February 19th: Diaper Bag Must Have’s

Whats in my Diaper Bag?

Some of my favorite Mommy blogs have weekly entries where they ask some of their favorite followers to post what’s in their diaper bag… So I thought I’d share with you what my top 10 things are inside of my diaper bag…

Bag of Choice:  Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag/Backpack

  1. I-phone (although I’m in desperate need of an upgrade!)

  1. Pampers Diapers and wipes

  1. Baby Snacks

  1. Mini First Aid Kit

  1. Extra t-shirt for the baby (You never know when you might have an accident!)

  1. Plastic bags for ‘trash’ or messy clothes

  1. Sippy Cup with Water

  1. Wallet (Lodis – which I won from Melissa Dell’s contest)

  1. Disposable disinfectant wipes

  1. A favorite Book or Toy

February 18th: Weekly Menu (February 19-24th)

Last week’s menu was kind of a disaster… We had some plumbing issues in our kitchen sink which forced us to eat out a few extra days and nights, along with me forgetting that we always get takeout on Valentine’s Day (since I figure I deserve a night off from cooking), but we did eat what we purchased, it just wasn’t in the order that I had originally planned. But that’s life right? So this week I’m hoping the same thing doesn’t happen but it’s always good to know that ‘things’ will come up!

Sunday – Fish (Cod or Tilapia) Tacos with homemade guacamole

Monday – Chicken Enchiladas with Side Salad (make Sunday night so I just have to put in oven on Monday)

Tuesday – Broiled Salmon with Honey-Dijon marinade, mashed yams, and Steamed Broccoli

Wednesday – Organic Sausage and Veggie Omelets (Breakfast for Dinner)

Thursday – Chicken sautéed in Coconut oil, with Avocado-Edamame spread, cucumber, lettuce & tomato, in a wrap

Friday – Takeout (as always!)

Dinner Grocery List:

Cod or Tilapia

Corn tortillas x2

Avocados x4

Organic Chicken x2




Shredded Carrots

Bell Peppers

Ezekiel wraps

Limes x3

Honey(check cupboard*)

Dijon (check refrigerator*)

Enchilada Sauce



Broccoli (check freezer*)

Frozen Edamame

Organic Sausage

Organic Eggs

Vegan Cheese


Coconut Oil (Check refrigerator*)

February 17th: Homemade Kale Chips

I have been wanting to make these for a while now, and since they are now carrying Kale at Trader Joe’s, we’ve been buying it for our smoothies, I figured it was a great opportunity to make these. I love the Kale chips that I purchase at whole foods, so I felt like it was only a matter of time before I made these at home myself.


  • Bunch of Kale
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Chili powder

How to Steps:

1. Preheat to oven to 375 degrees.

2. Make sure Kale leaves are washed and dried well.

3. Combine the Kale and olive oil in a bowl and rub until well coated. Sprinkle with sea salt and other seasonings to taste.

4. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes or less depending on your oven. Watch carefully, and remove as soon as they start to get crispy and slightly browned.

5. Serve immediately.

My overall review (for out first trial), both my husband and I enjoyed them but it was a little hard to watch them bake with my son running around. And you really have to watch them carefully or else they will burn. Ours got a little crispier than I would have liked but they still tasted good. I’ll do it again without my son there to watch and maybe replace the sea salt with garlic powder.

Kale chips

February 16th: Restaurant Review – Urbane Café

Who: Urbane Café – http://www.urbanecafe.com/

What: A fast food service restaurant (i.e. you go up to the counter to order your food and they call your number when your food is ready). They offer Soups, Salads, and Sandwiches with fresh ingredients, made fresh daily.

Where: This particular location is located in Stevenson’s Ranch, CA. However, they offer other locations in San Diego, CA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Ventura, CA, Oxnard, CA, and Agoura Hills, CA.

When: They are open for lunch and dinner, 7 days a week

Monday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm

Why (my review): This happens to be one of my favorite spots for a hearty vegetarian salad. I order steamed portobello mushroom in replace of chicken on their Urbane Café Salad. They make their bread fresh on the spot and its served on the side of each salad or a part of their freshly prepared sandwiches. The service is very quick, even during their busiest times. One time I ordered my favorite salad and I got half way to work and realized that they gave me a chicken salad. So I turned around to exchange my order and the manager was helping in the kitchen and gave me a free lunch coupon for my next visit. I was pretty angry at first but this shows that they really care about their customers. Additionally, for the quality of the meal, the prices are very reasonable!

Steamed Portabello Mushroom, Mixed Greens, Avocado, Pears, Pecans, Goat Cheese, Balsamic Dressing, Fresh Hearth Bread

February 15th: 16 Months

16 months ago today, Bode Diego was born…  And at this age, his personality is really starting to come out!  He is a very curious little boy, with little fear of anything, loves to be adventurous, has a sweet tooth, and enjoys a good laugh.  He proudly shouts “Da-da” with a big smile, and whine’s “Ma-ma” whenever he needs some comforting.  While his vocabulary isn’t very big right now, he can speak a few phrases like “where’d it go”, “oh, no”, “uh, oh”, “all done”… And whatever he doesn’t know how to say he once again calls it “Da-da” (like our dog – Boss).  He continues to hate both shoes and socks but loves animals, especially dogs.  Anytime he sees an animal on T.V. or on the street he points them out and begins barking with a high pitch voice, “woof, woof”.  He loves books, and if we don’t get the chance to read in the afternoon, we always double up and make bath time, reading time!  With each new month I always think, “it can’t get any better than this,” and it does!  The fact that I can now communicate with my little boy makes having a baby feel more like having a little human.  My favorite time of the day during the week is when I pick him up from Daycare.  As I walk around the corner, and he sees me, his face lights up, and he runs into my arms.  This is the most amazing feeling because I know he missed me as much as I missed him.  Being a working mom is tough because I know I’m missing out on new discoveries or changes he makes in his life.  But I’m constantly reminding myself that my working is helping us both to become independent.  Me without having a baby (running) next to me at all times, and him without his Mommy constantly trying to hold his hand and guide him everywhere.  As I reflect back on this month, I could sit here and say all the things that I am looking forward to but instead I’ll just be grateful for the present time and all the exciting moments that we share…

Watching Daddy reading a book...

Being silly with milk on his face...

February 14th: Valentines Day

NaBloPoMo Valentine’s Prompt – “Tell us about someone you love…”

The person I decided to spotlight on this blog post is my husband.  We have been together since right after graduating High School in 2000 (almost 12 years now) and I’m so lucky to be married to my best friend!  We’ve managed to stay together even though we were long distance for half of our college careers and 6 months of him working for the Angel’s minor league baseball system in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we’ve purchased and raised a dog together, gone through the wedding planning process, purchased our first home, but having a child together has been the most life changing experience ever.  My son looks so much like my husband, and every time I look into his eyes I’m reminded of the love of my life and what an amazing gift we’ve been given.  Being a parent is what unconditional love is all about.  I’ve never had more love in my life than I do now with my little family.  My husband is not the most romantic person in the world but he does support me and is always there to hold my hand when I need him.  He did however surprise me  today when he stopped by my work to deliver pink tulips, a card, and my favorite green smoothie from whole foods. I’m a lucky gal!

It’s always fun to have an excuse to buy those that you love something thoughtful.  I bought my boys Disney shirts for our future trip to Disneyland and some sweets from our favorite local cookie shop – Lady Di’s.  In fact, we love Lady Di’s so much, we served them as our favors for our wedding which was almost 3 years ago.  Tonight we celebrate, as we have on past Valentine’s, with takeout and relaxing at home together.  Happy Valentines to everyone out there, whether you are spending it with your significant other, kids, parents, extended family members, friends, or pets, cherish the ones you love because there is nothing more valuable in life! xoxo

Pre-Valentine's Day homemade chocolate covered strawberries 🙂

Gifts for my Loves...

Chocolate-Caramel covered Apple

February 13th: Monday Motivation

Happy Monday…  Did you make the most out of the first day of the week?  I know for myself, if I get up early and fit my workout in at 6am instead of 8pm, it gives me that much more time in the evening to do all the things I need to do around the house (and trust me, my to-do list is never ending!)

I decided to post some inspiring quotes I found on (you’ll never guess…) Pinterest!  In fact, when I’m feeling like I need just one more push to get out there and run or lift weights, I love Pinterest for that extra motivation… Enjoy!

Is that inspirational enough?  Work it!

February 12th: How to Create a Weekly Menu…

Menu planning has to be one of the most relaxing parts of my week. I’m a ‘list’ person so any excuse to make lists makes me happy!

I always start off with the most expensive part of the meal or the main substance that creates it – for us and most people its meat (especially because I only eat Organic meat)… Next I think about how many times my husband will be eating dinner with us or working late… This week he’ll be eating all meals with us. Once that is determined, I can start to put the meat sources under the day we’ll be eating them here is an example:

Sunday – Salmon

Monday – Organic Chicken

Tuesday – Ground Organic Beef

Wednesday – Tilapia or Cod (whichever is cheaper this week) **I always cook fish the day I purchase it or else it will go bad!

Thursday – Organic Chicken

Friday – Eat Out!

Saturday – Organic Chicken

Next I will plan my vegetables around the meal, whether it will be a salad or steamed veggies. I try to overlap where I can so that nothing goes to waste…

Sunday – Salmon + steamed Broccoli

Monday – Organic Chicken + sautéed bell peppers + raw carrots

Tuesday – Ground Organic Beef + Lettuce and Carrots to make lettuce wraps

Wednesday – Tilapia or Cod + Side Salad

Thursday – Organic Chicken + Salad

Friday – Eat Out!

Saturday – Organic Chicken + Chinese Chicken Salad Mix

After I balance out my meals with a small carbohydrate, I can officially post the menu… well posting in my mind is emailing or texting my husband… ‘This is what’s for dinner this week honey’ haha… But I am planning on making or investing in a large decorative chalkboard so that I can physically post my menu for my family to see each week!

I understand that many people are on a budget so I think the best way to eat healthy and well is to not waste the food you are purchasing. Perhaps you could use meat sparingly and fill up on vegetables like a large salad. You can find some great deals on produce at your local farmers market and locally grown produce is 2nd to organic so its a great choice verus purchasing from the grocery store. Another tip is to make things from scratch. There are so many convenient options out there but in reality you are saving time but not money on these items. Think about whats most important to you because in some cases time may be more important, each family is different! But remember that buying good, quality food is an investment in your life. If you take care of your body now, you will live to be healthier with less pain and age better.

Final Next week’s menu:

Sunday – Salmon, Steamed Broccoli, Couscous

Monday – Organic Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday – Ground Organic Beef Lettuce wraps

Wednesday – Breaded Cod or Tilapia, side salad, and whole grain rolls

Thursday – Organic Chicken over mixed green salad with whole grain rolls

Friday – Eat Out!

Saturday –Chinese Chicken Salad

February 11th: Super Green Smoothie

I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out to eat and thought, ‘I could totally make this at home!’ Well my husband and I are always looking for new, tasty ways to get our greens into our diets without having to spend all day chopping vegetables. I love salads but sometimes I wish I had a chef for all the work it takes to prep them. Anyways… we were at whole foods new smoothie bar and decided to order the ‘Farmers Garden Smoothie’ which includes – fresh squeezed OJ, fresh spinach, fresh kale, 1 banana, and strawberries…. it was delicious! You couldn’t even taste the greens and my son practically drank my entire smoothie. I happen to think that the OJ is a great balance for all those fresh greens. So of course I decided to make it at home… Now I don’t own a fancy blender, just a basic one, so rest assured, you too can make this at home and you will LOVE it!

Step 1: Make fresh OJ with Navel Oranges (purchased from our local farmers market). We use our attachment for the kitchenaid mixer. (You can purchase from the store but the fresh squeezed tastes so much better!)

Step 2: About 1 cup of OJ goes into the blender, then add 2 cups of fresh organic spinach, about 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 1 banana (that I sliced and froze the night before), and 1 cup of fresh kale purchased at our local farmers market.

Step 3: Blend

Step 4: Enjoy!

February 10th: “Do you live close to your family?”

For today’s ‘blog once a day in the month of Feburary,’ I, once again, decided to use NaBloPoMo’s Prompt of the day: “Do you live close to your family?”

I love today’s prompt because as a new parent having your family nearby is so important! My husband and are from the same town, we both went away to college (eventually graduating from the same school) in San Diego, and after brief moments of living in the Valley and San Diego again, we finally made our home back in the same town we grew up in. When we made the decision to purchase a home, before we had a child, living as far away from our parents but in the same City was definitely part of our decision making process. We chose a location that is about 15 minutes away from either set of parents, which is just enough time for them to come over without just ‘popping in’. I guess it was just as important for us to grow on our own without our parents always looking over us. But now that WE are parents, I sometimes wish that our parents were only walking distance away. Funny how things change! We are so lucky to have family to watch our son when we need or want to go do things without him. Never really having to worry about a babysitter. When the time comes to move one day, both my husband and I agree that if we lived even closer to our families it would be a good thing, especially because the location of homes we might be interested in are much closer to both of our families. This is not only important for day to day events but also for the holidays when you need to be more than one place at the same time. We can easily drive around our town and visit with our families but for the most part we LOVE having them all over at our house so that they can all be under one roof. I know I’ve said this over and over again but my son is SO lucky to already be so close with his grandparents.

I’d recommend if you have the choice, to make your home, once you decide to have kids or soon after your kids are born, close by at least one family member. The bond that your child builds with his or her family is invaluable! My son won’t have any close cousins (since our siblings are much younger than us) but he will have lots of grandparents and aunts and an uncle who loves him very much!