Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holy Mole and Pizza

Tyson and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going out to eat at some of our favorite restaurants...and if you know us, we have PLENTY on our "must have" list. We tend to go somewhere based on our cravings (and believe it or not, Tyson is the one with INSANE cravings) and based on location. Last night was our first venture out to the newly dubbed "street scene" 30th on 30th in North Park. It is a great way for 30th Street North Park restaurants to feature their specialty items at discount prices on the 30th of every month . Some pubs offer $3 pints of local beers, or you can get street tacos for 2 bucks, etc. 30th Street is a foodies dream! You can get farm-to-table food at Urban Solace and Linkery, Veggie Dogs at Toronado, delectable desserts at Heavenly Desserts, and finger-licking-good mole at Cantina Mayahuel. Our top pick? MOLE!

Cantina Mayahuel is a Yucatecan inspired restaurant that is known for their mole that consists of about 30 ingredients, tequilas and daily specials--including Paella. Their outside seating is perfect for summer afternoons and can be pure heaven when a bucket of beer, chips and salsa and live Mexican music is added. It is a small restaurant, but with the open kitchen and decorative interior, there is plenty to look at. Tyson and I, in honor of the 30th on 30th, ordered the $2 chicken mole tacos and a side of chips and salsa. With the first bite, Tyson and I were speechless. Even Max couldn't keep quite! He is rolled around ferociously as I gobbled the taco down in two bites. We were pleasantly surprised. I wish I had brought my camera with me to document this glorious plate of goodness, but I did snap some on our visit a few months ago......

Our next stop (because you know Tyson and I NEVER just stop at one restaurant....some people bar hop, we restaurant hop!) was Blind Lady Ale House. And can I pre-promote that this place is KID FRIENDLY and we will make it our weekly stop once Max arrives ( I mean, what more can you ask for? Rare and exceptional beer list, healthy and organic pizza, long family style picnic tables....!!!) On this night, we ordered a duck confit salad, lightly tossed in a sweet, olive oil dressing. It was garnished with kumquats, crisp green beans, and beets....all farmers market fresh. For our main course (or dessert) we devoured a four cheese pizza with Swiss chard and anchovies (yes, the last two items were my request) Drizzled with truffle oil and lightly salted from the 'chovies, the pizza was BEYOND what we anticipated. We left giddy and with full bellies. Again, I do not have pictures from this fine event, but I do have pix from the past.

With our night out, I realized just how important our time with each other, as a two-person family, really is. In a few weeks, our focus will not be on what WE wanna do, but what Max will allow us to do. One piece advice that we hold close to our hearts is to enjoy our time now. And at Blind Lady and Cantina Mayahuel, we indulged ourselves incredibly. Will this all stop once our little guy arrives? Probably not.....we will just have to wait and see!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Food for Thought

On my "pre-Maxon" to-do list, one of the items to complete was making and freezing meals for Tyson and I (and any other family that lingers around at meal time).  From what everyone warns, the mere thought of cooking and cleaning is atrocious after taking care of a newborn all day long.  Now don't get me wrong, if you know Tyson, he will cook a meal at anytime of the day, no matter how exhausted he may be.  But the cleaning...well, that is up to me.  And I will not go to sleep unless my kitchen is clean.  


My wild and crazy Saturday night consisted of making an Eggplant Pesto Lasagna, Shepherds Pie, and an Mexican Egg Bake my grandma used to make for us on special occasions.  Along with these three entrees, we have stocked up on frozen snacks and easy bake cookies.  Nothing like being too prepared!  And after 6 hours of cooking (I also made a Gruy√®re and Root Gratin for Sunday nights dinner and Low-Fat Cinnamon Rolls for our Sunday morning), I was in pain! Legs, back and feet!  Tyson surprised me with coming home early from work and giving me a nice relaxing massage, so my Sunday morning walk around Lake Murray with my friend Chantel,  wasn't as dreadful as I thought it was going to be......

With springtime in the air, Tyson and I enjoyed a nice Sunday outing at the Rolando Street Fair and ran a few errands before my monthly book club and dinner and a movie.  Overall, our weekend was relaxing and productive.  We now have most of our "pre-Maxon" list completed!

Left on the list
  • Put up Maxon's letters/art/wall decals in nursery
  • Check fire alarms
  • CHP car seat inspection
  • Deep Clean house (this process will begin Monday, while Tys in golfing)
  • Re-organize Storage Areas (for MORE storage space for Maxon's grown out clothes)
  • Create Photo CD's of past year for memory box
  • Update baby book 
  • Start on Baby Announcements (get addressed and stamped)
  • Download birthing music on IPOD
  • Book hair, wax, nail appointment
  • Order flowers and send cards for April birthdays
  • Begin to think about Tyson's (31!) Birthday
  • Easter baking, cooking, and egg dying
  • Finish Gardening
 And I think that will do it!.......for now.......

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baby Stealing Obsession

When I was a few months pregnant, I was recommended by a friend to a website devoted to baby items and maternity clothes at a discounted price. Sounds good, right? Well here is the catch......Everyday, at 8am PST, features an item at a FANTASTIC price (items can sell for 20-90% off of the retail price) at a limited supply. So if you sign on at noon to get the newest posh diaper bag with matching outfit that usually sells for $200 but is on Baby Steals for $60, chances are that the item is SOLD OUT!

Just this morning I purchased an Ergo Baby Carrier for $70 after my fellow mommy friend texted me about it. I ran downstairs, signed on and plugged in my info. It makes mornings very fun and kind of mysterious, in that you have no idea what it going to be featured. Everything from Not Sox, Fashionable Teething Necklaces, Daddy Diaper Bags, stylish maternity jeans, to Baby Einstein DVD's. You are able to sign up for the daily emails, but I usually don't receive the emails until mid afternoon and by then, most of the items are gone.

Check out their sister website, and for more outrageous deals!

Day 5 of Nesting

With having my fifth day off, I am finding that my projects are flying off of my "To-do" list. My urgency for completion, considering I have 5 weeks to go? Every preggo friend I know has given birth....and EARLY! My frantic need to get everything settled, cleaned, organized, stored, and completed has set in. Today was a prosperous day as I checked off several items.

  • Washing all of Maxon's clothes, blankets, burp rags, socks in Seventh Generation Baby Detergent..... CHECK!

  • Making Sonny Homemade Doggy Treats to last the next few months.....Check!

  • Packing Hospital Bag.....Check!

  • Completing Maxon's Nursery.....Check!

  • Pre-pay Bills for the next few months....Check!

  • Setting up dates with friends....Check!
It is an endless list that will never go away until I am finally at the hospital, giving birth, completely distracted by the intense pain of labor.  It is only then when I will not have my sticky notes and pen, jotting down what needs to be done or what we need to be prepared for.  I know I cannot have complete control of everything, but I can sure attempt to be prepared for anything.  

I found this recipe a few years ago during my Christmas Cookie debacle that I torture myself with every single year.  I wanted to give Sonny a treat from Santa and found this would be a perfect gift.  For Christmas, I used a cookie cutter shaped as a dog bone, but for this time around, I pressed small balls into flat pieces.  These sometimes last longer, depending on how adorable my pooch is.  And with the upcoming arrival of Maxon, Sonny needs the extra spoiling and extra attention.

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large apple
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 cup of oatmeal
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350degrees F.  Core and mince apple. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Gradually add flour until stiff dough forms.  Place dough in rounded spoonfuls on cookie sheets (or flattened balls into disks). Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip treats and bake for additional 30 minutes at 325F.  Cool and store.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our Hunt for Children Books

Tyson and I both love to read, but I think my passion is bordering OCD/infatuation. I can read up to 5 books at a time. Non-fiction, fiction, teen horror (TWILIGHT!!) to cookbooks-I love them all. I can remember going to the library as a little girl and checking out stacks of books at a time. My heart races and I start sweating as I step into any Borders or Barnes and Noble. I can spend all day in a bookstore and library. The only problem that I find, is that I can never seem to keep up with my never-ending list of books to read.

And what a great way to start our little Maxon's obsession, than to start him early? I want him to have a book in hand, even though he cannot read a word. I want him to want us to read to him all of the time and even make up his own story to the pictures. I would love for him to have the same desire to go to the bookstores as much as Tyson and I do. I have even asked Tyson to start reading to my belly so he can get to know the books we have on hand for him when he enters our loving little Blake Family.

In shopping for some books for Maxon, it gave Tyson and I a chance to reminisce on our childhood favorites. I remember treasuring Danny and the Dinosaur, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, Brown Bear, Good Night Moon, just to name a few. Tyson loved Where the Wild Things Are, Ferdinand the Bull, and any nursery rhyme (which he amazingly remembers and recites to Maxon almost every night). We have "starter" book collection for him, but once Max arrives, the real book buying will begin.

Some things that I have learned in my search for children book resources;
  • The public library has an online "holding" process that allows you to search for a book within the county and have it delivered to your neighborhood library. Once the book arrives (approx 3-5 days), the library will send you a letter notifying you to pick up the book in the "HOLDS" section of your local library, under your last name. It is fast and convenient, especially if you are looking for some good books and have a limited time to spend on driving and searching.
  • There are SEVERAL websites where you can read children books online for free! Illustrations and all! One that I found that has some classics
  • Itunes has audio books of all of the children books. This is perfect for children who are starting to read, as they can point to the word in their book, as they listen to their audio. Audio books start from under a few dollars...VERY AFFORDABLE!

We would like some help with stocking our shelves with classic children books and would like to know what book we are missing from Maxon's bookcase. Let us know...What are some favorites??

Which one...????

Trying to pick the right one.....

Tyson reading Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes

Friday, March 12, 2010

Baby Bump Photo Session

Maxon had his first modeling experience on Tuesday and he was phenomenal! Our friend Jen Mann took beautiful pictures of our little family, in the comfort of our cozy home. We got a sneak peak at two of our pictures and we couldn't be more excited to see them all.

Jenny Mann is a phenomenal photographer/artist/friend who not only did a fantastic job with our belly pictures, but our wedding pictures as well. We love her work!!
****Go to Jenny's Website, click on Portraits, Baby Blake Gallery, Password is babyblake2010. ENJOY!***

Just Like Dad

With only a month and a half to go, the anticipation for Maxon's arrival is getting bigger for Tyson and I. What is his favorite toy going be? His favorite food? How is his laugh going to sound? What will he call us? Mommy, Ma, Mama, Dada? And with getting the 4D ultrasound, we somewhat know what he looks like. His large cheeks, vulumptous lips, muscle arms.... I think he looks exactly like Tyson and after looking at Tyson's baby pictures, I am beginning to worry......How am I going to say "no" to a face that closely resembles this........???????!!!!!!!