Friday Quick Takes

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September 8, 2017 by Sarah

one. I discovered a new podcast that I’ve really been enjoying.

two. I got a krinkle cut knife a little while ago for my young kids to use when helping me in the kitchen! It’s a great step up from a butter knife but not as scary as handing a sharp chef’s knife to a 4 or 5 year old. The other night, Gianna used it to help me make oven baked fries.

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three. Speaking of time with Gianna, I’ve been finding that since she’s started elementary school, it’s hardest to find one on one time with her. Caleb and Eliza are home with me a lot more and time alone with them comes up more naturally and frequently. With Gianna, I have to be thoughtful of the week and schedule time. What’s been working the last two weeks has been having my father-in-law take the younger two during her gymnastics class, I take her by myself and then we have some alone time together before we rush off to get them. Last week was ice cream bars and an episode of Barefoot Contessa together, this time we went to the library then prepped dinner together. I love it, and so does she.

four. My favorite oven baked fries recipe that we made if you’re interested.

fiveToothbrushes made from recycled yogurt cups.

six. My bookclub book for this month. The title is a little.. spicy. I’m one chapter in so far. Has anyone read it? Another book that’s on my radar.

seven. My littlest one is turning two in a few days! I can’t believe it, she is still my baby. I spent the afternoon making a quadruple batch of these to celebrate.

Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum.


A Day in the Life

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September 1, 2017 by Sarah

I thought it would be amusing to record a typical day for us. I’ve always found it fun to hear about what other mom’s days look like, especially those who don’t work outside the home. What do we do anyway?? Here’s what yesterday looked like.

6AM: Woke up on my own. Read the Blessed is She daily devotional, spent a few minutes praying. Got ready for the day, published a quick family blog post about Gianna’s kindergarten back to school night.

6:40AM: Pat leaves for work.

6:50AM: Gianna and Caleb are awake, happy, and fully dressed. They play while I make breakfast, reheated hard boiled eggs in a mug of hot water, quick hash-browns, and peach slices. I’m going to miss summer fruits.

7:10AM: Eliza wakes up happy, YES. Eat breakfast.

7:45AM: Out the door for school drop-off. I experimented with leaving a little later to get Gianna to school right when it was time to get into class to help with the mommy separation anxiety. She did great this time around.

8:30AM: Drop off Caleb at preschool.

9:00AM: Arrive at a friend’s house with a meal that I prepped the night before. Eliza and her daughter play while we get to catch up!

10:45AM: Back at home, throw some laundry in the wash, water the garden, prep quesadillas for lunch. Caleb is always starving after preschool so I always bring him a mini-lunch for the drive home.

11:30AM: Pick up Caleb from preschool.

12:00PM: Lunch, hang laundry out to dry, a neighbor friend drops off Gianna from school pick up.

1:00PM: Nap time starts for Eliza. The older kids play quietly, I read to them, and today I was able to get in a quick nap!

2:30PM: Gymnastics class for Gianna, my father-in-law meets me at the gym and takes the younger kids to his house while I get to watch class and get a few things done.

3:30PM: Gianna and I are home alone and have a spontaneous little date, eating chocolate ice cream bars on the couch while watching an episode of Barefoot Contessa. This was such a special treat, I’ve been looking for special time with my oldest girl and this was perfect.

4:30PM: Pick up younger kids from my in-laws house. End up hanging out for a while for the kids to play with their cousins who are staying there now.

6:00PM: Get back home and have leftover spaghetti and pesto pasta for dinner. Caleb has a major meltdown and I count down the minutes until Pat gets home.

6:20PM: Pat is home, I retreat to our room and take a short recharge break. Then it’s onto cleaning up.

7:45PM: Kids are down for the night! Most nights lately, I’m in the room with Gianna helping her fall asleep. I was glad to not do that tonight so I could prep for an upcoming trip.

8:15PM: Catch up with Pat, shower and get ready for bed. Work on this blog post, watch a show.

9:30PM: Read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to wind down.

10:00PM: Goodnight!


Friday Quick Takes

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August 18, 2017 by Sarah

one. In case you missed it, I’ve been majorly happy with my new stylist and new, naturally curly hair routine. I feel like I’m finally really enjoying and embracing my curly hair and wanted to share it with the world. (: Especially since I’m always looking for posts like this out there but never found anything!

two. I ordered a number of things from the Nordstrom anniversary sale but am returning a lot it because of fit and style. I am holding onto two of these t-shirts, they’re super comfy and even not on sale, they’re a great price. I’m always looking for a good tee.

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three. For the first time ever, we enjoyed a heavy harvest of beautiful, fat heirloom tomatoes. I’m guessing close to 30 lbs worth! I’m drafting a post (in my head for now) about how we’re using all those tomatoes that all come at the same time, but one of the most fun and delicious ways was that last weekend, we had friends over and had something of a tomato feast. Roasted tomato soup with BLT’s. I’m already daydreaming about NEXT summer when we can do it all over again.

four. Speaking of food, cucumber kimchi is hands down my favorite kimchi and I found this easy looking recipe for it. The same blogger behind that recipe has a Essential Korean Cooking Ingredients list which is excellent, in case you are interested in Korean cooking but don’t know where to start!

five. I’ve always been hesitant with technology which is ironic given we live in the Silicon Valley and my husband works in the tech industry. His company is behind the tech for this article written by a journalist using a chatbot to hold onto his dying father’s stories and memories. It made me think and appreciate creative ways to use technology.

six. My bookclub book for August, with school starting I don’t know how much I’ll be able to read. It looks good though!

seven. Some DYI inspiration.


My Naturally Curly Hair Routine

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August 16, 2017 by Sarah

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I’ve been on a little bit of a hair journey in the last decade. For a long, long time I had my hair cut the same as straight hair and treated it the same way. My mom and every other female family member has straight hair so I didn’t really have anyone to learn from and just did what I could. I didn’t really give it much thought and often it was just kind of blah and a little poofy and awkward, but I didn’t really think about it.

Fast forward to college where the weather was warmer and I’d let it air dry and experimented with gels and mousse and tried to work that crispy, wet curly hair look. For most of those years I had a love/hate relationship with my hair, mostly on the hate end of the spectrum. More recently, I’ve been embracing my curly hair and feeling like I just needed someone to help me understand it!

A few weeks ago I finally had a haircut by a new stylist that completely revolutionized my hair routine. She totally got curly hair! She understood my questions and for the first time ever, cut and styled my hair as it was meant to be, curly. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ve got to try her out, Tara at Juut Salon.

For all you other curly haired gals out there, I thought I’d share my new hair routine that I’ve been loving 

The tools + product: Carol’s Daughter creme, Alterna Bamboo Pure Kendi Oil, Curling Iron Set.

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The routine: I’ve always washed my hair every other day, but from my stylist’s recommendation, now only use shampoo about once a week. The other times I just rinse it with water and use conditioner as normal. (Side note, in my new routine I continued to use the same shampoo and conditioner)

After showering, towel drying, and while my hair is still wet, in my palm I mix together about a gumball sized amount of the conditioner creme and 2-3 drops of the oil. Then I run it through the bottom 2/3 of my hair. Sometimes I twist small sections of my wet hair into curls, just randomly throughout, but I’ve been forgetting this most of the time. I go to bed with my hair wet and it dries overnight.

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For a long time I was using the wrong kind of curling iron! I was using too big of a barrel that didn’t mimic the size of my natural curls. I picked up this iron and now use the 0.7-1inch wand. The tapered end also mimics natural curls more accurately! In the morning when my hair is mostly dry, I part my hair where it makes sense that day (curly hair is a little different every time) and curl sections near the outside that seem like they could use a little love. I curl much smaller sections than I used to, again, I grab the amount that matches more my natural curls. I also don’t hold it around the curling iron as long, just a few seconds (maybe 3) to prevent heat damage. I end up curling maybe about 10-12 sections total, again usually just the outside. Then I shake it out a little with my fingers to make it look more natural, and then maybe pull some back in a clip depending on what I’m doing that day.

The curling step takes less than 5 minutes! I was amazed at how quick this routine was but how much I love it. I really don’t need to do more. And let’s be real, I have 3 young kids and barely have time for 5 minutes on my hair. Again, I’m loving this routine and thinking I’ll be following it for a long time.

 


Getting Ready for School Lunches!

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August 6, 2017 by Sarah

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I don’t know how it happened, but all of a sudden we have a very soon-to-be kindergartener on our hands. Gianna is 5 going on 6 and starting school in 7 days! I don’t feel ready at all, we’ve been enjoying the summer days a lot. Especially the flexibility in night times and wake-up times. Soon, the school morning craziness will be here where I have to somehow on my own get 3 small children ready and out the door by a way too early time.

An added element to this year is needing to pack school lunches! This is a whole new world. Last year Gianna was in transitional kinder, so I did pack snacks. But lunches feel like a whole different level. Thinking about picking out the lunch gear was actually very exciting for me, and I’m feeling good about what we’ve got. I think we will have to try it out and maybe add things along the way. It was really helpful to just ask Gianna what kinds of things she wanted to pack for her lunch. Spaghetti was her answer for first lunch food! Love it. She also loves Korean soups and rice, along with fruits and veggies. We’re also headed to Costco this week for her to pick out snacks that she’s excited to pack.

For school lunch making veterans out there, what do you pack for your kids? Any tips to make the process easier? I’m sharing the lunch box container items that we have below, I’d also love to hear about containers that you like.

Thermos Food Jar: I’m thinking this will be prefect for the spaghetti and soups.

Reusuable Snack Bags: I’m not sure how functional these will be, but I’m up for an alternative to plastic bags that end up in the trash. I also ordered the larger version.

Kleen Kanteen Water Bottle: We have these for all our kids and love them.

Stainless Steel Containers: Stainless steel is a great alternative to plastic, I also picked up this one on sale at Whole Foods.

All this gets packed into Gianna’s lunch bag that she picked out for herself last year.


My Go-To Cookbooks

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April 7, 2017 by Sarah

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One of my weaknesses is cookbooks. At the library, I can easily come by with stacks of them. Most of them I flip through pretty quickly, with maybe only 1 or 2 recipes sticking out to me. There are just a small handful of cookbooks that I turn to again and again and have a permanent spot on my shelf.

Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Collection: Pat got this for me for Christmas a few years ago, this set really covers the basics of good old American cooking. Ina Garten is spot on with all her recipes, everything is seasoned so well and and delicious. You can never go wrong with Ina! If I’m looking for a basic, classic recipe, this is the set I go to.

Maagnchi’s Real Korean Cooking: This cookbook is like the Barefoot set, but for Korean cooking. I’d heard of Maangchi and her wild pink hair and Youtube videos but was always deterred by not aesthetically pleasing website. But then, she hooked me, with her video on how to make your own soybean paste. After checking out this book first from the library, I found countless recipes that remind me of my mom’s and aunt’s cooking, my Korean comfort food. I soon after bought my own copy.

Vegetable Literacy: I am passionate about gardening and growing my own food. I can’t get enough of it. This book celebrates vegetables and makes them the focal point of every dish, instead of the afterthought. I find that even when you put the tiniest thought and effort into vegetables, they transform. This book is packed full of recipes from countless types of vegetables, along with great information and some helpful garden wisdom.

Super Natural Everyday: I do my best to cook with whole grains, vegetables, and in general good for you ingredients. Heidi Swanson really nails it. I’m amazed at how much flavor she develops from such “healthy” ingredients. I’ve learned a lot from her cookbook and food blog, she’s definitely worth following if you are interested in natural foods.

And a few honorable mentions.

I’ve been tempted to add The Art of Simple Food II to my library, I love Alice Water’s cooking philosophy, I learn a lot from her. My friend sent me Small Victories as a gift and I’ve been loving it, such a great gem of a book if you’re learning to cook or want some new ideas to make food taste even better.


Instagram

  • Im so excited to snuggle with the little one whohellip
  • Okay now it really feels like fall
  • We are on our second week of getting a CSAhellip
  • These just looked so pretty to me I was onlyhellip
  • On the blog today Im all about fall muffins Thesehellip
  • We harvested our last round of eggplant yesterday! We arehellip
  • We started buying our eggs directly from the farm viahellip
  • I got to check out the new Magnolia line athellip
  • On the blog today Toblerone cheesecake Its my husbands favoritehellip
  • 39 weeks pregnant felt like a good time to packhellip
  • This morning we loaded up the kids bikes and headedhellip
  • We have been totally consumed with newborn snuggles these lasthellip

At a Glance

  • DSC_8242
    3 Easy Korean Sides
  • IMG_3466
    My Naturally Curly Hair Routine
  • DSC_6146
    Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken
  • IMG_0751
    Cloth Diapering 101