Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
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? 🙂 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 🙂
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?
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!
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.
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 🙂 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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 🙂
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.
Kelly cut the entire peel off a watermelon –> I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “naked” watermelon before hah 🙂 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! 🙂
Book club was a lot of fun 🙂 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.
What is your go-to breakfast food? Got a watermelon-cutting hack to share? Any good books to recommend?
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. 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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?
This week seemed to go by really fast for some reason, and here we are at Friday once again — feelin groovy! 🙂 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!
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.
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 🙂 It’s hard to imagine that we’ll soon have another little person in tow!
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂 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!
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!
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).
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?
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 🙂 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.
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!
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 🙂
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.
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!
Where do you love to buy furniture? Have you ever had a Columbian arepa? What’s your favorite bubble tea flavor?
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. 🙂
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!
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.
They also brought us these awesome African paintings. I love them both but the black and white one has my heart. Beautiful!
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 🙂 I am currently using one of them as a foot stool for in front of the couch.
A nice cold beverage + fresh summer air = my favorite kind of weekend. I wish summer was an all-year round thing here.
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.
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. 🙂
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! 🙂 Our little boy is so blessed to have you in his life!
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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). We sat in the back with all the parents and babies, so we didn’t get any weird looks for having my feet up 🙂
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.
We then met Priscilla, Gautham, Edgar, and Priscilla’s dad at Shell and Bones for lunch 🙂 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.
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. 🙂 I am pretty darn happy to have discovered the magic that is fish tacos.
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 🙂 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!
…and one or two of these chocolates that my dad and step-mom gave us 🙂
What is your favorite type of seafood? Ever had a stroopwaffel? Do you like fish tacos?