1.30.2012

3 minutes and 14 seconds of sheer bliss

...here's a little gem to get you through the hustle and bustle of this work week. it's kinda, sorta, the best video ever. period. get ready for some epic dance moves...

happy monday!


1.29.2012

date night{s}


it feels like it has been forever since andrew and i have gotten the chance to go out for dinner. i'm talking just the two of us...having a conversation...with eye contact...while enjoying our meal in a single sitting...food hot and all. our usual routine during the week usually involves me eating over a two hour spread, shoveling in a bite here and there in between bath time and changing yet another poopie diaper. andrew's meal frequently involves some sort of re-heating method. it's not ideal.

but this weekend, finally, we had date night...twice! on friday night our date night included miss stella, but she slept most of the time so it seemed like it was just the two of us, back in the day. we went to our favorite thai restaurant in kansas city, lulu's, and split some small plates and two types of curry. one thing that has drastically changed since the addition of little miss to our family is that we need to be very strategic when dining out. hence, we ate at 4:30 pm and not at 8 pm {our preferred dining hour}. we have made this work for us two-fold. we get to enjoy the cheap happy hour prices and beat the pretentious diners that scoff at any form of family dining after 7 pm. {by the way, we made this mistake once at our favorite french restaurant in kansas city, le fou frog, when stella was 7 weeks old and we had to strip her down to her diaper because it was so hot on their patio. we haven't been back with the baby since.} so we ate, we conversed, and were home by 6 in our jammies ready to watch a movie. this is my definition of a perfect friday evening.


on saturday night, date night #2, andrew and i went to a recognition dinner rewarding his efforts for awesomeness for this past year as a financial planner. this time we had a babysitter because nana & papa were in town! we got to get all fancied up; he adorned the ultra-skinny tie and i my new fuchsia pumps. we went to la bodega for some cocktails and then then had a supper yummy meal with his co-workers. the dessert was insane. it felt really good to sit and relax with my husband and other grown-ups with grown-up conversation. don't get me wrong, i truly love talking about what knock-off brand of diapers work best and how neat ikea's wooden baby toys are...to an extent. andrew and i both firmly believe that "us" time is essential and there is no shame in taking a few hours out of your week to spend with your spouse, sans kiddos!


then when andrew and i got home...we got to experience thee best moment. we quietly snuck into stella's room, picked up and cuddled our baby girl, whispered a lullaby or two in her ear, and thought to ourselves how perfect our little family is. we do enjoy time when it's just us two out on the town...but we absolutely cherish and adore times when it's us four snuggled on the couch watching an episode of "how i met your mother."

1.27.2012

stella is on the move!

baby girl is crawling/scooting for the 1st time ever for mommy and daddy! {ignore the high pitched sound of mommy's excited voice in the background}




our life will never be the same with miss stella on the move! house proofing here we come...


happy weekend :)

1.24.2012

a recipe // lemon burst cookies


...make lemon burst cookies!

i have seriously scored with this recipe. you guys know i am not a huge fan of baking, nor am i really any good at it. so this recipe is pretty much perfection for a gal like me because it includes lemon cake {one of my obsessions} and only takes 15 or so minutes to make per batch.

after taking one bite of my first batch of these lemon burst cookies, i had to call my mom just to say..."guess what!? i'm baking again!" not only do they taste good, but they are easy to make and super affordable as well because you only need four ingredients! if you're one of those recipe skeptics...get ready to be dazzled!







stella loved the cool whip :)


here is how to make the yummiest, easiest, most lemony cookie there ever was...

lemon burst cookies

-1 box lemon cake mix*
-1- 8 oz container of cool whip

-1 egg
-1/3 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)

-preheat oven to 350°
-in medium bowl, beat cool whip, egg and cake mix until well blended. dough will be thick and sticky
-drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of powdered sugar and roll to coat
-place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10- 12 minutes
*try these using strawberry or orange cake mix for variety

-eat and enjoy!

1.23.2012

stella laughing

happy 8 month old birthday, baby girl!


we have enjoyed every giggle, smile and belly laugh :)

love, mommy & daddy

1.22.2012

just the two of us




andrew left for vegas on thursday to celebrate a good quarter with some work buddies for the weekend. miss stella and i took advantage of this time to bond so we...played in her room {she can stand in her crib now...eeek!}, snuggled everywhere, had a giggle contest, practiced crawling, ate some sweet potato puffs, "read" some magazines, gave each other head massages, napped, had a sleepover in mommy & daddy's bed every night, took a few bubble baths, went shopping for new striped tights {we love h&m}, looked out the windows, and all sorts of other little dandy things.

it was a dream but we sure missed our main man. here is a glimpse of our girly adventure together...how did i ever get so lucky?

1.21.2012

handmade // cleaning products



i have an obsession with cleaning products, candles, and come to think of it, all things that smell clean and fresh. that is why time after time i find myself in the cleaning aisle at target sniffing the mrs. meyer's array of aromatheraputic goodies. to say that this stuff is addicting is an understatement. and oh how i adore the quirky pastel labeling! this adds an aesthetic element to my otherwise boring kitchen counter. before i forget, i simply cannot fail to mention that this stuff is earth-friendly. score!!!

while browsing some of my favorite blogs, i came across a recipe for mrs. meyer's basil soap...1 gallon for $4. this new found DIY made my day! i sure don't plan on making my own candles or replicating their soap bars, but the liquid soap i can handle. 


this is a homemade laundry detergent recipe from pinterest that is totally worth making. it freshened up my washer and leaves my clothes soft and smelling good too.





one more...


here's an all-purpose cleaning product i swear by.
the orange and mint is a smelling sensation!

check out more of my DIY's on pinterest...happy cleaning!

1.20.2012

5 reasons why i'm awesome, by leon bourdain


1. i am a brindled mix between a french bulldog and pug that resembles a gremlin. enough said. that's totally awesome!!!

2. i have an obsession for sucking soft blankets. my mommy and daddy think it's because i was weened off my first pug mommy too soon. little do they know, i just like the taste.

3. i have a vast vocabulary of food-related words. i know "treat," "food," "hungry," "biscuit," "dinner," "bone," and "eat." "treat" is my all time favorite. {i wonder if my parents use these words for bribing tactics???}

4. i am named after anthony bourdain. well, my middle name is, and that's pretty bad ass.

5. i am one heck of a good brother. i let my baby sister pull my ears and fur without complaint. i'll even lick her with gratitude for it. not gonna lie, at first i was weary of her, but now i gotta say....she's a keeper, that one.

check out my favorite video of the day:



love, leon

1.19.2012

dear stella // never be afraid




dear stella,

as you saw last week, i did a much needed closet cleanse and donated a bucket load of clothes i haven't worn in forever. while going through my various piles, i came across some items that i forgot i had {love that!}, and excitedly decided to add them back into my everyday wardrobe. i love how cheap it is to go shopping in my closet! someday, i will teach you how to do this. anyway, i noticed two trends among the items i was pulling: color & pattern. i asked myself, why, when i have a closet chock-full of hot pink cardigans, colorful scarfs, chevron shoes, bold belts, and polka dots, do i continue to wear plain-jane black, navy, and cream. how insanely boring is that?


if all it takes to brighten my morning {besides making a baby sandwich with you and your daddy in bed at 5 am} is an unexpected pop of color and playful mix of pattern...i say i'm going for it, and baby girl, so should you! so what if it breaks a "fashiony rule". who made the rules anyway? and who says you can't mix patterns, or wear pink and red in the same outfit? the biggest mistake you could ever make is being afraid to make one. if i like it, it works for me. that's my rule and advice to you.

i love this quote:



as your mommy i will do my best to guide you in a direction that helps you embrace your uniqueness and soar in confidence. everyday should be a positive expression of your beautiful self. clothing is definitely not everything, but know that it can be fun, refreshing, break rules, help unleash creativity, and turn a blah day into a colorful one. stella, my baby girl, may you always be true to who you are by never being afraid to be you {everyone else is taken}.


love, your mama

1.18.2012

a recipe // coffee cup coffee cake

how's that for alliteration? last night in a desperate and impatient attempt to satisfy my sweet tooth i found a recipe for coffee cup coffee cake on a food blogger's cite. could it be true? could i actually make cake in a cup and it actually taste good? the mystery added to the intrigue so i gave in and baked something. i must tell you that this recipe was right up my alley since i am not a baker. it's all the tedious measuring and not being able to sample-as-you-work kind of thing that keeps be from baking. this recipe, however, took only 5 minutes and a microwave. no joke. here's how it all went down...

well, first you'll need a coffee cup. if you want it to puff up over the top of the cup, use a small one. then add 1 tablespoon of butter to the cup and soften it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.

to the softened butter, add one tablespoon of sugar and stir for 30 seconds until the sugar is well incorporated.



next add one egg and mix well. then stir in 2 tablespoons of sour cream and a few drops of vanilla. i'm talking droplets here, don't add too much or it will taste icky.

stir in 1/4 cup of flour and 1/8 teaspoon baking powder. the cake batter should look like the picture above.



now the for the topping. In a separate ramekin or bowl add 1 tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Mash it together with your fingers.

- now add the crumb topping mixture to the cup...
- microwave for 1 minute. you can add a few more seconds for make sure it is done to your liking. 1:15 worked wonders for me.

{next time i am going to add some raspberries to the cake batter to give this recipe an extra layer of flavor!}

-eat & enjoy!