A Portrait of my daughter every week, once a week, in 2015.
Anabelle: Bath time baby.
Sunday, we cooked a pound of bacon. GOOD bacon from Kevin’s bacon of the month club. We finished it so fast, I figured we may as well make another pound. Our house already smelled like bacon anyway! So we made chili bacon. That’s right. We devoured 2 pounds of bacon for breakfast!
Winter in our household is just a little dull. I’m not the type of mother that goes around town looking for activities for Anabelle. In fact, I barely leave the house… At least if I have anything to do with it. If I need a change of pace, I walk across the street over to my parents for a latte, or I make a trip out for some errands. I keep busy though. In between our cuddle sessions under our warm blanket, we play, we cook, we eat, and most of all, I get a LOT of projects done around the house. I’ve started decorating our bedroom, and I finally finished painting our dining room chairs and bought and hung the dining room curtains! I will have to put together a before and after post on here! That room has changed so much since we moved in and it’s now my absolute favorite room!
This post is a little mish-mash of our life lately. No particular order…
So the other day, Anabelle needed a mid-day bath. She loves bath time! We finished and I got her dressed in a cute outfit. Five minutes later she needed a second bath… I put her back in pj’s.
Like I said… We do a lot of eating! But first we lick the jelly of the top of our bread…
I shared an image of our dining room on my Instagram, but I thought I’d share a second. I simply LOVE what the curtains have done for the aesthetic of the room! Finally gave it a completely finished and elegant feel!
Pizza nights just seem to make sense for us in front of the TV. And since we put Anabelle’s play kitchen and table in the family room, she now has the perfect place to sit without getting food everywhere!
The first trimester is hard. And it’s a little different the second time around with a curious toddler around. These are my first trimester essentials, particularly geared towards mothers with a little one already in their life!
1. Maternity Jeans. My first pregnancy, I didn’t buy maternity jeans till I was well into my second trimester and I decided that using a hair tie to try to hold on my pre maternity jeans was just stupid. This time around I definitely started popping sooner, but I started wearing maternity jeans before I couldn’t button my other jeans. They are just so comfortable and they don’t make you get that “I’m getting fat” feeling as you start bursting out of your old jeans. My favorites for this early on, are the maternity jeans with just a little lower waist band. And ASOS has some really affordable, stylish, and trendy pairs!
2. Easy pre-made meals. This is great through the first trimester for two big reasons. First, I was planning on being nauseous for the first several months, and I can’t cook while nauseous! Second, I get so fatigued and tired that it’s just a bare to get off the couch, much less make the husband and toddler dinner! I usually like to make dinners through the week. I make dinner one night, have left overs for a nights and then repeat. It’s my routine, I like knowing what goes into my meals by making them myself, and it works. But through the first trimester I had several weeks when pre-made meals were just a life saver. Frozen pizzas and such work, but I really liked buying chicken or egg salad at either Whole Foods or Butcher Bills, and putting it on top of a bed of lettuce or spinach for Kevin and I and on a sandwich for Anabelle. Takes two minutes and looks like you put forth a little extra effort for dinner. (salad photo from here)
3. Ginger Snaps. I ate these more as a necessity with my pregnancy with Anabelle, but this time around they always sounded good! The ginger helps sooth the stomach, and I’ve always loved them in ginger snap form. They even have good gluten free ones!
4. Deviled Eggs. This was the perfect go-to snack! A healthy burst of protein to snack on. Which you especially need if you end up with up with the popular nausea around meat.
5. Shea Butter Lotion. I’m not really big in belly butters or cocoa butter, but this shea butter lotion I found last summer is my favorite. It’s light, no strong scent, and skin nourishing! This winter has been a little harsh for the light lotion to keep up with, so I just put on coconut oil before I get out of the shower for some extra help.
6. Cozy Blanket. I have an amazing faux fur blanket from Pottery Barn that my husband and I always fight for! But I pretty dominantly had control over it through my first trimester. You need a super cozy blanket to cuddle with when your body is forcing you to rest, so you opt for a spot on the couch so you can still make sure your toddler isn’t getting into anything she shouldn’t…
7. Cartoon Movie. Ok, this is particularly for mothers of a toddler. Anything to keep the toddler still so you can lay down and maybe also close your eyes for just a few moments is treasured. For me, I started buying cartoon movies that I didn’t mind watching over and over again. This included the Lorax.
Shopping for men is hard. Anyone agree with that? Unless you are just shopping for food. I think it’s safe to say all men love food. Not the healthy stuff per se, but anything meaty or in the food group “junk food.” Toffee fits right in! I already mentioned that I made gifts this past year for Christmas, and I shared the coconut sugar scrub and lotion bars I made. But for the men, I decided to make toffee! I know it’s almost the end of January and I’m just now sharing my other Christmas present, but I actually thought this would make the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for your man!
I would like to say making toffee is super easy, because as soon as I got the hang of it, it really was a piece of cake. But the truth is it took me three tries to get my first batch to turn out right. The first time, I whisked too hard and the sugar and butter never browned. The second time, I didn’t whisk enough and they separated. Finally, I studied youtube videos of people making toffee and whisked exactly like them, I’d say it was lightly stirring with a wooden spoon, and it finally turned out right! After that it was a breeze! And it’s so good, it just melts in your mouth!
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
1 cup chocolate chips
cypriot flake salt
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a small pot and stir lightly but consistently with a wooden spoon over medium heat. After about 10 minutes it will start to turn a carmel color. Remove from heat and pour onto paper. Use the spoon to spread evenly. It will start to harden quickly so you have to do this right away. After you have spread the toffee, evenly distribute the chocolate chips over top. After about a minute use a baking spatula to spread the melted chocolate over the toffee. Add chopped nuts and/or some cypriot flaked salt. I put my hand in a zip lock bag and gently pressed on the nuts to make sure the chocolate would hold them. Allow to cool for 2 hours, or refrigerate and cool for an hour. Break into piece and enjoy!
To clean up, just boil water in the pot and the candied toffee will come right off! I’m not sure if this is something every one knows, but thank goodness my sister knew, or I would have been scrubbing for days!
I went to a craft store and bought mason jars, some scrap quilting fabric, and found the cutest tag and stamp kit to package it all up.