Friday, July 26, 2013

i'm thankful for ...

my new baublebar bracelets (thanks, sandra!) that are super easy to put on and add a little touch of style to my mom basics these days

having my sister here for a full week.  it was amazing to see how she instinctively knew how to soothe little amelia ... and make her laugh.  and the one thing they have in common:  napping! i was so overjoyed with seeing my two all-time favorite ladies finally meet.  my sister and i have a ridiculously close bond, so it was important to me that amelia have hope's name as her middle.  i just hate that we live so far away.  it's incredibly difficult to be so far from your family once you have a little one.  i cried all the way home from dropping her off at the airport.

my newest obsession:  old school s'mores.  every night after i put amelia down, and just before i sit down to pump, i make one of these guys.  it came on almost like a pregnancy craving - and i can't stop!  it all started with don draper talking about hershey bars on the last season of mad men.  for some insane reason, i was in the grocery store and just *needed* to make s'mores.  smart move of hershey's advertising on mad men.  well done, my friend, you suckered in this mama.

watching amelia become more alert every day

this little snuggler

fresh cherry tomatoes to snack on that, in my opinion, round out the s'mores eating

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

discovering new coffee shops

I realize that Peet's coffee is not new to most people in Southern California, but for some reason I've never been there before last week.  I've always been a big Starbucks fan and it wasn't until most of the friendly baristas at my local store started leaving that I felt okay with venturing out to try a new place.  I know that sounds ridiculous but I love my Starbucks crew, and they saw me nearly every morning throughout my entire pregnancy and were so excited when I brought little Amelia in.  It just somehow felt like I was betraying them, but now with new people working there who didn't have my drink memorized, it felt okay to discover a new place.

After hearing such delicious things about Peet's, I decided to give it a try -- and now I'm a 100% convert.  I love the classical music playing inside, and it feels more like an independent coffee shop with locals hanging out for longer than it takes to finish a cup of coffee.  With Chemex makers and Hario kettles, it feels more like a true coffee lovers place.  And just today when we stopped in on our way to Mommy & Me class I saw that they now had almond milk.  When I asked about it at the counter, the barista explained to me why you wouldn't want to add it to hot coffee, because the heat changes the consistency, but it would be perfect for an iced latte.  I love that he was so passionate about it, but opted for my 2% milk.

My almost daily obsession is an iced 2 pump vanilla latte -- and it's become the only thing (besides Amelia!!) that gets me out of the house in the morning.  Seriously, it makes me that happy. I love how bold the flavor is, and where Starbucks lattes can sometimes be watery, Peet's is just so rich and robust.  I'm also a huge fan of how they prepare it:  they start by pouring a small layer of steamed milk in the bottom of the cup, then add ice, then add the espresso in tandem with the remainder of the milk.  The end result?  Perfection.

** and for those of you not in CA,  you can find Peet's in CO, MA, IL, OH, OR, and WA

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

date night: fashion and food

In anticipation of seeing Jeff outside of the house and without our little one in tow, I booked a sitter two weeks in advance, as I simply couldn't wait to actually go out on a date and feel like a couple again.  And then of course my next thought was that I needed something to wear that hides the last of my baby weight.  So while I was taking a stroll with Amelia on Lake Avenue in the 90 something degree heat, I popped into TJ Maxx for a little relief and found this Velvet nautical shirt for $29.99 and immediately snatched it up. It was perfect for our date -- I didn't even need to try it on. I'm a sucker for anything nautical and I loved the aqua hue and the slightly open back made me feel like less of a mom and more of a 30-something woman.

I paired it with my Level 99 skinny jeans I recently bought at Anthropologie's big summer sale and finished the outfit off with my two gold necklaces that I am loving wearing together.  My sister-in-law had gotten me the "A" necklace for Mother's Day and Jeff bought me the COATT necklace below -- it actually spells Mom in morse code and the red ribbon adds a nice pop of color.  FYI, both of these are awesome presents for any lady in your life.

We went to see This is the End at the Arclight and I didn't really know that much about it, other than it got an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes.  I was just happy to be out of the house, so that was good enough for me.  If you're a fan of Judd Apatow's actor crew, it's definitely a must see.  I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time and Jeff literally jumped out of his seat twice.  The story is a bit ridiculous, but just go with it.  Danny McBride was my favorite part, but Michael Cera's cameo was hysterical.

After having only eaten popcorn, we were still hungry and more importantly, I was craving a glass of wine, so we headed to Bodega Wine bar and for some delicious bites.  To be honest, the food looks better than it actually was.  Maybe it was an off night for them? It didn't really matter because the wine was what I was really after.

happy husband
roasted brussel sprouts

brie and apple flatbread

chicken tacos

Monday, July 8, 2013

saturday afternoon bbq and pool time

Now that we're officially parents we've started to adapt to the lazy weekend.  I never fully understood it before we had kids, but when you do have tiny little ones it feels like so much work (and very little pay off) to go out to a lot of places, so the idea of taking it easy at home becomes more appealing.  When my friend Leah asked if we wanted to get together on Saturday I jumped at the idea of having her family over for some pool time and barbecuing.  My friend Tita and I had also talked about getting together, and since she was totally up for making the trek to Pasadena, it turned into a mini fiesta.  We ended up having a fantastic day -- grilling out, swimming and eating homemade ice cream.  My sweet husband ended up bearing the brunt of the work to get everything ready, but he agreed it was well worth it.  Amelia was so worn out that she slept 7 1/2 hours straight.  Fun day with friends, food and sleeping babies - Everybody won!

Friday, July 5, 2013

i'm thankful for ...

Amelia being two months today!

*photo by Jeff

Finding great summer bargains at J Crew.  Regular price: $115. Marked down to $69.00 + additional 30% off = $53.40.  Using a birthday gift card from my dad & Carolyn (thanks!!) = FREE

Beating the 100+ degree heat with a DQ blizzard

Sweet little Amelia sleeping almost 8 straight hours last night.  I woke up to a smiley baby and feel like a new woman.

Making lemonade out of lemons.  I was determined continue a 4th of July tradition and to go to the movies with Amelia yesterday.  Jeff was skeptical, but we attempted it. We went to the Arclight to see The Heat, bought three tickets (yes, they make you by a ticket for a tiny baby), got popcorn and sodas, sat down and lasted maybe ten minutes.  I guess I got a little over confident from going to my Mommy & Me movies.  Anyway, we ended up watching Identity Thief at home.  It's not fantastically funny, but it was totally worth it for a rental.  I still got my Melissa McCarthy fix and it didn't matter how much noise our little one made :)

*photo from IMDB