Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Kindness #7

Each Friday I am highlighting a Random Act of Kindness.
I invite you to join in and spread some happiness.

This week....

Give Something Away

A good friend had tried this Moby wrap with her baby
and hated it.

So she passed it along to me
to keep or give away.

I ended up liking another carrier better
so I offered the Moby up for free on Hellobee
(a favorite parenting site of mine)
and sent it off to another mama
who hopefully put it to good use.

Got something lying around your house gathering dust?
Give it away to someone who could use it!


For more Acts of Kindness, look here
Or comment with your own Act and help spread the joy!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Evelyn

Happy Birthday to my dear sweet Evelyn.  

You have brought me more happiness than I thought was possible.  My heart swells when I think of you, and every day when I am at work I cannot wait to get home to see you again.   

The first several months were rough for both of us – you were miserable with colic, I was struggling with post partum depression.  But we fought our way through it - day by day, week by week.  And now here we are one year later.  You are turning into a little girl right before my eyes.  I am completely fascinated by you and could watch you explore the world for hours.  Every week I feel like I get to meet a new version of you, as you grow and change.  I cannot wait to see the person you become, but yet I want to hold onto these baby days before they slip away too quickly.

You are my sunshine, baby girl.   
May today be filled with lots of giggles, cookies, bouncy balls
and all of your favorite things!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday Kindness #6

Each Friday I am highlighting a Random Act of Kindness.
I invite you to join in and spread some kindness of your own.

This week's Act....

Donate Money

This was quite possibly the easiest Act I completed.

Right around the time I decided to do my Random Acts of Kindness
Hurricane Sandy swept through the east coast.
My heart went out to all those people that lost their homes.
Being in California, 3000 miles away from the destruction
there weren't too many things I could do to help.
So I logged onto the Red Cross website,
entered my credit card info,
and donated some money.
Done in under a minute
while in my pj's.


See other Acts of Kindness here,
or leave a comment with your own,
and help brighten someone's day!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

It was 102 at my house today.
One hundred
I was already sweating at 8am when I dropped E off at daycare.
And it only got worse from there.

On days like today,
which unfortunately happen way too often here in The Valley,
the last thing I want to do is cook a hot meal.
I'm not usually a big fan of cold soup
but this one is so yummy and refreshing.
And super easy.
So the next time you're having a steamy day,
whip up a batch of this soup and cool off.

Chilled Cucumber and Avocado Soup

1 cucumber, chopped
1 large avocado, chopped
1  clove of garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup greek yogurt
salt and pepper

Put all ingredients except salt and pepper to a blender and blend until smooth.
You can also use a food processor or immersion blender.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle with olive oil
and garnish with tomatoes, croutons, scallions,
or whatever else looks good to you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Kindness

Each Friday I am highlighting a Random Act of Kindness.
I invite you to join in and spread some kindness of your own.

This week....

Let someone go in front of you at the store.

You know you've been there....
You're in the middle of making dinner and you realize you forgot one very important ingredient.

So you go to the store,
get your ingredient,
and get stuck in a long line behind people with full carts.

Time ticks slowly by
as you wait for the cashier to ring up 
the 50 cans of cat food the lady in front of you is buying.

And all you have is one lonely onion.

Don't let this happen to someone behind you.
Give up a minute of your time and let them go ahead of you.
Whenever I do this, the person is so thankful and happy,
it really makes BOTH of our days.


See other Acts of Kindness here,
(or comment with your own act)
and help make someone's day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

10 Months

As Evelyn has gotten older
I've kinda slacked off on the monthly pictures.
Not because I don't want to do them,
more because there is just NO way she would sit still for the photos.
She is a rolling, squirmy, cruising girl
who is constantly in movement.

Here's a look at her 10th month...

She loves her bath time

And going for walks in the park
(Although she's still getting used to touching the grass)

She's recently sprouted two teeth
and we have the marks on our coffee table to prove it.

And most of all, she loves her daddy

I can't believe she'll be a year old 
in two short months!

Can I just stop time now
and keep her this cute forever??

Monday, May 6, 2013

9 months

Evelyn's 9 month update...
only about 3 months late!  

I think the days of photos of her laying on the blanket are long gone.
It's near impossible to get a clear picture of her these days
since she's constantly in movement.

I definitely can't turn my back for long,
or else she'll topple right over the edge of a chair.

She's mastered climbing up the stairs
but hasn't gotten the hang of going down yet.
She loves to walk around our furniture
and play on her music table 
(best. Christmas. present. ever!)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Keeping Busy

Hello there strangers!

I've fallen off the face of the blogging world the past several months.
Life just gets in the way, ya know?
Between working, cooking/eating dinner, the never ending laundry pile
getting Evelyn ready for bed and school the next day,
and trying to spend an hour with my hubby every day,
there's not much time for anything else.
I don't know how all those other mom bloggers do it!

Weekends bring a little bit of down time,
but it's hard to get much work done 
when you're chasing down a very active baby.

Evelyn is 10 months now and spends her day
crawling all over the place,
climbing stairs,
banging toys on the coffee table,
yelling at the top of her lungs,
and cleaning out her toy box.

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I don't know what she was looking for 
but I guess it wasn't in there!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Every night before I go to bed
I sneak into Evelyn's room
to steal a peek at her sleeping.

Sleeping babies have got to be one of the cutest, 
most precious things on earth.

I can't resist patting her little bottom
and petting her head.
And sometimes I sneak in a few pictures too.

Here she is cuddled up with her lovey.

She's never really taken to a pacifier, 
but she loves having something soft to chew on while she sleeps.
We have two of these hippos that get rotated weekly.

That face.  Those lips.
My heart melts every time.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Meatless Monday - Black Bean Burgers

The day we came home from the hospital with Evelyn
all I wanted to eat was a big, juicy cheeseburger.
So my dutiful husband ran out and picked us some burgers and fries at The Counter.
And I devoured it in under 5 minutes.

Maybe it was 3 days of bland hospital food,
or some primal need to replenish my low red blood cell count the nurses were so worried about.
But it was just about the best meal I've ever had.

All this is to say 
I'm a meat person.
Not a veggie burger kind of girl.

But we can't have big juicy cheeseburgers everyday
if we have any hope of ever fitting back into those pre-pregnancy clothes.
So when I saw this recipe for Black Bean Burgers on Skinnytatse
I figured I'd give it a try.

And you know what?
They're pretty darn good.
With the right mixture of beans, veggies, and spices for good flavor,
and a nice kick of spiciness from the chipotle mayo.

The best part is that they're super easy to make
and freeze up well.
Meaning you just have to grab a couple out of the freezer,
heat them up, throw them on a bun 
and Boom!
Dinner is served.

Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

For the Burgers
16 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped scallions
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 cloves garlic, peeled
 1 large egg
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 cup quick oats

For the Mayo
3 1/2 Tablespoons mayo
1 chipotle, chopped

Mix the mayo and chipotle together in a small bowl and set aside.

Dry the beans well after rinsing, as extra moisture makes it hard to get the burgers to come together.
In a medium bowl, mash the beans with a fork until it gets pasty.
In a food processor, chop the pepper, scallions, cilantro and garlic.
Dump the veggies in with the black beans.
Add the egg, spices, and oats and stir it all together.
Divide the mixture into four patties.
Add more oats if the mixture is too wet.
Put the patties on waxed paper on a flat surface.
Freeze for at least 2 hours.
Once they're frozen, you can stack them between pieces of waxed paper
and put into a container or freezer bag.

To cook, heat a skillet on medium heat and cook for 7 minutes each side.
Serve on buns with avocado, tomato, and other fixin's.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Kindness

Each Friday I will be highlighting a Random Act of Kindness.  
I invite you to join in and spread some kindness of your own.

Pick Up Some Trash

Near my house there is a road that goes through a canyon all the way to the beach.
One day my husband and I were driving through the canyon 
and saw a shiny metallic balloon tangled in the shrubbery on the side of the road.  
It was quite an eyesore in the natural beauty of the canyon.
And I felt kinda guilty driving by it and leaving it there.

Two days later I was driving through the canyon again on my way to a patient's house
and the balloon was still there.
So I pulled over, untangled it, and stuck it in my car.
When I got home I deflated it and threw it away.
It took all of 2 minutes out of my day and made me happy
 knowing that the balloon wouldn't end up stuck up in some tree for who knows how long.

Next time you see some litter in your neighborhood
do your part and take a minute and pick it up


See other Random Acts of Kindness here
and help brighten someone's day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Kindness

Each Friday I will be highlighting a Random Act of Kindness.  
I invite you to join in and spread some kindness of your own.

Leave Some Diapers

For those moms with kids in diapers out there,
you've probably found yourself in a situation once or twice
where your babe has a blowout and you're without your diaper bag.
Help a fellow mom (or dad) out by bundling up a few diapers and wipes
and leaving them in public changing station.

This is especially easy to do if you have extra diapers your baby has outgrown.
I put a few diapers of different sizes and some wipes in a ziplock baggie,
wrote up a quick note, and left it in a Target bathroom.
While it's quite possible it may have ended up in the trash,
I'm hoping some mom found it and was able to use it.

See other Random Acts of Kindness here.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Kindness

Each Friday I will be highlighting a Random Act of Kindness.  
I invite you to join in and spread some kindness of your own.

This week's Act is super easy and something I'm sure all of you can do:

Return Shopping Carts

Next time you go to the grocery store, Target, or any other store that uses carts, 
take a minute to walk your cart back to the cart corral.  
Even better, gather up a few others you see sitting around and walk them back too.  
You'll help make some employee's day a little better 
and as an added bonus, you'll burn an extra calorie or two!

Be kind this weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


It's getting harder and harder to take my monthly baby pictures
with a squirmy, rolling, crawling, curious little babe.

Especially when there's a mirror nearby.
I mean, we all like to make faces at ourselves don't we?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cooking for Baby

Evelyn started solids at 5 months 
and has loved (almost) everything we've given her.
For the most part, I've been making homemade purees 
using different fruits and veggies.

All you have to do is steam up some veggies until they're nice and soft,
then puree them in a blender or food processor
(or a fancy baby food maker).
It can be a little time consuming, but it's pretty easy.
And it's great knowing exactly what I'm feeding her.

I usually make a few batches on the weekend and freeze them in ice cube trays.
Each cube is about a tablespoon, so it's super easy to heat up a few cubes for a meal.

So far we've made:
Sweet potatoes
Butternut Squash

Here we have carrots, broccoli, and pears.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Kindness

To celebrate my 35th birthday this past November I was inspired by this video posted on a friend's Facebook page to complete 35 random acts of kindness.  Instead of doing them all in one day, I wanted to spread them out over the course of the month.  I made a list of acts I thought I could complete and each day I tried to do one or two.  Unfortunately I was unable to complete all 35 acts in the month, but that doesn't mean the experience was wasted.  If nothing else, it taught me an important lesson...That it doesn't take much effort to be kind and hopefully brighten someone's day.

In light of that experience, I am going to start a new feature here on Fridays where I'll feature one act of kindness.   I hope it will inspire you to do you own random acts and spread some happiness to others.

The first Random Act of Kindness I'm going to feature is something I'm sure almost all of us have done at one point or another: Donate clothes to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other charity of your choice.

I recently realized that most of my clothes either haven't been worn in over a year or didn't really fit my new mommy body.  I was tired of looking at a closet full of clothes that I wasn't wearing and I wanted a fresh start.  So I cleaned out the closet, packed up a few bags of clothes, and dropped them off at the local Goodwill.  Easy peasy!

Click here to find your local Goodwill.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

6 and 7 Months

Evelyn turned 6 and 7 months in November and December,
so obviously these updates are a bit late.
I wasn't even going to post them but let's admit it,
these updates are more for me than for you!
I love looking back at the photos and seeing how much she's grown.

Here she is at 6 months, right before Thanksgiving.

And at 7 months on Christmas Eve

It's amazing how big she's getting.
Those jeans in the 6 month picture?  Yeah, they're more like capris now.
And we had to lower her crib mattress yesterday because she's starting to pull up on it.

She's been so much fun the past two months that I kinda want to keep her this age forever.
But it's so fun to watch her explore and learn new things.

Her latest accomplishments include:
* army crawling at 6 months
* real crawling at 7 months
* kneeling (to try to push over the baby gate)
* sitting up if she's placed there
* drinking out of a real cup
* loving just about any food (except avocados and bananas)
* plenty of laughing, squealing, and babbling

Time really is flying by
and I know her 1st birthday will sneak up on us before we know it.
So I'm trying to soak up all this baby-ness before she's a full blown toddler.
Maybe by then she'll have some hair!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cole Slaw

I love my slow cooker.
There is nothing better than to throw in a hunk of meat,
sprinkle in some seasonings,
and come home 8 hours later to hot, comforting dinner.

This pulled pork recipe is sooo easy
there's really no excuse to not try it.

The men in your life will think that you spent all day slaving away in the kitchen
and thank you profusely.

Don't worry....I won't tell.


Pulled Pork
put together from a variety of sources

3 lb boneless pork shoulder
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
1 onion, cut into quarters
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Rub pork shoulder with cajun seasoning.  Put in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Top with onion and garlic.  Fill the slow cooker with water so that it covers about 1/2 the pork shoulder.  Cook on low for 8-9 hours, until the meat is very tender and easily falls apart.  Remove from slow cooker and dump out the water.  Shred the pork with two forks, return to the slow cooker, and pour in the BBQ sauce.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes until heated through.  Serve on Hawaiian rolls with cole slaw.

Cole Slaw
adapted from Bobby Flay

1 package slaw mix
3/4 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons celery salt
salt and pepper to taste

Empty slaw mix into a big bowl.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.  Adjust the sugar/vinegar/seasonings to your taste.  Pour over the slaw mix and toss together.  Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow flavors to come together.


You might want to stock up on napkins 'cause it's gonna get messy!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Quiche Lorraine

If you saw my last post, then you know I made 
this quiche for New Years Day breakfast.
And while I wouldn't recommend getting up early while possibly hungover
to cook bacon, make and roll out dough, and whip up some eggs,
the recipe was pretty easy and turned out beautifully
with a flakey crust, and a light texture.

Quiche Lorraine

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2-3 tablespoons cold water

4 large eggs
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup crumbled bacon (about 8 pieces)
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 cup (4 oz) shredded swiss cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

For the Crust:
Whisk together flour and salt.  Cut in the shortening until dough resembles small peas, using a pastry blender or two knives.  Add the water one spoonful at a time and combine, just until the dough sticks together.  Gather it into a ball, flatten it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 45 minutes.

When ready, roll out the crust to fit a 9-inch pie dish with enough for a 1 inch overhang.  Place the pastry in the pie dish and press down firmly.  Fold under the overhanging edge and flute as desired.  Line the crust with foil or parchment paper and weight down with dry beans or pie weights.  Bake at 400 for 10 minutes.  Carefully remove foil and bake for another 2 minutes.  Remove and turn oven down to 325.

For the Filling:
Sprinkle the bacon, cheese, and onions into the baked crust.
Whisk the eggs and cream together.  Add salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Pour into pie crust (careful not to overflow).  Bake for 45-50 minutes until a knife in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

The bacon and whipping cream may  not make this a New Years diet-friendly recipe,
but I highly suggest you bend the rules a bit for a weekend breakfast


Thursday, January 3, 2013


How is it the new year already?
Seriously, I think the holidays go by faster and faster each year.
The decorations are all put away,
the hubby returned to work this morning,
and life has gone back to its regular routine.
Here's a little glimpse (via iphone) at our happenings the past few weeks...

It's been really cold here in LA so baby Evelyn got a new hat.
One morning, we took advantage of the hubby being off work 
and had a family walk to Starbucks.

Christmas Eve and Christmas were spent at my parents house.
It was so great to have the family together,
and fun to watch the baby open presents (aka play with wrapping paper)

New Year's Eve was spent at home with friends.
The hubby made homemade pizza on his new pizza stone
and we counted down to the new year while playing Apples to Apples.
Clearly these weren't my cards.

Evelyn called it a night at 8:00 and spent the final hours of 2012 in bed.

In the morning I made a Quiche Lorraine and breakfast potatoes,
enjoyed with mimosas and bloodies.

And today we went grocery shopping.  
Evelyn sat in the cart like a big girl while we stocked up on healthy foods for the new year.
As my sister said, it looks like she's holding on for dear life.
But really she's just getting ready to lean down and lick the cart.

Hope your new year is off to a great start!