A Look Back at 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

I was pregnant with our second child, another BOY!  I realized my life is constantly going to be surrounded by trucks, dinosaurs and super hero thing-a-mabobers and I could not have been more excited.  I am blessed.

Ronin was born.  He weighed 9 pounds 11 ounces (no wonder it looked like I was pregnant with twins).  He is seriously the happiest little camper and has truly completed our family. 

Just a few weeks after Ronin was born Max turned two!  My littlest baby is growing up and I just want to stuff him and make it stop (totally kidding about the stuffing part).

I started eating Paleo and made some seriously delicious goodies, like these flourless zucchini brownies and these cookies.  I would say I eat Paleo 90% of the time but if I am somewhere and there is brie cheese I am cheating.  I mean life is just too short.

I shared how to make your own vitamin c serum.

One of the most popular posts according to readers was this post, which shows you how to make a sweetened raw apple cider vinegar elixir.  Even those of you who said you hated the taste of apple cider vinegar loved this.

This one my personal favorite posts was how to make your own nail polish in any color.  I am going to mix up a gold sparkly one for New Year's Eve this year!

I continued to play with polymer clay (I am still obsessed) and I made this necklace and this necklace, which is one of my favorites!  I have some really fun new tutorials that I am excited to share in the new year.

Ronin experienced so many firsts.  He had his first Halloween (he was the cutest chubby glow in the dark skeleton), his first visit to the pumpkin patch and his first Christmas.

We took the boys to Disneyland for the first time.  I have never seen Max so excited in his entire life.  It was pretty awesome.

What a wonderful and whirlwind of a year it has been!  I became a Mom of two this year and I must say that is my proudest accomplishment yet.  And while I may not have it all figured out I am loving what a fun and crazy journey it has been so far.

My husband and I are going out to lunch today to talk about and write down our goals for 2013.  We do this every year and I think it is so important to set goals and then reflect at the end of the year.

I would love to hear what goals you accomplished this year (big or small) that you set for yourself last year. 

Have a Merry Christmas + Something You Should Never Buy From the Dollar Store

Friday, December 21, 2012

Don't they looked so stoked to be sitting on Santa's lap?  Ha!  At least it's better than last year where we waited in line for two hours and then when Max got up to see Santa he acted like he was going to skin him alive.  The kid lost his mind, no joke!  This year Max was SO excited to see Santa.  He was talking about it for weeks and then when he actually got up close and sat on his lap, he froze.  He said "Hi" in a little teeny tiny whisper and then jumped off his lap and asked me, "Where are the reindeer Mom?"

Anywhoo...Christmas is almost here!  This has definitely been the most fun year yet.  Max and I have been baking and doing all kinds of fun Christmas-y things.  Speaking of baking...DO NOT ever ever buy parchment paper from the dollar store, unless you want to burn down your kitchen.  I thought I was being thrifty when I purchased about 5 rolls of the stuff recently.  Yesterday as our cookies for Santa were baking in the oven I thought to myself, "Hmmm those cookies sure do smell crispy!"  I opened the oven to check on them and a cloud of black smoke comes pouring out!  I freaked out and could not for the life of me remember what to do if you have a fire in your oven! I should probably google that.  So I shut the door and thankfully it went out!  Whew!  So moral of the story, Dollar Store parchment paper sucks big time. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  My little sister is getting married tomorrow.  I can not believe it!  Such an exciting time.  Until I get back to blogging after Christmas I will be posting pictures on Instagram if you want to see updates (Delightedmomma). 

Have a very merry Christmas!  XO

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Are you a breakfast person?  I am but on the weekdays breakfast for myself is pretty much non existent, so I have convinced myself that breakfast is overrated during the week.  I am constantly running around like a crazy lady and I am lucky enough if I can actually drink my cup of coffee without reheating it 4 times.  And is it just me or does coffee start to suck a little more with each reheat?  Anyways...That my friends is why I love the weekends.  Every weekend we have a tradition of making breakfast as a family and we all sit down together and eat! It is magnificent and something that I always look forward to every Friday night.

Have you ever had sweet potato hash browns?  I had never even heard of them until I decided to experiment and make them for the first time over the weekend.  They are pretty freakin good! 

What you will need:
  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes (one shredded sweet potato is plenty for one person to give you an idea)
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Cinnamon to taste
  1. Peel your sweet potatoes.
  2. Use a large grater to shred your peeled potatoes.  
  3. Place the olive oil in a medium sized pan over medium heat. 
  4. Add the shredded sweet potatoes and mix in the salt, pepper and cinnamon.  
  5. Use a spatula to stir it all up.
  6. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until you reach your desired level of softness.  I like mine a little crunchy so I only cooked for 5 minutes.
  7. Enjoy! 

    I topped mine with a little hot sauce (Mmm) but you can eat them plain and they are just as delicious.  If you like regular hash browns these blow those out of the water.  We are starting our own Christmas Eve breakfast tradition this year and these will definitely be on the menu.

    May God Bless the Families of Newton, CT

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    What happened this past Friday is tragic, horrific and completely devastating.  As a Mother I felt like I could not continue blogging as normal as if nothing happened.  I can not even begin to imagine what those parents feel.  It rips open my heart to know that they have lost their children or loved ones.  I pray that God holds each and every one of those who lost someone tightly in his arms every day.

    If you would like to help those affected, you can donate here.

    Skin Care Tip of the Week *A Great OTC Product Line*

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    As a licensed esthetician I do not mess around when it comes to mentioning and recommending products on my blog.  When I ran my own business I only sold professional products but when my clients asked me what they could use over the counter, Neutrogena Naturals was always one of my recommendations.

    The Neutrogena Naturals line could not be more in tune with what I am always preachin about on my blog.  All of the products are formulated without any harsh chemicals, sulfates parabens or dyes.

    My two favorite Neutrogena Natural products (that I have tried) are:

    Purifying Cleanser- LOVE this one.  It has a naturally derived salicylic acid, which makes it great for oily skin and it smells so fresh.

    Purifying Pore Scrub- Such a gentle scrub and great for imporving dull skin.  I have mentioned it before here as well.  I used this when I was pregnant and I loved it.  This is also gentle enough for every day use for those of you who can't get enough of a scrub a dub scrub.

    So for those of you who are looking for something affordable, natural and effective I highly suggest giving the Neutrogena Naturals line a try. 

    Sponsored by Neutrogena Naturals but all opinions expressed are my own.  I would never recommend something that I have not personally tried and love

    Sleep Deprivation is a Crazy Thing + Suggestions Welcomed

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    This is a picture of Ronin's nursery without his crib.  Why is the crib not in there?  Well because I am sleep deprived and being sleep deprived makes you do crazy things like move your baby's crib into our room in hopes that it would "trick" him to sleep.  It made perfect sense when I came up with the plan during a half awake 4am feeding.  Nope it did not trick him.  Sleep deprivation also makes you do things like eat a bowl of applesauce with flax seeds, coco powder, shredded coconut and a big spoonful of sunflower seed butter at 2 in the morning.  It always sounds good when I am making it and then I have applesauce bowl of everything regret in the morning.  Anywhoo...

    Ronin, who is now 6 months old does NOT sleep.  Well more like he stopped sleeping since he was 2 months old.  I know I jinxed myself when I announced, "HOORAY my baby sleeps through the night like a champ, I am SOOO lucky!"  He now wakes up every hour or so, I nurse him and then he goes back to bed...with me.  If I try to put him somewhere else, like his crib he screams some more.  He has ninja like baby sleep reflexes.  Does it sound like I have no idea what I am doing?  Well that is because I don't.  I actually have no freakin clue how to get my baby to sleep and stay asleep.  

    Starting tonight I am officially putting Ronin's crib back in his room. Well actually my husband is taking it down (with all the bajillion parts it has) and moving it back AGAIN (yes I am a pain in the ass).  My hope is that by the end of today I will know what to do.

    I have read online all about the Ferber and Baby Wise methods but I want to hear from someone who has actually used something like that and was successful all while keeping a happy baby.

    So if you have any tips or suggestions or want to share something that has worked for YOU I would love to hear!

    Flourless Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies (Paleo)

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    Does anyone really read the whole intro and little story (like the one I am writing at this exact moment) when looking at a flourless chocolate chunk pecan cookie recipe?  I mean lets be real...most people just look at the pictures, decide if they look good enough to make and then get a warm fuzzy feeling inside once they decide to make them for themselves.  Well that's what I do at least when I see a recipe that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  Recipes like this do not need a whole lotta talkin.

    This recipe is based off this cookie recipe, but I made some minor changes based off your feedback to make them more moist and just a little bit more awesome.

    What you will need:
    • 1 cup of coconut flour (check your local health food store for this)
    • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup of raw honey
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 tbs of almond milk
    • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
    • 1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
    • 3/4 cup of Enjoy Life semi-sweet mega chunks chocolate  (If you can not find these you can use gluten free chocolate chips)
    • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. Melt the honey and coconut oil together in the microwave for about 15 seconds.  
    3. In a large bowl mix together the coconut oil, raw honey, eggs, vanilla extract, almond milk and sea salt.
    4. Stir in the coconut flour, chocolate chunks and chopped pecans.
    5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll out little tbs size balls of cookie dough. Place on the baking sheet and gently press down so they have a pretty cookie shape once baked :)
    6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. 
    7. Let cool for 10 minutes and then enjoy!
    I made these on Saturday and by Sunday every last cookies had vanished...

    This recipe makes 15 cookies. 

    Latest Life Snippets

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    Ronin turned 6 months this past week!  He started eating real food.  He loves carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, bananas, applesauce...and pretty much everything we have tried.  He is the sweetest and happiest little baby.  I am just smitten more and more by him every day.

    This is my baby sis who is getting married in less than 3 weeks!  Considering the fact that she told us she was engaged less than 2 weeks ago....this is quite the whirlwind of a wedding.  Everyone is on board and we are planning away!  We checked out the adorable chapel this past weekend where she will be tying the knot very soon.

    The beautiful windows inside the chapel, which give the whole room this amazing glow.

    My two year old who is completely obsessed with our tree.  So far he has broken about 5 ornaments so it looks like we are going to have to move everything to the top again just like last year.  Oh well it makes for a funny conversation piece that's for sure.

    Date night and trying out a new delicious restaurant.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

    One of My Favorite Things About Having Children

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    One of my favorite things about having children is getting to experience all those things you loved and remember as a kid...but this time getting to see it through their eyes.  Things like believing in Santa and the excitement of going to Disneyland for the first time are brought back to life again and it is so much fun.

    One of the things on my holiday to-do list was to take Max to Disneyland to see all the holiday lights and the classic holiday parade. We took him for the first time this Monday and I have never seen him so excited!  Plus my husband and I have not been to Disneyland in over a decade!  That's a long time considering we live only about an hour away.

    The castle entrance, where all the fun begins. 

    Max's first ride of his life.  Can you see him?  That giant person (me) is blocking him.  He could not believe we were flying and wanted to go again and again.

    Spinning away on the teacups!  He kept telling me to go faster and faster! I wanted to puke...

    He was talking about meeting Mickey Mouse for dayyyyyys.  Well Mickey Mouse decided not to show up that day so my husband convinced Max (that's also a great part about being a parent you get to brainwash your kids.  Kidding!) that Goofy was even better.  He was a little hesitant but Goofy eventually got a hug and of course I got a million pictures.

    Oh and this little guy also got to come :)  He was such a trooper and was pretty content in the baby carrier.  And is it just me or is there something so hot about a man being sweet with a baby? Especially when it's my man and my little baby.

    Watching the holiday parade.  At this exact moment Buzz Lightyear was passing by and I think that might have been the highlight of his year.

    The most festive Christmas street ever!  Max was pretty pooped at this point but not tired enough for one last treat...

    You can't come to Disneyland and not have some kind of treat....I mean come on!

    Tattoos...Yes They Are Forever

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    Forrrreverrr.  Say that word like they do in the movie The Sandlot and it will make so much more sense.   Do you know what I am talking about?  If not go rent that movie it's a classic!  I can still hear my Dad reminding my sister and I growing up that, "Tattoos are forever.  What you like now, you may not like when you're a Grandma."  This is probably true, but do people really think about that when they are getting a tattoo?   I'm sure that dude with a half naked chick on his forearm probably did not care what his 80 year old grandpa self would think. 

    Well I must have forgotten all about my Dad's words of wisdom when I was walked into a Newport Beach tattoo shop on my 18th birthday and got my very first tattoo. It was a dragonfly and it is on the lower part of my hip.  At the time it had no special meaning.  My best friend and I just wanted to get a tattoo because we were 18...and we could.  Thank God is has not morphed over the years, with two pregnancies into a giant deformed bat.  Whew I really lucked out on that one!  Do I regret it now?  Ya know, I don't.  That little dragonfly represents a time of my life where I was going through a lot and when I see it today it reminds me how far I have come.

    Since becoming a Mom I have developed all these weird and irrational fears.  I talked about one of them here.  I am a strong person but sometimes my thoughts can really take over my mind.  I wanted to have a reminder (some place I could see) that I just need to have faith.  Faith in myself as a Mother, faith in God and faith that I can do anything that I set my mind to, big or small. 

    I have wanted this tattoo for the longest time and I finally set up a spontaneous tattoo date with my husband and did it.  I love it and whenever I start to doubt myself I take a quick look and I am reminded to have faith.
    Do you have any tattoos?  Do they have a special meaning or a story behind it? 
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