Three years ago I could barely boil water. Determined to be a kick ass wife who not only watched football, but who could make a mean meal anytime, I taught myself how to cook. Now I write recipes, sample local eats & blog about it all!

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The Pantry
Friday
Jan172014

Friday Fun

{I think this image from someecards is showing what men THINK happens but doesn't quite capture reality...Shaun claims this is our life. I think not.}

Hi there! Sorry I've been missing this week, but work has been a little crazy and so it's all I can do to not completely pass out as soon as I hit the couch at 8pm. I'm really looking forward to a three day weekend ahead, filled with a little relaxation time (I hope!). My DVR is overflowing and just begging to be watched, not to mention a plethora of football on Sunday afternoon that's primed for homemade wings and pizza dip

Meanwhile, here are some other things I'm digging this week:

Jersey City, which will house the teams for the Superbowl at the Meadowlands in just a couple of weeks, has commissioned a street artist for this awesome celebratory mural.

Oscar noms were announced this week...have you seen any of these films? I've only seen American Hustle and loved it! Next on my list are Her and Dallas Buyers Club...that is, if I ever get to go to the movies again...

...while the SAG awards are tomorrow night. Not sure how I feel about them on a Saturday night, but then I realized that I don't go anywhere anyway, so no bigs.

I can't wait to try this recipe for homemade coffee creamer

Not sure how I arrived at this, but apparently the city I should live in is Tokyo...hmm...

{source}

And finally, does anyone know if the brownie batter donut is coming back this year? It so reminds me of Penelope's birth, since not only was it the last thing I ate before going into labor (#healthy obviously), but we proceeded to eat them for days and days following since so many people brought them to the hospital for us to enjoy...

 

I hope you all have a great weekend!

What are your plans?

 

Friday
Jan102014

{Avidly Admiring} The Cozy Scarf

 

Happy Friday, friends! This post is so apropos for today since the weather is wet with a mix of snow, rain and sleet. Yuck.

 

So today I want to talk about scarves. I have so many, and yet never enough. There's nothing like a pretty scarf to up the ante on any outfit or outerwear, am I right?

 

My sister Kimberly introduced me to this cozy scarf from Gap over Christmas and I knew it had to be mine. Since I was feeling pretty uninspired by my winter outerwear options (I traditionally don an unexciting black wool hat, long black North Face coat and a gray pashmina-type scarf), I thought this was the perfect time to brighten it up a bit. When I found this bright blue, pink and ivory number, it was just perfect. It's nice and thick and oh-so-soft. I love bundling up on my morning walks to daycare and the office, and also sheathing myself with it on those chilly in-office days. Paired with a new, slouchy knit hat from Urban Outfitters, I actually look forward to bundling up in the morning!

 

What are you admiring lately?

 

Any fun weekend plans?
I cannot wait to spend some long overdue time with friends tomorrow. Sunday will be spent shopping and crafting for a certain someone's first birthday and watching the Golden Globes with my mom! I love awards season!

 

 

Thursday
Jan092014

11 Months

 

Well...this is my last update before Penelope's first birthday. She is eleven months old now and she is really starting to seem like a big girl.

 

The biggest update is that just a few days before Christmas, Penelope started standing. Cue the tears, and in more ways that one. Not only is she growing up, but she now needs to be completely supervised at all times...no more putting her down and thinking she won't move anywhere!

 

Since then, it feels like she gets more grown-up every day. She crawls right over to something and pulls herself right up. In the last couple of days, she has even started showing off quite a bit by only holding on with one hand.

 

We haven't started the full on baby proofing (but will in the next few weeks), but we did begin replacing some of our DVDs and other junk in our media unit baskets with Penelope's toys. She absolutely loves this! It's amazing how fast she learned that all of her stuff was in there. One of her favorite activities is to empty boxes and bins, and so this is perfect for her since she can stand right up, peer into the baskets, and remove what she pleases.

 

In the eating department, she continues to eat like a champ. Her favorite food these days seems to be watermelon, and her utter joy when getting to gobble up the tiny cubes totally justifies the $7 containers of pre-cut, out of season fruit. She also loves her pasta (like her mama!), veggies, eggs, yogurt, applesauce, and basically anything else we decide to give her. Last weekend I even gave her a little bit of pizza from my plate and she loved it (she is from Jersey, after all).

 

We celebrated Penelope's first Christmas, which was so fun and makes me beyond excited for the years to come. She got so many new toys which are so perfect for her age right now. She loves her instrument set, activity table, ride-on and little playsets the most right now. Anything with sound and lights just make her happy, especially a little egg-shaped maraca that she shakes and looks so pleased with herself. Santa brought her the B. Parum Pum Pum Drum set and it is adorable.

 

 

 

 

Penelope has continued to sleep really well at night, and naps continue to be really tough. The kid simply hates to nap, and I can't even complain since she sleeps for 10-11 hours overnight. 

 

Penelope still loves Mickey Mouse and so that will be the theme for her first birthday party! A few of you have asked and even suggested a 'Sweet P' theme, which I absolutely adore! I had originally planned to do something a little more color-themed (lavender and light blue, perhaps?), but I didn't see how I could not do a Mickey party, as it really just captures her love and excitement right now. I can't wait to share all of the details with you in just a few weeks!

 

On a personal note, I've been spending so much time over the last couple of weeks reminiscing about this time last year. Last January was such a momentous and expectant time as I was waiting to meet my precious little girl. It just continues to amaze me how much life has changed in the last year, and I don't ever want to forget those months of waiting for her arrival. It was such a special time in my life. I also had a great pregnancy, and so I never had that 'I can't wait for this to be over' feeling, even toward the end when I was enormous and not sleeping. I really soaked up every second...every nap, every indulgent Wendy's Frosty, every Saturday morning trip to the movies and every bit of prep that this tiny little person required. 

 

And here she is...all bundled up to brave the polar vortex and bringing joy to my life every single day. We're almost to your first whole year...pass the wine (in sadness and celebration).