always liked sport, hitting each other, playing cowboys etc, building things.

    Only when they get a bit older and go to school, they can get very “ergh, that’s a GIRL’S toy”, and no amount of explaining will overturn the peer pressure!

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life December 31, 2011, 1:55 pm

    You should definitely read the book “Inside Toyland” by Christine Williams. It’s a study on two different toy stores and there’s a huge section on commercialization of gender in children’s toys. I read it as part of a sociology and gender class in college — such interesting stuff!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 31, 2011, 7:24 pm

    I think that’s very true that children should be raised with gender neutral toys and activities in general. I was the only girl and treated as such, and I definitely wished I had been encouraged to use my brother’s toys too, rather than just playing with barbie. Haha although I loved barbie. I just think I would have had more confidence in myself growing up if I believed I could do anything!

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