My sweet friend Ally recently posted a bunch of confessions and I figured it was due time I fess up around here too...

::: I confess I have to change the channel when the preview for San Andreas comes on. The small earthquakes I've been in are not fun and the thought of "the big one" will keep me up for nights.

::: I confess the only thing that gets me out of bed quick is the thought of a toasted bagel and a hot cup of coffee.

::: I confess that when speaking of bagels, I really should say it's cream cheese. The bagel is just the vehicle.

::: I confess I've been wearing leggings at least 3x week and on the days that I don't, I change back into them as quickly as I can. 

::: I confess, and this is bad....but....I've been binge watching Bringing Up Bates (on the UP channel). It's basically the same thing as 19 kids and counting. I have no idea why I am so intrigued with these families but I am, and I'm addicted....and I stalk their instagrams!

:::I confess that we haven't done anything for the nursery or registry, and I'm starting to think that maybe we're behind schedule? Hopefully not, but the task just seems daunting and I keep putting it off but now that we have shower dates on the books, I need to get my butt in gear. 

::: I confess that we have a baby name that we are in love with, and not changing, but it absolutely annoys the crap out of me that I know someone else that named her son the same name in our hometown. We have plenty of mutual friends, and we both chose the name because its a family name for us both, so it just is what it is, but it still does irk me.

:::  I confess that I've been reading the cheap $2.99 kindle books for a mindless read. They are so bad, and I've read like four horribly written books, but they're relaxing and light and it's just what the doctor has ordered, and who am I to argue with that?

:::I confess I really, really miss Chicago between now and December. LA totally wins January-May, but now is when I really have to manage my homesickness blues.

::: I confess that I'm pretty much a joke at my spin class. I show up, and for me, that's my goal, but I kind of want to wear a sign that says "I'm pregnant" because I'm the only not leaving drenched in sweat. I'm pretty sure the instructor is looking directly at me when he screams "DIG DEEP" or "GO HARDER"....I try and like awkwardly touch my stomach to see if he will pick up on my hints but I think he just thinks I'm being lazy and not trying as hard as I can.

::: I confess that it is hard to watch the number go up on the scale. And I know that it is absolutely the best reason, that there is no sense in worrying about it because it aint changing, AND that it is just a freaking blessing to have this problem, but it is taking me a little getting used to.

:::I confess that I feel really, really, really uncomfortable complaining about any aspect of pregnancy. I am truly thankful and overwhelming grateful for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy, developing baby that I'm trying to really keep my minor annoyances and complaints to a bare minimum.

"My boss told me I should dress for the job I want. What does a stay-at-home billionaire wear?"  Good question! Anyone have any style tips for me on this one?! -Driskotech

Ok, don't leave me hanging....confess something good from this week....


Bumpdate: Week 19

 How Far Along? 19w, 5d - due October 15, 2015

Gender: BOY!

Weight Gain: 8lbs

Maternity Clothes: Jeans but that's it.

Nursery: June will bring some changes.

I think I'm feeling him (!!!) a lot. I try to feel him from the outside, but that is still pretty tricky. I only feel him when I'm sitting down or laying down but it's a pretty wild feeling. It still feels like muscle twitches but sometimes it takes my breath away.

Symptoms: Feeling full does not feel comfortable at all. My skin is still really bad. I have had a zit/mark in the middle of my forehead for three weeks now, and I feel like my skin is much greasier than normal. My stomach is still not fully "popped" but in the morning and at night when I lay flat, my stomach sticks far out.

Sleep: I'm still sleeping pretty solidly, but I definitely need to sleep with a pillow between my legs.
Joel: He and I have been having a lot of fun calling the baby by his name. While we were shopping over the weekend, my cousin and I popped into a store and Joel was just waiting outside for us to do our thing. When he realized that it was a baby store, he came in and found us and was like, "well I would have come in if I knew we were shopping for the baby". It was really cute and we bought a little KickKee Pants blanket with a really cute print of a dog playing fetch which was exciting.

Workouts: 1 gym, 1 spin class, 1 pool session and 2 hikes with my cousin. It was an active week - but also a food filled one - so it kind of balanced out.

Mood: Joyous most of the time but I do quickly irritate.....

Cravings: Same....I do find myself craving a smoothie if I go a few days without one, but otherwise, not much

What I Miss: Not much.....I did take a pass on oysters this weekend but it wasn't that big of a deal.

Random Things: Baby got his first gift from his Coco (I'm trying to convince my mom, Connie, to go by Coco....isn't it super cute?) and I pretty much just died with the IL onesie. 

Best Moment This Week: Honestly, just knowing the baby is a healthy baby boy. We were given a DVD of our ultrasound from last week, so Joel and I watched it once together, and then my cousin indulged me watched it again with me, so she got a chance to see her nephew and all of his gymnastic moves. It's been a very, very sweet few weeks.

 Looking Forward To: Next week we have a normal check up appointment


Weekend Report

This weekend was just perfect. My cousin Amanda came into town on Wednesday night for business and was able to extend her trip and stay the entire weekend. We both had to work on Thursday, but we managed to sneak away in the late afternoon for a trip to the Farmer's Market and then met up for dinner with Joel and our other cousin Erin.

We had a great dinner at Scopa in Venice. It was our first time trying it out and we all really liked it. It's Italian small plates, and while the waiter did forget to bring out one dish (he made up for it with a comped dessert which was really nice), we found the overall experience to be really fun and delicious. I would definitely go back. 

Friday morning we woke up early and got a hike in at Runyon Canyon. The weather forecast for the entire weekend was a little on the cold and cloudy side (for LA), but it actually turned out to be far sunnier and more pleasant than we were expecting.

After hiking, we headed into Santa Monica to spend the day. We hit up the promenade since every store  was having major Memorial day sales but neither of us went too crazy. I did find this super cute blouse at Anthropogie for a steal and I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing it all summer long.

We had lovely lunch at The Misfit and after a walk to the water, headed back home to chill out. We ordered in Thai food that night, hung at home, and watched the third Hunger Games movie before Amanda and I crashed on the couch.

Saturday morning all of us walked into downtown Westwood to get coffee and pastries at Profeta.
Joel and I have been wanting to go to Profeta for years, but of course it took a guest to come into town to finally take advantage of the cute little coffee shop. It's a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee so I'm hoping we make it a regular weekend spot.

Later that morning we went to Erin's to hang out, and then had lunch  lunch at Baltaire in Brentwood. The first thing the waiter commented on was that there was no way we were from LA since we all looked very "Memorial Day".

Guilty as charged. 

We left Erin and the three of us headed to Manhattan Beach. We honestly just wanted to hang out in a beach town, shop, see the water, have a great dinner - and Manhattan Beach fit that bill perfectly.

 It can be a hike from our house, but it's such a great beach town, I was really glad we spent the day there. 

We met up with friends for a few minutes and after we were done shopping, we put our names in at Fishing with Dynamite and got lucky enough to score a table at 7:30.


Fishing with Dynamite is easily one of our favorite spots in LA. Everything is just spot on and our dinner there was no exception. 


I played DD and got us all home around 11.

Sunday morning, even though my energy was starting to fade hard, we made it out for an easy hike on Westridge, and again, the clouds just seemed to part for us.


We took it easy that afternoon and then we hosted my cousin Erin and a few of her friends that were in town for a BBQ at the house.

Erin brought over a bunch of wines from her work so everyone had a really fun time tasting different whites and rose's and Joel whipped up ahi poke, ono fish tacos, and we ended with SusieCakes for dessert. It was the perfect kick off to summer.

Monday morning showed up way too quickly and before I knew it, I was driving Amanda back to the airport for her to head home. We had such a fun, quality weekend and it was just so nice to have her part of our life for 4 solid days. There is never enough time for my family, but we have 4 trips lined up to see each other between now and October, so that really helps soften the blow of the departure gate.

It's true <3


IT'S A.........


We are thrilled beyond words. I just can't believe we are going to have a son.  
A bouncing baby boy. 

We are 99.9% sure on the name, but we're going to play with it for a few weeks and make sure it feels right.

My mind and heart have been on overdrive since we found out and it truly just feel like Christmas in my little world.


Bumpdate: 18 weeks

 How Far Along? 18w, 4d - due October 15, 2015

Gender: We will spill the beans tomorrow! 

Weight Gain: 7lbs

Maternity Clothes: Jeans but that's it.

Nursery: June will bring some changes.

My friend described the movements as muscle twitches and that's exactly what I feel! I feel twitches a few times a day actually, only when I'm laying or sitting, but it's a very cool feeling. I've also noticed that the left side of my belly is "harder" and sticks out more. When we were at the ultrasound, we found out the baby is breech and what I'm feeling is the round ligaments from the babies head!

Symptoms: As I describe my symptoms, I want to be really clear that I'm not complaining. I've been very, very, very fortunate to have an easy pregnancy, this baby has been very good to me, but I'm taking note of interesting changes for myself for other pregnancies, and for other woman who like to compare notes.

My lower belly is tighter and feels heavier, and when I lay flat my stomach feels almost foreign - it honestly makes me giggle because I don't recognize it. With the growth of my stomach, I've noticed it's becoming more itchy too. Also, if I get too full it is the most uncomfortable feeling ever. After my birthday dinner - and eating a huge burger, too many fries, and bites of cake, I was up all night long with a level 10 stomach ache.

Sleep: Half a unisom gives me the best sleep for sure.
Joel: Smooth and steady. I was nervous for the big ultrasound, but he just kept saying "it's going to be fun", and Thank God, it really was. He loved, as much as, seeing the baby move and check out perfectly. We were both just mesmerized.

Workouts: 2 gym, 1 spin, 1 pool. I bought goggles last week and made it to the pool to swim laps on Saturday morning. I swam for about 35 minutes and it felt great. I'm a strong swimmer (used to be a lifeguard) and I have missed swimming more than I realized. I'm hoping I keep up a pool day from here on out.

Cravings: Arnold Palmer's still always sound good. Bagels were back this week...nothing wild.

What I Miss: A buzz! Ha!

Random Things: Knowing the baby is healthy is just beyond. Honestly....I'm over the moon right now. I'm also measuring about 9 days ahead which is an interesting random fact and I have been since the first ultrasound.

Best Moment This Week: The Ultrasound for sure. The baby was dancing around for us the entire time, I couldn't even handle it. It was amazingly reassuring as the doctor went through every inch of the baby and having her tell us that everything is looking perfect. Seeing the four ventricles of the heart, counting babies fingers and toes, seeing its big head (thanks to me), big lips (again me), and long limbs (all Joel) was pretty damn amazing. As we were leaving, she said to me "just keep doing exactly what your doing", which honestly almost made me cry.

Sharing the sex with our families was really fun too. We were actually surprised (the guess at week 12 was wrong), so we were just about as shocked as everyone else! Our friends and family truly just elevated the pure joy we are feeling and I'm so excited to bring a baby into a family that is so, so, so in love with that baby already.

Looking Forward To: I'm planning on staying in this moment for a good while. My cousin Amanda gets here this week and we are going to shop for this baby until we drop! June will be a month that will bring some legit changes to our house, and we will probably register, so many fun things to look forward to. Our next check up in June 5th.


Weekend Recap

I wish!! I almost (it was missing like 6 pom poms!) grabbed this pillow from Francesca's because it is just too freaking cute
The best part of my weekend started on Thursday night when all of LA girlfriends got together to celebrate my birthday dinner. A few of us met early for drinks in the hotel lobby at Shutters in Santa Monica and then we all had dinner at their restaurant Coast.

It's hard to get our group together in one place, and when we do, there are never enough hours. I love these girls, we've seen a lot in our 3.5 years of friendship, and I'm so thankful for each and every one of them. They truly make L.A. home for me. I think I ended up getting home just before 11, and it took me like two hours to fall asleep because I was just buzzing with happy energy from our night spent together.

Honestly, the rest of the weekend was relaxing and low key - and I don't have a lot of pictures to show for it (Joel is blaming snapchat). Friday I was totally wiped out and didn't even make it to the gym, so we ordered pizza  when the day was done and I think we both were in bed at 9.

Saturday I made it to the pool to swim laps which felt great, and then Joel and I went to Pitch Perfect in the afternoon. We picked up salad for dinner and watched another episode of Chef's Table.

If you have Netflix, I highly recommend you check this out. It's a Netflix original series from the producers of Jiro Dreams of Sushi (another must-see), and we are loving it. The first episode with the Italian Chef Mossimo Bottura has been my favorite but all of them are beautifully shot, very interesting, and really entertaining.

Sunday after a walk and church, we hung around home, make great jerk chicken pitas on the grills, and called it a wrap on the weekend.

We have a big week ahead - and my cousin Amanda arrives on Wednesday!!!! - so this weekend at home was much, much needed.


20 Minute Dinner Go-To's

While I have very little to complain about in regards to pregnancy symptoms, I'm still hitting an exhaustion wall around 3pm that wipes me out and takes away all of my motivation to cook dinner.

I normally spend an hour talking myself into just doing it even when it doesn't sound fun or appealing at all. I think Joel gets a text message three times a week warning him that I might not be up for making dinner, but most days I get a wave of energy and end up powering through and getting it done.

One thing that has helped is keeping the dinner plan as simple as possible. My goal is to spend as little time in the kitchen cooking and preparing as possible. I've finally got about ten or so meals that I can crank out quickly, so I decided to group them here in case you're in need of some quick dinner motivation too.

As you may or may not notice, I haven't been much into fish, so that food group is notably missing, and I'm still trying to avoid super carb-heavy dinners so I try to keep sandwiches and pastas at bay during the week, although they've been popping up more and more.


These have been our go-to's for the last 17 weeks and will probably carry us for the foreseeable future!

Sometimes I cut out the peppers and just turn them into "bowls" (one less step). Everything remains the same except you serve it in a bowl and I add a lot of extra sriacha. 

additional time saver - buy your own tzatzki
Gryos with Greek Chicken & Tzatziki Sauce (also recipe for flatbread pita) | Cooking Classy


Chili is a constant around here too. We like to make a regular chili on Sundays to have for the whole week, but I love a white chicken chili in the summer too.

I roasted the chick-peas at 425, coated in olive oil, s&p, for 30 minutes

Taco Bar
I mix up the ingredients based on what sounds good, but staples are corn, beans, jalpenos, pre-shredded lettuce, cheese, homemade guac, and ground turkey

Breakfast for Dinner - Protein Pancakes
I'll pick up breakfast turkey sausage to serve with the protein pancakes, or we'll do eggs and smoothies when I'm really desperate.

Meatballs - Buffalo Turkey 
Meatballs are so easy and statifying, so different variations show up on our menu a lot! These are really good, but I did have to omit the blue cheese for now, but I subbed it with plain greek yogurt and extra green onion.

Steak and/or Steak Salad
This is my recipe. It's steak served on a bed of broccoli/carrot slaw (bought at Trader Joes) and cabbage. I add tomatoes, avocado, and chopped pecans and toss it with a wasabi dressing I buy at our local seafood shop.

What are some of your healthy and quick weeknight dinners?


Bumpdate: Week 17

How Far Along? 17w, 4d - due October 15, 2015

Gender: We find out next Monday!

Weight Gain:
Not looking this week

Maternity Clothes: I'm finding out that more and more of my clothes are not working which is par for the course, but is frustrating.

Nursery: June will bring some changes.

Nothing distinct, but twice this past week when I was laying down on my side I felt what I would describe as a goldfish doing a flip in my stomach.

Symptoms: Very solid week actually. I did have a chance to sneak in a few naps but I'm blaming that on the fact that I was up at 4am twice this week and less because I'm pregnant. Besides having to use the bathroom seriously 40 times a day, I'm happy to report that I was really just happy this past week.

Sleep: Half a unisom gives me the best sleep for sure.
Joel: He had a Mother's Day card that he gave to me on the plane ride home from Vancouver which was really cute, and then when we walked in, he had arranged for my cousin to bake my favorite breakfast (Pioneer Woman's overnight french toast bake) and a huge bouquet of flowers waiting for me. It was pretty over the top adorable.

Workouts: 1 gym, 1 spin, and we stayed pretty active in Vancouver but my eating was out of control last week so I've to clock some serious hours this week.

Cravings: Arnold Palmer's. We bought tea in Vancouver so that I can try and make some at home.

What I Miss: Running. It doesn't feel good and I've now gone 17 weeks without it, so it's even harder, so I think it'll be a thing of the past until October. I miss the feeling of coming home drenched in sweat after a really hard run.

Random Things: Getting Mother's-Day-To-Be cards and notes was pretty surreal. To think that next Mother's Day I'll be an actual mom is just mind blowing/world changing/over the moon feeling.

Best Moment This Week: My birthday and Vancouver were just amazing. We spent so much time outside, eating good food, being together....it was a perfect celebration.

Looking Forward To: Next Monday like crazy. I'm ready to see the baby, anxious and hopeful that everything looks healthy and perfect, and to find out the sex. I have to keep it out of my mind because my excitement and nerves do have a tendency to take over, so I'm just going to stay busy until next week gets here. 


Vancouver Recap

Where do I even begin? 

First of all, we absolutely loved Vancouver and were treated to the most beautiful weather the entire the entire time we were there. The city itself is just beyond beautiful and 48 hours is no where near enough time.

We took the first flight out of LA on Friday morning, think 6:30am, and even though that 4am alarm clock sucked, we landed at 9 and had the entire day to explore. After we dropped off our bags at the hotel (we stayed at the Hyatt Regency downtown), our first stop was brunch at Medina Cafe, thanks to Kate's recommendation.

The wait was about 25 minutes when we got there but we had a cup of coffee and just enjoyed the awesome ambiance. It was the perfect spot to start our trip, not only because I needed a latte badly, but also because it lovely, smelled Heavenly, and was a relaxing and fun place that seemed captured the vibe of Vancouver spot on.

They're famous for their waffles and fancy dipping sauce, so we started with one and tried the milk chocolate lavender and berry compote, and then ordered brunch (Salmon Fume for me and Fricassee for Joel).

Once we were nice and full we decided to walk through the city and see as much as we could. Downtown is very walkable which is nice so we found ourselves in Gastown maybe twenty minutes later.


I absolutely adored Gastown. It felt like Boston and Paris had a baby in the best ways possible. At every turn we had views of the water and mountains, there were tons of front patios filled to the brim of people enjoying happy hour and late lunches, and everyone just seemed friendly and happy to be outside. We popped into a few stores, including DavidsTea which we love and don't have in LA, and then made it back to the hotel.

Friday night Joel's company hosted a private concert for their clients. The band didn't allow anyone to bring in their phones and asked us to keep all details (even their name) off the Internet before their tour starts next week. It was an incredible night and experience - but one that I'm going to have to just keep a mental picture of. How did people do it back in the olden days ;)

I did get a chance to sneak in a blow out before the concert which was a fun treat too and I was seriously impressed that we made it out til almost midnight!

Saturday was our only full day in the city so we tried to get in as much as we could. I slept in a little Saturday morning, but after Starbucks in bed, Joel and I ventured out.

Our first stop of the day was Thierry, another great recommendation (thank you!). 

We started with macaroons, the maple pecan and vanilla, both of which were amazing and then Joel was in Heaven with his quiche Lorraine. I'm normally not a huge quiche fan, but this was one of the best I've ever had. 

We enjoyed our little breakfast outside and just took it all in. So many moments in Vancouver reminded me of our trip to Paris, and this one absolutely was one of them.

From there, we continued our journey to Stanley Park. 

Stanley Park is walking distance from where we stayed downtown (maybe a mile) and is 1,000% a Must Do when you visit Vancouver. There is a bike shop just a block a way from the park where lots of tourists were renting bikes, so we decided to join the fun too.

I am so glad we did because being able to bike the entire park is just a spectacular experience. I think it's 8 or 9 miles, it took us about an hour to leisurely ride, but it was just beyond words beautiful. The weather was perfect, the smell of the ocean was magical, and the views are just to die for. 

If we had stayed longer I really would have loved to do it every morning we were there.



The bikes were around $8 dollars an hour and the bike trail is really easy to manage. It's totally separate from the walkers and runners so I didn't feel like we spent the entire time dodging people, like you do in Central Park or on Lake Shore trail.

After we returned the bikes we went back into Gastown for lunch. We wanted to spend a few hours just sitting in the center of the town, so we grabbed a prime seat at Chill Winston ordered an appetizer and drinks and played cards.
The people watching was great , the sun was out, the Arnold Palmers were flowing, we split a bison burger.....life was very, very good.

We went back to the hotel around 3ish to rest for a little bit before we hit the town again. 

Dinner was in Yaletown which is another really cool neighborhood we were able to walk to from our hotel. We had a drink at cool gastro-pub before dinner and just took in the scene.


My favorite mocktail is a Virgin Moscow Mule....which is basically just ginger beer, lime, and a little club soda, but there is something about that mug that really helps you feel like you're drinking the real thing. 

We walked just a block down for our phenomenal dinner at Blue Water Cafe.

We haven't had a fancy dinner like this in a while, so it was just so fun and indulgent to sit at the table for hours just taking our time and enjoying being together. We ate so much fresh seafood, Joel enjoyed some B.C. oysters,we  stuffed ourselves to the brim, and just had the best time.

We left on the first flight back to LA Sunday morning and spent most of Sunday just relaxing after our fantastic, whirlwind trip. I am so thankful that I was able to join Joel on his work trip, because it was honestly the best birthday weekend I could have imagined. If you have a chance to visit Vancouver, I can't recommend it enough, and I hope that we are lucky enough to go back again sometime soon.

and p.s.

I want to wish my Dad the happiest and most relaxing of birthdays - and for this new year to bring great health, great success, and great happiness. Him and my mom are off to their favorite place in the world - Punta Mita - which is exactly where they both deserve to be and enjoy.