frozen chocolate mousse (+ postpartum fitness)

Posted: November 21st, 2014

frozen chocolate mousse

For some reason when I post a ridiculous dessert like this, I sometime feel the need to simultaneously talk about health.  Maybe to make myself feel better?  So let’s talk. Read more »

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favorite baby products {0-3 months}

Posted: November 18th, 2014

When we were buying things for Evelyn, I found reviews and lists from other bloggers so helpful.  So I figured, why not make my own?  These are some of our favorite products for the first several months of new parenthood…things that have made life easier for us, and things that we (and Evelyn) love.  (We were not compensated for anything in this post (we truly love these products), but many links are affiliate links.)

1. Britax travel system

When it came to stroller buying, I let Gerrit geek out.  We spent a good amount of time at the store with me standing in the aisle while he folded and unfolded strollers with lots of “Ohhhh look what this can do!”  We finally decided on the Britax system and love it.  It is so easy to snap in and out of the car and the stroller.  The navigation of the stroller is great.  I use it daily when I take Evelyn to the office.  My only complaint is that the car seat is a little heavier than some others, but nothing unmanageable by any means.

2. Storytime Series Glider/Rocker and Ottoman

Yes, this is a splurge when it comes to nursery rockers.  (And yes, it was a gift that some of our wonderful family got for us.)  And I’m just going to be honest–I’m not sure I could have survived the early months without it.  In the first few weeks, I parked myself here every 2-3 hours to feed Evelyn; and because we had so much trouble with nursing at first, this chair, its comfort and how it helped us to position for feedings, was essential.  And of course we still love it for rocking and story reading.  And we got it in a beautiful gray color, so that in several years when it is not needed in a nursery, we should be able to move it to another room in our house.

3. Skip-Hop activity mat

This has provided us with hours of entertainment.  Hours.  If I can keep her happy on this looking at the animals and trying to grab at them, then I’m happy and it frees me up to eat breakfast/make lunch/fold some laundry/etc.

4. Pottery Barn Lamb mobile

We decorated Evelyn’s nursery in lambs, so the Pottery Barn Lamb Mobile was a given.  And she LOVES it.  I put her in her crib to watch her lambs every morning and she gives them a big smile.  And spinning it up three times gives me the 10 minutes I need to get ready.
Unfortunately it is no longer available, but I think the point of my saying this is that a mobile is a must for us…and I think the stark contrast of the black and white really catches her eye.

5. Grace Duetsoothe Swing

We love this swing.  And our favorite thing is that the swing part is removable from the frame.  We put it in the kitchen all the time and she sits between us and watches us eat dinner or sits by the counter and watches me cook dinner.  My only complaint is that I wish the mobile spun independently (I have another swing at the office that does this, and it is fantastic for keeping her occupied).

6. Todd Parr books

I’ve always loved Todd Parr books, and now that we have a baby I have a new appreciation for them.  Not only do a I love the messages (From The Peace Book: “Peace is keeping the water blue for all the fish…Peace is listening to different kinds of music…Peace is everyone having a home.”  YES.), but Evelyn loves looking at the brightly colored illustrations more than any other books we have.

7. Halo Sleepsack Swaddle

This was the swaddle we got in the hospital and we love it.  It keeps Evelyn swaddled tightly, which keeps her sleeping well (although we are currently working on transitioning her out of the swaddle one arm at a time). I’m pretty sure once we transition out of the swaddle, we’ll be getting her the regular sleepsack to keep her warm this winter, too.

8. Gerber Flatfold Diapers

We use these constantly as burp cloths.  They are everywhere in our house and always in our laundry.

9. Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper

I was nervous to use this at the beginning and have her sleep next to the bed at night, so I didn’t (we used our pack n’ play instead).  But it has been useful in so many other ways.  I use it every day at the office for her naps right now, and she lies in it and plays and talks to me and watches me work.  We took this down to our Auburn tailgate a few weeks ago, and we plan on taking it with us for Thanksgiving.  It seems to be convenient in endless ways.

10. Aden + Anais Rayon Bamboo Swaddle Blankets

These blankets are so soft.  Like unbelievably soft.  They are thin and breathable (great for summer!) but are also big enough to be folded up several times for warmth (so also appropriate for chilly days).  We actually don’t use them for swaddling, but one is always in her car seat and out and about with us.
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pasta alla carbonara

Posted: November 13th, 2014

pasta alla carbonara

This post is about a year late (sorry).  Ever since our trip to Italy last summer I have been wanting to make the perfect carbonara at home.  I had it once in Rome, at a little restaurant that really catered more to tourists than it did to actual Romans I think, but it was still perfection (no matter where we ate, I never had a bad pasta dish in Rome).  I’ve made carbonara plenty of times in the past 15 months, but it took me a while to find the right recipe, and then longer to perfect it to how I liked it (and make the portion perfect for the two of us, since it’s hard to split a recipe in half that calls for 5 eggs).  And then I was terrible about writing down what I had done in the kitchen (how many eggs? how much bacon?), and so just now, in the past month, have I finally felt like I’ve been making a consistent carbonara in my kitchen. Read more »

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mushroom barley soup

Posted: November 10th, 2014

mushroom barley soup

There are so many things I could tell you about how life has changed recently (and I do tell you about these things a lot).  One of those changes is that I seem to not end up here as often.  I had every intention of showing back up last week with a post about soup (or pasta…that one is still in the queue as well), but it obviously didn’t happen.

The other thing that has changed with having Evelyn around is meal planning and dinner cooking.  I knew that it would, but at the same time I wasn’t sure exactly how it would change until it happened.   Read more »

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slow-cooked oven ribs

Posted: November 4th, 2014

slow cooked oven ribs

If there is one thing my family knows food-wise, it is BBQ.  Pulled pork, pulled chicken, smoked ribs, smoked chicken.  We will go for it all, and we often do.  My parents are serious in their critiques of BBQ whenever we go somewhere new, and very rarely do the restaraunts meet expectations.  Usually the ribs are deemed not as good as the ones my dad makes and the pulled pork falls on a scale from pretty good to this-has-a-weird-flavor.  Sometimes it’s even a scrunched up nose from my mom and a shrug from my dad and actual words (“That wasn’t the best”) once we are in the car.  Sometimes though, places get rave reviews, and this really means something.  My parents are like the New York Times Critics of BBQ restaurants–they do not hand out stars willy-nilly. Read more »

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