Monday, November 19, 2012

Newborn Photoshoot

This past weekend my sister-in-law asked me to take one month pictures of their adorable baby boy, Cruz! I'm by no means a professional photographer, but I love taking pictures and have learned how to get some decent images out of my DSLR (after taking classes here).

Cruz is such a sweet baby, he was very patient with us and gave us a few really great shots. Of course, by the end he was just done with this whole shoot and was crying, but I snapped a few of those quickly and they actually turned out great. :)

I've also seen an example that was really cute on Pinterest of detail shots of a newborn put together into a collage. I took the best ones I had and pieced them together. Such a cute way to remember how tiny and delicate he was as a newborn!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Yesterday was my one year gluten-versary! I can hardly believe it's already been a year since I started my elimination diet and learned of my intolerance. It's been really difficult at times (for me and for family), but cooking and dining GF has become my lifestyle and I'm so happy with the results it has brought to my health and well-being. I am happier, not sick every day and if that wasn't enough, I lost 20 lbs in the last year! I truly did not adapt to this lifestyle to lose weight, but it definitely doesn't hurt with the motivation to keep going.

I must note that eating gluten free, packaged carb products will NOT make you lose weight. In fact, that would probably make you gain more weight! Rather, the fact that I have cut out a ton of processed foods and not replaced gluten-filled items with processed replacements has helped with the weight loss.

I'm not going to lie though, there have been incredibly difficult times and plenty of people who just don't get it or think I'm being "over the top." Yes, I have to have them change their gloves at Chipotle before making my meal, not because I'm "that" intolerant, but because they touch flour tortillas all day and then put their hands all over my food. Trust me, I hate asking them to do that and I have tried eating a rice bowl without asking them to change gloves and it just doesn't work. No, I cannot just pick out croutons or bread pieces from my salad. And no, I can definitely not just have a "cheat" day unless I want to be sick for three days afterwards.

Although there have been tough times, I am just so grateful for the family and friends (and especially husband!) who have been so understanding, accommodating and encouraging. A lot of times I feel uncomfortable or annoying asking people what they put into their food that they made for me or asking to avoid certain restaurants because I literally can't eat anything on the menu, but those friends and family who have been so understanding and supportive are the reason I'm able to stick with this. I can't thank them enough!

The above image is one of my favorite easy meals, pad thai. The pasta is rice noodles and I use GF soy sauce. Just note that I add more sauce than the recipe calls for. I also add in more siracha because I like it spicy and I boil the rice noodles instead of soaking them, just like the instructions on the box say.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Auntie Time

Last week I went over and visited our sister-in-law and newest nephew. I played with Cruz so mama could have some free time, we had so much fun! I like how he's looking at me in the first pic like, "why so many pictures, auntie?" But soon after he was fast asleep. I could have held that sleeping baby all day, he just sinks into your arms. :)

Friday, November 2, 2012


Yesterday I noticed a few of my facebook friends starting a month of gratitude post for November. I just love that idea, so I searched around for a gratitude journal app (I'm a little obsessed with apps lately!) and came across Gratitude 365. I love how it lists all your entries into a calendar and you can add images. I'll aim to at least enter something every night before bed, but won't stress if I forget. :)

The past week I've been realizing how much I have to be grateful for in life...loving husband, wonderful parents, adorable nieces and nephews, beautiful house, good job and on and on. It's always good to be reminded of those blessings!

Image Source

Be still.

Every month, the blog Oh, Hello Friend posts free desktop backgrounds. I usually use them on my computer desktop because they have a monthly calendar on them and they are so cute!

This month I used the computer desktop calendar, but loved the phone background so much, I updated that too. This month's phrase is so appropriate for me as of lately. I have been trying to keep a calm mind and have been learning to improve my patience and worry. I am getting back into a routine of yoga, bike-riding (went today with Mike around the beautiful park and lake in our neighborhood, that is definitely going to become a regular thing for us!) and meditation.

I also downloaded a few apps to help with the meditation, because honestly, it can be really boring to do in pure silence. There are a few great meditation apps that I'm trying out, Pranayama Breathing and Lotus Bud. The first just helps guide you through deep breathing and the other sends you reminders throughout the day to take a moment and do a few deep breaths to keep yourself calm and focused. Right before bed I've been enjoying the Take a Break app for 13 minutes of meditation before going to sleep.

So far I've loved how these things have been working, but I know its going to take more than a few days to really establish a routine with these things. I'm slowly learning that my health is more important than working a few extra minutes or watching one extra tv show before bed, but its difficult finding that balance between work/fun and relaxing/getting things done.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Finally, a Fun Purchase!

Last week we ordered a few fabric and color options for drapes for our main living room. We actually weren't anticipating investing in curtains quite this soon, but they were on sale (and they couldn't tell us how long that sale would last), we have been going crazy not having any kind of covering on our sliding glass door and we fell in love with a specific color at first sight. Even though we don't have blinds upstairs yet, we just thought the curtains were a good idea right now (we can manage with our paper blinds upstairs for a bit longer!) will allow us to start feeling like our great room is actually put together and that we can start to decorate. Plus this was more of a "fun" purchase and we've been doing a lot of necessity purchases lately.

Restoration Hardware has beautiful drapery options. They'll even send you as many samples as you want for free (no shipping charges!). Without even telling each other what our favorite was, we both decided on the darkest color in the opaque Belgian linen style. They should be here next week, we're so excited!

For some reason our walls look really tan in this pic. They really change color depending on the lighting and time of day. The more we live in this house with the Revere Pewter wall color, the more we love it! We actually just got a bed quilt that is the exact same color as our walls! (Thanks for the great find, Brooke) :)