So my last post was basically a woe-is-me rant about how hard motherhood has been for me. I call that brutal honesty. Now let’s focus on all the awesomeness that having a baby has brought. Because it really is amazing. Here are just a few things that light up my life daily:
Hi! I’ve been on major hiatus and if you didn’t know, I had a baby boy named Benjamin! He was born November 23, 2013 and weighed 7.5 lbs. Labor and delivery was EASY PEASY. I knew I wanted the epidural because I’m a total chicken when it comes to pain and had nothing to prove by braving labor sans medication. Ben was due November 28th, but on November 22nd I started having contractions in my lower back and buttocks – OW! After several hours of inconsistent but painful contractions, I went to see my OB so she could tell me how dilated I was. I really thought I was at least 4-5cm dilated but NO! I was only 1cm and NOWHERE close to real labor. So I decided to get induced the following morning if nothing happened that night, which was torture because the contractions kept coming but weren’t regular enough to jet off to the hospital.
We delivered at St. Johns Santa Monica, which is like the Four Seasons of hospitals. The labor and delivery wing is new and freaking amazing and gorgeous and quiet. I swear we were the only ones in there because you cannot hear ANYTHING. We checked in at 11am, I got the epidural at noon (which, by the way, did not hurt AT ALL – my anesthesiologist was insanely good), I got a small dose of pitocin at 1pm, they broke my water at 3pm and then at 6:30pm I started pushing. And in between all of that, I just chilled in my bed watching Bourne Supremacy and The Hunger Games and pushed out the baby while watching the UCLA football game. Yeah. Awesomeness. Little did I know that everything to follow would be much, much harder.
I heart stationery, especially well-designed pieces on quality paper. I’ve been a fan of Tiny Pine Press for ages so it was a no brainer to get our thank you cards from her. I love the simplicity of these letterpress cards with a straightforward “gratitude” written across the top in the prettiest calligraphy.
I guess you could say it’s the “nesting” instinct taking over but lately I’ve been in the mood to shop for all things home and garden. A good example is last week I randomly threw out all our plastic tupperware, bought a massive order of mason jars from Amazon, and then transferred everything that was in plastic into the jars. I had fun; my husband thought I was nuts :) But he knew better than to argue with me.
Ever since watching this video on LA In Bloom, my new favorite blog and webisode series (quick, someone get Heather Taylor her own cooking and entertaining show!) I’ve been on the hunt for a handmade ceramic citrus juicer like the one she uses. After searching high and low I found one on Kneeland Co. Mercado, this wonderful website of thoughtful globally sourced products. I received it yesterday and adore it! It just makes me smile for some reason…I can’t wait to use it.
After I was first diagnosed with GD, I kept my meals super simple with things like roasted chicken, egg whites, ground turkey, cheese and some steamed vegetables. Healthy, yes, but incredibly bland and boring. It didn’t matter though because my levels were insanely good when eating this way. In fact, they were so good they were under target and so my nutritionist recommended I introduce some carbs into my diet to put my numbers within target range.
Lately I’ve been experimenting with cooking fancier meals from Ottolenghi’s cookbook. I just substitute what I can’t have with what I can. Last night, I whipped up his recipe for caramelized fennel (oh my was it delicious!), grilled shrimp heavily seasoned with salt and pepper and a side salad of fresh tomatoes, avocado and tuna salad from Farm Shop in Brentwood. I seriously thought with the butter, oil and sugar used to caramelize the fennel my level would skyrocket but my one hour post dinner reading was an awesome 103 (you’re supposed to be 100-130 an hour after your meals). I should also add that I walk 10-15 minutes after dinner every single night so I’m sure this helped.
Clockwise from top left: A Hi-Tec-C purple pen from Japan, Comme des Garcons coin purse, Valextra wallet, Puressentiel antibacterial gel (ordered this from Amazon; shipped from France), Smythson diary and Dior Homme wayfarer sunglasses.
I’ve been making an effort to really downsize so I just carry the essentials with me.
Ever since being diagnosed with gestational diabetes I’ve had to really watch my carb intake. Each woman is different in how her body breaks down carbs and sugar but unfortunately, my body can’t seem to handle much starch or grains without a bonkers glucose reading. What I really miss are the simple things like a slice of toast with butter and jelly or the occasional bowl of granola. Ah, granola. I’ve been craving granola for awhile now so decided to take matters into my own hands and make it from scratch instead of buying it at the store, which can be loaded with too much sugar.
I was so thrilled when I discovered Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for quinoa granola but I must have screwed up somehow because it turned out horrible. After a few minutes my granola was burning in the suggested 400F degree oven heat. Not sure what went wrong but I threw the entire batch out. At the same time, my Ottolenghi Cookbook had arrived in the mail and (yay!) there was a recipe for granola in the back. I’ve heard Ottolenghi’s granola is divine and I was so eager to try it but there are oats. So why not combine the best of both worlds? Make Ottolenghi’s granola with quinoa flakes instead of oats :-)
If you don’t have his cookbook, you can find the recipe for the granola here. Sorry, you’ll have to have a conversion chart handy if you’re in the states but it’s worth it. For my own version, I used whatever nuts I had in the pantry and added sunflower and flax seeds. I also omitted all the dried fruit because that’s banned from my GD diet. But it’s still so delicious and I store my granola in cute little mason jars :) I hope you enjoy it!
I’ll have it with fresh berries every now and then in a bowl of yummy almond milk :) Delicious! I can’t have too much since quinoa is still a carb but it’s better for my body than having the oat kind.