Thursday, July 31, 2014

Friday Five: What's New?

I am linking up this fine Friday with CourtneyMar, and Cynthia, the three hosts of Friday Five, where they host a different theme every Friday.  If you haven't heard about this awesome linkup, you can read more about the purpose and the link up rules here.  You can also head over to Courtney's blog, Eat Pray Run DC to see what's up with other bloggers as well.

This week's theme is "What's New".  In putting together my list of five, I realized, I've been pretty busy lately!  Here's what I've been up to:
1.  I'm onto another book!  The last time I shared what I was reading, I was enjoying "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr.  I've since finished that book (loved it!) and am now working on "The Dinner" by Herman Koch.  Unlike the last few books I've read, this was not recommended by anyone I know; I just stumbled upon it with the following recommendation "A European Gone Girl."  Sold.  I'm only six chapters in, but I'm already intrigued.

Throwback Thursday

The "frites" portion of my steak frites at a French brasserie.
The Spreckels Temple of Music with San Francisco hills in background.
Taking a rest after a long day of trekking around San Francisco by foot.
Throwback Thursday: July 2010
Who: just me and my hubby.  This was just par for the course during our LBK era (life before kids).
Where: San Francisco.  Mostly Golden Gate Park, Cole Valley, the Mission, and Union Square.
What: visiting our old haunts during the summer (we were living in San Diego by then).
Why: because San Francisco is just the best city in the world!

Have you been anywhere magical in previous years during the month of July?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WIAW #14: Pregnancy Eats

Life is slowly returning to "normal" for me.  Which means less eating out, more cooking at home, and a return to enjoyable food (food made at home is always better).  I suffered greatly during my first trimester, and from mid-May until 4th of July I did not do much cooking at home thanks to my morning sickness.  Oh, how I missed making my own food!  Fortunately, that is all changing!

I'm linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for the weekly What I Ate Wednesday.  It's a great place to get new ideas for food, whether you're in a cooking funk or just looking for inspiration.
Here is a peek at what I ate Tuesday, from morning til night:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Horseback Riding in Estes Park

I went on my first horseback ride this past weekend!

As I mentioned last Friday, my college buddy, Sonya, and her three kids, spent the weekend with us, making a stop in the middle of their 6,000 mile summer roadtrip.  Aside from catching up with Sonya and getting know her kids all over again (they've grown alot since I last saw all of them over two years ago), my favorite part of their visit was a two-hour horse ride that included a cowboy-style dinner. 

We made the two hour drive up to Estes Park, an amazing part of the Rocky Mountain National Park, to get to the stables.  Our horseback ride started at 4:30pm, just as the beautiful summer skies started to cloud over (totally normal summer weather in Colorado).  Fortunately, we all packed jackets/rain gear in case of rain, which we did have to pull out during the ride.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Breakfast for Seven

After three consecutive days of feeding seven people breakfast, I have to say my kitchen feels eerily quiet this morning.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I woke up each morning, put on a pot of coffee, and set to work making breakfast for three adults and four kids.  It's been a looooong time where I'e had to make breakfast for that many people, where the kids outnumbered the adults.  The last time I made breakfast or brunch for a large group was over a year ago, when we participated in a rotating weekend brunch schedule with our friends in San Francisco.  Back then, the kids were all still under the age of two, so the food was made mostly with adults in mind.  This time around, my diners were a little different in age...

Here's what I learned about making breakfast for houseguests, especially when it comes to making breakfast for kids:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Five: Summer Wish List Update


Happy Friday!  Today I'm trying something new and linking up with Courtney @ EatPrayRunDCMar @ MarOnTheRun, and Cynthia @ YouSignedUpForWhat and their Friday Five Linkup.  Every Friday they post a different theme and those participating, post five things having to do with that theme, whatever it may be.

This Friday Five's theme is goals which I can happily link into, as just last week, I realized summer is just about half over and I haven't done much this summer (thanks to a month of morning sickness during half of May and most of June).  Just last Friday, I shared my Summer Wish List and I already have updates on a few of those goals!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIAW #13: Hometown Eats

Happy Wednesday, y'all!  I love Wednesdays, when I get to check out what everyone else has been eating, thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons.  If you're not familiar with What I Ate Wednesdays, check out the deets here.


The plain vanilla version of WIAW is to share what you ate from sunrise to sunset, on a given day, but I'm going to stray from the usual and share eats from our "Tour de Cuisine" around Colorado the past week or so.  We made a real effort to try some new restaurants, and found some winners in Boulder and downtown Denver.   We were stuck in a rut for awhile, eating at the same places over and over again...so it was nice to try some new places.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks


I'm a week late on my pregnancy update...the truth is I forgot to take a photo at the 16 week mark, so I'm doing an update at 17 weeks.

Alot has happened since the 14 week check in: we got the results of a blood test, called the cell-free DNA test, which is a non-invasive option for those who do not want to go through with a CVS or amniocentesis test.  When I was pregnant with my first child in 2011, we opted out of CVS and amniocentesis because we were concerned about the possibility of miscarriage due to the invasiveness of the test, and now, three years later, we are happy that the cell-free DNA test is now an option in the U.S. (it was available in Europe but not the U.S. in 2011).  The other great thing about the cell-free DNA test is that it can be performed as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy, and you can find out the gender of the baby (which we did).  Want to guess the gender?  I'll do a reveal at my next pregnancy update.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Wish List


Here in Colorado, summer is about halfway over.  The weather could very well start cooling down in September, so as far as I'm concerned, summer could end with Labor Day weekend.  Thanks to my morning sickness, I pretty much missed out on the entire month of  June, so I've got to hustle and get my summer on!

I've seen a couple of summer bucket lists and summer to do lists on other's blogs, so here's my take!  What I hope to do before the summer ends:

1. Make it to our community swimming pool.

2. Watch a movie outdoors.

3. Pack a picnic.

4. Go for a hike somewhere new.

5. One night of car camping.  (P.S.  I am not a camping person.)

I'd like to do all of these things, so I'll keep the list short.  After all, I've only got six weeks left to do five things.  Ha!

What are you most excited about doing this summer?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Writing Process Tour

Happy Thursday!  Today I'm switching things up and participating in a "writing process tour" that asks the authors of different blogs to share some insight on their blogs: why they write what they write about, what they current projects include, and info about how they go about putting material together for their blog.

Leslie from Life Begins at 30? was a recent contributor in this tour and asked me to join in the fun.  How could I say no?  After all, part of the reason I blog is it is a great writing outlet for me.  Of course I'd love to talk about my writing process and learn about the writing process of other bloggers in return!

If writing is part of why you enjoy blogging, I recommend you check out Leslie's post for the writing process tour here.  

What am I working on?
At the moment, I am working on establishing a schedule of what to write about and how often to publish.  When I first started SuperSmartMama, I planned on writing about motherhood, being a stay at home mom, and making that adjustment from having a professional life to staying at home 100% of the time.  However, I found that I really wanted to celebrate day-to-day, which meant I was writing more about simpler "stuff" like what I ate that day, my ups and downs of being mother to a toddler, and challenges like figuring out what meals to cook for the day or fitting exercise in on a regular basis.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIAW #12 - Summer Eats

What kind of food do you think of when it's summer time?  I'm going to share some of my recent summer eats as I'm linking up with Jenn from Peas and Crayons and What I Ate Wednesday!

Instead of focusing on a specific day of eating, I want to celebrate summer.  I love summer.  It means eating fresh.  It means eating fruits and vegetables without a whole lot of alteration to the food: easy salads, cold soups, etc.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

What I've Been Reading

I read more now than I ever did while I was in school.  Thank you, Steve Jobs, for creating the Nano, which enabled me to listen to audiobooks while running (you need a friend during those long distance runs!) and driving a heinous commute between Los Angeles and San Diego.

I've been listening to audiobooks pretty regularly since 2007.  I "read" about 95% of my books on audio.  While I was suffering with morning sickness, my reading really picked up, as there wasn't much else to do when what I needed was a dark room to rest in.  If it hadn't been for my audiobooks, I probably would have died from boredom.

Here's what I'm reading right now along with a few books I finished recently.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Toys for Toddlers (Ages 3-4)


My son has just passed the official "toddler" milestone: he turned three recently.  (I know some people say the toddler phase extends all the way to when they're five and off to kindergarten, in which case, my toy ideas still apply).  I've noticed a big shift in what toys hold my son's attention, and in anticipation of his birthday, I updated his Amazon Wish List a few months back, as we have family members, who, despite my protestations ("We have too many toys at home!!"), buy my son a present every Christmas and every birthday.

In the past, I haven't been too picky about what toys we get, but I've noticed my son definitely tires of certain toys faster than others, so now I'm getting more involved in recommending presents for my son.  There is nothing worse than having a family member over to the house and they notice that their present is not being used.

Here are some winners that my son has definitely found entertaining and I have found have some educational value.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thankful...


Earlier this week, Katie from Pick Any Two shared one-line affirmations for moms and her post left a huge smile on my face.  It was such a wonderful post, I want to elaborate on some of her affirmations that resonated with me.

#8 My mothering body is beautiful.  I was in the best shape of my life when I got pregnant with my son.  Two consecutive years of running half marathons, marathons, and other races can do that for you (I highly recommend you add it to your bucket list if you aren't a runner but like solo sports).  I also knew that it would take awhile to get back in shape, but a year after my son was born, I was still pretty heavy.  That didn't bother me.  What did bother me was that when my son was two, and I had been done with nursing for a year, I was still heavy.  It took awhile to find another way (besides intensive running) to get to a happy body image.  But I did find it.  It just took quite a bit longer than I had anticipated.  And now that I'm pregnant with a second one, I am prepared because I have a plan on how to get back in shape post-partum and it does NOT involved running half marathons or marathons.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WIAW #11 - Chapel Hill Edition

Just like that, it's Wednesday!  This summer is flying by.  It has been over a month since I last got into the What I Ate Wednesday (aka WIAW) fun.  It's time to join Jenn from Peas and Crayons and share my latest eats.  If you've never participated in WIAW and you love food, you should check it out.  It's the ultimate eating voyeuristic voyage.  I think everyone that participates does so because they love food and they love to see what other people are eating!  I know I do.
My last WIAW was all about first trimester eats.  Fortunately, my morning sickness has completely disappeared (knock on wood) just in time for last week's 4th of July trip to Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  It was a huge family gathering with lots of home cooked meals, but we also made a few trips to try out some exciting culinary fare around the Chapel Hill - Raleigh - Durham triangle.  Here are a few highlights from our week.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pregnancy Update: 14 Weeks

14 weeks pregnant.  6.27.2014.

Another holiday weekend has come and gone.  We are back from North Carolina and, while missing all the wonderful family we spent time with, I am happy to be back at home.

While we were away some of our backyard plants died.  Darn.  I guess I didn't figured out the right watering system.  I thought the sprinklers would take care of the potted plants, but that didn't work.

Other things that happened while we were on vacation:

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July Week

Butterfly House at Durham Museum of Life and Science

Greetings from Chapel Hill, North Carolina!  

Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh form "the triangle" - which is a hub for several high tech companies and are also home to Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University.

My mother-in-law has lived here for over twenty years, and we come out at least once a year, if not twice a year.  This 4th of July week, we are joined by several other families who have arrived from Charleston (SC), Washington DC, and New York City (NY).  It's one big party!

We've been here since Sunday and this trip is no different from any other trip to North Carolina: food, food, and more food.  This is a food family!  And with my mother-in-law being Greek, we are enjoying lots of homemade Greek food at home, while enjoying wonderful food around Durham and Chapel Hill (which has an amazing food scene!)

I hope you're 4th of July weekend is fun, relaxing, and safe!

Getting ready to ride the train at Museum of Life and Science

Interior of Gugelhupf, a wonderful German bakery & restaurant

Classic chicken sandwich at Foster's, an establishment in Durham

French Silk Pie

Setting the dinner table for 12

Waiting for dinner to be served

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