Monthly Archives: April 2014


Ara, 1 month

Ara, 1 month

She’s napping! Which means I’ve been wandering around the house trying to remember the things I need to get done, like folding laundry, starting dinner, clearing out the dishwasher, tidying up the living room because it looks like a bomb hit it, paying bills, petting the dog because the poor guy has been admittedly neglected lately, etc.

Most of the time though during these periods when I MEAN to be productive, I’m really trying to sneak a nap in while she’s napping, or checking my phone and posting the latest photo of her on Instagram because I’ve become one of those parents. Sorry for inundating our followers, I don’t know if that’s going to stop anytime soon, we’re long distance from most of our loved ones, the grandparents love seeing daily photos of her and that’s my excuse.

Missy has been sharing all these great posts about her travels, crafting, and recipes! Unfortunately, my life isn’t very varied these days, although we are slowly coming out of the newborn fog and finding our footing again with each day. Because Ara will not be getting her first round of vaccines until the end of May, I’ve been afraid to take her out, what with all the news about the measles and whooping cough outbreaks here but I’ve realized that that’s ridiculous and I’m only driving myself crazy staying inside. Plus, Nick has been on this difficult rotation and has been coming home in the late evenings so it’s just us girls most days. We’ve been slowly venturing out beyond walks in the neighborhood, and are making an effort to see friends, receive visitors, and go on more outings to various parent groups or baby activities. Small steps! While the days seem long, the first five weeks have whizzed by and it’s nice to be regaining our balance again.

Nick’s mom sent us the journal she kept after Nick was born and I’ve loved going through each entry to catch a glimpse of his early days and read how he grew in that first year. This journal has inspired me to keep my own for Ara, so hopefully one day she could read it and see what her life was like in the beginning. It’s nothing fancy, I try to jot down observations each week of what she’s currently doing- (You have started to track us with your eyes and now turn your head in the direction of my voice! You have started to coo and smile! You love being changed but hate baths!)

I’ve been writing these notes on my phone since it’s easier to access than my laptop these days and have been looking for a service online where I can upload the entries and photos and eventually print out a baby book. Ah technology! Got to love it. I think I’ve found an online baby journal that fits the bill- Kidmondo, which has been featured on the BBC, NY Times, UrbanBaby, Kiwi, and Mashable among others. I’ve just started using it but will let you know my thoughts as we go further down the line.

As for a keepsake baby journal for footprints, mementos, documenting milestones, I was kind of aghast by the limited choices out there (pastel-colored, cartoon-y books anyone? Carter’s, I’m looking at you) and was so happy to find in a local card shop this journal, printed by Compendium, that strikes the right balance of sweetness without being too precious. There are pages where both mom and dad can write a letter to their baby, document the first year, hopes for the future, and an area where you can write down what was happening in the world at that time (big item in the news, latest inventions, our current favorite songs and TV shows, price of a stamp, loaf of bread, movie ticket). Nice, huh?

So that is what is going on now. I’m amazed she slept long enough for me to write this. Hopefully I’ll be able to post again soon. It’s a sunny day so we’re off for a walk with the dog!

p.s. Here’s a great recipes for this quinoa salad I’ve been loving lately. It is from our local natural market, PCC, which has an amazing deli section. I can eat this salad every day. Add chicken to make it more of a meal if you’d like.

PCC Sesame Quinoa with Edamame

Serves: 16 side portions

These ingredients are:
vegetarian iconVegetarian vegan iconVegan corn-free iconCorn-free dairy-free iconDairy-free egg-free iconEgg-free gluten-free iconGluten-free peanut-free iconPeanut-free tree nut-free iconTree nut-free wheat-free iconWheat-free

This recipe makes a party-size batch: about 16 side portions. You may cut it in half for a family meal or just enjoy the leftovers.


  • 1/2 ounce arame seaweed
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 pound frozen edamame (soybeans)
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup brown rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup tamari


Soak arame for 20 minutes to hydrate; drain well.

Boil 3 cups water; add quinoa. Bring back to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to sit covered until water is absorbed, stir to fluff.

Steam edamame for 2 minutes to thaw; let cool.

Toast sesame seeds in a dry sauté pan over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. When ingredients have cooled, mix together quinoa, arame, edamame and sesame seeds.

Heat sesame oil, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes for a few minutes in a sauté pan over medium heat; pour over quinoa mixture. Add rice vinegar and tamari; mix well and serve.

Recipe by PCC Deli

2014 Easter

It never hit me until this year how Easter is a small runner-up to Christmas if you want it to be.  From Easter outfits, gifts, baskets, photo with the bunny, Easter Egg hunts that’s a lot going on!  I have to admit that entire week up to Easter it was a lot of fun and what made this year so great was that Nola understood what was going on and had a lot of fun doing the activities.

All those things are all good and great and I’m more than happy to take part in them, but for us the real meaning of Easter is Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and the celebration of his resurrection.  Our amazing church had 18 baptism’s that morning and it convicted me in such a big way.  It was such a great reminder of why we are here, what’s our true purpose and not being overwhelmed and consumed about such pity things.

For those who know where my parent’s live don’t you think that would make the best place for the ultimate Easter egg hunt?!  I want to make that happen some year!  Anyways, I hope all of you had a wonderful Easter, spent time with your special people and ate some good food.  Here’s a short video of some of the photos we took during that weekend if you care to see!  The song in the video is 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.

P.S.  In regards to the video, trust me i’m with you on that fact that i can’t stand Nola’s hair in her eyes (she takes out every barrette, pony tail holder and headband).  And yes, I still love coordinating outfits with my girl and probably will until she won’t let me (i’m officially old and uncool and i’m ok with that).

Dinner Idea: DIY Chipotle Steak Bowl

IMG_5272 copy

Hey guys!  I’m the biggest fan of Chipotle and to be more specific their Steak Bowls.  For us during the week, by the time CJ get’s home from work and having a good routine for Nola’s bedtime, it’s just easier to have dinner at home.  So to get my Chipotle fix the past month I’ve made these at home at least once a week.  This post is less of a recipe and more of a dinner idea/assembly of what you need to make this because it’s really that simple.  If anyone’s like me I tend to have a handful of dinner’s that are put into rotation so I love getting other ideas.

Here’s what you need to make this tasty Chipotle Wannabe Steak Bowl.

1 Steak (cooked to your liking and sliced)
3 Cups of white or brown rice (add lime juice, cilantro & salt)
1 Red Onion
1 Red Pepper
1 Green Pepper
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Sweet Corn (frozen or fresh works too of course)
Pico de Gallo
Sour Cream
Cheese (shredded cheddar or queso fresco)
Salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce (I don’t add it, but that’s part of a Chipotle bowl so add if you like!)

This was enough for 2 adults and 1 toddler

You could season the steak prior to cooking with cumin and chili powder, but I enjoyed ours with just salt and pepper.  Right before serving add to rice the juice from 1 lime, a handful of cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Fry the onion and peppers, add salt and pepper to taste.  Heat the black beans and corn.  Then all that’s left is the assembly of your choice.  Easy, right!?!

Last night I made this and just piled everything on top of each other.  Other nights I nicely put each ingredient in separate piles.  The great thing about making this at home is if you are hungrier than one bowl you can just get some more.  The amount on my plate last night was the size of TWO Chipotle bowls and I ate it all.  I was simultaneously horrified I ate that much and also at the same time proud, which the latter scares me even more because why would I be proud of that?!  Anyways, make this, it’s delicious, easy and husband and toddler approved!!

The 52 Week Project

13/52 photo 1 a portrait of my kid, once a week, every week in 2014

This umbrella is in sore shape, but that’s only because she loves playing with it so much.


14/52 photo a portrait of my kid, once a week, every week in 2014

If you are watching our kid, please don’t give her ice cream with eggs.  We learned this week she’s allergic and here we are trying to clean up.  Trust me this photo looks much more pathetic than how she was doing by then and she was actually pretty happy, but she looked so darn cute regardless.  Thankfully she can recover quickly.