Fantastic Favorites

So….I woke up this morning in complete shock – I slept until 7:45 a.m.!!!  That does not happen, like ever!!  I couldn’t even tell you the last time I slept that late, even before Gia came around!

I was kind of excited that I had slept that late, but then I was kind of annoyed because I had already wasted a good chunk of my morning.  Regardless of that, I guess my body was letting me know I needed the rest.  When I woke up, Gia was playing quietly in her crib, happy as a clam.  She must have known mama needed the rest too.  🙂

After hitting the gym with my girl, while Craig was at a training for work, I put Gia down to snooze and got to thinking about some of my favorite things.  Let’s be real, I have a lot of favorites when it comes to many different categories, and they are ever-changing.  I always enjoy hearing about favorites and suggestions from others, so I thought it’d be a nice thing for me to share with all of you.

As you may have seen earlier on my Instagram, I was making a quick and easy frittata with Gia.  It’s one of my favorites for breakfast, or in today’s case, it was lunch.  I thought I’d share this recipe with you, along with my favorite cookbooks of the moment, as well as a few of my favorite gifting items.

Favorite Cookbooks of the Moment:

“Eating Purely” – by Elizabeth Stein

This cookbook is awesome because it keeps things super simple.  Cooking certainly doesn’t have to be rocket science, and this book shows that.  It has more than 100 all-natural, organic, gluten-free recipes for an overall healthy life.

I don’t eat a strictly gluten-free diet, but I will definitely make things that require you to use gluten-free ingredients.  I don’t discriminate!

The recipes are pretty fun and approachable, ranging from brunch and salads to vegetarian mains.  (Craig and I enjoy being carnivores, but it speaks volumes that he will eat anything lacking meat that I make from this book.)


Here’s a look at the frittata I made this afternoon from “Eating Purely:”

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“The Seasoned Life” – by Ayesha Curry

I can’t be the only person who is loves the Curry family, can I?!  I love Ayesha’s cookbook because it comes from her roots and everything is super easy to pull off!  I’m sensing a theme here, aren’t you?….nowadays I need quick, easy, nutrient rich and delicious!  Ain’t nobody got time for anything other than that!

There’s something about a good meatloaf that makes me feel like I’m eating at grandma’s, and Ayesha’s is one even grandma would approve of.  I remember when I was newly pregnant with Gia, meatloaf was my first craving!

I also love this cookbook simply because Ayesha Curry is just like any other mom out there.  I know, I know – I don’t even know her, but I did have the pleasure of meeting her and her husband, Steph, when I was still working.  I want to support this mama because she is following her dream, as we all should!

“The Big Book of Organic Baby Food” – by Stephanie Middleberg MS, RD, CDN

Giving your baby solids for the first time is a pretty exciting milestone.  (At least it was for me!)  The first thing we gave Gia was green beans and she didn’t exactly love them.  My thought process with solid food was that I should give her veggies and not-so-sweet foods first.  It’s a given that a baby will like bananas.  It’s like dessert for them!

This book was great for me when I was in a food rut with Gia.  I was adamant about making all of her food and wanted to make sure she was only getting the best and healthiest kinds of food.  My favorite thing about this cookbook is that the food progresses with your baby.  As your child gets older, the food is a different variety, with different textures and recipes.

Now, I am less anal about the things that she eats.  I don’t let myself get upset if she will only eat yogurt all day, or skips a serving of milk.  I can’t sweat the small stuff and I know she is growing and developing properly because of what I feed her and how I care for her.


Here is photo evidence of Gia’s first encounter with green beans:

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Favorites for Gift-Giving Right Now:

Venus Et Fleur

Elegant luxury is the best way I can describe what you get from Venus Et Fleur.  It delivers the romantic tradition of sending flowers, but with exceptionally stylish design.  To be honest, I don’t really recall how I stumbled upon this company, but I recently sent a Le Petite box of champagne colored roses to one of my best friends for her 30th birthday.

I have to admit they are a bit of a splurge, but well worth it indeed!  What makes these flowers so unique, yet also pricey, is that they are real roses that can last for up to a year, if cared for properly.  I know some of you are calling BS right now, but if you go look at their website and read about their “eternity roses” you will see what I mean.

This is the type of gift that is best suited for someone who appreciates a meticulous, hand-crafted floral design.


This is the exact Venus Et Fleur arrangement I sent my girlfriend, Catherine:

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Glassybaby

Glassybaby is a glass blowing studio that sells unique, handmade candle votives and drinkers.  It’s a Seattle based company that has multiple locations, with Berkeley being the closest to me here in the Bay Area.

I heard about Glassybaby a few years ago from my dad.  Yes, believe it or not my dad is very up on what’s cool.  He regularly reads his magazines, like GQ and Esquire, and should probably be at New York Fashion Week right now.  (He’s a tough guy but likes to look good.  He was a model when he was my age, but that’s neither here nor there!)

My dad bought a variety of Glassybaby drinkers as a Mother’s Day gift for my mom a while back.  I looked into the company after he bought them and found out they hosted glass blowing parties as well.  I had my 29th birthday celebration there last year and it was a blast!

I love giving the votives and drinkers as gifts because they have any and every color/hue that you can imagine.  What makes them really special is that they all have a specific name.  For example, I got a good friend of mine a votive a few months ago that was a gradient silver color.  It was called “Silver Lining.”  She was going through a tough time and I wanted her to have a little pick-me-up.

I enjoy giving gifts from Glassybaby because they can have deeper meaning, depending on the occasion.

Here’s is a picture of me at my birthday party with a bada** glassblower who helped me craft my own beautiful bowl:

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Stargazer Barn

I cannot talk about Stargazer Barn enough!  Yes, this is another floral arrangement type of company, but their blooms are show stopping!

I first heard about Stargazer Barn through an old friend and colleague, who happens to be a very successful blogger – Kristy Wicks.  (If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, go ahead and do it now, thank me later.)  She partnered with Stargazer Barn and I decided to see what they were all about after hearing her rave about them.

The blooms that they grow are definitely flowers for flower lovers, if you know what I mean.  Stargazer Barn grows tulips, lilies and irises.  Farming is hard work and these people work tirelessly to ensure that the flowers you send/receive are enchanting.  They offer actual varieties of tulips, instead of “red tulips” or “white tulips.”  The same goes for for their lilies.

Anything you order from Stargazer Barn would stand out in a crowded marketplace.  If you know a flower connoisseur, I recommend sending them some of these beauties right away!


Here a few shots of flowers I have sent to friends:

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I could keep this favorites variety list going and going, but I’ll save some for another day. I also want to share some of my favorite baby products/toys because no mom and dad should be missing out on some of the things I’ve come across.

Also, I have a long list of fitness related products that I can’t live without, so that will be coming soon too.  And of course, you can always count on an eventual post about my favorite places to dine, sip and hang!

I hope you take my advice and look into some of the things I’ve mentioned.  The gifts will not disappoint and neither will the recipes from the cookbooks!

Until next time my friends!

xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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