5 ::: Things I'm obssesing about

::: 1 :::

LectroFan - White Noise Machine, 20 Sleep Therapy Sound Options and 7 Unique Sleep Settings, White

We had been using a Dohm sound machine since Leo was born, and I really liked it. It was easy, and sounded like a loud fan. As Leo got older, he became more and more sensitive to noises. Roscoe would bark and his nap would be over. My cousin Erin recommended the Lectrofan, and literally sweared that it was as loud as a jet engine. And damn, the thing basically is. It's more of a speaker than a fan, but gets SO loud. I would highly, highly recommend it if you are looking for a noise machine that can get aggressively loud.

::: 2 ::: 
Heather McDonald's Podcast the Juicy Scoop

Image result for the juicy scoop podcast
Ok, back with another podcast recommendation. I've been listening to this podcast during my workouts this week, and its basically like Bravo and UsWeekly had a podcast baby. She's pretty funny, interviews all of the housewives, and has some pretty hilarious stories.

::: 3 ::: 
Charles and Charles Chardonnay

Image result for charles and charles chardonnay
I really like Charles Smith Wines (The Velvet Devil, Chateau Smith, Rose), but I just tried this Chard, and it's good. $10 bucks, sold at Trader's, buttery enough but not insane - everything that I need in a weekday white wine! 

::: 4 ::: 
Image result for therapy ecards
I started seeing a therapist for the first time in my life early this summer. I've always dealt with anxiety, and have taken medicine at times to help with it, but I really wanted to stop the cycle and get over a lot of my irrational and obsessive worries. It's been really, really helpful and the only thing I regret is that I didn't find the right therapist earlier in life. 

::: 5 ::: 
Birthday Party Prep  
Image result for red gingham birthday party
Leo's birthday party is in full swing! I sent out his darrrrling invites this week and picked up a few fun decorations to make it special! We are hosting his party at a nearby pizza restaurant that is sort of everyone's favorite kid-friendly go-to spot. We booked the patio and their manager told me I could bring in whatever I wanted to gussy it up! I'm on the hunt for a few more things, but overall plan to keep is simple, classic, and fun! More posts to come!


Leo - Month 11

Weight: Not sure, probably around 19.5lbs

Nicknames: Leeman, Lee-Lee, Forest Boy, Weeward, Wee-whoa
Clothes: I'm still trying to get one more wear out of your 9 month clothes, but they're getting short and tight. You were a size 2 shoe and a size 3 diaper.
Sleep:  Now that you are out of the Merlin suit, you sleep with a lovey and are the cutest sleeper ever. I sneak in most nights because I can't even help myself. A lot of nights you will sleep with your butt in the air, and you always have your hip-hip snuggled in really close, ideally touching your sweet cheeks. It slays me.

Schedule: Not much changed this month
up at 6:30...with an 8oz bottle
6:30-9am play
8:15am breakfast
9-10:30am - nap
10:30am - 8oz bottle
10:45-2pm play
1:00 pm lunch 
2:15-3:30/4pm nap
4pm snack
6:00pm dinner
6:30 pm bath
7:00 pm 8oz bottle and bed

Health: Very healthy baby!
Crying: If Dad or I walk away from you, you will cry bloody murder! Sometimes, you'll get over it, and other times you are downright mad at us! You've been a little whiney/clingy this month but overall, I would say that the crying has reduced quite a bit.
Feeding:  You are still a rockstar eater! It's hard to find foods you don't like, and we try and give you as much variety as we can. Surprisingly, you do not like watermelon and spicy food, but everything else you seem to love. You eat most of your foods all by yourself, and a lot of times don't like it when we try and feed you.

Likes: You love swimming in the pool, you love your cousin Carter, you LOVE Roscoe, you love your daddy, you love standing and "walking", you love eating, and you love your hip-hip. 
Dislikes: You don't like to be left alone, you don't love hats, and you don't like hearing the word "No".
Milestones:  This has been one of your "explosion" months, I would say. You've been army crawling like a champ all month, but just this past week started to get up on all fours and do a classic crawl. You point at everything. You wave hi. You started to say mama, you give kisses (even to your mom lately!!!), and you understand the word "No". 

I think you might be trying to say "moooo" when I ask what the cow says, but that's debatable, you stand up on your own for 2-3 seconds, walk assisted, and learned to pull to stand in your crib!
Places You’ve Gone: We've been local all month, besides a day trip to Newport Beach to visit with family.

Visitors: You met your Dad's Uncle Denny and cousin Karli this month, and we spent a lot of time with Uncle Andrew, Aunt Corie, and Sulley while Uncle Jake and Aunt Lauren came in from Iowa for a visit.

Postpartum: I'm still saying "I just had a baby", but I think I'm going to have to stop saying that here soon!

Roscoe: No one makes you happier, you light up whenever you see him, think he's just the bees knees, and even started fetching with him which is just precious!!!!


Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers w. Cauliflower Rice

I'm really not a fan of cauliflower, but this recipe is easy, flavorful, and you most definitely don't taste cauliflower.

I had originally found the recipe here, and made a few minor tweaks. I used this recipe was I was loosley following Whole 30, and continue to make it because I like all crock pot meals and we try and keep low carb during the week.

Sausage and In Peppers Sausage and peppers has always been one of my favorite Italian comfort foods, and also rather easy to make. I had been pondering writing some new stuffed pepper recipes due to their easy, and decided to spin the common recipe to merge my love for two different recipes. This is another one that is an easy way to feed the whole family with 10 minutes of prep time, or simply get 3 or 4 meals cooked ahead of time for yourself.  This is a picture before cooking in the crock....:

5 Bell Peppers - that's the max that fit in my crock pot, but this makes for a lot of extra filling, so if you can fit more, you may want to
1lb of hot italian sausage - I bought links and then squeezed the meat out of the casing
Riced Cauliflower - Thank to TJs for doing the hard work for me
1 white onion
1 can of tomato paste
1 tsp of garlic
I use a heavy hand with all the seasonings and don't measure, but I would venture to say a tablespoon or two of the following: salt, pepper, thyme, oregano,


1. Gut your peppers, chop your onion, and then mix all of the white stuff and herbs.

2.  Mix *by hand* the sausage, tomato paste, and cauliflower mix

3. Stuff the peppers 

4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. The second time I cooked them, I had them in the crock pot for 8 hours vs. 6 and Joel and I both thought they were better that way. 

5. Once they're cooked, they lose a lot of crunch. They would be served well with a cold, crunchy side salad with a creamy dressing, since the peppers can pack quite a bit of heat.



Weekend Recap

 I really love Friday's because the morning starts out so well with swim lessons. It's absolutely our most enjoyable activity of the week and seems to kick off the weekend in the right direction.

Joel had a birthday lunch at work, and then afterwards, my bestie Shelby and her son Tucker, and another work friend came by to hang with us. We hung out with the two cute boys, spilled two cups of milk, drank two bottles of wine, and then finally decided to order two pizzas.


I snuck in while Joel put Leo down for nap and captured this sweet gem of a picture.   

Saturday morning I got up early to try and work off the pizza (this weekend was not good for the diet!). 
After yoga and a coffee, I ran home to the boys, had a quick breakfast, put Leo down for a nap, showered and snuck back out for a much needed mani/pedi.

That afternoon we took Leo to the park. He's too small to enjoy most of it, but the kid LOVES the swing. 


Saturday night we decided to celebrate Joel's birthday. The only thing he wanted to do was go to his favorite wine bar, order a solid bottle of wine, and buy a few bottles to take home. 


Pretty easy to deliver!  

We got to Ester's before 5pm and were able to secure a pretty great table.  We had our own mini living room - with better food, wine, and service. 

In order to buy time from Leo, we decided to give him his snack there. We ordered a bottle of wine and a cheese plate, and while we ate, so did Leo. 

We love Ester's, and go a lot, so the staff is pretty amazing to us. Everyone was fawning over Leo, kept avocado coming out of the kitchen, and let him run all over the place! 

I think going out with a baby is made a lot easier when you go to a place you feel 100% comfortable in. Ester's in particular has a patio that offers a nice distraction, and an unfussy atmosphere that doesn't make me anxious to take a baby to. 

For our dinner, Joel and I had the steak tartare which was mind blowing and then headed home. Leo have us over two hours of sweetness, so we knew we were pressing our luck.

Sunday morning - Joel's actual birthday - he wanted to run his age in kilometers with his running group. They set out to do 29k, and Leo and I decided to do a short hike before meeting the group with bagels, mimosas, cupcakes, and tons of other goodies. 

It was a gorgeous morning - they had polo practice right behind all of the picnic tables - so it was a really, really fun morning with great company. 

When we got home, we had another mimosa, made brunch and then opened a few birthday presents.

Joel requested red chicken curry for his birthday dinner, so we made that, and cheersed to a new and amazing year! 


5 ::: Next (dream) House Musts

We live in 2b/2b apartment building in Los Angeles - that I think is about 1200sqft.

The layout is actually amazing....both bedrooms and bathrooms are on separate sides of the unit, which was great for guests and is now great for Leo.  It gives everyone a sense of space and privacy which I think is important.  We have one big great room, with really, really tall ceilings, a fireplace we never use, a sizeable patio, and tons and tons of closet space. 

On the downside (besides the high rent), we don't have in-unit laundry, a backyard,or storage. 

We are all pretty much on top of each other, and as Leo takes up more and more space, the more and more I'm finding myself dreaming of the next place our family will live.

Pintrest (@teatimewithtess) is totally fantasyland, but I've been diving in deep everyday lately, and I thought I'd share a few of my ideas for the house I don't yet own, but want. 

::: 1 :::
The Kitchen

The kitchen I have in mind will have dark wood floors, crisp white cabinets, and dark counter tops. I know that marble is all of the rage, but I don't know if I actually love all white kitchens. I've been sort of feeling very black and white kitchens lately, so if I bought a house tomorrow, that's the directions I would go.  
Beautiful kitchen:

::: 2 :::
The Master
five mile river - Nightingale Design:
Joel and I need to update are whole set in the bedroom, but I think we'll rock it until we can do a total room makeover. I want our bedroom to be a room that is equal parts zen and calm for us, but also comfy and fun for Leo to come hang with us in the mornings too. 

::: 3 :::
Found: The Summer House of Your Dreams - Home Tour - Lonny:
Staying home with Leo all day long has me fantasizing hourly about a space that would be 100% his. I'd like it filled to the brim of out-of-sight storage, an area for me and other moms to chill, and multiple "zones" for him like art, music, trucks, whatever! 

Many many great ideas on how to organize a kitchen, pantries, linen closets, kids rooms, etc:
::: 4 :::
Outdoor Living

Black + white patio:
Leo is the happiest outside, so I really hope our future home has a solid backyard, patio, and/or screened-in-porch. 

porch... yes yes yes please!:

::: 5 ::: 
Leo's Room

Traditional Kids Bedroom By Merigo Design -30 Cool Boys Bedroom Ideas of Design Pictures, http://hative.com/30-cool-boys-bedroom-ideas-of-design-pictures/,:
I had so much fun dreaming about Leo's nursery, I can't believe I'm already dreaming about his big kid room....but I am! I don't sit still for long, and these grown up rooms just slay me.

Nautical inspired kids bunkroom:

And while we're at it, I'd also like monthly girls trips to Mexico, pizza that has zero calories, and a private jet.


Hearty Kale Salad

I think I've posted this recipe in weekly meals, but both my Mom and cousin asked me for the recipe, so I thought maybe other people would like it too.

Originally my girlfriend Laura made this for dinner one night at her house, and I fell in love with it there. I've made it a few times, have made some tweaks, and have come up with a pretty delicious dinner option.

1 pound of chicken, diced
1 pkg of Kale
2 pks of mushrooms
2 pkgs of cauliflower florets, sliced for thinner pieces 
1 cup of pecans
2 cups of cooked quinoa
1 container of feta
Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper

1. Cook the quinoa and bake the chicken - both easy steps to do ahead of time
2. Place mushrooms and cauliflower on a cookie sheet and cover with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper- bake at 425 for 30/45 minutes or until charred
3. Assemble kale, pecans, feta and then add all of the cooked ingredients: diced chicken, quinoa, and mushrooms, cauliflower 
4. Serve warm, toss with extra olive oil (if necessary) and balsamic vinegar

 This salad serves at least 4, if not 5! 

PS. I know some of you asked about the above white bowls and they are from Crate and Barrel. We use them all the time and they're the perfect size for an entree portion of salads. I couldn't find the exact bowl I registered for 3 years ago, but these look like the most similar option.


Bad Mom Confessions

I just saw Bad Mom's in the the theater this past weekend and found it SO refreshing.

Just because you got your baby to sleep through the night at week 3 or your four month old is walking and talking, it really doesn't make you any better than the mom next door whose ten year old is still waking up twice a night. 

I think its really easy to feel proud, and come off as an expert, but this movie really reminded me that we're all doing the absolute best that we can. 

It also reminded me to not lose sight of what is truly important when raising kids: kind, happy, good people. 

But, in the spirit of being a bad mom...I thought I would share a few confessions lately just to make sure you know that we're not always at baby classes or swim lessons, or whatever else I've shown on here to make you think that you should do more - because that is total bullshit if I've ever made you feel that way.

 coffee and wine, sweetheart:

:::Unless Leo's crib sheet is like dripping in pee, I let the small pee stain dry and put him at the opposite end of the crib for his next nap. We don't have in-unit laundry and his pee is basically water.

::: I've convinced Joel that Leo only needs a bath every 3rd or 4th night because his skin can get really dry.  Leo's eczema flare up is gone but I'm sticking by my sentiment because the bath just adds twenty extra minutes to his bedtime routine and I don't feel like doing it every other night.

::: Speaking of bedtime routine, Leo lately has been playing in his crib for almost 45 minutes at night. but there is no way I'm stretching his bedtime....by 7pm, I need to clock out.

::: I sleep with earplugs in and many, many times have forgotten to turn the monitor on at night

::: Leo is always dressed adorably, and I always look like his underpaid nanny. 

::: Roscoe is somewhat like another toddler in the house, and I end up screaming at him to stop barking at least 100x a day, so now he takes naps when Leo does too. He goes into his kennel in one room, and Leo goes into his crib in the other, and I relish in the silence as best as I possible can.

::: I had to try on bathing suits at target this week with Leo in tow, and struck gold with getting the extra large dressing room so Leo could crawl around the floor.  All was perfect until I found him sucking on the door stopper that had chewed gum on it!!!!!!!

::: I'm trying everyday to get Leo to like a TV show. I would love it if he would sit and watch Paw Patrol while I jump in a ten minute shower, but he has no interest at all. It would also be VERY handy while we travel if he would watch something for a few minutes so I'm literally training him with a few minutes each day

::: Every day during Leo's nap, I take the dog outside. (Mom, DON'T FREAK OUT!). I always lock the door, take my keys and the monitor, and let Joel know when I leave and when I come back. I stay right in front of our building and go outside for like 4 minutes, but it sort of thrills me in a sick way each day I do it.

::: We switched cleaning ladies recently and our new one isn't half as good as our old one (and more expensive), but she does our laundry and folds it, and I will clean up after she leaves to prove to Joel that she is way worth the money. I hate laundry that much.

::: Very few days of the week do I wait for 5pm to have a beer or a glass of wine

::: In that vain, I feel like I day drink more now than I ever have in my entire life. These mom play groups or lunches after a class very rarely don't include a drink.

::: Every single day I try and get Leo to learn a new trick, because it gives me anxiety that I'm not teaching him enough. Like, how long do you practice "blow a kiss"? I've sat in front of him for two weeks trying to get him to attempt it with no luck. And that sometimes worries me.....am I a bad teacher? Is Leo a bad student?

::: I'm on my phone WAY too much during the day, and I feel a lot of guilt about it, but I get freaking bored.

::: I don't really flinch at crying. I've always been totally ok with letting Leo cry it out. Unless he is screaming in pain, he's staying in his crib until 6:30am every morning. And, I get car sick in the back seat, so there is no way I'm sitting back there either. Some of my girlfriends literally run into the bedroom when their babe starts to whine, and I sort of wonder if maybe I'm too tough!


I'm sure if you asked Leo, he could give you about 15 more confessions, but lets just keep it at this for today!

Don't leave me hanging here...........cough up a confession to make me feel a tiny bit better about my parenting skills!!!!


Weekend Recap

Thursday nights were always the beginning of the weekend in college, and lately it seems that I'm bring that back!

I ended up driving to Joel's office at the end of the work day so that he could take the baby home and I could meet some girls for happy hour (clearly the better end of the deal). Ami, Shelby, and I hit up Wally's in Beverly Hills.

I love this spot...it's groovy...but our server sucked! He had such an attitude! Regardless, our time together - and champagne and cheese plate were perfection. (PS. Ami has a great blog detailing the planning process of her soon-to-be amazing wedding, and its worth checking out!) 

Also - I really can't help myself from sleep stalking, and I'm sure no one will find these pictures as heart melting as I do, but I literally can't help myself with that booty popping!!!

Friday we had swim lessons and this week my cousin Erin, and her daughter Carter joined us.

Leo swam SO well! He puts his head under water and kicks his feet like a little pro. I love our weekly swim lessons, and I'm actually blown away at the improvement I've seen. If you are in LA, we go to The Jim Herrick Swim School in Studio City.

On our way back from swim lessons, we stopped at In-N-Out burger, and hung out the rest of the afternoon together. The babes were both really tired from swim, so our pizza dinner party had to be scrapped, but Joel and I enjoyed the pizza and wine, watched a lot of Olympics and called a night.

Saturday morning, Joel and I both got runs in and then we took a mini road trip to visit family down in Newport Beach.

Joel's cousin is doing an internship at Disney, so we met her and her dad for lunch in Corona Del Mar, along with Uncle Andrew and cousin Sulley. We had a great lunch, and then afterwards walked around the beautiful neighborhood (and I want to move there now).

It took us forever and a day to get home and when we parked the car at home, we discovered someone had a larrrrge car seat blow out.....

Thankfully he is cute.

Sunday morning I got up and got in a yoga sculpt class.

I needed to run some errands, so after a morning with Joel and Leo, I kind of left them high and dry (and it was glorious!).

Once I was done, I met some friends for a glass of wine before we cozied up at the AMC Dine-In theater for Bad Moms.

 I'm now obsessed with dine-in theaters. Literally, there is not point to see a movie anywhere else!

And, if you haven't seen Bad Moms....you need to.

It's adorable, hilarious, sweet, and relateable. I haven't laughed out loud so much at movie in a long time!

Joel made brats and a caprese salad for dinner on Sunday, and we toasted to a weekend well spent!