One hot day

Hi friends!

It’s one heck of a hot day today and the weekend will be even hotter. I don’t mind the heat (it’s a thousand times better than those negative temps in the dead of winter, right?).

What kind of bird is this? I spotted it in our neighbor’s yard. Wild turkey? It was pretty large and didn’t fly very far. I’ve seen wild turkeys around here before, but this little dude was quite a ways off so i couldn’t tell what it was.

Lunch earlier in the week was improvised in order to use up food in the fridge before it went bad. This consisted of a cheeseburger leftover from book club on a piece of whole grain bread (we ran out of buns) topped with ketchup, mustard, and relish. The winning combination! It hit the spot.

Our sink is seeing more and more dishes these days since we have been cooking a lot more lately. Our dishwasher is getting quite the workout keeping up with all these dishes.

Joel and i had some time to kill before picking someone up from the train station, so we made a pit stop at Vivi for some taro-flavored bubble tea. I can’t get over how yummy this bubble tea is. Joel branched out and got a jasmine honey tea instead of taro. I can confirm his drink was tasty, but my heart remains with taro!

Dinner involved grilled chicken courtesy of Grill Master Joel, brown rice courtesy of our trusty rice cooker, and some mixed veggies topped with soy sauce. If you are not cooking your rice in a rice cooker, what even are you doing with your life? πŸ™‚ For years i boiled rice in a pot of water, but i’ve come to realize that rice cookers take all the guess work out of the process, and you always get perfectly done rice every time πŸ™‚

We rarely have fresh pomegranate but boy is it one of the tastier treats in life! It takes a bit of work to get the seeds out of the shell, but it’s very much worth the effort.

Amy hosted small group this week at her house (we didn’t know if the baby would make an early appearance by now so our friends are hosting until the baby comes). Joel and i brought over a snack to share. Homemade friendship bread for the win! I might have left it in the oven a smidge too long, but the crispier outside made for an even better effect than usual. Our smallgroup pals seemed to enjoy it too, which made me happy.

A bowl of chevda (straight from Kenya!) while working on our puzzle together. We’re making good progress. We got this puzzle at Atticus in New Haven when we were there a couple weekends ago. Joel made a puzzle board out of a big piece of cardboard so that we could easily transport the puzzle to another room whenever we need to use the table for meals.

Breakfast never looked so good. Strawberry yogurt with fresh strawberries, kiwi, and blackberries. Way too delicious! We hardly ever buy fresh kiwis because they are rather pricey, but every once in a while it is pretty incredible to treat ourselves.

What are you up to this weekend? Do you cook every day? What’s your favorite way to beat the heat?

Ever seen a naked watermelon?

Hi friends!

Jamie gave me this lotion –> not only is it amazing for moisturizing (I keep it on my desk and use it on my hands), it also has the most delicious chocolatey fragrance. I consider that a win win. I actually discovered this lotion through Jamie –> she keeps a mini tube of it in her purse and let me use it one time when we were out to lunch. I have been hooked ever since!

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Granola and almond milk for breakfast –> it may not have been my original go-to breakfast (I would have had fruit if we hadn’t run out) but I gotta admit it was still pretty delicious. I have had fruit for breakfast almost every day this pregnancy, and I sometimes I forget that cereals and granolas are breakfast foods too.

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Leftover lasagna and salad for dinner while catching up on World Cup games. I wouldn’t mind more nights like this. We have a lot of games that we want to watch on replay. Is it just me or has this been a World Cup of upsets? It seems like every other game, the underdog somehow wins. Both Joel and I played varsity soccer in high school. Our mutual love for soccer was actually part of how we first met! I’ll have to share that story someday πŸ™‚ We both also played on the same co-ed soccer team when we lived in Houston. I haven’t played in years but I have a ton of fond memories.

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We were out running a few errands when we spontaneously decided to take the car through the car wash. We usually also get all the detailing for the inside of the car but we didn’t have time on that day –> the inside of our vehicles don’t get super dirty so it’s fine to go longer without detailing… for now haha. I’m sure that will change once our kiddo is old enough to toss cheerios and legos all over the back seat πŸ™‚

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While out errand-running, we also made a pit-stop at the deli to pick up a quick meal. The girls behind the counter now recognize Joel since he pops in there fairly often. Being from a small town where everyone knows everyone, Joel likes the fact that he is considered one of the “regulars” at our local deli now.

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This is my my slightly sad and squished looking hotdog with ketchup, mustard, relish, and raw onions. It may not have been the most delicious thing on the planet, but it did a good job of killing those hunger pangs.

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Joel opted for the cheese steak, which also looked a little sad and squished (I think our food got smashed in the to-go bag during transport), but he said it was delicious. While eating, we spotted a bird flapping around the base of a tree that we think may have been a pheasant. We didn’t get a good look but it was quite a cool little sighting.

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We made a trip to the grocery store to pick up a few necessities and guess what we saw sitting outside the store… these super cute fiddle leaf figs! They were only about 2 feet tall but I love how full they are. My fiddle at home is rather skinny by comparison. If the air in our house wasn’t so dry during the cold months, one of these bad boys would have definitely come home with me. I hope they all end up in loving homes where the air is warm and moist so that they stay happy.

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We have a ton of these reusable bags because I get them free with purchases from RunningWarehouse.com. That is my absolute favorite place to purchase running or workout gear –> they have fast, free shipping and often have sales on awesome running shoes (I run in Saucony Guides). We use these bags when we go to the grocery store, they are the best and hold a ton of stuff each! Sometimes we also get plastic bags because we re-use them at home as trash can liners, but most days we stick with the reusable ones.

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We picked up brussel sprouts at the store –> we haven’t had brussel sprouts in a very long while. Joel felt that it was high time to reintroduce them to our meals. I normally LOVE brussel sprouts… but sometime back in the winter I bought a couple bags that turned out to be completely spoiled. That made me not want to buy them because throwing food out (even if it is into the compost) is just the worst. These ones look like they’ll be good, so fingers crossed this experience will win me back to the brussel sprout camp!

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Replenishing our fruit supply meant I could enjoy an apple + peanut butter for breakfast once again. I wonder who was the first person ever to combine apples with peanut butter? Or bananas and peanut butter? Such good snacks πŸ™‚

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Another errand was run –> picking up some wine for book club! I love our wine store but I must say, it feels a little weird going in there for wine when I am 9 months pregnant hah! I got in and outta there in about 10 seconds flat.

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Kelly cut the entire peel off a watermelon –> I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “naked” watermelon before hah πŸ™‚ She said doing it this way makes it easier to cut up into pieces. I have discovered quite a few watermelon-cutting hacks in these past few months! πŸ™‚

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Book club was a lot of fun πŸ™‚ The weather was perfection so we decided to grill burgers and eat on the patio. Joel offered to man the grill, which worked out perfectly because he is pretty excellent at it. All the book club gals enjoyed the book (A Thousand Splendid Suns) and it was nice hearing everyone’s perspectives. Seriously if you have not yet read this book, you really should! It is a little heavy but so so so good.

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What is your go-to breakfast food? Got a watermelon-cutting hack to share? Any good books to recommend?

A brutal annihilation

Hi friends!

Our smallgroup made gift bags for kids on Thursday night. We each brought something different (toys, chapstick, lotion, books, cards, bubbles, etc) and then we all filled each bag with the items. It was a great activity to do together and I am sure the kids will be excited to receive their bags! Jamie and Jeff, the co-leaders of our group, delivered the bags to a childrens’ charity over the weekend. πŸ™‚

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My new leave-in conditioner arrived in the mail! I love this stuff. It smells a little funny but the fragrance fades when it’s in the hair. It works so well at taming frizz that I am willing to look past the funny smell. If you have curly hair and are looking for a new leave-in conditioner, you should consider this one! Find it HERE πŸ™‚

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Frozen Greek yogurt is back in my life and I am ok with that. Such a refreshing treat for summer (or any time of year hah). I saw a couple other flavors but I keep going back to chocolate. It has my heart.

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When Joel and I got married many moons ago (10 and a half years!), his mom gifted me beautiful leather-bound bible with my name embossed on the front cover and a lovely hand-written inscription on the inside. She passed away several years ago after a long while of battling dementia. She was the gentlest and most loving person ever, and was always a shining example of kindness. Recently I noticed that the leather on my bible was starting to peel. To protect it from getting more worn over time, I bought one of these bible-covers that zips up. It has a handle on the spine, a pocket on the back, and also a pen-slot on the inside. I’m glad my very special bible will be safe and sound inside. You can find it HERE.

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Natasha and I got together for brunch at the State Street Cafe –> she had an egg salad sandwich and I had the loaded waffle. It was pretty darn good! The State Street Cafe is an awesome spot for breakfast, brunch, or lunch – their prices are reasonable, their service is great, and their food is delicious! I have never been let down πŸ™‚

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I read this entire book over the weekend. A Thousand Splendid Suns is one of those books that just sucks you in and doesn’t let go. It made me cry! I was captivated by every word. I can’t wait to discuss this book with my book club. If you are looking for your next read, you should definitely consider this one (The Kite Runner, by the same author, is amazing too!). I will 100% be checking out his other books now.

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Hot dogs made an appearance for lunch. I like mine with mustard, ketchup and sweet relish on top. I would have added red onions too but we didn’t have any.

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Joel is reading The Happiest Baby on the Block. I absolutely loved this book and felt that it provided incredibly useful tips for those first few months with the baby. It’s no surprise that so many moms I know recommended it to me! I also liked that everything was backed by research. So far Joel is enjoying it too.

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A honeycrisp apple with peanut butter made for quite the awesome breakfast. I find that I go through phases with apples. When I love them, I seriously love them. And other times I’ll go months without having one or thinking about one.

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Joel’s lasagna dinner, accompanied by homemade bread and a salad on the side. The perfect meal to enjoy while watching World Cup games. We never catch the games when they are happening live, but the re-runs are still pretty exciting. We watched the England vs Panama game from a few days ago. England won 6-1… it was a pretty brutal annihilation of Panama, ouch.

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It goes without saying that we made another trip to Home Depot over the weekend. I don’t think it is possible for us to go a full week without going to Home Depot. #homeownerlife. This time we were looking for a chest-freezer that we had seen on their site online. Unfortunately they didn’t have it in the store so we will probably need to have it delivered.

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Sunday consisted of church in the morning –> once again, my awesome husband pulled up a chair for me to prop my feet up on. Just another day in the life of attempts to stay ahead of that foot-swelling πŸ™‚

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After lunch we walked over to Panera for lunch with a few church friends. I normally get the chicken frontega sandwich at Panera, but this time the broccoli cheddar soup sounded appetizing. This soup is so darn good. I remember going to Panera with my friends back in college and ordering this soup in a sourdough bread bowl. We would split it and hang out at the Panera for a while doing homework or just chatting –> good times πŸ™‚

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After lunch Joel and I walked to Vivi so that I could get my bubble tea fix for the week. Taro milk tea with bubbles HIT THE SPOT bigtime.

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We then stopped by Natasha’s to pick up her hand-me-down high chair. Her daughter has outgrown this high chair and she was excited to pass it on to our little guy. It’s the coolest high chair –> way nicer than the one I had originally registered for! The chair goes up and down so it’s great for tables of any height, and there are wheels under the base (and a foot-brake that Joel is working on fixing) so it’s easy to move the chair even with the baby inside it. I also love that it is super easy to wipe clean, and the removable trays are dishwasher safe. Yet another awesome hand-me-down from Natasha! You can check it out HERE.

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It rained Sunday evening, so we set a big bowl on the patio to collect rain-water which I used for all my indoor plants. I’ll have to remember to do this more often! πŸ™‚

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What team are you cheering for in the World Cup? Curly-haired gals, what are your favorite hair products? Got any book or show recommendations?Β 

If I had 3 wishes

Hi friends!

This week seemed to go by really fast for some reason, and here we are at Friday once again — feelin groovy! πŸ™‚ It’s an absolutely perfect summer day over here. If I had 3 wishes, one of them would definitely be for days like this to happen all throughout the year!

This week I finally made it into the orthodontist’s office to get impressions made for a new set of retainers. I’ve been meaning to come in for an appointment for months! Why is it so easy to postpone stuff like this? My retainers are a few years old and while they still work fine, they are cracking in a couple spots. It’s only a matter of time before they fall apart altogether and I don’t want to risk having to go weeks without my retainers –> we’ve spent way much moolah and time on invisaligns for that!

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We had dinner at Eli’s one night when neither of us felt like grocery shopping or cooking. Joel’s rare tuna steak looked very pretty! But I had to decline a bite hah. Years and years ago I once had a bad experience with raw tuna and have not been able to eat it since, unless it is cooked/canned. I gotta say though, tuna sandwiches are quite tasty. I might have to have one sometime soon. There was a little Mediterranean restaurant near our house in Houston that made the absolute best tuna sandwiches… the bread was nice and crispy and everything about that sandwich was just perfect! I miss that little spot.

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Although my favorite order at Eli’s is their insanely good fish tacos (yum!), I decided to branch out and try their new-to-me salmon dish. It has panko-crusted salmon with risotto, spinach, and a lemon butter sauce. It was delicious but quite a bit more dense than I was expecting, so half of it came home with me for leftovers. It was a highly enjoyable date night –> I’m glad we’re making the most of these last few days of being just the 2 of us πŸ™‚ It’s hard to imagine that we’ll soon have another little person in tow!

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At some point this week I stopped in at UPS to mail a box to my brother Ken who is moving to Singapore this summer. The cost of shipping turned out to be $900 (!!!) so we decided not to go that route. I could not believe how expensive it is… I might as well buy a plane ticket for myself and fly over with the box in my suitcase! hah! Well a ticket would be more expensive than that but still, $900 is just astronomical.

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Sitting on the patio with Joel was a perfect way to enjoy my Honeycrisp apple. I am telling you, these apples are the best. I don’t think I can ever go back to Fuji, Pink Lady, or any other kind of apple. Wouldn’t it be cool to have an apple tree on our property? I wonder if that would attract deer. Or bears. I have yet to see a wild bear in Connecticut (or anywhere) but I’m sure they are around these parts somewhere? One night we were sitting on the patio in front of a fire, and we heard some coyote howling off in the distance. I have never seen a wild coyote in person but it was pretty cool hearing them howl at each other.

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Cadbury chocolates are some of my favorites. This Fruit & Nut flavor is so darn good. I loved this chocolate growing up in Kenya. Another one I used to like a lot as a child was called “Mint Choc”. Oh, and also the “Fudge Bar”. OH YES. If I saw or tasted either of those chocolate bars right now it would give me some intense flashbacks to my childhood.

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I stopped in at Jo Bruno’s to get a haircut. I just had a haircut in January and normally I wouldn’t go back this soon for a cut, but with the baby coming soon I figured it would be a while before I had a chance. I took this opportunity to lob off a few inches, which should buy me some time before needing another cut. It was nice to get my hair washed (they also do killer head massages) and take a few minutes to myself –> I know times like this will be rare once kiddo is here and I’m glad my friend suggested a mini pamper πŸ™‚ They put DevaCurl washing and styling products in my hair, which are made sulfate, silicone, and paraben free, and designed especially for curly hair. Every single product they used on me smelled and felt awesome!

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On my way home I picked up takeout dinner from Rubamba for Joel and me. As I always say, there is nothing quite like a Columbian arepa with barbacoa. This place just NAILS it every time. I’m glad Joel randomly discovered this place years ago. I still remember the first time he introduced me to this spot — it’s one of those little hole-in-wall places that has the absolute best food. I love finding places like this!

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When I got home, Joel was finishing up a work project. While waiting for him to be done so that we could eat together, I read a few more pages of my “Happiest Baby” book (find it HERE). This book came highly recommended by multiple mom-friends totally independent of each other, and I can see why! Funny enough, Joel and I actually learned a few of the techniques discussed in the book during our Newborn Care class. It was nice having the book because it went into more detail about the techniques. Everything is backed by research and the writing style is easy to understand. I will definitely be back referring to this book very often during that “fourth trimester” (first 4 months after baby is born).

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What are some candies or foods that give you intense flashbacks to your childhood? Got any good baby-related reading material to recommend? If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?Β  Β Β 

New furniture and bubble tea!

Hi friends!

What is everyone up to today? It’s been life as usual here, with not much in the way of excitement going on. Sometimes low key weeks like this are exactly what you need.

I can’t get enough of this coconut water! I found it at our grocery store a few weeks ago and have not looked back. We plan to bring some to the hospital so that I can sip on it for electrolytes and hydration. I was trying to save our current stash for then but can’t resist breaking into it every now and then πŸ™‚ Looks like we’ll have to pick up more this weekend! If you have a Stop and Shop near you, you should consider grabbing one of these –> they are currently on sale for 4 for $5.

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Putting this piece of furniture back into its box was like figuring out a 3D jigsaw puzzle. Luckily Joel is great with spatial orientation stuff so he was able to configure it exactly so that it fit. We decided to return this piece of furniture because one of my friends advised that exposed moving parts (like the bottom wooden parts of a lot of gliders) can be safety hazards for little kids –> they can get their little hands caught in the moving parts. Truth be told, I wasn’t completely sold on this particular glider anyway – it was not as comfortable as I had hoped… and the safety thing was more than enough reason for us to exchange it for something else. I’m glad so many stores allow returns, it would be really tough to shop (especially online, which is my favorite way to shop) otherwise!

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Instead we decided on a glider that does not have exposed moving parts. We were really fortunate to have a gift card to help knock down the out-of-pocket cost. From the photos online, this chair looked like it would be much more comfortable and durable than the other one. I’m hoping it will last for many years to come. Another thing I like about it is that we can eventually move it to the living room and it’ll blend with our other furniture without it being too obvious that it is baby furniture. Is it just me or do you feel like when you’re shopping online you never know what to expect? Sometimes the photos are accurate, while other times what you get doesn’t exactly match the photos or description hah! I was pretty excited when it arrived and was exactly the color, style, quality, etc that I was hoping for. Joel was able to assemble it in no time flat and we got it all set up πŸ™‚

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We LOVE it! One of the things I worried about was whether the back was tall enough that I’d be able to lean my head back. I’m a short gal (5’2) so it works perfectly for me. Joel is a lot taller than me (6’2) so he has to scrunch down a little bit to be able to put his head back. He says it is still really comfortable though. I love that it is a glider that also swivels (the previous chair was just a glider). I’m also a huge fan of the tufted back –> have I ever talked about my love of tufted furniture? When we were in the market for a new couch a couple years ago, we looked high and low for a good tufted couch. It turned out to be an impossible task because all the good ones were crazy expensive, so we ended up going with something else. But my love of tufting remains! I’m really pleased with this chair –> it also comes in beige but the “dove grey” color stole my heart. If you’re in the market for a glider/swivel chair, you can check this one out HERE. And the matching ottoman foot-rest (which also glides!) is HERE.

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I had a doctor appointment –> the baby is measuring right on track and is positioned exactly as he needs to be! After leaving my OB, I picked up dinner from Rubamba: barbacoa on Columbian arepas, our favorite meal from there. If you’re in the New Haven area, you really should pop in and try out their Columbian arepas, they are unbelievable! If you are affiliated with Yale you also get a 15% discount when you show your Yale ID. We also have one of those punch cards where after you purchase 8 ish meals you get a meal 50% off. I love Rubamba! After picking up dinner I had a hankering for some bubble tea, so I stopped in at Vivi for a taro flavored bubble tea. It was exactly what I wanted and hit the spot perfectly. This place has a million different flavors but I consistently order the taro flavor. One day I will have to try the lychee flavor and other ones too!

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Where do you love to buy furniture? Have you ever had a Columbian arepa? What’s your favorite bubble tea flavor?Β 

Father’s day date + Kenyan goodies

Hi friends!

Sometimes all you need is a bowl of watermelon and a nice glass of almond milk to get the weekend started off right. I could do this every day of summer. πŸ™‚

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Nothing-added dried mangoes made an appearance as a snack. I get these at Target and wouldn’t mind indulging at least once a week. I grew up in Kenya where mangoes are everywhere just like how apples are in the USA, and I need my fix every now and then! I have yet to find fresh mangoes here that as good as what we have in Kenya, and they are always super expensive. The next best thing is dried mango –> these make for the perfect snack!

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My dad and step-mom brought these “nduma” chips (arrow root chips) all the way from Nairobi. Arrow root is a root vegetable similar to potatoes/yams but with a slightly different taste. It’s nice roasted or boiled, or in chip form! Love these things.

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They also brought us these awesome African paintings. I love them both but the black and white one has my heart. Beautiful!

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Something else they brought for us –> a couple new stools! Remember how Joel broke our old one when he sat on it one day? Hence our request for a new one lol πŸ™‚ I am currently using one of them as a foot stool for in front of the couch.

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A nice cold beverage + fresh summer air = my favorite kind of weekend. I wish summer was an all-year round thing here.

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Do you ever have days where you are hungry but don’t know what you want to eat? That happened to me on Saturday. I must have stared into the fridge and pantry 10 times before finally deciding to go with nutella on a piece of bread.

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Our roomba sometimes gets stuck under this couch, so Joel tied this rope around the legs to prevent it from going under there. I love low-tech, inexpensive solutions that work. πŸ™‚

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We headed to Lenny’s in Branford for a dinner date on Saturday. It was a nice way to kick off the Father’s Day celebrations. Happy Father’s Day to my favorite father-to-be, Joel! πŸ™‚ Our little boy is so blessed to have you in his life!

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We hung out at the bar while waiting for a table. I got some lemonade which sounded nice but turned out to not be the best I’ve ever had (too sweet)… but Joel enjoyed his beer.

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He opted for a rare steak, some veggies, and a baked potato, and he enjoyed every bite! I almost went with some fish but then I remembered that we were going out for seafood with Priscilla the next day, so instead I went with a burger. It hit the spot. πŸ™‚

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We split some vanilla ice cream for dessert. Do you prefer regular vanilla or vanilla bean? My favorite is vanilla bean (the kind with the little black dots –> those are tiny pieces of vanilla!) but I don’t mind some regular vanilla every now and then.

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After dinner we drove to a nearby dock and sat by the water for a few minutes. We had originally planned to go for a walk along the water, but my feet were a little swollen and a walk didn’t sound particularly appealing (just one of those side effects from being full-term in pregnancy!). Instead, we found a nice bench and sat for a while together, which was lovely. The sunset was beautiful and the weather was perfection. It was a very nice way to wrap up our dinner date.

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Sunday morning started with church! Joel pulled up a chair so that I could put my feet up (staying ahead of that foot-swelling hah).Β We sat in the back with all the parents and babies, so we didn’t get any weird looks for having my feet up πŸ™‚

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After church we had an hour of downtime before our lunch reservation, so we strolled over to the Atticus bookstore to browse around. We picked up a puzzle to do with my dad and step-mom and also some coffee and a stroopwaffel for Joel.

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We then met Priscilla, Gautham, Edgar, and Priscilla’s dad at Shell and Bones for lunch πŸ™‚Β  It was so lovely to see them and see how much Edgar has grown — he just turned one. It blows my mind how much he changes every time I see him. He just started walking last week and was excited to show off his new skills. Joel and I have been to Shell and Bones before and loved it, and when Priscilla said they wanted seafood, we knew it was THE place to go. We had an incredible view of the water and all the boats going back and forth. Joel and Priscilla both got the clam chowder for an appetizer — I loved the mini cauldrons that it came in! I always love the food presentation at Shell and Bones.

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Both Joel and I ordered the fish tacos. I have eaten more fish tacos while pregnant than I ever before in my life! Before I got pregnant, I strongly believed that fish did not belong in tacos. Boy was I wrong. πŸ™‚ I am pretty darn happy to have discovered the magic that is fish tacos.

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After lunch we all headed back to our house to hang out for a bit. We made coke floats (brought me back to childhood hah) and let Edgar explore the grass in our backyard. He doesn’t seem to be a huge fan of grass, probably because it tickles his feet when he’s trying to walk πŸ™‚ Priscilla and her family left around dinner time to make it back to NYC by Edgar’s bedtime. Joel and I then popped out to Barnes and Noble to get his very first father’s day gift (a new bible –> his is super old and falling apart). Our dinner happened at home much later, and consisted of some soup!

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…and one or two of these chocolates that my dad and step-mom gave us πŸ™‚

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What is your favorite type of seafood? Ever had a stroopwaffel? Do you like fish tacos?Β Β 

Errand running & dinner breaks

Hi friends!

How are you this fine day?

Many errands have been run in these parts, including multiple Target and grocery store trips. Among the things we have added to our home are these very important socks that came home with us to replace Joel’s old socks (they had some pretty big holes in them).

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Our fridge was looking rather empty for a while there but I am happy to report it is now re-stocked with all the essentials. What is your favorite type of apple? Joel loves the green tart ones. Back when we first got married I used to get fuji apples all the time, but now my all-time fave is honeycrisp. I love the satisfying crunch for every bite. Honeycrisp apples also have perfect amount of sweetness too… they are just so good.

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Another gorgeous watermelon came home with us. Joel is the official watermelon-picker in our house. Whenever I pick them, they are either under-ripe or over-ripe. He somehow knows how to pick the best ones. Same with cantaloupe (my first pregnancy craving which has since disappeared).

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Just in case you needed to see a honeycrisp apple up close πŸ™‚ These are a major staple in our fridge. Oh and that in the background is the rock-n-play we set up downstairs where the baby can hang out or nap. I got the idea from Amy who brought her rock-n-play for her 8 week old. It plays soothing music and has an auto-rocker.Β I hope our little one finds it to be a relaxing place to snooze. πŸ™‚

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In-between running a hundred errands, we stopped at Olive Garden for some dinner fuel. It’s not normally a place I gravitate to, but Joel was in the mood for lasagna and it was right near where we were. He got the stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer –> they did not look particularly appetizing to me so I opted out, but he enjoyed them hah.

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We split a big bowl of garden salad. Anyone a fan of banana peppers? Joel likes them but I can’t bring myself to try them for some reason.

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He got the “classic lasagna”, whereas I went with the alfredo lasagna. His looked nicer than mine –> mine was very white/beige and not very pretty haha, but it tasted good πŸ™‚

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I appreciated the little mint chocolates that they gave us with the receipt. When we were in Hershey PA last month all the restaurants gave out hershey kisses with the receipt too. It was really nice! Perhaps every restaurant should give out chocolates with the receipt πŸ™‚ I would not be opposed to that.

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Raspberry leaf tea made an appearance while relaxing in front of the TV. Priscilla gave me a box of this tea and I’ve been having a cup every now and then. It’s supposed to be great during pregnancy, and it tastes pretty good too.

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I finally got a box of my favorite Kind bars. I couldn’t find them in the grocery store and realized they moved them over to the specialty section with all the organic stuff. If you haven’t tried this flavor, you really should, it’s delicious!

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We picked up some diapers for the changing tables (well not really tables, more like “areas”) at home — I have most of what I need for that. I set up a changing area downstairs and also one upstairs.

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This baby-shower cupcake went from freezer to my mouth in 10 seconds. All I want is a freezer stocked full of these. The lemony icing is so light and delicious. Colleen nailed it! I think she should open up her own bakery so that the world can partake in these incredible treats.

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Joel needed to pick up some wood planks from Home Depot (we come here way too often) –> the tornado pretty much demolished the play set in our back yard and he is working on re-building it. Back in Houston we had a Lowes close to our house so we went there all the time. But here in Connecticut the Lowes is farther away so we almost never go there anymore. I feel like we are at Home Depot at least once a week, sometimes more often.

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We then stopped in at a furniture store to check out their gliders. All the gliders we saw and tried out were very nice but man oh man, they were SUPER expensive. I tried looking for more affordable options on craigslist but all the gliders I liked were already sold. We ended up ordering one from Amazon. It should get here early next week –> fingers crossed it’s as comfortable as it look in the photos!

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Running errands sure works up an appetite, so we grabbed dinner at Rubamba! My absolute favorite dish there is the barbacoa on a columbian arepa. Seriously, there is nothing better than some perfectly cooked and seasoned lamb with a sweet arepa and some avocado on top. If I had a personal chef, this dish would be on the menu at least once a week.

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Joel decided to go with a new-to-us dish –> chicken on a venezuelan arepa! He said it tasted like hot chicken salad, which sounds a little odd but he said it was delicious. He also got some rice and beans on the side.

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After we wrapped up our dinner, we realized that we had forgotten to put money in the parking meter. The car was parked about 5 feet from the restaurant door so all we had to do was peek out the window –> sadly we could see from inside the restaurant that there was a parking ticket waiting for us on the windshield. Bummer! New Haven has gotten more strict with ticketing compared to several years ago.

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Lately I have been quenching my thirst with watered-down ginger ale. I put an inch or two of ginger ale into a cup (or bottle) then fill the rest up with water. It has been a nice way to change up the taste without drinking full-on soda.

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When was the last time you got a parking ticket? Are you a fan of stuffed mushrooms? What is your favorite place to buy furniture?Β 

Lunch fail + a fave summer beverage

Hi friends!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day here in Connecticut – the kind of day that makes you fall deeper and deeper in love with all things summer. What did you do over the weekend?

Our Saturday involved a newborn care class! Since we are newbies to this whole baby thing, we found it extremely informative and fun. We used these dolls to practice our holding, feeding, changing, and swaddling skills. πŸ™‚ We recognized a few of the people from the breastfeeding class and also the labor/delivery class, and it was nice seeing familiar faces. Who knows, maybe we will see them again in the hospital hah πŸ™‚

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After class we stopped in at Nica’s for lunch. We used to go to Nica’s all the time when we lived in New Haven, but since moving into the burbs we don’t go quite as often. It’s a great lil spot especially in the summer when you can sit out front to eat. Joel’s favorite sandwich there has proscuitto, tomato, lettuce, cheese, and olive oil. I like a sandwich that has tomato, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil, but I needed some protein (and I don’t like adding chicken to that sandwich)…

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I went back and forth for a while on what to order and still hadn’t decided on what I wanted by the time I got to the front of the line, so at the last second went with lasagna. I have no idea why I did that lol. You guys know I am not a fan of tomato/red sauce, so it’s no surprise that this was not my favorite meal. I still ate it but can’t say I enjoyed it very much lol. oh well.

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Lucky for me, this Milka chocolate came to the rescue. Years ago a friend of ours raved about Milka chocolate and when we saw some in Nicas, I knew we had to get it. Joel isn’t a fan of milk chocolate so he opted out… I was psyched that I didn’t have to share hah! πŸ™‚

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Our labor/delivery class instructor advised that we bring snacks that are easy to eat and digest to the hospital. A few friends said they liked the convenience of squeezie tubes to get quick nutrition without having to think too hard. I found these oatmeal squeeze tubes at Target and thought they would be good to bring to the hospital.

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Rachel said she brought single-serve squeezie apple sauces with her, so naturally I had to copy her too πŸ™‚ Apparently these are great for postpartum because they also have fiber. These will be in my hospital bag until GO TIME.

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We also grabbed some coconut water for the ol’ hospital bag. It’s great for getting hydrated and also good for getting electrolytes, which will be important during labor. I’ve heard that labor/delivery is kinda like running a marathon, so it makes sense that electrolytes are important! These cans will be waiting for me in our hospital bag. Our bag is now 95% packed, with just a couple small, random items still to come in the mail.

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Another fun thing that happened… Walter and Kelly came over for dinner! πŸ™‚ Kelly made this A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. strawberry basil lemonade… I had 3 big glasses of it and probably could have gone back for more. It’s a perfect summer beverage.

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She also made quite the delicious pasta salad… the perfect accompaniment to our grilled burgers and corn! Summer BBQ’s are my favorite. I could do this all day every day. What is it about grilling outside that is so ridiculously amazing? The only thing that would have made the evening more perfect was if there were no mosquitoes… those little suckers sure do love me but I definitely do not love them back.

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Fireside smores happened after dinner. Speaking of, fires are another summer favorite. It’s a good thing Joel loves to build them, because I am a pro at sitting next to them! πŸ™‚ Fun fact: I learned from Kelly that gelatin, which is in marshmallows and other “gummy” foods, is an animal byproduct.

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Sunday was a low-key day during which we did some relaxing in the morning, then in the afternoon made our way through boxes and boxes of things that have been sitting in our dining room since the baby shower. Our kiddo is incredibly blessed to have wonderful gifts from loved ones. We feel so thankful!

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In the process of unpacking boxes, we put together our very snazzy umbrella stroller. We got the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience StrollerΒ from Amazon and love it so far. It’s nice and light, and folds up really easily. It’ll be perfect for travel, and it seems like a super comfy ride for the kiddo –> which is pretty great, right? I’m looking forward to all the walks we’ll be going on with it.

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All that baby prep worked up quite the appetite, so we hit up Longhorn Steakhouse for some dinner. This restaurant has been one of our favorite discoveries this year. It’s funny, we lived near one in Texas but never ended up going. Joel loves their rare steak and I have been sampling a variety of dishes including their salads.

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I also got a side of mashed potatoes –> I’m not usually a mashed potato person unless it’s sweet potatoes, but this sounded really good for some reason. And I was not disappointed. πŸ™‚

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And a quick pregnancy update! I have officially reached basketball-smuggler status and am feeling big but good over here. I’ve slowed down and the ol’ piriformis niggle in my tushy makes an appearance more often these days. My love for watermelon doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, and I don’t mind that in the slightest. Retrieving something from the ground is quite the feat, and I’ve noticed some weird little skin things here and there. Despite the aches and bathroom trips, I’m quite enjoying being pregnant. It’s hard to believe the little guy in my tum is going to be joining us out here very soon! πŸ™‚ Can’t wait!!

Any labor/delivery advice? What’s your favorite thing to grill in the summer time? Got any recommendations on must-haves for the hospital bag?Β 

 

Superwomen & a new wall

Hi friends!

Anyone tried this Korean restaurant? It popped up a while back and we have yet to try it. I am always game for trying out different cuisines. I haven’t been to a Korean restaurant in quite some time — the last time we went to one was in New Haven years ago and we haven’t been back since. I love bulgogi and kimchi… yum.

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Our rose bush is blooming and looking lovely! Joel was worried about it since it had some fungus on it, but he cut those parts away and the bush appears to be doing just fine. He’s got quite the green thumb.

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Lasagna and salad for dinner – yes please! Joel added green olives to his salad, which never fails to gross me out a tiny bit. You guys know I have never been a fan. Speaking of olives, it occurred to me the other day that I have never seen raw (or fresh?) olives for sale at the grocery store. They are typically sold in glass jars having already undergone whatever processing is required to make an olive. I’m curious as to what fresh olives look and taste like when they are straight from the plant… I’m sure it can’t be very delicious or else they would be sold just like that, right?

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One of the tree stumps from a fallen tree due to the tornado we had a few weeks ago. I was surprised that this particular tree came down. It’s such a big tree that I would have thought it’d be strong enough to withstand the winds. Maybe it was slightly hollow inside? I can’t quite tell from the stump but I suspect it might have been a little hollow, which may have made it weaker.

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Joel is building a new rock wall where the tree came down. It’s going to look really nice! He’s also leveling the area, because it was quite uneven before. He’s excited to re-seed the area and get some grass going. I’m glad he enjoys doing stuff like this because I would have no idea πŸ™‚

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Our roomba kept turning itself off in the middle of the room after running for only 30 seconds. We called the company to report the error code and hopefully get some help fixing it. Their customer service was awesome and they ended up sending us the part we needed for free (even though we were past warranty).

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Joel was able to replace the faulty part in just a few minutes and our roomba is now back to whizzing around the floor, picking up all kinds of dust and dirt. I love this roomba! I program it to run every day and it does a great job keeping things under control. We still have to mop up any spills, but for light vacuuming, this little guy is AWESOME. This is the one we got.

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Many loads of laundry have been done, and many baby clothes, burp cloths, swaddles, crib sheets, etc have been folded. We’re currently using these plastic bins to store our little man’s stuff. We received a lot of hand-me-downs from friends (and some amazing new stuff too) and we are so appreciative that our kiddo now has things to wear! Oh and I am not sure if it’s pregnancy brain hitting hard or what, but those sticky notes are a necessity for me to remember what is in each drawer.

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I’m excited to see how the baby likes his little rocker. It plays music, vibrates (I think to simulate being in the car), and also rocks the baby. Amy’s 8-week old loved it for naptime, so I’m hoping ours will too!

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More baby prep! Joel put together the bassinet – we are using a pack-n-play that has a bassinet insert. The pack-n-play seemed like the best option for us since it’s portable (great for travel) and can be used for older kids. I’m pretty excited that the baby now has a place to sleep. πŸ™‚

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My snack time included more of these Sargento packs that Kristi left behind. It is such a perfect little thing to have around. I could see this as a great snack to throw in your bag for when you’re out and about but don’t have time to stop for a meal.

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Table belly alert! The belly is doing a good job substituting as a table these days. That is, until the little boy inside decides to kick upwards! πŸ™‚ At my last appointment, my OB said he is measuring right on track. I continue to be thankful that this pregnancy has been an smooth ride. I know that many moms out there have a rough ride, and I just cannot imagine. You ladies rock. Plus, all the moms who have other kids to chase while pregnant, I don’t know how you do it but you are superwomen.

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A pretty little cupcake for dessert. I thought it was cheesecake but Colleen told me it’s made with sweet condensed milk. It went straight from the freezer to my mouth and had the consistency of a frozen greek yogurt bar –> firm ish but still easy to bite through.

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Lunch with Natasha happened πŸ™‚ I am so glad she enjoys Thai food as much as me. I ordered a salmon dish that was EVERYTHING I needed and more. I love the big portions –> half of this came home with me for leftovers.

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We had some extra time (and apparently I brought my extra appetite with me hah) so I also got some dessert. You guys know I love mango, and could not resist the mango sticky rice dessert. I sure wish we had a mango tree in our backyard!

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Natasha gave me a goody bag full of essentials for my hospital bag. This eye mask was one of the things she gifted me. She said when she was in the hospital after delivering her babies, she found eye masks super helpful for getting some much needed rest. I am glad that I’m able to learn from her experiences because I would never have thought to bring an eye mask in my hospital bag!

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Moms out there, what were your hospital bag must-haves? Are you a DIY person? What do you have planned for the weekend?