Baby Shower Bliss

Friday, February 28, 2014

Life has been oh so good lately. I was in the U.S. last week, which is (as always) all sorts of bliss. Not to mention THREE baby showers. For me. Spoiled rotten, much? I don't have many pictures yet, but the first was done by my amazing sisters at my aunt Christine's house. It was soo great to catch up with old friends- ugh I wish I had taken pictures! I'm furious about it. ANYWAYS, the next was in my mother-in-law's home. Thus the to die for baby cake! Not to mention homemade french macaroons and amazing company. Last was brunch-style at my mom's. You simply can't go wrong with a crepe bar and family. I am still in awe over how generous people are!

If the fact that a little man is growing inside this belly hasn't hit me yet, it sure is now. And I have theeee most adorable outfits/blankets/toys/books/moccasins to show for it. I can't get enough! Baby gifts put me in a ridiculously odd state of mind.

Is it weird I want to "joy ride" my sexy stroller around, even with no baby to fill it yet? Or if I had a doll I would totally play dress up with these new baby clothes? Yes, it has absolutely crossed my mind. I'm unabashedly turning into one of those baby-crazed people. Heaven help me.

An Early Valentine's

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day for us was February 8th. I'm leaving for the U.S. this week, and so we (aka me) wanted insisted on celebrating beforehand. I have learned that the "we'll celebrate later" never actually happens, and I LOVE VALENTINE'S DAY. It's romantic and cheesy and wonderful.

Of course, a big part of any holiday is the food.
1. I come from a family of food fiends.
2. Pregnant. Enough said.

It results in a dangerous and delicious combination.

The problem is, restaurants here give me a major headache. If they're good, you pay an arm and a leg. If you want to pay normal-ish prices, you could probably make something better at home. There have been several times when I'm sick of cooking, we try someplace new, and I always seem to regret it a little.

Which brings me to a delicious Valentine's at home. We agreed that Alex was in charge of breakfast, and I would cover dinner.

...Until the next morning when I woke up, looked over, and instantaneously caved. Alex had taken a 1AM flight from Natal for a recruiting event the day before, went straight to the office, and didn't sleep at all. So I slipped out and made our recent favorite with a little twist. German pancakes topped with sauteed cinnamon apples. To die for. Naturally, it was a breakfast in bed kind of day, which makes everything taste better.

(FYI: I love these for many reasons. Quick to whip up, cleaning is ridiculously easy, minimal amount of butter- why do some recipes call for so much? In my opinion it is unnecessary and can get greasy. Oh, and sooo tasty, of course. You can find the recipe below.)

Basically, it was looking to be a fantastic day. But at 10:30AM everything was put way, way over the top when our container arrived. Remember that ol' container, with all our belongings that we sent off 7 months ago? The container that, among a thousand little things- has my favorite shoes, furniture, Alex's ties, pictures, my grandma Joan's retro dishes, journals, and KitchenAid? That's the one. I was convinced it wouldn't make it, somehow mixed up in all the craziness of moving internationally- and I was pretty much at terms with it. 

February 8th was like five Christmas's wrapped up in one. Every box that I opened was followed with an ecstatic shout of glee, possible fist pump, and a smile that practically split my face in two while rustling through all the things I almost forgot we had. Let's just say I was reeeeally feeling the love this Valentine's Day.

Our house is still a huge mess and full of boxes, but it is by far the most beautiful mess I've ever seen. I'm kind of relishing in it.

With all the chaos that comes with moving, our little V-Day was almost tossed to the side. Luckily I had assembled the lasagna the day before, and rest of the menu was simple despite navigating through boxes. I tore myself away from all the fun around 6pm (no sarcasm), and told Alex I was going up to shower and get ready. I gave him the serious responsibility of the dinner's ambiance and to take whatever creative liberties he wanted. Is it bad I didn't expect much? I love him, but he's a guy.

After a refreshing cold shower, squeezing into a red dress, putting on makeup, and writing a love note- I walked downstairs to (in my mind) an insanely romantic sight. We have yet to find the screws to assemble our dining room table, so a coffee table and couch cushions set for two were ready to go. Somehow in the mess of boxes he found the red china from our wedding and my grandma Joan's glass goblets that I love so much. The heart garland I made a year ago was hanging up, and pictures of us were adorably propped up along the walls. And music. He kills me!

I quickly snapped a few pictures, without bothering to see what they looked like. Totally don't do it justice. Honestly, the best moments are when taking pictures feel like a chore. Plus, I was starving.

The Menu:

  • Lasagna (so far, this is my favorite. 2 homemade sauces- bechamel and marinara with four types of cheeses- I added a little catupiry)
  • Spinach salad with candied walnuts, bacon, and balsamic vinaigrette
  • Macaroni Grill rosemary bread
  • Hot fudge pudding cake with ice cream

Dinner took hours. We ate slow, talked, even played cards. And went back for more. After, we read through "a little love story" that I started writing not too long ago. I realized that besides bits and pieces in my journal, I've never written our entire story out. I wanted to get Alex's commentary, so I told him to interject whenever and I'd add his comments in. Overall, the day left me feeling like the happiest girl on the planet, as the lovey-doveyness of Valentine's Day tends to do.

And now for a little recipe...

German Pancakes with Cinnamon Apples, adapted from here

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter

1. Add eggs, milk, flour, and salt directly in a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour melted butter into an ungreased 9x13 dish. Gently pour the batter in.
3. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the topping:
2 apples, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste

Add all the above ingredients into a skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until apples are tender. Spoon over baked pancake, and serve with lemon wedges and powdered sugar if desired.

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