Wednesday, March 23, 2016

14 Months Update

14 Months
14 Months
Elley, you are 14 months old. Or at least you were, one month ago. I'm just crazy late getting this update posted.
Eating Carrots & BroccoliDecember 24
You had a weight check at 13 and a half months and you were up to 16 lbs 10 oz or the 0.33%ile. Which yes, is up in both weight and percentiles.
We learned how to clap yesterday and now we're slightly obsessed.
December 26
You're pretty solidly in 9 months clothes, although we're slowly starting to cycle some 12 months items in. You're still wearing size 3 diapers and have your bumgeniuses snapped the same way.
IMG_1549
January 9
You have a bunch of new teeth. Your bottom to molars are in. One of your bottom canines is in, and your top molars are starting to come in.
Monkey Baby
January 10
Then there are your words, which you seem to be adding to everyday. You can say hi, byb-bye, uh-oh, outside (which is your favorite place to be and you'll say all the time hoping someone will take you there), dada, mine (which you do say, but you'll also use mommy to mean mine), hot (which is how you refer to most food), shoe, ball, baby (which is what everything tiny is called, so if we see a puppy outside, that's a baby). You can clap, give high fives, give hugs and kisses... You'll even follow simple directions, things like asking you to bring something to someone or pick something up.
Little daredevil baby
January 17
Your most recent obsession is shoes. If you find your own around the house you'll bring them to us to put them on your feet. Or if instead you find my shoes or your daddy's you'll bring them to us and insist that we put them on immediately. What's really fun is when you bring me two left shoes and want me to wear both of them at the same time.
IMG_1581
January 19
Your other favorite toys are anything that lights up and plays music, especially My Pal Violet. You love your cozy coupe. By that I mean you love pushing it around or being pushed in it, but haven't quite figured out how to get it to move while you're sitting in it.
It's Hard Out Here for a Kaylee
January 22
You love being read books too. We have your favorites in the living room, and you'll bring them to me over and over to read. As for the ones you go back to, it's Llama Llama Red Pajama (the longest book you'll sit through), Ten Apples on Top, and all your Usborne books. Although funny enough, while you'll read books all the time in the living room, you're not a fan of reading them before bed. I think it's because at that point you know it's bedtime and you'd rather be in your crib.
Finally watching #greaselive. Looks like we have a new fan! #gogreaselightning
February 5
Speaking of bedtime, we had been down to one final nursing session before bed, at least until last week. But like with a bedtime story, you could care less about nursing and just wanted to be in your crib, so since you were telling me you were ready to finish nursing, I knew I needed to be ready as well.
Yummy Donut Holes
February 6
It's so crazy to think that you really aren't a baby anymore. But as much as I may miss you being a tiny little baby, I'm a little in awe with the person you're starting to become.
1 Month Old2 Months OldIMG_3341
1 Month ~ 2 Months~3 Months
IMG_3543IMG_3698IMG_3783
4 Months ~ 5 Months ~ 6 Months
IMG_3893IMG_4002IMG_4080
7 Months ~ 8 Months ~ 9 Months
IMG_414011 Months12 Months
10 Months ~ 11 Months ~ 12 Months

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mailbox Monday (128)

It's another Sunday. But lucky for me, I don't have work tomorrow! Instead I'll be in New Orleans recovering from tonight's Nick Carter concert. I can't wait, but first, here's a look at my Mailbox Monday, sharing the books I've picked up recently.
Mailbox Monday
For Review from TLC Book Tours
America's First Daughter By Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
This is a historical fiction about Thomas Jefferson's daughter. It's one I've actually already read and reviewed. As for the short version, I loved it and felt I learned a lot reading it.

From PJ Library
It's Tu B'Shevat by Edie Stolz Zolkower
This is a cute picture book on Tu B'Shevat, which is the birthday of the trees. Think of it as Earth Day for Jews. To give you an idea on how behind I am in sharing book, Tu B'Shevat was back in January. Although it's not entirely my fault since the book was late arriving as well.

From Paperback Swap
Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
I used to be obsessed with Kinsella's books and buy them all the week they came out. Clearly not the case anymore since this first came out in 2013. But I think at this point there's only one or two of her books that I haven't read, so I'm catching back up.

The Dark Rose by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
Another book I've already read, although still need to review. It's the second book in The Morland Dynasty Series. It takes place during King Henry VIII's reign. I don't think I liked it as much as the first, but still enough to keep reading.

150 Pounds by Kate Rockland
To be honest, the reason I want to read this book has nothing to do with the plot. Instead it's that the main character has my name, Shoshanah, although she spells hers without an h on the end. Although even so, it does look like a cute chick lit book, so I'm sure I'll have fun with it.

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

From Monticello to Jefferson's White House

America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
Published
: March 1, 2016 by William Morrow Paperbacks
My mom used to always say Jefferson was her favorite president. But I never quite got it myself. Obviously, like I'm sure everyone else who grew up in America, I knew the basics about him, that he wrote the Declaration of Independence, that he was our third president, and most infamously had an affair with one of his slaves. Besides that I really never really knew much about his actual life.

This was the first reason why I was so excited to read this book. As for the second, it's because one of the co-authors was Stephanie Dray and I love her Cleopatra's Daughter trilogy, even though I've yet to read the final installment. Clearly there were some similarities between her two books. After all both are about the daughter of a famous historical figure. Also, both had a similar structure where we got to know the daughter as a young girl, and then saw her grow up.

As for a difference, this is a single book not a trilogy. Although the book is so long I think it could easily have been divided up into one. But even with it's length the book never dragged and kept my attention throughout. Not only that I was disappointed when it ended, only because I wasn't ready to be finished.

In a lot of ways, Martha "Patsy" Jefferson, lived a heartbreaking life. And yet when you try to compare it to an average girl in Colonial times, I think hers was better than most. Considering who her father was she likely had more opportunities and new experiences than she ever would have otherwise.

Overall I loved my time with the book. I wouldn't consider myself an expect on Jefferson after reading it, but do think I know far more than I would have expected going into it.

5/5

Disclosure: I was provided this book through TLC Book Tours. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

#LoveBlog: Quality {Lunch} Time

People always tell you that once you have a baby you need to get ready for your marriage to change. While you and your husband may have been able to spend all your free time together, or at least as much as you wanted, when it was just the two of you, when there's a tiny human involved your time just isn't used the same way.
Arugula Burger
Lunch at SmashBurger
Obviously when the baby is awake there isn't a lot of time for conversation. Sure we can hit the highlights, but when there's a crazy baby demanding your attention there's only so much you can talk about. Especially when there's screaming involved and you can barely hear each other.
Shrimp & Avocado Salad
Lunch at Newk's
Of course, there's time once the baby is asleep. But almost 14 months into this baby thing, I'm only now starting to feel like I'm caught up on sleep. There have been far too many nights where I've passed out on the couch as soon as I've put her to bed. And those nights where I manage to stay awake? Well, after I've spent all day with my co-workers, all afternoon with my daughter, those last few hours before bed are some of the only moments I can have to myself to unwind.
Fall at Panera
Lunch at Panera
Considering the title of this post is quality time, when then do the boy and I manage to get any in? Well, as you may have guessed from all the pictures, it's at lunch. We're lucky enough that we work down the road from each other, and manage to fit in a lunch together about once a week or so.
Dancing guacamole baby!
Lunch at Quodoba
While the point of this post may have been lunch with just the two of us, I couldn't resist sharing this video, still taken on a lunch date.
I realize this arrangement may not be possible for all, but for us it works perfect. It gives us a chance to connect, de-stress, and have adult conversations together. It's always been something lo-key, but also with a big payoff.

Today I'm co-hosting Belle Brita's LoveBlog, a daily link-up for the month of February. See below for more info on the link-up and to meet the other hosts.

Meet Brita Long: Christian feminist blissfully married to Dan Fleck for almost two years. Lover of Paris, pink sparkles, sensible shoes, manicures, and books. Fueled by hot tea and mimosas.
Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Tumblr // Google+ // Bloglovin

Meet Shoshanah: California girl who moved to Louisiana and fell in love (with her husband and the state!). Loves to read, especially historical fiction and YA. Obsessed with gingerbread lattes and creme brulee.
Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mailbox Monday (127)

For the first time in well... forever, I'm actually managing to get my Mailbox Monday post up on time!
Mailbox Monday
Borrowed From a Friend
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
I've yet to actually read the first of these books, but now once I do I'm ready to complete the trilogy.

Purchased
The Isle by Jordana Frankel
I'm so excited for this one! It's the sequel to The Ward, but more importantly, at least in my opinion, is that it was written by one of my good friends. Jordana and I met when we were roommates freshmen year of college. She was even one of my bridesmaids. Obviously I have a biased opinion here, but I really did LOVE her first book and I can't wait to see where this one goes, especially knowing how the last book ending on a cliffhanger.

Spot Goes to The Park by Eric Hill
Since Elley seems to love Where's Spot so much I went out and bought her another book from the series. It even has a blue hippo in it which is perfect for her since she's obsessed with her blue stuffed hippo. Of course Elley loves this book so much she's already ripped off one of the flaps.... sigh... but at least it lasted a few days, right???

What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris

Four Kitchens by Lauren Shockey
Published
: July 27, 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
When I first saw this book I remember being intrigued by seeing Tel Aviv in the title. In general, I'm a fan of cooking memoirs, but that was what won me over. (Also there was the tiny detail that I found it at a Borders closing sale so it was crazy discounted.)

After culinary school Shockey decides to stage, or what you could call a restaurant intern, at four restaurants across the world. In her memoir so goes into what it's like working in a fancy kitchen, the differences in them depending on where they're located, and of course all the delicious food she discovers.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that while in New York she worked at wd-50 for Wylie Dufresne. Surprisingly, those chapters were some of my favorites. I was intrigued by her time in Vietnam, but never really felt transported there. The parts in Israel that I was so excited for, seemed to go by way to quick and didn't seem to have much substance. The last section in Paris was again interesting, but I never really got a feel for the city.

I loved the idea of this book, but overall it fell a little flat for me. Shockey had a great adventure, but never I seemed to understand why she wrote a book. She didn't necessarily seem excited about the adventures she went through and by the end she was kind of over cooking, so I never really got why she wanted to relive those experiences.

Despite this, I loved the look into a restaurant kitchen, especially one as famous as wd-50. There were some delicious sounding recipes as well, especially one in the Tel Aviv section for halvah ice cream, that I can't wait to make.

3.5/5

Thursday, February 4, 2016

#LoveBlog: Valentine's Day Traditions

I remember the first Valentine's Day I celebrated with the boy. I asked him what plans he made and when he told me, "nothing," I assumed that meant I was in for a great surprise. He must had made reservations at some new restaurant. Or had something crazy and exciting for us to do.
Cup of Coffee
The Boy's Present to Me Our First Valentine's Day, 2007
The day finally arrived, and the boy had planned... nothing. He was telling the truth the whole time! I was a little disappointed at first, and a little in disbelief, but despite that we still wound up having a great time.
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day 2008
We exchanged presents in my apartment. I can't remember what I bought the boy, but he bought me a coffee cup (that I still use today!) and chocolate covered cherries.
Beau and Me
A Valentine's Day Wedding, 2009
We went to dinner. (I'm not completely sure where, but maybe Macaroni Grill?) We stopped at the bookstore, before going to the movies to see Music & Lyrics with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. (A movie I still love and have all the songs memorized.)
Ready to go out
Valentine's Day 2010
Since then, that's pretty much been our Valentine's Day standard. A dinner and a movie, and if we're lucky we'll make it to the bookstore. It's low key, and it's perfect for us.
On the Couch
Valentine's Day 2011
As for our plans this year? Surprise, surprise... we don't have any! But we'll likely let Elley spend the day with her grandparents and make our way out for dinner and a movie.
Valentine's Sushi
Valentine's Day Sushi, 2013
Today I'm co-hosting Belle Brita's LoveBlog, a daily link-up for the month of February. See below for more info on the link-up and to meet the other hosts.

Meet Brita Long: Christian feminist blissfully married to Dan Fleck for almost two years. Lover of Paris, pink sparkles, sensible shoes, manicures, and books. Fueled by hot tea and mimosas.
Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Tumblr // Google+ // Bloglovin

Meet Tayler Morrell: Mormon stay at home mom married to her best friend, Justin, for 3.5 years. Mother to 19 month old Rhys. "Retired" history and English teacher, runner, lover of video games, fantasy, books, and cooking. Consumer of Italian food, chocolate, steak, and strawberries.
Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Pinterest // Bloglovin

Meet Shoshanah: California girl who moved to Louisiana and fell in love (with her husband and the state!). Loves to read, especially historical fiction and YA. Obsessed with gingerbread lattes and creme brulee.
Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin