Good Things

1. Ocean air is good for the soul.  It was so nice to get away with my little family.  We spent the weekend walking the shores of Cannon Beach (with baby in Ergo), breathing in the salty sea air, and soaking up the gorgeous sunshine on a beautiful fall weekend.

2. Riley has started to coo!  It is the sweetest thing!  She gurgles and giggles and makes all kinds of adorable baby noises, but one of her "favorite" sounds is awfully reminiscent of "Hi," which she sometimes echoes when we say hello back to her.  Therefore we've decided it is her first word :)

3. Came home to fresh flowers on my doorstep last week from the huz to celebrate our anniversary.  We opted out of getting each other gifts this year to save money but I was pleasantly surprised by a blushing bouquet of magenta roses and white gerber daisies to say "I love you." The gesture was greatly appreciated.  In turn, I bought him a cannoli (his favorite) at Whole Foods. That's love :)

4. Fall is alive in Seattle, and made even more beautiful by being pleasantly accompanied by crisp blue skies.  Our wonderfully sunny summer has blessed us with an especially colorful fall, everywhere I look the trees are bursting with vibrant red, orange, and golden leaves.  Love this season!

5. Friends who bring food to new parents with a baby.  I can't tell you how lovely this is.  I never appreciated the true gift of a home cooked meal until I was on the receiving end.  It's glorious!  For those moments when you're tired and starving and you've had one too many frozen pizzas...  Thank you dear friends!

6. New (to us) episodes of How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. My husband and I LOVE this show and are slowly making our way through the final season via Netflix.  Oh how we've missed the inside jokes, the blind side high-5 of Marshall and Lily, and the will-they, won't-they dance of Robin and Barney.  To us, the resurgence of HIMYM after bedtime is Legen (wait for it) -dary!

7. Last Friday night was my first workout post baby.  I figured I'd dive in head first and attend my favorite spin class.  Dark lights, pumping music, sweat flowing, these workouts are intense, and yes, it was challenging, but I did it!  Gave myself a hearty pat on the back!

8. Receiving my new teaching certificate in the mail.  I'm "officially" legit for another 6 years! Woot, woot!

9. Halloween party at my PEPS (moms) group.  What a sight to see!  Try taking a picture of 4 ladybugs, a dinosaur, Princess Leia, an old fashioned girl, Superman, a monkey, and a pirate all wriggling around on the floor in a circle.  Priceless!

10. My little bug is 8 weeks on Thursday!  I sure love being her mommy.


Dinner Last Night: Garlic Lemon Chicken with Potatoes and Green Beans

A repeat offender over here, pan roasted chicken with lemon garlic potatoes and green beans. This is one of my go-to recipes for meal deliveries, for a few reasons...
1. It's dairy and gluten free - ideal to accomodate food allergies
2. It's quick, fairly easy and simple to assemble 
3. Everything is in one pot, so easy for transportation and cooking for the receiver

 I made this Monday night for a friend and colleague who just had her second baby in early October.  Since we're still in the market for fast and convenient meals at our house, I doubled the marinade for the recipe and made us a little batch as well.  

Some notes for future cooking: the recipe calls for 50 minutes of roasting the chicken, which in my opinion is a bit too long, as breasts dry out quickly. I'd recommend either using thighs, or pulling the chicken out a few minutes earlier.  Others suggested cutting up the potatoes slightly smaller to ensure faster cooking or perhaps adding onions caramelized could definitely add to the flavor palette.  Also, note, this is definitely a lemony dish (which I personally love).  The lemons kind of caramelize in the bottom of the pan (since there's a layer of sliced lemons beneath the veggies and chicken), so if you're not a fan of lemon, I suggest you pass or substitute.


House Dreaming

My husband and I have the goal of moving to a bigger house sooner than later.  Our motivation is to be  closer to my family and to our jobs,  but also in an effort to omit a high-traffic bridge commute with an infant.  However, due to some unforeseen expenses, medical and otherwise, we're putting our move plans on hold temporarily until we can resume our down-payment saving schedule.  In the meantime, I find myself perusing redfin, pouring over desirable neighborhoods, bookmarking my "favorite" houses, daydreaming that one day we'll live there.

My ideal house wish list...
* open kitchen (ideally newer features/design, but that's not a deal breaker)
* on a safe street, part of a kid-friendly neighborhood with families
* a spacious yard
* a bathtub
* built in bookshelves
* natural light
 * hardwood floors
* a bay window with window seat

While our house is cozy and cute for now, I'm eager to relocate to cut out a commute and to add extra space to accommodate our baby's stuff, and provide her with ample room for crawling and exploring as she grows.

What are you looking for in your dream house?

Road Trip!

This weekend my little family and I are off to Cannon Beach, Oregon to celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary!  It's our baby's first road trip!  I'm excited to cruise the beach, enjoy some (hopefully) fog-free sunsets, and relax with my lovies. 

Have a sweet weekend!

Dinner Last Night: Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Truth: my husband doesn't like the flavor of pumpkin. {Insert huge gasp here}...I know!  For someone who isn't picky and eats almost anything, I an flummoxed by his aversion to pumpkin flavored things.  

I came across this recipe for Smitten Kitchen's Pumpkin Black Bean Soup via Carly's blog.  Last night, when my husband, called en route home from work and asked "So, what's the plan for dinner?" I merely said..."oh, black bean soup," no mention whatsoever of the pumpkin.  Well, lo and behold, he ended up enjoying this soup (pumpkin and all). After he finished I decided to come clean and let him know there was actually pumpkin hiding inside.  Hee hee hee, I'm so clever. 


Newborn Photos

It's hard to believe our sweet girl is 6 (almost 7) weeks already!  Here are some of our favorites from her newborn photo shoot.  We can't get enough of her!

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my one and only.  You are my partner in crime, my shoulder to lean on, the calm to my crazy, and the best daddy our baby could ever ask for.  I can't wait for all of our adventures to come, and am comforted to know that you'll be by my side as we continue this journey together.  
Love you, love you.

photos by angela&evan

Weeknight Baking: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Last week, my friend brought us dinner accompanied by this delicious dessert.  My husband and I promptly devoured two of the bars literally seconds after she left, and yes, I'm being serious... And then we proceeded to polish off the rest by early evening.  So when there were no more bars to be had, I decided an easy solution was - to make more!  I'd never had chocolate chip cookie bars previously, but my world has been rocked and I'm sure this scrumptious dessert will soon be a staple in our house!


Dinner Last Night: Quinoa Chicken Chili

Another dinner with baby success!  While we've gotten quite used to the steady stream of meals delivered to us by friends and family post baby, we do have off-nights where we're responsible for our own dinner (after all leftovers only last for so long, right?). Anyway, last night being one of our dinner "off-nights," I found this little number online and it was ridiculously easy and turned out delicious - slow cooker quinoa chicken chili.  Amazingly enough, I had all the ingredients already in the pantry so it didn't require another trip to the store (SCORE!).  

I think the crockpot is officially my new favorite kitchen appliance, a new mama's best friend.

10 Reasons Why I Love You

1. You are such a sweet and curious baby, always turning your side to side to soak up your surroundings, I always wonder, what are you thinking about?  You are usually wide eyed and alert when awake, pensively staring as you take it all in.

2. You love to stretch!  When you wake, you arch your back, slowly shrug your shoulders, and move your head gently from side to side.  This is followed by clenched fists as you reach your arms upward into the air, shoulders twisting from side to side.  Your stretching is often accompanied by a great big yawn, and you are most definitely your momma's daughter, not easy to rouse after a restful sleep.

3. You love sleeping with your arms above your head; arms up, elbows bent, head tilted to the side, as if you're a referee calling a touchdown.  While you enjoy your swaddle time, you almost always find a way to wrangle those arms free of that swaddle blanket to resume this comfy position.

4. You have the best facial expressions!  From sleepy to happy to quizzical to amused, we're doing our best to capture each and every expression in photographs.  We can already tell you're growing so big, we look back at pictures of you as a newborn and you look so tiny!

5. You have been a rockstar baby for visitors. When friends and family come over, you either coo sweetly or lounge contentedly in their lap, snoozing as they ooh and ahh over your sweet face.  It's as if you're saving your louder personality just for mom and dad :)

6. You are a snugglebug, we love how you're so eager to curl up and nestle your head into our shoulder or snuggle into your daddy's chest.  I love peeking down at you, as you rest your gentle head on my shoulder, and seeing your wide open mouth; content and fed, and happily asleep.

7. You love your changing pad - it's so funny, I would have never thought the diaper station would be a preferred location for a baby, but you're always happy and content to wiggle and lay there while we're rummaging through drawers or clamoring for wipes.  I think you like the vantage point, being able to lay comfortably and stare up, as you'd much prefer laying here your crib :)

8. Of all the pacifiers in the bunch, you much prefer your Detroit Tiger's pacifier to them all.  No Soothies, Nuks, or Wubbanubs for this baby - at least not yet.  Your dad thinks this is a good omen for his beloved sports team.

9. You have the cutest sleepy just-after-eating smile.  Your forehead crinkles up as you raise your eyebrows, and a slow sleepy smile spreads across your face.

10. You have changed our life forever.  We love you so much already Riley, and our hearts are growing with love for you every single day.

Quote of the Week



Are post pregnancy cravings a real thing? Because if so, I am CAAA-RRRAVING a cronut!  FYI - for the uninformed, cronut = croissant + donut.  Doesn't that sound amazeballs?!  Made in limited quantities fresh daily at NYC's Dominiquie Ansel Bakery, these babies sell out like hotcakes.  Lines are rumored to form at 4:30 AM or earlier, wrapping Soho blocks in eager anticipation of these sugary puffs of perfection.  
And yes, well technically, I've never actually had a cronut before, (but that's besides the point), as they've already reached epic delectability in my imagination.  I'm totally living the cronut experience vicariously through Naomi's blog.  Next time I'm in New York (whenever that may be) this is definitely on my to-do list.

Quote of the Week

Happy October to you too!

image via pinterest