Currently | 12.22.2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Can you believe it's already Christmas week?! As the year winds down I can't help reflect on the goals I made nearly a year ago. Did I check everything off my list? Nope. But overall I'm pretty satisfied with how much I did accomplish.

For example, I tried A LOT of new recipes. Read 18 books (plus about 30+ children's board books). I learned new skills during an Indian cooking class and even taught a craft class to other women. I exercised regularly for about 3/4 of the year. We bought a home and oh yeah, I had a baby. A pretty full year if you ask me. As one year slips into the next here's a final update of how I've been spending my time.

READING: This uplifting book about femininity, faith and motherhood. And this article about travel and narcissism.

WATCHING: Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I'm new to the series so we started at the very beginning.

EATING: This super easy and delicious crockpot soup. Followed up with these chewy double chocolate cookies.

ENJOYING: Christmas light displays and annual traditions.

MAKING: Instagram photo books. Perfect for collecting pictures of our little miss.

SPLURGING: Special foil pressed holiday greeting cards and address labels.

REMEMBERING: Faraway and departed loved ones. Sometimes they seem a little closer this time of year.

EXCITED FOR: A New Year's getaway and what 2015 holds in store.

Wishing you a bright and joyous holiday season. See you next year!

Amelia Jane: 16 Weeks Old

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sometimes when I'm out in public with our sunshine girl I'll start chatting with a stranger and get the usual questions like age and gender (if she isn't dressed in pink). But occasionally someone will ask me if I get to stay home with her. To which I respond yes. Every time this happens the other person always reacts positively. They'll tell me how lucky I am or how great that is for the baby. And while I know circumstances are different for everyone I'm quick to agree with them. I am lucky. Lucky that for the past 16 weeks I've stayed home to see our girl make tiny daily changes.
Lately she's taken to NOT hating tummy time. She gets into it. Legs up, arms swimming, torso surfing like she's working towards a new personal best. Plus she's mastered the art of the drool. Thank heavens for bibs. So many bibs. Also, she's discovered her feet. She's pretty precise with her point and flex, which is particularly entertaining when her footed pants have happy faces on them.

It's such a funny experience being a mama. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be so attached to another person. Not only for the obvious reason of feeding, but just wanting to be with her. That sometimes I simultaneously want a break from her (desperately), but then an hour into our being apart I'll miss her like crazy and long to be reunited. This week we moved her from the bassinet beside our bed into her own room. Truthfully I kind of miss having her close. Now that she's five feet away I'm afraid she might just run away and join the circus during the night.

Homemade: Chili Verde

Thursday, December 4, 2014

There's something incredibly comforting about mincing garlic and chopping a heaping bunch of fresh cilantro. A winter kitchen comes to life with such vibrant aromas. While chili verde isn't exactly a Christmas dish, seeing jars of tomatoes blend with green chilies and oregano create the culinary colors of the season and it just feels festive. In my family any time is a good time for Mexican food. It runs in our blood. It's part of my heritage. This recipe is my grandma's. One she learned from her mother. Then passed to her son. It brings to mind my great-grandmother, my namesake, slapping homemade flour tortillas between her hands. My grandma making other native dishes from memory. It's the type of meal that crosses generations and binds them together in the shared warmth of a familiar story.

Chile Verde
(serves 6)

3 lbs cubed pork
2 T dried oregano
1 1/2 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. cumin
2 t. salt
1 t. chili powder (or to taste)
1 can (60 oz) whole tomatoes drained
1 can (7 oz) diced green chilies (heat depends on your preference)
1 can (7 oz) green chili salsa (Trader Joe's has a good one)
6-8 green onions chopped
1 bunch cilantro chopped (for garnish)

You can make this on the stove, but I like to make it in a crockpot so that the meat cooks for hours and falls apart with a fork.  Place cubed pork in the crockpot, cover with spices, and remaining ingredients. Let simmer on low for 7-8 hours. Serve with warm flour tortillas. Also pairs nicely with refried beans and spanish rice. 

Click here for more recipes.

Monday Confessional

Monday, December 1, 2014

I know it's the most wonderful time of year and everything but I'm not feeling it. Nope. Not one bit. Maybe it's because I've been under the cloud of the most nasty cold of the year for the last week, but you guys it's only December and I already feel like I'm living Groundhog Day. Let's be honest, winter isn't my favorite. However am I going to honor this season?

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