Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hot Apple Cider

I think one of my new favorite smells
is the smell of hot apple cider wafting through the house
on a cold day.

It just seems so quintessentially wintery,
and warms my tummy and my heart.

Making your own cider is pretty easy.
It's pretty much just dumping a gallon of cider into a pot,
adding a bunch of spices to it,
and letting it simmer away on your stove
filling your house with warm, appley, cinnamony smells.

Hot Apple Cider

1 gallon of pure apple cider
3 sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 orange peel - peeled off in strips with a peeler

Pour cider into a large pot.
Add spices, sugar, and orange peel.
Heat to a boil, then lower heat to keep warm.
Pour a mugful, grab a blanket, curl up on the couch, 
and watch Love Actually  =)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Hot Chocolate Kind of Day

It has been ccchhhilly here in LA lately.
I mean, it's like in the 50's.

Seriously, though, my house is freezing
and I've been spending my nights bundled up on the couch.
Even Cheeto is huddled up in the corner.

This past weekend it seemed like the perfect time
to make some hot chocolate
and finally send out some Christmas cards.

Card writing is always better with some peppermint bark!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Happenings

We had a rather low key weekend here
involving a sick baby (pink eye and a nasty cold),
a pancake breakfast,
and a holiday baking day.

crusty pink eye 

pancake morning


holiday treats 

almost crawling

We have yet to put up the Christmas decorations
(there are still mini pumpkins on our table!)
but we are slowly getting into the holiday spirit.
Things just seem to take a bit more time
when you have a little one to chase after.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Monday, December 3, 2012


I've been neglecting this little bloggy blog a lot lately,
but that doesn't mean I don't think about it often.
So many times during the week something will happen, or I'll make a new recipe and I'll think,
"Hey, that'd make a good blog post!"
And then the baby cries.  Or dinner needs to be made.  
Or I just want to sit and watch Bill & Giuliana.
So to get things rolling again, here's an update of my life lately...


Evelyn has started solids.  Which has meant middle of the night poopslosions.
I believe this is butternut squash.

My husband's fish Grimlock that he's had since college passed away.
I'm pretty sure it's the only time I've been really sad to lose a fish.
RIP big guy.

I got all fancied up and attended a gala with my sister.
I rented my dress, a Badgley Mischka, from Rent The Runway.
I don't think I'm every buying a fancy dress again.

Aren't we glamorous?

And someone had her first ear infection
but smiled and laughed her way through most of it.

Note the runny nose
and reflection of her cute little butt in the mirror.


I've got  few posts planned for the near future.
Here's to hoping I actually am able to get them done!

Happy December!

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's The Little Things

Sometimes during the day I'm reminded that it's the little things that count.
For instance, my husband may not have bought me a birthday present
(and I told him not to)
but this morning, with rain in the forecast,
I came downstairs to find this.... 

And my heart melted a little.

It's putting the umbrella out for your wife because you know she'll forget it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


So I know this is like a week late
but seeing as how I haven't posted in a couple months
a week late isn't so bad.
And let's face it...
I'm only posting these pictures because I think they're so friggin' cute
and every mama wants to brag, right?

So this was Halloween at our house...

We made some Halloween ghost footprint cards
to send out to friends and family a few weeks ago.

Evelyn dressed up as a flower.
Although she kinda looks like a cross between
a bug, a turtle, and a flower.
She also got called the sun.
Whatever.  Babies in costumes are always cute.
I mean, look at those striped tights.  Adorable.

The hubs and I dressed up for a costume party the weekend before Halloween.
Pretty much nobody at the party knew who we were supposed to be.
Do you?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I've been trying to come up with some eloquent words to say about voting.
But my mommy brain is failing me.
Really, it comes down to this...

Women have been allowed to vote in this country for less than 100 years.
People across the globe die everyday fighting for their right to vote.
This country isn't perfect, but one of the great things about it is our right to vote.

I don't care who you vote for, just get out and vote.
Get your sticker and wear it with pride.
Set a good example for your kids.
Just. Do. It.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Look what I found!

Someone has found her foot, which I think is adorable!

Not sure where she got these blue eyes, but I'm in love with them.

She has her 4 month appointment on Tuesday where she'll be getting another round of shots.
Poor baby.
Last time she handled it like a champ and napped the day away.
Fingers crossed we don't see the Fussy Monster this time!

PS...I've started watermarking my photos, especially those of Evelyn,
because of this post I read about people taking pictures of your baby
and claiming them as their own.  Creepy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cat In A Box

I was sitting at my desk doing some work on my computer
when I turned around and found this...

I have no idea how long he was sitting there
but he looks kinda ashamed to be caught.

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Three Months

Evelyn had her three month birthday the other week and I can now repeat what every other parent on the face of the earth has said before....the time sure does fly by quickly.  A couple months ago, the three month mark seemed so far away and now it has already passed us by.  I was looking forward to this month because it's when her so called "fourth trimester" would be over and she would (hopefully) be a little less fussy.  And now I can safely say she's definitely a much happier and interactive baby than before.  That's not to say she doesn't fuss anymore....the girl sure does know what she wants (mainly being held and nursing) and tends to throw tantrums when she doesn't get it.  I sense a little girl with a strong personality is going to emerge soon!  But she's also full of gummy little smiles, lots of little coos and squeals, and buckets of drool.

I could have sworn she gained at least 2 pounds and grew several inches since last month, but she only gained 1 pound and 1 inch, putting her at 12 lbs, 4 oz and 23.75 inches (right in the 50th percentile for both).

This past month saw a growth spurt, a serious dislike of naps, a total change up of the sleep schedule I thought we'd finally accomplished, lots of new sounds like "aahh" "mmm" and high pitched squealing, the need to put just about anything in her mouth, and a love for her new Baby Einstein's Take Along Tunes (or as we call it, her ipod).We started going to a Mommy and Me class, which she seems to really enjoy.  She likes to look around at all the other babies and smiles whenever we sing songs.  We've also started taking morning walks to Starbucks and the park, where we lay out under a big tree and play.  She continues to be a super alert and inquisitive baby, always looking around with her eyes wide open.  She's turned into a (mostly) happy baby and it's fun to play and talk with her every day.

Her daddy and I are so excited to see what new changes every week and month brings.  It really is amazing to see this little person grow and change in front of our eyes, and we are trying to cherish all the little moments as we know they'll fly by.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Spicy BLT Soup

It seems like it has been forever since I've posted a recipe.  Which is kinda sad considering I started this blog as a cooking blog!  I guess it's fairly reflective of my current life....there's not a whole lot of cooking going on in my kitchen these days.  =(

However, my parents' kitchen is literally overflowing with fresh tomatoes from my dad's garden.  Every year he grows buckets and buckets of tomatoes that end up in homemade chilis, tomato sauces, and salads.  But as much as I love homegrown tomatoes, there's only so many tomato, basil, and mozzarella salads a girl can eat.  So last week when my dad brought over his latest bounty, I decided to look for a new way to put it to use.  With the 100 degree weather we've been having lately, this chilled soup recipe fit the bill perfectly!  Normally I'm not a big tomato soup fan, but I found this to be really good and refreshing.  And other than frying up some bacon, there's no cooking involved whatsoever!

Andrea's Spicy BLT Soup

2 lbs assorted tomatoes, roughly chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 jalapeno, stemmed and chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 slice white bread, crust removed, torn into pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Toppings - Croutons, crumbled bacon, and sliced lettuce

Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt and let sit for 10 minutes.  In a blender, combine all ingredients except the toppings.  You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender.  Pour soup through a sieve pressing on the solids.  Discard the solids.  Cover soup and chill til cold, about 2 hours.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with croutons, bacon, and lettuce.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hey, Good Lookin'

Literally, since the second Evelyn was born everyone has said how much she looks like my husband.  It was the first thing my OB said when she came out.  Even people that don't even know my husband, that have only seen pictures of him, have commented on it.  Only a few people have said that she looks like me.  I think she's the perfect mix of both of us.  What do you think?

Tor on the left, Evelyn on the right

Me on the left, Evelyn on the right

Monday, August 6, 2012

DIY Butterfly Mobile

When planning and decorating Evelyn's nursery, I knew I wanted to try some DIY projects to add a personal touch.  First I made the baby blanket.  Then I made the animal prints.  Next on my list was a mobile.  I was first inspired by this post for a DIY mobile.  Then I found this tutorial on a butterfly chandelier.  I combined the two to make my own butterfly mobile, and I think it turned out great.

I used a Martha Stewart butterfly paper stamp and assorted craft papers to make the butterflies.  Since my paper only had designs on one side, I glued two butterflies together so both sides would have designs.  I poked a hole in the butterflies with a sewing needle, then strung 4 or 5 of them on fishing line at various heights.  Each strand of butterflies got tied onto a wooden sewing hoop, then superglued into place so it wouldn't move.  Finally, I wrapped the loop in ribbon and tied 3 pieces of ribbon to hang it from.  All in all it was pretty easy and I love how it turned out.

Here's a look at her nursery all put together....finally.

I like that it's girly without being too pink or over the top.   We picked up the wooden letters and animals for her name at the craft store and my husband painted them.  You can see my blanket hanging over our Ikea chair.  The crib bedding is from Land of Nod and was bought off Gilt.

We also hung a couple shelves on the wall to display some books and toys.  We're using the top of her dresser as a changing table and hung my animal prints on the wall above it.  Evelyn really seems to like looking at them while I'm changing her.  Our furniture is from Baby's R Us.  And the giant gorilla in the corner was mine (my dad actually brought it back on a plane and supposedly was told to put a seatbelt on him!)

I really love how everything has come together in the nursery.  I'd like to paint at least one of the walls, but since we're renting we may have to forgo that.  I'm also thinking about hanging some tissue poms over the crib or in the corner to add another splash of color.  Though I'm not sure I want to give the baby anything else to look at - it's hard enough getting her to fall asleep!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fill In The Blank Friday

Art at LACMA

1.  I am proud of   the fact that I've breastfed our daughter for the past 10 weeks.  I know it's not a super long time, but I REALLY wanted to give up early in the beginning and I've stuck it out.  Who knows what will happen once I return to work, and I'm not opposed to giving her formula, but I'm happy we've made it this far, so far .

2.   This weekend I will   hopefully get some sleep.  Baby Evelyn has thrown her sleep schedule out the window this week, and we've had to rock/bounce her back to sleep at least twice a night.  I hope to get some good naps in this weekend.  And maybe take the baby out for some fun - beach day or maybe the zoo?

3.  A secret dream I have is    go to culinary school (or at least some classes) and start some sort of baking business. .

4. I can't handle    unnecessary drama in my life.

5. The most annoying thing in the entire world is    our new cable box.  I hate it.  The menus are super confusing, it's not recording the shows properly, it always freezes, and you have to point the remote in EXACTLY the right spot to change the channel.  So annoying.  What a first world problem, right?!

6. The most relaxing thing in the entire world is    a day at Burke Williams, soaking in hot tubs, getting massages, sipping cucumber water...when the baby finally takes a bottle I may have to treat myself to a spa day!

7.  I think everyone should   be a little nicer to each other.  Everyone makes mistakes.  You just need to learn to let it go, forgive, and move on.  Be the bigger person.  Life is WAY too short to spend holding grudges for things you probably don't even remember.  I really feel strongly that you shouldn't let someone you care about leave without saying "goodbye" or "I love you" because anything could happen when they walk out the door.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guess who's 2 months old?

Evelyn turned 2 months last week, can you believe it? I can't.
I remember at week 2, week 4 seemed sooo far away.
I really wasn't sure I could make it.
And now here we are at week 9.

The past month has seen some exciting changes for us.
For one, we moved into a nicer, larger place.
Two, our cat who had turned deathly ill seems to have turned the corner.
And three, our baby girl is becoming less fussy and more interactive every day.

Current stats:
Weight - 11 lbs, 2 oz 
Length - 22 3/4 inches

This puts her in the 50-75th percentile.
She's a little light for her length, but considering her daddy is 6'4" it doesn't surprise me.

This month she has:
* spent more and more time entertaining herself,
allowing me to do great things like eat breakfast and shower.
* opened her hands and moves her arms more each day
* reached out, with jerky movements, towards toys
* smiled at her daddy and I
* cooed a lot (I swear she knows how to say "hi")
* held her head up nice and high
(even if it's a little lopsided)

She still isn't very good at napping, unless I'm holding her.
And absolutely hates the bottle.
And certainly still has her fussy days.
But we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were.

The first 4-6 weeks were really hard.
Like, REALLY hard.

But the past few weeks have been very special
watching her grow and change every day.

It makes me sad that when she's finally fun to be with all day
I have to start thinking about going back to work.
I used to think that I'd be relieved to drop her off at daycare
but now I know it'll be pretty hard
and I will probably think about her big eyes and chubby legs all day.

So instead of stressing out about her naps
and worrying that I'm screwing her up by nursing to sleep
I'm going to spend the next 5 weeks kissing that little nose,
doing all sorts silly things to get her to smile,
and cherishing all the snuggly time I get to spend with her.

I mean, I may be a little bit biased
but how can you look at that face and not melt?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Lately, life has gotten in the way of blogging.
In the past few weeks, we have
moved apartments (with a 5 week old),
had a feeding tube inserted into our cat,
and continued to stumble our way through parenthood.

It's been quite a ride so far.

Here's a little recap.

There's been lots of this...

Which may have been causes partially by this...

And is calmed by doing this...

Hopefully ending with this...

But there have also been times like this...

One day, at our pediatrician's office...

Our baby girl was dubbed a "crabapple" instead of a "peach"

But it's all worth it for moments like this...

Hopefully there are a lot more of those in our future!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Three Weeks

Baby Evelyn is 3 weeks old today.
On one hand I can't believe she's been with us for almost a month.
And on the other hand, this has been the longest and hardest 3 weeks of my life.
Motherhood is not something that has come naturally to me.
Add that to some raging hormones, a fussy baby, and being cooped up inside for most of my days
and my patience and mood have been wearing thin.
But we are learning, the two of us.
Here are some of our new skills:

Doing just about anything one handed, while holding a baby in the other.
Picking things up with my feet.
Doing my makeup while bouncing on an exercise ball and holding the baby.
Baby wearing with the Boba wrap.
Becoming a master-swaddler....thank god for velcro swaddlers!
Sleeping with a baby on top of me.

Holding her head up, almost from birth.
Passing lots of gas.
Smiling, kind of.  Though I think it's just her gassy face.
Spending increasing chunks of time with her eyes open, and not crying.
"Standing" up with her legs when held.
Making sure we don't sit for more than 5 minutes at a time.


The learning curve has been a bit steep
but I think we are getting the hang of it.
Sort of.
I mean, I haven't dropped her
So I can't be that bad, right?