Wednesday, December 17, 2014

While Wyatt is Napping...

I remember the good old days, when Wyatt would take 5 naps a day, ahh.  Maybe those little moments of peace are made for brand new moms to have adjustment time.  Now at 20 months old, Wyatt takes 1 nap a day.  I try to put him in his crib about 5 hours after he wakes up (which is usually around 11 am).  He will sleep anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.  I attempt to get things done that I can't really accomplish while he is awake... or if it's been an extra rough morning just relax.  Last week I decided to make an attempt at food photography.  I would love to take a class on this someday!



A few times a week, I actually get a workout in.  Last week I was taking advantage of the free 2-week trial of barre3, courtesy of The Fitnessista.  Man do those workouts burn!



Then when I think about working out but don't actually want to exercise I work on my fitness calendar. Green = done!, yellow = partially done, red = i'm lazy. I try to schedule in 30 minutes of working out a day.  That seems about what I have time for.  After the holidays I really need to make an effort to exercise more, even if it means a 5 am wake up time, ugh.



Wyatt's nap time is also a perfect time to eat!  I usually eat my lunch at some point during his nap, unless I really want him to try my food. Sometimes I sneak snacks in his bowls.  These are roasted chickpeas, crunchy & delicious!  They are made by the Good Bean.  I found them once in Costco, but haven't seen them since, boo!



Once in a blue moon I try to organize something.  A blue moon is once a year right?  Organization is not one of my strong suits.  This week I've been trying to organize my over 800 "Delicious Food" pins into more specific categories.  Too bad every time I do this, hunger takes over my brain, hehe.



How do you stay organized?
To all the mamas out there... what do you do during your kiddo's nap?

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Mustache You Some Questions

I've been seeing this survey around the internet and thought it would be fun :)  Have a great weekend everyone!

Four names that people call me, other than my real name:
  1. Nat
  2. Mama
  3. Natster
  4. N.O.
Four jobs I have had (not counting any current jobs):
  1. Olive Garden server
  2. TCBY 
  3. Motorola intern
  4. Hotel sales manager
Four movies I’ve watched more than once:
  1. Harry Potter - yes, ALL of them
  2. Fight Club - Brad Pitt awesomeness
  3. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - not the Johnny Depp version, yuck
  4. Dirty Dancing - my sister made me!
Four books I’d recommend:
  1. Gone Girl
  2. The Omnivore's Dilemma
  3. Hunger Games - yes, ALL of them
  4. I Hope they Serve Beer in Hell - Hilarious!!!
Four places I have lived:
  1. West Palm Beach, FL
  2. Orlando, FL
  3. Modesto, CA
  4. San Rafael, CA
Four places I have been:
  1. Grand Cayman
  2. Venice, Italy
  3. Belize
  4. London, England
Four places I’d rather be wouldn’t mind being right now:
  1. New Orleans - great food, drinks, and music!
  2. Tahiti - why not?!
  3. Pigging out at The French Laundry - as long as I'm not paying :)
  4. Back on my honeymoon in Belize - best trip ever
Four things I don’t eat:
  1. Hard boiled eggs - nauseating
  2. Mayo - the only fattening thing I hate
  3. Mushrooms - bleh
  4. Cucumber - tastes like grassy water
Four of my favorite foods:
  1. Mac & cheese
  2. Sushi
  3. Burgers
  4. Chocolate chip cookies
Four TV shows that I watch:
  1. American Horror Story - so weird, I love it!
  2. Homeland
  3. Modern Family
  4. The Walking Dead
Four things I am looking forward to in 2015:
  1. Moving back to the U.S. 
  2. Seeing Wyatt growing up - he amazes me every day!
  3. Going back to Ireland to visit Jay's family!
  4. Seeing more of my family & friends
Four things I’m always saying:
  1. "What's our next meal?" - I'm obsessed with food
  2. "Wheels on the bus..." - Wyatt's fave song, I hope this ends soon!
  3. "Ay dios mio" - when my Cuban side comes out
  4. "Wyatt, don't throw (hit, spit)" - he's a little wild sometimes

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hubby's Birthday Dinner

Yesterday was Jay's birthday! He turned the big 3-something, hehe. He was hard at work all day long, so I wanted to make sure that he had an awesome meal to come home to. As soon as Wyatt started his nap, I broke out one of our favorite cookbooks. The hubby requested Gratin Savoyard, very similar to potatoes au gratin, but using stock instead of milk. It is so worth the potato slicing!


After the potatoes were prepped, it was on to the dessert. Jay's request was Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I made it using a recipe from Tyler Florence's new cookbook, Inside the Test Kitchen. 



The cake was done and the moment of truth arrived... the flip.  Looked pretty darn good!



Jay's busy day was over... and we finally got to drink some wine, listen to music, and eat some food!
The plate looks a mess because we were so friggin hungry.  In addition to those yummy taters we had parmesan roasted asparagus and steaks.  Jay is the master at cooking steaks in the cast iron skillet now.  The meal came out perfectly!



BUT, then came the moment of truth... the cake.  It was a total let down.  It was still raw in parts (even though I tested it, grrr!).  This morning I tried to salvage it, but it just tasted like a really thick pancake.  That was an epic birthday cake fail.


Thanks to Jenn for WIAW!

Have any cake tips for me?  
What has been your favorite birthday meal?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread

Happy Monday!  Chocolate is a must to cure the Monday blues.  Combine it with some yummy baked goodness...even better.  Has anyone out there never tried the deliciousness that is banana bread? I think not!  This classic bread is pretty much a staple in our household.


I've made several recipes throughout the years.  Through tweaking and testing all different methods, this is my favorite way to make it.  I make it so often, I don't even read the recipe.  Too bad the one we just had ran out, because now I am craving it as I type.

                    

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1½ - 2 cups mashed banana (about 4 large)
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts 

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8½- by 4½-inch loaf pan by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper (allowing an overhang on sides).

2.  Beat egg, mashed banana and melted butter in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Stir in milk.

3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture and stir until just moistened. Gently stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

4. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



Do you add anything to your banana bread or are you a purist?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Faves!

Happy Friday!  It's Wyatt's nap time and I actually got everything done that I needed to, so I get to blog, woohoo!  I love linking up to Friday Favorites by Housewife Glamour.  Here are some things I've been loving on this week.

Local Craft Beer
We don't have too much longer up here in Canada (not sure yet exactly where we are going).  But I know I'm gonna miss some of these local brews.  One of my favorites is Beau's Brewery's Tom Green Beer.  It is a yummy Milk Stout that we buy for a treat.  Love the quote on the bottle..‟This is The Tom Green Beer. It’s not The Green Tom Beer. This is my favorite beer Because it is my beer.” – Tom Green.



Mixing
This is a fairly new activity that Wyatt likes to partake in.  About once a week I will bake something, and he loves to "help mix".  Unfortunately his batter folding skills aren't baking quality yet, so one day I let him mix his own flour and water.  He loved it!  We finally found something new that entertains him for more than 5 minutes at a time :)



So Delicious Creamer
This stuff is the best!  Great taste without lots of chemicals.  I use it religiously in my coffee, which I need every single morning to keep up with Wyatt's 6am wake up time.  I tried the coconut oil thing for a week or so, but I just couldn't handle it anymore.  I was going through creamer withdrawals.



What are you loving this week?