Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend and Ina Garten's Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad

hello! hello! and happy wednesday! i hope this day finds you well rested after the long weekend.

little man and i are back and recovering from an awesome memorial day weekend at my parent's beach house on the west side. it was a long weekend full of fun. we introduced lincoln to the beach (hello sand in mouth!) and the ocean (not such a fan ....#brrrrrmom!) and ate tons and tons of delicious food, because what else do you do at the beach besides relax and eat? and if you don't do those things, we can't be friends. ;0p

below are a few pictures from the weekend, but what i really want to talk about is this AMAZING salad we made. we made it friday night and again sunday night, and probably would have made it saturday night too, but we had a party to go to, and then you know what else. i came home and made it again last night for myself. it was that good.

it's Ina Garten's Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad, but what takes it over the top is the awesome homemade dressing she pairs with it. this will definitely be my go to salad for the summer, so if you feel like inviting me to your next bbq, you know what i'll be bringing!

here's the link to her recipe here. the only change i made was to add a little red onion. yum!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you beautiful mama's out there! today is my first official mother's day, since last year, little man was still just a bun in my ever growing oven ;0)

i want to take a moment to say a very special happy mother's day to three special mama's in my life. the first one, you can probably guess, is my own mama. she has been hands down the best mom a girl could ask for, even though like most mother/daughter duos we've had our trying moments ;0)

she has taught me how to be a great mom by showing me a wonderful example of one. she is always there to wipe our tears, laugh with us...heck she even taught me how to throw my first spit wad ;0) this past year she has not only been an amazing mom, she's been an even better nana. while husband has been away in New York working this year, she has been at my house almost every single day to lend a hand, or relieve me. this has meant so so so so much to me. lincoln loves his nana and it's such a joy to see his little face light up when she walks in the room. so, without boring you all to pieces, happy mother's day mom!!!! we love you more than you know!

the next mama is my big sister. she was the first one of us to become a mama, and has done an absolutely AMAZING job raising my niece Ocean all by herself. she's kind, loving, crafty, and knows how to have a good time. she's not afraid to get down and dirty with the little ones and truly gives everything she's got to everyone she comes in contact with. she's raised a smart, confident, fun little girl, who is becoming quite the strong-willed young woman. amy, you are the best mom to ocean, the best sister to me and the best aunt to lincoln. happy mother's day!!

the third special mama in my life is my mother in law. she's raised one heck of a young man who I'm lucky enough to call my husband. i hope that i can raise lincoln to be as kind, gentle, smart and loving of a man as his daddy is. chong gives everything she's got and loves her son like no other. she now shares that love with lincoln and myself, and we're so very lucky to have her in our lives. happy mother's day chong!

to all you mama's out there, new or seasoned, happy happy mother's day! i hope the people in your life are spoiling you rotten today! you deserve it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Homemade Acai Bowl

i have a new obsession! acai bowls. you guys, i've eaten one every single day this week. mostly for breakfast and tonight, i had one for dinner. they're so stinking good. i LOVE it when something that is so good for you also tastes so delicious that you can't get enough.

i tried my first acai parfait at a local juice cafe in downtown spokane, method juice cafe. i immediately fell in love (so did my little dude ;0) and realized quickly that i was going to need to start making them at home or my wallet was going to hurt. i searched everywhere in spokane for acai smoothie packs and couldn't find them anywhere!

so i did my research and found out that they sold sambazon smoothie packs in Coeur d' Alene at the Pilgrim's health market. score! so when little man and i went out to CDA last sunday to hang with my bestie, i made sure to stop by and pick up a couple of packs. i already need to go back because i literally have had one every single day now, and my supply is running low.

while sambazon shares a recipe for a smoothie bowl on the back of their packets, i've found that i like my bowls a little thicker, so here's the recipe i use below!

Acai Smoothie Bowl
serves one

1 Sambazon Smoothie Pack
1 banana
1/3 cup granola
berries/fruit of your choosing
2 tbsp peanut butter, melted
1/4 c coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk or non-dairy liquid of your choosing

run the smoothie pack under warm water for about 5 seconds. just long enough so that you can break it up into pieces. this will make blending much easier. place the broken up acai pieces into your blender along with 1 banana and 1/4 cup of the non-dairy liquid of your choosing. (i like coconut water or coconut milk). blend until smooth.

pour smoothie into a bowl. top with 1/3 cup of granola, chopped berries or fruit of your choosing, and drizzle the melted peanut butter over the top.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Traveling with a Little One

hello and happy almost hump day! as i mentioned in little man's 9 month update, we just got back from visiting husband in new york so today i thought i'd write a little bit about my experience traveling with a little one. having only flown with him to and from new york, i am by no means an expert, but here are a few things i did learn.

on the flight to new york, i had my husband with me, so i felt much better about making the trip there. an extra set of hands was definitely helpful. on the way home, however, i was flying by myself, so i took the time to make sure i was there early, had a decent layover in between flights so i wasn't rushing with the little one and talked (made nice) with the flight attendants so that if lincoln did end up having the dreaded meltdown on the plane, at least they'd be nice to me, haha!

before our flight, i reached out to friends with little ones who had already flown with babes, and that was so very helpful! they almost  all had the same things to say. be prepared by packing lots of diapers, changes of clothes (for both you and baby!), plenty of formula/breast milk, snacks, and a favorite/new toy. bring your stroller with you and an ergo/wrap so you can push baby/luggage through the airport and gate check those larger items. most of them suggested trying to get a window seat, but i found it was better to be in the aisle (but more about that later).

let's talk about what to pack first! in my diaper bag went 10 diapers (seriously 10!) and plenty of wipes. we were traveling all day and i wanted to be prepared. two changes of clothes for baby and an extra shirt for me (little man still has a tendency to spit up), burp rag, bib, a blanket, squeezable baby food (life saver!), teething biscuits and baby "puffs" for him to snack on, a couple of teethers, a rattle and a few other random toys i knew he liked.  i also packed 3 empty bottles and individually packaged formula packs.  we purchased bottled water once we got through security to mix with the formula (for you nursing mamas who want to bring breast milk through security, i would just call the airport ahead of time and make sure you won't have an issue. everything i've read has suggested that you shouldn't!) i also had my wallet, cell phone, etc. i can honestly say i used each and every one of these items and while i probably didn't need 10 diapers, i was happy to have more than enough as opposed to running out. the extra set of clothes was perfect too, because we had a little feeding mishap on one of our layovers and i ended up squeezing food all over the poor little guys shirt.

we made sure to bring our stroller and this was a lifesaver! our stroller is big enough that it could hold an entire duffel bag on the bottom and i could hook the diaper bag onto the handle, so having it to carry both our luggage and the little guy meant that i could be hands free while being in the airport. it was super easy to gate check (you get to board the plane early with little ones, so you have plenty of time to fold up the stroller as you're boarding the plane and leave it at the gate) and if the little guy fell asleep during our layover (he did on the way home) he could sleep peacefully in the stroller and i didn't have to sit and hold him.

we also brought our ergo, but i think we could have gone without this. i had it with me, particularly for on the way back, thinking if i had my hands full with baby/luggage, i could just strap him on me and then put suitcases, etc. in the stroller and push. i never ended up using it and found it easier to just check the luggage and just have the stroller, diaper bag and baby with me.

on the flight there, we had a window seat and a middle seat and then on another flight we had an aisle seat and a middle seat. the perk of having a window seat is you can distract the little one by having him look out the window. everything is so new to them that it can hold their interests for a while. i think this would be a great idea for toddler aged kiddos, but for the younger ones (under one) i found having an aisle seat was much better. lincoln got fussy (ok all out screamed for the first 20 minutes or so of our second flight on the way to NY) and it wasn't until i got up with him and walked to the back of the plane and rocked him to sleep that he calmed down. had we been stuck with the window seat and had to disturb people sitting next to us with a screaming baby, id on't know how well that would have gone down. having that aisle seat allowed me to get up quickly and calm him down quickly. it was also nice to let him sit and "play" in the aisle while we were flying and after the flight attendants served drinks/snacks. it gave my mama arms a rest! ;0p

i think this next little tip is probably already well known, but i'll just reiterate it quickly here anyways. make sure to feed your little one a bottle or give them a pacifier on both take off and landing so their little ears don't start to hurt! if you can't get them to take either, and they aren't sleeping, i found having snacks on hand helped too. at least this way their chewing/swallowing and hopefully that will help their ears "pop."

when it came to boarding the plane, it's pretty easy. if you're traveling with little ones they let you board early so you can get yourself situated. i made sure to take advantage of that and unpack everything i thought i would "need" and put it in the seat pocket right away so i wasn't having to constantly get out of my seat and into my bag. when it came to getting off the plane, i got up and moved to the back of the plane (by the flight attendants) and let everyone off before me, because i knew it would take me longer to pack up my stuff and get me and baby off the plane. this was just a little way i tried to be considerate of people who may of been in a hurry and i think it went a long way/people appreciated it.

finally, since we were flying across the country i knew we were going to have to stop. we made sure to give ourselves a longer layover on the way home when i was traveling by myself, so i wouldn't feel rushed or have to run through an airport with a baby. this was huge. it was really nice to be able to take my time getting off the plane and then have time to get food for both lincoln and myself, change his diaper, and give him some time to play/stretch his legs before getting cooped up on the plane again. if you aren't in a hurry and time allows, i would highly recommend giving yourself a little time to get from one flight to another.

overall, with the exception of the 20 minutes i mentioned above, all of our flights were super successful! little man either slept or cooed and played with the people around us. we were super lucky to be sitting next to very nice people who "played" with the baby and the flight attendants were wonderful and made sure we had everything we needed.

one last tip...i mentioned that i "made nice" with the flight attendants on each flight. this really paid off on my flight home because they ended up switching me seats so that i would have an empty seat next to me which gave me more room and allowed lincoln to play a little bit. this was HUGE! and a highly recommend checking in before each flight to see if the flight is full or not. if not, it never hurts to ask to get moved to a seat with an empty one next to you if you're traveling with a lap infant. that extra room is everything!!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lincoln James: 9 Months

9 months!!! 9 months old! how has 9 months gone by already?! my little man is turning into such a "toddler" week! that word scares me. he weighs 19.6 lbs and we'll get his official height at his 9 month well baby check-up next week.

this has been a HUGE month for lincoln. he went on his first plane ride, rode on a train (amtrak) and a NYC subway! he is becoming quite the little travel baby ;0) he also reached some big time development milestones this month. he's pulling himself up on EVERYTHING (this little kiddo wants to walk like no other) and the day before his 9 month birthday he officially started crawling. (I think it might be time to get on that baby proofing project...whatdya think??! ;0p)

but let me back up and start from the beginning of the month. this month we celebrated easter (lincoln's first easter) and he met the easter bunny! easter bunnies kind of creep me out and i totally thought we would get the screaming child photo, but he surprised me and was super excited to be on that big bunnies lap. more easter photos here and here.

one week after easter, we headed off to visit daddy in New York! i was pretty scared to see how he would do on the plane, but lincoln was a rockstar! we only had about 20 minutes of crying/screaming on the second flight on our way to New York, but all other plane rides went so smoothly. the key was definitely having plenty of things to entertain the little guy, snacks and bottles ready for take off and landing.

we spent two weeks in Saratoga where my husband has been working on a one year contract. i had never been to upstate NY and the town was adorable! the house he's been living at is right on the water, so we also go to see some amazing sunsets.

we spent one long weekend in New York City and once again Lincoln did awesome while we were traveling! he was great on the train ride down and by the end of the trip was a subway pro ;0) while we were in NYC, little man got to meet his Great Grandma Gloria and all of his great uncles on Kevin's side and a handful of cousins.  Kevin's grandma lives in Brooklyn, so we spent all of Saturday hanging out with his family. It was so special to see the little guy meet his family and see where Kevin spent some of his childhood.

on Sunday in the city, we met my girlfriends from college for brunch! it was the first time in almost 5 years seeing them since we had our last little reunion in San Francisco, and i was super excited for them to meet both Kevin and Lincoln. it's pretty crazy that almost 10 years has gone by since we graduated college. (as i type that i feel incredibly old).

monday we headed back up to Saratoga so Kevin could go back to work, and hung out the rest of the week, until Saturday where we headed up to Lake George. it was the off season so lots of things were closed, but the water was beautiful the sun was shining and the outlets were open so we made sure to do a little shopping ;0) mommy and daddy also got to do a little wine tasting and we hit up the adirondack brewery for some lunch and beer!

after getting to spend two awesome weeks with husband/daddy, little man and i had to head back home. and the moment we got home he started to crawl! sorry husband, you literally missed it by a day! in the past week, he has turned into the squirmiest little man, never sitting still and always on the move. he's pulling himself up on everything and i now officially have to watch him like a hawk. we'll definitely be baby proofing, purchasing a baby gate and a few other items when husband comes home early next week.

all in all april was a great month! the time is literally flying by now and lincoln is growing so fast. i'm pretty sure i'll blink and he'll start walking.

here are a few quick stats:

height: we'll get his official height at the doctor's next week!

weight: 19.6 lbs (up about .6 lbs from last month)

hates: i don't know if he hates it, but changing his diaper is literally the most difficult thing in the world now. as soon as i get that diaper off he's flipping every which way!

loves: pulling himself up on everything, "walking" around his crib, and now crawling!

words: "mama"

eats: little man pretty much eats everything now (within reason of course, we're not over here feeding him chocolate ice cream or anything ;0p)

sleeps: i think all the traveling this month really effected lincoln's sleeping. we've had some restless nights and definitely have been experiencing major jet lag. his naps have also been torture (at least for me because he screams every time i try and put him down). i'm hoping we get back to how it's been here soon!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hike It Baby Round Two

hi! guess what today is?! husband comes home again! woop woop! we're just a little excited if you couldn't tell ;0)

breakfast was quick and easy this morning....two over easy eggs on a slice of wheat bread with half a cup of grapefruit served on the side.

right after breakfast, lincoln and i got ready to head down on our second outing with hike it baby! this time we met downtown at atticus coffee shop and walked around riverfront park. it was a nice loop that took us about an hour and a half to complete and there was a huge group of moms, dads, kids, toddlers and little ones out and about. i guess that's what happens on spring break ;0)

after our walk, we came back and made lunch. i ended up having the same thing i had for dinner last night...a turkey burger with a side salad (i told you it's clean out the fridge/freezer/pantry week).

this afternoon i went in to my dad's office again to help out for a few hours and then came back home to play with the little guy before our night time routine. when i got home i snacked on some sahale almonds.

dinner tonight was delicious! i made a chicken salad with grilled chicken, red onion, peas, chickpeas, gorgonzola, sliced almonds served atop mixed greens and with a side of blue cheese dressing (my favorite!)

now it's off to bed! husband gets in around midnight, so we'll be fast asleep when he gets here but we can't wait for his arrival!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Back to Work I go

hi! how was your day? fabulous i hope! 

today was a semi-lazy day, but i did go to work for a while! (more about that in a minute). 

first, i have to tell you all that i think i found the secret to getting the little guy to sleep in till 7:45 (which he's done two whole days in a row!). when he wakes up at 5 am, i make a slightly larger bottle, and bring him into bed with me. feed him, and he usually falls asleep but the time he finishes half of it. around 6: 15-6:30 he starts to stir, and i take the remainder of the bottle and offer it to him, he finishes off the bottle and falls back asleep until 7:45!!!!!! i don't know if i'm on to something or not, but he's done it the past two days, and i'll take the extra sleep, no questions asked! 

i didn't blog yesterday, but i'll tell you i made the best ever french onion soup for the rents and i last night, and it was just as good as the first time i made it. this is the perfect soup to make on a cold day when you have a bit of time on your hands. while it is a set it and forget it kind of a meal, it does take almost 4 hours to cook, so it's perfect for a lazy weekend meal. 

and now for today's recap and eats! 

breakfast was one of my apple "cookies!" i sliced up an apple, topped it with justin's chocolate almond butter (amazingly good) and then sprinkled a little granola on top and enjoyed it for breakfast. 

for lunch, i poached two eggs and ate them atop a slice of whole wheat bread. nothing too exciting ;0) we're leaving for new york on sunday, and i'm trying to clean out our fridge/pantry before we leave so nothing has to be thrown away so meals are a little boring these days. 

after lunch and playtime with the little man, my mom came to relieve me for a bit while i went to my dad's office to help him out for a bit. i stopped by dutch bros and picked up my favorite (americano with a little chocolate and half and half). while i'm planning on staying home while husband is working out of town, i'm lucky enough to be able to go in a few hours here and there to my dad's office and help him out and earn a little extra moolah. 

after work, i came home and snacked on some boom chicka pop popcorn and hummus and crackers before feeding the little man his dinner and then playing with him for the evening. little man is teething like woah, and has been pretty fussy all day, so by the time it was his bedtime, i was more than ready to put him down! 

dinner was simple and easy (and i forgot to snap a photo). i made a turkey burger and had a side salad, which i enjoyed with a glass of chardonnay (thanks mom and dad for leaving behind your wine/champagne!). 

that was our day...i'm off to watch some tv and read my book...husband comes home TOMORROW!!!!