6.13.2016

Weekend Recap

It feels remiss not to take a second to recognize that hundreds of families are waking up in Florida with the worst weekend recap imaginable.

The unthinkable happened again, and these families truly have to bear the unbearable. I'm so, so sorry. My heart breaks for them, the victims, the survivors, us, them.....This is a scary world and with each passing day, seems to get scarier. 

The fact is that we are not safe. We are not safe at school, we are not safe at the gym, we are not safe at church, we are not safe at dinner or at a club. How are supposed to stomach that? 

I know we cannot live in fear, so I will try hard not too - and I hope the same can be said for you too.

My goal for today is to try give an act of service for my neighbors. I'm going to finally donate that bag of clothes that has been sitting in my closet. I'm going to let someone go ahead of me in line tomorrow. I'm going to buy a drip coffee for the homeless man that sits outside of Starbucks. I'm going to say hello to every person I walk by on the street.

It has to count for something.... and as President Obama said yesterday in his speech:
 "To Actively Do Nothing is a Decision"

So let's do something. 

---

 This past weekend was exactly what our little family needed before all chaos breaks loose on Wednesday (we leave for a month in Chicago)! 

Friday morning we started off with swim lessons, which I've shared before, is my favorite activity of the week.


Not only does Leo love it, he's getting better each and every week and he also takes the most amazing afternoon nap! 


When he woke up, him and I walked into our little downtown area, Westwood Village. We picked up some groceries for the weekend and then met Joel at a fun and fast taco spot, TLT Food. 


I really like taking Leo out to restaurants but we do have to choose wisely! We like to go somewhere that's loud (or outdoors) and allows us to get in early and get out fast! 


And if you follow me on snapchat (tshields622) you probably saw that Leo realllly likes to scream at restaurants! Thankfully the couple sitting next to us thought it was hilarious.  


Recently the best part of taking Leo out to dinner with us (minus the fact that someone else does the dishes) is that he gets to try all of the food we order. It's been fun finding out what he likes (avocado, any cheese, bread) and what he doesn't (chicken in sauce).

Leo and I won't be with Joel on Father's Day, so we had our own Father's Day on Saturday.


I set this little table up while Joel loaded Leo into the car for a quick day trip up to Santa Barbara. We left the house about 8:30 which timed up nicely with Leo's morning nap.

 

We got up to Santa Barbara at 10am and walked through our favorite antique shop. We were on the hunt for a few things (a leather ottoman and new art for above our couch) which we didn't score, but we found a really cool vintage globe that we had to scoop up. 

We took a breakfast break in the car for Leo and then took a long walk along the water.


It started to drizzle, which felt like a sign from above to find a wine bar. 

We popped into our favorite shop "Corks'n'Crowns" and had the entire place to ourselves. To me, there is nothing more perfect than a chilly, gloomy day when you are in wine country. It honestly makes me giddy.

I set Leo up on the floor with a blanket and toys, the staff put on the James Taylor pandora station, I had a glass of champagne (Joel a delish Pinot Noir) and we just hung out. 


We were happy hanging alone, but eventually two couples strolled in - both from Chicago! - so we had fun chatting with them, re-joined the Corks wine club, did a little wine shopping and then made our to lunch. 

We went to Les Marchands which I would highly recommend if you find yourself in Santa Barbara. They have a tiny but knock out (and always changing) menu with walls and walls of amazing wine. 

(Sidenote: Did you watch Somm or Somm 2? One of the guys Brian McClintic is the owner!)

 

We had an outstanding lunch - we split the chicken sandwich and brussels spouts salad and we basically licked both plates. 

After lunch we made one necessary stop - picking up sandwiches for dinner at Metropolis - before driving back home to LA.

It was Joel's perfect day, and he truly deserves nothing but that. He's an amazing, amazing Dad (and husband) and we are beyond proud to call him ours. 


Sunday morning, Joel and I each got in long runs, Joel (11) and me (4.5), and then spent the rest of the afternoon packing for our trip to Chicago! 

LONG gone are the days of light packing. 

I'll be gone for a month, and let's just say, it truly looks that way.

I snuck out for a mani/pedi during an afternoon nap, and then we made this cheese fondue in the crock pot! 


We had it with a bottle of Chard that we bought in SB, and cheersed to weekend very, very well spent. 

 :

6.09.2016

Life Lately


::: This is our last week in LA until we pack up and head to Chicago for a month. I've tried to soak in as much time doing our favorite things like walking to the park, seeing friends for happy hours, morning hikes and cooking dinner at home. We're going to have a blast in Chicago, but I know I'll miss our routine at home too!



::: We did our civic duty and took Leo to the polls on Tuesday! He was the hit of the show, and has been proudly rocking his "I Voted" sticker all week.


::: My sisters sent me this article about "14 things that happen when you are a long distance aunt" and it made me smile, cry, and laugh. Buzzfeed nails it again.



::: On a VERY different note, if you haven't watched this CNN video that has gone viral, it might be worth a watch. It is a news anchor who reads "A gut wrenching letter from Stanford Rape Survivor" I'm not even going to leave my two cents on it, but its powerful, heartbreaking, important, and very likely worth a watch. 

Image result for CNN anchor breaks down reading victims letter 

No appropriate transition.

::: I'm in need of new sunglasses. I haven't bought a new pair in more than a year so I think I'm overdue. I'm leaning towards this popular Celine pair...although I haven't tried them on, so they could be a little harsh.


:::  A few of my girlfriends and I had an impromptu sushi and wine night this week with a bunch of little kids. We were all holding, feeding, playing, and managing everyone's babies....bouncing from kid to kid, just trying to keep everyone happy and trade off taking bites of food and sips of wine. Girlfriends like that are a dime a dozen - to take in your kids like their own, and do the same with theirs is a very, very, very important thing and I feel really lucky to have friends like that. 
 

:::: It's been a big week for Leo! He started to say Dada (not necessarily at or for Joel, but we're pretending!) and has been exploding in every other area. He's eating like a champ (we tried peanut butter and eggs this week!), is really trying to crawl, and is coming into his flirty, funny, and adorable little personality.



::: When I get back from Chicago, I have a few sprucing things I want to do to our house. We need a little refresh in some areas - new pillows, new pictures, new plants and pots, and other little touches that are ready for an update. I love this idea for showcasing artwork in a playroom for down the road.

I'm very excited to share a practical and beautiful solution for showcasing all that artwork your kids create! Like so many five-year-olds, my daughter Adelaide is a prolific artist. We ran out of ...:  

Did anyone else think today was Friday?? 

Inspirational quotes:

6.07.2016

Carb Free (and Healthy) Enchiladas



I'm not a fan of zucchini - unless its baked into bread (and served with butter)- but I actually really, really liked it in this recipe.

The entire dinner tastes very indulgent, but is pretty low-cal, hearty, and filling, and held up well for lunch the next day too. All important qualities for meals around here. 

I used this recipe as my base. 

IMG_0127


The Goods: 
  • 6 zucchinis 
  • Olive oil
  • 1lb ground turkey
  • Homemade taco seasoning
  • 3 cups total of shredded cheese
  • 1/4c of cream cheese
  • 1 Bunch of cilantro
  • Red Enchilada sauce 

Directions:  
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 and slice zucchinis in half. You will want to scoop out the insides. I use a knife first to outline and then use a spoon to scrape. Place in a 9x13 dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes


2. Brown ground turkey and heavily season with taco seasonings.

3. Mix ground turkey, 2 cups of shredded cheese, cream cheese, and half the diced cilantro in a bowl. Then, fill zucchini boats with mixture, top with enchilada sauce, remaining cheese and cilantro

at this point, I had more stuffing than I did zucchini's so I put all of the extra stuffing around the boats.

 

4. Bake boats for another 15-20mins, or until bubbling


I served ours with refried black beans which paired really well! Hope you enjoy! 

6.06.2016

Weekend Recap


 Friday's are one of my favorite days of the week lately - well, they always have been actually - but we start our Friday with a large latte and swim lessons which typically get our mornings started off on the right foot.

Plus, swim lessons normally guarantee an awesome nap, so the day just tends to unfold quite well. 

During Leo's nap on Friday, my girlfriend came over for a drink and we caught up and I got ready for a night out. 


We had a babysitter come at 6:00pm, and once we got her settled, Joel and I escaped to a wine bar for a drink.  


We had a dinner party at 7:30pm, but we wanted to sneak in some alone time since we were paying for a babysitter. 


After our drink, we went to a new friends house for an awesome dinner. We didn't sit down for dinner until 9pm, which is late for us these days, so we didn't get home until almost midnight.

However, when we got home, we had the best box waiting for us in our lobby.  
 

My friend MJ who works for Golden Flake (a southern chip company) had sent us a box filled to the brim of different types of chips - so after the sitter left, not going to lie.....Joel and I ripped into a few bags then and there!


Saturday I snuck away to get my hair done, and the rest of day we just hung out at home. We made chicken pot pies for dinner, split a bottle of wine we had bought the night before, and watched a movie.

Sunday morning after a run with Joel and Leo, I had a brunch date with another new girlfriend at Farmshop in Brentwood.

When I got home, Joel and I had a "stock the freezer" day. I wanted to load Joel up with some dinners for while I'm gone, so we spent a few hours in the kitchen chugging it out! 
 
 

  

I actually find it fun to spend a Sunday cooking with music and beer - and it makes me feel so productive to look at a freezer full of meals. These are our typical go-to's for meals that freeze well, but I want to try a few new ones once I get back from Chicago.

We had a productive and fun weekend together - and I'm ready to enjoy our last full week at home together before our long summer trip sneaks up on us next week! 



6.03.2016

Five on Friday

::: 1 :::


This week I took Leo to the Getty - a really cool art museum here in LA. I had high hopes of it being a real cultral event for my little 8 month old, but I think we ended up spending more time waiting for elevators than we did looking at any real art. I think we'll go again when we don't need a stroller. 
::: 2 ::: 
There has been a baby explosion within my group of girlfriends and within the last 6 weeks we have welcomes three baby girls! I had the opportunity to meet sweet AJ and bring dinner to her parents house. This is their second baby, and going to their house on day 3 of being home was really eye opening.
When I had Leo, on day 3, I literally had felt like my world had been shaken, turned, twisted. Nothing was the same, everything was overwhelming, and we all were just tip toeing in our new weirdness.

My friends gave me hope that with baby number 2, you are just a loooooot cooler about everything! They're rocking it! 

::: 3 :::

Chef's Table Season 2 came out this week and the first episode is based on Grant Achatz and his Chicago based restaurant Alinea. It was an amazing episode, beautiful, inspiring, and wildly entertaining. I highly recommend it (its on Netflix) if you get an hour this weekend! 
::: 4 ::: 

Leo is really loving our trips to the park, which is crazy to think that I'm starting to have a kid that I can take to the park! How is this possible??! He thinks the swings are just the coolest thing in the world and spends all 15 minutes giggling to himself with pure joy. 
::: 5 ::: 
I can't believe its already the weekend....short weeks are amazing! We have a dinner party with new friends tonight, I'm sneaking away to get my hair highlighted, and we're stocking the freezer with some freezer meals for when I'm gone in Chicago. 
 :

5.31.2016

Memorial Day Weekend Recap


Whoa, we've been moving at record pace these days. 

For the first 5-6 months of staying home with Leo, I felt like I wasn't meeting new mom friends....and just in the last month or two, I've met like 4 new friends that I really, really like. It's been fun to have new play dates and get to know other moms in LA, so we've been keeping really busy during the days.


And on Thursday my cousin Ryan came into town. Her sister, Erin, lives in LA and so she is staying with her for a week to help with her new baby. 


Each morning though, I've stolen Ryan and we've gone and worked out. Last Thursday we did Westridge and then met Erin and Carter for an early lunch. 

and I'm so bad - I don't even take pictures anymore, I'm just attached to snapchat (tshields622) so if you follow me there, I doubt any of this is new information! 

 

Friday night Joel and I ordered pizza and started watching Somm 2: Behind the Wine. It's on Netflix and it's really interesting if you a. Saw Somm and b. Love wine! 

Saturday morning Ryan, Leo and I hit the trails bright and early again.  


After our hike, we met friends at Golden Road Brewery in Burbank. It's such a fun brewery because it's really kid friendly, so we hung out there from 2-5pm and just had a blast. 

  
That night we got home, had leftovers, and ended up playing a really fun game on the ipad. It's an app called "Chatoms" and it's basically conversation starters/prompts, but actually interesting ones. It was nice to just listen to music and talk rather than lose hours in front of the TV. It would be good for a long car ride too.

Sunday morning, I got in a long (for me) run, and then went and got my nails done which was amazing. Joel and Leo hung at home and went to the park. Leo just started swinging on the swings and thinks its about the most fun thing in the world.

 
I snuck out during nap time to head to Shutters with my cousin's and Erin's Sister-in-Law, Mel, for happy hour at my favorite place!



A bottle of champagne, a newborn and oysters made for the most lovely hour!


After drinks we went back to Ronnie and Mel's house for a BBQ.

I love bonus Monday's! Even though I don't go to an office, having Joel home for an extra day felt like a bigggg victory! We got up and did the Santa Monica stairs which capped off a really activc weekend, which is what I wanted.


I dropped the boys off and ran all of my errands solo before having my cousins back over for another BBQ! 

It was a whirlwind of a weekend - with no true end in sight - but filled to the brim of fun!