Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Month of Dinners: Menu Plan for October {and Some Honesty about Motherhood}

In an attempt to make my life a little easier, I'm planning all of our dinners for October at once.

I usually love reading, especially online articles and blog posts, because it keeps me informed about and connected to what's going on outside the walls of our house. Now that the majority of my time is spend inside our house taking care of an infant, that connection often feels like a breath of fresh air.

But, lately, I've been getting more and more annoyed by the things I'm reading, specifically the things related to motherhood and/or parenthood. The judgment. The cattiness. The inability of certain people to express their opinions without taking deliberate shots at one another.

(And don't get me started about the people who only want to tell you that "it gets worse" as you have more kids.)

It disheartens me that this has become the norm. I've actually scrapped entire drafts of blog posts about my personal experiences as a new mom -- both positive and negative -- because I was afraid of the type of response they'd get.

I've become more guarded in what I share because I'm finding that adjusting to life with a baby and navigating the ups-and-downs of parenthood is hard enough without also having to dodge the judgement, the cattiness, and the inability of certain people to express their opinions without taking deliberate shots.

But, enough is enough. I'm done hiding behind my fears.

It's time to get real with you.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Life + Technology: Testing the LG G4 for Verizon Wireless

I've partnered with Verizon Wireless of the Philadelphia Tri-State Region to see how certain devices operating on Verizon's 4G LTE network enhance my day-to-day life, both as a food blogger and as a new mom.

In continuation with my partnership with Verizon Wireless of the Philadelphia Tri-State Region, I've spent some time testing another mobile device that operates on their 4G LTE network (known as the "fastest and most reliable in the U.S.") to determine how the right device could enhance my day-to-day life. Previous reviews focused on the ways I used mobile technology in conjunction with my blogging endeavors, but now I'm going to add another layer to the mix by also considering how certain mobile devices help me navigate through life as a new parent.

As Caroline discovers more about the world, my fascination with her grows. It seems as if she's constantly learning something new, and it's only a matter of time until she figures out how to coordinate her body movements so she can crawl. (She's soooo close!) I don't always want to rush and grab my DSLR (assuming I'm able to remember where I left it), so having a reliable mobile device like the LG G4 to capture the everyday moments and the milestone moments is incredibly important to me.

In today's blog post, I'm sharing my thoughts about the G4, as well as some of the photos I took (and subsequently posted on Instagram). Keep reading to see what I had to say!

Monday, September 21, 2015

How To: Make and Freeze Homemade Baby Food {Carrot Purée}

Babies love the natural sweetness of carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene that helps keep developing eyes healthy.

When we brought Caroline in for her four-month well-baby checkup, her pediatrician surprised us by giving us the green light to start her on solids. Although I had read in several places that babies are developmentally ready to begin trying solid foods, I had been mentally preparing myself for that milestone to occur at around six months, not four.

The doctor sensed my hesitation and said, "When you're ready, let her try some cereal and see how it goes. She may be ready, she may not. When you discover she is ready, then I think you're going to have a lot of fun introducing her to different foods."

It was as if he was reading my mind. I couldn't remember whether I told him about my own personal passion for food and cooking. My still-developing mother's intuition was saying it was still a little early to break out the rice cereal, but I have to admit... I loved the idea of it.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Raspberry Rugelach {and a Lesson in Imperfection}

These crescent-shaped pastries are the perfect sweet bites to serve at your next weekend brunch get-together or with your afternoon cup of coffee or tea.

It's taken six months, but the sleep deprivation that goes along with being a new parent has finally caught up to me. Lately, I've been clumsier, short-tempered, more impatient than I'd like to admit, and so forgetful that it's almost funny.

Depending on the time of day, conversations with me can be downright nonsensical, and I've had trouble comprehending simple instructions. Including the instructions in this recipe for Raspberry Rugelach, a recipe I've been wanting to try ever since I saw it in the December 2014 issue of Food & Wine.

Obviously, a lot has happened since that issue hit the stands, so the recipe joined the pile of other recipes accumulating in my "to try" folder. It wasn't until I recently agreed to collaborate on a project with my friend Silagh that I realized I had the perfect excuse to break out our marble pastry board, and try my hand at making rugelach from scratch.

But the baby decided to be fussy the day I planned to bake, pulling my focus and testing my patience. It took me longer than I expected to settle her down. When I returned to the kitchen, I tried to make up the lost time by moving more quickly. I felt pretty proud of myself that I was able to get back on schedule.

That feeling of pride dissipated pretty quickly, though, as I made one mistake after another, including failing to include one of the ingredients altogether.