In Real Life: Week 17

Here’s a recap of our week 17…

This is now the wallpaper on my phone.

I did the total new mom thing and cut and colored my hair last Sunday. I make these foils look good.

This was what I got to look at while my toner set. If you don’t look too closely at the details, I think it’s a pretty neat piece of art.

I didn’t go too crazy with the color – just added some warm highlights for summer. But I chopped over 6 inches off, and it looked pretty dang cute after she curled it for me. I took a picture because – lets be honest – it will not look like this again until it’s time to go back.

Later that day, we played this awesome spooky board game with some friends. It was a lot of fun, and I’d love to play it again now that I fully understand how it works.

Also, popcorn with chili-lime salt is pretty dang tasty.

While we played around the table inside, the kids did what kids should do – played outside. I’m sad sometimes that we live in an apartment and don’t have good outdoor space for James to play on a regular basis. Look closely… our daredevil is toward the top in a light blue shirt.

Melting mama’s heart, right here. And holding his own bottle, like a big boy!

The dawn of a new day.

I had put Jack to bed and was trying to settle in for some relaxing time with my book… except James wanted to tell me ALL ABOUT Legend of Zelda. Oh well… such is the life of a boy mom.

He can almost sit up on his own! If only he wasn’t so distracted by his toes.


Without all the weight of the added length, my hair seems to be fully embracing the idea of being naturally curly. In this photo, I had done literally nothing to it aside from brushing it after my shower. Is this a postpartum thing? I dunno.

Still obsessing over this stuff a little. Trying to only eat half the container at a time.

Camo boy is up bright and early and ready to go hunting!

Why hello there, Mr. Goose.

On Friday, I didn’t have to drive as far for work that day, so I took the opportunity for a little “me time” at Starbucks before starting the grind. It felt quite luxurious.



Sorry for so many selfies this week. I’m just really enjoying my new hair, and wearing my contacts more often.

The last time I pulled these shoes out of the drawer, I was tying a blue ballon to them to announce that we were having a boy. They went pretty perfectly with the onesie+shorts summer combo he had going on Saturday. Though they didn’t stay on very long… no big deal, since he isn’t walking yet, obviously.

Like father, like son. This boy loves his daddy.

What did your week look like?

See you next Sunday!


In Real Life: Week 16

Here’s a peek at our week 16…

I definitely approved of this wrap.

We finally put Jack’s exer-saucer together, and he was so excited when he realized he could stand in it.

My china is so pretty, and yet it has been literally years since I’ve had a good excuse to use it. I decided this week that a perfectly enjoyed cup of tea was worth the risk of breaking a cup.

She was so mad that I wouldn’t let her actually sit in my lap. She kept trying to inch in anyway, as if I wouldn’t notice.

My mom turned me on to this stuff while she was visiting last weekend. It certainly isn’t health food, but it is a super tasty, somewhat less naughty treat.

I had kind of fallen off the exercise bandwagon after going back to work. But after realizing how good it is for my mood as well as my body, I bought a subscription to Beach Body On Demand, and I did my first workout this week. Core de Force is wonderfully kick-ass, and I felt it in all the right places the next day. And it only took 30 minutes of precious nap time to get it done, score!

I’ve also been trying to get back to my low-carb roots. Roasted zucchini boats make a delicious substitute for pasta.

I gave Jack a taste of my vanilla yogurt for fun, not really expecting to feed it to him. Much to my surprise, he got really excited about it and ate almost half my cup!

I had some white wine and lime Perrier leftover in my fridge from when mom was visiting. I mixed them together and the result was awesome.

A clean out the fridge salad. Greens, shredded carrots, leftover creamy brown rice, hard-boiled egg, and a strip of leftover bacon. Sometimes the best things happen when you just throw a bunch of stuff in a bowl.

I played around with Snapseed’s new double exposure feature this week.

This was one of my favorite creations.

I call this one “American Boy.”

I finally jumped on the BB cream bandwagon after hearing so many bloggers and podcasters talk about it for so long. I was skeptical, because I have need of some serious coverage most of the time, but it works surprisingly well. And I love that it looks way more natural than my heavy face of full makeup. Plus, it was only like $7… winning!

My colleagues and I were treated to dinner by a vendor rep this week. It was fun to hang out in a non-work environment for a change.

We went to this fun pub & grill, called Eureka! 8/10, would totes eat there again. Maybe next time I’ll try one of their many beers.

Remembering my GD days,  I had my burger without a bun so I could feel less guilty about eating the fries. Also still loving mushrooms… what has become of me?

Straight Outta Mommy!

It was John Muir‘s birthday this week. I’ve always loved his words.

Keeping my mommy game strong. All I needed to complete the ensemble was a Starbucks drink.

But the leggings and Nikes weren’t just for show. I got my butt out to the park and joined the million-and-a-half other moms with jogging strollers for day one of couch-to-5k. My mom and I signed up for a race together in Boise in October, so it’s time to get started!

Jogging with with the stroller was easier than I expected in some ways and harder in others. It’s almost nice to have something to lean on a little, but it’s hard to pace myself when the stroller feels like it wants to run away. I’m sure I’ll get used to it with more practice.

It was a gorgeous day, though.

Robbie came home and told me to give him the baby and go do whatever I wanted, which was a real treat. So I took my new book to my favorite taqueria and enjoyed a much-earned carnitas tostada and a cold Corona. It was nice to not have to race through a meal for a change.

So excited that Jack finally fits into this Robin costume. #nerdparents

Somehow Christine knew that I was craving a bento box on Saturday. It was like fate when she asked if I wanted to do lunch.

The view from my sink isn’t half bad.

And that’s a wrap! Have a great week!

In Real Life: Week 15

It’s been a great week 15! Here’s what it looked like…

Two-toned tulips. Say that three times fast.

Work was handing out pins with various words on them. I chose this one.

I’ve been skipping the elevator at work. It’s good for my booty. But man, it’s hard to stay committed when most of my patients are on the fourth floor.

Ever since I got pregnant with Jack, my hair has started curling on its own. Sometimes I rather enjoy it.

I parked in a different place for a change, and realized that there is a big open field behind the garage. I thought it was neat.

Did you realize that cut tulips continue growing in length as they bloom?

My mom came for a visit this weekend! Naturally, we spent the whole first afternoon at the beach.

Beach babe!

We could have stayed here all day.

I almost didn’t share this one because, obviously, it’s not the most flattering photo of me. But this is official footage of the first time Jack’s feet touched the ocean. (He cried because it was too cold, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right?)

Under the wharf.

Grandma’s happy place.

I think we’re going to have to make this a regular thing this summer.

This trestle has been here a little while.

We finished the day with a cold glass of wine and some surf and turf.

“I think you should do the PayPal thing so we can have more lobster.”

We love the quilt that Aunts Susie and Meggie (Nene) made for Jack.

Introducing Grandma to Rogue One. Also, carrot cake.

Bacon + avocado toast.

Talking with Grandma.

Off to the farmers market!

Somebody likes carrots.

Daddy’s hat.

Love  bug!

A wild Oliver stalking his prey.

Mom gave me a red solo cup full of white wine while we were sitting outside, and, because I am now a lightweight, I may have been slightly drunk before we even got to dinner. And then I kept it going with this bomb margarita.

And then I got all introspective about fajitas, and how they’re such attention whores, what with the sizzling plate, and taking up the whole table, and whatnot…

And then, today, we went out for a little Easter brunch.

And Mom and I kept the party going with a very tasty peach bellini.

We like to dance!

I shouldn’t have eaten this. But it was soooooo good.

Peanut turned 5-months old on Friday! I’ve been trying all weekend to get a good photo, and I finally got it today. He looks an awful lot like my dad here.

Sporting the new bib Auntie Nene sent him. (We subsequently got pureed carrots all over it.)

Oliver claimed his own Easter basket.

And now we’re off to take Grandma to the airport, noooooooo!

Have a great week, everyone. 🙂

In Real Life: Week 14

Here’s what week 14 looked like for us…

Getting better at sitting up!

Sunday was the perfect day to watch some opening day baseball (even though the Giants blew it in the last inning, like they always do) and to grill some awesome homemade burgers.

I have walked by this piece of art at work hundreds of times, and only this week noticed that it had faces in it. What?

Mark it on the calendar: little ol’ type-A me went on a trip with my family this week, and didn’t pack a single thing until the morning we left. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME.

Oliver was sure amused by all the open suitcases, though.

Ready for takeoff!

I was hopeful that Jack might stay asleep for the flight to Phoenix, but he woke up not long after takeoff. Luckily it was a short flight, and he was a good boy the whole way.

Southwest always takes good care of us.

Looking awfully cute in Daddy’s hat.

Jack and I finally got to meet Robbie’s grandparents! Grandma was so thrilled to have a baby in her house again.

Jack – who is now in the “I’m terrified of new faces” phase – was not always so excited.

On our first real day there, we had intended to spend the morning at Legoland and the afternoon at the pool. But then we saw the pool and decided, nah, we’d just stay there all day.

There aren’t words to express how excited I was to dress Jack up in swimming clothes. How adorable is this hat?

My water babies! Jack did not appreciate the cold water of the pool, but he did like the hot tub. He actually seemed to enjoy getting to float and kick!

Not a bad place to be trapped under a hungry, sleepy baby.

This looks like a good place for a nap.

We went to a little western art gallery, too. I was sad that we didn’t get much time there, because I could have spent all day looking at this stuff.

We did finally make it to Legoland the next day. (In case you can’t tell, that’s a giant lego octopus, fighting giant lego spacemen. Obviously.)

The builds were seriously impressive. This spaceship actually blasted off every 5 minutes, complete with “smoke.”

Seriously, so cool.

Oh, to be a ten-year old boy.

All aboard!

They did not spare any detail. Not even for the lighting.

Getting tips from the resident “master builder.”

Jack was pretty amused by the large lego figures.

Then, of course, we went back to the pool.

And then pizza with the whole family!

Doesn’t Robbie look just like his grandfather?

I was kind of in love with all the desert plants.

If only spiders didn’t like to lay eggs inside cacti, I would totally get one.

On our last day, we played a round on the putting green.

We put Grandpa on baby watch.

I kinda wish I could have this sign off the Jimmy John’s bathroom door to hang on my own.

Thankfully, Jack slept for almost the entire flight home. I even got a little nap in, myself!

After a long week, it was nice to just be home today. Robbie grilled a tri-tip, and I roasted some asparagus and broccolini. All felt right with the world.

James was happy to spend the whole day in his pajamas and working on the awesome lego set he got at Legoland.

All in all, a very good week!

Have a happy Monday, everyone!

Jess’ Dill Potato Salad

When you have a baby, everyone tells you that you will never have a moment to yourself. You believe it, because everyone says it. It must be true. And eventually you think you’re prepared. How bad could it be, right?

But you’re not prepared. Not really.

You’re prepared to surrender going out to the movies, reading books, sleeping in. But nothing really prepares you for the unrelenting needs of a tiny human who can’t even hold his head up. Suddenly you barely have a spare moment to shower, let alone do ANYTHING else. Suddenly “what should I cook for dinner?” becomes “what is the most convenient thing I can shove in my face in this 15-minute window before he needs something else?”

Don’t get me wrong. Having a baby is amazing. I wouldn’t trade it for all the chocolate in Switzerland. But I’ve missed cooking. Oh boy, have I missed it.

Thankfully, Jack is in a stage now where he can be content for a while in his bouncy chair while I do something else. (Don’t worry, I moved that burp rag he’d been chewing on when he fell asleep.) And he’s already fascinated by the kitchen. So I can finally cook again! Granted, I have to be a little mindful and try to break up the recipe so that I have good stopping points if I need to step away to deal with a meltdown, but still. It feels good to be back in the kitchen at all.

So last weekend, I settled in and made potato salad. It’s one of my favorite spring/summer dishes to make and to eat, and one I’ve been itching to make for several weeks now that the weather has been nice again. This particular recipe is a touch different from your traditional potato salad, with the addition of fresh dill and ranch dressing and a swap of green onions for the usual white. But trust me, it’s much, much better than the original.

My version is a play on the one in Molly Wizenberg’s book, A Homemade Life. (One of my favorite memoirs, as well. I highly recommend.) I like to use a mixture of red and yellow potatoes, and added Dijon mustard and things like celery and pickles for crunch. I also chop the boiled eggs down super small, because my boys are picky and don’t like to see that there is hard boiled egg in their potato salad at all.

Also, a word on boiling eggs: I used to think I hated hard boiled eggs. Turns out this was because every hard boiled egg I had ever eaten was terribly overcooked. Don’t make that mistake. For fool-proof eggs, place them in a pan and cover with an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil, then place a lid on the pot, and remove it from the heat. Let them sit in this water for 12 minutes and 12 minutes only. Then drain them, cover them with cold water, and place in the refrigerator until they are completely cool. Then peel and enjoy however you’d like! And for easy-to-peel eggs, don’t use the ones you just bought at the store this morning. Use the eggs that have been sitting in the fridge for at least a week. Trust me on this one.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

PS: Please let me know if you enjoy seeing recipes on here. If there is interest, I may begin doing this more often. 🙂

Continue reading “Jess’ Dill Potato Salad”