Feeling Thankful

Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset

Most days I feel as if I’m autopilot; taking care of Berlin, running errands, cooking and cleaning…taking little time to soak it all in and enjoy the little pleasures that are my life.

Then there are days when it hits me, I look around at all the beauty that life has to offer and I wonder how it is I don’t recognize this daily.

I live in one of the most coveted cities in the world, a place where people can only dream about visiting. There is tremendous beauty and breathtaking views around every corner. There is an abudant amount of culture to experience and a community of artists and creatives spreading their inspiration throughout the city. An environment full of entreprenurial spirits, making groundbreaking product that are affecting how the world operates today.

I married the man of my dreams; one that inspires me, encourages me and allows me this wonderful opportunity of staying home with our daughter. One that also has faith in my abilities and encourages me to pursue my dreams. One that also gave me our beautiful daughter.

Berlin brings laughter and magic to our world and forces us to look deeper and see the extraordinary in the daily mundane. She is the perfect combination of both my husband and myself and already exhibits the charming characteristics of Ryan that made me fall in love with him. She embodies all that is true and and real in our lives.

I don’t nearly bring bring up my family enough, but I’m blessed with a large extended family that is a big part of my life, one that has made me who I am today. I have the benefit of living in the same city as my two younger sisters and the privilege of having aunties in Berlin’s every day life. I have parents that have believed in me from day one and whom have never held me back from creating and experiencing my own path in life.

I apologize for the regurgitation of emotion this morning, but these moments of clarity are embarrassingly to far and few in-between and needed to be documented.



Bookmark and Share
 

37/52

38.52

“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Nap time continues to be a struggle. About half the time I can get her to sleep, and that is after two hours of her singing and playing in her crib. But when she does sleep, she wakes up happy and content. If only it could be more consistent.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.

 

Bookmark and Share
 

Twenty-Four Months

Growing / At her two year visit she was steadily going up on the charts, reaching almost thirty percent in weight (amazing, considering her slow weight gain!). Her feet are growing way too quickly (just cleaned out her shoe bin recently, she has little shoes left) and her hair is out of control. I would chop it myself, but I know its grounds for divorce if I do.

Eating / She has recently become very picky, I guess this is the norm for toddlers her age. She only wants yogurt, cheese, pancakes, waffles, bagels…I’m sure this is all too familiar for those with toddlers. My once adventurous eater has gone rogue on me.

Speaking / Like usual, I’m stunned by her vocabulary. She mimics everything I say-verbatim, and remembers (and repeats) everything. She is up to six word sentences, one of her favorite being “no mama music, only Beno music.” If you don’t recall, she refers to herself as “Beno.” Her other favorite sayings are “no nappy time,” “I like this one,” and “how about this one mama.”

Learning / She is learning to run (faster) and steadily climb over and on top of things (she is still a bit delayed in this area as she walked so late). She is still working on getting her clothes on and off. She can remove most all her clothes, but has a harder time putting them on, but she continues to try.

Mastering / She has mastered the art of not napping. Its been almost two months now that she has been fighting naps. One might give up at that point, but I’m adamant that she will nap again! She has mastered the word “no.” She used to just have a whiny “nooo,” but now its a very forceful “NO!”

Loving / She loves removing her diaper. When I put her down for naptime, the first thing she does is remove her diaper (sometimes soiled with you know what). She also enjoys taking off all her other clothes, no matter where we are. She recently removed her clothes at the grocery store, much to my surprise. Her new favorite activity (since the kitchen was remodeled) is to run around in circles around the island. I think its safe to say, she is enjoying our new kitchen.

Loathing / Naptime. Bathtime. Getting dressed. Changing her diaper. Wearing a diaper. Being told no.

Laughing / Nothing like tickling her or smothering her with kisses to get this girl laughing. She is super silly and it really takes very little to make her laugh.

Playing / Currently she loves playing with her horses, Dr. Suess flashcards, push car she received for her birthday, and her new sandbox (also a gift for her birthday). She still spends the majority of her time reading. We visit the library on a weekly basis, getting new books, and half the time I just end up buying the book as she loves it so.

Sadly I missed the twenty-third month, but life has been busy lately. Hopefully I’ll remain on track go forward.



Bookmark and Share
 

36/52

32.52

 “A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: This week she has suddenly grown very “concerned” for others; mainly characters in her books. She is quite distressed over the Bernstein Bears being chased by bees or with Curious George falling off his bike. Her concern has grown so large, she will continue repeating her worry throughout the entire day-until she finds something else to obsess over. She’s a deeply sympathetic little gal, could be worse.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



Bookmark and Share
 

35/52

35.52

 “A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Once again another image of my messy, sand-encrusted daughter. She loves nothing more than caking herself head to toe with sand and mud. We should really reconsider living in Northern California with how much this girl loves the beach.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



Bookmark and Share
 

34/52

34.52

“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: Always giggling, smiling and enjoying life.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.


Bookmark and Share
 

Vegan Almond Quinoa Cake

QuinoaAlmondCake102

Here it is again; one of my famous {not so famous} sugar-free birthday cakes. Some might find a sugarless cake a disgrace, but I find them quite delicious.

I cheated a bit by adding a sugary frosting, which of course ended up being Berlin’s favorite part. But this cake is delicious without the frosting and is perfect as a morning treat to dip into your coffee-yum!

QuinoaAlmondCake103

Almond Quinoa Cake
2 cups Almond Flour
1 cup Quinoa Flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
Flaxseed Egg Replacer (or 3 eggs)
3/4 cup Pure Organic Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Coconut Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk (from can)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Prepare flax eggs by combining 9 tablespoons of water with 3 tablespoons ground flax and letting sit for approx five minutes (until gelatinous).

Mix flax eggs with coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla, then add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake for approx 30-40 minutes.

While the cake is cooking, prepare the frosting by mixing all the ingredients until the frosting is smooth and creamy. You may need to play with the ratio of sugar to coconut milk.

Then simply frost the cake and enjoy.

QuinoaAlmondCake

I’m off to Los Angeles this weekend with the hubby and a few friends. This will be my first ever extended getaway without Berlin. While I’m crazy excited for a solo weekend, I have to admit I get a little teary eyed just thinking about being away from my little one. But its been two years, so the time has come for us to separate a bit.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend! I know I will be enjoying every minute of it.



Bookmark and Share
 

Berlin Turns Two

QuinoaAlmondCake104

SecondBirthday103

SecondBirthday102

SecondBirthday107

SecondBirthday104

SecondBirthday106

Today you are two,
You’re two today
What can I tell you
What can I say

Can I tell you about the ocean
As blue as blue can be
It stretches for miles
As far as the eye can see

Can I tell you about the moon
With many different faces
It sneaks into your room
And hides in dark spaces

Can I tell you about stars
And wishes come true
They twinkle and they shine
Especially for you

Can I tell you about dreams
that flicker and ignite
they carry you through life
on a glorious flight

Can I tell you about music
Which makes you laugh and dance
It makes you wiggle your hips
Like there’s ants in your pants

Can I tell you about love
It’s a wonderful thing
It warms you at night
And makes your heart sing

Can I tell you about puppies
Hamsters and cats
Fish in a bowl
With names like Jack

So much to see
So much to do
Welcome to the big world
Now you are two

Poem by the talented Grandma (Jo-Anne) Bartz

 


Bookmark and Share
 

33/52

33.52

“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Berlin: In desperate need of a haircut, but something is so endearing about her in this messy, raw state.

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity.



Bookmark and Share
 

Kitchen Remodel: Part Two

After an intense 30 days, I’m thrilled to announce the kitchen remodel is complete! After months of researching, designing and planning I was terribly nervous the vision in my head wouldn’t become a reality. But in the end I’m more than pleased with the finished product and couldn’t have asked for a smoother, less hectic demolition. My contractor did an amazing job and was incredibly respectful of our space and an overall joy to work with. After hearing so many horror stories, I feel so incredibly fortunate for the seamless experience we had.

Kitchenremodel.6

Kitchenremodel.7

There were so many things I disliked about this kitchen (its hard to know where to start), but first thing I knew I wanted to change, from the moment we stepped foot in the house, was removing the wall between the kitchen and living spaces.

You can see the former owners made a go at it by making pocket windows on each side, but it wasn’t achieving the open living spaces I was craving. We had several contractors and an engineer come in and give us quotes and options for removing the wall. Most were outrageously expensive and we were afraid we weren’t able to achieve the look we wanted.

Kitchenremodel.2

In the end we were able to eliminate one of the posts and open up the walls completely, and the result is a dream come true. The open space between the dining/kitchen/living room is perfect for our family and an absolute entertainers dream (my first dinner party can’t come soon enough!).

Kitchenremodel.5

Kitchenremodel.1

Kitchenremodel.3

So there it is, my white kitchen come true. I won’t be leaving the kitchen anytime soon, so expect a lot of recipes coming your way.




Bookmark and Share