Weekly Findings

  
Finishing week two of my maternity leave, you can see I’ve had plenty of time to do some internet surfing in between watching several episodes of The OC (it’s on Hulu now! Oh high school…) and taking my fur baby out for a suuuuper slow walks.  The weather has been lovely but as I get closer and closer to what I hope won’t be the worst pain of my life, my mobility becomes more stagnant.  Looking in the mirror, I literally feel like a beach ball that has sprouted arms and legs and it has gotten to the point where, sometimes, I need to help to get out of the bed or off the couch.  WHICH I NEVER THOUGHT WOULD HAPPEN. I don’t know why I thought I would be the exception to that rule but here I am, hoping the baby gets here sooner than later.  It’s so funny to think about me and how this belly is becoming such a hassle to move with and the baby is in there, floating in a comfy water bed, none the wiser to the outside world.

Speaking of baby (because am I capable of talking about something else at this point?) we’re definitely almost ready to go with her little living space.  We definitely cut it close but I couldn’t be more excited to finally have everything organized and ready for baby girl’s arrival.  And I’ll definitely be posting pictures once it’s all complete.  I can’t believe I only have about 2 and a half more weeks to go.  I’m so nervous! I’ve never even broken a bone! Ok, I’ll calm down and save that for a Third Trimester post. In the meantime, my distractions so far:

1. Patagonia Sale:  So Łukasz and I have decided that we would be going camping in July with baby girl in tow.  It took a while for us to figure whether it would be a good idea or not but we figure, why not? Spending time outdoors is such a big part of our lives, I want our daughter to have a really good feel for that growing up. That being said, Patagonia is having a pretty decent sale with select items at 50% off.  And, though baby girl has not voiced this out loud yet, I know we all have something from that sale on our wish list.  It couldn’t have come at a better time.

2. Britain’s Got Talent: I came across this video from Huffinton Post Parents about Beau Dermott, a 12 year old contestant belting out the ‘Wicked’ classic Defying Gravity.  All I can say is Wow. This girl and that voice!  I felt like I was watching the show on Broadway again, she’s that good.  It’s also my favorite song to sing when I’m home alone, and only Pierrot needs to be subjected to that nonsense.  (And the baby now!)

3. Love Taza: Her blog has been around forever but I love it and after reading through posts for some baby gear review, it was hard for me to stop reading.  She’s just so adorable with her bright colors and her cute family.  If you’re into those kind of mom blogs, I would stop by.  

4. Summer Garden Pasta: Speaking of people I’m obsessing over,  let’s talk about Ina Garten for a second and this amazing Pasta.  I’m just taken aback and also eating leftovers of it as we speak.  It literally says summer to me, with fresh tomatoes and basil and olive oil over angel hair.  The only change I made was replacing the Parmesan for feta cheese to give it a more Mediterranean taste.  It was amazing and garlicky and delicious.  It makes a lot of servings and I can guiltily admit that I’ve already eaten a majority of it.  It so good! Make this ASAP. 

5. Snapchat vs. Instagram: Snapchat recently beat out Instagram as the number one photo app for teens.  Let me just show my age for a little bit and talk about how I’ve never really been a snapchat user.  I just didn’t see the point.  You take pictures and then they disappear and whyyyy? I’ve always been an Instagram user.  I love it! I love the layout and pretty pictures and how it’s more personal in my eyes.  Łukasz once told me that he read an article saying the best brand interactions happen on snapchat now. I just don’t understand it! I’m also not a teenager anymore…Which do you guys prefer and use?

*Picture source

Recipe: Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

I’ve never been much of a sweets person.  Especially bread.  Or croissants, or muffins or parties in general.  I would say I take after my mom in that perspective, she was more of a savory lover…or sour? Her favorite dish is probably ceviche, like the real kind from Peru.  None of this “tomatoes in diluted lime juice stuff”.  My dad on the other hand, he’s all about the carbs.  When I was younger he kept the house well stocked with all kinds of delicious pastries and his ideal dessert was probably a good pie.  Me, my idea of sweets is a handful of Skittles.  I don’t even do Milk Chocolate!  So you can imagine how weird it has been for me that during this last trimester, I have been desperate to eat pastries.  I’ve done everything to put off the craving from eating fresh fruit to fruit popsicles which usually satisfy whatever sweetness I’m after but I couldn’t get a good muffin out of my mind.

The thought has been haunting me for weeks until I was Pinteresting the other day (yeah, I made it a verb) and came across a recipe from Sugar and Soul for Strawberry muffins.  I would normally read through and pin it to my baking folder that I never really touch because baking is for special occasions but I realized I had all the ingredients EXCEPT STRAWBERRIES.  And when that happens, I read through the comments and try to find somebody else who was desperate for a muffin and used “insert random fruit” and the flavors went well.  Luckily, a muffin is a muffin so while I didn’t find anyone to justify my replacements, I used blueberries instead BECAUSE LIFE IS SHORT. I had blueberries in my fridge.

A few notes: For the blueberries, the recipe calls to have them folded into the batter, which I did after having lightly floured them.  I was told they would suspend better after cooking instead of sinking to the bottom of the muffin.  Also, the blueberries I used were frozen, and I left them on the counter to soften them up which created a lot of liquid.  I would probably use fresh next time.  I also used a standard muffin pan not a giant muffin pan.  Or how I like to think about it, standard cupcake size. Cheers.

DSC05590DSC05595DSC05596DSC05598DSC05601DSC05604DSC05607

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins

Adapted from Sugar and Soul

Bakes 12 Muffins

For Muffins:

  • ¼ cup of Butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of Milk (I used 2%)
  • 1 ½ cups of blueberries (I used frozen!)

For Crumble:

  • ¼ cup of butter
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of white sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Slowly add the milk and the flour mix to the butter and sugar and mix until well combined.
  6. Lightly flour HALF of the blueberries and fold them in to the batter mix.
  7. Pour about 2 tbsp of batter into each muffin liner.
  8. Top with the remaining blueberries. (These don’t have to be floured)
  9. In a separate mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the crumble.  This one took me a while and I ended up using my hands to get a good crumble texture going.
  10. Top the muffins with the crumble mix.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Eat for lunch like I did! 🙂

A New York Shower

  
When I started my pregnancy to-do list, I knew I would have to have a baby shower on each coast.  West Coast with my actual family and a few friends and East Coast with the people I like to refer to as my “extended family”.  It’s no secret that they’re the people I spend a majority of my time with and they have definitely become a support system of sorts here in New York City where I have no actual family.   
I had been joking to my mother for a while that I would probably have my NY shower in a bar (ok, half joking) but, alas, I didn’t.  Instead, my best friend Tatiana planned the most adorable shower on her rooftop in Bushwick.   We had plenty of mimosas and beers to keep the guests happy and ordered doughnuts from Dough.  Our friend, Henry, also brought warm pork buns that were soooo amazing!

 
The big stars of the party were the pups! We brought along Pierrot and Tatiana had her French bulldog Lincoln at the party and everyone was in love! It was also interesting to see the difference in their personalities.  Our dog, Pierrot, is 2 years old and has a calm demeanor with a stoic serious face while Lincoln, 5 MONTHS old, is cute and tiny and a little ball of energy!   
Our main concern was, of course, the weather.  When you think April in New York, you can either get crazy showers OR beautiful blue skies with blossoms everywhere.  Luckily, we had the latter, with the bright sun shining on that rooftop until the last guest went home. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.  
I was super grateful for everyone that showed up.  Having been home on maternity leave day after day, it was really nice to have these interactions with the people I’ve grown to know and love over the last year and a half.  It’s so nice to be able to have these memories.

Xo,

Karen

Pierrot

I wanted to write a little post about dogs.  Have you met our dog?  His name is Pierrot and he’s a 2 year-old Shetland Sheepdog.  The reason I wanted to write a post about dogs is because when big changes happen around the household, no one is probably more confused than the pets of the house.  While Pierrot is a pretty smart dog, I don’t think he knows what’s about to happen in less than a month.

In this area, I only have a small amount of experience.  When I was younger,  our family of four grew to a family of five with the purchase of one adorable cocker spaniel, named Mitzy.  She was my first dog and my everything.  We got her when she was a tiny adorable puppy from the local pet store for $500, if I remember correctly.  She was the first dog (but not the last) that made me believe that it was easier to raise babies than it was to raise dogs (Dogs poop on carpets and babies eventually learn to use their words!).  BUT, and this is a big “but”, she was cute and my sister and I really wanted a dog so we let her get away with almost anything.  She lived in the room in our backyard and she ate every bug she could get her face on.  She was absolutely wild and we were really careless.  She rarely went out on walks and, therefore, was barely socialized with other dogs and humans.  Soooo, when my younger brother was born, and I was 12 years old, Mitzy was not the kindest to him.  When my brother started learning to crawl and walk, Mitzy was forced to be outside more and more and she would jealously watch my little brother taunt her from the living room window. She would go crazy pawing at the glass and barking and my brother would start crying until one day, my parents made the decision that Mitzy and my brother could no longer live under the same roof.  I cried my eyes out the day they dropped her off at the pound.  We had her for four years and I could never get over trying to replace her with another spaniel.  I fell in love with any spaniel and their floppy ears.

Fast forward another 14 years and I met Lukasz, who already had dog plans of his own.  When we moved in together, his sister came to visit a couple of months later and she brought him an adorable one year old Sheltie.  I would be lying if I didn’t say that his timid attitude confused me, or why he didn’t really care for birds.  (Spaniels are a hunting breed; they’re all about the birds) But I learned more and more about Shelties and Pierrot grew more and more used to his new home here, with Lukasz and I.

Fast forward another year and here we are, less than a month away from having a baby, with Pierrot none the wiser.  He hasn’t had much experience with any younger children except seeing them on walks but I am unwilling to repeat what happened with Mitzy.  I have definitely been reading tips online hoping that something will stick but also half hoping that Pierrot will be so weirded out by the potato sack that will be a newborn baby that he’ll just keep to himself.  He’s also a barker, which makes me more concerned for baby as opposed to the dog.  God knows I’ve had my own sleep interrupted just because Pierrot heard someone creeping on the stairs at 3 in the morning. But despite all of that, he’s such a good dog.  He goes on walks twice a day which will be nice to have baby girl join us on. And despite some early stomach issues with his food, it looks like we’ve finally found a good food replacement to keep him happy with steady energy. I feel like he’s finally getting into the swing of things around here so hopefully the next puppy update after the baby is born will be a good one.

xo,

Karen