Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Italian Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is SO good, and totally versatile as well. You could add olives, artichokes, etc to it. I personally just added what we like to it, but you can definitely add or replace ingredients as well to make it your own! 

Salad Ingredients:
(makes a large salad)

1 lb uncooked rotini (corkscrew) 
1 package sliced pepperoni, cut into quarters 
1 package salami (I get the one from trader joes, that size was perfect for this salad), sliced and cut into quarters  
1 tomato diced
1/2 of a medium onion, very finely diced
1 (1 lb.) block mozzarella cheese, cubed
Large handful of spinach, roughly chopped

Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano 
1 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon italian seasoning


Cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Rinse under cool water. 

Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a LARGE bowl. Once pasta is cooled add it to the bowl.

In a separate small bowl combine dressing ingredients and whisk until sugar is dissolved.

Combine dressing with the salad and serve! I personally think its better the next day but it can be served immediately as well.

Store in the refrigerator.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Becoming a Mom - the first 2 months

The first couple weeks of Lincoln's life at times were unbearably hard and so great at the same time. I knew that postpartum depression or the baby blues happening was a possibility but I just prayed it wouldn't happen. I dreamed of this for so long, and I just wanted everything to be wonderful...and it was...and it wasn't. I want to say probably around the time we got home from the hospital the baby blues came on. The lack of sleep, the pain from the c-section and pretty much having no clue what we were doing made it even worse I think. My hormones were just out of control. Almost the whole day I would be crying. Then crying even more because I was upset for being upset. It was a vicious cycle. My mom would text me to ask how I was doing, and just reading the text would send me over the edge and the crying would start again. I felt so much guilt for not being "happy". Even writing this I still feel some. Wondering if I could have prevented it in some way. Of course I KNOW it was out of my control. But I wanted that overwhelming happiness and love you hear about, for it to have instantly taken over me. I had still felt so cheated with my birth, and not having that moment of having him on my chest after he was born and getting that instant skin to skin time. I honestly 4 months later still feel sad about it. It makes me wonder if the situation was different and I did have the birth I dreamed of, if the baby blues wouldn't have happened. At the end of the day though, there is nothing I can change about it, and we made it out just fine. After a few days when Lincoln started sleeping better and I was able to get a little sleep here and there I started to feel much better. Its amazing how just a couple hours of sleep can help you. By 2 weeks the baby blues seemed to be gone, thank goodness. He started sleeping through the night (most nights) around a couple weeks old, I don't know how it happened but I'm not complaining! It would be so funny because he would find things and just focus on them, mostly the ceiling and shadows.

Nursing has been one of the hardest and greatest things. I really really struggled with it the first few weeks. Wondering if I was going to be able to push through. At around 2 weeks old I was ready to give up. I called a lady who rented hospital pumps and she wanted to know a little about my struggle with nursing. I told her what we were struggling with and she informed me, especially with it being so new still that by just exclusively pumping this soon could possibly dry my supply up and she recommended that I go see a lactation consultant, and if we couldn't get a handle on it to call her back and I could rent the pump. Breast feeding was something that was SO important to me. I knew it would be hard, but I never knew HOW hard. So I decided to take her advice and go see the LC and it did help a little, but more than anything it made my desire to stick it out and push through the pain come back. It wasn't until he was at least around 2 months old that it wasn't painful to nurse. It was a long road, but I'm so thankful we were able to figure it out!

11 days after Lincoln was born we celebrated his first Easter! We of course had it at my parents house and it was a lot of fun. Most of it was taking pictures of him.

Around 3 weeks old we started cloth diapering. I was afraid that with Louie just being back to work and with myself being alone with Lincoln that adding diaper laundry on top of everything would be somewhat overwhelming for me. Plus, the first two weeks Louie did 99% of the diaper changes. He was awesome. We had somewhat of a routine, especially since the first week getting up and down because of the c-section was SO hard that he was trying to make it as easy on me as possible that he just kind of took over that job. He never ONCE complained about changing a diaper. There were times he even lost sleep and got up with the baby and let me sleep because he knew how much I needed it. Ok enough bragging about my awesome husband ;)...but one day I decided to pull out one of his newborn sized cloth diapers just for fun. I LOVED IT. I was mad I waited so long to do it! It was SO easy, and he looked adorable in them lets be honest. :) From that day on we never looked back! It has been one of the best decisions we ever made.

Within the first month Lincoln was growing so much and learning new things what seemed like everyday! He was getting such a cute personality already. He makes the funniest facial expressions. Towards the end of his first month he was starting to make little coo noises and he also had his first photoshoot at exactly one month old. He did pretty good, but he wasn't a fan of the many outfit changes he had to do. He also developed thrush in his mouth around 3 weeks old. We tried SO many different medications and/or natural remedies to try to get rid of it.

May was a surreal month because it was my very first mothers day. Something I dreamed of for so many years, and I was actually able to celebrate it. We went with my parents to the Queen Mary. We thought it was very fitting to have it there. They had a special mothers day brunch, and we had an amazing afternoon. Lincoln slept through 90% of the time we were there!

At his 2 month checkup he had gone from 8.13lbs at birth to 12.13lbs. He also grew 2 inches.

His facial expressions were changing so much and he just makes the greatest faces. He was also ALMOST smiling. He LOVED (and still loves) going outside. Especially to see the horses. And bath time is still one of his favorite things. His first bath was a disaster, he cried the whole time, but ever since then he absolutely loves it.

He changed so much in his first 2 months of life, and it is so fun to watch. Sometimes I just stare at him in disbelief that he is actually mine. Louie and I catch ourselves just talking about the future, what he will be like, what his little voice will sound like, his first trip to Disneyland....its fun to think about. But I want to savor these times also and not have it pass to quickly!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

BLT Salad

So I found this recipe on pinterest (Here is the original recipe) and I had to try it. BLT's are probably my favorite salad but I wasn't sure how the whole lime juice thing would go over as the dressing. AND IT WAS AMAZING. Probably one of the best salads ever...in my little old opinion at least. So I had to share!

Serves 2
-Handful (you know I don't measure anything) of your favorite lettuce. I used a combo of iceburg, spinach and romaine. Chop it all up to your desired size.
-about 1/2 cup or so of corn
-1/2 tomato diced
-4 to 5 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
-4 oz feta cheese
-1 avocado diced
-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
-Juice of 1 lime
-pepper to taste

Cook your bacon, and combine everything in a bowl. And your done! SO easy and seriously delicious. The avocado and feta mixed with the oil and lime juice almost make it creamy.