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Friday, September 20, 2013

Dear Baby

I am not usually not one for gushy, emotional posts, but the pregnancy-related hormones have put me in quite the sentimental mood. Lately, I have been feeling very blessed for all of the wonderful, thoughtful people that we have in our lives. And, as I prepare for all of the life changing events that are about to happen, I find myself thinking a lot about the responsibility ahead of me.  There are so many things that I want to instill in my child.  And, by things, I mean: all those things I learned the hard way, all those things my parents never taught me, all those dreams I never pursued, and all those promises I never lived up to (being kind, never gossiping, not being materialistic…..).

I am lucky to have had several baby showers, and each one of them was so beautiful and special. At one of the showers, the guests filled out cards with their wishes for our baby.  It was such a fun and touching experience that I wanted to share some of them with you.  Hey, maybe it will make us more accountable. If nothing else, it will be something my husband and I can look back upon and share with our son.

Dear Baby,
 
I hope you learn to be grateful
I hope you aren’t afraid to dream big
I hope you love yourself
I hope you get your mom’s dimples! ; )
I hope you laugh every day (and at yourself)
I hope you never forget to treat everyone like you want to be treated (and your Midwestern roots)
I hope you ignore your doubts (also mean words)
I hope you become a kind person
I hope you respect yourself and others
I hope you grow into a wonderful man like your father (and I hope you grow up knowing how loved you are!)

Love,
Mom and Dad

 

So my next post will be on the nursery….but that might not be until after Baby P arrives!!! Here is a sneak peek for now.

 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blog, What Blog?


So much has been going on (I mean like, life changing events) and unfortunately, all this action has made me temporarily forget about my blog.  So first I am proud to announce that Brent and I are expecting our first child!  So that has been keeping us pretty busy.   Here are the quick facts and some photos.

Due Date: September 29th (19.3 weeks cooking)
How I am feeling:  Hungry often and still enjoying/savoring/relishing every minute of sleep that I can!
Cravings: dessert, carbs, carbs, and more carbs
Looking forward to:
Feeling the first kick (the Dr. says that I will feel A LOT so I am eager to feel that first movement!)
The next ultrasound  (it’s the 3-D one)
Decorating the nursery 
What I miss: wine, sushi and every so often a diet soda!

The belly is starting to protrude and I have a bump going!

 I was just shy of 18 weeks in the photo above.

The Gender Reveal.......


It's A Boy!!!!!!

Now we just need to find a name (that we both agree on) for this baby.

So beyond the big news, I have been eating and sleeping a lot.  I have also been spending a lot of time (on Pinterest) thinking about the nursery for our little one.  I will post more details about that later!

In other news, I made it to the Misfit last week to enjoy my favorite kale salad.  MMMMM MMMM!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday French Toast


Typically, when Sunday rolls around I am already dreading Monday morning.  Why do I waste my last day of the weekend fretting about the next day, instead of living in the moment and enjoying the day? In that spirit, I want to share one of my favorite Sunday brunch recipes. There is something about a lazy Sunday that just screams French Toast, but not just any French toast, Challah French Toast!!! Challah is the perfect bread for French toast because it’s thick, moist, and buttery.  The recipe that I am most fond of is from Ina Garten. 

Challah French Toast
Ingredients

  • 6 extra-large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half or skim milk (if you are counting calories)

  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon good honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large loaf challah

  • Unsalted butter

  • Vegetable oil
To serve:
  • Pure maple syrup

  • Fresh raspberries

  • Powdered sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, orange zest, vanilla, honey, and salt. Slice the challah in 3/4-inch thick slices. Soak as many slices in the egg mixture as possible for 2-3 minutes, turning once (make sure the bread is fully coated).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a very large saute pan over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Place the cooked French toast on a sheet pan and keep it warm in the oven. Fry the remaining soaked bread slices, adding butter and oil as needed, until it's all cooked. Serve hot with maple syrup, raspberries, and powdered sugar.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Product Junkie

When it comes to beauty products I am a fiend.  And I really can’t get enough product samples.  There are beer of the month clubs, book of the month clubs….there is even a bacon of the month club so naturally, when I heard about these monthly beauty sampling services I thought, ‘Finally, the gift of the month gods have answered my prayers!’  I also felt a twinge of disappointment that I didn’t come up with this idea myself! 

Of course I had to experience one of these clubs myself so I signed up for Sample Society which is sponsored by Allure Magazine.
 
The gist is the Allure beauty experts select five deluxe-sized samples from the finest luxury brands and deliver them in a cute little box straight to your doorstep. A new box with samples is delivered each month. You also receive a $15 coupon for beautybar.com with every shipment (a minimum $50 purchase required) so if you like the sample you can purchase a full size product! And did I mention that shipping is free? Where do I sign up?!!!! 

 
My first box came about a few week ago. What’s in the box?

·         Exude Lip Crème in RED NO.1 lipstick  (Don’t mind if I do!)

·         Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mouse (I am loving this product and I will definitely buy it)

·         L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (this is an old favorite and the sample size is perfect to stash in your purse)

·         Diptyque Eau De Toilette (haven’t tried this yet – waiting for a special occasion)

·         Larocca Skincare Hibiscus Cream Cleanser with AHA (a great moisturizing cleanser that comes in handy in the cold winter months)

Now I wait in anticipation each month for that cute little box filled with deluxe sized samples to arrive on my doorstep.  It doesn’t take much does it? : )
 
For more information on beauty sampling services check out this article in Allure. Do you have a beauty sampling service that you can’t live without? Tell me about it!




 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Soups On!

When I get really excited about something I just can’t wait to blog about it.  There are actually two exciting things that have happened since my last post. First, I finally got a nice camera!  So my photos should look better and if they don’t well, then it’s obviously the camera’s fault.  


Next and more importantly, I made the most delicious soup today.  It’s very easy to make and you use a store bought soup for the base.  Saying that reminds me of this scene from 'I Love You Man'….


So you will never guess what grocery store the soup base is from…..If you didn’t say Trader Joe’s then you must never read my blog. Anyway, I think this is my new favorite soup.It's spicy and creamy and you serve it with tortilla chips.


Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper Soup
 

Ingredients
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 container TJ's Creamy Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
½ teaspoon of chili powder
½ teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
4 oz. of shredded chicken

Toppings
Diced avocado
Sour cream
Cilantro
Tortilla Chips

Mix all the ingredients together in a pot and cook until heated through. Top soup with chopped cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, avocado and sour cream. Enjoy!


 
 

Now that I have my new, fancy camera I have been cooking a lot and taking lots of photos.  I have many recipes that I will be sharing so check back soon.



Friday, January 11, 2013

A new year, same old me

It's a new year and we should all be feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle all those new goals and resolutions! So why do I still feel like this:

While I am secretly wishing I felt (and looked) like this:

 This year is definitely off to a slow start, but I am planning to get out of my funk, start setting some goals and start kicking 2013's butt! In that spirit, I have a new recipe to share to help get your day started off right. The other day the hubs made these delicious runny egg breakfast sandwiches. The ingredients are quite simple, but fresh bakery bread is a must for this dish. When you see the ingredients you might be a bit skeptical, but the sharp flavor of the blue cheese paired with the peppery arugula is perfection. There is just something about a runny egg that makes me feel warm inside especially when it’s January and I feel like a blob. Enjoy!
BP's Runny Yolk Sandwich
country bread, sliced
eggs (2 per sandwich)
Roma tomatoe (sliced)
arugula
blue cheese crumbles
olive oil
butter


These sandwiches are so easy to prepare. Just melt the butter  and crack your eggs into the pan. Let the eggs solidify for a bit and then flip them. Let them cook for a minute or two longer so that they are over medium (you can make them over easy if that is your preference, but it can get messy!). While the eggs are cooking brush both sides of the country bread with olive oil and toast them in a pan. To assemble the sandwich place the arugula, tomatoes, and cheese on one slice of the toasted bread and then top with two eggs and the other slice of toasted bread. Now take a big bite and wipe that dribble of runny yolk off your chin!

Happy New Year! One of my resolutions is to blog more so you will be hearing from me soon.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Perfect Soup?


After traveling for a week I came back home to a lovely visit from influenza. This little virus kept me out of the public eyes for 3 whole days, but I feel like I am slowly coming back and I am even stronger than before. As if that wasn’t bad enough I also came home to this:


 What a cute rug (you are thinking), but what is that crud all over the snowman’s face?  I was wondering exactly the same thing.  Now I know that no one really cares about my $12 Christmas rug from Target, but I just have to say it really frosted my snowmen cookies to come home to my brand new rug ruined esp. since I went crazy trying to get all my holiday decorations up right before my trip.  My assumption is that our paper boy (or girl, but likely a boy) left our Sunday newspaper on the rug while it rained buckets throughout Southern Cal which really screwed up ol’ Frosty’s mug.  I tried power washing the rug but it didn’t do anything to help.  I thought about throwing it out, but I thought whats a little dirt on a rug?  I mean isn’t that why we have rugs anyway, to wipe our feet?  Plus since when did everything have to be so perfect?  Lately, I have been asking myself that question … a lot!  Sometimes a little imperfection is ‘ok’ so I kept my dirty rug– besides, the big mole on Frosty’s face gives him some character!   On that note, today’s post is about some great and some not so perfect soups.  As you know, I am passionate about TJ’s (steamed lentils anyone?) and this winter season I have been eating all of the TJ’s boxed soups.  So here is the dish on the soups and how I like to prepare them.
Loco Black Bean Soup
This is the mother of them all!!!!  The soup itself is meh…but, with a little help from some spicy ingredients it can go from bland city to flavortown!  Here is the way I like to enjoy it.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of olive oil
½ onion, diced
½ red pepper, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1can black beans rinsed and drained
½ can of corn
½ box of Trader Joe’s Latin Style Black Bean Soup
½ tsp. of cumin
¼ tsp. of cayenne


Directions
Saute onion, pepper and garlic in olive oil for 4-5 minutes.  Add the soup, corn, black beans and spices and simmer for 10 minutes. Top with salsa, jalapenos, cheddar cheese, avocado, and sour cream (this is muy importante).




Butternut Squash Soup
I love butternut squash so I thought that I would really love this soup, but it just didn’t do it for me. I added some green onions and a dollop of Greek yogurt to it, but it wasn’t my favorite.  It’s just not a  perfect soup and I have learned to accept that!


Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
This is an old favorite.  I think this soup tastes perfect as it is.  I just sprinkle some shredded parmesan on top and serve it with some crusty bread.  Sometimes I will make a cheese quesadilla with it and that is what I call a comfort meal!!!!


 There are a few other soups I need to try so I will post another update once I do.  Thanks for reading!