My beautiful boy is 5 months old. The top ridge of his first tooth has popped through the gum and he’s minutes away from crawling. He’s growing so incredibly fast. I take note of the changes that occur daily, each one leaves me in awe. Never could I have imagined the little person that was inside of me being this perfect; this silly, this cuddly, this relaxed, this aware. And his sense of humor – it’s so ON. He gets it. I love that about him. Who am I kidding? I love everything about him. Watching him grow has been the greatest joy of my life so far…and he’s just getting started!
I had a hankering for cake the other day. Much to my delight, I already had the necessary ingredients in my kitchen. We were sorely overdue for a grocery run when this craving hit so the fact that I had everything was serendipitous to say the least. [score 5 points for using ‘serendipitous’, my favorite word of all time!] I did my usual Pin-head* searches for simple, old fashioned cake recipes and found this one. It worked like a charm. I searched separately for a cream cheese frosting and this is what I found…also worked like a charm. Bada bing, bada boom! A cake was born. In the process of making this cake I realized that I’d really like to step up my decorating skills. I think it’s time to invest in some pastry bags and fancy tips and all that jazz. To put it ineloquently: I’d like to possess the ability to pull a delicious, moist and beautifully decorated cake out of my ass; anytime, anywhere.Yes, folks – – – my idea of talent!
*Pin-head – an avid/obsessive Pinterest user; to the point of insanity.
On Sunday we took a leisurely walk from JLS —> Chinatown —> Uptown and decided to grab a bite to eat at Duende. The walk itself was fun but unremarkable; we go on walks as a family all the time. However, the fact that we had such a lovely dining experience at the restaurant meant a lot to Holly and I. Namely because we had our 5 month old with us and we were still able to fully enjoy, relax and appreciate our eats + drinks. These days, we find ourselves eating standing up, eating hastily, eating food after it’s gone cold, etc. This happens more often than not and it comes with the territory of having a little one… so for a minute there we hit the pause button on going out to eat at the schmancy joints. Plus, we reeeaallyyy don’t ever want to be “those people” with the unruly child that disturbs the rest of the paying customers. Being that our family livelihood is rooted in the food + bev industry it’s supes important that we conduct ourselves in a certain way while in public places. JJ is still just a baby but he’ll learn this as he gets older. For now though, he’s pretty mild-mannered and it really showed when we went to Duende. He was mellow and chatty. He flirted with the manager that came over to say “hi.” He polished off a bottle, rested his head on Mamo’s chest and seemed generally unbothered by the organized chaos around us. We were so impressed. It felt great to be able to enjoy a glass of wine and some paella in peace. Go Juju! Keep up the good work!
Yup, we really call her “uncle.” It was a joke that stuck. Obviously, Marissa is a beautiful, stylish and feminine Woman with a capital W. We love her and she’s one of the most important members of our little Bay Area framily. She and Juju can talk and laugh and play for hours – I love watching the two of them together. I’m tellin’ ya this kid has some kick-ass women in his corner. Man, what a lucky little boy. xo
Back in June we went to visit family in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We all stayed in a big Airbnb house that had this gorgeous pool with beautiful, lush greenery surrounding it. We were pumped and ready to slip into some cool water in that Florida heat. We bought JJ this adorable little pineapple rash guard and trunk set in anticipation of his first time in a pool. The water was on the cooler side but not cold by any means. Holly took him first and waded him into the surface of the water; toesies first then bum. We only dipped him about halfway in and he seemed a little apprehensive and lot curious. Overall he didn’t have much of a reaction. I think he enjoyed it, though. In all honesty I’ll remember this moment not just because we have the photos, but because within 5 minutes of entering that pool I had 6 mosquito bites (of which I still have the scars on my back!). Totally worth it for my little water baby in the making. <3
A few weeks back we attended H’s work party at Fort Mason in SF. It was an outdoor picnic and in true San Francisco style it was foggy, grey and freezing cold. *thumbs down* We bundled ourselves up and went – we still had a blast. I was too busy socializing and sipping rosé to take proper photographs. H wore Jude in his carrier to keep him warm and comfy. On our way back home as we drove through downtown we stopped for coffee and happened upon two empty, stationary cable cars. Now these are a signature of San Francisco; the tourists line up for hours just to ride one and there are only a few trolley lines available. I’ve never ridden one so I seized the photo-op as best as I could before they took off again. The pictures turned out cute. Something for Juju to remember his birthplace by. Us, the trolley, an a cold July day in San Francicso. <3
Sorry for the picture quality on this one but this meal was a victory for me today, y’all! This morning I made a few batches of baby food for Jude and I mucked it up by using honey in the sweet potatoes instead of sugar. For babies under 1 year honey is a big no-no apparently. Whoopsie! I only added a tiny bit of honey and some coconut oil. It tastes delicious but he can’t have it. I hate to waste food, especially lovingly-prepared food so I thought I’d eat it myself for dinner. I consulted with Holly about what flavors go with sweet potatoes and she suggested chicken with herbs and lemon. Man, was she right on the nose! I roasted whole chicken legs in a mix of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary), scallions, lemon, butter + olive oil, salt and pepper. I placed the chicken over the warmed sweet potato purée and drizzled some of the pan drippings over top. I sprinkled on some cayenne for kick. Basting the chicken while it cooked really kept it moist. [sidenote: I actually like that word] The flavors worked together so very well. Even though I had to eat it standing up – mom style – it was still amazing. I’m so proud of this one, you guys. I’ll be repeating this one soon. Baby food + a protein = gourmet meal. Go figure!
The residual effects of pregnancy are plentiful and not often mentioned. I heard somewhere recently that it takes approximately 7 years for the female body to fully recover from childbirth. That’s a long ass time, you guys! We have a running joke in our house where I mention something that’s bothering me, an ailment of some sort, and H will say “oh yeah, I read that that’s a postpartum symptom.” I usually smirk and give her an incredulous look. If I said that I can now shoot flames out of my eyeballs she’d probably respond in the same way! But #realtalk my hair has been falling out at a pace that makes a vain girl like me very sad. Very embarrassingly sad. I already have fine hair but now I’ve got a lovely receding hairline, too! Add that to JJ’s tendency to grab my hair any chance he gets and you’ve got a recipe for a much needed change. So, my girl Marissa and I made appointments at the Aveda beauty school in SF and we got our hairs cut together. I love how it turned out! I’d say that the angled bob is the current version of the “mom cut” and I’m just fine with it. It’s flattering, stylish and so easy to maintain. Bonus: I can still pull it up into a pony tail! [insert cha-ching arm motion]. Say what you will, MOM CUTS FTW!
One of the best friends that I’ve made here in the Bay Area is my girl Rachel. She’s one of the most open people I know. She’s spirited, she’s adventurous and so very loving to those that she cares about. She’s been such an incredible auntie to JJ. He just loves her and he lights up whenever she comes around. We met Auntie Ray for coffee in her new neighborhood recently and I snapped these shots of her and Jude. This is the state that they’re usually in when they’re together: smiley, playful and happy. We <3 you, Auntie Ray!