Things people assume you should know as a new mom

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I was struggling with what to call this post. It sounds like things that people get mad at you for not knowing as a new mom, which granted, is a lot, but still, annoying to be reminded of. Really, it is meant to be about the things that no one told you! And with lots of friends expecting this spring, I have been talking about a few things that no one told me, but luckily, I figured out by constantly texting my mama friends. So wanted to share what I learned with you. Remember- just coming from another mama here. I’m not a doctor or a pediatrician!! And other mamas- chime in!

1. Getting your whooping cough vaccine! Most ob/gyn’s will offer this to the new mom close to your delivery date (which some people refuse b/c it is still a fairly new practice). Since babies can’t get their vaccine until their 2 month appointment, doctors have suggested that giving the mother the vaccine will help the new baby avoid pertussis until their own vaccine. Not to mention, it’s a good booster for you to have so you don’t contract pertussis. What I didn’t know was that anyone else that is in frequent contact with new baby should also have the vaccine (ie, the father, nanny). So ask your Dr. about it if you haven’t already.

2. Call your Dr. if your newborns under 8 weeks old has a rectal temperature over 100.4F. They will likely recommend that you go to ER, which is a good reason to keep these little ones away from other kids or crowded indoor areas as much as possible.

3. Our pediatrician recommended that we not give our baby under 6 months of age Motrin. Tylenol only. Once they are 6 months, they can have Motrin, which is preferred since it is processed differently and more difficult to overdose them on (but still….I am a crazy woman about dosage according to weight/age!)

4. No sunscreen or bug spray (that I have heard of) for babies under 6 months of age. Luckily, there are lots of clothes/swimsuits these days that offer UV protection.

5. Do some research on your baby carrier. You’ll notice that your newborns are really good at doing the splits, and it probably looks very uncomfortable. But it’s good for their hips. Here is an article about ensuring that their hips are being taken care of in the carseat and in the carriers.

6. Make sure you know how to buckle your infant safely into their carseat. A couple tips:

- Take them out of blankets/swaddles to buckle in. You can place a blanket over them once they are buckled. (The        royals made this mistake taking baby George home- haha!)

- The chest buckle should go high across their chest, between their baby boobies. It also keeps the straps from              falling off their shoulders. Straps should be pretty tight, but not too tight of course.

- You can take your car + carseat to a fire station where they will ensure it has been installed correctly.

- Strongly recommend that carseats are rearfacing until age 2.

7. Babies don’t really drink water until they are 1-ish (or constipated!). They get their fluids from breastmilk/formula.

8. Doctors recommend that mamas who just delivered don’t drive for 2-3 weeks depending on your recovery period. So plan accordingly. Luckily, there is amazon and instacart to bring you what you need! And I definitely had friends bring me newborn diapers b/c I didn’t realize how quickly I would run out!

9. New babies WILL pee/poop as soon as you take their diaper off. So don’t make the mistake of changing them on your white comforter or brand new carpet. In fact, we even got some disposable pads to put on her changing table to save us from washing her fabric changing pad once/day.

10. You will notice your newborn’s skin flaking or peeling in the weeks after delivery. It’s the transition from being in fluid for 40 weeks to air, and no amount of lotion will help. Trust me…I tried.

Ok, that’s all I can think of for the moment. Would love to hear what other mamas wish someone had told them!





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What I would tell new moms


There are so many new babies and new mamas in my world right now, and for some reason, I have been asked a few times what I would tell a new mom. Since I am still a new mom, I don’t necessarily feel like an expert in this area, but then again, those first few weeks are such a blur, you want to get your advice down while you remember it! So here it goes: what I would tell all of you new beautiful mamas out there.

1. Managing your visitors:

My first piece of advice would be to manage visitors. Luckily, I was on doctor’s orders to avoid visitors my first week home because of my high blood pressure. Dr.’s didn’t want anything or anyone around me getting me excited or worked up, and it was fabulous. Ryan was on paternity leave, I was still recovering, and we had the house to ourselves. We ordered takeout or ate some frozen meals I had put aside before, watched movies and seasons of Scandal, and just enjoyed our baby. It was truly glorious, and there was plenty of time for visitors to come when I had started to figure out how to care for my little Evie.

When you do have visitors, especially family, be specific. For example “I would love to see you between 2:30-3:15″ so they don’t necessarily stay all day. Or in the case of family, “We would love to have you meet Evie, and man, you are such a good cook. Maybe you could make us some meals to freeze?” Like that? At least make it very clear that you are not going to play hostess.

2. Ask for help:

This was probably my biggest mistake in my first year of motherhood. I had decided to stay home, so why oh why would I get babysitters all week long to just go and get a pedicure? I’ll tell you why: because your new “job” is 24/7!! You need some time for yourself, to recharge, and baby will be fine seeing a new face and maybe even learning some new tricks. And financially, we’re talking an extra $2000/year in childcare. Maybe less? It’s worth it. Trust me.

3. Never Say Never:

I made a lot of proclamations before I became a mother. For ex, “I will not give my baby formula in the hospital”, or “I will make all of her food at home, organic and local of course.” I just set myself up for failure basically. When that pediatrician walks into your hospital room and tells you that your newborn baby has lost too much weight and formula it is, you do it. And when you realize that instead of spending all of your free time steaming and pureeing food only to have one kind of food take up your freezer, and then find out the baby hates it, you buy the neat little squeezy pouches and reclaim your sanity. (Btw, babies only eat pureed food for about 3 months…then solids start to come in. Teeth or no teeth. Who knew?) I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals for yourself, but just be prepared to adapt. And when that mama judges you and your formula, you just let her know that you weren’t up for starving your baby. That’s all.

And also, little side note about breastfeeding. There is this terrible infection called mastitis that I had never heard of, but happened to develop three weeks in. Basically, I woke up one morning, boob hurt, and felt like I had the flu. Tons of my friends have been victims of this sneaky little ailment as well, so learn about it, and hopefully, your Dr. will just call in a prescription rather than have you drag your 3 week old back in to receive your prescription in person.

4. Every day is a Monday:

I spent a lot of my first Sundays as a mom crying because I was beginning to realize that Sundays, as I knew them, were over, at least for the foreseeable future. Every day was a Monday: get up, and repeat the tasks from the day before. I often think of “Le Petit Prince” and his daily chores of watering his rose and cleaning the volcanoes: wake up, repeat. Of course when Ryan is home, we try to take turns at least with the wake-up part, but still. My ideal vacation right now looks a lot like me doing absolutely nothing. That would be glorious.

Don’t get me wrong though. There is a lot of fun in my day too. We hit up the zoo, aquarium, and Botanical Gardens when we can. Every non-rainy day involves at least one playground visit and walk, maybe two! We go to music class, play at Gymboree, and eat lunch with our friends. And the best part is the mandatory afternoon nap jail which forces me to take a break, stay home, and not plan anything. I wish I could tell you that I take a nap every day too, and I should, but I don’t.

5. Exercise:

I know, I know. Don’t kill me. Seems like an obvious one with an obvious question: when is that supposed to happen? I’m not saying that you should get back from the hospital and hit the treadmill (nor would your Dr. for that matter), but exercise is excellent stress relief. So the intention is not necessarily for fitness and weight management: it’s for mental health management more than anything. I walked all over the place with Evie, but when I whined to my Dr. about how overwhelmed I was feeling, she encouraged me to get back to the gym. The cardio would boost the good hormones that I needed in my body, and she was right. I went back when Evie was 6 months and found a gym with a nursery for her. The other options are of course a running stroller, online workouts (I tried this and really liked it) or the Mommy and me stroller classes. Point is, getting your heart rate up is good for you and baby, at least a few times a week.

6. Find peace amongst chaos:

I think I kept waiting for that perfect moment when Evie was asleep, all chores were done and emails were answered, dinner was bubbling on the stove, and finally I could sit down for that glass of wine. Ain’t gonna happen, at least not on a regular basis, so that cannot be my idea of “peace”. I’m reading a fabulous book right now, “Carry on, Warrior”, but she specifically talked about finding peace despite the chaos around you. In other words, don’t look to your surroundings to find peace. You have to have that option despite your environment. So true.

7. Finally, most important piece of advice if you are a BRAND NEW, still in the hospital, just had a baby mama:

Those fancy pain meds bring your digestive system to a halt, and regardless of how you delivered your baby, you don’t need that. Switch to the Ibuprofen asap, otherwise it might be enema city at your house. (I switched early on, so luckily, I am not speaking from experience, thank goodness!)

Good luck mamas, and look out for one another. Lord knows where I would be without my mama friends. xoxo

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6inthemorningside blog: Take 2


Hey everyone,

I feel like I have been starting too many blog posts lately with the opening line, “Hey! Haven’t seen me for a while! Whoops!” Truth be told, there is not a lot of creative cooking happening over here, and when there is cooking, it’s for survival. I’m talking pasta with sauce from a jar, mashed potatoes, and grilled cheese. Trying not to cook multiple meals for the family, which means they need to be Evie friendly (translation: they need to involve meat and cheese.) Didn’t think too many of those were worth sharing, at least not on a regular basis ;) .

So I’ll be taking the topics in a new direction, yet to be determined, but more along my train of thought I guess and what’s happening in the early years of motherhood, a time in my life when I have learned more that I ever imagined I would.

Hope you’ll be hearing more from me as a result, and maybe this also means I will get the camera out a little more often since it has been collecting dust since Evie’s first birthday. We did manage to get out and take some fall photos this weekend, so I will share those with you. And hopefully, I’ll be back sooner rather than later. xoxo








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What Evie is eating these days + the move is coming…finally!

Swinging is the best....for 17 seconds.

Swinging is the best….for 17 seconds.

Hey everyone!

I know I have been MIA lately. We’ve had a busy month, and as a result, not a lot has been happening in the kitchen :( The good news is, we are finally moving this Saturday! :) I just mapped the mileage between our current house and the new house, and it is a whopping 1.0 miles away. As the crow flies, it’s about .3 miles away, so not a big change. We just love our neighborhood so much, not to mention the thought of switching neighborhoods sent Ryan in a panic about where he would take his dry cleaning. We will remain loyal customers of our current dry cleaners, so all is well in the world again.

Evie in front of our almost "old" house.

Evie in front of our almost “old” house.

Faux-tantrum. Caught in the act!

Faux-tantrum. Caught in the act!

In any case, we also had our house in the market, and with the lovely Evie in the household, getting our house in “showing” shape was a challenge. Either she was pulling books off of her shelf or chewing on charging cords while I was putting her books back on her shelf. Thankfully, that is behind us now and I can make a huge mess and leave it for days just because!

A common view during my day. Evie pulling on my skirt wanting something.

A common view during my day. Evie pulling on my skirt wanting something.

Those eyes!

Those eyes!


Between packing up and purging items that didn’t make the cut as worthy of the new house, we have really been enjoying the cooler fall weather and the signs of autumn. Evie has particularly fallen in love with acorns and collects them by the handful everywhere she goes. Playgrounds are also much more fun now that Evie can walk and explore on her own vs. sitting in a pile of mulch and tasting every piece. Although, she still eats mulch. We’re working on that.



Biker Babe

Biker Babe


So, back to some of Evie’s favorite foods! Her pallette has really evolved, especially since the arrival of her newest 5 teeth since her first birthday in July when she had a measly 1.

Earth’s Best Baked Mini Meatballs

Dr. Praeger’s 

  1. Lightly Breaded Fishes
  2. Spinach Littles
  3. Broccoli Littles

Annie’s Mac n Cheese

Trader Joe’s Kefir

Scrambled Egg with shredded zucchini and cheddar cheese

Carrot Raisin Nut Loaf (I love this too!)

Chicken Salad

As for what Evie *doesn’t* like: vegetables. She gets most veggies in the form of a squeeze pouch, and every now and then, I manage to hide some in a fork-full of something else, but she is figuring me out! Any other tips, let me know. She had chicken salad and a granola bar for dinner tonight…

The anti-bow solution: hair sprout.

The anti-bow solution: hair sprout.



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Make some Zoe’s White Beans while you ponder this


Hey everyone! So I DO, I really really DO have a recipe for you today. I know. Shocking. And it is one of our household go-to faves at the moment after I discovered that Evie will devour these without stopping, and for my own diaper-changing sanity, I need to ration her or else reap the benefits for days. That’s right- you read correctly. Zoe’s White Beans.

But before I share that with you (or just scroll down to the bottom and skip all of this jibber jabber), I wanted to ask you something. Do you ever ask for and then accept help? I don’t mean you’re having a heart attack/dying help. I mean, your life is crazy, and with an extra set of hands, it would be less crazy help. I’m talking the guy at the grocery store who offers to take your groceries to your car for you, the person who offers to hold the baby while you get your wallet out and pay for lunch, the person who offers to wheel the stroller down the jetway ahead of boarding for you so you don’t have to awkwardly fumble with it while everyone stares and wonders how you ever earned a college degree?

I discussed this with the hub over the weekend after a little moment at our favorite bakery. We arrived at our usual time (the minute it opens) and scanned the outdoor tables for some stroller and dog friendly seating options in the shade. There they were, three sweet ladies having their morning coffee at the long table in the shade. I got “the look” from the hub, who knew what I was thinking, but didn’t want me to do it. I did it. I asked if we could sit at the other end of their table. They eagerly agreed, shifted down for us, and made space for Evie to enjoy her blueberry muffin in the shade. But I could tell hub was uncomfortable because he is the most humble person on earth and is horrified if anyone should dare go out of their way for him. He never wants to inconvenience anyone for his own sake, and I love that. But truth be told, I don’t think I could survive a single day as a mom if I applied that tactic, and that is a hard lesson to learn. So lately, I have been reminding myself that not only can and should I accept offers from friendly strangers to help. But believe it or not, I should even ask for it every now and then. I would happily assist someone who asked me, and I even delight in the opportunity to help another person. I hope other people do too, and if you don’t, stay away from me. I am going to ask you to do something ;)

Aunty PJ who always holds Evie for me while I get myself organized at our favorite lunch spot, Metro Fresh.

Aunty PJ who always holds Evie for me while I get myself organized at our favorite lunch spot, Metro Fresh.

Ok, ok. Relax. Here is the famous beans recipe, borrowed from this site :)


Zoe’s White Beans:

1 can cannellini white beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 onion, chopped (I used a regular yellow onion, but you can use red as well)

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1-2 springs fresh rosemary, chopped

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

First, heat the butter in a small pot and then add the onions and garlic. Simmer for a few minutes before adding the beans and rosemary. Let those cook for about 30 seconds, then add chicken broth. Allow it to simmer on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until most liquid has boiled off. You should have a little syrupy goodness. Cook lower for longer to thicken the syrup. Serve with a little olive oil drizzled on top. (I don’t add salt because the chicken broth is already salty enough, but do so if you’re a salt lover!)

And for the Evie stalkers, Evie lately :)  xoxo

Evie's impression of herself not taking a nap.

Evie’s impression of herself not taking a nap.


photo 4

Finally bought Evie a lunchbox and backpack so I can retire the plastic kroger bag and sticky notes with her name on them.

Splash pad with Dad.

Splash pad with Dad.


Evie's first painting!

Evie’s first painting!


Evie sporting her SPF body suit.

Evie sporting her SPF body suit.




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Evie turned 1! A month ago…but still


Hey all! A little late posting this, but life has been busy lately, plus I needed to allow ample time for all three of Evie’s birthday parties to take place before posting about them. If you know me well, you know I love birthdays, and I love celebrating them- as many times as possible for the same birthday :)

Party number 1: her actual birthday. Cupcakes, balloons and a few friends out to lunch.



Party number 2: her friends


Her expression in this photo is priceless. “I’m hot, this hat is dumb, and I don’t know how I feel about cupcakes yet.”


Party number 3: family

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photo 3


Finally, we also got to take a little beach “vacation”, which apparently really means, “change of scenery” these days. Evie did not care much for the ocean or sand, but she pretended to so we could take a few photos ;) Hopefully next trip will be a bit more successful!







Evie’s news these days for those who care to hear about the life and times of a 1 year-old. She can walk! That means all I do all day is follow her and take things out of her hand as they on their way to her mouth. She has 2 teeth, but I’ve spotted a few others on their way in and the pediatrician assures me that they do exist and they will come. She says “mama”, “dada”, “Gaga” (my mom), “Byeeee”, “Heeeyyyy”, “ball”, “Moo”, “Woah, woah” (dog barking). She loves climbing, dancing, any animal, dead leaves, lint, cords, my cell phone, and exploring in general. We don’t go anywhere without her very own set of baby car keys, and she drinks whole milk now and only out of a straw cup (that was a major battle). Our typical days consist of music class, gymboree, playground visits, walks, swimming and splash pad while we can, impromptu visits to Pet Supermarket to watch the birds and hamsters, and every now and then throwing a tantrum, usually about something that I don’t understand. It involves putting her head on the ground and then rolling around and slamming her feet down, or the back bend of death, her favorite when I attempt to confine her in a car seat or my arms on an airplane. That was lovely. And stay tuned. Very soon, I will post one of Evie’s favorite foods and the recipe. It has become one of our favorites too. I DO still cook these days, but not much, unless you think Annie’s mac n cheese or frozen waffles is exciting… ;)


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July: Some good, some bad. First: the bad.

I didn’t feel right posting some recipes (not that I have any) before sharing the events of July with all of you, especially since so many of you are good friends and family.


As many of you know, Evie lost her paternal grandmother , Maureen, on July 15th. She had been diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2012 and after a long fight, she finally joined our Father in heaven. We were able to celebrate her life on July 21st, surrounded by family and friends who came from near and far to support the family and show their appreciation for Maureen and her role in their lives. It was really beautiful to look around and see the many lives that she had touched. To be honest though, she would have been embarrassed that so many people had interrupted their lives to attend her funeral because humility was one of her most apparent virtues, one that Ryan has inherited 100%.

Evie's Baptism Weekend

Evie’s Baptism Weekend

Only a few days earlier, doctors had informed the family that Maureen likely only had a few weeks left. We had already booked tickets to VA to see her earlier that week, but the news made the trip that much more urgent. What weighed most heavily on me was the realization that it would likely be Evie’s last chance to see her grandmother, and I couldn’t even explain that to her. I couldn’t tell her to be on her best behavior or to give Grandma an extra big hug. I couldn’t tell her anything, which I guess in a way is a blessing, mostly because it is a reminder of the innocence of a child, and how envious I was of that. Not having to face the tough moments in life and just living blissfully in ignorance because you’re 1 and you don’t know any better.

Evie's First Christmas

Evie’s First Christmas

Maureen did her best to rally during our visit. She was moving about, paying bills, visiting with friends who stopped by to see her, and even joined us at the table for dinner, although she was no longer interested in eating at that point.  I did do my best to tell her what I think I would want to hear if I was in her shoes. That we would take care of Dennis, her husband/Ryan’s father, and Darius, her grandson whom she and Dennis brought into their home to care for years ago. He is now 7. She didn’t say anything when I told her that. She looked me in the eyes and nodded, but I understood that I had just addressed a major fear of hers and hopefully, put that fear to rest as much as I could.

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I do wish I had told her something else, though. I don’t remember the context of the conversation, but she mentioned to me that she was scared of what lied ahead for her. I wanted to tell her that an incredible place was waiting for her. A place where she would be the happiest she had ever been, and the most peaceful she had ever been. She would be able to drink wine again, to see her parents, to see her friends, and most importantly to meet our Lord. But I didn’t say that. I don’t know why, but in a way, I wondered if it would help. What did I know? I was another human who had never done this before, so while I could express my faith as much as possible, when you are face to face with death, I can only imagine that you may have doubts and wonder “Wait…am I really going to heaven? Should I have done something differently?” Luckily, Maureen was a devout Catholic, and there is no doubt in my mind about where she is right now. And that is exactly what the priest spoke about during her funeral, which I was so thankful for. Those were the words that I needed to hear that day.


And so I lived a moment I will never forget. Saying goodbye to Maureen the Sunday before she died as Evie and I headed back to the airport to return home. I busied myself a few minutes beforehand making sure the suitcases were packed, that I had enough snacks for Evie in my carry-on, located my ID, all the while cursing time for flying by. But there was no stopping it, nothing I could do, and we had to say goodbye. So I gave her an extra long hug, and as much as I tried not to cry in order to be strong for her, I couldn’t help it. I cried for Evie also, that she would not get to know this amazing woman, although I was thankful that they had met. That Maureen got to meet her granddaughter. But I knew that would be the last time I saw her, and I tried to take in as much as possible- her waving to us from the front porch as we pulled away.

And it was the last time.

She died two days later. But I got to tell her on behalf of Evie and myself, “We love you, too.”










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Honey Bourbon Glazed Carrots + Evie is 11 months!


Hi everyone!

I can hardly believe my own title- my baby is 11 months old. That’s one month less than a YEAR. That means that one year ago, I was hot and pregnant, decorating a nursery, doing baby laundry for a baby I had not met yet, and longing for a glass of wine. I think about the following saying over and over again, especially now that I have heard it more than once: the days are long and the years are short- how true that is!



As you can see from the pictures, Evie is a pretty happy kid. In a few pictures, I am playing “peek-a-boo” with her, in others, I am dangling a toy. But there are a few where she is just randomly cracking herself up which apparently, results in her sticking her tongue out: takes after me, I guess. (I’m famous for laughing at my own dumb jokes, but not sticking my tongue out. She gets that from her dad!)


First Father's Day!

First Father’s Day!

Someone asked me the other day what my “routine” is. As I reflect on the past year, I don’t really have much of a routine. It has evolved along with Evie and her development. Six months ago, she was napping multiple times a day, required 6 feedings, and didn’t really enjoy sitting around the table at lunch. Now, she is much more pleasant to take into public, out to restaurants, on walks, and she enjoys the pool, the dog park, the zoo, and playing with her buddies. I can cook again, and Evie entertains herself with tupperware, and pulling up on the fridge, her high chair, etc. Her meals also take 45 minutes, so I tend to do some cooking while she eats her finger foods. It has been so nice!

Playing "Peek a boo!"

Playing “Peek a boo!”


So on to the recipe. I have made these carrots a few times now, and they are so easy and delicious. You buy pretty carrots with the carrot tops still attached, don’t peel the carrots to add to the “rustic” look, and drown them in a honey bourbon butter sauce with shallots. I think it’s still healthy, but I’m not totally sure. It’s delicious, easy, and looks beautiful in my opinion. I hope you try it! Thanks for indulging me as I gab about the babe. ;)


Honey Bourbon Glazed Carrots (recipe adapted from Southern Living)

  • 2 pounds baby carrots with tops
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp  bourbon (I used Jack Daniels)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

First, cut the tops off the carrots, leaving about an inch of the greenery. Meanwhile, heat the oven and a roasting pan to 500F. Melt the olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in the roasting pan, toss in the carrots with salt and pepper and roast for about 10 minutes. Then, melt remaining butter, and saute the shallot. Add honey, bourbon and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced. Drizzle over the roasted carrots before serving and sprinkle with fresh time and additional salt and pepper.

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Almond Pillow Cookies + College For A Weekend

photo 1-2

There’s nothing like going to your 10 year (TEN!) college reunion to make you feel old. I expected college to feel as if it was so long ago, but it doesn’t. It feels like yesterday, and that’s disturbing to me. Time really is going by faster and faster. I LOVED catching up with so many friends that I don’t get to run into around town or at weddings. What a wonderful reminder of the incredible community we were surrounded by, and also, how impactful those four years truly were in shaping who I am and the values I want to be reminded of.

Priceless photobomb in the background.

Priceless photobomb in the background.

Being back made me re-appreciate how fortunate I was to gain my college education with such incredible people. I love the lack of competition (at least from my perspective). There was no one trying to one up the others with job promotions, marriages, number of children produced in the shortest period of time, etc. I don’t feel defined at all by my major, job choice, geographic location, college GPA, number of degrees earned, etc. I just feel like me, and it is awesome. It is so liberating. Everyone should feel that way always.

Katie loves reunions!

Katie loves reunions!

And thankfully, social media has also made it much less awkward to run into old friends, giving me a hint of what has gone on in people’s lives over the past 5 years since our last reunion so I don’t look at them quizzically and ask “Soooooo…how ARE you?? Heh..heh..?”

To my point: we don't judge people in sequence pants. We dance with them.

To my point: we don’t judge people in sequence pants. We dance with them.

I returned home, completely exhausted after staying up way past my 9:30pm bedtime two nights in a row, yet energized. I also decided that I will be sending out letters shortly, requiring everyone in our class to relocate back to Charlottesville where we will all live in harmony once again. I think we should have reunions every year. I would absolutely go.

A successful night must end with Gus Burgers and Grillswith.

A successful night must end with Gus Burgers and Grillswith.

So before I left, I did have a chance to try and replicate some cookies that can otherwise be found at Fresh Market. (Yes, you don’t actually have to make this recipe yourself if you live near a Fresh Market- best news ever, right?)

They are chewy, soft, pillowy, almondy-extract cookies, and they are heavenly. I tend to be a chocolate lover, but I make a special exception for these, as should you.

Almond Pillow Cookies: Thanks to The Noshery for figuring this out!


1/2 cup sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 egg yolk
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp milk
2 1/4 cups flour
1 8 oz can almond paste
1 Tbsp milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp almond extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. For the cookies, cream together sugar and butter. Add next three ingredients and mix well. Finally, add the flour a little bit at a time until all is incorporated. Set aside. Next, combine all filling ingredients in a bowl and mix until well blended.

To form the cookies:

The prep is a little hands-on, so I’ve provided you with play by play visuals. First, roll a ball of cookie dough (approx. 1.5 Tbsp dough) and another ball of filling, about half the size. Flatten the cookie dough into a disc and put the filling in the middle. Wrap the cookie dough around the filling and form a ball. Flatten the balls onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes (err on underdone rather than overdone!). Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar and devour immediately.
















And for all you Evie stalkers out there, some pool pics:




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Lentil Salad with a Dijon Vinaigrette + Baby Cold


Hi friends!

This week, Evie has been keeping me on my toes with a little baby cold. It breaks my heart to hear her little cough and  to see her constantly rubbing at her runny nose. Nothing I can do besides pamper her with her grape-scented nose wipes. And the best part is that her reflux is kicking in with her coughing fits which resulted in 3 outfit changes for both of us before 9am today. Motherhood: always a reminder that my needs are now second to the “associate’s” needs and never a dull moment. At least her cold does not phase her mood-wise. She had a blast messing around with Leo yesterday and continues her crawling olympics around the first floor, picking up every single piece of debris along the way and attempting to taste it. *stressful*




Luckily, I made myself some food for the week on Monday while Ryan was home and could spend some QT with Evie. One of the salads I made is this cold lentil salad that I have served as a side with some chicken or on top of some greens for lunch. An easy, one utensil, meal that is healthy, doesn’t involve taking out and putting back 15 ingredients from the fridge (like I do when sandwich-making!), and adding some variety to my otherwise sweet potato and avocado diet. Even Evie can have a few bites with her dinner! Always a plus.


Adapted from Ina Garten’s Recipe. Hope you like it!

Lentil Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette:

1/2 lb lentils

3/4 cup chopped carrots

1/2 cup cooked peas

1 leek, washed and chopped

1 clove garlic, diced


3 tsp dijon mustard

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil



Wash the lentils and boil for 15-20 minutes until they have reached their desired “doneness”. Meanwhile, saute carrot and leek for 8-10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic for the last 2-3 minutes. Combine Lentils, carrots, leeks, peas and garlic and dress with vinaigrette. Serve warm or chill and serve later. Enjoy!



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