Bob and I signed up for a How To Care for Your Newborn class at the hospital. I think I may have held a newborn once or twice in my life but never for very long. I was always too nervous to handle my nephews when they were tiny, so I preferred to wait to hold them until they got a little sturdier. And I’ve never changed a diaper or swaddled a baby before. Ditto for Bob.
As I’ve been reading books and blogs, I’ve been discovering a whole new world of babies. Honey? Off-limits to any child under 1 year of age. Crib bumpers? Death traps! Drop-side cribs? Outlawed! I was so curious…how many more things do I need to be aware of?
So you see, this class was very necessary for the both of us.
We learned a lot. But the interactive portion of the class was most fun.
Bob is going to make an excellent swaddler, let me tell you.
But he might need more help with diaper changes. He slid the baby to the side on the changing table, to which I reminded him that our real baby will not be made of plastic, so he won’t be able to just slide Bebop. I mean.
I was better at the diaper changes, but I got the hang of the swaddle on our last try. Let’s be honest though, plastic babies are hard to swaddle so…
Next up, I’m going read The Happiest Baby on the Block. Not only did our instructor (who is also a certified doula) recommend it, but I hear it’s the best book out there for advice on calming your baby. And if the frantic, consistent jabs to my ribs are any indication, this baby will need some calm in her life.
- I read this interesting article, “What You Need to Know about Organic Foods” a couple of years ago and it actually further inspired me to shop for food more mindfully. It’s short, but informative and eye-opening.
- The lip-sync craze isn’t over yet: this sassy lady trio couldn’t be any cuter.
- You will melt when you see this (hint: the video includes a puppy and a baby). No sound needed.
I am so in the mood for some new cookbooks. Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food gets great reviews. One day, my friend and I planned on eating at the restaurant for brunch, but the wait time was long and we were so hungry. The tiny tables sidled up so close to other patrons weren’t looking too appealing to a very hangry me either, so we ended up at a place around the corner instead. It was mediocre and I regretted not waiting just a little while more for the acclaimed brunch. I always make a mental note to go back, but just never get around to it. I’ll make it there one of these days. But once we we’re all moved in, I’m going straight to Amazon and ordering this book. It’s the next best thing. I can’t wait to try out some new recipes and I love simple Italian/French cuisines and techniques so I’m confident I’ll love this one. But for these next few weeks of moving madness, I’m sticking with what works.
Sunday: Chicken BLT Avocado salad with my lemon dijon vinaigrette. This is on regular rotation. As in, every week for weeks now. I like it that much. Bob doesn’t mind it either. I think it’s the homemade croutons that make it for him.
Monday: Skinny pasta alfredo with spicy roasted broccoli. I’d been craving a comforting alfredo sauce for a while now and since I need to use up the ditalini rigati, I figured ditalini rigati alfredo (that’s a mouthful!), why not? I wanted only a slightly lighter option than the usual stick of butter and loads of cheese and cream version and found this one. It was perfect because, while it was a touch lighter, it was still rich and creamy like the original. I didn’t have Neufchatel cheese, but I did have cream cheese which comes pretty close, so I used that. I didn’t have heavy cream, so I completely omitted it from the dish, but I did use whole milk (as opposed to 2%) so I think that made up for it. I ran out of white flour so I used using whole-grain instead, but that flavor came across in the pasta a little bit. You’ll definitely want to use white flour for this.
Tuesday: I’m excited for this one: Thai chicken wraps and a small side salad. I’ll grill thin chicken breasts, cover it in this peanut sauce, add a little extra cilantro and sliced seedless cucumbers, wrap it in some of those fajita wraps I have in my fridge and call it a night. Greens on the side are a must. I’ll toss in a few roasted Brussels sprouts on the side for Bob (he loves ‘em) and a romaine salad for myself.
Wednesday: Bob is going to cook! He’s been adamant about using up all the ingredients we have in the fridge/freezer/cabinets so he’s going to do an “everything but the kitchen sink” Crockpot dish. All I know is that it will include sausage and bbq sauce. Not going to lie—I’m a little worried that he might go overboard, but I’m crossing my fingers for a hit. I’m still learning to relinquish control in the kitchen.
Thursday: A Spanish omelette. Thinly-sliced potatoes, crispy bits of bacon bacon and caramelized onions all tossed into a batter of eggs seasoned with milk, smoked paprika, vinegar, salt, pepper and then cooked. This recipe comes close to what I’m trying to achieve. I’ve been finding myself more exhausted than usual when I come home on Thursdays (end of the week fatigue!), so I’ll probably cook the onions and bacon ahead of time. I like saving the easiest or quickest meal for Thursdays since all I want to do is lay out, watch Sex & the City reruns and nod off at around 9pm. That’s the ideal Thursday night right there, guys.
Almost everything. As in, salads, avocados, sandwiches, raw and cooked veggies. I haven’t yet tried it as a marinade for meat, but that’s coming up. I could imagine it ‘ll taste excellent on some grilled chicken breasts. Ooooh! I just pictured this and now I want to try it with the chicken I’m making this Thursday. Okay, done. It’s happening.
It’s such a simple vinaigrette and it’s something I just decided to make after not having all the ingredients to make another dressing. I haven’t looked back since.
See these here?
That’s it. That’s all you need. You might have them in your kitchen already. Easy peasy.
Let’s not even call this a recipe. Let’s call it…a blend of simple ingredients. You don’t even need to follow the same measurements. These happen to be the measurements that I prefer, but if you lean towards a certain taste, then add more of that. Adjust, taste as you go…do you.
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
serves 2-4 (depending on how large your salad is)
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon garlic powder or garlic paste (when I have it, I prefer the paste.)
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch of salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients in a jar.
Shake vigorously until fully emulsified.
Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.
Quick, versatile, almost effortless and 10x better than the store-bought stuff!
Taken about a month after we moved in (a little over 3 years ago).
I am living in a home that will soon be another’s. It hit me last Saturday afternoon, when the realtor came in to show the apartment to a few prospective renters. Despite all the problems we’ve had with this place—constantly clogged drains, leaks, sudden water temperature changes, neighbors, dealing with the management company—I’m going to miss it terribly. I have loved living here. I love the open layout. I love how the sun pours into the apartment in the late afternoon. I love the area, which is quiet, clean and close to the park. But most of all, I love the memories that we’ve created here. Here is where Bob proposed to me, where I’ve made countless special occasion dinners and where we’ve built a home for ourselves (our very first one together, I might add). We’ve celebrated many occasions, like our housewarmings, New Year’s nights and most recently, our after-holiday party with close friends in which we revealed some big news! This apartment will always have a special place in my heart.
Watching these people walk through and assess what is still our home made me feel strangely territorial but I also wanted to sell them on the perks: “The parking’s not too bad around here”, “The area is quiet and nice”, “The bedroom gets so much sunlight!”. It was like a little tug-of-war in my brain.
Yes, this place will be missed. But I have one foot out the door. I’m ready to move on to the next. It’s funny because about a year ago, I probably would have left kicking and screaming, but now so many things have changed. It’s not just about the trendy or fun neighborhood to live in anymore. Now that we have Bebop and a future home to save up for, it’s about practicality. I know it’s best for us to save money and to live closer to some family, which is exactly what we’re doing. I believe we’ve made the smart decision and that outweighs staying in a neighborhood that we love for the vibe, walkability, food and bars but is rapidly increasing in popularity and price. Plus, our future digs have been painted to our liking and cleaned thoroughly and that’s just kind of exciting for me. The old place was dark and very brown and now it’s light and clean, giving it a more open feel. The baby’s room is a pale grey, which is the perfect complement for the light pink accents I have planned for it. I will get that dream nursery for Bebop after all! In the grand scheme of things, freshly-painted walls aren’t terribly important but they sure do feel good.
In about two weeks, we’ll be saying goodbye to this place for good. I’ve been taking random pictures around the house—mess, flaws and all—just to keep my memory of this place alive and documented. I’ll look back fondly at our time here. I’ll romanticize about the good ol’ days when we were just “kids” and say things like “Things were so simple when we lived there”, “I miss being able to walk to the train station or the grocery store”. But I’ll always remember that our new place will be the source of more wonderful memories and one day I’ll look back at it just as dreamily and think the same exact thing: “I miss that place”.