maternity photos

About a month ago, Reg and I ventured out to a local park to take some maternity pictures with our amazing newborn photographer, Emily. The location was a perfect fit because it was beautiful on its own but also provided a blank canvas. Seeing as we wanted a natural, earthy feel with some quirky whimsical elements, Emily could not have suggested a better place. Plus, the whole shoot was so fun. Emily is the type of person that puts you at ease immediately and I felt like I was hanging out with a good friend the whole time. I think having a photographer you vibe well with is so critical for getting images that truly reflect who you are as a person. I think Reg and I both agree we could not be more thrilled with the finished product. Now, even more than ever, I am looking forward to the newborn pictures that will capture those sweet and extra squishy first days with our son.

make ahead meals


Me, in Greece. Yeah, I really like to eat.

Today marks exactly one month from my due date. Once the little man arrives, all of my focus is going to be on him. However, there is one thing that is creeping in the back of my mind–how am I going to find time to cook and eat? See, I am usually not the type of person that if I am running around busy, I forget to eat. I don’t really understand how that is possible. Instead, I just become really crabby if I don’t eat something when I am hungry so it is best for everyone to feed me. But with a newborn, I am fully aware that my life is going to change dramatically and so is my usual cooking /eating routine.

I keep reading that people bring you meals. While that may be true for some people, Reggie and I do not have any friends up here. Remember we moved, then I found out I was pregnant and not everyone loves hanging out with a prego. So there will be no meal deliveries from friends. Instead, I need to think ahead so that we are not left ordering takeout every night. Since all my food is going to be transferred to my son via breastfeeding, I plan on making these meals as healthy, balanced, and quick as possible. Over the last couple months, I have put together a list of recipes that I plan on making (and freezing) ahead of time and then a list of some quick meals that I can make in a pinch to make sure everyone is fed, happy, and healthy.

Make Ahead

Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna

Whole Wheat Blueberry Banana Muffins

BBQ Chicken Pasta Bake

Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

Chicken Parmesan (with a twist)

In a Pinch

Barbeque Black Bean Pita Pizza

Crunchy Honey Chicken

30 Minute Lemon Brown Sugar ChickenGreen Bean Fries

Whole Wheat Pasta with Arugula, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts

Green Goddess Pasta

Any other ideas?


baby name game pt II


At this point in my pregnancy, I am completely comfortable ignoring people’s negative reactions to the names my husband and I have selected as possibilities for our child. I don’t care what anyone thinks and I am in love with our now (very short) list of names. My favorite has not changed. Nowadays, I am more concerned with picking his middle name. For most people, the middle name is probably optional and not nearly as big of a deal as the first name. For my husband and I, however, the middle name is a very. big. deal.

See, my husband is Native Hawaiian and in our family having a Hawaiian middle name is expected and usually what we “call” him on an everyday basis. Part of that expectation is that the name traditionally comes to the mother one night in a dream called an inoa po (literally night name/dream name). No pressure, right? If I could control my dreams during pregnancy, I most certainly would considering the Freddy Krueger-like nightmares that have been plaguing me each evening. Scary stuff people! So for the last 2 months I have been having mini panic attacks over not having this dream. Reggie (Hawaiian name=Kawale) told me to relax and that we can just pick it out, the dream is not mandatory. So, I relaxed and starting reading my Hawaiian name book in hopes to pick out the perfect name for our son. Then two nights ago…it happened. I was having the most bizarre dream where I was in a car with friends from high school in New Hampshire AND college in Colorado and they asked Reg and I to join them on a vacation to Hawai’i. I told them I would let them know because, afterall, I had a child. And then one of my friends asked me about his name and I just blurted it out, Hawaiian name and all. Immediately upon waking I went and researched the meaning and it is downright magical. How crazy is that? I am still in shock but I cannot stop smiling. 🙂

4 more weeks until we meet our little man!


ups & downs

Things in my life have been a bit hectic lately. To begin, my father is back in the hospital. This is nothing new. In fact, if anything, the experience is all too familiar. He has been in and out of the hospital for various surgeries and medical conditions for years. Someday I will write a post on it all and how it has shaped my life, because it certainly has. The good news is that he does not need to have surgery this time, just a serious lifestyle change. Being far away from my family and unable to travel long distances to be with them at this point is upsetting but I am trying to stay focused on the good news. I am so incredibly thankful that he is going to be okay.

I mentioned on Monday that my little family is living in San Francisco for the week. Well, the reason for that is because my husband has been working on a major project for work that now basically requires him to be on the jobsite 18 hours a day (not exaggerating). In the last 3 weeks, I think we have spent a total of 24 hours together while awake. When he is around, he is usually still doing tons of paperwork and more stressed than I have ever seen him. And my husband is a pretty laid back dude. With this baby scheduled to arrive in about 5 weeks, I really want to spend as much time with him as possible before our lives change forever. At this point, we are crossing our fingers that the major part of the project will be over by the end of the week so I can have my husband back. I miss him.

Well, last night I got a little preview of having him back because something came up that actually allowed him to take off for a couple hours and go out to dinner. I declared that I was taking him out on a date and we walked a couple blocks to farmerbown for some soul food. All I want to eat lately is fried chicken and this place has some of the best in the city. Everything was delicious–from the mini jalapeno cheddar cornbread muffins with honey butter to the chicken and waffles, to the indulgent and creamy macaroni and cheese. While the food was delicious, the company was even better. It was such a relaxing feeling to sit there and have an extended conversation with my best friend. By the time we were finished, we were positively stuffed and exhausted but those couple hours were definitely the highlight of my week.

The last couple weeks have definitely made me realize even more how incredibly lucky I am to have the people that are in my life. My family–who always come together in times of crisis and somehow returns from crisis even stronger. My husband–who works so incredibly hard to support our family. I feel so lucky that I married him and started a family with him. He is going to be the most amazing father. At the end of the day, even a stressful one, I am grateful.


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two birthdays

Have I mentioned my son is due the day before my birthday? His due date is July 14th, in case I never mentioned it. The best birthday present ever. Plus, I am excited because we will basically get to celebrate around the same time every year. I just hope if he arrives a day late and we end up sharing a birthday, that it won’t bother him when he gets a little older. If so, I promise he can have the day. It is all his. Then I can just pretend I am 27 for the rest of my life, right? Good. I am glad we have that settled.

Well even though he is due right around my birthday, my very sweet husband will not let me forget that it is still my birthday and insists on celebrating (read: presents). So I told him that I want a whole new wardrobe. In a pregnancy hormone rage I almost threw out all of my clothes because they were “ugly, hideous, and I never want to see them again.” Crazy town has arrived. Kidding!

Instead, I picked out a couple things that I think will be practical, helpful, and fun for my new life as a mama.

Both my husband and I love our TOMS. My dear friend Emma even bought baby boy his own pair. Since these are linen and a little more lightweight, they will be perfect for summer and easy to slip on when I have a newborn baby in my arms. Plus, I am on a major coral kick right now.

I love the color of this drapey top. Plus, with buttons down the front, this blouse is breastfeeding friendly. See, I am being practical!

I love EmersonMade and as soon as I get back into fightin’ shape, you better believe I will be buying a few clothing items on my EM wish list. Until then, I would love this lion charm necklace. I call the baby a little lion (super active baby+too much Mumford & Sons) so the image on the charm makes this gift even more fitting.

Compact, easy way to capture videos of my little man? Yes, please!


PS: Mama’s got a brand new gig. I am blogging for a brand new company that is launching this September-Social Plaza. Check out their blog for more information.

a lesson in patience

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(Source )

Yesterday was one of those days. The kind where nothing goes right and my pregnancy hormones were raging. My husband has been working ridiculous hours and was not able to come with me for the first time to my doctor’s appointment. After waiting a half hour past my scheduled appointment time I was finally ushered into a room. Immediately, I mentioned to her that I was experiencing some slight pain. Nothing crazy just like a strong “zing” that I thought would be better to discuss than ignore. She smiled and said that it was most likely his head pressing on the top of my cervix. Then she laid me on my back and felt around my belly and she said “yes, that is definitely his head…feel this.” Sure enough, it felt like his head was down and I could feel it by touching the bottom of my belly. A surprisingly large round, hard lump. However, she wanted to do an ultrasound just to confirm.

Immediately, I was downright giddy at the prospect of seeing my little man. I had not seen him since our 20 week ultrasound appointment and didn’t anticipate any more ultrasounds. That happiness soon turned to disappointment as his image appeared on the screen and she shouted “it is his butt and he is big!” Seriously? I totally felt like I cursed myself in yesterday’s post where I said he would be a huge baby. Immediately, my mind went from “that is kind of funny that my kid has a J-Lo booty” to feet down=breech=C-Section.

My doctor told me some exercises I could do try flip the baby- downward dog and getting on all fours and rocking front to back. I left the office immediately and then I cried a little on the drive home. Yes, I am completely aware that 34 weeks is still early and he may turn and all of this drama is for nothing. If you haven’t noticed, I am definitely dramatic. But my doctor c also said he doesn’t have a lot of room to move in there. I am “all baby” and shit. I felt like I did something wrong. Have I not been drinking enough water? Am I too anxious thus tightening my abs and that is not allowing him to move? Or is he just procrastinating and I am completely overreacting? I sincerely hope it is the latter. But seeing as 93% of babies have turned by now, I am worried. Thanks Dr. Google!

At the end of the day, the term C-Section frightens me but not having a healthy baby frightens me far more. The health of my baby is my number one priority. My doctor is going to check him again in 2 weeks and then, if he is still breech, we will make a further decision. Pregnancy is tough like that. You give up all of your control beyond what you eat, drink, and occasionally what you do for movement. There is a whole world in there that feels like it has a mind of its own. Patience is key. And now, more than ever, I am learning to be patient with my body and let him do his thing.

Flip, baby, flip.


PS… Any tips on flipping a breech baby other than ECV?

when it is time to take him home…

At my baby shower, our baby boy received so many beautiful clothes as gifts. So much so that I have spent the last couple days doing load after load of laundry in preparation for his arrival. At this point, he has an entire drawer dedicated to socks, hats, and shoes and the kid won’t actually be walking in them while they fit. Not that I am complaining though. I mean, is there anything cuter than teeny baby shoes, other than the actual baby? I think not.

Not only did he receive a lot of “outfits” but they are all (thankfully) really cute. Most of the gifts we received are in larger sizes because as we know babies grow very fast. In fact, we have hardly any clothes for the 0-3 months age. I think my family and friends are trying to tell me they think this baby is going to be HUGE. Considering I was almost 10 lbs when I was born, having a large baby would not be very shocking. Regardless of their hinting, I don’t think I can take baby boy home from the hospital in this…



A bit much for a newborn!

Instead, I intend on taking him home in something a bit more simple–think onesie, socks, maybe a cute hat–nothing too crazy. I want to select something I really love for pictures but also something that he can wear as long as possible. It makes no sense to me to pick something that he will wear only once, ya know? Here are some of the little outfits I am considering.





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(source L, R)


nursery progress

Good morning kittens! I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. I sure did. In addition to spending some much needed time with my hubs, I got to spend time with two of my favorite people.

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Okay, okay. Crosby is not a person and I do spend 90% of my time with him but I couldn’t resist posting his cute little face. Truth is, my sister Molli came up to visit and help me set up the nursery. Until recently, I had pretty much been using that room as a universal catch all. It was embarrassing and, quite frankly, starting to freak. me. out. I am now 33 weeks into my pregnancy and even though I had purchased mostly all of the nursery furniture, nothing was put together. It was time people. I just couldn’t stare at it any longer. Nesting has officially kicked in.

I should add that my husband is an amazing help. If I need help with anything, he is there. But last week, he started a huge project at his company which basically requires him to work from 7 am until midnight, with a 45 minutes commute each way thrown in. Finding the time to put together all of the furniture was not happening. And because I am in “this must get done NOW” mode, I needed someone else to help right away.

Enter Molli. She happily volunteered to help put together all the furniture and help me organize all of the gifts from the baby shower. Love this girl. I am not sure about you, but most people I know do not jump up and down about putting together Ikea furniture. Not that I that am surprised though. I am incredibly lucky because that is the type of relationship I have with my sisters. They are my best friends. If one of us needs anything, we are there as soon as we can to help. That sort of mentality is central to the way my parents raised us (and probably why all three of us had an obsessive attraction to Little Women as children). I hope that my children share a similar bond.


So after spending the first day playing and eating some delicious food, we started the furniture building process. Yes, she is wearing a dress. That is just how she rolls. After a couple hours and, shockingly, no arguments we had a dresser, a bookcase/changing table, and a crib. I am going to wait to post pictures of the whole room until it is is done but here is a little preview…






So far I am loving this room. Next up…coloring up these walls a bit without painting since we rent. Any ideas (other than decals)?


P.S. Thank you Molls for being such a great help!