You win some, you lose some

Hey there

Well if you recall I live in the SF bay area, you may understand the title.  I’m sorry 9ers, it just wasn’t your game.  Though I found it highly entertaining to watch the Har-Bowl, the Ravens just seemed to have more heart in it.  Next time, my friends, next time.

So one loss, but over all a good weekend.

We took Bean to the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo on Saturday and it was such fun. Seeing bean light up at the all the exhibits and animals brought such a smile to my face.  Although admittedly his favorite thing was walking over the footbridge.  (over and over and over and then playing with the bolts that fastened the planks).  The museum was featuring bugs so they had cute little bug outfits for adornment:

Feb 2 PA museumHe looks good as a praying mantis, no?

Feb 2 PA zoo

The bridge was just behind us. And now that we have a full-fledged walker (!!!) he really thought it was the coolest thing ever.

After our midday adventures we walked to downtown Palo Alto and got fro-yo for the first time in 6+ months.  A combo of chocolate milkshake, toasted coconut, and cookies and cream (with toppings of course) was good, but not quite good enough for me to become fro-yo obsessed once again.

Saturday night we had a last minute date/movie night and saw Zero Dark Thirty.  Fascinating, intriguing, depressing, intense, thoughtful. That’s how I would sum it up.  Certainly not a feel good movie, but worth seeing.

And that gets us to Super Bowl Sunday.  We had our friends and their 1 month old over for apps, vino, beer, pizza, wings, and homemade cookies

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The game didn’t turn out great but the cookies did.  FYI, these are good ol’ Nestle chocolate chip cookies (plus cinnamon in the mix).  Simple and delish.

So there ya go.  Some ‘bad,’ but mostly good.  Overall, a win.

Any wins or losses you care to share?

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Recipes: Sweet potato lentil soup and pumpkin scones

Heya…

In my last post, I wrote about some delicious lentil soup and also some pumpkin scones.  And whatdya know? Some of you want the recipe.  Ask, and you shall receive!

Since I didn’t anticipate blogging much about either, I only have this photo:

photo

Sweet potato lentil soup:
Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 large white yam, cubed
  • 2 green peppers (optional, but good)
  • About 1+ cup cut up carrots (real carrots, not baby carrots)
  • 4 cups veggie broth (chicken broth okay too)
  • 1 package TJ’s pre-made lentils
  • Spices (approx): garlic salt to taste, black ground pepper to taste, ½ tbsp of cumin, ½ tbsp of turmeric

Directions:
In large pot, heat up about 1-2 tbsp olive oil.  Begin browning onions.  Add in cut up carrots and diced yam, cover on medium heat (to steam / soften yam and carrots) for about 5 minutes.  Add veggie broth and peppers and spices.  Bring to boil.  Let simmer for about 30 min.  Add lentils.  Continue on low heat until you feel like eating. 

This is a fast and easy recipe and extremely low cal.  It makes about 4-6 larger servings.  Calories are approximately 300-450 per serving (depending how you divvy it up).

Oh and it’s baby approved.  I pureed it a bit and Bean loved it.

Pumpkin Scones:
Recipe is actually my own — click here to see the first time I made them.
Ingredients/Directions:

In one large bowl Combine:

  • 1.5  cups Trader Joes pumpkin pancake mix
  • 1 heaping cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1cup  flour (any kind — I used AP flour this time)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Dashes of pumpkin pie spice (as you wish!) (I used a heaping tbsp)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (I used stevia sweetened vanilla coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Mix together well.  The dough will be crumbly and not overly moist.  Feel free to dig in with your hands to integrate the dry with wet ingredients.

Divide dough (eyeball it) into 9-12 chunks.  Mold into triangular or circular  pieces with your fingers.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  I made 12 ~2+” circular scones.

Bake in a preheated oven at 375* for ~14 min until bottom turns golden brown.

Serve warm with a little butter (or PB, or pumpkin butter).

Enjoy!

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Birthday recap

Hey there!

I cringed a little when I wrote that title, mostly because it suggests that I’m big into my Birthday and, frankly, I’m not.  Zach and I both share January birthdays and we joke about getting a half-birthday-month each, but that’s just in jest.  Our bdays are just too close to the holidays (same for poor bean)…oh and we’re getting old too, so yeah…

What I want out of a birthday (or any day for that matter) is at the end of it to feel like it was a good day.  And I’d say last Thursday was exactly that.

I was highly productive at work, took off a couple of hours early to browse some stores, get a latte, and then get a pedi.  I came home to a very chipper Bean, flowers from my bestie, and soon after Thai and cupcakes from Zach:

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Yes, those are little shoes on the cupcakes.  I had the coconut and pawned off the rest on Zach’s coworkers. 

Saturday night I had lovely plans with my friend Mojan to hit up the city to see a parody of 50 Shades of Grey.  We visited a (new to me) wine bar called Amelie.  Loved it.  They had fantastic happy hour specials and I tried a hefty assortment of tastes.  Seriously so good.  The show was hilarious. Just 3 actors, essentially Christian Grey, Ana Steele, and the author.  They definitely knew what to make fun of.  One of the best part of the nights?  Getting to wear my beloved saucy red heels:

Photos

And Sunday was lovely as well, despite finding out I have to cough up $500 to fix my MacBook (screen is cracked).  I made some fabulous (lower cal) pumpkin scones and a delish lentil soup. 

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So all in all, nothing too crazy, but a lot of nice little things that made the whole weekend pretty darn spectacular.

Let’s hope the rest of the week goes the same way ;)

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33 things

Hey there…in the spirit of my birthday, here are 33 things you never needed to know (or cared to know) about me ;)

Enjoy!

  1. I hate napping.  And I actually get frustrated when other people nap — how irrational is that?
  2. I pick out my outfits for the week every Sunday.  It’s a habit I’ve had for about 20 years.
  3. I’m a lot more chipper at 8a than I am at 8p.
  4. I don’t think more than one cereal box should be opened at once (however, Zach does).
  5. My life as a Mom is far better than I imagined.
  6. A big reason I continue to get shellac manicures is for the neck massage that comes with it.
  7. I’m notoriously early…even with a baby in tow.
  8. I’d love to open a bakery (but probably would not love the early, early wake up call).
  9. I have hair envy. 
  10. I’m not a fan of my thighs.  Turning 33 hasn’t made me embrace them any more (hey just being honest).
  11. I want to start volunteering at the SPCA again, though we may end with five more cats/dogs.
  12. I loathe driving (unless it is traffic free, which never happens in NorCal).
  13. I haven’t had froyo in about 3 or 4 months (must be a new record).
  14. Pizza always, always sounds delicious to me. 
  15. It scares me to think that some day Bean will be a teenager.
  16. I’d rather clean toilets than fold laundry.
  17. I’m pretty sure I could eat an entire jar of PB every day if I wanted. 
  18. Given the choice, I’d rather go to Paris or Rome, than lay on a beach.
  19. I read about a book a week (fiction, true crime, mysteries, chicklit).
  20. I’m allergic to peanut oil (but not peanuts or peanut butter).
  21. I always feel frumpy in flats.
  22. I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, or Yellowstone.
  23. My next trip will be back to Spain or perhaps Argentina.
  24. Long dinners with great wine is one of my favorite activities.
  25. As I get older, family becomes more and more important.
  26. I don’t go to Farmer’s Markets nearly enough.  I really do love them.
  27. I’m an Extrovert, but always assumed I was an Introvert (I’m ENTJ by the way).
  28. I don’t understand being indecisive.
  29. My toenails are always painted. Always. (I also happen to like my feet).
  30. Sometimes I’m shy and get stuck in my head.
  31. I wonder if I’ll ever snowboard again (I’m less daring now that bean is here).
  32. I’ve never waxed my eyebrows.
  33. 33 is officially old!

And with that, I’m going to get through this work day, get a pedi, drink some bubby, eat Thai food and have cupcakes!

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Shoes-day Tuesday!

Hey there, Shoes-day Tuesday does exist!

Today I’m featuring a shoe every woman needs: the red pump.  I was without this much-needed shoe for several months since I went on a shoe purging spree and threw these red pumps away (they lost the rubber heel stop).   So when Zach and I visited the Gilroy Outlets after Thanksgiving, I honed in on Nine West for some classic, easy, every day type red heels.  Seek and you shall find:

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These are a 7.5 and run true to size (as do most Nine West shoes, I’ve found).  The 3.5″ heel makes them quite comfortable for a 9+ hour day as well.  As for cost, because of the sales, I don’t quite remember, but I want to say I got them for about $50.  This style goes on sale quite a bit, so it’s pretty easy to avoid the $89 price tag if you keep your eyes peeled.

This is a way I’ve worn the shoes to work (black Limited pants, striped Gap sweater):

Dec 4 2012 2

And on another note, I picked up a new scent.  I really wanted to get the Hanae Mori again (I’m nearly out), but Zach convinced me to get something new.  So I returned to Burberry Brit, though this time I got Sheer.  It’s slightly more floral than I’d normal get, but it’s fun and good for daily wear.

Favorite  color for a heel?  I have to say red or nude

Favorite scent? Vanilla, without a doubt

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My “beauty” products

Two posts in one week..who the heck am I?  Sad that has become the reality, but honestly my day-to-day life is fairly repetitive, so unless I were to show new outfits every day as content, not much else changes.

I did make it to another fabulous spin class last night and have plans to hit up Gravity wine bar in Palo Alto with a friend this evening :D

Moving on…

Some of the posts I find most interesting are the products that people like (and I will give them soooo much more credit if they are not sponsored by any given company).  I decided it might be fun to show you what beauty products I’m loving.  Really my fave beauty product is a good pair of heels, but I’ll stick to traditional products ;)

Body:

photo 4-1

  • Suave Cocoa Butter Lotion – I’ve been a faithful user of this for decades now.  There really is no other lotion I’d rather use on my body.  I used it all during pregnancy as well, and no stretch marks (though I don’t know if that was just luck)
  • Bath & Body vanilla lotion – I’m a devoted vanilla scent fan.  Though right now I’m using an Xmas present of Philosophy gingerbread scent
  • Vera Wang Bouquet – rarely do I go through an entire bottle of perfume, but this one has been my go-to work scent for 2 years now.  Sadly it’s empty.  I’ve been using Anthropologies vanilla spray as well as Hanae Mori.

Hair:

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  • Joico shampoo and conditioner as the staples – I prefer the color protecting.  I also have been using the Neutrogena triple moisture conditioner (purchased at Target)
  • Tresseme volume mousse – love that this gives lift to my roots.  It’s a little too much for the ends of my hair since they are so dry
  • Josie Maran Argan Oil – purchased at Sephora over a year ago and it makes your ends so much more manageable…same for fly-aways.  I also will use Garnier Sleek and Shine in a pinch.
  • Color Mark – yep, I’ve got grey hairs…more than I’d like to admit.  In between my highlight / color appts (every 10-12 weeks), I use this on those greys popping through.  It’s pricey for such a small bottle (about $20) but lasts maybe 6 months or so.
  • Tresseme Hair Spray (#4) – of all the hairsprays I’ve tried in my life, this one ranks up there as one of the better.  It’s very similar to Shaper hair spray at a fraction of the cost.

Face:

photo 3-3

  • Clean and Clear lotion – it’s light and has sacyllic acid in that helps clear up acne.  It does not have sun protection so I tend to use this at night
  • Lancome Renergie – my friend Mojan got me hooked on this and I’m so glad she did.  It feels luxurious on my skin, neck, and chest and seems to be adding moisture to my skin and making my wrinkles slightly less noticeable.
  • Aveeno Daily Moisturizer – this is my standard day-to-day moisturizer.  It’s not too thick/oily and not too light and has an SPF of 15
  • Aveeno Tinted Moisturizer – I never wear traditional foundation so if I’m trying to get a more even look on my face (date night, etc), I’ll use this.
  • Trader Joe’s cleanser – I randomly purchased this and am now a devout fan.  Others I’ve talked to who have used it have amazing results as well.  Something certainly doesn’t have to be expensive to be wonderful.
  • Bare Escentuals Blush in Beauty – Love this color.  I used in on my wedding day and continue to purchase it.  Also love the lightness and feel of almost all Bare Escentuals face products
  • Benefit BADgal Eyeliner – I love a good cat eye look which this does well, but also love it for daily wear.  It’s a pencil that goes on like a pen and stays on all day long
  • Benefit High Bro – I’ll use this to accent the inside of my eyes and lift my brows if I’m going out or on days that I look like death ;)
  • Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara – I have never (ever) found a high-end mascara that compares to drugstore brands.  Covergirl last blast is a fave as is Almay.

Lips:

photo 1-4

  • Chap Stick brand chapstick – this is my daily base.  It actually moisturizes and has an SPF 4.
  • Express lip glosses – the first time I bought one of them, it was a last minute purchase to put me at the minimum required to use my $30 off coupon.  Such a great idea.  I love the shimmer, the staying power, the color, and the smell.  Seriously, I highly recommend.
  • Benefit  lipstick in Good-to-Go – periodically I like to get a new makeup look done.  This color was the result of one of those times.  I love the smoothness of this lipstick, how well it moisturizes, and the soft color (more applications will make darker).
  • Origins Liquid Lip Color in Really Rosy – this was in my stocking and I love it.  I would never have thought to try Origins, but will definitely be going back to test out their other options.
  • Aveda lip pencil – I’ve rubbed the name of this dual-sided pencil, but love using it to actually fill in my lips, and top with a gloss, for a deep color.  The one I have is a berry on one side and a light shimmery pink on the other (which I use as an eyebrow highlighter).

If there is any great product you want to rave about, please share!

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30 more minutes?

Happy Monday to ya!

Yesterday morning during Spin, the instructor asked us about 30 minutes into class, “who wants to go 30 minutes longer?”  Had I not consumed 5 days worth of food at La Fondue last night, I might have not raised my hand.  But I was in it for the long haul.  Usually Spin is about 45-50 minutes with a few teachers stretching to 55 minutes.  A 75 minute class may be borderline cruelty. I have a feeling I’m going to be quite sore today.

Speaking of La Fondue, it was date night for Zach and me.  And also a joint birthday celebration since we both share January birthdays and likely wouldn’t go out for each.  I think I was as excited to dress up as I was to eat 4 decadent courses:

Jan 12

You gotta also appreciate the background babygate decor right (and the horribly fuzzy photos..sheesh)?  I thought about taking pics during dinner, but meh, didn’t feel like it.  After feasting and drinking for over 2.5 hours straight, I looked like I was about 5 months pregnant.  I vowed not to eat ever again…or until yesterday morning.  Whichever came first.

The rest of the weekend was filled with the usual including errands, coffee breaks, lunch meet ups, mommy group, and Indian food for dinner Friday:

photo-11

Vindaloo paneer (sadly the curry was jarred, but the paneer was sautéed separately along with red onions and peas), plus roasted cauliflower with turmeric, and a bit of rice and tortilla (sub for the naan).  Quite good, but I’m dying for some Darbar in Palo Alto.   Any takers?

Oh I also baked some cranberry, white chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (recipe from the container of oats).  Again, no pictures, because I was too lazy.  And a note to Zach’s coworkers, he was supposed to bring about 2 dozen of them to work on Friday but he forgot, so I had to pawn them off elsewhere ;)

And with that, time to get this week started….

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