Here’s what I threw together yesterday – I was trying to make use of some ingredients I had on hand, as well as some leftovers (aka carne asada – LOL).
Ciabatta bread with olive oil and salt
Topped with goat cheese, prosciutto, grape tomatoes, and carne asada – roasted in the oven for 30 minutes
Spaghetti pan-fried with bacon fat (oh yeah), scrambled eggs, and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Finished with roasted zucchini slices and grape tomatoes. Served with balsamic vinegar on the side.
A Fresh Version of Pasta Carbonara ala Zucchini and Tomatoes
A few years ago, when Ella was only 2 (and already a huge JB fan), she had the opportunity to attend his concert. Unfortunately, she was feeling under the weather and I just didn’t think she was well enough, or even old enough, to enter into the pandemonium that is known to all as “Bieber Fever”.
I thought maybe she’ll grow out of her love for Justin Bieber, perhaps she will like a new artist…but no. She has been a loyal fan for the past 3 or so years! So I decided to make it a goal for myself to take her to a Justin Bieber concert and make this a special memory for her.
It happened last Saturday – I seriously stayed home all day to save all my energy for what we were getting ourselves into that night. From the moment she opened the surprise package with the tickets inside to the moment JB himself stepped onto the stage, she was ecstatic, and I found myself just watching the excitement on her face and really relishing that moment.
Ready for her very first concert experience
Ella and Mommy
Her official 2013 concert tour shirt
JB on stage!
So, yours truly just turned another year wiser. Here’s a look at what I was able to cross off my list in one year, notes and all!
Make popsicles from scratch. (May 29)
Makeover our patio. (July 24)
Makeover my “creative space” where I can write love notes, draw, wrap gifts, scrapbook, etc. This is still a work in progress but I DID get as far as buying a dedicated caddy to stash all of my scrapbooking, gift wrapping, die cutting, and other fun tools in…hey, it’s a start ;-)
Achieve (or get pretty darn close to) goal weight and lose the “baby weight”. Lost the pregnancy weight…now time to lose a wee bit more!
Plan a romantic date or getaway for my Hubby. We do so many cute and fun things together…not to mention, romantic! But I DO need to plan something special and go all out.
- Take family pictures with our new Baby Girl. Not yet, and ironically, my older daughters have asked me when we were planning to do this. <3
- Knit a beanie for our new Baby Girl. Ok, so towards the end of my pregnancy, I was super-tired and not so ambitious…this was a fail.
- Participate in a run or walk. This may have to roll over to the next list ;-)
Write an article in Mira Mesa Living. I did contribute to the last issue but for some reason the editor hasn’t published the issue at all. I get the feeling they’re a little short-staffed since I believe it’s all voluntary??? I wish I could find time to volunteer and design the newsletter myself so that way our community can get frequent updates. Well, we can’t do it all, can we?
- Paint a utility box in our community with friends and family. Possibly another rollover…
- Go bowling with family and/or friends (even though I really suck at bowling). Nope.
- Prepare vegetarian meals for a whole week. Nope.
- Work on a children’s book about “blended families”. Not yet…on my bucket list though.
- Start a photo book for our new Baby Girl. Have gotten as far as taking TONS of pictures of her and printing some of them out.
- Finish more photo books for Ella. Nope…I need to get on this one – she’s going to be 5 next month!
Do something different/drastic with my hair (even if it’s super-temporary). Ombre’d out…does grey hair count? -__-
- Try out Jiu Jitsu. Nope.
Reconnect with an old friend over lunch or dinner. (May 30 – with “Sis”) Lots of times with lots of old friends :-)
Volunteer my time. Multiple times at Ella’s school. I even read a story to her class – that was fun!
Plan a “me-date”. So happy to report that this has been a semi-regular thing for me and it feels so good!
- Go strawberry picking or apple picking. Sigh…nope.
- Try out a recipe for a Filipino dish I’ve never tried to make before. I’ve been researching empanada recipes in an effort to replicate my Grandmother’s legendary empanadas.
Have a picnic in the park. (Sunday, May 13)
Create a new family tradition. Over the holidays, I introduced the kids to the “Giving Back” tradition. We started with 3 missions: 1) Paid for the people behind us at Starbucks 2) Baked and delivered cookies to our local post office and 3) Gave a family movie tickets. I can tell it touched the kids and is teaching them the value of generosity and giving back. This will DEFINITELY be something we’ll do every year around the holidays. This year, I will even have them come up with the 3 missions.
- Improve upon my photography skills. Meh…not really. But I suppose my ‘skills’ are passable.
- Start a Savings Account for Baby Girl. Not officially.
Take Ella to the Children’s Museum. (Sunday, June 10)
Send a surprise to someone in the mail.
Work on being debt-free.
- Try Bikram’s yoga…at least once. Fail.
Plan a fun and creative girls day/night in/out. I hosted a “Magic Mike” themed baby shower for my SIL and a Favorite Things Party.
- Travel by train for the first time. Possible rollover…
Do something nice for my parents regularly (i.e. make a healthy meal, give them movie tickets) just because. Yes! Whenever possible!
Say the “Serenity Prayer” as often as needed in order to accept certain things in my life and find peace.
Make myself a priority and make it a regular thing.
Not bad! Time to start compiling my 36 things to do… list.
My first attempt at a Favorite Things party was a success! The only little glitch was that one of my girlfriend’s names was in the bucket 3 times and we only had one set of gifts left to give away (translation: she would have received 3 of the SAME thing). No bueno, but we fixed it and everyone left with FIVE new sets of favorite things. Check out the photos! In the future, we will pre-select names to avoid such a dilemma ;-)
- Orange and yellow color scheme (because it’s so happy) with splashes of the chevron pattern
- Everyone brought their favorite dish or dessert – I brought a toasted goat cheese salad, truffle parmesan fries and French macaroons from one of my favorite cafes, Opera Patisserie
- Each person had a turn at presenting their favorite thing – it was nice to hear why their giveaways were so special to them
It’s always nice to get together with my favorite friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. :-)
For some time now, I have been wanting to host a Favorite Things Party. I always loved the element of surprise and joy shown in the audience of Oprah’s Favorite Things. So we’re not going to be giving each other a little box containing the key to a NEW CAR (insert Oprah’s excited voice here) or a $500 Cashmere Sweater in all the pastel colors you can think of. But this will be a fun way to get together with my besties to share those little things that make us happy. It’s been a nice diversion in my work day trying to figure out which one (or ones) of my favorite things I plan to gift away. There are so many! I will be sure to post pics from the party (which is in March).
Posted this on my FB wall this morning:
“The first 5 people to comment on this update will receive a surprise from me! There will be no warning & it will happen whenever the mood strikes me! The catch? Those 5 people must make the same offer in their FB status. You must pay it forward too! ♥”
I cannot wait to send out little surprises to the 5 (actually 4 right now) people commented.
It’s still a work in progress, but we’re getting there. Hubby and I are so excited for this transformation. I cannot wait to sit outside and enjoy the cool breezes in the summertime and sip on a warm drink in the fall. I cannot wait to host our next get-together and make use of our new outdoor space. Take a peek at what we’ve been working on.
Today, I bought this:
So I can make that:
How delicious does this sound all blended together to make a yummy treat? I cannot wait! Thank you, once again, Pinterest!
- Can of pineapples with juice
- 1 banana
- Can of coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
Last month, the Hubby and I took our little Ella on her first trip to Hawaii. It was the first time she had ever been on a plane (and she did a great job). It was the perfect opportunity to give Ella our undivided attention before her baby sister arrives. I look back at that vacation and smile every time knowing that we were able to share something special with her that she can have all to her own. Here are some pictures from our trip.
Ella, I hope you enjoyed your first trip to Hawaii. You were a very good traveler and I’m very proud of you, Big Girl! I smile thinking about the excitement on your face during every part of the trip – from riding on the plane, to playing in the water, to trying Bubbies ice cream. You didn’t complain about all the walking and even when it rained, you told me “It’s ok if it rains, Mommy. It just means there’s more water in the pool.” : )You even showed your appreciation as soon as we landed by holding mine and Daddy’s hands and telling us “Thank you Mommy and Daddy for taking me to Hawaii.” I love you and I am so glad we have this special vacation to call our own forever…