Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Nineteen Weeks!


You might have picked up on the fact that Matt and I are expecting a baby this October. We kept it mostly to ourselves for a very long time, but now that it's social media news I suppose I will make it a regular part of my blogging. I probably should have done some private documentation prior to this, but that never really happened. Sorry, first child (I thought lack of baby books didn't happen until the second kid)! Oh well, better late than never.

How far along? 19 weeks!

How big is the baby? According to multiple websites (that all equate your baby to produce), the baby is as big as an heirloom tomato or a large mango. 

Maternity clothes? Nope. None. Hoping to make it as close to the end of the school year as possible without buying anything new. 

Sleep? OMG. I wake up at least once per night to use the bathroom. This use to NEVER happen to me. I hear the sleeping thing gets worse, though ;)

Symptoms? So pre-pregnancy I never remembered my dreams. Now, I have the most whack dreams and remember them all the time. Earlier on I had tons of dizziness, a little bit of the feeling sick, and was so tired all the time. Now, just the occasional headache in the morning and still a little tired. 

Best moment this week?
I'm pretty sure I can feel movement, not consistent, and very light, but I think that's what it is. 

Food cravings? It's mostly been fruit, green grapes and strawberries especially. Also, salt and vinegar chips, but that happened before I was pregnant.

Food aversions? I ate chicken this week! I use to not even be able to think about chicken, or meat in general, but that's working itself out. 

Gender?
We don't know. Apparently, you find that out at the midway ultrasound. 

What I miss? Sleeping on my stomach.

What I'm looking forward to? My doctor appointment on tomorrow morning :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Annapolis

Navy Sailboats
When Matt and I were dating we brainstormed a whole bunch of things we both wanted to do, and then did them. This was when we were young, concerned with showing ourselves in public, and impressing each other. One of the things we never got around to doing was going to Annapolis. We finally decided to take a little getaway this past weekend. I was so excited to go, and now I'm very glad we checked that off our six year old list!

We both took the day off work on Friday and arrived at about lunch time. The room we had booked at a bed and breakfast wasn't ready so we took a walk down Main Street and then walked over to the Naval Academy. We opted for a self guided tour around the campus after watching a short video in the visitor's center. On our tour we found the Navy sailboats above, Memorial Hall, the Naval Academy Chapel, and the crypt of John Paul Jones. After all that, I needed something to eat. We walked back into town and each of us got a little snack, mine was more like a meal, at the Annapolis MarketHouse. After some eating and people watching we walked up to the State House. Matt was super excited about this. And he's probably really disappointed I don't remember all the reasons it's a very historic place. I do remember that it's the oldest state capitol and, and was the nation's capitol until 1784.

Maryland State House
After our visit to the State House we went to check in to our room. I was seriously tired from all our walking, so we just rested for awhile and chose a restaurant for dinner. We walked back down around town and then went to the Iron Rooster for dinner. Definitely a good choice. I highly recommend the fried green tomatoes. We ended the night with people watching and ice cream.


Saturday morning we had breakfast at Chick and Ruth's Delly. After breakfast we went to an exhibit on slavery at the Historic Annapolis Museum. This museum was very tiny. It was also an ideal museum for both of us. Matt got to read every single word, on every single artifact, without me bothering him because the museum was half slavery half shopping. Interesting combination, but it really worked out for both of us. Before heading home on Saturday afternoon, I dragged Matt through a few of the cute little shops on Main Street. 

Main Street
Overall, I really enjoyed our trip to Annapolis! I am so glad we made the time to go. We really had the perfect two days for our trip. The weather was ideal and it's not a far drive. Yay for a little Maycation!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Recipe of the Week!

Crockpot Greek Chicken
I think we all know by now that I have a love affair with Mediterranean cuisine. I decided to try to make some shredded Greek chicken to keep us away from Katerina's to satisfy the craving. This was pretty good, at least for crockpot chicken, which I feel like never turns out the best. I think you could use the chicken in many ways. You could make pitas like I did, or you could just eat the whole chicken breast, or serve over some rice. The possibilities are limitless :) 

Ingredients:
1 lb chicken breasts
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Directions:
Place chicken breasts inside slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients together in a bowl and pour over chicken breasts. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred chicken and serve. Obviously I served mine with pita, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and I also made some easy tzatziki (I just chopped some cucumbers and mixed with Greek yogurt, dill, and lemon juice).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cupcakes!


In my comeback post I mentioned that I had recently had another wedding cupcake adventure. Well, here is the proof. I like to call this cupcake wedding a celebration of my retirement from cupcake weddings as well. Baking is so hard and so tiring. I don't know how the professionals do it. It's all last minute work and there's so much standing and bending. Maybe I'm being a little dramatic.

So here's the story...my friend Julie's daughter was getting married. For some reason they asked me to make the cupcakes. I feel like that's a lot of trust to put into someone who has very limited experience in baking. It is a once in a lifetime event after all. I was honored to accept the challenge, and be a part of their day. Then I really thought about it and got a little panicked. One hundred eighty cupcakes, a friend, limited experience, I was also invited to this wedding and had to watch people eat my limited experience cupcakes. This could be a cupcake recipe for disaster!


Next, there was much deliberation about flavors (white chocolate raspberry, chocolate oreo, and funfetti!), there was a practice round, and a trip to a very interesting baking supply store in Fairfax. Then I started feeling better. I felt good until I tried to think through a timeline of events. As a planner and a serious prepper (as in I like to have things done way ahead of time), this was difficult. Getting things done ahead of time is just not conducive to cake baking, but the great news is that on baking day I was unusually calm about the whole thing. I borrowed lots of cupcake tins (because obviously I have only one since I'm a professional) from friends and even an extra mixer. One of my friends came over during part of the day for moral support and also washed dishes. I also went on strike from cooking other food this day and Matt was in charge of picking up dinner! Yay for Chipotle :) 


The next morning was icing and decorating day. Oh, and WEDDING DAY! I was seriously nervous about getting everything done, including myself, and making it to the nuptials. Thankfully everything went quite smoothly again. We even made it to the wedding on time! Now was the final part of my job. The delivery and set up. I had never been to the venue the reception was being held at. We put the place in the GPS and off we went. You can add 186 cupcakes to the list of "things that fit in the back of a Yaris." When we arrived at our destination I knew something wasn't right. After finding someone who worked at the place, and a little looking around, I realized I was at a Quinceanera. Oops!

After a drive across the street we found the right place, unloaded all the cupcakes, and got them all set up! I was so happy to have my job all done. The rest of the night was so fun! We had a wonderful time celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs. Hutton, eating a delicious meal, singing Let It Go, hanging out with our friends, and I ate two cupcakes. There was a real Oreo in one of them :) Congratulations to Bryan and Sam! Thanks for letting me be a part of your special day!



Friday, April 10, 2015

Friday Love

Yay for Friday! It's been a crazy week of work and meetings. I am thankful for what looks to be a beautiful weekend ahead, and tonight we are headed to a friend's house for dinner. What are you up to? I hope you have a great weekend!

{ONE}

Cinderella. Last week, over spring break, I went to see the remake of Cinderella. I was very worried I wouldn't like it as Cinderella was my very favorite Disney movie when I was really little, but I was pleasantly surprised. And don't worry (cause I was worried) the mice aren't weird in the real live version.

{TWO}

Flat Shoes! I'm so excited. I do not like winter shoes! In the past few weeks it's actually been possible to not wear them. I am back to my favorite flats. Thank you spring!

{THREE}

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I have been slowly watching Netflix's new-ish original series. It's actually pretty funny and the episodes are quick. Give it a try if you are looking for something mindless and fun to watch.

{FOUR}

Chik-Fil-A Frosted Lemonade. Have you tried this? If you just said 'NO,' change that! Really these are so delicious. It's CFA lemonade blended with CFA ice cream. It's creamsicle like. Last week they were FREE everyday. I won't tell you how many times I took advantage of that.

{FIVE}

National Sibling Day. Facebook has informed me today that it's time to celebrate having a sister. Good thing my parents decided to have a second kid so I didn't get only child syndrome :)

Flaherty sisters on a cold Thanksgiving morning...sorry it was the first picture I could find. 



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Recipe of the Week!

Spanakopita
As you might know I LOVE Greek food. I decided to make this Spanakopita (spinach pie) for myself to see how it would go. It was pretty good, but nothing compared to the BEST Spanakopita I've ever had (made by my sister-in-law's father-in-law...that's confusing). In my opinion Spanakopita is best eaten room temperature, or even a little bit cold. Seriously, try it. You won't go back.

Of course, with my blogging break, I made this recipe SO LONG ago that I cannot remember what I did. Really, I cant. I remember I couldn't fine one recipe that looked good to me online, so I looked at a whole bunch and kinda picked things I liked and didn't like and went from there. Below is my best attempt at remembering, but really if you add enough feta cheese everything will taste great.

Ingredients: 
2 pounds fresh spinach leaves chopped, or 10 oz. frozen
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup snipped dillweed or 2 tablespoons dried dill
8 ounces feta cheese, finely crumbled
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
16 sheets phyllo pastry dough
1 stick butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft. Add the spinach in portions as it wilts/cooks. Cook and stir until liquid is released then evaporates, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool. Lightly squeeze out and drain (or press out with a fork) any excess liquid. Stir in dillweed, both cheeses, and seasonings. Grease a 13 by 9 inch pan. Unroll phyllo on a dry work surface. Keep covered with a slightly damp towel to prevent drying. Line the pan with a sheet of phyllo, pressing into corners. Brush the entire sheet lightly with butter. Continue adding and buttering seven more layers. Spread the spinach filling over the top of the pastry sheets. Top the filling with another sheet of phyllo; brush with butter. Add 7 more sheets using the same method. Brush top with butter. Bake for 45 minutes or until pastry is crisp and golden brown. Cool for about five minutes to let the pastry set, then cut into squares or triangles.