Monday, September 30, 2013

Paleo Brownies

The hardest thing about eating Paleo is not indulging in brownies, cookies, cake, and all that flour filled goodness I've enjoyed eating my entire life. Well, thank God for Pinterest (and Megan); because I've discovered Paleo desserts!

I found this recipe for a Paleo Brownie Pie and I gave it a try!
You will need: 
4 eggs 
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
3/4 cup raw honey 
3 tbsp coconut oil (melted) 
2 tsp vanilla 
a pinch of salt 

Combine all of the ingredients together in your mixer or by hand and pour into a greased pie pan (I greased my pan with a paper towel dipped in a bit of the melted coconut oil)
The mixture will be very soupy, but don't be alarmed.. it's supposed to be (I think)! 

Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.. let it cool.. and voila, Paleo brownies! 
^please excuse my "taste tester" area and my "oops I touched it with the hot pad" mark^
  If you follow the original source, you can also make a Paleo chololate frosting with more coconut oil and coconut milk, but I do not like coconut so the 3 tbsp of oil in the batter was plenty for me.
  I like a cold brownie, so I enjoyed it more after it had been refrigerated for a while.. but all in all, it was pretty delicious for a dairy and gluten free dessert! If you have any sugestions on what I could replace the coconut oil with, I'd appreciate you letting me know in the comments! I try to avoid all the coconut Paleo ingredients, but sometimes you just can't escape it. I hope this recipe works out for you if you try it!

xo
-Ali

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Aquarium

On our anniversary, not only did Rory surprise me with Disneyland tickets and a vintage chandelier, he got us tickets to the Long Beach Aquarium as well.. best husband ever! I have never been and am in love with ocean life so I was pretty excited. Now that everyone is feeling better, we got a chance to go this past weekend and had the best day.
Logan only took a cat nap on the way down and somehow she was so happy all day long. She is the best traveler.. we are very lucky! The otters stole my heart and I realized how obsessed with sea horses I am.
 
have you heard of a leafy sea dragon? How incredible is this guy?

I think Logan had the most fun watching the sea lions. They were being fed right when we got to their exhibit so she enjoyed watching them diving and swimming all around her.
  
They have a lot of interactive attractions. You can "pet" jellyfish and rays.. the bat rays are so amazing to watch. We are not brave enough to let Logan stick her teeny fingers in a pool of sea monsters yet, so just Rory and I got to enjoy that part; in due time she can take part in that experience!
 This make me laugh. She's her mama's girl; not a fan of elevators.
 
I am really excited to go back.. whenever that may be. It will be fun to watch her experience it again when she's old enough to run back and forth along the tanks and touch the slimy creatures; I'm sure that will be sooner than I realize.

xo
-Ali

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mama Fails

Before I became a mom, I'd hear the term "mom brain" and not think much of it. I have no idea how or why your brain cells seem to dissipate when you become a mom, but my God, they really do. 
                          
I feel like I've had a lot of those "mama fail" moments lately:

-The other day I was in Target with Logan. I got two bags worth of groceries, paid for them, and walked out the door without them. I hear "Ma'am! Ma'am! You forgot your bags!"

-I went back in, got my groceries, walked out to my car.. was buckling Logan into her seat when a tall sexy glass of chocolate man walked up to me and said "Is this your wallet? I found it on the floor by the door and you were the last person I saw walking out."
 
Whhhhhaaaaat? How did that even happen? Double mama fail.. Bam!

-This morning I was taking a shower and I thought "Eh, I'll let Logan stand next to the shower with the curtain open a bit instead of putting her in her jumper.. She's right there.. she wants to move around." So I'm showering away when all of a sudden.. CRASH.. my shower head falls over and chaos ensues. Logan is loving her new waterfall, she's soaked, the floor is flooded, and I have conditioner in my hair. I finally got the damn shower head to stand back up in it's rightful position.. and then I looked at my drenched smiling child standing in a pool of water. 

-I took Logan to the "Duck Park" a couple of weeks ago to kill some time before we had to get Rory from work. I decided to walk next to the creek for the more scenic view down to the pond. I slipped in geese shit mixed with mud.. somehow I held on to Logan while my flip flops bent and my legs went in opposite directions. 

Sometimes I really think my brain is failing a bit more every day. I forget things constantly; so much so that when I put the car in drive, I double check that Logan is actually in the car with me. Being a mom is tough work, it ruins your body, makes you dumb.. but it's pretty worth it!

Do you have any funny "mama fail" stories? I'd love to see!

xo
-Ali

Monday, September 23, 2013

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

Hello there! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I am back, feeling good, and ready to be a happy blogger again. Thank goodness. The last two weeks were really rough and I refuse to step on the scale to see how much weight I gained back. I am a stress eater, and I was stressed. I know it's not drastic, but I can see a difference and that makes me sort of annoyed at myself. Just because things are hard doesn't mean I need to eat Ben & Jerry's FroYo.. maybe it does. This week I plan on getting my butt back into gear. I will start my exercise routine again after my two week break and I am going to be strict about my Paleo ways again. I feel so much better when I eat Paleo and exercise, so I just need to do it.
 

I am coming off of the best weekend I've had in a long time so I am super motivated to start feeling good again. I am so grateful for this weekend, we really needed it. The sickies are finally recovered, we had no obligations, so we spent time with each other and it was truly a blessing.

While I work on a blog post about our trip to the Aquarium (yay!), please enjoy these links:

I miss PB&J sandwiches.. a lot. So I might have been salivating while reading this article about where it originated.

One of my favorites. You know those handful (or maybe even less than a handful) of movies that just make your heart flutter.. this is on that list for me.

A good read about limiting TV time for your kids and making time for family. We don't have cable, but have Hulu and Amazon streaming.. Logan is already captivated by it when it's on (which isn't much when she is awake). I definitely don't want her to watch TV regularly, but a few shows is fine and probably needed when we get into that toddler age.

Hilarious article about shopping at Whole Foods. Rory and I went there for the first time a few weeks ago because I needed coconut flour and I can promise you I will never shop there again.. the prices are just stupid.

I know this is terrible, but it's so funny. Right?

How do people get props onto Splash Mountain? These photos are.. interesting.

I'm sad to see Sarah won't be blogging anymore. She makes a good point here though "it was fun to keep a little online journal of my family and the things we were doing, but it was always a little creepy that people knew about our lives...even though it was me who was sharing our lives with the world!" I think about that a lot actually.


I just heard about this Cheerios "scandal". Uhm, are you kidding me? I don't understand how people can be so hateful to one another.
 

I am listening to this song on repeat lately. It's so beautiful.. listen to it!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

xo
-Ali



Friday, September 20, 2013

Autumn Wears For Logan

It's almost officially Autumn and I am counting down the days. I am dreaming of hoodies, hats, boots, and snuggly blankets.. aren't you? There are some pretty cute seasonal clothing for kids right now and these are a few things I wouldn't mind dressing my little one in.
critter zip hoodie @ Old Navy // fox knit dress @ H&M // retro skulls kids cardigan @ Sourpuss // multi-stripe sweater dress @ Old Navy // fall apple organic top @ ittikid // polka dot knit sweater @ H&M // corduroy jeggings @ Baby Gap // puff sleeve cardigan @ Baby Gap

I am quite impressed with Old Navy these days! Most of Logan's clothes are from there now. I used to be a Target fan, but lately there isn't anything that I like.. which is a bummer because it's so close. I feel like they have too many graphic tees which are the same kind of clothes I avoid at The Children's Place.

Do you have a favorite place to buy your kids clothes?

xo
-Ali

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Not So Perfect Mama

^ look at that teeny tiny little nugget baby! ^
I have always been the type of person who tries to do it all. I want to be the best at whatever I am doing and I want to feel like I am accomplishing everything I set out to do. Motherhood has put a bit of a halt on living in the cleanest home, looking my best, getting things done in a timely manner (the list goes on) and I have come to realize that I have unrealistic expectations of myself; I  cannot do it all. That sucks.

When I lost my job I made sure to clean, do laundry, go to the market, and prepare dinner for Rory every day. I actually do enjoy cleaning but I did it because I didn't think that it was fair to not do those things for my husband; I am very old fashioned in my view of gender roles. Rory was at work doing his job for us, so in turn I felt like I needed to do my job for him at our home. Once Logan was born and I found myself not having enough time in the day to get simple chores done, I began feeling very guilty.  The laundry piled up, the dishes sat in the sink until the end of the day, I never made dinner.. I didn't want Rory to resent me for leaving things undone and unattended. Of course, he would never.. Logan is the first priority, but I still felt like I wasn't doing enough.

Logan is almost ten months now (wow) and we've settled into a routine. We have some off days, but now I know when I can get things done. People always say "rest when the baby rests".. uhm, yeah right! Sure, I'll rest when she naps and never do laundry, dishes, or exercise again. I am glad to be able to feel like I am doing my job as a wife as well as a mom.. I feel like coming home to a clean(ish) house is somewhat of a gift to Rory. Even if he doesn't notice otherwise, it makes me feel like I am doing my job while he's at work doing his.


Well, this past week and a half has been very trying on my "perfect house wife" mentality. Rory was sick with a kidney infection for about a week and it was the first time I had to play the role of care taker to husband and baby as well as housekeeper; it was challenging but we made it through. It seemed as soon as Rory recovered, Logan came down with a fever (and now a viral rash!). I knew for a few days that she wasn't feeling well because she wasn't acting like her normal self.. and now, in hindsight, I realize that I should have put off the garage sale (for a second time) that we had planned. I didn't cancel it because we had already gone back and forth about doing it because of Rory's illness and once we decided to do it, Logan got sick. I didn't want to disappoint anyone and continually "yo yo" their plans. The garage sale day ended up being a bit of a nightmare. I tried to hang in there with being awake with Logan all night, not eating, Logan crying and needing to sleep, no air conditioning in what seemed like a thousand degree weather.. but I just couldn't; and it pissed me off. I was angry at myself for leaving Rory alone to sell our things, to help clean up; he'd been awake all night and didn't eat as well, so I had major guilt over needing to leave to take care of Logan's needs. I wanted to take care of them both, but couldn't.

I find not being able to please everyone frustrating. I do not like to let people down, I do not like to leave things unfinished, I do not like feeling defeated.. feeling like I could be doing better even when I am trying my absolute best. It's hard to not refold my hand towels in the bathroom after someone has used them.. really.


Somehow I have to give up my expectations of being "perfect".. somehow I have to allow myself to ask my husband for help when I need it.. somehow I have to realize that perfect doesn't really exist. Every day I need to remember that spending time with my daughter and my husband is the important thing.. not spending time with them in a perfectly clean home after a homemade meal.

xo
-Ali

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Getting Our Groove Back

 
black eye and fat lip baby // sleepy sick girl // trying to enjoy some fresh air during sick time //
painting // peek a boo // little snow leopard // waiting for dada selfies // autumn owl wreath diy

With Rory and Logan being sick the last week and a half, I haven't had my camera in tow but I still make sure to capture some moments worthy of Instagram on my phone. These are a few of my favorites from the last week (she's still so happy even though she feels terrible). If you'd like, you can follow me here in real time.

I've slowly been coming out of my slump, so thank you for hanging in there with me. I appreciate it! I made that cute owl wreath to kick start Fall around here.. isn't he so cute? I love Pinterest way too much, but it takes you to so many reads and ideas you wouldn't find otherwise. These are some things that I enjoyed pinning after a long day of nursing my hubby and baby back to health.. enjoy!


This makes me laugh.. and feel slightly better about myself.

I may have to start cross stitching because of this Etsy shop.  I want to make everything in it!

I almost peed myself laughing when I saw this.


I am going to have to make this quilt one day... so cute!

I'm pretty sure Boston Cream Pie is the most delicious thing to ever exist.. seriously. So this recipe looks pretty awesome. I'd rather make my own ganache, but this one is definitely going to be a cheat day project.

This home tour is pretty incredible. I am pretty envious of her wallpapered feature wall.. incredible!

I hope you're having a great week!


xo
-Ali






Saturday, September 14, 2013

Here Comes the Sun

This girl fills my heart with such joy. After a hard day, she is here to make me laugh and remind me that each day is a gift that I will never get again. Have an incredible weekend friends; truly live it.

xo
-Ali

*and yes.. that is a naked Farrah Fawcett painted on black velvet behind us*

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Around Here





It's feeling like Fall finally. The weather is cooling down and the leaves are changing. It's so nice to leave the doors open during the day and enjoy the breeze coming through. Fall has found its way into my home already.. with pine cone and yo yo garlands and doily spider webs. I am still slowly decorating because I didn't want to start too early (even though I am super excited about Halloween).

The last week has been a hard one with Rory being sick and with the death of Matt.. it hit me harder than I thought it would. Of course I am sad that he died way too early and tragically, but I have mostly been feeling overwhelmed with sadness for his daughters. The family has made a website in memory of him with a donation page; if you want to read about his life or make a donation, you can go here.. and always, please continue to pray for his family.

In moving forward, not only have I been decorating for the upcoming season, I've been rearranging lots of things, finding new treasures, and finally found the dining table I've been dreaming of. It has two other chairs and two leaves, but we don't need them right now; so they're tucked away safely in a closet upstairs. We've lived here for over a year and now it's finally starting to feel like a cozy home. We've tackled most all of the projects we wanted to do and now there are only a few things left (new bed and nightstands and reupholster the couch).

I am looking forward to taking Logan to the upcoming Simi Fair, the Harvest Festival and Haunted attraction at the Strathearn. She's changed so much in the last month and a half it's incredible how fast she's reaching milestones. She's eating mostly all finger foods (unless we are out. The baby food pouches are convenient in that case), she's climbing up and down the stairs, pushing her activity walker all around by herself, walking back and forth from the couch to the coffee table, free standing for long periods of time.. she is going to be walking soon. 

There are so many memories to be made in the coming months and I am so grateful to be able to have them.

What about you? Are you decorating for Fall yet? What seasonal activities are you most looking forward to?

xo
-Ali