Hello, I love….S’mores Pie

A couple weekends ago, Reggie and I drove down to San Jose to meet up with his aunts and their beautiful baby boy. Since they were making dinner, I offered to make dessert. Then I sort of panicked. I am such a drama queen. See, I have not had any major cravings during this pregnancy. Even more strange, most sweets have even been completely unappealing. Salty foods are far more appealing. So I was a little stumped on what to make because nothing sweet sounded great to me. That was until I stumbled upon this recipe. S’mores Pie! Jessica from How Sweet It Is managed to take what happens to be my favorite pre-pregnancy combination of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows and turn it into a magnificent pie. I was sold. I followed the recipe exactly and it was truly perfect just the way it is. In the end, dinner was amazing and my dessert was a huge hit. And now I am back to loving sweets so this is some pretty powerful pie.

xo
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thoughts on becoming a stay at home mom

If you would have asked me at fifteen years old what I would be doing at age twenty-six I probably would have said something like “I will be a lawyer, definitely single (and definitely no babies), and living in California.” Well, at least I got one thing right.

Truth is, I am twenty-six, married, pregnant, and currently unemployed. When my husband was transferred back in October, I resigned from a teaching position that I finally really loved. My students were sharp, engaging and everything finally clicked that semester. See, I struggled with my teaching career from the very beginning. I always thought I was going to be a lawyer and then when I finally worked for a law firm in college, I realized that the life of a lawyer was something I no longer wanted. In the meantime, I was in love with my major of Communication Studies. I truly looked forward to going to class every single day and could see myself in front of a classroom teaching. Still I was not sure what I wanted to “do” exactly so I applied to graduate school in California.

The two years that followed proved to be the most challenging academic and personal years of my life. My whole life was dedicated to studying and teaching. I had never been pushed harder in school. Consequently, I lost some friends and gained some really great ones. In typical Jenna style, I started to have this aching inside of me that wanted something else, something more upon graduation from my Master’s program. I pushed any doubt to the side though and continued to teach for a year after I graduated. I started creating strong connections in the classroom and truthfully learned more about myself and from my students than anything. Despite that, I took a break from teaching to get some more practical experience and see if the (career) grass is greener on the other side (i.e. the real world). Turns out, for me, it wasn’t. I loved working for lululemon. I do not regret taking a break and trying something new because I learned so much about people, myself, and reaching my own goals.

One of my goals, in fact, for quite some time was to have a baby. Months into our relationship I knew that I was going to marry Reggie, but even before that I knew that I wanted to have a family with him. He is perfect for me in every way. After almost 5 years of dating, we married and immediately started trying to have a family. Over a year passed and no baby. We were disappointed every month but we were hopeful that it just was not our time yet. Then in October of last year Reggie and I decided to move to San Francisco. He had been living there Monday-Friday for work and there was no end in sight to the traveling. We wanted to be together and have a baby so a move just made sense. I was at peace with leaving my teaching position and I was very lucky that my department was incredibly understanding.

We were all unpacked by Halloween and I finally started to settle into our new place and relax. I didn’t even think about a baby at that point because, let’s face it, moves are stressful. That was until November 11th when I realized my period was late and I decided to take a pregnancy test just in case. When the second line appeared, I nearly fell over. I actually didn’t believe it. So I took another, and another. Three positives later and I had to call Reggie. There wasn’t going to be any fancy reveal here–not my style. Instead, in tears, I told him he was going to be a father. Together we sat in silence, crying, realizing our dream had finally come true. Life is funny like that. People who knew we were trying to have a baby would always tell me to just relax and it would happen. I realize that is not true for everyone but, for me, it really was.

So here I am, almost 25 weeks pregnant, and the happiest I have ever been. I laugh and shake my head thinking about my 15 year old self. I am literally her worst nightmare. There are moments where I feel ashamed because I have chosen to not only stay at home the whole pregnancy but for as long as possible after the baby is born. I then shake my head and laugh again because that is ridiculous. There is enough judgement in the world, I do not need to be doing the same to myself for something I know is right for me and my family. I am lucky that I can stay home and raise my son. I hope to go back to teaching years from now but I am not putting a timeline on anything. I have learned my lesson there.

As of today, this I know for sure: I love the life I have created with Reggie and I cannot wait for what the future holds. No regrets, just love.


xo

Bit(es) of my Weekend

This past weekend my parents and youngest sister Molli came to visit for her spring break. Though their visit was short, we managed to pack in a lot of fun activities and, naturally, a lot of eating. I know I said we normally try somewhere new each Friday but we simply could not resist taking them to Pizzeria Delfina on Friday afternoon. Everything was just as amazing as the last time. We even tried a few new dishes and I can honestly say that I highly recommend trying them all if you visit. Here are some of the dishes we sampled this time around:

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Homemade Burrata Cheese


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Butter Bean, Pancetta, & Escarole Soup


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The Best Meatballs


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Funghi Pizza


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Margherita Pizza

Our next stop was the fabulous Tartine Bakery. I am sure Delfina has great desserts but given that Tartine is two doors down and my family was only in town for the weekend, I could not pass up on the opportunity to take them there. Everything was perfect. I don’t really think you can go wrong with anything there and we really couldn’t make up our minds so we ended up ordering…a lot. Don’t worry though, nothing was wasted. You don’t waste Tartine. You just don’t.


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My lovely sister, Molli


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Morning Bun (with an addicting orange sugar topping)


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Lemon Meringue Cake


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Dulce de Leche Cake

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My Parents!

The next day we woke up bright and early and headed to Sonoma for our favorite breakfast place–Fremont Diner. We took our time enjoying our breakfast, sipping coffee and talking about life. I cherish those moments so much. I am really lucky because my parents raised me to have an opinion and really listen to what I have to say, even if it completely differs from theirs. I hope that I can instill this same sense of independent thinking in my own child. In addition to our usual breakfast banter, the usual suspects were there:

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{Almost Famous} Biscuits & Gravy

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Breakfast Sandwich

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The Kitchen Sink (Biscuits, Smoked Ham, Fried Chicken, Sausage Gravy, & a Fried Egg)

We then made our way back to San Francisco and headed to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the famous Ferry Building for a little sightseeing.

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It truly was the perfect weekend with my family. We ate really great food and saw some of my favorite parts of the city. Mostly, it was great to spend time with my parents and sister, talking and catching up on each other’s lives. I love my family so much and I can’t wait for the day when we all live close to each other again.

xo

the only banana bread recipe you will ever need


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Last night , I was awakened several times by the dreaded pregnancy leg cramps. I was laying there sound asleep and suddenly a deep, shooting pain pierced my calf muscle and I shot straight up out of bed. After flexing my heel a few times, the cramps quickly went away. While that is a great trick to get rid of the cramps when in the moment, I am far more interested in preventing the pain from ever happening. I read in my pregnancy books that often those cramps come from decreased potassium and eating bananas (high in potassium) is a great way to prevent the dreaded cramps.

So in the middle of the night, after waking up for the third time, I vowed to eat a banana for breakfast. However, as much as I love the taste of bananas, the thought of eating a raw banana sounded like the last thing I wanted to eat this morning. So I went with the next best thing: banana bread or in my case banana bread muffins.

Okay, well maybe there is not as much potassium in a banana bread muffin, but we are getting somewhere. Lately, I have been using this recipe from the blog, Not Without Salt. It the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried and I have tried a lot of different recipes in my life. This was probably my fifth time making them this year and I make absolutely no changes. There is simply no need. The recipe is simple and the result is utter perfection.

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I like to make mine into muffins because they make a perfect portable little snack…preferably with a dab of melted butter. Next time you have some ripe bananas sitting around, make this recipe. Now I think I am off to eat another….you know, just to keep those leg cramps away. 😉

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Almost 24 weeks!

xo

love & kicks

I don’t know about you but I had a long to-do list today and hardly anything was checked off. Oops. The day was not a total loss though. I ended up re-organizing our whole bedroom, cleaning the rest of the house, and finishing 3 loads of laundry. Nesting much?

Honestly, I was so focused that I couldn’t really stop myself. Then all of a sudden I felt a really hard kick from the baby like “hey, can you settle down for a minute Mom?” I had to stop and smile. Those moments are the truly amazing part of pregnancy. You are moving along with your day and then all of a sudden that little person in there keeps you in check, reminding you to take care of yourself and them. Of course, he is always on my mind and I would never do anything that is potentially harmful but I think today I was just busier than usual. Feeling that movement in your belly is so reassuring. Nothing beats it, truly. I love our little boy so much already. ❤

Here are some other things that I am loving lately…





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My husband laughed at me for buying these when we lived in Long Beach because rain is not an often occurence. Now that we live in the Bay Area, though, I have been wearing them almost every day due to the constant rain. Who is laughing now, my love? 😉



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These Old Navy maternity tanks are so soft (and long!) that I imagine I will wear them even after the baby is born. Love them!


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Speaking of comfort, these Gap Maternity leggings are pretty much rocking my world. My mom bought them for me right when I found out I was pregnant but they did not quite fit. Now that I am rocking a larger baby bump, I appreciate them so much more.


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I love how this Korres lip butter has the perfect balance of moisturizer and color. I am particularly fond of the sheer red shade–subtle but a great way to add a little extra punch to my usually boring daily make up routine.


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Finally…stretchmarks. So scary but so common in pregnant women. Everyone tells me that getting them is more about genes than lotions but I have been using this oil on my belly and hips and so far, so good. Even if it doesn’t work, at least it smells great and helps with the itchiness that comes with a growing belly.

xo

{Foodie Friday} Pizzeria Delfina

Most people love Fridays because the weekend is near and for the next two days they are free to do whatever they please. When I lived in Long Beach, I looked forward to Fridays for a different reason. Now that we live just outside of San Francisco, I have a whole new reason to look forward to Friday. The reason for my excitement is that each Friday my husband and I venture into the city so that he can check on a few projects and then he takes me to lunch anywhere I want. San Francisco is a total foodie city so I really look forward to trying somewhere new each time and exploring the different flavors the city has to offer. This is especially enjoyable because I am at the fun point in pregnancy, where food actually starts to taste good again. And Pizzeria Delfina was no exception. So far, this is my favorite wood-fired pizza place in the city.


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Located in the Mission District, Pizzeria Delfina features traditional and creative wood-fired pizzas in addition to fresh salads, homemade mozzarella, and small plate specials like arancini (rice balls) and meatballs. Think Naples meets New York style Pizza–pretty much my idea of perfection. The menu does rotate but the quality and service does not. We have been here once before and my husband and I agree this time around was even better. That says a lot, considering we were already planning a second visit while we were paying the check on our first trip.

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Today we started with the meatballs in sugo. Growing up, we ate meatballs almost every Sunday. My mom makes amazing meatballs, in addition to being an all around great cook. But these are sure giving her some stiff competition (don’t hate me Mom). They were moist and rich in flavor with a light tomato-meat sauce, accented perfectly with sharp parmesan cheese. If you ever stop by Pizzeria Delfina, don’t miss these. I could have eaten all 5 for my own personal appetizer. Luckily, for my husband, I felt like sharing.


After annihilating the meatballs, we moved on to two different pizzas–the Carbonara and the Margherita.

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The Carbonara features Guanciale, Scallions, Panna, Black Pepper, 1 Farm Egg, which they take the time to spread over the pizza halfway through cooking. This method really allows you to get a bit of yolky richness in each bite. You would think that the combination of cream sauce, bacon-like Guanciale, and an over easy egg would lead to a heavy, comma inducing like state, right? Not really. In fact, because their crust is so light, this dish does not weight you down. I had to restrain myself to not finish the whole thing myself.


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The Margherita Pizza was next. The crust was perfectly crisp and not weighed down by the sauce, which in itself was light and somewhat sweet. High quality, fresh mozzarella and crispy basil complete this simple pizza that continues to be named by 7×7.com as one of the 100 Things to Try Before You Die in San Francisco. Once you taste it, you will understand why.

Now I am off to cuddle with the husband and the cute puglet. It is raining like crazy in the Bay Area so I am thinking a movie night is in order.


xo


Nursery Love

From the moment I found out that I was pregnant, I have been dreaming about the nursery. Sure, a baby does not really need his/her own room but I really enjoy interior design and I knew this would be a project that would make my pregnancy even more fun. I am no where near an expert, but I am very excited about the progress we have made so far.

Once we found out the sex, the design process really took off. However, I am definitely not a fan of theme nurseries. I do not have themes to other rooms in my house so it just does not make sense to do so in his room. Our current apartment is pretty small and we cannot paint so I am trying to add pops of yellow, blue, and green accented with gray to really make it special. For the overall look, I envision something modern and playful with touches of vintage charm but nothing too babyish.

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Oeuf Sparrow Crib in White

This is the first piece of furniture we purchased. We really wanted to buy it immediately but the price tag was a bit scary.

Luckily, our local Giggle store had a floor sample in great condition marked down and we scored an amazing deal!





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Crib Bedding made by etsy seller fingersandtoes!

We skipped the bumper and will just be using a flat crib skirt and fun, printed sheets for a clean look.


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Ikea Hemnes Dresser in White

This will also serve as the changing table. I am currently looking at some knobs to make

it a bit more special and add some more pops of color.



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This was actually the first thing I purchased for the baby.
I remember having one of these when I was a kid and I loved it! I hope he does too.

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Some other things I am loving: