Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Five

Happy Friday! The only thing better than Friday is the long weekend holiday Friday. I am so ready to kick off my heels and relax....I've tried really hard not to make any plans for the weekend but just soak in some time with Kiki, well all I can say - I'm not good at that. We have a packed schedule that involves a lot of splashing around in the water, gardening (Kiki's favorite as of late), BBQs and pool parties, berry picking and kids'  farming, brunch with friends and the good ol' shopping....I mean have you seen some of the deals out there. Most importantly we have a big kid bed to buy. 

Before we get to any of that, here are a few articles that caught my eye as of late...

1. 10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently. I’d love to be more in touch with my intuition and more importantly, find a way to listen to it more effectively.

2. 13 Tips for Getting More Reading Done from Gretchen Rubin. It's my pet peeve when people tell me they just don't have time to read. Everyone has time to read, if you really wanna.

3. No Time to Think… wow – this article hit the nail on the head for me. If you feel like you are constantly busy, this is a great read.

4. Officially obsessed with white shirts. Simplicity is sexy!

5. It's no secret I love wine and this is almost never an issue, but on those rare occasions when it's just me and one glass of wine, this is the tip I need....How long wine lasts when recorked. (

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weekend Notes

Remember how my last weekend was all about ME, well this weekend was not, but it was fulfilling, enriching, exhausting, and fun. I never knew I could love someone so much. This little person has completely turned my life upside-down and thought me [and still teaches me] the most important life lesson - selflessness. 

"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed!" - Linda Wooten

Last week was long and trying and I couldn't wait for the weekend to start. It was my "Kiki weekend"! I love spending time with Kiki...time with her is exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. Kiki is at this amazing age where she's highly verbal, playful, inquisitive, trying to make sense of everything around her, and I am loving it. 

In all of the Kiki glory of the weekend, I still had some "me" time ....dinner party with great friends who always inspire me to do better; spending Saturday catching up with a great friend, a strong woman and an amazing mom; sharing a cup of coffee and lots of laughter on a Sunday morning with my bestie. 

My favorite cheeks! I can't stop kissing these cheeks. Our conversation during the bath time today went something like this:
ME: Can I take a bite of your cheeks?
KIKI: Mommy, I am not food!!! You can't bite me.  If you're hungry go downstairs there's food in the refrigerator.
ME: But I really want some of your sweet cheeks. 
Kiki: Oh mommy, I am sweet, but you like chocolate.

....and there you have it....that's a three year old talking for you!

Fun with Little L, her bestie. According to Kiki, boys are yuckie, but not Little L, he rules!!!!

Pure love!!!

If this doesn't say love, I don't know what does!!!!

Sign of a great weekend - my two favorite people [yes, the Sous-Chef is a person, but you all already knew that] are completely passed out before I could even read one story, and usually we are negotiating reading two, three, or four books. The only question is - where do I sleep tonight??!!! They've taken over my bed!

As they say, life is measured in moments, make the most of them....and this weekend was all about the moments. 

Q: How was your weekend? What was the best moment of your life?

Friday, August 1, 2014

5 on Friday

After the longest week ever, I'm so happy the weekend is here. I had a lot of things happen this week that easily could have been ordeals. But I did my very best to adjust my attitude and turn them into adventures. Hopefully this weekend will bring even more adventures our way...real summer adventures.
When you live in a place that has 200 or more sunny days a year, the transition into summer isn't something that is noticeable, but I still like to celebrate summer days by shifting into a more relaxed mindset. I read a quote today "....with summer hair gets lighter. skin gets darker. drinks get colder. music gets louder. nights get longer. life gets better."  Well this weekend I am definitely embracing summer - Kiki and I have plans, summer plans - watching a movie past her bed time, lots of swimming, playing with water balloons, pool birthday party, chilled Rose in my glass, some new music on my iPod, and Sunday at the beach!

But in a mean time, let me share with you a few things that piqued my interest this week....

1. If you are not into menu planning but thinking about it, or want to establish more of a family dinner time, pick up Jenny's book Dinner: A Love Story. And just in time, she's coming out with her second book this August.
2. The 10 Most Important Minutes of a Child's Day. I am a huge believer in the power of bedtime. I love sitting with Kiki in her rocking chair reading a few books and just talking about her day. I always ask her to tell me one favorite thing about her day, what made her happy, and next thing you know she's rambling on. It's certainly tough on the nights when I am exhausted, but at the end of the day, those are the most precious moments we share.
3. I am in desperate need of making this change. So guilty of #2!
4. I can't stop thinking of the idea of supper club or dinner gatherings or whatever you want to call them, and seriously toying with the idea of hosting one... now tell me this isn't the most amazing, dreamiest dinner party you've seen?
5. And since we are on the topic of food, here are 10 foods that make you glow.

Extra: And because I always have something more to say...I always thought of myself as an extrovert, but reading through this article, I am clearly an ambivert. Which one are you?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Reading

I don’t know about y’all, but I can’t believe that August is already here. I feel like summer just started! One of my goals this summer was to get some summer reading in! Summer is a perfect time to catch up on all those books that have been collecting dust on my bookshelves. Somehow summertime and books go hand-in-hand.
In my pre-mom life I used to read about a book a week. Reading was a routine for me. It was a way I would wind down. Rare were the nights that I was too tired to read even a few pages. There was no comfort like a book. Then I got pregnant, and lost all interest in readying, even the baby books. Then the first year of motherhood came along as well as separation and divorce which made me lose all concentration, and for the last two years I have been struggling to find the reading material that would keep my interest for longer than 1/2 a page.
Until recently, not sure what happened, but in the last 1.5 months I read seven books. Seven!!!! Crazy!!! My budget can't keep up with my reading habit, but this is one expense that is totally worth it. 
Today, I wanted to share with you some of the books on my 2014 Summer Reading List & maybe they might peak your interest too: ThriveHard Choices Vacationers#GirlBossTempting Fate, The One & Only, Talking with My Mouth Open ....

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Meatless Mondays and then some...

Oh Monday...I can't really complain, you were good....

But today I let something get to me...something that never in million years would I have ever cared about, but this new sensitive me suddenly cares, urgh. I wish I didn't, but I guess I do! Go figure! So instead of bottling up all the negative feelings, I came home changed into my running clothes, armed with my "move me" music and ran and ran until I couldn't run any more. And then I ran towards my kitchen and decided to embrace the Meatless Monday.

I have finally learned how to channel my frustration...the key is to go for a long run and then get lost in the kitchen. My gosh it only took me three years to figure this out, but I finally got it!

So being that today is the national meatless monday day and I had some tofu on hand, inspired by this, I embarked on making a totally new recipe [to me] and proved that I can really do anything in the kitchen. Not sure whom I was proving this to, except myself, but my gosh it felt good. 

And yes, it was easy, quick, tasty and may I add pretty. We all know I like pretty things, but taking pictures of pretty food is extra exciting! 


Black Peppercorn Stir Fried Noodles

For the Black Pepper Sauce:
½ tablespoon freshly ground black peppercorns
5-6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
1 1-inch piece ginger
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water

For the Stir Fried Noodles:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
8 ounces udon noodles (I couldn't find udon noodles, so I used the rice noodles I already had)
2 cups spinach leaves
10 ounces extra firm tofu
sesame seeds for topping

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook for 1-2 minutes (they should NOT be all the way cooked – just enough to barely soften). Drain and rinse with cold water – this removes starch and helps them stir fry without turning into a big blob. Set aside.

Place all the sauce ingredients in the food processor and give it a whirl. When it’s smooth, taste it and adjust to your liking. Cut the tofu into slices and press out the excess moisture several times with paper towels. Cut the tofu slices into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet. When the oil is shiny, add the tofu. Stir fry very gently (breaks apart easily) for 5-10 minutes until deep golden brown. Add a tiny splash of black pepper sauce, a tiny splash of water, and ½ tablespoon oil and shake the pan around – everything will be all sizzly and awesome. When the tofu is cooked to your liking, transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat the remaining ½ tablespoon oil in the skillet. When the oil is shiny, add the noodles and black pepper sauce. Add a splash of water if the sauce becomes too thick. Stir fry until the noodles are softened completely, covered with sauce, and piping hot. Remove from heat and toss with the spinach and tofu. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds.